Part 10: Monster Arena
The fate of the world hangs in the balance... you know what that means!
Yes... IT'S SIDEQUEST TIME!
Ok, not exactly. There aren't really any conventional sidequests in this game, but there is a bunch of optional content, some of which is available to us right now.
Basically, eight bosses that we previously defeated in the four dungeons have been replaced by some much stronger ones. While the old bosses had around 4-6,000 HP, these new ones are more along the lines of 40,000-70,000 and of course they also hit much much harder.
With our characters at level 37 where we left them last time, they wouldn't really stand a chance. Most of these bosses can hit for at least 2,000-3,000 HP in a single attack and some of them are even able to attack two times per turn instead of only once. Considering that our characters have around 4,000 HP each, this is obviously not going to happen at their present state.
So, I went out and did some grinding first. And here is the result:
As you can see, this game doesn't care about such nonsense as limiting your HP to a measly 9999 or your MP to an even lesser 999. Incidentally, the highest tier of enemies open to us now is Lv. 71-81 and even the Lv. 37 Escher and Musiea can oneshot most of them--remember how I said that enemies gain stats a lot slower than we do on an equivalent level!
While grinding, I also took the opportunity to open some newly locked chests in dungeons, and there I found some nice new gear for our dynamic duo:
Divine Comedy, a sword for Escher.
Atellana, a new set of clothes for him. Incidentally, Atellana is a old form of Italian theatrical farce, which first appeared even during Roman times.
First rib, a new rapier for Musiea.
And Haute Couture, new clothes for her too. I have noticed that equipment found in dungeons tends to have a lot weirder names than ones sold by Piu-Piu.
In any case, we have eight supperbosses to sort out, two per dungeon, so let's get started.
Normally they are activated by approaching one of these things that have newly appeared in the dungeons in place of old bosses.
Clashing Grounds #1: Poseidon
And here is our first customer. As you can see it is a palette swap of an old boss, most of these superbosses are.
He's not especially weak to physical attacks.
But then he does a spell...
That's better, but still not so great.
This is how much damage he does to us, and this is with an attack we are strong against!
Soon, I hit a spell he's really weak against, and well... you can see the result.
Despite this minor setback...
...he's finished. On to the next one.
Clashing Grounds #2: Cherub
The second superboss of this dungeon is the familiar two-headed tiger.
Things go in the usual way.
Eventually we hit him with a spell, as expected. Spell counter attacks are one of the better strategies against bosses in this game.
He can hit for this kind of damage--did I mention that this is one of the bosses who gets to attack twice per turn? Yeah, the level 37 Escher and Musiea would have died here pretty quickly!
Eventually, a nice critical...
...ends this fight.
Our reward for beating these two bosses is again new clothes for Musiea.
We can return to the main hall and go to the second dungeon now.
When we get to the select screen, we notice something interesting. All four stars are finally filled out for the first dungeon. So now at least it's clear what those were for. Next boss, please!
Ancient Path of Death #1: Dante
This guy is NOT in fact a recolour of a previous boss!
But we can damage him quite easily, so this won't last long.
And indeed, it does not.
Perhaps unexpectedly, he gives us a new set of genes: Dinosaur genes!
Ancient Path of Death #2: Sephiroth
This one is a familiar turtle with the forest growing on its back.
This goes on for a while in a boring way. He does this non-elemental magical attack...
...and we do this. Repeat.
But then I miscalculate...
...and Musiea's KOd.
And just as I revive her, the boss KOs Escher. So now I have to revive him. All this time, the boss is actually one hit away from death, so I could have just attacked with the remaining character, but oh well.
Eventually I do manage.
The final result: a weapon upgrade for Musiea.
Ocean of Origins #1: Brahma
Ah yes, our old friend, the stomping elephant. He, too, can do two attacks per turn.
We can damage him quite well, though. I wish I could say that something interesting happens in this battle, but it really doesn't although it lasts a while as we trade blows back and forth.
It just ends like this.
Ocean of Origins #2: Lethal Gene
That's the recolour of the very first boss we fought (even though they are recolours, they are not in the same order as before!).
He is extremely weak to magic, so this is over in just a couple of turns!
Of course, the result is better clothes for Escher.
Purgatory #1: Tin Man
The fight goes largely the same as the previous.
Before we go and fight the last of these bosses, you may ask... how much damage are we doing right now to the normal enemies (bear in mind, we are around level 60 and they are 71-80)?
This much damage, actually.
And how much damage you think they can deal to us (when they manage to hit us)?
About this much. Yeah, the damage calculation formula and the leveling up in this game is very lopsided.
But more interestingly, along the way, in a random battle, we run into this guy. Tomorrow Billiken is a more advanced version of the ordinary Billiken.
Of course I will use this item, because why not?
How much EXP will we get for defeating him?
Wow, 252,098? That's... a bit more than I expected. Let's see... how many levels is that...
Ok, that's way more than I thought. And we don't even really need those levels at this point, but I'm not complaining. I think these enemies are a bit like Cactuars in Final Fantasy: rare, a bit evasive, but give tons of EXP if you manage to defeat them.
Ok, now it's the time for last superboss..
Purgatory #2: Libido
This jerk. This is the only actually HARD battle of these eight. First of all, if you have enough HP (like we do), then he'll not at least kill you immediately, but you may still find it difficult to make progress due to a particularly annoying attack that he has.
At first it doesn't seem it will be so hard, look at that damage that we are doing.
Of course he's not doing so badly against us, either. Did I mention that he gets to attack twice in every turn? Of course he does.
Eventually, he starts doing this. The move is called "Steal HP" and it takes your HP to heal him. If you keep attacking in pairs, he will be constantly taking around 6000 HP from you to heal, so you will find that you are making little to no progress in damaging him.
The answer is to drop the pair attack and have only Escher attack and keep Musiea on support. This way he'll only be able to heal for about 3000 every time he does that, which is a lot more manageable.
So we do end up here, although he may kill you once or twice as you attempt this.
P.S. Remember the name of this boss. It will be important later.
Of course the result is the improved weapon for Escher.
And this makes eight. Now we can go back to the hall. Let's see what Piu-Piu has to say to all of this...
Nothing looks different, and yet, something big is happening right underneath the surface.
The door has been opened.
The door that will change everything, forever.
Now it's time to walk through it, one step at a time...
Um, what door are we talking about here?
All dungeons are completed now. If we scroll down...
There's the original door, leading to the outside world... we're not going to go there.
But, there is another new destination available... Bereshith Road. Hmm.