Part 39: Hey, Remember Faria? Yeah, Me Neither
In which that one subplot from the start of the first game comes roaring back to relevance 40 hours after youd forgotten it existed in the first place.
And so our collective torment resumes apace as I step bravely back into hell after a brief respite and drag the rest of you along with me because Im as much of a sadist as I am a masochist.
Oh well, at least this game has 100% more Troy Baker in it than the previous game did, so we have that to help lube the shaft a little. Although given the way the video game industry has been going these last five years, if a franchise goes on for long enough, the latest entry into it is pretty much guaranteed to have 100% more Troy Baker in it than previous entries. See: BioShock, InFamous, Mass Effect, Saints Row, Persona, Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid, Diablo, God of War, HaloIve run this joke into the ground, havent I?
Alright. Fine. Fuck. Lets get this over with.
White Knight Chronicles II!
CUTSCENE: It Begins Again
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Ancient Heartbeat ~ Monologue (Disc 2, Track 22)
Cisna: Just pretend your reading these in my voice or something. I dont give a shit
We begin the second game proper with a brief monologue by Cisna recapping the first game in an extremely vague manner.
Cisna: But Ill settle his dumb ass, just give me another week.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Night Fight (Game 2 OST, Track 9)
We start things in inside the Archduchy of Faria, a place only referenced in the first game andHOLY SHIT! Look at all that fire! He did it! The son of a bitch did it!
CYRUS STARTED A FUCKING WAR!!!
Nah, Im just fucking with you again. Were not gonna see Cry-rus again until halfway through the game. This, good little children of the Internet, is the latest explosion of the Farian Civil War that has apparently been raging for some time now beyond the sphere of knowledge of our Nope, still cant call them heroes.
The brave soldiers of the Farian Army stand guard over the entrance to the Numenshrine, the most important place in the entire Archduchy, though we wont find out why its so important until later.
Farian Captain: Huh?
Allied soldiers come running through the town in retreat
But an explosion behind them sends them flying.
Out of the flames come running the soldiers of the fabled Farian Red Guard, glimpsed all the way back at the start of the first game as part of Archduke Dalams LOOK AT ME YOU WORTHLESS PEASENTS I AM YOU NEW GOD parade. They have since reformed into the Red Army, the fighting force of those loyal to Ban Nanazel.
In short: in the year since Archduke Dalams assassination at Balandor Castle, the War Faction that Sarvain/Ledom mentioned in passing, led by Ban Nanazel, began a hostile takeover of Faria from within. After some time of pointless political squabbling, Nanazel apparently said fuck it, and just started up and murdering all the other boyars on the Farian council and taking over Faria with martial force.
The game isnt going to explain any of this to you for the next 20 minutes, so I thought Id just get it out of the way now.
And then the script just says you used this joke once already George Lucas
So the game wastes no time in re-establishing the order of the heroes are incompetent by having the Red Army soldiers pretty much slaughter the Farian loyalists.
Something tells me this guy is about to get George R.R. Martin Prologue Characterd.
But before that can happen a goddamn spear whooshes out of nowhere
And impales this dude square in the chest.
Farian Captain: Deus ex Machina?!
No, its something even better: TROY BAKER!
Out of the night, when the full moon is bright
Comes the horseman known as
(Thats pronounced Scar-dine. The G is silent, apparently.)
And not a moment too soon for this guys liking.
The Red Army archers take aim at the mysterious rider in the blue armour.
But using the power of Being Voiced by Troy Baker, the mysterious warrior swats away the arrows like they were nothing.
And then he leaps over this poor schmuck just to try and be dramatic.
He bowls over the Red Army archers for good measure too.
Scardigne charges through the throng of enemy soldiers, mowing them down with swing after swing of his sword.
Scardigne: Im sorry. WHO doesnt have shit on you, Nolan?
Undaunted, however, the Red Army sends in its heavies. A squad of dragoons come marching through the town towards the Numenshrine.
Scardigne: Its time.
Scardigne gives the signal
And a flare goes shooting up into the sky.
Scardigne: Retreat! Fall back and regroup!
Run away! Run away!
Well, were off to a smashing start already, eh?
CUTSCENE: Red vs Blue
Meanwhile, across the city
Scardigne comes marching through the upper level of the tower and some Farian soldiers salute him as he passes.
Scardigne: Ban Lorias! The Western Ward has been lost.
