The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

Part 11: What Do You Mean 'Plot Contrivance?' (Part 2)

And we’re back on the road. Notice Leonard’s MP bar is at 0 after a round of combat as the White Knight.

Leonard: Maybe I should have left the Ark alone...

Okay, I lied, the kid has one moment of introspection. But that's it.

CUTSCENE: Contacting the Princess

Oh thank god, a creepy old tunnel.

Leonard: This must be the way in. Look how big!

Leonard: Master of the Obvious.

Yulie: People whisper about the Nordia Tunnels. But I’m about to walk through them.

Leonard: Come on. Let’s go!

Yulie nods in agreement.

Eldore: Wait! Before we go in, we should set up camp here and rest out bones a while.

Oh, you ass, it’s barely midday yet and you’re already tired? This is what you idiots get for acquiescing to be led around by a sexagenarian.

Leonard: I don’t need any rest. Come on!

You know who Leonard really reminds me of as a character? Eragon from the Inheritance Trilogy Cycle. They’re both petulant, hormone-driven teenagers who stumble into powers beyond their comprehension and continually screw things up for the people around them thinking they are being of help to others, all while everyone around them lampshades (apologies for the TV Tropes-ism ) their brainless, gung-ho stupidity.

Eldore is even shaping up to be a perfect Brom analog, being a mentor who doesn’t teach his student anything, keeps mission-critical details a secret from everyone, and is generally mysterious for the sake of being mysterious. And also being old, but not too old. They’re even both portrayed by two spectacularly capable British actors who should be doing better things with their time: Charles Shaughnessy and Jeremy Irons, respectively.

And while we’re at it, Cisna is Arya: a distant and detached princess whom Leonard/Eragon falls in love with at first glance but never gets anywhere closer to halfway to first base with.

Shit, we’ve even got a Murtaugh analog coming up soon: a darkhorse fan-favourite badass who just gets shit on by fate non-stop.


Eldore: Don’t be a fool. When I’m tired, my magic grows weak. You think we can get through this without my spells?

Um, are we talking in-game magic, or Plot magic, Maxwell? Because in-game, you have the access to the same spells as the rest of the party does at this point: a piddly few first-tier elemental spells. If we’re talking Plot magic, then what spells? The only magic we’ve seen you preform is mind raping an undeserving guard so you didn’t have to be bothered by a random security sweep. Now, as someone who’s been pulled aside by border security and gone through a full baggage search for a bullshit reason just trying to get back into his home country, I agree that’s a handy power to have. But we’re not clearing customs, mate, we’re on a fate-of-the-world adventure. So if you’ve got anything stronger than that in your bag of tricks, by all means, start whipping them out because the hapless twit you’re babysitting on this quest needs them.

Eldore does not perform any more feats of magic barring maybe one or two minor things for the rest of the duology. He’s just making up excuses because he’s old and tried.

Also, one last point about Eldore and ‘spells’. Guess who has the weakest base magic attack and defense stats of the party thus far? If you said any other name than “Eldore,” punch yourself in the face. Leonard has a stronger magical potential than Obi-Wrong Kenobi here.

At times the game is practically begging me to point out its incongruities.

Leonard: Huh?!

Look at that shocked expression. This is probably the first time in his life that he’s given a thought to anyone outside of himself. Again, not because he’s arrogant or self-absorbed, but because he’s so dumb that the possibility of other consciousnesses existing outside his own is inconceivable.

It’s said that philosopher Georg W.F. Hagel’s last words were “he didn’t understand me.” As it turns out, he was talking about Leonard.

Yulie: The man’s got a point, Leonard.

Leonard: Fine.

He then went and pouted about it behind the Logic Stone for four hours while Yulie and Orren set up camp.


…Also, I love how the Avatar doesn’t even get a rock to sit on. They’re get to sit in the dirt like they’re a second-class citizen.

Orren: Nah, it’s cool. I get to stretch out and look all badass.

…You’re barely in this scene.

Orren: Fuck!

Eldore rises to his feet, aaaaand….


The way things are going, this thing is going to take a dump on Orren’s head before it lands.

Eldore: It seems we have established a connection with Princess Cisna.

Eldore: Foz, show us.

The Plot Bird flutters over to a nearby rock.



Oh god, as if I had hard enough time taking this thing seriously already, now it’s projecting frickin holograms out of its eyes. How does this even work? And more importantly, why am I suddenly reminded of—oh god noooooooALLGLORYTOTHEHYPNOBIRD!

