Part 64: Update XLVIII - Plot Dump ExtraordinaireUpdate XLVIII - Plot Dump Extraordinaire
♪ BGM: Bad Night Story - vamp9.mid ♫
Sometimes, when you are able to frame-by-frame the footage, you can see some fun things. This is what the grandpa scene looks like before the pictures that make the effects happen and the sprite change for our main character have set in. Anyway, on to the update.
How did it get into the river in the first place?
This question will get answered eventually, Simon. At any rate, Alaine had now taken the risk and tried to find her way to Vincent into the Crimson Realm, in order to draw out information that were, firstly, obviously supposed to help the three of them to fight against the Elras, and, secondly, were supposed to reveal something about Alaine's past.
But neither of these two things were successful. She was able to find out only a little bit about her past. And they still didn't have a way to fight the Elras.
Looking at it like that, you're right. But Alaine was witnessing an incident that is going to be important, and that will give those three an answer to a few unresolved questions.
The disappearance of the Blood Spirits?
Exactly. One after another, the Blood Spirits disappeared from the Crimson Realm. It got emptier and emptier, until there were basically no more Blood Spirits left in the end.
And where did they go?
Slow down, Simon. I don't want to jump ahead just yet.
But it seemed like the conflict between Asgar and Valnar was escalating further. I guess they really couldn't stand each other anymore.
Yes, for the two of them, the presence of the other gets more and more unbearable. Especially now that both of them made it unmistakably clear that both of them want Alaine.
And who does Alaine want?
Alaine is a bit torn between the two, but she still loves Valnar. Because she noticed that Asgar has no high opinion of the humans, and that Valnar has shown her a way that she likes considerably more. A life WITH the humans in harmony.
Hm, fine. But it seems that Jinnai was playing quite a double game. First, he helps the three of them. Then he suddenly showed up at the temple where Nyria was, and where he's treated like a prophet.
Yes, but why could he have ordered them to activate the magical barriers?
Hmmm, I really have absolutely no idea. Apparently, he didn't want for Valnar and the others to get their hands on the stone fragments.
Hehe, I see that I have thrown you off once again. How about I just continue the story now? Little by little, everything will get resolved...
Well then, Grandpa! Continue!
So, after Alaine told the other two about her experiences in the Crimson Realm, they planned their next move. Although, Alaine suspected, but did not know, that the situation between Valnar and Asgar was getting worse and worse...
♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid ♫
But we don't know how it got into the river!
What worries me much more, though, is the disappearing of the Blood Spirits!
I have no explanation for that. Where did they go? Who is responsible for that?
And why did Jinnai not want us to go to Asran? We didn't find anything that has any kind of relation to him, right?
Hm, no, maybe there was something we overlooked?
Or maybe we're just being paranoid. Maybe he really just wanted to help us. And he never wanted to prevent us from going to Asran. That's something we could have just simply misunderstood, right?
Well, I don't know...
Well, since we are currently in battle against the Elras, perhaps we should get some more information about the history of the Elras. So far, the only thing I know is that they fought fiercely against Pharaoh Ustra. Whether Pharaoh Ustra was very philanthropic is something to be questioned, though. His name wasn't Valnar, after all...
Save your stupid remarks. At least I'm proud of that. That shows me that I'm not just some kind of brainless monster...
So, what now!?
I guess Asgar's right as far as one thing goes. We need more information about the Elras. And about Pharaoh Ustra, too. Perhaps we can find out how he fought against the Elras. And perhaps we can fight in the same way against them, too.
Here is my sabre, and I also have magic. I don't need Ustra.
Oh, you possess magic that is comparable to the one of Pharaoh Ustra? I think not. Just look at us, what kind of terribly weak vampires we are!
I hate to be wrong, but you're right. We are weak...
We need the spell book of the Elras! Then we can fight them with their own weapons!
That book was way too empty. There were a lot of pages missing. And with them, a lot of spells...
Why were the pages missing in the first place, anyway?
You probably got hungry in the middle of the night for a big pile of moldered paper, and you decided to munch on the helpless book. Was it at least tasty?
But the pages were already missing when we found it at Vincent's place.
