Final Fantasy XII Scenario US version

THE EMPIRE

Nabreus Deadlands

The Muted Scarp

Basch

This is all that remains of Nabudis. 2 years ago it was destroyed ??? by a mysterious force.
The work of the Midlight Shard.

Vaan

This? In just 2 year?
How?

Basch

As the Dawn Shard brought down the Leviathan and her fleet, (A fell) I found Mist spilled forth.
It is like the same thing happened here.
The nethicite’s Mist has corrupted the life of this place.
It is a necrohol overrun with beasts.
We tread here on a fool’s errand.
We had best turn back.

Fran

Is it revenge that you desire?
Yes or no, not this way lies the capital.
The road to Archades leads east of Salikawood, beyond the Phon Coast and Tchita Uplands.

The Salikawood

Living Chasm

Moogle Boss

Once the gate’s fixed, everyone will be able to go to the Phon Coast, kupo. It’ll take a little while longer, yet.
…That is, if my 9 missing apprentices ever come back from the Salikawood!
We’ll never finish repairs like this, kupo!
They’re probably loafing in the Salikawood bungalow… Still 9 missing…

Layabout A

What? No, we’re working on the gate up ahead…
Okay, we’re not actually working on it right now, if you must be literal about it.
The Boss wants us, kupo? Break’s over, kupo?
Ah well…
Bye-bye, kupo! Oh, there’re still 7 of us on break out there!

Layabout B

Kupo? We’re here working on the gate up ahead.
Well right now we’re on break, actually.
Eh? The Boss wants us, kupo? That’s no good, he’s scary when he gets mad! Okay, break time’s over!
Bye-bye, kupo! Oh, there’re still 5 of us on break out there!

Layabout C

We’re here working on the gate up ahead. Except, right now we’re taking a break, actually.
What? The Boss wants us? Uh oh, kupo! We’d better go! He’s ugly when he gets mad, kupo!
Bye-bye, kupo! Oh, there’re still 3 of us on break out there!

Layabout D

Oh, we’re here working on the gate down the road.
But right now, it’s break time, kupo!
Kupo? The Boss wants us back on the job? That Moogle-driver, kupo! (sigh) Well, let’s get back and be done with this…
That’s all of us, kupo! Let’s get working!
Come with us to the gate, kupo?

Vaan

Yes.

Layabout D

Then let’s be off, kupo!

Moogle Boss

Now that my apprentices are all back, the repairs took no time at all, kupo! Witness the power of moogles!
Thanks to you, the repairs to the gate are finished, kupo. Here, a token of our gratitude!
The Phon Coast is up ahead, kupo. Pretty views there, but the locals…not so pretty.

Phon Coast

Kaukula Pass

Balthier

It would seem we made the right choice.
If we’d taken the easy way and come by airship…one of those patrols would no doubt have been quick to roll out the red carpet.
We’re on the Empire’s doorstep now, so we shouldn’t have to worry quite so much…but that’s no excuse to get sloppy.
It is still a long road to the capital.

Hunters’ Camp

Vaan

I'll race you to the water.

Balthier

Why the capital?

Ashe

The nethicite.
I must destroy it.

Balthier

Are you sure?
You don’t want it for yourself?
Use its power to restore Dalmasca – something like that?
The best intentions invite the worst kind of trouble.

Ashe

Lusting for ever greater power, blinded by the nethicite.
Is that how you see me?

Balthier

That does sound like someone I know.
He was obsessed with nethicite.
It was all he cared about.
He’d babble nonsense, blind to aught but the Stone’s power.
He’d talk about some ‘Eynah,’ or was it ‘Venat’? No matter.
Everything he did, he did to get closer to the nethicite, to understand it.
He made airships, weapons…
He even made me a Judge.

Ashe

You were a…a Judge!?

Balthier

Part of a past I’d rather forget.
It didn’t last long. I ran.
I left the Judges…and him.
Cidolfus Demen Bunansa.D
Draklor Laboratory’s very own Doctor Cid.
That’s when he lost his heart to nethicite, lost himself.
And I suppose that’s when I lost my father.
Don’t follow in his footsteps.
I ran away.
I couldn’t stand seeing him like that, a slave to the Stone.
So I ran. Free at last.
Funny I went for the Dusk Shard.
How could I have known that it was nethicite?
And then, of course, I met you.
All that running, and I got nowhere.
It’s time to end this – cut my ties to the past.

Ashe

It’s hard to leave the past behind.
I know.

Cut off the past to be free...

Ashe…

Rasler

A marriage of convenience.
A symbol of the alliance between Nabradia and Dalmasca.
This is how they see our match.

Ashe

They do, do they?

Rasler

These roles we play.
I must admit I find it…wearying.

