The Let's Play Archive

White Knight Chronicles I & II

by nine-gear crow

Part 77: Two Knights In The Desert

Behold the culmination of shitty puns in this LP’s chapter titles.

EPISODE 3 – A New Enemy

One episode too late, but whatever.

So we’re here in the Lagnish Desert for the third Avatar Story chapter. Our primary objective is to scout the desert for any signs of Yshrenian Remnant activity and look for signs of a connection between the Magi and the mysterious woman who stole the Ark Core from Orren at the end of the last chapter.

AREA MUSIC:The Lagnish Desert” (Disc 1, Track 24)

We begin this chapter at the Flandar foothills entrance of the desert. Balandor has fortified the area into a chokepoint to ensure that whatever Yshrenian forces currently in the desert can’t escape into the mountains or receive reinforcements from Greede territory in the Great Caldera.

Cyrus and his merry men are on the scene to spearhead Queen Cisna’s Operation “Stay Down, Motherfucker, Stay Down!”

Let’s get the lay of the land by chatting it up with the Turks as, outside of the online quest “The Lost Legion”, this is the only time two of them technically say anything in the game.

Anecia: We still don’t know what the enemy is up to here. Let’s not give them any time to mobilize. We came here with the entire corps, didn't we? We should be out there searching for their base camp.
Oswald: The enemy’s movements are too well planned. Striking out blindly with a large force could spark a senseless slaughter if we’re caught off guard. We need to distract the enemy and make them come to us.

Balandor Solider 1: We’re keeping watching over the area. Sir Cyrus can fill you in on the details.

Balandor Solider 2: Believe it or not, Yshrenia’s still been seen mobilizing troops after all these months.
Balandor Solider 3: *sigh* This fight’s not over yet…

Noel: Ah, there you are! Everyone’s waiting for the order to move out. Please to speak with Cyrus near the embankment when you’re ready.

Warren: The longer we wait here, the more we’re at a disadvantage. And we’re already behind the curve on this one, it seems. Surely the Captain is aware of that, right?
Orren: After that whole “I’m going to attack Faria, because racism, that’s why!” thing last year… I’m not even gonna speak to Cyrus’s level of tactical awareness.
Warren: You’re a smarter man than most of us here, Master Orren.

Well since talking to Cyrus is the only way to proceed from here, let’s go talk to Cyrus.

Cyrus: You’re here… Follow me and I’ll fill you in on what the situation here is.

Yeah, nice to see you too, Cyrus.

Orren: Wait, aren’t you Chancellor now?
Cyrus: And you’re a mayor from what I’ve heard. But what would you really rather be doing?
Orren: The call to adventure is hard to ignore, I’ll give you that one.
Cyrus: Besides, if I hear the words “tax reform” one more time, I’m liable to throw the entire Privy Council in the dungeon for a month.

Cyrus: …I see. So that Ark Core’s fallen into the hands of the enemy. This is very bad. What’s more, it looks as though the Yshrenian army’s remnants are cooperating with her in some capacity. We’d heard rumours of someone beginning to manipulate things behind the scenes, but now we’ve got hard proof.
Orren: What, my word alone?
Cyrus: You’re too short-tempered to lie about things.
Orren: Thanks… I guess…

Cyrus: And now she’s appeared here in the desert. If we act quickly, we should be able to recover the Ark Core from her.

Cyrus: The Yshrenian forces are poised to move out soon, however, so we don’t have much time to act.

Cyrus: Prepare to move out! We’ll attack the enemy encampments in the desert and recover that Ark! Oswald, your squad will cover the northern desert. Anecia, your squad with will take up position in the south.
Noel: What about me and Warren, sir? Do we cover the east and west?
Cyrus: You two get to stay here and braid my warhorse’s hair.
Noel: B-but…!
Cyrus: Meanwhile, I will accompany Orren and focus on the central desert. Good luck everyone. You have your orders. Move out!

Castleguard: Sir!

Cyrus: Things are tense right now, I appreciate the help, regardless.

Like we’ve got a choice anyway.

Well, here we go again. I’m getting flashbacks to our hunt for the Moon Maiden, what about you guys?

We’ve now got Cyrus back in our party for the duration of this chapter as a guest character. Ordinarily speaking, if you were playing this straight up, Cyrus would be scaled at “defacto 4th party member” status, like he usually is. But because the game is hilariously modded for this part of the LP, he’s merely a Batman in a party of Supermans, Wonder Womans (Wonder Women?), Green Lanterns, Flashes, Martian Manhunters… and whatever the fuck Leonard is supposed to be. Still impressive in his own right, but obviously outmatched by everyone around him.

One glance as the map screen shows us what our objective for this chapter is: there’s 8 clusters of Magi troops and armaments in the desert and we need to run around and take them out.

