Part 44: CH44: CitadelCH44: Citadel
Skit: Traces of Humanity
: When I was little, I made these all the time! I set up anti-personnel traps and ran from my sister and then was all pshew!
: You must have been an incredible kid.
: This world used to be home to a great many people, many of them exceptionally gifted just as Pascal here.
But the monsters created by Lambda triggered a massive war...and now you see what our world has become.
: Ya know, I'll admit it now, but I was kinda worried that maybe it was the Amarcians who ruined everything.
: I bet you're pretty relieved that wasn't the case.
: Indeed. The fault for this lies with Lambda alone.
Skit: Your Bird Could Not Be Completed
: It's pretty stressy, huh?
: Can you use Poisson's communication device to contact anyone?
: I find it unlikely that a bird could fly all the way to our world.
: Well, let's just see. Off you go, birdie!
: ...It came back. I don't think this will work.
: Then I guess it's the reinforced shuttle or nothing if we want to return.
: That time is already upon us. We should hurry.
: Yeah! I wonder what it is...
: I think we can get down to it from over there.
: Are you sure? It looks dangerous.
: Cheria, Sophie, you two wait here.
: Hmm? What's wrong, Sophie?
Child: I have a tummy ache... Can you carry me to the city?
Child: Why? Geez, you must be broken.
: One moment... I don't detect any damage.
Child: Then listen when a human tells you to do something!
Child: Hey, wait! Why are you going ahead without me?!
: ...I don't know?
Child: You don't know?! ...Sheesh! Now I don't even care about my stupid stomach!
Waaaaait, I get it. You're testing me, aren't you?
Child: Before he died, my dad used to say that a little bribery goes a long way.
: Does it?
Child: Hmph. You're a cheeky humanoid, aren't you? ...Okay, fine. You want me to treat you like a human, right? Now, where did I put it...
Child: It's my favorite brooch. ...It'll help you look a little more presentable. Anyway, just take it. See the flowers? It's really cute, right?
: Flowers...? Cute...?
Child: There! I just treated you like a human.
: A hu...man...
: Nova monster confirmed. Initiating com-
: Initiating combat!
: ...They made it.
: What is it?!
: Aw, it's just some old broken brooch!
: Does it have flowers on it?!
: Yes, it looks like something a child might wear!
: Can you please bring it up?!
: It's cute!
: So do you always wear jewelry you find lying on the ground, or is this a special occasion?
: Hmm... It's a secret.
: A secret...? Boy oh boy...
: Tee hee. Come on, let's go.
Skit: A World Run Dry
: You've been under constant pressure since we came to this world. Maybe looking at those flowers would rela... Huh?!
: What is it?
: Those aren't real flowers. They're just...made out of clay.
: No, Cheria. Those are real flowers.
: It is true. When they lost their eleth, they transformed into that clay-like substance.
: Lost their...eleth?
: You mentioned some difficulty breathing? The disappearance of eleth is the cause of that as well. Very soon, this world will be completely dead.
: That can't be. The world will die?
: Yes. The eleth that springs from the planet's core has run dry.
: Bathus Citadel loomed in the background, a massive and gaudy edifice.
: Inside it was even more gaudy somehow.
: Welcome to Bathus Citadel.
: It's been out of service for hundreds of years, and yet still it looks brand new.
: Where can we find this shuttle reinforcement?
: It should be deep within the citadel.
: Okay, let's get going.
So we immediately head outside for a skit.
Skit: Fodra's Ultimate Weapons
: No. I don't have any memories of this place.
: This is not something Protos Heis would be familiar with.
After you set off for Ephinea, Bathus Citadel was converted into a facility for the research of new weaponry that could be used against Lambda's monster spawn.
: I bet you have all sorts of weapons we've never seen before!
...Cryas arte tanks? Nah, that's nothing.
: Oh, maybe some Indiscriminate Planetary Smackdown Munitions?!
: That sounds great.
: No, I'm afraid we do not use such antiquated weaponry.
: You should have noticed by now: The humanoids are our most advanced weapons.
Look no further than Protos Heis. I challenge everyone to ask themselves:
What war machine could possibly compete with a humanoid that can act independently and adapt to any circumstance? The answer is obvious.
This is the dungeon's primary gimmick.
Skit: Intruder Defense
: That's a relief. It seems the system is still operational.
: When the base personnel fled at the end of battle, they activated an intruder-defense system designed to stop outsiders from using the base.
: Does that mean we can't get inside?
: It is complicated, but we should not have problems if we deactivate the defenses one by one.
To proceed, continue using the switches to move the walls like before.
: How the hell would that stop any sentient being?
: The idea is that it would irritate them into trying to demolish the blocks.
