The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

Part 20: The Gift of the Magi

Sadly, the Magi do not actually appear in this chapter. I just thought that given the eventual context of the item we’re going on the fetch quest today to obtain, it was a more fitting title than me just using the title card to obtusely bitch about fetch quests.

CUTSCENE: Landing in Greede

So we pick up immediately from where we left off in Chapter XI with the flying Panzer Dragoon beast gondola coming in on final approach to Greede’s Central Station.

Yulie: Wow!

CUTSCENE / AREA MUSIC:The Free City of Greede” (Disc 2, Track 1)

The gondola swoops in on its final approach.

And it comes to a gentle stop at the paddock.

This girl in the shawl and blue dress seems to be important, given how the camera flies past her as she stands there right at the edge of the dock… But she’s not.

The door swings open and Leonard comes swaggering out, full of thoughtless optimism and ignorant joy while everyone else around him wonders in mounting horror how many innocent people is he going to get killed in this city now.

I mean, Greede is probably twice the size of Balandor and has about 5x the total population living in one condensed space on the back of a wild beast of a scale that easily dwarfs even the Knights. There’s got to be some way that Leonard will manage to piss it off to the point where it shakes Greede right off its back in rage… right?

Leonard: I’m helping people. Because I’m a hero.
Orren: Fall of the edge of the city and die, please.
Leonard: So this is Greede.
Yulie: To think, this whole place actually moves.

Eldore: The entire city is borne on the back of a giant monster they call the Demithor.

Oh yeah, I guess I jumped the gun on naming the Demithor last chapter. Meh.

Yulie: It’s like something out a fantasy.

Says the girl living in a shitty fantasy novel world.

Leonard: Well, should we start exploring?

And of course, Leonard has no idea what the plan is, so he turns to Eldore for instructions on where to go next.

Eldore: We can take a locomotive into the Merchants’ Quarter. The station is nearby.

So we get our area title card overlaid atop a massive mansion. This is the palace of Count Drisdall, the ruler of Greede, by the way.

And this is Greede Central Station. No, literally, that’s what it’s called.

The property value of this place just went through the floor by him stepping inside of it.

So now that we’ve got control over assface again, we need to head for the locomotive platform on the upper level of the station and catch a train into town.

What I’m about to show you, however, another fine example of the game’s needless padding.

You go into the elevator and head up to the second floor.

You’re not given any guides or prompting that you should be doing anything other than this, mind you.

You go up to the turnstile and try to board the train…

And you get this message. There was nothing between here and there that even hinted you needed to get a train pass from the terminal down on the first floor. The game just trolled you into doing another equidistant backtrack.

Fuck you, Level-5.

Just give me my ticket before I project Akihiro Hino’s face onto your head and try to punch it.



Oh, great. Now I can’t see out of my left eye…

And there’s suddenly all this blood on my keyboard…

.uoy kcuF .5-leveL ,uoy kcuF

And now we can get around Greede unimpeded. At least this detour didn’t involve giant frog sex.

So like I screamed earlier, these cutscenes of the train pulling into and out of the station—in a competent game—would be used to disguise loading screens, like the elevators in the original Mass Effect or that goddamn warroom scanner thing from Mass Effect 3 did.

But because this is White Knight Chronicles and Level-5 could find a way to light a bowl of Corn Flakes on fire with nothing but milk and a spoon, we get a loading screen immediately after the cutscene.

Fuck, Final Fantasy XIII had an equally torturous development cycle and I’m pretty sure I at least didn’t see one loading screen that wasn’t a result of cold-loading a save file. I might be wrong, but I don’t care. I’m willing to make stuff up if it helps make this game look even worse.

Por ejemplo: a loading screen.

CUTSCENE: Getting to the Caverns

Anyways, because every town in the game has a Thing, Greede’s thing is Gears. Just like Balandor’s thing was Boring, and Parma’s thing was Wine, and Albana’s thing was Toads, and Faria’s thing is Horns.

Greede is a city run by comically oversized gears.

