The Let's Play Archive

Breath of Fire

by Scintilla

Part 8: Chapter Eight: The General

Since I posted it in the Sandcastle thread, I guess there's little point in waiting until tomorrow to post Chapter Eight. So, here it is, along with two small additions explaining some things further.

The basement has the same pitfall gimmick as the ground floor. Thankfully it isn’t long before the party reaches the next batch of fodder.

: Wait a minute…isn’t that the Tuntar village chief?

These guys are pathetic as usual and die in one turn. The Foil + E.Key combo is pretty lethal at this stage.

: What are you doing here, elder? When we saw you last you were in Tuntar.

: Those wretched Dark Dragons kidnapped me and brought me here to use as a hostage to force the Tantar chief to give up the Ring.

: Their plan has failed, then. We should return to Tuntar as soon as possible so that the people do not worry.

: A moment, young man. I witnessed many superior quality weapons when I was being brought here.

: We could arm ourselves and deprive the Dark Dragons of an important resource at the same time.

: Agreed. Lead on, elder.

: What is this!?

: We are betrayed!

After waves of fodder, we finally get to a real boss. With that said, Pog isn’t too hard. He has two basic attacks – one where each head strikes separately and one where he spits a single big ball of vomit. His defense is sorely lacking – even caught unawares with the Foil still equipped Ryu and Nina can wreck him in less than half a dozen turns.

(Video – Pog)

: You’re not getting away with this, warrior!

: We mean business!

: I came in from the back and rescued the chief while you kept them busy!

: Like the chameleon, this Dark Dragon slug thought to disguise himself as the Tuntar chief. Now that the true chief is rescued his ruse is revealed!

: Let’s go! You and me!

Right off the bat the party enters another boss fight. The General may be a palette swap of the Knight, but he has the highest attack power of any boss so far and neither Ryu nor Nina have had a chance to heal up. This disadvantage is offset by Bo, who joins as a new party member and will prove extremely useful for one important reason.

Offensive magic. Bo comes with the first two tiers of attack magic pre-learned, as well as a healing spell. His AP is much lower than Nina’s, however, so he won’t be slinging spells around for very long. He won’t need to, though – Fry can deal 80 damage per casting.

(Video – General)

: Hey! You’re not getting away! Come on everyone, let’s chase him down!

: And leave the real chief here, undefended? He could never hope to match our pace.

: So we just let the fiend escape?

: Chase two deer and both will escape you. The General is wounded and will likely meet his end in the forest outside. The chief is more important right now.

: *Sigh*, I suppose you’re right…Oh, here comes the chief now.

Just as an aside, it is entirely possible to skip the fight with Pog. The game will not 'But Thou Must' the player into going with the fake elder, and if you say 'No' enough times Bo will bust in and reveal the General's deception there and then. On the other hand it means missing out on Pog's exp, so in this case I chose to fall for the General's ruse.

: When the Dark Dragons failed to steal it, they dammed the river with massive boulders and tried to strongarm the forest folk into giving it up.

: I have many useful skills that can aid you against the Dark Dragons.

: I have no objections. Nina?

: The more the merrier I say.

Now that we have Bo we are free to leave the woods.

The party thus returns to the world map. Whilst we’re here we can check out some of Bo’s special abilities that can be used when he leads the group.

Firstly, having him up front lets the party walk right through any forested areas as if they weren’t there. This opens up both shortcuts and the potential to uncover secret areas that would normally be inaccessible.

Secondly, pressing ‘A’ makes him shoot arrows. Remember how sometimes wild animals appear on the world map after a random battle? Bo can hunt them with his arrows and recover their meat, which acts as a powerful healing item.

As for Bo himself, he’s kind of a jack of all trades.

He has good attack, but his bow is a two-handed weapon and he can’t equip a shield. He has a good selection of magic, but he doesn’t have the AP to maintain a constant magical barrage. Plus all his spells will be outclassed by the dedicated black mage we’ll be acquiring later on. He’s also currently slower than Ryu and Nina, but he’s also beneath them in terms of levels so that’ll sort itself out before long.

Since we've just gained our first magical attacker, I think it's time to discuss Breath of Fire's magic system. Because, frankly, it's rather strange. You may have noticed during the General fight that Bo's spells always hit for the exact same damage - 80 points. This is because magic damage in BoF is fixed, at least for the player characters. This holds true for items like B.Stns, as well as the E.Key and any other spell-like abilities the party can use. The only thing the game takes into account when using magic against enemies is their elemental resistances or weaknesses, in which case it applies a flat 50% bonus / penalty to the damage output.

In Breath of Fire, the Intelligence stat only applies to magic defense, and (as I understand it) then only if the party member in question is defending when a magic attack hits them.

I have no idea why the devs chose to implement the magic system in this way. Perhaps they were trying to prevent magic from becoming too overpowered. Either way, magic is by no means useless in this game, but you'll never be seeing long strings of 9's after you use a regular magic attack.

But enough of that – it’s time to return to Tuntar and speak to the real chief again.

: Greetings, chief. We must speak of the river.

: Quite. I have been thinking about it, and the more I ponder the clearer the solution to our problems appears.

: Its strength is said to be legendary.

: But the robot has not moved in any of our lifetimes. Like the sloth, it remains eternally at rest.

: True, but the Tuntar verbal tradition speaks of a connection the robot has with Agua.

: Agua…I caught a glimpse of that place after I left Romero in search of the Wizard of Karma. With Bo’s forestry skills we should be able to find a way through to it.

: Then we have our next destination. Let’s get going and see if we can thwart Zog’s plans once again.

: I never thought I would be returning to Winlan so soon.

: Actually, we aren’t. With me to guide you we can traverse the northern forests and cut many days off our journey.

: There’s Romero. You were right, that didn’t take long.

: Traversing the forests lets us travel as the eagle flies. Agua is within our reach.

: I could not see it clearly when I first laid eyes upon it, but…is that entire fortress…floating?

: Amazing…

: We are here, but…

: We can’t reach the entrance.

: What should we do? I doubt I could reach it even if I flew, and we cannot ask Winlan for aid if it means weakening the garrison there.

: I don’t know, but I do know one thing – I’m feeling very tired. Maybe we should stop off at Romero and get some rest before figuring out what to do next.

And that concludes today’s update.