Part 27: The Girl Who DecidesPart XXVII: The Girl Who Decides
The Final Piece
You are resolute. But I suppose you wouldn't have summoned Canaan were you weaker of will.
He's reversing time again!
This is getting old fast!
Time is infinite, but yours is at an end.
You leave him alone!
What's this? Why did the arte fade?
So be it.
I'm staying where I am! 'Cause Ludger is my--
... Kind of a bad time, boss man.
You only get one life. Don't waste it.
Ah... Bisley Bakur.
There's a secret to entering Canaan and I possess it! ...correct?
You presume much.
But Chronos' face... Clearly he knows Bisley has figured things out.
I should tell you, we acquired the final Waymarker of Canaan, the ultimate chromatus bearer, in a fractured dimension. So in this world, it still very much exists.
Bisley has a chromatus, too?!
Uhhhh... Boy, this just keeps getting better.
Maybe you can beat the Key of Kresnik alone, but can you handle the both of us?
Bisley! What's your game?
I confess, a duel such as that would be challenging.
So little power left, and he risks it all
Bisley, when you said you knew the way into Canaan, did you mean it?
I don't wanna go! Who needs the Land of Canaan?! I betcha it's dumb anyway!
But you wanted to go there.
You know we need to. How else are we going to eliminate the fractured dimensions if we don't?
Do what you want! Go to Canaan, for all I care! Just leave Ludger and met out of it.
No need to get worked up.
We made a promise to go to Canaan together. But, that promise was dumb! It doesn't matter!
Man... Elle's just losing it, but we have to keep her focused on what's important.
Does not! It doesn't matter at all! Why won't you listen to me?!
The watch falls to the ground...
I... I don't need it anymore!
She's right about one thing, Ludger, you don't require the chromatus anymore.
Outlived his usefulness?
No. He has simply fulfilled his duty to my full satisfaction. Our family spent eons dreaming of this day. And now, thanks to him, it's arrived. Ludger... I want you to know that I'm proud of you.
Alright, so... I was going to talk about this later, but since he feels the need to bring up "Our family", I might as well put it here. Highlight the following spoiler as you see fit. It doesn't particularly affect anything else that happens in the plot, but you may want to put the pieces together yourself.
Bisley is Ludger and Julius' father. The game never comes outright and says this, but there are a number of hints in that direction, that you should have picked up on. First of all, recall Victor. Obviously, as is confirmed time and again, Victor is an alternate Ludger. Just before the fight, he yelled "I killed my father and brother for this power!". Obviously, Victor's brother was that dimension's Julius, so that leaves the identity of his father. Bisley just *very* briefly showed off his Chromatus, and mentioned the Ultimate Chromatus Bearer still existing in the Prime Dimension. Victor acquired that Waymarker by killing his father, aka that dimension's Bisley.
Second, the "our family" remark just now. Now, we've seen a number of characters using one: Julius, Rideaux, Victor, Bisley (very briefly, but still), and, of course, Ludger. The power of the Chromatus runs within the Kresnik family, so Bisley must obviously be related to Ludger in some way. Now, there are no more Chromatus bearers we'll be meeting.
Also, circumstantially, Bisley tends to be a particular sore spot for Julius. Since the history of the Kresnik family has been one of everyone in the family attempting to be the one to finally reach Canaan, they're constantly fighting with each other. Bisley and Julius being enemies would fit perfectly within this history. None other than Julius himself laments that things have to be this way, but he's not one to break the family tradition.
This is also related to the point that Ludger and Julius are half-brothers. Neither of their mothers are alive, and this is one thing Julius has never forgiven Bisley over. We'll be hearing more about that little sub-plot next update.
But, forget all that for now. We have a choice! Playing nice with the boss will raise his affection, while wanting to go after Elle will raise her's. Still...I don't think she'll be very receptive to us. Surely Elle is important in some way to Bisley's plans, so we can probably leave her to him. L1 it is, to raise his affection. R1 will do the same, but for the shrimpy girl.
Thanks to your deeds, the spirits' machinations will fail. I've readied your reward. Go to HQ to claim it. You need not worry about the girl. One of my staff will keep an eye on her.
