Part 23: The Man Who ReflectsPart XXXIII: The Man Who Reflects
Just after the last job, I got a skit outside of Spirius HQ. Neither choice matters, so choose as you feel. It feels especially appropriate this update, as it's all about kings.
But before all that, we have a few jobs to bring home. This one in particular is special. While it may not seem so right now, Hassle at the Tatalian Abyss is the first in a looooong series of jobs that eventually results in a bonus boss. Don't ask me how that works, but that's just the way it is.
This job is actually the reason I've waited on going to the Abyss for so long. That will soon be fixed, but not before we take of other important business. While I was at the job board, I also acquired Sealed Innocence from one Ruca Milda, and Gaius' Sealed Eternia from none other than Meredy. I am disappointed Quickie does not make a cameo in this game, like he did in Symphonia.
But, in-between Goddess Touch and a few random jobs, I got to 299k, which is...way over the 200k needed, so we get a new skit.
Nova's frankly pretty bummed every time you call her or she calls you... Understandably, though. Sad Nova I just can't cotton to, though.
Vera's quoting Bakur here. Can't wait to see what this new dimension's story is. And, of course, who the Waymarker is...
After that is another skit that pops up in any town after you've made the required payment. It's...an odd one. However, L1 increases Milla's affection. The reason we're in Trigleph, other than the Traces of Kinship job, is because Gaius' second chapter is in the inn at Trigleph Port. Let's see how things have shaken with Kyle and his bunch since last time...
A complicated relationship
Hey, Erston just got here, too.
I take it you were curious as well? Oh, you didn't hear?
Kyle had something he wanted to talk about.
Thanks for coming, guys. I owe you one.
What's this about?
The thing is, no one's seen Tanner in a long time. I heard he talked to you guys. I thought you might know something?
Oh, so you do know! C'mon, you have to tell me anything that might help.
Gaius fills 'em in...
What... What the hell?! Why would you guys beat up Tanner?!
He left us no choice.
Ah... I knew Tanner had his problems with Rieze Maxia...and I always hated that part about him. But he's still a good friend! I've known him since we were kids!
Everyone runs off, and Ludger gets a call.
A fractured dimension!
So they found a new one.
Guess it was like a text message or something. Vera must be busy these days.
You have a job to do, Ludger. Let's go.
Huh, guess we stepped into a bad storm in the Mon Highlands. Well then, guess we're headed to Kanbalar, as Gaius here is suggesting. Might want to keep our wits about us, though, especially in this nasty storm.
The Long Gone Four
Oh damn. Hopefully they're still cool with Gaius in this world. Things...could get messy otherwise. Though, it'd be interesting to have a fractured dimension where, let's say, the Gaius of this world was dead and here he is, standing before them. Fractured dimensions can lead to all kinds of wacky scenarios like that! But anyway...
The group ducks behind a large rock...
I doubt explaining the situation is going to work. I will draw their attention. You all keep moving.
His Majesty King Melard has been looking for you. It sounded important.
It's been a long time since I played Xillia 1, and he's only mentioned in this game during this chapter, but was King Melard mentioned at all in the first game?
Melard... So he's still alive in this world. Is His Majesty ahead?
Gaius walks away...
Wait. You don't seem your usual self, Erston.
We've reached the bitter end of our long battle. I'd think even you would be excited.
Yes, of course. I am.
And once that's it's all finally over with, think of the outcome. It will be our time to shine.
If I lost you guys in the process, it would be pointless.
I can't agree with you more. That goes for you, too, you know. Don't ever forget it, Erston.
Heh. This touchy-feely stuff obviously isn't your thing. How adorable.
What happened was that Wingul threw his sword at Ludger / Muzet, and Gaius very quickly got out his sword to deflect it. Wingul will shortly pick it up, because, you know...
An imposter? One of Nachtigal's spies?
But he looks just like him.
On your way to assassinate the king, are you?
Clearly, there is no reasoning with you in your current state.
(You dare persist in your ruse! Give it up!)
Forgive me for getting everyone involved.