It’s kind of like Xizor’s Palace, only slightly more practical given that it’s an actual steampunk setting and not goddamn Star Wars.

Leonard: So now what?
Orren: Well, if you’d take some godsdamn initiative for once…

Leonard: How do we get to the Bunker Lode Caverns from the city? Any ideas?

Eldore: Now that’s the hard part; there is only one way.
Orren: Bullshit. Just commandeer one of the gondolas. They’ll fly just about anywhere.

Leonard: Which is?

Kara: Allow me to explain.

CUTSCENE MUSIC:The Bunker Lode Caverns

Kara: Greede works because the mines generate enough revenue for the city to maintain its independence.

Kara: Unfortunately for us, the mining season is over, so the Demithor has moved into down position, with the city resting at the base of the caldera.

Kara: When they want to begin mining again, the Demithor lifts them up and the city connects directly to the caverns on the mountainside. That way, they can extract large masses of ore too heavy to carry by gondola.

…So again, why not just take a gondola there already. You’re not hauling heavy ore with you, you’re going there to try and rescue Princess Kidnappable and kick the shit out of Belcitane.

This should be incredibly simple, yet I have a sneaking suspicion you’re going to make this harder than it already is.

Leonard: Meaning… To get to the mines, the entire city has to be moved.
Orren: No. You just need to take a gondola.
Leonard: What’s a—
Orren: That thing we flew in on.
Leonard: WE CAN FLY?!
Orren: WHY?! Why have I not murdered you yet?!

Eldore: That’s right. That’s why we have to go and see the man who runs Greede.

Eldore: Only Count Drisdall can authorize such a thing.

Leonard: Okay. Let’s go!

Kara: Hrumph. It’s not that easy. Count Drisdall is like an emperor here.

Kara: You don’t just drop by his house and say, “Hi, Count. Could you move the city for us?”

Eldore: First we need to ask around town and find out how we might get an audience with the count.

Leonard: Urgh. No love letters, please.

I share Leonard’s embarrassment over that incident.

So let’s start by asking around town. Luckily, the game spares you having to do the time honoured “ask every single person in Midgar where to go to find X” routine and instead plops a guy down right in front of you with the answer when you come out of the cutscene.

No, but I imagine you’re going to exposit about it to me.

Yeah, because now that you’ve repeated it to me in an equally context-free manner, I completely understand what you’re talking about now.

Black market? Hot damn. Maybe we can sell Leonard to some creepy lord in exchange for a competent protagonist.

You’d think the way the game is building this place up it’s going to be some new gameplay mechanic, right?

…Where’s that clip of Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor screaming WROOOOOOONG!!! Ah, there it is.

You can run around and talk to everyone else here in the Merchant Quarter, but you’ve got just about all the info you need. At this point. Well, you need to know where the Black Cherry is though—it’s in the city’s Downtown section, but we’re getting there.

I’m including this little bit because it’s actually going to become plot relevant in the next chapter.

So Count Driz is on his last legs and the general mood around town is one of abject baited-breath terror at the thought of his idiot playboy son Caesar taking over once the count croaks.

Oh yeah, one other thing to point out: Greede is pretty much a melting pot city. It’s the only place on Nadias where you will find NPCs of all five races (Humans, Farians, Wargs, Papitaurs and Toads) in one place.

I’m just using this guy as an example, but Greede is crawling with Farians.


Yeah, okay whatever.

AREA MUSIC:Downtown Greede” (Disc 2, Track 2)

So one quick train ride and loading screen later and we’re now in downtown Greede.

This area has probably my favourite town track in the whole game.

The first thing you notice about downtown Greede is that everything is a little more grungy and rundown. While the Merchant Quarter was all bright and polished, Downtown looks like something out of a Dickens novel, only with less chance of being murdered, mugged, raped, or dying of tuberculosis.

So here begins in earnest the first of many fetch quests that compose the entirety of our time in Greede. This is merely the start of what everyone in the thread was bitching about in the run up to actually getting to Greede.

