IT HAS WORDS NOW
Also, if you haven’t read Higurashi, GO DO IT YOU FOOL there are endgame spoilers in here.
ANYWAY TIME FOR THE REAL PARTY
Bea and Rika, go!
Bea’s like you’re just a sore loser and Rika’s all I do not know about what you are speaking and Bea’s all oh please I know you have a horse in this race.
Beatrice: “……*cackle*cackle*! Truly interesting! That I should be granted a chance to fight with Lady Bernkastel, the strongest of witches who defeated Lady Lambdadelta, is truly a pleasure!!”
Bernkastel: “……Yes. I’m also pleased. I really wanted to see you, brimming with confidence, fall apart and lose, so I came all this way.”
Beatrice: “What an honest person. *cackle*cackle*!! Even so, it would be a shame if the contest between me and the great Lady Bernkastel was resolved without at least one observer.”
Rika is like, …you didn’t, and Bea is all oh but I did.
Ah, it’s kid!Takano. Makes sense, since it was when she was little that all the bad stuff happened and she vowed revenge. The whole Lambadelta thing confused me for a second but I’d forgotten that Takano had that whole 3-4 motif going on. Not sure what’s up with the pumpkin, though. I could see Miyoko enjoying the whole lolita look but the Halloween motif feels out of place.
Rika: “…How are you, Lambda? Looks like you’ve got lots of spare time too. I wonder if it’s fate that the pair who hates boredom should run into each other again…”
“Stupid kid. Can’t you see you only won against me because of a little luck and a problem of compatibility? After that, you became such a brag, and now you’re even picking a fight with Beatrice? Shouldn’t you learn your place?”
Takano: “*giggle* Beatrice is strong. And she’s even more brutal than I am. Just a bit! And by the way, don’t go shortening people’s names without their permission!”
Rika: “…You’re dumb too, Beato. If this kid’s in your game, she’ll make a mess of everything.”
Bea: “I certainly didn’t just bring Lady Lambdadelta here to watch from the sidelines.”
Bea says that when Takano heard Rika was going to fight Bea, she insisted on helping Bea against Rika.
Bernkastel: “…………Do as you like. …Now that I’ve been exposed, allow me to get serious.”
Takano’s like LET’S HAVE A STRATEGY MEETING and runs over. Rika and Bea banter a little and then Bea follows.
Rika turns to the camera.
She apologizes for Miyoko.
Oh, this is true. Does that mean that a witch!Battler has been created??? Oh man I hope that’s what happened that would be amazing.
Rika apologizes for her interest causing Miyoko to get mixed up in this as well.
…I am a witch who was born from there. ……So maybe I’m like an older sister to you. So I decided that I’d lend you my power. However, …………even compared to my fate, ……yours is… truly brutal. Not only do I sympathize with you, I’m almost brought to tears by your tragic fate.
But please, don’t lose heart. Please don’t submit to Beato, no matter what. Certainly, that child’s game is quite unfair. I’ve only been allowed a glimpse of the game board, but the unfair and clever devices set up on the stage are so disgusting that they probably far surpass those of Lambdadelta’s game board.
I’m not sure Bat’s fate is worse than Rika’s. For one, Battler is here willingly. For another, the end result here isn’t the extermination of an entire town, it’s the murder of some jackass family on their private island. Plus, only meta!Bat seems to know what’s going on — unlike Rika, the re-Bat in each route doesn’t seem aware of the fact that he’s living through the experience over and over, which was definitely part of the horror of what Rika went through. Also, Battler knows his end goal. Rika had absolutely no idea who was behind everything until the final route. So, yeah. Though I do think it’s in character for Rika to have this kind of empathy and possibly even to feel as though his fate is worse.
Rika also gives us some advice — Bea doesn’t always make the best moves. Sometimes she makes moves that are less tough to counter, but have more interesting results, or are just more confusing. This makes is hard to use her moves to see the overall strategy, but it also creates chinks in her armor. For Bea, the game itself is where the joy really comes from, and she’s willing to potentially sacrifice a win to create a great game; this is the opposite of Takano, who was always trying to make the best moves no matter what.
What’s the most important element in defense during a witch’s battle? Rather than trying to win, try not to lose.
Rika wishes us luck and a nipa~ and vanishes.
But then Lamba appears.
She gloats a bit, and then basically tells us the same thing that Rika did, that Bea tends to be more concerned with means than ends. I wonder why they both went through this. I assume it’s key next route. It’s also something we’ve heard before… did Kinzo say something like “her means become her ends” or was that in the last ??? scene?
It looks like you regained a little of your complexion. That Beato, she’s having fun torturing some piece called Rosa. At a glance, you’d say think she has a really bad habit, right? Wrong. ……She’s just killing time, hoping that you’ll stand back up and return. It’s a move to fire up your righteous indignation by intentionally doing something detestable.
Oh, interesting, so this is all before the last scene.
I, the strongest witch in the universe, had my throne stolen away when I lost to Bern! So I’ve gotta take that throne back from her, but if she loses to Beato here, then it’s Beato who’ll get the position of strongest next, right?! …Well, it’s not like I’m complaining. It’d be easier to steal the throne back from Beato, but then I wouldn’t be satisfied, you see?! I will defeat Bern! And I’ll take back my position as the strongest!
With that, she vanishes.
However! There are a couple of things I want to look at, namely the updated postgame character profiles.
This time, on the magic side, it’s not just Bea and Rika — there’s a whole bunch, including all the non-goat furniture and some family members.
I’m not going to pick out everyone, just the ones where something struck me, but you can read them all here. Though a warning — the comments the LPer leaves can contain spoilers. Skip things in italics.
Here we get to learn about witch!Takano, which is interesting but not terribly shocking or anything.
So this is where I think it starts to get interesting. This route, toward the end, start to sell the idea that Battler is very much like Kinzo, with Genji’s weird alcoholism comment, and it continues here, with this saying Battler inherited both Kinzo’s power and the type of power. These lines getting drawn between Bat and Kinzo are interesting, partially because I don’t know what to make of them, since all we know of Kinzo right now is really that he’s lost his mind. But Bea’s interest in defeating Bat does make a lot more sense if you assume she’s seeing Kinzo in him.
Speaking of enchantments, while we saw one of Maria’s magic items in the first route, it didn’t come up this time. I wonder if this is to remind us before it starts to matter again in round 3.
SO. I’ve been waiting for this.
All this business with hearts kiiinda explains Genji’s weirdness last route in magic!verse. If Genji’s emotions are kind of dulled and he’s an older, simpler iteration of the model, it explains why he seemed to have no reaction to anything and why he was so dedicated to his duty far past the point where it mattered at all. I think there’s a degree to which this also can account for nomagic!verse Genji, in that a man who’s spent his entire life as a servant to one man and comes from a time where that kind of authority was really important in a culture where social order is absolutely everything is perhaps obviously not going to have the ‘heart’ of younger people like Shannon and Kanon. In a old-dog-new-tricks kind of way, I think it’s possible for Genji to continue to be dedicated to his role without it meaning he’s in cahoots with whoever the murderer is. He also seems like someone who reacts to trauma by clamming up. Combine these things, and you get the weird, suspicious behavior we saw last time. If this is accurate, then, Genji’s character arc will involve something popping up to force him to have heart, to react, to break this facade that has been his entire being for his whole life.
Alternatively, that won’t happen because he’s just furniture.
Anyway, this is all the content for this route, but we’re not quite done — next time is the character roundup, and then there’s the conclusion post, and then we move on to the next route.