Part 76: A New Enemy
Wherein some actual plot might sort of happen.
EPISODE 2 Shadows Moving in the Night
On our way down Flandar Trail from Greede, we discover the route down the mountain has been blockaded mysteriously. Anyone trying to use the mountain path to reach Albana has been stopped in their tracks by Pedro and Padro, Don Phibianaccis right hand Toads.
Oh Christ, how are these two shitbags going to fuck us over this time?
AREA MUSIC: Flandar Trail (Disc 1, Track 29)
Chapter 2 begins with us out here on Flandar Trail in the middle of the night. This is one of a couple of missions set in the Flandars at night time, the most popular one being the Ring Leader quest. Its just another little thing that Ill give the game credit on, each (outdoor) area has at least one quest in it thats set at a different time of day than the areas default time is so you get to see what the place looks like at night, at sunset, or occasionally on rainy or cloudy days.
So go Level-5, you might hit that button for relatively minor shit, but when you do its all the more noticeable.
Orren: Well, its been Not long enough for my taste. What are you shitrings doing here? And whats with the horse barricade? Whats going on here?
Pedro: Huh? Whut er you blokes on about? Oh, the path. The path down to Albanas closed on Boss Phibianaccis orders, ya ear.
Pedro: Padros gone out somewhere round ere on patrol, but I aint seen im in some time now.
Pedro: Huh? What are ya still doin ere? Did ya not just ear me tell you the paths closed?
Orren: And if you tell me that if I go fetch something for you and youll open it up for me, Im dropkicking you off the side of the mountain.
Pedro: Still sore bout last time, eh?
Orren: I was pretty sure I DROWNED you two jaggoffs last time. How are you still alive?
Pedro: Amphibian, mate. Waters me ome away from ome.
Orren: Oh fuck you biology.
Pedro: Well now, dont go sayin this too loudly, but Recently, they say dat remnants of those Yshrenian buggers be lurkin bout the mountains lately. And after dat little matter of Albana bein occupied an all, Don Phibs as decided to play it an eensy bit more cautious lately, is all.
Orren: Bout time someone around here decided to learn something from their fuck ups. Still, just my luck that someone being smart about something ALSO makes my life more difficult.
Pedro: Yous got shit luck, mate.
Orren: Urge to kick off cliff rising.
Pedro: Cor, don get me wrong now. Us Toads owe you lot a great deal Buuuuut
Orren: [IRATE GLARE]
Pedro: Oi! It just struck me! Deres another way round, if you wanna go find it that is.
Orren: Sounds like a plan. Fuck you wartface!
Lets go talk to the Toad guarding the barricade to see what he has to say. Im regretting it already!
Toad: The roads closed to traffic on Don Phibianaccis orders.
Orren: You dont need to tell me twice.
Saman: Heres my travel documents. Theyre all in order. Ill even throw in 5,000 guilders if you let me past. Bona fide, legitimate cash.
Toad: What? This ere papers forged. If you wanna get through the blockade, ya need Don Phibianaccis written authority, nuttin else ll cut it. Ya ear?
So yeah, it looks like things are kinda tense right now on the mountain. The Toads arent letting ANYONE through, at least this way. Luckily, theyre not guarding the alternate path down the mountains, so weve got a little cave exploring ahead of us it seems.
Lets try to pry some more information out of the folks huddled around the Flandar Trail gondola station.
Toad: Whats with you people? Everyone eres been ordered to wait at the gondola station till we give the all clear.
Orren: If theyre waiting on you, this is going to take a while.
Minnonore: Theyre still blocking the path? Whats going on here? Im getting tired of waiting.
Moritz: Hmm? Whats that? Ive heard rumours that men wearing what looked to be Yshrenian armour have been spotted in the mountains, and Don Phibianaccis closed the path until theyre dealt with.
Elsen: I dont know what Moritz is so anxious about. The Yshrenian army was crushed months ago. The wars over.
Nekmi: Im here to accompany these folks on orders from the Adventurers Guild in Greede But it doesnt look like were going to be making it to Albana any time soon.
We also find Seline and Palt from Balandor out here. You might (not) remember them as the duo who gave us the clue that Medius lived in a house with a blue roof back when people still held on to a thread of fragile hope that this game might turn into something decent.
