Part 45: YOU CREATED A TIME PARADOX! (Part 2)
At the end of our search, we stumble upon a squad of Magi soldiers out in the woods. Note that this is the only time in the second game, as far as I recall, that theyre referred to as Magi soldiers. When they appear again in the present theyre called Yshrenian soldiers.
Because Grazel standing on a balcony and yelling that his kooky cult was now an empire because he has the Sun King now apparently made it so.
Orren: YO GUYS! KILL THIS IDIOT! I WONT EVEN STOP YOU!!!
Once again were fighting human enemies, who have no weaknesses and take half damage from everything but magic, which your AI party members cant use properly. So to make up for that, I switch over to the Avatar and break in a brand new axe/hammer skill specifically designed for dealing with large numbers of human enemies all bunched up in a group like this: +Aftermath.
+Aftermath is absolutely bitchin. Its an area-of-effect physical attack that has an absolutely monsterous range. It takes 2 AC to pull off, but, well
Orren: [Slow motion hover in air with doves flying past camera for no reason shot]
Orren channels the sheer maddening rage of being stuck with Leonard once again for the rest of the game into a massive fiery shockwave that knocks all the Magi soldiers down to half health in an instance and knocks them all off balance, allowing you to score a few more hits on them before they have time to properly recover.
At higher levels and with better axes/hammers equipped, +Aftermath is a one-hit-kill "fuck you button" attack against most enemies.
Let da baw-dies hit da flo.
Orren: Hey, guess what?
Magi Soldier: I have a wife and kids!
Orren: Then you shouldnt have joined a death cult, dickhead!
However, in the midst of our gleeful murdering of Magi mooks, the bullest of shit mechanics of game 2 is introduced right under your nose.
Those Magi Officers, the ones with the big smokestack helmets weve been encountering up till now? In game 2 they transform into gigases when they die.
This one here died and transformed while I had my back turned to him, thats how unexpectedly the game drops this card on you (no pun intended).
As I land the killing blow on officer #2, the Avatar was stunned by the now-transformed gigas and Im unable to move or act.
So I hop back into Leonard to whip out the White Knight.
Anything you can do, I can do better
But not as good as Caesar, or Kara, or nice try.
And now we do the same thing we do to all gigases ever in this game: stabby stab stab.
I take out the Alphatria Gigas (the yellow one) quite handily, with enough MP left to finish off the weakened Alphapente Gigas (the red one)
But because Im too far away from it, the game decides there are no more enemies around and kicks me out of Knight mode. Although, if you think about it, its totally in-character for Leonard to demorph within spitting distance of a still-active mortal threat, so I cant be that mad at the game.
Actually I can be. I was furious with it.
To my surprise, however, I noticed that while I was in Knight mode, Eldore had actually used one of his equipped skills and lowered the gigas magical attack power. Because Longsword users have skills that can nerf enemy magic attack and defense stats.
Too bad generic gigases dont use magic attacks. But hey, you tried Terrible Level-5 Party AI Programming, you tried.
So Leonard runs up to it and stabs it in the knee a few times.
And then it died. And its club/sword thing fell onto Leonard so hard it clipped right through him and launched him ten feet off to the side when the games derpy collision detection coding kicked in (not pictured, sadly).
One last thing of note for this fight: in this battle theyre just background props, but later in the game and in certain online quests, those tents are actually targetable enemies that spawn an endless number of Yshrenian soldiers every few seconds until theyre taken out.
The more you know.
Lucius: Sorry to press you into service like that, but I appreciate the help. You fought like demons, you did!
Orren: Just remember to completely forget about seeing the White Knight out and running around when its still clearly sealed in the castle vault, just in case like giant tentacled horrors start devouring reality or something.
You weren't there. In the final days. You never saw what was born. But if the time lock's broken then everything is coming through! Not just Madoras, but the Online Degradations. The Horde of Plot Contrivances. The Nightmare Child. The Could-Have-Been Queen with her army of Meanwhiles and You-Lack-The-Required-Materials-To-Bind-Thats.
Lucius: Anyway, a promise is a promise. Lets head back to Parma and Ill tell you what I know about burglary.
We return from our fade to black having been warped directly into Lucius's living room.
AREA MUSIC: Parma Village (Disc 1, Track 6)
Lucius: I didnt think wed run into the Magi, though! Its a damn good thing I had you for backup.
Why do I get the feeling that in the original timeline, Lucius did happen upon the Magi and was killed. I dont want to go back and replay the start of the first game again to find out if hes in Parma when you visit the place, but I will check to see if hes there when we return to the present, so lets just say yay time fuckery? and move on.
Lucius: Anyway, I suppose we should talk about breaking into Balandor Castle.
Lucius: Theres a secret entrance by the side of the canal. Just do down the stairs and youll see the door.
Doesnt sound that secret to me.
Lucius: Its an old passage that almost everyones forgotten about, but we guards always kept it in the back of our minds.
Lucius: Its designed to be an emergency escape route, although I think they transported a giant suit of armour through it once.
