Part 28: The Man Who ChoosesPart XXVIII: The Man Who Chooses
So this is yet another really big chapter, really the penultimate before the game kicks into the final act. This was not an altogether fun update to record, though, but you'll enjoy it, without all the tedious crap that burdens me so. This update begins, as you might expect, in the lobby of the Spirius Corporation.
Hold your horses. Only authorized personnel past this point.
Yeah, see, they're with me. That makes them authorized. More to the point, assuring them of that fact will raise Milla and Jude's affections.
Of course. We didn't come here just to sit in the lobby.
Very well. If that's Vice President Kresnik's decision, I will abide by it.
Ludger's been made vice president of Spirius?!
Correct. His promotion is effective immediately.
You may use the CEO's office as you see fit until he returns from his departure. This way.
Vera automatically brings us to the 40th floor, just outside Bisley's office. This...sounds important.
Message from the boss
Ludger. If you're watching this, know that I intend to travel to the Land of Canaan to put an end to Origin's Trial.
This'll be interesting.
But not before I tell you the full story. You see, it was all a game: the fractured dimensions, Canaan, all of it. Just a giant game created by the Primordial Spirits Chronos, Maxwell, and Origin. That's right. And they've been playing it ever since humanity figured out spyrix two millennia ago. The three spirits disagreed over whether humans could truly control spyrix technology or not. So they devised an experiment to reveal mankind's true nature. They wanted to see for themselves if human beings were capable of resisting the temptation of ultimate power.
This was before the schism, you see, back in the old days when Maxwell still trusted humans.
So the chromatus was a test.
Chronos granted the chromatus to the Kresnik family as means to measure how well humans can suppress their base desires. If someone reaches the Great Spirit Origin before a million divergence catalysts appear, mankind passes the test. If no one does, then mankind fails and the spirits leave. That was their pact.
But here's the catch. The game was rigged right from the very start.
As was passed down, "Origin will grant the wish of the first human who comes before him." No human could resist such a prize. It fostered greed amongst the people. As a result, the Kresniks were constantly at war over it.
Thanks to all of their bickering, catalysts and fractured dimensions have multiplied like rats.
A vast number of poeple across all the dimensions transformed into catalysts, and as a result, were destroyed. It's likely now that their number is approaching one million.
Well...1,000,000 catalysts divided by 2000 (we'll just say, since that's the only number we've been given), is 500 catalysts a year. More than a catalyst a day is a tall order, but there's very likely more fractured dimensions than we can possibly guess at. Still, humanity hasn't failed...yet.
The Spirius Corporation was established to put the breaks on this whole disaster.
I haven't forgotten the reward I promised. You no longer have to worry about that pesky loan. Now, just leave the rest to me. I will create the world that your generation deserves.
But at this kinda awkward moment, a phone call.
H-Hey, Ludger! You're not gonna believe what just happened! The bank president stopped by just now. And guess what? He said that I don't need to bug you about your loan anymore!
How'd you managed to pull that off? Wait, you're not blackmailing anybody, are you?
And Ludger just hangs up. Probably for the best. Nova will bounce back.
You've verified the reward.
Bakur left for the Land of Canaan, correct?
Milla is highly unamused. Choose your next words carefully.
I wasn't informed.
All right. If that's how you want to play it, then let me ask you this: How does he plan to make it past Chronos? The chromatus came from Chronos. Bakur wouldn't be able to use it against him.
I don't know.
Though, to be completely fair to Vera, I'm not sure why we're questioning Vera about this. It's clear she's a pretty low-level grunt for Bisley, and probably does not know anything of particular worth. I mean, I coulda told you Bisley was headed for Canaan.
What happened to Elle?
Excuse me, I'm running late for a meeting.
You know... I'll bet you that the CEO is planning to use Elle to kill Chronos.
Then again...maybe she does know more than she's letting on.
I believe our guests' business has concluded here.
Well...this is all pretty shady, huh? Bisley heads to Canaan to use Elle as a human weapon against Chronos, we're made VP, and we've...basically taken over Spirius until further notice. Huh. Well, we can't exactly leave things like this...can we?
Well, Ludger needs a snack to calm down. Bisley's desk has just the thing. It's fun to go on a little treasure hunt looking for all the Gaius Dumplings in the game, but...there's absolutely no point when there's Kanbalar Kitty Dispatch.
Well, the game doesn't exactly give us an idea where we go next, but hey, why not walk around OUR company?
