Part 35: CH35: SacrificesCH35: Sacrifices
: I suppose it's weird that the Fire Valkines is located in an ice cave, but not that weird.
: Nobody stopped them from entering the cave. Secrecy, harsh climate, and the abundant monsters were the main defenses.
: Let's hope reaching the valkines is equally simple.
This is one of the few dungeons in Graces where I'll say that I wish it was longer and had more puzzles. Knocking down icicles with ice blocks is both cool (groan) and hadn't got old yet by the time I was done with the place.
Skit: Running Out of Time
: If that's the case, then the valkines totally has to be here.
: How so?
: Because the ancient Amarcians supposedly supplied the valkines control unit! So I figure they built a chamber to house it or whatever.
: Captain Malik, why won't Kurt just listen to reason and stop the experiment? Doesn't he know what could happen?
: Well, it's because this country is running out of time.
: But, I don't understand. If the experiment fails, everyone could be hurt. Even worse, everyone could be killed!
: Yes, but if they don't take action, that will be their fate anyway.
Whether through starvation, war, or failed experiment, the final result is always death.
That's why they cling to any shred of hope, for a chance to change things around.
: But we still have to stop them. No matter how much they resist, we cannot allow this experiment to proceed.
Skit: No Lack of Resolve
: Don't worry. I'll stop Kurt. I promise you that.
: I feel the same. My invention was totally behind all of this. And on top of that, I don't want my sister to end up a criminal.
: I'm pleased that everyone understands what they must do. Doubt will only hinder us. Now let us proceed onward.
: (What I must do...is stop Richard. I don't want to fight. I won't fight. There has to be another way for this to all end. I know there is.)
This next skit only appears if you fuck up knocking down the BIG icicle by not doing it from the top. Since the ice cube you'd use starts up there, it seems unlikely to be seen unless you seek it out.
Skit: Allow Me to Demonstrate
: Of course there is!
: We just need to wallop 'em with more power!
: And, how do we do that?
: Oh, there's tons of ways! Like...THIS!
: Ugh! Wh-What are you doing?
: Okay, so you didn't fall down, yeah? But now...
: Oh no.
: Owwww, Pascal?!
: See? You fell down! Hit something with more force, and you generate more power!
: Was all of that really necessary?! You could have just told me, you know! Un-believable! Ugh, let's just find a way to keep moving onward.
: If we take a loooong approach like I just did, everything should work out fine!
: Eventually they reached the Valkines.
: What is this nonsense? Nothing's happening! Increase the power!
: Come on. We have to stop them!
: Malik! How did you find this place?
: Kurt! You have to stop the experiment!
This might be the hardest non-optional fight in the entire game.
Kurt's regular attacks have huge reach and angle and hit like fucking trucks.
These guys are no less a problem than him though, they'll spawn throughout most of the fight after you get rid of the first two, and there can be up to three of them at once (although if that happens, you are already dead).
Oh, and this is the bad news. Note Malik is blocking here.
BOOM! Those are revolver-pikes and unlike the shitty FF8 version they are in fact good at being guns.
If you have Malik in your party, a special scene plays out when you defeat the first two guards.
: Twenty years ago, you turned and ran from your responsibility.
There's no way I'll let you stop me now!
So this is not generally a sign of an attempt going well. I was using titles that boosted Cheria's casting rate and reduced enemy eleth gauge growth rate (you do not fucking want Eleth Break here), but it wasn't really enough.
I'm not ashamed to admit that after a few failed attempts I ground out some xp and sp. Note the differences in HP
Cheria has a new spell, Virtuous Radiance.
And now, the reason I had to be playing Malik here. If you do a specific A-Arte while in Eleth Burst and hit the Mystic Arte button...
BOOM! Secret Mystic Arte!
: A man speaks with his back.
: Malik Beam!
There is one other character that has a secret Mystic Arte, which we'll see later maybe.
I'm not ashamed to admit I suck at dodging Kurt's attacks. I think everyone does. I got it there though.
Oh and OF COURSE Kurt has a Mystic Arte.
Dude has some pretty cool moves.
Here's another new move, this one belonging to Malik, Disruption.