Skit: Simple Enough
: Yeah. When we pulled this switch, the wall on the other staircase moved.
: If you understood that much, we shouldn't have any problems. Let's hurry on.
Oh, I forgot to mention this, a while back we got Malik's title for his level 2 Mystic Arte, it was at the port when Sophie was blinded. I thought it was later on here for some reason. Anyway, Malik's level 2 Mystic Arte.
Skit: My Responsibility
: It's still so hard for me to believe you were stationed here, sent on a mission to destroy Lambda.
: Sophie, please. Let me do it instead.
: But stopping Lambda is my responsibility. This is not something anyone else can do.
Don't worry about me, Asbel. I will protect you...and everyone else.
: It's my turn to protect you for once. You've already done so much for everyone. I don't want you putting yourself in danger again!
: But you can't beat him, Asbel. Only I can. And I will.
Skit: It's Gotta Fit Somewhere
: How nostalgic. It has been a while since I have seen an Amarcian key.
: A key? So what's it open?
: Long ago, it was used in the doors of Amarcian-designed structures.
: So can it open any doors around here?
: No, I highly doubt it would have been used in a fortification such as this.
There was a time where that style of door was constructed abundantly, but it had grown obsolete by the time I had entered into my deep sleep.
: Aw, nuts. Guess it's useless.
: No need to run hastily to conclusions. There may still be doors that use such a lock on Ephinea.
: Oh, really? Well, I hate draggin' around useless junk, but this seems like a winner right here!
Skit: If Anyone Can Do It...
: Here? Now? Where is this coming from?
: When the shuttle repairs are complete and we return to Ephinea, I may have to fight Richard again.
: The man was quite a skilled swordsman, as I recall. You're right to be worried.
: I want to save him without inflicting more damage than necessary. And to pull that off, I need far greater skills than I have now.
: Very well then. I should call Sophie over to participate as well.
: No, it's okay. I don't want her involved in this.
: Sophie's become oddly...stubborn about the whole Lambda thing. She thinks it's her responsibility to face him alone.
I need to prove to her that I can protect her.
: If anyone can do so, it's you.
: They reached an area near the top of the citadel, and found an assembly area.
: This room should have what we're looking for.
: Look out!
: It seems to be reacting to Sophie's power...
: Here they come!
This fight isn't as much of a pushover as the last one.
All of these guys have multi-shot ranged attacks, and they target the player a lot, so you're frequently getting shot in the back and stunned. The fact that the girls teleport (no screenshot since there's no animation) doesn't help.
Oh, and they heal too. I was absolutely terrified of them healing the boss, which caused me to blow Arcane Bottles despite how nonthreatening the fight was otherwise.
At least it helped finish off the adds quicker.
Adds down, time to work on the big guy.
One of his attacks is to summon a giant sword and swing with it.
Another thing he does is summon a hoverboard and ride it through us.
Get back here!
And also sometimes he summons cannons.
: We'd better find the shuttle reinforcement and get out of here.
: May I ask what the significance of this attachment is?
: It's made from a metal called derris ore, which possesses Lambda-resistant properties. Derris ore reacts to and absorbs the eleth that powers the abilities of Protos Heis.
: We may have no choice but to build it ourselves.
: That sounds...complicated.
: Another attack?!
: Wooo hooo!
: No attack. It's just Pascal being crazy again.
: What could she possibly be doing that requires so much noise?
: Oh yay, it's done!
: See, I saw that block get all glowy in response to Sophie's power. And then I heard you talk about derris ore and I saw this and... yeah! So here we are.
: You are truly a worthy descendant of the Amarcians.
: Here, Captain! Try this ring on.
: What is this for?
: I made 'em from the leftover derris ore. One for you, and one for me.
: R-Rings! You two aren't... engaged, are you?!
: I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
: So if we wear these, we should be able to use the same power as everyone else.
: Pascal would in fact know what swimming in hot cocoa feals like.
: I wouldn't go that far, but there's certainly a strange power at work.
: Yaaaay, me!
: It's identical to the light we possess.
: It's strange, but I feel...stronger.
: Yeah, so when I heard the ore could absorb Sophie's eleth, I thought it might work for us, too.
Now Captain Malik and I will be more help than ever!
: We should be able to tackle those new monsters along with the rest of you.
: Now we just have to snap the derris bit onto the shuttle and we're good to go!
: Do you think the shuttle has been repaired by now?
: I don't know. It's a pretty big job, especially for one person.
: Then we should hurry back. If it's still being repaired, we might be able to lend a hand.
: Right. Back to the city, then!
Everyone gets titles! Everyone's titles let them break nova barriers with a 1-cc arte when equipped. When mastered, it becomes all artes.
