Anime Was A Mistake: Let's Dunk On Ni no Kuni 2

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#42

She looks incredibly bored in this shot. I know it’s just that you caught her mid-blink animation, but it looks like she’s just phoning the whole “protest” thing in and really doesn’t want to be there. “Yeah, give us back our lives, or whatever.”

Sure, why not. Replace Leander with her, since his plot arc seems to be over for now.


#43

Update 35: Facebook Was Never Good

Bracken: “Hey, you said you were here to see President Vector, right?”

Evan: “Yes, that’s right. I am Evan, king of Evermore, a new kingdom in the Heartlands. We have come to ask President Vector to sign a pact with us and join our union of friendly nations.”

Bracken: “Wait, I think I heard about you guys - Goldpaw and Hydropolis already signed up, right?”

It seems like absolutely everyone gets news faster than Evan does.

Bracken: “And now you want us on board too, huh? Well, I guess I don’t need to tell you this, but now’s not exactly a good time…”

Tani: “You can say that again! If he’s setting his kingmaker on his own people, imagine what he’d do to us!”

I dunno, I think having Leander and Tani die off wouldn’t be too bad.

Hipster: “He didn’t used to be like that. Bracken and me - we founded this whole company with him. We know him better than anybody.”

Evan: “You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all Doloran’s doing.”

[Insert three lines of Evan explaining shit we already know here]

Decadus: “Based on what we have seen and heard, it would seem that the President has been quite seriously infected by Doloran’s evil influence.”

Decadus: “Queen Nerea, being highly skilled in the magical arts, was capable of resisting the darkness enough that restoring her to her senses was a relatively simple task.”

Oh boy we’re in Kingdom Hearts now. I can’t wait for Evan’s nobody, Avxne, to come out of the woodwork and try to murder him. I think we knew all along that Doloran was a Xehanort.

Evan: “You said that you and President Vector used to be close, didn’t you Bracken?”

She said this literally so close that if your monitor resolution is high enough (1440p should do it) you can probably see her saying it from here.

Evan: “Is there a way you could remind him of those times, perhaps?”

This part kind of makes no sense to me. Evan is now suddenly an expert on how to remove Doloran’s purple crap, even though the first person he “saved” was Pugnacius who no one knew was being possessed until after Doloran showed up, and Nerea who largely saved herself.

Roland: “Try to snap him out of it by jogging his memory, you mean? Yeah, that could work.”

Bracken: “Well, this right here might be a good place to begin - it’s where the three of us started out all those years ago.”

Bracken: “We used to do all our work in the room right through there. It’s still just how we left it.”

We’re then tasked with another “find the shiny” mission. You can see it as soon as you’re given control again. It’s under the stool to the left of Boy Sampson.

Evan: “What’s a memolith?”

Bracken: “Well, you take a crystal and run a tiny magical current through it to record visual data. Then you can run a light beam through it, focus it with a prism lens, and watch the data back whenever you’d like.”

Bracken: “By which I mean it’s… it’s a device you can use to record memories. Let’s play it back and see what we have here…”

Bracken: “That was… wow… that was from way back when we first started out.”

Tani: “Perfect! Then we can use it to jog the president’s memory, right?”

Roland: “I’d say so. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. Sure would be good to have a couple more just to be sure, though…”

Evan: “Are there any other memoliths from back then, Bracken?”

Bracken: “Hmm… Zip was kinda hot on destroying sensitive data. If it wasn’t essential to the running of the company, it all got wiped.”

I’d like to take a moment and point out how little sense this makes. Zark decides to preserve the office they worked in as a reminder to himself… but then goes and destroys all of the recordings he made in a world where he is the only person who even has a computer. It’s kind of nonsensical.

Bracken: “I took a look in the database just now, and it seems like four memoliths are unaccounted for. Which means there may be another three out there somewhere.”

We need to head for the factory, which is absolutely the worst and most annoying dungeon in the game.

Welcome to the Factory Floors, the only place more visually annoying than The Abyss.

