Part 68: Our Long Fantasy Nightmare Is Over (Part 2)
Caesar: We didnt come all this way just to lose to you.
Yulie: Come on!
Shapur: You are only postponing your deaths!
Leonard: Falcyos! Grant me strength!
So this is Level-5s idea of paying off the ominous dangling Sword of Damocles that was the prospect of an eventual all-out throwdown between all five Yshrenian Knights. Cramming five massive character models into a space barely large enough for one of them to move around in freely and then let them clip through one another as they launch the same three or four attacks
That are insane effect-heavy graphic belches that obscure all the action and turn this fight into an even bigger clusterfucker than it already is.
Shapur: Ha ha ha haaaaah!
Caesar: Boy have I been waiting for this.
Yulie: This time, were finishing you for good!
So we get stuff like this. Its really not even worth me commenting on or posting a video on with commentary because its an unmitigated mess.
Grazel: At last, were fulfilling our destiny.
Caesar: We only brought the Knights together to stop you!
Grazel: Insignificant worms! The audacity!
Yulie: Lets see whos stronger now.
Shapur: You have stood in Lord Grazels way long enough.
Oh, Caesar. Listen to what youre saying. Ugh. Another victim of Leonards stupid field. You could have handled Grazel and Shapur with any combination of your three Knights. Youve known for a whole goddamn year that Five Knights = End of World, so why would you be so dumb that youd actually enable a situation where all five Knights come together YOURSELF?!
Because its White Knight Chronciles, thats why. The game bleeds stupid when you cut it. I chose the STUPID thread tag nine months ago when I started this LP for a reason, and we at long last are bumping up against the glass ceiling of Peak Stupid in this game.
Okay, so the actual mechanics of this fight then, I really should talk about those.
So now for the first and only time you're given a battle in which all three of your active party members are in Knight mode at the same time. You can freely hop between each Knight at your leisure (though at the pace of the games shitty character change mechanic). Each Knight has its advantages, but the best practice for this fight is just to stick with the White Knight and trust that the AI will manage to heal any damage done to the Moon Maiden and Dragon Knight with either healing items or their healing spells.
The strategy for this fight is (brain)dead simple. Attack the Black Knight first with stabbing attacks, then attack the Sun King with slashing attacks, heal when needed. You dont need to worry about running out of MP for this fight. I purposefully tried it to see if it netted me a game over like it normally does in plot-based Knight battles (mostly to keep myself from seeing the ending of this game one more time), but it didnt.
This is probably the one fight in the game where it allows you to remain in Knight mode at 0 MP. At that point all you can do is use the basic attacks that cost no MP. Though if Yulie is using Arslese instead of ElLiet on the Moon Maiden, that means she cant do anything because even her basic attack uses at least 4 MP per shot. Actually, youd be better served if you went into this fight with ElLiet on the Moon Maiden because while you take a hit in raw attack power, youll have +Glittering Moonlight to fall back on as it can heal all three Knights at once instead of trusting the AI to maybe pull of a self-targeted Healer Soul one second too late for it to matter. Because if any one of your Knights goes down, THAT gets you a game over.
I should point out that this fight is going to be Leonards final gameplay contribution in this LP. After this battle, the dumb motherfucker will never return to our active party. Ever. We are done with him being a thing in this game in T-minus 59 screenshots.
I should also point out that I went right from Redhorn Isle into the Garmatha, so I have not had the chance to level up Leonard or change any of his equipment, so he remains the big throbbing weak spot on Team World-Ending Stupidity.
White Knight Chronicles: The Epic Conclusion! Arent you all so glad Im screencapping this for you.
You should have seen the screenshots I cut from this chapter. Like every other screen was blotted out by a bright flash of light.
You can take out Grazel and Shapur in whatever order you like. I just feel that its thematic to off Shapur first and then go for Grazel.
The funny thing about this battle is that despite being the same weakling shithead that got trounced by Brimflamme in the last update, Leonard does very decently against the combined assault of the Sun King and Black Knight. Though thats mainly because Yulie and Caesar are taking turns tossing him Heal Potions every other turn as Shapur and Grazel constantly knock him down to half health each time they hit him.
But regardless, at least hes not dying and causing a catastrophic party-rending game over again.
You should really have the AI set to focus on my target instead of free fight, like I stupidly have them set to right now. But still, it just goes to show you that it is capable of hitting the same target youre focusing on and hitting it with a weakness-matching attack too under utterly ideal conditions.
