Tales of Destiny : Part 2
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Sword of Snark backpedals like crazy, claiming that he only misled Aslan because "his mind was so simple and easy to read...but more than anything, he seemed like a good person..." Aww. Aslan isn't convinced by this flowery sentiment, and is content to seethe to himself in the corner for a while. SoS is going to have to splash out on ten anniversaries' worth of candlelit dinners to make up for this. Interrupting the lovers' tiff, Rutee asks Aslan if he's willing to work alongside her and Mary. He seems unsure at first, but after Atwight reveals she would feel safer if SoS were to come alone, he's all for it. "Back up OFF of my Swordian, bitch!" he thinks to himself as he agrees to Rutee's proposition -- but he "won't take part in any crimes". Why, what does he take Rutee for?! She tells the others she's going to pay for their lodgings. As soon as she is out of earshot -- but still in the middle of a crowded tavern, like that isn't going to seem suspicious at all -- she says "That was a good move, Atwight." OMG, what could she be up to?! Atwight replies that she just told the truth, and is not actively helping Rutee with her nefarious plans, whatever they may be. Rutee accuses Atwight of having an ulterior motive of her own, saying she only wants to get with SoS (I have a feeling she'll be disappointed), but Atwight insists that she and Snarky are just old comrades, and that Rutee "wouldn't understand". Pull the stick out of your hilt, Atwight. She continues that Rutee is "a money-obsessed maniac" (can't argue with her there), prompting Rutee to wail "You don't know a thing about me!" Atwight is unperturbed, claiming "I can't read your mind because you won't open it to me". God, this is so angsty. Rutee, just put your damn sword back in her scabbard and book those rooms already.
After some more passive-aggressive-catfighty bullshit, Rutee and Atwight leave. The camera pans back over to the table to show that Aslan and Mary were watching the whole time. Way to be inconspicuous, Rutee. Aslan is all WTFBBQ?, but Mary assures him "They do this often. Don't worry." Now that is hilarious. Mary has seen her companion engage in screaming matches with her sword so many times that it's become mundane. After an awkward silence, Aslan asks why Mary set out on her adventure. "I...can't remember," Mary replies flatly, killing the conversation before it's begun. Best reply ever. But it becomes apparent Mary isn't joking -- she really can't remember. "My memories only begin from the time I first met Rutee," she reveals. Her sword -- a non-Swordian -- is all she can remember from the time before she and Rutee met. "I don't know why I have it or who it belongs to..." she says forlornly. I'm sure she won't find out by the end of the game, either. Aslan apologises for prying, but Mary tells him it's liberating to not have any memories: "Besides, everything I see, hear, touch, taste...everything is new to me." I see. Rutee interrupts this riveting piece of character development by showing up to declare that she managed to book their rooms for the night. With that, she and Mary scurry off together, leaving poor Aslan with only his blade for company.
Hmm, there is seriously some untold history here. Okay, here's what I think. Mary met Rutee at a tavern one night -- it was love at first sight. A few months into their relationship, Rutee -- who had neglected to tell Mary she was bisexual -- became acquainted with her fiery lover's extremely hot brother, and began a clandestine affair. Eventually Mary found out and, in a fit of rage, murdered her brother for stealing her true love. Understandably, Rutee dumped Mary and thus began a bitter feud which failed to be resolved even when they both appeared on the Phandarian version of Judge Judy (Mary had covered up the murder of her brother very well, and therefore was never charged for the crime). When leaving the TV studio, Mary saw Rutee with her new boyfriend and was overcome with anger, engaging in a vicious catfight with her ex. Mary bumped her head during the scuffle, bringing on amnesia. Rutee felt so guilty that she decided to be Mary's friend, and thus began their travels together. All Mary can remember is that she badly wants a piece of Rutee's sweet ass, but her feelings remain unreciprocated, explaining why she's always so quiet and moody.
What? Hey, it's almost certainly more interesting than whatever crack-induced backstory the game designers have planned for them.
Black Screen of Sleep. Morning arrives to see Aslan, unsurprisingly, still in a deep sleep. Mary and Rutee enter the room but are unable to wake him up. Man, that joke garners a laugh every time, doesn't it? After shouting -- multiple times -- Rutee finally manages to rouse Aslan from his slumber. She's all a'flutter because they have a mission to get on with and Aslan's body clock is going to make them late. Aslan seems as confused as I am about this mission -- I sure as hell didn't see anyone mention it in the last scene -- but Rutee sighs impatiently "Oh, give me a break! I told you yesterday! Don't you remember?! There's a village called Harmentz to the northwest. We're supposed to give that cane to a guy named Walt! Do you remember now?" Huh? Cane? Say what? Fortunately Mary clears things up by reminding Rutee that she never told Aslan about the cane. "Oh no Mary, you don't remember either?" Rutee wails. "I don't forget a thing," says the party's resident amnesiac.
|...And a queen at weekends, allegedly.
So, it looks like we're off to Harmentz! Before leaving, Rutee insists that Aslan exchange his Lens for gald -- heralding another explanation of what Lens are. Because none of us got it the first time. The whole scene is pretty much worthless (except for another hilarious verbal smackdown on Aslan courtesy of Rutee -- "Okay, I'll teach da wittle country boy how the Lensy-wensy gets changed into M-O-N-E-Y!!") so I'll just gloss over it. It only takes me several hours to find Harmentz on the World Map, and before long Aslan is cavorting with a whole new set of talkative NPCs. None of them have anything interesting to say, apart from Aslan's "Uncle Bob" (hmm...) who gives him 10 Lens. The one fact worth remembering (probably because the game designers see fit to smack me in the face with it every two minutes) is that people in Harmentz are Really Fucking Religious.
One incident -- which I'm trying to block from my memory, lest I become consumed by a murderous rage -- occurs when Aslan spies an innocent-looking treasure box in the shade of some trees. A cute little kid (dressed in a bunny suit...yeah) asks if Aslan wants the treasure. Do you really think an RPG hero will pass by the opportunity to nab some free treasure? Shit, that would be like asking the Pope to burn his Bible. Aslan raids the chest at the speed of light, finding a pretty sucky Orange Gel. But hey, it was free! Aslan pockets the Gel and prepares to make his way back to the pathway. But what's this? The little bunny kid's blocking the way out. "You stole my treasure! I'm not gonna let you out of here!" Obnoxious Bunny Child snits. Wait a second, Aslan thinks. Sure, the little shit's being annoying, but he's just a kid. If I apologize he'll let me go.
But no. The kid doesn't think a mere apology is enough to compensate for a fucking Orange Gel that he told Aslan to take in the first place. He declares that Aslan must give him every penny he owns (by this point, 1337 gald) or he can "stay there for the rest of his life". Aslan is completely trapped; no matter which way I move him, there's no way out. So, rather than reach for SoS, Aslan has no choice but to hand over the cash. I weep as I'm forced to relinquish every single piece of gald I've earned since starting this game. And you know what? There doesn't seem to be any way to get the money back. To add insult to injury, if Aslan tries to speak to the snot-nosed crotchloaf afterwards, he says "I'm bored now because the treasure box is gone. It's your stoopid fault!"
And people wonder why I'm not fond of kids. Hoping to erase the experience from my brain and advance the story, I head for Walt's house. After a run-inn with Walt's bodyguard (hell, even random bodyguards hate Aslan! Must suck to be him), the party is ushered upstairs into Walt's sumptuous chambers. I know that sounds dirty. Walt -- an elderly blue-haired man -- asks if Rutee brought him the cane. I still have no idea what this fucking cane is, but Rutee hands it over anyway. Satisfied that Rutee has kept her side of the bargain -- whatever bargain it was -- Walt walks over to a large plant pot and digs an amazing 5000 gald out of it. Mental note to self: use plant pots to store valuables. Nobody will look there! Although I personally am overjoyed at the prospect of receiving 5000 gald (especially after the child-bunny-thief incident), Rutee, bless her money grubbin' soul, is less than pleased. "I bet I can get at least 50,000 gald if I put that thing up for auction!" she screeches, like some bitchy, money-crazed banshee. Despite Walt's protestations, Rutee actually waltzes over to the plant pot cashpoint and withdraws another 5000 gald. Okay, I love her and everything, but that's pretty audacious. Walt informs Rutee that he made a reservation at the inn for her, and was even going to wine and dine her in thanks for her hard work. But I guess not anymore.
|Assuming Bradygames didn't write it!
Walt asks how she could treat him like this, but Rutee isn't even listening. "Whatever. Thanks for taking care of our accomodations. We'll make sure to stay at the inn," she says insincerely, rubbing salt into Walt's wound. The guy watches helplessly as the little bitch, after stealing 5000 gald from under his nose, skips off to the inn for a comfortable night's rest paid for by him. That's gotta smart. "She's a witch..." Aslan mutters, and for once I agree with him. Walt yells at the party to get out, and that he never wants to see their ugly faces again. Hey Walt, lighten up. Yeah, Rutee robbed you blind, but Mary and Aslan never did anything. 10000 gald richer, the party heads to the inn.
