Part 14: The Black Knight (Part 2)
Back in the Nordia Tunnels, suddenly Magi soldiers have started appearing inside the mines. God they got here quick, seeing as how Dragias just departed from the monoship like five minutes ago.
Maybe he is capable of teleporting
Oh, thank god, its the exit.
CUTSCENE: General Dragias & The Black Knight
Leonard: I see the exit!
I see General Dragias.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Black-Clad General (Unreleased Track)
Dragias: Welcome, young Skywalker
Leonard: Its him!
Dragias: So we meet again.
Leonard: You scum!
Leonard: Give us back the Princess!
Orren: Why dont you try saying please first or something. Dumbass.
Dragias: Oh, Im afraid not. On the contrary, I believe you have something for me.
Dragias: The Knights Ark belongs to us. A worthless thing like you has no right to claim it.
Dragias: Hand it over, boy. Now!
Leonard: Not until you release Princess Cisna!
Orren: Are you and idiot?! Youre gonna trade a weapon of mass destruction for a girl?!
Bear in mind, he has no idea how tactically valuable Cisna is as a person. So hes just blindly offering the Ark to Dragais for one unremarkable girl (from his perspective) on face value without considering the broader, horrifying consequences of the deal. Because hes obsessed with her that much.
Leonard is dumb.
Dragias: Ha ha ha hah!
Dragias: You seem to have mistaken this for some kind of negotiation.
So Darth Vader uses the Force to jump into air and land down in front of our lets just call them characters, because heroes is still a bridge too far for me.
Dragias: Enough talk! Well settle this with our blades.
BOSS FIGHT: General Dragias & The Black Knight (with text commentary on account of audio issues).
So now we get to take on Dragias in battle for the first time.
And because the good general is ostensibly human, hes got no attack weaknesses and as an extra added bonus, hes resistant to fire, ice, wind, and earth elemental skills.
Meaning this fight is tedious.
Anyway, knocking the general down to half health is all you need to do in this fight to trigger the next cutscene.
Its Leonard and Eldore two-on-one versus Dragias.
Yulie is nowhere to be found in this fight. Because shes a girl.
And neither is Orren. Because hes the Avatar.
And as weve established a million times already, this games thesis is: fuck the Avatar.
This is the other close-quarters action scene of the game. Its beautifully mo-capped and passably choreographed.
Though because its a T-rated game and this story is horribly clichéd, Dragias doesnt land any actual blows on Leonard or Eldore, and vice-versa.
So theres no tension to this fight.
Like here where Leonard gets knocked off his feet by Dragias. Instead of going in for the kill...
Dragias takes his time and lets him recover
So that Eldore can swoop in and block when he finally does go in for the kill.
Same thing with Leonard. Hes got Dragias dead-to-rights here, but he just lets him kick Eldore in the gut here.
I didnt get a screen capture of the actual kick because VLC was being a turd while I was going through this video.
And of course, the fight comes to a head in the most clichéd way possible: all three combatants cross swords instead of either Eldore or Leonard taking advantage of Dragiass handicap and ram their sword into his flank.
Oh you two both suck so much.
CUTSCENE / BATTLE MUSIC: Jet-Black Wings (Disc 1, Track 22)
Dragias: Very well. Its time to bring this absurdity to a close.
Oh how you get my hopes up, game
Dragias summons a strange sword from the ether
Dragias: O Dinivas, deliverer of dark and dread
Dragias: Ruler of the ancient shadows
Dragias: Grant me your power!
So yeah, Dragias also has a Knight.
This is Dinivas, the Black Knight, known by the nickname of Ebonwings for whatever reason. Its the only Knight that has a nickname in the game. I dont know why.
I love the Black Knights design. Its simple, yet eloquent and the wings make it looks far more badass than the White Knight does.
Leonard: Oh great!
Eldore: How the?! Is this villain a Knight too?
Yulie: What do we do?
Eldore: The Black Knight
Eldore: Also known as Ebonwings in the Dogma Legend
Orren: Ah, thats not useful answer there, chief!
So in terms of fighting the Black Knight, its just like a troll, in that its weak to stabbing attacks, though just like Dragiass human form, its also strong against elemental magic.
Dragias: Let me deal with you now!
Once again, the game all but tells you to bring out the White Knight and make this a proper duel.
Leonard: O Wizel, white warrior, wielder of the ancient sword, grant me your power
Leonard: Now were talking! Knight versus Knight!
