Part 38: Update 38Update 38
For some reason, Chapter 8 begins in the middle of the big cutscene vomit at the end of Chapter 7. That's sort of symptomatic of its pacing issues. Chapter 8 has 19,881 words (going by the game script I'm using) between that title card and the first non-optional boss fight in the chapter. That's about 1/4 of Catcher in the Rye. Some of those are alternate possibilities for a thing we'll be voting on today but those aren't exactly that much, and some of those are stage directions the guy who did the game script added, but it's still a long damn time. There could easily be 2-3 more updates without any boss fights. To compensate I'll have Twilight Palace for you.
: Honestly Ratatosk is a lot easier to take down than he thinks he is.
: What? You fought Ratatosk?
: Well, the Seraphim did. We were young hotshot save-the-world adventurers and he was an ancient spiritual entity of questionable morals. It's a natural law.
: A natural law?
: Anyway he probably forgot all about it because he didn't win, didn't want to remember, and got in fights about as often as a person blinks.
: I don't really think this is the place for rhetorical questions.
: Wait, if Tenebrae ran off with Ratatosk's core, how did Marta steal it from the Vanguard?
: I have no idea.
: I mean Tenebrae is a teleporting, invisible, shapeshifting, intangible, immortal being. How the hell do you take it from him? And if it fell into the Vanguard's hands wouldn't Richter immediately grab hold of it?
: I have no answers for you there.
: I'm Ratatosk?
: Lord Ratatosk.
: I'm Emil.
: I'm sure you've remembered it all now.
: I remember being killed by Richter. But how could that be my own memory?! Ratatosk's core is on Marta's forehead!
: On the night of the Blood Purge, you hatched from your core in response to Lady Marta's cries for help. By placing a fake core on her forehead, you were able to turn the enemy's eyes towards her and away from you.
: You're saying I did that so they'd go after Marta instead of me?!
: That's horrible!
: Sometimes we must do things that are cruel in order to save the world. There isn't really any way around it sometimes.
: Having just awoken, you needed time to regain your former strength. And the power you once possessed has started to return, little by little.
Skit Video: Cruel
: I can't believe this. I was using a girl to save myself. A girl who told me she loved me! It's cruel!
: You may have been cruel. As Lord Ratatosk, that is.
: No, duh.
: But the part of you that is Lord Emil has given everything to protect Lady Marta. And I detected no calculation or self-interest in that.
: This is only one Centurion's impression.
: Marta. Who am I?
: Tenebrae says that I'm not Emil. But I have memories of my childhood. Vivid memories with my mother and father.
: Memories can lie. They were added after the fact, so you could play the part of Emil more convincingly.
: Tenebrae, stop this!
: Now that the enemy knows Lord Emil is Lord Ratatosk, it would be dangerous to keep him ignorant of his true identity. And as a servant of Lord Ratatosk, it is my duty to keep Lord Emil safe.
: At least give him a minute to catch his breath! Emil, Daddy wants to see you. Will you come?
: Brute wants to see me? Sure, I guess.
: Good. He's downstairs. Let's go together.
Skit Video: Memories and Misconceptions
: Emil... Tenebrae said that memories can lie and I agree with him.
: We all have a couple of misconceptions, or things we've convinced ourselves happened a certain way when they actually didn't. Memory isn't an exact science, but it's something we depend on. I mean, what else can we turn to, in the end? But that doesn't mean that the journey you and I have shared so far is a lie. There's nothing false about it. I'm not sure the best way to say this, but the Emil I know is really Emil.
: Thanks Marta.
One thing that bugs me here. Right now we're on the 7th (top) floor.
Now we're on the 5th (not top) floor, but the elevator housing still ends at this floor, even though we came from the floor above us. This is because this entire floor is simply a carbon copy of the prior floor.
Orochi: Commander Brute's condition is still serious. Try to keep your conversation brief.
Now that I know they have the same voice actor he really does sound a lot like Vayne.
: Actually it's Ratatosk.
