Part 59: Loose Ends
I couldnt decide what one to go with, so I went with both. Eat it.
CUTSCENE: Grazel Enters the Fray
So while Team Eldore is wrapping up this games time travel bullshit plot, Team Caesar is in the midst of another (budget hampered) action sequence.
Jeez, just three gigas? Has Yshrenia just given up already?
Nah, they cant afford to render any more models than that. Were already wildly over budget and we havent really done shit in this game.
Case in point: only Caesar and Yulie are there fighting for Balandor too. Perhaps Ill just play Devils Advocate for the game and say that Yshrenia has entered a Táin Bó Cúailnge-type arrangement with Balandor, in that theyve agreed to a regulated daily combat-by-champion setup where Yulie and Caesar face down a only a couple of Grazels gigases and then call it a day in order to stave off the alternative: Yulie and Caesar absolutely slaughtering Grazels army with their massive power advantage.
If it worked for Medb and Allil You have no idea what the fuck Im talking about, do you?
Caesar spots some movement among the gigases.
They part ways and bow down to whoever is approaching from behind.
And of course its Grazel, because who the hell else would it be at this point in the game?
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Final Battle (Disc 2, Track 17)
He of the Stupid Shoulderpads strides forth casually between the gigases, which are about to disappear completely from this chapter for no reason other than itll save Level-5 a little more time and money.
Grazel: Thats no way to say hello, is it?
Grazel: Peace, friends.
Grazel: I have a proposition for you.
Grazel: Why not end this struggle and join the Imperial Army?
Yulie: Lets just say we dont like the management!
Yulies the best.
Grazel: Its the right choice, you know.
Grazel: The Knights power was created for the sole purpose of serving Emperor Madoras.
Yeah, and where the fuck has he been hiding this whole game? Also, the Knights power was created for the sole purpose of kicking the shit of Athwan after Yshrenia started losing the war they started with them.
But whatever, lets just go with your assbackwards narcissistic view of history.
Grazel: You belong with me your brother.
Caesar: Sorry, but Ive got a whole city full of people who disagree.
Grazel takes a moment to re-evaluate his position in life. I wonder if hes going to realize how pointless this all really is and just decide its not even worth it anymore and join the fight against the real threat here: Cisna.
Grazel: Then this discussion is over.
Oh, of course not.
Grazel: You two will just have to be put in your place.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: The Sun King (Disc 2, Track 18)
Grazel: O Adolmaea
Grazel: Shining sovereign
Grazel: Supreme light of the ancient skies
Grazel: Grant me your power!
Generic Villain is generically villainous.
Grazel: Now, lets see what youve got!
BOSS FIGHT: The Sun King, Rounds Two and Three (no commentary)
Okay, so round two with the Sun King. You might want to hold off on watching this one until after the chapters over, because the second half of the video has some slight spoiler material in it.
Remember how this thing was a total pushover last time we fought it? How we made Grazel our bitch and ruined his moment of triumph?
Thats not happening this time.
Your eyes arent screwing with you, we are literally doing double digit damage to an enemy with an HP threshold in the mid 5-digit range.
So what the fuck is happening?
Well, since were about three hours away from clearing the games plot, Level-5 panicked and started throwing in whatever unused RPG tropes they just hadnt gotten around to up till now. Hence why we find ourselves in an Unwinnable Plot Battle.
Unwinnable Plot Battles were a staple of early Final Fantasties, though it was in games like Xenogears where they really took off. Xenogears has like one Unwinnable Plot Battle every four hours.
The conceit of this fight is that now that we dont have Cisna here nerfing its power for us, the Sun King can now really live up to its whole Invincible Knight hype.
Though it also inadvertently shows off what a lazy tit Grazel is, as the man has spent the past year just sitting his ass on his Not-Iron Throne having boring, meaningless conversations with Ledom while he could have used the Sun King to win the war in a day because its an INVINCIBLE FUCKING KNIGHT.
But then again, Grazel is a giant dipshit.