Eldore: That evens things up!
Yulie: Get him, Leonard!
Orren: Fuck him up!
So same thing as with Pyredaemos, stab the Black Knight until cutscene.
Dragias: Prove yourself!
(Or I think thats what he said. Dragias has a bit of in-battle dialog, but his voice is so deep and modulated that even with turning off all the music and sound effects, I could not make out anything he was saying).
Once the Knight comes out, characters 2 and 3 become afterthoughts, essentially supporting the White Knight now with healing spells and the occasional random stab at an attack that the Black Knight is weak against, because the AIs got to get something right occasionally. Its a statistical eventuality.
The Black Knight will also occasionally whip out its wings and zip from one end of the arena, or just flap them really hard and knock down the human characters, even knocking them into KO status some times.
This is probably its strongest attack, because its an area of effect skill and, as youll see in the video, hella strong.
But this is New Game+, so Leonard mows down Dragias without much effort.
CUTSCNE: The Dogma Legend
Dragias: Astonishing. His power was already growing
Dragias: And all Ive accomplished by fighting him is to give the wretch more battle experience.
And rather than use his still-intact Knight to kill them all anway
Dragias just turns tail and runs.
Everyone in this game sucks.
Eldore: It seems youre not the only Pactmaker.
Yulie: Just what exactly is going on?
Orren: Whatever it has to be, I bet the explanation is just magical...
Eldore: The Dogma Legend speaks of five Knights
Eldore: And those Magi already have one of them. It appears they want the whole collection to themselves. Gods help us all if they manage to get it.
Yulie: Does something happen if the Knights come together?
Eldore: Itll bring about the Final Awakening. Just as foretold in the last verse of the Dogma Legend.
Orren: Why do I get the feeling that needs a TM symbol attached to it?
Eldore: Though exactly what that is, I cannot say.
Yulie: The Final Awakening?
Orren: The Apocalypse, dear. You can dress it up with whatever stupid name you want, but the old man is talking about the end of the world.
Im calling it right here: in its final moments, the game is going to rip off End of Evangelion and end with a giant naked Leonard sucking up the souls of all creation to birth the pinnacle of ignorance made flesh to the sound of a disturbingly catchy song about suicide.
Leonard: Why does it all come tumbling down, anyway?
Leonard: I wouldnt worry. Theyll never get my Knight. I swear it.
Eldore: Ebonwings! I can scarcely believe it.
Yulie: I hope we're not marching to our graves.
Leonard: Don't say that! We'll save her!
Orren: Unrelated to the possibility of us all dying, but whatever.
Eldore: We'll know that soon enough, won't we?
So with Dragias defeated, the party moves on out of the tunnels and out to the other side.
CUTSCENE: Out the Other Side
Leonard: Well, I think we found the desert.
Yulie: Aaaaaaaaaah! Nothing beats the great outdoors!
Eldore: Our next destination will be the town of Albana, which lies in the center of the desert here.
Eldore: But before we go there
Leonard: We camp. Right?
Eldore: Huh? Well, yes
I just love the way Shaughnessy delivers this line. Its so bemusedly nonchalant. Like hes impressed Leonard has actually kept a thought in his brain for more than a day.
Eldore: He knows too much
CUTSCENE: The Lake Dance
We return later that night andINCOMING PLOT BIRD!
The Plot Bird bites Leonards ear to get his attention, even after it lands on his shoulder.
Leonard: Where are you going?
Take a shot.
Foz leads him to the shore of a nearby lake for reasons.
Hologram Cisna: Well? Dont just stand there. Salute, you twit!
Hologram Cisna: Aw, screw it.
Hologram Cisna: Hello, Leonard. We meet again.
Hologram Cisna: For like the fourth time, or something.
Leonard: Tits! I-I mean
Leonard: H hi !
Hologram Cisna: Oh did I wake you? Im sorry.
Leonard: No-no, its fine! I couldnt sleep anyway.
He is just so desperate for her approval.
Hologram Cisna: Oh, you came alone. What luck!
Hologram Cisna: Now my minions! Bring me his head!
Hologram Cisna: Minions? Anyone? Balls. This is what I get for contracting work out to toads. Okay, forget it then.
Hologram Cisna: Shit. Umm. Think fast. I Uuuh Like you, Leonard.
Leonard: Awww, Princess. Im in like with you too.
Hologram Cisna: (Like a charm. Heh heh.)