On the 30th floor, we have this jackass. Maybe now that it's 1-1, he'll be a little nicer. Fat chance, but hey.
Forgive me for my silly comments back there. How might I help the new vice president?
Yeah, we can't let that last thing he said slide. Gotta shake him down for more info.
Hmm? What I was saying before? Elle was the true Key of Kresnik.
Origin's power flows through the Key. One only comes along every few generations, and the Key is the trump card in the Trial. As you can imagine, he or she is always at the center of the Kresnik's family feuds. The most recent Key was the CEO's wife, 'til she was killed.
Whoa...heavy. Well, might as well get more info about this wife. I think Ludger heard him loud and clear.
Precisely. The prime dimension's true Key of Kresnik.
And if that "few generations" line made it seem like Elle's status was a plothole, there ya go. Elle's from a fractured dimension, so that would explain that detail.
Years ago, the CEO used his wife's power in a battle against Chronos. It cost her her life. That didn't sit well with the eldest son. He fled the nest and started his own family, or so the story goes. To make a long story short, the only way to reach Origin is to defeat Chronos. And the only thing that will defeat Chronos is the power of the void, which is wielded by the Key of Kresnik. Of course, the power needed to beat Chronos would immediately transform the Key into the divergence catalyst. And that's the rub.
A phone call... This oughta be good.
Ah, you must have heard more details from Rideaux. He was only supposed to keep you occupied. I'm sorry for tricking you, but please understand. This sacrifice is necessary to make a world purely for humans.
Well...at least know the WHY of what's going on. Maybe he can explain himself, and at the same time, this choice will raise his affection. Fun fact: this is the last choice that can raise Bisley's affection. Even if I don't get Bisley's special weapon this playthrough, it doesn't matter, since NPC affection levels are carried over with that one choice in the Grade Shop, same as the normal playable characters.
Yes, you heard correctly. When I finally fulfill Origin's Trial, I will wish for all spirits to surrender their will. They will finally become mankind's loyal tools.
But do not worry. Their first task will be to eliminate all fractured dimensions.
Gimme that! Ludger? It's me!
I'm gonna fix it all so you don't have to do scary stuff anymore! I'll use my wish to make sure nobody ever has to disappear again!
Mr. Bakur says that only I have the power to do that. So don't come after us, okay? It's fine, really! I know I broke our promise, so... I'm sorry. Forgive me.
She hangs up...
Ludger dials back, and...
Nothing to do now but leave things to the CEO, I suppose. If we go charging in, he'll just use us. Just like he's going to use Elle.
Well...this ain't good. Not good... But we can't leave things like this, can we? Let's head back to the lobby and see what Jude and Milla have to say about things.
On the same floor, you can stop by this office and chat with a bunch of the staff here. They've got all sorts of neat stuff to say, like this person, confirming Victor was not using his own watch. Or that spirit energy of the Prime Dimension has been spreading wildly (which can't be good). Or that chromatus bearers who become divergence catalysts either retain their normal, human selves (like Victor did), or they take control of other people or objects (like the Nachtigal dimension from a few updates ago, or the Evil Rowen from the chapter that introduced our elderly friend). To quote,
The last just makes a "dimensions as bubbles" analogy that I don't think I'll waste your time with, in otherwise very busy update. By the way, as a reminder, the console in this room that's beeping has a control code for the underground training area. This code is not the same, and will be different depending on the individual game you're playing.
But, if you didn't know that, or don't remember the code, don't worry too much about it. I'll explain why soon.
We're not going anywhere until we hear the rest of the story!
Did you find out anything?
Fade to black, of course...
Turning spirits into tools. So that was Bakur's plan all along.
Well, you know, it makes a certain degree of sense. For a man who obviously resents the spirits as much as Bakur does, what better punishment for them would be to completely turn the tables on their game and make them end up the losers in a game they, or at least Chronos, thought they couldnt lose?
And to think he'd use a little girl like Elle.
Not if we can help it. Let's get to Canaan!
How do we get inside?
We must find Julius. He will know how.
We better hurry!
Believe it or not, choose wisely here. Your decision here will dramatically impact what happens immediately after this to *quite* a significant degree. There's no "wrong" choice, but L1 will increase Jude's affection and R1 will do the same for Milla. As for why, well... I went with L1 for now.
By any chance, do you feel like you've already fulfilled your duty at this point?
Jude, he's done enough. Let's go.
