Part 42: The Not-So-Great Deku Tree
Because this game deserves nothing less than a lazy Legend of Zelda joke.
AREA MUSIC: The Lost Forest (Game 2 OST, Track 3)
We begin right where we left off from with Team Hero-With-Sixteen-Quotation-Marks-Around-It all set to head back into the Lost Forest and assault the Farian capital in order to free Father Yggdra and liberate the city from Ban Nanazels control.
Miu and Scardigne are joining us once again as guest characters, and its around this point where it starts to hit you that like half of this game is going to be an enforced escort mission. Im totally serious on that one. The stretches of the game where you dont have a guest character in your party and the threat of an instant game over if they bite it looming over your head are few and far between.
However, before the party departs, Leonard has a few words of encouragement for Not-Orren in advance of the battle.
Marcell: Are we ready to move out, Master Leonard?
Leonard: Huh wha? Oh, I must have been Whats that called when you feel words inside your head?
Leonard: Could be, I dunno.
Marcell: I was wondering, Master Leonard, before we begin the assault on the city Do you maybe have any advice on the upcoming battle?
Leonard: What do you mean?
Marcell: Well, your exploits are legendary, and your mastery over the Knight is unparalleled. I thought that, well, maybe you could share one of your secrets for success?
Yulie: Head to Greede, find a guy named Caesar, and convince him to come help us again. There, youre welcome.
Leonard: Dont listen to her. Im awesome. I saved Princess Cisna, remember?
Marcell: Um, Her Grace is the Queen now.
Leonard: Im so sad when Im not around her. You know *sniff*
Yulie: Its true. He was catatonic for six months before she finally stopped by the wine shop for like a minute one day. *sigh* We were 100% fatality free for those six months.
Marcell: Still, you must have SOME advice to give. Oh please, please, please?
Leonard: Okay, hows this
Leonard: I usually uhhh Run as fast as I can at whatever Im fighting and uuuhh Hit it with my sword.
Marcell: Ththats it?!
Leonard: Nice an simple, huh? Hasnt failed yet!
Marcell: And thats how you saved Her Grace from Yshrenia?
Yulie: And how we got Lena killed And the Dragon Matriarch killed And Ahwahnee killed And Kara killed And Count Drisdall killed
Marcell: Wait, how DID Count Drisdall die, anyway?
Marcell: Oh, Im sure it doesnt matter. Very well then, Master Leonard. Together we shall charge the enemy forces and bring peace to the realm of Faria. I cant believe Im actually going to be a part of the history-making exploits of the White Warrior himself.
Marcell: Her Grace has done me an honour I can surely never repay by allowing me to be at your side in these dark and exciting times, Master Leonard.
Marcell: M-Master Leonard?
Leonard: Maybe if I bring her back some pretty flowers I can get Cisna to like me
Marcell: Ummmm Master Leonard?
Yulie: Listen to me, you dumb, grovelling shitstain. Doing ANYTHING this idiot says today is going to get you killed. Guaranteed, 100% positive, straight up fucking mur-der-ed. You want advice? Run. Run, run, fucking run. Get away from him while you can, because you still can. I cant. Im stuck with him. You can run. You have a choice here. For the love of the gods, he is hazardous to everyone around him. If you value your life, run.
Marcell: My dear Mistress Yulie. Im shocked. Appalled, even. After all youve been through, have you no faith in the man who led you to victory all these times? Im speechless.
Yulie: Just Ugh Fuck everything.
Because this game is even funnier if you imagine that Yulie is literally the Lana Kane to Leonards Sterling Archer.
And were off.
I said in the last update that under the right conditions the Lost Forest was actually very pretty to look at. Well, heres a bunch of screenshots of scenery porn for everyone. Because Ive had it with this game looking boring as ass.
Fun fact: to get views like this you need to fight with the in-game camera a little because they put all the interesting stuff above the normal field of view of the camera and if you let go of the control stick the camera will snap back down to its default position, straight ahead and focused on the ground.
Beautiful scenery or not, its a slog to get through the Lost Forest because the game makes you take the long way around to the main gate of the capital AND it throws swarms of enemies and giant enemies in your path every so often. I think took me roughly 40 minutes to clear this area even with properly leveled characters.