CUTSCENE MUSIC:Melody of Light” (Disc 1, Track 20)

So the Plot Bird spits out an image of Princess Cisna by way of a shitty knock off of Star Wars hologram technology. Which means, hey, I’ve found another use for the hologram Photoshop style I threw together for the Shadows of the Empire LP.

Leonard: Princess!

Take a shot. Oh yeah, I’ve officially instituted an intra-LP drinking game. Basically, anytime Leonard says a sentence consisting solely of the words “Princess” and/or “Cinsa”, take a shot of your preferred brand of liquor. The same rules apply whenever Cisna uses a sentence comprised solely of the word “Leonard”.

To paraphrase Tracy Morgan as Uncle Jemima, “you’ll get bent just as fast as possible!”

Hologram Cisna: Hello?

Hologram Cisna: A Bigelow! Then someone out there must be able to see me.

Apparently Bigelows have latency issues just like any other form of communications ‘technology’.

Hologram Cisna: Oh gods, please let it be someone other than—

Leonard: You’re safe!

Hologram Cisna: Aw shit. It is. Okay, try to act happy.
Hologram Cisna: Leonard! Is that you?

She has forgotten what Leonard looks like apparently. Lucky her.

Hologram Cisna: Yes. Yes, I’m safe. They have me locked in this room, but other than that… Please, tell me, how are my people?
Hologram Cisna: Are they still lamenting my kidnapping? They better be, so help me—

Eldore: They are in good hands. Everyone is preparing for Your Highness’ return.
Yulie: Pfft. Yeah, if you can call Sarvain and Cyrus ‘good hands.’
Hologram Cisna: Wait, who are you again?
Orren: We haven’t even figured that out, Your Grace.
Hologram Cisna: Well, at least one of you remembered my proper style now.

Eldore: We have been sent ahead to rescue you. Worry not.
Hologram Cisna: Whatever. It can’t get any worse, right? It’s not Game of Thrones; they’re not gonna rape me or anything. …I hope.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here, Belcitane is the kind of character who would be a straight-up rapist if this game had any balls. Luckily for everyone though, it doesn’t so instead he’s just a comically evil creep instead of a midget version of Jabba the Hutt.

Hologram Cisna: I see.

I have no explanation for Leonard’s Suspicious Fry look there other than bad screenshot timing. Personally I’d like to imagine he’s trying to figure out who this “We” person Eldore mentioned is and HOW DARE HE TRY TO RESCUE CISNA BEFORE HIM !

Leonard: Princess, where are you? Can you tell us about your surroundings?

Oh hey, look at that, some actual forethought from Leonard. That’s new.

Hologram Cisna: I see sand. Endless golden sand. I think we must be flying over a desert.

Eldore: The desert?

Eldore: …The Lagnish Desert?

Cisna suddenly gasps and looks over her shoulder.

Hologram Cisna: Someone’s coming!

So she puts them on hold.

Ah, here’s something that gonna become a recurring event in this game: Leonard getting strung along by Cisna and then left hanging like the desperate rube he is.

Leonard: Wait! Princess…

Take a shot.

And of course he’s crushed now that Cisna has vanished again from his life. This makes a total of 20 minutes he has known and spoken to her now over the course of his entire life.

CUTSCENE: The Power of the Athwani

So Cisna’s apparently got some visitors. I wonder who it could be.

Oh who the fuck the else did you think it was gonna be. It’s Belcy and Dragias.

What, were thinking it was gonna be Shapur? Please, the game is not that creative.

Of course, Cisna’s got her own Plot Bird following the monoship.

And of course, it’s pink. Because Cisna’s a girl.

Dragias: And how are we today, dear Princess?

She shoots Dragias a look of utter hatred.

Completely warranted, of course, since he, you know, murdered her father and helped kidnap her.

Cisna: You monster! Murderer! I swear, you will pay!
Cisna: I am going to make sure you both die screaming my name.

Belcitane: Hah hah hah hah hah!

Belcitane: She certainly is a feisty one, our little guest is.

Belcitane: But really, now.

Belcitane: You’re in no position to be issuing threats.

Belcitane: Hah hah hah.
Cisna: I don’t do threats. They’re promises.

Cisna: Grgh.

More mustache-twirling awesomeness.

Belcitane: In fact, my dear, you’re going to be assisting us in our little project.


Cisna: Me? Help you? I don’t think so.
Cisna: Not unless you reverse those positions. Then we might have something.

Dragias: Oh, yes.

Dragias: Truth be told, you’ve already been of great assistance to us.

Dragias: You see, it was you who unleashed the power of the Knight.

Cisna: ’Fuck you say?

Dragias: Ah, but don’t you remember?

