The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

Part 75: You Can't Kill Stupid

EPISODE 1 – Legacy of the Ancients

We begin the first leg of the Avatar Story with our quest information screen. The jist of things is that there has been a cave-in somewhere in the Bunker Lode Caverns and an archeological expedition that had been investigating the caverns to find more ancient artifacts has gone missing. We’re being sent in to look for any survivors and to determine the cause of the accident.

Orren: Oh, sweet, I get to add “Mine Safety Inspector” to my resume…

So we begin the quest at the entrance to the caverns. I will say straight up thank god for translated online guides for these missions because if you can’t understand Japanese at all, these missions have some very arbitrary and not at all initially obvious objectives and side-objectives at times.

But anyway, here we go.

There’s not much we can really do except run into the mine anyway, which is where we need to be going anyway as indicated by the objective star on the minimap.

When we get close enough to central mine area, a cutscene triggers.

We happen upon an old man discussing something with a Balandor soldier.

A note on these cutscenes: they’re all done in-engine and are silent and text-based primarily because, for the first time ever in-game, including all the online quests up till now, characters will actually address the Avatar by name. And I guess Level-5 didn’t want to go to the kind of lengths that Atlus usually does in that whole “trying work around having a player-named protagonist in a fully voiced video game” thing.

The Avatar, by the way, never says anything throughout the Avatar story, so you can continue either pretending whatever characterization you may or may not have given them is still in effect, or that they really are an incredibly determined and self-defeatingly helpful mute.

Orren: Alright then, let’s see what bullshit life’s got to hand me today.

Oruro: Hmm? Who are you?

Orren: Name’s Orren. I’m here about the missing expedition?

Oruro: …What? You want to know about the missing expedition?
Orren: Is there an echo in the mi—nevermind.

Oruro: Pha! All I know is that the captain of the knights here is an irresponsible brat.

Oruro: Well, as it so happens, I was in the middle of looking for something when the accident occurred.

Oruro: I’d been examining the ruins earlier, so I asked the Guild to send someone to investigate the accident.

Oruro: I suspect this latest cave-in was triggered by something… unnatural.

Oruro: Please take care of the situation. I can’t afford to abandon this site.

Orren: And that's because...?
Oruro: Hm? What? Oh, I left the area before the cave-in and am waiting to get back in. So hurry up already.

Balandor Soldier: Pardon the curt introduction there. This is the great Oruro Kantarabe. He’s in charge of the archeological work going on here, a joint effort by Balandor and Greede. He was once the head of the Balandor Royal Science Academy. He’s made quite the name for himself in the academic world.
Orren: Yeah, being a dickhead everyone around you tends to do that, I find.

Oruro: Huh? Are you still hanging around here? Well hop to it! Start investigating. Quickly now!
Orren: Ya don’t think you could maybe work a “please” in there somewh—
Oruro: I have a cattle prod in this sack, if that will speed things up.

Orren: Why is everyone on this continent a gigantic asshole?

We now have to head down to the lower level of the mine close to the ruins where we fought Belcitane and the Dragon Matriarch, which means taking the elevator just off the right there.

You can talk to all these people here, but I didn’t just because I’ve been having an ass of a time trying to translate the dialog of the characters you need to speak to in this chapter, let alone the ones you don’t.

Our objective for this part is laid out for us on the map. We’ve got to go speak with the Site Supervisor.

The path to the ruins where the actual accident occurred is blocked off, and the supervisor is standing there in front of it.

Site Supervisor: The accident site we requested the Guild investigate is up ahead. Until we determine the cause of the accident, we’re not allowing anyone into the area.
Orren: Yeah, that’s kind of why I’m here.
Site Supervisor: What? The Guild set you to investigate the accident?
Orren: Your guess is as good as mine, buddy.
Site Supervisor: Unfortunately, the site’s too badly damaged to enter up on this level for now. Would you mind seeing what you could find down in the lower mine instead?
Orren: Yeah ‘cause that’s got safety written all over it: go deeper into an already collapsed mine. Whatever. If it helps out any.
Site Supervisor: Just be careful down there. There’s still a lot of monsters roaming the lower mine, and we don’t have the manpower to back you up.
Orren: Have Incorruptus, will travel. Thanks for the heads up though.
Site Supervisor: The elevator down to the lower level is just back behind you a little ways. Take care now.
Orren: Gotcha.

