Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest

In order to meet and defeat Gustav in the final, we have to defeat two other opponents first.

Before we prepare, though, let's banter.

Is something troubling you?
...Aye. I am dwelling upon a happening from the past.
An unhappy memory?

He had received payment for a hunt, but was left destitute and unable to returnen home.

Indeed! To payen off his debts, we weren forced to sharen our earnings for many months after, and oft went hungry. Visiting this arena hath brought back the memory of that bitter time.
I am sorry to hear it.
Forgiven me. I did not will to burden thee with my woes. Nor shalle I leten them hindereth our mission here.

H'aanit's not particularly fond of the arena for understandable reasons. Just another example of her master being kind of a twit outside the world of hunting.

We get to talk to and examine each opponent before we fight them. The fighters are always the same three to fight, so those other four you can just forget about, you learned about them for nothing.

The doors on the left and right lead to the participant's waiting areas.

One day I will finally defeat my biggest enemy of all, the Southern Dandy.

This is the only chapter in the game to not have an actual dungeon. It's just the earlier fights, then these three in the arena. Olberic and Primrose generally have the most unique chapter layouts due to getting the most early attention from the developers.

We've got a lot of fighting to do, so let's get on with it!

Good luck to ye, knight. Ye'll need it.
You'll be fine. Just do exactly what you did to the others!

Music: Tension

'Tis a pleasure to make your acquaintance, good sir. The name is Joshua.

Olberic Eisenberg, and the honor is mine. The climes in your land may be harsh, but its sons have warm manners.

So you fight for a woman.
I fight for love. And today you will know how powerful that is.

Video: Miniboss - Joshua

Music: Battle II

Joshua starts out with his Fire weakness locked. Defeating his adds will unlock that weakness.

While we can learn the weaknesses of our main foes, we still have to learn the weaknesses of the adds the old-fashioned way.

Joshua has some rather kinky physical attacks, including a romantic dual-hit and a mournful party-wide attack.

With his adds gone, his fire weakness is exposed and we can focus-fire on him.

Though at this point, he gets two turns a round and can confuse characters.

But otherwise he's not too big a threat. Interesting, but not too bad a fight.

Music: Victory Fanfare

You fought well, and bravely. You did no dishonor to your lady love.

Anyway, that's one down. Who's our next opponent?

Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest

This is the four-time defending champion, so this should be a step up in difficulty.

What is it?
Yer next opponent is none other'n Archibold the Crusher. The long-reignin' king o' the tourney. He's as strong and skilled as any, that's for sure. But it's his iron will that wins him battles, more than anythin'. I'd tell ye to look out for this or that, but the gods only know...with 'im, ye got to look out for everythin'.
Ned can be overly dramatic, but he speaks the truth. Archibold's a more formidable foe by far than any you've faced till now.

...Gods' teeth, ye got more spine than sense, crackin' japes at a time like this.
This won't be the first time I've fought a man whose skills matched or surpassed my own. And I daresay it won't be the last.

Whatever happens, just give it everything you've got! We'll find out soon enough if that'll suffice.

Music: Tension

My father was one match away from winnin' his fifth tourney in a row when his challenger's sword found his breast. Now it's my turn to do what he could not.

Aye. Now let's get on with it.
So be it.

Video: Miniboss - Archibold

Music: Battle II

Archibold has a similar gimmick to Joshua, except here he locks two weaknesses.

He also wastes no time, immediately boosting and then doing a party-wide attack that also debuffs PhysAtk. You better be prepared for this fight!

Luckily, putting Eye for an Eye on my mage pays off, as these grunts are weak to staves, among other things.

Archibold hits like a truck, but as long as you've got a healer you can outpace him easily.

He can also inflict Unconscious with this particular attack.

Keep the onslaught coming and you'll wear him down eventually and score the biggest upset of the tournament.

Music: Victory Fanfare

Are my eyes to be believed!? The king has been dethroned!

Like son... I have...failed him...

As long as I have breath in my lungs and strength in my arm, I'll keep swinging this blade.

Meanwhile, Olberic's still a bit too distracted by his own thoughts to really grasp how huge a moment this is supposed to be.

Archibold yields! For the first time in four years, the king will not fight in the final battle!

And of course, Gustav shall be our opponent in the final.

Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest

Before the main event, let's have some banter.