Cheria has Divine Saber, which hits with a lot of lightning bolts. It's more effective against large or slow enemies, particularly Nova-weak ones.
Rolling Flare is the forward or backward on the stick 2CC A-Arte.
Corruption claw is the corresponding 3CC Arte.
And Sonic Mount is the 4CC. Yes he is riding his Bladerang, which is currently a fork with a Peep on it. I'm at a loss at the moment what quest rewarded it, but for each character there's a quest that gives an item that you can dualize with a weapon to create a joke weapon that can serve you quite well through the mid-to-late game. Cheria currently has hers, the shish-kabob sticks, equipped.
Oh by the way that Mystic Arte has enough AE to potentially kill two party members at once.
What to do...
I get Cheria up but lose Sophie and I've got two guys spawned. THIS MIGHT BE THE END!
Or fucking not.
One of the things I made sure I got when I was grinding to beat Kurt were the EB-Heal and EB-Life skills. You can tell what they do, right? Right. Unfortunately you can't benefit from the heal and the revive at the same time
Two healers gives us a fighting chance to get things back together.
Hubert is thinning the herd a bit.
Once again we are having issues. Even after grinding out a total of SEVEN LEVELS between the first attempt and the final attempt, this fight is not easy.
This game of party member whack-a-mole must end. On the plus side, shortly after this point he stopped respawning buddies.
We're almost done. I got the perfect opportunity to end this the right way.
You totally thought I was going to fuck that up, didn't you?
Quick bit about Title Mastery. Titles have bonuses for just having them equipped, usually percentage-based stat boosts but frequently something more interesting, like increased casting speed or reducing all damage over a certain amount by 50%. When you finish getting all the skills out of a title, you can opt to fill one more SP bar, if you do the title is Mastered and its equip bonus increases or otherwise improves. The titles I was using on earlier attempts were pre-mastered for the fight, but I forgot to put them in for this attempt and thus didn't waste all that SP.
: Kurt wasn't going to do much more fighting after that.
: Malik... You have grown strong. It appears we are no longer equals.
: I could not have defeated you without my companions.
Assistant: I-I'm sorry sir. Chancellor Eigen ordered me to increase the output to maximum!
: Oh no! It's starting a chain reaction!
: Shut it down! Now!
: I'm afraid there's no choice! I'm gonna have to destroy the main outflow pipe!
: No way! You can't do that! It's too dangerous!
: This whole situation is my fault! I have to do something!
: No. This is my responsibility. I'll take care of it.
: Usually I give this presentation to children, so I don't talk about this part.
: But Kurt looked - and worse, smelled - like a piece of meat you'd left in the oven too long.
: M-Miss Pascal, was it? P-Please. I must ask you to...to complete your research.
Without a working valkines...Fendel is...doomed. We must...find a way to...control its potential.
You have got to complete your research. Save my country. You must...save my people...
: Malik... It's all up to you now... I'm going to have to leave...the revolution in your hands...
After this there's a chance to talk to everyone (and loot a Platinum Bladerang from Kurt's corpse if you don't already have one for some reason).
: Kurt isn't moving.
Come on, Asbel. We have to cast a healing arte on him.
: Poor Kurt. It's a shame it came to this...
At least the valkines is intact... It may sound cold, but we at least stopped the worst-case scenario.
: Controlling the valkines, eh? Kurt left me with a pretty tough job...
But...I'm probably the only one who can do it, you know? So I guess I kinda have to.
: I hope the Captain's okay...
This is all just so sad...
Fendel Soldier: It's all over... We bet everything on this experiment...
What are we supposed to do now?!
How could this happen?! We even had the Amarcians helping us!
If news of this reaches our people, we won't live to see another sunrise!
Assistant: Kurt... Kurt is...
It's all my fault... If I hadn't raised the output, he'd still be...
: I never expected things to turn out like this...
The work of 20 years...wasted... What will become of Fendel now?
: Ah, Kurt... Why you?
...It's all right. I'm fine.
: This was the first time Sophie saw someone she cared about actually die.
: Is Kurt dead?
We won't see him again?
: Please, come back. You have to come back, Kurt!
: Sophie. It's all right. We have to let him rest now.
: Huh? What is that?!