Now we need to find some way to acquire a pass to the Black Market other than having Leonard transform into the White Knight and rip the roof off the place like he should be doing right now.

Instead he tries opening the locked door anyway.

Because I need a goddamn drink already.

Well, now we know who our mark is…

Let’s try our hand with the lovely lass to see if we can eke out some leverage on this situation.

And there’s our pressure point.

To the Merchant Quarter! It’s exploitation time!

Through the miracle of editing, we suddenly arrive at the other pub on the opposite side of Greede after like five minutes of walking and two 20-second long train loading screens.

So we meet this lovely young cat girl in a bar and convince her to give us her sweet sweet honey.

You must be on your own little adventure there then, because that right there is Player Character-level stupid for this game.

Also, you must be bleeping amazing at hiding that thing if you’re still alive, because the Vespids in this game are fucking on-point about hunting people down and murdering them for even just looking at them.

Lady, I have already forgotten your name.

Out the door, aaaand…

Back to the other bar!

Okay, that line was kind of funny. Though now I’m wondering what kind of weird shit the Papitaurs get up to with their bees in Baccea, and…


I’m making this look easy. This was twenty minutes of running around just to get to this point. And the real fetch quest hasn’t even really started yet. We’re fetching the fetch quest with this fetch quest.

What are you here to see him for, Scarecrow? A brain? Because I think Leonard has that one claimed when we go see him.

And now we have an angle on the count. Thanks socially inept rich white person with a Japanese name for no reason.

You’re just bitter because you don’t even have the charisma to be a brown-nosing whiner.

Leonard has apparently developed psyching powers now because he can hear this guy’s thoughts apparently.

And thus Shu awkwardly gave the Baccean Honey to Zoey, who replied that this was the perfect ingredient to add to the cake she was baking for her boyfriend’s birthday today.

Shu then went and threw himself off the edge of city.

Well, he will be dead by the time he hits the ground…

Okay, so before we go in there, a question: which one of you dingases has the coinage to afford a statute that even the wealthiest man on the planet can’t seem to get his hands on?


Aw hell, maybe a plot contrivance will crop up and we’ll get it for free under some bullshit condition.

CUTSCENE: The Goddess of Lépanne

Inside the Black Cherry, the auction’s Impresario readies to unveil today’s feature item.

Eldore: This must be it.

Leonard: They better be selling that statue here, that’s all I can say.

Because god forbid we do all this running around for nothing again right?

Von Dietrich: Next up! A treasure unlike any other! Many have coveted zhis beauty…

Von Dietrich: Aaand now you have ze chance to possess her!

I should also note, in addition to looking like a complete tool, this guy also speaks with a thick fake French accent, despite having a German name.

This guy is Von Dietrich, the owner, operator, and apparently sole auctioneer of the Black Cheery auction house. He’s not named at any point in the spoken dialogue of the game, but if you do the “The Arena” quest here in Greede, you will learn his name that way… and discover that he also runs a quasi-illegal fight club in Greede’s Underbelly, in addition to running a quasi-illegal black market in its downtown core.

Basically, this guy’s a walking heatscore.

So sexy catgirl Vana White lifts the cover off the pedestal, revealing…

Von Dietrich: I give you… Ze Goddess of Léppane!

The audience begins clapping and hooting wildly.

Some people even start swooning over it.

Leonard: That’s the one we’re after.

Von Dietrich: Now, please be avare: ve vill only sell ze Goddess if she is made whole again…

Von Dietrich: Zhat’s riiight. Unfortunately, zis particular item is not quite complete.

Von Dietrich: Ze eyes. As you can see, she is missing von of ze precious firestones vich give her eyes zheir fierce and passionate glow.

The crowd starts muttering among themselves.

Why would you trot out a priceless artifact everyone up to the Count of Greede himself is desperate to get their hands on, only to tell people it’s not for sale because it’s broken? Dude, you’re like the biggest goddamn troll ever.

Von Dietrich: Now, as you all know, ze firestones are rare gems zhat can only be found in ze talons of zha vicious Flandar Fire Lizard.

