It also made us feel very old, because everything reminds us of the cartoons we watched growing up, so we would explain something that we were reminded of by starting with, "Does any of you know about...?" and they never did. One of the elders is from Wyoming, which reminded us of the Garfield and Friends bit about how Wyoming means "no state here," and as proof, they point out that nobody actually knows anybody from Wyoming. So whenever we meet someone from Wyoming, we get a little excited. That elder also got extra points because he was familiar with the old Disney Afternoon shows, since his grandmother used to tape them for his family. We blew his mind by telling him Gadget and Chip were played by the same actress.
After they left, we had the usual awkward feeling of, "Aaaah, we just had people over I hope they don't hate us!" It's irrational (I think), but it happens. So then we forgot all about it by playing Kamigami no Asobi.
Balder's non-romantic endings made us wish we liked him better. They start when Yui's just found out that Balder has an incurable disease which makes him really panicky about mortality and stuff, and instead of staying with him, you go follow Loki to see what he's hiding about the whole thing. As it turns out, Balder's "incurable illness" is *gaspies!* all a lie to prevent him from the mental anguish he would certainly have if he knew his real fate. I'm all for honesty and knowing the truth, so I'm like whatever, but I didn't write the thing.
The REAL story (that some priestess told Odin) is that Balder isn't a normal god--he's a god of destruction, and one day he'll turn into a mindless weapon and destroy the world. Odin is still searching desperately to find a way to change Balder's fate, but he doesn't know how to find the Scottish witch that's obsessed with bears (and apparently specializes in changing fate, if you're willing to give that story any credit), so Loki's come up with his own solution: euthanasia.
Well, there's not a whole lot anybody can do about that until the fated time arrives (well, they could kill him now and get it over with, but they all like him too much, which is fine; he's very likable when he's not being a creepy obsessed stalker (we may be exaggerating a little bit, but he did almost...)), so in the meantime, Yui hopes against hope that Balder will maintain his sanity until they can get through graduation, because Balder was so looking forward to graduation. She even goes to Zeus and asks him to have graduation early (at the cost of the school's graduation trip). Zeus was really cool about it, though, because he knew everything and also knew that everybody hated him for being so capricious anyway, so he even accepted all the blame for the sudden trip cancellation.
So they all start decorating the gym for graduation...and Balder suddenly collapses! Oh noes! Yui and the other Norse gods take him to the nurse's office and are all ready to stay there and nurse him while he rests, but he goes berserk and starts throwing things (not exaggerating that one), being all, "I didn't ask for your help! Go away and leave me alone!!" Thor explained that this kind of thing happened when his "illness" kicked in, so maybe that's what was going on during the lantern scene, in which case I might almost be willing to forgive him. He also explained that setting Balder off was basically like lighting a bomb, so they've all tried for a very long time not to overstimulate him. That's when it all made sense. He's just a spoiled little rich kid. It reminded me of the Emperor's New Groove, when they have that flashback to when Kuzco was a baby, and he breaks his toy, and all these hands thrust new toys at him.
Since Balder doesn't want anybody around, they all leave, and Loki says, "I think it's time." And Thor says, "I stand behind Loki's decision." The reasoning is like this: We have to kill Balder because he would be sad to destroy the world. Oh, and also we don't want the word destroyed. So Loki's all, "This is the right decision, right?" and Thor's all, "Pretty sure, yeah," and then they look at you, and the Thread of Fate shows up.
First we decided to go with the bad ending first, so we were like, "Yeah, it's probably the right thing to do," and from then on, it was really kind of awful. They made it more awful by having Yui run into Balder before it's time for the execution, and he talks about how excited he is for graduation (which is still a few days away). And then there's just a lot of escorting an unsuspecting Balder to the place of his execution. When you finally get there, Loki takes out a kind of sword, kind of spear looking thing, and we're like, "Is that made of mistletoe? Because if not..." Then I thought about how funny it would be if their plan backfired and the really bad ending was that Balder killed Thor, Loki, Yui, and the world. But only in a twisted, sadistic kind of way.
They didn't talk about what the spear was made of, and it didn't really matter, because after a lot of buildup, Loki decided he couldn't kill his best friend after all. Awwwwwww. Then Balder's "illness" kicked into high gear and he started destroying everything. So the ending I imagined almost happened...but in an incredible show of self-sacrifice, Loki managed to kill Balder by...I don't remember exactly, but Thor was all, "No, Loki! If you make everything blow up now, you'll--!" and then they both died. And then it started snowing sparkles, and Thor said, "They gave up their lives so we could live. We would be wasting their sacrifice if we were sad." And we were like, "Um...not really. You can still have a mourning period..." but anyway, Yui did her best to smile, but she still couldn't stop her tears...
Well, despite our annoyance with Balder's bad attitude (regardless of whether or not he came by it honest), we figured we ought to go back and fix it, and that's where I really wish his story hadn't annoyed me so much. Rewind to Loki and Thor looking at Yui and saying, "It's the right decision...right?" This time we said, no, I don't think it is. But they were like, "Maybe not, but there IS no other decision, so we're gonna do it anyway. See you tomorrow. Don't be late to the execution."
Then Yui spent a lot of time talking to Thor about...stuff, like how nice Balder is and how thanks to her he was finally able to smile a real smile from his heart and mushy stuff like that. And then we go back to the execution site, only this time, Balder is like, "Since we're here at the beach anyway, I know a place with some really great scenery and a cliff!" They still like Balder well enough, plus they feel bad about killing him and stuff, so they humor him, and Yui spends a lot of admiring the scenery. We were a little too tired to appreciate it.
So Loki pulls out his spear thing, and he's not quick enough about doing the deed, so Balder sees him, and he's like, "I knew it. It's not an incurable illness, is it?" And that's where we were like, "Awwww, you're almost awesome!" And then he's like, "But you know I'm immortal right?" And Loki's like, "Not quite. Your mom forgot to ask mistletoe not to hurt you. Guess what my spear/sword thingie is made of." And Balder's like, "You were always the smart one, Loki." And then he's like, "But, just as much as you don't want to make me sad, I don't want to make you sad, so I don't want to make you kill me. And since I am capable of hurting myself, I'll just step backwards off this convenient cliff. Thanks for everything, guys."
Okay, it was a really touching scene, and it did make Athena tear up, so maybe we shouldn't make so light of it, but of all the times we've been to the beach in this game, there has never been a cliff until now! So anyway. Balder did a really nice thing, and it was very sweet and very sad, and then it started snowing sparkles again, only they were going up (like in that song from You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, where Lucy tells Linus that snow comes up, just like the flowers). And it made me really, really, really wish Balder weren't so annoying in his happy endings where he doesn't end up dead. His "going to Yui's world" ending isn't so bad. We'll just focus on that one, I guess.
After that, we had to go through and get all of the Mythology Monologues from the Balder chapters. They're little essays that you can unlock by giving certain answers to the various, "I wondered how I should respond to..." prompts that come up throughout the game. One of the ones we missed...I'm glad to have it, but I have mixed feelings about it, because as annoyed as I was by Balder, I don't think it's fair that one of his Mythology Monologues has absolutely nothing to do with him. It's all about Thoth. And it mentions Anubis. We were pretty excited.
Today I'm thankful for having a good time with the missionaries last night, having time to play Loki's story tonight, getting to eat leftover pizza today, getting to watch an episode of Yozakura Quartet last night, and having shiny new SR cards in Kingdom Hearts [chi].