Well...that could've gone better.
For too long, the villainous Shakhan has held Aveh in his vile grasp. Today, however, shall be the final day of his reign! For this is the day when we shall take beck the capital!
So, I talk to Bart in the rented house to begin the operation. At the dock, Bart tells his men to avoid killing whenever they can. Margie, meanwhile, talks about how she'll have to call Bart by some grand title, which Bart naturally turns around on her by using her full title ("Great Mother of Nisan").
Once all farewells are over, the Yggdrasil leaves port. Agnes proceeds to talk about how Margie will soon be taking her rightful place on the throne as the queen of Aveh.
Yes, really. They actually do expect Bart to marry his cousin. Of course, they don't mention the incest in this particular scene, but it is still there.
More importantly, we've got to head into battle! After Fei's team is done preparing (and Bart says his own farewell to Fei), we get a cutscene showing Weltall being launched.
I'm then placed in control of Citan, with this music
playing again. I buy some Red Stars because of a reason, then head out onto the deck of the ship.
Here, I see a scene with Bart and Sigurd talking about the whole issue of Bart being king. Sigurd mentions here that the only reason he was able to regain his sanity during his time in Solaris was because he remembered Bart and Margie.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away...
Ramsus dreams for a moment about the red-haired man destroying Gears. This time, it continues after that, showing him boarding a red, flying Gear and continuing his rampage, with Grahf watching...
Ramsus awakens, and leaves the room he and Miang are staying in. Miang then speaks with Grahf, discussing Fei and how he supposedly "resembles" Grahf.
Also, Miang sleeps naked, much to the presumed delight of many adolescent males who played this game. Fortunately for the game's rating, though, she's facing away from the camera.
Meanwhile, on board the Yggdrasil, the crew detects something starting up The royal guards are heading to the border, it seems.
We then get a scene with Elly, along with the nuts we fought back at Bart's hideout. They proceed to talk about how unsuitable Elly is for command, but she's still the one with a custom Gear. Renk claims that it's a new model known as the Vierge that supposedly requires high amounts of mental power to operate.
Well, time to head over to Fei's team, who have to climb a mountain. The enemies here are almost all weak stuff from the cave Fei and Bart ended up in way back when. The exception is the Edelweiss, a dinosaur-thing that can drop Fangs and is otherwise uninteresting.
On the way up, I find an Extra Ar+2 and a MagneticCoat. The latter would be more interesting if I hadn't already bought 2 earlier.
A bit of climbing takes me to a cave, where I learn that platforming segments with restricted camera movement are a Bad Idea. I also find a Rosesol S and a Gold Nugget, both of which are nice to have.
After jumping up the entirety of the cave, I reach a repair Gear that's selling stuff. It's all stuff we've seen before, so I don't need any of it. It is, however, my last chance to buy MagneticCoats for quite some time, so I buy another one.
After saving at the nearby save point, I head forward out of the cave. It takes almost no time at all for Fei to get attacked by some Gebler Gears.
As you've probably already guessed, I have to fight Elly's team. First up are the Wandknights, who are significantly less threatening now that I've got a Beam Coat.
The second fight is against the Swordknight, Clawknight, and Aegisknight all at once. The Aegisknight is the only threat here due to its Defense-lowering abilities, so I take it down first.
With them down for the count, Elly starts freaking out. She believes that the only way she can fight Fei is by using Drive, which causes flashbacks to the last time she used it. It...didn't go so well
, and she ended up killing a bunch of people.
However, that doesn't stop her from taking her Evil Dark Side Pills. Their only apparent effect so far is to make her look really stupid, but whatever. I'm forced to fight her. After a single round of combat, she creates some flying beamgun...things. According to her subordinates, they're Animum Ether Rosponse-Offensive Drones, otherwise known as Aerods. It supposedly takes great mental power to use them properly (that or most Gebler pilots are too stoned to find the controls for them).
The fight continues, with Fei continually trying to get Elly to snap out of it. Her attacks are mostly weak, but she can do quite a bit of damage with her Aerods.
After a while, the drugs start wearing off, which Fei takes as a sign that he can stop Elly. This involves tackling her Gear in a rather...unfortunate manner.
Some time later
, Fei once again tries to get Elly to stop fighting. He points out that her using the evil drugs to save her subordinates is fundamentally similar to Fei using his Gear to protect people he cares about. Unfortunately, she isn't backing down, because she's fighting for the only home she has.
Fei does try to get her to leave the army, though. "That look doesn't suit you at all," he says.
I think you can tell where this is going without my input.
Anyway, I'm by the repair Gear again. I replace the Beam Coat with an Extra Ar+2 and climb some nearby cliffs to reach the peak of the mountain.
I then cut to Maison, who's at the bar in the Gun Room when Bart's cup breaks. Naturally, this is an omen of something terrible.
Meanwhile, underneath Fatima Castle, Bart discusses strategy with his team. I'm then permitted to enter the castle courtyard, where it turns out we're expected. Shakhan's got snipers ready on the second floor
, preventing us from making a move against him. He's come out to greet us personally, along with Miang. She tells us that Ramsus is off fighting our fake invasion, taunting Citan (who she calls "Hyuga", of course) and Sigurd about their failure.
