The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 26: Episode XXIV: Fei Fong Wong and the Portrait of Mother Sophia

Episode XXIV: Fei Fong Wong and the Portrait of Mother Sophia

Music: Singing of the Gentle Wind

The Pope Holy Mother has some nice digs. Let’s take a short tour of town. I uhh...I hope you kids like exposition. This is another one of those “okay...time to set the plot for the next handful of events” sort of chapters.

Upon entering Nisan, Margie immediately runs off toward the Cathedral and Maison excuses himself back to the Yggdrasil. So the party is free to hit the town as they see fit.

We only get to visit a small bit of Nisan in-game. It’s probably the tiniest village yet. There honestly isn’t much at all to do here. But, there are a couple of points of interest in the quaint little burg.

There is a solitary item shop in the center of town. Its stock isn’t the most noteworthy. Mostly... There is one REALLY useful item in its inventory, though.

The EtherDoubler. This is an accessory for characters that basically doubles their magic attacks' power per cast. Equipped on the right characters, this item can take the game’s challenge and break it over their knee. However, it has a VERY hefty price tag of 38,000G a pop. And we don’t quite have the funds for that at the moment, as gathering such wealth would pretty much require grinding the Stalactite Caves dungeon for several more tedious hours than I was willing to commit. But, that’s okay. We can come back for it later. We don’t even have any of the characters that would find it useful in our party yet!

The second place of interest about town is the Assembly Hall. It is currently occupied. But we already know Fei has zero interest in respecting private conversations. As such, he peeks right in to eavesdrop on the townspeople’s conference.

"It's under martial law so it's gotten progressively harder to contact our agents in the city. According to the info we finally got just a while ago, there's no major activity. We think they've found some reason to attack and are getting ready now..."
”Chiefly...someone breaking into their castle, murdering several guards, and breaking out the Holy Mother...”
“The possibility exists.”
“However I've heard that Shakhan's powerbase in the capital is eroding away. He's probably weaker than we thought.”
“Anyway, it's happened and we're committed now.”
“I feel the same way.”
“Now that I think about it, 12 years ago... Ever since the coup d’état by Shakhan, there's been a lot of tension in our country. With Marguerite back now, I agree that the former dynasty should be returned to power.”
“Everyone feels the same but we must look at reality. Do we have the strength to do that now?”
“Now I hear Bartholomew, the one who brought back Marguerite, has started moving around out in the open. I'm certain Shakhan is preparing a large army. Shakhan may be coming here soon...”

Rabble rabble around the room...

“Will everyone be killed?”
“I seriously doubt that. Even he won't want to risk provoking any kind of outrage with the citizens. Especially in this situation, he will definitely want to avoid putting himself in a compromising situation.”
”What if a group of plucky adventurers hatch some convoluted scheme that draws us into the war?”
“Oh, what are the odds of that happening?”

“We should set up a hiding place just in case...”
“Maybe there...”

Back outside...

“She's only just got back from her long time in captivity... I don't want her to have to worry... I want her to be happy for a little longer."
”Also she gets kinda pissed when I spy on stuff like that...” *cough*
"You should not be overly worried yourself! You have just got to think about what is best for the future of this land... What is done is done! You only did what you believed was right... Put the past behind you."
"Huh... I'm alright!"

The party heads toward the cathedral...

A band of Holy Mother groupies are chatting with Margie at the edge of town. She insists she needs to head to the Xeno-Vatican to see the Sisters. I wonder of Marguerite has a Popemobile...? I bet that would have been her Gear when she was still a playable character. That would have been great...

Music: The Wounded Shall Advance Into the Light

”Buck up, Sister Fiona.”
*reaches into pocket and grumbles* “Dammit...”

The nuns rush over to greet Margie...

“Oh, Margie... We're so glad you're safe...”
"Yes, it is all thanks to Bart and his men."
“We just received word... So we were singing a hymn of praise and joy. We're so happy... Oh, what a relief!”
*approaches Margie* "Welcome back, Margie. We had faith that you and your cousin Bart would one day return safely... We and your other friends have been waiting for you."

