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alcharagia
Apr 23, 2008

YOU'RE NOBODY


Wait, is Medion a silent protagonist in Scenario 2?

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Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

One thing I like about this series, that will become even more I obvious in game 3 unless I'm misremembering, is the overarching story where they seem to be attempting to change the past by altering the fates of 3 pivotal characters. I should check this, but I believe the outro to this game and intro to the next three wizard and faerie seem to be getting increasingly desperate about the fact that even by changing synbios's and medion's destinies it wasn't enough to change the final outcome.

alcharagia posted:

Wait, is Medion a silent protagonist in Scenario 2?

Yes, just as synbios was in scenario 1. He is just making up lines for them in scenes we don't see the other side of.

Khisanth Magus fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2014 around 00:32

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 41: Wow, stuff happens!

Let's take a stroll around Saraband and see what people have to say. Quite a bit of dialogue is different.



The Republican officials, on the other hand, are pretty thrifty.

Once again reinforcing the differences in wealth between the two countries.



Saraband's guard is second-rate, in case we forgot from the start of Synbios' story.




Quite a few people recognize Medion as one of the princes, and everybody seems to like him for some reason.




Well, I guess this is one of the reasons. “Medion is hot” is kind of a running joke in scenario 2.



My daughter-in-law was weeping because of her husband's death. Well, she WAS weeping. After she saw you through the window, she's been acting strange. I wonder what's gotten into her.

A running joke that reaches some pretty drat strange conclusions.



As he requested before he left, I will send his doves to spread the news. His younger brother Jade will surely seek revenge for him.

Bit of a strange departure from Synbios' version, but it makes sense. Despite the scene we saw with Synbios last scenario, without a witness to provide an alibi for Synbios, the rumors that he's responsible for the slaughter take hold. In case you're wondering, if Garosh lives, this NPC confirms that he went to go see Garvin and please on Synbios' behalf. Take a wild guess as to how much good it does.




The bulk of his forces have been annihilated. He escaped up that mountain trail with but a single platoon left alive. Unfortunately, there is a slight problem, General Spiriel. When we were searching for Varlant, his soldiers disappeared. It seems as if his remaining forces have separated and are in hiding. Let's find them and annihilate them, General.

His army is separated and hiding in the mountains, waiting to deceive our eyes, and then regroup at the suspension bridge northeast of here. It will be inconvenient if they are allowed to regroup. Now that Varlant has let his army fall apart, it is the perfect opportunity to destroy them! Spiriel army! Pursue Varlant up the Dusty mountain trail!

Ouch, guess Varlant got soundly beaten. If you remember from the introduction of all the Imperials from Synbios' point of view, Crewart left his own army to reinforce Spiriel's and protect them from an ambush. Guess Varlant was just outnumbered.




With a little bit of fun with the lighting, Basanda teleports in.

Dessheren and Goriate have already departed. We must also hurry to Dusty Village.

Basanda avoids involvement in this battle?



Fiale has a similar trick.

That's what we shall do as well. Keep quiet and hide until the ship arrives.

That man! He's the one General Crewart was talking to!

The Medion army! What do you want from me?



He was seen talking with Crewart and is in company of masked monks!

He is worthy of capture, but a band of masked monks have appeared to the north. Which should we deal with first?

We will likely gain valuable information if we capture the one who spoke with General Crewart. Let's advance on the priest's group!

Capture me? That's hilarious. Come and get me if you think you can.





And that starts the next fight. This clearly takes place after the Synbios army barges in on the Basalmo inn only to find the four high priests have somehow escaped, apparently through teleportation. Though the fight uses mostly the same map as Synbios' third fight, the north expands a bit more, not that we'll be exploring that way much. However, that group of soldiers by Balsamo looks a bit familiar...




Hah! So Crewart's army didn't attack Varlant at all, but was actually left behind to guard the Bulzome. The new enemies only have a point of stats above the monks and bats, but they wield axes. Medion gets to keep weapon advantage, but Campbell loses it. The captain has a spear type weapon, so Medion is going to be at a disadvantage while we have nobody at an advantage. Dealing with that this early is a bit of a pain.



Also, this is Grantack, our advisor for the entirety of scenario 2. He's a dragonman who works as a tactician for the Destonian Empire, and that's about all we know about him. For the most part, he's here to act as the brains of the outfit and not much else.




On the first turn, Basanda and Fiale both take their posses and move towards the corners of the map. Synbios fought both of them, and they retain the same stats, so they're clearly here as window dressing again.



What? The Crewart army, you would dare attack Prince Medion's army?

That's nonsense. An Imperial army could not be so small. Don't be fooled! Obey General Crewart's order and protect the priests.

What should we do, Prince Medion?

It sounds like they know something about what happened to my father. Whoever they're allied with, they know something. We need to get past them!

I can't agree with you more, Prince Medion. If these priests hold a clue to the emperor's whereabouts, we can't let them get away!

It's not our preference to battle our own countrymen, but if they attack, we must fight back.

It's kind of hilarious that Imperial soldiers don't recognize their own prince.



On the third turn, Basanda reaches Dusty Village and vanishes. She still leaves behind three monks for us to deal with.



Medion now has weapon advantage over masked monks. Whether this is a rapier thing or something added in scenario 2 to make it a bit easier, I don't know.



Syntesis smacks the hell out of a monk, because they only do one damage to everyone even at level 1.






But here's a cool new thing about scenario 2! Now when characters level up, they get a little fanfare and a victory pose. It's a nice little touch, especially with the extra details on the character models.



After slapping around some monks and bats that I didn't screencap because they were completely uninteresting, we already have our first support. For some reason, it feels like supports build much faster in scenario 2.



A soldier hits Campbell for 3 damage, which is a significant chunk considering he's our tank. Weapon advantage counts for a lot this early in the game.



It doesn't take much time to polish off the two soldiers who broke away, though. Medion and Campbell together kill the first one, and then Syntesis and Uryudo kill the other in a single round.



Once you break past a certain point, we get a sequence just like last time.



I am looking forward to the day we meet again.



That was General Crewart's ship, and we are fighting his army. Surely, he must have left behind some evidence.

That's true. That priest might have left some clues behind. Head toward the town of Balsamo!



Afterwards, two more soldiers break off and are cleaned up in short order.



This leaves us with two more soldiers and the captain in heavy terrain.




I made the mistake of blowing all of Syntesis' MP on the earlier soldiers, so we're walking into the boss without much firepower.




Medion can hammer down on the soldiers easily enough, but...




That weapon disadvantage does not work out to his advantage at all.



But it does mean we get this along the way!



Campbell, however, still manages to do decent damage.



So we're just kind of stuck like this for a while. Medion, Campbell, and Syntesis beat on the leader for a few turns while Uryudo continues to shove medical herbs down Medion's throat, because one critical is all it takes for Medion to die.



But the inevitable happens, and we end the fight with everybody at level 3!



Tell me, why are you guarding Balsamo?

The Synbios army is in Balsamo...

And why did you keep us out of the city rather than capture him immediately?

We were acting on Prince Arrawnt's orders... The other princes' armies were also to be considered obstructions....

So he is aware of the situation and attacked Balsamo to capture Benetram and take all the credit.

Arrawnt has been using trickery to increase his chance of inheriting the throne. That's such a disgrace.

We received orders to guard Balsamo until General Crewart returned. We can't let anyone steal Benetram from us...



