Final Fantasy Tactics : Part 2
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In the very confusing recap of hour one, our favorite illiterate heroes had just decided to leave the relative safety of the Beoulve palace to try and save the Marquis, kidnapped by the Happy Sunshine Cult in one of their many half-baked attempts to elevate the status of the commoners. Keep in mind that this entire episode is a flashback, and that even when it's over, we still need to save a Princess and resolve the whole thing with Delita and B!LL. Got it? Good. Also, just to simplify my pronouns, I'm going to refer to Cesario as a "he" in this recap, because isn't that what you're supposed to do for transvestites, anyway? I'm on the cutting edge of transgendered relations, you see.
From their current location at IGROS CASTLE, Cesario, Delita, PrincessPissyPants, and the Generics migrate eastward back towards GARILAND MAGIC CITY and onto the first of two glowing red locations east of the city, the SWEEGY WOODS. So, I guess they were just never planning on going back to military school or something. I mean, it's never mentioned again in the game or anything. Whatever.
When Chibi!Cesario steps on the SWEEGY WOODS dot, the screen flips out and dissolves into the battle preparation screen. Kelly, Ben, and Jeanne fill the squares adjacent to Cesario and are promptly sent off to battle. In the woods, the party plus PPP and Delita gape at the slew of Skeletons, Bombs, and Goblins facing them and PPP grouses, "What rotten luck. Meeting monsters in a place like this." Tell me something, Ms. Pants, how exactly is it unexpected to meet monsters in a forest? It isn't even some regular a forest, it's a red location, which indicates a battle, like, 99 percent of the time! I never saw that one coming either. Moron.
Delita seconds my snark by shushing PPP and offering that fighting monsters is way better than guarding some boring castle, which only increases PPP's bitching. "This is a matter of life and death," he gripes, "How can you say that?" Well, because it is better than guarding a castle, for one thing. Plus, we're all secretly hoping PPP will bite it in one of these battles, so all the Generics give each other meaningful glances and ready themselves for battle, as the monsters choose that exact moment to start advancing on the party, silencing any further repartee between Delita and PPP.
The battle is pretty easy, because if you remember from the last recap, most of my generics are pretty proficient in several job classes, but also because, for all intents and purposes, PPP and Delita are invincible. Here's the skinny: when a Generic or Cesario sustains a mortal wound in battle, they are knocked unconscious and, if left as such for three turns, evaporate into a HP Crystal or a treasure chest. But it just won't do for Delita to die in the prologue chapter when he plays such a vital role in the rest of the story, so the game designers decided that whenever an uncontrollable "Guest" character "dies," he or she just remains unconscious for the remainder of the battle or until revived by another character, whichever comes first.
So, PPP and Delita charge forward to deal damage and act as meat shields while the rest of the party attacks from a distance and tosses the duo the occasional Phoenix Down. After all the monsters have been subdued, Cesario reminds the party that DORTER, the next red location, is just past the forest. Just in case we forgot what we all were doing during the fifteen-minute battle.
After a brief post-battle micromanagement session, Chibi!Cesario leads the party onward to DORTER TRADE CITY. The usual pre-battle preparations ensue, and we learn exactly where the battle is taking place as the words "Slums in Dorter" wipe across the screen. The camera arrives in the Slums way before the party does, just in time to see a man run through the slums and trip over himself, a Knight hot on his ass. In that way.
"....I said I don't know!" the first man, a Fencer, cries when the Knight catches him. The Knight demands to know where "Gustav" is and where he's hiding the Marquis. When the Fencer refuses to answer, the Knight lifts him up by his throat and throws him into a puddle down the street. Quickly drawing his sword and, pointing it at the Fencer's throat (like, take it all, bitch!), the Knight tells the Fencer that he's out of chances.
Like any stupid henchman, the Fencer can't keep a secret for beans when his life is on the line and stammers, "D....desert......" Somehow, the Knight translates this to "Rat Cellar" and acts like it means something. Whatever. A clomping of Birkenstocks off-screen heralds Cesario's arrival in the slums, and the Knight whips around, curses the arrival of the Hokuten, and dashes off. "Looks like our trip here was well worth it," PPP murmurs stupidly, and Delita comments that he's seen the Knight somewhere before, at the end of the oft-referenced Fifty Year War.
The Fencer's Johnny-come-lackeys arrive to bail out their comrade a day late and a dollar short, so the Fencer sics his soldiers on the party instead, silencing the musings of our heroes. Cesario doesn't want the carefully chosen battle formation from five minutes ago to go to waste and orders his comrades to fight, even though they really have nothing to gain from beating a bunch of thieves. Whatever. During Delita's first turn, he remembers the Knight's name, Wiegraf, and that Wiegraf used to be the head of the Death Knights and now leads the Happy Sunshine Cult. Fencer's compatriots are all archers and wizards, so the Party quickly splits up to avoid being slaughtered from a distance and eventually wastes the enemies in hand to hand combat.
After the battle, the camera fades up inside a random house, where PPP, Cesario, and Delita have taken the Fencer captive. PPP assumes the role of "Interrogating Warden" and proceeds to have his way with the Fencer. "You must be the [Happy Sunshine Cult]," he duhs, "Where is the Marquis? Where is he being held? Tell us!!" The Fencer doesn't answer, and PPP brutally kicks him in the face. Cesario's bleeding heart cries for PPP to stop battering the poor bastard, and PPP switches tack.
"In a moment, the Hokuten will begin to slaughter you," he starts. Personally, I think this is a terrible translation, because PPP makes it sound like the Hokuten are either all going to slaughter the Fencer together, or they are all going to slaughter the Happy Sunshine Cult in the next sixty seconds, neither of which makes much sense. A better translation would have been, "Before long, the Hokuten will kill you all." But what do I know?
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The Fencer maintains that he doesn't know "a damn thing," earning him another kick to the face from the Princess of Pants. Talk about brutal. PPP warns the Fencer to never talk to nobles like that, prompting the Fencer to launch into a long speech about Nobles and Commoners, which I've opted not to include because it's boring.
The Fencer admits that kidnapping the Marquis was not Wiegraf's plan, and adds that the Happy Sunshine Cult would never kidnap a noble for money. PPP demands to know who did kidnap the Marquis Elmdor if the Happy Sunshine Cult didn't, and the Fencer begrudgingly admits that it was Gustav's plan. When Delita exposits that Gustav acts as second-in-command for the Happy Sunshine Cult and the Death Knights before them, PPP sneers that it WAS the Happy Sunshine Cult all along. Jinkies! The Fencer asserts that most of the Happy Sunshine Cultists are different from Gustav, earning him some more loose teeth, courtesy of PPP's size nine pumps.
Again, all Cesario has to contribute to the conversation is to bitch for PPP to chill out. After taking a moment to calm down, PPP demands to know where Gustav is, and the Fencer happily tells him that Gustav fled to the "Sand Rat Cellar." While PPP wets his pants at the thought of icky "ra-a-a-ts," Delita exposits that Sand Rats only live in the ZEKLAUS DESERT north of DORTER TRADE CITY and a Cellar is another name for a rat's nest. Cesario and Delita discuss an abandoned gathering site in the desert, the most likely place for Gustav to hide, and the scene mercifully ends. I guess they just let the Fencer go to tell all his compatriots that the Hokuten Cadets are on their trail. That was smart.
After stocking up on new equipment at DORTER TRADE CITY and micro-managing the party, Chibi!Cesario leads the party north to the newly-discovered ZEKLAUS DESERT, which is, of course, glowing red. Just to simplify things, these red locations, all of which turn green or blue after being visited for the first time, will be called REDs, short for Really Emportant Destinations. Yeah, I misspelled important. Write me a flame about it, I dare you. If you need me, I'll be lacing up my ball-kicking boots.
Anyway, Cesario leads the party to the RED to the north, and surprise, surprise, I find myself setting up the party for a battle. This particular battle splits the party into two groups to try and take the Cellar with some pincer move, so I have to manage the party like two smaller parties, with one attacker, one healer, and either PPP or Delita in each division. We also learn that the battle takes place in "Desert of the Sand Mouse," another brilliant bit of fumbled translation.
The scene starts before the party gets to the desert, and we get a clear view of the Happy Sunshine Cultists hiding out in an abandoned house. They argue amongst each other for awhile about struggles within the Happy Sunshine Cult and entertain the idea of running away until Cesario and company show up to crash the party. During the battle, the enemies set up an incredibly annoying defense that involves wedging a well-armed knight in the door to the hut and using archers to fire arrows at the party from inside the hut's walls. Eventually, Kelly and Samantha roast the archers with waves of Fire3 and turn the tide in the party's favor. (Just imagine the damage they'll do in the new mailbag!) After PPP and Delita make it inside of the hut, the battle is surprisingly easy and quickly ended.
The scene jumps to a secluded shack within the ZEKLAUS DESERT where Wiegraf has cornered Gustav and demands to know why he never gives up his individuality. It's about Cult Mentality, duuuude! Gustav retorts that Wiegraf's revolution can never succeed because he's too idealistic for the Happy Sunshine Cultists. How are they supposed to worry about being respected by the nobles when they eat dog food and sleep in garbage cans? Wiegraf and Gustav argue some more and resolve to settle their argument the only way they know how. Gustav pulls out his sword and lunges at Wiegraf, who sidesteps the blade and plunges his own sword into Gustav's chest. It even pokes out Gustav's back. Geez, was that shit forged in the fires of Mount Doom, or does Gustav just suffer from a nasty case of osteoporosis? Seriously, yuck.
Wiegraf pulls his sword out of Gustav's sucking chest wound and the corpse hits the dirt as Cesario, PPP, and Delita dash into the room. Cesario shouts at Wiegraf in horror as PPP screeches to the Marquis, bound and gagged in the back of the room. PPP starts for the Marquis, but Wiegraf gets there first, pointing his sword at the Marquis' head. Way to think things through, PPP. What a freaking moron.