We appear to have gotten all the various side quests out of the way. That means it’s time to head off to Esta and maybe the first Tartarus trip of MQ:P part 2. Esta is a village midway between Grand Noah and the border with Grangold. As with Rubiana in part 1, there’s been a mysterious disappearance and all of the inhabitants are missing. If you were wandering through this section of the world map aimlessly in search of new monster girls, you would have found the village off-limits.
|Esta with the ominous Tartarus rift just above it|
Now it’s open, and... things get a little weird.
The first time we enter Esta it’s hard to see what the problem is. The village is far from abandoned. There are plenty of people walking around. Wasn’t everyone in this village supposed to have vanished?
There are plenty of hints that things aren’t quite right. The first is fairly obvious – Luka is here on his own. Our personal monster girl harem is not with us.
We also can’t leave. The roads are magically sealed to prevent us from leaving. The same applies to harpy feathers and warp spells.
The people here also seem a little too cheerful.
Ah, this would be why.
|We're not in Esta anymore|
Carry on walking to the east and the town gives way to fluffy clouds and angels. And that explains what’s going on. We’re not actually in Esta. We’re in some kind of heavenly copy up in the sky overhead.
This also explains what happened to the people of Rubiana and Esta. The angels abducted them and brought them all here. They also seem to be running every aspect of the people’s lives, including changing people’s jobs to what they think will make the person most happy.
The Tartarus location in the lake also extends all the way up here as a pitch-black hole. Currently there’s no way to get to it.
In the north of the village is a big cathedral. When we first enter the village, the cathedral doors are locked. One of the guards tells us that they won’t open until a bell chimes. This isn’t a particularly hard puzzle. The bell is either on a timer, or triggered by walking over various tiles in the village.
Once the bell rings, the game tells you, and you can go back to the cathedral.
Which isn’t a cathedral.
Walking through the door sends us into some kind of wibbly-wobbly cosmic space. There we’re met by the angel Rafaela.
We don’t have long to talk before a demon – Sai-Shin? – teleports in.
|Your choice is Angel Tits or Snake Tits.|
I’m not totally convinced I got her name right, machine translation not always being the most reliable and all that. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s supposed to be Satan, or Shaitan. She looks fairly familiar. I think she might be one of the ‘Big 6’ demons Toro Toro Resistance posted on his website before Paradox came out. She has a bit of a snaky theme going on.
Her and Rafaela have what appears to be long and involved metaphysical debate about freedom and choice. Rafaela says her and the angels are making the humans very happy by controlling every aspect of their lives, so that the humans don’t make the mistakes that would fuck up their lives. Sai-Shin counters by questioning whether the lives have any value if the humans have no control over them. She argues that the humans need the freedom to make their own decisions, even if some of those decisions are the wrong ones.
Then they turn and ask us which of them we agree with.
Um, yeah. Not going near that one with a ten-foot barge pole.
Is there a third option? Yep. Take the third option.
Then it’s back down to Esta where Alice lets Luka know he went nowhere and just spaced out for a few moments (similar to what happens whenever Luka visits the Hades location hidden in Ilias’s temple).
Real Esta is empty. As with Rubiana, everyone has gone and various investigators are wandering around and trying to work out what happened. We know the answer, of course, but I doubt anyone will believe us.
The angels abducted them all to a happy place up in the sky.
Right yer are, mate.
The one key difference between Esta Below and Esta Above is that Esta Below has a way to reach the Tartarus location in the lake. There are rowboats moored up on a pier. We grab one and row out into the lake.
We’re going to Tartarus. What strangeness is waiting for us this time?
Nothing as it happens. We get to the edge of blackness and there’s no way to go further.
Really? After all those side quests through the Realms of Nope. Fack!
Oh well, nothing for it but to row back to the village. We manage to make it back to the pier before there’s a big crash behind us and Gnosis emerges from the darkness of Tartarus.
|Gnosis, Angel of Nope|
Uh oh. She was the angel that killed Micaela in part 1. She tells us that she’s calculated that history has diverged so far from the “correct” path she might as well kill everyone.
Not today, Gnosis.
Gnosis is not that tough, but takes an age to take down. The HP of bosses seems to have ramped up a lot as we get deeper into part 2. I might have to take a closer look at min/maxing some of my characters, especially the ones responsible for dishing out damage, as these boss fights keep taking a while.
Knocking Gnosis back makes her reconsider the whole obliterating us from existence thing.
(Just fucking kill the bitch, Luka. She killed Auntie Micaela.)
Especially when she overhears Luka mentioning he’d spoken with Rafaela. She decides she might have made the wrong call and we might be powerful enough to do whatever the angels are trying to engineer to stop the world being destroyed. Then she flies off.
Remind me, why did we come to Esta again?
Looks like we might as well report what we know (ha!) to Queen Noah. But before then, Alice mentions that Undine’s Spring is not far from here, and we should pop by to contract with Undine.
Off to the caves of slimy pleasures it is then.
But before then, we shall look into the alternate universe opened up through the wonders of save scumming, to find a Luka who did not fare so well in his boss fight versus Gnosis.
(Are we sure? It is a Xelvy.)
|Blowjob doesn't seem so bad...|
Well, this doesn’t seem so bad. Gnosis seals our movements with angelic power and then comes close for what I guess will be a bit of cock-slurping. I’m fine with th—
What the fuck is going on with that mouth? That does not look a comfortable place to put my pride and joy. It’s not like we have any say about it. The ring Gnosis slaps over Luka’s cock to prevent him from coming also looks far too tight to be comfortable.
The ring apparently doesn’t stop us from pissing, which Gnosis makes us do, and then slurps up because sado-crazy angel or something.
Her mouthparts must not be as bad as they look, because after a few minutes of them vacuuming away on Luka’s no-longer-so-dangly bits gives him an urge to come that’s painful with the ring blocking it. So it’s one of those classic Bad Ends where the femdom succubus/monster girls wants us to beg her to let us come. Well, we all know how they end up, so we won’t be—
We beg her to let us cum.
Gnosis sucks out so much that Luka ends up going floppy. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Maybe that’s true angel power. Gnosis says that’s okay. She has a means to give our drooping little man some support.
|!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and: ow ow ow)|
Tongues do not go there! Especially spiky tongues that look like they’re covered in barbed wire.
It works and that’s more white stuff for Gnosis to slurp up. Unfortunately, there’s no Beyond the End and happy frolicking kittens this time around. Gnosis keeps sucking until Luka is empty of energy and dead.
Don’t mess with the angels, Luka.
-> Next: Undine’s Spring