This is an excellent opportunity to get to the bottom of this... and gain some respect in the process. Let's get Benetram!




However, it doesn't look like we took care of Crewart's entire unit.




What was that? I don't see anything over there that could have caused an explosion.

The explosion was no accident. The blast was too large to ignore.

The timing of the blast is odd, but we mustn't do anything to draw attention. We don't want to wind up arrested.

To set off such a large explosion and risk being arrested by the Imperial army... Whoever did this is certainly bold.

Perhaps, but that is not why we're here. We came to find Benetram and figure out what Crewart's relationship to that priest is.

There must be something, some clue to be found here in Balsamo. Let's look around.

NEXT TIME: Hot on the trail!

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

I think rapiers count as holy, the same way that staves do.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


While Medion doesn't get any respect from his family and peers, handsome enough to make widows forget their husbands is a hell of a consolation prize.

Raitzeno
Nov 24, 2007

What? It seemed like
a good idea at the time.


Lotish posted:

While Medion doesn't get any respect from his family and peers, handsome enough to make widows forget their husbands is a hell of a consolation prize.

Royal status, even lovely disrespected royal status, is probably the sexiest facial feature you can find in a medieval setting.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

Medion is well liked by the peasantry of the empire, but the rest of the nobility wouldn't care if he fell in a ditch and died, the reasons for this will become clear soonish.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


As far as I've read into it, the majority of the nobility don't care for Medion because his mother is a commoner, which has already been explained once or twice.

Also, I'm thinking to change the thread title to indicate we've moved on to scenario 2, but I'm bad at witty titles. Any suggestions?

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

inthesto posted:

As far as I've read into it, the majority of the nobility don't care for Medion because his mother is a commoner, which has already been explained once or twice.

Also, I'm thinking to change the thread title to indicate we've moved on to scenario 2, but I'm bad at witty titles. Any suggestions?

That's pretty much it.




Shining Force 3 disk 2: A Machine for Killing Centaurs.

Shadow Ninja 64
May 21, 2007

"I stood there, wondering why the puck was getting bigger...

and then it hit me."




Shining Force 3 Disc 2: Oh my gosh, he is so handsome.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


Shadow Ninja 64 posted:

Shining Force 3 Disc 2: Oh my gosh, he is so handsome.

This has my vote, if we're doing that.

Raitzeno
Nov 24, 2007

What? It seemed like
a good idea at the time.


Shining Force 3, Disc 2: The Triumphant Return of Oh gently caress, It's Dantares

alcharagia
Apr 23, 2008

YOU'RE NOBODY


Shadow Ninja 64 posted:

Shining Force 3 Disc 2: Oh my gosh, he is so handsome.

I'm loving it.

Serifina
Oct 30, 2011

So... dizzy...


Raitzeno posted:

Shining Force 3, Disc 2: The Triumphant Return of Oh gently caress, It's Dantares

This gets my vote.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


Raitzeno posted:

Shining Force 3, Disc 2: The Triumphant Return of Oh gently caress, It's Dantares
Hell yeah.

Van Dine
Apr 17, 2013



Shadow Ninja 64 posted:

Shining Force 3 Disc 2: Oh my gosh, he is so handsome.

All the suggestions so far are good, but I like this one the best. May the game contain many instances of swooning over Medion, the instant but slightly inappropriate cure for widows heartbroken with grief. Copies of his portrait should be prescribed by doctors.

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

and then we'll have pancakes to celebrate and I'll be like EURGNOMEHREUGN.



Shadow Ninja 64 posted:

Shining Force 3 Disc 2: Oh my gosh, he is so handsome.

hey, if it's going to be a running theme then I vote for this one.

Does this mean that Scenario 2 is basically everyone else's side of the story?

vibratingsheep
Nov 2, 2013

Fudou, Gunzou. The Face of the Franchise Killer. 2004.


Shining Force 3 Scenario 2: Medion. He's so hot right now.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Aces High posted:

Does this mean that Scenario 2 is basically everyone else's side of the story?

The basic outline is that he first two chapters are going to be Medion following around Synbios until the end of Synbios' chapter 3 (fight versus Garzel and Edmund). After that, Medion fucks off and does his own thing which really has nothing to do anything until scenario 3.

Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

inthesto posted:

The basic outline is that he first two chapters are going to be Medion following around Synbios until the end of Synbios' chapter 3 (fight versus Garzel and Edmund). After that, Medion fucks off and does his own thing which really has nothing to do anything until scenario 3.

That isn't quite true, Medion's final chapter once again lines up with Synbios's final chapter pretty well. But really, when you think about it I don't think Medion's middle chapters are as out of place as you claim. It has a couple purposes that are important to the overall story that kind of parallel those of Synbios, discovering more about the cult and vandals, and what is going on with the empire

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

Fucking blocks... I'm gonna climb the shit outta you!


Medion's story is pretty interesting, because it's pretty much the opposite of what I thought it'd be. Medion seemed like the "cooler, more competent" Synbios to me, at least in Scenario 1 - probably because he kept showing up to pull Synbios out of a crisis. So seeing that he's actually pretty marginalised among his own people is interesting.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


geri_khan posted:

Medion's story is pretty interesting, because it's pretty much the opposite of what I thought it'd be. Medion seemed like the "cooler, more competent" Synbios to me, at least in Scenario 1 - probably because he kept showing up to pull Synbios out of a crisis. So seeing that he's actually pretty marginalised among his own people is interesting.

He can be cooler and more competent. I think the point of what we've seen so far is that despite that, he's basically being backstabbed by his brothers and their apparatus of power.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 42: No loot for Medion




As we talk to NPCs, a lot of them trust Medion. Remember, we're in Imperial territory, and people know who he is.




And there's our obligatory swoon for the update. If I can dig these out on a regular basis, it might merit its own counter.



Speaking of counters.

OFID Counter: 14

This one kills me, because it's not some faceless NPC saying it. This is a player character in our army who straight up admits to being afraid of Dantares.



A nice recap from scenario 1, even if the old guy is too senile to properly interpret events. If the Bulzome Sect was holed up in the inn and Synbios' army looked ready to spill blood, then the logical conclusion is quite the opposite of “they're working together”.



And now it's spelled out for us plainly. Due to the fact that Medion's mother isn't nobility, Medion himself is quite a bit more sympathetic towards commoners. Not that we ever see evidence of this outside of switching point. But anyways.




Time for a quick stop by the item shop to pop a few items we'll grab at the end of the game.



And this. We're going to need it.



I'm so weak I can't even walk. I feel like I'm going to die... How long can I endure this?

Well, this looks kind of familiar.



Now, I might be mistaken and Waltz shows up elsewhere or not at all in Synbios' scenario, but I like to think this is a clever bit of writing by Camelot. Assuming these two pain-wracked characters are the same, then it means Synbios only sees an Imperial soldier in uniform whereas Medion sees the individual person suffering. Less than showing difference in character, it's a good demonstration of otherization in the game.




I've been cured! What? It was just poison? If I'd known that, I wouldn't have had to endure all that pain. So, in the name of our great Empire, I wish to join your force! I will be a great asset to your army. By the way, Prince Medion, I think those Bulzome monks know something about the emperor's abduction. We should investigate.



As Waltz suggested, we should investigate those masked monks. Dusty Village would be a good place to start. Just before the abduction, messengers were being frequently sent back and forth between the Bulzome Sect and Dusty Village. We have heard many rumors about Dusty Village. It is said to be a haven for bandits. It would certainly be worth checking out.