Palt: Hrmph. Well, it looks like Don Phibianaccis people are moving freely through the barricade. So why cant we? I wonder if Sil was able to get past them?
Seline: Again? What are they trying to do?
Lets see if we have any better luck talking to this guard here.
Greede Solider: I blame Don Phibianacci for this. Sealing off the mountain, now I look like the bad guy because I have to tell everyone they cant leave the terminal. This stinks, I tell ya.
Wera Pipps: Man, what a bummer. I just wanted to head to the market in Albana to buy some cool things and now Im stuck here.
Yeah, sucks to be all of us. Why did I come here again?
Lunamis: Our stock in Greede is running low. We need to get over the mountains to Albana to replenish it. Right now.
Videlio: Just calm down, will ya? Till the blockade comes down, all we can do is sit and wait.
Oh well, at least the night sky looks pretty all the way up here. You can also see that the world of White Knight Chronicles has its own version of the Milky Way stretching across the night sky. I love it when people pay attention to things that dont seem readily apparent like the astronomical elements of the world.
Well weve learned about all we can about the situation were facing for this mission, so lets get on the road to actually beating it.
As usual, all the enemies youd come to expect to be up here on Flandar Trail are present, including all the giant enemies like Ice Giants and Ice/Earth Dragons. You can outrun most of the enemies in the area except of course for the Vespid type enemies, who, as weve mentioned many many times before will hound you to the end of the fucking earth if you let them.
Because we cant get through the regular way, weve got to try our luck going through the caves.
At the entrance to the cave were given a curious prompt:
You hear cries for help coming from the cave
- Run to the rescue
- Turn back
Time to play Big Damn Heroes again.
So were thrown immediately into a mini-boss battle against, curiously, a group of Greede Soldiers and a Black Knave.
How bizarre. Why would a group of soldiers wearing Greede armour be attacking us and why would they have a Black Knave with them?
Well, lets beat them all up and interrogate them about it afterward.
So because these guys are human, theyre all generic as shit and have no strengths or weaknesses, so depending on how strong you are when you take on these guys they might take a while to take out.
The Knave, however, is, as it always is, weak to impact attacks.
Its always oddly satisfying to see these big guys dropping.
After we clear out all the baddies, we come back into the cave surrounded by dead bodies, but oh hey, Padros there now, so now we know where hes been this whole time.
Padro: Huh? You lot helped me out?
Orren: Not intentionally.
Padro: Well here then, why dont you take this as a token a my priciation then.
You received the Jewel of Yubama.
Whatever the hell thats supposed to be.
Lets start interrogating some soldiers to see who they really are now.
Mercenary: Its useless. We wont tell you anything.
Palt: So youre here too it seems. Greetings. Were here keeping tabs on the Yshrenian remnants. Our organization, the Blue Devils, is sworn to protect Nadias. After the war ended weve been watching whats been left of the Yshrenian forces closely. We recently got word that they were planning to destabilize relations between the allied nations again by using mercenaries disguised as Greede soldiers. You wouldnt be able to tell them apart from the real soldiers until it was too late.
Palt: One of our people has infiltrated another group of mercenaries here in the Flandars, but she hasnt been seen lately. Im wondering, will you help us track her down? She could be in danger if shes discovered.
Orren: Eh, sure, why not?
Palt: Excellent. Thank you for agreeing to help out. Youll be looking for our colleague Sil. She should be hiding out with the mercenary group somewhere in these mountains. She was trying to collect information on their activities and plans. If you find them, youll find her. Best of luck to you.
And here begins the first of two optional side quests for this chapter. Basically go track down the spy Palts group has slipped into the mercenary force.
Seline: The Yshrenian Empire fell months ago But when will we truly be able to stop this pointless fighting?
After Ive scored me some swag, thats when.
Alright then, lets head out and see if we can track down Sil then.
The barricades on this side of the cave are unguarded, meaning we can slip in and out of Flandar Trail proper now from this point and not even have to bother with the Toads blockade now.
Out on the path we run into this guy. Its Pierre, the old rich fart we got the Fire Lizard bait from on our tedious quest to repair the Goddess of Lépanne statue for Von Dietrich to use to bribe our way into Count Drisdalls manor to convince him to move the Demithor to the Bunker Lode Caverns so we could access the ruins and rescue Princess Cisna.