Ludger doesn't need to risk his life for this world. Not anymore.
But, what about Elle?
The girl pleaded with him not to come.
You can't-- You two don't get it, do you?
Jude... Very well. You should do whatever you think is best for Ludger.
Don't interfere with this. Please.
A showdown against Jude Mathis?! Yes, indeed. If you choose R1, you'll fight Milla instead. I'm not entirely sure which is the harder fight (actually, Milla is the considerably harder fight, just because of the range of some her artes, especially Gnome), but those who were fortunate and dedicated enough to make it to the Xillia 1 coliseum fights should be familiar with how to fight the good doctor. Jude will focus heavily on combos. While a single combo isn't likely to bring you to your knees, he'll chain more powerful combos can you think.
Be especially way when he goes into a counterattacking stance, If you are close to him when he does that, he'll automatically launch Soaring Vortex, which will break through any block and throw you into the air, which Jude can hit quite easily with Swallow Dance, or other aerial artes. You're going to want to watch out for that one.
Cyclonic Surge in particular is pretty dangerous, even moreso than Soaring Vortex, because it throws you and Jude into the air, where he can very quickly follow up with more artes, or a Surge spam.
When he's about at 50% HP (or you at 1 HP), he'll automatically throw out his Mystic Arte. Don't worry. It won't kill you, and it's not supposed to.
Why are you hesitating?! Is Elle not family to you?!
Party time is over! To finish this, just use your Chromatus Mystic Arte against him.
That...could have gone better.
How can you use the chromatus without Elle being here?
Come now, it should be obvious. She's calling to you. Still thinking of staying behind?
You really are stubborn, you know that? Reminds me of a certain someone.
As you might expect, Milla has her own version of these events, that you'll just have to watch the *extensive* alternate choice compilation to get the lowdown on what happened in that timeline. However, we are on this one, where Ludger states the obvious about Jude's intentions. Not that he doesn't appreciate it.
Took you this long to figure me out?
Looks like we're done. Let's get to Canaan.
Of course you can come too.
A klaxon warning goes out, however...
Not a step further, Vice President Kresnik.
I know it sounds cliche and all, but orders are orders.
Move, Ivar. I don't have time for your games.
Ergh... I'm afraid I cannot do that, Lady Milla.
I never realized bossy girls were such a turn-on. So cold, so ruthless, so--
Ugh, what a creep!
Need assistance? Hope you don't mind.
Well, well, well... The royal pain has come to hold court. But my head will roll if I don't stop Ludger from leaving. And I happen to like my head.
You think your corporate cronies can stop us?
They dispelled my artes!
How is that possible?!
It's the Lance of Kresnik. A portable version, sure, but as you can see it gets the job done. This will be fun. I wonder if Lord Maxwell will moan as I suck the mana out of her.
Don't speak to her like that!
Trouble in paradise, boys?
You'd risk your life to save this sniveling coward? You really are a benevolent deity.
He's still my handmaid. I don't recall ever dismissing him from the position.
Such a stubborn and proud spirit. But not for much longer.
Well...ain't this a right pickle.
Any ideas, Ludger?
Giving everyone the information that'll save their lives increases Gaius and Muzet's affections. Still, though, R1 would be fun...
Get to that elevator.
That's easier said than done.
We'll need bait.
You can show everyone else the way.
And this is another big choice. It'll determine who accompanies you for a bit, Jude or Milla. Who volunteers should be pretty obvious, and will raise their respective affections, but on this timeline, Ludger volunteered Jude for this dangerous job. He should be fine, I think. Maybe.
Leave it to me.
Not here I won't.
It's clearly a diversion!
Go on ahead!
Don't let them get away!
That was too close... Well, once you're on the bottom floor, you'll get a new skit where the choice doesn't matter, but never mind that, we're headed to the training ground where Bisley introduced Ludger to the Chromatus all that time ago.
And here we are. The terminal to Ludger's right will allow you to destroy all those little robots (and have them drop a bunch of Magical Ore where they once were) and open all the doors, so you can blow past this part in seconds. If you don't know the code or forgot it, well...hope you have some spare time on your hands, as you will have to go through...I dunno, about 10 required fights or so to get to the first pseudo-dungeon of the game.
But don't move too fast. In the final room, you can take a little detour to open two nice chests: one of them has a Thief's Cape, which is eh, but the other has a Sephira, which is an accessory that'll give you 50% more gald if at least one of your in-battle dudes is wearing it throughout the entire fight.