You know, goon squads for the main villain have a long history in the Tales series, going way back to Symphonia and the Desian Grand Cardinals. Abyss of course had the God-Generals, and Xillia 1 and 2 (technically, I suppose) have the Four Chimeriad. One more notch in another Tales Tradition.
Oh yes, I'm supposed to talk about this fight. Well, anyone who played Xillia 1 remembers the big fight between the party and Four Chimeriad before the party's first battle with Gaius, and you should know that every member of the group fights rather differently. Wingul, as we've seen before, focuses on extremely fast movement and attacking speed, sacrificing killing power, but we have three new friends to greet. Jiao, who I'm currently fighting, focuses, as you might guess, on heavy, slow strikes.
On the magic side, Agria (who has previously been seen in one of Leia's chapters), mixes magic and melee artes. However, she's fairly slow and it's pretty easy to see her attacks coming, and they're almost all short-range, in any case. Rounding out the cast is Presa, the woman with long velvet-white hair and a blue outfit (she and Alvin used to be involved. It's complicated). She mostly sticks to magic from a distance, but will occasionally rush in for some slow melee artes. Again, it's normally pretty easy to see her attacks coming.
So, 4 vs. 4 might seem a pretty hard fight, no? Well, the thing is, all of these guys are really weak. Even though they all have Mystic Artes, and can link together to back each other up, they're just not that deadly. It's more a matter of outlasting their status effects / volume of attacks and taking them out one at a time. There's no real "wrong" person to focus on first, but Presa is the most minor of the threats, which is why I would advise focusing on Jiao or Wingul first.
All of them have weaknesses, too, but they're mirrors. Jiao is strong against Earth, but weak against Wind. Wingul is just the opposite. Agria is strong against Fire, but weak to Water. Presa is the reverse.
Of course, I couldn't forget to use Gaius' Mystic Arte here. His incantation is my favorite: "Prepare yourself! My sword cries out! The one blade to vanquish evil!! Absolute Domination!
I heard this so many times in the final battle of Xillia 1 on my second, Jude, playthrough. I also like how Gaius always feels to mock his enemy right after he's done dealing damage with "Fool!" at the end there. I actually have a particular familiarity with the name Absolute Domination, outside of Tales. Before I had played Xillia, I had played Agarest War Zero, and the final boss' (kinda, it's complicated) ultimate super move was called, as you might be guessing right now, Absolute Domination.
When Gaius first used it against me in the final battle, I'm like "Oh hey!"
I mean, Agria's Mystic looks impressive, but again...it just doesn't do much damage. Thank god, but still.
A red tint over the target means they're currently Linked (in this case, Agria). In this case, Agria can be combo'd like normal, however, Agria will come to Jiao's defense if he's the one under attack, just like we can do. However, while they are Linked, they both take damage from attacks, again, just like we do.
Agria is down and out! Jiao fell shortly thereafter.
Presa's MA is...also not impressive in terms of damage.
Poor Wingul. You just didn't have what it takes. Presa went down not 10 seconds later. Overall, poor performance, indeed!
All joking aside, this is a really fun fight, if only for how chaotic a 4 vs. 4 fight usually turns out. This...will not be the last of those kinds of fights in this title. Count on that...
Why'd he apologize?
That wasn't meant for me.
I'd thought us otherwise indifferent to each other... Were we friends all along?
Well, for a refresher...
Agria was the scion of a noble family in Rashugal. She didn't get along with her family at all, and ran away at an early age, from what I remember. She fell in with the Chimeriad because she basically had no where else to go.
Presa was, as I mentioned, involved with Alvin for a bit before they kinda-sorta broke up on bad terms. I don't recall her reason for joining the Chimeriad, but it's not as if 3 / 4 members had any particular reason for joining with the others or for serving Gaius in the first place. I believe I mentioned before that Agria and Presa fell to their death from the Nia Khera Hallowmont.
