Part 7: The CatgirlUpdate 7: The Catgirl
Music: Cute Witch
Video: Norn and Zeldalia
It's customary to knock.
Heyyyyy, sorry...Um, do you know a witch named Zeldalia?
She's standing before you.
Delsus looks around the room, clearly not getting what she's saying.
Yes, I am the witch which you seek.
...You're kidding me.
...though I do look incredible, don't Why am I telling you this? Just pretend I'm young.
You don't look a day over gorgeous...
Really? I think she looks several days under gorgeous.
Nevermind that. Why were you looking for me?
That girl took my book, and I want it back. It's an heirloom of my grandma's.
Interesting...And you believe you're worthy of this book?
You do not deserve such a book. You can't even read it. Daphne would be ashamed.
How do you know Grandma's name!?
Why don't you prove yourself? Here, follow me...
What!? I can't fight a little girl!
Do not underestimate her. I taught her everything she knows.
You're Klein, right, meow?
Let us begin.
Ready or meow, here comes Norn! I won't go easy on you, meow!
I don't have much of a choice...
Music: Ferocious Drive
Welcome to the first proper boss battle of the game: Norn and her Puni friends. While Norn herself is a credible threat as we will see, this little wizard fella is the main problem in the fight. This wizard, or Master Puni, has the ability to buff his allies (which seems to apply to both physical and magical offense and defense). This makes the ordinarily harmless Punis become somewhat dangerous, and makes Norn herself become extremely difficult.
Norn's standard attack hits somewhat hard, and also damages MP. As such, your first priority should be to use Delsus and Lita's specials to kill the Punis and Master Puni as quickly as possible before Norn kills their MP (and/or HP).
Unfortunately, on my first run the Master Puni went into a supporting frenzy, healing and buffing out the wazoo, to the point where I had to do a lot of damage control to stay alive, and after a while...
...he buffed Norn up so much she started straight up one-shotting my characters. Resurrection items are actually pretty rare right now, so...
Music: The Story is Over
On my next try (or maybe the try after that), the Master Puni decided to attack me on it's first turn, making the fight infinitely more manageable.
Klein's Wide item ability allows him to heal the whole party as long as they're close to each other with a basic Heal Jar, as long as I have one in my inventory to use (as opposed to making one in the heat of battle). This is pretty nice until I get an actual heal-everyone item, if such a thing even exists.
Lita and Delsus kill the Master Puni before it can buff Norn, then mop up the others, leaving a vanilla Norn by herself.
Norn can also put someone to sleep, though it takes her two turns (or one double type turn! ) for her to do so. I couldn't interrupt her this time, but it's still manageable as long as she doesn't nail Klein with it when you need to heal and even if she does, that's what Meuniere is for!
Even without buffs, though, Norn is super fast and can whittle my people's HP down quickly not to mention their MP, if they have any left after nuking the Punis. After a lot of basic attacks, I decided to mix things up and use a non-alchemy based attack item. I bet these pinenuts hurt.
I didn't even time that. I just accidentally won a fight by throwing a nut at a boss.
Klein picked up a new skill called Delay. I've never really gotten the hang of this ability (or really any ability that doesn't activate now now now) but I'd like to experiment a little with it and see if I can learn how to make it effective.
Music: Spirit's Hometown
So, alchemy runs in your veins, after all.
I want the book back.
Zeldalia hands it over.
I had to ensure you were following the right path. My old friend Daphne asked me to look after you. By the looks of it, she didn't have anything to worry about. I see you're good friends with the Mana of Wood.
We've been best friends since Klein was a baby!
We're practically brothers. Grandma told me Popo used to live in a tree near her house.
Brothers? Do not forget that he is a Mana.
I know. I've made pacts with other Mana, as well.
Uru (but not Plua for some reason) pops up out of nowhere.
What? You have another Mana already?
I see...Lineage of Iris...
Norn, go with Klein. Please help him.
Awwwww...But Zeldalia, meow! I want to help YOU, meow...
You don't need to worry about me.
...Okay, meow...I'll be your guide.
And thus we meet our fourth party member! I've always had pretty mixed feelings about Norn. All in all I actually think she's pretty okay, but the constant meowing really overshoots cute and lands somewhere on the far border of obnoxious. She's also rather hit-or-miss in battle, but we'll get to that in a bit.
Music: The Forest Where the Witch Lives
Her resting place?
Something will be waiting for you.
A mysterious lady figure pops up briefly next to Zeldalia.
Are you talking about another Mana?
Yes, this is my Mana. She shares my joys, my sorrows...unlike you, I only have the one. At Iris' Resting Place, there will be a pedestal where you may place your Mana. I tried long ago...but couldn't make it. I'm sure you will succeed where I failed.