This is also around the point in the fight where Shapur went down hard thanks to the Leonard-Caesar double-team. I really should have been playing as Caesar right now because he has the stronger stabbing attack (Wyrm Dance), and because of all people he deserves to be the one to cap Shapurs horny ass for what he did to Kara, but I just want to be done with this game so much right now
Grazel: The world will be mine once again!
Leonard: Yshrenian History was over ten millennia ago, dammit!
So the Black Knight just folds over and stays there taking up space on the battlefield once its defeated, leaving you free to give Grazel the three-on-one thrashing his smug ass has been begging for since that time he pretended to kill that guy who turned out to actually be him all along. Remember when that was a thing in this game?
I sure as shit do.
One more status effect to point out too. The skull icon there by Caesars name denotes the Curse status effect. Curse temporarily lowers character stats to make them weaker across the board as opposed to targeting individual stats like attack, defense, or evasion. Its the final new status effect of the game and only two enemies ever inflict it, this iteration of the Sun King, and the final boss of the game, who we will be meeting in short order.
Along with Knock Out, HP Leak, MP Leak, Restrain, and Confine, Curse is one of those rare enemy-only status effect spells. You never gain a spell or skill that can inflict Curse on an enemy. You can inflict Poison, Sleep, Paralysis, and Silence on enemies, but not KO, HP/MP Leak, Restrain, Confine, or Cursemostly because enemies dont use combos or transform into Knights.
The one party-only status effect you have at your disposal, by the way? Shackle. Or at least I assume, anyway, because in three playthroughs in as many years as Ive owned this game, I have never once seen Shackle cast ever. Shackle, for the curious, is denoted by a red coil-like icon and apparently causes both the target and caster of the spell to lose their ability to move in battle, thereby shackling them in place. I dont really know why you would want to use a spell like this, maybe to hold a group of enemies in place so they dont scatter outside the range of an AoE spell, but yeah, thats Shackle, a spell so high up the offensive magic skill line that most people probably hit the Skill Point ceiling before they ever unlock it.
Because Level-5 doesnt understand how character development systems work, I guess.
But back to this AWESOME fight
Grazel s-out on my and turns around to face AWAY from Leonard and Caesar for whatever reason, allowing me to score a few free hits on him. Sadly, this isnt an SRPG and attacking form behind doesnt do more damage.
Also, this games combat targeting system is such ass that I would not be surprised in the slightest if Grazel just attacked the air in front of him and still managed to hit both Leonard and Caesar behind him for massive damage.
Never forget what a terrible game this is.
This was the game Sony was banking on selling PlayStation3s with at one point in 2006. If I were Kazuo Hirai, and I just got done seeing the finished product of what this demo presentation promised, I would personally mail Akihiro Hino the biggest, pointiest wingtipped dress shoe I could purchase (like a size 15 EEEE), put it in a box with bright pink tissue paper and leave a note in the insole lip that said Shove this up your ass and send me a picture of it and were all good.
And then Id publish this turd with the shittest of shit-eating grins because Id at least gotten a measure of private schaddenfreude out of this whole debacle.
God, that was really sadistic of me. Thats like Harlan Ellison mailing dead gophers to Hollywood executives-level fucked up. I think I might need some kind of professional help thanks to this game.
But anyway, Grazel goes down one last time, proving himself definitively to be Yshrenias Leonard, having only used the Sun King a grand total of three times across the duology and getting his ass handed to him each and every time he transforms into it. I cant believe I once said that Grazel was smart.
Id like to apologize for that right now, ladies and gentlemen.
CUTSCENE: The Crowning Moment of Stupid
So we come out of the battle into another That Battle Didnt Count cutscene with Leonard and Grazel squaring off in the centre of the chamber.
The camera pans around a full 360 degrees as they lock blades with one another and inadvertently reveals that the Black Knight, Dragon Knight, and Moon Maiden have all blinked out of existence temporarily to accomplish this shot, because otherwise thered be no room for anyone to maneuver in this cutscene if all five Knights were still there.
They force themselves apart from one another in opposite directions.
Well, there you go folks. Thats the closest Leonard ever comes to hurting Grazel in a cutsceneimpotently locking blades with him for a second, and then being launched backwards by the second law of motion.
He lands hard on the opposite side of the room and prepares to launch the Finishing Attack to take Grazel down once and for all
And then the game goes LOL! Were you actually expecting us to do it? Make Leonard competent? Fuck you, pleb! and the White Knight starts glowing ominously once again.