Bracken has a way of tracking the memoliths, but…

Before we do anything, I’m going to post the map of the factory floor and explain why this place sucks ass.

You’ll notice the giant blue thing in the middle. This first floor only has one of these, which makes it by far the easiest one to traverse. We can rotate the blue thing to control which path we go on, only it resets every time we leave the factory. Why is this a big deal, you ask? Because there are at least five sidequests that require us to go back through here.

We also run into some new enemies. BL-Ast Bots are effectively clones of Roland, using only a rifle to perform ranged attacks, which is weird because at no point do we ever get a rifle. BL-Ade bots are clones of Roland with a sword, and Bl-Udgeon Bots are clones of Batu with a hammer. They’re not hard to defeat, but they’re REALLY tanky.

Thankfully, we’ve got Bracken. For just 2 MP, she can put down a healing field that heals enough damage that we can pretty much tank hits with reckless abandon on normal difficulty. One of these fields will last usually for an entire regular combat.

After a few combats against enemies we’ve fought before (Spanglegoos and fairies) we reach the first furnace. These have to be turned on to activate the consoles that let us move those colored platforms.

Bracken teaches Evan the Kindle spell, which allows him to light the furnaces.

With the console active, we can now switch the position of the blue platform.

So, why is this area such a dick? Well, let me explain sort of the way Ni no Kuni 2’s navigation works (for the most part).

Normally in this game, you can’t fall off of anything - usually the game has very strictly placed invisible walls. Now, you might notice something in the distance: the blue platform has changed positions, which stops us from going back the way we came to get to the archives.

See that cog directly across from Bracken?

You can fall from there to reach the bottom. There IS a no-falling route to get to the blue panel, where you use a console on the other side of it to turn it, but falling like this is actually REQUIRED later on. I got stuck a few rooms ahead of this one on my first playthrough because I had no fucking idea that you could do this.

For our efforts, we get a pair of boots that I immediately equipped to Bracken.

Once we fall, we can simply walk across the blue platform and reach the archives.

Finding the memolith in this room isn’t exactly a challenge. Also, I’m pretty sure Bracken’s last line is a plot hole - they didn’t move the old offices over here because the old offices are still on the other side of the city where we started in the first place! Just the way you left them! You gave an entire speech on this!

Oh boy, a crowdfunding reference.

The memoliths we’re going to find aren’t in chronological order, and don’t really make a lot of sense when taken together.

It also kind of bugs me that Zark and Bracken have barely aged, but Trey looks like he’s about fourty years older.

The Smartstick Lab is the biggest dick of a location in this game. Why, you ask? Because there are no trip doors leading to it, and it is the focus of all of those sidequests that require us to come back here later.

First up though, we have a new wyvern reskin exclusive to the factory.

So yeah, no trip door up here, where there definitely should’ve been one.

This is the layout for the Smartstick Lab. If we needed to come back here, we’d have to do the puzzle in the first area and this one to get there.

This floor is a bit different in that there’s two furnaces: a blue one and a red one. The blue one is easy to reach - we simply walk across the platforms in their original position.

From there, we turn the blue platforms to reach the red furnace. What I should mention as well is that the enemies here are on a pretty short respawn timer, so unless you know what you’re doing in advance you’re probably going to run into repops.

We then need to turn the red switch, so that we can reach the other blue control panel on the far side of the map.

Post-Magfest update:

I didn’t get a picture of the signature but I signed it “Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum”. Let’s dunk on Ni no Kuni 2.

Anyway, like I was saying, we have to go to the far end to use that blue control panel, as opposed to using the one closer to the red furnace. If we were to do that…

We’d run into a higglestone - one that wants an item we can’t possibly have yet. There’s an achievement for finding all of the higglestones, and I pity anyone who tries because there’s two of them in the factory.

There’s a save point just beyond the puzzle, which I only really used because of how hard the enemies here hit.

Once we head up the stairs, the Smartstick Lab is right there.

