2 days ago
On to the show...
Episode 22: We Didn’t Start the Fire
Hello and welcome one and all to another exciting edition of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. And I’m going to apologize for using the episode title here. I was going to use it for the last episode but thought it was too tasteless. Now? It’s the right time for this.
So, yeah, in our previous episode, Estelle and Joshua get a sweet suite with a killer view, but then have to give it up to a nobleman because he’s put upon butler begged them to do it. Poor guy. So they’re stuck sharing a room with Nial who’s looking for a big story.
During the night, however, under mysterious circumstances, the Orphanage is set ablaze with it’s residents unaccounted for. It’s fallen to Estelle and Joshua to investigate, but we did some side quests first, like beating up some monsters and recovering a missing prototype. Because this is an RPG and the main story won’t continue until we force it to.
But will our heroes discover who attempted to kill Matron Theresa, Clem and the other kids? And how will they exact their brand of justice? Let’s tune in and find out.
First, a quick look at where we are at the story. Or I would say that if we had anything written in there. We do have a warehouse key to find so let’s deal with that first. So in order to start that quest we have to go to the harbor, so across the bridge we go and... actually, who am I suppose to talk to again?
Some guy named Harg. Huh. Better talk to random people and see who activates the scene. First we have Simon who talks about Ruan’s past as a foreign trade and commercial fishing village. But times have changed and the harbor, once the main source of money, makes nada. Though he suspects that the change to a tourist trap happened as soon as Mayor Dalmore was sworn in. Coincidence? Maybe.
Next we have Portos. He’s talking about shipments. Mainly that it’s all orbment-related these days. And Liberl-made orbments are the most famous in the world! And they should know, they make them. But not what I need. What about this guy in the construction hat? Nope, his name is Benoit and he’s complaining about the goons.
Continuing to the northwest section of the map I talk to a guy near the river and quickly a scene starts. I guess this is Harg. Estelle asks if he’s the client and confirms as much, happy to see the bracers answering his call. He explains that he was working with barrels around the crane the other day, meaning that he dropped it there and not, you know, left it at a bar or someplace else. Which is where he went after that and probably dropped it there if it isn’t by the barrels.
And now I’m suddenly thinking of my characters checking out a barrel and saying “barrel” in loud or cutesy tones. Damn you, Gust!
Joshua promises Harg that they’ll check it out, but if he remembers anything else, he should let them know.
So I check the barrels and boxes around the crane, but I get nothing. I go into the bar and check there. I also talk to everybody I see in order to trigger a scene but so far, nothing. Upstairs I find fishing rods, which fills Queen of Fishing Estelle’s passion for more fishing. We also have a drunk navigator and a guy talking about how to make money.
Lost, I look up a guide and find that I’m suppose to take this narrow path to some planks, and on the second plank I’ll find them. Well, turns out, it’s there. Yay! Estelle notices something shining below them. Joshua is curious as to what it could be, suggesting that Harg could check it out.
It doesn’t look that deep. Estelle thinks that if they had something hooked to snag it, then... what, nothing else? No scream of being the Queen of Fishing? Well, it’s a good thing I know where to go next, so it’s back to the second level of the bar to grab a rod. Of course, we have to ask the shopkeeper first, because that’s the polite thing to do.
So back downstairs we go to talk to the shopkeeper about borrowing a fishing rod for official bracer business.
We have a choice, but it’s pretty obvious what to do next. So I go back to the fishing spot with the rod, but at first it looks like I need more than that, but luckily...
Who said anything about fishing it out? Estelle just wants fish for dinner.
Joshua asks if this is going to be difficult for her to do, but Estelle is pretty confident that she can do this.
So Estelle does her thing and doesn’t take long to get the warehouse key.
Joshua can’t help but be impressed. He admits that he never would have thought that the Queen of Fishing would be able to snag the key.
Upon closer inspection of the key, they believe it to be the warehouse key. Joshua is confused on how the key got dropped at this spot, but Estelle doesn’t care about those little things. Let’s go return the key!
Returning to Harg, Estelle presents it to him, getting confirmation that they indeed fished out the right key. He’s happy to get it back, but not all tangled up with a fishing line.
Not that long, really. Still, Harg is happy to get it back, but has to quickly leave. And look at him going, walking in place like that. Okay, with the quest completed, it’s time to report it in.
Not a bad reward, honestly. And with no other jobs to take, it’s time to head for the Orphanage. After resting up, we’re on the Gull Seaside Way to make the long trek back to the orphanage.
After the traveling, we find the orphanage and man, it looks awful. Estelle and Joshua are depressed at the sight of the former building, now nothing but a shell of it’s former self.
Two people suddenly appear. A guy with red hair named Zack and some standard looking NPC named Solomon. He asks the kids if they’re from the guild, which Estelle confirms. Joshua asks if they are from Manoria, which Zack confirms. He and Solomon are there to pick up the pieces. He states that they were there trying to fight the fire last night and... well, they didn’t do a great job of it.
Estelle has other concerns at the moment.
And I am so thankful for that. Solomon says that they’re at the inn, but adds that, with the size of the fire, it’s a miracle that nobody was badly hurt. The kids breath a sigh of relief over the news.
Zack and Solomon are going to continue the clean up while Estelle suggests checking up on the others. Joshua, however, reminds her that they’re on the clock. The scene isn’t going to investigate itself, after all.
Pun not intended. Estelle relents, so it’s time to figure out this mess, who to beat up and how badly to beat them up. Time to check out the place. CSI: Bracers is a go!
First we have the door, which has been completely wrecked. Estelle comments that it’s pitch black, but then notices something else. She notes that the hinge appears to have been torn off. Joshua confirms it and then adds that it appears to have happened before the fire started.
Our next spot is a wall near the front entrance. Estelle notices a strange smell coming from the area. Joshua seems to know why, but nothing else is added to that.
To the west of the building is some barrels. They used to have food in them but now the food has been ruined. But it didn’t trigger a conversation so it isn’t important. We also have a fallen milk can, some herbs being disturbed and some soil kicked up.
Speaking to the two from before, Zack says that he doesn’t know how the Matron is going to pay for the new building. Maybe she can start a GoFundMe account. As for Solomon, he states that he was in shock over the event, seeing the sky turn red. He says that he got to the orphanage as quickly as he could, but by then, it was already too late.
And this cause a fade out. When we return, the kids are in front of the building. Joshua says that they’ve taken a good look around and asks Estelle what she thinks. She isn’t certain, so Joshua goes over the facts and their findings.
First, the fire doesn’t appear to have started in the building. It likely started outside. When Estelle asks why, Joshua shows her the spot that was to the right of the door. He says that this is where the fire started, probably. When she asks how he knew that, he says that the fire damage was worse in this spot than anyplace else here. Estelle does a quick spin and confirms Joshua’s comments.
Of course, you know what this means, right Estelle?
Even if I wasn’t using a guide, it would be pretty obvious that this was not an accident. Selecting that option, Joshua agrees. He says that the smell is highly flammable oil and everywhere around the origin point. Oh, and he says that it seems weird that everything outside is scattered around. Even if they were fighting a fire there’s no way the herb garden would be that badly damaged.
So somebody totally started this fire. Which we didn’t start. That’s when a girls voice calls out to ask if what Joshua said was true.
The kids turns to see...
The kids are surprise to see her. As they approach her, Kloe is in near tears, wondering what kind of monster would do this?
Somebody with a grudge against the Matron? Clem pissing off the wrong person? Just some random pyromaniac who can’t help himself? There can be a lot of different reasons, but what cannot be debated is that somebody deliberately set this fire.
All three kids are silent, but it’s Kloe who breaks the silence, apologizing as she’s so confused about the scenario. Estelle comes in to hug the poor girl.
They are clearly monsters and must be punished! Kloe is glad to receive those words of encouragement, but she gets better news from Estelle that Matron Theresa and the kids are okay.
Turns out, Kloe found out while in morning classes. The dean came to see her and gave the news about the orphanage fire. Bolting out of the classroom, he kept telling herself that they’re fine, that they weren’t hurt, that she won’t find anything terrible. Because the universe isn’t that cruel!
After the hug is broken, Joshua tells Kloe where they are. They had just finished the investigation and were going to go see them. He invites Kloe, who pretty much says yes right away.
Poor girl. Right then, to the village! Kloe is with us again but still not a party member. At the inn we go upstairs, go to the wrong room by accident, but then find the right room to see that Matron Theresa and the kids are doing good. Kloe is glad to see them, and as soon as the children see her immediately rush her.
The children all say they’re okay as Theresa is glad to see Kloe. And hey, it’s Estelle and Joshua! This day is turning out rather well, apparently. Estelle says that they’re here on official bracer business regarding the fire, but also wanted to check on them and make sure they were fine.
Hearing that they’re doing the investigation, Clem asks if they already know who started the fire. Estelle and Joshua are lacking an answer, bringing about an awkward silence. Luckily, Kloe is there to the rescue!
Good save, Kloe. And just to add a little extra incentive...
She’s said the magic words. Well, for everybody but Clem. It takes prodding from Mary to get him to come, but soon enough Kloe and the children are taken downstairs to eat.
Was it ever. Estelle is happy that the kids won’t be around to hear what they have to say, though Joshua notes that Mary seem to understand the situation better than they think. Theresa smiles with pride at that, saying that she’s happy to have Mary around.
Now, back to the topic at hand. After a fade out, they move to the center of the room and... discuss what happened. You’d think there’ be a text bar indicating as much. So, yeah, essentially Joshua confirms that the fire was deliberate. When he asks if Theresa knows who would do this, she says that she doesn’t know.
Because no matter what universe, there’s always some jackass out there doing something because they could. Joshua asks Theresa if she noticed anything unusual leading up to the incident, like any strange people or anything of that sort.
Turns out, there was. Theresa said that there was a person who came by after they left, but she could never think that he would start the fire. Estelle asks who this “he” is, but Theresa continues, saying that the were trying to escape from the burning building, but the beams fell and blocked the way through the entry hall. But then he showed up and helped them all escape.
Estelle is impressed, asking if the person was a Manorian. Theresa says that the person, after helping them, got the villagers to come help and left in the confusion. When she asked the other villagers about him, nobody seemed to know who this mysterious stranger was.
It’s Cassius, isn’t it?
But assuming it isn’t, Joshua says that this mysterious savior's actions are suspicious. What business would anyone have at an orphanage at such a late hour? He asks if there was anything odd about the individual.
Theresa says that the savior was a man, probably in his late twenties and had brilliant silver hair. So, not Cassius then. Joshua seems to pick up on this important part. Theresa then adds that said person had a troubled look about him that made him seem far older than he looked. But said person didn’t seem like a bad man.
It must be this guy then if Estelle says he isn’t their man. Of course, Joshua appears to be staring off in the distance.
Joshua brushes it off, saying that said savior was probably a random bracer and they should disregard him as a suspect. Very suspicious. Estelle decides not to question it, but luckily for Joshua, Kloe returns.
After making sure the children were having dessert, Kloe says that Theresa has a guest. She’s confused at first, but that’s when Mayor Dalmore and his secretary appear. He notes the kids before speaking with Theresa directly. He heard about the fire and came as quickly as he could, glad to see that she and the children are safe. And like everybody else, he vows to discover who did this foul criminal act.
Of note is that Mayor Dalmore says that Joseph always loved that place. That’s interesting. I wonder who Joseph is? He offers his condolences, but Theresa says that Joseph would be happy that the children are alive and well. So I’m guessing that Joseph was the Mayor’s son and may have been married to Theresa, but is now gone.
