Part 17: Update XVI - The Protagonist ShuffleUpdate XVI - The Protagonist Shuffle
♪ BGM: The Cave You Think It Is - horror46.mid ♫
Alright, so let's check this entirely new cave out.
Attempts to avoid fighting don't exactly go well, as I run into the very first monster I see.
Combat with Nyria is pretty straight forward.
She can attack normally...
...and she has her throwing knives, which have a chance of instantly killing an enemy. I'll actually go on to mainly use this skill, because it doesn't cost any MP and has a good success rate against normal enemies. Also, I'm really liking Nyria's choice of fashion here. Hot pants and thigh high boots are top class.
What is this?
We find this thing in a chest. These stones might end up being like the stones in the first game, where they can be used at a shrine to boost stats. This will be worth holding on to.
We also run into some more of these flower things, a stronger variant of those we fought with Asgar. They're not that much of a problem though, because Nyria is a lot stronger than Asgar is right now.
And, well, speak of the devil.
Who are you? And... what are you doing here?
What I'm doing here?
I'm... mourning my... friends.
Why in this cave? And what's with those... statues over there?
THESE are my... friends!
What... happened to them?
I could ask YOU the same.
You're bleeding! Hmmmmm...
Yeah, I... have been injured. Somebody is trying to find me, and I have to get to a certain person. Maybe that person can help your friends, as well...
(That just now has saved her life...)
You mean you know someone who can free these two from the spell?
Perhaps. The Clan of Holy Warriors knows a lot of mages. Surely, one of them can help you.
(Clan of Holy Warriors? Sounds like a bunch of real idiots. But what else can you expect from humans, hehehe...)
But why are you doing this?
What do you mean?
Helping me. I might be the epitome of evil...
I don't believe so. You're not looking very malicious.
(Hehe, I always knew that I can sway any woman... so far, none of them could resist my fangs, HARHAR!)
Furthermore, I've sworn to help every person in need. That is my code.
What a commendable attitude!
(I hope I NEVER have to say something like that ever again...)
But I can help you, too. Here's a healing potion, it should be able to ease your pain for now!
You're helping me, too, after all. (Also, the sight of her blood also made me insane from hunger!)
Are you all right?
Everything's fine. We should get to the person you mentioned who can help me.
I need to get to the castle west from here. That's where we can find another castle of the Clan of Holy Warriors. I'm sure they can help you when it comes to your petrified friends.
I hope so...
And thus, Nyria and Asgar unite, as Nyria proves that she is an incredibly bad judge of character.
Although, maybe I should only save Alaine...
More useful items found in secrets. This is going on our main spellcaster once we, like, actually get a decent party together.
♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid ♫
And we then exit the cave by going out to the southwest.
Asgar takes damage from walking over the desert. This was also in the first game - we could buy sun blocking coats that helped with that, but we don't have that available to us right now.
The castle we want to go to isn't far off, anyway.
♪ BGM: Castle Johlar - daggerf10.mid ♫
This is another one of those tracks that I know from *somewhere*, but I'll be damned if I can place it. I thought that it might be from the Daggerfall soundtrack, given the filename, but I had a listen to that, and it wasn't from there. I recognized like ten other tracks that I've heard in assorted RPG Maker games, but not this one.
And here, someone can help me?
We will see. But first, I have to give a report of what happened!
Let's go inside...
Um, I'd rather wait here. I... want to enjoy the air a little bit.
Hmmm... all right, perhaps it's better this way. Strangers aren't welcome. I'm sure I will have trouble getting in myself. I will ask for a solution to your problem, and then I'll come back.
I will be here. Hurry...
And Nyria leaves for the castle.
(Somehow, I have this uneasy feeling here. It's best if I don't attract attention until I have all my power back.)
My name is Nyria! Let me through! I have an important message!
Everyone can say that! Why should we believe you?
I am one of you!
Nyria, you're alive!
I'm glad to see you well! I was about to assemble a troop of soldiers in order to search for you!