You think he tore them out himself? But why?
All these guessing games are getting us nowhere. If we want to find out more about Ustra, we need to talk to someone who has some sort of information about these things.
But where are we supposed to find someone like that? Who even knows Pharaoh Ustra in this world?
Well, spontaneously, I would give it a try in one of the desert towns... Pharaoh Ustra had a pyramid somewhere deep in the desert, after all. If it still stands, someone of the desert folk should know where we can find it.
What do you want inside the pyramid!? There were only scorpions and Pharaoh Ustra himself, whom we had slayed.
Hm, now that I think about it, somehow it was a little bit too easy, considering he was able to fight hundreds of Elras...
Well, without me, you wouldn't have defeated him.
But at least, we did find the demon summoning spell down there back then. Maybe we can find a few more spells there that might be useful for us.
All right, then let's see if we can find out where Ustra's pyramid is. If it still exists, that is... or if it got swallowed by the earth, as many other things.
Well then, let's go.
And since we're speaking about it anyway, let's take one of the Elras leaders and squeeze them out. I'm assuming we can get some piece of information out that way.
And after that glob of dialogue, we're off!
And by "we're off" I mean that we're going to be going right back into a glob of dialogue, because this is where we basically break the pacing for a bit. It's obvious you were not intended to have already conquered all the castles at this point, given that the whole "what's going on with the Blood Spirits" thing was posited as a big mystery, and now we're just going to find out the answer to it right afterwards. Spoilers: The Elras are involved. I don't think anybody is surprised. So, anyway, off to the torturing chamber.
So basically, the last time we tortured Raron successfully and got nothing for it, that was basically because we hadn't flipped the switch yet that allows us to see this scene.
You sordid vampires! You are way too late, you fools!
Way too late for what?
Ghadar is already making preparations for our victory!
Your victory? You are currently lying here, getting tortured, and we are getting one stone fragment after another.
You really are fools! He's currently providing the power necessary to be able to activate the stone tablet. Why do you think we, the Elras, have created you vampires? You are nothing but our servants!
Wait a second, you Elras have created the vampires? I thought it was Vincent Weynard!?
HARHARHAR, you are truly endowed with an unbelievable mental imbecility.
Just carry on like this and I'm going to lose myself and keep this lever pressed!
Haven't you asked yourself why Vincent Weynard wanted to become high priest so badly? He was a servant of the Elras! And after our miserable defeat against Ustra, our most powerful magical device fell into the hands of the humans. Into the hands of the church, to be more accurate. The church had built a town over the hideout where said machine was located. They called the town Asran. What a paltry name.
We were in Asran, but we didn't find any device.
Hehehehe... not only are you mentally challenged, you are also blind!
Just one small hand motion, and you will suffer endless pain!
Just think about it closely, you fools! As a high priest, Vincent would finally have access to that device. To OUR device. The church didn't know how to use it, but they assumed our machine to be some kind of powerful artifact that was only waiting to be activated with the proper commands. But the stupid humans with their glorified beliefs were of course never able to activate the device. But as power-hungry as they were, of course the church kept the device a secret, so that only strictly selected people were ever able to see it. One of those people was the high priest. And while Vincent was blinding the people through his mendacious Holy Crusade, he slowly but surely rose to the rank of a high priest.
But he already was down there in the vault under Asran long before he even became high priest!
Hehe, correct. Back then, he wasn't under our control yet, so I don't know how he found out about that vault, but it seemed that he either knew of the device, or he was secretly looking for it, or that it was even a happy coincidence that he found the very same vault. But only with the rank of a high priest would he have the right by the church to see the device. If the church had ever found him there, they would have exterminated him quickly.
When we encountered Vincent, he had already spent many years in that dungeon. It didn't seem like the device granted him a lot of power. He was a worm that we crushed with ease...
Well, unfortunately, you took him out before he was able to complete the second phase.
Second phase? And what was the first one?
Pfff, why should I tell you even more if you won't understand it anyway...
All right, you won't be able to stop us anymore anyway. You can't kill me. And it is only a matter of time until Ghadar gets me out of here and devours your Blood Spirits!
Blah, blah, blah... so, what was the first phase?