Miang explains that Solaris doesn't want Bart as king because naturally he wouldn't listen to them, and of course he's too smart for the role. She then leaves Shakhan to take care of us. His troops are about to fire when...
...Maison arrives in that weird four-legged helicopter thing to save us
He proceeds to let Bart's crew on board, turns the rotors on...
...and the music grinds to a halt as they fly off without the vehicle.
Fortunately, this thing is also quite good at jumping in physically impossible ways, and that's how we escape.
Unfortunately, the plan's ruined. The guards are returning, and we'll have to escape.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away...
Fei and his crew are preparing to fight their way to Vanderkaum's flagship, the Kefeinzel. This involves running right into the fleet's firing range and dodging everything. Fortunately for us, Vanderkaum's an idiot who's only concerned with shooting us with his big gun, so this can actually work. I have to fight any enemies I run into, and anything that hits on the field will damage me, but Vanderkaum's forces still aren't enough to stop me.
Enemies here include Troopers, Sand Trippers, and Gigafoots. The only threat out of all of them is the last one.
After reaching the Kefeinzel, I have to fight it. Vanderkaum doesn't seem to realize that he's the problem here, so he fights us with his main gun. It's on a timer, in addition to being the only threat in the entire fight (there are also two Small Guns that are completely worthless). The fight goes more smoothly than fighting Warren at the start of Ogre Battle.
With the main gun destroyed, Vanderkaum's down to only one thing: his Gear, Dora. It's a big tank with long arms with claws on them. I fight it alongside two generic Gears that can't do damage. Dora can grab them and then shoot them if I attack, so I instead use the time when it's carrying them to refuel.
After I hit it enough times, the thing's armour breaks. This allows my allies to damage it, but also lets it use its main gun. It maims one of my allies, but I still bring it down without too much trouble.
After the fight, Vanderkaum is utterly humiliated. His forces are destroyed, his gun was worthless, and even his last resort failed. Suddenly...
Do you want the power?
Grahf shows up
, and delivers the following speech to Vanderkaum:
I am Grahf, the seeker of power. Doth thou desire the power?
Anyone playing this game had better get used to those words, because saying them and upgrading some boss or another is basically Grahf's main story role right now.
Naturally, Vanderkaum accepts "the power", causing Grahf to say this:
My fist is the divine breath! Blossom, o fallen seed, and draw upon thy hidden powers!! Grant unto thee the power of the glorious 'Mother of Destruction'!
Elsewhere, Bart's crew are defeated. They've been surrounded, and something's attacking the Yggdrasil as they speak
. Ramsus has arrived in his ship, and he sends torpedoes after the Yggdrasil. They're hit!
Ramsus starts flashing back to when Sigurd left Solaris. Sigurd claims he was only in Solaris to steal technology. Back in the present, Ramsus is ordering Bart's people to surrender, probably because he realizes that it has two old friends of his on board.
, Fei's team has to deal with Vanderkaum, who is now much more dangerous due to the power Grahf gave him. He promptly kills off Fei's backup (who, it should be noted, were in red Gears
). Fei is helpless, only able to watch as they all die horribly...
Something happens, and we cut away from Fei.
Back to Bart, who is steering the Yggdrasil with his Gear.
No, really. He has it at a gigantic helm and everything!
Things look pretty bad for him, though, with the Yggdrasil heavily damaged and enemy forces all over the place. He's not giving up, though.
As soon as Ramsus realizes he's got a fight on his hands, he gets things ready again. However, something starts destroying his fleet! Specifically, a single Gear. The crew puts up an image of it and...
...it's the one from Ramsus's dream
. Bright red, with six blue "wings" of some sort.
Ramsus identifies it as the Demon of Elru, which would make more sense if we knew what that was. He is quite adamant about fighting it, though, and he gets his own Gear ready.
Meanwhile, the pilot of the red Gear is trying to talk to Bart, asking if he's strong. He then attacks, until Ramsus arrives in his Gear (which is gold, with two wings on its shoulders). Ramsus challenges the red Gear
, and is annihilated in seconds. The Gear then turns its attention to Bart while Miang takes Ramsus (whose Gear is now basically just a torso) back to the ship.
This fight is impossible to win. I can fight, but after two turns it hits me for a total of 19998 damage, destroying Brigandier instantly.
Sigurd promptly takes matters into his own hands. He orders the Yggdrasil brought to full speed, so it will fly at the red Gear. Bart escapes, but the red Gear doesn't, and it's crushed under the Yggdrasil. We've survived!
...the red Gear rises up, lifting the entire ship with it
That was pretty interesting. But dropping a warship on me is cheating... Take it back!
The red Gear then throws the Yggdrasil at Bart
Sigurd prioritizes saving the ship's bridge, while telling Citan to run for it in an escape pod.
The escape pod lands near the border, due to some sort of amazing wind. Don't ask how that works. He then notices Dora, now reduced to a useless wreck. He then notes that it's in the same shape as the other Gears that 'he' destroyed.
We'll see where this takes us next time.