Ah, memories. Well, we could rush forward to the exit, but do take the time to explore a bit. You can find a Platinum Cloak, a Life Bottle, Mythril Armor, and...
Boris the Cat! Once you've finished exploring old haunts, head toward the door, and...
So, this what you do now, Ivar?
Yes, this my new occupation. My new life after failing as your handmaid!
Fine. Then out of respect, know that I will not hold back.
What a bothersome fellow. (Maybe I'll kill him.)
As you might expect, Muzet's line is the start of a bonus scene.
Both choices will raise Muzet's affection, but L1 will raise it by more. Milla seems to be both a mother figure and a sister to Muzet. Interesting.
*gasp* Good point. I'm always such a bad judge of these things.
You two can't stop all of us.
Don't be so sure of that, Your Highness. I was a sickly child, you see. Several of my organs had to be transplanted with spyrix. A doctor named Mathis performed the surgery. He's the one who saved my life.
Derrick did what?!
I have since made a few improvements of my own. I now possess double the strength and acuity of a normal man.
Can your body take that?!
No, of course it can't. But that's fine with me, as long as it holds together long enough to crush you.
Why would you destroy your body like that?
That's for me to know and you to find out.
Alright, so...this is actually a pretty hard fight. While neither Ivar nor Rideaux (sorry, those implants clearly are not particularly helping) are really powerful, they're very much aided by a bunch of annoying Spirius grunts who will provide much needed distraction from the main event.
My advice would be to partner up with Gaius or Milla / Jude, and go around and take out the grunts before focusing on the real bosses. The Chromatus is a very good way to do this, but be aware Rideaux and / or Ivar will probably knock you out of it prematurely. If you can take down, or at least severely wound, two of them, that's perfectly fine. Once the Spirius guys are down, the fight becomes considerably easier.
Once it becomes a 4-2 fight, it's up to you which one you want to focus on next. Rideaux is weak to the Big 4 Elements and Light, which makes it pretty easy to stagger him by this point in the game. Ivar isn't weak to as much, but he has lower HP, so you may want to focus on him next. It's really up to you.
I decided to go after Ivar first, and managed to badly wound him with a Chromatus Combo. He didn't last long after that.
Rideaux just didn't have a chance on his own. Sorry duder, that's 0-3 for you.
Both Ivar and Rideaux also have Mystic Artes, that, annoyingly enough, they did not feel necessary to use in this climactic showdown. I did get Rideaux to use his Mystic Arte, but you'll have to check it out in the "Alternate choice" video for that one, since this part's dialogue is considerably different if you have Jude in tow.
Ivar, you are a man of many failures. But even if you add all those failures together, it doesn't compare to all your years of loyal service. Thank you, Ivar. I appreciate everything you did for me.
Heh. What a complete farce this is.
This begins another bonus scene. This time, for Gaius.
Something funny? Share it with us. Even foes can come to understand one another.
Never took you for a bleeding heart. Enemies kill each other. That is simply what they do.
If that's the case, then you know what happens next.
You stab me and I die. Done and done.
Much as I'd like this to be goodbye for us, it's worth pointing L1 out to Gaius.
Haha! Don't flatter yourself too much now! Let me tell you something. I only saved you because the CEO said to do so! Must've been a real drag paying off that massive loan? But you were happy to play along.
Don't let him get to you.
Just the empty words of a sore loser.
Let me make a little prediction for you. You'll regret leaving this place, until the day you die.
Some time later...
Damn twerp. He gave me the same contemptuous look as his bastard brother!
Don't just stand there, you goons. Help me!
My apologies, sir. I am afraid the CEO has given us entirely different orders.
We were told to bring Director Rideaux before him.
I figured as much.
Probably thinks he can use me as the "bridge". Not gonna happen.
As you can see, we know the control codes for your spyrix organs.
He's um...he's in trouble.
I hope Jude made it out of there okay.
A phone call, but who could it be from? Hopefully not Nova again...
Hey, it's me. Are you all right?
L1 all the way. Julius has quite the sense of timing.
Sounds like you're okay. I'm in Trigleph. Jude's here.
And he's gone, as quickly as he showed up...
I knew he could take care of himself.
*nod* Ludger, let's go meet up with Jude.
Oh boy. This is sure to be a good one.
Well, at least she acts the part...
Update 28 alternate choice compilation