Ban Lorias: I see.
Farian Captain: Damn that Nanazel!
Farian Captain: Starting a civil war! Has Faria not bled enough?
Ban Lorias: It seems the Archdukes death was but the preface to a deeper grief.
The young woman beside him sighs in deep pain. This is Miu, Archduke Dalams granddaughter and heir to the Farian throne. The man with her is Ban Lorias, leader of the Farian council and one of Dalams most trusted boyars. The local rulers of Faria use the outmoded Slavic title Ban (pronounced Baan, with a long a, as opposed to ban, as in ) rather than Lord, like they would in Balandor.
Lorias is acting as the interim ruler of Faria at the moment, as Miu is legally eligible to assume the throne by this point, but has thus far refused the position for reasons. I dont know.
Im also not sure why shes Dalams granddaughter instead of his daughter. Im just going to assume that shes an orphan whose parents, or at least whose father was a casualty of the War of the Two Kingdoms, thus removing him from the line of succession.
This isnt even touched on in the game itself, but the way. Its all conjecture on my part.
Ban Lorias: The battle will soon be upon us. General, I must ask you to escort Miu out of the city.
Ban Lorias: Father Yggdra has placed his trust in you. Now into your hands, I place our future.
Miu: What?! But I cannot leave you here.
Ban Lorias: Miu, the Archduke left you in my care for a reason.
Ban Lorias: Your grandfather insisted that you remain safe.
Ban Lorias: Remember, you are the only one who can carry on in his place.
Ban Lorias: Unless someone figures out a better system than nepotism.
Miu: Ban Lorias
Miu: I will never be the leader he was.
Aww, youve disappointed Croatian/Spanish/Japanese/Elvish Gandalf the White.
Ban Lorias: Guard her well, General Scardigne.
Scardigne: With my life.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Ban Nanazel (Unreleased Track)
Though really I feel it should be this track here. Because Soul Stalkers is such a kick ass evil guys plotting stuff track And the only decent thing about Musashi: Samurai Legend was its soundtrack.
But now, on the other side of Faria, we meet the character Ive been teasing since all the way back at the beginning of the first game. The one, the only, the actually pretty underwhelming Ban Nanazel!
Ban Nanazel: Capture Lorias and Miu at once and bring them to me! If they prove uncooperative
Ban Nanazel: Kill them both!
Red Army Captains: Yes sir!
Nanazel stands there stroking his pointy villain beard, hoping desperately that some of that villains in this game are disturbingly competent mojo rubs off on him and he actually does kill Lorias and Miu.
Shapur: Ha ha hah. Well done, Ban. You do know how to take a city.
Oh great, the character murdering charisma vacuum is here too. Well, at least Patchy has more to do in this game than stand around holding up the scenery and TKing more interesting villains.
Ban Nanazel: Yes, well, tell your master his generous aid is appreciated. Once Lorias and the last tower fall, Faria shall be reborn.
Ban Nanazel: Though I certainly would not dare imply that Lord Grazels troops can be bought with mere compliments.
Ban Nanazel: Ha ha ha ha haaah!
BAN NANAZEL IS LOVING THIS SHIT.
Shapur: Oh, no reward will be needed.
Shapur: It was always His Excellencys wish that Faria be reborn anew. Your impressive victory will be more than adequate payment.
Okay, so no we know that Yshrenias kind of expediting this whole kill everyone who doesnt agree with me plan Nanazels been working on for the past year or so.
Good to know. At least we now have, in theory, a thread of connection to the main plot to make us care about whatever the hell is going on here in Elfheim.
This is a new addition to White Knight Chronicles II, these little subtitled non-cutscene interludes between playable parts of the game. Theyre very brief and usually tell you where you need to go or what developments you might have missed for plot contrivance reasons. Theyre not on the level of Xenosaga Episode III entire cutscenes done with the in-game engine because, oh shit, Namcos cut our funding and wants to bury this series as quickly as possible type stuff, but its caressing the surface of those depths.
In some regards, the game is better paced than its predecessor, as we get to actual gameplay this time around after about five minutes of cutscenes instead of nearly twenty in the first game. Although seeing as how this is simply a direct continuation of the same story from the first game, theres not as much setup that needs to be laid out this time around.
So as you can see here, we get to have Scardigne as a playable character temporarily in this extended prologue bit here. We also get Miu as a guest character.
