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Joshua's day started out simple enough. Climb up on a roof to catch a butterfly for Adele. Once he actually catches it, he promptly falls off the roof. That would be the beginning of the end. His stepsister Rosaly comes running over to say a stranger is being attacked in the field. With the help of his two friends Yuri and Clive, they save the stranger and bring him back to the village so the doctor can treat his wounds. Little do they know, this act of kindness will change their lives forever, for this is no ordinary stranger.
The stranger, Nicola, is not what he appears to be but Joshua sees him as a hero and wants to help him. Since Nicola is a wanted man being hunted by the relentless Blood Knights, Joshua hides him in his secret tree house. Unfortunately, his stepfather sees Nicola as a troublemaker for bringing the Blood Knights to the village, and thus turns him in. Furious, Joshua sets off to the mayor's manor to save Nicola.
Wandering through the manor, Joshua makes a wrong turn and finds that he is trapped in a room with the kindly old mayor. Suddenly the court diviner teleports into the room and puts the mayor into a murderous rage. Joshua is forced to fight the mayor and slays him in front of the very eyes of the only woman he will ever love, Adele. After she sees him kill her grandfather, she denounces him and calls for the guards to arrest him. Joshua jumps through a window into the waiting current of the river. He must leave his family, his town and the woman he loves, in hopes of clearing his name and winning back Adele.
As a result of his actions, the country of Natra becomes embroiled in a Civil War that has gone on for seven years, and which still continues. Finally Joshua, now 20, resurfaces as leader of the Red Wolves, a group of bandits that have stricken terror into the hearts of both sides of the Civil War. They only attack military cargoes and people, and have yet to be defeated or captured. They know no allegiance and have no country. They just have each other, but that too will change.
Once again, a chance meeting alters Joshua's life. After taking over a new cargo train, he finds two prisoners, Baron Pratau and his captain Lira. Immediately Joshua tells them to go. He wants nothing to do with them but they offer him 100,000 gold pieces to escort them to Fort Gusta. Wanting the money, Joshua and his two new compatriots Vlad and Pike agree to help them get there on one condition: once there, the Red Wolves get paid and everyone goes their separate ways, never to meet again. However, what one wants and what actually happens can be two very different things.
In Vandal Hearts II by Konami, you play as Joshua, a bitter bandit whose very life has been stolen from him, along with up to four other characters under your control. In this RPG, the battles are turned-based. However, the enemy is much smarter than your average RPG and even moves around before you can attack. Wander from site to site fighting different enemies and monsters as you piece together your destiny. You won't be forced to battle all the time, sometimes you can choose to enter the fight or just move on. Reenter previously finished battle maps to search for items or to just build up your experience points.
In each town, be sure to buy and sell weapons, armor and items to make your war party the strongest and most powerful force. Stop by the local tavern to gain valuable knowledge from the patrons, or possibly go on a mini-quest. You must decide who to help and who to harm. Choose wisely because it just may effect the outcome of the game itself. Solve the mystery of who the real evil is behind the Civil War that now rages around you as you become the hero you were meant to be.
Can Joshua stay out of the war he was forced to create? Can he rise up to be the mighty leader that appears to be his destiny? Will he ever be able to explain to Adele why he was forced to kill her grandfather and win her love? He is the world's last hope and your wits and skills are his. May the gods protect you both. ~ Jason White, All Game Guide