Part if this is confirmed in the next line, as Theresa notes that all of her mementos of Joseph are gone now. Poor Theresa. Dalmore then turns to the bracers and asks for their input on the matter regarding the fire. Joshua says that they only just started their investigation and cannot name any suspects at this time. Though one thing they can confirm is that the act was done out of malice.
This depresses Dalmore that such a terrible act could happen under his watch, but that’s when Steward Gilbert speaks up and gives a suggestion as to who could have performed such an act. He suggests “those people.”
Gilbert says that she encountered them yesterday. You know, the goons that were hitting on her and Kloe. Man, she was so hoping to forget all about them. Joshua decides to ask why Gilbert suspects them. The sectary states that they’ve been openly defying the mayor for a while now. As they’ve gone out of their way to cause trouble for Dalmore, and that Theresa and the mayor are friends... well, I think you get the picture, even if Dalmore stops him from saying anymore.
Mainly, Dalmore says to stop the wild speculation, as it does nobody any good. They have to do this carefully and not make false accusations. At this, he suggests letting the bracers do their job to locate the person or persons responsible for this act.
The kids are more than happy to take the job. Before leaving, Dalmore has a question for Theresa. Mainly, what’s the plan for the orphanage now? It’ll take time and money to rebuild it. Theresa admits to being at a loss. While they have a modest egg nest, the cost to rebuild will be huge.
Dalmore suspected as much, which is why he has a proposal for Theresa. At his estate in Grancel, he has a villa. As it’s only used for special occasions, he would like to have her and the children stay there for a while. And they’re allowed to stay there for as long as the rebuilding process takes, rent free.
Theresa is shocked at such an offer and attempts to refuse, but Dalmore won’t accept no for an answer. It’s not like he’s using the villa, so it’d be nice if somebody else can get some good use out of it. But just in case that isn’t enough, he’ll grant her control of the grounds, calling it a reward for her hard work and service to the people of Liberl.
Still shocked by the offer, Theresa asks for some time to think it over. Dalmore agrees to let her be, suggesting that she should get some rest to help recover from her ordeal. But he has to go and do this mayoral duties, but should she accept, she should contact him as soon as possible. And with that, Dalmore and Gilbert leave.
After leaving, Estelle is taken aback by Dalmore’s generous nature. She compares it to that of Mayor Maybelle. Joshua thinks it’s more shocking since the mayor was a former noble, and we’ve seen how they’ve acted so far.
A moment later, Kloe asks Theresa what she plans to do with the offer? The matron turns the question around and asks for the young girl’s opinion. Kloe says that, typically, you would accept such an offer. However, once you go to Grancel...
What? No! You can’t leave me hanging like that. What does Grancel have to do with anything? Is it related to Joseph? Was Theresa on the run? Tell me, Kloe! Tell me!
Theresa laughs at the comment, calling Kloe a thoughtful child. She then asks for her honest opinion. After a moment, she says that the house and herb garden are gone, then adds that with Theresa and Joseph gone, all of her good memories will fade away.
Kloe admits to being stupid and selfish, but Theresa apparently agrees with the young girl’s sentiment. She says that the orphanage is her home to her memories of him, as well as the children’s memories. That said, memories aren’t going to give them a place to live. Theresa is confident that it’ll all be settled soon and tells Kloe to focus on tending the campus festival, since the children are really looking forward to it.
With that, the matron turns to Estelle and Joshua, saying that she wished she could be of more help, but at this point, there is nothing more she can offer and must leave the rest of this in their hands.
And by that, she means by taking the culprit down with her stick of justice!
And there was no royalty involved, either. Maybe. After some thinking, Joshua suggests returning to the guild and reporting to Jean about their findings and figure out their next course of action. Estelle is in agreement but Kloe is silent about the matter. When prompted, she admits to being all over the place. Estelle understands the feeling all too well, but then asks if this Joseph person was Matron Theresa’s husband.
As expected, the answer is yes. Kloe says that Joseph died several years ago, but apparently meant a great deal to her. Of course, this prompts Estelle to ask if Kloe is also from the orphanage, but if you also suspected that, you’d be wrong. Apparently Joseph did a huge favor for Kloe a long time ago. She then adds that htey grew close again when she attended the academy in Ruan.
A nice sentiment, actually. And Kloe admits as much and says that Joseph was like a father to her, but her shock was nothing compared to Theresa and the other children. They managed somehow, but before being able to continue, Mary arrives in a panic.
Kloe asks what happened and we learn that Clem is gone.
I’m pretty sure that’s what gone means in this case, Estelle. Joshua asks for more details and we learn that Clem basically listened in on the conversation the kids had with the mayor. Apparently, afterwards, he came down, swearing vengeance and ran off.
Estelle wonders who Clem sword vengeance against, but we’re then given another set of choices...
This one is a bit tougher, but the third option makes sense because Gilbert was the one who started to accuse them. Selecting that has Joshua agreeing that Clem is going after the Ravens, IE, the goons hitting on Estelle and Kloe.
So, yeah, bad timing, Clem. Estelle is worried but Kloe has become somewhat frantic.
And she’ll give him a good verbal thrashing later. Joshua offers their services and hope to catch him before getting to Ruan. Before leaving, Kloe turns to Mary and puts her in charge of the group, since she’s the sensible one.
Looks like it’s time to return to Ruan to stop something terrible from happening.
It doesn’t take long to get back, and once we do we get a cutscene. Estelle notes that there’s no sign of Clem and is worried that hey’s already at the warehouse district. Kloe doesn’t say anything so Joshua spurs the ladies on. Approaching the bride, another scene takes place. Panning it quickly we see Clem as the bridge begins to rise.
What terrible timing! Kloe attempts to reach out to Clem but is too far to be heard.
We got to add drama wherever we can, Estelle. Kloe is worried as Joshua attempts to calm her down. He asks Kloe what people did to get across before the bridge was built, which is, of course, by using a boat. WE have to go to the hotel and rent one, though.
Inside the hotel we go right to the manager and talk to him. He notes that the group is in a big rush. Kloe asks about boat rentals, so Ernest, the manager, tells them to take the stairs and take a right.
Once there, we talk to the guy in the boat named Murray. When he asks what’s up, Estelle asks to rent the boat as they need to get across as quickly as possible. And wouldn’t you know it, the Duke has already rented it, the bastard! Kloe pleads with Murray, telling him that a little boy is in grave danger. Seeing her tears, Murray relents and is thinking of what to tell the Duke if he asks about it.
Murray turns to Joshua and asks if he knows how to handle the boat. Not really, but he’ll give it a go. After a fade out, they’re on and off, reading the south side of Ruan. There’s a sudden screech and Sieg appears. Looks like he’s telling Kloe where Clem went, but he’s apparently in a place the falcon can’t go. And like that, he’s off.
So... uh, I don’t know where to go, exactly, but I do recall being blocked from a warehouse earlier. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s been left unguarded. Guess this is where I need to go.
Inside, Clem ins confronting the Ravens, accusing them of starting the fire. He vows revenge, but Rocco has no idea what he’s talking about. They try to get to beat it, but after an insult, Clem is boiling with rage.
I said rage, Clem! Rage! He bum rushes three of them, but to their own surprise, but they still don’t know what he’s going on about. Clem continues to rage, attacking Rocco, who only laughs it off before delivering a whack of his own.
Down, Deen picks up Clem, allowing Rocco to prepare some discipline for the kid.
Can you guys count to a hundred? Luckily, they won’t have to as our trio of heroes arrive to stop this madness. The Ravens draw their blades on the three, letting Clem go. He’s surprised to see Kloe, but she is more upset about the goons being so cruel to a child.
They don’t seem to get the message.
Maybe she isn’t rich? Huh? Maybe she got into a prestigious academy on a scholarship! If ever think about that? They also appear to not be impressed with our bracers.
Probably two. Estelle and Joshua are prepared to distract the goons while Kloe grabs Clem and runs for it, but no. This is where she draws the line. She asks to fight, and while she doesn’t enjoy it, she was taught how to use a sword. She then draws out a blade of her own.
So, yeah, Estelle and Joshua are a bit surprised by this turn of events. Kloe, however, is all business and demands the release of Clem.
The Ravens aren’t entirely certain what to make of this, but a couple find Kloe brandishing a blade hot. No, seriously, they actually say that.
Right, to business. The Ravens have no plans of releasing Clem, since he came in and trash talked them. Oh, and rushed them, too. So they charge our trio... oh, you poor sods.
And look at that, Kloe is part of the party as a PC!
We’ll have to check out her stats later, but she appears to be the mage of the group. Right, then, time to eat ourselves some ravens. Why don’t we first give Joshua’s new craft, Cloak and Dagger, a try.
AND HE MISSED! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL! What do I hire you for, Joshua!?
After the goons go and seem to pick on Estelle for a bit, it’s her turn, and she’s able to hit them all with her own craft. Now, it’s Kloe’s turn. She is stacked to the brim with healing and support skills with a few earth, water and time attacks. I have her use an art called Stone Impact, and when it’s her turn, she takes out three goons in one shot, leaving the three named ones left.
I have Joshua take out one of the named goons, but apparently one of them has the ability to revive their fallen allies. Eep. Luckily, the trio all have turns together.
In terms of crafts, Kloe has one I can use called Kaempfer. It’s a single target strike that can reduce strength and defense by half. She uses Sieg, and while it doesn’t do a lot of damage, it does reduce their stats. So much for him not being of use inside.
Joshua is up next and he takes out two, leaving only one left. Using Cloak and Dagger again, this time, he connects, and suddenly, we don’t have any more ravens. Oh, if you missed again, Joshua, I’d be pissed!
After the battle...
Well, Estelle is the daughter of the Lord God King Cassius. Clem is impressed with Kloe, as are Estelle and Joshua. He comments that she must have learned from somebody who was quite skilled with the blade.
This is what modesty looks like, Estelle. However, she soon puts away her blade and tells the Ravens, with some still standing, that fighting is rather pointless and asks for Clem to be released.
Despite being beaten within an inch of their lives, the goons aren’t going to give in. That’s when another voice calls out, telling them that is enough. When the Ravens demand to know who it is, a familiar red head appears.
Hi, Agate! I still don’t like you. The Ravens are surprised to see him. Estelle is also confused demanding to know why he’s here and how he knows these guys.
Agate doesn’t answer. Instead, he lays down some punches of his own, first taking out Rais. He’s pissed because they got into fights with girls and beating up a little kid. I’m guessing he was a former member before he went bracer. Rocco tells him to shut up, confirming my suspicion, and he gets an uppercut for his trouble, sending him flying into the wall.
Something about you being a jerk, I think. Deen tries to be more diplomatic and pleads with Agate instead. Apparently he’s the smart one as he gets behind Clem and is more than happy to let him go. Clem doesn’t take long to run towards Kloe, who is happy to see him. Agate seems pleased with this, telling the group that they should have done this from the start.
I couldn’t agree anymore, though something else is bothering Estelle.
But they never went to talk to Jean. Agate explains what Jean told him, about the newbies investigating an arson case, which brings him to Clem. He’s a bit impressed with the kid but tells him that he shouldn’t be pushing his luck. He shouldn’t be worrying his mama about it.
And that’s when Matron Theresa appears. Clem and Kloe are surprised to see her and ask why she’s here. Because she asked Jean and was led here. We need to have a talk to Jean about giving up information so easily. Though she berates Clem, he isn’t going to apologize for his actions this time.
