The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 7: Episode VII: Elhaym Van Houten and the Coward From Lahan

Episode VII: Elhaym Van Houten and the Coward From Lahan

Click to view cutscene.

Young Fei doesn’t like sand. It’s coarse and irritating and it gets everywhere.

The young boy’s weeping in the desert is interrupted by a band of folks silently walking past him further into the wastes.

"Wait! Hey! Don't leave me here! Wait!!"

Not being able to catch up to the group, the boy returns to crying. That will not help you stay hydrated out in the blazing sun, kiddo...

"You must be lonely here by yourself."




”Man, I had the weirdest dream. I was a little kid and I was in the desert and there were some people walking there too and I chased them but they got away and then you came and s—“
“Perhaps you can share your dream diary once we make it out of the monster filled forest...?”
“Oh...right... Good idea.”

Music: Forest of the Black Moon

Elhaym has now joined Fei as our first new party member. She’s lagging behind a few levels behind our hero at the moment as most new party members come at a default level, not one close to the main character’s stats if he's grinded a bit. But, that’s okay. She’ll catch-up soon enough.

Remember that pistol Elly was packing? Yeah...that thing dropped off the face of the planet between scenes. Elly instead battles with a Rod, since the RPG Love Interest Act of 1988 dictates all female leads in role playing games must carry a rod, staff, or similar blunt object into all battles. Though while the game calls it a “rod”, it seems to look and function more like a rapier in-battle. Anyway, physically in combat...Elly totally sucks. She has crap strength and terrible accuracy. But... We’re not exactly looking to her for her physical prowess.

Well, Fei might eventually. But we’re just talking combat at the moment.

Instead, we want to look at Ms. Van Houten’s kickass magic abilities. Elly comes packing an Ether attack for all four elements: Wind, Earth, Fire, and Water. They’re all fairly potent and only cost a mere 2 EP in a game where magic restoration items cost pocket change. There’s not much to be said about Elly’s magic at the moment. They all just cast fairly standard blows to enemies. Though, there is one trick regarding her Thermo Cube technique.

You know how Fei can headbutt Hobgobs into Hob Jerky? Well, Elly can use Thermo Cube to roast ‘em into a delicious steak. Hob Steaks heal a whopping 500 HP outside of battle (in a game that tops out at 999 HP for characters) and sell for a pretty penny on the open market. So, it’s not a bad idea to let our new ally open up the furnace on every Hob she sees.

Lastly, with a bit of leveling Elly can earn her first Deathblow: Screamer. This causes Elly to shriek in her opponent’s ear as magic bubbles pour out of her mouth. Uhh...sure?

Anyhow, it’s a fairly linear path winding through the woods. There are several signs and everything point directions to Lahan and Aveh. I think Elly might just be illiterate to the local language and she’s too embarrassed to say anything.

One thing worth mentioning towards the end of the journey is that it might be a good idea to tell Elly to strip down out of that Pilot Uniform and have her throw on something more comfortable for traveling further into the region.  She’s a very temporary party member and that uniform can be pawned for a nice chunk of money. 

After reaching the end of the second map of the Blackmoon Forest, Fei and Elly decide it’s a good time to vent some angst...

"Yesterday you said your life was worthless. What did you mean by that?"
"Why are you asking?"
"Why? Yesterday you looked like you had a death wish. You think it wouldn't make me wonder...? Say, how did you get stranded in this forest in the first place?"
"I should ask you the same question."
"Huh? Well, I, errh..."
<Crap! Uhh... Think of something... Umm... I was out picking flowers and got turned around? Would he buy that...? I think he’d buy that...>

Music: Tears of the Stars, Hearts of the People

"Village...? You don't mean...!?"
"Lahan... It was a small village that existed between this forest and the mountain range. I ran away from there."
<Oh geez. This is going to be awkward... Alright, Elly. Just...don’t look suspicious. Act surprised!>
"That village...?"
"It was a nice, peaceful village. Everyone there treated me like family. Then, last night, a group of Gears suddenly appeared and started fighting right in the middle of the place. The village was engulfed in flames... I couldn't just stand there and watch Lahan be destroyed... So to try and save the villagers, I got in an empty Gear... without even knowing how to operate it. I just thought maybe I could do it... was more like someone whispering to me... Someone whispering to me...telling me to do it... But it was a disaster! The village..."
"Was it destroyed by the Kislev army?"
<No, idiot! How would you know that?! Stupid!>

<Alright, he didn’t notice anything out of the ord—wait, what...?>
"Yes. It was me. I destroyed Lahan. I'm sure of it..."
"What do you mean you destroyed it? I thought you were trying to help save the villagers?"
"I did try to help. I actually took out a few Gears. But then I came under heavy fire from a new group of Gears... And then my friend... Timothy... was hit by a hail of bullets... Then I lost it... Everything just went dark... I don't remember anything after that. The Gear I was in went out of control... Well, that's what doc said. When I came to... the village... and everyone in it... was... Alice... She was such a... Alice and Timothy... Oh god...! Everybody... All such good people..."
"Went out of control...? The Gear...? What about the village? Fei?"
"...Yes, the Gear! If only those Gears had never landed in the village...!"
<Crap. Pressed the wrong issue...>

Early last evening...

