The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

Part 47: Try Not To Die This Time (Part 2)

CUTSCENE: Confronting Belcitane… Again

The group presses on, nearing the Farian camp…

But the Archduke suddenly collapses. Methinks some Final Destination shit is about to catch up with us.

Orren: Oh come the fuck on already.
Dalam: It feels as a great weight is staying my feet.
Orren: It’s called stupidity. Power through it.

Leonard: Uh!

And of course, Leonard remembers too late that Belcitane has access to an airship, so of course he would be able to parachute down right in their path.

Keep in mind, by the way, that by this point in the evening, King Valtos is dead and Cisna has already been kidnapped. It’s not in any way relevant to what’s happening right now, mind you; I just don’t want you to forget what a giant utter fuck up Leonard is.

Belcitane: At last, the mouse wanders home.

Leonard: Just as annoying as ever.

Belcitane: I will admit, you got the best of me at the castle. But you’re going to get the WORST of me now, I promise you that!

Once again Belcitane is the unironic best part of the game.

BOSS FIGHT: Becitane (& Betaena Gigas) (with commentary by nine-gear crow and Blind Sally)
CUTSCENE / BOSS BATTLE MUSIC:A Worthy Opponent Draws Near

So here we go, fight #3 with Belcitane. And much like the first time we fought him he’s got a retinue of soldiers with him that are also going to cause you some trouble. Though unlike last time, these soliders are actually kind of tough to deal with.

There’s four swordsman and two wizards. One of these assholes also turns into a gigas when you defeat him, so be on the lookout for that.

Now this is where you whip out the White Knight, right at the start of the battle.

Now, there’s one really beneficial aspect to transforming into Knight mode that I really haven’t covered yet, and that has to do with the accessories you have equipped on the Incorruptus itself.

Certain accessories which can be bound at an Incorruptus Mechanic grant temporary bonuses to party members upon transformation. Right now the White Knight has a Saint’s Grace and a Knight’s Awakening accessory equipped.

The Saint’s Grace grants a slight boost to everyone’s overall stats for about a minute or two after you transform. The Knight’s Awakening heals all party members a small amount after you transform.

The only person in the party these bonuses don’t apply to is the person who transformed into the Knight itself, for the obvious reason that you’re using a Knight—that’s your transformation bonus right there.

I start thing off with a Strong Slash attack to take out most of the soldiers in one hit and knock Belcitane off his feet for a few moments.

But in doing that, I trigger the trap soldier’s gigas transformation, so now I have to content with a Betaena Gigas in addition to Belcy.

You all know what to do against a gigas now, right?

Stabby stab stab.

At this point in the fight, I turn the White Knight over the AI and hop into the Avatar in order to break the shit out of the gigas and Belcy.


This is where being an axe player tends to bite you in the ass. The inherently terrible accuracy of the axe catches up to me at the worst possible time and miss like three consecutive Arm Shatters in a row, taking a significant bite out of my MP. Because the game counts both miscast and interrupted skills as having “fired” and takes away the MP used to cast them anyway.

Because this game hates you.

And then to make matters worse, the gigas belches a bunch of black smoke at me, and what limited accuracy Orren had to begin with is pretty much erased now that he has Blind status on him and I don’t have any items or skills to remove it.

Regardless of that, however, I at least get an Armour Shatter off on the gigas…

And on Belcitane, so I just increased everyone’s damage potential against both of them by 1.5x, though at the cost of all my remaining MP.

Meanwhile, in the background, Leonard was absolutely useless in the hands of the AI, and spent all his MP using anything but stabbing attacks on the gigas.

I hopped back into him to use a last minute Mana Potion on him to keep the White Knight in the fight, but the game went “no, fuck you.” And his MP bar hit zero right as I got control over him again.

The only saving grace of the matter was that the gigas had been brought down to a quarter health thanks to Eldore, Miu and Dalam wailing on it, AND the transformation stat bonuses from the first time Shit-for-Brains transformed were still in play.

Next, I hop into Eldore and break Belcy’s magic attack power to cut down on the damage his spells had been doing. He has the same skills he does when you fight him at the Bunker Lode Ruins: tier 2 elemental spells which have a random percentage chance of inflicting specific status ailments, and a Poison-inflicting spell.

I also try to break his magical defense so that Dalam can get a few good hits on him too.

I also score a break chance on the giga’s left leg…

But it spins its whole body away from me instantly, and by the time I get around to try and strike its knee again to get to fall, the break icon vanishes. See, I told you this shit was going to start happening more often when we hit game 2.

But in time, the gigas goes down, and now it’s just us an Belcitane, 5-on-1.

So I let Eldore take a few crazy swings at the uppity midget with the sword that is nearly his own height long.

