Part 43: Chapter XLII: This Calls For A Training Montage
Right, let's have a quick look of where we are in relation to everything. That little house on its own to the west is Bunyan's hut, the house on the crossroads on the left is Pauk, the house to the north is Fou-Lu's tomb, the ? next to it is the area where we met Yohm, the city to the northeast is Astana, and the dot mostly obscured by the navigational cross is Mount Yogy.
Kwanso is a wreck of a place, and talking to the guards with most of the party gets them to tell you that no civilians are allowed. Ursula, however, gets informed that not even she is allowed through as the Empire is currently panicking, refugees are pouring in, and orders aren't coming down from the Capital. Guess this means we're visiting the ? next to Fou-Lu's tomb, then. It's optional but there's something there that you really, really want to have.
Yes, the tyrannosaurs are back in full force, along with some new faces. This is a Morph. If you hit them with an elemental attack, they'll drop a component that can be used to make armor for Ershin at the smith in Mt. Glom.
This looks familiar, doesn't it? Let's head up and see what's up where the forest was lit on fire.
Another new pair of enemies: Egg Gangs and Gold Gangs.
The Gangs use Ovum, which we have already seen. However, Gold Gangs give less EXP in exchange for dropping a truckload of zenny - 10k zenny each to be precise. However, if you hit them with a physical attack, that drops by half, so nuke them into oblivion with magic when you find them.
Another fun fact about Egg Gangs is they occasionally show up with Zauruses, who always attack party members who have been turned into eggs before anybody else, thus explaining the mention of their love of eggs in their enemy info.
Mmmm. Flash fried eggs.
Tucked in a corner of the burnt-out wasteland, though, is this little beauty.
Myrmidon is the wind element dragon form, and I will be showcasing its moves and breath attack in the boss video of this update. It's...it's something.
Statswise, it's actually one of the most evenly balanced forms. It gets boosts to attack, defense, and agility in addition to the usual HP boost. Its breath attack hits twelve times instead of six, making it a speedy powerhouse. However, Weyr's stat boosts are strictly better and Kaiser's breath attack has even more hits (up to twenty-two if you finish a combo with it) so it's very much a middle of the road form. Its upgrade is lots of fun to play with though.
Alas, the bridge where Fou-Lu got sucker punched is still out, so no going this way.
I'd just like to ask how the hell two enormous Tyrannosaurs ambushed me in a flat, open wasteland. It boggles the mind.
Oh yeah, if you take a side path from the ? spot, you can find a fishing spot!
This is a very, very nice spot to fish. It has some of the most potent AP restoring fish in the game as well as a truckload of others. However, as I am delaying fishing for one massive go, I'll skip over this and check on the faeries
God, I'm having the worst luck getting decent stats.
However, since she is a new personality type for the village, she gets to live. She'll just work in the item shop for her entire life.
We have a new diversion as well, and it's pretty weird. This option lets you buy and sell Aurum, but that's not all. Aurum prices fluctuate up and down with each random encounter, so you can buy Aurum cheap and sell it high to make money. In addition, if you put a smart faerie in the house, they can forecast the Aurum market trend, with varying degrees of accuracy depending on how smart they are. There's even little graphs about how the trends have been going.
Yes, this is literally the stock market with faeries and hunks of magic metal. It's also extremely tetchy and you never make any profit from it without dumb luck and lots of patience so I won't be using it.
Now, there is an extremely difficult boss fight coming up, so it's time to make the rounds with the Masters again to pick up some new skills. After crowning a few fish I already had from old fishing spots, I get enough Fishing Points to make Gyosil a Master.
: "All right! I'll show you what I've learned over the years. The first thing a fisherman needs is a rod, of course! But more importantly, he needs bait! No bait, no fish! I've developed a technique to not waste bait! I call it Ward. It lets you save some items that would otherwise get used up! Which one of you wants to learn it?"
Surprise surprise, he's sort of worthless as an actual Master. Ward lets you randomly keep a consumable item you only have one of when you use it, but it's nothing to depend on. He raises AP a fair amount, but the hit to HP is pretty brutal in the long run. His real value comes from the fact that he actually gives you rare items instead of skills.
: "Come back when you've got 4,000 or more fishing points and I'll give you something special."
Next on the agenda is Lyta. Speak to her with somebody apprenticed to Gyosil, and she'll accept you.
: "Very well. First I will teach you how to Guard. We are taught that love of your fellow man is the first step to salvation. Take this lesson to heart and you too will be saved."
Guard gives Lyta's apprentices the ability to block single-target attacks against other party members that would otherwise kill them, just like Cray's innate Will. Statwise, Lyta's pretty good if you want to boost magic but don't want to neuter physical capabilities. Her requirement for teaching skills is never stated in-game: it's based on Ryu's level, and we're leveled enough to get the first one already.
: "It is good to see you again. Have you already said hello to the children? I'm sure they will be as happy as I am to see you again. I see your journey is one filled with peril. I shall do my best to aid you in whatever small way I can. Here, take this Supplication. It may be of some use."
Supplication is basically Nina's move. As you can see, it boosts healing magic and dodging for one round, enough to get a good healing spell off.
: "Your journey is still not complete? It is all well and good to wish to become stronger, but no matter how strong you are, you can still get hurt. Come back here if you are in need of rest."
Next: finishing off Rwolf!
: "Oh, it is you. How goes it? Have you learned more of the ways of magic? ...I see. That is most interesting. Very well! I shall teach you Magic Ball!"