“They're still giving chase. We've entered Aveh territory... I'm not giving up now.”

The Gear flying next to Elly’s gets blown out of the sky.

“I'm at a disadvantage now. Van Houten! What’s wrong! Respond!”
"Sh, shrapnel...In my back. My thrusters' output is dropping. I can't maintain altitude."
“Damn it! Everyone land now! Regroup on the ground. We'll have to engage them!”

And wouldn’t you know it? Elly’s Gear lands right in Fei and Chief Lee’s backyard.

And the Kislev Gears land right behind her and open fire as the battle in Lahan begins. So yup...that whole thing was totally Elly’s fault. Whoops!

“Then I wouldn't have tried to pilot that Gear. It's all their fault... Not mine! They're the ones to blame. If they'd never come...none of this would have...if not for them!"

“Maybe you’re a stupid, ugly jerk!”

”Oh, sorry. Didn’t mean to take it out on the tree...”
"You're a coward!"
"A coward? ...Me?"
"Yes, you're a coward. All you're saying is 'them, them, them'. Don't talk as if you had no part of the blame, as well!"
"I'm to blame...?"
"Yes, that's right! Of course the direct cause of the battle was that a Gear made an emergency landing in your village.”
”What did who now...?”
“But all Kislev wanted was the Gear, right? They weren't invading or out to destroy Lahan. The real damage occurred because you climbed in a Gear and tried to fight back! Whatever made you get into that Gear? Not just anyone can pilot them! It takes training! There is no way a civilian could hope to pilot one!”
”Why it took me three years just to get my first fli—err...“
“Besides... you should have been helping the villagers flee to safety instead! How can you blame the damage on a Gear when it was your decision to fight in it in the first place? Why don't you take some of the responsibility yourself? Why are you putting all the blame on others? That's just running away! That's what makes you a coward!"

“I didn't realize my own strength and have been blaming what happened as a result of that on others. I'm a pitiful excuse for a man. But... I just felt this rush of blood in me and I couldn't help myself! Couldn't help myself... or help others."
”I mean...giant robot many chances do you get to do something that awesome...? But now everyone is...”

Fei slumps to the ground...

"Shut up!! What do you know!? When I came to I was surrounded by piles of rubble... I didn't know what had happened or what I had done. I remembered absolutely nothing. All I knew was that my hands could still feel what they had done. The only things that penetrated the Gear's barrier were screams... Screams accompanied by the stench of blood, the sound of crushing bones, and my own curses.”
”Okay, now you are just being melodra—“

“The feeling of having destroyed your village with your own hands...? Of not being able to do anything for the children left behind...? Now they have nothing... I have nothing... I have one... I didn't want to get in it... I had no choice... There was no other way..."

Fei slumps back to the floor and resumes wallowing in angsty self-pity. Elly briefly thinks of approaching to console him...

But then she decides “fuck that noise” and wanders off further into the woods by herself.

*sigh* “I feel an introspective flashback coming on...”

Click to view cutscene.

"You talk as if it's not your responsibility!"

"No... I didn't do anything!"

"They died because you had to pilot the Gear and start fighting!"

"It wasn't me, can't you understand?"

"Not just anyone can pilot those machines, you know!"

"I didn't do it!"

"Why don't you take responsibility!?"

"I'm not so strong."

"Why are you trying to put the blame on others?"

"I'm not even all that talented."

"You're a coward!!"

"That's right!! I'm a coward."

Welp, it would seem Elly went all Grey Fox on some mooks in the past. That was random...


<Okay, Elly... Umm... Just...just say perfectly still! They can’t see you if you stay still, right? Just like in that movie... Okay... Don’t move a musc—oh crap! Stop blowing wind! You’re moving my hair! I should really get a haircut some time...>

“Ah crap...”

And so Elly gets attacked by a dinosaur. Sure... Sure, why not?

Desert Dream Animation

Elly Flashback
(You should probably watch this. Also WARNING: Kung Fu Movie class dubbing.)

Elly Portrait Artwork – What is the deal with sci-fi outfits and shoulder pads anyway...?