Lucius: Kinda like that one you
Orren: [Angry glower]
Lucius: Anyway, thats what I know. I cant speak to the condition of the place, but Im not worried. You can clearly handle yourselves.
And with that knowledge in mind, its now time to head back to Balandor Castletown, hopefully getting there before midnight this time around.
Also note how the sky now matches how it looked during the twilight portion of the first game. Weve also managed to miss interacting with our past selves again, because the bestwain with the wine is now gone, indicating that Leonard, Yulie and Orren are corralling Rauss drunken ass towards Balandor as we speak.
Eldore: That answers our question about the secret passage.
Leonard: Lets head back to Balandor!
Eldore: What were the Magi doing there?
Miu: Could it have something to do with tonights attack?
Leonard: Im past trying to understand what makes them tick.
Orren: Because Grazels a bigger idiot than you are?
Leonard: Hah, yeah. What?
Yulie: This is all so unsettling.
OVERWORLD MUSIC: The Continent of Nadias (Disc 1, Track 15)
Again, theres nowhere really else to go other than back to Balandor. Unless you want to actually run through Balastor Plain and level up some more. And no, before you ask, you dont every actually run into your past selves at any point in this game. Ever.
AREA MUSIC: Balandor Castletown (Disc 1, Track 4)
Lets head for that canal!
The canal is located in the back quarter of the city, close by the Binding Post. You can see where the entrance is exactly on the map of Balandor Castletown I posted in the OP.
First weve got to run through this gate into the merchant quarter
Up the hill to the merchant alley
Past Chester the Molester
And here we go.
As we run down the stairs to the little dock on the side of the river, the screen letterboxes to tell us its cutscene time again.
CUTSCENE: The Secret Entrace
Leonard: This must be the entrance.
Eldore: Right. Lets wait for nightfall. The crowds will provide cover.
Orren: As will the screaming and slaughter, and Pyre-fucking-daemos
Eldore: Shut up, Niles.
The game asks you to confirm if youre ready because this is another one of those no way out till the plots done dungeons that drags on for the entirety of what I plan to cover in Chapter V. Theres a Logic Stone inside the underground passage, but if you overwrite your save file inside the dungeon, youre kind of fucked and have to just dig till you hit daylight.
CUTSCENE: Its Showtime!
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Troupe Appears (Disc 1, Track 9)
The game plays the start of the Magi attack again wholecloth from the first game, so just watch it up to the point where Eldore shows up because Im not uploading the exact same footage twice.
Someone Who Is Definitely NOT Belcitane: Heh heh heh!
Maybe Im being a little too harsh on the game. I mean, hey, look, at least Belcitanes back even if it is in the form of archival footage.
Still, its nice to be working with proper villains again.
Someone Who Is Definitely NOT Belcitane: Time to blow them away.
Someone Who Is Definitely NOT Belcitane: Enough charades!
For reasons that astound me, they actually changed the reading of this line for the sequel. Dont believe me? Here, go back and check Chapter III of the first game. Ill wait. Of all the things to change, this minor thing is just so baffling. For whatever reason, D3 either inserted an alternate take into this scene and this scene alone, or they actually brought Dana Snyder back in to redo this line for this scene.
And if thats the case then Im even more pissed with this game than usual because Dana Snyders a cool guy and he gave one of the best performances in this game and its criminal to waste his time like that.
Belcitane: Its SHOWTIME!
And now you get to see something not featured in the original timeline of the LP: Belcitane actually jumping away off the exploding float.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: A Worthy Opponent Draws Near (Disc 1, Track 8)
DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER, MASS HYSTERIA!
Oh hey, Pyredaemos. Weve got a date with you later in this game, and I may well kill myself over it, you goddamn shitass.
CUTSCENE / AREA MUSIC: Infiltration (Disc 1, Track 12)
I have the strangest feeling that this track was actually named for this sequence here, back when White Knight Chronicles I and II were a single game and before Level-5 bungled everything to the point where it needed to be broken in half.
Anyway, this is the underground waterway of Balandor Castle, one of the scant new dungeons created for the second game. Its a nightmare to navigate and introduces the single most terrible new enemy of the second game, so of course the game will keelhaul us through it three times before were done.
Because we only have enough money to create like two new dungeons before Sony cuts their loses on us, so lets reuse the fuck out of them to pad things out.
The partys just standing around and talking about whatever, apparently.
Until an explosion and the sound of screaming catches their attention.
Orren: Heh. Yeeeeah. People are dying up there because you guys suck at this thing.
And were going to cut things off right there, because the next bit forms a nice little arc for Chapter V. And lets be honest with ourselves, this game is palatable in small does anyway.
Play us out, Orren!
So yeah, thats how I got dragged back into this insane plot. How did I know about all that stuff with Marcell, you ask? Eh, in all honesty, Im just going off of what Yulie, Miu and Ban Lorias told me when I arrived in Faria. Im guessing the kids dead because well, fuck, its Leonard, that guy could accidentally murder a rock
But if he is out there somewhere, maybe still alive, gods I owe him a drink.