Ashe

I will play mine.

Rasler

I would have no other.

Balthier

The choice is yours to make.
But don’t give your heart to a stone.
You’re too strong for that, Princess.

Ashe

I…I pray you’re right, Balthier.

Tchita Uplands

The Chosen Path

Archadian
Wayfarer

This weak-kneed bangaa is worthless, utterly worthless. Just like every other hunter my father employs.
You wouldn’t happen to be a hunter, would you?
I’d like to hire you to deal with a terrible menace in the Sochen Cave Palace!

Bill?

A terrible menace plagues the Sochen Cave Palace. Calling hale hunters of all ages and races to deal with this scourge upon us.
[WARNING]
This is not an official bill, and it will not be listed in the clan primer.

Vaan

[Ask about this bill]

Archadian
Wayfarer

East of here you come to the Highlands.
North of there lie the Fields of Eternity, wherein can be found the entrance to Sochen.
The foul scourge I wish you to defeat lurks within the cave palace. Many hunters have been sent, and all have come running home.
Incidentally, I have no idea what this scourge is or looks like. No one that returns will speak of it. …Intriguing, no?
My father, wanting to know the identity of this fell creature, thought to post a bill for the mark…but was refused!
Having no other choice, he employed two hunters from the Hunter’s Camp on the Phon Coast, and sent them into Sochen Cave Palace!
A pity they were worthless… I waited with my father at the entrance to the caves, and they came running back out mere moments later.
They ran right past my father, their employer.
Unbelievable! Enraged, I gave chase…and was separated from my father.
Anyway, I’m glad we’ve met. Were I to hire better hunters than my father, and defeat this monstrosity, oh, the respect I’d earn back in Archades!
So, you’re hired. Use this key to get into the cavern where you’ll find the creature! And no coming back until you’ve slain it!

Sochen Cave Palace

Doubt Abandoned

Vaan

Hey, you sure this rabbit hole’s really the way into Archades?

Balthier

Better a hare unseen than a rat in a trap.
Then again, if you’d prefer to go knocking on the front gates of the city, be my guest.

Penelo

But what about once we’re inside?
Won’t the city watch find us?

Ashe

We’ll do what we can to blend into the crowd.
Our names may be notorious, but our faces are not far-known.

Vaan

True, true.
You’re our princess, and we didn’t even recognize you.

Ashe

I noticed.

Old Archades

Alley of Low Whispers

Vaan

Smells less like a capital…and more like a sewer.

Balthier

Even empires have need of sewers.
The runoff from Archades proper pools here: those who lack papers to live in the city itself.
The mighty who have fallen, and the fallen who would be mighty.
Their eyes never leave Archades.

Vaan

I guess it must be a lot nicer than this place.

Balthier

Oh, to be sure.
Archades reeks of a different filth.
Let’s be off!
We can follow our noses to Draklor.

Alley of Muted Sighs

Imperial

Entering the capital? You have credentials?

Vaan

I have not.

Imperial

No credentials!? We can’t just throw open our gates to any old riff-raff who happen to be passing by. Be off with you, commoner!

???

Well, well, well…there’s a sight for sore eyes.
Didn’t think I’d be seeing you again. Not here.

Balthier

Oh wonderful. Enter the streetear.

???

A pirate would do well to smile. Wouldn’t want to sour his reputation.

Vaan

You know this guy?

Balthier

An old…friend. He’s a streetear – a peddler of rumor and hearsay, by the name of Jules.
He’d bite a gil given by his own mother, and shave it by half to pay for her funeral.

Jules

Sometimes an ear with right purse strings’s the order of the day. Like when a pirate decides he fancies going up in the world.

Vaan

To the City? You know a way?

Jules

In Archades, knowledge is power. And power has a way of opening doors, boy. Now, a fool will buy a sack of feathers for his pillow, but a wise man…He’ll buy the whole stinking cockatrice and get his fill of meat into the bargain.
So, wise man, how does 1500 gil sound?

Vaan

[Pay up]

Jules

Bright boy. You learn fast.
I call this meeting to order. Tell me, boy, heard any rumors in town?

Vaan

Actually, I did hear about a man who picked a bag of coins out of a barrel.

Jules

Bags in barrels, eh…? A boy would do well to bring that morsel to a man named Beasley near here. Tell him what you’ve heard.

Jules

You told him just as I told you? Good boy!

Vaan

I’m not sure what any of this has to do with going up in the world.

Jules

Oh? Witness the power of knowledge, m’boy.
See? It begins.

Commoner

‘Ey, ’tis a fight! Beasley’s gone wild!

Vaan

Now’s our chance! Thanks, Jules.

Balthier

Never thought you’d go for such a meager price.