How did that end again? Oh yeah, Kara broke Von Dietrichs ribs, Caesar got disowned because we accidentally proved hed forged a fake Goddess for his father, Drisdall died while Caesar was out helping the party, and Leonard just let the Magi literally walk away with Cisna for the THIRD time in 10 hours.
He says nothing thats either pertinent to the plot or makes any bloody sense, nor does he have anything to give you related to the quest nor is he a part of any sub quest or the main quest for this mission. Hes just here.
Thank you, Level-5 for whats tantamount to NPC banter bait.
Cant believe I wasted my fucking time talking to him.
To keep you from wandering around aimlessly, the various branching paths of Flandar Trail have been blocked off by barricades, so at least thats somewhat helpful for this mission, because there are a few of these quests in the Avatar Story that dont give you any limitations and have you potentially running all over huge areas of the world looking for an objective that you completely missed ten minutes back in the other direction.
When in doubt, keep running.
You hear the sound of weapons clashing.
Apparently it seems like someones fighting up ahead.
Thanks for spelling that out, White Knight Chronicles. I would have never guessed that was what the sound of weapons clashing, would imply.
And here we go. Weve found the second group of Yshrenian-backed mercenaries. Weve got to beat them to sew up this part of the chapter.
While theres no Black Knave this time around, there are more over all enemies to contend with.
I dunno, just imagine that this is some kind of over the top anime cutscene and theres bodies flying in all directions because Orren is like Thor if Mjolnir was a sledgehammer instead of a mallet.
Fuck, now Ive got Kat Dennings in my head going meowmeow!
GET OUT OF MY HEAD KAT DENNINGS!
Victory is boring.
Well we have some good news at least, this silver-haired lass is Sil, Sil Darkshine, to be exact, the member of the Blue Devils member Palt was going on about to no end when we were looking for Medius in Balandor all the way back at the midpoint of the first game. She is the double agent Palt sent us out to track down.
Sil: Tch. I was too slow. I shouldnt have taken on so many. Did Palt send you?
Orren: Yep. Are you alri
Sil: Listen! The war might be over, but Yshrenias not defeated yet. Someone's paying mercenaries from the Union Organization vast amounts of money from their remaining war chest to fight for them. I was working with Therese to help take them down, it was with her help that I even got this information. But now, I think shes going to try and take down the last group by herself. But the mercenaries have thrown up a barrier and shes trapped. Please, you have to save her.
Now see, this is the kind of worldbuilding I like; when people stop and consider what happens after the evil empire falls. Zero thought might have gone into how the modern Yshrenia was formed, but now that it's here, it's at least staying here, and whoever wrote the Avatar Story (I really can't confirm if it was Hino himself, though I'm thinking "probably not") has clued in to the concept of ontological inertia.
Dead things leave corpses behind, even empires. So it should be little surprise then that some mid-level miscreant sore loser would be trying to use whatever resources Yshrenia hadn't spent yet in their fight with Balandor, Greede, and Faria thinking they could either make a name for themself in doing so, or just continue the war that Grazel and Ledom started because they're some kind of true believer.
Though if you're suddenly thinking by my saying this that the game is going to pull a Grand Admiral Thwarn out of its ass to serve as our villain for the Avatar Story. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA! Why do you STILL have hope after all this? Huh? What the fuck is WRONG with you?!
Were not really given a prompt to accept or decline the mission to help out Therese, it just gets added on as the next sub-objective. You can walk way and leave it incomplete if you want, but if you want to get the maximum of pointless numbers, than its in your best interest to finish this plot thread out completely.
Anyways, were given the second of two items needed to bring down the mercs barrier and rescue back up Therese.
Sil: The faster you get the, the more chance you have of catching up with Therese before she launches her attack. Please, hurry.
Lets see if this merc will be any more talkative than his compatriot up in the northern cave.
Mercenary: Our plans are already in motion. Youre too late
Yeah, because that doesnt sound foreboding at all.
So were in for some more running as we cut laterally across the mountain trail from the western cave to the ancient memorial where Eldore pieced together the legend of the Netherwrym and where we jumped down into the pit to face the Fire Lizard way back in game 1.
Eventually, we come to the barrier Sil mentioned.