Oh, what? You want to know about the town? Gods, what are you, dense?
You walked through it to find me here on this ledge, didnt ya?
Now sit back down. Were just getting started with the stupid.
- 4.1 - The Retrospecticon Activates
- 4.2 - Back To Before
- 4.3 - The Secret Entrace
- 4.4(?) - Its Showtime!
THE ARCHDUCHY OF FARIA
And now, a One-act sidestory about Orrenstown, by janusmaxwell.
It's late afternoon when the warg farmer Delvadoth walks to the Mayor's office of Orrenstown, curious about being summoned so soon after a visit from Queen Cisna of Balandor to the humble township. He had barely touched to door to knock when the Mayor called from within "It's open!"
As Delvadoth walked into the Orren's home, modest but refined like the man himself, he was shocked to see several bags packed with clothes and other traveling items. The mayor himself was putting a pair of pants into one of the bags...dressed in a reddish-brown mercenaries outfit that the warg had never seen the Mayor wear before.
Orren looked up and said "Last one in, like I figured. Good harvest Del?"
Delvadoth tried not to let his surprise show too much as he replied "We found a good insect repellent for those cotton beetles, we may even have a surplus, come market time."
"Good news then, though it might make what I have to tell you even harder."
As he said this, Orren strolled over to a wall of his home where a huge great-axe was hung on a plaque, the look on his face a strange mixture of familiarity and a digesting a sudden bitter taste in his mouth.
Delvadoth looked worried as he stepped forward slightly. "What's going on Mayor?"
Delvadoth's worry turned to shock as the slim human picked the axe up off the wall and experimentally swung it around, finding a feel for the balance and weight. Briefly wondering how a man could wield a weapon so massive even a warg such as himself would have trouble with, Delvadoth almost missed Orren saying as he stretched "There's a key on the table for you, take it."
Turning from the mayor's movements, Delvadoth spotted the simple iron key quickly. Striding over and picking it up, Delvadoth turned back to the Mayor, who nodded with satisfaction at the axe despite still having the bitter food look.
"What's the key for?" asked the farmer.
In response, Orren pointed with the butt of the weapon to his desk and said "Underneath my desk is a safe in the floor, with 6 locks in it. Your key fits one of those locks, but to open the safe you need all 6."
Orren fastened the axe into a holster on his back with a well-practiced maneuver as he continued. "The other 5 keys are with Vincent, Irina, Juliana, Rena and Dianus."
Orren strode over to Delvadoth with a serious...and a little sad expression on his face. "I'm telling you what I told them. The thing I had to do, to get the money for Orrenstown? It's now come back to bite me on the ass and if word gets back here that I've been killed, the 6 of you to come here and open the safe."
Delvadoth looked at the back-up plan in his large hand and wondered briefly at what could've been so horrible when the mayor leaned closer to him and said in a low voice "But you alone are also going to know what's in the safe, and what I want you to do with it."
The wark looked surprised and flattered for a moment before leaning in attentively. "What's in the safe?"
"It's an emergency fund for the town, in case there was ever a flood or a plague or something, to buy new building material or medicine."
Orren reached out and gripped the wargs wrist hard, surprising Delvadoth out of his stupor with it's strength. Pulling Delvadoth closer so he and the human were eye-to-eye, Orren whispered. "If you hear that I've died...that money becomes an evacuation fund."
"You split that money with everyone in town and tell them to get the hell out of here. Forget this place ever existed and scatter to wherever you want, but don't come back and don't ever mention you ever knew me or this place."
The shock took a few moments to wear off but soon enough Delvadoth shook his head and said "Mayor...what in the hell is going on!?" The color drained from the wargs face as he asked "Is it...the magi?"
Orren leaned back, shocked at the question. But then he let out a short bark of a laugh and said "I wish! No, it's so much worse than that...I could take out those Magi pussies by myself if they thought about invading here!"
Today was just the day for Delvadoth to have his mind blown as he heard his mild-mannered mayor let loose such a curse so easily.
"I like Orrenstown, and I like to think I've done a good job with the place. The people here work well together and are happy to live here."
Orren paused and his face turned serious before he spoke again. "If I don't go back into my own personal hell, yet again, Orrenstown will be destroyed."
Briefly letting that sink into the farmers brain, Orren continued "But more importantly, if I die...There's no reason for Orrenstown be held for ransom. And the person who threatened this place will probably destroy it anyway if I fail."
Orren turned around and slung his packs over his shoulders. Turning back he said "You and the other foremen have the run of the place...provided I succeed, I'll be back before any sticky mayoral situations pile-up" pointing to Delvadoth, he added "Don't tell the others the details of the back-up plan until you hear the worst...I don't want people to panic or worry if they don't have to."
As Orren strode over to the door of his house, Delvadoth found his voice and said "Mayor! What in the world...How can you...What are you going to DO?!"
Standing framed in the doorway, Orren paused. He put a hand on the doorframe and looked over his shoulder with a humorless smile.
"I gotta go babysit a retard with an ancient superweapon...and make sure he doesn't kill us all."