Jules

A pirate should know that words are worth gil uncountable. Here’s some words for you: The prodigal Bunansa son’s come back to the Imperial roost. See? Words of much value, these.

Balthier

Bah.

The Imperial City of Archades

Trant

Penelo

You’re gaping like a fish out of water.

Vaan

I’m just checking out the city.
Even if it is the Empire.

Penelo

You’ve changed, Vaan.
You were always marching to your own beat…almost like you were impatient, even. In a good way.

Vaan

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen more now.
Never imagined I’d ever come this far away from home.
Hey, Larsa’s here in the city, isn’t he?
He’s a tough one.
I wonder how he’s doing.

Penelo

You always were a soft touch, Vaan.
You know what’s amazing?
I always thought I’d go my whole life without…meeting people like the Princess, or Lord Larsa.
And here we are in the capital!

Vaan

I know!
It’s a little over my head sometimes.

Basch

Good, Vaan. You’ve come to understand the difficulties of serving royalty.

Vaan

Hey, I’m just along for the ride.

Penelo

That wasn’t a complaint, was it, Basch?

Basch

Right. Let’s get moving.

Penelo

Hey, don’t change the subject!

Basch

Right.

 

Balthier

We go our separate ways here, Vaan. I’ve some business to attend to. We’ll meet again later.

Vaan

Huh? Hey –

Nilbasse

Cab Guide

Only those with 9 or more chops may ride this cab, boy. Nothing personal, I assure you.

Vaan

A chop? What’s that?

Cab Attendant

If you lack a chop, you pay coin.
That’s…1000000 gil, thank you.

Penelo

What? That’s crazy!

Jules

Having a spot of trouble, are we?
I’ve a message from Master Balthier. He’s waiting in Central. He says to come quickly.

Vaan

On this? But we need a…a chop. What is a chop, anyway?

Jules

When a boy wants information…that’s right…
A boy pays. 2500 gil sounds about right.

Vaan

[Pay up]

Jules

Why, any upstanding citizen of the Empire carries a chop. It’s a mark of status sometimes, a writ of transit others.
If you were aiming to go to Central, where the gentry live, I’d think you’d need 9 chops.

Vaan

How do you get them?

Jules

Like I’ve said, the key is knowledge, boy. You do your part here on the street, talk to the right people, you’ll earn your chops in no time.

Vaan

That doesn’t sound so bad.

Jules

Oh, people in Archades love doing good deeds.
Why, if they’re helping you out, it must mean they’re superior. Understand, boy?

Vaan

Uh… Not sure I do, but I’ll give it a try.
Thanks, Jules!

Jules

A friend of Master Balthier’s a friend of mine.
(cough)

Cab Guide

Ah, I see you have some chops, sir.. Splendid.
To Tsenoble?

Van

Take me to Tsenoble.

Tsenoble

Balthier

Ah, so pleased you could join me. Jules had a morsel for us: a light airship used by Draklor researchers is just up ahead.
We’ll take that and go in through the service entrance. Let’s make haste, shall we?

Imperial

The complices of the Senate have been quelled, Your Honor.
Our forces sustained but light casualties.

Judge

You have leave to withdraw.
One detachment will remain here to guard Draklor.

Imperial

My Lord.

Vaan

Do you think they’re on to us?

Basch

It would seem not, though this will make our task more difficult still.

Balthier

Certainly took your time getting here, didn’t you.
Off seeing the sights, perhaps?

Vaan

Not likely. Do you know how long it took to get the chops to get up here?

Balthier

What’s that? But I gave Jules some chops…

Vaan

Jules!

Jules

Tsk, tsk. A squad of Judges has been sent to Draklor. You’ll find the service entrance rather a difficult proposition, I’m afraid.

Balthier

Your doing, no doubt.
You knew how the Ministry of Law would move, so you had Vaan out collecting chops until the Judges could reinforce Draklor. Of course…
Tell me, how much did the Ministry pay for word of the prodigal son?

Jules

The Ministry? Oh, Judges make poor customers, my friend. Too many rules, too many laws.
Perhaps you didn’t know, Master Balthier, that Draklor is a toy box these days, filled with your lord father’s conceits…
All developed without the Senate’s knowledge, of course. Why, not even the Emperor knew the full extent of Dr.. Cid’s operations.
Now, here’s the catch: since Vayne had himself declared dictator, nary a peep has come out of that laboratory.
I know people who would sell their own mum for the merest scrap of information about the goings-on inside Draklor.

Balthier

People like…Rozarrian sympathizers worried about the Empire’s weapons programs, and anyone else who might be opposed to House Solidor hegemony.
So, we create a disturbance, and you get your windfall of dirt on Draklor.