Theyre both leveled at level 35, which is about the level the game expects you to be at coming out of the fight with Black Usurper at the end of game 1.
Scardinge is essentially a better version of Leonard. His default weapon is a short sword, the Silver Sabretooth, a non-standard weapon that can be bought at the Dahlia Exchange at any Adventurers Guild for 30 Dahlia, or bound at any Binding Post for 300 gold and either a +3 Sai and 3 Wind Dragon Beards, or a +3 Talwar and a +3 Grandsword.
He also sports a unique set of armour, the Azulhawk set, which you cant de-equip or swap out for another armour set. Its so you cant go peeking to see who or what is under that helmet outside of this, anyway.
Miu, meanwhile, is about on par with Yulie, and like default Yulie, wields a bow and arrow as her primary weapon. Shes equipped with a Gilded Bow and can do some pretty decent damage for the brief time in the game she gets to use it. So thankfully shes more useful than Cisna is as a guest character not that I would ever impugn the name of Our Most Magnanimous and Terrifying God-Empress of All Creation, Long May She Reign.
Mius clothing, including her scarf, were at one point bindable through the games crazy online guild economy, but are now locked down to the bowels of the games code, accessible only via a PS3 Game Genie, as is Scardignes armour set, for that matter.
So we need to fight our way through a squad of Red Army troops to reach the next cutscene.
As you can see, Scardigne has some tier 1 and tier 2 physical attacks, but since were facing humanoid enemies, theyre all immune to critical damage anyway, so it doesnt really matter what attacks you use on them.
Scardigne also has Heal and Cure spells for damage and poison remedies, but little else.
Miu only has attack skills, so dont expect her to be the stereotypical background support character who focuses on healing instead of dealing damage. Miu is not Margie Fatima. Miu is not your white mage. Miu is actually kind of when she gets going.
CUTSCENE: The Escape
As the pair run into the gate plaza, Miu spots something in the distance.
Miu: No! Ban Lorias.
Scardigne hears something, however.
A gigas! Hooray these assholes are back.
Scardigne: Lady Miu!
Red Army Soldiers: Over here! Hurry!
Red Army Captain: Come, friends!
Red Army Captain: Lay down your weapons and surrender.
Scardigne: Make me friend.
Red Army Captain: Hmph.
Red Army Captain: KILL THEM!
Suddenly, Scardinges horse whinnies in the distance.
The gigas rears his sword back again.
Jeez, I think this freakin horse has taken out more Red Army soldiers than the actual Farian Army has so far.
And now we get to see Scardigne pull off some Legolas moves.
He grabs onto his trusty steeds bridal and sweeps a hand behind Miu, scooping her up in his momentum.
Well, I think someone just became a woman.
Miu: My virginity!
Not sure thats how that works, but okay.
The gigass sword comes crashing down on nothing as Scardinge absconds with Miu safely in tow.
Red Army Captain: What?!
So yeah, Mius had kind of a shitty night so far. Not quite as shitty a night as Cisnas 18th birthday party was, but still pretty shitty in the grand scheme of nights in general.
Red Army Captain: Damn.
Red Army Captain: After them!!
CUTSCENE: Cisna Recaps the First Game For Us
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Recollection (Disc 1, Track 14)
Meanwhile, in Blandor I mean Balandor.
Somehow, probably because she needs them again for the first time in a solid year, Leonard and Eldore have been allowed back into Balandor Castle. We see Leonard in his natural position in life; meekly prostrate before his superiors, in this case Queen Cisna.
Cisna: Urgh. Here we go again, huh? How many people died on your way up the stairs?
Cisna: I was being rhetorical.
Eldore: Seventeen The screams, my gods, the screams
Leonard: Duur. Im helping.
Still doing the creepy obsessive stare thing, are ya dumbass? Well, at least shes not getting kidnapped this game I hope.
Cisna: Im glad you could all be here.
Cisna: We have much to discuss. Right now, the world faces a crisis: invasion by the Yshrenian Empire.
Cisna: A year ago, Grazel claimed the Ark of the Sun King from the Dogma Rift
Cisna: Hes still a total pussy though.
Cisna: And he and his army have proclaimed themselves the second coming of Yshrenia
Cisna: declaring war against all the nations of the world.