Slashing attacks are the big thing with longswords. Any variation the ‘Fang’ attack, Dual Fang, Triple Fang, or Deadly Fang are multi-hit attacks that compound their damage dealt with every successful hit.

Once again, please enjoy this somewhat pointless series of still images of Maxwell Sheffield omnislashing the fuck out of Master Shake.

With Eldore Sleep’d, Orren nearly out of MP, and not being allowed to control either Miu or Dalam, I’m forced back into Leonard for a moment.

Until he’s paralyzed and I hop into Orren.

It’s at this point in the fight, when Belcitane’s nearly out of HP that something curious happens from a narrative standpoint: he screams out Eldore’s name in frustrated rage.

It seems to imply that Belcitane and Eldore know one another, or at the very least, this isn’t this “first” encounter. Because remember, at this point in the timeline, Belcy has no idea who this dumb kid with the stupid haircut is or what he’s doing here thwarting his plans.

Again, this is another “something that would make Eldore interesting” that’s just kind of plopped down with no follow up and goes undeveloped. Plus, shouldn’t something have been said during game 1 between them? Eldore and Belcitane exchange only 1 line of dialog directly to one another, and its Eldore mocking Belcy for being an idiot and grabbing Leonard’s Ark when he knew it would reject him. Hardly enthralling stuff from a characterization standpoint.

Fuck I hate how this could have been a decently written game with just a little more effort.

They say, sometimes, that pure zen is the moment right before impact.


And, just like that, Belcitane is dead.


Did we just kill Belcitane? That doesn’t happen in the original timeline.

Oh shit.

Orren! You’ve changed the future!


Orren: Totally worth it.

CUTSCENE: But the Future Refused to Change

Oh, wait. I guess he’s okay then. Nevermind people, false alarm. Final Fantasy XIII-2 averted.

Belcitane: GAH-ugggh!

Leonard: Looks like you lost again.
Orren: Moron! Don’t start gloating. Horrible shit always happens when you start thinking you’ve won. Fuck, where’s Shapur when you REALLY need him?

Belcitane: Heheheh.

Belcitane: I always have a sharp…

Belcitane: RETORT!


Well shit, it’s a Kryptonite dagger. WATCH OUT SUPERMAN!

Fun fact about this dagger: You can’t actually buy or bind it in the base game. I looked for it. It might have been purchasable in the online guild economy, or unlockable after you like cleared a certain quest, bounty or errand, but otherwise no, you can’t have thing, and that’s awfully rare for this game.

…Rare as in you’re never permitted the chance to own it—the game CONSTANTLY goes “you can’t have this thing” to you in terms of cool shit, but at least you have the option of one day owning it if you sell enough of your soul to Level-5.

I wonder which of these characters is going to die at the tip of this dagger.

I wonder who.

Is it going to be the young woman with a good moral compass and a throne waiting her back in the present who needs a push to get her to take some responsibility for herself and others?

Or will it be the guy who's already died once before at Belcitane’s hand and whose death will literally change nothing anyway?

Miu: Ah!

CUTSCENE MUSIC:Scar” (Disc 2, Track 13)

Orren: Holy shit, I was JOKING!!!

Well, congratulations shitfucks, thanks to your involvement and steadfast dedication to competence, you are now directly responsible for Archduke Dalam’s death, instead of merely tangentially like you were before.

Eldore: Oh no!

Eldore: Do we suck at this or what?

Belcitane: Bullseye!

Best. Part. Of. The. Game.

Sadly, because the game hates you, this is the last we’re going to see of Belcitane ever. Still, it’s a more dignified exit this time around than getting shanked and left for dead by a potted plant with an eye patch, so at least we’ve rectified one travesty from the first game.

Leonard: Dammit!

Useless fucking idiots. Every one of you. Even you, Yulie. I’m sorry.

Leonard: I’m going to charge him blindly with no weapon and not transform because that will fix everything because I’m helping!
Yulie: Get back here YOU MORON!

Belcitane: Suck it, bitches!

Look at that smirk. LOOK AT IT!!!

This is the look of a man secure in the knowledge that even from beyond the fucking grave he’s still able to make Leonard look like a goddamn tool.

For the final time: Belcitane is LOVING THIS SHIT.

Rest in peace, buddy. You’ve earned it.

Belcitane: Ha ha haaah! Now then…

Belcitane: If you will excuse me.

And he teleports away.

While Yulie and Orren run after the Human Negative Productivity Score to try and stop from blindly punching the air or something.

Leonard: Uuh!

Yes, hang your head in shame you idiot. A DEAD MAN just rolled you. And we’re still not even close to the apex of Leonard Is A Useless Stupid Idiot Who Makes Things Worse, Always moments.

Yulie: I hate that I know you soooo hard right now.

Well, now the only thing left to do is head back and prod the result of their handiwork with a stick.