I've already told you that. Vincent needed to become high priest in order to get access to the magical device.
And the second phase?
Why do you think vampires even exist, hm? You are the perfect servants! Maybe a little wayward, but under our control, you are simply suited perfectly to demonstrate humanity our power.
Yes, the thing about perfect hosts was something we were able to figure out on our own. Your Shadow Wraiths are only able to move from one body to the next after your previous host has died. But since vampires are already dead, you can freely jump from one vampire to the next.
Ah, I can see that at least the pretty vampire lady didn't fall on her head.
And if you use a vampire as a host, you can use their power for your own spells...
But what does all this have to do with that ominous device under Asran?
And where under Asran is it exactly, anyway?
Well, you had inevitably already found it. Remember the great holes in the ground...
THAT was the device?
And what can you do with it? What do you need it for?
If you let me go, perhaps I'm going to tell you...
As soon as I activate this lever a few times, you're definitely going to tell us...
It will be a pleasure for me to absorb your Blood Spirits as soon as Ghadar gets his hands on you!
Absorb our Blood Spirits? How?
When you die, and you will, then you will suffer unending agony in the Crimson Realm.
That's not exactly news to us...
But contrary to the rumors, that will not be your end. Because that's when we Elras become really interested in you. With the help of the device in Asran, we can "drain" your precious Blood Spirits from the Crimson Realm.
What is that supposed to mean? What do you mean, "drain"?
We are turning them into something like a pure soul concentrate. Perfect for using our magic. Because as you know, for every spell we use, we need souls or something that can compensate for souls. Like special blood or such things. But souls are still the best. Oh, yes... sweet, tender souls. And once concentrated, they are even better for us to use.
But why Blood Spirits of all things? Aren't the souls of normal mortals enough for you?
You disappoint me. I thought at least YOU had figured it out...
Come on, talk already! Asgar, the lever...
All right, all right. Now just think about it carefully. What happens when you kill a human?
We absorb their soul.
Isn't that wonderful? Yes, I must say, Ghadar has really outdone himself with you. What a unique and marvelous perfection... with every soul you absorb, your Blood Spirit becomes stronger and stronger.
Oh, no! That's what the Holy Crusade was for! After the vampires had absorbed the souls of their victims, Vincent showed up and killed them one after the other. Their Blood Spirits got sent to the Crimson Realm, where they were only waiting to be used by the Elras and their terrifying device!
HARHARHARHAR! You've got it! You are nothing but servants. Harvest helpers also describes it very well, actually. You're collecting the souls of humans and animals, and when your Blood Spirits are fat and juicy, you come to the slaughterhouse. And with the help of the device in Asran, we refine your Blood Spirits. HARHARHARHARHARHAR!
That is really repulsive!
No, that's genius! And while we're talking here, Ghadar is currently busy with sucking dry the Crimson Realm with the help of the device!
So that is what I saw in the Crimson Realm! The Blood Spirits were being drained! And Vincent Weynard's Blood Spirit was among them, too!
He's done his part! His Blood Spirit, too, is ready for harvest!
We have to stop that Ghadar!
Don't bother, it's already way too late for that. The device seals the entrance to the dungeon through an absolutely impenetrable magical method!
That's true, by the way. If we go to Asran, the entrance is just gone.
The easiest thing for you to do now is wait in this castle for your execution! When Ghadar has absorbed the Blood Spirits, he will have the power to activate the stone tablet. And when that happens, you will wish you were in the Crimson Realm instead. You would be better off there than what is going to happen to you when we are done with you, you wretched worms!
He's passed out...
Well, that was a massive blob of text again. However, that's not the end of this scene!
♪ BGM: The Dark Lord Exdea- ...Elras - death.mid ♫
Instead, we cut to Jayna hard at work in the dungeons of Asran.
And another one... how wonderful! Come to me, my delicious Blood Spirits! Come and give me your power!
Blood Spirits keep coming through the device as Jayna laughs.
Eventually, the screen shaking and the Blood Spirits stop.
Hm, is it already over?
And their refined yield will grant me the power to use the stone tablet! The concentrated strength of hundreds of Blood Spirits... finally!
