The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

Part 48: The Search For Caesar

Gee, I wonder if we’re 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…

Let’s 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.
Orren: Good.

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, we’ve essentially been marooned on the opposite end of the map from where we need to be. Because Rocco is so literal minded that he didn’t 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 we’ve been through these areas before… allegedly… I’m going to be truncating a lot of stuff that isn’t completely new.

As you can see by the screenshot above, there’s no new enemies or pallet swaps present in the Dogma Rift remix.

Orren: Yep. There’s 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.

There’s no reason for this shot, it’s just a beauty shot sucking up baldurk’s bandwidth.

And here’s 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?
Orren: [THWACK]
Leonard: OW!

Yulie: Okay, what are we going to break next? Greede?

Leonard: Hey look! A wall!

Yulie: Let’s 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:Grazel’s 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 Yggdra’s branches. We are searching diligently for her Ark, my lord.

Grazel: Very well.

Ledom: Nanazel’s revolt failed, but our efforts in Faria were not entirely wasted.

Ledom, buddy, I like you and all—a fucking lot—but I’d 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 don’t 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 weak—and without the Ark our might will not be challenged.

I’d also be remiss not to point out that Ledom has replaced Belcitane as this game’s “I’m evil and I fucking love it” villain.

Look at that insane evil clown getup he’s wearing.

When you wear an outfit whose metal accoutrements are so sharp and so poorly positioned that you’re 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 that’s not even counting the crazy helmet/mitre and guyliner he’s rocking there. I legit can’t 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, don’t 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 don’t got the budget to show any of this.

Cisna: Then again, the less of this game you have to play through, the better.

Leonard: We’ll be in Greede in no time!
Yulie: You think the Demithor is up or down?
Eldore: Mmm, I believe it’s still the mining off-season.
Orren: So we’re 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 we’ve wound up a refugee camp now?
Leonard: Butterfly!
Orren: (If nothing else, at least Cisna’s 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.)

There’s not much to do here in the Papitaur camp. It’s not Baccea Lite, if that’s what you’re thinking. Though several of the shopkeeper characters (like Doltemis the armourer) are present in the camp, you can’t 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 don’t 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 we’ve been kicked out Baccea.”

Yeah, it sucks for the Papitaurs, but we’ve got a Caesar to find.

Leonard: I’m worried about Greede. We’d better hurry.
Yulie: I’m worried about Parma.

Here’s a Firespider Sprog.

And a Windspider Sprog (and a Sleep Vespid), if you can’t 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.

There’s a few giant enemies along the path between the Papitaur camp and the Frass Chasm gondola terminal; the only one that’s new to us is the Dire Windspider, the giant version of the Windspider Sprog.

You’ve probably sort-of noticed that I’ve been playing an Eldore/Yulie/Avatar party since leaving Faria. It’s 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 they’re 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 won’t 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 you’re jumping into just freezes while the game pries them out of the fucking AI’s clutches as the action continues around them unabated.

It’s just one more frustrating gameplay nightmare in the colossal frustrating gameplay nightmare that is White Knight Chronicles II, but it’s 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: I’m helping!
Orren: Alright, back in the freezer, shithead!

Eldore: Why does that sign over there say ‘Orrenstown 20 Miles’?
Leonard: Whut?
Orren: HEY LOOK! A butterfly!
Orren: (Crisis averted)

As we approach the gondola terminal, the game automatically fades to back and we’re warped directly to Greede via a cutscene.

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

Well, Greede’s looking a little more… purple… than usual. I guess the Saints took over things here recently. Hell, Kinzie’s running Faria now, maybe she helped the Boss depose Caesar as her first official act as Archduchess?

Oh, nevermind. It’s just a horrific plague.

Eldore: What’s this?

Leonard: This definitely can’t be good.

Yes, let’s.

Conveniently, the Drisdall family butler (who still doesn’t have a name) is just standing outside the gates waiting for us.

It’s 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. He’s just called “Steward.”

I don’t 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 Greede’s citizens.

Evil mist? Wait, Greede’s 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 we’ve learned nothing, and the people are getting sicker.

Eldore: Where’s 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: He’s 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 didn’t 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. Let’s ask around.

“You should ask around, though. I’m not the most attentive person in the world.”
Orren: You’re not the LEAST, either, for what it’s 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. It’s a lonely existence, but he doesn’t seem to mind.”

