Part 3: Bad ∞ End ∞ Night
So, in the last two updates, we first got to hear some backstory regarding Valnar, and then some backstory regarding Asgar and Alaine. We could also figure from the dream we saw Valnar having that these two stories are going to intersect somehow. And in this update, we're going to see just how that happens! But first, we're back to the storytelling part.
Yes. Asgar had lost the one thing that still brought him joy in his undead life. He buried her at this beautiful, quiet place, hoping that her soul would find the peace it deserved.
Grandpa, this is a really sad story! A vampire loses the one thing he still had feelings for! You could almost feel sorry for him...
But only almost. Asgar has killed many, many, many people. You can't feel sorry for a creature like that!
So, grandpa, how does the story continue?
Well, the distraught Asgar spent many weeks grieving. His anger towards humanity grew inside of him and he was taken over by rage! Until one day, he could no longer stand having lost Alaine. He started searching his castle's secret library for a spell to revive her! And after days of searching, he finally found a spell that could bring her back from the dead. But the spell required a great sacrifice. It was a dark, ancient and very powerful vampire spell, developed by a vampire of the first generation a long time ago. But the sacrifice for this spell was truly gigantic.
GRANDPA! Just spit it out already! What sacrifice?
Asgar needed... *cough* *cough*
Alright, you cheeky runt! Asgar needed a human's blood. But not just any human's blood, no, but the blood of a human that was head over heels in love with a vampire and who has also... well...
Well, the blood of a human whom had also slept with a vampire!
GRANDPA! I'm only 15!
I know, I know... what am I to do when the spell requires such a sacrifice.
Alright, keep telling the story.
Well, Asgar was obviously enraged. How could he possibly find such a human? After all, pretty much all vampires have been wiped out.
Now, stop skipping ahead already! Anyway, Asgar searched for many weeks, until one day, he found out about Valnar! He knew that Valnar was the right one for the spell he had planned. He spied on him for a few days and made sure that he wasn't found out by her.
Yeah, "her". This isn't the first time I've seen a different pronoun just pop up like this, it happened in Düsterburg as well, but there it didn't make any sense at all. Here, it kind of does, in that Asgar was making sure that Aysha/Molana didn't discover him, since staying hidden from a human is child's play for a vampire, so Valnar isn't the problem here. However, grandpa here hasn't mentioned Aysha/Molana at all so far, so just saying "her" kind of leaves us hanging. Technically, it could be any other female we could think of, but as it stands, there's only one possibility that makes sense, so I wouldn't call this an error per se.
Also, just to note, I'm probably going to be using Aysha and Molana interchangeably in my commentary. You know they're the same, so you shouldn't get confused.
And so Molana is actually Aysha!
Exactly! But Valnar had never even considered that she could be a vampire.
He never noticed? But what about the fangs or the cold, dead skin vampires have?
I told you about the different vampire generations, right? And vampires of the first two generations are masters of disguise. They can make humans believe that their skin feels warm. This works through thought manipulation. And vampires in general are capable of hiding their fangs - after all, they'd be found out pretty quickly if that wasn't the case, don't you think?
Hm, that's true. And so what happened to Molana?
Well, like I told you, she was killed by somebody, that somebody being Abraxas.
So was Abraxas working with Asgar?
No, Abraxas and Asgar have never met, and didn't even know of each other's existence.
Well, that's good to know.
So Abraxas killed Molana before Asgar could grab her and Valnar?
Yes, and I'll tell you later what Abraxas is all about. Anyway, after collapsing, Valnar awoke at Dr. Jarn's...
Valnar! Finally you're awake again!
Calm down! Everything is fine!
No, nothing's fine! Aysha is dead! I have to go and find her killer!
Calm down, Valnar! We found you out in front of the big mountain. You were unconscious. You probably fell down there! You should be glad you're even still alive!
But the blood! Blood everywhere!
Sorry, Valnar, but we didn't see any blood anywhere!
The rain! The rain must have washed the blood away!
Just calm down, Valnar! You need rest!
Did you find Aysha's corpse!?
No, just you. You were laying at the foot of the mountain, unconscious.
Aysha was murdered!
That was surely just trauma caused by the fall. I'll give you some more painkillers!
