Part 53: Chapter LII: Of Gods And Men
Welcome to the last update.
A file with a Cleared Game save will start you outside the castle when first loaded. You can go straight to the bottom and fight the final boss again if you wish, and can save again afterwards. You can do this to try to steal Dragon Armor and a Royal Sword from Tyrant and Astral, respectively, but to hell with that. I'm going to use New Game + to show the last few things I've missed and the tiny amount of bonus content that's unlocked after you beat the game.
Remember this area near Chek? The nearly invincible tree monsters are still here, but you're likely able to wipe them out at this point for a huge chunk of EXP and a shot at some rare items. However, after beating the game, something much more interesting shows up here.
Yes, that's Rei and Teepo from Breath of Fire III. I'm not even going to attempt to reconcile this with possible canon as the game doesn't pretend this is anything except a goofy little cameo.
Their store has some interesting stuff in it. I've never needed to buy Midas' Armor, but I suppose it would be useful if you need to grind money to buy something. But, really, what would you need to buy at this point?
Medallions are unique items only sold here. You'd think six people wearing them would mean the party all gets +18 Power and -18 Defense, but the Defense penalty actually becomes a bonus if everybody's wearing one. Quite nice, but that would mean taking the Shaman's Ring off Ryu, which is quite simply not happening. The other stuff they sell are utensils and the King Frog, another ultimate lure. Unlike the Spoon, it doesn't sink whatsoever.
Let's see what Teepo has to say.
: "So I'll let you have it!"
: "Don't that just beat all? We'll never make any money if you just give things away, Teepo!"
Yep, another reference to Rei's infamous catchphrase.
: "Me and Rei grabbed that one from..."
: "Ahem! I mean, we, uh, bought that from a travelling merchant!"
The Rusted Sword itself is a piece of shit. It's got 40 Power (Ryu's current sword, the Dragon Blade, has 128), but if you kill a whopping 1,000 enemies with it - that's not just attacking 1,000 enemies, that's delivering the killing blow to 1,000 enemies - it becomes the Slayer. It has an awe inspiring Power of...80. And the +1 Hit property. That's literally the Slicer with only 2 more Power, and it has the additional drawback that sometimes it ignores what you told the user to do and attacks a party member.
To anybody stupid enough to actually grind for the Slayer, I pity and mock you.
Over in a corner of the area, we find another NPC walking around.
: "I never imagined I'd find someone selling treasures in a place like this! Just goes to show you the world's a pretty big place, isn't it? Say...I don't suppose you'd be interested in trading that Gold Ball you have for this treasure of mine, would you?"
And with that, the trading minigame is done. We could actually have completed this much earlier, but we missed an NPC you only have one chance to talk to. When busting Cray out of Ludia at night, if you wander the city before entering the castle, there's a man sitting behind a building you can trade with. The developers put this NPC here in case you missed him, which you probably did.
With the Platinum Ball in hand, we can now finish Marlok's chain of requests!
Roulette is an interesting gimmick move I will show off in a little while.
: "...now that you have zee Roulette, I 'ave nothing else to teach you. Still, you 'ave convinced me zat I was wrong about you. I am impressed - even for a 'uman, you will make a good businessman. When you 'ave finished with your travels, come see me again. I will make you my partner!"
Alas, we can't actually settle down with Marlok and have a Recettear-esque game about ripping off customers from all corners of the world. That would be incredibly awesome, though.
Before finishing off the rest of the Masters, it's time to finally do that Bot exploit I've been talking about for so long!
The first step is to find a group of three Bots in Sinchon.
Next, use Monopolize with the character you want to level up, and follow it up with Ershin using Stand Out.
After that, make sure Ershin is equipped with the Maelstrom (the armor we got from the Smith in Mt. Glom) and use Counter.
This means all the bots will attack Ershin, who will automatically counter them, and thus Maelstrom's effect will trigger.
Instead of punching them, Ershin uses combo magic on them!
From this point, you wait a few turns until the bots are repaired, then cast Counter once more so they pop themselves again. Keep an eye on their HP and use Scias or Nina to heal them if they're about to die. After making them explode eight times, their EXP multiplier is as high as it will go, so you can go ahead and kill them.
I think you can see why I didn't show this off before, because it completely shatters any pretense of challenge left in the game.
The stat bonuses from the Abbess make Nina an unstoppable juggernaut of magical destruction, and she gets her last three moves in one fell swoop. Restore is healing overkill for one target (it could easily heal Cray three times over with a weak casting), Resurrect is like an Angelfish (or rather, the other way around), and Vigor is more healing than you will ever possibly require. It's medium healing of all targets, only with Nina's wisdom this is like casting Rejuvenate on each party member two or three times. Essentially, if Nina's alive, it's almost impossible to lose now.
Next on the power-leveling schedule is Ryu, who I apprenticed to Marlok to beef up his HP and AP as his normal stats were doing just fine, and HP/AP are what matters for most dragon forms.
I apprenticed Scias to the Abbess to give his magical abilities a much needed kick in the pants. Lifestealer is Scias learning Disembowel for free, so it's sort of useless. He also gets Restore, making healing even more of a joke.
Ursula sticks with Njomo to make her incredibly well-rounded and a versatile engine of destruction. Her final move is Death, and at this level, it hits more often than you'd think.
