The Let's Play Archive

Arc the Lad

by Syrg and Wanton Spoon

Part 7

Hey guys, I'm sorry this thread has been going explodey from all the images on one page. But really it's your own fault for not posting more. Much like a fairy, this thread will die if you don't clap your hands. Please note the views of my comrade don't always reflect my own. Tonight, though, they damn well do, especially after that fun "let's recreate the update line by line until the thread breaks" shit I set up earlier tonight to fix the thread.

Actually, I read somewhere that it puts less stress on the servers if you read the thread while logged out. I'm not sure how much I believe that, but you can try it. Pretty sure this is off. The ads alone would probably be more of a hassle.

As for the update, out of boredom I decided to get everyone up to the same level (21, would've been 20 if Arc would just STOP LEVELING) to see how they really measure against each other. This is where you pull out the evidence to defend your favorites, people.

Alright, let's go over this information. Feel free to scroll down to the next image if you're not interested in this competitive shit.

Let's start with brute force. Tosh wins with 14 attack power, the highest of anybody there, as well as second-highest HP and matching Arc in defense. He's also the first to move each turn, and he's one of the two human characters who can move four spaces each turn. Really, if you're going to overlevel anybody, it should be him.  Except it should really still be Arc, given how many solo missions he has to deal with. One of which is in this update! 

As for everyone else, in an unexpected turn of events, the Mofly ends up with the highest defense power, making him an even slightly better battler than Arc if you don't take magic into consideration. Not entirely unexpected. There are times he's near-vital, and so he's got higher defense so it's harder to fuck up so badly he dies (and is therefore gone from the fight). Chongara also isn't half bad, if you don't mind that he takes forever to get going and you need to make sure to keep him healed. Kukuru and Poco wouldn't be bad fighters, being only one point below Arc's power, except their defense values are somewhat crap.

As for magic, the Kelack blows everyone else out of the water with 19 magic power, which is completely negated by the fact that it only knows one spell (healing). This makes Gogen the winner by default, because although he's tied with Poco in terms of magic power, Poco knows only one attack spell (currently), whereas Gogen now has four (and these get crazy in terms of range later). Not to mention Gogen has the most MP, and he needs it.

As for Kukuru, I have to admit at this point that she's pretty much the least useful, simply because she's balanced. Not great at fighting, not great at casting magic. Not BAD, but not really enough in either area to be truly useful. Please note I said this earlier: she is the worst character because everyone does what she does BETTER. It's not just vitriol for her being empty-headed. Arguably Chongara's worse since he doesn't even have any spells, but he's a gateway to practically doubling your party size.

So, to summarize (with my own comments added):

Arc: Can become god and does!
Kukuru: Last resort and sometimes not even that.
Poco: Instrument buffer aka "The goddamned tank" with a defense+ item or two.
Tosh: Sexy mean fighting machine and hottest character, mmm.
Gogen: Incredibly white black mage ...this is pretty much it.
Chongara: Equivalent to eight party members (eventually) It's possible, with a little work, to solo the game with Chongara and pals.
Kelack: Healing AND NOTHING ELSE But the best fucking healer you get.
Mofly: Like a rock I love this dude.

Now on with the show. Take us away, Chopin!

Oh Chopin, you're so witty. If you hadn't died in 1849 you would make an excellent stand-up comic.

: They be trained much in the Amaidan way of discipline and lifeforce building.
: They say the Amaidan masters can kill from biiig distance. They use scary power that makes Chingara weak and shaky.
: I sweat just to say this.

Okay, Chongara, nobody needs to hear about your sweat.

As am I.

: Oh Poco, calm yourself. These monkish types might be perfectly hospitable gentlemen...
: Then again, they might be savage, inhuman killers.
: Well now, that certainly was not a reassuring thing to say, Kukuru. Have you no tact?
: We must not delude ourselves that there is no danger. We cannot be lulled to complacency.
: What he said. I think...
: Well then, only one way to find out. Let's head for the temple...