Von Dietrich: However, if some brave man or voman were to confront zha beast and bring back ze rare gem…

Von Dietrich: I might part vith ze Goddess for less zhan her full asking value.

The crowd starts running for the exit.

Von Dietrich: After all, I only vish to sell her to somevon who vill truly appreciate her.
Leonard: Hmm. A stupid and dangerous quest for a dubious reward issued by a shifty-looking person of questionable veracity? We’re ALL OVER that!
Orren: Wait, some of those words you just used…
Leonard: We can get Princess back with the pretty stone lady!
Orren: Oh, nevermind, it must have been my imagination.

Von Dietrich: Please! Don’t all approach at vonce! Raise your hands and—


Von Dietrich: …huh?
Orren: You suck!

Von Dietrich: Uuugh. As I feared. Vhy bothzar? Novone vants to go on zuch a dangerous adventure. Of course not.

Leonard: Wait! We’ll do it!

Von Dietrich: Vhat?! You vill? Really?

So here’s our feature fetch quest for this chapter: go to the ass end of the Flandars, kill a Fire Lizard, then come back to Greede and give Owzer here his firestone so we get the Goddess, then turn around and take it to Count Drisdall so he can send us on another fetch quest to retrieve Princess I’m Pretty Sure Elise From Sonic '06 Gets Kidnapped Fewer Times Than Her from the Magi. But that’s yet to come…

CUTSCENE: The Quest for the Goddess

Von Dietrich: Thank you brave sir, truly.

Von Dietrich: I must confess, after ze statue got damaged I felt truly terrible.

Von Dietrich: Surely an art lover like yourself must understand.

Leonard’s last experience with art of any kind was the fingerpainting he did… last week.

Von Dietrich: My boy, I only vant to see ze Goddess restored to her former glory. If you do zhat for me, zhen I will give za Goddess to you for free. Yeah?

Leonard: Woah! Really! You will!

Von Dietrich: Of course.

Von Dietrich: …But! Ze Fire Lizard is truly a fearsome monster, yes?

Von Dietrich: Just so we’re clear on zhat point. You must be careful.
Orren: Oh dear… Buddy, I have some news for you—

Leonard: Hey! No problem!

Kara: Hrumph. That’s what you think… “brave sir.”

If this statue could talk, she’d be laughing her ass off right now.

So now we’ve got to run to the Merchant Quarter and talk to everyone in town again.

Luckily, because I’ve played this game… three fucking times now… I know where we need to go.

So up on the third level of Greede’s Merchant Quarter, there’s only one house we can enter, and it’s the home of…

This rich asshole.

I'm surprised you're not more taken aback by the fact that a group of ragtag strangers just wandered into your house.

But whatever.

Okay, so now that we know what to do and we’ve got the latest Plot Coupon, it’s time to head for the Flandars, and rather than run to the exit of the city like a rube, we’re just going to take a short cut and teleport onto the map through the local Logic Stone.

OVERWORLD MUSIC:The Continent of Nadias” (Disc 1, Track 15)

Yay backtracking!

So the long and short of thing is we have to head for a part of the trail that was previously blocked off when we made the climb up to the gondola terminal.

We come to a dead end at the path and there’s a marker here and a giant hole in the ground.

Jump, ya bastard.

We come to a wide open area (read: boss fight arena), and find the giant red crystal Pierre mentioned.

He’s just waiting for the right chance to off the kid…

CUTSCENE: The Incredible Fire Lizard

As soon as the bait touches the crystal, we get a cutscene.

I am fire. I am death.

It comes tearing down the path.

So it lands on the ground, slamming into the camera.

And bellows in rage.

What? No boss subtitle for this thing? Forshame, game.

Give me a second here…

Ah, that’s better.

(MINI-)BOSS FIGHT: The Fire Lizard (Sans commentary or text because it's stupidly straightforward).

So yeah, after all that build up, the Fire Lizard is actually just a pallet swap of the Ice Lizard, which we also get to fight in this battle. Two of them, anyway.