I hop into Caesar at this point in the fight because he has a slashing attack that will match the Sun Kings weakness.
Its a pointless endeavour, I admit, but Im only doing it to clear this fight faster than I would if I just stuck with Yulie.
All you need to do for this battle is 1) not die, and 2) just scrape the barest sliver off of Grazels HP bar and then let the plot take care of itself.
But then I end up hopping back into Yulie anyway because for whatever reason, Grazels attacks do serious damage to the Moon Maiden.
I guess its the most glass-cannon-y of the Knights: high damage dealing potential, low damage endurance.
Yulie is also a good choice for your party lead in this fight because she has +Glittering Moonlight, which will heal both her and Caesar simultaneously and reduce the risk of Grazel killing either of them and causing a game over.
See, look at this shit. I JUST healed up and hes already knocked Yulie down to half health again.
This fight is a battle of attrition like nobodys business.
And then for some reason, I agro the Sun King. I dont know how or why I did because this games in-battle enemy aggression system is yet another slapdash piece of crap that nobody understands, so Im just going to assume that its in-character for Grazel, who probably has his subordinates murdered if they bring him a warm can of Coke or something.
So in addition to having a monstrously high defense stat, the Sun King also has an inflated evasion stat too, making it kind of hard to land consistent hits on him.
How crazy are the Sun Kings defense stats? When I played through this battle to get the subtitled cutscenes down, I played it with everyone in the partys stats modded up to 9999 (so I can quickly get through sections like this that have gameplay sandwiched in between cutscenes and no save points). Yulie and Caesar were still doing double digit damage against the Sun King with 9999 attack stats.
I missed capping the actual attack here and only got the aftermath of it. Sorry.
Rest assured that it was probably an orange particle effect vomit of some kind.
Grazels most common attack is sending this wave of fire out at your feet with the Lawblade. It staggers both Knights for a second and interrupts whatever actions were being charged up at the moment.
Again, the Sun King is absolutely devastating to the Moon Maiden.
Grazel also has a multi-hit attack of his own where he splits the Lawblade into two swords and just goes to town on everyone in range.
And then when hes done, he snaps both blades together again, reforming his lance.
Youre pretty much going to be casting +Glittering Moonlight every other turn in this fight.
Until finally Caesar scores enough damage on him to trigger the mercy rule.
CUTSCENE: The Invincible Knight
We transition out of the fight into a cutscene now that essentially repeats what we just went through beat-for-beat. Because you passed out about five second into the fight and just started mashing the X button out of reflex, so heres your chance to catch up on what you missed.
Grazel effortlessly bitchslaps Caesar halfway across Greydall Plain.
Okay, now Yulies up.
Cmon girl, show off some of that fabled competence weve been getting accustomed to lately. We need to wean the audience back into believing that people in this game are capable of doing things right now that Leonards gone.
Though in all fairness to Yulie, she follows standard operating procedure for doing something competent in this game: Step 1) actually do something.
Grazel lowers his Lawblade
And throws up a fire barrier around the Sun King.
Meh. Nice try, Yulie. At least you actually did something. Its not your fault that Grazel is playing with a bullshit Gamesharked Knight. Hes cheating. Leonard would have just sat there and farted until Grazel picked him up and tossed him all the way into Balandor Castles throneroom.
Yulie: Nothing hurts him!
Sounds like only the power of Plot Bullshit can save us now.
Grazel: Hahahahahahaha! The Sun King will ALWAYS shine brightest.
Grazel: Wilt in my brilliance!
Aww, look at that. Grazel just wants a hug.
Seriously, nobody hug him.
CUTSCENE: The Veil Is Lifted
We return from that cliff hanger to the action in Balandor Castle. Apparently were catching up with Cisna in the midst of her mid-afternoon power nap. Because every egomaniacal tyrant needs her beauty sleep.
Cyrus: Your Grace!
Handmaiden: Queen Cisna! Whats wrong?!
Handmaiden: Will she be okay?
Eldore: Shes out cold.
Orren: Quick, kill her before she wakes up. Its the only way!
