Saga: Suzaku arc
Prerequisites: Completion of previous missions in arc
Summary: Events play back from the previous mid-level boss fight with Psi and Sooku, only the player is given control of Sooku instead immediately after they split up. Sooku's route takes him back through the way Psi just came from, with the exception that debris from toppled buildings is blocking the way, requiring strategic use of Sooku's charge shots to get past them - either by blasting weak points in the walls, or by using the extreme amount of recoil as a double jump to reach otherwise inaccessable areas. After fighting through a gradually diminishing army of imps, Sooku finally finds Lynness at a lake on the outskirts of town. It is then revealed that Sooku had fought Suzaku and Lynness already in events prior to the game, and that Lynness had been in some way influenced by the good in Sooku's actions. She agrees to defect to Sooku's side, but only on the condition that he wins in a 1v1 duel against her. Naturally, Sooku wins. In the aftermath, Lynness briefely returns to Suzaku to announce her defection... only to be unceremoniously stabbed on the spot and left for dead. Sooku then carries the wounded Lynness all the way to the city hospital, leading back up to current events again.
[The scene resets back to the dialogue after having slain the Lesser Demon in the previous mission - with the exception that the player is now playing from Sooku's perspective this time.]
Psi: ...you plan on telling me exactly what the heck's going on between you and these two?
Sooku: Maybe later. We're kinda short of time right now, y'know?
Synn: Point taken. I guess I'm going after the big guy, then.
[Psi goes along the same route the player took previously, prompting Sooku to go in the opposite direction. The enemies are similarly thinned out on the way back - more than anything else, to avoid overwhelming the player in a playstyle he may not have adapted to yet. Later on, the same building that Sooku first broke through to meet up with Psi has since collapsed, blocking the way through.]
Sooku: ...oh right, I did that, didn't I? Oh well. Nothin' a little recoil can't get over.
[The player is given a quick prompt about Sooku's recoil mechanics, and instructed to fire a charged shot downwards to launch Sooku over the debris with the resulting recoil. The recoil-assisted jump launches Sooku high enough to enter an open window in the debris, fighting through the insides of the ruined, sideways building before emerging on the other side again. The path eventually leads outside of the city outright - this removes any threat from the Nightmare Legion and instead defaults to any ordinary hazards along the next route. Gameplay continues as normal until reaching Lake Mirth, in which Lynness is standing atop the water's surface.]
Lynness: I have been waiting for you.
Sooku: No kiddin'. I'm assumin' you're here because you remembered our deal?
Lynness: Don't get ahead of yourself! There's no deal yet. You could just as easily end up in pieces all over this lake if you're not careful. Because--
Sooku: Because you don't side with a "weakling". Yeah, I got that part fine last time. Outta curiosity, though - why you gettin' the idea of leavin' the big guy, anyway? Joinin' up with me?
Lynness: Are you doubting the opportunity to prove once and for all that one need not be strong by preying on the weak? All I need do is lose a battle of singular combat to one dedicated in life to protecting the weakings around him, and that would be enough to show me the road to power need not be paved with the skulls of the innocent. Doesn't that concept appeal to you?
Sooku: Smartest words I've heard all day. Let's fight.
[Boss fight between Sooku and Lynness occurs. The fight itself is largely an introduction to Lynness's abilities - she will cycle through to a new strategy with a specific technique each time she takes a decent hit or a combo. At first she'll fight at close range, and use a Shadow Pulse to gain breathing room if Sooku risks doing too much damage in melee himself. Later, she'll favour ranged fighting by teleporting away from all melee attacks and abuse shadow-based specials as long as she has ample time and distance to do so, prompting Sooku to counter primarily with buster shots. Near the end of the fight, she'll combine the two routines as an ordinary AI would, and incorporate her standard Climax moves (NOT her finisher or Climax Mode) if she has accumulated the energy to do so. Once Lynness is defeated, Sooku helps her back to her feet again.]