What's the matter, Olberic? You look deep in thought.
Indeed I am. I realized that every man who takes up arms has a reason to do so. I have tried not to dwell on the many men who have fallen to my blade.

I can't pretend to know much about swords and soldiers. But I have noticed one thing. You're different from other fighting men I have known.

I sense tenderness, and mercy to those whom you're forced to vanquish. Whatever your reason turns out to be, I'm glad you fight alongside us.
...I had never thought of myself in that way. Thanks be to you, Ophilia. Your words give me strength.

A great banter, and really the only time Olberic actually brings up his dilemma to someone else in these first two chapters. Already these two share respect and have a solid bond, relying on each other at times of weakness. They have different types of strengths, and help protect each other's weaknesses. It's a shame banter like this can be so easily missed.

It happens that the final two banters include Alfyn and Therion, so we're going with an all-male party this time, or the COAT (if Therion were the lead, this would be the TACO).

And since I have Therion, I can finally unlock this purple chest and ignore this for the rest of the game.

Gustav has some things to buy and steal, including his shield. It's one of only three shields in the game to boost Evasion (the majority of shields reduce it), and stat-wise it's the best one you can get until the Chapter 4 towns.

I like how many of the strategies for these fighters is "Set them on fire." Wise words from Cyrus/Alfyn/?????.

Ain't ever seen the girl this agitated afore. Ye've lit a fire under her, that's for certain.
Why shouldn't I be agitated? He beat the reigning king! The one they said was all but invincible!

At first I thought this was a reaction to "kingslayer" considering Olbeirc's past. I don't think it's the intent, but it's still darkly humorous to think about.

Wha'ever this Black Knight may be, judgin' by his previous fights, he stands the equal of any king.
No man should enter a battle expecting an easy victory. Least of all against one who was trained in the sword by Erhardt.

Yet neither should any man shy from battle for fear of defeat. I shall fight with all my strength, and if the gods will that is not enough, then so be it. Agreed?

Aha! Yer cheeks're turnin' red, girl.

...That's my cue.


And I am impressed as well. You've won hard battles against capable foes.
Once you mentioned Sir Erhardt, I didn't have much of a choice, now did I? Lest I dishonor his name as my teacher. He told me a lot about you, back when we were both serving in that mercenary band. ...

(Joshua fought for love. Archibold for the memory of his father, and the honor of his line.)

Music: For Redemption

Then to arms!

Video: Boss - Gustav

Music: Decisive Battle II

Gustav has all five of his weaknesses locked down, and he immediately gets two turns a round. They really are ramping these battles up!

The Shield Wielders are a bit trickier than your usual adds. They have an attack that can inflict large damage and Unconscious, and an attack that also boosts their own PhysDef.

Gustav, on the other hand, is clearly a Warrior himself and uses his own versions of Level Slash and Cross Strike. He also has a Triple Strike which strikes triple.

This would be a lot more challenging if this weren't the last chapter we were doing for this line. And if I couldn't heal the majority of their offense. Even still, easy as this ends up being, I'd still consider this my most challenging fight since H'aanit's C2, or at least the most interesting.

Once the adds are gone, it's time for the good ol' Break-and-Boost.

Eventually Gustav will bump up to a whopping three turns a round.

Black Blade inflicts Horror, which is bad on our damage dealers who love to boost.

But even the mighty Gustav is no match for our offense, and so our final opponent falls.

And as a bonus, we get his shield!

Music: Jubilation

A new king of the arena is crowned! Three cheers for Olberic Eisenberg!

D-did ya see that, lads!
The Black Knight fought bravely, but the Unbending Blade has won the day!

Course I did! I saw every blow land, and me own wounds ached just watchin'!

Aye, it was that. No shame in losing to the likes of you.
...On another day, you could have been the victor.

When you're ready, come by my room at the inn, and I'll tell you what I know.
I will see you anon.

For a Black Knight trained by a kingslayer, Gustav is a pretty solid guy. He took his loss well and has some respect for us.

Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest

Before we meet Gustav and find out about Erhardt, we've got more banter to take care of.

... Nay. I am just a man who carries a sword, and has learned how to use it. Today I was better than my opponent. No more, no less.
If you say so. ...Hey-ho?
What is it?

