Part 21: The Woman Who DespairsPart XXI: The Woman Who Despairs
Although we've done Muzet's chapter, and honestly we could just continue on with the story now, we're far from done in the Fennmont area, or our business in general before the plot continues. I'll try to make it as brief as possible. This job, for the mysterious Book of the Six, will take us to Orda Palace. Away we go...
Cool place. Orda's *quite* a bit bigger than Castle Gaius.
Orda has an elevator that you can access right in front of you, and will take you to any one of three floors. Might as well start a clean sweep of the premises.
All of the rooms more or less look like this. This room in particular, on the second floor, has two really nice pieces of armor for Ludger, Jude, and / or Leia. The room on the opposite side (still second floor) has a sword for Gaius.
Up on the third floor, on the right-most room, we have a little library. This cat is scratching at this old book constantly, we must remove it at--
This looks like a history of high-elevation agriculture.
Oh, that one's great when you can't sleep! You should borrow it.
I found it! "The Dissertation of the Six".
One of the lesser-known Holmes stories, I'm assuming.
The Six are the six bloodlines of Rashugal nobility that name themselves the Scions of Kresnik. Their histories are documented in an ancient text known as "The Book of the Six Ruling Houses".
Never mind, then...
It's supposed to be the most accurate account of the split between Elympios and Rieze Maxia.
Exactly. And this dissertation backs up that information. But it asserts that all documents were lost over a thousand years ago, and historians had no record of what had really happened.
Well, of course. Anyone possessing such records would've been killed immidiately. By me, at the time, incidentally.
Origin's Trial and the schism were all older than that, though? About two thousand years ago?
Yes, but Origin's Trial came first.
The original Maxwell had a hand in its inception.
But after the Trial was created, Maxwell created the schism and separated the two worlds. As a result, several of the Canaan Waymarkers were isolated on Rieze Maxia.
You think Maxwell's actions increased the severity of Origin's Trial?
I do, but I'm not sure how much was intentional... In order to obtain the Waymarkers, he had to first find the fractured dimension in which the schism didn't exist.
But that no longer became necessary once Jude and his friends dispelled the schism.
And then, after Ludger awakened with the Key of Kresnik, everything needed to clear Origin's Trial was in place. Is it all just coincidence?
Hang on, I think I found something.
Read it out!
"The Book of Alpha: The Successor of the Will. We who follow Maxwell, Lord of Spirits, are the true successors to Kresnik's Will. We shall not be lain waste to by the curse of Time and Space, nor shall we be subject to vacuous Law. Our souls are immortal. The Elements will return them to their true form. The Cycle is eternal, and it shan't be undone. All under Heaven, all on Earth, all in the Universe is true paradise."
What's all that gibberish mean?
It's a declaration, refusing Origin's Trial, from those Maxwell confined to Rieze Maxia. At least, that's my best guess.
Are they saying Origin's Trial has no bearing on Rieze Maxia?
I think that's the case. Originally, the circulation of souls in time and space relied on Origin, in the Land of Canaan. But in Rieze Maxia, the circulation was handled by Maxwell himself.
Of course. Guess that's why they wouldn't care what happens anywhere else.
A neverending, repeating paradise...
Apparently. Or at least, in theory. But the Rieze Maxians and Elympions are no different from each other. Nothing good comes from one group thinking they're special and ignoring another group altogether.
I agree. I think it's all part of a plan set in motion by the humans and spirits to build a true paradise. I really believe that. Anyhow, this book's awfully beat up.
Looks like a cat used it as a scratching post.
Well, the client didn't specify it needed to be in good condition... Let's report back to the agency. We got what we came for.
Your lack of enthusiasm is just the sort of thing that could bring about the end of the world, you know that?
Hm... You might be right! I'll have to work on being more enthusiastic!
That was some pretty heavy stuff...and we still don't know what the failure condition of Origin's Trial is, or, indeed, if there is one...