But its still pretty to look at right now.
Another up-close-and-personal encounter with an Ahwahnee.
And more pretty forest scenery to make you wonder how and why all this talent was wasted developing this game.
By the way, each of the four season sections of the Lost Forest has a centerpiece area to it. The big waterfall with the vines all over it a few image up was the one for the Autumn section, this awesome glowing icicle tree is the one for the Winter section.
The Spring section has this cool half tree-half statue thing that we dont get to see in this update because its not anywhere near where were going.
The one for the Summer section is a massive lake with a tree stump in the middle of it, as well.
Ill get screenshots of both of them later for posteritys sake, however.
And now a brief interlude about how much bullshit this enforced escort mission mechanic is.
I aggrod this Awahnee and tried to run from it, only to have Leonard and the Avatar die.
So I hop into Eldore and haul ass away into a cave where it cant follow because its too big
However, because Miu is running on the games stupid party member AI, now that Im outside of Awahnees line of sight, she and Scardigne have gone into passive mode again.
So that means that she will just run after the party leader and not do a damn thing as she takes hits from both Awahnee, who can hit her through the scenery geometry still, and by this Wild Boar who she aggrod in her escape and followed her into the cave.
I try to heal her, but healing spells take a solid minute to warm up AND are very hard to navigate to out of battle, so before I can execute it and save her life, she dies.
And Eldore is left all alone contemplating what a goddamn failure he still is even after 10,000 years.
And then he bashed his head in on that rock over there.
Meanwhile, in an alternate reality where I learned my lesson and slaughtered everything in my path
Eldore: Lead the way, Miu.
Yulie: Dont worry. Well take care of the monsters!
Leonard: We just dont want to get lost.
Scardigne: Have courage, Lady Miu. Father Yggdra needs us.
As we enter the Spring section and close in on the city gates, we start encountering Red Army soldiers.
And of course with six characters and a ton of enemies fighting in close quarters, it kind of turns into a clusterfuck of bodies flying everywhere. Luckily, the game is programed adequately enough that theres no noticeable slowdown with all this action happening on screen.
A cherry tree in full bloom, because lest we forget that Faria is Elf Japan. Actually Faria is Elf Las Vegas Knock-off Japan, but well get to that in due time.
The two neon blue lanterns down there mark the entrance to the city, and a lovely little Red Army detachment there guarding it.
CUTSCENE: Moves And Countermoves
Explosions thunder in the distance as the party runs towards the capital at full clip.
Eldore: I believe thats our cue.
Leonard: Lets move!
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Ban Nanazel (Unreleased Track)
We transition back to Team Team Kills for a moment of Shapur Actually Doing Something. Its one-and-a-half games too late, but fuck it, welcome to the plot, Patchy.
Shapur: Lorias has escaped you, and now the Zore Crystals have been lost as well.
Nanazel: Have you heard the reports?
Nanazel: An enormous Knight in white armour has thwarted us at every step.
Shapur: Huh ha haa. Yes It has.
Shapur: The idiot appears to be improving
Shapur: But Dont you find it strange that this White Knight has not appeared to thwart you this time?
Shapur: Lorias army is just a diversion, idiot.
Shapur: That never crossed your mind?
Nanazel: Dont you DARE talk down to me, pup!
Nanazel: Ill go to the Numenshrine and strike the White Knight down myself!
Nanazel: Call ME an idiot?! Ill show him whos an idiot! Ill put my own safety at risk. THATll show him whos an idiot!
Shapur: Ive no doubt
So Ban Tempertantrum storms out to become our boss battle for this chapter.
While Shapur has a brief sissy laugh/orgasm fit.
Shapur: Ha ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Magi Soldier: M-my Lord Shapur?
This is our first little hint that stealing the Black Knight from Kara has really fucked up Shapurs head and hes not playing with a full deck any more. If youre starting to see the shadow of Kefka looming over this game Smack yourself in the forehead. You should know by now that Akihiro Hino isnt talented enough to write a good Kefka rip off.
Shapur: Ha ha ha. Such a stupid fool.
Magi Soldier: Huh?
Magi Soldier: Im getting whiplash executed, arent I? I totally am, right?
Shapur: Ah, those wretches dont stand a chance against the White Knight.