Wingul was from a rival clan in Auj Oule that challenged Gaius' claims to the throne. Gaius was able to unite the tribes that make up the country's power structure, and took the throne on sheer force of personality and the fierce loyalties these tribes had towards him. Afterwards, Wingul served without hesitation from that point on, before meeting his end at the Temporal Crossroads.
Jiao was a criminal on the run from the law (being the one behind the death of Elize's parents and all...), and like Agria and Presa, just had nowhere to go, before he wound up falling in with the Chimeriad, and by extension, Gaius. I actually forget the exact circumstances of Jiao's death, but rest assured, he's pushing up daisies these days.
Let's hurry on.
Muzet asked about Melard, just for reference for this screenshot. Gaius is clearly not a fan.
Funny thing about this line is that it disappears *really* quickly. Like, you take 4-5 steps, and it automatically skips to Muzet asking Gaius if he's okay. Very strange. Anyway, getting closer to Kanbalar, we find...
The great unknown
Is Melard not the divergence catalyst after all?
It's possible that this thing already eliminated Melard.
I'm going to guess this is our target then.
Show no mercy!
... Otulp here basically fights similarly to how Odin did. Primarily spear-based attacks that have surprising length / power, including a really powerful move where he throws his spear like a boomerang in front of him. Gaius makes an excellent choice to play as, since this guy is weak to Slash and Light, both of which he can hit fairly easily. However, you'll still need that oh-so-precious stagger to really get started on him.
However, he lacks Odin's wide variety of attacks, making directly in front of him being by far the most dangerous area. He shares Odin's sluggishness and lack of long-range prowess.
The thing with Power Combos going during Linked Artes in Over Limits is that Mystic Artes do a TON more damage even with only like a 175% multiplier. So, before that timer runs out, consider throwing out the MA really quickly.
Form Destroyer is kind of an exception, though. It's actually considerably weaker than the other MAs, which is kind of strange for the kind of power the Chromatus has, but...we haven't seen the Chromatus' true power just yet.
But that's one nice EXP haul there.
I suppose I am.
Perhaps you'll see them again in another dimension.
Possibly. This has all helped me realize something. Ludger, I need to find Tanner. Will you help me?
...Let's see where he's going with this, and raise his affection.
Thank you. I'm glad to have you as an ally.
Let's return to Trigleph.
Thanks to us being such good buddies with the king by this point, we get Gaius' second affection skit just after the above scene. I'll see you all in Trigleph.
The King's lecture
Specifically, in front of Ludger's apartment building.
Huh? What do you want?
Kyle was concerned about you. He even threw a punch at me.
He what? Whatever. Me and him are through.
If that's the case, let me tell you a story.
It was a time when I had people I could call friends. They sacrificed their own lives so that I might achieve my goal. Now...they are gone.
Never heard of friends like that. That sounds like something else.
Perhaps so. They were subordinates first and friends second. I'm sure each had his or her own hopes and dreams. But circumstances got in the way of those dreams. We had obligations. Which is why I now stand before you...alone.
You don't seem too broken up about it!
There was a time when I lost my composure. And because of that, when Kyle struck me, I did not know how to respond.
Hah! So you do regret what happened to them.
No. it just made me think...about how things would've been different had we merely been friends.
Where are you going with this? What's your poitn? What the hell are you trying to say?
That I envy you, I suppose. For having friends who would stand by you even when they hold different beliefs.
Tanner! Erston... Listen, about what happened...
My story is done here. I'll be on my way. What about you?
I'm not gonna say nothin' with you watching.
Heh... Fair enough.
All's well that ends well. But I have a feeling we'll be hearing from Kyle and Tanner in the future. I can tell you this story has a twist I bet you're not thinking of. It's...something.
But for the moment, we have a "new" dungeon to delve. The Abyss is near the Dimensional Breach. Can't really miss it if you're looking for it.
This place is about the same as we briefly saw during one of Jude's chapters. There are a variety of dangerous enemies, including the Merfish enemies who can throw out a move that can cause insta-death, and the dragons are really annoying because they burrow a whole bunch, but there's also a lot treasure, and, of course, a few cats to be found.