Anyhow, don't forget to nab this kitty on the way out. Keele is from Tales of Eternia, probably the least memorable character from the party (or maybe that would be Chat... Yeah, maybe Chat). He was one of the party's two main mages (Meredy being the other), and was the resident jerk scientist who thought Meredy was a bit touched in the head at best.
In a game with, let's say, not so great English VAs, or at least, not the best direction / attention paid to the dub in the first place, Keele's was probably the worst. But, I think we're all agreed Reid had the funniest / most appropriate voice. I would say Farah had the *best* voice, but that's not saying a whole lot, by the by. Anyway, I liked Eternia quite a lot, but in comparison to Tales games that came immediately after, and even before, it's a strange beast. However, unless my Destiny knowledge is off, it was the first Tales that had two different worlds as a plot device. Phantasia *kinda* had multiple worlds, but only in the sense there were three different time periods you went to. It can be argued either way.
Oh, one final note about Eternia: it had, in my Tales experience, the worst game-spanning collectathon in the entire series: the Lens. Damn those things to hell. Anyway, there's nothing of particular value on this floor, so let's move on up to the Audience Chamber.
The loneliest throne. However, there is another warp behind the chair, so let's where we end up.
Just a transition area. Alright then.
The very very top of Orda Palace, with a great view of the city below. However, we're done in Orda Palace. In the three chests, from left to right, is an Exceed (+1 AP), Gaius Dumpling (apparently Gaius loves these things), and a Tourbillon, a considerable upgrade for Rowen. But only because I haven't been buying many weapons for Rowen. I tend to buy every other weapon for everyone, anyway.
The next leg of this long, long journey brings us to Voltea Woods, on the same island Leronde is on. Again, just don't have a lot to say, except about those big monsters. If you're grinding for title challenges, like combining all 9 elements into a single combo + Mystic Arte, they're really good to do it on, because they're strong enough to survive that long, but not really strong enough to be any challenge to you. Anyway, there are two "dungeons" that you can go to from here. The first is at the far end of the woods, the direction Ludger is facing. The other...
Is not here! But, inside this little cave in the second area is Monty the Cat, so, y'know, you should nab him on the way.
No, this is where you want to go, a bit further down the path in the same area.
The Old Vicalle Mine is...really boring, and an almost entirely worthless area of the game. There's one character chapter that takes you here, but otherwise, aside from the one cat here, this area is Dullsville, man.
And here's the loneliest cat. For this one, go into the big area in the above screenshot and head to the top left. There's a drop there that will bring you to this corridor. Take that cat, and if you don't really care about random treasures and such further on, there's really nothing else to do here.
For the sake of the LP, I'll return here for the character chapter, but probably won't dwell on this place much. Instead, we've got a ton of important stuff to do this update that we really should get to. We will return to the Spirius Building to get a very important show on the road.
One little catch
We're on a roll, lady! We should get out there and grab the last Waymarker!
It's not that easy. Something's preventing entry into fractured dimensions. We think it's the Spirit Maxwell. The CEO will bring you up to speed on all the details in his office.
This is no time for small talk, you guys! All you need to know is Maxwell's stopping us from getting the last Waymarker!
Things are getting interesting.
It would seem I need to have a chat with these Spirius overseers of yours.
We're coming with you.
Fine, just hurry up!
Gah! This is really not the time, Nova... At least with this payment, I've finally crossed 1,000,000 gald repaid. Anyway, let's sit down with ol' Bisley. It's been a while.
The problem with Maxwell
I believe you have something to tell us, Mr. Bakur.
Yes, something about Maxwell.
My goodness... No one said you brought a VIP.
Please pardon the intrusion. I am the King of Rieze Maxia. Call me Gaius.
With his jacketless costume on, damn Gaius is ripped. Probably has more muscle mass than the rest of the male cast combined. Or the entirety of the party, for that matter. Though, I think Bakur could probably bench press a tank.
It's a pleasure, Highness. Bisley Bakur, CEO of the Spirius Corporation.