Shapur: Pack up here.
Shapur: Were done.
Magi Soldier: YES! Not execu
Magi Soldier: OHGODSWHY?!
Okay, so run that by me again. What was the point of you guys even coming here again? You just casually let the guy you intended to install as a puppet ruler storm out to senselessly sacrifice himself against an enemy that he cant defeat, by your own admission. Wasnt one of the reasons for your being here to turn Faria into a patron state for Yshrenia? Shouldnt you support the guy whos driving that goal forward for you a little better? Wouldnt it be in your best interests to help him beat Leonard and company?
I mean, shit, Shapur, youve got a Knight now too. Why not use it? The game kind of mandates a fight with the Black Knight every five hours, so why not fill the quota and put in a token effort to support your guy instead of just washing your hands of him now that it looks like hes going to lose. That just seems incredibly lazy. And stupid.
Hell, you have failed by your own admission at all four of your implied objectives. The tide has turned against Nanazel, Lorias and Miu are still alive and remain a threat to Yshrenia politically, the alliance between Faria and Balandor has been reforged for the first time since Valtos and Dalams deaths, AND you havent gotten your hands on the fifth Knight either. And youre just walking away before you do.
Hell, the Knight didnt even seem to register as a priority for Yshrenia. Shapur and Nanazel havent mentioned it once, it was only Eldore who surmised that they were after it, and youll see soon enough just how close (read: not even) they came to actually claiming it for their own.
You know what? I think I know what the real story behind this invasion really was. Before Shapur defected from Faria and joined the Magi, he borrowed a copy of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace from the Farian Central Library, but never actually read it and left it behind at his house in the capital. He just got the bill for all the late fees he owes the other day, so he convinced Grazel to let him invade Faria as a pretext for getting back there and returning the damn thing before it cost him any more money. Now that the book has been returned, Shapurs forces are pulling out of the capital.
We get control over the party again in the outskirts of the capital. You might remember this place from the opening chapter of the game where Scardigne pulled some sweet moves saving Miu from a gigas and possibly deflowered her, if her facial expressions were anything to go by.
Again we fight more boring hard to kill humanoid Red Army enemies.
The bodies pile up at Leonards feet, as usual
And then we finally make it to the bridge to the Numenshrine itself.
Miu: We are coming, Father Yggdra!
CUTSCENE: Confronting Nanazel
Everyone runs along the bridge.
And the camera starts to slowly pan upwards
And lingers on the massive tree in the middle of the capital lake. Hmmm
And a massive tree
I wonder ?
Nah, theres probably NO connection there at all.
NONE. At. All.
We arrive at the Numenshrine itself, and I cant help but picture there being statues of Wayne Knight in some temple hidden off camera every time I hear that word.
Well look at that, theres Zore Crystals here too.
Fun fact: theres going to be Zore Crystals all over this fucking game. Get used to them.
In this midst of this, we also get our first glimpse at the fifth and final(?) Knight of the game, locked away inside the trunk of the massive tree: Luthia, the Moon Maiden.
Yshrenia has been using the Zore Crystals to fracture the trees bark and has exposed the Knight which has been sealed up in what looks like a massive glob of sap. Im getting some wicked Jurassic Park vibes from this thing, like so bad Im expecting Richard Attenborough to come along and try to clone the damn thing.
Again, the camera pans up to the tree itself. I wonder what its trying to tell us?
Scardigne: This is unpardonable!
Miu: FATHER YGGDRA!!
Leonard: Are you saying hes this TREE?!
With a name thats three blatant letters off from Yggdrasil, what the hell else were you expecting? At least this game has the decency to append the name to an actual tree rather than be pretentious with it like Xenogears did and give it to a submarine with zero relevant context to the original Norse myth.
Eldore: Those Zore Crystals are stealing his strength.
Eldore: We dont have much time.
Leonard: Then lets smash em!
Yulie: BREAK SHIT!
However, before you can say contrived villainy, the wide angle shot reveals Ban Nanazel standing before Father Yggdras gaping, oddly vanginal-shaped hole with his back to the party for no good reason.
Actually there is a good reason for it. Its so he can whip around all dramatically like the anime supervillain he wants to be.
Nanazel: Ha ha ha ha ha!