Cyrus: What happened to her?
I dont know
But theres someone who probably might.
Miu: She will be alright.
Oh, hey Miu. I see youre rocking you granddads old threads. Thats somewhat creepy, but okay. I get it. You need to look the part now that youre a world leader and all.
We should just count ourselves lucky she didnt make those two goons behind her carry her ass up all those stairs to the throne room in Dalams big fuck off palanquin.
Or maybe she did. Who knows?
Miu: Queen Cisna must have unfinished business within the pages of the Retrospecticon.
Orren: Wait. THATs what it looked like when we were time travelling? We were all just laying around having a shared dream? Godsdammit. Well, that explains why I lost twenty guilders from my back pocket the last time we did this.
Kara: Yeah. Gotta admit, it was really hard fighting the temptation to draw a dick on your forehead when you did it in the Numenshrine. Ban Lorias made a really good case for it, too.
Orren: Thank you question mark?
And so we get a peek into Cisnas idea of hell: alone in a dark place with no one to worship her magnificence or torture if she gets bored.
Cisna: This room
Cisna: I thought I turned it into an S&M dungeon. WHO MOVED ALL MY KINKY SHIT?!
50 Shades of Pink by the banned account that used to be owned by nine-gear crow.
Take a shot? Shit, its been a while since weve had any use for the LEONARD!/CISNA! drinking game. They dropped that bullshit HARD in the second game.
Cisna whips around at the sound of her own name, which, in all fairness, is usually the only sound she chooses to hear from others anyway.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Reflecting (Disc 1, Track 18)
Oh, hey that dress looks vaguely familiar.
Well well well, look who it is. Its Queen
Ghost Valtos: FLORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINE!!!
What he said.
Floraine: Look at how much youve grown.
Take a shot.
Floraine: You were only a little girl when I realized you were the reincarnation of Queen Mureas.
Okay, 1) well at least we finally get our first graphical depiction of Queen Mureas, and doesnt she look like someone who would be a villain in a crazy magical girl anime? I mean, look at that giant crown shes rocking, and that hat also has like a three foot point to it too.
And 2) I guess were tapping into the contacting the afterlife subfeature of the Retrospecticon now too, unless Past Queen Floraine was some kind of clairvoyant too.
Floraine: I had to place a spell on you to lock that part of you away, and keep you safe.
Ooo. The hits just keep on coming. So, Floraine mindwarped her daughter in a desperate bid to stave off the inevitable because she realized she was the reincarnation of an insane genocidal dictator prophesied to drag the world back into the cataclysmic war that she started in the first place.
All because she didnt have the stomach to push tiny Cisna off a balcony or whatever. That would have solved a fuckton of problems, wouldnt it?
But whatever, Im sorry Your Majesty, you werent done aiding and abetting a 7 year-old retroactive war criminal yet?
Also, a nice little bit of subtle continuity here too. Kara said all the way back at the start of the first game that Cisna was a descendant of the Athwani by blood in addition to being Mureass bullshit magic reincarnation. So it stands to reason then that Floriane is also descended from Athwani blood, and therefore could use the same Athwani magic Cisna can, albeit just not to the extent that she can.
Floraine: Had your identity become known, you could have become a target for countless foes.
Cisna: Little too late on that one, Mom.
Floraine: But now, I can see you have outgrown my protection. You have now become a true leader.
Cisna: Oh, Mother
Floraine: Cisna my dear, ahead of you await grueling trials and painful choices to go with them.
Floraine: Yours and Madorass fates they are woven tight, and it falls on you to break those ties.
She steps forward towards her daughter with open arms.
Floraine: But you will.
Floraine: Within you, there is strength.
Cisna: I mean, cmon, Mom, Im fighting a damn war here already. And Im pretty sure Im winning. Grazels a total pus
Floraine: Cisna! Language!
The Queen places her hand over Cisnas forehead much like she did years ago to place the sealing spell in the first place.