Grazel: Huh? What the
Id take it 10x easier on this game instantly if they actually allowed Crispin Freeman to use the word fuck right there. I really would.
So all five Knights begin resonating at the same time now, the first time this has ever happened. Well, shit, dont you all look like asses now for allowing this TO EVEN HAPPEN!
A stream of light emerges from the other four Knights chests
And each of them writhes in shock and pain as it emerges.
What pretty colours.
The essence of the other five Knights floats into and merges with the White Knight.
Eh, maybe this is the start of something amazing. Maybe we really are going to get our MegaWhiteKnightmon or Voltron White Knight or something and then we can turn around and kick the shit out of Ledom with it in the most one-sided final boss battle since the end of Xenogears where you basically cave Miangs skull in for all the tomfoolery she was responsible for since, oh, I dunno, History.
Ledom: Ooh! Haa! It begins. The Final Awakening!
Fuck my life.
Nice work you shitsacks. This is like a demotivational poster. Lets defeat Grazel and stop the Final Awakening! / *Triggers the Final Awakening*
Alright then, lets see just what this Big Terrible Event thats been looming over our heads since the start of the first game plays out then.
The four other Knights collapse now that their essence has been drained from them.
CUTSCENE MUSIC: Chronicles of Darkness (Game 2 OST, Track 5)
Everyone but Leonard reverts to their natural forms, the power of the Knights now lost to them for good.
The White Knight now floats there, suspended by some unseen power, writing in agony as an ever-darkening energy surrounds it.
The strange glyphs seen when the Phantom first appeared return to surround the Knight once more.
Leonard: Uuuuh URGH! UUUUUUUGGGGH!!
Cisna and the (allegedly) non-Pactmaker party members come running up to join Caesar and Yulie.
Take one penultimate shot!
Eldore: What is happening to him?
The Knight hangs trapped in a cocoon of dark magic, unable to move or break free, as the dark pounding music intensifies. This is what rushing into something clearly beyond your control or the scope of your knowledge or abilities with no plan and no skills ultimately gets you.
In some ways, this is oddly smart of Level-5, and is the perfect capstone for Leonards role in this entire two-part game: being an over-confident idiot, rushing in, fucking things up, and getting tooled by forces beyond his purview.
Dumb motherfucker died as he lived: saying I got this when he really actually didnt.
Its not every day someone kicks off the Apocalypse because they LITERALLY CANNOT COUNT TO FIVE IN THEIR HEAD!
It takes another moment for Eldore to put 2-and-2 together, but the dramatic zoom in shot clinches it for him.
Eldore: OH NO!
Ledom: Mwahahahahaha! Figured it out, have you?
Ledom: Well, you cant stop it!
Ledom: At long last
Ledom: My ten thousand year wait has reached its glorious conclusion!
Darkness begins to bubble up and eclipse the light around the cocoon.
Very quickly the egg of light surrounding the White Knight turns into an egg of darkness.
Grazel: High Priest Ledom!
Grazel: What is the meaning of this?!
Ledom: You are one fool of a boy. He is returning to us! Emperor Madoras is about to awaken!
Did you all just catch that?
Emperor motherfucking Madoras. THATs what the shell around the White Knight is about.
Let this thought sink in for a moment.
After nearly half a game where Leonard has been sidelineda protagonist kicked out of his own game, essentiallynow, after returning to the party for maybe all of half an hour and two battles, the dumb motherfucker is literally about to become the FINAL BOSS of his own video game.
I cant believe it.
I cant fucking believe it.
Its been three years since I learned this, and I still cant fucking believe it. This doesnt happen. It just doesnt. Show me another game out there where the protagonist of the story becomes the final boss you need to kill at the last second, through their own stupidity, no less.
That just doesnt happen, in any storytelling medium. The closest example I can think of is near the end of Xenosaga Episode III, so if youre also reading SkurvyKips Xenosaga LP concurrant with this one, youd probably want to skip down to the next image, as the example I have for the next-worst case scenario contains some pretty heavy spoilers for the end of the final game here.
Anyway, Shion, the series protagonist (and another Leonard-level unlikable dumbass of a character) betrays the party to be with her domestic abuser not-dead ex-boyfriend who has been tasked by the Big Bad to kill the party, and shes so in LUV with him that she actually helps him try to murder the people shes spend two and a half years forming life-long fellowships with.