I don't need painkillers! I need to get to Aysha!
Oh god damn I forgot just how the writing for this game gets at times. I can't even pinpoint just what exactly it is that irks me, it's just ~*writing stuff*~. Partly it's how the characters really seem to like reiterating themselves, partly it's Dr. Jarn here just figuring that Valnar must have been climbing that mountain in the middle of the night during a violent thunderstorm just for shits and giggles and not considering that he might have had a suitably pressing reason to attempt something really dumb like that, like, y'know, his significant other getting dragged off, leaving a massive trail of blood or something. Or is Valnar just the village idiot and this is a regular occurrence?
Villager: Dr. Jarn, come quick! It's Valnar again!
What is it this time?
Villager: Apparently, he and Aysha were playing Truth or Dare, and she dared him to jump off the roof of the inn! She didn't think he'd actually do it, but...
God fucking damnit, Valnar. Alright, bring out the spatula, you know how this goes by now...
I honestly wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming:
Hm, thinking about it, I am a bit surprised she hasn't shown up here yet.
She's DEAD, damnit! Don't you understand!?
Valnar, if what you're claiming is right, then you best get going and look for her immediately. Maybe one of the people living here noticed something?
I have to get going immediately and find her corpse and her killer!
Boing. I guess we didn't see what exactly Abraxas did to Valnar after bitchslapping him into unconsciousness, though we know he brought him out of the secret cave and to the bottom of the mountain. Not too surprising he wouldn't take a lot of time to recover just from that.
Thanks for taking care of me, but I really need to get going!
Do we need to get going? I don't think we've mentioned getting going yet, let's mention it again!
Hurry up, but be careful!
Alright, and we're back in control. First order of business, rummaging through other people's stuff.
I'm not searching through other people's closets!
Well ain't that something new. Guess we've got nothing to do here then.
Thanks for the reminder. I forgot where we were for a second there.
Damn! How could this happen? And then that stupid weather! And my terrible headache! What have I done to deserve this?
Hm, somehow, I feel like I'm being watched! And why is nobody out on the streets? I should ask around if anybody's seen anything that could help me!
Bah, it's nothing!
It seems like there's a cool breeze coming from this direction. Strange.
Nothing at all!
Now, I'm just going to make this relatively quick, because there's not much here that's interesting. Valnar goes around town into different houses, and has conversations that go like this:
oh no my girlfriend is dead please help
Some guy/girl: oh no that's terrible but i didn't notice anything because of the rain / because i was sleeping
well thank you anyway
Some guy/girl: good luck anyway, and bye
Over and over again, with some occasional "RAAR I WILL HAVE REVENGE" thrown in. Notables include a little girl noticing something suspicious - her dad sneaking into the kitchen at night to eat even though he's supposed to be on a diet, a rich woman noticing something suspicious - that being Valnar, who just bursts into their house...
...and this guy, called "Silas Coldfire", which I'm pretty sure is another community cameo. Also, a recolored Alex. He doesn't have anything interesting to say either.
So let's just skip to after I've asked everybody.
DAMNIT! I've asked everybody and NOBODY could help me!
How could all of this happen? HOW?
Aysha... I've failed! Failed in every way possible! I couldn't protect you! I loved you... and only proved it to you so rarely! I wanted to be with you forever! FOREVER! And now you're dead! Dead because I couldn't protect you...
I can't understand! Why? Why did somebody kill you? ... And why did he call you Molana? If only I had an answer!
I will make your murderer pay for what he did!
If nobody here wants to help me or nobody even can help me, then I'll help myself! Maybe I'll find some clues on the mountain!
I just love the way Asgar is just chillin' on the side there, by the way. Probably just thinking to himself. "Damn, the blood of this idiot is going to bring my beloved back? The things I do for love..."
So we head out the front gate again, with Asgar in tow.
But Valnar isn't quite as stupid as we thought he was - just mostly.
Something's not right here!
Who said that?
Like I said, I love this guy.
Who the devil are you?
You can call me Asgar! But I'm not here to talk with you!
You're involved with the death of my girlfriend!
