Part 44: Chapter XLIII: A Grave Situation
Well, here we are. I will say for a almost-filler dungeon the architecture and aesthetics are pretty awesome.
Oh yeah, and most of this place is full of robots for whatever reason. No, I don't know either. Death Bots mostly buff up other robots, but if you hit them with a mixed-element attack (like Firewind or Storm) they get stronger and give more EXP.
Seriously. This place is awesome, though I must ask the architects how they pulled off the whole "hanging in an infinite void" thing.
Ahh, the Chopam. These guys are interesting. For the first two rounds, they're completely and totally invincible. The third round, though, they're vulnerable. If you don't kill them in the third round, they instantly run away at the start of the fourth. They are worth a ton of EXP and have two drops: Chopam Plate, a pretty good armor for Ershin (and likely a reference to Chobham armor), and an extremely rare drop, the Mass Driver. It's the strongest weapon in the game for Ershin. I will not be farming for it, as there's a much more accessible weapon later that's almost as strong (and occasionally stronger in the right situations.) Besides, the Atomic Punch has 93 Power, and the Mass Driver has 104, so it's not a huge loss.
Might as well use the Chopam to show off the level 3 Fire+Wind combo, Ragnarok.
WHAM. God, the high-level combos are gratifying.
Let's go deeper into the tomb.
How does the big cube of ceramics and rock float up and down, you ask? A wizard did it.
Another robot enemy that shows up in the lower levels is the Guardian. Its info may seem enigmatic until you actually fight it. The first round, it attacks normally, the second round, it uses Double Attack, and the third round...
This is actually a pretty shitty move, as it costs a lot and the damage nerf on multi-hit skills tends to utterly neuter its usefulness.
Oooh, a puzzle!
By standing next to a crystal, you light up a row of the area below. By pressing O, you advance all cubes in that row one rank away from you, while X pulls them toward you one rank. You can do this even when a cube's pressed up against a wall. It's actually a neat little puzzle.
Get them all in the right spot and you get a path.
That thing in the center is a bead, the first of several we'll be seeing in here.
Another path is made, and another item is available to us.
This is actually a one-target rifle for Ursula, and it doesn't have +1 hit. This means while it is technically the strongest weapon Ursula can get, it's actually one of the crappiest. Also, Ryu's alone in this screenshot because this is a puzzle room with no random encounters.
Walking back to the main room of the lower levels, this block becomes a staircase.
Yep, beads are the way to progress in here. Go down the path you have available, get its bead, go back, go in the new path.
Again, the architects shows their flagrant disregard for the laws of reality, and it's awesome.
Berserkers are not the horrifying, rarely encountered emissaries of rape and TPK they were in Breath of Fire III. In this game, they're almost joke enemies, because they malfunction and use Jolt on their own side.
Huh. That's ominous.
Hey, a bead! And loot!
Guess I'll use this cube to walk over to them.
Oh dear, that's bad, isn't it?
The red eye face zaps Ryu every time it gets under him. Not only does this deal quite a bit of damage, it lowers his maximum HP as if he'd been knocked out in combat and left unconscious until afterward. Every time.
I had to go outside and rest because I didn't remember that and by the time I got out of this room Ryu's max HP was about 200.
Back in the main room, the bead lowers this pillar to make a new path.
In the path beyond it, we find a new enemy. Morph Goos almost always come in groups of four or more, and their color reflects their element. Green = air, black = earth, red = fire, blue = water. Every two turns, they shift elements, and they may change element when struck with their weakness. They use appropriate elemental magic and shift resistances.
This room has more block elevators, this time in solid gold flavor. If we could cart one of those out here the party could live like kings! Kings I say! Ah, but there's a world to save.
In the room beyond the elevators, things get...pretty stupid.
Yes, that's the boss of this dungeon.
No, I have no idea what they were thinking. (E: the thread suggests they were made for playing Extreme Yahtzee while Fou-Lu waited for Ryu to show up and this is now totally canon.)
Boss Video XIX: I and II
For those of you who are interested, here's a list of what numbers make the boss do what:
4: Rejuvenate (which is a colossal pain in the ass)
5: Powder (blinds)
6: Punch (physical attack)
8: Revolution (inverts the front row's HP)
9: Stasis (blocks combos for 3 turns)
12: Kick (extremely strong physical attack)
And before people start talking about how the video was boring, the alternative cut was me trying to outpace its ability to heal itself while it started kicking my teeth in before I gave up and exploited the fight anyway. I did not play intelligently at the end of the filler, for my brain was destroyed and I just wanted to get it over with.