Leonard still steals the crown from her because she 1) wasnt an actual hostile enemy, just a support character for the villain in question, 2) was only a part of the penultimate boss battle, not the final boss battle, and 3) turned good again in time to face the actual final boss of the game a giant modern art piece powered by an autistic 12 year-old who was actually God or something.
Grazel is understandably shocked that Everything He Knows Is Wrong.
Grazel: Uh! B-but I
Grazel: I thought I was the reincarnation of the Emperor!
Ledom: LOL, no. I trolled you so hard. Eat a dick, ya dumb son of a bitch!
And he collapses in shock as Ledom strides away and not a fuck was giveth that day by the Artist Formerly Known As Chancellor Sarvain.
Cisna: We failed?
Cisna: SERIOUSLY! What the unholy fuck is WRONG with you people?! Why?! WHY?! Why do constantly fuck up everything you attempt to do?! Enough of this goddamn BULLSHIT! I have HAD IT with you people. Fuck you, Ledom! Ill kill you myself if thats what its gonna take.
Oh yeah. Shapurs still there too. I guess.
Shapur: My power My Knights power
Shapur: Give it back to me!
Ledom: Gods, this is gonna epic, I can feel it
Shapur: The power belongs to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
So Shapur takes a running dive for the Big Giant Black Ball of Doom, reaching out to touch it because thats ALWAYS a good idea.
[FLASH OF WHITE LIGHT]
As Shapur disintegrates and his horrific death scream fades, Kara looks up in a mixture of horror and relief at his death. A great weight seems to be lifted off her shoulders. The man who tried to kill her and stole her power is dead, done in by his own greed and stupidity, and at long last the twisted saga of the Black Knight has come to a close.
If nothing else, in the midst of this hurricane of stupid and failure, Kara has finally found closure in her life.
Ledom: Should have got a picture of that or something. That was amazing.
Ledom: Humph. Another fool.
Ledom: Soon, my most ardent wish will be fulfilled.
Ledom: Your roles have come to an end!
Ledom: I shall sacrifice your lives in the name of MADORAS!
And heres Boss #2 of the Game 2 Final Boss Gauntlet, High Priest Ledom. We fought him once in the past as General Dragias, and now we get to take him on for reals.
So something interesting happens here, perhaps to make up for all the crazy, stupid bullshit the game has just foisted on you. For seemingly no reason, the game just hands you Cisna to play as.
As you can see here, Cisna is the strongest player character in the game. Shes Level 70, a full twenty levels higher than any other character youve got access to at the very least, and has the stats to reflect that. Shes got +15 resistances to all four element types and Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, and Silence status effects, so shes practically invincible, because, well, shit, its Cisna. And she also wields the single strongest short sword in the game, the True Kings Sword, which you cant buy or bind any more legitimately in-game because the sword you create it from was only purchasable from a Guild shop and now that Guild Towns are no longer accessible now that GeoNet is offline, the True King Sword is lost to history now too.
So lets do this shit then. Heres the throwdown that has been brewing for 10,000 years, and, curiously enough, plays right into the narrative Ive been cooking up for this LP.
Ledom: We have no further need of you Pactmakers!
Cisna: Time to die you wrinkled old motherfucker!
Ledom: Bend the knee, or BREAK!
Yulie: Nooo! Leonard!
Caesar: What the hell?! Are you kidding?
Ledom: Heh heh heeh! Whats wrong? Where is your strength?
So for this fight, in addition to Cisna, I decided to use Kara and Eldore, just for thematic reasons, because Yulie and Caesar already fought in the first round, so using the other two main party members to get the entire cast in on the action only felt appropriate. Plus, Yulie and Caesar dont have useable Knights any more.
She also has the highest level area of effect magic spells for all five elements, including the games version of Ultima, +Final Apocalypse.
Ledom: Soon! Soon he will awaken!
Eldore: He planned this, all of this!
Kara: That poor fool. Ledom, youll pay for everything!
And that makes taking out the quartet of Assassins Ledom starts the fight off by summoning really easy.
Kara: Whats happening to Leonard?
Yulie: Urgh! The Moon Maiden wont answer my call!
Caesar: Leonard is absorbing all the Knights power.
Kara: What is the cocoon?!
Eldore: The five Knights should never have been brought together.
Orren: And whos fault was that, now?!
Cisna: I take no responsibility for this.
Orren: What else is new?
Ledom: Do you feel it? Do you feel his power?
Eldore: No! The Emperor must not be allowed to return!