Hologram Cisna: Or, perhaps perhaps these birds sensed what I was thinking? How much I wanted to speak to you again.
You should have just stuck with pretending to like him, babe. Empathic birds I can buy, but actually wanting to talk to Leonard strains credulity.
Why do I keep blacking out while I write this chapter?
Leonard: I uh yeah?
Enthralling dialog. I can see why theyre destined to be together forever and always. Like nearly everything else he attempts, Leonard is also hopelessly inept at speaking to women.
Hologram Cisna: If it werent for you, where would I be?
Hologram Cisna: Dead amongst the castle ashes.
Or that. Sort of. Though his role in your survival is debatable, because Im pretty sure Dragais would have just absconded with you after he murdered Valtos anyway, because getting to you was half the reason the Magi blitzed Balandor in the first place.
Hologram Cisna: I owe you no less than my life, Leonard.
Hologram Cisna: (Dont hold me to that, though.)
Leonard: It was nothing Uh anyway, never mind that. Where are you, Princess?
Even though weve already established shes most likely in or just outside of Albana. Leonard has forgotten that fact.
Hologram Cisna: Im not certain.
And so has Cisna, apparently.
Hologram Cisna: All I see is endless desert. The ship has landed here amidst the sand. Wait. I think I see a town through the window.
Leonard: Town? Thats got to be Albana!
Leonard: Just sit tight! Were coming. Were going to rescue you!
Hologram Cisna: I know you are, Leonard. I believe in you.
Hologram Cisna: Because if you dont, Im gonna have you executed.
Take a shot.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Beneath The Starry Sky (Disc 1, Track 23)
She steps forward, probably moving much farther than her walk-in closet of a cell would actually allow her to.
Hologram Cisna: Please, call me Cisna.
Hologram Cisna: EMPRESS Cisna, actually.
Leonard: I just peed myself.
Hologram Cisna: Aw shit. How do you turn this thing off?
Leonard reaches out and takes her holo-hand.
They ascend to a higher plane of existence. The end.
Suddenly-Not-Hologram Cisna: Aaaand now youre pregnant.
Nah, it just somehow transforms Cisna into a Real Girl. And puts her party dress back on her.
You cant tell from these screenshots, but if Leonard is wearing any armour, this transition restores his default clothing as well, so its like they were in the moment they met (properly).
And thus begins the infamous Lake Dance sequence, or: Now were ripping off Final Fantasy X! Two more Final Fantasies, and we get to rip off Final Fantasy VII for free!
Well, at the very least this one doesnt end on the implication that Leonard and Cisna then had sex afterward like it does in FFX. This game isnt anywhere near mature enough to broach sexuality in any way.
Plus, if it did, it would mean Leonard literally fucked a hologram.
So not only are Bigelows able to project holograms from their eyes via a psychic link, not only are they empathic, now they can also break the laws of physics and project magical barriers around people, thus allowing Leonard and Cisna to dance on water for reasons.
Because Akihiro Hino saw the Suteki Da Ne? sequence in FFX and thought, I want to do that in my RPG too! Only his sequence would be even more of an affront to how water works than Yoshinori Kitases was!
Im just letting you enjoy the corny because theres nothing more I can say to mock this. It speaks for itself.
And because Leonard sucks at everything he does, he falls on his ass trying to waltz with Cisna.
The Plot Bird takes pity on him and keeps him from falling into the lake, which would have made this scene hilarious if the barrier under his ass just gave out and he fell through the water with a short scream.
Cisna thinks its frickin hysterical, however.
Tidus: Hey, Yuna. Remember when we did this?
Orren: Yeah, it was stupid back then too. Now GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SOTRY!
And of course, now hes suddenly an expert on this. I have a theory though on this little aberration of reality, but Ill hold it off until the end of the sequence.
And were back to the real world. I say this of course, because theres a subtle emphasis that this whole sequence took place entirely in Leonards mind. The most obvious evidence being that theyre standing exactly where they were when the dace seemingly began, Cisna (and him) magically transformed into his idealized version of herself when he took her hand, not to mention the hazy dream filter on over the sequence, and the fact that THEY DANCED ON FUCKING WATER!
Plus theres the fact that Cisna is under constant watch by the Magi, and if they cant hear her talking to Leonard out loud in her cell, they should at least be able to see her dancing around her room with holo-Leonard. Right? Am I to believe that Belcitane sucks this much at his own security that neither him, Shapur, or any of the guards he has posted on Cisnas room dont notice any of this happening?