Jayna absorbs the orb, and we fade to black.
Now, let's take this moment to give a bit of a recap to the Elras' plan, because I think it bears recapping. As a disclaimer, I genuinely don't remember half of this game's plot, so while I might know a bit more than you, I'm also quite clueless. I choose to stay largely clueless because it's more fun that way. From what I can tell from this point, the Elras' general plan goes something like this:
1) Make stone tablet
2) Kill Pharaoh Ustra
3) Cast spell from stone tablet
4) Global domination!
However, this plan was derailed at number 2. So, instead...
2a) Get killed by Pharaoh Ustra
3) Get banished by Pharaoh Ustra into the spellbook
We know this happens from a scene where we tortured an Elras mage and he told us of Ustra saying he had the Elras leaders banished into the book.
5) Spellbook ends up in Vincent Weynard's possession
6) Shadow Wraith possessses Weynard after he casts the curse on Alaine
7) Shadow Wraith casts a whole bunch of spells, creating monsters and vampires, which kill humans and monsters, collecting souls in the process
8) Shadow Wraith uses Weynard to run the Holy Crusade and send a whole bunch of Blood Spirits to the Crimson Realm
9) Shadow Wraith uses Weynard to harvest the Blood Spirits from the Crimson Realm
At this point, the plan becomes unclear because it gets derailed with our gang killing Weynard before that. We can only presume that Weynard would have cast the world shifting spell instead. With the additional surplus of power from the Blood Spirits, the Shadow Wraith could have used Weynard as a host the entire time, gathering all the pieces of the stone tablet and casting the spell with ease - probably. I can only assume that was the plan anyway. However...
9a) Weynard gets killed by Valnar, Alaine and Asgar
10) Shadow Wraith that possessed Weynard then possesses... ????
Here, things are unclear again. At some point during this game, it was said that when Asgar went crazy in VD1, there was no Shadow Wraith involved. This might be true, but also might not. Let's continue with it being left unclear and continue writing down what happens:
11) Shadow Wraith possesses somebody or something
12) Asgar is killed by Valnar and Alaine, the two take the spell book with them, not using it
13) Asgar's blood ghost materializes in the real world and he sends Strife to steal the spell book
14) In using the spell book, the Shadow Wraith that we now know as Ghadar possesses Strife, who is quickly murdered by Asgar
15) Ghadar then possesses Asgar and the plot of the second game is officially kicked off
16) Fuck bitches, get stone tablets, rule world
Now, there's two main questions that I see here.
A) How did the spellbook end up in Weynard's possession? We saw the end of the chain of events, with Alaine stumbling over the book in a river, but that can't be it. The game set this up as a mystery, so it's probably going to be answered.
B) Where did the Shadow Wraith possessing Weynard go? Back into the book? It seems like that would not be possible, since they apparently need to get into a living body of some type, alive or undead. Now, this question assumes one thing: That Marlex actually considered this question back when he made VD1. It could very well just be that Shadow Wraith disappeared into the void of "wasn't considered in the story". So far, we have two greater Elras mages accounted for: Ghadar, who is currently inhabiting Jayna's body, and Gorgoth, who is currently inhabiting Raron's body. And really, Gorgoth's name was a blink-and-miss-it moment too. There doesn't seem to be anybody else mentioned so far, so this might come back to bite us in the ass later, or it might be completely glossed over because Marlex never thought of this when he wrote the plot.
Ah, the wonderful fun times of when you're not sure whether the writer himself thought of something you thought of or not. The line between "important clue" and "unintentional red herring" is so thin sometimes.
♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid ♫
Anyway, with that done, our other lead is Ustra's pyramid, and Erena seems like a pretty good place to try and find something out about it, so let's do it!
♪ BGM: Erena - Erena.mid ♫
Our target in Erena is actually somebody that isn't there before we get this quest, so there's that. But before that...
...we found a topaz somewhere. I think it was in the Elras hideout, but I'm not sure anymore. Regardless, we found it, and now we're handing in that quest.
Yes, here is a beautiful topaz!
You really did it! Thank you so much! Now I can get shaved in order to received the blessing of Ustra! THANK YOU!