Are you certain you're safe here, what with the peace accord ratification ceremony fast approaching?
Fear not... He is under my protection.
Oh, I'm just a humble spirit. Don't mind me.
You're a spirit... I see.
We've detected the fractured dimension that contains the final Waymarker of Canaan. Unfortunately, there's an obstacle somewhere within the dimensional abyss that's blocking all attempts at entry.
I wonder if there's a way to circumvent it.
We tried to force our way through, but were ever-so-rudely evicted...by the power of the Four Great Spirits.
The power of the Four?!
Indeed. Milla Maxwell herself stands between us and the final Waymarker.
It was Chronos who put her there.
But, escaping from the abyss should be child's play, if she has the Four with her.
Perhaps it's not a matter of wanting to return, but of being unable.
Milla looks downtrodden, and Elle looks at her, concerned...
Regardless, the final Waymarker is beyond our reach until something is done about Milla Maxwell. I would like to request the help of Rieze Maxia with this situation.
Very well. We'll look for a solution on our end, too.
The solution is clear, isn't it?
Hey! Where're you going?
Everyone runs off except Muzet, Gaius, Bisley, and Vera... Gaius also gets a call.
Yes, Rowen... What is it?
But we'll have to find out what the call was about later, because we need to find Milla and Elle. Before we find them, however, we have to stop by our mailbox to collect some rewards, I think. My batch of bonuses includes Kitty Crisps, Elize's Minimum Damage, Jude's Restore Plus (his chance of reviving a downed ally from KO with Recover is more than doubled, from 30 to 70%), 2 Friendship Potions, Gummy Fishes (15% off Kitty Dispatch return), and Elize's Recall skill (chance to recover from KO once per match. She also has Angel's Cry, which is a guaranteed revive once per match. Recall and Angel's Cry can be turned on at the same time).
That's all well and good, but where are those two? Well, the one place in Trigleph I'd go to brood at is the dock, so...let's start there.
Hey, Ludger... Milla's sad, but I don't know what she's sad about.
You get it, don't you?
Milla only got like this because the conversation back at Spirius was about the Prime Milla, so...
That's right. The one who's keeping your Milla from returning is me.
How do you know?
Because two identical things can't coexist in the prime dimension. This world's not big enough for two Millas. Yours can't return until I'm gone.
The way to bring her back into her rightful dimension is obvious. You have to kill me.
No point hiding it. It's the truth.
Yeah, well, it's gonna have to wait. Gaius just called. He got word that Exodus is plotting a whopper of an attack.
Don't tell me they're targeting the peace accord ceremony!
He wants our help "nipping this thing in the bud," so to speak. Whaddya say?
L1 for Jude, and R1 for Milla. Since I don't think Alt Milla has long for this world, R1 it is...
Wh-What do you mean, "we'? Am I going, too?
Very well. It would hurt less if they just didn't care.
Time to hurry, then. Gaius is already on his way to where they're holding the ceremony in Marksburg.
He gets out his phone...
It's me. Put me in touch with those Exodus lowlifes, would you?
On that ominous note, the scene ends, but we have a skit immediately after. Neither choice matters, so feel free to choose what you wish. See you all in Marksburg...
Actually, one thing to take care of. I wanted to craft an Elemental Ribbon for Milla, which provides defense against the four main elements, but I didn't have a Ribbon. One feature that's frequently overlooked in this game is, if you highlight a town on the world map menu, you can press triangle to bring up shop information. Very helpful to find equipment needed for crafting without having to look all over the place manually. The Ribbon is sold in Aladhi Seahaven, so I made a short pit stop there.
Though, now time to continue this tale of woe.
Exodus in the shadows
Based on our documents, we're rounding up Exodus agents who've slipped into the city. Quietly, of course.
Yeah, it'd be bad news if the public found out.
If people found out, you could just erase them from history. That's your specialty, right?
Milla, take it easy.