Yikes! Mama Theresa is unhappy. Kloe pleads with Theresa to not scold Clem, even if he deserves it, but apparently, that wasn’t her intent. She completely understands how Clem feels, however, getting himself killed won’t help bring the house back.
Well, except maybe another house, one that the good Mayor as provided. So in the end, it’s all good. Theresa asks Clem not to put himself in danger. This gets through to the young boy, who expresses his emotions the only way he knows.
And then he rush hugs Theresa.
It’s why she doesn’t read romance stories anymore. It’s a heartwarming moment... that’s get ruined by a certain, red headed jerk.
Did I mention how much I don’t like you, Agate? Because I don’t like you. At all. He tells Estelle that she should take Theresa and Clem out of the warehouse. Joshua speaks up, saying that they have no issues with the escort, but what will he be doing?
Yeah, you get on that. After a fade out we’re back to the North Block of Ruan. Theresa is with Clem, expressing her thanks to Estelle and Kloe.
Good ole Estelle. Always concerned for people she likes. But don’t worry, Theresa is more than confident of getting through that monster ridden path. But more importantly, she doesn’t want Kloe to get in trouble. She needs to be focusing on the festival, after all.
Joshua soon appears, stating that he returned the boat, because that’s a man’s job!
The star of appreciation! Though I do wonder how Estelle expresses the star? And since Joshua is there, Theresa can thank him, as well. At this point, Clem thanks Estelle, Kloe and Joshua for helping him, noting that he was being stupid. He was looking for revenge, but then they had to come and rescue him, despite having it all under control. Still, he thinks he looks bad in front of the girls, but Estelle tries to assure him that he didn’t look that bad.
Luckily, Joshua is good with kids, so he gives Clem a talk. He tells the young boy that what he did is something that most people wouldn’t do, risking life and limb for something and somebody they love and care for.
Though admittedly, Joshua is easily impressed by certain things. That said, he tells Clem that he needs to leave the fighting of criminals to them, as his job is to protect the matron and the other kids. And only he can do that.
You’re so mean, Joshua. Theresa laughs and thanks them for helping her out. Before leaving, Clem tells Kloe that he can wait to see the play, which is something he’s been working hard and hopes that the kids will be able to see it. I hope it’s something the kids are allowed to see. You know how teenagers can be sometimes.
And with that, Theresa and Clem are off. Estelle is happy to see that Clem is doing better, before turning to Joshua to express her appreciation for him doing the prep talk.
Don’t take that heart to mean anything, Joshua. Estelle is just expressing her approval. Also, Josette might get jealous if she finds out. Kloe thanks Joshua as well for lifting Clem’s spirits. Joshua says that it wasn’t anything special, though...
This draws some questioning looks from the ladies as Joshua continues, saying that he’s glad that Clem was okay in the end. He thanks Kloe for her help, but she says that she should be thanking them. But now that she thinks about it, what came of the arson investigation?
Of course Agate would take over, the jerk. For now it’s time to report back to the guild. Kloe will be coming along as she would like to know what’s going on here, as well as wanting to know who started the fire, so we return to the guild.
We get a scene as soon as the kids enter. Jean welcomes them back and congratulates them on a job well done. Estelle mentions how she was surprised to see Agate, with jean adding that he’s working on another case in Ruan. Hey, did you know he was in the Ravens? Well, it was rather obvious.
Well, that was a long time ago, according to Jean. Agate apparently drifted into town right around their ages, hanging out with rough crowds and getting into serious trouble. However, compared to back then, the tough types are puppy dogs.
Yeah, don’t you guys do background checks? Though apparently, according to Jean, Agate wanted to become a bracer, ever since he was little. And, well, people change. That’s when Agate shows up, saying that there should be no more chatter of his past. He’d like to keep it mysterious, you know?
Depends on the person. Agate isn’t a fan of gossip, even if it’s positive gossip. Anyway, looks like he’s finished his investigation. In his opinion, the Ravens were not the ones responsible for the fire.
Estelle, I may not like the guy but even I think it’s rude to accuse him of that. Though Agate reveals that he was keeping an eye on them the night of the fire and they were too busy getting piss drunk. So there’s no way it could have been them.
They then begin to trash the group, talking about how they’re really a bunch of cowards. Anyway, Agate is going to see about finding the arsonists while out on the field. He’s making it official that he’s the one taking the case. And that Estelle and Joshua aren’t on it anymore.
Yeah! Who does this guy think he is, walking in and demanding to take over things like that? Joshua would at the very least like to hear an explanation, and this is the reason given.
Why is it that every time you speak you just seem to scream “I’m better than you and I’ll say it loudly”?
Anyway, our senior bracer says that the kids will let their feelings run away with them and it’ll screw with their judgement. Oh, and if you let a civilian get involved, he says, looking at Kloe. As she begins to apologize, he stops her, saying that he’s more worried about Joshua and Estelle, citing that they aren’t professional.
And Estelle is a lady of her word, after all. In this case, Agate decides to go by the rules of the guild when it comes to two opposing bracers wanting the same case. Specifically, if a junior and senior bracer want them.
Of course, it rules in favor of the senior bracer, but even Jean isn’t amused by this. Joshua tries to plead their case, offering to be backup, but Agate shuts them down.
But I already have. Agate leaves, thankfully, leaving Estelle angry about this.
Even if he’s right, that doesn’t mean he’s right! Though Joshua admits to being irritated when they don’t have a counter-argument.
Kloe apologizes to them, indicating that it was her fault, but Estelle assures her that it isn’t. Instead, she’s more than happy to blame Agate for this. Jean tries to play peacekeeper and says that he isn’t all that bad.
...Okay, you have me curious. Jean states that this current case may have something to do with a case that Agate had some time ago. He was apparently pursuing someone, but stops himself short, saying to just let him deal with the criminals. And he asks as a personal favor for him.
Because Jean shows more tact, Estelle and Joshua relent to the request. Might as well report what we have.
Hey, we ranked up! The kids are now in the fourth class. And as a perk, they receive the Strike Quartz. Jean reads over the report and sees that the kids were quite thorough, but as earlier, requests to have them end their investigation here.
Estelle doesn’t like it one bit. Neither does Joshua, but he doesn’t say anything. Kloe, seeing the situation, asks if it’s possible to enlist the help of the Bracer Guild for civilian events. Well, yes, but it depends on the event. For example, the guild is already stretched pretty thin thanks to the festival, but that isn’t what Kloe has in mind.
The kids are confused so Kloe explains. Every year, when the festival ends, a play is held in the auditorium of the Royal Academy. It’s something the children look froward to, and there are two major roles that haven’t been filled, so she’d like Estelle and Joshua to take the parts. Otherwise, they may need to cancel the play.
Looks like Kloe was already working on this well before the fire started. And apparently the Student Council is more than eager to have them. It does make me wonder what Kloe said to them about the two bracers. Oh, and they would be paid for their work.
Estelle decides to ask why have them, since she’s a terrible actor and this play is a big deal. Kloe explains that, for the girl part, they need someone who’s been trained in combat, which Estelle can fit in easily.
As for Joshua?
Joshua is a bit concerned about what his role is. This gets Estelle to smile, reminding him that they’re doing this for the kids. Also, they may get awesome festival food, which is always a plus for her.
Joshua is panicking at this point and asks Jean if this really is a legit bracer assignment. According to him, this totally is. As a matter of fact, this is something bracers do in general. And thanks to Agate taking the arson case, they have plenty of extra time. Estelle is excited while Joshua continues to worry, but if it’s for the kids, he’ll do it.
Though before doing that, they should take care of anything left lingering about, as working on the play would take away their means to do anything else. Which is basically game speak for “you must finish all side quests before doing this event”.
Estelle turns to Kloe and asks if they can have some more time to look around. She’s fine and provides directions to the Academy, which is to leave by the Gull Seaside Way, go east at the first fork, then follow the woodland path.
With that, the scene ends, though we haven’t lost Kloe yet.
And as we’ve gotten quite long here, I’m going to leave it here. Once again, thank you all for taking the time to read this. I know it’s gotten quite long but thank you for going through it and thank you for any advice you’ve given. Next time, we’ll do some more side quests and help out Kloe in her academy play.
Until next time, remember, when arguing with a superior over an assignment, always make sure you have a counter argument ready, so this way, you can put the smug jerk in his place and take care of the problem for them.
3 days ago
Now for the images. It'll get long so be kind.
And this is why the professor never gets women.
Flying, club wielding lizards, too.
I can understand being afraid of flying, club wielding lizards.
It's a good thing the food doesn't go to your thighs.
So at the highest rank they don't wear much clothing? What an odd ranking system.
So Arnice gets wisdom from children's stories while the old man tells her she should eat healthier. I think he's just happy about the pretty face that visits him.
Lilysse's attempts to hit on Arnice... or is she trying to say something about our Crimson Fiend Hunter.
He was being suspicious about his denial.
And she only robs from dead fiends. There's totally a difference.
The past time of all cats. Ignoring people.
And this is why Arnice has such a large hotel bill.
"Bitch, Lilysse is mine!"
But Lilysse belongs to her and she will fight you if you say otherwise.
You should go return it... or maybe give it to the old lady.
You can tell she's a healer because she's barely dressed for combat.
4 days ago
Hello and welcome you our next exciting episode of sword Art Online II, where we're counting down to the end of the GGO arc.
In our last episode, Kirito and Sinon went over their plan one more time on how to deal with Death Gun. After doing a count of how many players are left, something bothers our hero. Including himself, Sinon, DG, Pale Rider and Yamikaze, there are six players left. This means that there's one player unaccounted for. Either DG had him killed as well or he'll be playing a factor near the end.
As for DG, Kirito and Sinon start to think that maybe there's more than one accomplice to DG. They aren't certain as to how many there are and getting into that kind of thinking is going to hurt the mind, so for now, all they'll attempt to do is to take out DG before he tries to take on Sinon, since she's the next target. With that, they go out, Kirito facing off against DG with Sinon providing support. She takes out Yamikaze and destroys DG's rifle, leaving Kirito to face off with him in a melee fight.
Except DG is as good with a sword. Turns out our villain, who was in Laughing Coffin, was known to be quite good with a rapier, so in GGO, he made a rapier, and he's quite good, putting Kirito on the defensive. Without his support, can Kirito stop DG and is plans once and for all? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with DG laying it into Kirito. He's hurt but not out. He backs away only for DG to rush him, forcing him to defend himself. Kirito is clearly on the defensive, taking hits left and right. He realizes he's in trouble and is just looking for an opening on DG, which will be more than enough time to deal with this. Sinon, meanwhile, can only watch from afar. She's able to zoom in slightly, but it's pathetic compared to her scope which was destroyed in the last episode. Thinking on Kirito's words about not forgetting their kills in the real world and closure and understands that Kirito is facing his own demons.
-Blah blah, brooding because of those deaths but will fight on and stuff. Sinon realizes she needs to do something, comes up with an idea and... opening credits!
-Tonight's episode is titled Phantom Bullet. In the hospital room, Asuna and Nurse Aki are watching the fight. They're concerned, but Asuna is distracting by the beeping on Kirito's monitors. His heart rate is up and he's sweating like a pig in summon. Aki notes this and adds that if he keeps this up, he'll dehydrate, which is bad in it's own right. She suggests having Kirito log out, but Asuna notes that, with the Amusphere, he's unable to hear them. What a wonderful piece of equipment they made. Though Asuna adds that the Amusphere can monitor that and will forcibly log him out should he get worse. Clearly solving those MMO problems of players going on for days without food and water. Well, if the machine is going to do that, then Aki won't try to do anything like that. Stupid machine taking away her job.
