Part 29: The Girl Who QuestionsPart XXIX: The Girl Who Questions
The soul bridge
I'm glad to see you're okay.
Yes, thanks to Julius. He saved me when I got pinned down. He took off already, but not without leaving a message with me first. "Come find me when you've steeled yourself."
Also, Julius told me how to get inside the Land of Canaan. In order to enter, you have a build yourself a soul bridge.
How do we go about building a soul bridge?
So, we have to kill either Ludger or Julius?
Where is Julius?
He said he left a letter for Ludger at the house.
Ludger has a flashback to Rideaux's "prediction" line... Maybe he had a point, Ludger thinks. Well...at least we know why Bisley wanted Rideaux. He could potentially use himeslf or Elle, but I don't think either is in the cards as far as his plan goes.
Nevertheless, Ludger runs off to his apartment.
But if you want to know what that message was, exactly, that the game wants to keep from us, well...you'll just have to tune when we go on Julius' trail for the last time, huh? I can take a guess where he's headed, personally...
Once again, Jude reminds us of what's important. After the above scene, you will also get two skits. In the first skit, you can raise Muzet's affection with R1, likewise with Gaius in the second skit. Flustered Gaius is Best Gaius.
Actually, I completely forgot the actual first skit of this video: getting a certain number of chips in Poker. I actually did get this one naturally, but I cannot recall when or if I have still have the video, so this will have to do. You can raise Leia's affection with L1, but other than that, just an amusing skit.
Anyway, more importantly, remember that from this point on, you are not obligated whatsoever to pay back any more debt, so we could go on and proceed with the story by examining the note Julius left on Ludger's table. Obviously, we're not going to do that, as we have a lot of work to do before that. Let's start in Leronde and the next entry in Elize's story.
Crisis in Leronde
Hey! Did you hear the big news? The Chancellor of Elympios is here in Leronde!
She's touring Rieze Maxia on a campaign to improve cross-cultural relations. I was quite surprised myself. After all, she's only just recovered from the E.S.S. Pelune incident.
I sure hope she has a good time here.
Just one bite of Warrick's cooking oughta do it!
Well, speak of the devil...
We've got an emergency! The Chancellor's group has been attacked!
If only Sonia had stayed at the lodge...
Warrick, calm down and tell me exactly what happened.
The Chancellor had planned to eat at the lodge, but then a group of Elympions burst in and grabbed her. They spirited the Chancellor away and said they'd kill her if we didn't meet their demands.
Exodus is behind the attack. They're demanding freedom for members captured in the Pelune incident.
Why won't they just give up already?!
We have to save the Chancellor!
We spotted them fleeing into the Old Vicalle Mine.
We're in a race against time here.
I think she'll be fine, personally, but we might as well check up on her, shall we? You do remember where the Mine is, right? Let's just hop on over...
Chancellor! Thank goodness you're safe!
It's you! I somehow managed to slip away in the confusion. But my colleagues weren't so lucky. They're still being held.
I understand the culprits are Elympion?
I'm afraid so. Remnants of Exodus.
I see. Chancellor, please allow the Rieze Maxian government to handle the rescue.
May I ask... Why do you have children with you?
Elize isn't THAT young anymore. And besides, we're a team. Sticking up for her will raise her affection, but hey, we're only speaking the truth.
Team? Wait, don't tell me you intend to involve them in the rescue operation?!
Hey, you! Don't sell Elize short!
I am fully capable of helping.
The young miss is a gifted spirit artes user. She is a great asset to Rieze Maxia.
Elize... Well, it is not my place to second guess you. But these terrorists place little value on human life. Please be careful.
We will. Don't worry.
Just so the record is completely reflected here, Elize stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the Xillia 1 cast to defeat a super-powered Gaius and Muzet in the space between worlds and, hey, she's still standing. I think we'll be fine. I mean, if I was Elize, I'd brag about that.
That's the thing that kinda gets me about a lot of sequels, RPGs being a genre that's particularly guilty of this. Rarely in RPG sequels do you have reputations acknowledged that were established in the previous game. I mean, I admit, minor characters like Marcia would obviously not be aware of the specifics of what Jude et. all did in Xillia 1, but you'd think at least some word would have gotten around about what exactly they did. I will say, though, Dawn of the New World more or less got this right.