Most of the chapters in the Avatar Story have a sub-mission or two that you can complete to earn more pointless numbers and loot. Some of them are vaguely tied into the plot, others are just busy work. Let’s bog ourselves down in one now.

When you inspect the door it more-or-less says that the door is locked from this side, and poor Gotch the Junk Merchant, the guy on the inside, is starting to panic. Because he’s in the klink, you see.

Gotch: I didn’t do anything! Why won’t anyone believe me.
Orren: I’ve used that line before. …It never works.
Gotch: Hey, you!
Orren: That’s my name, don’t wear it… wait.
Gotch: They’re accusing me of having something to do with the accident. But I didn’t, I swear. I know it’s a bit of shady request, but could you track down some witnesses that’ll back up my story?

The game gives you a prompt: “hear him out” or “walk away”. Choosing “hear him out” will activate the sub-quest for the mission.

Gotch: I was with a bunch of other workers at the time of the accident, surely they’ll tell you what they know.

Security Chief: What’s that? You want to help prove this guy’s innocent?
Orren: Orren Wright, Ace Attorney, pleased to meet you.
Security Chief: Well, we don’t have any evidence to prove he did it, but then again we don’t have any evidence that proves he DIDN’T do it either.
Orren: So you’re just keeping him locked up because you’re a suspicious dick. Got it. Hey, what’s your badge number, anyway. Just for, you know, the next time I talk to Count Caesar. No real reason, ya know?
Security Chief: But if you can bring me any evidence of his innocence, I’ll let him go right then and there. Three pieces of evidence should be sufficient. Come back to me when you’ve got them.

Orren: Tch. Thank the gods that dipshit Leonard isn’t here. He’d probably have gotten the guy hanged already.

So in order to fulfill Officer Guilty-Until-Proven-Innocent’s high bar for Gotch’s freedom, we’ve got to talk to a couple of workers and see if they have anything that backs up Gotch’s admittedly flimsy alibi.

The specific workmen you need to talk to are not highlighted on the map, so the game expects you to do the timeworn JRPG tradition of talking to everyone there is to talk to until someone tells you the right thing. Luckily, the online guide I used spelled out exactly where the three blokes in question are.

The first guy is here at the base of the central elevator shaft.

Orren: You know anything about a guy named Gotch?
Mine Worker: What? You mean the guy they suspect of causing the cave-in?
Orren: Bingo.
Mine Worker: What a foolish thing to say. I’ve been working in these mines for ten years, and a cave-in like that couldn’t have been the work of any human. I saw something in the smoke when it happened, a massive shadow.

So there’s our first piece of evidence. The mystery deepens, it seems.

Orren: ”Massive shadow,” …just great.

The second guy we need to talk to is up in the main mine on the path we needed to run through to activate the generators to get this elevator running before.

I don’t know how well you can see him in the darkness, but he’s right there on the upper end of the looped path, so we’re going to need to do a bit of running to get to him.

There usual Bunker Lode enemies are littered throughout the level, and are scaled to be on par with you power-wise. There’s also several giant enemies who are programmed to respawn in the same places every time you run this level. There’s a Dire Firespider on the upper path and an Earth and Fire Dragon down in the lowest level of the mine.

Orren: Safety Inspector, Public Defender, Exterminator… I’m gonna need a bigger business card.

Here’s our second witness.

Mine Worker: What is it?
Orren: Guy named Gotch.
Mine Worker: Oh, the guy they suspect caused the cave-in? He’s in prison?! For causing the cave-in? That’s a lie!
Orren: Go on.
Mine Worker: Me an’ Gotch were helping out the survivors at the scene of the accident. We got there after it happened! They can’t just call him a criminal, especially in a place like this! It’s already dangerous enough on its own.
Orren: …I guess that helps.

