Part 2: The Things I Do For Love
So, last time, we stopped just before Grandpa was about to tell the story of Asgar. Now, let's actually see what his deal is. We fade to black...
...and come back in some sort of jail cell. And now you can see that the vampire in Valnar's dream is in fact Asgar.
Alaine... Alaine, my love... for how long have I known you now? Five short years. And I love you more than ever! I've been coming to this dungeon for five years now, just to admire you. And you haven't spoken a single word. And yet I know that you feel the same way... if only there was a cure for you...
Through you, the human in me becomes stronger! You prevent the animal in me from taking control over me. Your love makes me strong!
Confused man: Oh god! Let me out of here!
Did you say something?
Confused man: ...
(Wretched, filthy human!)
Asgar does not appreciate being interrupted in his swooning and crooning over his beloved. Suddenly, we hear heavy footsteps!
The guard is coming! I'll come back later, my dear!
Asgar uses his vampire magic to turn invisible and just walk straight through the bars as the guard approaches.
Guard: Hey, you disgusting lunatics! You're getting something special to eat today: Nothing! And you better now make any noise, or you'll get it with the whip!
(Some day, that guard is going to pay for that. But now now.)
Asgar leaves the dungeon and we cut to our character exposition room again.
"Alaine is a very young and beautiful lady. And yet fate had it out for her."
"She was found unconscious in a city one day. Nobody knew who she was or where she came from. Nobody knew her name. The people only saw a helpless body on the outskirts of the city. A doctor brought her to his house and started treating her, but it was pointless. Alaine stayed unconscious."
Hm, looks familiar.
"The people began to speak of an illness that would soon spread to all inhabitants of the town. A short time later, she suddenly awoke from her coma. But she couldn't remember a thing. She wasn't even capable of thinking clearly, and was unable to speak at all. The citizens were just as perplexed as the doctor. Her inability to think clearly or talk only validated the citizens in their belief that it must be an illness, and so Alaine was banished from that city. She was brought to Shannar, where she now lives a lonely life in the insane asylum, together with other supposedly sick people whose symptoms are just as inexplicable. Only a necklace with her name on it keeps her from believing that she no longer exists or even ever existed in the first place!"
"Asgar is a vampire. Born 400 years ago, in a time where vampires flooded the land. His parents were killed by vampires, he himself was bitten by one, and now he roams the land, cursed with undeath."
God damnit I don't like this last sentence. The original one is "Seine Eltern wurden von Vampiren getötet, und er selber wurde von einem gebissen, sodass er nun als Untoter verflucht durch das Land streift.". The particular problem I have is with that last bit - more literally, it would come out as "therefore he now roams the land as a cursed undead", I think, but I really dislike the usage of the word "undead" as a noun. Undead is a state, an adjective. In German, it's better because "untot" the adjective and "Untoter/Untote/Untotes" the noun are clearly different, whereas in English it's both just "undead". And I know that "the undead" is used to describe a great mass of zombies or something like that, but still, I'm really not a fan, I think it sounds dumb. It's like how in my Antitribu Mod playthrough in the Vampire: Bloodlines LP, I ran into the usage of "gay" as a noun - like if I said to a gay person that "you are a gay". It's technically correct, but it just sounds strange because the adjective is written the same way. But of course, "undeath" isn't actually a real word used, but "undeadness" just sounds dumb as well. Bah, the curse of being opinionated about language. This has been your "TheMcD bitches about words" for the day.
Oh, by the way, before I forget, I'm also really annoyed about the "verflucht" in that sentence, because it's not clear whether it's the "undeadness" that is the curse, or if he's just cursed in general and also undead. Aaaaaaaanyway...
"On his first day of being a vampire he swore that he would destroy his sire, but he had to put that plan on hold, for it was in that decade that the Holy Crusade against the vampires began. The Crusade was led by the priest Vincent Weynard."
Vincent Weynard, another important name to remember.