Dragias: When you were down in the treasure vault and surrounded by dangers…

Dragias: A spell came to your lips, unbidden. Out of instinct. That sacred royal incantation broke the Knight’s seal. Ring any bells, Princess?

Dragias may be a regicidal murderer and a water carrier for a crazy cult, but he’s not a liar.

Dragias: That’s right. To save your own life, you unleashed the power of the ancient civilization of Yshrenia.

Well, at least these guys have a proper name now, so we can stop calling them the ‘Ancients’. Glad that trope lasted all of a chapter. If you’re wondering how to pronounce that word, either listen to the good general pronounce it in the video, or just add an ‘I’ between the Y and S at the start. “Yish-ren-ee-ah.”

Yeah, I know it’s dumb, but you’re gonna hear that name a bajillion times between then and the end of game 2, so you’d best get used to it.

Cisna: Eh. Totally worth it.

Dragias: The Knight is free, and now it is just a matter of time before its power falls into wiser hands.

I love it when the game does my job for me.

Dragias: …If our scriptwriting god wills it, that is.

Orren: Oh shit, they’re on to me!

Cisna: No. That’s impossible!

You’re saying that to a guy who looks like Darth Vader. You’re not even trying to beat back the Star Wars comparisons any more, are you White Knight Chronicles?

Cisna: I don’t know what you’re talking about!

Dragias: Perhaps you don’t. But the memories of the Athwani are in your very flesh.

Dragias: Like it or not, Princess, you are the key to gaining control of our world…

Dragias: And you belong to us.

Cisna: Fuck my life.

We return to camp Durr immediately thereafter.

Wow, Orren’s ass has had a more prominent role in this chapter than Orren himself has. He’s like this game’s Zelas Metallium.

That’s a Slayers joke, you uncultured rubes.

Eldore gathers the group around a barrel that is suddenly there, for reasons. Maybe he’s like Mary Poppins or something and just pulled it out a travel bag. I dunno. I just have this image that Eldore actually packed all the provisions in this barrel and then forced Orren to carry it for them on his shoulders. Because the Avatar is this game’s bitch.

Eldore: Alright. If they’re in the desert, there’s only one place they could be heading: the town of Albana.

Eldore: Right here.
Orren: Oh gods, not the toads. Anything but the toads!

Eldore: I’ve heard that the Cataclysm unearthed some ancient ruins near there. Perhaps that’s what they’re after?

Yulie: If we’re going to Albana then we’ll have to pass through the Nordia Tunnels, and cross the Lagnish Desert.

Of course we already know this, but once again she’s repeating the obvious because Leonard has forgotten about it.

Because Leonard is of inadequate intelligence.

Eldore: Indeed, but tonight we sleep. We’ll enter the tunnels first thing tomorrow. Good night.

Everyone nods and heads off to bed.

Everyone except for Leonard.

Leonard: Cisna…

Take a shot.

Leonard: Be safe.

Not much she can really do about that one, buddy.

And so we close this chapter on a shot of the starry sky above.

So let’s recap Leonard’s acts of ‘heroism’ so far, shall we? In 6 LP chapters and 4 gameplay hours he has:

● Failed to make an otherwise routine wine delivery on time.
● Failed to corral one drunk wagoneer into the driver’s seat of said wagon in under 4 hours.
● Had to kill a troll unnecessarily because he took too long delivering the wine and inadvertently lured said troll right to the wine wagon.
● Snuck into the royal birthday party for no reason and then spent the rest of the event stalking Cisna.
● Failed to intervene in time to save King Valtos from assassination.
● Led Cisna into a dead-end vault as a ‘rescue,’ instead of to safety outside the castle.
● Assumed control over the White Knight and did more damage to Balandor Castle trying to save it than Pyredaemos itself did trying to destroy it.
● Failed to protect Princess Cisna from kidnapping when she was like ten meters behind him.
● Failed to rescue Princess Cisna from the Magi immediately by forgetting how to transform into the White Knight and just watching them fly off with her instead.
● Drove an otherwise innocent creature insane with rage simply by being in its presence and then murdered it in a flash of misguided bravado.

And we haven’t even hit the point in the game where I honestly started to hate Leonard as a character the first time I played through it.

It gets worse.

So the kid was a walking deathtrap, what else was new? I honestly felt kind of sorry for him after that whole Ahwahnee thing, but when I asked him about the next morning he honestly did not know what I was talking about.

So I hit him and headed down into the tunnels after Eldore and Yulie, thinking how appropriate a metaphor for my life this was: a descent into a dark, frigid hole filled with spiders.