And by using the two items we obtained from her and Padro were able to bring it down and meet up with Threse.
We meet Therese looking over the pit that leads to the clearing where the final group of mercenaries is located, ie: the same place we fought the Fire Lizard mini-boss at.
Therese is a warg warrior and can be found in the train terminal in Downtown Greede close to the turnstile if you ever wanted to talk to her. You can recruit her to live in your Georama town after completing the errand "Eternal Union", and she also appears as a guest party member in the online quest The Azure Dragon in the Van Haven Waste.
Shes also about to make it a technically repeat performance (because you guys havent seen her in action yet because I havent shown off that particular quest), and join our party for the upcoming mini-boss battle.
Therese: Huh? How did you all get past the barrier?
Orren: Sil sent us to help you out.
Therese: Did you say Sil? She sent you to help me out? It seems I might have gotten a bit ahead of myself, but I had nothing left to lose. This battles not over yet.
Therese: Will you help me settle things?
Selecting the affirmative option initiates the last of our three mini-boss battles for the chapter.
Now its five on four, plus a pair of Black Knaves, actually a Black Knave and a Black Knave Mk. II, to be absolutely pedantic.
You can see weve got Therese in our party for this one fight and that she does battle with a silver epee. Her armour set is also bindable at any given Binding Post by this point in the game, provided youve got the materials for all of it.
...Also, I have no idea what the fuck is happening to Durendal in this scene. I think it's VLC glitching out again, because it sure as hell didn't happen in-game when I recorded this footage.
Standard guest party member rules are in place for this fight. If Therese dies at any point in the battle, you fail the quest and will need to restart it and replay it again up till this point.
Shes scaled to be around Level 80 to 85, but is ultimately kind of a non-entity in this fight just because Im so ridiculously stat hacked Im one-shotting everything do death before she gets anywhere near them. In a straight game, back when it was technically possible to play these missions straight, however, Threse would have been a welcome boost to your overall party firepower.
Once again, things are very simple: take out the mercs posing as Greede soldiers and kill the two Knaves to boot.
When all the mobile enemies are taken out, there are a pair of tents near the back end of the arena that need to be dealt with, lest they start spawning new mercenaries should you leave them unattended for too long.
But Ive got a very simple fix for that kind of problem.
Just like the two previous times, when we come back out of the battle, the area is littered with fallen mercs in Greede armour, though weve got a couple more of them to try and wring some information out of this time around. And of course Threse is there too.
And once again, there are a few downed soldiers with obvious glowing loot markers on them, so be sure to grab those.
Mercenary: Th-this cant be. That spy betrayed us! How careless we were
Orren: Dont take it personally, bud. People not realizing the suspicious person in their midst was a plant happens all the time round here, apparently
Mercenary: Youre wasting your time. Heh heh heh. Weve already won
Well that sounds incredibly ominous, but hopefully its just big talk from a mook who got rolled and is trying to save a little face now.
Orren: ♪Rifling through dead bodieees.♫ I need a new line of work.
And then all you need to do is talk to Therese to close out this sub-quest for the chapter.
Therese: Is this the end of Union Mercenary presence here? Lets hope so. Thank you for your help. Here, take this as a token of my appreciation.
As a reward for completing this sub-quest we receive the Dagger of Jadeite.
Great, Ive always wanted to receive something owned by this dumb jackass. I feel more incompetent already.
And then its back on your way to the main objective of the mission: get down the mountain and reach Albana.
Unfortunately, as you can see ahead, the easy way out is blocked off by another barricade, so weve got to backtrack and take the long way around.
At the bottom of the pit we climbed down to get down here, theres a little glowing marker that the game insists is a rope leading back up to the ancient monument, because Level-5 is too goddamn to render an actual bloody rope in-game just for this one bit here.
And at last were in the home stretch for this chapter. Nothing can possibly go wrong now.
Also, see what I mean about Vespids being persistent shitfucks? I picked up this one just outside the monument area and it fucking followed me all the way down to the point where the next cutscene loaded, at which point it just froze there in mid-screen before the game faded to black to load up the cinematic.
As Orren runs through the gulley on the lower slope of Flandar Trail, the camera pulls back and a mysterious foot steps down on the edge of cliff high overhead.
