The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 22: Episode XXI: Bartholomew Fatima and the Rescue of the Holy Mother of Nisan

Episode XXI: Bartholomew Fatima and the Rescue of the Holy Mother of Nisan

Music: Invasion

Welcome to Fatima Castle. It is time for some tactical stealth action in the capital of Aveh.

Fatima Castle is not a particularly large location. This illustration is quite accurate. There are two “hallways” along the side balconies of the courtyard. Each of these paths has three doors (so six doors per floor and twelve total.) On each end of the courtyard is a staircase.

The southern stairs only leads to the second floor, while the northern one leads to the tower where Margie is being held captive. Of course, the northern stairs are locked on the first floor, so Bart will need to circle around from the southern stairs and loop back north along the walkway. Really, if we know exactly where we’re going we can blaze through this place in like five minutes.

I said before that this is a sneaking mission and it is true. There are no random battles in Fatima Castle. Instead, there are patrolling guards and sentries posted. If they see Bart then they’ll dash over to initiate a battle, but it’s still possible to run away or dart into a room to avoid the fight. If the Tournament is still going on, there will just be a skeleton crew guarding a few important locations, but the castle will be largely empty. But once Fei and Wiseman have their battle, the place will completely fill up with soldiers everywhere.

Not that the Aveh Guards are particularly difficult enemies. Bart can kill one every turn with minimal effort and they’re all just equipped with pea shooters that barely do any damage.

This is the first we really get to use Bart in a proper on-foot battle. He attacks with dual whips, as clearly the Fatimas are distant cousins of the Belmont clan. Bart is pretty decent on foot. He lags behind Fei and Citan in damage output. But he has some decent speed, so at least he can whip people across the face fairly quickly.

In any case, we could just go straight to the tower to rescue Bart’s cousin. But, there’s a bunch to poke around and explore in Fatima Castle.

For instance, we can come across Vanderkaum’s room. He’s got quite the taste in interior design. There are mines, dynamite with a plunger, a huge anti-tank rifle, and...

A full piece of heavy artillery taking up half a quarter of the room. I think someone is slightly overcompensating for something...

A neat little detail is that if there is a nearby patrolling guard, Bart can peek out the door and wait for him to walk by before exiting. Sadly we cannot run up behind them and snap their necks and/or toss live snakes in their faces.

The castle also features a rather robust library. We can poke around here a bit to get a bit of an overview of Aveh’s “history”.

“Then let me enlighten you, my mysterious-rogue-who-looks-suspiciously-like-the-former-king friend.”

“This city was built on a desert rockbed. This was partially to escape sand erosion, but that’s not all. An underground water basin wells up here. The rockbed is made of limestone, so the water level continued to rise to its present level.”
*squeezes water out of jacket* “You don’t say?”
“Fatima Castle was originally built to protect the water source, but gradually the desert people started to live here. They were soon joined by a steady flow of people from the northern lands. That is the story of this city, Bledavik.”

Well, there you go for some fluff. Now, who’s up for some revisionist history reading material?

...In the dark days of the Fatima rule, the people had little to eat and even less to be happy about. Their hardships peaked during the reign of Edbart IV... Using the people’s fury as his power base, Shakhan, the Prime Minister then, lead the armies that broke the tyranny of the Fatima dynasty. Those heroes became the nucleus of Aveh’s current armed forces...

Interesting story. Strange that there’s no mention of Gebler anywhere in there...

In one of the bedrooms on the second floor is a whip upgrade for Bart. This weapon is unique in that it is one of the very few in the entire game that afflicts status effects (in this case poison) on critical hits. Hell it’s literally the only way we can even use a poison attack at this point. Spiffy.

Next up is the armory. There’s not much going on here. Just a really bored sentry playing Solitaire. He doesn’t even seem to notice Bart stomping around.

He also doesn’t bat an eyelash when Bart stuffs four suits of armor into his pockets and wanders off. Someone is getting a demotion at the end of the month.

There’s also a quite large mess hall and fully staffed kitchen. For a PSX game, these areas are incredibly detailed. Heck, you can even jump up and grab that hanging meat for some free Hob Steaks and Jerky.

On the upper floors there’s a conference room...

And a throne room with overly dramatic eternally burning blue torches. I guess the Fatimas subscribed to Magus’ theory of chamber design.

On the top floor of the tower we can find Shakhan’s bedroom. There’s even a little Easter Egg in here. Remember the cutscene where he was spying on Ramsus and Margie? Well, we can go toggle that wine bottle and...

And we’ll gain access to Shakhan’s surveillance system. I somehow think this would be put to better use if the guards had access to it. It might...I don’t know...prevent a deposed prince from infiltrating the castle and fucking up all of their plans. But nah...Shakhan just sees it fit to spy on people when they eat lunch or use the stairs.

If we take a look at the East Tower, we can see Margie is still farting around aimlessly in her room. I suppose it really is time to go bust her out. She can swim several miles, right? I don’t recall Citan speaking of an evac point for this whole operation... Where the hell is Dr. Uzuki, anyway?

Bart travels to the Eastern Tower and makes it to Margie’s room...

"Let's go home Margie!"
"I just knew you'd come for me!"
"I'm getting you outta here! C'mon, follow me!"
"Okay. Oh, wait a second."

”Yeah, sure. Steal whatever you can carry. Let’s just move it!”

Margie now “joins our party”. She’s not actually a playable character. She was planned to be one early on. But that never panned out and thus the party remains a sausage fest until Elhaym inevitably joins properly down the road. With that said, let’s make a dash for the sewers.


"Looks like we have rats. Where do you plan on taking that girl, boy?"
"Boy? Hah, boy!?! Let's see you try and call me that again! Who the hell are you anyway?"
"You do have spunk. But I don't need to give my name to rats like you."
”That’s Mr. Ramsus.”
“Yeah..? Well, I’m definitely gonna ram something up his ass if he doesn’t get outta the way.”