You get meaningless bonus points for each one you defeat. You only need to clear out 6 of them to unlock the boss and clear the chapter, but do you get more numbers and useless items if you Make the Eight, so to speak.

And now begins the boring part of the update: gameplay.

The first detachment, found right outside of the Royal Army staging area is a group of soldiers and a lone artillery cannon. It’s the game’s way of easing you into things.

I tell Eldore, Yulie, and Cyrus to hang back and let Orren concave a few faces because I need to build up enough AC to transform for the boss fight coming up shortly.

Technically speaking, I should actually have a full 15 AC at this point, but the game has this really weird thing to it where if you mod a character’s stats, that character then has their AC allotment frozen at the level where you modded it from, which in this case was the very beginning of the game where everyone only has 7, the bare minimum needed to transform into a Knight.

It’s best practice if you’re playing the game straight to take out the heavies first, as they can do the most damage to you. But I mowed through all the soldiers first and only now am going after the cannon.

Leonard spent half the game in a coma, Orren spent it becoming a being who can hit things with a hammer hard enough to make them explode instantly.

Sure, Shit For Brains could probably have done that too if I’d modded him up to the level the rest of the party was it, but I said he’s never going to shit up the active party again, and I stand by that.

After all the enemies of each group are defeated…

The objective marker denoting their location blinks off.

Group 2 is a bunch of soldiers and a Black Knave.

They go down off screen and I run off to take out some of the local wildlife.

The third group of enemies is located in the Sand Maze Ruins.

Remember when Leonard let Lena die here because he fucking sucked. And then Kara fake-rescued Cisna so that Belcitane could swoop in and rekidnap her again? Good times.

…Who the hell was Lena supposed to be anyway?

This bunch is a little more dug in than the last few groups. We’ve got a Zore Crystal, a trio of cannons, and a couple of Magi mages too.

Again, the man can swing a hammer so hard it causes things to explode.

The Zore Crystal goes down much the same.

Again, this would be much more on the “impossible” side of the scale if we were playing this straight.

Cyrus: Did he really just let some random woman die here?
Orren: Right where you’re standing pretty much.
Cyrus: GY-AGH!
Orren: So wait, did Kara ever tell either of you who “Lena” was supposed to be, anyway?
Yulie: Nope.
Eldore: Not at all. Why do you ask?

Orren: Man, that is just gonna bug me…

Group #4 is a quartet of Assassins led by one Master Assassin.

Requiescat in pace, bucko.

With group 5 we up the ante even more as we face a pair of siege towers and an Ancient War Machine in addition to a compliment of soldiers.

And here’s more screenshots of Orren, The Strongest Man Alive.

One shot and that tower’s coming down.


He’s also so fast he can dodge bullets.

And down comes tower 2.

This poor guy on the far left just got nailed by another one of Yulie’s elemental attacks.

And here’s Cyrus showing he’s up to snuff still, effortlessly dodging this soldier’s swing like he’s lithe and agile Cutscene Cyrus instead of clunky and limited Gameplay Cyrus.

And Yulie gets the killshot with another rain of elemental death.

Time to take on the tank.

Not even a tank shell to the face at point blank range is enough to stop the Man Who Killed Madoras anymore.

And down goes the tank.

This cannon is the last part of this Magi detachment.

And now it’s a part of the scenery.

This group here is the last one that you need to take out before the Boss Battle for the chapter opens up.

You can see here just before this one blinks out, the objective marker for the Boss appears on the screen in the far right of the map. If we wanted to, we could run towards it now and trigger the battle, but let’s be completionist about this thing, shall we?

Aside from the Magi presence in the desert, the only unscripted enemies to show up are just stat-hiked versions of the usual Lagnish Desert suspects. Boars, Scorpions, and Vespids. Thankfully, there aren’t any giant enemies lumbering about right now to slow your progress even further.

Group seven is a just a redo of the last big group of enemies, not much to this one that we haven’t seen already.

So let’s move on then and get some beauty shots of the desert and the mountains in the background.

Hey, White Knight Chronicles! Your Final Fantasy XII is showing again!

The third to last group is just a bunch of schmucks and another Black Knave.

Easily dealt with.

North of the ruins we find another Zore Crystal and its defenders. This is the penultimate group you need to defeat.

And then on the ledge here you find another group of Assassins and a Master Assassin.

Taking this lot out satisfies the game’s sub-mission requirement.

Now we’re free to just hop over this ledge and head for the boss battle.


On the eastern extreme of the map is where we find the main Yshrenian outpost that the Balandor forces were planning their attack on.

Well, you know that if there’s a boss battle coming up here then SOMETHING has probably gone horribly wrong in here, right?

We come back out of the fade to black to an actual-ish cutscene.

Orren and Cyrus run towards the oddly quiet encampment. And in a welcome change of pace, Yulie and Eldore are erased from existence in a cutscene this time around because they’re not technically here for this part of the story.

