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SapphireBlue2011-03-11 14:46:42

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Chapter 19: Altar of Souls

After several days of excessive Pokémon playing, I’m ready for a break. So for a change of pace, I’ve decided to update this liveblog again.

Last time, it was revealed that Cecille was the lost Twilight Witch. We also found out that we’ve got an extremely powerful – and equally annoying – agent of God out to get us. Cecille insists that we have to go to some ruins. Why? Even Claire doesn’t know. But it sounds important, so we’d better be on our way.

A path has opened up to the right of the forest, so I follow it. There’s a battle on the space I’m at, but since it’s the first one on the new map, it doesn’t seem to register. So I press A and begin the battle. I bring in the guys that need a few levels.

I find myself on a T-shaped map, with my units in the middle. There are two enemies on the right branch, three on the left, and three below me. Best thing to do is probably to pick a direction and move everyone there. I choose right, since there are fewer monsters there.

The first monster I attack, by the way, is named “Asplode.” Looks like the person who came up with this game’s small pool of monster names had a sense of humor.

Vivi levels after attacking Asplode the T-Bird, but is quickly attacked by it and the other monster on that side. She survives long enough for Lucia to heal her. A few more attacks, and one bird goes down.

Have I mentioned how hard it can be to pick targets in this game? If you’re at the wrong angle, it can be nearly impossible to choose the right guy to attack. A few times, I’ve actually had to switch to using the buttons instead of the touchscreen to choose my actions. The second game improves on this greatly, but that doesn’t help me here.

The second kill goes to Saki, who also levels to 39. Theo levels to 39 soon after. Most of the guys I brought in were level 38 – can you tell?

My guys work on taking down the two green Cerberus things that are nearby. Soon, though, the monsters have me boxed into a corner. This isn’t good. However, it doesn’t last – one of them moves out of formation pretty quickly.

Why is Lucia so horrible on the offense? Her magic does about a fourth of what all the other Witches do, and her physical attacks aren’t any better. Guess she’s best at healing?

Next kill goes to Saki again, but she’s soon killed by three successive attacks. Mavi, who was already wounded, soon follows. Oh well. Claire is the next to hit 39. Vivi levels to 40 after killing two weakened monsters at once. Two more of them were nearby, and are quickly finished as well. Just one minotaur thing left. Mel levels to 39 as well. Vivi finishes off the last one, ending the battle.

I get 6000 Rico, an FP-Fizzy, and three Vitae. I decide to intermission with Lucia. She says I did a nice job. Apparently, Alph is surprised, because she remarks that he wasn’t expecting a compliment. She asks if Alph thinks she’s really that cold of a person. My responses are “Well, actually…” “You’ve just got your own way,” and “You’re a bit cold sometimes.” I decide to be honest and go with the third answer. She says that yeah, she’s cold sometimes. We can’t all be happy all the time. That’s all I get, though.

Anyway, there’s a town up ahead. The game says it’s called…OK, it’s not a town. It’s called the Altar of Souls. Yeah, I remember this part. I also remember that I’ve got a fairly difficult battle ahead of me. I’d better choose my higher-level guys to go into this one. I walk over there, save, and enter. The background is a bunch of old ruins surrounded by palm trees. Doesn’t look like anyone’s been here in a long time. I don’t remember if this place was sealed off or not, but if it was, that would explain it.

Cecille says here we are – the Altar of Souls. She says that a ritual used to offer souls was performed here. OK, that REALLY doesn’t sound good. Probably a good thing we got here, because I wouldn’t put human sacrifice past our villains.

Cecille explains. Long ago, the Church sacrificed people to their god, Zehaal. Looks like that Cosmic Horror has a name now. Pollon says that he heard about this somewhere. Cecille explained that Zehaal took control of the people who lived here, and made them offer souls to help him prepare for his rebirth. Mother Lapis sealed the area, though, so that hasn’t happened in a long time. Alph asks her how she knows this, and Cecille says it’s a memory from the Dark Lapistier. She says that we can’t let the Church start the sacrifices again, so she’s going to use her Lapistier to seal this place. She asks everyone to lend her power in order to do so.

The action window comes up. I’m able to talk to Mavi, Cecille, or Nicolai. Mavi wonders who Priel is. None of their Runes or attacks could so much as scratch Mother Lapis. So how could she? Lucia says it’s because her power is from beyond the planet. Claire is worried because the planet is weaker without Mother Lapis. They can’t let Zehaal be reborn.

Cecille says that if the sacrifices started again, Zehaal would have the power to be reborn. Apparently destroying the Altar wouldn’t do anything either – it isn’t the altar that lets one perform the ritual, it’s the land itself. That was why sealing the area was the only solution.

Nicolai is just thrilled that Cecille is a Witch. He says he’d always felt something. Alph and Theo are still surprised, but they know she’s still Cecille. I make a brief trip back to the world map to save. I then return and advance the story.

