Part 48: The Search For Caesar
Gee, I wonder if were gonna find him in this chapter?
We start this chapter off still in the Archduchy of Faria. Peace has been restored and Miu has ascended to the throne as Archduchess, though more in spite of Leonard than because of him.
But now, we need to head to Greede and rope Caesar back into the plot or get that insignia thing or whatever
Lets get going.
Yulie: The Moon Maiden sure was pretty.
Leonard: Yeah, she seemed different somehow from the other Knights.
Eldore: But without the Ark, her power is beyond our reach.
Leonard: I guess this will be our last glimpse of Faria for a while.
OVERWORLD MUSIC: The Continent of Nadias (Disc 1, Track 15)
As we return to the overworld map, the full extent of the plot-gameplay convergence bullshit hits us right in the face.
All the spots on the world map are now grayed out and inaccessible. Because Eldore sent Rocco back to Balandor with the Shahgna in Chapter I, weve essentially been marooned on the opposite end of the map from where we need to be. Because Rocco is so literal minded that he didnt think to come back and pick the party once they were done in Faria, since it takes soooooo long to fly between Faria and Balandor.
This means we need to clear each area again only in reverse to the order we did them in in game 1. Because Level-5 intentionally fucked up the concept of the global airship in the name of not making a game you could beat in two hours. Instead of maybe, you know, doing something actually innovative with their game design.
First up on the list of Game 1 retreads, the Dogma Rift.
AREA MUSIC: Infiltration (Disc 1, Track 12)
So because weve been through these areas before allegedly Im going to be truncating a lot of stuff that isnt completely new.
As you can see by the screenshot above, theres no new enemies or pallet swaps present in the Dogma Rift remix.
Orren: Yep. Theres the ancient temple Still completely destroyed. Whose fault was that again?
Of course, we still have to fight giant enemies in the open areas. Here we have an Ice Dragon.
Theres no reason for this shot, its just a beauty shot sucking up baldurks bandwidth.
And heres a Wind Dragon.
Eldore: Yeah, I remember that day. Okay, no one say the word Kara around Caesar when we find him.
Leonard: Why? What happened?
Yulie: Okay, what are we going to break next? Greede?
Leonard: Hey look! A wall!
Orren: [ROUNDHOUSE KICK]
Yulie: Lets head for Sinca Village.
As Team Soon-To-Be-Reunited-With-Caesar heads out of the Dogma Rift, we transition to
CUTSCENE: Grazel Would Like to Remind You He Exists
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Grazels Theme (Disc 2, Track 16)
These assholes! Yes, like the link to the cutscene suggests, Grazel (and Shapur and Ledom, for that matter) would like to pause the narrative to remind you that they still exist. Shapur just got done explaining to Grazel why Faria is the opposite of under Yshrenian control right now.
Grazel: It was only a matter of time. Enough. Where is my Moon Maiden?
Shapur: Shit. I knew I forgot something. Uuuh
Shapur: She remains cradled in Yggdras branches. We are searching diligently for her Ark, my lord.
Grazel: Very well.
Ledom: Nanazels revolt failed, but our efforts in Faria were not entirely wasted.
Ledom, buddy, I like you and alla fucking lotbut Id suggest you actually read this LP before you start making stupid comments like that, specifically Chapters I through III. You assholes got routed, and you dont have shit to show for it other than six busted Zore Crystals and one dead Ban Nanazel.
But anyway, you were busy continuing to be the most rational person in this duology?
Ledom: They are weakand without the Ark our might will not be challenged.
Id also be remiss not to point out that Ledom has replaced Belcitane as this games Im evil and I fucking love it villain.
Look at that insane evil clown getup hes wearing.
When you wear an outfit whose metal accoutrements are so sharp and so poorly positioned that youre liable to sever an artery just by doing everyday motions you just do not give a flying mother fuck about what people think of you.
And thats not even counting the crazy helmet/mitre and guyliner hes rocking there. I legit cant tell if this is better or worse than the Ethan-from-CTRL-ALT-DEL eagle hair he was rocking as Sarvain or what.
Grazel: True enough. Shapur, go.
Shapur: Yes my lord.
Grazel: Wait, dont I have Knight now too? Eh. Fuck it.