Surprisingly, the developers modelled the smartstick - which is really impressive because I don’t think it shows up anywhere in the game. There was the thing Zark had during the fight with Bootleg Alexander a few updates ago, but I went back and looked and it looks like that’s a different model altogether from all of the ones here.

Bracken: “We were a team back then… we all thought the same way… wanted the same thing…”

Bracken: “How did it all go so wrong?”

That about does it. Next time, we’ll go through the third (and final) puzzle.


#44

Have fun! I’ve been to Magfest several times; unfortunately, I’m not going this year.


#45

Update 36: BU-llshit

Once we reach the third area of the factory, we’re almost immediately herded into a cutscene trigger.

Batu is the best character in this otherwise garbage game.

This map has a new contrivance: not only do we have the switching platforms like we did in the other two areas, we now also have platforms in that central cylinder area that change position when the switches are pressed. This is also the worst designed room in the goddamn game.

The first door switch is easily reached without lighting either the blue or red furnace. It’s a straight walk right there.

The blue furnace is just past the first door switch… and then we have to walk all the way around the room to get to the blue platform switch.

So as you can see, we can reach that second door switch… if we had the red platforms as well.

As if we didn’t need another reason to hate Zark, Bracken explains that this is how he tests his employees. I feel like if Hideo Kojima couldn’t get away with Quiet and the “she breathes through her skin” thing, Level 5 shouldn’t be able to get away with this shit.

The red furnace is on the right side of the room - with the blue platforms moved, there’s a tiny bridge between these two staircases that allows us to access it (you can see it in the screenshot before this one).

The red switch located nearby moves the red platforms so that we can now reach the other switches in the center area.

This spot right here is where I got stuck when I played this game the first time. Like I said in the last update, the game usually has invisible walls on every path to stop you falling off. You can actually complete the other two puzzles to get here without ever having to drop down. What you’re supposed to do is drop onto the blue platform… but since the game never lets you do this anywhere else, I didn’t expect they’d let you do it here.

Jumping down and across gets us to the second switch, which we saw earlier.

Oh, and here’s the other reason this is the worst room in the game. If you miss a jump, as I did here, you fall to the bottom level full of enemies.

I forgot to grab the third switch in a screenshot, but it’s in the middle across from the second one. You have to flip the red switch again and then walk across the red half-platform to the other side.

I think it’s a general rule of stage design that any area that has a bigass podium like that probably has a key item on it.

I have to wonder if that guy’s job is like, “chief fuckup officer” or something. CFUO.

Bracken: “There’s… there’s one more I want to show him.”

Evan: “But I thought you said there were only four?”

Bracken: “There were four listed as missing in the database. This one’s… it’s more of a personal record.”

Bracken: “The Chief Engineer’s office is just up ahead. I’ll tell you more when we get there.”

Welcome to the only other warp point in this godforsaken shitpit of a dungeon. I took the time right away to go back and do some kingdom management stuff - remember, we’re making way more KG than we can hold in the collection bin and haven’t been able to warp without losing progress up until this point.

With the money, I upgraded the Institute to its maximum level and also did this research because really, most of our costs in this mode at this point are going to come from upgrades and research.

Evan: “What’s on it, Bracken?”

Bracken: “Well, uh… I guess you could say it contains one of the most important memories of my whole life.”

Bracken: “…Anyway, with this and the others we should have more than enough to make Zip snap out of it. He’ll be in the reactor control room. It’s just upstairs. Come on!”

This looks like a boss arena, mostly because it is. See this blue panel back here? There’s at least one sidequest that asks us to look at this thing.

Oh shit. You know, I realized it’s kind of a plot hole that Bracken needed to bypass the security system in the first place given that she works here and all, but I actually have solid proof that Broadleaf was changed ENTIRELY during development of the game. I’ll get to it… a bit later.

Oh look, it’s one of those things from Bioshock. All we have to do is start quoting Karl Marx at it and it’ll go away.