I don't think that sequence was actually mandatory. In order to progress the plot, we have to go back to Duncan's house, where he less-than-inconspicuously covered the path to Synbios.




The following dialogue is really hard to follow along in the screenshots, and I honestly wouldn't know who is talking if it weren't for the script I got from the hackers. Because cutting out the sprites would be ugly, Duncan (the old ex-adventurer) will be and Toby (the kid) will be

The Imperial soldiers at the town entrance think King Benetram and the Synbios army abducted the emperor, but the emperor wasn't with them.

The true culprit behind the emperor's abduction is someone else, no doubt.

King Benetram said the same thing. That he'd find the true culprit at any cost.

King Benetram sounded as if he had an idea about what's going on.

And just what did King Benetram think?



I will not lie. I helped the Republican army escape. However, this child was not involved. Please don't blame him.

Wh... What are you saying, Duncan? We both helped the Synbios army get away!

Common citizens who disobey the Empire are punished severely!

W... Wait a moment, please. We don't wish to harm you!

Are you saying you're an Imperial army which doesn't mistreat citizens even if they have acted against your will?

I've never heard of anything like it... The Empire is an aristocratic society. Citizens are expected to obey, or so I thought.

Imperial citizens may not go hungry, but it's still a brutal authoritarian state.

By listening to the voice of the people, Prince Medion has learned of the deplorable state of the Empire.

You're... Prince Medion? It is said you were born to a common woman...

That may be true, citizen, but aren't you being a bit too forward in your first meeting with an Imperial prince?

I... I'm sorry for my rudeness... It's just... an Imperial prince has come to my house...

We're glad that Prince Medion has forgiven us... But you can't possibly forgive the Imperial army for their deeds.

I have no idea what this line is supposed to mean.

We are an army, not an enforcement squad. You need not fear us.

As the Prince said, we will not punish innocent people. We just want to find out the truth and get the emperor back.

It is uncommon to hear such things from Imperial soldiers. You may mean what you say, but it is hard for me to believe.

I can see how words of justice from an Imperial army sound strange, but in the case of the Medion army, they are true.

Then why do you search for the Synbios army?

The tension caused by the emperor's abduction is escalating into a full scale war between the Empire and the Republic. If the Republic didn't abduct the emperor... war between the two countries can be avoided, Toby.

If we can catch up to the Synbios army and get the truth out of them, then we can avoid any further bloodshed.

I'm sorry to say, you are a little too late.

Too late for what?

We blasted the well, so the Republican army could not be followed.

The well was the entrance to a secret tunnel that led to the other side of the river. After the Synbios army used the passage, I destroyed the well.

So that explains the explosion...

Obright, a soldier of the Republic who saved my life, was with them. I didn't want them to be caught.

By now, they're probably passing through Dwarf Valley.




Grantack, what do you believe is our next move, then? How shall we pursue the Synbios army?

The Synbios army must be heading towards the Republic. We should head in that direction as well.



Yoink!

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's time for Medion to keep chasing Synbios, because that's all we're going to be doing for two chapters.






The Saraband frontline battalion has not returned from their mission. These people may be responsible. We have Governor Garvin's blessing. This is our chance. We can go on a rampage until our heart's content!



This shall be retribution for your attack on the Crewart army. Prepare for painful justice!

Have they gone mad? Damned Crewart army! They know we are the Medion army, yet they still intend to bury us here.

Must we fight our own countrymen? That could constitute treason!

If we are assaulted, even if it is by someone of our own Empire, we have a right to defend ourselves. It's the law of the battlefield.

Now, just this once, let's show the Crewart army just how fearsome the Medion army is!

Once again, Crewart is clearly in league with the Bulzome, and is trying to cover his evidence trail. Also, the Saraband guard (i.e. Garvin's army) is badly misinformed and entirely too eager to kill Medion when it should be incredibly obvious that the death of their comrades is Synbios' responsibility.





We've got a handful of Crewart soldiers up front and a bunch of Saraband knights in the back.





Saraband knights are actually a downgrade from soldiers, having one less HP, once again proving that Sarabands military is pathetic. The fact that they have lances is just a gimme to Rock.

Waltz walks in with the highest ATT value in the entire squad though the tradeoff is she has the weakest defense. Rock follows her up on ATT but also sports the highest DEF and has a playground due to a total lack of swords.



There's not much to say about the beginning of the fight. Poke your head out a little too far to the south, and a two or three of the knights will run on over to help out. It doesn't matter too much, since these enemies aren't threatening.



After mopping them up, you're free to take care of the two Crewart soldiers who are to the north of the mountain. They have extremely short aggro ranges, so you generally don't have to worry about getting overwhelmed in a brawl.



Once they're taken care of, we cut through the hills and forest to the last two knights. I suppose you could take the long path around south and by Saraband, but it makes no difference.



With a battle erupting between the Imperial armies and with the Saraband army getting involved, no one is keeping law and order. This is a chance for us bandits to make some easy gold. As the boss instructed, let's communicate the new orders to our allies in all areas. We must seize this opportunity!

With that, the thieves hop off. While this is a giant reminder about bonus dungeons in case we forgot them from scenario 1, it's also a patching up of supposed plot holes. This is more or less telling us that infighting between Imperial armies has been orchestrated by Basanda, and that the information network between the bandits that Synbios had to deal with is allowed to operate freely as a result.





Once the thieves bounce off, some new guys appear – a regular monk, two priests, and a mage. They're packing some pretty mean spells, but they also have very short aggro ranges, so more on them later.



We have more immediate enemies to take care of. Minimal commentary here because there's not much to them other than the fact that they have weapon advantage over Medion.




Details on Waltz and Rock's models. Once again, they have quite a bit more detail over their counterparts from before (Justin and Obright/Horst).




We all know the drill to this. Grantack says some stuff, but I believe it's identical to Benetram's lines.



This also happens to keep us busy, but everyone except for Uryudo can one-shot them at this point.



Pretty straightforward map, as is expected this early in the game. There's one thief who starts pretty close to the locked chest.



There's also a chest close to us that we can pop open by ourselves.



As you can also glean in this shot, there's a path down the middle, but it's got sand and barrels. For the curious, the chest contained a silver ring. A decent item this early in the game.




Syntesis busts down a barrel, which clears a path for Campbell to catch up and stab the thief for wonderful prizes. You'll notice that the exit is blocked off by sand, which is the only reason we have enough time for Campbell to get there.



The thief can't move very far in the sand at all, so Campbell gets a bit of extra experience from killing him.



Once we're out, we may as well do something about that defense problem Waltz has.



Once the monks move in, things can get a bit sticky as the enemy has three powerful spellcasters and we're bogged down by forest.



It's not too much, but it's still the most serious damage we've come across yet.










Take out one of the priests packing Tornado before he can finish off Rock or Uryudo.



Now I can fire back in equal power!




Patching up damage so another Freeze 2 won't two-for-one me.



While it's only down to one priest and one mage, the mage still has a hefty 42 HP. It's only the third fight in the game, and it's definitely no pushover. This is emphasized by the fact that there were a good number of enemies before this, so Syntesis is running on empty by now. Uryudo also ran out of MP a while ago and has been tossing medical herbs around.




Another close call averted.










But Rock takes out the priest and now it's down to taking advantage of the mage's wimpy physical stats.