And even though it's in a different genre entirely, Metal Gear Solid is a series that does this well. In the first Metal Gear Solid, Snake has the reputation of being an absolutely legendary agent who defeated two giant robots single-handedly. It's even better in the MGS3 -> Portable Ops -> Peace Walker -> Ground Zeroes / Phantom Pain side-continuity thing. Every succeeding game, Big Boss' reputation grows greater and greater, and with good reason. By Phantom Pain, Big Boss' reputation has grown so exponentially that the man can scarcely live up to that. The legend has so outgrown the man, it's out of control.
Anyway, my point is, that reputation of returning characters in sequels is something I really look for, and it bugs me when it's not there.
However, back to the game, Marcia's ringtone goes off...
Wait, that's the ringtone that I gave to Luna.
Elize's pen pal is Chancellor Marcia?!
Ah, King Gaius! Yes, Your Majesty. I'm safe. I'd like you to know that your Prime Minister Ilbert is about to give the terrorists what for.
A while later... By the way, did you catch that massive plot hole? Gaius using a cellphone on his own? My suspension of disbelief for this chapter has been utterly destroyed. I mean, Rowen and Gaius even have a post-battle victory thing where Gaius struggles with his phone.
Are you okay with this plan?
Y-Yes. Leave everything to us.
The outlaws are in the next screen, in the big opening to the left of where you start. Can't miss 'em.
No right answer
They hung up! Damn it!
There goes our plan B. This is not good. Not good at all...
Keep it together!
I'm trying, but how long can we keep this up?!
If we don't figure this out, our captured comrades are as good as dead.
One goes down... Now I feel bad, though.
Over our dead bodies!
Yeah, you can guess from the video I'm on my alternate playthrough. See, the thing is, when I recorded the content for the previous update, I also recorded all the alternate choices, because I like having as few video files as possible when doing updates. Unfortunately, I forgot there was another choice I had to record for the post-Milla fight, so I needed to use a new recording to do it.
However, when I started that new recording, I noticed there was a pink ! next to Leronde's icon on the world map. So, this chapter must have popped up at some point, and for whatever reason I just never noticed it. So I recorded this, thinking I might miss this one entirely if I proceeded to the next chapter. Thankfully, this is NOT the case, and I was just being paranoid.
The reason I just spent a whole bunch of time talking about recording stuff is because, like usual, I have nothing constructive to say about this fight. It's a fight against a couple generic Exodus goons, which we've seen a lot of, and a robot, which we've seen hundreds of. Even if I didn't have super-powered weapons, this fight would be over in under a minute.
You've lost. Do the noble thing and release your hostages.
Damn it... We've failed...
Why would you do this?
Our comrades. They're going to be executed. We couldn't just let them die.
You did it for your friends?
And we lost... Please make our deaths quick. I beg of you.
No one's going to kill them. Right, Rowen? Rowen's the prime minister of Rieze Maxia! He won't let your friends die.
I wish. It doesn't matter anyway. We'll be tried in Elympios.
Elympions must face justice in Elympios. And Rieze Maxians in Rieze Maxia. Those are the terms of our treaty. Neither nation has any jurisdiction in the other's territory.
This seems to be a silly way to do things. These guys are already IN Rieze Maxia, and they're involved with a kidnapping plot inside of Rieze Maxia. It seems wasteful for these guys to commit a crime here, get transferred back to Elympios for trial or whatever, and then face punishment there. But what do I know?
And the penalty for terrorism in Elympios is execution.
But, Chancellor Marcia would never allow that. She's gentle and kind.
Yeah, don't worry!
C-Can you promise we'll be spared if we decide to surrender?
Don't you worry. I know she'll understand!
You were only looking out for your buddies!
Heh. I doubt she'll give a squat about that, but I don't have any fight left in me. We surrender.
Well, we might as well get the straight dope from the old man, to raise his affection. I'm sure he wouldn't lie to us.
I would not bet on it. In any case, let's head back and meet with the Chancellor.
A skit pops up, for your consideration, afterwards. Your next objective is to head outside the Mine to meet with Marcia. It's worth asking, at the very least.
A child's compassion
Elize...was it? Are you hurt?
N-No. I'm fine, Madam Chancellor.
That's a relief.
But, I... Uh... I wanted to know...
Dispose of the surviving terrorists.
At once, ma'am.
Dispose? What do you mean by dispose?
A matter of Elympion justice, child. None of your concern.