First one who shows up is Iris, saying she’s found us. She says she can’t forgive us, because we…killed Heath? What? I think I’d remember if we’d done that. The Church must have lied to her about that. They probably want to make her angry so she’d want to kill us more.

She plays some “evidence” as to what we did, but instead we get Kingston and Hugo complaining about how much it costs to keep her in working order. Alph asks what that has to do with Heath. She says she played the wrong file, and proceeds to play a different one. This time, it’s Kingston telling her that Heath challenged us to single combat, but the Witches ganged up on him and beat him to death. Kingston is obviously lying, and the group tries to convince her of that. As expected, though, it doesn’t work, and she declares that she will have her revenge.

The only one required for this mission is Alph, so I’m free to pick the rest of the group. I choose Theo, Nicolai, Cecille, Mel, Claire, Mavi, and Lucia. The map is a long stretch of tile, with two other platforms on either side separated by water. Iris goes first, moving towards my group. Her flash gauge is full, so the first thing she’ll probably do is use it up. Last time, I sent out one person to take the attack, and then revived them later. It’s a better solution than letting her attack the whole group at once.

Before I do anything, though, I save. I don’t want to have to watch that whole scene again if I lose. I think I’ll have Alph go out and take the attack. I wait for his turn to come, and then move him as far forward as possible. Let’s just hope that the knights don’t kill him first. Speaking of which, I didn’t mention who I’m up against. Besides Iris, there are three knights (in red armor this time), a cleric, a mage, and two archers. While I wait for Iris to make her move, I buff my guys as much as possible. And there we go – she attacks Alph and kills him. Thankfully, I have two guys in this fight who are able to revive him. I think I’ll wait for Cecille, since she’s got that full HP resurrection spell.

I’ve just noticed that the red knights have “armor” listed as their class, implying that there’s no one wearing it. Or maybe not. I don’t really know. I'm not sure the Church has the power to animate objects.

When Cecille’s turn comes around, I have her bring Alph back. Mavi dies shortly after, though.

That magic buff has done wonders for Lucia’s offensive capabilities, by the way. Combine that with the fact that the knights are weak to magic, and she’s actually being useful.

It seems that Iris now knows a very powerful Thunder spell with a wide range. Greeeat.

Right now, two of the Knights are down, and I’ve begun to attack Iris. I’ll try and take the Cleric out as well, since she’ll be a real problem if she stays alive. However, seveal more of my guys die, leaving only Cecille, Lucia, and Mel alive. I don’t know if I can make it at this point, but I’ll certainly try. I revive Alph, but then Cecille dies. Then Lucia dies, followed by Mel. With only Alph alive, I doubt I’ll be able to make it now, so I turn off and start over. This time I think I’ll save after Iris uses up her flash drive. That way, I won’t have to wait to do that over again.

This time, I’ll have Mavi tank the attack. Everyone else begins to move back so that they don’t get hit. But Mavi ends up dying too quickly. I restart and decide to use Alph for this again.

This time, the plan goes as expected, with Alph taking the hit. As I said, I save as soon as I can after that. As soon as Cecille’s turn comes around, I have her bring Alph back. Right now, all the knights are in a line, meaning I can bombard them with area attacks.

And right after I type that, one of them moves away. Oh well – I can still go after the other two. My guys are kind of bunched up right now, making them easy targets for Iris’s long-range area spell. Darn it! Well, they’re all alive, so that’s good. Mavi dies from another attack though. Well, she’s the only one so far, so I’m still good.

Alph goes down next, but the rest of the group is healthy. Two of the knights went back and got healed by the cleric, though. I have Claire attack Iris and a knight, and then have Mel revive Mavi. Unfortunately, Iris uses her spell again and Mavi dies. Cecille brings Alph back as soon as possible, but Claire dies soon after. AND THEN IRIS USES HER SPELL AGAIN. LUCIA DIES. FFFFFF.

OK, one knight down. Make that two. I might be able to win. I just have to get rid of iris as soon as possible. I use Mel to bring Lucia back. OH MY GOD. IRIS USED THAT SPELL AGAIN AND THREE OF MY GUYS DIED. WHAT THE HELL.

That’s it. Iris is going down. Maybe. If I can manage to beat her with the guys I have…never mind. Just two guys left. I’ll try one more time. If I can’t do it, then I’m taking a break.

I’ll have to be careful this time not to clump my guys so much. If I do that, then Iris will annihilate me. I’ll have to be really careful. For that matter, I should probably kill the archers if at all possible.

Darn it, the archers killed Cecille. I have Lucia bring her back with a feather right away. Actually, that was my last feather. I’ll have to buy more later. Then Claire dies, followed by Nicolai. I’ll want to bring them back as soon as I can.

Ugh. Iris and the knights are slaughtering my guys, and the archers are picking off the survivors. Not cool. OK, with only Cecille and Alph left, I’m officially screwed. I guess I’m willing to try one more time, but that’s all.