After the battle, Won-Qu appears, and Ryu reaches for his sword, but Won-Qu does not attack.
: "That I, Won-Qu, should be humbled by one other than my master...thou art the one my master awaits. This then is rightfully yours."
So why not have Won-Qu be fought here instead of topside, and get rid of the Gimmick Twins? I suppose he had to guard the entrance, but still.
Back in the main room, Won-Qu's gem opens a door in the wall...
And energizes this block.
My God, it's full of st-wait, made that joke last LP.
The obelisk rumbles ominously.
Well, that's convenient. This is Mukto. We won't have anything substantial to do here until after we beat the game.
Now, look at this map for a moment and think about what Grampa said back in Pauk. He said he found a road to Astana near the Tomb. The only way we see to get to Astana via the tomb involved beating Won-Qu, kicking robot ass all the way through it, setting off all sorts of puzzles and triggers, then emerging via an underground/nega-space elevator in another location entirely.
This puts the final crown of idiocy on the filler by making Grampa's explanation make no fucking sense.
But instead of rambling about that, we have an old friend to visit. Somebody who I have neglected for far too long.
Somebody we know and love. Somebody who has their own theme song that plays on this screen.
: "I kept swimming and swimming, and before I knew it, I ended up here! ...You're the first people to be able to keep up with me! I'll give you credit for that - you're tough! I like your spirit! I know why you've been chasing me...it's because you admire me, isn't it? Don't be embarrassed to admit it! Since you've shown how tough and dedicated you are, I'm willing to show you all the things I've learned in my travels, and teach you how to fight like me!"
Does this mean what I think it means? If so, HELL YES.
: "All right! First, I'll teach you Valor! That's at the core of a fighter's heart, and what lets him get back up again and again! Once you learn that, you'll be one step closer to me!"
Yep. Kahn's a Master now.
Valor is the same as Ursula's Will, meaning that when an apprentice of his gets KO'd by an attack they have an extremely high chance of coming back with 1 HP. This explains why we've never actually killed the guy, he's just too manly to stop. As for his stats, they represent pure dumb muscle. By signing up under him, you're acknowledging his student is going to permanently suck at magic and have low AP. In exchange, the student gets a metric fuckton of HP and becomes a physical powerhouse. Since Cray's magic is almost never useful anyway, we're signing him up under Kahn and leaving him there for the rest of the game.
: "Fighting! That's the only way to prove what kind o' man you are! Ahem! Or woman! Once you've been in 300 fights, come back and I'll show you something else! You must learn to fight yourself as well as your enemies. Only then can you be called a true warrior."
300 fights? Shit, I've done more than that. I've done more than 400, actually, which qualifies for two of his moves. 300 fights is his threshold for teaching you Focus, but I already have that, so he gives me his next move.
: "Greetings, fellow warriors! Are you reveling in the glory of battle? I live for battle - so I know you must as well. ...I see you have fought many battles since we last met. I can see it in your eyes and your sweat-stained clothes. Excellent! You're an inspiration to all fighters everywhere! Shout! It took me a long time to perfect that move, but I give it to you in honor of your skill!"
While I neglected to get a screenshot of the skill scroll for it, Shout is a powerful but very dodgy move. It has a high chance of stunning the enemy...and everybody in the front row, too. Including the user, somehow. Next move will be at 500 fights.
Moving right along...
: "Is very rare and valuable item! Please you are trading it with my treasure!"
Yeah, I forgot Fu Chuman here liked collecting balls.
With that, we have one thing to check up on before I do a side dungeon I missed and then finally - FINALLY - start the plot going properly again.
The new job is faerie insurance bonds. No, not even joking. In exchange for signing a contract that deducts 8% of your zenny after each fight, the faeries will bring your party back to life (and restart the fight) once if they suffer a total wipeout. It doesn't last forever, so you have to renew it after a while if it doesn't trigger. As the insurance house's level goes up, you can also buy premiums: one gives you a free vitamin on recovery for an additional -1%, one auto-runs on recovery for -2%, one recovers with full AP for -3%, and one refills all dragon HP for -3%.
I never really use insurance.
This, by the way, is how the village is doing.
Next time: side dungeons! Dragons! The plot starts moving again!