And the seal shatters. Hey, thanks Ghost Queen Floraine. We wouldnt have been able to finish this bullshit game without you.
Cisna: POWER! UNLIMITED POWER!! MWAHAHAHAHA! I HAVE AWOKEN! THE WORLD IS MI
Floraine: Not on my watch, young lady. Now, go to your room!
Cisna: But MOM!
Floraine: Do NOT make me count to three.
Cisna: But Daddy would let me invade a continent if I wanted to.
Floraine: Do I look like your father?
Ghost Valtos: FLORAAAAAAAAAAAINE! Come on! Belcitane is cooking hotdogs again! Youre going to miss out!
Because I like to imagine the deceased cast members all just chilling in heaven together discussing how great it is to not be a part of this game anymore. The villains too.
Everyone except Marcell.
Because fuck Marcell.
CUTSCENE: Where Have I Seen This Plot Before?
Oh, yeah, thats right. The first game.
So all the competent people are once again gathered in the throne room anxiously waiting to see if Cisna is ever going to wake up. We just missed it, but Eldore said shes got another five minutes and then theyre Rock-Paper-Scissorsing to see who gets to be monarch next.
Also, Leonard is there, so that whole -10 Competence score is back in effect. This probably doesnt bode well for Cisnas survivability now.
We also get an awkward unspoken reunion between Miu and General Scardigne.
Miu: So you were a woman?
Miu: Like The whole time?
Kara: Aaaah, yep.
Miu: Hoooboy. Awkward.
Because their entire relationship becomes retroactively hilarious if you imagine that Miu had a hero-worship crush on Scardigne and had no idea he was actually Kara until she walked in and saw her unmasked in the throne room.
Remember when Scardigne saved Miu from that gigas at the start of the game by sweeping her up onto a horse by grabbing her ass? Yeeeeah. That was some girl-on-girl action right there.
Once again, Kara unintentionally has gotten closer to second base with more people than the rest of the men in this game put together.
Eldore: Wait, did I hear something about lesbians?
Orren: WHAT THE SHIT, OLD MAN?! REALLY?!
Leonards in no state to be doing much of anything right now, however, he can muster the energy to climb out of his sick bed and continue to be creepily obsessed with Cisna.
Theres a cool little transition here as Cyrus stomps past the camera.
Halfway through it cuts to a close-up zoom of dillweed and his fantasy girlfriend.
Leonard: [INEFFECTUAL PANTYWAIST MOAN]
Eldore: Grazel has joined the battle on Greydall Plain.
Eldore: Yulie and Caesar are keeping him at bay.
Orren: Basically, dont try to help them. Please.
Leonard: Look after Cisna.
He gets up to go do something. Im damn sure it wont be heroism but it will be something.
But then his arm is yanked out of its socket by Cisnas deathgrip.
Leonard: so ineffectual an unconscious girl can hold him in place.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Recollection (Disc 1, Track 14)
She groggily opens her eyes and realizes shes actually touching the goober again.
Cisna: Aw shit, AGAIN!? Ew.
Cisna: Leonard, wait a moment.
Cisna: I need to wash this hand with sandpaper now. Ucgh.
Leonard: Its okay, Cisna. You should rest.
Cisna: No, Im alright.
Cisna: Ill rest after Ive shoved my foot so far into Grazel that his taint will be tickling his stomach lining.
Leonard helps her back to her feet, and then immediately lets go because hes not allowed to touch Cisna for more than twenty seconds by royal decree.
Cisna: Urgh. Fuck that. Im gonna need a BATH in sandpaper. You! Lady Servant! Warm up the De-Leonardzier.
Handmaiden: But it killed four people the last time we
Cisna: The pikes on the garrison walls are looking a little headless this week. Should I fix that?
Handmaiden: Oooh! By your command, Your Eternal Supreme Radiance!
Cisna: The veil its been lifted.
Cisna: All the memories of Mureas, Queen of Athwan, have resurfaced in me.
Cisna: Gods, Eldore. You used to be so hot. I called you Sexyboy . #8. The fuck happened?