This is one of the points I have that kind of proves how Broadleaf changed. We have two rather difficult (for the AI, at least) bossfights back-to-back, with this one being the first. I’m pretty sure that this was originally supposed to be a mid-boss fought way earlier in the dungeon, but then the developers changed it and decided not to just scrap the fight. The fact that they already had assets made for it kind of proves how mismanaged this game probably was in development.

Anyway, BL-Iterator is a fucking annoying bossfight that I have no idea how you’d do it on Extreme. It starts by spamming groups of three slash beam things that are pretty easy to dodge, though the AI for some reason doesn’t like dodging these. They’ll try to block instead, which is a losing proposition because these beams hit multiple times.

The boss also has an attack where it rolls up into a ball and then homes in on someone while dashing forward. It has to “rev up” for a few seconds, so you can use that to do damage and regain some MP, but you can’t knock it out of that state.

The real reason this boss is kinda bullshit is this attack. It’ll charge up in the center of the room. If you don’t have a zing attack handy (or a charged special) and knock it down immediately, it does a nigh-undodgeable screenspam attack.

Now, here’s the even worse part. Let’s say you decide to switch to Bracken and try to get a heal field down because even mashing the dodge button lost you about half of your HP during the screenspam attack. Notice how the boss is charging up again in the background. Bracken doesn’t have any attacks capable of knockdown, and neither Evan nor Roland’s AI apparently wanted to use their zing.

The boss then snaps to your position and unleashes a beam that hits for a good 600-someodd damage on normal difficulty. I’m not saying this is a hard boss by any means, because with the amount of healing items we have I was able to revive both Bracken and Evan as Roland and top off their HP, but it’s just kinda bullshit.

At about 40% HP, the BL-Iterator goes into rage mode. Most of its attacks remain the same, only now all of its projectiles are red and do more damage. The boss is also a bit faster.

Oh, and now instead of shooting ONE giant laser…

It shoots three. This is almost a guaranteed death if you don’t have the dodge timing down just right.

The BL-Iterator fight lasts several times longer than it had any right to. At least everyone gets a levelup.

And now we can take an elevator up to see Zark.

Zark: “…Gah. Really?”

Zark: “So you’re the intruders, huh? Makes sense, I guess. Who else could’ve gotten around my security measures but you, right, Bracken?”

Roland: “President Vector, there’s something you need to see.”

Evan: “Show him the memoliths, Bracken!”

Bracken: “Time for a trip down memory lane, Zip…”

At this point, the game plays the memolith cutscenes we already saw in the last update, so I’m not going to bother repeating them here.

Bracken: “There’s one last memory I want to show you.”

Zark: “How about that, huh? A custom leg made just for you by the world’s greatest engineer - you’re gonna love it!”

Bracken: “This isn’t my leg! I want my leg! I want… my…”

So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Zark is kind of an asshole. I mean, it’s pretty obvious she lost her leg because of him in the first place.

Zark: “We’re engineers. We solve humanity’s problems.”

No, you solve practical problems. Problems like how do you stop that fucking scout from capturing the control point? Seriously Zark how have you not seen Team Fortress 2, it’s been around for over a decade.

Bracken: “I…”

Zark: “We solve humanity’s problems, and we solve each other’s too, right? You lose a leg, I make you a new one. I lose a hand, well… I hope you’d do the same for me.”

Bracken: “Oh, Zip…”

Bracken: “But I would never do that. This leg… this leg is what gave me the courage to carry on - what got me where I am today.”

In a bad JRPG whose development could best be described as pure chaos and an utter disaster?

Bracken: “You were the best engineer, the best boss… the best friend anyone could have.”

Bracken: “You had a good heart. The best. You have to remember. You have to!”

Zark: “I… I remember now… I remember everything. What… what have I done?!”

Bracken: “Zip? It’s you, isn’t it? The real you?”

Zark: “Bracken, I’m… I’m so sorry. If it wasn’t for you I don’t think I would have remembered…”

This cutscene of the cog falling is like a full minute long and I don’t know why.

