The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

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 you’d 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 I’m 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, Halo—I’ve run this joke into the ground, haven’t I?

Alright. Fine. Fuck. Let’s 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 don’t 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 I’ll 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 and—HOLY SHIT! Look at all that fire! He did it! The son of a bitch did it!


Nah, I’m just fucking with you again. We’re 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 can’t 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 won’t find out why it’s 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 Dalam’s 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 Dalam’s 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 isn’t going to explain any of this to you for the next 20 minutes, so I thought I’d 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 Character’d.

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, it’s something even better: TROY BAKER!

Out of the night, when the full moon is bright…

‘Comes the horseman known as Zorro Scardigne.

(That’s pronounced “Scar-dine”. The G is silent, apparently.)

And not a moment too soon for this guy’s 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: I’m sorry. WHO doesn’t 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: It’s 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, we’re 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 Archduke’s death was but the preface to a deeper grief.

The young woman beside him sighs in deep pain. This is Miu, Archduke Dalam’s granddaughter and heir to the Farian throne. The man with her is Ban Lorias, leader of the Farian council and one of Dalam’s 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 don’t know.

I’m also not sure why she’s Dalam’s granddaughter instead of his daughter. I’m just going to assume that she’s 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 isn’t even touched on in the game itself, but the way. It’s 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, you’ve 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 I’ve 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 TK’ing 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 Grazel’s troops can be bought with mere compliments.

Ban Nanazel: Ha ha ha ha haaah!


Shapur: Oh, no reward will be needed.

Shapur: It was always His Excellency’s wish that Faria be reborn anew. Your impressive victory will be more than adequate payment.

Okay, so no we know that Yshrenia’s kind of expediting this whole “kill everyone who doesn’t agree with me” plan Nanazel’s 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. They’re very brief and usually tell you where you need to go or what developments you might have missed for plot contrivance reasons. They’re not on the level of Xenosaga Episode III “entire cutscenes done with the in-game engine because, oh shit, Namco’s cut our funding and wants to bury this series as quickly as possible” type stuff, but it’s 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, there’s 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.

They’re 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 Adventurer’s 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 can’t de-equip or swap out for another armour set. It’s so you can’t 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. She’s 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 she’s 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.

Miu’s clothing, including her scarf, were at one point bindable through the game’s crazy online guild economy, but are now locked down to the bowels of the game’s code, accessible only via a PS3 Game Genie, as is Scardigne’s 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 we’re facing humanoid enemies, they’re all immune to critical damage anyway, so it doesn’t 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 don’t 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: Ahh!

Miu: No! …Ban Lorias.

Scardigne hears something, however.

A gigas! Hooray… these assholes are back.

Scardigne: Lady Miu!


Red Army Soldiers: Over here! Hurry!

Scardigne: Urgh.

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, Scardinge’s 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 steed’s 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 that’s how that works, but okay.

The gigas’s sword comes crashing down on nothing as Scardinge absconds with Miu safely in tow.

Red Army Captain: What?!

So yeah, Miu’s had kind of a shitty night so far. Not quite as shitty a night as Cisna’s 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?
Leonard: Uuh…
Cisna: I was being rhetorical.
Eldore: Seventeen… The screams, my gods, the screams…

Leonard: Duur. I’m helping.

Still doing the creepy obsessive stare thing, are ya dumbass? Well, at least she’s not getting kidnapped this game… I hope.

Cisna: I’m glad you could all be here.
Cisna: …Technically.
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: He’s 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 I’m Going To Enjoy Killing—oops, thinking out loud, again. I mean High Priest
Cisna: Ledom.

Eldore: Mmuh?

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. Cisna’s just doing this to get Leonard up to speed because he has a well-documented 2-second memory.

Cisna: During our battles with Grazel’s forces, the world lost three of its finest and most noble leaders:

Cisna: …Who weren’t 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: You’re 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 she’s officially Queen now. However, all the non-voiced NPCs you encounter explicitly refer to her as Queen Cisna whenever they reference her, so I’m 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 there’s 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 she’d sound like Rita Replusa.

Cisna: AAAAH! After ten thousand years, I’m free! It’s time to CONQURE EARTH!
Zordon: Alpha! My daughter’s escaped! Recruit a team of teenagers with marginal intelligence!

Cisna: Leonard, the Knight’s power accepts you. I’m 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.

It’s the little moments like these in Kari Walhgren’s 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 your—you 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 don’t 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.

But whatever.

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 don’t 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, there’s a training dummy you can use to reset your characters’ skills if you haven’t 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.

There’s also one more thing we find on the Shahgna’s bridge that’s exclusive to this LP: our new Avatar!

Leonard: Wow, Orren, you’ve shrunk… And you’ve turned into a white guy with blond hair.
Marcell: Beg pardon, Master Leonard?
Leonard: Uuhh… Who are you again?

Marcell: I’m Marcell, remember? We spoke extensively on the flight here to Faria.
Leonard: I don’t 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 don’t they. Please, think nothing of it.

Leonard: So you’re not the angry guy who hits me every time I says Cisna’s 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 I’d give him what for!

Leonard: So you’re our new Orren?
Marcell: It would appear so, Master Leonard.
Yulie: Run you dumb asshole, run.

Marcell: Oh heavens! I am just so excited. I’ve 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, let’s go with that then.
Leonard: Well, I don’t mean to brag, but Cisna kind of entrusted this mission to me personally.
Yulie: Because Caesar told her to piss off.
Marcell: I can’t wait to see you in action, Master Leonard. To think that here I am alongside part of Balandor’s glorious history. This will be a grand adventure!

Well, I think he’s 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 it’s giving you from space, Rocco is the person Cisna apparently hand-picked to the Shahgna’s 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 that’s 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 it’s now gone from night to day to twilight over the last three scenes. I guess he’s got one of those clichéd inexhaustible golem horses from every trite fantasy novel you’ve 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 she’s 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.

Eldore’s Old Man sense tingles suddenly and he looks out the window at just the right moment.

Eldore: Hmm? What’s this?

Leonard: What? Trouble?

Eldore: Trouble, perhaps.

Eldore: Rocco, the screen.
Rocco: Aye-aye!

He beeps and boops on his little knobs, probably miming like he’s doing someone while someone else at another console who actually knows what they’re 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 we’re at it.

Why hello there, B-Plot. Lovely evening for a stroll, ain’t it?

Yulie: Some kind of chase?

Rocco: Gosh… I wonder what’s going on down there.

Eldore: So do I. Well, Leonard?
Eldore: I almost forgot I need to prompt you to take action or you’ll never get off your ass.

Leonard: Rocco, let’s go!

Rocco: Roger that!

And then Rocco ploughed the Shahgna into the trees by accident and they all died.

The End.

CUTSCENE: The So-Called “Good Guys”
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Night Fight (Track 9) – Second half of the song.

I should point out that Scardigne isn’t riding a fancy fantasy unicorn elf horse, he’s riding a normal white horse with a crazy horned head accoutrement. Because Faria’s thing is horns, lest we forget.

I don’t 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 they’re want to do for various reason at times, the rider goes flying towards said serrated object thanks to momentum.

It’s not for offensive purposes, I can tell you that, because horses aren’t 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, Scardigne’s 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.

Well shit.