Yulie: Ledom! This ends right now.
Caesar: You orchestrated this whole damn thing!
As usual, the key to this fight is breaking all of Ledoms stats so hes a little more manageable because hes quite the heavy hitter for a guy pushing 140.
You might have also seen his cool purple energy sword in the cutscene leading up to the battle. Thats actually a bindable weapon called Dimension Ripper, which, if you put the time and effort into it, you can make for yourself and wield in this battle against him.
Ledom: Do you feel it? Heh heh. Do you FEEL IT?!
Ledom spends much of this battle cackling like a madman, by the way, because, well, he just fucking won. Why wouldnt he?
Ledom has a bunch of heavy-hitting sword moves in his repertoire, and the ability to inflict silence on you, as seen above. He also has the ability to cast Physical Barrier to make him temporarily immune to physical attacks in order to compound sealing your magic. He can also cast Restrain and Confine on you to further limit your options.
And his summoning Assassins thing? Just like when we fought him as Dragias, thats not a one-off deal, and he will repeatedly summon a new set of four of them at certain intervals, and they can nearly insta-kill you with their earth magic. Normally, Orrens +Aftermath attack would work well to get them all near-death as quick as possible, as you have a very limited window between when Ledom summons them and they appear in a circle around him to when their AIs kick in and they start moving and attacking to take each of them out before they do anything to you.
But Orren seems to be missing for some reason. Why is that?
Can I keep this straight-faced joke going any longer? Lets find out.
So anyway, midway through the fight when Ledom is brought down to half health, Cisna decides balls to this noise, lets make this overkill and whips out a Knight of her own.
Cisna: O Anthaleta, eternal empress, goddess supreme of the ancient world, grant me your power
Cisna: This is the part where I kill you, Ledom.
Look at that face.
Cisna: Today, Yshrenia. Tomorrow we build me a fucking rocket because Im taking this shit INTERSTELLER!
And with that, we meet Cisnas own personal Knight, the Ivory Empress, the ultimate expression of our young warmongering Queens undying power.
Ledom: NO! This isthis is IMPOSSIBLE!
Cisna: I shit impossible every morning after I wake up, dickhead!
Ledom: OH GODS WHY DOES IT HURT SO MUCH!
So as you can see down there on the command bar, the Ivory Empress has a slew of new attacks not seen on the other Knights, because, well, its Cisna, the game is just bending in on itself to match her will at this point.
Weve seen Flame Soul on Yulies Moon Maiden already, however. And well see the other new attack, Knightly Majesty, in a moment.
But first, we need to cook some Kentucky Fried Ledom.
Ledom: Why do you retain your power?!
Some people read this line as an indirect reference to the Arc Knight, as the Avatar becomes the only party member able to transform post-Final Awakening, being that they have the only Knight that wasnt directly tied to Madoras power.
And this is Knightly Majesty. This is the attack that the Ark Incorruptus we fought to claim the Arc Knight used on us right out of the gate back in Chapter XIII.
Knightly Majesty lowers a targets physical attack power, so weve pretty much nerfed the hell out of Ledom on all possible fronts at this point.
Heeeers the wind up.
And its a line drive going goooooing
Cisna: NO ONE SHALL DISPUTE MY RULE EVER AGAIN!
This is just insult to injury now.
Poor Ledom, the sly bastard expected to score a walk-off win against a bunch of low-preforming morons, only to get blindsided because Cisna got fed up with all the games bullshit and just decided to cheat.
Ledom: I must live! My master needs me!
Cisna: I can fix that.
Ledom: Your power may be great, but
Cisna: But NOTHING!
Cisna: Victory is boring.
Eldore: What the devil just happened?
Kara: I dont know.
Yulie: Since when does Cisna have a Knight?
Caesar: Yeah, man! I call bullshit. What the hell?
Okay, okay, FINE. Lest I continue confusing the hell out of the people reading this thread who have played this part of the game already and are losing their goddamn minds over what they just saw.
[MOUSEOVER TO BREAK LP KAYFABE]: What you just witnessed was the ultimate payoff to an in-LP joke that started with one single line that amused me too much to possibly let go of. That right there was the same Avatar Cisna mock up who appears in Chapter IV of this game, modded into a digital goddess thanks to the power of the PS3 Game Genie and then speed walked to the end of the game for the soul purpose of technically having Cisna finally step up to the plate and kill Ledom herself. The unmodded, running gag-less LP resumes apace from here.