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SapphireBlue2011-09-18 16:42:59

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Chapter 24: The Portal

When we last left off, Zehaal had hatched from his cocoon, and he and Priel were headed to the planet’s heart to destroy it. If they do that, all life will die. So our heroes follow them towards a secret path in the desert in hopes of stopping them.

First, though, I’m going to need some items. The nearest shop is a few areas back, and there’s a battle on the way there. So I go in, and it begins. I bring in some lower-leveled guys in hopes of powering them up before this chapter’s confrontation. Theo, Claire, Saki, Mavi, Nicolai, Kai, Mel, and Heath are my choices. Since this battle is mostly insignificant, I’ll keep the details to a minimum.

I’m realizing that Saki is really not too useful anymore. She seems to have been a Crutch Character to some degree, since I remember her being quite useful early on. Now, though, her physical attacks are about as useful as Lucia’s offensive magic, if not worse. Also, Heath’s magic sucks balls.

Saki dies pretty quickly. I bring her back later, but I try to be careful with her for the rest of the fight. It progresses smoothly, with the casualties being very minimal. By the end, everyone’s gotten to at least level 45. I’d say that was successful.

At the end, I intermission with Saki. She says she’s finally discovered what’s most important to her. My options are “That’s great, Saki!” “What is it?” and “It must be me, right?” I go for the second answer. She says she can’t tell me. She just discovered it, so she doesn’t want to reveal it right away. She suddenly changes the subject, wondering what her family was like. Alph is surprised that she can’t remember them. She remembers tiny details about them, but nothing substantial. But still, thinking about them now makes her feel relaxed and safe. Alph says they must’ve been nice people, but Saki isn’t so sure. They were hired ninja who did assassinations sometimes. But Alph tells her that they probably just went after criminals. Otherwise, people would hate Saki. She says he’s probably right, but she’ll never really know. She gives me a Vitae after all that, but I don’t get to see her special picture. Guess I answered too many of her questions wrong.

I go to the shop, and end up spending all my money on items. After that, I save and head back the way I came. I move onto the next screen. It happens to be somewhere I’ve been, although the location I’m standing on is a new one. It happens to be the exact place I need to go, so I save again and enter.

This chapter is called “The Portal.” A scene begins, with Alph saying that he didn’t know that a place like this existed. Apparently, it’s a desert because of the portal that’s here. It’s draining energy from the land around it. Alph says we should go, but Cecille stops him. She reminds him that we’ll be fighting a god. We’ll need the ultimate magic: the Spear of Dawn, also known as Over Flash. Only Lucia can use it. If I remember right, this was mentioned earlier in one of the books I found. I can’t remember which entry it was in, but I know I took note of it. Apparently, this magic has the power to defeat Zehaal. However, Claire says she’s read that to do this, the Dawn Witch has to sacrifice her life. Lucia is shocked, and Alph says he won’t let her do that. But Claire says that if Alph is there, she’ll be OK. Rym have a power called the Eternal Shield. If he uses it to protect Lucia, she won’t die.

Of course, they say that Over Flash is their last resort. They won’t use it if they don’t have to, but they might not have a choice. She tells Lucia to be prepared. It’s obvious to any Genre Savvy player that they will have to use it. But if Alph protects her, there shouldn’t be a problem…right?

Lucia agrees to this, and my menu pops up. I can talk to Heath, the Garden Children, or the Witches. I talk to Heath first. He says that Kingston was a good person at first, but he became corrupted by the amount of power that he had. He wasn’t happy with his own power – he wanted to become a god. Kai says that this god consumes all, and in that regard Kingston wasn’t much different than he was. Heath worries that everyone consumes the planet in their own way, since everyone has their own desires. But Alph protests, saying that’s not true. Unlike Kingston, they’re fighting to protect the planet. With that said, Heath vows to prove that his only desires are for peace.

Next, I talk to the Garden Children. Pollon tells us that the place we’re going to is what the Church calls the Holy Land, Canal. Theo says it would’ve been better if God never came to this world. Then things would’ve been peaceful. Lucia comes into the conversation, saying that the Witches were created to fight that god. The Church founded the Garden, and because of that, they’re all together. All of them say some cheesy stuff about how they’re all fighting for the future, and the conversation ends.

Finally, I talk to the Witches. Claire talks about how Zehaal doesn’t really have a consciousness. All it knows is desire, hunger, and greed. The Witches slept for 1,000 years, but the humans had to live through that time of darkness. They needed something like a god to believe in. Unfortunately, their prayers only made Zehaal stronger. Mavi worries that if things get difficult again, humans might go back to their old ways. But Lucia believes in humanity. Even if the future is uncertain, at least they’ll HAVE a future. If they defeat Zehaal, the monsters he created will probably disappear as well. That doesn’t mean that humans will stop hating Witches, but Claire has hope that humans and Witches can live together someday.

Honestly, all that was just elaborating on what's already been said. It gets boring after a while. I go to the world map, save, and continue.

When I do that, the background changes to some bizzare place with lots of pillars and floating crystals. Priel gleefully says she found us. The group tells her to get out of the way. Obviously, she doesn’t. She reminds us that Zehaal was the one that created humans, and that fighting him would be “rude.” Nicolai responds by saying that even if that’s the case, we still have the right to fight for our lives. Priel says that that’s stupid, and that we don’t have a say in it. She invokes the tired old “you are insects” analogy while she’s at it. There’s nothing in the universe that belongs to us.

