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"Mr. T says 'Bitch, you set the bomb.' Bitch starts to, but then starts hallucinating. He wouldn't be a Final Fantasy hero if he didn't."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VII Part 1




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Valkyrie Profile : Part 2
By Ryan
Posted 02.17.06
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
So now the knights have caught up with the cart. I guess Arnold was serious when he said he didn't think the knights were after them. If I was taking orders from a dark, mysterious agent and collaborating with Scruffy McGreedyson to deliver unknown cargo across warring borders, I would probably at least get out of the knights' way, or something. One of the Artolian Knights tells Arnold and Badrach to surrender their cargo for inspection. Another knight crosses to the crate, opens the back, and pulls out...

...

...

A three-foot silver trophy! Just kidding, it's totally an unconscious Jelanda. She's also got new clothes because neither her Pretty Pretty Princess Dress nor her Masterful Disguise are very well suited for fighting against the undead for some reason. Arnold and Badrach haven't played this game before, so when it comes out that they were unwittingly sneaking the princess behind enemy lines, they turn tail and head for the hills. As they run, Arnold thinks to himself:

When I think about it now... I never should have agreed to take that package without knowing what was inside.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. I mean, really. Arnold and Badrach, now hunkered down behind a boulder somewhere in the forest, discuss their options. Badrach comments that they should probably wait until nightfall, and then make a break for it. Then Badrach randomly mentions Longbert again, blaming him for the job going awry. I guess Arnold wasn't paying attention the first time Badrach cursed Longbert, because he leans forward, incensed, and growls, "You knew?!" Badrach backpedals: "No, I didn't know what was IN the damn thing! It's just that my, uh, client was [Longbert], like always, and..." Arnold asks Badrach if he thinks the knights know that Longbert's involved, and Badrach says that can't be the case, because Longbert is a Villnore spy! Arnold gets mad at the frivolous way Badrach drops that particular bomb, but it's not really that surprising, what with the greed clouding his judgment and all. It's not like this guy was going to take up a part-time job teaching Ethics classes at Artolia Community College any time soon or anything.

 
Heh heh, 'palm.'

I'd have been quite happy to kill the stinking knave," Arnold tells us, of Badrach, "But I've got more important things to do... Then, still on the black screen, we hear Jelanda cry out: "Ah, [Arnold]... It hurts... Help me! Save me!!" Aw, man! Are the knights having their way with Jelanda's unconscious body? I'm going to be seriously grossed out if they are.

Back in the game world, we hear a man cry out, followed by the screams of another man. Sounds like the orgy took a turn for the kinky! Badrach and Arnold rush back to the caravan, handheld cameras weapons at the ready.

Yikes! Turns out it isn't an orgy after all! Badrach and Arnold stumble on the scene just in time to see a giant demon lay waste to all the knights save one, who runs to Arnold, begging for his help. Arnold demands to know what happened to the princess, who is nowhere to be seen, and the knight explains, "Because the princess was unconscious, the captain told us to give her this medicine that he got from [Longbert]..." As the meaning behind the knight's words sink in, Badrach mutters, mystified, "That's... the princess?" Then Arnold takes a quick time-out to break it all down for us:

[Longbert] was playing two hands. He knew the abduction would be discovered, so he sent some "medicine" along with the search party. If we made it all the way to Villnore, no problem. But if we were discovered, the cavalry would use the "medicine"... He knew the princess would be unconscious if she was found. [For three whole days? Poor Jelanda] The medicine's effect was as you see. The princess became a monster, and afterwards, all were dead. Perhaps even the princess...

What's your take on Ghoul Powder?
Cool idea! I'm working it into my next Harry Potter Fanfic!
Contrived. It just turns you into a demon? That makes no sense!
Obviously street slang for cocaine. A powder that turns you into a monster? Come on!
Lame idea. Now Unicorn powder, that's something I can get behind.

 

Back where the action's at, Badrach has some exposition of his own to share: "That's exactly what happens when somebody drinks Ghoul Powder!" Apparently, it "turns a person into a howling demon." That's a pretty neat parlor trick! I'm totally going to add it to my Amazon Wishlist. Badrach explains that it makes sense that Longbert would have Ghoul Powder lying around because necromancers use it all the time, and in addition to being a spy, he's also an evil wizard. What are the chances? While Arnold digests that information, the camera pans back over to the transformed Jelanda Ghoul (Ghoulanda?), and she summons four floating spectre skulls to her side. The camera pans back over to Arnold and Badrach, just in time to see Badrach flee from the scene. No money in dying, I guess. Arnold kind of agrees with me:

Maybe he made the right choice, I don't know. But I wasn't going to run. Even on the field of battle, I'd never felt like this. [Longbert]... I'm going to kill you! But what will become of Jelanda...

Arnold rushes toward Ghoulanda and her cohort, but before anybody can do anything, a triumphant fanfare hits the soundtrack and Freya and Lenneth (Hey, Lenneth!) whoosh down from the sky to dispatch two of the skulls, clearing a path toward Ghoulanda. Before Lenneth can attack, Arnold stops her; it's really the princess, after all. Lenneth says to Arnold, "Human, life is not something to be thrown away. If you are a true warrior, you will find your path in the maelstrom of battle." This mind-over-matter fighting Zen babble tips Arnold off: "The Battle-Maiden, Valkyrie?" he exclaims, astonished. To us, he says: "Who hadn't heard the tales? Of the endless war the gods wage with the creatures of darkness...," and then we're promptly whisked off to battle.