Okay, now whats this
Oh why hello there lady in utterly ridiculous armour. God, and I thought wed hit peak Tasteless Anime Villain territory with Madoras. Apparently I owe everyone an apology.
Fun fact: in the Japanese version, you can bind our new villains armour for our heroes to wear. I havent tried hacking it into the North American version to see if its there hidden on-disc, but if the rest of the Avatar Story material apparently is, then I have no doubt it is too.
She raises her arm, giving a signal to some unseen allies that the time has come to spring the trap.
Orren: Wait My Bullshit Sense is tingling
Orren: Oh fuck!
A shadowy form comes soaring out of the darkness towards our favourite mute hero.
Great, more gigases.
It comes down with enough force to send Orren absolutely flying through across the trail.
In the midst of the concussive trauma, the Ark Core goes flying out of Orrens grasp.
The mysterious woman scoops up the core and makes a run for the desert while her gigas servants hold Orren at bay.
Well, this is embarrassing. I thought we were over that whole the hero sucks and is a hopeless failure thing now that we were free of Leonard?
Orren: Are you SHITTING me?!
Orren: No, that did NOT just happen. How the fuck did that happen? What the fuck am I? Fucking LEONARD?!
So heres our boss battle for this chapter.
Sorry, HERES our boss battle for the chapter. Two gigases.
Oh, no HERES our boss battle for the chapter. Two gigases and a horde of Magi soldiers.
Well, if nothing else, thrashing these jagoffs will be a decent stress-reliever after getting blindsided by a Power Rangers villain reject. Theres only one Rita Repulsa in this game, babe, and her name is Queen Mureas.
Setbacks aside, the man who killed Madoras isnt one to take this lying down, so its time to Knight up and bash some more giant heads in.
This is one of the drawbacks about LPing a game as repetitive as White Knight Chronicles is. This far into the LP, there is absolutely nothing to talk about combat-wise because these are probably the five hundredth gigases weve fought so far and they havent changed one bit since the first time we fought Karas gigas in Albana months ago.
So Im just going to try and blow through this fight as quick as I can.
Orren: Dont. Say. Any
Eldore: Frankly Niles, Im embarrassed for you right now.
Orren: Hate world. Kill everything.
So now all weve got to do is run down to the Albana exit of Flandar Trail to close out the mission. Well, the mystery deepens, it seems. The Yshrenian remnants are being funded and manipulated by an outside source, most likely our mysterious woman in the strange armour. She also wanted that Ark Core bad enough to lay an ambush for it, and knew our movements well enough to plot out a sneak attack on the party.
Wait, was that Noel up there?
Noel: Orren! Thank the gods, youre safe!
Orren: Wait, Noel Did you just use my name?
Noel: Yeah. Why?
Orren: I dunno. It just seems weird. Whats going on? Why are you here? Did Cyrus get drunk and just abandon you out here again?
Noel: Albanas locked down in a state of emergency. The entire Lagnish Desert is under watch right now. A force belonging to the Yshrenian remnant has appeared in the desert.
Orren: So, the Toads were actually right for once. Well, at least theyre keeping the civilians out of the danger zone for now.
Noel: We still dont know what theyre planning, but Don Phibianacci reached out to Sir Cyrus for aid. Hes already on the scene near Albana.
Orren: The Don probably promised to let him drink the bar dry if he helped out
Noel: Yeah, that was really embarrassing.
Orren: Whyd you go along with him on that stupid trek to Faria, anyway?
Noel: Would YOU want to live in Sarvains Balandor?
Orren: Point taken.
Noel: The Queen has mobilized the army and the Lagnish Desert has been cordoned off. Im out on a night patrol right now.
Orren: Well, have I got a story to tell old Cyrus then.
Noel: Orren, would you please accompany me back to camp then?
Orren: Lead the way, Noel.
Oh I was pissed. I wasnt taking this one lying down. I just got Leonarded. Do you know how terrible it feels to pull a Leonard? I mean, sure, the idiot doesnt feel anything when it happens because shame is too complex an idea for this pea brain to handle, but ME?
Ooooohoooohoooo. Someone was getting a giant magic mallet to the face when I found her. The old man said that Ark Core was a ticking time bomb in the wrong hands, and something told me it just fell into the wrongest hast possible.
Come hell or high water, I was gonna fix that.