He doesn't last a round after that, and we even pick up a Goddess Tear.



It appears they challenged us even though they knew we were the Medion army. Were they trying to hide something from us?

It is beginning to get dark as well. It may be too dangerous to proceed at night.

Dusty Village is just over yonder. If we are tired, it seems prudent that we rest there.

With Dusty Village's reputation, staying there overnight would be just as dangerous as advancing through the darkness.

We are a professional standing army and can handle any danger fate may throw at us. If we are to be attacked, I'd rather we did it with food and shelter nearby.

As hungry as we all are, we aren't prepared for battle. We might be able to get a meal in that town of rogues. Shall we enter Dusty Village?

I would welcome some food and rest. Let's prepare for tomorrow's battle!



NEXT TIME: More tie-ins from scenario 1!

inthesto fucked around with this message at May 8, 2014 around 03:25

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


geri_khan posted:

Medion's story is pretty interesting, because it's pretty much the opposite of what I thought it'd be. Medion seemed like the "cooler, more competent" Synbios to me, at least in Scenario 1 - probably because he kept showing up to pull Synbios out of a crisis. So seeing that he's actually pretty marginalised among his own people is interesting.

Glazius posted:

He can be cooler and more competent. I think the point of what we've seen so far is that despite that, he's basically being backstabbed by his brothers and their apparatus of power.

Hopefully, a bit of this was cultivated on my part. When writing Synbios' lines, I tried to give him a breathe some extra character into him, since none of the protagonists get much of one. I made Synbios the headstrong and aggressive one with a notable lack of manners (if you go back and read, I specifically made sure that Synbios almost never addresses anyone with their title, including his own king). My reasoning was that Conrad, being a true believer in the ideals of the Republic, would groom his own son to embody a new set of social values, which included casting away niceties which only reinforced the old caste system. I tried to give Synbios a voice that indicated every time he ran headfirst into danger, it's because he genuinely believes it's the right thing to do and possibly doesn't even understand that there are other options. Hopefully, this will stand out in contrast to Medion as I write for him over the arc of scenario 2.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

You've run into the smilie limit! ... I wonder how many times they've been rehosted onto lpix by various people who've been using them to represent minor characters.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


I was wondering what the hell was going on there. I'll fix it in a bit, and hopefully that will never happen again as there shouldn't be another extended dialogue that involves a faceless NPC.

Kacie
Nov 11, 2010

Imagining a Brave New World


Syntesis's name bothers me every time - so close, yet so far from Synthesis, which has to have been her intended name. Not far from "Synbios", either, which is also tricking my brain as I read.

Grantack must be short for Grand Tactician -- which strikes me as the "telling instead of showing" version of lazy storytelling, and reinforces the idea that he's the generic replacement for Benetram.

Thanks very much for LP'ing this, inthesto. I stumbled upon Shining Force late, but loved it to pieces - it was my first SRPG. I loved the gameplay of SF2, but the story seemed far more blah (not that 1's was that original, but I liked it).

I was really looking forward to SF3 and getting the Saturn to play it...and then yeah. SF3 never quite made it. You're now LPing something that I would dearly have loved to play back in the day. I confess I hate the blocky 3D, and pine for the 2D sprites of the previous games, which only makes me more happy you're playing so I don't have to.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 43: Our first synchronization point




The next morning starts out with a cat who finds its way to Syntesis. It's a cute tour of the town, but we'll be seeing most of it on our own, and it's not very big anyway.



I will admit, this town is not as uninhabitable as its reputation had us believe.

It reminds me of downtown Destonia. I used to visit in between fencing practices... Me and Prince Medion...

Campbell, you... I hope you didn't take Prince Medion to any places of ill repute!

While this could be easily be interpreted as something less savory, it's much more amusing to imagine Medion and Campbell getting crunk in the club.

When I joined the Medion army, I was finally liberated from the slums. Now this place is bringing back unpleasant memories. Let's get out of here before the fleas find us.

We must find Synbios, who undoubtedly holds a clue to the emperor's abduction. However, there are other matters to attend to here before we depart.

Like what we were talking about last night. We must collect information in this village to try to figure out what the masked Bulzome monks are up to.

There's a connection between those dangerous monks, the Crewart army, and Dusty Village. If we investigate carefully, we may find something.

I have my suspicions that the large mansion at the other end of this village may contain some information for us.

But first things first.



A dogge! The only reason I brought this up is because, if you talk to it several times, it has more than one barking line. Don't believe me?





What an incredibly amusing, if useless, detail.





The second we move past the midpoint of the town, we're interrupted by a cutscene. This is quite nice, because it's around here where scenario 2 starts to play with angles and shots that are absent in scenario 1. Basanda just looking down casually from a window is a nice touch for some reason.

What's the situation with her army?

They are on their own, acting independently.

Our opportunity is finally here. I'll be right down.



Naturally, she teleports down.

I have a little errand to take care of. I hope you don't mind my sudden departure, Shiraf.



I might... After our plan succeeds.

Please send my greetings to Prince Arrawnt and General Crewart.




Notice how the barrel next to Shiraf is gone? He punted it off the screen, and I managed to miss capping it. Looks like he's quite smitten with her and throws a temper tantrum after she leaves.



How scandalous! A man of high standing like the prince would never do anything like that!

OMGHSH Counter: 3



When we step out onto the balcony of the inn.




I'm here. What is it? Well? Out with it!

Our squad was scouting around in the Empire, as you ordered. Well, in the cargo area of Railhead we...

Morons! You went to Railhead! That is Garvin's territory! If you dare to touch Garvin's property, he will not take this lightly! Do you know what kind of revenge awaits us?

Well... um... I didn't... think...

I'll have to take care of that myself. As long as his property remains untouched, we should be alright. Now what's this big trouble you were yelling about?

In the cargo hold at Railhead, we saw Synbios and his army!

Synbios is at Railhead already!

In the cargo hold area!? I'm in no mood for jokes!

No mistake, Boss... and Benetram was with them!

If this is true... Hmm, but what would they be doing there?

With Imperial border guards in the town, they were probably worried about running into them.

That means... Just like High Priestess Basanda said, they will try to return to the Republic by train.

With border guards arriving, do you think they were trying to hide amongst the cargo to get onto the train, Boss?

Have we wiped out the Synbios army yet?

Actually we were defeated...

Useless wimps! Where are they now?

They left the town, met a suspicious mercenary, and headed off towards the railway switching point.

I see. They are still trying to get on the train. Good! BANDITS! Gather round!



That's quite an air force he's got.

Looks like we've found our bounty heads, Synbios and Benetram! Too bad most of our men are out exploring ruins. And the border guards will be waiting at the railway switching point. If the border guards don't get them, it will be our chance to finish them off. Get it? Everyone clear?

We need more men, Boss!

You two! Go round up our mates. The rest of you birdmen carry us... We will meet up at the train. Everyone ready to go?




Did you hear that, Prince Medion? Synbios and his army were in Railhead. And now they're heading for the railway switching point.

I don't think we can catch up with Shiraf and his men if we take the road west of this village.

Surely, if we venture that way, they will have allies ready to ambush us.

No, they have too much of a head start, however... Yesterday General Spiriel took a path through the mountains. If we use the same route, we could get to the switching point in time.

Right now, we can book it out of Dusty Village, but we've got some more snooping around to do. Namely, if we leave the balcony and come back:



Why are you... Shouldn't you be battling the Republican forces under General Garzel's command?