There a problem?
Yeah, I don't think mocking Milla is how Ludger is gonna play this. Then again, neither choice is great.
I'm sure it's nothing to you. You destroy whole worlds. Taking me out is trivial.
Taking out Maxwell?
Everybody stop fighting!
The ceremony is about to get started.
We've captured most of the Exodus members in the city. Now we just need to guard against attacks from without.
Oh, sorry about that, kitty!
He a friend of yours?
Uh-huh. From back when I ran with Exodus.
We'll tail him, Gaius. You keep an eye out for suspicious types at the city gate.
Everyone runs off, except for Milla, who is a little slower to the draw...
One more thing. If the Milla we know had to die to fulfill her duty, you should know she wouldn't hesitate for a moment.
So what? I don't even know what my duty is anymore.
Hey! Hurry up, slowpoke!
Luckily, Marcus hasn't made it very far. He's in the same place where we first met Leia way back when.
The plot revealed
Marcus, buddy. Thought I told you to ditch Exodus and fly right.
So you still roll with those guys?
As what? Wimpy cowboy?
In what world is this guy a terrorist?
Yeah, he's harmless. Just hangs out with the wrong crowd, that's all. Whenever the plan calls for a disposable stooge, he's their guy.
Ugh, you're right... I got played, as usual.
What do you mean?
Well... I heard a transmission from the main group. The Exodus guys in town are for show. The real action's out there.
You're ambushing the Chancellor of Elympios?!
Hoo-boy... We'd better tell Gaius about this.
It's too late. Exodus agents are onboard posing as crewmembers. They should've struck by now.
You dumbasses! Chancellor Marcia is a moderate! She opposed the Otherworld Reactor Plan! Meanwhile, lots of other politicians are yelling at Elympios to put the screws to Rieze Maxia. If you guys take out the chancellor, the peace process dies with her.
I didn't make the damn plan. Look, there's no saving her.
Exodus has definitely got the upper hand here.
Not for long. They're not wasting the time Milla gave us.
I brought Gaius up to speed. All right! It's time to board this ship!
This update is all about Milla, so... Oh, and it raises Jude's affection. The alternate choice raises Jude AND Alvin's affection, but I think R1 raises Jude's by more. It's complicated, see, and ultimately won't make a damn bit of difference.
You didn't even think about it.
I knew the answer. No need to think about it. Just like I know I'm stopping their ambush. There's too much at stake.
What's to say they haven't already taken her out?
Nothing... And that's why I'm going to need everybody's help on this.
Ludger. Elle. Thank you.
You're Milla, too. face it. Okay, count me in!
But, you know, this won't fix all the problems between Rieze Maxia and Elympios. Not by a long shot. I mean, if we stuck our heads in the sand on this, nobody would be the wiser.
This line is the start of an Alvin Bonus Scene.
L1 raises his affection, but...I think we're gonna call his bluff. He is bluffing, right?
Of course I'm not right!
Why'd you bring it up, then?
See? He knew I was messing with him.
We should go.
Sorry, Jude. Didn't mean to get us sidetracked.
Sorry, I just liked the look of this screenshot.
What, why me?!
And thanks for agreeing to be our decoy while we board the Pelune.
Decoy?! But I didn't agree to nothing!
Well, if you're gonna be like that, might as well hand you to the cops.
Wait... Okay, okay, I'll do it.
Attaboy. Way to be a team player.
Ugh... You treat me worse than Exodus does, and those guys are a bunch of terrorists!
You need better friends.
And that's that. After that scene, feel free to prepare weapons / armor / accessories / consumables as you see fit. The Pelune is very much a gimmick dungeon, and you'll see what it's all about soon enough. As soon as you're ready to roll, just talk to Marcus again and declare your assent in beginning this counter-terrorism operation.
Alvin gives the go-ahead...
I'm Marcus with infiltration. I need to talk to the main squad.
Freeze. You're in violation of mission protocols.