-On the phone, Yui suggests having Asuna hold Kirito's hand. He should be able to feel her warmth and give him a boost. She saw it in a movie once and it did great things for the scene. Though little Yui is sad she's unable to provide that warmth, Asuna says that isn't true, putting the phone under Kirito's hand, saying that he'll feel her warmth. Well, the warmth of the phone, since that call has been going on for close to thirty minutes now. I hope you've stored up those minutes, Asuna, or else you're going to have a hell of a bill.
-As Asuna and Yui pray for Kirito, in GGO, he continues to fight. He's a bit busy feeling anybody's warmth at the moment as he's come to terms with the fact that he could have avoided all of this if he just learned his name from the Laughing Coffin raid back in SAO. Well, hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Kirito is able to get some offense going but is quickly put back on the defense. Soon enough, the scene slows down, allowing Kirito to get a good look at his opponent's red eyes.
-Red... wait, Kirito is remembering something now! He saw something like that during the pre-briefing. Thinking back on it, he goes through the pictures on the board until he finds the one guy with red eyes. So, wait, the whole red eyes things wasn't just because of the mask in GGO? How surprising. So, yeah, Kirito finally remembers the name of GGO as... XaXa (pronounced shasha). This distracts DG long enough to make him miss his next attack, which allows Kirito to deflect the attack.
-Suddenly, the bullet line appears. Sinon has a shot on DG, but Kirito seems to think she won't fire, only to distract him long enough for him to get in with the kill. It's like she's firing a phantom bullet! Role credits!
-...Okay, no credits. But thanks to Sinon, Kirito gets in one attack. DG is trying to go predator, but Kirito reaches for his side arm and fires in DG's direction, knocking off his cloak. DG is able to get a few more strikes in before Kirito just goes and dissects the guy in two. Brutal. Oh, and this is all in slow motion, by the way. Yay, victory!
-But DG isn't quite done yet. He calls Kirito a fool, saying that "He'll" find you and then he'll... and now he's dead. Awesome. Kirito is like "Screw you! We'll find your partner and end this once and for all!" Asuna and Yui are happy to see he survived, but that may be a temporary thing as he's approached by Sinon, who's looking better than her partner. Still, as they approach one another, they fist bump, realizing that it's all over.
-Okay, time to bring this tournament. Kirito assures Sinon that, with DG done for, the accomplish hanging around her place has taken off. Probably. Hopefully. Still, just in case, as soon as she logs out, she should call the police. Of course, what will she say to them? Sinon would be perfect at this, so Kirito suggests using his government contact to help things out. The problem, of course, is that it would be rude to ask for her info, especially with all those cameras watching. But it's cool, she'll tell him. Seriously? In front of those people? Well, hopefully the cameras won't pick anything up.
-So Sinon gives her real name, Shino Asada, as well as her address. Of course, she's whispering this in his ear, so I can't help but imagine what Asuna is seeing on her end. Oh, you poor man. So, yea, turns out Kirito and Sinon aren't that far away at the moment. He suggests going over personally to check up on her. Sinon says it's fine cause she has a friend nearby if she needs help, so it's cool. With that, Kirito promises to have his government contact send the police over to make sure she's alright.
-So, we're cool? Apparently not. Sinon doesn't like giving up her personal info without Kirito giving up his. I mean, it would only be fair, right? So Kirito gives his real name as Kazuto Kirigaya. Sinon snickers at that, because that's where he got "Kirito" from. She calls him a man with a lack of imagination. He throws it right back at her with her own handle name, and soon enough, they're laughing it up. Well, with all that settled, they'll need to finish up the BoB tournament. They discuss how to finish this, with Kirito suggesting a duel, but Sinon thinks that wouldn't be fair, given how he's looking pretty terrible. Seriously, I wonder how much health he has left. Probably working on a sliver of life. Instead, they'll settle this at the next BoB. Of course, they can't log out unless one of them loses all of their HP.
-Don't worry, Sinon has a plan for this. Apparently in the first BoB finals there were actually two winners instead of one. Why? Well, why not provide a demonstration. Said demonstration involves giving Kirito a grenade, activating it and Sinon giving him a big hug as they blow up together. That's certainly an explosive way to end the finals. So, wait, what about that last guy? Well, he might be another victim as the end card for the finals lists Kirito and Sinon as the winners. Either that or his connection really sucked and he got disconnected.
-We head to ALO where Kirito's friends are watching. We can't see their faces but I can only imagine it's something like "What the hell kind of ending was that?" As for the GGO folks, they're cheering because EXPLOSIONS! WOOOOO! As the city lights up with fireworks and celebration, we fade out, then back in to Kirito in the prep room. He's looking over the final list with what I believe to be two disconnects. One is Pale Rider and the other is Garrett. For Kirito, this would mean that DG has two other accomplices, not one. Or, you know, he had the sucky connection. That's always possible.
-With the prep time over, it's Shino we see wake up. This is good because it means she isn't dead, but it sure is dark in there. She turns on the lights and starts exploring the apartment for no intruders, but even she's questioning herself here. Just to drive the paranoia a bit more, the door bell rings several times. She doesn't answer until the other person speaks. It's Shinkawa, and he's come over to congratulate her on her victory! And he's brought food, too!
-Inside, Shinkawa speaks highly of Shino and her victory, citing how amazing she was. This means that she's the best gunner in GGO, and he totally knew that she could do it. Look at that grin Shino has. It's the type of grin one has when they are getting high praise and being slightly pampered. Oh, she just doesn't know what to do with herself.
-But then Shinkawa had to ruin the moment. How? Well, a couple of episodes back, before the BoB began in earnest, our boy here basically confessed to Shino, but she asked for time since she had this whole crippling fear of any sort of gun thing going. Well, he brings that up and would like to have an answer now, please? Pretty please? I mean, if you told him to wait and he did, you'll be his, right? Uh, I don't think she said that, exactly. Nor do I like the words you used to imply that. He goes on about how he waited for her, which is starting to creep out Shino a little bit. Look, I know she said to wait but you got to let her come to terms on her own. There's no need to rush this, okay?
-And suddenly Shinkawa's face gets dark and his tone changes. He tells Shino that she doesn't need that guy to protect him anymore, that he'll be by her side forever. Okay, clearly this dude went insane. Must have been due to seeing Sinon hug Kirito in the finals. Uh, I can understand feeling a rivalry of sorts with some random guy who Shino won't stop talking (trash) about, but you shouldn't have felt that threatened. But our sick love bird decides that Shino, or rather, Sinon, is all his now, going in with a hug and keeping that creepy face of his. No! Bad touch! Bad!
-Shino breaks free of the hug, pushing Shinkawa away. He can't believe what happened, clearly broken now. Shino, now is the time to call the police or run out of the house, because he's clearly not in his right mind. But he quickly closes the distance between them and takes out some weird object and places it against her ribs. Okay, this is not how you try to make amends, Shinkawa.
-Apparently, the object that Shinkawa is holding is a syringe and it contains a powerful drug that will paralyze her. In an instant, Shino's heart and lungs will stop working if he injects her with it. Wait... drug. Shino seems to remember hearing about that from Kirito as a theory on how DG was killing his victims. For that matter, why would Shinkawa have such a drug? This may have been foreshadowed because she remembers a conversation she had with Shinkawa in the real world, about how his family runs a hospital. In that moment, Shino realizes the truth. Shinkawa is the other Death Gun.
-In a subtle bit of animation, to the point that I almost missed it, Shinkawa's shocked expression turns into a sinister smile. He's impressed Shino figured out the secret and admits that, yes, he is the accomplice. He says that, up until the BoB tournament, he was the one controlling Sterben. But on this day, for this job, he wanted to do the killings in real life. Because there is no way in hell he's going to let any other man touch his Shino, even if that other man is his brother. Can somebody tell me where this hospital is so that I can avoid going to it now?
-So, yeah, apparently the psycho red player from SAO is Shinkawa's older brother. At this point, he doesn't not care about anybody or anything else. It's just him and Shino in that room. And he's going for the bad touch as he puts his hand up her shirt. She tries to stop him, saying that it isn't too late, but given the look in his eyes I'd say he was gone long before you two met. She even tried to reason with him, but it only serves to make him angrier.
-Hell, what made him angry was XeXeed lying about AGI types being the strongest in GGO, and Shinkawa was going to be the strongest player in that game! And he's going deeper into the realms of madness as he explains that GGO was everything to him and he gave up everything in the real world for it. dammit! So, yeah, he killed a guy for lying in a game. Now if he was a complete dick I could understand, but just because he lied about something? That's going too far. Still, Shinkawa used DG killing XeXeed as an opportunity to create the legend of Death Gun, to make him appear to be the strongest player in all of the VRMMOs. And with him dead, Shinkawa is done with reality. He now suggests a murder-suicide with Shino, wanting to go into the next world!
-Or not. Shinkawa is still talking about VRMMOs, suggesting that they can go to a place like GGO or another fantasy oriented one. He talks about he and Shino will be married, have a house, go on quests and have kids and... wait, wait, wait, hold up. How are you going to have kids in the VRMMO world? Sure, Asuna and Kirito have a kid, but she's an AI and she's adopted, but she's fine with that. But yeah, we're back to the bad touches, with Shinkawa declaring Shino his. And the only reason he's so into her is because she shot a man when she was a child. Okay, can somebody kick him in the balls now? No, seriously, Shino, kick him in the balls and use it as an opportunity to run. If you hit him hard enough he'll be down for the count.
-Shino is barely containing her rage as Shinkawa says that he made the Type 54 gun for her, which is his ultimate expression of his love for her. And now her phobia is kicking in badly. She's going deep down into her own shell, wanting to escape it all. She can't accept this reality, thinking on Kirito's attempts to help her out and that they were all for naught. She recalls him saying that he'll come by to check on her, but she's worried now because if he does come, he'll be in danger. And now she's stuck being able to do nothing.
-Luckily, GGO Sinon is there to talk some sense into her real world self. Sinon says that it's not true, that they aren't worthless. Sure, they would fight only for themselves but now, even if it's too late for them, let's fight for somebody else, just this once. It may be the last thing they do, but dammit, they're going to go out fighting! Sinon offers her hand to Shino, who accepts it, and she's quickly out of her shell. Looks like only a second or two has passed by as Shinkawa is still lifting up Shino's shirt. After getting one second of that creepy, stupid face, Shino elbows him in the face, and to make sure she doesn't get accidentally stabbed, knocks the syringe away. She struggles to break free and is soon running for the door. Of course, the door chain is on, losing precious escape time.
-Shinkawa grabs Shino by her legs, dragging her down to the floor. As he gets on top of her, he loses all that boyish charm he had and is looking really, really creepy... and slightly older. I wonder if this was a design choice by the animators, to show that whatever mask he had on before is now gone. He's clearly lost it, but suddenly, the door opens and somebody comes running in with a knee to Shinkawa's face. He and this mysterious person fight for a bit, but Shino is able to get a good look at this person. It's Kirito, and he's telling Shino to run. Cue credits!
-Next time, One Little Step.
That's a hell of a way to end what is the penultimate episode of the GGO arc. Good job on Kirito coming in for the rescue and all, but I do have a slight problem with this. Mainly that it was Kirito who came in for the rescue and not the police or Seijiro. I mean, didn't Kirito say that he was going to get him to send the police over? Of that whole second half, I think that was the big misstep. I liked that Shino at least tried to escape on her own and made an attempt for freedom, even if it did fail in the end. I also liked that shot to the face. Good show.