: I-It's fine. I...I'm sorry. For what we did to you.
: You needn't apologize. It's thanks to you I came back to my senses.
: Um... There was something you wanted to see me about?
: I hear that you are close to Richter. I know I've done many terrible things, but allow me to give you one warning. The one who fashioned the Vanguard into the militant organization it is now was him. Do not trust Richter.
: I'm not saying this as an excuse for what I've done. I have a deep hatred for Tethe'alla and the Church of Martel. I founded the Vanguard for my own reasons. But if it wasn't for Richter, the Vanguard would have never attained the sort of power it now wields. His words had a strange quality to them. A strong pull that I couldn't resist.
: A strong pull...
Fanfiction sense tingling...
: I've ordered the surviving Vanguard members to lay down their arms. I'm sure most will follow my orders. But there are many others still loyal to Richter. They may regroup and thrust our world into chaos once again.
: Marta, do you know where Richter went?
: Regal and the others are trying to find out now.
: After all I've done, I have no right to ask you this, but I want you to stop Richter. You bested me even while I was using the power of Solum's core. I know you can do it.
: But I--I might be the one who's going to destroy the world.
Orochi: I'm afraid I must ask you to let Commander Brute rest now.
: I'm counting on you.
: What is it, Presea?
: We know where Richter went. Regal's waiting in the rooftop garden at Lezareno headquarters. Let's go.
Skit Video: Daddy's Girl
: Daddy looked like he used to.
: He's been freed from the effects of the core. I'm happy for you.
: Yeah. His wounds will need time to heal, but the doctor says he's making a strong recovery.
: Just in time for the noose.
: Take good care of him.
: I will. I've been thinking. After our journey's over, and Daddy's well again, I want to help him make up for what he's done.
: I have no goddamn idea how he would even begin to make up for that shit.
: You really love him, don't you?
: O-Of course.
Skit Video: Effect of the Core
: First Decus and now Commander Brute. The effects of the cores are more dangerous than I thought.
: But I can't imagine Presea would change that much from how she is now.
: No, me neither.
: Really? Many people tell me I've changed a lot from how I used to be.
: You have?
: Like, how?
: Well, I didn't speak as much, and I didn't show any emotion. I also laugh more than I did before, and I have more of an appetite, but...
: I've been told my original personality, before everything happened, was more bright and cheery than now.
Skit Video: Too Powerful?
(Trigger: All monsters in party are level 100+)
: Say, Emil. Is it just me, or does it feel like some really powerful creatures are following behind us?
: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.
: You know, lately, monsters just don't seem to be attacking us much.
: I'm guessing the monsters in our party are scaring them off.
: They're way stronger than we are.
Later on when we do the Twilight Palace update I'll give a rundown on why I like my current monster team.
: (Nervous laughter)
Hey, Emil. We found Richter.
: It appears he went to an old ruin known as the Otherworldly Gate.
: Why would he go there?
: That is where the Ginnungagap is located.
: The legendary rift between worlds?
: The Ginnungagap connects this world and Niflheim, the demonic realm. It is where Lord Ratatosk created the door which he guarded, and the very spot where Aster was killed.
Richter might be using the Ginnungagap to get new powers from the demons.
: Demons?! What do you mean?
: Richter's been making pacts with the demons of Niflheim in exchange for their power.
: Can he really do that?
He used that power to attack us. The only way he could've done that is if he'd already made a pact with them.
: That's ridiculous! The demons of Niflheim would not give their power without receiving something in return.
: Pacts with demons. That is a terrible goddamn idea. No offense.
: None taken.
: Wait. If Richter seeks the death of Lord Ratatosk that would be in their interest.
: What do you mean?
: The Ginnungagap is protected by Lord Ratatosk's existence. So long as Lord Ratatosk is alive, the demons are unable to open the gate.
: So Richter's borrowing the power of the demons in exchange for killing Emil.
: Am I really Ratatosk? I still can't believe it.