Oh, we're concerned!
They were only trying to save their friends!
Chancellor Marcia, the terrorists surrendered of their own accord. I would think that merits leniancy.
Let's be clear. Is this an official request from the Prime Minister of Rieze Maxia? Because such a request would certainly raise serious diplomatic issues.
N-No, Madam Chancellor. That was not my intent.
Again, it's very strange to me Elympion law enforcement can make arrests in Rieze Maxia. Seems like that shouldn't be a thing.
Laws exist for a reason. Ignore one and we risk a descent into chaos. The government of Elympios does not show leniancy to terrorists.
But you're the chancellor! You can do whatever you want!
It is precisely because I'm the chancellor that I must ensure justice is served.
This is your cue to say something, beardo!
Unfortunately, showing leniancy to terrorists often only leads to more acts of terror. History has shown this to be true.
But...I made a promise to the Exodus members...
A childish decision.
Chancellor, we're ready.
All this excitement has pushed us way behind schedule. We must be going.
Why... Why wouldn't she listen to me?
Aw man... We have to explain just how things are to Elize, who is still quite young at heart, but her feelings aren't wrong. Explaining that to her will raise her affection.
Was I wrong?
Aw, my head's all fuzzy.
.... Luna... I thought we were friends.
Jeez, that's quite the downer to end on. Well, we've got more Elize chapters. Surely this will turn around. Maybe...
Jeez, does EVERYONE have a chapter to go through before Chapter 15? Nah, actually not. Leia's next chapter starts in numerous different locations in Rieze Maxia and Elympios, but the content is exactly the same no matter where it starts. Just for laughs, I started it in Hamil.
Alvin! Perfect timing! You two are coming with me!
Price of doing business
Huh? Oh... You're that Rieze Maxian reporter. Something I can help you with?
Fade to the black, black, blaaaaaack...
You're writing an article about what I think of Rieze Maxia?
Does that bother you?
It's not that I mind so much as, well... What's in it for me?
He wants a little something, something. Spoken like a true Elympion.
Hey, people will be talking about this, right? Why should I play the ugly face of Elympion intolerance for jack squat? Pay up or I shut up.
No sense in getting hostile here. Besides, as Leia's affection increase on R1 proves, a reporter's best sense is being diplomatic.
I'm not trying to be a hardass here. It's just the way of the world.
Okay, fine. If we're talking money, that might be a problem for me. But what if I came in here and cleaned? Day in and day out!
I mean, I'll still have to worry about my day job, but I can come clean mornings and nights. And I have customer-service experience, too. I could stock shelves or even work the booths! I promise I'll stay out of your way, no matter what you have me do. So say yes, will you? Pretty please?!
.... If it really means that much to you... Fine, go ahead and write whatever you want.
Besides, I wouldn't mind hearing what Rieze Maxians think of Elympios. And don't worry about doing any cleaning or nothing.
Seems like people do work for free sometimes.
Well, I'm not gonna make a habit of it. It's just, this really was starting to make me look like a villain.
I'll bring you a draft of the story before it goes to print.
Got it. Make it a good one!
Not bad, Leia, not bad. As usual, Leia likes the diplomatic stuff.
Yeah! He even seemed legitimately interested in the perspective of Rieze Maxians.
Kinda puts a lot of weight on your shoulders, huh?
I suppose it does. All right, the finish line's in sight! Ludger, I'm staying at your place tonight. I'll work on the article all night if I have to.
C'mon. That's overdoing it, even for you...
I need space to concentrate. I don't even have my own desk at work! It'll be fine! You guys'll be there for moral support, right? Come on, please?
Whaddaya say? Should we help her see this through?
Thanks! Okay, it's coffee time. I will absolutely, positively have this story on my editor's desk first thing in the morning!
And off we go...
Well, I should also mention there's a minor event in front of the Spirius Corporation with Nova and some receptionist lady, informing us of stuff we already know. Namely, the required debt payment mechanic is over and done with, but continuing to pay back your loan will give you nice new bonuses at certain thresholds.
"Worth your while", indeed. In addition to the bonuses, after you've fully paid back your debt, you can make one final very special payment to Nova to get one of the bonus endings. But that is a story for many moons from now. If you haven't see it...I bet it's not like anything you are currently expecting.
For the record, this is what my payment situation looks like.