Taking bets on how many times Valnar said that today. "I see you there, you well! You and your bucket think you're innocent, but you're WRONG! Water washed away Aysha's blood, so water is guilty! And that means YOU'RE guilty! You'll get yours soon enough!" "And you, bed! Don't think I didn't notice you! If I wasn't laying in bed when Aysha got kidnapped, she would still be alive! I'll destroy every single bed in the world if I have to! FOR AYSHA!"
...Christ, I'm just taking every opportunity to take the piss out of this guy. Didn't think I'd be dialing up the snark that much by the third update already. I mean, Valnar does make a convenient target.
The death of your girlfriend? Oh, yes, of course... your girlfriend...
So you do have something to do with it after all, you bastard!
Calm down! I know where your girlfriend is...
You're in league with the killer!
Evil laugh counter: 4
See, Asgar thinks this is funny too.
Come with me! I'll show you where your girlfriend is!
NEVER! This is clearly a trap!
As you wish... but think about it... without me, you'll never find her. I'm the only one who knows where she is and who would tell you...
OK, I need to bring this up, because this has been bugging the shit out of me. Whenever Marlex uses "I know", he always writes it as "ich weis", which is wrong! It's "ich weiß"! I would have been a bit less annoyed if he wrote "ich weiss", since at least we've got the "ss/ß" problem going on there, in that it can sometimes be iffy to decide just what to use, but that's not even the case here! First I thought he uses a single "s" as a replacement for "ß", but go back to the first update and find the dream sequence - there, "fließt" clearly uses the sharp S, so it's obviously available! The real problem is that that phrase comes up a lot, and every time I see it, it just annoys me a bit more.
Why would you do that? First kill her, then show me where she is?
I do like how Asgar isn't even contending that point anymore. He picked up on Valnar being fully on a one-track-mind right now right away and just isn't bothering to try and convince him that he actually didn't have anything to do with Aysha being killed, even though it's actually true that he has nothing to do with it.
Well, let's just say that I feel bad for you. Not too long ago, I myself have lost a person that meant very, very much to me. I know your pain!
You suddenly just feel sorry for me? I'm not buying that!
Well, then I'll just leave. And you'll never learn the secret behind her death...
...alright. Show me where she is!
Gladly... we'll be there soon!
You better hope, or you'll get to feel my sword!
Alright, you don't need to threaten me! Just take my hand, my magic will bring us to her!
(Magic? He's a damn mage?)
Are you coming, or not!?
And we're off to the races!
As you might imagine, Asgar isn't bringing Valnar to wherever Aysha is...
...but somewhere else we know fairly well!
My god! What kind of magic is this?
A very powerful one... your girlfriend lies in this cave.
Aysha... what are we waiting for?
Alright, let's head inside! You can already tell where this is going, so let's not dilly-dally!
This is where your girlfriend is buried...
Wait a second... this gravestone says:
I will forever love you
even after death do us part"
It doesn't say "auch nachdem der Tod uns geschieden hat", but I thought it sounded better that way.
This isn't Aysha's grave!
Let me take a look!
WHOOPS! Well, that's a surprise!
That's MY girlfriend's grave!
"Wait, were we talking about YOUR girlfriend? Damn, I must have misheard you! I really thought you were talking about MINE! Well, now isn't that just a funny little misunderstanding we have here?" Really, when you compare Asgar to Captain Lovestruck over here, it's clear who the real star of the show is.
YOUR GIRLFRIEND? What's going on here?
Evil laugh counter: 5
You're so naive! I don't know your girlfriend! I've just been watching you. I didn't even know that she was dead until you told me!
And then I lied to you to get you here! Really, I wanted to just knock you unconscious and drag you here... but your desires towards your girlfriend just made it easier for me!
So it is a trap! But why do you want me here?
Because I want my girlfriend back, that's why! I found a spell with which I can revive her!
What kind of mage are you that you have that kind of power?
Evil laugh counter: 6
I'M A VAMPIRE!
A... a... vampire? Why didn't you revive her as a vampire, then? I thought vampires could do that!
Normally, yes! But my girlfriend was beheaded! And a beheaded corpse can never return to life as a vampire!