Cray sticks with Macho Man Kahn and ensures he will never contribute anything meaningful in the field of magic ever again. However, he has enough HP that he could survive a free-fall from orbit, and he can one-shot just about anything in the entire game outside of the Imperial Castle with his normal attacks.
Before leveling Ershin, let's show off Roulette. It's fitting that we give the goofiest move to the goofiest character.
Roulette lets you select a person on the field, an action they can perform, and who to perform it on. If you're good with timing things, it's a good way to get a free attack from a party member.
If you're terrible (or sadistic) like me...
How's that 55 Wisdom working out for you, Cray?
Let's try this again.
Putting Ershin under Rwolf increases his capabilities as magical artillery, as it would be pointless to try to boost his physical capabilities when we have Kaiser/Knight, Ursula, Scias, and sometimes Cray rocking the joint. We even get his last Level 3 spell.
That's not his final move, though. His final ability comes at level 45, so most people will never actually see it. Another round of the Bots for him!
Yes, that's a breath attack. Ershin's natural reserves of HP come in handy at last.
Despite what you'd think, it's not a laser or anything...
...it just has giant spiky balls fall from the ceiling to obliterate the enemies. No, I have no idea either.
With Ryu well past Lyta's final requirement, we can get her last move.
It's like using six ammonias at once! It's incredibly costly at 45 AP, but very worth it if you're in the situation where you really need to get everybody up now.
: "I have shown you all I know. All I can do for you now is offer you peace and rest. If you grow weary of your travels, you are always welcome here."
Next is Gyosil. I said earlier in the thread I wouldn't do this, but I got incredibly bored one day and crowned enough fish to grind up my Fishing Points to 9,500.
I am The Fish. Keep in mind there's only 9,999 Fishing Points available in the whole game, so you need to work your ass off for this.
: "Wow...I'm impressed...when I first met you, you were like a little tadpole, and now here you are, a master fisherman! Well done! If you find a good fishing spot, let me know!"
I've been to literally every fishing spot in the known world. I'll be sure to tell you if I find one on the fucking moon.
The prize? Incredibly underwhelming.
It doesn't even cast as far as the Angling Rod. It reels in fish easily enough and is very easy to cast, but still. If I'm going to crown most of the fish in the game I want a rod that catches nothing but whales, barandy, and sturgeons
Next up is Momo. Her last two moves require 40 and 50 hours on the game clock, respectively, so I left the fast forward key weighed down and went out to eat for a few hours to get it there. Seriously, I had about 40 hours on my clock AFTER grinding Fishing Points and Bots.
Oracle is easily the best move she gives you. Put this on Nina and watch as all enemies are reduced to chunky salsa before her.
As for Egghead, her final move?
Yep. I got nothing.
: "Well, it looks like you've learned everything I can teach you! ...Well, I had a lot of fun talking with you all! You made me feel like a professor or something!"
Next, we exploit the combo system to fulfill Bunyan's request of a hit with 12,000 damage for his final ability.
To put that in perspective, she just healed over half of Tyrant's HP with one spell.
Bunyan's final ability is both awesome and useless.
: "I am impressed. You have learned all I have to show you. If you seek further knowledge, you will have to find it yourselves. There is nothing more I can teach you."
I almost never use Final Hope for two reasons. One, once a situation is bad enough to warrant using it, I'm already boned. Two, once I'm strong enough to get Final Hope, I almost never get in a situation bad enough to warrant using it.
And that's it. We've gotten all the skills from all the Masters. I went off at this point and finished my skill book with the skills I hadn't gotten, which were the following: Wild Swing and Risky Blow (didn't bother getting them because Ershin had them for free), Feign Swing (another useless attack like Distracted or Bad Back), SwordBreaker (gotten from Shades or Sepoy, a physical attack that lowers Power), Douse (gotten from Tar Babies, lowers fire resistance), and Wind Strike and Searing Sand (elemental physical attacks.)
With all that done, all that's left is to back to Mukto and face the game's ultimate challenge.
Up in here is a semi-hidden tunnel.
This tunnel leads to a dead end, but there's this crack in the wall.
Ershin solves that problem easily.
This is a small area, mostly ruins and ancient architecture similar to Fou-Lu's tomb. The enemies here range from a lone Cyclops to masses of Morph Goo. Nothing too challenging, even when you first come here, and at level 40 they present no resistance at all.
Follow the path long enough and you get to a cliff with this ominously lit entrance.
Here's the prize of this bonus dungeon, one of Fou-Lu's equippable items. It prevents all status ailments. Yawn.
It's fitting that we're ending this where it all began.
You see, in this room, there's an enemy called The Rider. It is the strongest thing in the entire game, with spells that can crush the front row flat even at the level I've ground my party to, 40,000 HP paired with a 20,000 HP-per-turn regeneration rate, and is generally a right bastard to kill. It has a decent chance to drop the Cursed Sword, which is an incredibly powerful sword that deals more damage the more HP its wielder has, to the point that it can break the 999 Power limit.
Behold as I finish this game by finally taking off the kid gloves, making this unstoppable monstrosity my bitch in about three minutes, and breaking the combo system until it cries for mercy.
Boss Video XXV: The Rider