Zark: “Damn it… if he reaches the reactor, he could trigger a total meltdown! If that happens, Broadleaf and everything around it will be gone in an instant.”

I wonder if Zark built a giant nuclear bomb into his headquarters because Doloran told him to, or if it’s just because he’s an idiot. If Hydropolis is any indication, it’s probably the latter.

Evan: “What?! Then we have to stop him!”

Zark: “You’ll have to find him first. He’s equipped with full optical camouflage. I can’t see him on any of my monitors, but judging by the patterns of interference, I’d say there’s a good chance he’s on top of the tower.”

Bracken: “The elevator will take us to the roof! Come on!”

Is he talking about the elevator, or the fact that this game exists?

Evan: “Calm down, everybody! There must be a way!”

Zark: “… I’ve got it.”

So many made-up words I thought this was a Tom Clancy novel.

Bravo Seven we need to scoot the goose, I repeat we need to scoot the goose, possibly with a side of fries. Alert ACRAP that we’re going to need a sitrep stat.

Bracken: “The reactor will go critical, and the core will fuse. In other words, we’ll wind up with the world’s most expensive hunk of junk. You sure about this, Zip? She’s your baby.”

Zark: “It’s that or risk the lives of every single person in this country. You think I’d hesitate for even a second? I’m the Executive Director of this company and the leader of this nation. Nothing is more important than my people.”

One ass-pull later, and we have our stairway to a really, really shitty boss fight. Next time, we’ll fight Bootleg Alexander and witness Ni no Kuni 2 attempt to rip off Crash Bandicoot, bad camera angles and all.


#46

Update 37: Boy Sampson Becomes A Man

Now that we have a way to the roof, we can leave the elevator bot (who somehow survived this entire thing and is now useless because the only two floors he can take us to are destroyed) behind and head to our second bossfight.

Somebody order up a stupid-looking boss?

Naturally, Alejandro (shorthand for Bootleg Alexander) immediately sends us to his own private hellscape.

So, Alejandro. This boss is absolute hell for the AI - they simply can’t handle him. Really, there’s not much of a point to reviving anyone if they die, and I’ll show you why.

Right away, we can see the boss’s weak point. Simple, right?

Not really. Alejandro has a ton of health, and it takes a good minute of hitting his weak point (throwing in the occasional circle cut from Roland) to break it. Now, intrepid viewers might notice that the exhaust pipes on his underside are charging an attack…

This is his first AOE attack. The AI is typically okay at avoiding this one, because the boss doesn’t move while using it. However, they tend to run underneath him to attack (ignoring the weak point altogether) and get caught in it as the fight goes on.

Eventually, a second weak spot opens up on Alejandro’s chest. This one has significantly less armor, thus we can actually hit it for a decent amount of damage. This is where the AI starts really getting screwed up.

Once we take off about a quarter of his HP, the boss goes into rage mode.

In case you’ve been wondering “Where are the higmakers?” the answer is here, inside these flying turret things. The turrets work more or less just like the ones we used to take down Discount Leviathan, only with a far slower rate of fire.

The turrets come down so we can hit them, and Alejandro immediately starts spamming lightning bolts everywhere. These aren’t particularly hard to dodge, but you’re probably going to run into a few of them trying to bring the turrets down.

While you CAN still attack Alejandro in this stage, he has a fuckload of HP and no weak point. The AI, of course, will focus solely on him and ignore the turrets.

The turrets will continuously spawn even once you have enough higmakers to perform their special attack, but unlike Discount Leviathan’s fight, there’s no point to having more than the minimum which is something like 12.

These higmakers… do exactly what most of our existing ones do for a special and form cannons that hit for some 600 damage a shot.

Using the higmakers opens a weak point on the boss’s other leg, only…

I missed a dodge and the fire AOE almost oneshotted Roland.

And then the boss decided to use his other AOE attack, where he spews steam and rapidly spins to hit you. I had switched to Bracken to put a healing field down, and Roland immediately ran into the steam and died.