Cisna: At the same time, Sarvain, our chancellor, has disappeared. Defected, by all reports, to the Yshrenian Empire, where he is known as High Priest
Cisna: Someone Im Going To Enjoy Killingoops, thinking out loud, again. I mean High Priest
Eldore just woke up from his mid-lecture power nap. Then again, he knows all this stuff after having lived through it in the last game. Cisnas just doing this to get Leonard up to speed because he has a well-documented 2-second memory.
Cisna: During our battles with Grazels forces, the world lost three of its finest and most noble leaders:
Cisna: Who werent me, at least.
Cisna: Archduke Dalam of Faria
Cisna: Count Drisdall of Greede
Cisna: Any my father, King Valtos of Balandor.
All of whose deaths you can technically pin on Leonard, if you wanted to make the logical leaps.
Cisna: But, this only means we must rise and take action in their place.
Cisna: Leonard, will you travel to Faria and meet with Father Yggdra?
Leonard: And who exactly is that?
Eldore: Youre sending the lad to confer with a ghost, Queen Cisna? Father Yggdra fought alongside Queen Mureas in the war with Yshrenia ten millennia ago.
Eldore: He would have to be naught but dust.
Also, a minor terminology note. For whatever reason, the characters in the script still refer to Cisna as Princess Cisna, even though shes officially Queen now. However, all the non-voiced NPCs you encounter explicitly refer to her as Queen Cisna whenever they reference her, so Im making the judgement call and giving her her proper title, game script be damned. If you want to her everyone still call her Princess Cisna, watch the cutscenes.
Cisna: But Queen Mureas sleeps within me, and she says that we must find him.
Yeah, because if theres something we absolutely need to do, its follow the plans of the genocidal tyrant spirit living inside your precious little head.
Ya know, we never actually get to meet Queen Mureas in-game in any form, but I get the feeling that if we did shed sound like Rita Replusa.
Cisna: AAAAH! After ten thousand years, Im free! Its time to CONQURE EARTH!
Zordon: Alpha! My daughters escaped! Recruit a team of teenagers with marginal intelligence!
Cisna: Leonard, the Knights power accepts you. Im certain Father Yggdra will do the same.
Cisna: (She said without laughing once)
Actually, if you watch the video she honestly, audibly hesitates for a moment before she says certain. She knows how much of a fuck up he really is.
Its the little moments like these in Kari Walhgrens portrayal of her that open the door for me to portray Cisna as utterly ambivalent-bordering-on-disgusted with Leonard as much as I do. The script is saying one thing and her acting is saying something completely different.
Leonard: Alright Cisna, I will find him.
Cisna: Try not to get anyone killed on youryou know what fuck it, just make sure they all die screaming my name or something.
And with that pointless recap and plot burp out of the way, the Shahgna lifts off taking the party to go do what they probably should have done a year ago.
I dont really know what the reason for the one year time skip was, especially how, visually and thematically, it feels like only a week has passed since the end of the first game.
AREA MUSIC: Aboard the Shahgna (Unreleased Track)
And then we get control of Team Caesar Went Back to Greede So Life Has No Meaning Anymore aboard the Shahgna itself. Sadly, I dont really explore the bridge of the Shahgna all that much in this update because this is the only time we actually get to walk around it, though you see some decent angles of it in the upcoming cutscenes.
Suffice to say, theres a training dummy you can use to reset your characters skills if you havent progressed further than Level 35, and a Papitaur merchant onboard from whom you can purchase the same equipment you could from the travelling merchant Johann in Sinca Village at the end of the first game.
Theres also one more thing we find on the Shahgnas bridge thats exclusive to this LP: our new Avatar!
Leonard: Wow, Orren, youve shrunk And youve turned into a white guy with blond hair.
Marcell: Beg pardon, Master Leonard?
Leonard: Uuhh Who are you again?
Marcell: Im Marcell, remember? We spoke extensively on the flight here to Faria.
Leonard: I dont really
Marcell: Oh, dearest me, there I go again. Forgive me, Master Leonard. You lead such a wondrous life of adventure and action, I suppose such smaller things tend to get lost in these big moments, now dont they. Please, think nothing of it.
Leonard: So youre not the angry guy who hits me every time I says Cisnas name or do kill someone accidentally?
Marcell: Dear gods, no! I would never strike you for uttering the name of Her Beloved Majesty!
Leonard: Wow. Okay.