Arc the Lad likes to give you huge countries with tiny little places to go to.

Archmonk: Their purpose in coming here is to meddle with the Guardian of Mt. Amaidar...
Right Monk: Yes, but they are weak. We should not concern ourselves with them.
Middle Monk: Do not underestimate them. I sense in them a power I've never felt before.
Archmonk: Hrmmpf! Summon Iga.
"They're more powerful than anything I know!" "Oh? Send out a flunky."

Personal portrait icon? Stats mentioned in opening movie? HMMMMM I WONDER IF HE'S GOING TO JOIN THE PARTY

Archmonk: Iga, a group of outsiders approaches. They will seek to take the sacred writings we preserve on top of Mt. Amaidar.

A ragtag group of adventurers approaches! Command?

Archmonk: You must prevent them from reaching the mountaintop. Can you do this for the temple's honor?
: The foreigners are ill-informed. Even I have never climbed that high. It is very difficult.
Archmonk: If these sacred tomes from the days of our forefathers fall into their hands,
Archmonk: ...they shall learn the secret of the seal, leading to a horrific outcome more terrifying than can be imagined.
Hint: This one doesn't break when you pee on it.
Archmonk: The honor and future of the clan rests with you, Iga. Do not fail us.
: I shall do exactly as you desire, Master.

: One thing Chongara knows solid. This only way to reach Amaidar mountain peak.


: So. It is exactly as the Master said.
: I warn you, travelers. It would be best if you turned back now.
: The mountain is forbidden to the unclean. Our sacred books must not be corrupted.

I think he's talking about you, Chongara. Get back to the airship and wash up.

: What sacred books? We seek only to speak with the Guardian of the mountain.
: Ha! Again, you have acted exactly as the Master foretold. I shall not fall victim to your lies.
: He's not going to listen to us, is he?
: It appears we're going to have to step on a few toes here.
: I warn you, sir. Our mission is dire. If you stand in our way, we shall have to deal with you in a most unpleasant manner.
: The fear of death is unknown at Amaidar Temple!
: Well now, that's certainly attitude. Hmmm...
: It seems we are at an impasse...but perhaps I can find a way around it. Let me think.
: How about a match between you and this lad? Would you wager your skill against his?

"Uh, I've got a better idea, Gogen. How about YOU match YOUR skill against his?"

: If our boy here loses, we march out of here. If he have only to lend us your ear.
Basically: "If we can kick your ass, we can unholy the holy books, yes?"

From this point on, it's time to have some fun with this character.

Ah, the dreaded TRPG one-on-one. Arc basically HAS to be at a certain level to get through this one. Fortunately, 21 seemed to be enough. Even then, Iga Slab Bulkhead can deal over 30 damage with one attack, whereas Arc can only do around 10. What's more is that Iga Fridge Largemeat can move as far as Arc, so once he gets in range to attack the first time, it's impossible to run away from him. You basically just need to keep moving and healing, and hope your blocking and countering abilities are enough to whittle him down.

Arc also learned Gale Flash sometime since last update, so I decided to showcase it for you.

It's not incredibly useful in this battle, so we end up defeating Iga Punt Speedchunk with regular attacks.
For the record: all of Arc's attack animations are opened by an image of that element's Guardian.

Oh yeah, that's a spoiler (like you hadn't figured it out).

: We are not after any "sacred books" or sealing technique.
: We have journeyed to your mountain for another reason entirely.
: A life of defeated me too is it...possible?

Oh great, we damaged his D-cup ego. We'll have to rationalize it for him before we can continue.

: Yes, it was rather quick. Do you wish to know why you lost?
: I shan't wait for the answer in the affirmative. It is because of your mind.
: Your body has been superbly trained. But the mind that leads such a finely tuned machine has not.
: Your skills lack spirit and purpose.

Or, we could just insult him. Thanks again, Gogen.

: But...I used everything I had been taught...every technique. I never even saw it coming!
: Well, what else can I say? There's more to fighting than you've been taught.