Evidence #2 collected. We’re on a roll.

The final piece of evidence is a little more tricky to find because it involves a mini-boss battle, but whatever, let’s get cracking.

Orren: Nu’uh! Not falling for that one again.
Eldore: Would you quit harassing the wildlife, Niles; a man’s freedom is at stake!

Orren: Why are you still here, anyway?

(Because you can’t play single player quests as just the Avatar alone, that’s why).

The remainder of the chapter, save for the part of coming back up here and giving the gaoler the evidence to get Gotch off, will be played down in the lower mine.

You might remember that we fought and killed the Netherwyrm for reals down here, and Caesar cemented his status once-and-for-all as the biggest Non-Orren badass in this game.

The centre-most of the three elevators in the lower mine is the one that leads to the boss fight for this chapter, however, it’s offline right now because of the accident.

Repairman: Sorry, but the cave-in’s knocked the elevator out of commission.
Orren: What IS working in this mine right now?
Repairman: Amir was supposed to bring me the repair tools so I could fix it, but he hasn’t come back yet. I wonder if something’s happened to him…
Orren: Shit. Caesar’s gonna go out of his mind if anything happened to the little guy.
Repairman: It’s pretty bad. If you want to get up to the top of the mine, you’ll have to wait till he gets back.
Orren: I’ve got a better idea. How’s about you wait and I’ll go find the little scamp. Because, fuck, SOMEONE’s gotta do something right around here.

So here’s those dragons, or at least one of them, that I was talking about. In this lower railway, there’s a pair of elevators at either end that lead up to what are essentially glorified boss arenas. One of them is where we’re going to find the last piece of evidence to exonerate Gotch, and the other one is where we’re going to find Amir.

We’re going to have to fight a mini-boss battle at both of them.

Ah, there’s that Fire Draon. Also, HOLY SHIT, ELDORE’S ACTUALLY USING MAGIC!

Note: this is probably just dumb luck. It’s not indicative of whether Level-5 patched the party AI at any point over the numerous extra content patches they released for the Japanese version which the European and North American releases never got because D3 is a shitty on-the-cheap publisher.

Fun fact: take this one with a grain of salt, but according to Wikipedia, the D3 in D3 Publisher stands for “Domain 3”, and supposed to reflect the three domains in which the company intended to publish media; video games, music, and books. They only publish video games now, for reasons that should probably be obvious if you’ve been paying any attention to this LP at all.

White Knight Chronicles! Where the failure is so strong it’s metatextual!

This is the elevator that takes you up to the mini-boss fight for Gotch’s final piece of evidence.

I’d meant to go rescue Amir first, but the game gives you no indication on which elevator leads to what objective. …Or maybe it does and I just missed it because I have a pre-schooler’s understanding of Glorious Nihongo.

More Mass Effect elevator shenanigans. If nothing else you get a glimpse of Liberator’s hammerhead and get to see the Greede insignia stamped on it. Because I’d like to think that Orren would proudly advertise his affiliation with Greede on account of Caesar being such an awesome guy.

I mean, shit, Caesar did talk to him once completely unprompted. The only time Leonard ever spoke to Orren was because there was literally no one else around to talk to.

As we run down the hallway to the clearing, we notice that there’s a couple of tents set up in around the area. Someone’s camping out in this area, it seems.

This screen essentially says “the men up ahead seem suspicious.” And you’re given the option of “fight them” or “turn back.”

It’s one hell of a leap from “I think these guys are up to something” to “let’s murder all of them! ”. But whatever, this is White Knight Chronicles, logic is not the game’s strong suit. AND I bet a lot of the game’s problems probably would have been solved a lot faster if Orren just whipped out a spiked sledgehammer and went to town on half the cast unprompted anyway.

So now you get to duke it out with a group of brigands who are here in the mines for… reasons. I’m patching the translation of things together as best I can, and some of it, particularly Oruro’s dialog, has been kind of obtuse, so I don’t know if these guys or what they’re doing here have been alluded to in the mission yet or not.