You know, she probably just needs some time alone, Ludger.
Now then, how exactly do we enter Canaan?
I'll explain back at HQ. No need to feel anxious. Canaan's not going anywhere. I would never let it.
Well, Gaius has his priorities in order. In any case, best check out what Bisley's wonderful present is. For some unknown reason, you cannot use Fast Travel to get back to Trigleph. I tried using a ship, but apparently it's all full right now. Just as well, though, because those ships only travel to Rieze Maxia destinations. I...may have forgotten that fact. Anyway, just take the train.
As soon as you do so...
The most fateful choice
Go ahead. Tell me what it is you want.
Don't make Ludger disappear. Please.
That's one wish I cannot grant. Not without your help. You'll need to obey my orders, right down to the letter. What say you?
Then we have a deal.
Uh-oh...well, if Bisley's got a plan, then maybe things will turn out for the best. Moving on, you get a skit shortly after going to Trigleph, where you can increase Milla's affection with R1. However, our destination is the front of the Spirius Building.
What kind of sob story did he feed you, anyway?
Mr. President! Something really is wrong with Ludger!
Of course. Something is always wrong with people who need that kind of money. This guy even has a terrorist in his family.
That's not true! Ludger and Julius are--
If you can't do your job, then I'd be happy to accept your resignation. There's no room for bleeding hearts in the banking business, my dear.
Nova, and the rest of us, have plenty of problems to go around. Some bigger than others. But hell, it ain't Nova's fault.
It's okay. It just burns me up to hear him talk about you and Julius that way.
*shakes head* ....
It would seem this money is a source of unhappiness for her. Why not just pay her back?
We have to wait until Elle returns, anyway.
I'm so sorry.
Yikes. Well, can't wait until the next chapter starts to see where this whole Elle--
Man, team's having trouble keeping their eyes on the ball these days, eh? Since we're in Trigleph anyway, why don't we head on over to the inn and start the first Character Chapter of this post-chapter business?
Rieze Maxia getaway
I'm glad you dropped by.
Can I play too? I saw you come in here, and I just hate being left out!
You made it! Perfect timing.
What're you all doing here?
Are you saying we're not welcome? Only Erston is good enough to join your little club?
Okay then, everyone ready? I got a big announcement! We're all going on a trip to Rieze Maxia!
I've always wanted to see Fennmont!
Count me out.
Hah! No point in refusing when he gets like this. You'll break. It'll happen.
Yes, but... Fennmont...
What? Is Fennmont lame or something?
Erston's not a big fan of crowds. Isn't that right?
Why are you doing this?
Well, what about that something-or-other Deepwood, then?
The Sapstrath Deepwood?
Yeah, that place! I saw it in the brochure! It's like one gigantic forest!
And we don't exactly have one here in Elympios.
The Sapstrath Deepwood...
Great, it's agreed!
Hey, I haven't agreed to anything.
You cool with that, Ludger?
Then let's get moving!
Well, guess we have a little time to goof off.
Incidentally, man am I getting tired of recording this chapter. I had recorded this chapter and next, and had recorded all of the alternate choices for this chapter, when I noticed I hadn't actually recorded anything, but I had already saved on my "real" playthrough just before the start of the next chapter.
So, I had to take my alternate playthrough, record it "normally", then go back and record the alternates AGAIN for this chapter. So, I had to go through this chapter four times to bring this update to you. The things I do.
Rieze Maxia is freakin' awesome!
This path runs straight through it, but it's not exactly a walk in the park.
Ah, we'll be fine! But, you know, we'll let you handle the monsters.
As Gaius notes, Jude's got quite the austere taste. There's a skit shortly after you arrive where, if you let Gaius nerd out about Rieze Maxia-Auj Oule politics, you'll raise his affection. I'd advise you do just that.
But where to go? Well, once you arrive in this map and pass under a large tree trunk, turn left and climb up the vines. Follow the path that twists around and into a couple more maps and you'll arrive at your destination, marked by a pink ! icon.
Look at this place! Why don't we take a break to sightsee?
