Now we’re at Mission 10: Chatting Casually With Hertzog And Not Murdering Him For Reasons That Aren’t Entirely Clear, Then Choosing Whether Or Not To Get The Bad Ending That Requires Only One More Fight And Lets You Explode Jais.
Mission 10 is almost entirely filler (minus one fairly major choice given to you), so it’s only natural that the side mission is equally pointless. It starts with a foreign prince showing up to kill Allura, and then it ends with him dying and explaining that he was trying to save her. That’s pretty weak as far as saving goes. In fact, I’m pretty sure that dropping a flare rock on his head saved him from the burdens of being a prince according to his definition. Also, I’m starting to suspect that the smash floor stays up for a bit longer than the default springboard (or spring floor, whatever), which blocks the smash wall before it can knock enemies off the ledge. Or maybe my timing’s just off. Either way, I don’t like risking my combo ending by leaving enemies lying around.
Hertzog goes off on this long, unskippable speech about how this has all been so that he can be a king and a better ruler than Allura’s dad. He also says that he was behind the king’s killing, but that the king explicitly wanted to be killed for some reason potentially related to the Fiend. He also makes it incredibly unclear which characters are alive and dead, explaining that “Graines and Catalina will both be joining the king soon” as a “parting gift to him.” Except Catalina is currently alive and Graines is supposedly dead, so I honestly can’t figure out what he’s telling me.
If the king is alive, I don’t see how Graines will be joining him (and if Hertzog kills a secretly-alive king, he’d technically be joining the dead Graines instead of it being the other way around). If the king is dead, then it implies that Graines is secretly alive, but that meaning only works if Allura is already aware of that fact when it’s brought up. I’ll go to bat for the translation’s overall amusing engrish quality anytime, but this is an unamusing failure to communicate important plot information.
Anyway, Hertzog explains that he’s known us since we were little and doesn’t want to kill us, then gives us the option to leave the kingdom. The obvious answer is “no,” and that’s definitely what I’m going to choose for this playthrough, but I first wanted to see what happens if you oblige him and decide to abandon your kingdom.
See? I told you there was voice acting in the actual game. Probably should have mentioned that it’s in Japanese when I first brought it up, though.
Choosing to flee the kingdom upsets Jais so much that he fights Allura. His reason for attacking is that she’s the rightful ruler of the kingdom and Graines wanted her to lead, so he’s going to convince her to stay and rule by stabbing her until she dies. It’s obviously a brilliant plan with zero holes in it. Oh, and she will die, by the way. Jais has that annoying lunge attack that Finnegan had and is capable of dodging push walls, springboards, and even flare rocks. Basically, he can’t be hit by anything that I actually use, and Allura moves so slow that dodging his unreasonably quick attacks feels a lot like trying to avoid gunfire using nothing but a paddle boat.
I probably died 3 or 4 times before finally relenting and using a bomb to soften him up first. See, enemies who are in the middle of a combo lose their immunity, so Jais can be killed with a flare rock and push wall, but only if he’s knocked back by one of the few things that can actually damage him. More specifically, a blast bomb.
This ending is kind of funny, actually. Allura remains alive in a foreign land while the people who screwed her over get wrecked by the Fiend. The text may hint that she’s not happy with that ending, but I think it’s actually pretty poetic, all things considered.
Reloading my save and choosing not to flee the kingdom tees up a mob of nothing but filler trash. This guy with the knives shows up and hits me while I’m taking a screenshot (the captured feed is a few seconds behind), but there’s really nothing too interesting about him except for the fact that he’s immune to the springboard.
Oh look, another mage. I wonder what kind of magic this guy does?
Apparently the magic that sucks and dies instead of attacking. Okay then.
Beefheads are my favorite to kill, and I lead him into another room to try and figure out how to use the cannon inside, but that goes nowhere and he quickly dies.
Seriously, 4 enemies. In the entire mission. Just 4. We took out something like 12 in the last mission, so I have no idea what’s happening with mission 10, but at least the game isn’t wasting my time with groups of meaningless mobs.