We have to retrace our steps down out of the Crystal Temple, but it's not too bad since most of the time getting up was exploring side areas. For some reason, there's now a pass in the mountains, so we don't have to do the Northern Cave in reverse. Nice.
Once we get close to the Kingdom, it's hard not to notice there's something very
wrong. There's a black, pulsing something
in place of the land all over. Getting close enough to it triggers a cutscene.
The world just kind of ends on a cliff near the bluish-black stuff. Sol wants to know where Lux castle and town went. He demands that Dusk and Sarah tell him what the heck is going on. Elgo reminds them that they were accepted as Light Warriors and that the troubles with the Crystal started before they showed up. Dusk explains that they had to follow orders, or they would have been killed.
Sol is pretty shocked that the Avalonian Empire would violate the treaty, and Dusk invites him to investigate himself. They decide to head for the Kingdom of Leine, beyond the Checkpoint, and see if they can figure out what's going on.
Fortunately for us, the neither the way to the checkpoint nor the checkpoint itself has vanished. Also fortunately for us, the guard has abandoned his post, probably in terror of what happened.
Apparently, lack of originality when it comes to names is a continent-wide pandemic, as the first town we come to in the Kingdom of Liene is actually named Liene.
The citizens are pretty understandably freaked out. Among them, I find a soldier named Wedge
, who's worried that something might have happened to his friend Biggs
. The stay at the inn is free, so mandatory cutscene!
Dusk has snuck out of bed and is once again secretly communicating with someone. He asks their situation, and then says "Yes, even if it means my life." A camera pan reveals that Aigis is spying on him.
A little bit of shopping later, and our pit stop is over. On to Liene Castle, assuming it's still there.
To get there, we have to go over a mountain. A man there warns us that Liene Castle is under Imperial occupation and that we shouldn't go there. He doesn't want to let us through, but Dusk talks to him privately and he steps aside.
I smell La Résistance
He claims he gave the man a politely worded request. Aigis clearly doesn't buy it.
Now we get to climb the cleverly named Mt. Liene. The dungeon design is the same above average design I've seen elsewhere.
At the top of the mountain, Sol stops to admire the view, then abruptly starts yelling and Sarah and Dusk again. Sarah tells Sol and Aigis to never trust the Empire, and reveals that she is from Burgang, where the Empire used ninjas to assassinate their king and captured her.
We renew our party-wide vow to find out what's happening, minus Dusk whom we don't ask. When he asks why, Aigis informs him that it's because he knows Dusk is going to follow us anyway. We get our first Fusion Ability (F-Ability), Magic Missile!
F-Abilities are unlocked by equipping and using special abilities in battle, and can afterward be used by any party member during battle.
Party forward, half the dungeon still to go! I've been bouncing Sol back and forth between Warrior, Red Mage, and Thief, Aigis between Monk and Warrior, Sarah between Summoner and Black Mage, and Dusk between Black Mage and White Mage.
Well, time for a Suspend Save
and to get going. Next time, on Adventures in the IOS Dimension: We infiltrate Liene Castle!