: Of course the villain of this piece wasn't going to give the party time to mourn.
: Richard, stop!
: Do not interfere!
: Not you again.
: Look at that! Is it just me or is she glowing?!
: It seems that you and I are fated to battle.
: I will not be destroyed! You cannot stop me!
: Perfect. Now to finish things.
: Just when we managed to stop the experiment...
: Richard... That just can't be him! It just can't. No human could've possibly done that
: Things weren't quite over yet. There was still a threat to the party present.
: This is a complete disaster! All of our eleth is now gone!
And, in addition to that it was stolen away by the king of Windor himself!
That scum... This is nothing less than an act of war!
: One moment there, Chancellor Eigen.
: Poisson! What are you doing here?
: I have come here before you today as the Overseer's representative.
: You mean to say that you speak for the Amarcian Overseer?
: Yes. Greetings, Chancellor. I come here bearing a personal message for you.
We humbly request that you spare all of these people and leave them to our care.
The actions of King Richard endanger not only your country, but all of the kingdoms in the world as well.
The Overseer has chosen to devote all of Amarcia's resources to resolving this terrible threat.
And to that end, we require the information these people possess.
: Uh... B-But, my country has suffered a great outrage, and I cannot-
: The Overseer also said one more thing.
Depending upon your answer, we may be forced to recall all engineers who currently provide aid to the government of Fendel.
She hopes this won't be necessary, and that we can continue to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.
: Uh, so be it then. I leave this matter in the hands of the Overseer. Everyone move out!
: Poisson... That was a serious threat you just made. Did the Overseer really say that?
: Of course she did.
: Heh! You're gonna make a great Overseer someday.
: Hehe. Nice one.
: Your timing was totally perfect, too! The question is how in the heck did you know we were here?
: Your sister Fourier returned and informed us that the valkines was in very grave danger.
I'm sorry about the valkines. But we couldn't save it.
: So what do you think we should do now? We have no idea where King Richard will strike next.
: Actually, the Overseer did mention something about that as well.
: Oh! She did?
: She believes that King Richard will most likely make for the Lastalia.
: The Lastalia is the core of our planet, and the only true source of all the cryas in the world.
: There is much about the Lastalia that still remains hidden even from the Overseer.
But she believes you can find more information about it within the Archive of Wisdom.
: You sure it's okay for me to go inside it?
: The Overseer believes you have learned a great deal from recent events.
So she has decided to bend the rules for you. But just this once.
: Wow, she really said that?
: Well, let's check it out, Pascal.
: Agreed. The time for caution is over. We must seize any hope, no matter how faint.
: I'm staying here.
: I have to. I am responsible for Kurt's work and continuing the revolution.
I am, in my heart, a man of Fendel. I will not abandon my people again.
: I fear there's little point in you taking up the torch of revolution now.
: Why not?
: Kurt's final wish was for the valkines research to be completed, and his people rescued from misery.
If there is any hope for completing this mad task, then we must find and defeat King Richard.
I think you should come with us.
Come with us. Show the world what it really means to be a true man of Fendel.
: I'm coming too! Kurt totally trusted me, after all!
: Captain Malik! Please. We still need your guidance and your instruction.
You're... You're too good to me, my friends.
: It will be an honor to have you with us, Captain Malik.
: I'll remain here. There are still many delicate matters to discuss with Chancellor Eigen.
Also, the Overseer will be here soon. I'm sorry I can't go with you.
: Don't worry about it! We appreciate all the help, Poisson.
All right! Let's head back to the Amarcian enclave.
Skit: Just Ask Gramps
: Don't touch that, Sophie!
: Hmm, why not?
: Because there might be some fire eleth left in it.
: But how come it's okay to touch water eleth, and it's okay to touch to wind eleth? What makes fire eleth so different?
: Aw, the kid's learning! Better give her an answer, Dad!
: What, me? Well, I, um, y-you know, ugh.
: How about I let Mom field this one?
: M-Mom?! You mean me? Ah...hah hah... Mom...
: Sophie, imparting heat to other substances is a special property of fire eleth. And this may very well have that property.
: Okay, thanks. I'll be careful!
: Are you quite done with all this foolishness already?