To note: You'll see the "beheaded" thing come up more often when it comes to vampire death, but I've heard the "fill their mouth with garlic" thing doesn't seem to come up after the one time grandpa brought it up in the beginning. Probably because it makes things a lot more complicated. I'm not sure if that's true, so let's pay attention to see how that goes.
And what do I have to do with this?
I've already told you that I found a spell with which I could still revive her. And not just in the form of a lousy skeleton or zombie! I could have done that already, but I want HER back, not a skeleton or zombie! With this spell, I can revive her as a vampire of the FIRST generation!
A vampire? A vampire of the first generation?
Yes! And for that, I need YOUR blood!
My blood? Why do you need my blood, of all things!?
Because the spell requires the blood of a human that has slept with a vampire!
BUT I'VE NEVER SLEPT WITH A VAM-
By George, I think he's got it! I think he's finally got it!
Aysha was a vampire, wasn't she?
Correct. She was a vampire of the second generation. And this entire time, she's been manipulating your thoughts! How weak you humans are!
How can that be... Aysha, a vampire?
And now I'm going to sacrifice your blood to get back my beloved Alaine! But you're in luck! The spell doesn't require me to kill you, a few liters of blood suffice. And since today's your lucky day, I'm not going to kill you! Instead, I'll turn you into my slave!
But I don't understand this at all! How can this be!?
And at this point, we come in where the dream started.
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!
Evil laugh counter: 7
Controversial, since that's technically a duplicate laugh, but I'm counting it regardless.
You pathetic human! Feel the taste of immortality!
What have you done?
And Valnar falls to the ground again.
Fade to black again...
...but this time we're back in our storytelling scene.
What a bastard that Asgar is!
Yes. His soul is filled with rage. But now, it seems like he's achieved what he wanted. And maybe even more than he hoped for.
Don't you talk in riddles, grandpa! What happens next?
Well, Valnar fell into a trance-like state. He was dreaming and in neverending pain as well...
We cut to a scene that's just a whole bunch of Valnar screaming...
...evil magic effects, and shifting backgrounds. The scrolling backgrounds means that making GIFs of this scene will run me several MB, and it's nothing really interesting, with Valnar's dialogue basically being variants on "*screams*". The only important thing that happens...
...is that turning into a vampire apparently dyes your hair. Also, changes your clothing color to the standard vampire combo of black and red. Well, either that or he's got a career as a croupier ahead of him, but I doubt that. And this bit segues seamlessly into this:
Ah, my love! He's coming to!
Take these glasses... you're going to be a bit sensitive to light now.
Welcome to my world, Valnar!
Man, Valnar sure is negative. Also, hooray, now I can just forget about Human Valnar's headshots, Vampire Valnar strangely enough has like half the number Human Valnar has.
Also, still really fond of sinking to one knee.
How dare you?
HARHAR! You ask me how I dare do that? I'll tell you how!
Evil laugh counter: 8
From now on, you're MY PROPERTY! And if you ever dare to question my authority, you will die!
And now, I'll give you some time to think!
And fade to black.
Where... where am I? What happened? ... Aysha... why, just why? Why is this my fate? Reborn as a vampire... why couldn't I just die, just like everybody else... why is fate so cruel to me... born to suffer... born to kill... Aysha...
Valnar decides to take a bit of a walk.
Because let's face it, we weren't getting this existential crisis without a "standing at a balcony, staring wistfully into the night" scene.
Is there still something human in me? My soul? My conscience? ...
I'm cursed for all eternity!
Woo, more bloody writing.
"BORN TO KILL
MOCKED BY FATE
WHAT IS THE HUMAN LIFE WORTH
WHEN IT IS UNDEAD?"
There's always this thread that goes through vampire fiction - the idea of vampires as the next step in evolution. Really, it depends on the work, but in this case, at the very least for vampires of the first two generations, this very much holds true. Vampires are superior in pretty much every single way. And honestly, I'm pretty much on Asgar's side here. Being a vampire kicks a lot more ass than being a human in this world, and as we go along, you're hopefully also going to see why. Though, there's one thing that does shift things heavily into the favor of camp "not being a vampire", but that's something Valnar doesn't know.
I hate him! I hate him endlessly... maybe I should run? Or maybe he knows a way to turn me back... what's his name, anyway? And where does he know my name?