Marcell: As I said earlier, I have been assigned to your retinue by Her Grace the Queen in lieu of the young man you call Orren, who mysteriously vanished without a trace last year after he received his bounty for the rescue of Her Grace.
Leonard: He told me to fuck off and die
Marcell: Indeed. He sounds like a most vulgar and distasteful man. I hope to the gods I never meet him or Id give him what for!
Leonard: So youre our new Orren?
Marcell: It would appear so, Master Leonard.
Yulie: Run you dumb asshole, run.
Marcell: Oh heavens! I am just so excited. Ive heard the tales of your exploits. Your mastery over the legendary White Knight is exemplary! They say you rescued Her Grace from that villain Grazel singlehandedly.
Yulie: Sure, lets go with that then.
Leonard: Well, I dont mean to brag, but Cisna kind of entrusted this mission to me personally.
Yulie: Because Caesar told her to piss off.
Marcell: I cant wait to see you in action, Master Leonard. To think that here I am alongside part of Balandors glorious history. This will be a grand adventure!
Well, I think hes a welcome change of pace from sourpuss swearmeister Orren and his inevitable rage stroke.
Also, because the game wants to make sure you can see the middle finger its giving you from space, Rocco is the person Cisna apparently hand-picked to the Shahgnas pilot.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Falls off a cliff, crashes his glider, eaten by greavers, left for dead, worst luck in the universe Rocco
Is piloting the most sophisticated piece of transportation hardware on the planet
Are you trying to get a crashed airship at some point in this game? Because thats how you get a crashed airship at some point in this game.
CUTSCENE: The Eye in the Sky
So we catch up with Scardigne and Miu in the B-Plot apparently having spent all of the previous night and day riding away from the Red Army if its now gone from night to day to twilight over the last three scenes. I guess hes got one of those clichéd inexhaustible golem horses from every trite fantasy novel youve ever read where the author has no idea how horses work.
And of course the Red Army is hot on their heels.
But it looks as though our A-Plot and B-Plots are about to comingle with one another as the Shahgna flies overhead.
So yeah, this is the party we start game 2 with, no Kara because shes dead and no Caesar for bullshit plot reasons, and no Orren for reasons no one cares about.
Yulie and the Avatar are still there for no reason at all, as are Leonard and Eldore, who have slightly more valid reasons for being there, one being the alleged master of the White Knight and the other being an alleged expert on all things Dogma Era Bullshit related.
Eldores Old Man sense tingles suddenly and he looks out the window at just the right moment.
Eldore: Hmm? Whats this?
Leonard: What? Trouble?
Eldore: Trouble, perhaps.
Eldore: Rocco, the screen.
He beeps and boops on his little knobs, probably miming like hes doing someone while someone else at another console who actually knows what theyre doing actually brings up the screen.
A little cursor appears complete with sounds blatantly ripped off from Star Trek: The Next Generation to boot.
It picks up the chase scene and we get a little Enhance/Magnify magic work while were at it.
Why hello there, B-Plot. Lovely evening for a stroll, aint it?
Yulie: Some kind of chase?
Rocco: Gosh I wonder whats going on down there.
Eldore: So do I. Well, Leonard?
Eldore: I almost forgot I need to prompt you to take action or youll never get off your ass.
Leonard: Rocco, lets go!
Rocco: Roger that!
And then Rocco ploughed the Shahgna into the trees by accident and they all died.
CUTSCENE: The So-Called Good Guys
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Night Fight (Track 9) Second half of the song.
I should point out that Scardigne isnt riding a fancy fantasy unicorn elf horse, hes riding a normal white horse with a crazy horned head accoutrement. Because Farias thing is horns, lest we forget.
I dont really know why you would put something like that there, especially something that has a serrated edge facing the rider so that if the horse comes to a sudden stop, as theyre want to do for various reason at times, the rider goes flying towards said serrated object thanks to momentum.
Its not for offensive purposes, I can tell you that, because horses arent exactly known for headbutting people or charging into battle with their heads at any angle where that horn would become an impalement danger to anyone immediately in its path. So, yeah, the design of things without any thought behind them continues unabated from the end of the last game.
The Red Army archers ready their bows.
Alas, Scardignes noble steed takes a few arrows to the rump and goes down hard, sending him and Miu hurtling through the grass.
Red Army Captain: Heheheheh.