I swear, the only way this could get any more embarrassing is if the Retrospecticon brought us back to the Numenshrine right now so we’d have to explain to a horrified Lorias and Scardigne why we’ve come back to the present with Archduke Dalam’s fresh corpse.

Miu: Grandfather!

Miu: No. I won’t lose you. Not when I’ve finally got you back!

Miu is understandably devastated by not just having to re-live the death of her grandfather, but to re-live it in person this time. So now you can add “compounded the emotional turmoil of an innocent teenage girl” to Leonard’s long list of crimes against competence.

Dalam: Miu…

Miu: Yes?

Dalam: I am so glad you are safe, little princess…

Dalam: Do not grieve, child. Dying is not the same as parting. I will stay with you always, no matter where you go.

Dalam: Miu. Listen to me. The enemy seeks to possess a great power. And I fear they will soon have it.

Dalam: Neither human nor Farian can hope to stand against it, so long as we still stand against each other.
Orren: If you’re talking about the Sun King… Grazel already has it.
Dalam: Fuck me, really? Urgh. You people really do suck.

Dalam: You must unite our peoples. Promise me.

Has someone realised that she needs to get off her dainty ass and take a little charge of things around here?

Miu: But Gradfather… I am not a leader like you.

Oh, nevermind then.

Dalam: Ha ha ha.

Dalam: Which is why I know you will be the one to succeed. You are kind, Miu, and wise. And you will never be alone.

Dalam: Already, you have found companions who will help you fulfill your purpose.

Miu: But…

Miu looks up at Yulie.

And Yulie nods supportively.

And then FINALLY the lightbulb goes off in Miu’s head.

CUTSCENE MUSIC:Miu’s Theme (Game 2 OST, Track 7)

Miu: Grandfather! You said… my purprose!
Dalam: And yours alone.

Dalam: My brave Miu. This belong to you.

Dalam summons a strange magic something-or-other from the ether.

Within its swirling energy, the symbol of the Archduchy of Faria appears.

This is the first of this game’s McGuffins that we will spend the next 20 hours collecting to do Plot bullshit with.

Dalam: This is the Sylvan Insignia, which only Faria’s monarch may bear.

Miu: So this is what it feels like to be Queen Cisna.

Dalam: I believe in you… Miu…

And then he died… Again…

Now, I don't have a humorous re-edit of this scene ready, mainly because I like Miu and Dalam too much to make fun of them. However, PoptartsNinja stepped up to the plate in my stead, drawing a fairly salient connection between Dalam's passing and the death of another wise, noble leader.

Miu: Thank you… Grandfather.

Yulie smiles, happy that Miu has found her purpose after all and that, even after all this, something productive was able to come out of their latest fuck up after all.

It’s not quite a “Caesar gets the Dragon Knight”-level “I’m actually okay with this” development, but it’s up there.

Where will YOU be when the acid kicks in?

Green time shit starts flying by, signalling the party’s time inside the Retrospecticon is over now and it’s time to head back to the present and awkwardly explain to Ban Lorias why his best friend is still dead.


Yay. More useless items!

CUTSCENE: Snap Back To Reality

Scardigne: Uh?!

Lorias: Ah.

Lorias: Should I even—
Orren: Nope.

Miu: I’m sorry. We weren’t able to save Grandfather’s life.
Lorias: I see.

Miu: However, this experience has shown me what I must do.

CUTSCENE MUSIC:Archduchess Miu” (Unreleased Track)

Father Yggdra: You have obtained the Insignia then, Little Miu?

Miu: I have, Father Yggdra.

Miu: I will not forget the service you have done me and my country. Please tell Queen Cisna that I will rule in Archduke Dalam’s place, as he intended. Once I have restored peace in Faria, we will fight at Balandor’s side and battle the Yshrenian Empire.

Miu: On that, you have my solemn oath.
Leonard: Thanks Miu. I’ll pass the good news along.
Miu: Not so fast, dipshit. You, if you ever step foot in the Archduchy again, I’ll have you executed, just because you, you know, got my grandfather killed… twice now.

Miu: Yulie, thank you so much. I hope you find your “big moment.”

Yulie: You too, Miu.

They’re just so together. Yulie and Miu have known each other for three days now and they’re better friends to one another than her and Leonard have been since they were 7.

CUTSCENE: Secret of the Insignias

Aw fuck, is this chapter not over yet?

Father Yggdra: At last we can set about the task of restoring order to Faria.

Father Yggdra: You have my thanks, White Warrior.
Orren: Please, sir. Don’t encourage him.
Leonard: Hey, it wasn’t just me, sir.
Orren: Keep the rest of us out of this, you chode.

Leonard: I may be the tallest guy out there, but I’m not the only one.

Leonard is the shortest party member. I’m serious. Even Yulie and Kara are taller than him. Even the White Knight is on the short side compared to the other Knights.