"Unfortunately, your mother and the blessed Royal Mother..."
"I know, Sister Agnes... I heard about it at the Royal Capital... ...But at least I have made it back. I'll never go anywhere, or leave you from now on! I won't make you all worry anymore...ever again!"
"Bless you my dear..."
”Even if this is the third kidnapping this quarter alone...”
"Sister Agnes, this just isn't like you at all! Here I am back safe and sound. Can't you rebuke me just a little, for old time's sake?"
"Ha... I'm sorry... But I'm just so happy that I cannot help but..."
*Pulls ruler from sleeve* “Well, meet me in my office later and I’ll correct that behavior, dear.”

"...There is no reason to be so solemnly quiet... Well, everyone! To celebrate the return of our dear sister Margie...and to express our joy to heaven, let us finish singing our hymn."
"...Thank you, and bless you all! Oh, yes, Sister... May I go upstairs? It's been oh so long, so I want to have a look around up there too."
"Oh, but of course, dear! Don't even think of holding back from anything... Except for one thing... Never stay away so long like that again."
*taps ruler* “Or else...”
"Ha, ha! I knew you'd say that. Now that's the Agnes I know!"

The nuns return to their places to sing...

”Still musty as I remember. I wish I only had one nostril instead of one eye.”
"...? Something wrong, Margie?"
"...Nothing. It's just... I guess I got a little emotional... Heh, heh, heh..."
"... Anyway, take it easy for a while. ...You've put up with enough, okay."
"...If you are trying to make me cry, you'll fail."
”There is no Santa Claus.”
“Pfft...haha. Just kiddin’. There was totally a Santa Claus.”
“Don’t do tha—“
*narrows eye* “He just the WAR...”
“...” *sniff*

*turns to Citan and Fei* "Oh yes! I'll show Fei and Citan around our cathedral... Follow me!"

Margie trots off...

“It is obvious that she really wants to just break down and cry..."
"Yeah, you're right... That's just the way she has always been. For all her talk, she understands her position well... Maybe there are a few things I could learn from her too."
”But meh...effort...”

The party follows Marguerite upstairs...

"If we ever got scolded for pranks as kids, Bart and I used to hide here."
"Hey, stop telling those old stories. It's embarrassing!"
”Besides, keep that on the down low! Never know when I might tick off that scary Sister Agnes again. I got enough bruises without a pissed nun on my case!”

"What!? You mean that you think I'm still a kid!?"
”Guess I imagined you making all those furry jokes about poor Fei.”
“Hey! That was different! That was FUNNY!”
“Shhhhh! Quiet up there!”

"Light from outside shining through the stained glass of the cathedral's front... What a brilliant piece of artistry this is.”
"Did you notice that the two great angels only have one wing each...?"
"Estuans interius ira vehementi Estuans interius ira vehement.”
“Sephiroth! Sephiroth!
*groans* “Thanks for proving my previous statement...”

“God could have created humans perfectly... But then, humans would not have helped each other... So that is what these great single-winged angels symbolizes... In order to fly, they are dependent on one another.”

“I see... On further inspection, the left angel looks somewhat masculine...while the right one looks somewhat feminine. Now that is an unusual feature, is it not? Usually these depictions are not gender-specific. But these angels are clearly distinguishable as having opposing genders. And the space between them is the path from where god advents... Or could it be the path leading to god? Well... I do not know, it could be either, or even both. ...Now I see! This all coincides with the teachings of Nisan."
*turns to Fei*
*shrugs and shakes his head*

"Oh! Excuse me. It is a habit of mine..."
"The doc knows a lot about a lot of things... Sometimes I can't even understand what he's talking about..."
”And by ‘sometimes’ I mean ‘like every other conversation’...”

“It would be less bothersome if they could fly on their own, don't you think, Fei?"
”I don’t even think it’d work to begin with. Wouldn’t they like...spin in a circle?”
“That’s just an aviation disaster waiting to happen.”

