Part 1: Prologue - Tearful seperation. Tearful reunionUpdate 0: Prologue - Tearful seperation. Tearful reunion
Alright, let's get this LP started!
Just gotta boot up the the system and...
Dammit! Not again!
Yeah...for some reason my console hates reading Alter Code F. Once it gets past this initial reading, it's fine, but for the first part, it doesn't want to do anything. There is another PS2 in the house though, so if for some reason this starts completely rebelling against me, I have other options. Hopefully it will never come to this, but I feel I should warn you all in advanced. This PS2 has acted this way towards Alter Code: F for a few years now, so it should be fine.
Anyway, after about ten retries, I finally make it through. Unlike the original game, this doesn't begin with an anime intro video, which really upsets me. That intro video is the reason I fell in love with the series...but we'll get to that later. This update is entirely focused around the cutscene that appears if you wait here long enough. It also appears in the original game, but I'm not 100% sure Azure_Horizon knows that.
(Turns out he didn't.)
We are first greeted by something on fire in the middle of a snowstorm. The music here is synced up exactly to the cutscene, so I'll try to guide you along.
More precisely, a large stone castle on fire. I thought stone couldn't catch on fire, it just turned to magma/lava?
Two knights are caught in an explosion as this monkey watches for a second, then runs away before the smoke clears.
The yellow knight below falls to the ground, dead. The knight in the blue armor in the distance raises his spear, as if the explosion came from the power of his attack. You gotta remember, this is a video game, explosions appear everywhere.
Meanwhile in another part of the castle...
Three knights and the prince run through the hallways, reaching this stone platform. The knight in the purple armor activates the platform, which detaches and acts like an elevator.
: Can't we slow down?!
He falls backwards onto the ground. This man is clearly not used to physical activities, or he's just a wuss. Probably both.
The purple knight, Coldbird, turns to the prince. Nice scar...
: As Fenril Knights, our duty is protect the king.
Like I said, spotty translation. That should be Fenrir, the wolf from Norse mythology. A typical r-l fuckup.
: Preposterous!! Now that my brother has fallen, I'm the king! Listen Coldbird! With or without a coronation ceremony, I am the king!!
The prince stands up as part of his protest, and then the light-blue knight turns his face in disgust.
: ...Huh! You are nothing without our help. Just try to get out of here on your own!
: Silence, Garrett! We are in the presence of the king! You are to serve His Majesty!!
The game named Garrett's textbox as Garret...make up your mind already dammit, I know it's not a limited number of characters issue! I'll just use single Garret since that's what the textbox says.
All four suddenly look up. The music picks up here noticeably for the first time.
A trio of lizardmen fall from above to attack.
But they easily fall the three knights. Coldbird uses a greatsword, Garrett a katana, and Ryan, the third knight, uses two swords. With a single strike from each, the lizardmen fall and dissolve away. What, suddenly can't leave behind dead bodies?
: Bravo, Fenril Knights! Bravo!! Those creatures never had a chance!!
The music calms down again, but is still mysterious.
: Commander Coldbird, maybe the demons are after the Arch?
: The Arch... It's a possibility. Do you think the Arch is worth something to them, Ryan?
: What?! They came to get my Arch? No Coldbird! Do not let them take it! They'll use it for no good!!
Then the elevator stops, and the four leave.
The arch is above, but we don't really get a good look at it yet.
A woman in red armor limps out from the hallway. The music calms down, and becomes a bit softer.
: Elmina! Your leg...
: Anyhow, Commander... Was the rest of the group...?
The music picks up again as this halberd comes out of nowhere and hits Ryan.
He falls to the ground and disappears. Again, this game really doesn't want to show anymore bodies despite already doing so much earlier... Either way, rest in peace Ryan, you made a good Redshirt.
: Aahhg! Who could take down a knight so easily?!
: I am the demon, Alhazad.
The music here becomes more orchestral, but creepier. I think I hear a harpsichord in there. Either way, a while sphere appears out of nowhere, and this guy floats out of it. Alhazad just floats in mid-air, and uses these white spheres to teleport.
: Nonsense! The demons were destroyed a long time ago,
: And yet, here I am right in front of you... But I'm afraid I simply don't have time for this nonsense. Let's get down to business. I am here to ask you for an object, which you call the Arch.
The coward suddenly falls to his knees. Where was that defiance to prevent someone from taking the Arch/Cocoon?
: Take anything you wish! Just, please, spare my life...
: No, Your Majesty! You must not do that!!
: All I can give you in return is a 'Painless Death.'
Alhazad creates a ripple in space which absorbs the prince, leaving no trace of the man when the ripple disappears.
: You will have to live with it. Hahahaha!
: You bastard!! How could you?!
: Garret! Elmina! Get ready! You must escape from Arctica Castle!
The two look back, frown, and then run away.
The music really picks up here, with several orchestral stabs. You can hear ominous chanting. And then it fades to black. Coldbird too, is sadly a redshirt. A badass, but a redshirt.