This time, I’ll save you the details until Iris is dead. I think taking her out is the only way I’ll have a chance.

Well, it takes some time, but I finally manage to take out Iris. In the meantime, I’ve also killed the cleric and one of the knights. I have five of my guys left. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it.

The mage soon follows, and then another knight. There’s just the archers and one knight against Alph, Cecille, and Mel. Alph quickly finishes the remaining Knight. I’m pretty sure I can make it at this point.

Alph uses his second flash drive on one of the archers, paralyzing her. At this point, I’m pretty much sure to win. A few turns later, she’s dead. Only that one archer is left standing, and Nicolai, who was recently revived, finishes her off. Finally! Man, what a pain.

I get 6800 Rico and four Vitae. I decide to intermission with Mel. Iris’s eyes are red. Not sure what that means. She says she has to avenge Heath, but everyone can see that she can’t keep this up. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people coming. Saki goes to check how many there are. She comes back quickly, saying that Heath has brought a large army with him. Is he after us? Iris is, of course, shocked. After all, she’d thought that Heath was dead.

Heath comes into view. He says that there are five hundred men with him, and we’re surrounded. We might as well give up peacefully. Seriously, Heath? You’re still after us? Alph refuses, and so Heath says we’ll all die here.

All of a sudden, Iris comes into view. Heath seems to recognize her, calling her by name. She asks how he’s alive, and he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But before they can say anything else, Kingston and Priel appear. Oh, man. I can see where this is going. Heath, you’re an idiot. An IDIOT. You brought five hundred soldiers to a place made for sacrificing souls? I mean, he probably didn’t know, but still!

Kingston says he’s here to watch the sacrifice. Priel explains that everyone here will be sacrificed to Zehaal. Heath is furious, but Kingston says that it’s a good way to die. And it’s only five hundred, after all.

The screen goes white, showing a few random soldiers (with names like “unlucky soldier” and “doomed soldier”) disappearing. Kingston and Priel leave, with Kingston saying something about preparing for the holy eclipse.

Somehow, the group seems to be alive. Apparently, Cecille used a barrier to protect us just in time. Everyone is amazed that so many people could be killed at once. But then someone notices Heath and Iris. It sounds like she used her own barrier to protect him. She says she’s happy to see him again. With the music and the fact that this scene is voiced, this is pretty emotional. I guess it won’t be long until we find out what relation the two of them had. Was she his girlfriend?

Heath says that if he had known sooner, she wouldn’t be like this. She dies, her last words being some chopped-up words with “I LOV…” included. Heath screams her name.

Lucia remarks that Iris’s body is disappearing. Apparently, she used the last of her strength to protect Heath. She leaves behind the Thunder Lapistier that had been used to power her.

Alph goes over to Heath, and asks who Iris was. Heath says he found her as an orphan, and that she was a kind girl who loved flowers. She loved him as an older brother. He’s disgusted that the Church would do that to her. I don’t blame him – that’s pretty twisted.

Kai comes over, and Heath thanks him for protecting Alph and the others. Wait…what? Alph is confused too. Why would he ask Kai to protect the group if he was on the Church’s side? Apparently, Heath was suspicious of Kingston when he worked for him. He had to stay with the Church in order to reveal what Kingston was planning. Turns out he was just faking when we met him in town.

Honestly, this seems a little contrived. I mean, I guess it makes sense, but it still seems like a copout. It seemed like it was leading up to a reason why Heath hated Witches so much, and then they just drop this. Sure, it makes things easier, but it still seems a little too contrived.

Nicolai asks what Kingston plans to do, and Heath says that he plans to reawaken Zehaal. Heath says that he’ll join us to help stop the revival. Kai wants to leave, since he doesn’t need to protect us anymore, but the group convinces him to stay. Apparently, the next place to go is to the Holy Capital, San Riese. They’re preparing for the Holy Eclipse there.

The intermission with Mel starts. She says she’s worried about her sisters. My choices are “Lucia?” “Vivi?” or “Claire?” I choose the last one, and Mel says I’m right. Even though she’s in charge, she has a very delicate heart. Mel is always worried about her.

Kopin is going on a vacation to the beach in order to unwind. He’s shown lying down on a beach chair by the ocean, wearing sunglasses.

The next destination is right ahead. There aren’t any battles in the way, so I’ll be able to go directly there next time. For now, though, it’s time to stop. All those attempts have me tired of playing. For that matter, I’m done with the chapter.

Things are really starting to get interesting, huh? Heath is back on our side, and we know what we have to do. With every chapter completed, we draw closer to the conclusion. Will the group be able to stop Zehaal’s revival? If not, will they be able to defeat him? Of course they will – it’s not that kind of game. The question is how they’ll do it. You’ll just have to wait and see! ;)


Jul 24th 2011 at 3:33:10 AM
what if i use alph,saki,kai,claire,mavi,vivi,cecille,and the?

Example of: