Part 45: Part XXXIV: Hear the Gentleness of a HerdPart XXXIV: Hear the Gentleness of a Herd
Today's a very special update, indeed. In addition to the screenshots and commentary below, I roped a fellow RPG LPing goon into going through the first DLC dungeon, Cow's Paradise, with me for a voiced update! wdarkk, known for his LPs of the Tales series, is joining me today, and you can watch the whole video here.
First, some background. Cow's Paradise was released for free back in April 2013. This was still while I was playing through the game initially, so I'm going into this dungeon with a bit of advance knowledge. The dungeon is formally unlocked right after you rescue Nio, but you really have no business going there until you significantly upgrade your equipment. The enemies there are quite hardy, and bringing along a big stack of healing and attack items is highly recommended.
This is inside the house at the top left of the previous screenshot. On our first trip to Hallos Village way back in Part VI, this house had a short scene and a treasure chest with an accessory. Now that Cow's Paradise has been unlocked (the game lets you know via a special entry in the Notes menu), this fancy crystal thing shows up and you can warp straight to the Paradise. It sounds like a chill place, with a bunch of happy cows hanging around. How bad can it be?
All enemies on the field map are cows, and they get pissed at you from a long way away and will frequently charge from off-screen. As for my party, I'm bringing along Marion and Nio. At first I was thinking this team was going to be a disaster, but it actually worked, strangely enough. Granted, Marion is outputting like 90% of the damage I'll be doing. Nio does her thing, and Ayesha has items.
And the gathering points, of course, are filled with cow manure, or delicious cow milk.
The Golden Rats here are actually an area boss from the Grand Rocky Mountain gathering area, but there's nothing too special about them. The Mad Ox, on the other hand, is quite a resilient guy, with a very large amount of HP for a generic enemy. The white rat, the Alchemy Rat, is an enemy who only shows up in the DLC dungeons, along with the Mad Ox. He's quite powerful, too.
As an aside, never ever block for Cow Meteor. It is insanely weak for some reason. No idea what happened there.
The Alchemy Rat's gimmick is that it throws out actual attack items, like Bombs and Ice Bombs. We've seen enemies who do that in the past. Perhaps in another LP.
Music: FJ: Pana Special
In another battle, I was lucky enough to be able to demonstrate Nio's super move. She relies on Pana, too, so this cow is gonna cream that White Spirit, for easily the most humorous finishing move.
D'awww. Pana is best cow. Your reward for these semi-tough DLC-only fights are pretty valuable items and equipment, like Pixie Breaths and Dunkelheits.
The next area, the crystal-clear lake for all the water the cows could possibly need, is full of Rage Oxen. These guys are much tougher versions of the calmer herds to their south, and should be fought with all firepower on-hand. Underestimating their lasting power, or how much damage they can do, is a poor idea. Still, Cow Meteor is very weak, even in their hooves.
Uh-oh. Have we stumbled upon another Yggdrasil? Not exactly. This guy is much, much more of a threat.
Not only are all of his stats much higher than his predecessor, but he throws out negative status effects like it's no big thing. The Ancient Live Tree is a grave threat, but I wouldn't say he's tougher than the Grand Dragon. I meant it when I said he's probably the hardest fight in the game. Still, this guy is not going down without a fight. On the plus side, though, we do get to hear MARIA again.
And here's why bringing Nio along was a good idea. Panacea gets rid of every bad status effect, and Nio's offense is so weak against the Tree that you might as well not even bother attacking him with her. Marion's well-being is much more important, so Nio's job is to keep negative status effects off Marion while she pumps him full of lead.
Oh, and if you want, you can also get Time Guard Flowers here. Don't know why you'd need 'em, but hey.
While Aim Shot is a very valuable attack (it inflicts more damage to enemies who have negative status effects on them. With Soul Words, he's getting debuffed with every attack that hits), I must question the camera placement here.
Marion, ever the self-aware gunslinger, has to know when you strike the cool poses. As an aside, I love the sound of her bullets ricocheting off the ground. It's Anime Gunslinging at its finest, but you gotta love it.
But, one bad meeting with the business end of one of his roots, and Marion has four of five status effects on her. Told you this guy loves his status effects.
This guy gets a lot of turns, and his attacks can quickly stack up. Ayesha and Nio were both brought down in really quick succession, but all Marion has to do is survive this turn, and they'll get revived. Oh, and before you ask, I recorded this fight long before I made the Forbidden Capsules, which is why I don't have them here.
Few minutes later, and I'm in a real bad spot. Nio's down, and the God's Miracle Drug is a long way from circling around again. This...could get hairy.
Y'know, Marion, it's not all bad being an unappreciated pawn in the grand scheme of things. Your work ethic is so good it gives you a 50% chance of shrugging off a KO, which saved my bacon here. I never got this close to losing again, but that was dicey.
With Sagittarius playing (the "about to lose" song played before now, and then the song switched a second time), we're in the home stretch. Can we pull out a win?
A few minutes later, and it's good! A Quick Shot by Marion, with an assist by Nio, finishes the fight, and this guy, for good. It was a really long fight, but still not as long as the Grand Dragon. The boss battles in the second bonus dungeon, I assure you, are much faster. We're done with the super grindy bosses of this game.
And one last look at the really pretty mountains and sky, and we're done here. You know guys, I think the description in-game for this place, where it said we can relax with the pleasant cows, was a lie! There's no greater friend to bovines across the world than Ayesha, but we've done nothing but fight since we got here! These guys are jerks.