CUTSCENE: Okay, We Ran Out of Money
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Ancient Heartbeat ~ Monologue (Disc 2, Track 22)
Cisna: Cause we dont got the budget to show any of this.
Cisna: Then again, the less of this game you have to play through, the better.
Leonard: Well be in Greede in no time!
Yulie: You think the Demithor is up or down?
Eldore: Mmm, I believe its still the mining off-season.
Orren: So were just not talking about how we walked through all that death and destruction in Baccea? Or spent the past three days hiding from Yshrenian soldiers? Or how weve wound up a refugee camp now?
Orren: (If nothing else, at least Cisnas going to keep everyone in my town safe. No point in using them to blackmail me with if Yshrenia turns the place into a smoking crater. I hope.)
Theres not much to do here in the Papitaur camp. Its not Baccea Lite, if thats what youre thinking. Though several of the shopkeeper characters (like Doltemis the armourer) are present in the camp, you cant actually buy anything off of them.
Baccea itself is going to be inaccessible for nearly all of the second game, purely for plot reasons.
I dont have a joke for that one.
Nanaco: Must be praying to Thaumus again.
You can talk to nearly all the Papitaurs on this ledge, but Nanaco is the only one who says anything vaguely plot-relevant, however random it seems at first. Everyone else just says a variation on Yshrenia is evil. Wow, life really sucks now that weve been kicked out Baccea.
Yeah, it sucks for the Papitaurs, but weve got a Caesar to find.
Leonard: Im worried about Greede. Wed better hurry.
Yulie: Im worried about Parma.
Heres a Firespider Sprog.
And a Windspider Sprog (and a Sleep Vespid), if you cant guess any of their weakness by this point, then I have failed worse than this game has in general.
Eldore: Oh bollocks, not this nonsense again.
Orren: See you in Hell, old man.
Theres a few giant enemies along the path between the Papitaur camp and the Frass Chasm gondola terminal; the only one thats new to us is the Dire Windspider, the giant version of the Windspider Sprog.
Youve probably sort-of noticed that Ive been playing an Eldore/Yulie/Avatar party since leaving Faria. Its because as it stands right now, with Eldore as a longswords man, Yulie as a bow user, and the Avatar as an axe wielder, the party has the best setup for absolutely ruining giant enemies with negative status effects.
Orren can break physical attack and defense stats. Eldore can break magical attack and defense stats, and inflict Slow status with Anchor Blade. While Yulie can hobble enemy accuracy with Dark Shot.
Layering all these stat effects on an enemy pretty much neuters them, unless theyre scaled to be ridiculously higher leveled than you. Like two red chevron icon higher. The only drawback is actually getting the stack in place, because as we all know by now, the AI wont do it themselves no matter how much or how hard you curse at your PlayStation 3.
So that means hopping back and forth between characters with the select button, and that takes I swear to god nearly 15 seconds to complete per character, meaning the character youre jumping into just freezes while the game pries them out of the fucking AIs clutches as the action continues around them unabated.
Its just one more frustrating gameplay nightmare in the colossal frustrating gameplay nightmare that is White Knight Chronicles II, but its better than leaving the AI to its own devices.
But anyway, there was a reason I pulled the Human Negative IQ Score out of cryostatis.
Yep. The White Knight.
Frass Chasm has a population density of like 1 person to every thousand miles And Leonard still killed 20 people with that slash.
Leonard: Im helping!
Orren: Alright, back in the freezer, shithead!
Eldore: Why does that sign over there say Orrenstown 20 Miles?
Orren: HEY LOOK! A butterfly!
Orren: (Crisis averted)
As we approach the gondola terminal, the game automatically fades to back and were warped directly to Greede via a cutscene.
CUTSCENE: Greede In Peril
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Scar (Disc 2, Track 13)
Well, Greedes looking a little more purple than usual. I guess the Saints took over things here recently. Hell, Kinzies running Faria now, maybe she helped the Boss depose Caesar as her first official act as Archduchess?
Oh, nevermind. Its just a horrific plague.
Eldore: Whats this?
Leonard: This definitely cant be good.
Conveniently, the Drisdall family butler (who still doesnt have a name) is just standing outside the gates waiting for us.