"Now hand over the girl. She is a very important guest. Until she tells us where a certain piece of the Fatima Jasper is, we can't allow her to be taken away."
"Gimme a break! You think I'm gonna hand her over just 'cause you say to? Pull your head out, you Gebler geek!"
"Hmm. I assume you know where such abusive language will lead you."

Ramsus will NOT tolerate such lame insults in his presence. “Gebler Geek”? Honestly, Bart...? Did you go to the insult academy with Leon S. Kennedy?

Music: Knights of Fire

“Prince Bartholomew!"
"Oh yeah? You know about me, huh?”
”Even the janitors here know you still live. It is the worst kept secret I have encountered.”
“Heh! It's not such a bad feeling having your name known by someone as beautiful as you."
"What? It never hurts to compliment a lady. How's about you ditch this popped collar bozo and see what it's like to sail the seas with a real man?"
"I am already annoyed enough without a sandy vagina, thank you very much."

"You may have had your problems with Shakhan, but we won't treat you badly. Concerning Shakhan, it really doesn't matter 'either way' to us."
"That's nice to know. But I can't accept it. See, for me, 'either way' is bad."
*readies sword* "...Then it's decided."
"Tch... Margie! Hide back behind there!"
"No! I'll fight too!"
”With what? Are you going to throw that pink teddy bear at them?”
"I don't care, just hide!"

Alright, it is time to take on Commander Ramsus. There really isn’t much to this fight at all. We just need to wail on Ramsus a bit with physical attacks  to trigger the real fight.  The Gebler commander is one of the few bosses immune to Wild Smile, so that’s out.

However he is NOT immune to poisoning. Or being twirled around the room in a ridiculous fashion. But few are immune to that manner of silliness.

The only attack Ramsus utilizes is a sword combo for around 30-50 HP of damage. Even flying solo, that’s not too big a deal considering we have enough healing items to replenish our strength from that about 50 times over.

On top of that, Margie will occasionally help in the fight by casting a healing spell on her cousin for 40 HP or so. Though, it would seem the Holy Mother is friggin’ terrible at magic, as the thing misses more often than not. How do you even miss with healing spells? I thought that was like...against RPG basic laws...

Ramsus gets whipped good...

“Are you okay?!”

Fei out of fucking NOWHERE!


”Miang...what just happened...?”
“Commander, I believe the Dragon-Slaying Slacker just knocked you the fuck out.”
“I hate this country...”

"Glad you're here Fei!"
"Ergh...why are you wearing... Is that a wedding dress...?"
"Long story."

"What's wrong, Bart? I thought this was just a simple rescue."
”I mean sheesh, I beat up an entire tournament worth of guys, snuck into the castle afterwards, and made it up here and you’re just now finding the girl?”
"Shut up! This jerk butted in and slowed me down!"
(The way he attacked... It reminds me of someone from my past...)

We haven’t had a vague flashback in a while. So Ramsus decides to fill the void...

Oh hey, it’s that red haired gent from the flashback with Grahf and the mysterious mustachioed kung fu guy. I wonder if that’s Dan’s father.

The ginger warrior proceeds to beat the living shit out of all the Gears surrounding him. While on foot. Well...somebody has power-leveled off camera...

”What truth...? Bart, what’s this guy mumbling about?”
“Hell if I know. That collar of his is probably cutting off the circulation to his brain. That punch you gave him probably didn’t help.”

Time for the real fight against Ramsus. We’ve got to burn off 800 HP from the Gebler Geek to end the battle. Margie is still on a (really half-assed) support role for healing Bart occasionally.

However, now Miang does the same by healing Ramsus for 100 HP every few turns. Only she has 100% accuracy with her healing spells There is no way to prevent this, as we cannot actually target Ramsus’ assistant. We’re just going to have to deal with it.

On top of that, Ramsus has an annoying new attack: Mirror Stance. When the Gebler Commander goes into this defensive position, he will stop attacking. BUT, Fei and Bart are also barred from attacking him.

Doing so will cause our party member to whiff their attack. Ramsus will then immediately counter-attack with a combo that deals nearly 100 HP of damage. So, we just need to defend or heal up during that period. Unfortunately, Miang will almost definitely heal 200-300 HP of Ramsus’ life during this period and there’s basically fuck all that can be done.

Ramsus eventually gets his ass sufficiently kicked, despite BS defensive stances and secretary healing abilities...

(Is it just my imagination? But that technique was indeed his... What's more... the name Fei.... where have I...)

"Leave the rest to me!"

Margie tosses a bunch of smoke bombs, blinding Ramsus and Miang. That didn’t seem particularly necessary seeing as we were kicking the living shit out of him. But...there you go. Where did Margie get smoke bombs, you ask?

Well, back when Margie was a playable character she was going to be armed to the teeth beneath that poncho of hers. I’d like to think she was just waiting for Shakhan to come interrogate her alone so she could pull out a grenade launcher and go all Death Wish IV on him. Alas, what could have been...

”Dum-dee dum duh. Man, I am hitting the town tonight. I racked in SO much dough betting on the...”

“...Dragon Slaying Slacker?!”
“Sorry pal, gotta catch a ride!”
“Thanks for holding the elevator!”
“You might wanna hold your nose if you’re going that direction!”

The elevator slams shut and descends into the Gebler base...

(If it is 'him'... I... I am...)
... Worthless... ...A reject...
"GUARD! Double the guards on both shifts. Don't let those rats in here again."

Kung Fu Flashbacks and Deathblows

Music: Invasion

Marguerite Fatima Portrait – Now that’s just a silly Pope hat.