Even you, Rollo?
Well, Gaius doesn't do "fun", but Perceptive Ludger will earn some friendship points with the king.
I imagine I'm not. I certainly feel different. Perhaps this is what it feels like to spend time with friends? Age differences aside, of course... Wait.
Noticed them too?
I did. Monsters, planning an ambush. Let's take care of them.
Yes. Here they come!
Like with most fights like this that happen in the middle of a character chapter, these are normal enemies that have been buffed for this fight. Even so, evidently they are not strong enough to be considered bosses, so Calamity Stance can, and has a very high chance of, instantly killing them. Let's just skip on to the resulting scene.
Oh, I should comment on Gaius' costume, since this battle was a bit of a learning experience for me. To be completely accurate, his costume is Dymlos Timber's costume from Tales of Destiny 2. Most times the battle music will be Common Destiny from Tales of Destiny, whereas for this fight, and rarely, it'll be, I believe Dona Nobis Pacem from Destiny 2 (it's a little hard to tell, because the fight is so loud, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what song. I'm mostly basing this on the first few seconds of the song, before the battle truly begins).
The latter song also had a cameo appearance in Tales of the Abyss, where it was part of Everlasting Fight, which was the cameo battle theme.
I don't know, but now's our chance.
*fade to black*
Where were you guys?
Just attending to a little business, as Erston might say.
Where'd Kyle go?
What's up, Big E?
We're all pretty tight now, yeah? I mean, you're pretty cool, even for an older dude.
I'm not sure I like where this is going.
Lighten up, Big E! Heh.
Yeah, you're gonna dig this.
It's a camera. You do know what a camera is, right? We all pooled our money for it.
Well, considering Gaius' technical prowess...
Oh, a present?
It was Kyle's idea. Tanner helped pick it out, though.
Isn't that thoughtful. Tee hee!
Ha ha ha!
Perfect. Be right there.
You're part of the gang now, Big E. Don't you forget that.
Well, we better head back soon, shall we?
Wait, wait! Can we make a quick stop at Marksburg? A new GHS model just came out. I gotta get my hands on one.
Conspicuous consumption is the name of the game, I say as I have my Galaxy S6 right beside me.
I mean, before 2014 the only phone I ever had was a dinky little flip phone, so forgive me for indulging a bit, okay? There's no comparison between that prehistoric piece of plastic and a smartphone.
Whaddaya say, Big E? C'mon.
If you must.
Alright, well, let's head on over. Must say, this is a remarkably low-key chapter. And c'mon, we're going to buy a phone, so I don't predict a roller-coaster ride for the end of this chapter.
A killer development
You guys sit tight on the Elympios side, okay?
Oh, man... I'm dead on my feet. What say we grab a bite at the inn and head home when Kyle gets back?
I take it your silence means "heck yeah"?
*fade to black*
He sure is taking his time.
How long is Kyle gonna keep us waiting here?
Don't pout. You're the one who said it was okay.
Well, pretty much everyone hates when stuff like this happens, and when in doubt, blame the tall scowling guy.
I take full responsibility.
I'm sick of hanging around. I'll go get him.
What's that about? They said something about a soldier getting killed. What's going on?
N-Nothing. I'm fine. Sorry I'm late. Let's go.
I heard they're looking for a young male. They think he's still hiding in the city somewhere.
We've always had friction with folks from the other side here in Marksburg, but there's never been a murder, you know?
If the killer turns out to be an Elympion, this could turn into an international incident.
Yeah. A murder's bad enough, but that would take it to a whole 'nother horrible level.
Someone killed a soldier? Everyone seems to be freaking out.
Well, well. They ask me to come all the way to Marksburg to help with the investigation, and who do I run into? Pretty big coincidence, huh? Pretty, pretty big.
Did you need something?
And look who's with him! My, but you've all gotten chummy with each other.
That's none of your business. Go home.
Ah, but I've only just gotten here. And seeing you lot certainly adds some credence to my working theory. Kyle, you killed that Rieze Maxian soldier, didn't you? And I will see you arrested for it.