Now, you guys should know I'm listening to the dub here, so that means we have all the screaming done by the english voice actors. In this case, we have Michelle Ruff as Shino/Sinon and Johnny Young Bosch as Shinkawa. Michelle does a fine job here but, and I sort of hate to admit this, I think JYB stole the spotlight here. The way he went from somewhat shy boy in love to creepy, murderous stalker was well done, and he had me believe fully that Shinkawa was a major threat and not some easily dealt with villain. So props to him on acting like the perfect crazy murderous stalker that Shinkawa was.
Next time, the finale of the GGO arc. Will Shino be able to escape? Will Kirito avoid getting a nice dose of paralyzing death drug? Will they be able to capture Shinkawa and his brother? We'll have to see next week.
Until next time, remember, if you need to finish off a finals tournament to make both you and your opponent the winner, go with a grenade and a big hug. At least you'll go out in style.
5 days ago
Hello everybody and welcome to another review of the Transformers toyline, where I review a Transformer because I am crazy and just not that mature.
Before we get any further, in case you missed it, here's a Dog Day's screen cap I just posted. Because I'm still testing out the images, and while it's nice to have captions, it'd be better if people got alerts for them.
Anyway, on to the review. Today we'll be looking at the Transformers Masterpiece line and looking at a figure that already had an MP release, but because they have a new designer for the line, is getting something of a remake.
So, may I present to you, the once and future leader of the Autobots, MP 28 Hot Rodimus!
Or, to be more exact, Hot Rod. This guy came out as the franchise celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Transformers: The Movie. Hasbro will be celebrating it soon with a platinum set of movie characters in their movie colors.
But as for Hot Rod, he gets an MP release.
It's the standard MP box here for Hot Rod. ON the back you get your product placement, showing off everything that comes with him as well as the scale to Ultra Magnus. We'll get to that later. But for now, let's take him out of the box and see how he really is.
I should note that I have never gotten MP 9 Hot Rodimus, so he won't be making an appearance here. Instead, we'll just be taking a look at the MP line without comparing him to that mess of a QC product. Or so I've heard.
While not given an official license, Hot Rod's alt-mode is based on the Pontiac Firebird, but a more futuristic version. As that line no longer exists, Hot Rod is going to need a new alt-mode. As for me, this pretty much screams Hot Rod's alt-mode quite well. That said, I do have one little quibble about this.
Honestly, the flames would be going up higher. I can see why and we'll get to that when we discuss the robot mode, but yeah, Reprolabels can fix that. As for the figure itself, it's a sleek mode hitting the color placements right, as well as getting his unique spoiler right.
There's one other thing to note for the alt-mode.
Hot Rod is extremely low to the ground. So low that sometimes it feels like part of him is rubbing on the ground. When transformed correctly, which isn't always easy, you're working with maybe a millimeter of clearance. Reprolabels actually fixes that by adding 3D treads, but if I get that set, we'll talk about it then.
Now, among the accessories, Hot Rod comes with two rifles that can be stored on his alt-mode.
One way is to flip open the engine to reveal a peg there where it can plug in.
Another is that there are these two pegs covered by tiny doors that the rifles can plug into. Admittedly, both are terrible looking. And honestly, outside of this review, I'm not going to bring out the rifles again. He only needed it when he was Rodimus. But as Hot Rod, his weapons are either his wrist mounted lasers or Firebolt, his Targetmaster companion.
Now for a quick comparison. We won't do any scale comparisons here. As nobody has made a MP style Hot Rod, we'll have to show him off to DX9's MP version of Rodimus, Carry. Of course, Carry should be much bigger but you can see how Hot Rod would look when he becomes Rodimus Prime.
Now enough about the alt-mode. Let's take a look at the young bot in his robot mode.
The transformation itself is rather simple and actually does some interesting things to help get his robot mode sculpt for the G1 cartoon. I should note that there are no partsforming here. That spoiler swings about to give Hot Rod is iconic look. The arms themselves also twist around at the shoulder, so this way you have the faux lights facing forward. After that, the legs fold out Combiner Wars style, giving you the future leader of the Autobots.
And he looks like. Rodimus has always been a favorite character of mine, even if he accidentally caused the death of beloved leader Optimus. It was his devil may care attitude at first before the incident, then his growth afterwards that led him to being a favorite of mine. Of course, he still defined himself from that one mistake which may have hampered his ability to lead effectively.
Getting a good look at the face sculpt reveals an obviously young looking bot, full of optimism before it all comes crashing horribly to the ground. While we're here, let's look at something else related to the head sculpt.
Like in the G1 movie, Hot Rod can produce a visor so he can see things form afar. It's as simple as lifting the top of his head and then folding out the visor. It's on there tight, though, so do take the necessary precaution.
Moving on to articulation, here is Hot Rod raising his fist at those damn Decepticons. He's got the standard package, head on a ball joint, bicep, wrist and waist swivels. He has a hip swivels, as well, but no thigh or knee, which do bend. He's got ankle tilts and is unhampered of his own components.
one contributing factor, which is related to his transformation, is his shoulders, when do turn fully, allowing more range of movement there, though it can break the sculpt, which we'll so off later.
And as is the case for the G1 Autobot leaders, Hot rod does have a place where he can store the Matrix. Mainly, the MP 10 Matrix.
Now, I should mention that, from the front and some angles he looks rather good. That's because a lot of his alt-mode is compressed into a hell of a backpack.
No, seriously, that is huge. It doesn't move around a lot thanks to three locking points, that's a hell of a backpack. Luckily it doesn't make him back heavy, surprisingly enough. Anyway, let's talk accessories.
Of course, we have the two rifles. They look stupid and will be put back in the box.
Next is the buzzsaw from the G1 movie.
Up next is a fishing rod. This is also from the G1 movie where we're first introduced to him sitting with Daniel, fishing. He can get into a rather good siting position, but as I mentioned before, this is where you get to cheat with the shoulders.
Now for some comparisons. Here is Hot Rod with is future self, DX9's Carry.
While we have Carry out, let's talk about one other issue with Hot Rod. His chest is rather flat, which isn't the case with any other iteration of this character. To compare, here is how Carry looks.
Do you note that Carry has a curve his his chest? That's how it is for Hot Rod in general, which the MP version is lacking. It's a bit glaring, especially from the side profiles.
Lastly, for scale purposes, here he is with MP Ultra Magnus, showing just how tiny Hot Rod is compared to some of the bigger bots. Don't worry, he'll grow.
And that takes care of that here. I honestly don't know what I'll do next, but it should be interesting. Until then.
6 days ago
It's a video about cats politely rejecting petting.
No, really. There's almost no hissing or claw swipes or biting.
...I did say almost.
Oh, and because we're one step forward and two steps back, I posted this official art of Felicia the ninja maid from Fire Emblem: Fates. Because the alerts don't like images anymore.
1 week ago
First, because the website still hasn't understood the concept of multiple alerts, here's an image I just posted, containing captions!
Shocking, I know. Anyway, as you can see from the title, I have some Rocket League videos to post.
It's crazy the kinds of things you can do in this game. Well, I'm going to play Nights of Azure for a bit. If I get anything good you'll see those soon.
1 week ago
1 week ago
Episode 21: A Butler’s Work is Never Done
Hello all and welcome to our next exciting episode of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Where our heroes are traveling all around the kingdom to be the best bracers they can be.
In our last episode, Estelle, Joshua and Kloe have entered Ruan, and while waiting on Jean explore Ruan, including it’s abandoned warehouse district that doesn’t seem so abandoned. After a run in with some goons who were hitting on Kloe and Estelle, the Mayor and his assistance showed up to chase them away, though honestly, it’s a good thing they came because there would have been blood from Estelle beating them half to death.
After that, the trio witness the rising of the bridge, which was a cool thing, before returning to the Guild to speak with Jean, who basically made them sign contracts of servitude because he’s in desperate need of help. But before the adventure can begin, our heroes need to sleep and prepare for the labor Jean will inflict upon them. Will our heroes succeed? Let’s find out.
So... no real journal entries to add. Before heading for the hotel, though, I do hit the guild to report basically everything I’ve done so far. It’s a lot.
Right, the hard partying monsters. That net my heroes 1500 Mira and 4 BP.
This was required since the thing was in the way. Again, 1500 Mira and 4 BP.
I think this was that guy who was getting attacked by monsters for some reason. Will this be important later? What is important is that this nets me 2000 Mira, but only 2 BP.
And after all of that, does Estelle get a promotion?
No, she doesn’t. Based on a suggestion from my watchers, I’ve rearranged the Quartz for my duo. So, with all that done, it’s time for sleepy night time.
Talking to the receptionist named Ernest, Joshua and Estelle ask if there are any rooms available. Turns out, our heroes have great timing as the room on the top floor had a cancellation.
There has to be a catch. But apparently he’s happy to charge them less since they’re bracers. He considers it an honor to put them up in his best room.
Don’t be so modest, Estelle. Kloe laughs at the stroke of luck, but she’s going to return to the campus now. She’s running late as it is. Estelle hates to see her go but understands. Joshua offers to escort her back, the sly devil, but Kloe declines. Hopefully she won’t run into those goons from before. At least they’ll see her out.
They thank each other for spending the time with one another. Though Kloe is interested to know if Estelle and Joshua will be in Ruan for a while. Mainly, she’d like them to visit the campus festival that’s happening at the end of the week.
Estelle is curious now. Joshua suspects it’ll be more than balloons and party games, since it’s the Royal Academy. Kloe confirms as much, saying that it’s an independent, academy-sanctioned student celebration.
No chocolate-covered Poms, no Estelle. Kloe can’t confirm if there will be, but usually, they pull out all the stops for this festival.
Basically, she’s offering to beta test for the academy. Free of charge! Joshua, however, has to be the downer and reminds Estelle that they’ll be busy with guild work.
Joshua just can’t resist going to festivals. With that, Kloe takes her leave, hoping to see them again soon. After leaving, Estelle begins the gossip.
So Estelle is in love while Joshua won’t disagree, but basically saying she isn’t her type. No, Josette is your type, Joshua, we both know that. It’ll be like Batman and Catwoman!
She’s never going to let that go. In any case, Estelle calls Kloe good luck as they were able to get a good room for a reasonable rate thanks to her. With that, Joshua suggests taking their bags up to their room.
She is so going to live this up no matter what.
So up the two flights of stairs we go to the Penthouse. It’s rather large. Estelle, like a little kid, runs all over the place. It’s basically an apartment. Joshua is rather impressed, though he would have been happy with a regular room. Estelle says that they should enjoy it while they can, so they check out the balcony. This really impresses Joshua. Estelle agrees that it’s quite the view, but just hates that they’re the only ones to enjoy it.
Estelle gets upset because she’s missing Cassius, her father, which gets Joshua sad, too, and makes him wonder where he is and what he’s doing. Probably saving the world, I imagine.
Suddenly, there’s a voice from the Penthouse. This attracts the kids attention, and inside we see a Nobleman talking about how spacious and well-appointed it is. He decides to take the room, but an Old Man in Black tells his Excellency that the room is not vacant and suggests staying at the mayor’s estate, as it was originally planned.
His Excellency doesn’t like that. Mainly because the view is atrocious. As he makes his way towards the balcony, he runs into Estelle and Joshua. He immediately suspects that they’re thieves looking to kill him.
It’s not like you assumed anything of anybody before, Estelle.
He didn’t look that old to me. The Nobleman is offended by the old man comment, but quickly changes his tune as he figures out that it’s the kids renting the suite. He tells them he’ll be using it as a private room during his stay in Ruan and tells them to leave. He doesn’t offer anything as compensation, just “Mine now, GTFO.”
