Part 46: Part XXXV: Hear the Ruins of a ParadisePart XXXV: Hear the Ruins of a Paradise
The second, and last, bonus dungeon. Hidden Paradise was released for a nominal fee back in May 2013, I believe, after I had finished playing the game. I bought this along with Marion and Odelia for the day when I would eventually be LPing this game. As for this dungeon, it opens very, very early in the game, after the scene where Ayesha shows Linca and Marion around the herb garden. Thing is, there's basically no reason to come here before the post-game, though, since you won't be getting very far.
Like last time, this is going to be a joint video / screenshot update. Joining me is wdarkk again and Anoia, who hasn't run any LPs herself, but if you follow RPG threads on this subforum, you've likely seen her before. I'd like to thank her especially, since she caught up with this entire thread in the course of a single day before doing this commentary, and had a lot to say while we were recording. I definitely hope she'll be a regular in my next LP, which will probably get posted soon after this thread ends.
As for finding it, just head to the depths of the herb garden and head toward the light.
Hidden Paradise also happens to be by far the largest dungeon in the game, not including fairly uninteresting dungeons like the Zweiteturm, which is mostly just hallways. Anyway, there's four main areas of this dungeon: Fire, Wind, Earth, and Water. The first Water door is located at the far right end of the first area, and doesn't lead anywhere especially interesting. To proceed further, go through the Earth door at the left end of the first area, and this leads to another Water door (also not leading anywhere interesting), and the Fire door.
In the Fire area, there are three murderous enemy groups. Not even kidding when I say that, unless your character setup has ridiculously high evasion, you are going to get slaughtered by these groups. While we dealt with enemies with long chains of attacking in Cow's Paradise, this is a whole different ball game, and, speaking from personal experience, there is just about no chance you are going to win without Forbidden Capsules. In the video, you'll be seeing me using quite a bit of those to achieve victory, and even then, it's a pretty tough fight.
This door leads back to the first area, except atop that rocky outcropping that was isolated from the rest of the area. All Odelia there says that there's no record of this place in the Zweiteturm's vast library.
Next part of the dungeon is in one of the two doors. First, if you looked at the next-to-latest screenshot, and you'll have seen two doors. The top right one leads to Hidden Paradise-Wind (which I accidentally give you a sneak peak of), and the other leads to Hidden Paradise-Sky, which, mystifyingly, looks like this...
Looks weird, right? Well, this is at the bottom of a cliff. You have to go through Wind to get to the top portion of Sky, which we'll see soon enough.
Oh, and a note about materials: pretty sure you can find any material in the game here, including all the super rare, valuable stuff like the Genesis Capsule, Dunkelheit, Aurora Stones, Sky Slag Stones, etc. As for what we were talking about in the video, about the materials here, it's really weird. I did a bunch of experiments before posting this update about materials in this dungeon, and the long and short of it is, I really don't have any idea how materials show up as gatherable here. At first, my thought was that you just get Flower Oil from coming here too early, but I was never able to replicate that, but I swear I got that item from coming at some point in the game (unfortunately, while the camera was off). Based on a few observations, it does seem the materials here change depending on how far you are in the game. It doesn't seem to have any relation to if you've encountered the item before elsewhere, because I started a mock new game to check it out, and I was able to gather a bunch of different items just as soon as this place opened up.
So, to sum it all up, it's a mystery. I apologize for the inconclusive answer, but I really don't know what the game's doing here. Mystery for the ages, I suppose.
Before we continue, I simply had to make a new healing item to handle the dungeon's most dangerous foes. This is what I made, a Wonder Cream with this trait line-up. Effects should be obvious (basically makes it a single-target God's Miracle Drug that can also restore MP and increase Max HP for a couple turns), but the traits are really where this thing shines. Light of Life gives the affected character the ability to shrug off a KO, leaving them at 1 HP, whereupon the effect disappears. Recovery +30% increases the item's power further, Explosiveness I've already talked about, and Fix Fatal Wound means this thing can revive targets, and again, increases this thing's power.
Of these traits, Light of Life (from the Genesis Capsule) is by faaaaaar the most useful. By using this, a character can utterly bombarded by a viscious enemy, and still not die, as long as they're at full health. I am not kidding at all when I say this Wonder Cream was the difference between victory and defeat in the Hidden Paradise.
As for how I made this, first I made a Tonic with Skill Usage -25%, Perfect Nutrition, Great Vitality, Auto Activate 50%, and Oblivion Power as properties, then I began the Wonder Cream synthesis with the Genesis Capsule, Medical Solution, Dry Medicinal Herb, and Tonic as ingredients. I Drew Power from the Dry Medicinal Herb first, followed by a Power Transferred Tonic and Genesis Capsule. The last step was a Power Transferred Medical Solution. The only problems with this synthesis was I didn't activate the Fire-effect, and I didn't get the best Water-effect, but it's awful hard to argue with results, right?