Bracken died shortly afterward from the AOE, but I somehow managed to get a frame-perfect menu just as Bracken died and was able to revive everyone.

The AI then proceeded to run right into the fire and a subsequent steam attack that killed both Roland and Evan before I could switch back.

The rest of the fight is basically just chasing the weak points on the legs until you finally break one, then hitting his chest for the kill.

Oh god dammit. Don’t tell me this fucker has a second-

Yep, he’s got a second form. Thankfully, the second form is mercifully short.

Your only goal here is to survive until the cutscene: Alejandro will use both of his AOEs and his lightning attack from phase one simultaneously, and the AI will probably die within seconds. He’s also completely invincible. Evan and Roland were both dead in the… twenty seconds or so it took for this to end?

Alejandro is lovin’ this shit.

And now… it’s time for Boy Sampson to become a man.

Lofty: “I dunno, mun, but we’d better get out by yur! Sharpish!”

Evan: “No!”

I’m going to stop here for a brief aside. Remember how I have that theory about the game’s plot being changed multiple times during development?

In this cutscene, Evan’s voiceactor is noticeably… different. Normally, Evan’s voiceactor is a woman by the name of Claire Morgan - she had a bit part in Witcher 2 and oddly enough played Leo’s garbage son in A Way Out (shoutouts to Panzerskank and Kaubocks for their amazing LP of that game).

For this cutscene and the one immediately following it, Claire Morgan gets replaced with a different VA. It’s sort of hard to tell who it is, but in the next cutscene it becomes obvious that it’s the same VA who does the blue-haired plot ruiner in the between-chapter cutscenes. That VA is a man whose name I am not going to give you and that I ask you not to look up. The reason for this is that IMDB kind of gives away who the blue-haired boy is. This game is a shitpile, but I’m going to leave that particular revelation where it goes because it’s kind of what made me not finish the game the first time I played through it and a large part of why I decided to make this godforsaken LP in the first place.

The only explanation I can come up with for this that makes any sense is that the plot was changed after the developers had already gotten all of the art assets and voiceover work done, and for whatever reason Claire Morgan wasn’t available to record the new lines. My guess is that this had something to do with her being in A Way Out, which released the same week this game did. As far as I can tell, this kind of thing is highly unusual in game development, especially for a game with the budget Ni no Kuni 2 had behind it.

I’ll explain what I think was originally supposed to go here, but Evan (the catboy, not me) will explain that a bit in this cutscene.

Evan: “Not now! I won’t run away! Not again… not ever!”

Behold! Deus ex plot bullshit!

Oh man, I can’t believe everyone died in a second nuclear explosion. This is pretty much the best way Ni no Kuni 2 could end and…

Boy Sampson just straight up became Shenron.

Unfortunately, we do not get to control Man Sampson… actually, let’s call him Horner Sampson. Instead, Horner simply grapples the boss while we get to play Crash Bandicoot.

As you can see, Alejandro’s new weak point is on top of his head. If Dark Souls 3 taught us anything, it’s that giant, dragon-like enemies can be easily murdered by doing a plunging attack into their skull. Zark makes another light staircase… only this one is made of those disappearing blocks from Megaman 2.

The first time up the staircase, Alejandro will try to hit you with lightning as you jump up. The lightning doesn’t hit the entire platform, so you can dodge it by being in one of the corners.

By the way, the camera angle is totally fixed and half the time you’re jumping at platforms you can’t see.

This is the part where this gimmick becomes shit. Half of these blocks randomly disappear with no clear logic as to which ones will do so. This means you’re probably going to fall down and have to climb all the way back up.

I fell off this thing a good three or four times trying to do this… including on this attempt.

A few jumps past that, you hit the end of the platforms and have to dive down to hit Alejandro in the face.

And with that, Alejandro is finally dead.

Oh, and Horner is back to being Boy Sampson again.