Eldore: Time travel, Your Grace.
Cisna: In ages past, I began a war with Yshrenia
Orren: Well, at least youve finally copped to starting this whole shitshow.
See! I was right all along. Its all Cisnas fault. Or rather, its all Mureass fault. Why are we fighting for the woman who BEGAN the Dogma Wars again?
Actually, shes full of shit on that one, as according to the games lore (which is never touched on anywhere in-game, by the way), apparently the Dogma War was well under way before Madoras and Mureas became the leaders of their respective empires. Her and Madoras just accelerated it into its conclusion by throwing super weapons like the Knights at each other till the other one broke.
Guess what you apparently dont get to see any of during the PSP prequel? The actual Dogma War itself.
Fuck you, Level-5. Anyway...
Cisna: And now, the time has come to end it.
And Orrens just standing there in shocked silence that nobodys taking Cisna to task for how much their lives have gone to shit thanks to the global hankey-pankey her past self got up to in the Dogma Era.
Cisna: I said Id break Grazels wannabe Empire over my knee last year. Its about time I finally got around to doing it.
She summons her Athwani Magic Bullshit, though sadly it is not going to be the instant win Deus ex Machina wave I know were all hoping for.
The game has an abrupt, bullshit, out-of-nowhere ending, true, but not THIS abrupt.
She summons the three insignia from the ether and prepares to more-or-less re-enact the Door of Time sequence from Ocarina of Time.
I am not bullshitting you either. Just watch.
Take a shot.
Goddamn, the drinking game is back in full force today!
So Cisna smushes the Kokiri Emerald, the Zora Sapphire, and Goron Ruby together
And each nations emblem flashes out of the light in rapid succession.
The crown of Balandor from the Philosphers Insignia.
The stags head of Faria from the Sylvan Insignia.
And the cog of Greede from the Dragonroost Insignia.
And then Cisna killed Freeza with the Spirit Bomb.
See! Look! Its the Master Sword!
Princess Zelda just used the three Spiritual Stones to unlock the Master Sword for the
Cisna: To you, I bestow this blade.
Leonard stumbles forward to take it, hopefully without tripping into its bladed edge like half the people in the room are hoping he will.
Again, credit where its due, he knows enough to take a knee when receiving a
Cisna: Its name is Falcyos, the divine sword.
Orren: And this is different from Talion How?
Cisna: Ten millennia ago, this is what felled Madorass Knight, the Sun King.
Heres another piece of background lore thats NEVER mentioned in-game in any apparent way: Falcyos was apparently an ancient king who ruled a unified Nadias in the Dogma Era. His death lead to the fracturing of Yshrenia and Athwan into two separate nations who then went to war with one another for power and territory, thus kicking off the Dogma War and the insane bullshit plot of the game.
The more you (wish you didnt) know.
Cisna: With Falcyos, you hold the key to defeating Grazel.
Orren: And this is different from Talion How?
The kid stands there absolutely gobsmacked by it. The audience stands there absolutely gobsmacked that Level-5 actually had the balls to reuse the same End-Of-Act-2 plot turning point from the first game. We have another holy-forged Knight-slaying sword that is the ONLY WAY to defeat the evil Knight. All we need is for Kara to defect again and well have gone full circle.
Hell, this time we dont even have the fig leaf of Leonard doing something mildly intelligent and heroic to obtain it to hang on it. Hes just literally handed the McGuffin by Cisna this time, and told, yeah, go out there and kill stuff with it.
Cisna: Youre so totally my tool, its not even funny anymore.
Cisna: Promise me one thing. To defeat the Sun King, you must transform.
Cisna: And like actually fucking do it this time. No more of that forgetting you have a Knight thing.
Leonard: Whats a Kn
Cisna: [ROUNDHOUSE KICK]
Orren: HEY! Thats my bit!
Cisna: But let that be the last time.
Leonard: As you wish.
Spoiler alert: Were not going to defeat the Sun King with Falcyos, and this wont be the last time this shithead transforms.