Father Yggdra: Let me share a secret with you. Ten millennia ago, in the Dogma Age, a long and brutal war was fought between the Athwani Queen, Mureas, and the Yshrenian Emperor, Madoras – the Dogma Wars. You know the tales?
Orren: More than I even want to.

Eldore: They’re not just tales, Father.

Father Yggdra: Ah, as you were there to attest, am I right?

Father Yggdra: But did you know that when Queen Mureas died in the struggle against Madoras
Orren: You mean when her own people murdered her because she was an insane tyrant?
Father Yggdra: Same thing. Anyway
Father Yggdra: She left something behind.

Father Yggdra: Three things to be used in the inevitable battle to come.
Eldore: Hmm?

Because Mureas is Machiavellian as shit. Also, Eldore was a member of the Athwani Queensguard, and yet this crucial detail of his sovereign’s pre/post-mortem planning appears to be news to him.

Father Yggdra: She divided her power and locked it within three insignia, which she then entrusted to three sages.

Yulie: Wait, so the insignia Miu got from her grandfather is a piece of Mureas’s power?

Again, Yulie is the quickest on the draw of all the party members who have dialog not exclusively written by me.

Leonard: Okay, so where will we find the other two?

Wow, Leonard is capable of basic subtraction. I’m legitimately impressed by that.

Eldore: Count Drisdall of Greede would have had one. As would King Valtos of Balandor.
Orren: Oh, thanks for telling us that ahead of time YOU JACKASS. Gods, I thought you were over that.

Father Yggdra: Ohh ho ho ho hoo!

Father Yggdra: Yes, precisely so! And while the Retrospecticon hasn’t the power to alter the course of history, it can be used to step into the past and carry back, or forward, rather, the insignia you seek.
Orren: And you didn’t tell us you knew we couldn’t actually change anything and let us get our hopes up… WHY!?
Father Yggdra: I’m kind of a dick.

Hey, when you’ve been stuck inside a tree for 10,000 years, you need to find any form of entertainment you can, even if it’s something as loathsome as trolling the mentally handicapped.

Leonard: Cool.
Orren: Did you not just hear what he copped t—ah, fuck it. Alright, let’s go re-murder Count Drisdall and King Valtos then.
Eldore: Father Yggdra? Might I be permitted one last question?
Father Yggdra: Proceed.

Eldore: The Knight locked within your branches. The Yshrenians will come for it, as you must surely be aware.

Yeah, because they were SOOOOO interested in it the first time they were here.

Father Yggdra: You mean… The Moon Maiden? It was her own wish to take no further part in warfare. Let Yshrenia come, and tear me up at the roots.

Father Yggdra: Still, she will not fight for them.

Father Yggdra: And her Ark was never here to begin with.
Yulie: Ah?!

Scardigne: No one will harm you again, Father. Not while I still breathe.

Father Yggdra: My my, I have certainly talked up a storm today. Perhaps I will have a short nap.
Eldore: Great minds think alike.

Scardigne: Thank you again. I will repay this debt someday.
Eldore: Well then, we are fortunate.
Leonard: Alright. Next stop: Greede.

Miu: Safe journey.



nine-gear crow Rants About “Time Travel” in White Knight Chronicles II

Okay, so this is just my pet theory about what is going on with the alleged time travel in this game, you’re free to disregard it or consider it as ‘canon’ as you want, because the game is done, period, stop telling you anything else about how the Retrospecticon works from this point forward.

It’s my belief that we’re not technically travelling through time. The game is running on the -style Daniel Faraday time travel principle of “whatever happened happened.” When the party travels through the Retrospecticon, they’re not travelling back to the actual timeline where everything happened, they’re actually travelling to a separate “pocket timeline,” which is a rough facsimile of the original timeline.

That’s why there’s all these inconsistencies like it being overcast on the day of Cisna’s ball or rainy the night of the attack or why Lucius knows who Leonard and co. are and what they're “famous” for, despite them not actually having done any of it yet. …And whatever the hell’s up with Rapacci.

This pocket timeline exists only for the time when the party is inside the Retrospecticon. It’s created when they enter it and it collapses when they leave it. That’s why nothing they change through their actions carries over into the memories of everyone else around them outside of the Retrospecticon in the present. Whatever happened happened, we’re just experiencing an alternate recreation of things, like the Animus simulation from the Assassin’s Creed games; it looks and feels real, but it isn’t.

Of course, that raises all sorts of questions like “how are they able to bring things back to the present with them?” or “okay, then is the insignia Miu received real, or a duplicate, or was the original lost when Dalam/Valtos/Drisdall died or what?” or “crow, I’m worried about your mental health, please stop LPing this game.”

I don’t have any answers for those questions. In fact I’m not even sure if that last one was a question.

The truth, however, is out there…

And by that I mean Akihiro Hino is a giant hack of a writer.