Part 53: Don't Let The Plot Hit You In The Ass On Your Way Out, Idiot
AREA MUSIC: The Lagnish Desert (Disc 1, Track 24)
And thus we start the final leg of our long trek back to Balandor.
God I really hope this is the last we see of Albana ever.
Yulie: I just know were going to have to fight the Black Knight.
Caesar: Hell pay for Kara!
As we approach the Nordia Tunnels entrance, we start encountering Yshrenian Soldiers. So it looks like were on the right track at least.
Eldore: Lets proceed to the north road.
Leonard: Hope we can pass through unseen.
Through that garrison? Not bloody likely.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Temple Bell (Unreleased Track)
Yulie: Whats that?
Caesar: The Yshrenian army. Theyre blocking the road to the Nordia Tunnels.
Eldore: Well have to break through. Theres no other way.
Leonard: Works for me.
MINIBOSS FIGHT: Desert Garrison (no commentary)
Okay, so its the end of the Albana segment all over again. This clear out Yshrenian encampment thing is going to be a recurring thing over the next few chapters.
And this is going to be the last time it will ever be easy. So enjoy using the White Knight for as long as you can, as much as you possibly can in this game.
I said last chapter that the watch towers were there to act as damage sponges. Well, these are what they are meant to sponge for. Artillery Cannons are smaller scale versions of the Ancient War Machine and are paired with Siege Towers and Army Tents to supplement their lack of offensive capabilities.
Theyre kind of terrible.
The way these things collapse when you defeat them makes me think theyre so flimsy that Leonard could just push them over if he was able to in gameplay.
This kind of seems like overkill, honestly.
If this is what the rest of Grazels army has to offer, were walking our way to victory, I swear.
OVERWORLD MUSIC: The Continent of Nadias (Disc 1, Track 15)
It seems like just yesterday we were here the first time, running after the Magi after Belcitane kidnapped Cisna. Now, were running after the Magi again to head them off before they kill Cisna or something.
God help us all.
AREA MUSIC: The Nordia Tunnels (Disc 1, Track 21)
Leonard: Head for the Greydall exit.
Eldore: If they have many more of those weapons, we are in trouble.
So guess whats new in the Nordia Tunnels? NOTHING!
Leonard: Ive got to get back to Cinsa.
Orren: [ROUNDHOUSE KICK]
Leonard: You think they know were here?
Caesar: I think so. Look how their soldiers are positioned.
Eldore: And if they dont know now, they will soon enough.
Yulie: Right, well lets assume the worst.
Leonard: Well, Balandors right around the corner.
Eldore: Forget the south road. Well save time by swinging around to the west.
Caesar: Okay. Sounds good.
The decent thing about this part of the game is that we dont have to go all the way to the Balandor Castle exit. We just need to get to this ledge about halfway through the plain.
AREA MUSIC: Greydall Plain (Disc 1, Track 19)
Eldore: Balandors just beyond this plain.
Leonard: Yeah! We can finally give the Royal Army a hand.
Yulie: Oooh, its so nice to be home.
Caesar: Uh, guys? Could you pay attention? Were not there yet.
Once again, its another nice little touch that this part of the game takes place at twilight. The only thing is that its a static environmental setting, so its one of those never-ending sunset deals that makes OCD freaks twitch.
Leonard: Almost to Balandor, guys.
Caesar: We should take care from here.
Eldore: Yshrenias army seems to move impossibly fast.
As we approach the cliff, the game letterboxes suddenly, letting us know that a cutscene is imminent.
CUTSCENE: The Black Knight Returns
Eldore: Leonard. Look.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Infernal Beast Pyredaemos (Game 2 OST, Track 14)
So the main Yshrenian force makes its earnest debut by swinging its big technologically superior dick in everyones face. More monoships than you can shake an Incorruptus at and a bunch of Wyverns for close air support too.
Oh, and Shapurs here too.