Oooh, what a pretty battle transition! Instead of having the screen shatter into a million pieces of glass or whatever, the screen just fades to black to feature Lenneth, floating in mid-air. Then she sprouts laser wings and flaps them, sending tiny points of light flying into the air, and the little sparkles collect to create Freya and Arnold and also color in the background. Why either Arnold (who was already standing there) or Freya (who can ripple-teleport) had to be reconstituted from Lenneth's laser wings is quite beyond me, but it's pretty, so who cares. "Come to me, Dark Warriors, battle awaits us!" Lenneth cries, and Ghoulanda takes it to heart; she dashes forward and smacks Lenneth in the face with a wave of lavender energy. Between Arnold's King of All Phalluses sword and Freya's cool energy ball attack, the party makes short work of Ghoulanda and she evaporates in a column of blue light, never again to terrorize a sushi bar or manga stand.

 
Fabulous!

After the battle, we see Arnold walking back toward Artolia, alone. I guess Lenneth and Freya rippleported away without him. Sad. "Battle is my greatest pleasure..." Arnold interviews, "But, this was different." Why? Because it ended with you killing a little girl who happened to be next in line to rule a whole country? Arnold suddenly recalls what his brother said to him days earlier: "You think it's foolish, brother, because you're content with what you have." "You're wrong!" Arnold yells back. But it must strike a chord with him, because Arnold goes on to explain that he's only ever found pleasure or strength through the misfortune of others on the battlefield. "That's right... I was myself without morals. Who was I to judge others?" Well, now that Arnold has had his little crisis of faith or whatever and has decided to be a good person, let's see what some of the other, more interesting characters are doing, shall we?

The screen cuts back to the forest path, and we see Lenneth standing over Jelanda's dead body, back in human form. A blue ball of light slowly rises from Jelanda's chest and Lenneth absorbs it into herself. Was that a Pokéball? All right! Jelanda is Lenneth's first warrior! I bet you all thought it was going to be Arnold, didn't you? Well, those of you that didn't read the cast list from the last recap, where I gave it all away, at least. You're all too smart for your own damn good.

Despite the fact that he was a three-day journey out from Artolia, Arnold seems to have had no trouble making it back to town in record time, and we rejoin him just in time to see him bust into Longbert's room in the castle. The evil spy/wizard/adviser greets him with the normal badguy niceties, and then tells Arnold that he might as well leave, for he'll get nothing done by causing a ruckus at the castle. Arnold obviously disagrees, but when he charges toward Longbert, the wizard traps him in a black star-shaped field of energy. Whoops, way to rush into things, Arnold. You'd better hope Lenneth shows up to save your ass again. Speaking of Lenneth...

Penis!
 

...we cut away from the Arnold/Longbert scene to see Lenneth and Jelanda standing against a black screen. Could this be someplace inside Lenneth's soul? Let's just go with that. Jelanda pleads with Lenneth to save Arnold, and Lenneth responds, "Save? How do you think he might be saved?" Jelanda hems and haws, and Lenneth continues, "By being allowed to live? Or by being chosen by me?" On that cliffhanger of a decision, we cut back to Longbert and Arnold. Neither man has moved an inch, and Longbert seems to be enjoying having Arnold at his mercy: "Yet one thing does strike me as odd," he comments, "I'd have believed it if you ran away, but... could a human really have defeated a Ghoul?" Suddenly, we hear Jelanda's voice: "That's him! That's the man who betrayed me!", and Lenneth appears on the scene in a flash of white light, which not only serves to heighten the dramatic nature of her entrance, but also dissolves the field of dark energy immobilizing Arnold. It dawns upon Longbert that Lenneth helped Arnold defeat the Ghoul, but Lenneth cuts his long-winded realization short: "Defiler of souls... Your sins lay heavy upon you!" Then she and Arnold kick the ever-loving snot out of Longbert and he evaporates into a column of white light. If it seems anticlimactic, that's because it was. Seriously, the battle took like two minutes, even with Longbert rippleporting in place after every damn turn.

After the battle, Longbert's room is suddenly filled with knights (and mysteriously devoid of Lenneth). Arnold's the best of the knights, remember, so each time a knight approaches him, he easily dispatches it with a wave of his sword. "Look, friend, don't expect me to do you any favors. I'm not going to die!" Arnold yells to where Lenneth once stood, "I guess they don't have much use for heroes with true strength up in Asgard, eh?" he taunts, and I guess it works, because Lenneth materializes, now floating near the ceiling, and addresses Arnold: "Vainglorious human... strength is not everything," to which Arnold just scoffs that Lenneth can't possibly understand anything about battle, as she's just a "death goddess." Then a third voice joins the conversation: "Impudent fool! Valkyrie is not a goddess of the dark! Such words will result in your certain death!" Surprise! The wielder of these pretentious words is none other than Jelanda, who materializes behind Lenneth. The fact that Jelanda is in cahoots with Lenneth startles Arnold, and he mumbles, "Angela?" Jelanda and Arnold have a moment where Jelanda's all, "What? You knew?" and Arnold's all "I'm glad you're safe!", but then it's ruined when one of the knights charges towards Arnold and gets his head chopped off. Arnold nonchalantly turns back to Lenneth to ask her an ironic question: "Aren't you just a death-goddess?" To which Lenneth responds, "A god of death is merely responsible for the snuffing out of lives. I, however, can show you the path... however, you must walk it on your own." Oooh, cryptic!

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