Of course, don't forget to defeat the required number of Burrow Goblins. That's why we're here at this particular moment in the history of the world, other than the Elite Monster at the very bottom of the dungeon.
First cat is right near the entrance. Still, can be a little hard to see if you're moving at a brisk pace.
Waay down in B3F, you'll find an elevated bunch of rock platforms in a small branch of the map. Climbing up on top, you'll find this mischevious little kitten observing the land like a great lion. Capture him, or face his wrath.
And finally, on the very bottom floor, we've found our Elite Monster, who is...a bit less impressive than I would have thought. It's gotta be a gag, right? Fortune Stepper
This is...a very strange fight. Strange, but easy. You'd think an Elite Monster in this game would be very difficult, but this guy...
Guess I should say something productive, though. This guy is nearly invulnerable to stagger, but he cannot ignore Power Charge 3, of course. He also starts with a vulnerability, but his special power is he can shift his weaknesses around. That, too, does not help the fact he rarely attacks, is not particularly powerful in doing so, and is slow. Oh, and you can heavy stun him like crazy.
If there's some other gimmick going on with this guy, he didn't show it. Another easy one.
Another forced payment gives me a new batch of goodies. What's in store for us back at the apartment building is...Gummy Fishes and Rowen's Minimum Damage and Impregnable Guard skill. Yawn.
Speaking of the geezer, though, his next chapter, and our final part of today's update, brings us to Xian Du.
The challenge of peace
Ah, it's good to see you. Look out!
Rowen? Are you okay?!
Get out of here! Run back to your precious Elympios, traitor!
Are you hurt?
I think we'll live, but we'll raise Rowen's affection to check on him. That rock looked pretty big.
Yeah, don't worry about us. You're the one who got hit!
Why would they do this?
It's all right. I'm fine.
So you're one of 'em too! Another stinkin' Elympios-lover!
Close one...but Elize's reflexes aren't the best, so we'll be backing her up. As you might guess, R1 increases Elize's affection, L1 the reverse.
Stop being so mean!
Typical. He cowers behind bodyguards.
The jerks leave...
That was terrible. Does this kind of thing happen to you a lot?
Oh, no. Only on occasion. Xian Du is a city of tradition. Many extremists who oppose peace call it their home.
Yeah, they were all like, "Down with Elympios!"
Peace will not only benefit Elympios and its citizens, but also the people of Rieze Maxia. If only more people took the time to look at the big picture and realize that.
At this point, the best thing I can do to convince everyone is to show actual results.
And we've got a call...
DODA here. I'm sorry, is everything okay?
Anyway, I'm sorry if this is a bad time for you, but we have detected a new fractured dimension. The rift appears to be in Fennmont. We've sent you the coordinates. Please take appropriate action.
Would you mind if I accompany you? I feel it would be prudent for me to leave here for a time.
It's a message from Driselle. Huh?
Is there something wrong, Elize?
It's nothing. I'll come, too.
Fennmont, eh? Wonder who our next divergence catalyst will be...
Once you arrive, first order to business, of course, is to ascertain what kind of world this is.
Seems the Nachtigal of this world is quite different from the cruel overlord he was in the prime dimension. Something tells me we're gonna need to pay a visit...
As you might expect by now, all the treasure chests in Orda Palace are stacked with new stuff in the fractured dimension, so it's in your best interest to check on all the old rooms for nice goodies like this. Me, though, I'll be heading right to the throne room.
The eternal promise
Audience hours have concluded... Ilbert.
Surely I can drop by for a friendly visit without requesting an audience.
Heh. If I ever got to the point of turning you away, that would be a bad sign. That's quite the entourage. I presume this is something important.
No, just killing time on a sleepless night.
Well, I was fully prepared for a dreadfully dull evening. Shall we drink until dawn, like old times?
Huh...Nachtigal looks and talks normally enough (I mean, not like the real one, but still). Guess he isn't the catalyst at all.
That ornament in your hair... How striking.
A pity that it's now a memento.