"Almost all vampires were destroyed, and the few that survived the Crusade continued their lives in hiding, in fear of another massacre. But time passed, and Vincent Weynard grew older and eventually died. Asgar believed that his time had come and started his quest to destroy his sire and with that avenge his soul. However, so far his search has been unsuccessful. He interrupted it to find a permanent dwelling for himself. He came to an inhabited castle on the top of a mountain. After killing and enslaving the previous inhabitants, he started scouting out the castle's surroundings. One day, he came to Shannar, where he met Alaine. She is ill with no possible cure, can't speak and is often plagued by uncontrollable cramps."
Monument to the time I wrote that Alaine was plagued by "uncontrollable craps" and it took me way longer than it should have for me to notice it. I also laughed a lot more than I should have.
"Overwhelmed by her beauty, the last bit of humanity left in him grew stronger, and in an unusual twist, he fell in love with her. From that time on he regularly visits her in her jail and searches for a cure for her illness. On his rebirth as a vampire, Asgar gained the dark power of transforming into a shadow, becoming invisible to all living beings. Furthermore, as a shadow he can pass through solid objects, allowing him to reach any place."
Alright, so that's what the game has to say about Asgar. Here's what I have to say about Asgar: Asgar doesn't give a fuck. He is an evil motherfucker, but he's not evil with a plan, like Wahnfried from Unterwegs in Düsterburg. Wahnfried has a command structure and a clearly organized hierarchy with which he runs his domain with an iron fist. Asgar has a hierarchy that consists of "me" at the top and "all you other shitheads" at the bottom. If Asgar wants it, it's only a matter of time before he gets it, he doesn't give a damn how many corpses line the way there, and he'll kill every last motherfucker in his way personally. And this introduction chapter will be showing that off as well. For now, we're now out of the dungeon, the sun is shining, the chickens are clucking (a bit too much for my tastes, those are some noisy fucking chickens) and I shit you not, a MIDI version of "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams is playing. Good lord. Let's go and talk to some people.
Woman: You've really got to feel sorry for those guys down in the asylum!
Locked up simply for being different to us.
Woman: Well, they are a bit crazy, too.
(If this bitch calls my love "crazy" one more time, then may god have mercy on her soul!)
Woman: Life is so nice and peaceful here!
Peaceful? I guess. (You shitty humans don't have a damn clue what peace actually is!)
By the way, I'm not pulling a fantranslation thing with the swearing here, even though I personally fucking love swearing. Asgar is just a massive pottymouth.
Man: I'm glad our village is on this far-off island. That way we can stay out of the commotion going on in the rest of the world!
(If you only knew what could happen to you here...)
Man: Today is a great day, don't you think?
Well, I'd say there's a bit too much sunshine.
You might be noticing some patterns emerging, particularly on how Asgar feels about humans. Let's start barging into houses now.
Woman: Welcome to the mayor's house! The mayor is on the first floor!
Is he busy right now?
Woman: No, but you need to make an appointment!
Appointment? But I have to see him now!
Woman: Alright, then just go on up to him!
Man: Behave yourself in this noble house!
Alright! I won't destroy anything! (As long as the mayor lets Alaine go free today!)
More people to talk to up on the first floor.
Mayor's wife: Welcome to the mayor's house!
Hello. Is he here right now?
Mayor's wife: You're in luck! He's sitting at his desk right now!
Mayor's daughter: What are you doing here? My daddy is the mayor and doesn't deal with people like you!
(Cocky little bitch!)
Asgar gives no shits if you're a kid, he'll call you a bitch anyway.
Mayor: You again!
Yes, mayor! Me again.
Mayor: Listen to me, I have absolutely no intentions of releasing these lunatics from their jail! And your lady love is clearly deranged! She won't talk with anybody, has constant strong cramps and doesn't look very healthy in general either.
Don't talk about Alaine that way! Listen, mayor! I'm starting to lose my patience. This is the third time I've come to you, the last time being half a year ago! And you still haven't gotten any smarter! (So far, I've shown clemency to you and your village because I thought you disgusting fatass would eventually listen to reason and let her go. Normally I try to leave you humans alone as much as possible. But apparently you have no idea just who you're provoking with your behavior!) Mayor! Let Alaine go. I don't care about any of the others.