Like, nobody taught Iga Butch Deadlift how to use energy fruits. That might've helped somewhat.

: I'd like to confer with your master. Is that permitted?
: Wait...I need to speak with him, too. I shall take you there.

Archmonk: You need not confess your own eyes behold your failure.
Archmonk: And you even dare to bring these thieves into my innermost chamber!
: Master, I meant no disrespect. I believe you may have hastily judged their intent.
Archmonk: And now you DARE to judge...
: Um, may I just interrupt here a second?
: I am really enjoying this humiliating exchange and all, but you're a poor actor, really.
: And how can we not be tipped off by your STENCH?!

Gogen and Kukuru make great ambassadors.
Notice that the only one able to SMELL a monster is the dumbest party member of all. Look! That canine intelligence gave her similar senses! It's true, the rest DO improve to compensate when one is busted!

: How dare you insult the...
: I know a filthy MONSTER when I smell one! Let me help you out of that disguise!

"But first, here's my handheld mirror. Isn't it pretty?"

"...Crystal Power..."

"...MAKE... UP!"

The party makes its way downstairs to find that they now have to deal with this thing:

Along with its entourage of ghost-like monks.

It's got a host of widespread attacks that will fuck your peeps UP if you're not paying attention. Fortunately, even the weaker party members are at a high enough level that they can hold their own. Gogen probably benefitted the most from all the level-building, because he now has three new attack spells...

Diamond Dust!

Wind Sla... Hey, these are just spells the BBB used. Show us something interesting.

That's better. Thunderstorm.

You'll notice all these spells have the same range. I think this is to make up for the fact that you can't go back and choose lower level versions of these spells once they've leveled up; all four of these spells already act like differently-powered versions of the same spell, and each one costs slightly more MP than the one before it. It's hard to make Gogen run out of MP, but it's nice to have the options anyway.

Tosh also learned his first useful skill, Shinkuzen. (Incidentally, I forgot to mention that the paralyze slash move is called Jubakuzen, in case you're interested in that awesome Japanese shit, you weeaboo.)

Shinkuzen is like a more powerful version of a regular attack, only done from two spaces away so there's no possibility of a counter. Not bad, for flinging a giant toenail clipping at the enemy.

Yes, older party members are getting better all the time, but let's not forget about our newest addition.

Iga Bold Bigflank's the beefcake member, and for some reason he's slower than freaking ANYTHING. I suspect he spends most of his time admiring his massive biceps while deciding what to do next. He also has two magic spells... Well, sort of.

This is the first one, Shingan Ho. It's got a wide range, but doesn't inflict damage, status effects, or anything. All it does is mark enemies with this symbol:

After you've marked enough enemies to your satisfaction, you can use its companion spell, Taima Kodan. No matter where Iga Splint Chesthair is on the battlefield, he'll smite all enemies that have the mark. WITH LAZERGUNS PYEWPYEWPYEW

It doesn't look great in screenshots.

I know what you're thinking. All Iga Flint Ironstag's other spells involve the Shingan Ho mark. No, this is the only one. So really this is just one spell that takes at least two turns to cast; more, if you want to mark more enemies. Plus, the marks reset after Taima Kodan is cast, so it's not like you can mark the enemies and then put Iga Bolt Vanderhuge in a safe spot as he fires lasers over and over. All in all, we got a pretty crappy deal here.
And since I rambled about everyone else's usefulness at the start of this: Thick McRunfast sucks. He's slow, and a lot of his skills are gimmicky like these two. You'll mostly use him as a front-line person to take damage/test an enemy's strength.

Most of the party members are dead by the end of the battle, but at least Poco's happy. (God knows why, Shift Flute is pretty useless. I suppose we'll get to it at some point, but not during any remotely challenging battles.)
I'll just sum it up now. Whatever direction Poco is facing in when he uses it? Everyone around him is forced to face that direction.

This is pretty much the single worst skill in the game, and I say this even keeping in mind Stump Beefgnaw, Kukuru, and the fact that I'm so fond of Poco.