Wait! C'mon, you guys. Just hear me out!
Save it for the holding cell.
This is bad. I thought for sure they'd take the bait.
It was late, okay! I wasn't thinking clearly when I selected R1... L1 raises Milla's affection, you see.
Let me go!
Man, we've come a long way from Tales of Symphonia models awkwardly acting out cutscenes, huh...
Gotta keep your head about you or you'll lose it.
So what if I do? Isn't that what you want?
No! Of course it isn't! What about you, Milla?! Is that what you want?!
Milla looks troubled, then...
Where's the chancellor?
Oh... I know that. She's being held in the central hall with her aides.
I owe you one, Marcus.
You don't seem like a total loser. You should quit doing bad stuff, okay?
Maybe you're right.
She's not wrong. We do have to get a move on...
As soon as you find this person shortly after entering the holds, examine the fallen, and Jude will help out. You'll get a short scene thereafter.
Th--Thank you for saving us. Can't imagine we'd have been attacked at sea.
They're a well-trained group. Please, be careful. We'll be sure to hide... Here, take this. Hopefully it'll prove useful.
They give us two Melange Gels. You never know when they'll come in handy.
There's gotta be a lot more out there injured if things are this bad. What are we supposed to do? I don't want to abandon anyone, but let's get real: we don't have the time, either!
Considering the size of the ship and the time that the terrorist incident occurred, it should take about thirty minutes to make it to the rear of the ship. And from the looks of things, I'd say we need to get to those who are injured here in about the same time frame. Let's get on it!
Gotcha. So the plan is we're going to help those injured while moving on ahead ourselves, right? Don't need to tell me twice. It's just human decency to help 'em. But remember: our top priority is to quell the terrorists here. Make sure you got that.
After this you get a series of pop-ups that explains the major gimmick here, but the gist of it is this: you have thirty minutes to complete the dungeon. This is not necessarily true, as once you get to the room before the boss, the timer stops. Along the way, you can find a bunch of neat treasures, and of course, injured folks. Helping them out will give you a short scene that I won't transcribe, but I will point out locations.
The timer runs when you're traveling around, in battle, or navigating the menu with triangle (the start button will pause the timer, though). This timer does not run during skits or when observing the Pelune's map with square. What happens if the timer runs out? I'd imagine a Game Over, but I've never even gotten close.
Of course, because of the usually tight environments you're forced to navigate, avoiding battle can be tricky. There's nothing in particular to fear from these Exodus dopes, or even the timer, as a full survey of the Pelune + a fair number of fights will leave you somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-18 minutes on the clock. Just make sure to hustle during fights.
The first group of injured is at the very end of this area, on the right walkway. It's a dead-end, but they're lying on the floor all the same.
Where Ludger is now. I would advise looking at the map often, just so you don't get turned around. Rooms on the side of halls look roughly like this...
None of these side rooms are particularly big, but most of them have treasure in them. You definitely have enough time to check all of them for stuff, and have way more time than you might think, if you keep in mind where you are and you're backtracking by accident.
Moving on to the next junction, the bottom left path is completely useless, whereas the next two will head to different walkways in the next area of the holds. Jude takes this time to note the Pelune is the same model ship that the Elympion invaders were using in Xillia 1, and Alvin takes the time to note the irony of Elympions attacking this ship.
The next group of fallen civilians is toward the back of this area, on the left walkway, near a door. You get a Specific from the guy Jude saves, which is a really nice item that restores 30% of the party's TP instantly. The equivalent for HP is a Treat. The nearby door has a treasure chest with a Shock Ward in it. Eh. On the other side of the area, the far door will lead to another cutscene...
The thorniest question
Milla tripped just prior to this...
Gotta watch your step, MIlla.
Hey. Telle me the truth. Is it difficult for you to call me Milla?
Why would it be difficult? You're Milla just as much as she is.
Not to you, no. To you, I'm just a double. A counterfeit.
I don't think that way.