Estelle is not too pleased with this.
Joshua, returning to his role as peacekeeper, thinks they should hear an explanation to this suddenly eviction. The Nobleman would rather not deal with them, calling them ignorant commoners.
He asks the kids in a clearly sarcastic tone, which you can tell without any voice acting, who he is.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Estelle would have given that answer even if she knew who the Nobleman was. So, yeah, he doesn’t like the weird comment. Even Joshua thinks that’s going a bit far.
His Excellency isn’t pleased and decides that sarcasm is clearly something these commoners never learned. For this Nobleman's name is Dunan von Auslese! Nephew to Queen Alicia II, granted the title of Duke by Her Majesty!
The kids don’t respond to that, with the Duke thinking that the kids are just astonished by his title. As far as he’s concern, this is why they should give up the room. That’s when the kids respond
Probably not the response the Duke was looking for.
Joshua, calming himself, thinks that the Duke was telling a joke to ease the tension, but from his expression it seems like Duke Dunan was telling no joke. That’s when the Old Man in Black appears, saying that, yes, Duke Dunan is the nephew of Queen Alicia II.
Estelle can’t believe it, but the Old Man in Black continues. His name is Phillip, the Duke’s personal butler. He’s been caring for him since his birth.
So, yeah, wasn’t a good time to laugh. Still, Phillip says that, on his honor, he speaks the truth. Estelle goes to Joshua and thinks they can trust Phillip’s word. Joshua then recalls something Jean said, that royalty would be arriving to inspect the city.
With the misunderstanding out of the way, Duke asks if the kids will submit now. After all, he’s next in line to succeed the throne and they should be honored to give him their room. You know, you don’t suddenly announce that unless you’re planning to assassinate your Queen at some point.
But Estelle don’t give a damn if you’re Lord God King of the universe!
Phillip attempts to play peacekeeper, trying to calm Estelle down. He takes the kids to the side and asks of them a favor. Mainly, can you please give up the room? What, you think just because you’re asking nicely means they’ll do it for you instead?
...Money works, too. Phillip explains that the Duke won’t be easily swayed once he sets his mind on something, which seems to remind me of a particular, tomboy girl. Phillip blames himself for letting him get this way, so he begs them to give up the room, bowing to them.
The kids think on it for a moment and decide that, yes, for Phillip, they’ll give up the room. Oh, and there’s no need for money, either. Phillip objects, but the kids morals win out in the end.
It was nice while it lasted, though.
That was quite the diplomatic roll you made there, Estelle.
It’s been a couple of minutes of nobody paying attention to the Duke, which is more than he can stand, so he demands to know what they’re whispering about.
It’s not like they were saying nasty things to you in whispers. Joshua says that they’ll give the room to the Duke. He’s a bit surprised at first but then plays up his ego, saying that the kids should have been humble to begin with and that they should retain that mindset in the future.
Good save, Joshua. They return to Ernest and tell him the story. In his mind, the kids did the right thing as the Duke probably wouldn’t have taken no for an answer. Sorry about that. Estelle decides not to linger on that because the Duke hasn’t earned her hate, but still calls him a selfish jerk.
All that said... any other rooms available? The kids aren’t fancy and woun’t mind a regular room. Sadly, there are no rooms available.
Well, it’s not like anybody was doing it on purpose. Ernest says that they are the ones at fault. By that I mean the hotel staff, so they’ll make arrangements for the kids elsewhere. But then another man’s voice calls out to them in the lobby. It just hasn’t been their day.
Hi, Nial! What a surprise! What brings you to Ruan? But before we hear the reason for his arrival, Estelle and Joshua explain how they lost this sweet Penthouse to a snobby, selfish nobleman. Nial laughs.
And yes, you’d be laughing if the situations were reversed. Probably. Estelle is a bit of a wild card when it comes to that.
In any case, Nial offers to let the kids stay in his room, as it happens to have extra beds. He asks Ernest if he minds, but nope, he’s totally cool with it. It saves them the trouble of trying to find another place for them. Don’t need any more negative reviews on Yelp. So with that, Nial shows them to the room, which is located in the basement.
After he leaves, Estelle turns to Joshua and asks if this is okay. Joshua seems to think so. Besides, Nial offered, so it’s his own fault if things go wrong. Though he does suspect that the intrepid report may ask for something in return.
A night with Schera, no doubt. So I take the kids down into the basement, and after running through some rooms that were clearly not right, find the correct room. Nial tells them to make themselves at home, but Estelle can’t help herself buy accuse the reporter of having ulterior motives.
That’s something suspicious people would say. In any case, Nial is grateful for the help they gave him for his story. You know, the Sky Bandit article. Joshua is curious to see how well it did, and it turns out, it was a big hit with the readers. More specifically, they liked the part about Colonel Richard and the Intelligence Division. Nial suspects that it was the Colonel that moved more copies than the Sky Bandit incident.
Estelle is surprised that the Colonel would be that popular, but to add more to it, it’s rumored that he’ll be getting a big medal from Her Majesty. According to Nial, he’s pretty much the only person anybody will talk about these days. And lucky for him, he’ll have an exclusive interview with the Colonel.
Oh, and the Colonel is good looking, which is a plus for anybody looking for public appeal. However, Estelle can’t help but think that Nial is looking down. When she presses, he brushes it off. He goes on to say that the article got him a tidy little bonus and cheers for finally getting rid of his bad luck charm.
Yeah, where is Dorothy anyway? Nial says that he was only looking after her while she was learning her job, and that with the recent story, their team up had come to an end. Estelle can’t help but worry, but Nial says that he’s trying not to think about it. Oh look, he really does care after all. For now, he just wants to enjoy a vacation with his bonus money. Estelle, however, says that he should be chasing for his next big scoop instead. Or maybe he’s checking in on the Duke instead?
I get the feeling that nobody likes this guy. From what Nial has heard, the Duke is a real hedonist, more so than most royalty, apparently. And apparently he drives Her Majesty insane. It’s probably the constant reminders that he’s next in line for the throne. Joshua can believe that. The being driven insane part, that is. But he does wonder about being next in line for the throne.
I can’t help but think that they purposely gave Estelle more facial expressions than anybody else in the game. She’ll repeat a couple but I think she has some that are unique to her and her alone. So, yeah, she is totally not in line with the Duke becoming the King.
Now we’re getting some world building here. Apparently Queen Alicia II is quite old. Oh, and what’s worse is that her son died some time ago. I’m all for blaming the Duke for this. Though apparently Estelle isn’t the only one in objecting to the Duke’s ascension to the throne.
Since Nial doesn’t know much, Joshua suspects that he’s after a different story. He doesn’t answer.
I just think Joshua cheats by reading the script ahead of time. While Nial will say that he is working on another story, he wont say what it’s about. It’s apparently that big.
People are able to hear you from the other room quite well. Joshua says that he looks forward to reading the article. With that, Nial offers to get some food, which is the one thing that will make Estelle instantly like you.
So, of course, Nial takes them to a casino and bar. It’s called the Lavantar. After a meal consisting of some of the best seafood from the Azelia Bay, as well as the best drink, according to Nial...
I wonder if the kids are going “deja vu” after doing this. Surprisingly, when we fade back, we’re not focusing on the kids, but instead, on the kids. By that I mean the orphanage kids. We see them fast asleep before focusing on Matron Theresa. She’s still up, sewing up some clothing. She laughs because she has a lot to do and it means that the children are full of energy. But she’s tired, so she’s going to get some sleep now.
Before going to bed, Theresa walks over to the window and prays to Aidios to keep her kids safe. Then, suddenly, an explosion is heard. Theresa suspects that it sounds like somebody put wood on the fire, then notices a smell.
Theresa is in panic mode. Outside, we see part of the orphanage on fire. Without missing a beat, Theresa walks into the kids room and walks them all up.
Now isn’t the time for you to confess to whatever you did! Theresa makes sure the other kids are awake, tells them there’s a fire and to hoof it downstairs. There, we see how far the blaze has gotten. The entire first floor is done for. The kids are scared, with one still sleeping, but Theresa, still with her wits about her, leads the kids out. Except the place is falling apart on her, blocking their only exit.
Theresa prays to Aidios to protect the children as the scene turns red and fades away.
Did... did that seriously just happen? Did the game just kill off Theresa and those kids? Whoever did that is a monster and must be punished!
Seriously, I’m hoping they’ll make it out, but if they aren’t, I fully expect Estelle and Kloe to go to war over this.
Speaking of Estelle, she, Joshua and Nial have woken up, though Nial is suffering a nasty hangover. Still, Estelle can’t be anything but impressed that he drank the whole bar. Joshua offers some water or another bucket, but he declines, saying that he’s good. Besides, he’s got an event to cover.
Estelle thanks Nial for taking them in, with the only request being to pass on anything interesting to our intrepid reporter.
It’s because you’re looking up. So, with that, it’s time for the kids to report to the guild. Time to see what’s available on the good ole bulletin board.
First, a missing warehouse key. Next, it’s to find a orbal gun prototype that was lost along the Aurian Causeway. Finally, it’s to deal with a ferocious monster known as a Helmet Crab, which was spotted near the Saphhirl Tower.
Before tackling the quests, we have the kids talk to Jean. After passing their greetings, Joshua asks if there are any assignments for them aside from the big board.
Suddenly, the phone rings. Saved by the bell. Jean goes over and answers it. It’s apparently a call from the White Magnolia, which is unusual. He mentions that he’s impressed that they can reach him with the old comm equipment, but after a few moments, he can’t believe what he heard.
Whatever it is, it isn’t good. He understands the situation and will send someone over shortly. The music also died out, which is leaving an uneasy silence. Wow, that’s some powerful effect the game is having.
Estelle asks what the call was about. Jean tells them.
Estelle and Joshua can’t believe what they heard, with both looking to know who is suspected of causing it. Jean doesn’t know as the person who called was the owner of the Manoria Inn. He asks if they’re familiar with the Mercia Orphanage. Estelle says that they were there yesterday afternoon, with Joshua concerned for Theresa and the kids.
We’re going to string that along for a bit as Jean doesn’t know. He is assigned with conducting a full investigation and it has to be quite thorough, so he wants Estelle and Joshua to do it.
Like Jean needed to ask. We won’t be heading there immediately, though. Instead, we’ll be dealing with some side quests. Which includes the Aurian Causeway.
What a long way down and plenty of places for treasure. And I’m noticing enemies showing up on the minimap. That’s because of the Eagle Eye quartz on Joshua, which is what’s giving him his White Gehenna spell. Along the path I find a chest with a Deathblow 2 in it. But does it offer more?
I can’t help but think I got that message once before already. After that, we’re on the next path.
There’s a tower to the west, so let’s check it out.
I wonder what fun things we’ll find there. Looks like one is the Helmet Crab.
I’m feeling suicidally overconfident, so let’s get going with the murdering. So, let’s see what this...
...Pack of terrifying crabs will do. Damn, this won’t be easy. Luckily they’re weak to everything. Time to get to work, Estelle. I use Flicker on two of the enemies, but it seemed like they were able to reverse the attack. Uh, that isn’t good. I guess that means they have physical resistance. Supposedly they reflect the attacks but it deals zero damage to Joshua. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing for a bad thing.
One gets in an attack and mute’s Estelle, which is very bad. And I have nothing that cures that. Oh crap. I’ll use Estelle’s Taunt, but they even reflect that! I’m screwed, aren’t I?
Joshua, time to see what this new spell does and holy hell, did that do a lot of damage!