1) You're welcome! - 2) It's magical! (Lie)
A lie would get us an extra ice rune, but alas, it needs level 2 of the skill.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I don't have much I can give you, unfortunately, but perhaps these three stones will help you that I found during my long search for a gemstone. The mayor said these aren't gemstones, and therefore useless to me...
Status Rune received! Savestone received!
Thank you very much!
No, I'm the one who has to thank you! Now I can receive Ustra's blessing after all!
19008 Experience Points gained!
And yes, she just gave us two stones. Getting short-changed on my quest rewards here. No respect at all.
Anyway, here's the guy we want.
Well, perhaps you can tell us something about this town and its relation to Pharaoh Ustra.
Ah, so you want to know about our beloved Pharaoh Ustra!
But of course! Pharaoh Ustra is our saint! Our patron saint! We love and worship him! He gives us protection from the Elras rabble! Ustra is our savior! He defended an attack of the Elras against this town and his pyramid by showing us how we must fight. We received many magical weapons that we could use to fight against the Elras! Oh, he is truly sacred! He is our beloved ruler! We do everything he demands us to do!
Hm, was he helping you against the Elras? Or did he rather help himself and he was simply using you all?
How dare you speak so badly of our beloved pharaoh?
Something like that is feasible... he wasn't able to defeat them with his own powers, so he used you because of that.
Never! We were attacked just as much as he was. And he helped us!
But that means that you have actually seen him in the flesh?
But of course! He is a rigorous and just ruler. All those who oppose him get squashed like a cockroach! But those who support him he helps like a friend. He loves us, and we love him!
Okay, so does he show up here regularly, or what?
Well, to be honest, he hasn't appeared for a few years now. Shortly after the last attack of the Elras, he seemed to have withdrawn into his pyramid. He hasn't appeared since then. You know, for a long time, we've been having a blessed day of worship every month. At first, he loved it, he always came here to us, we brought him our best goods and daughters, and he showed us his appreciation by protecting us.
You brought him your daughters!?
Yes, even he was subject to the desires of a man, after all. Despite, or even because he is a pharaoh, it is allowed. We felt safe under his protection. Without him, our daughters would have been doomed for far worse things if the Elras had gotten their hands on them...
Since when were the Elras interested in young girls!?
Our beloved pharaoh always told us what the Elras would have done with our daughters. It was terrible! I would not like to repeat myself! But that way, our daughters were thankful for being able to go to Pharaoh Ustra's pyramid...
Speaking of pyramid, where can we find it?
Leave our beloved pharaoh alone! He needs his peace!
He had disappeared after the great battle against the Elras, apparently. Why do you believe that he's still alive?
Oh no, not this babbling about blasphemy again!
What is that supposed to mean, Asgar?
Oh, man, now that's a callback! All the way back to the very first update of the VD1 LP, in fact!
Now we're inside his dream.
Oh, you'll understand once your blood turns viscous and slimy as it flows through your veins! You'll see that you won't act differently to me at all!
Never! What you want to do is blasphemy in the face of the existence of human life!
Haha! Listen to you, you sound so ridiculous! Blasphemy!
How can you even doubt that he is still alive!? Of course he is! You're speaking of Pharaoh Ustra! Our beloved ruler! He is IMMORTAL!
Everything can die. It is only a matter of HOW.
I don't know what you are talking about! Please leave! Pharaoh Ustra will punish you for your sinful tongue!
Hm, that didn't go so well. Of course, we have other ways to get information.
When will they finally leave? Just how could they speak so badly of our beloved ruler? I hope Pharaoh Ustra sleeps soundly inside his pyramid south from here! I'm praying he didn't hear those filthy thoughts of these people!
(South from here? Excellent!)
Alright, neat! Let's go check that ou-
♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid ♫
Ah. That is a recommended level of 60, and we're currently at 33. OK then, let's put that on the backburner for now. Anyway, I think we've about had enough for one update with all these text dumps. Next time, we facilitate a Christmas miracle! With murder. But before that, we'll be going Behind The Fangs again. What will we be looking at? I don't know! I should really make a list some time, but I just don't and instead make snap decisions because fuck it! I am the most competent and organized LPer there is.