“…What? What do you want? …The ruler of Greede? No. I haven’t seen him.”
“Now go away and let me enjoy the view.”
Orren: Whatever.

And just like that we’re at the ostensibly abandoned cabin. Because there’s 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.”

If only.

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. That’s a stone thing alright.

CUTSCENE: Clues From the Past

Leonard: What do you think, Eldore? Can you read it?
Eldore: Not much, I’m afraid. The elements have taken their toll.
Yulie: Yeah, it looks ancient.

Goddamit, Yulie.

Eldore: And this is… “valley of insects.”
Yulie: Wait a sec!

Eldore: That remains unclear.

Eldore: Indeed. As should we.


Eldore: Let’s 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 can’t help but think I’ve seen him before. But how could I have forgotten hat stupid hair?!”
Orren: Your words, not mine.

Dyano: “I think he was looking for Nanaco’s 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 I’d 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 Chasm’s monster… I tried to warn him it was dangerous…
Leonard: Thanks.
Yulie: Guess that’s where we’re going.

Eldore: An all-knowing Papitaur, is it?
Yulie: I bet Miu would love to see this.
Leonard: We’ll 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 can’t 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 can’t hop into the other characters. So when the Avatar is Sleep’d 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 can’t prompt them to take action. They just stand there and take hit after hit from nearby enemies because they don’t 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 they’re 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 it’s rarely used unprompted. And it’s also unlocked near the end of the Divine Magic skill line, so you shouldn’t 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 Cisna’s 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 didn’t break the Thaumus statue the last time we were here… so there’s that.

And there’s 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, that’s… new.

Now we’re ripping off Monster Hunter, apparently.

This is a Wyvern, a new type of giant enemy/boss created for the second game.

Yeah, that’s teeth alright.

Grandpapa: UuuaaaaAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

Leonard: Look out!
Orren: Transform, you idiot!
Leonard: Into what?


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 don’t 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 doesn’t have any further susceptibilities. In fact, it’s actually hardened against impact attacks and all four elements, so those attacks only do half damage against it.

It’s got a couple of main attacks to it, all of them are abso-fucking-lutely terrible because they’re pretty much ALL potential knockdown attacks.

It’s 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 it’s pretty much redundant. You can’t move or act for the duration you’re 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 it’s 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. It’s 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 can’t hit it with regular attacks. Only ranged physical attacks, usually denoted by a little ))-ish icon on them (like Yulie’s +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 it’s at this point in the fight that I switch over to Yulie, who’s 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 atta—oh, right. Nevermind.

I will say that it’s battles like this one where Yulie’s bow skills come in really handy, particularly to of her stupport skills, “Spirit’s Hymn” and “Angel’s Hymn.” Spirit’s Hymn replenishes a sizeable chunk of a single party member’s MP for the cost of only 1 AC, while Angel’s Hymn revives a fallen party member to half health (in this case, Eldore), again only for 1 AC.

There’s an HP healing skill called “Healer’s Hymn,” but it’s easily outclassed by the actual healing spells in the game, so it’s near useless. Angel’s 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 I’ve decided that if Leonard isn’t going to use it, then fuck it, I’m not going to either.

What’s 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. They’re 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 it’s flying.

And down it goes.

CUTSCENE: Bad Ass (With Sixteen S’s)

But this being White Knight Chronicles II, that battle didn’t 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: That’s a problem. It’s taken to the air.
Orren: Wouldn’t 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 can’t call them heroes yet.

Leonard: Oh great.
Orren: Repeat after me: “O Wizel, white warrior…”

Orren: Wielder of the ancient—


Heeeeeeee’s baaaaaaaaaaack!

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 hero’s here.

Caesar: Daaaa da da da daaaa…

Caesar: Daaaa daaaa daaaaaaaaaaaaa …

Caesar: Daaaa da da da daaaa…


Actually, he’s more like Iron Man, but I digress.

Everyone is absolutely blown away by witnessing an actual act of badass heroism.

Okay, Caesar’s 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.

Leonard: Huh?

Leonard: Caesar!

Caesar: Whuh?

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!

Yulie: Uuuh.
Eldore: Hasn’t 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 Leonard’s presence because Yulie, Orren and Eldore were there with him”.

Cisna: How much money to we have left in the budget after that now?

Cisna: Shit.