Garret and Elmina pause for a breath. The music is soft again, played by a guitar. This is about halfway through the track.
: Hey, Garret... You're a bigger coward than I thought...
: Huh?! What are you talking about? Why are you calling me a coward?
: You have no 'Courage'... You're probably thinking of a way to defeat the demon even now. Aren't you?
: Of course!! No matter what it takes, I'll kill that thing!
: So, you call throwing your life away, 'Courage?' We will not be able to defeat them yet. I know it's hard to admit... Look at your terrible wound...
She walks over to his arm. Garret is lightly cut below his left shoulder, in the open parts of his armor.
: It's not as bad as yours, Elmina.
: I won't hear of it! You think that fighting an unbeatable enemy is 'Courage'? I don't agree with that!
She puts her hands on Garret's arms, wraps a green bandage around, then steps aside.
: Then, what do you consider the 'brave' thing to do?
: (Off screen) Hahahaha... I hate to interrupt your tender moment...
: Run, Garret!!
Naturally the two run away, but Elmina is clearly lagging behind. Here's a decent shot of the ribbon on Garret's arm.
Garret quickly runs through the gate, but the gate suddenly closes as Elmina traps herself on the other side.
: I can't get away with this wound!
: Open the gate!! Elmina!! You're the one who said wasting your life is not 'Courage!'
: ...We gain nothing from fighting the demon.
The music picks up a little bit here with some strings. Like other redheads in the Wild ARMs series, she just can't flat out say it.
: We gain nothing from violence, but I can at least protect what's mine... Protecting something important is not a waste of life. Garret... I don't want to lose you.
: Nor I you... Open the gate, Elmina! I'll fight with you! Open the gate, Elmina!!
He slams his fist against the bars, to no effect.
: You must tell the world what has happened here!! Don't worry about me.. I have no intention of dying here. I'm the 'Sword Princess,' remember? Besides the ribbon I wrapped around your arm was expensive. I can't die until I get that back.
He's baaaaaack... The music picks up here, becomes slightly more dissonant.
: You are the last humans left in the castle. It's your turn to die now.
: Deliver the Fenril spirit to our friends! Run Garrett!! You can overcome anything!
This game needs to be more consistent with Garrett and Garret...like I said, really spotty localization.
: I will return the ribbon to you soon...
: Keep running! Don't look back!!
Here the song loses the theme it's been using for a while now.
: Can't you see? My body is trembling with joy.
Elmina charges ahead, but it fades to black very quickly. This is probably the last non-fading frame, you really don't see much.
Meanwhile Garret runs away and crushes a bit of grass with his boot.
He stumbles to the ground and drops his sword. The music here becomes orchestral, and you can hear ominous singing again.
He raises his body to cry out, but because this game has no voice acting, we can only see the despair on his face. That's really good enough, because you don't need to hear his cry. Less is more.
Arctica Castle is now
Meanwhile the blue knight from before stands before the Arch.
It looks like a chained up cocoon with a creepy humanoid face.
Alhazad warps in, but a word isn't said. The demons have what they wanted.
And then we are sent back to the title screen. From here I'm going to obviously press start and start a new game. And then we get introduced with another cutscene!
This song is probably one of my favorite tracks in the game. They have a really good orchestra here, and it's just so damn pretty! And already we have our first Feeling Wind song, it's actually quite similar, it feels like they just took out all the other parts and left only the piano. Works quite well actually.
The beginning starts with mostly panning shots, with flower pedals flying around. Honestly, I'm confused, Filgaia is not supposed to be this pretty.
Dean! Look! It's a one-armed golem!
Yes, those are her real ears.
There's actually nothing in his hand, although it's obvious he should be looking at a pocket watch.
Early is on time, after all.
: Look, someone's coming! Speak of the devil... You know, that's a dumb saying.
Really phrases that include God or the Devil really have no place in fantasy RPGs, for the most part. And even less place in the polytheistic world of Filgaia.
Also the whistling part appears at this point.
And...it's some kind of navy captain running towards the rest of the group. I don't see any oceans around here, do you?
Most of the facial expressions in the game can get pretty stupid when the mouths are open, but this just makes me laugh every time. At least the stupid expressions get used properly.
The captain rushes past, showing three figures in the distance.
The girl smiles, takes in several deep breaths, then starts running. The music swells a bit here.
The girl just runs past the captain, who stops and slides, probably trying to give the girl a hug. And yes, just a hug.
She runs for a while, but then stops and falls to the ground. That didn't seem like that long of a run, and the middle-aged captain was probably more out of shape than her.
The person in the center of the trio extends a hand to the girl (we never get a good look at the trio)
The butler and the scientist look on, smiling. The flower girl with sideways-bunny-ears suddenly pops up out of nowhere with that huge grin on her face.
She then takes his hand, as the cutscene fades to black.
Well guys, that's the end of the game! This was a fun LP.
I'll bet you were Hoping there would actually be more to this game. I'll do the entire prologue in one update.