I couldn't stand Garzel's army, so I decided to continue alone.

How did you end up here?

I decided to investigate Balsamo. I found out the Bulzome Sect rented an entire inn there. I ran into King Benetram, along with the captive emperor, when they entered the inn. And unfortunately I was captured.

It appears you managed to get away!

Actually, I was rescued...

Was it the Crewart army?

Come to think of it, it is very strange. Synbios of the Republic rescued me. At the time, I thought he was one of the abductors. So, I must confess I threw some abrasive words at him and ran off.

This only proves how far we are trailing behind the Synbios army. We must make haste to catch him!

I agree, Prince Medion. It's vital we catch up to Lord Synbios. We need to discover the truth!

So why did you come here?

I discovered a connection between the Bulzome Sect, Dusty Village, and Shiraf. When I was freed, I decided this place was worth investigating as well.

It seems that both you and I have discovered much evidence here.

I wish to re-join the military now that my short career as a spy is over. I would like to become part of the Medion army, where I feel I belong. Prince Medion, from now on, it will be my honour to follow you!

And like that, we have our second archer. Naturally, he won't be recruitable if you don't save him in scenario 1. For some reason, I was assuming he'd be a mage, but he's definitely holding a bow there.

There's finally some ransacking to do, as this is the first location that isn't shared with Synbios. I forgot to screencap most of it, but we get a medical herb, antidote, bright honey, goddess tear, battle bracer, and 100 gold coins. The first two aren't important, but the rest is quite nice. The battle bracer goes on Bernard, because buffing archers is a beautiful thing.



We bust into Shiraf's mansion because the NPC flavor dialogue isn't terribly interesting outside of it.



The mistress is in a VERY bad mood this morning.

Seems fairly obvious that Basanda is leading on Shiraf so he'll do her gruntwork. Fafhard would be so upset if he knew.



Shiraf is a bit of a vain prick, keeping portraits of himself like that around.



Well, I can understand why Shiraf's wife is so upset, even if Shiraf hasn't slept with Basanda.



One of the deals from the item shop. Unlike usual, we actually will buy this one. It'll come in handy at some point. The other deal is a potion, which we happily let sit in the store. Also, I stock up on a ton of medical herbs, because we'll be needing them.




This mountain path is steeper than I thought it'd be. We should take our time and be careful.

Hold, Sir Campbell. I hear something atop the mountain.



It's already a bit past the meeting time we agreed to. I wonder if the Varlant army will still be waiting for us?

Let's get a move on! We'll need to pick up the pace if we're going to catch up with the main force.



Regardless of the injuries that we suffered during our battle with the bandits,w e won't lose to such a meager force. Let's show them no mercy! All troops prepare for battle! We'll meet the Imperial army head on!

They appear ready to attack. Doesn't look like we'll be able to avoid a battle. Let's be prepared, Prince Medion.

Prince Medion, our enemies have a great advantage from their higher position in the battlefield. Do not let your guard down!

Yeah, except height doesn't really mean much in this game. I really wish games where elevation doesn't matter would stop trying to pretend that it does in the dialogue.





Mostly a climb upwards, but again, being on lower ground doesn't actually matter.



Bernard is not too far off from Waltz, but there's not going to be much stat spread at this low level. I don't know how their stats compare in the long run, because scenario 2 gives you so many drat archers, it's hard to keep track of them all. What, you didn't think they were going to just give us two archers early and leave it at that, did you?

We've finally got some real new enemies to contend with, though:





Nothing too rough. If we maintain weapon advantage, then we do about 50% of an enemy's HP in one shot. On the other hand, their damage will range from 2 – 5, depending on whether or not they use weapon advantage on me.

Also, there's bats here. I don't know why.






Why waste time?



Unlike last battle, the enemy AI is very aggressive. The units will keep trickling down, just slowly enough that they won't overwhelm you, but certainly keep you busy for plenty of turns. It got bad enough that I had to pull Medion out of the fight while Uryudo ran around throwing heals and medical herbs at everyone.



However, Medion did pick up his first rank in rapiers, with a critical called Triangle. It stabs three times with some fun hitsparks.



Bernard's combat model. Not quite as detailed as everyone else's for some reason.



After five or six turns, we defeat two or three waves of reinforcements and are ready to climb upwards.



Oh no, they have the higher ground!



Oh no, it completely doesn't matter! Now I send Uryudo and Syntesis back down to deal with that archer that was too slow to flank us through that really steep stairway down the right.



And get this as a result.




I pick up a few more nice things while I dick around against some enemies who pose no threat. If I hadn't stocked up on medical herbs, Uryudo would have been out of gas by the time the waves of downward enemies had ended, but I know how to come prepared. Medical herbs are dirt cheap, and an easy source of experience for healers.



This knight here is the boss, but has exactly the same stats as the other knights on the map. Yawn, it's a filler battle, nothing to spend too much time thinking about.



We bought King Benetram more time, but we missed our own chance to escape. Now death awaits. All of this... Ugh... because the Empire and Saraband set us up. Imperial bastards... You'll pay for this... You'll get what you deserve!

Saraband and the Empire? Could our allies have conspired to frame the Republic?

Is the Republican army involved? Or have they been innocent all along? I'm not so sure anymore...

It is difficult to say, Campbell. But what happened here only reassured me that we need to meet up with the Synbios army. Once we cross this mountain, we'll come to the switching point. If we speak with the Synbios force there, perhaps we will be able to ascertain the truth. Let's go.



NEXT TIME: Switching point 2.0!

Shadow Ninja 64
May 21, 2007

"I stood there, wondering why the puck was getting bigger...

and then it hit me."




That there is one dull, brown mountain.

Hoss Corncave
Feb 13, 2012


inthesto posted:

NEXT TIME: Switching point 2.0!

And it is far more pleasant this time.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


I did not picture Shiraf as the kind of guy to have a huge mansion, or to be married.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Aw. I was expecting a throwdown on the streets of town. I guess it was not to be.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


Shadow Ninja 64 posted:

That there is one dull, brown mountain.
Yeah, some of the levels later on feel just as half-assed, especially with that same foggy effect around.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 44: Switching Point revisited

Okay, the next part of the game crashes my emulator, so I'm gonna have to do the scene in Japanese. Luckily, I hit up one of the translators for a copy of the script, so nothing's lost.



The Japanese title screen, for the curious.




Look, there's the switching point!

That looks like a border guard battalion stationed at the switching point. If the Synbios army shows up, a battle will certainly ensue.




Ah, this is bad! Those people are refugees. If they try to cross this area, they'll be attacked by the border guards.



Hm... and over there is... Yes, that's the Republican General Varlant. His presence will complicate the situation even more.



It seems more Imperial troops have arrived. The stage is rather crowded, but where is Synbios?

We seem to have come upon a rather difficult situation. The refugees are in danger from both the border guards and the Republican army.

We can barely hear them from over here. Let's get a little closer.



I won't let you do that, General Varlant!

drat, we've been flanked...



Border guards, your infamy is well known. I won't let you punish these people so mercilessly.

You've failed me Varlant. Punishing those that seek asylum within Aspinia is against the very principles upon which the Republic was founded.

Well, well, the Synbios army. I suppose it's foolish of me to ask, but are you here to assist me?

If you remember this scene from scenario 1, Synbios had a yes/no choice here. If we answered yes, we'll get the following line:

If you require assistance, then I shall gladly provide it. However, I ask that you vow to cooperate with me to keep those refugees from becoming targets.