Never fear though, Orren’s massive cudgel of justice will pry the truth from these reporbates!

If I’m not mistaken I think these might be the same goons from Albana that Kara sicked on us when she was under that Gigas’s mind control. Who knows. I sure as shit wouldn’t put it past the game to reuse their models rather than come up with an entirely new set of assets for this fight alone.

Because they’re all human, they have no weaknesses, but because they’re human they all go down relatively easy. Or I’m assuming, as you might be able to suss out from the lack of damage or HP numbers appearing anywhere on screen I’m playing with everyone modded up to such a degree that it actually causes the HP and MP display numbers to glitch out, so I turned them off just for appearances’ sake.

Here, Yulie, to my complete surprise, whips out one of her area of effect elemental bow attacks. I forget the name of it, but it’s a piercing Ice elemental attack that strikes a wide range of targets. I think she mowed down like three enemies all on her own with this one.

Go Yulie.

These guys made a huge mistake.

However, they’re not as dead as their corpses piled up at Orren’s feet made them appear to be. You can now go around and talk to most of them and get the inside scoop on what the hell they’re doing here and why their first instinct was to try and murder us.

Zola: Tch! Guess I’m just not as tough as I used be… These ruins, we came here because we believed the story about all the stuff they were hauling out of ’em. Folks gettin’ rich off ancient artifacts. We wanted to see if it was true and claim our share… any way we could. But when we got here that cave-in happened… Heh. Well, it looks like you got out okay.
Orren: So you came here to loot the expedition and then got trapped yourselves. Tch. Bandits. I swear.
Zola: Well go on then, go find the real culprit behind the collapse.

Vargas: Damn, you guys are strong. You fight like monsters.

These guys with glowing markers on them have various weapons and armours you can loot of them. Don’t know if they’re alive or dead. The game doesn’t care to tell you.

This guy’s name is Derek. Let’s go rifle through his maybe-corpse.

Orren: Don’t mind me…

Keith: Heyyy… Please, spare me, I’m not evil any more, I swear!
Orren: Don’t try to kill me anymore and we’re good, how’s that sound?

This guy’s fresh corpse was called Ozumu. Same deal with him, loot free for the taking.

Guard: I checked all of them and took their weapons. They fooled us into thinking they were just regular workers, and then tried to betray us, but they won’t think about attacking anyone again, and if they do, I’ll be ready for them. Hahahaha!

Lastly, this workman here holds the final piece of evidence we need to spring Gotch from the klink.

Mine Worker: Huh? What do you want?
Orren: Let’s talk about a guy named Gotch.

Mine Worker: What did you say? You mean you’re investigating the accident?! Uh, I don’t about that one…
Orren: Then why are you getting all panicky about it?

Mine Worker: Zola’s crew had planned to steal a load of treasure from the mine, but that all fell through when the cave-in happened. Then Gotch was arrested by the guards by mistake… What they’re accusing him of doing, I-I know it’s not true!

Rumor, speculation, and hearsay, but whatever, let’s see if it flies. We’ve got the basic facts of the matter pinned down: there was no way one guy could have caused that cave in, some kind of monster was spotted in the dust cloud, and Gotch was scapegoated by the Greede soldiers just because he was there at the scene of the crime without any actual evidence that he did it.

Basically, if their theory’s shit, you must acquit.

Time to go save Amir!

“You hear someone scream up ahead.”
- “Run to the rescue”
- “Turn back”

And then Orren said, “fuck that noise,” and left Amir to die horribly.

The end.

In the clearing ahead we’re confronted with our second mini-boss battle of the chapter, massive Rock Hound and a couple of smaller Wild Boars.

You can also spot Amir’s unconscious body in the upper left there.

There’s not much to this fight that’s interesting or that I haven’t talked about already in other updates.

So down it goes.

And I’m honestly not sure whose attack killed it, Orren’s slash or Eldore’s big fuck-off fire spell.