Its funny, because I swore this guy had an actual name. Everyone in this game has a name if you bother to look for it Except for the Drisdall family butler. Hes just called Steward.
I dont know what the hell is going on any more.
Steward: Ah, Master Leonard. It has been too long.
Said nobody, ever.
Leonard: What the heck is going on out there?
Steward: You mean the fever? A purple mist swept over the city several months ago, now, I can only assume as a result of it a strange pyrexia has begun afflicting Greedes citizens.
Evil mist? Wait, Greedes already ripping off Final Fantasy IX as it is. This is just double dipping.
Steward: I can assure you, we have made every effort to pinpoint the mist`s origin, but thus far weve learned nothing, and the people are getting sicker.
Eldore: Wheres Caesar?
Steward: As a matter of fact, Lord Caesar departed for Flandar Trail to see what clues about the mist he might turn up there.
Yulie: Hes in the mountains?
Steward: Yes, miss. He would not share the specifics with me. He simply left, without taking any other men with him.
Orren: Well he does have a Knight. AND he knows how to use it. So he probably didnt want to put anyone else in undue danger. The heroic goob.
Leonard: Okay. We better go track him down then.
Steward: I would greatly appreciate it.
Orren: Seriously, what the hell is it with Greede and fetch quests anyway?
AREA MUSIC: Flandar Trail (Disc 1, Track 29)
Eldore: Who knows. Lets ask around.
You should ask around, though. Im not the most attentive person in the world.
Orren: Youre not the LEAST, either, for what its worth.
Leonard: Heh. Yeeeah. Wait!
As a matter of fact, I have! He was looking for Papilo, a researcher who knows about the ancient monuments in these mountains.
He lives in a hut southwest of here. Its a lonely existence, but he doesnt seem to mind.
What? What do you want? The ruler of Greede? No. I havent seen him.
Now go away and let me enjoy the view.
And just like that were at the ostensibly abandoned cabin. Because theres nothing new or interesting to show off on Flandar Trail this time around.
Papilo: He was looking for a monument devoted to a disaster of the ancient past, and I pointed him in the right direction.
Papilo: If you want to find the same monument, simply head east. You might be able to catch him if you hurry.
RUNNING!*And 30 minutes of tedious battles!
And here it is. This, by the way, is the same place where we dropped down to go fight the Fire Lizard the last time we were here doing a Greede Fetch Quest.
Yep. Thats a stone thing alright.
CUTSCENE: Clues From the Past
Leonard: What do you think, Eldore? Can you read it?
Eldore: Not much, Im afraid. The elements have taken their toll.
Yulie: Yeah, it looks ancient.
Eldore: And this is valley of insects.
Yulie: Wait a sec!
Eldore: That remains unclear.
Eldore: Indeed. As should we.
[20 MINUTES OF GAMEPLAY LATER]
Eldore: Lets find out where he went at the Papitaur camp.
Moreau: The guy sounded half-nuts! There must be something really serious going on.
Orren: Thank you.
Windwalker: I cant help but think Ive seen him before. But how could I have forgotten hat stupid hair?!
Orren: Your words, not mine.
Dyano: I think he was looking for Nanacos grandfather.
See, I told you that random digression by Nanaco about his gramps would be plot relevant eventually.
I should have titled this chapter How to Talk to a Papitaur (If You Must). But then Id have to throw myself in front of an on-coming bus because I paraphrased Ann Coulter for no reason.
It fades to black here because the chat with Nanaco is actually a semi-cutscene. Apologies for not providing any footage of it for the three of you who are actually watching the cutscenes.
Nanaco: The lord of Greede, you say?
Yulie: Yeah, have you seen him?
Nanaco: Yes of course! He came to visit my grandpapa.
Yulie: Do you know why?
Nanaco: Yes. Because Grandpapa knows everything!
Leonard: And where is Grandpapa right now?
Nanaco: He went to pay his respects to Sir Thaumus. That is what I told Lord Caesar. And then he ran off to Thaumus Rock without another word. But something has angered the Chasms monster I tried to warn him it was dangerous
Yulie: Guess thats where were going.
Eldore: An all-knowing Papitaur, is it?
Yulie: I bet Miu would love to see this.
Leonard: Well all have to come together after this mess is over.