: It's only natural that it wouldn't seem real to you. Your current personality is a fabrication put together by Lord Ratatosk. Lord Ratatosk's own memories are kept by the side all of you know as his "Ratatosk Mode."
: Don't call him a fabrication!
: I know it's hard to accept, Marta, but what Tenebrae's saying is most likely correct.
: Raine has thought from the very beginning that Emil's personality was established to protect another identity within himself.
: So you think Emil isn't real, either?
: No. I think both of his personalities are as much Emil's as they are Ratatosk's.
: I can't believe this.
: I know this is difficult for you and it'll take some time for you to sort out.
: So I'm Ratatosk?
I think I can shed some light on Emil's questions.
: W-What do you mean?
I've made a pact, so I can't say anything about it for the time being. But I can take you to someone who can.
: Please, take me to him.
: I'd like to know, too. And maybe whoever it is can tell us something about what you've been doing all this time, Lloyd.
Come to the World Tree. The Tree's guardian will tell you what you need to know. I'll wait for you there.
: Huh. So you're finally going to enter the story, eh?
: No, I don't think I'll show up at all.
: Lloyd! Wait!
: So, Emil, what will you do? Are you gonna go there?
: Yes. Of course I'm still worried about Richter, but first I need to find out who I am.
: You're taking me with you, right?
: Why do you want to come? I might actually be Ratatosk. I might be trying to destroy the world.
: I don't care about that! I've traveled with you all this time, and I know you're not that sort of person!
: We all know that. Right, guys?
: Thanks everyone.
Skit Video: World Tree
: The World Tree is the mana-producing tree that was born after the Giant Kharlan Tree withered, correct? What is its name?
: Well, that came out of the blue. Who cares? It's just a name, right?
: If it has a name, I've never heard of it.
: I'd like nothing more than to answer all your questions, Marta my dear.
: Don't worry, Presea. I won't break my promise to Martel.
: Did you make them promise not to tell the name to anyone?
: That sounds retarded.
: There was a reason behind it but it was a dumb reason. Fortunately it no longer applies and will never apply again because that was just dumb.
: Your promise to Martel?! As in Martel, the goddess?
: Well yeah, that's the one.
: You met with Martel? That's incredible! I guess you really are the Chosen of the Church!
: Martel helped us out quite a bit during our last journey.
: I thought you spent most of it dead?
: Well, that depends on how you define "me".
: Oh right the whole "multiple souls merged" thing.
: No way! You actually got to meet a goddess?!
: Okay, okay, one at a time, settle down now!
: What a clever way to change the subject.
Skit Video: Guardian of the World Tree
: I wonder what the guardian of the World Tree is like.
: What will we do if he's mean and scary?
: Aren't YOU the guardian of the World Tree?
: Actually no, they're referring to a different entity.
: Come on, Colette. Don't start. You're gonna make me all nervous.
: I, for one, hope the guardian is a beautiful maiden. Come to think of it, I won't accept anything less.
: At least you are consistent, Chosen One.
: Come on. Rather than some buff, axe-wielding dude, wouldn't you rather have a hottie guardian with a killer bod? I mean, I'd take an elegant, petite guardian too, of course.
: I hope the guardian has paw pads.
This paw pad thing is getting so out of hand it's silly. But it's not done.
: Yes, I concur.
: Remember, we are speaking of the guardian of the World Tree. it's probably something akin to a Centurion, filled with knowledge of the ancient world.
: A creature like me? Then that would mean--
: The guardian's really old.
: So to sum up, the guardian is a wise old lady with a killer body and paw pads.
: I really hope not.
: Well, I think two parts of that sentence are accurate, and one of those is definitely accurate.
So do you guys want to see Twilight Palace next, or do you want to see it an update or two from now to escape thinking about the plot?
Vote to determine which ToS1 Character Lloyd thinks of as his best bud
I considered picking Raine again because I like her and to keep continuity but hell with it, this is the only thing we can vote on in a coherent manner in the whole LP.