Mayor: No! She might be sick and could be spreading her illness all around town! I can't risk the lives of the honorable citizens of my village!
Alright, mayor! You asked for it. I will leave. But I'm warning you: You have summoned a great disaster!
Oh dear, that doesn't sound good. We head back down to the ground floor.
(Alright. If that's the way he wants it... I'll fly back to my castle, and after I've regained my strength, I'll satisfy my thirst with him, and not only him, but this entire village!)
Not so fast, Asgar! You can wipe this village off the map later, but we still have houses to barge into!
Artist: Welcome to my humble studio! What can I do for you?
Well, nothing, really. I don't know why I came in here, either.
Artist: That's a shame. But if you ever need a professional portrait done, just come back here!
Above: A realistic RPG character dialogue. "Why are you here?" "The voice in my head ordered me to come in here and now it just left me out to dry."
Woman: Oh, what brings you to this house?
Umm, I'm just looking around.
Woman: Hm, well, don't touch anything, or I'll call my husband!
Man of the house: Whatever, is that you? ... Excuse me, "Whatever" is my wife's nickname. She wanted to make something to eat.
("Whatever"? You stinking humans just keep getting stranger!)
More pretty blatant community cameos. There's one coming up that I actually thought was kind of cute, though. On to new houses!
Sir Kedrigh: Hey, what are you doing here? Get out of here! I didn't ask you to come in!
(Arrogant human vermin!)
Woman: Hm, unfortunately I have to ask you to leave! We don't like people that just barge into others' houses!
Alright, I'm leaving. (Hospitality a foreign word to you, you disgusting humans?)
We pilfer some painkillers from that room, then head upstairs.
Girl: Hello! Do you want to play with me?
Play? HARHARHAR! (Oh, I'd just LOVE to play with you!)
Girl: (What a rude guy!)
The great thing about Asgar is that that line isn't even remotely creepy because you know he's just thinking about murdering her, just like with any other human. That's just par for the course for him.
Old man: ...c o u g h... ...c o u g h... Oh, old age is going to kill me!
(It's not just old age that's deadly, you old fart!)
I love this guy.
As we walk around town, it starts raining - there's weather effects that occasionally show up. Also, if you're paying close attention to the screenshots, you'll note that it's getting darker too - this game has a day/night cycle too! That's pretty impressive for a RPG Maker 2000 game!
Woman: Hello! Do you want to stay the night?
No thanks, I'm not tired! (And how does this woman get the idea that I want to stay the night here? This tavern is absolutely disgusting!)
To be fair, you did walk into an inn in an RPG and talk to the woman at the counter. The only thing they're good for is sleeping.
Woman: Hello! Do you by any chance know how I can get to the mainland on the cheap?
No, apart from taking a ship, I don't believe there is any other way!
Woman: Damn! I spent my last money on staying here!
Woman: Come and warm yourself with this wonderful fire! You look cold!
Thanks for the offer, but I don't have any time right now.
Woman: As you wish. But don't say I didn't warn you when you get a cold!
(A cold? HARHAR! I haven't been sick in centuries, HUMAN!)
That's everything in this town, so let's head out and get to Asgar's castle.
Tomorrow you're all going to die!
Asgar then transforms into a bat...
...and flies to his castle.
Hm, also looks kind of familiar.
He flies over a pretty massive-looking map and eventually settles down on one of the roofs.
Now I'll go and sleep in my crypt...
Alright, let's check out Asgar's big-ass castle a bit.
Oh hey, a minotaur! This guy is named Ronak, and he's not that smart.
Master, you're back!
As you can see, yes, I am!
Master, I put your favorite books in that shelf back there! You keep forgetting to put them back after you've read them!
Alright, Ronak. Now, go and get my coffin ready, I'm going to sleep a bit.
As you wish, Master! I'll hurry!
Ronak walks a bit, then stops.
What is it!?
Where was your crypt again?
You no-good worm!
Master, please, have mercy! Please don't hit me again!
Alright. But how many times have I explained the way to you now? So, you go to the right, then down the stairs, then to the left, then down the stairs again. Then you head outside and go into the inner building of the castle! Then you go straight on to my crypt!
