Last time, the Dark Knights accepted Ronway's non-intervention treaty, and we learned a bit about Lans H's backstory!
I make Orcus into a ninja to help with his DEX and AGI.
I move towards the next area, but not before getting into a random battle at Tanmas Hill. I get some Goth and short swords.
Before I head to my next battle, I train everyone to level 7.
To clear up room in my roster, I omit Voltel, Sara, and Dorony. With some stat gains from his stint as a ninja, I change Orcus to a berzerker. I change Bruno to a beast tamer. I change Delta to a ninja. I change Belgger to a berzerker.
Filler battle, and a really easy one at that.
Lexent: This is why I kept telling him... Lord Barbatos, curse you!! I get 1850 Goth, 750 extra Goth, Battle boots, and a Cure++.
Next battle has a tiny bit of story,◊ so I'll transcribe it.
Our position.◊ Presance is at 1, Delta is at 2, Area is at 3, Bruno is at 4, Freesia is at 5, Orcus is at 6, Leon is at 7, Canopus is at 8, Julia is at 9, and Belgger is at 10.
This is the positioning music, by the way.We're confronted by a beast tamer named Ganb.◊ He says this is as good a time as any to "test his babies." He whistles for "Belda" and "Obda," two gryphons. 3 lizardmen come out, and the fight begins.
Victory Condition: Kill The Leader'
This battle is pretty simple. Keep a defensive position near your starting area and try to attract the gryphons to you. Once you get one to low HP, the battle is over. So you can either focus on one gryphon to end the battle quickly, or try to milk EXP. I'm doing the former. I focus my efforts on Belda. I reduce Belda to 10 HP. Ganb, worried, says to retreat. Um... that was ridiculously easy.
"You're so evil!!! How dare you hurt my babies! I'll never forgive you!" And then he uses an Escape crystal to run away.
I get 0 Goth. Ugh.
It's the beginning of the end for this chapter.◊ Let's do it, shall we?
This is our position.◊ Freesia is at 1, Delta is at 2, Julia is at 3, Belgger is at 4, Presance is at 5, Orcus is at 6, Area is at 7, Canopus is at 8, Leon is at 9, and Bruno is at 10.
A soldier is patrolling the are in the rain.◊ He notices us, and panics that the Liberation Army is here. A bunch of his friends rush out.◊
Victory Condition: Kill All Enemies'
This battle is really easy. You're going up against a bunch of soldiers, and most importantly, you have the high ground, which gives your archers great range. As you can see, this guy is out of our "range,"◊ but our position is so great we still hit him.
So your general strategy should be to advance your melee units down the hill as your archers shoot from the rooftops.
Our first turn isn't even up yet, and we already killed an enemy.◊ That shows you how easy this battle is. Oh, and by the way, I'm listening to Queen's Don't Stop Me Now while I type this and play this. It makes me killing a bunch of AI-controlled soldiers seem a lot more badass.
There's a soldier named "Eddie." The game deems him "Fast."◊ I wonder if he'll ban me for this?
All the soldiers are killed. Belgger is a bit weak, but hopefully some levels as a berzerker and beast tamer will change that.
"It will be a while before our reinforcements get here. Let's assemble the group leaders. Let's tell the hostages our plan and they can decide whether to join us or not." Will do, Orcus.
We get 2125 Goth.
The scene opens on the hostages. "What are you thinking!?" yells Vice.◊ "I didn't come all the way here just to do that! You might as well tell them that they should just stay slaves! This Liberation Army is pointless!" Kachua scolds him for getting too excited.
"What is the use of fighting?" asks a random old man.◊ "Fighting only creates hatred. We would rather have things the way they are now."
"You pathetic excuse of a man!" screams Vice. "As long as you stay here, you're nothing but livestock for Gargastan! Don't you want freedom? Don't you want to live like a man!? Where's your pride!?"
An old woman pipes up, "If you don't do anything, our peace will be maintained. I don't care about the Liberation Army. It is all the same. We will always be outcasts. My son used to say the same things you do now. But he died in the war half a year ago. Can you bring him back!?"
An old man agrees that they want no part in the war. Leonard walks in and apologizes for being late.◊ He asks to talk with us for a minute. We follow him outside.
"I heard what happened.◊ It seems that you had a difficult time persuading them."
We bow our head.
"It's not your fault. I knew that this was going to happen..." Really? Then why did you send us here?
"Listen carefully... you are going to massacre the entire town."
The ominous music kicks into gear.
"This contingency was to be expected. It is Duke Ronway's order.
So you bastards planned this the entire time!? Damn it, that makes us no better than terrorists!
"Why!? We can't kill our own people! Damn it! Give me a reason!!"
"This is what the Duke told me... "
The scene goes into a flashback.
"If the people in Baramus revolt,"◊ begins Ronway, "then there will be no problem. But I know these people. They will not sacrifice their lives even with the Liberation Army's support. If they do not join the Liberation Army, you will disguise yourselves as soldiers of Gargastan and kill everyone."
"What did you say!? Are you ordering me to kill my own people!?" shouts Leonard.
"Calm down, Leonard. Think. You are intelligent enough to understand the plan. Look. To defeat Gargastan, the people of Walsta must be more unified than it has ever been. When the news of Gargastan destroying Baramus spreads, people in other districts will join us."
"But that is too..."
"And of course, the anti-government forces will see this as a means to rally and support us against Gargastan. Barbatos will be forced to divide his army to fight against the anti-government forces and Walsta! Thus we will increase our chances of winning and kill Barbatos."
"But I don't think Orcus will go for this..."
"When that happens, you know what to do."
We go back to the present.
"Will you obey the Duke's order? Otherwise the future of Walsta is doomed!"
And the game presents us with a dialogue choice.◊
This is where the game's branching paths come in. The choice you make will radically alter the game; the characters you get, the characters that die, the fate of Walsta and Baramus and Gargastan... a lot of it hinges on this choice. There are four chapters. The fourth chapter is the same for all alignments, but the others are different depending on the choice you make here. Another large choice is made in the second chapter if you go with option 2 here; there are no other big choices if you go with number 1.
So what do we do, people? Do we murder the citizens of Baramus for the greater good of Walsta, or do we refuse to slaughter innocent civilians?
Decide in the comments below! My choice hinges on your guys' choices!
Next time: we make our choice, and we get into the final fight of this chapter!