Iga Blast Hardcheese's a total masochist.

There's just one problem with that.


Yetis that will actually hit you with an ugly stick. Well, ugly palm, really.

More specifically, when they strike you, you are inflicted with Hemo-Ji status, whereupon you turn into a HIDEOUS PINK THING. In this state you can't cast any spells (except Refresh, which is useful), and unless I'm mistaken your stats are messed up a bit too. All in all, one of the more annoying status ailments.
But god DAMN is it fun when you gain the ability to hit enemies with it later.

The enemies are numerous in this area (especially when the slimes start splitting), but that just means they gather into groups more easily... Arc can lay waste to them.

The major problem turns out to be the voodoo guys, who now know Wind Slash, and they each can cast it twice before running out of MP. This means that you'll be taking eight Wind Slashes by the end of this battle, and it does quite a bit of damage. The trick is to send a couple guys who can take the hits, and keep them far away from each other until the barrage is over.

As it turns out, Gogen has become a lot more useful than he was previously.

Oh yeah, this reminds me, Iga Buff Drinklots hit level 21 as well, so here's his stats.

More powerful than Arc OR Tosh, but whereas those two are the first to act in a fight, Iga Trunk Slamchest's friggin' LAST. Really, guys.

"They've put a small glowing ball above it."

: Monsters have no regard for anything humans cherish. They seem to have used this sacred place for a hideout.
: Ahh! This cannot be! The sacred books have been stolen!

It's a... wooden... thing.

Hell, it doesn't look like ANYTHING, how am I supposed to make a comical comparison?
I think it looks like a potato. Then again, I'm Irish. If I so much as squint, I can see a potato in anything.

Earth Guardian: When you use power as the Masters taught you, you shape the force of Earth and Air.
Earth Guardian: This ability is a gift from the Guardians.
Earth Guardian: We gave these gifts in a time long forgotten. A time when humans could fully appreciate their divine source and be grateful for them.
Earth Guardian: However, now they use this power to dominate the land around them with thankless irreverence.
: You must be the Earth Guardian.
Earth Guardian: Yes...I am. Though it pains me to witness what humanity has done to my ward.
Earth Guardian: We did not bestow our gifts upon humankind to increase strife and selfish desire.
Earth Guardian: But it seems that when people believe they hold exclusive dominion over the gifts of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, problems begin.
Earth Guardian: These sacred treasures are not for human beings alone. A balance must exist in the natural world.

Cripes, these guys HAVE to combine to form Captain Planet at some point. It makes too much sense.

Earth Guardian: Every creature, every living thing must share in and at the same time respect Nature's riches.
Earth Guardian: I sense the purity of your desire, and trust that you shall not forget the words I have spoken.
Earth Guardian: I therefore entrust you with my most sacred gift, the Earth Stone.

"Got the Rock Rock."

Earth Guardian: Remember...we are never far. Believe in yourself and you shall accomplish the task that lies before you...

: I would not blame you if you denied my request, but may I join your noble endeavour?
: Perhaps in your company I can find the purpose that now seems lost to me.
: Iga Fist Rockbone, we'd be honored to have you in our company.
: Thank you. I shall not disappoint.

: Our sacred temple has suffered a great shame. I do not know if it is possible to recover.
: If all of you departed as well, I would not blame you.
Monk 2: There are yet many of us who have remained preserved from evil.
Monk 4: You have shown me the bravery necessary to brave the faults within, and the strength to correct them.
Monk 3: We shall remain and restore Amaidar Temple to the true path, protecting it until your return.
: I am impressed by your humility and tenacity.
: When this sojourn is complete, I shall return -- perhaps to a new beginning? We shall see.
: Until then, remain true to yourselves, my brothers.

Up next on Arc the Lad: The Silver Noah collapses from the weight!

Also, a fun fact: I didn't have to use Poco's portrait once in here. Weird. I knew he was quiet, but damn.