OK, so, I need to point something out, because I just noticed this, and it's freaking me the fuck out. So, take a look at Nyria's headshot in that image up there, then look at the one in the image when we first made it to Castle Johlar. Do you notice a difference between the two apart from Nyria's expression? Well, check under her right eye. What you see in the more recent image is not a speck of dirt on your screen, it's actually a beauty mark or mole or whatever. Basically, every picture of Nyria that isn't the standard blank expression has this beauty mark, and it's because of this:
This is gold.png. I don't know where this comes from, but this is an asset you see popping up in a lot of RPG Maker games in some way, shape or form. In the two VD games alone, we've seen:
- Row 1, column 2: The not-Vincent Weynard that showed up in one of the evil endings in VD1 - except with blond hair. He's recolored here because that face is going to show up in this game with black hair. That's not really a spoiler, given that the fact that he has black hair means absolutely nothing.
- Row 1, column 3: Asmos.
- Row 2, column 2: Nyria, in adult form. Also Johanna Aires in VD1.
- Row 3, column 1: Nyria's mother.
- Row 3, column 3: Nyria, in teenage form.
- Row 4, column 3: The artist we got into Shannar in VD1.
This is blond_expressions.png. This was made by "Flameside", as so helpfully indicated by the text placed on the image. What I think happened is that Flameside put a beauty mark on these headshots to mark them in a way that allows him to claim that he made them - because honestly, you don't notice these at all. In a 48x48 image, the beauty mark makes up three whole fucking pixels.
Spot the difference. And it turns out, even Marlex didn't notice this at all, because he just gleefully used the neutral headshot from gold.png whenever he needed it and completely ignored that blond_expressions.png has the same expression too, leading to an incredibly bizarre disconnect where there's this disappearing and reappearing beauty mark. Aaaanyway, back to the ongoing plot.
So you managed to escape!
Yes, thanks to your brave act. I guess I owe you my life!
It seems you also escaped to this place!
Yes, I know a few secret passages through the mountains that can serve as a shortcut between the two castles! So you followed my advice.
"If there are any problems, please notify the castle in the west immediately." Those were your words...
I was hoping you would remember them. But I was fearing the worst...
Who were those men? Why did they want the castle?
Come with me. I think it is time for you to meet our leader. He will explain everything to you. I have already told him about you and your brave actions.
Well then, let's go...
OK, either put a space between "my" and "lady" or make it "milady". There are two ways to do it right, and you failed at both.
It's fine. You were just doing your job.
We have to go up one of the corner towers, and then to the center of the castle.
As you say.
All he did was make the food!
Their act will not go unpunished! We will avenge him!
You should make pig feed of those Elras! Oh, how I hate them!
VENGEANCE FOR THE CHEF!
We then head up to the towers.
Oh yes, they will!
No time for loafing around!
Easier said than done! *yaaaawn*
Calm down, without a reasonable plan, we won't succeed!
I really wanna smash those Elras assholes!
Well, if you swing that way...
At least we have already been warned now. They can't surprise us anymore!
Hm, at least there's that...
Let's go and progress the plot.
Ah, there you are, I just wanted to speak with you. Who is that by your side?
My name is Nyria Erys, sir.
She was the one I wanted to search for.
As I can see, you made your way here on your own. Very good. I thank you for saving Asmos's life. It would have been a great loss if he had died...
As were all the other brave soldiers.
These cursed Elras! If only we had destroyed them completely back then!
Who ARE the Elras?
Very well, since you seem to have joined our cause, I am going to tell you. About 50 years ago, a mage founded a secret union. He called them Elras; therefore all members called themselves Elras Mages. The purpose of the Elras was the creation of the most powerful spells any human had ever seen. For years, they have studied the arcane arts and invented one new spell after another. But a few brave knights recognized the insane intentions of the Elras and began fighting them, in order to stop them from attaining too much power. The Elras themselves claimed they were the saviors of humanity, but in reality, they planned the total subjugation of all life in this world. But the knights realized they were too few at that moment to stand a chance against Elras, and founded the Clan of Holy Warriors. Our clan. We've been fighting the Elras for decades, trying to stop the Elras from completing a spell that allows them to subjugate the entire world. Long battles with bloody outcomes were the results. In order to hide their goods and their knowledge, they created magical treasure chests and hid them all over the world, so that we could never get our hands on them. they locked those chests with a spell, allowing only those people with a high enough intellect to open them.
Hey, we remember those!
