Part 42: Apotheosis
Music: Azure Canopy
While we've broken out of the cell, we still have to escape the...uh, wherever this is. Milly and Guillo seem to have conveniently forgotten the route they used to reach us, so it's up to us to forge a path out.
This area's gimmick is that there are a ton of imperial pods lying around that function as moving platforms through the area. We need these Spark Shrooms to power them. Spark Shrooms are all over the place to prevent you from getting stuck anywhere.
The enemies here aren't anything special. The soldiers are as generic as ever (they can inflict blindness, though, which is sort of annoying). The mechs are powerful, capable of doing a good 700-800 damage with a full attack string, but they too go down easy enough.
Use a Spark Shroom, and the platform activates.
There are enemy mechs floating around in between the major platforms. They have really odd hitboxes (I've gotten into fights with them without even touching them). We can speed up and slow down the pod a bit to avoid battles, but it can be kind of hard to do.
This place is difficult to describe. It's dark...the platforms are spaced far apart...there are multiple levels...it's more linear than it looks since the pods all move between two places and there aren't too many points where you have branching paths. It basically just boils down to constantly taking and using Spark Shrooms.
To be honest, I think this dungeon would have been much better without the shrooms gimmick. It just makes things take much longer than they have to since you have to sit through the item get/item use animations every time you want to use a pod.
At some point I realized I forgot to switch my special attacks around.
As has been mentioned, The Godling's Rapture is pretty ridiculously powerful. It's Sagi's ultimate attack, and costs four MP to use, and it's completely worth it. Anyway, I decided to fiddle around with everyone's special setup while I was here. We'll see if anything worthwhile comes of it (hint: yes).
Oh yeah, there are a couple of pods that move vertically instead of horizontally. These require Jolt Shrooms instead of Spark Shrooms.
I believe we can make Jolt Shrooms with some Magna Mixing, but the dungeon also provides these things to convert a Spark Shroom into a Jolt Shroom instantly.
This club is a great upgrade for Milly. Granted, I'm starting to move on from using Milly for damage output at all (I'm honestly considering taking her special attacks out of the deck entirely), but it's nice to have something to make her offense as worthwhile as possible.
The area has some dead ends with treasure. Most of them are finishers that I already have multiple copies of. Oh, well.
All right, it's time for one of my personal favorite parts of the game. Ready?
Video: World's Greatest Dickface
Shanath! You fiend!!
Don't get so wound up, puppet. I promise each of you will be put out of your misery in turn.
Go to hell, you son of a bitch! You hurt my mother!
Oh my, aren't we a bundle of energy? No surprise. You were the only subject able to reconcile with the afterling inside him.
I gather she still hasn't told you. That's all right. My orders are to spare you, but as it turns out, I have my own agenda. And the notion of letting a monster run loose with a wicked god inside him is one I will NOT ENTERTAIN!
Now...my arma and I are going to bring this fiasco to a close. Your days in this world are over!
Dude, what is going on with your head? It looks like it's getting eaten by a vine.
Anyway, we're finally fighting Shanath. This fight is a typical arma battle; I'm sure you know what to expect by now. The only real thing worth noting is that it's not as difficult as the others. Indeed, this is really more of a...pre-fight, of sorts.
His special attack hurts, but after facing Super Guillo it just fails to impress.
Anyway, after a little chipping away...
Hm hm ha ha ha! You may be a successful experiment, but you're still just an experiment. You'll never have the power of a true spiriter!
Sagi charges at Shanath and takes a swing, but...
(seriously, what the crap is up with his face?)
Don't even try!
Join our hearts...? All right, I'll try!
Music: Strange Bedfellows
Meemai...I'm taking him down. Are you ready?
Goddamn right I am!
Hmph! Forget the heart-to-heart. What do you think a shattered god can do?! You can't win!
Now, Meemai! Hraaaaagh!
Hah! What did I just say? You can't-
That...that's impossible! He broke through the arma?!
It's over, Shanath! Get ready to pay the price!
Music: There has never been a better time to play Iconoclasm
Now for the real Shanath battle. Shanath's offense is basically unchanged. He can do 500-600 with normal attacks and a little over a thousand with his special. Nothing too major.
On the other hand, his defense has basically ceased to exist. Of course, since this is a real boss fight, he now has a proper HP count, but still, even simple attacks hurt him a fair amount, and specials eat him alive.
I suppose in theory I could talk about this fight more. But there's really only one thing you need to know.
Weak Attack A
Medium Attack A
Strong Attack A
The Godling's Rapture
Otherwise known as
...of a GOD!
Shanath has approximately 8000 hit points.
You do the math.
Perhaps their research wasn't the madness I thought it to be...
What are you saying?
I'm saying...you're not a spiriter. You're a mockery. A malideiter. You've got a piece of a wicked god where the spirit's supposed to be.
From the look on your face, you must have known about the wicked god inside you. But I wonder if you knew that someone PUT it there?
What do you mean?
Music: Tears of Compassion
Baelheit was appointed director of the study. His task: to create a spiriter by hand. In other words...to engineer a man-made spiriter.
That's right. It all started with Olgan's ego. He tried to turn his son into a tailor-made spiriter that could inherit the Empire. They say a spiriter has the power to sway the world...Qualification enough to rule one little empire, no question. But alas one cannot become a spiriter by one's own choosing. Their solution? Find something to rival a guardian spirit's power, and implant that in a person's heart instead.
Correct. They gathered test subjects, from newborn infants to adults and forced the afterlings to net within them.
A bizarre darkness starts to swirl around Shanath's body.
You're one of them, aren't you. A malideiter.
Very perceptive. Sadly, my body didn't make a good home for the afterling. No, there's nothing sad about that. I was lucky. I never had to turn into a monster like you and those other wretches.
You're saying I'm one of them? People made me like this?!
And then Shanath gains a burst of energy and rushes off to a nearby airpod and flies away.
Oh, Shanath, even when you're dying you are such a massive cockweasel.
I suppose not. Well done...
Answer us one thing before you die. Why did you kill Olgan?
That's easy. I wanted to kill him. With my own two hands. That's all.
Why? Did he do something to you?
What could you hope to gain from knowing that? I have nothing else to say. Go on, Sagi. Take your revenge and be done with it.
To think...one of the old man's experiments...would grow up to kill his son...Heh heh heh...Oh...if the fool saw this...he'd die...all over again...
Suddenly a familiar face walks into the room...
...Well. Way to rain on my parade, game.
We can talk to Savyna...
Just who is that child...
Probably just a whim of that man, Shanath.
No...I don't think anyone could raise a child on just a whim.
Let's just get out of this place.
Well, bittersweet as it turned out, I think overall I'm feeling pretty good about things from here on. Join me next time as we enter not-actually-a-sidequest central!