They crest the hill to find the army detachment that had assaulted the base ahead of us wiped out and the mysterious woman from the Flandars standing in the midst of the pile of bodies.

Cyrus: Ghh!

Yeah, this really ain’t good, is it?

Orren: Lady, you and I need to have a little talk about that thing you swiped from me, and by “talk” of course I mean “burry my hammer in your skull!”

She doesn’t look the least bit concerned. Although the way that mask is covering up her face, she doesn’t look the least bit anything, in all honesty.

She holds up the Ark Core, and… Oh shit.

Shem: Verto!


Well, at least our villain has a name now. She hasn’t spoken it aloud, but the cutscene subtitles identify her as “Shem”… Or “Sem”, or “Semu”, depending on how you want to romanize “セム” (Semu).

I’m picking Shem because it sounds the least lame of the three, and it is an actual name.

So now we get to see Shem’s Knight transformation sequence. It’s a move-for-move copy of the spear variant of the Arc Knight’s transformation sequence, only with a purple colour pallet instead of a blue one.

Shem’s Incorruptus form is a silver and purple Knight made from the Armato Arc Knight armour set and wielding the Yrgane spear as a weapon.

It’s got the same golden Tron lines on its body that the Demon Knight exhibited on its body. These lines also show up on the second tier versions of the storyline Knight armour DLC for the Arc Knight.

Sadly, that’s the only way you can get them to appear on the Arc Knight itself.

Shem’s Knight (which is literally just called “Shem’s Knight” in-game) also has one other feature that makes it unique from the Arc Knight: nestled between the wings of its chest armour is a halo-like structure positioned just off its shoulders like halos appear in Hindu, Bhuddist, and Sanskrit artistic stylings.

Just for the sake of the LP, however, I’m going to dub this thing the Silver Knight, for obvious reasons.

So the Silver Knight is another one of those impossible without multiplayer bosses that will make you thankful you bought a Game Genie or other such save editing device.

With that said, it’s time to fulfill the promise of the title of this update.

Orren: O Swordo, emerald champion, master of the ancient hammer, grant me your power…

Shem starts the battle off before she even tries to attack you by throwing up a Regen spell on herself, just to make this fight even that much more difficult for you.

Orren: Verto!

Here we go now.

Again, just on a visual level, you’d think something amazing was about to happen with these two titans about to square off with one another, but no, it’s just the same old boring shit for the five trillionth time.

Shem starts things off by taking a lunge at the Arc Knight.

Orren gets a nice hit on her…

But she scores a spear hit of her own too.

I spend much of this battle just toying with her to get some decent shots of her Knight because we’re not going to be seeing it all that often in the Avatar Story, despite what an interesting looking antagonist it makes.

Again, there’s nothing really to comment on here…

All you need to do is knock her down to a quarter health and the battle promptly ends.

She staggers back in defeat as she’s knocked out of Knight form.

Okay, this is actually kind of terrifying. A powerful and competent villain who has the heretofore unseen ability to transform without even a proper Ark. All she needed was the bloody crystal that powers it.

This woman is clearly playing on a higher level than the rest of us are, even if we just moped the floor with her.

Shem: I must go, my planet needs me.

Cyrus and Orren look on in frustration as Shem ninja leaps away in the direction of the Nordia Tunnels.

Cyrus: This would be a good time for you to, you know… Transform!
Orren: I just fucking DID! Weren’t you paying attention? This thing ain’t like a pair of pants—I can’t slip it on and off whenever I want to. Don’t you fucking do this, boozer. Don’t you Me… eh… me.

Well shit.

Cyrus: Damn! She got away!

Cyrus: That woman… The way she was able to call upon the power of the Knight like that. Was she a… Pactmaker?
Orren: Somehow, I doubt it. Though anything’s possible these days, I guess.

Cyrus: We can’t let her get away again this time! We need to follow her, now! At least she can’t escape to the east. There’s nothing but open sea past the desert that way.
Orren: And the army’s blocking off access to the Flandars in the west…
Cyrus: And Oswald and Anecia are covering the north and south quadrants of the desert. …The only route available to her then is towards the Nordia Tunnels.

Orren: Well, looks like I know where I’m headed then.
Cyrus: I’ll contact Balandor via Bigelow and tell the Queen to send troops to the Greydall exit of the Tunnels.

Cyrus: Come on! Hurry!

Pulling a Knight out of her ass like that without a proper Ark? Oh yeah, this lady had to go down. We’ve had enough Grazels, Shapurs, and Madroases, thank you very much. And no, I’m not just saying that because I suddenly felt my status as the most powerful human in existence being threatened.

For now though… Urrrgh. It was back into the dark, dank spider hole that was the Nordia Tunnels.

Will we find an actual story to this so-called Avatar Story down there?

Who the fuck knows?!