We’re nearing the end now, which means it’s time for Mission 13: Wizard-Tease Bertran Has A Sleepover In Allura’s Mansion And Invites All Of His Mage Friends To Hang Out, Then Checks Out Allura’s Awesome Music Box Before Going To Sleep.
The side story for this chapter involves a single immortal knight coming to kill Allura in the hopes that she’ll be the one to finally end his life for good. He talks about how he made a deal with an evil entity and gives this whole speech focused on why doing so is a bad idea leading invariably to bad things, but the only thing he mentions it actually robbing from him is the thrill after killing. Honestly, it kind of sounds like his particular pact made him a better person, and since his deal doesn’t appear to be hastening the revival of the devil, the whole thing comes across as whiny and entitled. He also points at Allura, which is just plain rude. Immortality, however tortured, doesn’t give one the right to ignore good manners.
He gets back up the second I finish him off, so I reset the game before saving and try again, this time making an effort to kill him with a Dark Illusion. I was curious if that would change anything, but it doesn’t (though it earned me more Ark and Warl). This particular side story seems to exist to have a character explain that evil pacts are, like, totally not cool. Again, that something like this even needs to be said reinforces the fact that this country needs Jesus. And maybe a door exorcism or two.
You don’t need to actually kill him to end the mission, anyway. He gets frustrated and limps out, moping about his eternal existence of not deriving pleasure from killing. You can’t see it, but a single tear is sliding down my cheek right now.
As for the actual mission, it begins with wizard-tease and Mayte showing up to the mansion and trying to convince Hertzog’s people that throwing themselves into the meat grinder is making the Fiend’s resurrection all the more imminent.
They respond with the class and decorum you’d expect out of a group of murderous partisans, leading wizard-tease to warp inside to face Allura while Mayte is busy off-camera (presumably) exploding everyone’s internal organs with her magic.
As tends to be the case with filthy do-gooders, wizard-tease insists on explaining his reasons for killing Allura. The only real new insight would be the bit in the image above where he explains that the weird armband she got upon touching the mansion door is actually the Fiend’s mouth, and our murderous staircases have apparently been feeding him souls so that he can reconstitute himself. Not quite sure how that works given that souls are by definition intangible, but you know. Devil magic.
If the armband thing is his mouth, I’m kind of curious what the music box Dark Illusion is. I mean, it’s obvious that only the kills using the traps count (otherwise all the people who died of old age and the king’s mismanagement would have brought the Fiend back ages ago), but the mansion’s traps are built into it. That means the mansion—or at the very least, the Dark Illusions—have to similarly be a part of its anatomy. I guess the gears and such are kind of like intestines?
Wizard-tease has a flair for the dramatic, so he starts off by sending groups of miscellaneous redshirt mages after you. Among these is a fire mage who can bring a fireball down on top of you. This is especially hard to dodge since it comes out of nowhere, and the only real way to avoid being damaged by it appears to be running around wildly and not staying in any one position for too long.
And then a thunder mage shows up. I have to be honest—as striking as her outfit is, I don’t think it’s all that practical for a mission that involves killing the harbinger of a demonic apocalypse. Shrug. But hey, she uses the thunder whip like the annoying earlier thunder mage, so maybe this is some kind of weird dominatrix thing that aids her magic somehow. Like a safety blanket that just happens to be ball gag-adjacent.
Wizard-tease finally shows up once all his buddies have bit it and triggers the Dark Illusion all on his own. Seriously, I didn’t intentionally light any candles or anything. Maybe some got lit by accident? I didn’t even lure him over the bloodied part of the floor. He basically ran himself through the Dark Illusion without any effort on my part.
Then again, I checked his bio and he’s actually over 300 years old, so this whole thing (including not helping Allura by killing her enemies on her behalf, which would be a much more efficient way of keeping the Fiend at bay) could be explained by him clumsily Magoo-ing his way through the game and hoping for the best.
Sadly, he appears to have spent those 300 years drinking full glasses of milk, as the Dark Illusion leaves him with quite a bit of health left. I even crush him with a flare rock on top of that, only for him to survive with plenty of fight left in him.
This is where things get a bit tricky; he spams spells when Allura’s close to him, but runs off to flank her from the other side if she’s too far, and the “just right” area between the two is comically small. Eventually I run up and down the stairs, causing him to do the same on the opposite staircase. That’s when I come up with a brilliant strategy: moving the traps to the staircase he’s standing on instead of the one Allura is standing on and using his tactic against him. Eat your heart out, Napoleon!
He dies and doesn’t seem all that pleased by it. Which makes sense, given that his soul is effectively being used to help resurrect the thing he originally sealed away. That’s pretty poetic, actually. Now, his apprentice is still alive out there, most likely covered in flaming soldier innards and itching for a fight, but I think we’ve got a pretty straight shot to Rachel now. Hopefully it’s now time to kill us a handmaiden.