The line for answering no:

We do not intend to stand by and allow you to place military considerations above humanity.

Shut up, you snot nosed whelp! What do you know? Peace is kept because of us soldiers. No country can survive without a military!

You've been through many fierce battles, and your anger is understandable. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be better if we could return to the Republic peacefully?

How many have died due to Imperial plots!? I've lost so many soldiers... I'll kill every last Imperial soldier and burn the Empire to the ground!

Have you lost your mind, General Varlant? You don't appear willing to listen to reason. If so, we must fight the both of you...

My army will take care of the mad General Varlant!



I heard everything, King Benetram. Also, it seems you've gone through quite an ordeal, Lord Synbios.

Prince Medion? Why have you come here?

We will discuss the details later. I came here to speak with you, but we must take care of this threat first!

People can't choose where they're born but they should have the right to choose where they live. Although it's a little discouraging to see people leaving their homeland...

The military should protect the people, not oppress them, otherwise the nation will not survive!

Mark my words, you who threaten civilians seeking asylum are on thin ice! We, the Medion army, will not allow your sins to go unpunished!

And then we call back to another yes/no choice from scenario 1:



Yes:

We will trust our backs to you then, Prince Medion. As for protecting the refugees and defeating the border guards, we will not fail you.

No:

It seems there is nothing we can do for General Varlant. It's difficult to battle comrades, so leave the border guards and refugees to us.

We will handle General Varlant's forces. We'll make sure they don't lay a finger on those refugees!

Heh! Big talkers! You're lucky we took losses in a battle with the Spiriel army, otherwise you wouldn't stand a chance against us!

Syntesis... If you're scared, then it's fine to hide behind me.

Scared? Me? Please! You are the one who should be hiding behind me, Uryudo!

It seems everyone is strained. I'm sure we'll be fine. Don't worry, and do your best.

A nice touch to show that, in Medion's first fight with a real army, everyone's scared.




A mostly open field with a bunch of clumped up enemies. It looks tough, but this is about the point where everyone gets their first rank in weapons, meaning our attack power is getting a significant boost.






Nothing too spectacular in new enemies. Birdmen have decent all around stats, but we've got two archers, so they're basically flying targets. Varlant himself is a bit bigger, but is mostly a stack of hit points.




Feels good to open with a nice round of Blaze 2. With Masqurin's rank in rods, it gives her a nice boost to damage.



Medion runs in to finish off a dwarf.





Oops. Let's try that again.



Run in everyone to the first clusterfuck. Not difficult if you ram them straight through, but it's a bit trickier if we're trying to build supports. Campbell tends to sit around not doing anything since his support sucks. Anything that gets hit by Syntesis preferably gets finished by Uryudo, while Medion, Waltz, and Bernard are busy trying to become friends.



Syntesis also picks up our first life ring, which is a welcome addition on ma-



Huh, she can't equip it anymore.



Well, that's acceptable too.



One of the mages catches Campbell, Rock, and Waltz in a single cast of Blaze 2. Again, enemy casters don't have base affinities, but this is enough damage to be scary.



Still doesn't take long to clear out this little group to the north.



Then we move to the south, take out the knight, sniper, and priest there. After that, it's tangling with Varlant's group.



This isn't the time to praise our enemy, General. The Medion force has advanced too far. Should we request reinforcements from the Synbios army?

Heh. How do you expect me to ask for help now?



Giant floating Synbios head from nowhere.

Prince Medion will surely understand.

It's as Synbios says, Varlant. And then we'll all go peacefully back to Aspinia.

Do you expect me to withdraw from battle just because we are losing? Nonsense! I'd rather my army fight to the last man than limp away like cowards.

How did this guy get promoted to general again? Maybe this was one giant Machiavellian move by Benetram to get his worst general out of the way.



Varlant's got a unique model, unlike the Imperial generals from scenario 1. He also has that drat Dominion Ray attack.




Varlant's not joking around. That would have hurt a lot more if Medion didn't have the life ring.




More importantly, we need to clear out Varlant's subordinates before we get overwhelmed. Bernard and Waltz take care of the birdmen quickly.



Campbell crits the mage, wiping it out in one clean hit. Off screen, Syntesis and Uryudo beat the priest into submission.



Once we get to Varlant, his defenses aren't terribly high, so it's just four or five attacks before he goes down.





That was sadly underwhelming. I expect more from a critical attack with weapon advantage.




Syntesis finishes things off and picks up Varlant's hooch. All in all, a pretty easy fight, but we're only on the first chapter. Scenario 2 has plenty of time to crank things up to Thracia 776 difficulty.

Varlant has a farewell speech that I didn't see in the game, but it's in the script files I have.

Ugh, I've lost. Prince Medion... The Empire's forces are formidable... Synbios has defeated the border guard battalion... even without King Benetram's counsel... He has certainly grown strong... King Benetram taught me a commander must remain composed... I didn't heed his lessons in my final battle. Prince Medion, King Benetram is irreplaceable for the Republic. Please... spare him, if anyone... Urgh.



It is we who are indebted. No innocent blood was spilled thanks to you defeating the notorious border guards.

This bit of dialogue is slightly different if any of the refugees get killed. Luckily, I'm too good for that.

Since you pursued us this far, I'm sure there is much you would like to know. I will answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

The rumour in the Empire is that King Benetram abducted the emperor. First, tell us if that is true or not.

I'm sure you can tell by looking at us that we are not responsible. Had we abducted the emperor, he would be with us now.

However, the rumour isn't a complete fabrication. A false Benetram did assist in the abduction of the emperor. We witnessed the impostor earlier.



If we had answered yes:

It was likely the Benetram impostor who engineered the downfall of the peace conference as well. There is a possibility that he was impersonating Benetram in order to spark a war between the two countries.

No:

We have not yet discovered the true purpose behind the abduction. The breakdown of peace negotiations and the war breaking out seem to be a prelude to a greater plot.

I see, but are you sure that's all there is to it? When you defeated the border guard captain, he said 'the die is cast'... I wonder what he meant by that. If they intend to do more than just disrupt the peace conference, what larger goal could they have in mind?

One thing we do know is that the Bulzome Sect is the driving force behind all of this. Abducting the emperor and impersonating King Benetram are both their responsibility.

Do you have any information?

In the cargo area on the western edge of Saraband, we fought the monks of Bulzome, right before the abduction.

You battled them at the Saraband docks? To start a ruckus like that just before they snatched the emperor... Our enemies are quite audacious.

In other places, too... Everywhere we went, we encountered the Bulzome Sect pulling strings behind the scenes.

I'd imagine you would like to know the emperor's current whereabouts. We fell into a trap set by the four high priests of Bulzome, and were used as a decoy to distract the Imperial army, while the emperor was taken by ship.

That must have been the ship we saw earlier!

So we did have a chance to rescue my father, but we let them slip away right under our noses! My brothers are with the fleet, but Rogan's ship is also there.

Of course! We could seek the assistance of General Rogan and his ship, the Seagate. The general is one of the few who sympathizes with you, Prince. Let us make haste to Barrand!

I am sorry, we must take our leave. Lord Synbios, and everyone else, I shall pray for your safety.

Brave knight Dantares of the Republic, let us share a drink or two in the future.



To think that my father was so close, yet we let him slip away...