And as sad as it sounds, we are warriors, and we are unable to keep up with the mental abilities of the Elras. Therefore, the content of those chests truly was protected against us. The chests have a red color, so if you ever find one, don't get your hopes up of ever being able to open them. At any rate, the battle between us and the Elras lasted decades, until one day...
♪ BGM: The Dark Lord Exdea- ...Elras - death.mid ♫
This won't be the only time we run into Final Fantasy V in this game. That's one of those games where there won't be any uncertainty on my part when it comes to spotting things from it. Love that game.
I'm about to carve the last remaining lines into the stone tablet! This will allow us to make this world our own!
Excellent! At last, our time has come! Just a few more moments!
Who dares disturb us!?
You will never finish this spell!
That's what YOU think! WE see things differently! Run and we will spare you.
Some Elras dudes get fucked up, and some knights get fucked up.
I'd like to GIF some of this, but alas, I can't because compression doesn't work with the rain and the flashing of lighting.
And then the leader gets killed too.
We did it! They are dead! Now we have to destroy this stone tablet and hide its pieces in a safe place! So that this spell may never be cast!
♪ BGM: Castle Johlar - daggerf10.mid ♫
The tablet had been broken up into 9 pieces and brought to our castles. Unfortunately, back then, we thought killing the leader would mean the end of the Elras. That's why we didn't pursue the remaining Elras. But we kept this a secret. Only the highest of our leaders were told of that. Everyone else thought the Elras were completely destroyed. After all, we had destroyed the stone tablet. And now, we're here and keep the pieces safe. Yes, that is how it happened...
I said THAT is how it happened, Asmos. No arguments!
Hm. Suspicious. That doesn't look like the scene I remember from the intro either.
Yes, Sir Aaron.
Let's carry on and discuss our plan. We will retake the castle!
It was a blood bath! We need to be careful!
We? You want to fight, too? You are a woman!
So? I am strong! Stronger than most men!
Sir Aaron, she saved me! I think she is capable of fighting!
Hmmmm... very well, but don't confuse our soldiers! We very rarely have any women in our castles!
(That explains the look on most of their faces...)
At any rate, I will mobilize our men!
Yes, do that. But I will have more warriors sent from overseas! Just to be safe. And we can't let Castle Johlar be undefended!
Yes, Sir Aaron.
That would be all. I have to plan for a counter attack, you prepare the men.
Very well. Come, Nyria, we're going...
Um, just one more question, sir!
Do you know of a spell to dispel petrification, by any chance?
Petrification? I have never heard of that. Hm, but surely, the old Alyda must know. She lives alone in her tower south from here.
She's living alone in a tower?
Yes, back then, she was a strong warrior, but our clan was not able to accept her. It was simply impossible to allow the men to expose themselves to their appetence caused by a woman.
New theory: The reason vampires are superior to humans in this world is because they don't have to constantly think with their dicks anymore, as it seems to be a compulsory.
Frustrated, she started an apprenticeship under a mage who taught her the arcane magics. She was good; very good, in fact. Her magical abilities were almost even better than her combat skills.
A mage teaching a warrior?
I know it sounds weird. But that mage was... well... very, very lonely... you see...
Case in point.
All right. Thanks for the information!
Very well, now I really have to take care of some other things!
We'll talk later. Well then, Nyria.
Not foreshadowing or mysterious at all.
I'm helping somebody who helped me...
You should be careful. Not every... friend is really a friend.
Spare me your lecturing! I'm not stupid!
No, that's not what I was trying to say... I'm sorry.
The tower will be guarded by powerful creatures, though; you should tell that person.
All right, thanks.
I'll take care of the men now.
I'll be right back.
And Asmos heads out.
I should bring him the message now. It's already late. I hope he's still there...
Anyway, we could explore the castle and talk to people. However, that would basically be a dozen variants of people trying to hit on Nyria, so let's not bother.
Apparently, there's a sorceress south from here living in a tower. She may be able to help you. Her name is Alyda.
Thank you! I hope this Alyda can really help me...
I suppose this makes us even. Oh, and the tower is supposedly filled with monsters, so be careful!
Nothing I wouldn't be able to handle.
Well then, good luck!
I'll be going now...
And then Asgar walks into Nyria to allow the game to switch our player character back to Asgar. Then Nyria leaves again.
Well, off to the tower.
And off we go! Next time, we'll be exploring the tower and running into some... issues.