Practicing combos for Kryrik has polished off all of Rwolf's requirements. Magic Ball here is incredibly useful, being a raw magic attack based off Wisdom. Nina can wreck surprising amounts of face with it.
His last move is Flame Pillar, the learned equivalent of the Level 3 fire spell, Inferno.
: "You have learned quickly - indeed, too quickly! You have learned all I know. Teaching you may very well turn out to be the greatest thing I have ever done."
Massacring low-level enemies late in the game in RPGs never, ever gets old.
Now that we have a healthy faerie village, it's Njomo time!
: "But when you didn't I started to get worried! All the others have been telling me about all you've done! The village keeps growing and growing! As thanks for your help, I'll teach you FaerieAttack!"
FaerieAttack's strength is based on how many troops you have assigned in the village and what their level is, which is essentially how many times you've used Njomo's moves. Using it calls all the faeries you have in the military, arms them with bombs, and has them air-raid the opponent (or, rarely, has them all carrying one gigantic bomb.) Using it right now, however, is an exercise in futility with how few faeries we have. I will show off all the faerie moves when my village is essentially complete to show off how powerful they can get.
: "This time, don't come back until the village has at least 12 faeries in it, OK? I know you can do it! I'm counting on you!"
Next on the list is a certain sleazy not-Frenchman.
: "'Ave you found a treasure you want to show me? I am a busy Manillo, but I can give you a few minutes......I see you have brought me a rare treasure today...let me see...hmmm...ahh...uh-huh...do you know what you 'ave 'ere? Zis is a treasure among treasures! Very well! I will teach you Charm!"
Charm increases the drop and steal rates on the enemy it's used upon, but does not stack. No cheating the drop rate for you.
: "Keep looking for zee treasures, eh? If you can show me something like zee ElectrumBell, zen I will teach you something else, yes?"
Last Master for today, we're revisiting the Abbess!
: "It is probably best for you to travel and see as much of the world as you can before Ryu and Fou-Lu meet. I see you have traveled far. Very well. I will teach you Concentrate."
Concentrate works just like Focus, only for Wisdom. Nina can unleash terrifying amounts of damage if you crank the focus up to the maximum levels.
In addition, we've encountered enough enemy types to get a second move, Sanctuary. Sanctuary clears all buffs on the field, friend or foe, including your back row. It does this even when enemies use it, meaning it's one of the only things that enemies can do that affects the back row. Depending on when it's used, an enemy Sanctuary can either be a free turn, or it can destroy intricately planned and layered buffing strategies.
: "If you want me to share my knowledge with you, you must travel the world and only return after you have encountered 100 different kinds of monsters."
Oh yeah, the village was extremely close to the next culture level, so a few random encounters later and we get the Games house.
The first minigame available is Kecak.
Kecak is a rhythm game with two buttons. The timing is incredibly strict, and getting a perfect score is insanely hard. The better you do, the harder it gets, and the worse you do, the easier it gets.
Also the faeries in the background play the drums and chant along with the beat, which drills into your ears after long enough.
Flowers are perfect hits, circles are acceptable, and X means you done fucked up.
Not bad. The top prize is a very nice piece of equipment, but there are less enraging ways to get them.
The second faerie in the house provides a very unique service. For no price, she lets you change the names of any faerie in the village (four characters only)...but she also lets you change the name of party members.
Six character limit sadly. Captain Amazing's name will remain Ershin.
This last minigame is a great way to make oodles of money if you know what you're doing, even though it has an entry fee.
It's rock-paper-scissors - with cards! Pick a card and the faerie will pick one. The loser loses the card they picked, while draws result in both cards being discarded. If you win a round, you get a number of points equal to the amount of cards you had left in your hand. If you lose a round, you lose all your points.
While this sounds like an amusing, if annoying, way to blow some cash, a guide alerted me to the fact that faeries with an ordinary personality pick rock a little more than half the time, switching to scissors then paper when they have no rock cards left. With this in mind, you can rack up win after win.
Or, if you're using an emulator, you can use save-states to cheat like a bandit and win flawlessly every single time.
As you can see, it's a pretty good way to make a mint and get some cool items. The Midas Stone is an accessory that increases zenny drops by 50%, and the Dress Shoes are junk equipment for Ursula and Nina. The Soul Ring's the real prize, increasing the wearer's Concentration Points by 50%. Putting one of these on Ershin makes him recover AP in the back row absurdly quickly, turning him into magical artillery.
Alright, let's actually go deal with the boss fight.
Here's the resting place of Dragon Bait and Dessert, still scorched into the rocks.
On the way to the tomb, I get an opportunity to show off Magic Ball.
Yeah, don't piss Nina off.
Well, here we are. Surely we will find this road unbothered by any monsters.
Well, that's totally un-suspicious. Let's go poke it!
Won-Qu grows to giant size.
: "Wait...thou also are one of The Endless...? No matter! No one, nay e'en though they be brother to my master, may be allowed entrance!"
A message to both the people who have said they enjoy watching me botch fights and get the stuffing knocked out of me, and the people who have said the bosses in this game are too easy:
This video's for you.
Boss Video XVIII: Daeren Gets His Shit Slapped For Twenty Minutes
Well, that was embarrassingly difficult.
Tucked back around the corner is a chest full of Ambrosia! This fully recovers the HP of all dragon forms.
Next time: The Tomb Of Horrors. Or rather, The Tomb Of Mild Inconveniences.