I'm not sure if vampirism causes short-term memory loss, but you should know both these things, Valnar! He introduced himself to you, and he stated that he spied on you in order to see that you and Aysha were in fact fucking! If you're spying on somebody and notice that he is fucking with a vampire, literally, but don't pick up his name, then you're quite frankly doing a shitty job at spying! Also, pretty sure vampires can read minds.
I... I... I'm hungry...
Well, Simon, what do you think Valnar does in this situation?
Hmmm... 1) He tries running away... 2) He goes back to bed...
One of these choices gives us an extra scene, the other doesn't. Running away it is.
Alright, he tries to run away...
No, I'll never be like him! I'll run away and look for a solution...
And we're off!
We run down a mountain path, completely unopposed...
...and end up on the world map. However, to get away from Asgar's castle, we'll have to go through a forest...
...and something tells me this forest isn't normal. As we walk through this forest, we hear wolves howl every once in a while, and after a while, it seems like we're just covering the same ground over and over again, and that's because we are. But this isn't the Lost Woods, this isn't a matter of going north, west, south, west or anything, we're just straight up trapped, and the only thing we can do is keep walking.
Damn! This forest is massive!
We keep walking around, until...
Tsk, tsk, tsk... only the weak run away!
LEAVE ME ALONE! GET AWAY FROM ME!
How disobedient... I'll have to teach you proper manners... but for now, you're coming BACK!
NEVER! YOU'RE AN ANIMAL!
HARHAR! I know... but really, you should come back. Otherwise, I'll have to tell the wolves to hurt you!
Wolves? WHAT AM I A VAMPIRE FOR? I'M NOT SCARED OF THAT!
Naive... as it was to be expected... you're only a young vampire... AND I AM YOUR MASTER! Did you believe these were normal wolves?
Where are your wolves? I'm not seeing any!
But you can HEAR them! ... I'll be seeing you tomorrow.
Another wolf howl.
GOD DAMNIT! Where are those wolves?
From that point on, wolves start showing up. I think they grow in number until they get you, but of course I run head-first into the first one because I am not good at the vidya gaems.
Get lost, you miserable mutt!
Suffice it to say the wolves didn't like that.
And Valnar doesn't really take it well either. Fade to black.
We come back in the morning, just like Asgar said.
Good morning, Valnar!
Is he already awake, dear?
I think he's awake now.
Tsk, tsk... such a bad mood today? And that this early in the morning? And to think we got you SUCH a wonderful coffin! Just for you!
Watch your tongue, Valnar! Or you'll really learn what pain is like...
...where do you know my name from, anyway?
HARHAR! That's the easiest thing in the world! We just read your mind!
Read my mind?
Metal Gear? Oh, alright, I'll stop.
Oh, how rude of us! We haven't even introduced ourselves!
I'm Alaine, and this is Asgar!
Don't think I feel honored now...
Oh, Valnar! Just accept what you are now!
Do you even know what you're asking of me? I'm supposed to just accept that I've become a... a MONSTER!
A monster? No...
...rather the next step in evolution! A creature of higher power! Strong enough to enslave humanity!
See, Alaine knows what I'm talking about! And don't forget that she's been a vampire just about as long as Valnar - she's clearly much quicker on the uptake here!
Maybe... but definitely powerful!
Evil laugh counter: 9
But I've prepared a game for you! Since you're such a young vampire, I thought we should play a game that I played a lot when I was a child!
You want to play a game with me? Because I'm a young vampire?
OK, I didn't really think that I could turn the "Metal Gear?" thing into a running gag. I didn't pay attention to it in the first two updates, but damn, Valnar sure seems to have a habit for repeating what others say in an asking tone.
If you win, you'll even get something that I'm sure you can use! And by the way, all my servants have been ordered to follow your commands... just as long as you don't tell them to go against me or Alaine...
But you wouldn't dare to do that, would you?
Well... 1) ...I wouldn't be so sure about that. 2) ...of course not...
You know, I think that Asgar has sufficiently proven that he is the one in charge here, don't you? I don't think we should pull a quick one on him, at the very least not right after what we just pulled.
No, of course you wouldn't do that... not after everything I've done for you, am I right?
So, what do you say? Do you want to play a game with us?