Still, I’m overwhelmed. Time to bail! Guess I’m not as overleveled as I thought. Guess I’ll need to stop avoiding battles now. Let’s see if the tower can help with the leveling.
And in my first battle, one of those things is there. Just my luck. Luckily, there’s only one, so I have an easier time of dealing with it. And that was just the first floor.
On the second floor there’s nothing but three different set of stairs up. I keep climbing stairs until I’m on the fourth floor where I find these weird seahorse creatures.
Heh, funny. No wonder they look so weird. At this point I’m not avoiding fights anymore, but I feel very unprepared for some of these fights.
On the fifth floor I find a chest, but it’s filled with monsters. These weird, glowy monsters.
Everybody will be keeping their distance from these guys. Luckily, Joshua’s White Gehenna spell one shots them, since they happen to be clustered together.
Anyway, victory! And inside of the chest was a Battle Suit. Does this chest provide any other profound wisdom?
Now I know I’ve read that one before. I should know, for the voices in my head said so. Anyway, the Battle Suit goes on Joshua because Estelle already has it. Back down to the fourth, we take the southwestern stairs up and find another chest with more of those monsters! Like before, Joshua becomes my dealer of death, taking them all out in one shot.
I’m getting quite a bit of experience from these guys and a lot of quartz. I also get Army Boots for my trouble. As for any other message.
it missed us! Also, I’m pretty sure that one is new. I equip the Army Boots on Estelle then move to the central dome where I find another chest and, shocker, another set of monsters. And like before, Joshua is Murdery McDeath, taking them out and giving me a Flamberge. And does the chest provide anything else?
Ha, not in this state. Anyway, the Flameberge is a weapon neither Estelle nor Joshua can use. Did I just pull a Final Fantasy VII and pick up a weapon for a party member later? Don’t spoil that.
During a battle on the fifth floor, my kids level up, with Joshua learning a new craft called Cloak & Dagger. The level up is good timing as Joshua was running low on EP.
I enter into a battle and take a look at the skill.
So a possible chance of instant death. That’s good. But for now, just use your arts to kill these guys. I swear, that White Gehenna skill is never going to get old. It’s creepy but looks so good, too.
Anyway, back to do some backtracking because I want those chests! And I think that, for the tower, it’s all monster traps.
The next chest I find contains Scent. Must be a cologne for men. So, does this chest miss me?
Apparently not. Anyway, from the fifth floor there’s a north exit, taking me back down one floor to a central dome containing a, surprise, non-monster chest! It has a Range 1 Quartz. Also...
You two are the worst guard monsters ever! Was there anything else?
The best treasure.
Anyway, if it wasn’t for the cost, the White Gehenna skill would just win all of my battles. Even with an EP Cut 1 Quartz.
Back up to the fifth floor via a northwest staircase takes us to a regular, non-monster chest containing an EP Charge. That will so be needed for Joshua. Checking on the chest one more time...
It’s mine! I’m never giving it back. Returning to the fourth floor I find two more chests in the central dome. One with food and a rather snarky chest.
Then one on the other side containing another EP charge. Very important. But then we learn something else from this cheest.
I always knew they were up to no good. Anyway, after some more backtracking I’m on the second floor, where there is another chest containing a Tear Balm. And the snark continues.
I have to admit that this got quite the laugh from me. After some more wandering around I find one more chest on the second floor. That also contains a Tear Balm and a mystery!
We must find this knave at once! Anyway, I think that’s all of the chests there. I go to the roof just in case but there’s nothing there and no cutscene. Well, okay then, time to leave. But before doing so I want to give those monsters outside one more shot. Let’s see if I can get it to work this time.
The second times the charm as things go much better this time around.
With that, victory! As well as an item called the 0-Type Test Model... did I just clear out two quests at the same time?
Anyway, time to return to Ruan. According to the quest I need to talk to Karl, who’s in the weapons shop. He happens to be upstairs. Talking to him activates a cutscene, where he mentions that he came from Zeiss to develop new weapons as the Aurian Causeway is crawling with some extremely aggressive and explodey monsters. He mentions the prototype he lost, which is why Estelle is here.
Estelle hands over the test model which is what Karl was looking for. They explain how they got it in all it’s messy detail, but Karl doesn’t need to know that much. Instead, he’s happy that it was found. With that, the kids have to go. Need to solve a few more mysteries and stuff.
Are you that lonely, Karl? No, he has a gift for the kids. A quartz. An Attack 2 Quartz, to be exact. Hey, sweet! I think Estelle can use that, and wouldn’t you know, it gives her a new skill called Flare Arrow. But of course I can add Scent, which gives Estelle more wind options, but I’ll leave it for now.
We’re going to finish up here as this has gone on for a while. I mean, look at all those images! First reported is the Find the Prototype quest, netting a thousand Mira and 3 BP. For the Aurian Road Monster, that nets 1500 Mira and 4 BP. Still stuck in the fifth class, though.
And we’re going to stop there for now. I know I could have stopped when the orphanage was set on fire, but I felt it would be unfair to not provide some gameplay aspects. Though that took longer than I expected.
So once again I like to thank you all for joining me in today’s episode. I’m sure you’ve probably gone insane from reading this, and I apologize in advance if that’s the case, but thank you anyway.
Next time we’ll go and investigate the fire and hopefully find Theresa and the kids safe and unharmed. I have no doubts that Estelle and Joshua will go to war over this, but I can only imagine the destruction they’ll leave behind if they were hurt.
Until next time, remember, when a nobleman wants your Penthouse suite, make sure you hassle them until you decide to relent. Or they offer you money.
1 week ago
Hello everybody and welcome to the next exciting episode of Sword Art Online II, where the Bullet of Bullets tournament is winding down. Kirito and Sinon, our heroes, have spent the better part of the last two episodes stuck in a cave, baring their souls and coming up with a plan to deal with Death Gun, as well as determining his identity. It's Sterben... probably. Oh, and they figured out he's doing the killings.
You see, DG isn't actually doing the killing in the game. No, he's doing it for theatrics. In reality, DG is two people, one who does the killing in the game, and the other who does the killing of the actual player in their home. A common factor among the victims is that they lived alone and using rather poor locks. Unfortunate for Sinon, she fits the criteria, which means DG 2 is looking over her now.
But now that they know how the killings happen and how they got the information, Kirito and Sinon come up with a plan. Take out DG in the BoB, thus, thwarting their plans. Unless DG 2 kills Sinon out of spite, which is entirely possible. Oh, and half of the last episode was just recapping everything that's happen so far, because the show runners were pressed for time and needed to come up with something to pad out the episode.
Will Kirito and Sinon succeed? Let's tune in to find out.
-Our episode begins in the dark of night. The finals has been going on for a while now and the number of players is winding down. Up above you can see a twinkling star. Kirito, from the cave system, is looking up, timing when it's time to do the scan. As he does so he notes the location of the other players. Sinon and Death Gun aren't there, but if you include them, there are only six players left. Is that including you, or are you not counting yourself? Watching the map, in the city, he nots that two players take each other out, which means that there are four left... right?
-Actually, no. The final active count is at twenty four, which means there are six players left on the field. Huh? Well, doing the math, Kirito and Yamikaze count as two, then Sinon and Death Gun count as two. But then there's Pale Rider, who got discounted, which could technically count. Which means that Kirito is short a player. He wonders if DG got another player, but I think it's likely that the sixth player is hiding away from the scans, like you two and DG did.
-Kirito decides that, no, the sixth player can't have been killed... unless there's something else he's missing from the picture, a crucial piece that could help decipher all of this. He looks up as the camera pans away from his hiding spot, thinking of the battle to come.
-Tonight's episode is titled Bullet of a Phantom. In the cave Sinon is setting up her Hecate II as Kirito comes in and gives a SITREP. Basically, everything from the teaser, but he gives his theory that the fifth player is hiding like them. Sinon thinks on that for a moment, then adds that the last BoB ended in a little over two hours and they're at an hour forty five, so they're on pace to match it. She's more surprised that nobody has throw a grenade in the cave yet, but let's not tempt fate. Kirito notes that, with DG looking for them, he's probably the one dealing with the other opponents, which, according to Sinon, makes him a shoo in for the max kills award. Does that offer an additional prize?
-But Sinon says that they should worry about Yamikaze, as Kirito would have shown up on his scan. How tough is he? Apparently he was the runner up in the last BoB tournament. I had to look it up but he was the same guy who did the interview where XeXeed got murdered. Guess he didn't account to those legends, either. But this also means that he'll be gunning for Kirito, as he's the only other player he would have found. No pressure or anything.
-Sinon explains that Yamikaze is a full on AGI-type and given the nickname the Run-Gun Demon. Guess that means he's good on the run. Kirito has no idea what that means, so Sinon explains that it's a shorten term for Run and Gun, where you run, then shoot, then run again. Don't you know anything? She explains what his main weapon is, which is called a Calico M900A, an ultra light sub machine gun. Though he couldn't compete with XeXeed's rare gun and armor from last time, some people said that it was Yamikaze who was the skilled player. This is also shown where he was surrounded by a bunch of other players, but easily takes them out. You know, I originally thought of him as forgettable, but I can't help but think that was done on purpose, to make you drop your guard. Too bad about getting famous, though.
-Kirito does seem worried, but Sinon sees this as an opportunity for them. Since she's on the death watch, it means that Death Gun's accomplice is currently in her apartment, which means that Yamikaze would be in no danger of being killed by DG's side arm. As such, she thinks it would be better to use him as their decoy, rather than use Kirito. That way they would both know where DG is and take him out. She remarks that it's essentially two decoys. Yamikaze in the game and her own body in the real world. Kirito comments on brave she's acting, though I should note that the subtitles call her strong instead.
-Sinon responds that she isn't. She's doing all she can to not given in to the looming fear of death just over her. Because that's always fun to think about. So, Kirito, what do you think of the new plan? Sure! He's with it, but there is something else still bothering him. Mainly, the unknown fifth player. Sinon wonders if DG may have gotten somebody after the attempt on her life, but as explained before, that doesn't seem to be possible. But now, at this stage, he's wondering if something else is going on.
-Recapping to Pale Rider's death, it was thirty minutes between his death and DG's attempt on Sinon. This would mean that she and Pale Rider could be more more than thirty minutes away from each other. A little convenient, don't you think? It does, but Sinon notes that is the only thing that would make sense... unless there's more an one accomplice. Kirito offers that perhaps there is another doing the killing while one remains on standby, in case things don't go according to plan. He offers that Yamikaze may also be a target as a result. Of course, this line of thinking is going to do nobody any favors as Sinon starts questioning everything at this point. She wonders how many could be out there?
-Kirito happily gives the answer. There are ten surviving Laughing Coffin members. He believes that they all can't be involved, but that also means that they can't just think there's only one real world killer anymore. Sinon wonders why anybody would do that after escaping the horror that is SAO? Why would anybody continue to be a Player Killer and want to do more in the real world? Because, as I stated before, these players were crazy and the government didn't want to spend the money to do some deep psychological studies on them, just to make sure they aren't going to go crazy for some reason.
-Kirito offers another theory, though. He says that it's the same reason why he's a swordsman in a gun game and why Sinon is always going to be the sniper. In other words, it's in their blood that they will always be that. Sinon decides that calling them PKers is too kind for them. She mentions that she used to run with a squad of PKers for a while. You know, that group she signed up with as an independent contractor? Anyway, PKers have this thing called honor, you know? Even if they just ambush their pray without them knowing. As for DG and his cohorts? There is no honor in murder, so they can all go straight to hell! So Sinon is ready to do some murdering of her own... in the game, not in real life. She won't lower herself to the same level as DG and his cohorts, the evil bastards!
