Beyond the Sands
It's time to recruit our final companion. We'll find him in the tiny desert settlement of Ryu.
It seems he's a bit preoccupied. Might as well wait for him to finish his business first.
You there! Out of the way!
Shut your trap! This useless lowborn served us rotten food! He needs to learn that his incompetence has consequences!
It looks like the swordsman probably has this, but why not join in the fun ourselves? We're getting pretty good at putting arrogant morons in their place.
They were as pathetic as they sound.
Is everyone okay? You're safe now. You should return to your homes.
The citizens are saved, and the soldiers promptly humiliated. All is well.
You can call me Hikari.
Are you a traveler as well? That was a fine display back there.
Hikari is a loyal ally and also pretty damn strong, so we'd be foolish to turn him down.
It seems my sword won't be left to rust after all.
With that, it's time for our final origin story, and to learn more about Hikari.
Video: Before the Battle, Before Their Graves
Things start off in a far away land, in a place far grander than any we've seen on the western continent thus far.
Also, sorry for the longer-than-usual video. As you'll see, there's no good stopping points for quite a while.
Don't waste your breath. If you're going to pray...
I didn't come here to pray. I came here to remember.
...It's time, my prince.
Tempest on the Battlefield
And, just as suddenly, we're thrust in the midst of a massive battle.
If you want to see just how big a step up OT2 is to its predecessor, just compare the opening flashback of Olberic's Chapter 1 to this battle scene. The sheer scope alone is a massive step up, as this feels like an actual major battle. And it gets more intense from here!
As we progress, various battles trigger with our party.
...I would worry about yourself.
I won't die in a hellhole like this!
Hikari the Warrior specializes in swords and polearms, while Ritsu just uses swords.
Ritsu's skills include a three-hit sword attack and a blinding attack, both of which are pretty useful!
Hikari has the usual Warrior skills, but also Learned Skills.
I'll go into more details a bit later, but for now he has just one, which is a powerful sword attack that is more than enough to take out this grunt.
Meanwhile, close to the battlefield...
Now for the finishing touch.
Clan Ku shall rise from the desert as its ruler.
Become the tempest and scatter those southern dogs to the winds.
And when the fury of the storm subsides, our enemies will be smothered and buried.
A brilliant strategy as always, Kazan.
Luck has no place here. Only strength reigns supreme. And the mighty shall build their castles upon the corpses of the weak.
Kazan is Ku's tactician, while Mugen is Ku's most fearsome general.
And I am not saying that lightly.
The scarlet demon of Ku...General Mugen!
Of course, Mugen's not going to have all the fun.
Mugen is not only a fearsome warrior with possibly no equal, he relishes in war.
Meanwhile, Hikari and Ritsu advance through the battlefield.
Eyes forward, Hikari! Keep going!
We're interrupted by yet another battle, though there's at least one welcome surprise here.
The noble sands of Ku dance at your back, and they know no fear! Not a single enemy shall pass through our storm!
Rai Mei specializes in polearms.
She has a useful "attack all" spear move, but even cooler is Thunderous Stab, which deals a polearm attack followed by a separate lightning attack.
With Rai Mei, these soldiers are a joke.
Since he's the noble good guy, Hikari doesn't believe in striking down those defeated in combat. But on to more pressing matters.
It's the enemy general. Now to prove your mettle, Hikari.
Now you pay the price for your tyranny, bastards of Ku!
This is the southern army's general. Defeating him is naturally going to be key in winning this battle.
Granted, this is still basically a tutorial so it's not like we're in any real danger here.
No... We won't...we won't leave the desert in your clutches...
Meanwhile, Mugen is clearly not the type to leave any survivors.
Show sympathy to the enemy, and your tarnish the name Ku in the process.
Today's glory was paid for with the blood of many...
Our enemies have been put to heel, their forces crushed under our might. The nation of Ku shall know prosperity untold...
Hikari... I tire of this heat...
That was King Jigo, father to Mugen and Hikari.
Is it true? Are we...?
Can you hear it too? That voice?
Keep that in the back of your mind for now.
It was your sword that cut the path to victory.
You fought fiercely this day. What is your name?
It's Ritsu Mishuyo, my lord.
The brothers (or rather, as Mugen just alluded to, half-brothers), while both very skilled in combat, have very differing views on war in general.