Leon asks what Priel’s going to do. She’ll be eaten too, right? Priel doesn’t think so. She’s special. She’ll get to live, and once everything else is gone, she’ll get to live with her master forever. Because of that, she can’t let us through. She tells us to “prepare to, like, die,” and the battle begins.

I’m going to need a balance here, as well as some of my strongest characters. Alph is required of course, and aside from him I choose Leon, Cecille, Mel, Kai, Vanessa, Heath, and Theo. That’ll give me two healers, both of which can revive my other guys. That, and I bought a whole bunch of feathers and healing items. I think I’ll be set until the final battle.

I save at the beginning of the fight, just in case. The map is pretty big, consisting of nine interconnected squares. I start on one corner and Priel starts on the opposite one. There are seven monsters along with her – two Minotaurs (or “Brutos), two fire golems, two ice golems, and one green Cerberus (or “Gulm”) The music is kind of quiet and creepy, and it’s not one I’ve heard before. I’m hearing bits and pieces of the title screen music in it.

Anyway, Kai moves first. I know how obnoxious Ice Golems can be, so I try and go after them first. Some of my guys start out closer to the Fire Golems, so I try and attack those at the same time. Splitting up isn’t usually a good idea, but if I have a healer with each group, I should be OK.

Heath lowers the Fire Golems’ attack, and Vanessa gives herself and him a resistance buff. Alph hits both Ice Golems at once, and Leon runs over to finish off one of them with Hound Charge. Leon, you will be VERY useful later on. Vanessa manages to charm one of the Fire Golems. That’ll DEFINITELY be useful. Leon and Alph take down the other Ice Golem. With those out of the way, I should probably move them back over to where the Fire Golems are. Just for good measure, I save right now.

Priel ends up wasting her level 3 flash drive on just Vanessa. She dies, but bringing back just one person is easier than, say, three or four. Mel does just that on her next turn.

After some teamwork, the Gulm goes down. That leaves four monsters and Priel. One of those monsters is charmed, so I won’t have to worry about it for a while. Priel kills Kai right afterwards, though. Not good, but not crippling, either. I can still manage. Heath kills the Fire Golem that isn’t charmed, and starts to move towards the rest of the group. Said group is slowly moving towards one of the Brutos. Cecille brings Kai back, while the charmed golem makes its way towards Priel and the other Brutos. Priel uses her level 1 flash drive on Vanessa and Mel. It’s still pretty powerful, leaving both of them wounded. Vanessa levels, which heals her, but Mel is still hurt. I have Heath go up and use a Vi Tonic on her. It doesn’t heal her fully, but she’ll survive another attack. The group works on whittling away the Bruto’s health. Unfortunately, Priel manages to charm Mel and Leon. Vanessa goes and heals Leon, since Mel just went. Heath goes over and heals Mel of her charm. Unfortunately, that wasted two turns.

Alph takes out one Brutos. The golem is uncharmed, meaning it has to die. Leon kills Priel off. Ironically, she says “that was useless” before going down. Only two monsters left. This is actually a whole lot easier than I remember it being. I hope that holds true for the next battle as well, because THAT one was really, really hard.

Right now, everyone’s clumped around the two remaining enemies, so it’s a little hard to target. Vanessa kills the golem, and Alph and Heath attack the remaining Bruto. Theo finishes it off, leveling to 47 in the process. Battle over.

I get 9000 Rico, a Ribbon, and three of the same Vitae. I intermission with Leon. Priel is horrified that she’s lost. Her powers are fading, and she asks her master for more strength. Being completely void of mercy or compassion, he just consumes her instead. Sucks to be you, Priel.

Everyone says one after the other that we need to defeat Zehaal. No need to keep saying it – I got it the first ten times! Geez…

Leon’s intermission starts. He asks if Alph likes Lucia. My options are “Nah, not really,” “Y-Yeah,” or “I like you, Leon!” I’m tempted to pick the last option for the lulz, but I decide against it and choose the middle one. Leon is proud of me for admitting it. He thinks she’s cute, too, but he’ll stay out of our way.

Kopin says the world is a beautiful place. Even if the world will end tomorrow, he just wants to watch the sunset. That is a skill fit for him, the ultimate monster. I go back to the world map, with a path leading to my destination. But that’ll have to wait until later – I have other, real-life stuff to do. So I save and turn the game off.

The final battle begins next time, so keep checking in! I’ll try not to put it off for too long. I’d estimate that I’ll finish within the next week. One last thing, though. In addition to “Let’s watch Last Exile,” I’m also considering doing a blind liveblog of the Maple Story anime. I’ve only seen a little of it, but it looks pretty bad. Chances are that many laughs will be had, so keep an eye out for it!

Comments

Sep 19th 2011 at 9:06:03 PM
Congratulations on making it this far. I'd offer some kind of comforting advice, but since you're the reason I picked up this game, I think you'd already be confident enough about this. I'm glad that you've almost achieved your goal, and hope that neither major KO's nor badly-timed status effects will halt your forward charge. Best of luck, both with this and with that future blind blog, and know that I'm cheering you on all the way.
Sep 20th 2011 at 7:57:55 PM
Thanks a lot - both for your encouragement, and for following the liveblog as far as you have. :) I appreciate it.
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