Thats a badass shot right there, but then I remember just whos inside that armour now, and I a little inside.
And theyve got tanks too.
Yshrenian Soldier #1: Can you believe the getups they make us wear? This army sucks.
Yshrenian Soldier #2: Eh, could be worse.
Yshrenian Soldier #1: How?
Yshrenian Soldier #2: We could be starring in Gundam AGE right now.
So, yeah. Balandors fucked.
Caesar: Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me!
Shapur spots the party on the ledge and makes a b-line towards them to be an absolute dick up close and personal this time.
And then he reverts to human form for literally no reason. Seriously.
Shapur: Huhuhuha. How long has it been?
Caesar: Not long enough!
Shapur: I must say, I expected you to suffer in the Lagnish a while still.
He fingers the Black Knights Ark quite suggestively. In a way, I am kind of impressed at the subtle ways theyve been showing how stealing it from Kara has absolutely fucked him up to the point where it kind of turns him on.
Shapur: But then I forget, even little men like you have Knights.
Shapur: Unfortunately, I cannot permit you to cause His Excellency any more headaches.
Shapur: It is time I destroyed you, with the power the Black Knight has given me!
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Jet-Black Wings (Disc 1, Track 22)
Caesar: The power you stole!
Shapur: Enough talk!
So now we see why Shapur reverted: to give him a proper transformation sequence into the Black Knight. Everyone in this game needs at least one, after all. It just wouldnt be a henshin hero story without it.
Shapur: O Dinivas, deliverer of dark and dread
Shapur: Ruler of the ancient shadows
Shapur: Grant me your power!
Caesar: Leonard! Our turn!
Because he ALWAYS needs to be promoted into action. Always.
Leonard & Caesar: Verto!
And so our
Caesar teabagging the camera with his giant bone dong on the way down.
Why did I pick THIS screenshot again?
And heres one more rehashed plot point from the first game: a two-on-one Knight battle with the Black Knight.
BOSS FIGHT: The Black Knight, Round Five (no commentary)
Shapur: You are only postponing the inevitable!
So of course, because its the Black Knight, all youve got to do is stab its ebony ass until it drops.
I use Leonard for a brief bit at the start of the fight and then jump into Caeasr, because a) its thematically resonant, b)Caesar has the better stabbing attack, and c) leaving Leonard in the hands of the AI helps further the narrative of him being an uncoordinated twat.
Caesar: MURDERER! Youll pay for what you did to Kara!
Shapur: Hahaha! Ebonwings belongs to he who is strongest!
Again, Wyrm Dance works wonders, as it always does.
Leonard: Today you play for everything youve done!
Orren: Thats still just murder Kara, dude! Or are we counting Belcitanes death too?
Shapur: Challenge accepted!
The Black Knight has one sort-of new attack, or at least one that I really havent covered yet.
Basically, it picks a target, points, and deploys a lightning attack on them.
It also has a charge attack that you really should break immediately because its not an attack, its an instant healing spell that recovers nearly a quarter of its health instantly.
But then Caesar resolves some of his pent up frustrations over Karas death by ventilating the Black Knights abdomen with Larvaint.
Also, Leonard has been somewhat useful during this fight by healing Caesar with heal potions whenever his health gets critically low.
This is very good because it means I can put MP that would be used to cast Healers Soul into more Wyrm Dances.
Shapur: No! I have only just begun!
CUTSCENE: Its Not a Bug, Its a Feature!
Talions point seems to disagree with that assertment, Shappie.
The two Incorrupti lock blades in perhaps the most awkward way possible. Because Leonard cannot land an (intentional) killing blow ever. Hes contractually forbidden from being competent.
Shapur: I hate it when I get my Schwartz in a tiwst!
However, because its Leonard were talking about, Shapur quickly gets the upper hand again.
Shapur just punches Leonard across the field without any real effort.
Alright, dickhead, lets let a real hero show you how to do this.
Kick his ass, Caesar!
So, youd think that now that Caesar has Shapur over a barrel, this would be the perfect time for some character-building banter between the two of them re: Kara, right?
Haha, fuck you. We dont have any room in this budget for character development. Jesus!
So, before Caesar can strike the well warranted deathblow, the two Knights begin to glow and hum.
Caesar: Were resonating?
Leonard stands up to maybe, possibly, almost do something.
And then the plot goes LOL, fuck no. Get back down you loser.
He starts heaving back and forth uncontrollably.
Caesar: Leonard! Lets wrap this up!
I dont like the way the White Knights glowing like that. That usually means it about to explode. Or its mid-season upgrade time again, and the White Knights about to digivolve.
No, wait, I already made a digivolution joke in the last game. Only Level-5 can get away with doing the exact same shit twice in a row here. Besides, its Leonard were talking about. Nothing cool ever happens when Leonard is involved.
Orren: Wow, he cant even get just be a Knight right anymore.
He drops Talion and doubles over onto his knees, panting heavily. I missed screencapping the actual drop, but trust me, he does it.
And, interestingly enough, those blue glowy glyphs wed seen all the way back at the start of the first game with the Phantom start to appear around the White Knight.
Oooo. Purple eyes. That cant be good.
The purple energy bleeds off the White Knight and Leonard reverts to human form.
And he falls back into the dirt. Where he will remain until the end of the game.
Halfway through the second game and the folks in charge finally realised, hey, this guy actually kinda sucks. Lets get rid of him. So they did.
This is pretty much the end of Leonards stint as a playable character in White Knight Chronicles II.
The kid literally sucked so badly as a protagonist, he had his privileges revoked.
Im doing my happy dance right now folks. It took long enough, but were FINALLY rid of him. His lingering stupidity? Eeeeeh, thats gonna take a little while longer to scrub out.
Orren: Outta my way! Im gonna kick his head in!
Yulie looks him over while Caesar and Shapur grapple in the background.
The glow of the resonance promptly fades after the White Knights little Crash to Desktop sploofart.
Shapur wriggles out of Caesars grasp
And gutpunts him.
Shapur: We will settle this quarrel later.
Looks like Team Rockets blasting off again
He looks back one last time as if to says, BTW, I killed your girlfriend, LOL bye!...
And then hauls ass outta there.
Caesar: Get back here!
Caesar prepares to take off after Shapur. I smell another awesome aerial battle sequence coming up!
Eldore: We dont have the room in the budget for that! I mean
Eldore: We need to get Leonard back to Balandor as soon as possible.
He looks up one last time in thwarted frustration.
Fucking Eldore, youre always a bloody killjoy. Caesar could have easily flew up there, impaled Shapur against the side of one of those monoships, and came back down and rescued the 1/5th of a person that now qualifies as Leonard.
And if he wasnt exactly quick enough getting back, is it that much of a loss anyway?
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Ancient Heartbeat ~ Monologue (Disc 2, Track 22)
Unfortunately, we dont ever actually get another Cisna monologue. They were kind of early-game exclusive deals. However, Im not one to let a joke die, so heres at least what was going in in-universe for this LP.
Damn girl, tell us how you really feel.
CUTSCENE: Caesars Out Too
Caesar and Eldore anxiously wait on any news of Leonards condition in the Privy Council chamber.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Sorry and Loniness (Game 2 OST, Track 11)
Caesar: Hows Leonard doing?
Yulie: In bed sleeping. He was in a lot of pain.
Yulie: What happened?
Eldore: Perhaps hes relied too much on the Knights power?
Caesar: Hey, this is Leonard were talking about.
Caesar: Its damn hard to kill that kind of stupid.
Caesar: Once hes had a nap, hell be back on his feet.
Caesar: In the meanwhile, weve gotta find some way to stop Yshrenia.
Eldore: The royal army and Yshrenias imperial army are facing off in the south of Greydall Plain.
Eldore: A bloody battle is coming, and soon.
Caesar: Yeah. Ive decided to fight on the front lines with Balandor.
Spoiler alert: this game is 100% bloodless. It doesnt even have the distinction of having Xenosaga-style edited out blood either.
Caesar: If that bastard Shapur comes back, theyll need my help.
Yulie: Im going too.
Caesar: No, Id rather you stay here with Leonard. You know, keep him from doing anything crazy.
I legitimately thought he was going to say stupid. I really did. Though crazy pretty much is a synonym for stupid in this instance, however.
Yulie: Why do I always get all the shit jobs?
CUTSCENE: Weird Science
Now that the heavy drama is over, weve got some wacky comedy to get through. This is another instance of the game involving the Avatar in its plot, and by that I mean further insulting the character you took your time to craft and grow over the course of one and a half games by keelhauling them through an encounter with an annoying psychotic catgirl.
Because Level-5 hates you, the player, with a malicious, insidious passion.
Its shit like this why I write Orren as such a resentful, hard-done-by curmudgeon. Because this shit would drive you nuts too if it happened to you.
Okay, fine .
Lets meet Framboise.
Orren: I wonder if I can sell this thing somewhere? Would anyone buy it if I told them I got it from a giant camp frog? Probably not.
Just keep walking babe...
Ooop, too late. Shes spotted her prey.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Framboise (Game 2 OST, Track 8)
Orren: Maybe I can have it mounted in some
Orren: Oh, FUCK. What?!
Framboise: Oh, sorry. I get excited.
Orren: No kidding.
Framboise: My name is Framboise!
Framboise: Im one of Balandors royal scholars.
Orren: Wait a minute Framboise? I know that name. Youre the lunatic who built that bomb Cisnas threatening my town with!
Framboise: I know! Isnt it cool. It was just something I threw together in my spare time while working on something else. Not my best work, but Im sure once it goes off itll
Orren: Kill everyone I care about?
Framboise: Oooo right. Remind me to send you a gift basket. In the meanwhile
Framboise: W-would you just let me look at that
Framboise: That beautiful gem youre holding? Please?
Oi! Grabhands! Bad kitty! Down!
Orren: Why? What are you going to do with it? Build a bigger bomb?
Framboise: Let me see it and youll find out.
Orren: What do you DO here, anyway?
Framboise: A little bit of everything: mechanics, physics, biology, engineering, munitions botany. Im really big into animal hybridization right now. I know, ironic seeing as how Im a Warg. But thats the thing. Most people look at things and ask why? Im the kind of person who asks why not?
Orren: Well, now I know where all that undead shit in basement came from.
Orren: Hmmm On the one hand, youre like only the fourth person whos carried on something approaching a conversation with me in this country On the other hand, youre fucking nuts and a little creepy
Orren: Im regretting this already.
Framboise: I-I dont believe it!
Framboise: Look at the soft and subtle glow.
Framboise: The glistening sheen!
Framboise: Ive been desperate to find something just like this!
Framboise: My precious!
The music cuts out abruptly and a cats meow plays.
Orren: Youre the craziest person in this kingdom, arent you?
Framboise: I have a test for that!
Framboise: Please, can I haveerborrow this?
Framboise: Of course I mean borrow.
Orren: No. Give it back. Now.
Framboise: Oh thank you! Thank you!
Orren: What part of no dont you
Framboise: [CAN OF MASE]
Orren: AAAAAH! FUCK! MY EYES!!
Framboise: I will not be denied!
Framboise: Ahahahaha! Omigods! Im shaking! Thisll make my career! Huhahahahahaaaa!!
Orren: Shit. Now I know why Cisna hired you. Gods that stings!
CUTSCENE: [YULIE FEELS]
We return to the heavy drama part of the chapter with Cisna keeping watching over Leonard as he sleeps, mulling over the merits of just smothering the idiot with a pillow and taking the White Knights Ark for herself.
Cisna: I dont believe this shit. Broke my fucking Knight. Broke. My. Fucking. Kni
Cisna: OUT!!! Oh wait
Yulie: Hows he doing? Any better?
She shakes her head despondently.
Leonard: Uuugh. Uuuuuuh.
Cisna: The physician examined him
It wasnt Framboise was it?
Framboise: I think his gall bladders inflamed.
Cisna: Youre touching his Adams Apple.
Framboise: Excuse me. Which one of us has the medical biology degree in her office?
Cisna: Just build me another giant bomb, you dingbat.
Cisna: But we couldnt determine whats ailing him.
Cisna: I feel just awful, pushing him to the limit like this.
Cisna: I really liked that Knight
The camera slowly pans up to Yulies face and its clear that shes none too happy with Cisnas assessment of things.
Cisna: If we hadnt if we hadnt forced him to carry so much of the burden
Note: this is purely Cisna showing concern for Leonards wellbeing as a person. There is still zero romantic intent behind her regret.
Yulie takes a deep breath, summoning the courage to finally speak her mind to the Other Woman in a love triangle in which neither of them are actually The Woman.
CUTCENE MUSIC: Reflecting (Disc 1, Track 18)
Yulie: Forced him? Its always been his choice. Right from the beginning.
Yulie: He saved this kingdom. Now hes trying to save the whole world
Yulie: But me? I just
Yulie: When have you ever heard him complain about any of this?
He isnt smart enough to complain about things.
Cisna: Ill take I dont give a shit for a $100, Alex.
Yulie: You havent forced him to do anything! You didnt have to!
Yulie: He fights because he wants to. Because he wants YOU!
Ooooookaaaaaay then. Well, thats out in the open now.
And then she runs off in an angst overflow, because Akihiro Hino is just soooo good at writing women and/or romance sub-plots.
Cisnas kind of shocked that a) someone finally pointed out to her what an unconscious manipulator she is, and b) that Leonard actually has feelings for her.
What is she going to do now that she knows Leonard cares about her so much that hes putting his health and safety on the line in a desperate bid to win her affactions?
Yulie just blew this whole non-love triangle wide open and put everyones cards on the table for them, and Cisnas reaction is a big giant, Meh. Whatever.
In all fairness, she briefly touches him once in a platonic fashion eventually, so maybe she does have some inkling of feelings for him deep down inside.
Cisna: Im gonna have to have sooooo many people killed tomorrow for this.
Yulie meanwhile goes running through the castle in tears.
Just run girl, run until it doesnt hurt any more.
But then she just kind of gives up and collapses against the wall.
Yulie: So much for just coming to grips with it.
Yulie: This wouldnt happen if I was stronger.
She looks up at the open window before her.
At the full moon
Hmmm I wonder
Then suddenly, it hits her, and she gasps in realization.
Yulie: Meh. Works for me.
She runs off into the night full a sudden determination, and perhaps, dare I say it A purpose at last.
If wonder if this is some kind of foreshadowing?
CUTSCENE: Back to Faria
She slips out the front gate of the castle, apparently ready to walk all the way back to Faria to rip the Moon Maiden clean out of Father Yggdra with the sheer power of fuck Leonard and Cisna.
Eldore: You plan to do it alone?
Oh hey The Post-Game Party. What are you doing here six hours early?
Yulie looks both despondent that she was caught, and relieved that she wont have to go it alone.
Eldore: Faria, I presume?
Eldore: I have the Shahgna all ready. Lets go.
Orren: For you, babe, anything.
You know, I will say this about the man: Eldore is one hell of a shitty mentor, and an incompetent warrior overall, but if nothing else hes a pretty good friend.
Yulie: Thank you.
And that is that. Leonard is gone, gone, gone, gooone.
Well now, Orren, what do you have to say to that one?