-Kirito is in on this plan. Screw those guys! Kirito thinks about to the Laughing Coffin raid, stating that this is how he'll make amends for the two lives he took that day. Oh, and we'll include Kuradeel, too, even if he was a total asshole. So Kirito's plan is to take out Yamikaze, then Death Gun, but to also protect Sinon. Those sound like mission statements then actual plans, though. But then again, Kirito hasn't been so good with the planning thing so much as to play it by ear.
-Oh, but there's been a change of plans. Sinon will be the one to take out Yamikaze, not Kirito. Mainly it's to protect him from getting killed, since it'll be her dealing the death shot and not DG. Also, she doesn't believe Kirito will be able to defeat Yamikaze, but it wouldn't matter, because if they're busy fighting each other, DG may be able to get the kill from behind and ruin their plans to remove Yamikaze from the competition. But even so, Kirito asks how Sinon will deal with him? Because she's a sniper, duh!
-Sinon says that he'll keep an eye on Kirito's cute, girly face, and once the other two engage him, she'll take out Yamikaze, then DG. Well, no since in arguing with it, so Kirito is for it. It's about time to get moving, so he'll hop in the buggy and she'll exit shortly afterwards to take position. Looks like it's game time! They stand up and brofist, with Sinon wishing his partner luck.
-Shortly afterwards, Sinon is in position and has Kirito in her sights. He does look at her, seemingly indicating that Yamikaze is coming from the west. Which means that if there is a shot from the east, it'll be DG. Sinon notes that, thanks to the invisibility cloak, DG can get real close, with any shot to the head or the heart being instantly fatal. But she's confident that Kirito will be fine. I mean, he did slice her bullet in two, even though they were about a hundred meters apart and he was all prepared for it to come.
-So, as a recap, because we love those, Sinon will take out Yamikaze first, but if she fails, Kirito is done and she may be killed. So don't miss, okay? No pressure. She's reminded of the day she killed that robber long ago, causing her to plead with Hecate to give her his strength. So, again, no pressure.
-Back with Kirito, he's using his hearing to locate Yamikaze. He's not concerned, though, because Sinon totally has his back. We see from her viewpoint, which is in night vision, and she's lining up her shot. But suddenly, he puts on an extra burst of speed. This isn't good as it increases the chances that she'll miss, revealing her position. She goes through some possible shots but decides to wait until he's in range to attack Kirito, since it means he'll have to stop to steady his aim. So, like any good sniper, she's going to take a seat and wait. I hope that scope has good wifi, you might be there a while.
-Kirito is still listening, but as the wind changes, he concentrates on the muderous intent of DG. The wind goes silent as he recalls the raid, stating that he could feel their lust for murder. It was that powerful? Was it powerful enough that you can taste it? He's trying to recall the name of the first person who attacked him, but hears a voice saying that he'll kill Kirito properly. With that, he suddenly feels something and turns around, but sees nothing. The voice, sounding clearly, speaks to him again as a red light shines in the distance.
-It's then that patent Raimi arrow cam as we follow the bullet's line. Kirito, by mere inches, is able to dodge the shot, which takes out a bit of his hair. And it's a good thing he missed, because the tower in the background? It exploded, causing the top part to collapse. This apparently attracts Yamikaze's attention, distracting Kirito briefly, but then he remembers that he has a job to do. Since DG used his stealth first shot as a sniper, it means Kirito can see the Bullet Line, allowing him to take out his laser sword and defend himself.
-So, while this is going on, Yamikaze, having no idea what's happening, hides behind a pillar for cover. This is the perfect shot for Sinon, who fires. He realizes that he was shot on, but it's too late as Sinon blows through the pillar and puts in a nice hole in Yamikaze's body, taking him out. And with that done, she focuses her attention on Kirito, who's rushing the location of the shots. She's able to see where DG is, but because she lost her stealth first shot, he's able to see the bullet line. Instead of trying to move, he sets up to fire back. They both fire with the bullets missing each other by millimeters, but they still miss their targets. DG taking out Sinon's scope while she takes out his rifle. A good trade in her favor, but now, it's up to Kirito to finish the job.
-As Kirito charges, DG steps out of his hiding place and takes out a sword of his own. Ha, like that'll be able to do anything to Kirito. This is going to be a short... uh, why did everything slow down and you moved really fast all of a sudden? In some weird bullet time sequence, DG is able to dodge Kirito's initial attack, but deliver one of his own, in Kirito's shoulder. Sinon, watching from afar, is able to catch something and is confused as to what just happened.
-Meanwhile, in the real world, Asuna is on her way to check up on Kirito and making sure a certain nurse isn't being too touchy, feely. Yui is on the line, telling her not to worry because there's no opponent that Papa Kirito can't defeat. Asuna is reassured by this as Yui gives her directions to Kirito's room. As she enters, Kirito is breathing heavily and Nurse Aki is concerned. Asuna runs to his side, with Aki giving her a general statement of "We knew you were coming, but man do you have terrible timing."
-But don't worry, despite Kirito's heart rate rising, he's doing fine, physically. Asuna is confused as to what's happening, so Yui goes to show off her stuff and tells her to watch the PC monitor as she patches in the livestream. You are the most useful, adorable AI ever. Anyway, they see DG and Kirito facing off, and apparently you can tell damage to a player from their name, with some of it broken up. Interesting. Asuna explains that this is why his heart rate shot up. But that's when she notices that DG's melee weapon is an estoc. This is bad, because one of Laughing Coffin's higher ups was a master of the estoc, but what was his name?
-Oh, and in case you wanted confirmation, DG is actually Sterben. But we'll keep calling him DG for now. Asuna is confused, thinking it should be Steven, but both Aki and Yui correct her. Aki explains that it's a german word, and it's a medical term. She gives it the proper pronunciation, which means "to die." It's a term used in hospitals when a patient passes away. So, yeah, this guy was real unsubtle.
-Back in the battle, it's time to banter! Kirito says that if he knew metal swords existed, he would have used that instead, but then we wouldn't get Jedi Cowboy Kirito. DG, who's using a different voice this time, says that he should have done his homework, calling him the Black Swordsman. He says that he made this with the weapons creation skill. Though it's limited by length and weight, it works for him. And Kirito is no longer interested if that estoc is the limit to what can be made in game.
-The banter continues for a bit as the two are clearly playing mind games with one another. While DG accuses Kirito of being too corrupted by the real world air, Kirito throws it right back, stating that DG must still think he's in Laughing Coffin. Clearly this doesn't work as DG takes it more as a compliment and is a bit surprised that he remembered his old guild. But he uses this to note the difference between them. He is a red player while Kirito isn't. And he's back into the mind games, citing that Kirito only killed out of fear and survival and not because you guys were totally crazy.
-Fine, Kirito is a coward. He'll agree to that. But that doesn't mean he's going to let DG get away with what he's done. He tells DG how he figured out how the murders took place, then tells him that the government has his name and addressed linked to his username, so he should go ahead, log out and give up. It'll make it easier on him. Of course, this doesn't work. DG tells Kirito that he won't be able to remember his username, but to play with his head more, tells him why he forgot it in the first place.
-Basically, after the battle, as DG was being walked past Kirito, our boy tells the Laughing Coffin member that he doesn't want to know his name because he'll never see him again. Wow, fate and irony conspired to screw with you, Kirito. Well, Kirito couldn't remember because he was never told, which is completely different. But in any case, DG is going to kill Kirito now, then he's going to kill Sinon. He comes in with a strike, but despite a block, DG is able to get a hit in. It isn't fatal, though, and Kirito is able to back away to give him some space.
-DG goes on about how his weapon is special, because he made it out of the armor plating of a space battleship. He charges Kirito again, using the same tech skill as Asuna, leaving Kirito defenseless... cue credits!
-Next time, Phantom Bullet.
Looks like we're getting to the end of the arc, which of course ends with the final battle between our hero and his antagonist. While we learn more of DG's pass, his comments seem to suggest that the handle he's using now isn't the same as the one from before. I could be wrong but that's how I'm taking it. It also seems like DG is using a different method to kill the other players, but I suspect that's more of him playing mind games with Kirito.
So... uh, Sinon, you're going to get that scope of yours fixed, right? Cause I think Kirito can use a little help. Unless she's being occupied by the mysterious fifth player. But what a time to throw in a question like that. Did DG kill another player in the real world, as well? Could he have more than one accomplice? Can Kirito stand up to DG's overwhelming skill? Can Sinon help in the end? Tune in next week to find out.
Until next time, remember, when fighting in a life or death battle where the other player is a psychotic murderer, always take the time to banter and perform flashbacks. Don't worry, the other guy will wait while you go through that.
Random friend requests are not acceptable. Seriously. If you want to add me, you better damn well do something important.
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Gravity Rush images go here.
Final Fantasy XIII
All things Final Fantasy XIII
So much eye candy...
Art from Persona 3, 4 and Arena here.
Tales of Graces
Here is your Tales of Graces love
Selvaria Bles Album
You know why you're here.
Hayate the Combat Butler
The place for the ladies (and guy) of this series.
Something for everybody!
All Fate/Extra stuff here (and then some)
The Wheel of Fate is Turning
These people are guilty for not wearing a crown
For the popular strategy RPG
You know why you're here. If not, you need new glasses.
Your cosplay action here.
Love for a great game with great art.
Even horrible creatures of the night need love
The most messed up pretty girls you've ever met.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
And now has it's own part time album.
Date a Live
Crazy girls going crazy for a guy who's treating this like a dating sim because if he doesn't the crazy girls go insane and start blowing stuff up. It's that kind of show.
Cosplay Gallery number 2
We liked it so much we made it twice.
The console war done with cute girls.
Because Hajime needs her own album.
Cosplay Gallery the third
Because you can never have enough
Rooster Teeth's first ever anime, it's images go here.
The Familiar of Zero
The one anime where I absolutely hate our two main protagonists.
High School DxD
Angels and Devils do battle while getting naked for no apparent reason.
Is This a Zombie?
No, they are hot vampire ninjas and magical girls.
Not that kind of Golden Time, though, but the anime.
Persona: The Second
For all the stray ones.
Cosplay thread IV
Like Saints Row, only sexier.
It's about a bunch of kids in the afterlife playing with guns.
Where being sexy will always forgive you for wanting to kill your sisters in bloody ways.
I couldn't become a hero...
...So I made this album instead.
Knights of Sidonia
Because we always make a folder for these shows
It's about a guy trying to become the Magic King and have his own harem
The Shantae Folder
The place where we put our magically sexy half-genie in all her glorious glory.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Where the protagonist can kill you just for annoying his sister.
Cosplay Gallery the Fifth
You know the drill.
Anime Screen caps
Because anything can be taken out of context when anime is involved
Because I'm watching it, that's why.
No Game, No Life
Random Chun-Li cosplay
What legs she has.
Wakana Ui is trying to be respectful of the grave while making sure the camera gets a good look at her.
The name of the manga is Okusama ga Seito Kaichou. It's very much NSFW.
Arnice loves to show off those legs
And the hips, too.
Bunny girl C.C. Is still the best bunny girl.
What interesting attire
I suspect Noire is keeping her jealousy hidden from Yukikaze flaunting that figure of hers.
Ninja Maid Felicia
She loves her knives.
Somebody forgot to put in the treasures
OMG, I think we can do captions now!
Yukikaze is looking rather nervous. I wonder why?