You can't hide it from me. If you don't treat cuts they can get the rot, and then you'll be in trouble. So stop pretending it's nothin' and let me fix it for you. It's my job, after all.
Thank you. I shall repay you.

There's quite a few Alfyn banters that are, "Hey, you have a wound, let me heal it" or "If you need your wounds healed, I'm here for you" and this is another one of them. They're great and all, but they probably could've cut half of them and replaced them with something more interesting.

At any rate, we've got our victory, so now let's get our real reward, information on Erhardt.

Video: Erhardt's Past and Present


A deal's a deal. You want to find Erhardt, and I'll honor my side of the bargain.

If you say so. But what about?
Sir Erhardt, of course. And what I know of him.

Now, where to begin...

Music: Discord

Some border town in the far reaches of Hornburg...or so he once told me.

'Twas long before Lord Erhardt became a knight that he lost his home. After that, he joined a band of sellswords for a spell. It was there he got an idea in his head.

Preposterous! You mean to tell me that Erhardt meant to betray us all along!?
His eyes always burned with fire when he told the tale. "The king of Hornburg turned his back on us," he's said, "and sat on his ass as our homes burned."

Lord Erhardt claimed otherwise. Either way, he was a man on a mission.
If that's true... That means he'd been plotting the downfall of Hornburg for years!

I don't pretend to admire his deeds, nor claim they are honorable... But then, I've never known the pain and anguish Sir Erhardt was forced to bear. Though I wonder, sometimes, how it made him feel to see justice done. If winning his revenge put his heart at ease.

You look up to the man...don't you?
He taught me to be a true warrior. And I daresay he was a friend as well.

As was I... Thank you.
Happy to have the company, and a willing ear.

When you do...well, I trust you'll do what's right.

If that is what you believe he deserves, I reckon he'll accept his fate. And so will I.
Whatever the cause he fought for, it does not excuse his deeds. He slew the king he had taken a sworn oath to protect.

(If so, does he still wield it, even though the thirst for vengeance has been sated?)

Erhardt had the king's assassination planned all along, but it may not have been as cathartic as he imagined it would be. There's only way to find out for sure, though...

Music: Victors Hollow, Jewel of the Forest

At any rate, our business is done here. Let's have one final banter and take our leave.

Erhardt? Aye, I called him friend, once upon a time.

And you still want to see him again?
I would speak to him. There is something I need to know.
And you think meeting him will give you closure? What happens if you don't like the answer you get?

Perhaps you are right. But I must see him, if I am to put the past behind me.
I won't try and stop you. In fact, I think I'll stick around and see how this one unfolds.

There's some parallels between Olberic's and Therion's pasts, namely being betrayed by a former friend, so of course Therion has some vested interest in how Olberic's tale pans out.

We're done with Victors Hollow, at least for today. For now, let's go back on the road.

Video: Journeying On


What does it matter? The tourney is over. Our bargain is concluded.
It is. But that doesn't mean we can't bid each other godspeed.

Of course. Pray forgive my manners.

And you have ours. So, if I can be so bold, where're you off to next?
The Sunlands. A town called Wellspring.

Music: Olberic, the Warrior

And then?

Well, if you've already got a place to call home, then maybe this means nothing...

The offer is welcome, but it's not the life for me...
Thought you might say that. But I had to ask, eh?
If ye ever have a change of heart, just drop on by. Or even if ye don't--ye'll always be welcome here...
Thank you, friend. I may do just that. In the meantime, take care of those wounds.
Don't you worry about me. I'll be fightin' fit soon enough, an' ready to give a good showin' at next year's tourney.

A title and a crest do not a swordsman make.
Aye, true enough. Maybe I will go an' win it all. See what the bettors'll say about that!

I'd like that very much. But today the road calls. Till our paths cross again, my friends.

And so our final Chapter Two has come to a close. We are now halfway through all eight stories!

And so it is time to once again plan our next path. We'll be revisiting six towns from Chapter 2 as well as travel to a new town, Wellspring. Our heroes will face their greatest challenges yet and be tested like they've never been before.

So before we close out Chapter 2 for good, let's vote on our first Chapter 3! For the record, Cyrus is low 30's and everyone else is mid 20's, so...I may need to do a bit of grinding. Then again, bosses have been easy anyway, I could use a challenge.

Next time, we explore Victors Hollow and then do a few side stories to finish up Chapter Two.