We regain control of Klein here, but let's talk to Zeldalia again in case she has any more important stuff to say.
By the way, I don't think I've mentioned this in the thread yet; the game adds black borders during most cutscenes, but not during some other conversations like this. I've been cropping them out and resizing everything back to 640x480, so if some images of the same place or character look more stretched than others (like the above screenshot and the one before it), that's why.
...Right, back to the scene at hand.
I should give you something, for coming all the way out here...You have two choices. One's a useful mana item, the other is a skill. If you choose the skill, items will automatically appear when you get hurt. On the other hand, you can use the item to fire a powerful beam at your enemies. So, what'll it be?
That's a tough choice...
We're the good guys, right? Why not just give us both?
...Don't be greedy, Klein, or you'll end up like him.
As if that would be a bad thing!
The thread has chosen the alchemy item, a light-based attack. Unfortunately, it requires a decent chunk of Light Elements that I still don't have many of, so I probably won't use this for a while yet.
Get back to work, Nyaron, or I'll tell Zeldalia!
Myaron: MROWR!? Okay, don't do that...Please, meow?
Then open up the shop, meow.
Nyaron: Don't rush me, meow! Hold your horses for a minute...
Nyaron sells a couple of interesting things. We'll find a few books throughout the game that can help us out with shop synthesis, and I think some of this other stuff will make for good ingredients.
This mask offers good stat boosts, but it doesn't have MANA UP (S) so I'm not sure I'm interested.
Oh yeah, here are Norn's stats. She's the game's ultimate caster, with boatloads of MP, Magic, and a ton of speed to back it up, as well as good resistances. Conversely, her defense and HP are shit. Bear in mind that def stat is AFTER the +16 from the Magoo Clothes. Even at this stage of the game Norn crumples in two or three hits, and it's all downhill from here.
Her strength also sucks, but that's less relevant since, like Klein, her standard attack works off of her magic stat.
Now that we have more characters than can fit on the battlefield, we are allowed to swap between them in battle. One neat thing is that if somebody gets KOed, they still get a turn where you can choose to swap someone else in for them.
Norn's basic attack works just like it did in the boss fight she damages both HP and MP. I've never tried to actually apply this against any bosses, but it's an interesting idea.
Music: Sleeping Reality
All right, time to explore Iris' Resting Place some more. Oh hey, remember those ghost ladies?
They drop beachwear. I don't know why. These are standard items, not equipment. But what could I use these for?
I seem to recall that Norn's basic attack has a very very small area of effect, but all in all she's probably going to just hit one enemy. The good news is she hits pretty hard, especially against def-based enemies. Some of her spells have larger areas of effect, but those aren't really relevant yet; she has the sleep spell from her boss fight, but by the time she gets around to casting it everything's dead. She also has a standard offense spell called Shrink (L) that's okay, but it won't really shine until I can pour some points into it.
So, I'm supposed to place my Mana -
Ooh ooh! Ah ah! Pick me! Ooh oooooooh! Over here! Pick me!
Popo rushes forward and leaps onto the center pedestal.
Quit hogging all the fun!
Ooookay, I don't get it.
It's so soothing...It's making me...sleeeeeepy...
Plua appears and floats over to the last pedestal.
Yes, this is quite nice...
Something activates, sending a quake through the ruins...
What was that?
Something over there made a sound that I heard, meow.
I see...it took three Mana.
That's why Zeldalia couldn't do it. Hey, I think that's a door over there.
Oh, I didn't even notice that door the first time through here. The electricity zaps out of existence, so maybe we can get inside. Let's go!
...After I collect some more beachwear. You never know when we might need something like this.
But, but...I did hear something here! I have good hearing ears!
Here, let me see.
A flash of light bursts from the door, and when it fades...
What? Huh? Nani?
This place looks familiar...
Music: Eternal Eyes
What's happening, Lita!?
Lita turns away and clutches her head. Klein spots something else in the room and approaches it.
July 2nd: The artificial life is maturing steadily. I still can't fix the lifespan issue. They always die within ten years. If I could strengthen their hearts, it would solve the problem.
September 14th: I completed the experiment at Avenberry's Atelier. The Ruby Prism is functioning well. This should greatly increase their lifespan. I will consider the artificial lifeform project a success.
The Ruby Prism...THAT Ruby Prism!? Lita, you're -
Music: Sadness is Whisked Away by the Wind
Heh...guess you figured it out.
Please don't tell the others.
But, that means...Your lifespan -
Great...Now Mr. Alchemist In Training feels sorry for me...This sucks.
Lita...You have wings?
Oh, those? It's nothing...This happens whenever I'm tired...
...We should head back. Delsus is probably worried about us.
Heh heh...Don't worry, it's no big deal.