Yes, Master! I'll hurry!
Again, Ronak walks a bit, then stops.
Master, I forgot it again!
Oh, forget it! Just clean up here!
(I should probably take a look at that shelf. Who knows what he put there!)
That's probably a good idea. We also find a healing potion in a barrel, which is incredibly overpowered for right now - it heals like 300 HP versus the 60 Asgar has now.
Here's some of my favorite books: "Dark Shadows", "SOM", as well as my diary, which I haven't used in a long time... hm, unfortunately, the password for the entrance to my crypt is still here too...
"The Fire Sweeps over My Life". I should probably destroy that book soon, just in case...
I'm not sure what "SOM" is, but "Dark Shadows", i.E. "Dunkle Schatten", is the first RPG Maker game that Marlex made. Maybe I'll play that between VD1 and VD2, or maybe not. I honestly can't remember whether it was interesting or not.
Alright, so we head to the right, and down the stairs, and... at that point, I also ended up forgetting the directions. So of course I go down, not left like I should. It's the scenic route!
Master, you should create more servants!
Hm, you might be right. There are too few guards here... but who would dare to infiltrate my castle? Especially since hardly anybody knows that I'm now running this place!
While bopping around, we also pick up a talisman, which is an equippable item that protects against Curse, which I think is another status effect, but not sure what it is. We also find a bandage, which heals a slight bit and heals the status effect Bleeding, which I believe is essentially just stronger Poison. Again, we'll see more about that later in the update once we get into our first fight.
Also, I take the time to check out Asgar's skills. He can raise a skeleton, which is a skill that gives us a temporary extra party member, he can pre-emptively kill off the raised skeleton, he can turn into a wolf for a limited amount of time, which I'm not quite sure what exactly the gain from that is, he can pre-emptively end the transformation, and finally, he can suck blood, which is a battle skill.
He also has a simple sabre ("A simple, cheap sabre (+4 ATTACK)") and some iron armor ("A set of armor made from good iron (+6 DEFENSE, -2 AGILITY)") equipped.
There's books about love and hate in here... though I find love-hate to be something special as well...
I've hidden a little bit of something here, but I don't need it right now...
So I guess I'll be checking that every time a new bit of story passes by.
Here we have some books about murder and slaughter! I'll have to read those soon!
"Mord und Totschlag" is an expression in German that generally means something along the lines of "a really big kerfluffle". For instance, when you go to a Thanksgiving party and your racist uncle gets into an argument with your college-visiting liberal sister and it eventually devolves into a massive table-wide argument between everybody, the next door neighbors could say "it sounds like 'Mord und Totschlag' in there". However, Asgar surely means this literally here. And "Totschlag" is technically "manslaughter", as in the crime that is different from murder, but that doesn't really make sense. It's surely just general slaughter here.
We also find some life nectar in a barrel - this gives a character +1 HP permanently. A whole +1! Can't imagine that being too great, but I guess it's free.
Master, you are the mightiest creature on this planet!
Evil laugh counter: 2
Oh, how right you are!
Master, please make sure that you have enough supply for blood! You need new prisoners!
Thanks! But why am I supposed to be doing that?
YOU'RE THE SLAVES HERE! MY SLAVES! YOU WILL BE TAKING CARE OF THAT!
As you wish!
Hm, here's a book about the origin of Earth... "and on the seventh day, God created..." HARHAR! "GOD"! Nothing but a tool in the false play of believers.
In the name of GOD the Holy Crusade was organized! In the name of GOD countless vampires were wiped out! If I ever get to meet GOD face-to-face, he will pay for that...
Asgar is not a big fan of religion, but his plan of giving God himself what for for the Holy Crusade is an interesting twist on anti-theism.
Here's another copy of the book "Dark Shadows". "... to which Alex replied: Well, it's just that I'm allergic to chickens..." Very entertaining. "... and suddenly, Gargasch started beating his victim down..." Yeah, Gargasch is definitely my favorite character of the book...
IIRC, Gargasch was the main villain of Dunkle Schatten, as if that comes as a surprise. Of course the main villain is going to be Asgar's favorite character.