There wasn't much we could have done with the small number of troops we had anyway. However, with the help of General Rogan, we won't be outnumbered.

I have an idea. Wouldn't the waterway near Anafect be the shortest route to Barrand?

Anafect is to the east of this area, and from there, Barrand is directly across the waterway, right?

It should indeed be the fastest way. Let's go, Prince Medion.



Emperor Domaric's abduction threatens war between the Empire and Republic. The Medion army again met the Synbios army, who demonstrated innocence. They head to Barrand to gain General Rogan's aid. So begins Prince Medion's journey.



NEXT TIME: ???

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part ???





You should trust me more, sis. But to tell you the truth,the news that Shiraf was defeated helped us greatly, though it was still a hard fought battle.

I commend your effort, Zero!

The stranded passengers are now our responsibility, aren't they?

I also worry about the passengers, but they'd be in more danger with us. Leave them with railroad security.

Well then, what shall we do? We can enter Barrand from the northern mountain region. Then we could return to the Republic through the narrow valley.

It looks like a detour, but that route may be the fastest.

So we're going north from here.

What's going on, Julian? You have a smirk on your face. You're a strange one.

Do you know much about this region? To the north is Quonus Village. If I remember, it's said to be cursed.

Oh no, it's my first time in Destonia, Aspinia, and Quonus Village. Hmm, the cursed Quonus Village...

Let us get going, my Liege. We must reach Quonus Village before the sun goes down and moon comes up, otherwise we will end up sleeping under the stars.

Synbios, there's something Shiraf said that I can't seem to get my mind off of. He mentioned Prince Medion. Should something happen to him, the peace in the Republic will... Listen Zero, I must ask you for yet another favor. Fly over to Prince Medion, and then guard him well. If anything happens, you let us know.




Zero, one moment. I'd like to have a few words with you.

Yes, Lord Synbios?

Medion may be a friend of ours, but he's still an Imperial prince. Benetram has sent you to guard his life from Bulzome assassinations, but...

You want me to spy on him, sir?

His father is still Emperor Domaric. When the axe falls, I believe he will side with his family and nation over us. In that case, I want to be more prepared than he is. Send me reports on his movements, and more importantly, intelligence on his army.

I can do that, Lord Synbios.

One more thing, Zero. Benetram is sending you to guard Medion's life, but you're still a Republican soldier and he's still an Imperial prince. Don't risk your life for his, understood?

Understood, sir.

NEXT TIME: Get your voting pants on!

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 45: Oh, there's that Produn chap



Campbell, do you see any survivors?



It looks like this battle took place only a short while ago, but they all appear to be dead.

Same here... dead. It doesn't look like there are any survivors, not even one!

We've stumbled upon the site of a massive battle here, but it's peculiar... Garzel's soldiers, General Spiriel's White Knights, a Republican force, even a Bulzome monk!

Unfortunately, with no one left alive, there's no way to find out what happened here.

Look! A survivor!



We came to reinforce the Garzel army... We never imagined it was a trap... Basanda must have put a curse on General Spiriel... -cough- Pl... Please lift the curse on the general... Gaah!



That high priestess, Basanda apparently put a curse on General Spiriel, but why?

Do you think the battle between Garzel and Produn was staged for Spiriel to walk right into? Do you think that's possible, Prince Medion?

I think everyone is analyzing it too much!

How can you say that, Synthesis? Hearing that soldier's mysterious words... Everyone is wracking their brains. Do you know what he meant?

Not in the least! It was gibberish to me, but there is bound to be a clue somewhere that would explain things.

Then what do you suggest we do, Syntesis?

We could talk to the people of Anafect. I'm sure they must know something. Since this battle occurred near the town they might be able to shed some light on exactly what is going on.

You're sharp, Synthesis... It seems obvious after hearing it. Why didn't I think of that?

This battle... It all somehow seems related to everything we witnessed in Saraband. There must be a connection of some sort.

I agree, Campell. If we can figure out why this battle happened, everything else may fall into place.



And, in order to get to Barrand, we should ask the village chief if he has a boat that we can use!

Yes, yes. And while you're off taking care of that, the rest of us can grab some fresh fish at the local market and enjoy it at headquarters.




So, something that's new in scenario 2. If you press some button (it's bound to R2 on my controller but I have no idea what it is on the Saturn pad), then it will tell you which direction a certain building is. Pretty handy.



Also, last fight was so braindead easy, we're making things interesting. I doubt this will even begin to scratch Shining Force 2 Challenge Mode, but it should mean I at least have to pay attention while playing.








Scavenging for items.



Turns out I'm an idiot who picked the wrong equip option. Syntesis can equip the life ring, and she does.



Medion gets the gale ring instead, since it has an extra point of defense on it.



So true! We were already being pursued by the Garzel army, then when the Spiriel army joined them, we had no chance for victory.

And then that Bulzome high priestess showed up... It looked like she spoke briefly with Garzel, and then suddenly surrounded the Spririel army...

Yeah... General Spiriel was captured. Then the remaining forces moved north... What was that all about?

No clue... not the faintest. But, thanks to all that, we were able to make it out alive, and that's what counts, isn't it?

No doubt, we should be grateful to General Spiriel of the Empire...

Where's General Produn?

He went to find a ship. That's strange... He hasn't made it back yet.

Let's go look for him. Agreed?



He strongly supports the plan to decimate the Republic. Why didn't he annihilate the Produn army?

Something that's even more interesting... He captured General Spiriel, his fellow Imperial general, with the aid of the Bulzome Sect... What is he thinking?

That must mean he's in league with General Crewart, and plans on meeting with him on a boat...

That's it. If they're after a boat as we are, then we must beat them to it...

We need to meet with the village chief immediately and borrow the boat before they do.

The town of Anafect is a maze with lots of roadblocks, and frankly isn't that interesting. Let's just head on over to the town center to jump to the next bit of plot.




Don't think I'm a bad person, but my army has suffered great casualties.



General Produn! Please hurry!



Understood, Stella. Call everyone aboard and then we will depart. We've loaded enough provisions for the crossing... Everyone, hurry! Urgh, the Imperial army... Just as I thought, they're pursuing us!

Their numbers are not too great. Everyone, defeat the Imperial army!



What are you talking about? We know what we have to do. If we let the Produn army get away, we won't be able to get to Barrand.

But the Produn army is clearly broken and fleeing. To attack them while they are injured...

Although it pains the heart to pursue a fleeing enemy, we must have that ship. We must regain the ship by force!



So we have a long, winding map. Although it looks fast to get to the boat, this happens all the time.




It destroys a bunch of terrain to cut you off. It can't damage characters, but it serves to stop you from blasting through the map too quickly.



None of the enemies are new, but drat are they packing some upgraded stats. Jacking the difficulty up to insane really makes the difference.




Hmm, Produn has far superior stats, but Stella is flagged as the boss. This seems a bit suspicious.




First we go north and whack on the dwarves. The stat boosts actually aren't nearly as debilitating as you expect. Again, part of this is due to the fact that we're fresh off of our first weapon ranks, but also because this is the first fight of the chapter, which isn't supposed to be hard.



More destroyed map.




Syntesis cleans up the dwarves and Bernard smashes a birdman in one hit. To be fair, Bernard is the only character to get a weapon upgrade in this town, so he's a good 4 ATT ahead of everyone else. The weapon advantage helps too.




Waltz is no slouch on killing fliers either. Remember, they have 4 DEF more than last time.