All three lizards have jacked up stats for this battle. From now on we’re going to be encountering Fire Lizards in the Flandars and elsewhere and they’ll be just like their Ice Lizard counterparts, only with swapped elemental strengths and weaknesses.

All you really need to do for this battle is kill the Fire Lizard and the battle ends. I guess the two Ice Lizards just give up or something after their leader goes down.

Alright, let’s get out of here.

Of course the path is loaded with poison shitlords, so I just run past them and let them chase me.

And because of the counterintuitive nature of this game, it’s actually quicker based on where we end up to run down the mountainside to the Lagnish desert exit to get back to the world map than to run back up to the gondola terminal and head right back to Greede.

Oh hey, there’s the campsite from the last chapter. Nice to see you idiots know how to clean up after yourselves.

I couldn’t use the Logic Stone you saw earlier because I was still being chased by the Vespids and you can’t access Logic Stones if the game decides you’re in battle mode, even if you’re running away and not actually in combat mode.

OVERWORLD MUSIC:The Continent of Nadias” (Disc 1, Track 15)

There and back again…

CUTSCENE: Triumphant(?) Return

Von Dietrich: Oh my goodness! You have found ze firestone! At long last!

Leonard: So, you’ll give us the Goddess of Lépanne now, right?
Orren: You know, when you phrase questions like that, you’re only giving them the opportunity to—

Von Dietrich: Mwa hu hu ha ha hah HA HA HA HAH!
Orren: See what I mean?

Von Dietrich: OH HA HA HOOO!

Von Dietrich: Ooooh, I’m zo zorry. You didn’t really think it would be zhat easy.

Von Dietrich: You must be stupider zhan you look.

Von Dietrich: Now…

Von Dietrich: Fools! Watch…

Von Dietrich: As I reveal my true ident—

Von Dietrich: URGH!

Orren: Thank you.

Von Dietrich: GUAGH!

He starts coughing and wheezing at their feet.

Kara, meanwhile, has no sympathy for this huckster’s pain.

Everyone’s postures really let you know how well their characters are developed at this point. Eldore’s doing an exasperated “I can’t believe this shit” back turn, Yulie’s pretty much going , Kara’s still in mid-Duke Nukem death boot animation, and Leonard and the Avatar are both just blankly looking at the guy, only Leonard doesn’t have the excuse being a barely-animated human prop like the Avatar does.

CUTSCENE MUSIC: "The Black Market"

Von Dietrich: M-mercy, please, I uh—it was a joke! A jape! A jest! Zhat’s all! I just vanted to faces vhen I said zhat—

Von Dietrich: Ah!
Kara: Hrumph.

Kara: It’s been a long day. We’re not in the mood for jokes.
Orren: Dammit. The one time any of you people spring into action and it’s to beat up a harmless old guy who was just pranking you. Fuck me.

Von Dietrich: Uuugh. Of course you vouldn’t be. Fine.

Von Dietrich: Ze Goddess of Lépanne, she is yours, as promised.

Von Dietrich: Please, take good care of her, zhat vay I can return to my business vith a clear conscience…

Von Dietrich: To go vith my BROKEN RIBS. Now, if we’re done…

Von Dietrich: [sigh] Take care. Don’t forget to visit ze Black Cherry again.

Von Dietrich: You never know; ve are always selling… ze unusual.

We are never coming back here again.


CUTSCENE: We're Off to See the Count

Yulie: So, you think this will get us a meeting with the Count?

Leonard: Let’s go and find out.

Eldore: Count Drisdall lives in that large mansion we saw directly across from the gondola station where we arrived.

Eldore: Easy enough to find.
Orren: Oh, we’ll find some way to screw it up.

Okay, so that was a lot of running around, but at least we got a cool statue out of it. If Count Driz didn’t take well to us blatantly trying to bribe him, we could always turn around, sell it and just BUY Greede or something.

…Unless Leonard threw it away for being useless because he was an idiot.

Here, kid. Let me hang onto that statue. You’re too important to carry it. Yeah. That’s it.