Eldore: Knowledge of the world would serve her well.
The only last thing of note in terms of general gameplay for this chapter is this thing: the Poison Greaver, our first Greaver pallet swap.
These guys are like regular Greavers, except
They have special attack where they release their gas on you, which inflicts status effects like Paralyze, wherein they absolutely ruin you while you cant move or act.
Paralysis and Sleep status is a nightmare to deal with in the online quests if you just playing with the AI party. You can only control your Avatar online, even when technically offline. You cant hop into the other characters. So when the Avatar is Sleepd or Paralyzed, you have to ride it out, standing there completely defenseless for up to a solid minute.
This is because your party AI is so that the second and third characters will occasionally switch out of battle mode if you stop fighting for a length of time for whatever reason, so you cant prompt them to take action. They just stand there and take hit after hit from nearby enemies because they dont have the intelligence to re-enter combat mode autonomously if they somehow exit it unsupervised.
There are spells that insta-cure statuses like Paralyze and Sleep and the AI will use them because theyre healing spells, and the one thing the AI knows how to do is heal you. However, they take up a full slot on the command bar, which is usually filled up with offensive or buff/debuff skills, and to have a spell to cover each status effect nearly takes up a full line on one of the three bars you have access to.
There is an Ensuna-like spell that covers nearly all status ailments in one shot, but for whatever reason, THAT is the one healing spell that baffles the AI, so its rarely used unprompted. And its also unlocked near the end of the Divine Magic skill line, so you shouldnt realistically even have it by this point in the game, anyway.
After Yulie and Eldore go down, I decide fuck this noise and try to run.
But then I get killed by the smaller enemies skittering around the place.
Orren: Sweet release at last
But the Game Refused to End.
CUTSCENE: Ruler of the Skies
The party reaches the promontory of Thaumus Rock after a long trek through the chasm.
Just a reminder: this is where Leonard fucked up Cisnas plan to destroy the Black Knight with Talion.
Again, I bring this up for no other reason than to make sure you never forget that Leonard is an idiot.
Well, at least we didnt break the Thaumus statue the last time we were here so theres that.
And theres Grandpapa, just like Nanaco said he would be, praying to the Thaumus statue and kind of sounding like Lord Emon from Shadow of the Colossus.
Yulie: Is that Grandpapa?
Before Leonard can say something stupid, however, a mighty roar shatters the peace of the chasm.
Well, thats new.
Now were ripping off Monster Hunter, apparently.
This is a Wyvern, a new type of giant enemy/boss created for the second game.
Yeah, thats teeth alright.
Leonard: Look out!
Orren: Transform, you idiot!
Leonard: Into what?
Grandpapa: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!! HELP MEEEEEEEEE!!!
Leonard: Over here!
Granpapa cowers behind Leonard, who still has not transformed in the face of an angry, hungry, giant-sized wyvern.
I get why they do this, so as not to force you into fielding the White Knight if you dont want to, but it leaves the door open for stuff like calling Leonard mildly retarded because he has a Knight and never uses it.
BOSS MUSIC: A Worthy Opponent Draws Near (Disc 1, Track 8)
BOSS FIGHT: Wyvern Rex (with commentary by nine-gear crow and Blind Sally.)
The Wyvern Rex boss fight is here to prep you for the 2nd hardest boss fight in the game which is coming up in the next six or so hours.
Wyverns to a one are weak to slashing attacks. There are elemental pallet swaps that you will encounter out in the wild, particularly on the Van Haven Waste from this point forward. But the Rex is non-elemental and doesnt have any further susceptibilities. In fact, its actually hardened against impact attacks and all four elements, so those attacks only do half damage against it.
Its got a couple of main attacks to it, all of them are abso-fucking-lutely terrible because theyre pretty much ALL potential knockdown attacks.
Its got a main physical attack where it rushes at your characters and knocks them off balance.
And this charged special attack, which does triple digit damage AND knocks everyone it hits off balance.
And to add insult to injury, it also inflicts Knock Out status. Knock Out is pretty much the exact same thing as Paralysis, to the point where its pretty much redundant. You cant move or act for the duration youre under Knock Out status.
The only real difference is you can be jolted out of Knock Out status by a follow up enemy attack, whereas Paralysis lasts until either its cancelled with a healing spell or it just wears off on its own.