Eventually, I do manage to find my way to the outside area of the castle...
...and into the antechamber for Asgar's crypt! Very spiffy looking.
Oh, master! Your crypt has been made ready for you!
Good! I'm in need of some sleep!
Of course, when we get inside the actual crypt, things get decidedly less spiffy.
Damn... my pantry just keeps getting more and more empty!
Master, you're currently storing 0 kg silver here!
Amassing silver is going to be a thing later in the game.
And of course Asgar has the still bleeding heads of kids mounted in front of the entrance to his resting place. It really brings the feng shui of the place together.
Good, here's the entrance to my crypt. And the password mechanism still works, too. Very good. Now to quickly enter the password:
Here you're just given the choice between four different letters and have to pick the right ones. The right ones, of course, are the capital letters in "Das Feuer Fegt über Mein Leben".
And now I'll take my rest for the massacre tomorrow.
You know, for being Asgar's resting place, this room is hardly decorated as befits somebody like him. I guess since he spends most of the time in the room in a coffin, he doesn't really care for the aesthetics.
Finally, I'm back here... now for some sleep.
Good night, Asgar. Sleep tight, you'll have an exciting day full of murder tomorrow to look forward to!
Evil laugh counter: 3
Alright, it's time to get to work! Time to head outside, rescue Alaine and show those bastards in Shannar what for!
Ah, what a wonderful day! Time to show those disgusting humans who's in charge around here! And Alaine will come to the castle with me! I just have to make sure to leave no survivors! It wouldn't be very smart to provoke another crusade! That really was the only reason why I haven't rescued Alaine so far. That fear of another crusade. But this night I realized that a vampire can't give in to fear, especially not fear of something as minor as that! And now it is time for my banquet to begin!
And yet he can't turn into a bat and fly away from here, first we need to walk a bit further to actually get outside the castle.
Thank you, blood text. I didn't know this was Asgar's castle.
Shannar, brace yourself!
And we're off! But when Asgar arrives at Shannar...
Strange, what's going on here? It smells like fire and blood! A lot of blood...
He walks to the center of town.
Mayor: Hurry up with the last one! We have to wipe them all out! They're all infected with a plague! They're not only mentally damaged, but also have a highly contagious illness! Quick! Kill the last one of those lunatics and throw him into the fire! It's the only way we can prevent the disease from spreading!
Wait, lunatics are getting executed, and that guy is the last one? I don't like where this is going...
Rest of the population: KILL! KILL! KILL!
Executioner: Alright, pal, it's your turn!
Confused man: No, please, have mercy! I'm not sick! I'm different than you, but not sick! PLEASE, HAVE MERCY! I'm Magemaster! Please don't kill me, I'm peaceful!
Mayor: He calls himself "Magemaster"! Do you hear that? "Magemaster"! He's sick and must be exterminated, or he'll infect us all!
Executioner: Come here, pal!
Confused man: No, PLEASE!
Rest of the population: KILL! KILL! KILL!
Mayor: Now then, "Magemaster", may your soul rest in peace!
Confused man: Noooooooooo!
Rest in peace, poor Magemaster. When he signed up for a cameo, he had no idea what was in store for him.
It's quite amusing to see humans destroying themselves!
Mayor: Alright, everybody! We'll burn his corpse too! He was the last one out of the asylum!
(Asylum? Oh nooooo!)
Asgar finally clues in on the problem that his plan of rescuing Alaine has just run into.
Mayor! You burnt the insane people!
Mayor: Yes, they had an infectious illness, and I prevented it from spreading!
You did WHAT? AN INFECTIOUS ILLNESS!?
Mayor: I'm sorry for your friend, but she was sick too!
You KILLED Alaine? RAAAAAAAAR! HOW DARE YOU!?
Mayor: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! HE HAS FANGS! A VAMPIRE!
Rest of the population: AAAAAAHHHHHH!
REVENGE! NOBODY GETS OUT OF HERE ALIVE! (I should transform into a wolf, that way I can dish out more pain...)
Good idea. We select the wolf transformation from the menu.