Hell, maybe hes in the room just off camera and has actually co-opted Cisna into working for the Magi through Stockholm syndrome or something? Wouldnt that be a twist? Because that would be a real effective way to lure Leonard into doing anything you want him to do: use Cisna as the honeytrap.
Again, its sad when Im more creative than this game is.
Hologram Cisna: I wish we could talk some more but I have to be careful.
Also this line. Having a damn water dance is not being careful. Plus she says talk some more. Not dance some more.
Leonard just wasted everyones time fantasizing about what it would be like to dance with Cisna for reals.
Hes like Walter Mitty, only bereft of his genuinely likeable nice guy nature.
Hologram Cisna: See you soon, Leonard.
Leonard: Goodbye, Cisna.
Dude, she just hung up on you.
No, seriously, in the video she blinks out while hes in mid-sentence. Doesnt even bother to wait for him to finish talking.
Heart-touching romance at its finest, folks.
And so hes left all alone with his empty brainless head.
OR IS HE?!
A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS!
Yulie: Thats it. When I get my hands on her, Im gonna murder that genocidal bitch.
I dont know why Yulie is getting all jealous of Leonard and Cisna. A) Their relationship is one-sided and completely superficial. B) Yulie is essentially Leonards foster sister. And C) its fucking LEONARD! You can do so much better, girl.
Christ, okay. I get it.
Is this chapter still not done? Fuuuuuuuuck me.
CUTSCENE: Belcitane's Scheme, Take 2: Assassination Boogaloo
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Magi (Unreleased Track)
Meanwhile, back on the monoship. Belcitane has taken a break from not watching Cisna to welcome back the newly humiliated General Dragias.
Oh, hey, Shapurs still there in the background too, daring people to try and notice him on their own.
Also, I think Dragias is gonna choke out Belcy for selling him a bill of goods on this whole you can totally beat Leonard in a fight nonsense.
Dragias: That cursed boy!
Or just blame Leonard for it. Hell, its what I do.
Dragias: He may be more than we bargained for, Belcitane.
Belcitane: Indeed. It does seem that way.
Belcitane: Or maybe you just suck and we havent figured it out until now? Eh, no matter.
Dragias: We cannot allow him to grow any more powerful than he already is.
Leonard is at his apex as of this moment in every sense of the word. Growth and Leonard from this point onward are anathema to one another.
Belcitane: I do have one suggestion, my general.
Dragias: Go on
Dragias: But this one better be a step up from your last suggestion, so help me.
Its around this point I start to question the power dynamic of the Magi leadership as it seems like Belcitane and Dragias take turns acting as each others superiors. Is Belcitane in charge? Is Dragias? Weve seen them both commanding the Magis army in battle. Weve seen Belcitane giving orders to Dragias, and then we see him making suggestions to Dragias like hes just an advisor or something.
The Magis whole power structure makes no sense, and will get even more screwed up as we go along.
Belcitane: You see, a pact with a Knight is forever, which leaves us but one way to break it. Isnt it obvious?
Belcitane: The Pactmakers death!
Dana Snyder is just eating this scene up, I swear to god.
Dragias: Assasination? Yes. Of course. I take it you have a plan?
Belcitane: I always do, general
Look at that face. LOOK AT IT!
Belcitane is LOVING this shit.
Dragias: Wait Are you actually going to tell me it, or are you just going to mime it?
Seriously, this zoom out is unvoiced with Belcy just miming like hes explaining things to Dragias.
Dragias: Fuck you.
Dear every god, ever. Please dont that moron Leonard bring about the end of the world. I swear Ill be extra special good. Ill join the priesthood. Ill give up killing things for money. Ill even stop cursing! Just dont let this Final Awakening thing come to pass Im too pretty to die.
- 7.1 - The Nordia Tunnels
- 7.2 - Belcitane's Plot, Take 1
- 7.3 - Fantasy Politics 101
- 7.4 - Cyrus Remembers
- 7.5 - General Dragias & The Black Knight
- 7.i - Dragias & Black Knight Boss Fight
- 7.6 - The Dogma Legend
- 7.7 - Out the Other Side
- 7.8 - The Lake Dance
- 7.9 - Belcitane's Scheme, Take 2: Assassination Boogaloo
- 7.ii - Suteki Da No
THE NORDIA TUNNELS