Nanazel: Hello, my little lady. So nice of you to come in person.
Nanazel: You honour me.
Ya know, Nanazels such a smug, condescending, melodramatic prick that I cant help but admire him sometimes.
And then a truckload of Red Army soldiers just appear out of nowhere in the middle of a gigantic open courtyard because even with The Boss and Kinzie there to bolster them, our
Scardigne: You traitor!
Im just gonna say it, Scardines sexy woman hips are confusing the hell out of me right now.
Miu: How dare you profane Father Yggdra! I command you to remove these crystals!
Nanazel: Hmph. Faria is mine to command now, girl.
Nanazel: And I intend to unburden her of these timeworn institutions.
Miu: You wont!
Nanazel: And as for you, my dear. You are just as expendable.
Yulie: Alright, can we just trounce him already?
Yulie: Best character, or bestest character?
Its kind of sadly appropriate that in this game, the 90 lb. five-foot-nothing girl with the purple bowl haircut and leather schoolgirl uniform is the most constantly badass and least bullshit-tolerating character in the entire cast. I said numerous times in the thread itself that White Knight Chronicles II is Yulies game.
This right here is merely just the start of it
Leonard: [INEFFECTUAL PANTYWAIST MOAN]
Nanazel: Oooooh. So you wish to die in battle then? Very well.
Nanazel: KILL THEM ALL!
BOSS BATTLE: Red Army Soldiers, Duke Gigas (Ban Nanazel) (with commentary by nine-gear crow and
And heres part 1 of the boss fight, actually fighting the Red Army soldiers instead of having Cutscene Incompetence take over and being trounced by because of plot bullshit.
Theres six enemies total to deal with, three captains, two wizards, and a lone spearman. These guys are pretty much modelswaps of Magi/Yshrenian soldiers weve been murdering in droves since the start of the first game.
The Zore Crystals are inactive and untargetable during this fight, so you dont need to worry about them for now.
Theyre no big threat, its all about Ban Nanazel in this fight.
But first, a cutscene.
CUTSCENE: Trump Cards
Miu: Ban Nanazel. End your warfare. Withdraw your troops!
Miu: You have caused enough suffering.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Trap (Unreleased Track)
Nanazel: Ha ha haaa! You would command a KING?! Perhaps if you bend the knee before him now, he shall spare you a most painful death!
Cisna: Hey! Asshole! Stop ripping off my shtick!
HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KEEP DOING THAT?!
Miu sighs in frustration, knowing now that tonight she must follow her grandfather Dalams example and smack a bitch up.
Nanazel: Very well. You have made your choice.
Nanazel snaps his fingers
And the Zore Crystals come to life at Father Yggdras roots.
Nanazel: Come, White Knight!
Nanazel: Let me paint your armour RED!
Leonard: Oh, cool. Ive always wanted a red Knight. Then I can be like Iron Man.
Eldore: No. Just WHAT?!
Arise, Mega-Ultra Chicken!
Nanazel: TIRED CLICHÉ! No, wait, I mean
Nanazel transforms into a Duke Gigas, another unique kind of boss gigas like the Grand Gigas, Sargatanas or Lamia Comitus.
These guys are often the bosses or pre-bosses for various higher-level online quests.
He leaps into the air just to be dramatic.
And comes down in the middle of the shrine courtyard.
Nanazel: I will grind you all into NOTHING!
Leonard: Not today, mothertrucker!
Eldore: Did you just say motherTRUCKER?
[Out-of-frame blue light effect because we dont have the budget to do another transformation sequence period, let alone another stock sequence]
Ya know, just with the shape of its helmet and the way its eyes light up like that, I get a very strong Lich King vibe from this thing every now and then.
Keep this analogy in mind as we draw closer to the endgame.
So here we go. The time has finally come for young Marcell to prove his worth in combat fighting alongside Leonard.
While Leonard gets worked over by Nanazel, because he sucks, Marcell charges in at full boar like his idol instructed him to.
Also, one fact to note about the Duke Gigas as were fighting it here: this is actually its second form. In most quests it has a first form that looks like a giant ostrich. Those wings on its back are closed up around its body and its tail protrudes out like a head. You can even see how it has bird-like legs.