Well... 1) ...no thanks! I'm not a child! 2) ...hm, alright...
I think we should play along. He promised to give us something nice if we play along, so we should take him up on that offer. Also, again, not picking that option just skips us ahead in the plot, so no reason not to play.
Very good! Alaine and I have hidden 20 magic letters around the castle for you to find. Every letter leads you to the next one with a few key words or sentences. We'll wait here for you until you've found them all or you want to give up. But you have to leave the letters laying where you found them, otherwise it'd be even easier!
Anyway, here's the first letter!
"Lost in the wind the second letter is! Search where the wind blows the strongest..."
And of course you only need to search the castle!
And what is that supposed to mean - "where the wind blows the strongest"!?
Well, that's the riddle that you're supposed to solve! But I'll give you a hint: The wind usually blows the strongest above the four corner towers...
And that means that I'm supposed to check out the top floors of the four towers?
Exactly! But you've got to work the rest out for yourself!
Then keep my reward at the ready, I'll be right back!
HARHAR! Good luck... you'll need it!
And we're off! Again! But before we leave things off, here's one particularly annoying thing about this game that I will be cheating my way around like a motherfucker:
In this chest, we find five "save crystals". These do exactly what they say - they let you save. And they're finite. I guess I can see the reasoning behind a limited save system, but it's just not fun not to be able to save whenever you want. If you could only save freely on the overworld, and use the gems to save in dungeons or before tough fights or something, that I would be more on board with, but as it stands, I'm just giving myself unlimited save crystals and that's that. I think there's a place where you can get theoretically infinite crystals, but there you'd have to grind to get them, I believe, and again, I'm already going to be doing grinding, I don't want to grind even more just to save. So, since I'm quitting my first batch of gameplay, let's save. When we use one from our inventory...
...we get this picture, alongside the text "Blood will flow! What does it matter what body it comes from..."...
...and we can save! So with that, it's time to wrap it up, because the first batch of footage I recorded is done, and before I start the second one, I need some opinions from you folks. That can mean only one thing!
SUPER DUPER EXCITING VOTE TIME!
Yes, it's time to vote! Before I can record the next batch of footage, I'll need some guidance from you guys and gals out there. You see, this game has four endings you can get (not really a spoiler, I would hope), and while you're not locked in early by any stretch of the imagination, locking yourself in can make things more consistent, and I like consistent. So with that in mind, I need you to vote on two different questions.
1) How should Valnar act in general?
Sorry, let me try that again, this time with less Bernie thread.
In this case, it's not necessarily "good vs. evil", but it might as well be. A more precise question would be if you want Valnar to hang on to his humanity or just toss it and embrace Asgar's point of view of "you're the alpha dog around here, so treat humans accordingly, like the playthings, walking blood bags and servants they are". But really, it boils down to "good vs. evil" anyway, since embracing Asgar's philosophy means being a dick, and rejecting it means not being a dick. To note, the actions we've taken this update already had an impact on that. Running away was a Humanity++, staying would have been Humanity--. Telling Asgar you won't betray him was Humanity--, telling him you wouldn't be sure about that was Humanity++ (and would have had him quipping "oh, you're rebellious! I like that!"), and playing the game was Humanity--, whereas telling him to shove his game up his ass was Humanity++. So right now, we're sitting at -1 Humanity, but that's nothing we can't change in the future.
2) How should Valnar act in battle?
A) Be a manly man
B) Be a coward
This essentially boils down to "should I freqently run from battle or not". And really, it's not even about that. Since you're not really going to see the grinding and the plain combat between important things a lot, this doesn't have any actual impact on the LP. I will fight every battle, because everybody that played this game can attest that grinding is very much something you're going to be wanting to do. So essentially, you're voting on "do I want this variable to be high or low when the point where it becomes important comes", which I will be setting using the RPG Maker editor if necessary. And that will have a surprisingly significant impact on the ending.
I think you can probably figure where my loyalties lie if you've read my previous vampire-related LPs (for the record, it's Evil/Manly Man), but don't feel obliged to follow along with that. I have absolutely no idea which of the paths is more interesting, and I can't remember any of the endings either, just that they were quite wildly different.
So go ahead and vote!