Wh-What are you talking about?!
Yeah, serious. How does "Get a new phone" turn into "Kill a dude"? Then again, this guy has always had it for this bunch, it seems.
You've had your fun. Stop hassling us.
Hmph. Oh, and I know you raised a hand to one of my men earlier. I don't have any proof, but I certainly don't intend to let that slide.
The sheriff leaves... Troublesome guy.
What a creep. Let's just get the hell back to Trigleph already.
Kyle... It wasn't you, was it?
H-how could you even ask me that? Even Big E's not on my side now?
Tanner's right. Let's blow this joint.
Gaius? That guy?! The King of Rieze Maxia?! Interesting. Very interesting.
Oh great. Well...wouldn't be the end of the world if the sheriff found out, right? Yeah, this'll all just blow over. Yeah. Anyway, after that chapter, you'll get a skit (but only because, I think, I'm in Marksburg). Next on the list is an event with an old friend here in Marksburg. It's on the job board, and all you need do is to bring some Ex Machina Whiskey to the bridge.
If "doing well" means "working my butt into an early grave" then yeah! I'm doin' just dandy.
Hey now, quit complaining. At least you got a place to lay low and hide out for a while...
Yeah, I'd be in jail now if I didn't. 'Course I'm grateful! You've done so much for me...
Hey now, don't start with all that... Just keep your head down and work hard.
I know, I know. It's tough breaking the cycle, but I want to, man! I wanna work hard and get outta this sorta life one day! It'll take some time, but I'm gonna put it all behind me. You'll see! You and me are the same.
Yeah, I hear you...
We brought something for you, Marcus.
It's from Vera at Spirius Corp. You know her?
As in, Vera was the one who posted this job, I believe.
What?! From V-V-VERA?! I can't believe she finally replied!
Vera not calling us about a fractured dimension? Something is clearly very off.
Then please give Marcus the following message for me...
Marcus, you didn't...
I did. It was love at first sight. I've sent her at least one letter a day ever since... All the same: "Pleaes go out with me, my princess!"
Bro, bro, bro... What'd I tell you...
Yeah, yeah, I know. But what can i say? I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm a fool in love. I'm a tortured soul longing for that one connection more powerful than any cosmic force!
Head over heels, and all that?
Gimme some of that booze, will you? Just a swig or two! My heart is broken in several places. It's a compound fracture. It burns! I need a drink, man. I need a drink!
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna give you any booze right now.
C'mon! Just one swig! You... You can have this cool hat!
What the... I don't want your hat, Marcus! You gotta keep it together, bud!
Well, that explains why Vera sent us to deliver booze.
Is he gonna be all right?
Look, you obviously need some comfort... And frankly, I don't think I'm equipped to comfort you properly. So here, have some Ex Machina. Just one swig though!
Oh man, you're the best! Bros for life!
While Marcus drowns his sorrows, our last major order of business for today is to finish off Jude's fourth chapter. Head to Kanbalar, just outside Castle Gaius, for this one.
Hey, I was just about to give you a call.
The temperatures have been dropping inexplicably at the Kukhar Ice Caverns. And I'm sensing minor abnormalities in the mana there.
It's a good bet Celsius is behind this. I hate to ask this, but... I'd be really grateful for your help.
Well, Jude, we've had your back so far in this matter, and imagine we will in the future. Earns points with the old boy, you see.
Thanks. I knew I could count on you.
You really are enamored with Ludger, aren't you?
I think a better way to put it is that I trust and have faith in him. Right?
Huh... I could've sworn that was the perfect expression. It seems i still have much to learn about the nuances of human languages.
Oh Milla, will you ever learn? Well, your progress is nice, and we've still got a lot of time to go until the end of this LP.
Seriously, we've got a *lot* more to do for this game. If I may make a rough percentage, we're about at...I wanna say about 70% of the way through the game. Counting endings, I'd say we've got no fewer than 15 updates left in the pipe. 5 months in, and we're sniffing the end, but it's still quite a ways off, like the horizon. You can see it, but it's quite another matter to get there.
But, every journey begins with the first step. Let's shove off.