So, here’s where the plot was clearly changed. I’m pretty sure that Zark was originally supposed to die, and then at the last second someone at Level 5 decided to completely reverse that decision. It kind of makes no sense given that up to this point, he’s basically a stock Ghibli villain: he hates the environment (as evidenced by Broadleaf being in the middle of a polluted wasteland) and loves war (as evidenced by him owning a fucking gunship and a giant killer Final Fantasy ripoff) and in a Ghibli film that’s pretty much a recipe for death… you know, given how literally every Ghibli movie has the whole pro-environment, anti-war messaging going on.

If I had to guess, the suits at Level 5 probably figured that killing Zark off would be too depressing for a Ghibli film (and I’ve seen quotes from Hayao Miyazaki that sort of insinuiate he hates depressing films) but at the same time there’s like thirty Miyazaki quotes about films having to have a message.

So I want to ask all of my readers: what do you think the message of this game even is? Because if there is one, I sure as hell have no idea what it is. Don’t make a bad game? Don’t hire the janitor who cleaned one of the buildings Studio Ghibli worked in and expect quality animation? Don’t be a complete fucking idiot who gets New York nuked?

Wait I know, it’s “Never do bossfights on Extreme.” That’s gotta be it.

Zark: “So you were able to regain your original form, even if only for a short time.”

Zark: “There’s no way I would have been able to stop the core from melting down, that’s for sure.”

Tani: “Well, all’s well that ends well. But if you didn’t scare me with that talk about the kingdom being wiped out…”

It’s really strange that this is Tani saying this and that Bracken has only one line in this entire cutscene. Bracken has already pretty much passed the point of being plot relevant.

Zark: “I’m no president. I don’t deserve to run this country.”

At least he can admit it, unlike a certain other president in the room. Anyway, we’re about to run into a lot of shit we’ve already seen before, so I’ll make it brief.

Evan: “What’s that? Listen, everybody!”

Zark gets off scot-free for probably working several dozen people to death.

Well, at least we know now why the dragon was on there.

This cutscene is where it becomes immediately obvious that they changed Evan’s voiceactor. I’m pretty sure that in the original scene, Bracken was probably supposed to take over after Zark dies.

Evan: “Yes, and if we join forces with the other kingdoms, we may just stand a chance.”

Zark: “I see. And of the big players, there’s only Ding Dong Dell left now. That could be… difficult.”

Zark: “But I can tell by your face that you’re not going to back down. Luckily, we’ll be right behind you. You have my word, as president of Broadleaf.”

Zark: “You’ll be going with our new friends, Bracken?”

Hell yeah she will. It’s good too, because I think the plot void has already finished devouring Tani and is now dragging Leander into its gaping maw.

In this scene, Evan’s voiceactor is back to the usual one.

Evan: “Yes! It was such a surprise! You would never have guessed from looking at him.”

Evan: “It does, yes. President Vector is back to his old self. I’m sure he’ll put his people first from now on.”

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Timrod, why are you doing this scene in its entirety? I thought you hated Bluehair McPlotruiner and wanted to get him off screen as quickly as possible.”

Evan: “I only hope that I can forge such firm friendships. I’ve a long way to go before people look up to me like they do Zip though. I’m nothing like him…”

I saw this line when I first played through the game and I’m like “Holy shit. This game is going to do a complete 180 in the next chapter. It’s going to finally have a fucking plot.”

I mean, can you even imagine how good of a plot that would be? Everyone close to Evan technically has a reason for betraying him: Batu is a pirate who was ready to murder a child in cold blood and could easily be out to take Evermore for himself. Roland is an ex-president who got his own people nuked and is shown to have never given a single fuck about the people he got killed - he could easily go the route the humans took in Disgaea 1 and try to take over the isekai realm for himself. Bracken works for a guy who is clearly an evil bastard and could easily be a manchurian candidate.

Maybe if we keep believing, this game will finally grow a plot. We’ll find out… at some point. We still have at least 10 sidequests to grind, after all.