Continuing on, though, we come to the first boss of this dungeon, Whirlwind. You better get ready for a light show.
Whirlwind is easily the second hardest fight in the game. He might even be first, depending on how much trouble you had with Grand Dragon. He is blazingly fast, extremely powerful, and has no lack of HP / defenses. You bring your A-game, son, or you are going home really quick. He can easily wipe you out without you getting a single turn of attacking.
Mainly because he piles on the attacks. He'll get three turns in a row, then typically finish things off with an Ice Storm, severely damaging your party, and likely wiping out a couple members, depending on how he attacked at first. Forbidden Capsules are an absolute must here. The first order of business is digging in with the Wonder Creams I made, because the more targets he has, the less chance he has to overwhelm any single member and constantly keeping you on the defensive.
Always keep in mind that if you use a Forbidden Capsule on a target, and they get KO'd before their turn, that Capsule is completely wasted. Same thing if you revive a target with the Capsule. They don't get those extra turns. This is, again, why not getting KO'd is priority number one when you want to take the fight to the enemy.
As for the offensive, again, Forbidden Capsules are your best friend. I'm lucky Linca is such an amazing fighter in this game, since her offensive capabilities are second to none. Linca is my most powerful character, and her damage output needs to be prioritized. Odelia seems a bit more hardy, but she's definitely the weaker of the two.
Odelia's Barrier Field is also an incredibly valuable move. I'm pretty sure it just halves the damage of the next attack, which is quite useful against any foe, indeed, especially if the enemy is about to launch a devastating move like Disaster Wing-L.
Linca's Raging Edge is going to be pretty amazing this update. On this attack, she took off around 1500 HP or so, but she's just getting started.
Disaster Wing-L is probably his single strongest attack, but here's the thing about Whirlwind: he's a very shock and awe kind of boss. The kind of boss who overwhelms you at the start and makes you think he's untouchable. But, once you've survived those first few turns, he really doesn't have much to surprise you. There's no hidden punches he'll pull that'll waste you as he gets lower on HP. Basically just keep up the rhythm and don't miss a beat.
And never get cocky. This guy's damage output is like no other, and if he had any moves that could give him back HP, he'd definitely be the hardest fight in the game. Never get overconfident, and never overextend yourself. You want a fallback at all times, in case your latest offensive comes up short. When you're about to launch an offensive, give Forbidden Capsules to your attackers, and protect your investment with a Wonder Cream.
Don't worry about when he gets low on HP and attacks may miss. You'll still hit like 75% of the time, so when he's critical, don't let up. Just a hard push and you're done with a hard fight. Your reward for a glorious battle is some nice equipment and materials, but you don't need those at this point.
The door behind Whirlwind leads to the top of the cliff in Hidden Paradise-Sky. This area is where the materials really start getting amazing, but we're not here for materials.
The final area of the game, and the final challenge...
The final challenge of the game, before the tree of universal knowledge...
Old Castle is an interesting fight. You might think he'd be harder than Whirlwind, given he's the final boss in this game. He's...not at all. Mainly because he only gets two turns in a row and he does odd things in the fight, which murder his defense. If you've beaten Whirlwind, there's no reason you can't smoke this guy.
Oh, don't get me wrong, he's hard, but the biggest threat here is Whirlwind being a dick and wasting all your resources before you reach him. He has the single largest HP count at 20,000, but it goes down really fast.
Case in point: this Raging Edge did 2096 damage (yes, I went back and counted it exactly). And that's not the strongest attack Linca will be throwing out.
Odelia makes a very strong case for the value of her existence with an attack worth 2649 damage. Can Linca make an even stronger argument?
And it's good! Linca's Raging Edge did 3135 damage, for the single-highest damage attack I've yet seen in this game. And yes, you read that right: this guy has lost more than a quarter of his HP between just two super moves.
What I think happens with this guy is that the more he uses Charge Modes, the more dangerous his attacks become, but on the flip side, the less defense he has. There's no reason, even with Criticals and ultimate equipment, I should be outputting this much damage against the enemy with the greatest physical resistance in the game.
In case you're wondering about Checkmate, it's an attack that is supposed to stop an enemy's move, but it doesn't work on bosses. But, it's some free damage, so hey.
With all those attacks coming up, things are going to get really ugly, really soon, especially since I don't have any Wonder Creams left. This is when I decided I'd do something really dangerous: pour all my resources into a blinding offensive to destroy him before I could get pummeled by those missiles.
I was a bit scared I'd come up short, but never bet against Linca. With a masterful power play, we have triumphed in the most glorious way possible, shuddering the horrid machine for good.
But now it is done. There is no one left to stand against us.