"Bart! You miss the deeper meaning and beauty of it! Someday I wish I could be of help to someone like that..."
”God wanted people to help one another out. In other words: boinking. I think I got it.”

"Oh, we haven't visited the 'Room of Sophia' yet, have we? You're really supposed to go through some procedures before you can see it... But this time I think it will be alright if I make a special exception."
"Yes, Sophia. She is revered as the founding mother of the Nisan nation...and the founder of the Nisan religion who set forth its teachings. There is a special room upstairs that has a portrait of Mother Sophia in it."
"I would definitely like to view that! Fei, let us go have a look at it!"

The party follows Margie to the top floor...

The gang piles into the room...

“And the beautiful young lady portrayed is quite beyond comparison too... What is more... this looks rather familiar...! What do you think, Fei?"
"Yes, I was just thinking the same thing. The hair is a different color, but the atmosphere or personality about her is exactly the same."
"What? Hair color? What do you mean?"
"What do I mean? Look...! It's the girl I met in the forest... It's Elly! I mean...there's something about her that's just like Elly... You don't think so...?"
"Yes, now that you mention it... She does resemble Elly. But that is not what I was talking about... I meant that the brush techniques and overall style used in this picture is similar to yours."

"Does it...? First of all... I'm nowhere near as good an artist."
" is very similar to your style."
”Doc...I don’t recall you ever coming to see my paintings back in Lahan...”
“Of course I did! There was that one time with the uhh...the guy with the thing at your place and I was called to...”
"Doc, did you even know where I lived...?"
“Indeed I did... It was...right by the town square!”
“Doc...EVERY house was by the town square. That was the whole village.”
“Yes I hmm... Oh, I just noticed...”

"But somehow I can sense an atmosphere of sadness in this picture."

"Perhaps the picture is reflecting her inner self? Or perhaps it is the inner feelings of the artist being conveyed."

"Ahh... If you look closely, you will notice that the painting is not completely finished. The artist put his brushes down when it was near completion."
*turns to Margie* “...Why is that?"

“But my grandmother might have known about it..."
”But now my grandparents are DEAAAAADDDD!!”

"Oh! What if we ask Agnes? She may know something.”

"Well... shall we head back to the town for now?"
"Yes, alright... But this painting has caught my curiosity. Do you mind if I speak to Sister Agnes before we head back to town?"
"Yeah, okay... We'll stop by her room on the way out."

Fei looks back at the portrait...

"Huh? No... It's nothing..."
< I’m flashbacking to other people’s lives too... Terrific...>

If we return back downstairs to the walkway where we saw the angels, we’ll find the nuns’ library just a short jog past the stairs to Sophia’s room. It’s fairly easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.

The party approaches Sister Agnes...

“The lady portrayed in that picture is Nisan's great founding mother... Some say that it was painted at least 500 years ago."
"500 years ago... Now that is quite amazing. Personally, I find it intriguing. Do you have any historical material from that period?"
"In our hands, there are no such records left intact. All records and materials concerning Sophia have been lost... The portrait is the only thing left. We too do not have much knowledge about her."
"That is too bad! So there really is nothing left at all!?"
"For someone who has helped Marguerite, I would have loved to have shared them... But unfortunately I am unable to help here..."
"Oh well, none the matter. Please do not worry about it. I was just inquiring. But, it does seem somewhat strange... If such a majestic building as this survived history, then it is likely a scroll or two would remain too."
"According to tradition, Sophia was present about 500 years ago... She sacrificed herself for the people and has been summoned to be with god. That's all I can tell you."
"...I see. So everything was lost in the darkness of history."

Welp, I’m sure a lost period in history and a founding mother of a major world religion looking exactly like the female lead will never come up again... No sir.

Music: Singing of the Gentle Wind
Music: The Wounded Shall Advance Into the Light

Nisan Cathedral Concept Art

Nisan Cathedral Interior Concept Art