And keep in mind, I've frequently mentioned forced bonus payments. If I had to make a totally rough estimate, I'd guess you actually need to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2-3 million gald to get to this point in the game.
So, obviously, that means we're going to have a lot to throw a lot of money at the Verland Bank to pay back everything, but there's going to be a lot of opportunity to make money. Don't you worry about that, but, it'll be after I record the first "real" ending of the game.
On the road to Ludger's apartment, just decided to drop in on the crazy cat lady. And yes, the cats that appear are randomized.
Sorry, Ludger. Gonna need your room for a while.
Don't doze off in there.
Not gonna happen.
The next morning...
This choice will pretty heavily affect the ending of this chapter, but only if you choose R1. If you choose R1, you shall not raise Leia's affection, and there will be another fade to black, Leia will arrive, and blithely (well, not really) thank Alvin and Ludger for their support. L1 is a bit more interesting, so let's do that.
Yeah, I'm kinda curious myself. Let's go. She couldn't have gotten far.
She's down by the port, for the record.
A big step
You did all this research?
You certainly are tenacious. This'll do. I'll run it.
Now, tell me what you learned.
Well, up until now, I'd always just written my own opinions about things I thought were interesting. But after doing all the interviews this time, I realized I had been going about this the wrong way. Our job as journalists is to present an objective and accurate perspective and let the readers come to their own conclusions. Objectivity and accuracy, those two elements are the key points here.
You should keep that in mind from now on.
Hardly. She still lets herself get too close to the story, and she doesn't take into account the impact she has on her readers. Nevertheless, she showed good journalistic instincts with this piece, and she isn't afraid to do the legwork. She has potential.
Well, shouldn't the chief tell her that?
Nice work. Seems your editor finally accepted you.
You heard that, huh? Thanks guys. I couldn't have done it without you. I'm not about to let up, either--and I hope you'll keep helping me chase down the stories! Ludger...
And then, I am going to make sure that I'm able to convey all of that to the rest of the world! That way their lives will have meaning.
Oh, and after that scene, Leia gets a unique weapon for whatever reason: a Lacrosse Stick. And an affection skit, of course.
It's really up to you what you want to use. The Stick certainly isn't bad, but eh. I kept Leia with her Mythril Rod. But, the final act for today begins in Nia Khera with the clueless Lord of Spirits. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but still. She's got a long way to go.
Nia Khera's past
We've scoured the village tomes and oral histories, but unfortunately no definitive version of that story seems to have survived. Forgive me, Lady Milla. I have failed you.
It's okay. Thanks for trying. If anything comes up, let me know. Did you need something?
But Milla isn't all business. She is not above being flattered by virtual strangers taking an interest in her.
Oh? You've taken an interest in me?
C'mon, was that really necessary?
But it's true, isn't it? I remember you reacted the same way.
Never mind me!
Ah, good point. I've been pursuing several different leads, but so far none of them has led to reliable information. One thing that does ring true is that the people of Nia Khera are Kresnik's descendants.
According to local legend, Nia Khera was settled by Kresnik's descendants. That's why there's a shrine to Maxwell here, and why the people still practice old-fashioned spirit worship.
If the fracture-dimension Aska was telling the truth about the previous Maxwell...then the schism must have split the ancestors of Kresnik in two.
With some in Elympios and some in Rieze Maxia. But wouldn't such a major event have been recorded in the texts and oral histories?
Good point... It would've been a major historical shift. There must be more to this story.
A phone call. Hope Vera's over that whole "rebel" thing. Maybe she didn't have it in her heart to stop us. Who knows.
DODA here. We've detected a new fractured dimension. The rift is near Nia Khera. We've sent you the coordinates. Please take care of it.
I heard her say Nia Khera. Is it the next fractured dimension?
Maybe they'll know more about Milla Kresnik in the fractured version of Nia Khera?
Jude, you read my mind. Ludger, I want to accompany you on this mission.
Well, that settles it. Off we go. But first, a skit! Drawing attention to something that I'm sure has been weighing on everyone's minds for a while now. I raised Milla's affection with L1 in this scene, but really, there's no great answer here.
So it is...
Look! Ivar's doing weird Ivar-ish stuff again.
He's so weird.
You must be the only chump in the world who still believes in the Four Great Spirits.
Maxwell and the spirits are just a fairy tale invented by grown-ups, you dummy!