Jules

And in exchange for your service, I’ve spoken to a cabbie. When he asks where you want to go, tell him: “you know where to go.” Simple, no?

Balthier

Ah, a deal, brokered in true Archades fashion. Why, it’s just like old times, Jules. Brings a tear to my eye.

Jules

Good to be back, eh? My regards to your lord father, Master Ffamran…er, rather, Master “Balthier.” Anon, anon.

Cab Guide

Welcome to Tsenoble! And be proud you’ve made it this far.
Chops of pine, chops of sandal, they’re worth more than life itself here. Don’t let yours go lightly.
Now, anyone for Nilbasse?

Vaan

You know where to go.

Cab Guide

You want to go there, eh? You sure?

Vaan

Let’s go.

Cab Guide

All right. All aboard.

Vaan

So, this Jules…is he some old friend of yours, Balthier? You two seemed…close.

Balthier

Close enough for fisticuffs… Driver! Faster, if you please. I would be loathe to expend any of the violence of my present mood on my companions.

Cabbie

S-Sir? Yes, sir!

Vaan

Where to?

Balthier

Come. This way.

Draklor Laboratory

66th Floor

Basch

It’s too quiet.

Balthier

Passing strange.
There are supposed to be guards here.

Vaan

Maybe we’re just lucky?

Balthier

Maybe you’re just optimistic..

Basch

Something may be afoot.
We proceed with caution.

Balthier

No time for caution.
Step to it!
Cid’s chambers are on the top level.

 

Vaan

Despicable…

67th Floor

Fran

He’s had visitors. Ones lacking manners, by the look of it.

Vaan

Someone after the nethicite?

Balthier

The Jagd Difohr was it?
Six years, and ever since you got back, this…
What madness found you there?

Imperial

Up! Above us!
Drop bulkheads five and eight!
Be to it!

Vaan

They found us!

Fran

His earlier visitors, more like.
We should lie low for now.

Balthier

No, we’ll use their confusion.
We need to find Cid.
Now.

70th Floor

Reddas

Ah. My apologies. You bear not the stench of Cid’s lackies.

Basch

And you are…our earlier visitor.

Cid

Yes, a valuable man, one I’d sooner not lose. Yet he knows too much.

Energy Transitarium

Reddas

Cid!
You know deifacted nethicite brought down the Leviathan!
How can you persist in this folly?

Cid

And you’ve come here to stop me?
I’d fain see you try.

Balthier

Consider your bones, old man.
You’re outmatched.

Cid

Pirate scum of the skies.
What brings you here?

Balthier

Treasure. What else would a pirate want?
We’ll take the Dusk Shard.

Cid

You’ve come all this way for that trinket?
I thought you above this.
Hm? What’s that?
The Princess of Dalmasca come to visit?
She’s not entirely without merit.
A test of sorts for our princess?

Ashe

You’re a babbling fool.

Cid

A trial for Ashelia B’nargin Dalmasca!
You lust for the Stone’s power, do you not?

Reddas

Lend him not your ears, m’lady.
He means to use you.

Fran

Manufacted nethicite!
Like Bergan.

Balthier

How could you do this?
How could you fall this far?

Balthier

Always hiding behind your toys.
Pity if anything were to happen to them.

Cid

Venat, you shouldn’t have.

Balthier

This creature…
So this is your Venat?

Cid

Ashelia B’nargin Dalmasca!
Just how far will you go for power?
Does your lust for nethicite consume you?
Am I right?
I am, aren’t I.
A worthy daughter of the Dynast-King!
You would do well to go to Giruvegan.
Who knows? You may receive a new Stone for your trouble.

Ashe

Your words mean nothing to me!

Cid

The reins of History back in the hands of Man.
I too make for Giruvegan.
Give chase, if you dare it!

Follow me, sky pirate!

Balthier

(I) Hate it when he does that.

Reddas

Mayhaps you think me remiss!
The Lady Ashe of Dalmasca?
The sky pirate Reddas, at your employ.

The imperial Senate, powerless to resist House Solidor’s brutal Purge, was dissolved.
Vayne Solidor reigned supreme over the Empire.
Though this Upheaval shook the Imperial Bastion to its Foundation, these Developments were, to say the least, welcomed by her Military.
The authoritarian Rule of the Judges, in tandem with the impending Threat of Rozarrian Invasion, served to foster Camaraderie among its Ranks.
For our part, the Resistance mustered Strength in the Border-Skies, making ready for the Task ahead.
A War to decide the Doom of Ivalice would soon be upon Us.
- Memoirs of Mqs Halim Ondore IV.
Chapter 17: Through Midlight to Dawn

EPISODE VII
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EPISODE IX
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