The next day dawns with Rutee and Mary trying to wake Aslan. Again. I tell you, I haven't had so much fun since I had a gum abscess last year. Come to think of it, that was more fun. When Aslan finally wakes up, he asks what they're going to do now, since they've completed their mission of stealing Walt's life savings and all. Rutee reveals that they could earn more pots of cash (no, game designers, not caches of pot) by heading to the village of Armeida. Apparently the village elder is looking for someone to give his grandson lessons in swordmanship. With their destination having once again been decided by Rutee (well, would you stand up to her?) the group heads out.
But what's this? In the lobby of the inn are three soldier clones, and they don't look happy. Upon spying the party, they rush forward en masse, yelling "Hey, you!! Return what you've taken from us!!" I guess they're the same soldiers Aslan wiped the floor with in the underground temple, but what I don't understand is what exactly the party has taken from them. Was it the cane? Or did Rutee raid their plant pots too? "Oh, now I remember!" Rutee hisses. "You're the thieves that tried to mess with us before!" I'll say it again, Rutee -- they are not thieves. You are. You have major denial issues.
Soldier Clone #1 reveals that the temple is under the protection and care of Seinegald, and therefore the Seinegaldian army are its guardians. Whoops, Rutee & co. One of the soldiers has heard of Rutee -- he has heard "many bad things about her" -- but Rutee's feathers remain unruffled, and she simply asks if he wants her autograph. Hee. But wisecracking aside, she and the others realise they're in deep shit. So, they do what any sensible people would in such a situation. They run like crazy. But unfortunately, they only reach the front porch of the inn before being surrounded by a veritable legion of other soldier clones. Bummer. "I thought you said you weren't involved in bad things!!" Aslan cries, spreading a cloud of duh over the situation. Rutee simply tells him to shut up -- her plans are ruined now. But she isn't prepared to go down without a fight (I don't know, I've heard a few mugs of ale is all it usually takes...), and draws Atwight, commanding Aslan and Mary to ready their weapons too. Mary -- who, again, hasn't said much for a while -- screams "Hee hee hee! Come on, you little girlie boys! Show me what ya got!!!". She needs help. Just before the obligatory battle begins, Aslan says to himself "...Lilith, I'm so sorry...I might not be able to come home ever...". Ooooh, who could Lilith be? Do I care?
After a hard-fought battle against 8 soldiers, Aslan and the others could be forgiven for thinking they have the upper hand. Until the commander of the soldiers -- an exceedingly feminine young man wearing a fetching pink cloak -- shows up, that is. "Sir Leon" calls his troops "spineless worms" (such a polite chap!) before vowing to vanquish the gay, the amnesiac and the kleptomaniac himself. Yeah, you go, you pink-clad destroyer, you. "You little arrogant twit!" Mary roars, summing up my thoughts nicely. "When did they let you out of preschool?" Rutee contributes, erasing any negativity I may have felt towards her after the whole robbing-an-old-man thing. Leon seems unthreatened. "I've given you fair warning," he snits. "You'll regret your insolence".
And man, do they regret. I quickly discover that Leon is one of those annoying RPG bosses who you're meant to lose to -- you know, the ones who take off half of your HP in one hit, and whose own HP are never depleted more than 1 point at a time. I have read that it's possible to beat Leon, but I really don't have the time, energy, incentive or desire to level everybody up to Level 100 just to do so. And if that classes me as a non-leet gamer, so be it. After having their asses handed to them on a silver platter, the three stooges are tied up (kinky!) and subjected to a Leon gloat-fest. "How amusing..." he says. "I wasn't aware you had Swordians." Huge reveal here, as we hear another voice saying "You shouldn't have challenged my young master". Yep, Leon has a Swordian too. Fuck, they can't be as rare as SoS has claimed, if Aslan has encountered two new ones in this hour alone. Leon's Swordian -- Chaltier -- is revealed to have been a comrade of SoS and Atwight during the great war. But he's changed now, according to SoS. Aslan wonders aloud why, if Leon is a fellow Swordian master, he won't let them go. I know what you mean, Aslan. Surely he should let a group of criminals run free just because two of them have a talking sword just like him.
Chaltier butts in here, declaring that his master is "the best swordsman in the kingdom of Seinegald". Enough ass-licking for one recap, Chaltier. "By the way..." Sword of Snark interjects, "You talk differently now, Chaltier." Chaltier seems surprised, and replies that it's probably because of his young master. Besides, he's "been through a lot". He doesn't get a chance to go into detail, as Leon swiftly confiscates the party's weapons and sends them to the Seinegaldian capital, Darilsheid, where they are incarcerated until further notice. I guess their trip to Armeida will have to wait. But hopefully it won't be too long until the next recap!