Ha! You've proven your own ignorance, fools! Allow me to school you! First of all, this town wouldn't even exist without the efforts of the great spirit channeler Kresnik!
Hooboy, here we go.
Now he's weird and boring. Let's go.
Ipso facto-- Hey! Get back here!
No matter what the dimension, seems Ivar can't get any respect.
Sorry to interrupt your lesson. Do you know about Kresnik, Iva-- Uh, sir?
And who exactly are you?
Just a bunch of mysterious stranger whom you've never seen before, but hey, we're not here to cause trouble.
Ah-ha! Precisely what a troublemaker would say!
We're researchers interested in spirit worship. Would you consider sharing your expertise with us? Please, spare no detail.
You're researching spirit worship?
Correct. In particular the human named Milla Kresnik.
Hmph. How could anyone researching spirit worship not know about Milla Kresnik? But I'm willing to play along, even if you are suspicious. I'll tell you, but just this once.
Thanks, Iv-- Iv-- I've--never felt so grateful.
Jude's just not good at this "playing dumb" thing. He is the earnest type, but still...
Good, your gratitude is noted. Now, Milla Kresnik was the first human to ever summon Lord Maxwell. She was a singing handmaid and the first chief of the Kresnik clan.
A singing handmaid? Huh, how strange.
How dare you! Show some respect!
Milla Kresnik had a wonderful singing voice. It's said she sang with such passion that even Lord Maxwell fell under her spell.
So does that mean this village was founded... By Milla Kresnik herself?
Alas, no. She died young, before Nia Khera was built. The village was founded by a member of her clan.
I see. You've been very helpful.
Of course I have. Don't you know who I am? I am Ivar. Milla Kresnik's successor as handmaid to Lord Maxwell! Preserving and propogating the lore of Lord Maxwell is a handmaid's sworn duty!
Right. Thank you.
Ivar! It's back! Come quick!
The Terror of the Hallowmont? That thing just won't quit!
It gets worse... Apparently, two village kids were seen heading up the Hallowmont.
Anyway, you gotta get over there! I'll be right behind you!
The man and Ivar run off...
The Terror of the Hallowmont? I've never heard of such a thing.
Perhaps it's our divergence catalyst.
Then we're going, too.
Sounds like a plan. There's really nothing to talk about on the way, except you can do a little shopping while you're here in Nia Khera, but I would advise you not buy the Rune Gauntlets at the store. That's because there's a chest on the Hallowmont with those Gauntlets in them, so it'd be a complete waste of money. I hate when games do that.
And here they are. They're in the second area, just past the first set of the vines you have to climb up to proceed, in a small side area you have to crawl to get to. Moving on to the summit...
Terror of the Hallowmont
I wanna go home.
No need to cry! I will save you! Trust me. As handmaid to Lord Maxwell, it is my duty to protect you!
You fools! Why would you come here?
Aren't those the Four Great Spirits?
Well done. We'll take it from here, Ivar. Ready?!
Oh god, not this shit again. Well, it IS this shit again. Remember Exoplasma? Same deal here, but at least it's not *as* hard as the purple apocalypse was. In addition, the "prime" one here is weak to Slash, so that's at least one vulnerability you can exploit easily.
Once again, I would advise you primarily focus attacks on the big guy, as you will catch the others in the crossfire, or your AI pals will go after them and at least keep them busy. Of course, you also have the Chromatus to do extra damage when necessary. All in all, if you beat Exoplasma, you should know how to make round 2 work for you.
Wait, hold on... Is it... Is it really you?
I'm sorry. I did not mean to deceive you.
It is! Lord Maxwell! Forgive my insolence, my lord! Please, allow me to serve at your side from now on! I beg of you.
Half of the story
Well, I'm sure Milla understands R1 perfectly by this point, so let's check up on her AND raise her affection.
I'm fine. I knew that was coming. Don't worry about me. No point in you getting depressed over it. Anyway, it's obvious that something soured the relationship...between Milla Kresnik and my predecessor.
I just wish we could ask the previous Maxwell directly. But I suppose that's easier said than done.
Humans say they never appreciate their parents until they're gone. I'm beginning to see their point.
I'm not so sure that applies here.
Oh Milla. We just don't know what to do with you. Still, be nice to speak with Maxy Boy again, eh? I suppose we'll just have to leave things at that...
Next update is going to be...interesting. Stay tuned!
Update 29 alternate scene compilation