We should go talk to Zeldalia. She probably knows more about this.
Yeah, sounds like a plan.
The trip back was uneventful enough, so let's skip right to it...
Well, well...Looks like it's time for a bath.
Lita's body needs mana to function. The warm water should help her recharge.
Music: Popo's Pleasant Money Lecture
Today, we're going to learn about...Well, I'll let our guest speaker tell you. Everyone welcome elite alchemist Zeldalia!
I'm going to lecture on Mana Protection, so you might want to take notes.
Hmm...I was expecting a teenager. Who invited grandma?
Did you say something?
Oop. No, not me. Nothing at all.
...Okay. Why don't we get started? A Mana Bath is the only way to temporarily replenish a being's energy by using mana. Lita's Ruby Prism was stolen, so the mana in her body is unstable. If she's active for too long, she'll lose mana and her fighting ability will decline.
The larger her wings, the worse her condition. You'll need to replenish her mana immediately.
To do this, go to the Mana Bath back at base, and press the X button.
You'll need to choose Mana to recharge Lita's energy. You can select two if you wish. The Mana will use items to revive Lita. Of course, you'll need items elements to use before you can recharge Lita's energy. You'll be using a Mana's energy as well, so keep an eye on that.
This is great information. I hope our special instructor has more wisdom to share.
Two Mana are always better than one. Remember that.
Wow, today's lesson was pretty serious. I wasn't expecting that. I guess that's all. See you next--
Basically, Lita gets weaker over time. This is good to know and secretly the exact opposite of the truth. We'll get into that more next update.
Let's all welcome back Professor Zeldalia! She's going to teach us about Mana Protection. They're all yours! Take it away.
Let's do this step-by-step. First, you need to equip a Mana. By having protection, Lita's energy won't drop as quickly. Any other questions?
Oh, oh! Pick me! Me me me! What benefit does Mana Protection have?
The character's growth will be enhanced by the Mana they have equipped. Certain skills may also be enhanced, depending on the Mana's specialty.
Consider your needs when deciding which Mana you want to equip.
My tiny brain is bursting with information! But I think our teacher still has more to say.
Of course, you could always just choose your favorite Mana. Have some fun with it.
My hip's acting up again.
Wisdom comes with age, I guess. Thanks for sticking around, everyone! See you again!
This stuff is kind of confusing to discuss without actually doing it myself. I'll go over this in the next update also.
Otherwise...Lita won't have much time.
Mull's got the prism. We need to get it back.
Are you serious? That rock was cracked to hell!
But there's no other way!
???: You can't defeat Mull.
Music: Sleeping Reality
We have to TRY, Arlin!
Fight me. Perhaps then you'll understand.
And so we're suddenly thrown into a fight with Arlin. Hmm...I don't really have any buffs, particularly strong attacks, or hope, so...
Face the wrath of Klein's puny arms!
Why did you use physical attacks, Klein? Alchemists have more powerful forces at their disposal...You solved the mystery of Iris' Resting Place. I know you're stronger than that.
Wait, did the game actually base Zeldalia's comment on what one action I got to perform? Because that would be pretty neat. I'm tempted to replay this bit and use an alchemy skill just to check.
Klein proceeds to have like four flashbacks in a row about times he and Lita talked with this fucking hideous reddish orange filter over them. Once that's over...
What are you talking about, Klein?
I promise you...I WILL surpass Mull!
Sounds interesting. I'm game. There's supposed to be treasure in Avenberry. That's good enough for me.
Meow! I'll help, too, Klein!
I too have business in Avenberry.
You're coming with us?
Perfect. He can take my place in battle.
The more the merrier, I guess.
...So be it.
You should get a full night's sleep before you gu.
First we need to figure out how we're going to get past Henmil's gate.
Well, about that...
Oh yeah, remember when we were kind of thinking about maybe going to Avenberry sometime? I guess that's our official goal now that Lita's life depends on it.
Mirrors...twilight...dawn. Got it. Someone in Kavoc should know.
This seems like a good stopping point, but first, let's have a look at Arlin's completely bonkers stats. He has great strength, great speed, great defense, great HP, great MP, and surprisingly decent magic. He even comes with a cheap magic damage attack to help deal with ghosts and things. His only real flaw is that his standard attack (and most if not all of his specials) are single-target, making him more of a boss killer, but he can still wreck randoms as well.
I mean...he's just totally overpowered. There's gotta be something wrong with him. Right?
I don't know how much fighting I'm going to do in the next bit, but we might as well vote now: who gets to go to the next dungeon, boss, or other significant battle time? I'll be sure to show off Lita's new condition and Arlin in general either way.
Oh yeah, and here's a video showing off a few random battles, since people were interested. I can take more as the game goes on if people want to see more.