Lynness: It seems that we are in agreement, then.
Sooku: That the good guys always win?
Lynness: That they're just as strong as us. Their success stories, on the other hand, aren't always quite so consistent.
Sooku: Eh, close enough. So you'll help stop Suzaku, then?
Lynness: There won't be a better time for it. He's putting the finishing touches on a plan that could very well wipe out everyone on the continent. Even I wouldn't want that.
Suzaku: Is that so?
[The camera pans over, revealing an eavesdropping Suzaku just offscreen with his sword drawn. He walks towards the pair, and Lynness moves to meet him halfway. They continue speech in mid transit.]
Suzaku: You said it yourself. The strong never ally themselves with the weak.
Lynness: You still believe him to be weak? After all the resistance he's put up through the times?
Suzaku: And yet not a single genuine success to his name. But nevertheless, I was not talking about him.
Suzaku: Did you really think I suspected nothing? You never could apply yourself to a single path consistently, so as far as I'm convinced, this was only a matter of time.
Lynness: No... No! My mind is made up! Once you're done with, I'll see to it that my strength serves to protect the people you once dominated!
Suzaku: Ah yes, there it is. The same pledge of loyalty you once beckoned me with - just as you will again beckon another, once your trust in your partner there wanes. Despicable.
[As the two meet, Suzaku abruptly thrusts his sword into Lynness's abdomen, critically wounding her.]
Suzaku: My dear, your strength may be commendable... but your resolve is pathetic.
[Suzaku removes his sword from Lynness, sheathes it, then flies off without saying another word. Sooku is seen rushing to Lynness's aid as the screen fades to black, tweening back to the present scene in front of the ruined hospital in the city.]
Sooku: ...and that's what happened after we parted ways.
Psi: So let me get this straight... not only is this not the first time you've bumped into this lot, you even convinced one of them to defect?
Sooku: Oh, it's fairly simple in hindsight. All about knowing who you're dealin' with. Sometimes it's about feeding them some hogwash about "justice always prevails", others it's just beating them at their own game.
Synn: What...? You know what, never mind that, it's not important right now. What was that about wiping out everyone on the continent?
Sooku: Oh yeah, she never did mention that again. Y'know, on account of being nearly dead an' all. How's she doin', doc?
Doctor: Just a minute... there. She's stable for the moment. But I don't know how long it will take to recover from a wound like that. She might not even--
[As the doctor elaborates, the glow from his white magic persists despite the absence of his intervention, and subtly increases in intensity. As it peaks, it suddenly bursts outward, inadvertently triggering Lynness's angel form as seen in her Climax Mode, interrupting the doc and surprising the cast in the area.]
Psi: What the heck? What happened?
Doctor: I... honestly don't know. It's possible she had a strange reaction to my white magic, but I've never actually seen something like this happen before.
[Lynness rises off the ground on her own to her feet again, angel wings spreading outwards as they gain enough room to do so.]
Lynness: What happened? Ugh... I feel really light-headed.
Sooku: Um... you kinda look like an angel now. Wings an' all.
[The angel form wears off when she looks around to check.]
Lynness: ...is this some kind of joke? I don't see anything different.
Sooku: But you were just... nevermind. What were you saying earlier about some kind of doomsday plan?
Lynness: Doomsday pl... oh god! We have to get going right now! We don't have much time left!
[Lynness runs offscreen, in the direction of Mt. Frostbite. Sooku follows soon after, his voice fading out as he leaves.]
Sooku: Wait, where are you going!? Wait for me!
Psi: *sighs* Ever get the feeling we're just being led around?
Synn: Well if you want to let some demonic madman kill everyone and run military occupation of the joint, feel free to do whatever the hell you want.
Psi: Alright, alright! Sheesh. Looks like they were headed towards that mountain I first fell from. We better catch up.
[After rankings are handed out, gameplay resumes in the same spot Psi is standing, with a beacon to head to the mountain for the next mission.