I continue to push through the southern pier. While the enemies are a bit tougher, they're still not dangerous.



Once we get halfway through the map, weaving through all the broken docks, a new event triggers.




I understand, but if we don't retreat now, we put the entire army at risk. Please, return to the ship!



I'll release the ship as you ask, but how will we return to the Republic?







Please go now! Leave quickly! I'll deal with this Imperial army! I, Lieutenant Stella, of the Produn army, am hereby relieving General Produn of command for the remainder of this battle!



Stella now takes Produn's place, and Produn is out of the fight.



Even on insane difficulty, enemy mages don't gain element affinity.



It's just a matter of pushing through and taking enemies down one by one. Stella herself doesn't move, so we don't need to worry about her jumping in and wiping us out.





Birdmen are easy pickings, and beating on priests means they waste their turns healing themselves.



The +5 DEF from the gale ring is really helpful too.



Even my flimsier characters aren't all that flimsy.



Campbell runs over to pick up the only item on this map.




Insane difficulty doesn't seem all that insane, really.



Once everyone else is done, it's time to tackle Stella.



Okay, she has weapon advantage, but that's some defense right there.




Holy poo poo. The difficulty is starting to bare its fangs.



Umm... poo poo.



Thankfully, magic doesn't give the first poo poo about stats. Except magic resist. Let's hope Camelot didn't touch those with the difficulty.



But it just so turns out, there's a different option from “Stay” when we're next to Stella. We actually could have done this the second we stepped up to her, but there's nothing with stabbing her a few times for combat experience.



Attention everyone! Put away your arms and end the assault on Stella immediately!



Why? Victory is within your grasp!

That's just the sort of person Prince Medion is. He's a kind prince who absolutely does not spill blood needlessly.

Prince... Medion...? I can't believe there's an Imperial prince with such integrity...

We have no desire to slay a Republic army that is already leaving Imperial territory. All we want is to save the abducted Emperor Domaric.

If it is true you only want to save the emperor, then I can assure you that we did not abduct him.

We know. That's why the Produn army isn't our target. We just need to get to Barrand.

You want to go to Barrand?

The emperor was kidnapped and taken by sea. To chase his captors, we need Barrand's battleship.

So... you really intend to spare my life?

The ship General Produn boarded has not forsaken you, Lady Stella. Look, it has dropped anchor over there.



When I awoke, the ship had drifted to this point. All I could do was watch the battle from here. When Stella was the only one left, I thought it was the end... Stella, I'm relieved you're alive.

My dear Produn... Thanks to the compassion of Prince Medion, my life was spared.

We, as people of the Republic, held hatred for the Empire... until this day. Even though you are blood related to the emperor, you show compassion. Now I see there are those in the Empire who value the lives of others. Dock the ship at the pier! I'm going to get Stella!

No! Go Produn! Set sail now! They appear to be good people, but if we trust them and they betray us... I'm sorry. We have endured many hardships lately. It seems as if we have been facing death daily. It's difficult to accept your kindness unconditionally.

Stella, you and Produn really seem to love each other... So that's why you...

Everyone, move away from Lieutenant Stella. We want her to feel safe, and that this is not a ruse to ambush General Produn.

Move away? I see. If we move out of range, you should feel safe enough to dock the ship at the pier.



This should be far enough. You are safe. Now you can call General Produn.

I... uh...

General Produn is obviously anxious. Go on, speak to him.

You've heard, haven't you? Produn, I trust them. Please come for me!

Dock the ship!



Know that we wish you the best from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you very much. We will never forget the kindness of Prince Medion and his allies.

Please tell the village chief we're sorry we had to take this ship and that we promise to return it to Anafect at our first opportunity. I also promise to return your favour someday Prince Medion! If trouble ever befalls you, you have my word, I will come to your aid!



Ahh, I'm a bit jealous of you, Stella. Escaping with the man you love...

Produn and Stella were certainly thankful. We lost our boat to Barrand, but things turned out for the best, didn't they, Prince Medion?

But without our passage to Barrand secured, was it worth it?

Handing over the boat was certainly the right thing to do, but now we can't cross over to Barrand. What should we do? Hmm.

I guess we should have asked them to let us come aboard and go to Barrand with them, huh?

No... That would have been no good. If we had asked that, Stella would've been wary and remained on the shore.

Heading towards the bridge at the northern border will be quite a detour...

Well, wasn't that a happy ending? Well, except for the part where Produn is an unprofessional moron who literally fucks his subordinates. Maybe it's better than Synbios never successfully met up with him. Let's see how he reacts when we kill his lieutenant/lover!



For one, we get a new weapon for Medion.



I... I can't go on...

Oh Stella! My Stella... Why... Why did you fight in my place?

You have others who depend on you... If you fall in battle... The Produn army will be lost...

But Stella, if you die my future will be lost... Please hang on...

I'm sorry, my dear... Please, live on for the both of us...



Loving General Produn... Stella stayed behind in his stead. And we had no choice but to strike her down...

If only she hadn't resisted til the end... Maybe this wouldn't have taken such an awful turn.

These are the effects of war, Syntesis. We must end this war as soon as possible to prevent further tragedy.



The game went all out on that text box. It just reads “argh” but has hue cycling, shake, and a zoom in. Full monty, right there.



I realize this is war. Of course I was prepared to lose soldiers, but... But, Stella was different. I will never forget that it was you who killed Stella...

General Produn, we...

It is you, Medion of the Empire who is responsible for this! I will return to the Republic, where I will be waiting for you.

Waiting for the Medion army...

Eventually, you will come to Aspia, and then I'll settle this!



To think, we committed such a crime...

Don't let it bother you, Prince Medion. We are at war with the Republic. Tragedy is certain.

Things such as this are likely occurring within the Imperial army as well.

How funny that Grantack says this, as right about now in the timeline is when Franz is killed by Synbios due to Spiriel's interference.

I can't stand such tragedies... We have to stop this war!

Then we must continue to search for the emperor, whose abduction is the reason for the war. But since Produn has taken Anafect's boat, the journey to Barrand will be difficult.

It will be a detour, but our only option is to head north and cross the bridge at the northern border. We must speak with General Rogan!

As long as we can find my father and put an end to all this...

Precisely, Prince Medion. The longer it takes us to save the emperor, the higher the probability of other tragedies occurring.

So there you have it. Kill Stella, and Produn loses his poo poo because he was stupid enough to get emotionally attached to one of his subordinates. Now, there is an effect to this: If we spare Stella, we'll get to recruit Produn in scenario 3. He's one of the best characters in the entire trilogy.

However, if we kill Stella here, we do get a replacement in the form of another Republican general – one that we've already met! While the replacement character isn't as good mechanically, he's still no slouch and has a few distinct advantages over Produn. Also, I personally like him better, but that's mostly because I think Produn is a total dunce.

GET VOTING AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE SPARE STELLA

NEXT TIME: Return of Zero!

inthesto fucked around with this message at May 11, 2014 around 11:21

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012


Since you don't get the boat either way, killing Stella is just being a dick.

Don't be a dick.

Besides, Medion is in no position to pass judgement based on professionalism.

alcharagia
Apr 23, 2008

YOU'RE NOBODY


Less death is always good!

Serifina
Oct 30, 2011

So... dizzy...


Spare her, but I'm a sucker for love stories.

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ChrisAsmadi
Apr 19, 2007
:D

Spare her, we're supposed to be the heroes, after all.

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