How do you think of me?!
I think Jude's trying to Snap Pivot out of this conversation. Can't let you do that, man. Raises her affection, while the opposite does the same to Jude.
Seriously, Ludger? *big sigh* Look, this isn't real versus not real. My Milla and you are two different people. That's all there is to it.
Which...is a pretty good response, all things considered.
Well, thanks for telling me. I get the message.
You know what? Of all the Millas, you're my favorite. Course, I've never met the other one, so...
Are you trying to cheer me up?
No! I don't care! I just like your cooking an' stuff. That's why I said it.
Fair enough. When this is all over, I'll make you a big pot of soup.
If you're gonna make it anyway, then sign me up!
Got a bit more ground to cover, but we're sitting on 7 minutes right now. We're fine.
Taking the only available door to the third holds area, cross over to the opposite walkway, and at the end (going in the direction of the door you just took), there's another critically injured civilian, who gives up a Pudding Cake (Medium), which restores 25% TP after a battle for 5 battles. Acceptable.
After a couple more side rooms...
The price of action
What if I am?
I've finally found you!
Oh hey, it's Cam Clarke.
In spite of the short cutscene, he goes down as easily as any of these other dopes.
Milla, are you okay?
He blew himself up because of me.
Hate is too weak a word to describe Exodus' feelings for Milla.
It's her own fault. She didn't finish them off when she had the chance.
I'm glad she didn't, at least.
My father is an Elympion. He used to be a member of Exodus. But he fell in love with a Rieze Maxian. My mother. Once I was born, he gave up his life as an Exodus agent.
.... Wait, what?
Looks like they're onto us. We better move.
So does that mean...in my world, I killed Jude and his father when Jude was just a baby?
We...probably shouldn't dwell on questions like this, Milla. The situation is very far from resolved. This is another "junction" room, where the top right leads to another wounded couple, who gives you a very cool 20,000 gald upon rescue. Nova bugged me immediately after about money, but we've got bigger problems than our debt right now, so no dice. The cabin nearest to the above couple has a Fruit n' Cheese (Small) in it, which restores 30% HP and TP for three battles. Really handy.
Moving on to the next big area, the walkway on the right (using the top left exit from the junction), has a door that leads to the outside, for a change. You can pick up two Pineapple Gels and a Nightmare Helm from the two treasure chests there. The Helm is a huge improvement over what Alvin is currently using to protect his noggin, so he'll be wearing it.
The door behind Ludger has nothing behind it, but there is one of the fallen at the end of this path (you can make out the top of her head), and the door to her left has a Balanced Blade weapon for Milla in it. While being an improvement to her Dual Edge, this weapon is not particularly special...except for it being in a dungeon you can't go back to, and for another reason. You will know why next update.
And the final big area. Unlike what you may be thinking, the staircase does *not* lead to the final area of the dungeon. The staircase does lead to a wounded couple, and a door that leads to...nothing of interest. Also nothing of interest in any of the other doors (aside from a vending machine for consumables in one of them), except for the far door.
Swanky pad. The skit's choice doesn't matter, but I went with R1, just 'cause I'm a nice guy like that. Don't move so fast that you forget there's another wounded off in a corner. However, this woman drops a line that a "man in red" was spotted further in. I must have forgotten that Tales of Legendia's first big villain was making a cameo appearance in this title.
And we have one more casualty at the top of the first flight of stairs, who gives you a Rune Mail if you help him out. Very good piece of armor, that. In any case, once you enter the only other door here, at the top of the stairs, the timer will stop, and you'll be in the room before the boss of this dungeon and chapter.
But before I part with you all for now, full survey of the dungeon. I take it back, THIS is definitely the biggest dungeon of the game, in terms of sheer real estate. Still takes longer to navigate Thor, however.
Apologies for leaving on an anti-climactic note, but we've got a whopper of a scene coming up. Next time will be fun, I think.
Update 21 victory compilation
Update 21 alternate choice compilation