“So it goes… Failed to die yet again.”
I wonder what is going on with the developer’s mindset when we get another Empire episode that mainly focuses on fort conquering. We’ve already done this with Alexandra and Falk. Was having a third rehash necessary? This entire episode is just Alexandra’s episode, but with Bastien instead. We learn a lot about Bastien’s character, though.
A long time ago, Bastien sought power as a child, but was met with irreversible consequences that caused him to close off his emotions and become the person he is today. While he is stoic and emotionless, he still has a heart within him. He cannot bring himself to harm children and he is genuinely nice to Falk and Laplace. I kind of wonder what he did to obtain that power. Did he sign a contract with a demon? While he is a mystery, it’s too bad that we’ll never know how his powers came to be and if getting rid of them would cost his life.
Because he’s voiced by Christopher Sabat in English, I couldn’t help but to be reminded of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles when Kurogane’s past was revealed. Sabat also voiced Kurogane. Their pasts are sort of similar. Both Bastien and Kurogane lived a happy life until something ruined it. However, while Bastien got power and became strong, Kurogane sought power. Though, my memory of Tsubasa is kind of hazy. I should really reread it when I get the chance.
He also has genuine hatred over the main villain of this episode. I cannot remember his name, but he looks like the Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons, so I’m gonna call him Bowler Hat Knight (BHK). Anyways, he is probably the most evil Federation knight introduced so far because the ones we are familiar with are all noble and serene in a way. This man is a huge exception. He uses children as meat shields and is just a cheater in general with his constant uses of barriers. I don’t like him either. I don’t like how he kept dragging the story of this episode until he met his demise. However, he is implemented into the story to show the players that people like BHK exist in the Federation and there could even be those crueler than him.
Bastien’s gameplay is interesting. He has his normal mode and then he has his black aura mode where he becomes even stronger than he normally is. However, it’s just used for hacking and slashing to increase your kill count. There’s also a limit, which I think is fine since that’s his gimmick.
Underneath the emotionless figure resides a man who wants to die, as revealed in the post-credit scene. I wonder if he ever regrets obtaining that power. Also, one fun fact about Bastien: he’s younger than August by five years. In 998 YC, Bastien is 29 and August is 34. Shocking right?
In all honesty, because this episode is just a repeat of another episode, I kind of find it forgettable, which is a shame because Bastien is an interesting character with an interesting story. It’s also a shame that the game already ended its service because Bastien’s story had potential to be compelling.