Heart of Ice
Once again, absolutely nothing of interest happened on the way there. Looks like there hunches were correct. Let's see what she's got for us...
I should have known it was you. What's your business here?
We just want to talk.
Yes. The device that hurt you... I created it. But I assure you, it was never my intention to dominate spirits. I was trying to create a world where humans and spirits could live together symbiotically.
After inventing such a device? Don't make me laugh!
That's why I want to make sure it never happens again!
I don't think she's in a listening mood.
Sometimes when faced with a difficult situation, even Ludger can waver...
She left us with little choice. Defend yourselves.
So yeah, because I'm using my super weapons for this fight, you can't get a really good idea of the difficulty of this fight, but I try to let Celsius have her day in court before annihilating her.
Celsius, as you might expect, fights with her fists, primarily. Her most dangerous attack is a slide attack where icicles will fall where she slid. Those will freeze anyone caught in the area, and she'll be free to follow up afterward. Milla is a very good character to use here, as Celsius is weak to both Slash and Fire. She's pretty dangerous when she goes into Over Limit, but because she has no long-range attacks, just run away and dodge her as much as possible until it goes away.
But when it comes to Jude using Seraphic Hearts, a Power Combo, AND a good multiplier on a Mystic Arte...yeah, she doesn't last long. Jude's Mystic Arte is a Tales Classic: Final Fury.
Oh yeah, did you notice anything funky with the battles this update? No Chromatus! Makes sense, though. Elle's gone and Ludger can't use it without her around. So does that mean we're not going to be using it again? Stay tuned...
This is no time for bravado. You can barely stand. I know you have nearly exhausted the mana in your fossil.
I guess that battle last year must've taken a lot out of you. That's why I was hoping that we could just talk this through.
Whoa whoa, back up here, says Ludger.
Spyrites only manifest in our realm for as long as the mana in their fossils remain.
Celsius won't be able to maintain her physical form for much longer.
I just wanted to see it again... A place of nostalgia.
Something here, in the ice caverns?
There was once a small town near here, some 500 years ago. Now there's no trace of it at all.
Time passes much more quickly for humans than for spirits. It's sad that it's gone, but that's just how it is.
Well, as established, Jude's quite the sentimental fellow, so anything that plays on that, well...
He's right. There has got to be some trace of those times still left behind. We'll help you search. But if we do find something, then you have to promise to stop giving us the cold shoulder.
Well, gee, thanks for signing us up, dude.
Basically, he's proposing a deal. So, what do you say?
You sure about this? You probably won't find anything.
That's certainly possible, but there's no harm in at least trying, don't you think?
You're a strange one. Very well. You have your deal.
Then can you at least point us in the direction of any other places you remember?
*fade to black*
I see. So in contemporary human names...those would be within the Kijara Seafalls, Fennmont, and Fort Gandala regions.
We'll take you there then.
When you are ready, call out my name. I will rest my physical form until I hear it.
Understood. Rest in the meantime.
Well, looks like we've got a lot of ground to cover.
Heh, you really are nice to just about anyone, aren't you, Jude?
N-No, that's not true!
*nod* Hey, thank you for all your help today. I really appreciate it. I suspect that I'll be needing it again before this is over.
Oh I bet. But, we're headed to the Talys Highroad to get our Elite Monster, and our end-of-chapter debt payment to handle first.
And here he is, on the only branch of the Highroad, near the Fort Gandala exit. Vampiric Plant
Well, "punching bag" is a pretty appropriate descriptor for this fellow. Big guy, long reach, yadda yadda yadda. I managed a 128 hit combo on him, without the Chromatus! He just barely had any room to attack. One neat trick I did with Ludger, that ended up killing him, was charging up Hammer Toss. There's all kinds of skills that allow you to change artes for the better. Fun to play around with, but not a whole bunch of practical use.
As you might imagine, for a late-game Elite Monster (actual difficulty has very little to do with it, aside from Exoplasm), Plant is worth a considerable chunk of change, so here's the last skit.
The end of the line, huh...
Update 27 alternate choice compilation
Update 27 victory compilation