It stays in that form until you whittle it down to about 3/4s health and then its shell opens up and this form takes over. In its first form it has a very high defense, while in this form it has a very high offense.
Marcell: Fear not, Master Leonard! Im here to help you!
Marcell: For Balandor! For the Queen! RAAAAAAAAAH!
Marcell: To Hell with you, foul demon!
Leonard: Let em have it, Not-Orren!
Nanazel: Okay, fuck this noise.
Nanazel: Hey, boy. Guess what?
Marcell: OH GODS IM ON FIIIIIRE! IT BURNS! IT BURNS! EVERYTHING BUUUUUUUURNS!!!
Marcell: QUEEN CISNAAAAAAAA!!!!!
Marcell: I FAILED YOU
A moment of silence please, for Marcell of Balan
Leonard: LOOK AT ME! IM A HERO!
So yeah, in my protracted attempt to goad Nanazel into killing the Avatar for the sake of this hackneyed narrative, I accidentally got Eldore killed too.
Oh well. At least Miu, Scardigne and Shit-For-Brains are relatively unscathed, because if any of them die in this battle its an instant game over.
The Duke Gigas is weak against slashing attacks, by the way, so the thing to do in this battle is spam +Divine Blade until you run low on MP, then spam Strong Slash and it should go down relatively easily.
Of course, I made this fight inadvertently harder on myself by getting Eldore and the Avatar killed, so I was actually fighting a losing battle this time around.
When Nanazel gets to about half health he flares his wings out like that. This means he's activated his Regeneration Engine, which can be targeted and destroyed, meaning he now has a permanent Regen status which will slowly regenerate some of his health, thus making this battle that much harder for you.
All Duke Gigases do this when you fight them, by the way.
All the while, the Zore Crystals are an active part of the battle too, casting elemental spells at you and the party. Its probably a good idea to set everyones AI to Spread Out in order to try and goad them into considering maybe possibly tackling one or both of the Crystals while you handle Nanazel with the White Knight.
It usually doesnt work because the AI is literally dumber than Leonard in this game and doesnt like to wander more than ten feet away from the party leader at all times, but its the thought that counts.
If you get a break opportunity on Nanazel, take it as quickly as you can, because in the second game, the bosses are all harder, the Knights are weaker, and break windows on giant enemies close very rapidly compared to the first game, so speed is paramount.
Breaking one of Nanazels legs leaves him immobile for a good minute or two for you to get some serious hits on him.
And then he goes down.
Now all you have to do is focus on the Zore Crystals. Theyre weak to impact attacks, as they always will be, so now its time to spam Shield Bash.
However, by this point in the fight, Im absolutely spent in terms of items and MP and HP
So this is the last move I get to pull off before the damn thing kills me.
Taken out by a piece of modern art. How embarrassing.
CUTSCENE: Ban Hammered
However, because this is a screenshot LP and I have complete control over everything youre seeing, I win the fight anyway. (Because I played through it properly to get all the post-fight footage )
Nanazel: URGH! Damn you I was mean for great things!
Take a dirt nap, dude.
Then Father Yggdra belches magical bullshit energy and groans like an old man waking up from a really fitful nap.
No, seriously, this guys voice has to be heard to be believed. Its kind of like a cross between the Jalapeño character Jeff Dunhams been annoying audiences with for the last 30 years blended with a bit of Yoda, and filtered through a cardboard tube with wax paper on the end of it.
Father Yggdra: Aaaaah!
Miu: Father Yggdra! Are you alright?
Father Yggdra: Much of my strength has been stolen But I shall live.
Miu: Thank goodness.
Father Yggdra: I am sorry to have put you through so much trouble.
Father Yggdra: And them as well, it seems.
Everyone turns around.
Oh hey Ban Lorias, whats up?
CUTSCENE: Title Sequence The Battlefield Flower
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Battlefield Flower (English Version) (Game 2 OST, Track 21)
The title card, thats what.
We then get another anime-style opening movie consisting of previews of stuff were going to see in the game itself. Its pretty much all spoilers for things that Im going to cover, so unless you REALLY want to hear an Engrish-as-all-hell word salad song set to decent melody, youre well within your rights to skip this if you want to remain unspoiled as to what the unholy bonkers fuck is going to happen in this game.