Video: Friendly Banter
You don't need to flatter me. I didn't do it alone.
You may be the prince, aye, but it was by dint of strength that you were made captain.
Don't be ridiculous, Ritsu. You'll always have a place by my side.
The battle was long and trying. Let us dedicate this victory to the countrymen we lost today.
It was an honor to have you with me, Rai Mei.
Of course, Kazan. Without your cunning strategy, we may have very well been buried under the sands.
Or so they say. I wager tonight's drinks shall be sweet indeed.
We can't toast yet, Kazan.
If you insist, my prince. I see war has only tempered your commitment to duty.
Consider it done.
The fires of warfare that once raged were reduced to embers,
and former comrades-in-arms such as Kazan and Rai Mei...
...went their separate ways, far from the deserts of Ku.
Ku, Land of the Scarlet Sunset
Ku, and its people, have greatly changed in the past three years of peace.
If we didn't say anything, I reckon you'd train until the sun set.
...I'd be glad to. It's a sign that peace yet prevails.
...If you wish. That may be merely a piece of wood, but don't think you'll have any mercy.
They're not your friends, my prince! They are lowborns who scavenge for rotten food. They're a stain on our nation!
That'll teach you to talk back to our lord!
Thank you, Lord Hikari.
We haven't had a lord that looks out for us like that before.
Hikari is the type of prince who actually cares about his subjects and views everyone as equals. He's a fearsome fighter, but also one who'd prefer to use combat as a last resort, though he certainly loves to spar.
What is it, Tsuki?
A brawl has broken out at the tavern!
Understood. Let us be on our way.
It's not the most exciting work, but I'm sure Hikari doesn't mind if the most exciting thing he has to deal with are settling down drunkards.
There's a good bit of dialogue from the locals, but here's the highlights, or at least what I deem are highlights. Your highlights may vary.
Lord Hikari, you're just in time!
Prince Hikari, consorting with lowlifes. Suppose that's what happens when your family forsakes you!
You've got some nerve!
It won't be long until General Mugen assumes the throne.
Now we get to Hikari's Day Path Action, Challenge, where he can challenge random NPCs to combat. Much like OT1's Olberic, Hikari is probably a bit too into fighting people in honorable duels, but that's just part of his charm.
Of course, in this case, beating this guy up would be doing everybody a favor. I for one cannot stand the experience of a pleasant meal being ruined by buffoonery...
If it's a brawl you want, I'll be your opponent.
It's just like fighting people with Osvald or Ochette. No penalty if you lose a fight.
Now...leave. I won't ask again.
OT2 adds a nice wrinkle to Challenges by giving Hikari the Talent of Learned Skills, which allows him to learn up to five skills from the various NPCs he defeats in Challenges. This gives Hikari a ton of versatility and access to a ton of powerful skills outside the Warrior job, resulting in one of the game's better talents overall. He'll always have access to these skills unless he chooses to forget one or overrides one with another.
Double Slash is already a decent grab since it's a cheap way to hit with swords twice without spending BP, though it's not as useful as you'd think for shields for reasons I'll get into next update. Still, definitely not turning this one down!
Our work here is done.
You needn't thank me. It is my duty.
We're blessed that you were appointed to watch over our town.
I mean, Hikari certainly seems better-suited to oversee the citizens of Ku than Mugen...
I can't remember the last time you visited alone.
All will be explained upon your arrival.
...Very well. I won't be long.
Before we take care of said business...
We pick up a couple of learned skills from the citizenry. Hikari has the worst E.Atk in the game, but it's still coverage.
And some cheap healing too! I mean, a grape is still better, and it's not like grapes are hard to get, but might as well grab this while it's still useful!
OK, let's see what Benkei has planned for us...
Why have you left the castle? I would have come if called.
Hikari, I have devoted my life to expanding our borders.
...I realize that it has all led to nothing.
Friends that will grow together with us. Allies that hold the same ideals as us.
And I do not find you lacking in the least. You've brought joy to the people. Community.
I'm not worthy. My brother, he...
I shall make the proper arrangements, and do what I can to keep Mugen's machinations at bay.
Hikari's kind heart and compassion for his people sets him apart from his elder brother, enough so to be deemed a better candidate to become king. But do we really think Mugen would go down without a fight...?
Next time, Hikari works to reveal Mugen's machinations, and we'll see how the succession ultimately falls...