Sophie's is the only one not called "Enlightened X".
And now we have everyone's level 2 Mystic Artes.
Skit: Where's My Ring?
: You look happy. Is it because of that ring?
: It certainly doesn't have anything to do with you!
: Uh, what? ...Okaaaay.
: (Hey, wait a minute. When we were kids, Asbel promised he would buy me a ring when we were older, didn't he?)
: Or maybe it DOES have something to do with you!
: Wait, what?
: When we were kids, you promised to buy me a ring when we were older. Don't you remember?
: I don't remember that. Anyway, we need to hurry back to that city where we found Emeraude.
: He totally forgot. ...I suppose I should have seen that one coming.
: On the way out, Emeraude had something to ask.
: We thought that Lambda had laid waste to Ephinea just as he did our world. But it appears that is not the case.
: No. Ephinea is... Well, it's home to vibrant people and plentiful natural resources. Clean air, fresh water... It's pretty much...perfect.
: I see. So Ephinea continues to possess what Fodra has lost. Unfortunately, the future is uncertain as long as Lambda exists.
: Lambda has already absorbed the eleth from our valkines cryas. And he's also formed a cocoon at the entrance to our planet's core.
: I think Lambda plans to merge with the Lastalia and become Ephinea's new core. The cocoon is the final step in this progress. It is a place for him to rest and gather strength. When he is ready, he will undergo a complete rebirth and fuse with the Lastalia.
: Lambda cannot fuse with the Lastalia unless his host body is...converted.
: What happens if he fuses with Ephinea's core?
: He will become a new being of incredible power, inhabiting Ephinea as his host.
In essence, Ephinea will become Lambda.
: But then, what happens to all the people of Ephinea?
: With Lambda absorbing all the eleth, the environment will no longer be able to sustain life.
: So our world will die, just as yours did.
: Then we have to get back as soon as possible.
: Indeed. Even as we speak, Lambda is doubtless in the final stages of his rebirth. Let us return to the launch bay and see about getting the derris bit attached.
Skit: A New Kind of Terror
: We must proceed with all haste.
: Pardon me, Emeraude, but what exactly defines a nova monster?
: Ferocious abominations created by Lambda; the ones responsible for laying waste to this world. ...Those with red eyes are especially powerful.
: Those must be-
: Yes, the monsters that attacked us at Lhant and at those ruins in the snow.
: They came from the cocoon, which means there can be no doubt that King Richard has been infected by Lambda.
Here's an Arte Pascal has learned, it raises everyone in the glyph's C-Attack.
So those rings give Pascal and Malik the ability to use Sophie's power for Nova-type attacks. Shining Field heals allies 25% of max life and damages enemies.
Culling Flare is basically a space laser. Pew pew as it were.
OK this gets its own video because it's pretty cool.
Special Skit: Show Me Your Resolve!
: Thanks to Pascal, I now wield the same power as you do. But if I hope to be of assistance, I need you to show me that power.
: You want to see my power...in action? Now that I think about it, we haven't sparred one-on-one since I was a student in training.
: This is not training, and I will hold nothing back. This time will be for real.
: I completely understand, sir. I...I vowed to become stronger so I could protect everyone.
: Then let me see that resolve reflected in your steel!
Protip: you probably shouldn't do this on Chaos.
Malik can break your guard really easy and then this happens.
Special Skit: Is That All?
: Is that all?
: Do you really want me to go ahead and finish you off? C'mon! Answer me, Asbel!
So in addition to dropping the difficulty to second-highest, I switch up the cooking since revives won't help me when I'm by myself.
Special Skit: Nothing But Talk
: Captain Malik, will you please fight me again? I must defeat you if I hope to become a man who can protect his friends.
: Look at you, babbling on to your foes.
: You're nothing but a pair of lips flapping in the breeze. You don't have the power to protect anyone!
: You said this was no training bout, Captain. ...So ready yourself! I haven't lost if I still draw breath!
Really this fight is about managing the switchover from defense to offense. Malik opens up when he attacks, you just gotta do it right.
"You have a red charge" is nearly always a good time to attack.
Cooking will paper over exactly 2 fuckups.
So Malik can quick-step too, so you gotta hit him when he can't.
Malik can't change the location of his attacks once he starts a combo, so you can quick step around him.
And if you manage to get him with your Mystic Arte before he can use his, it's game over.
Special Skit: The Power of Words
: You know, Asbel, I'll be completely frank with you.
I left Fendel behind because I didn't believe in the power of words. That's...that's why I couldn't say anything to Kurt.
: Speak your vows! Shout your convictions! Let them ring across the land! ...I said this fight was for true. Now do with me as you will.
: ...I will make this quick, Captain.