When wearing this, I can't help but be constantly reminded of the weight of my duty to our people. Hah... Even now, I can practically sense her wagging her finger at me.
I see... So, in this world, a simple ornament like that has kept you from straying from your path.
To think that you and I might have lived out our lives as friends.
Wait... You're not Ilbert, are you?
Princess Carrie's ornament... Might i borrow it from you?
Hmph. I don't know what your game is, imposter, but you're welcome to try and take it!
We've fought enough for one lifetime. But if I must...
Give me everything you've got. I want to see just who I'm dealing with.
We'll give you what we have, alright. Veterans of the first game should know how Nachtigal fights. Basically exclusively with his spear, which, to be fair, does pack a punch. His most common attack is called Massacre Arc, where he'll quickly stab forward with his spear, and anyone on the business end, blocking or not, will take quite a bit of damage from the stab + smack down.
He also has slashing combos, and some other powerful artes (including a Mystic Arte that, as you might guess, does a ton of damage).
Overall, your strategy should be the usual Power Combo + Chromatus, but as for his attacks, wait for him to finish an attack, then quickly engage. He can pretty quickly overwhelm 1-2 your allies with powerful strikes that they can't get a word in edgewise from.
He'll also bring out Apocalypse Toll at some point, where he'll do a minorly-damaging swipe with his spear, that if he connects, will also actual a magical hex on the target which will explode after a few seconds. Milla has an arte that does the same thing, but only to a single target.
Overall, not an overly difficult boss, but it's tougher than it might look at first glance. Certainly tougher than Otulp was.
Who exactly are you?
Just an old man who was to serve you loyally for the good of the country.
Loyalty to me? Tell me something. What do you think of Rashugal today?
I believe it is a thriving nation. A good one. The king leads his people and the people support their king.
Suppose that I tried to destroy it all. What would you do about it?
I would do everything in my power to kill you myself, or die trying.
Heh... Ha ha ha ha ha! Some time ago, I asked the Ilbert I know the same question. And he gave me the same answer.
Are you certain?
I did tell you to take it from me by force. At the end of the day, I'm not sure who you are and where you came from...but you are Rowen Ilbert through and through.
Thank you. Despite the unpleasant circumstances, I am grateful for the chance to speak with you again.
Heh. We certainly livened up a dull evening.
Remember when we had this question with Gaius? Rowen takes a different tack from his master, as you might guess, when it comes to matters like this and raising his affection.
Yes. This world is destined for destruction. And besides...it is a world I've already lost.
But, don't you want to hold on?
Indeed. Very much so.
Before I bid farewell, Nachtigal, please allow me to renew my vow to you. I will never retreat from my duty again. I will give everything to accomplish what must be done.
Rowen... Are you okay?
*bows* Oh, pardon me. Yes. Yes... Ah, in regards to that...
Can you spare a minute?
Just follow us!
Teepo! Shush! Please, let's head to the inn. Don't tell Rowen.
Doing just that...
The linked video also incorporates the above scene.
Driselle here sent me a text. She said she's got something important to show us.
Just us! No Rowens allowed!
I apologize for the secrecy. Just read this. It'll be quicker.
"If you're reading this, then I have already shuffled off this mortal coil."
What is this?
It seems to be his will and final wishes. A maid found it hidden in one of the spare rooms. There's one for each of you.
Might as well ask...Driselle was she thinks of it. She knows Rowen fairly well, I think.
He can't be... He did vow to "give everything to accomplish what must be done".
Including his life?! No way!
Please, look after him for me.
I'm counting on you.
Driselle, you look so pale.
Sorry, I'm fine. Everything'll be fine. I'm not letting someone close to me die again.
She's referring to her husband, Clive Sharil, who was killed by Nachtigal agents during the course of the first game. Following that, Driselle became the Lady of Sharilton and has been in charge since.
But, since we're on the cusp of a major point in the story and the start of the next chapter, I think we'll call it quits for today. Next couple updates are gona be some HEAVY stuff, so stay tuned!
Update 23 alternate choice compilation