Wolf's soul, give me your power!
I'm not entirely sure what this does beyond letting us kill villagers. I don't think it lets us do more damage, it might just be entirely situational.
But first, we run into the executioner.
Executioner: I'm not scared of you, vampire! I will destroy you!
Alright, so, combat. Combat is simple, especially this early in the game.
We can do the standard giving orders to each character thing, we can let the computer call all the shots (we won't) and we can flee (actually we can't right now, also, we won't).
Asgar can attack normally, he can use a skill, he could defend (but we won't) or we could use an item if we wanted to (we don't).
For now, we want to start combat out by using Asgar's blood sucking ability, which restores MP - which I should be calling BP from now on, standing for "blood points" (which is why Valnar didn't have any, he can't use blood magic because he's not a vampire!) - and can also cause the Bleeding status on an opponent. And since I have the RPG Maker editor open right now, let's look up all the status effects:
"Starre" (rigor - as in "rigor mortis"): Basically "dead", but for vampires.
"Fluch" (curse): Halves all your attributes (god damn that's strong). Doesn't end on its own.
"Blind": Drops hit chance to 20% of standard, has 20% chance of ending every turn, will always end after 8 turns.
"Stumm" (mute): Prevents all spells from being cast. Doesn't end on its own.
"Rasend" (berserk): Halves defense and intelligence, makes you attack enemies randomly, drops hit chance to 90% of standard. Doesn't end on its own.
"Verwirrt" (confused): Drops hit chance to 80% of normal, makes you attack allies randomly. 30% chance of recovery per turn, 25% chance of recovery every time that character is attacked, guaranteed recovery after 3 turns.
"Schläft" (sleep): Can't take any actions. 25% chance of recovery per turn, 80% chance of recovery every time that character is attacked, guaranteed recovery after 3 turns.
"Gelähmt" (paralyzed): Can't take any actions. 30% chance of recovery per turn, 20% chance of recovery every time that character is attacked, guaranteed recovery after 5 turns.
"Krank" (sick/ill): Hit chance drops to 60%, lose 5% of max HP plus 1 and 5% of max BP plus 1 per turn in battle, lose 1 HP and 1 BP every 5 steps on the map. Doesn't end on its own.
"blutet" (bleeding): Hit chance drops to 70%, lose 5% of max BP plus 5 per turn in battle. Doesn't end on its own. This is what is inflicted on our party.
"blutmens" (short for bleeding, human): Lose 20% of max HP plus 15 and lose 30% of max BP plus 10 per turn in battle, 20% chance of recovery every turn, guaranteed recovery after 5 turns. This is what our blood sucking ability inflicts on opponents. As you can see, it's VERY potent, and should be inflicted whenever possible!
"vergifte" (incomplete "poisoned", due to character limit): Has "halve statistic" checked, but no actual statistics to halve checked, so I guess that part does nothing. Lose 10% of max HP plus 5 per turn in battle. Doesn't end on its own.
Now, wasn't that insightful?
And once we get the guy to bleed, we just wail on him with normal attacks until he goes down.
HARHAR! Feel my power!
Then we just spend a bit of time wandering around town murdering all the villagers - they go down just like the executioner, but without a fight. Chomp animation, puddle of blood.
It takes a while - in fact, I had to re-cast the wolf transformation and night started to fall, but eventually, we find and kill everybody.
Alright, I got everybody! Alaine! I have to check the fire!
And I'm going to be Mr. Efficient and immediately go to this bucket of water that caught my eye the first time around.
I should be able to extinguish the fire with this!
Alright, I'll quickly extinguish the fire!
Asgar then puts the fire out, jumps in, grabs Alaine...
...and carries her out of town.
Oh, Alaine! What have they done to you?
He brings her to a place on the other side of the island.
Oh, Alaine! I will bury you at this beautiful place! I will find a place worthy of your beauty!
To the north, we find a cave.
What a wonderful place! Here, your soul will hopefully find the peace it deserves...
Fade to black.
So that's Asgar's backstory. Next time, we'll see how the two stories we've heard come together, though you can probably hazard a guess if you've paid attention to the locations.