Orren: …Crime Scene Investigator, Animal Control, the list just keeps growing.

Well, at least Amir’s alive and well, so that’s a plus. If Leonard were on the job he’d have been killed in the crossfire by now.

Amir: Phew! ...I actually appear to have survived that.
Orren: You’re one of the ones I actually like.
Amir: I am… not sure of how to respond to that one.

Amir: Pretending to be dead is a surprisingly useful tactic. …But that’s not important. Here, take this elevator repair kit down to the repairman at the central elevator. I promised to get it to him but nearly wound up dead.
Orren: Not a problem… this time, anyway.
Amir: You’ll get the tools to him, then? Oh, what kind people you are! And to think I was hiding up here crying the whole time. …Sorry about that. Thank you again for all your help.

You got a plot coupon.

Amir: Now go on with the repair kit, hurry now.

First thing’s first, however. It’s time to get Gotch out of jail. Because it is entirely possible to just go from Amir to the central elevator, beat the boss and just leave Gotch in the slammer even though you got all the information needed to prove his innocence.

Because Level-5 loves its menial backtracking.

Security Chief: Hmm… You guys have the evidence you need?
Orren: The workers say it was a giant monster of some kind that caused the cave-in. Gotch was there trying to help out the survivors and you arrested him for no reason.
Security Chief: … … …
Security Chief: The evidence may be circumstantial, but it does say he didn’t do it. Alright, we’ll release him then. Thanks for your help.
Orren: Yeah, I love the sound of people thanking me for doing their job for them. Jackass.


So now Gotch is free to go about whatever the hell he was doing before all this madness came crashing down on him. All that’s left is to talk to him and that receive his thanks and that closes out the sub-quest for this chapter, netting you a full 10,000 worth of useless numbers on the quest complete screen.

Gotch: Hyahoo!

Gotch: See! I told you! I didn’t do and they can’t prove it! I don’t know what I owe you for this, but I gotta imagine it’s a doozy, don’t you think? Thank you so much!
Orren: Just write the cheque out to “The Hon. Orren J. Durrai, Mayor’s Office, Orrenstown, Frass Chasm, PO Box #”—
Eldore: Stuff it, Niles. We’ve got more important concerns ahead of us.

In lieu of a generous cash donation, you received Gotch’s thanks. Basically, you get 5,000 GR points for returning with evidence and freeing Gotch, and then another 5,000 GR points for taking to him and get his thanks. Go figure.

And now, finally, let’s head up and deal with this mysterious monster that’s been causing everyone so much grief here in the caverns.

Repairman: That’s it, the elevator repair tool! So Amir found himself in a bit of trouble did he?
Orren: Nothing I couldn’t get him out of.
Repairman: Well now I can finally fix this elevator. Just give me a second here.


Repairman: Job’s done. You’d better hurry up and see what’s the matter up there. If we have another cave-in, the elevator will fail again. Take care now!

Use the lift?

Okay, time to see what the hell is causing these cave-ins here in the mines.


Orren: Why does an elevator in a mine shaft have canned muzak playing in it?
Eldore: That wasn’t music, Niles, that was my bowels working. I chugged a stein of prune juice before we left Greede today.

“End this bullshit torment” “You see signs of a disturbance up ahead.”
Turn Back


Up in the cavern where we fought the Netherwyrm, we come across a unique type Golem enemy. It’s just chillin’ in the sunlight, just waiting for us to come in and kill it all Shadow of the Colossus style.

In that it’s acting like 90% of the Colossi in SotC do before you attack them, not that the game is going to suddenly bust out an innovative combat mechanic for a piece of free DLC.

This is Arhkam, or so I’m surmising, anyway. Remember, all my translations for things in this part of the LP should be taken with a fist full of salt, but if anyone else wants to front a better suggestion for how to romanize アルハカム (Aruhakamu), then I’m all for it. Personally, I think someone was trying for “Arkham” but fucked it up.

So Arhkam stumbles to its feet and lumbers towards the party now that they’ve disturbed its slumber.