Wyverns are also terrible because they tend to take to the air when you do enough consistent damage to them. Its the only enemy in the game that does this, so kudos to Level-5 for spicing things up a little bit. I guess.
When the Wyvern is in the air, you cant hit it with regular attacks. Only ranged physical attacks, usually denoted by a little ))-ish icon on them (like Yulies +Judgement) or jumping physical attacks, denoted by a ↑ or ↗ arrow on them will really work. These skills are usually used only in combos, by the way.
So its at this point in the fight that I switch over to Yulie, whos the only one in the party who has a ranged weapon on her by default.
The other way you can hit a Wyvern when they take off into the air is with magic attaoh, right. Nevermind.
I will say that its battles like this one where Yulies bow skills come in really handy, particularly to of her stupport skills, Spirits Hymn and Angels Hymn. Spirits Hymn replenishes a sizeable chunk of a single party members MP for the cost of only 1 AC, while Angels Hymn revives a fallen party member to half health (in this case, Eldore), again only for 1 AC.
Theres an HP healing skill called Healers Hymn, but its easily outclassed by the actual healing spells in the game, so its near useless. Angels Hymn is also kind of redundant once you get Raise II, but for right now, it works a lot better than Raise does to revive fallen party members.
The other major skill that Wyverns have is this whirlwind attack, which strikes with wind elemental damage, and, you guessed it, knocks everyone off their feet.
This fight is actually rather easy if you use the White Knight on it, but Ive decided that if Leonard isnt going to use it, then fuck it, Im not going to either.
Whats more, the game sort of actively discourages you from using your Knights from this point forward by severely nerfing them once you cross over from game 1 to game 2. Theyre weaker, more susceptible to being knocked down, have less over-all MP and lower defense stats than your human characters, and often do less damage per hit than properly leveled human characters.
The only real advantages to using the Knights from this point on are the HP boost you gain from them (the Arc Knight usually tops out at 2500 to 3500 HP, while human characters rarely crack 1000 HP even at max level), and you can hit higher targets on giant enemies.
Or in the case of the Wyvern, nail the bastard when its flying.
And down it goes.
CUTSCENE: Bad Ass (With Sixteen Ss)
But this being White Knight Chronicles II, that battle didnt actually happen, so the Wyvern is still raring to go.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Tense Battle (Disc 1, Track 30)
Oh, I guess it died then.
No, it just leaped into the air between screenshots.
Yulie: Oh no!
Eldore: Thats a problem. Its taken to the air.
Orren: Wouldnt be much of a problem if someone used his GODSDAMN KNI
It flips around and readies a shot of hot plasma death for our I still cant call them heroes yet.
Leonard: Oh great.
Orren: Repeat after me: O Wizel, white warrior
Orren: Wielder of the ancient
Orren: OH THANK FUCKING GODS, YES!
Yes ladies and gentlegoons, Caesar makes his triumphant return to the game in the most dramatic fashion possible. And by doing something actually heroic no less.
Leonard: O Wizum, white war
Orren: [ROUNDHOUSE KICK] Shut up, idiot. The REAL heros here.
Caesar: Daaaa da da da daaaa
Caesar: Daaaa daaaa daaaaaaaaaaaaa
Caesar: Daaaa da da da daaaa
Actually, hes more like Iron Man, but I digress.
Everyone is absolutely blown away by witnessing an actual act of badass heroism.
Okay, Caesars reintroduction is a surprisingly low-key for it being the triumphant return of the best character ever. So here Have this instead.
Seriously, Back in Black should be playing right now.
Caesar: Heeeeey! What are you guys doing here?
That face just says it all. The Yulie/Caesar double act is back in full force, baby!
Eldore: Hasnt changed a bit.
Caesar: Oh, hey. Why the long faces?
Caesar: What is this? A reunion? What?
Caesar: Did I say something?
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Ancient Heartbeat ~ Monologue (Disc 2, Track 22)
Cisna: Because no one wants to spend any more time around the Papitaurs than absolutely necessary.
Cisna: And by that I mean begrudgingly accepted Leonards presence because Yulie, Orren and Eldore were there with him.
Cisna: How much money to we have left in the budget after that now?