I will admit the rod-iron wires sticking out of its back do make this thing look awfully cool.

All of its little bits and bobs change colour as it moves too.

Since Arhkam is a golem enemy, standard golem enemy rules apply, namely impact attacks and impact attacks only. It doesn’t have any elemental weaknesses, and it’s a goddamn tank in terms of its damage dealing and damage taking potential.

Just like all the enemies in Vellgander, this thing is near impossible to beat without cheating. I say “near” because in the Japanese version the level cap for your party is raised from 80 to 90, so you’ve got a full ten levels of stats you can earn to help make this fight easier.

That said everything from here out is ideally played online with a party of fellow Avatars, which, hey now hey now, is impossible because Sony axed GeoNet.

But whatever, it’s Arc Knight Chronicles time again.

Orren: O Swordo, emerald champion, master of the ancient hammer… and slayer of Emperor Madoras, just putting that one out there… Grant me your power…

Orren: Henshin!
Eldore: THE FUCK?!

NTSC-J, motherfuckers.

Here we go.


The Arc Knight is back wielding the Gigantic Hammer for this update because this save file is about four months old and thus predated the thread’s rabid clamouring for BRICKSTICK. But never you worry, I’ll get around to using Drega again fairly soon. We’ve got another asshole god to kill yet.

Arhkam has all the standard golem attacks including an area of effect wind attack. Not, I also broke its face plate off revealing the weird Ying-Yang symbol that all golems have hidden away on them.

And down it goes.

Orren: …Soooo, is it a good thing or a bad thing that I’ve broken more ancient shit intentionally than Leonard has accidentally by now?

I really wish the camera didn’t spaz out when you revert to human from like it does. It really making getting these post-victory gloat shots hella difficult.

We then get one last cutscene to round out the episode.

Orren: Something tells me I just solved Caesar’s cave-in problem.

Oruro: Of course!
Orren: …The hell?

Oruro: Just as I suspected!

Oruro knees down in front of the fallen golem and begins to dig something out from its remains.

Oruro: Aha! Oh, there it is!

Oruro: This is what I was looking for down here!

Wait, that looks vaguely like—

Uh oh…


Orren: …You don’t happen know a woman named Framboise, do you?
Oruro: As a matter of fact—
Orren: Nevermind.

Oruro: Ko hooo~n.

Oruro: Well then… Yes, this is indeed the same type of artifact as the one you carry.

Oruro: This gem is the key to transforming into an Incorrutpus.

Oruro: I’ve never seen an object of such perfect beauty before.

Oruro: To think such strength could come from such a deceptively small thing.

Oruro: I must study the source of this strength further, it seems…

Oruro: Could you please take this gem to Framboise in Balandor for me?
Orren: Because that doesn’t have disaster written all over it. No siree.

Oruro: I am troubled by these developments. This creature’s attack and our meeting down here was no mere happenstance.

Oruro: The power of the Knights in indeed mighty.

Oruro: It must be kept out of the wrong hands at all costs.
Orren: That’s kind of the sad part. Of the seven people I know who could transform into a Knight, the one who used theirs the best (besides me) was a lunatic with an eyepatch.
Yulie: And how many monoships did you shoot down with your Knight? Oh, that’s right, zer—
Orren: I killed Madoras.
Yulie: And we’re never hearing the end of that one…

Oruro: Lad, I cannot thank you enough for all your help.

Orren: Not a problem… I think.

And on Oruro handing Orren the yellow proto-Ark, we fade to black. Chapter over.

It would seem as though a new mystery is about to be afoot.

With the Ark Core safely in custody, we set out that evening for the Flandar Mountains. I knew better than anyone the potential threat a loose Ark just waiting for a Pactmaker to claim it could pose. The sooner we got it to Framboise to... I don’t know, do whatever she does with these things, hit them with a giant hammer? Who knows? Anyway, the sooner the better.

If I’d known what was waiting for me on the mountain path that night, I would have brought some more firepower with me...