Part 66: Episode LX: Lynx and the Cursed Sword Masamune
It seems everyone has decided to get a breath of fresh air during Karsh's little flashback. Though, Dario seems to be getting a bit antsy with the whole possessed bloodlust thing.
"No friggin' duh, gramps. Glad you decided to stop by to continue the obvious statement barrage. Eh?"
"...What are you looking at me for, junior?"
"I miss Harle."
"I guess there's no way outta this!"
"I cannot face Dario in battle!"
"C'mon. A few good dozen knocks to the noggin is just the ticket to clear up this amnesia crap. Best therapy around!"
"I've never heard that before..."
"The other dimension has made huge medical breakthroughs for this kinda stuff. Trust me."
"To abolish the darkness, we must defeat the Masamune! It is the only way to save Dario!"
We have to be well into the double digits in the "enmity" usage tally.
Music: Prisoners of Fate
Time to face off against Dario. The fourth of the previous trio of the Four Devas is probably one of the hardest bosses in the game. He's got nearly 4000 HP, hits like a truck, has high evasion stats, tons of stamina, can counter every single type of element spell immediately, and is just a general asshole.
Dario's physical attacks hit for 50-100 HP with each strike and he always attacks 2-3 times in a row. So, if he's feeling spunky, he can easily shave off three quarters of someone's health bar on a whim.
On top of that, he has far more potent, Black innate versions of the Techs his little brother, Glenn, possesses. Dash&Gash can do 200-300 HP of damage and 400+ (or an instant kill) if it hits for a critical strike. SonicSword is a bit less damaging at only 150+ damage. Both can inflict the Darkness status to rain on your parade even more than knocking off 80% of someone's health bar.
As I mentioned previously, Dario also has retaliations to Elements, not unlike the Black and Fire Dragons. Unlike them, he doesn't just do this for his elemental weakness. He does this for every element.
Element Cast - Retaliation
Green - LoRes (lowers defense stat)
Black - RecoverAll (regains around 300 HP)
Blue - Weaken (nerfs characters physical attacks)
Yellow - BatEye (greatly reduces accuracy)
White - ConductaRod (Heavy hitting black element tech.)
On top of all that, Dario also has a stable of high level elements of every color of the rainbow. So yeah...kinda of a tough fight... The basic strategy is to pretty much avoid elements all together and just stick to physical attacks. Strapping the Black Plate to Riddel's squishy mage ass and putting her on healing duty, and hoping for the best.
But...fuck that noise... Let's break the game.
Luckily, there is a way to cheese the fuck out of the fight by abusing the hell out of Dario's AI in order to make it a complete cake walk instead of ball-bustingly difficult.
This method takes a while, especially since Riddel's weaksauce ass is required for the fight. But, it makes things very, very, very easy with extremely minimal risk. Old Dario's little insta-retaliation to elements business means he is extremely vulnerable to a hole in his AI that will basically render him impotent for the entire fight. He'll literally only do 2-3 physical attacks to someone at the start of the battle and then never attack again.
What you've got to do is stock up all three characters with as many Red innate elements as possible and make sure their weapons are the top of the line for this leg of the game. Then, what you do is do six weak physical attacks in a row.
The character in question will now have one stamina point left. With their final bit of energy, they need to cast a Red innate element. It doesn't matter the strength, though stronger is better of course. Just so long as it is Red.
Dario will immediately fire off a Numble element. All this does is lower the effected character's evasion stat. It deals no damage on its own.
Then, you have the next character up to bat do the exact same thing. Dario will follow suit. Keeping with this pattern, once the other two characters do their six physical attacks + Red element, the first character will have full stamina, allowing the cycle to continue with Dario pissing away every single turn casting Numble until he is chipped away to death. I guess the Masamune does not augment one's intelligence.
There are other ways to exploit his AI for an easy win, like equipping the Black Plate on Lynx and having him use White elements instead for a free heal full heal by Dario's ConductaRod Tech or going for one of the other status effect dealing counters. But personally, I was always drowning in Red elements so it seems the natural way if you don't feel like fighting fair.
In any case, Dario eventually succumbs to his aggressive physical therapy and the battle ends. Sorry, no level up for the secret super boss.
"Hmph! It appears the Masamune found a new master."
"Oh, COME ON!"
"Do not panic. Look around you."
"Birds....! The birds that fled are coming back!"
"So...we're in the middle of the friggin' woods! There's *always* friggin' birds around! Are we really judging dumbass flying rats as to whether or not the crazy magic flying sword is evil or not anymore? Really?"
"There is no more fear of succumbing to its enmity."
"Seriously, dude. Please look up a synonym to 'enmity' already. You're old enough to have a decent vocab by now. It's getting pretty damn grating... And are we really listening to you as the expert for dealing with being possessed by swords. I know you have first hand experience and all but if you were any good at detecting that sorta thing in the first place you...probably...wouldn't have had any of this happen to begin with..."
The Masamune begins speaking to itself...
Masa: "Yeah... But looking back... I think we've done something terrible."
Mune: "Oh man... All the retcons are giving me such a headache..."
Masa: "I said I wanted to be the wind. Not wind up in a crummy sequel. How did that even happen?"
Mune: "What's that...tingly feeling? Do you feel that...?"
Masa: "Aww geez... Were we in an anime too? I think that's what it was. Yeah...that's definitely a grimy anime feeling."
Mune: "Worse than that... A retcon epilogue anime! Two of 'em!"
Masa: "Oh...that's just...in poor taste. Downright disdainful, even. I hope nobody finds out."
Mune: "Heh heh... No one will know if we don't tell."
Masa: "Yikes! It's Doreen!"
Mune: "N-Nothing! We don't remember a thing!"
Doreen: "Hmmm, I see... Well, just to make sure you're not up to any mischief... I'm coming along."
Masa: "Alright! How many centuries has it been since the 3 of us got together!?"
Doreen: "OK then, let's go!"
"What the FUCK was that all about...?"
"This is dumb... Just take the stupid sword and get on with it."
"Gonna have to agree with you for once."
And so Lynx earns the Mastermune swallow - arguably his strongest weapon in the game. There is another weapon that has better stats. But, the Mastermune has the advantage of having a ridiculously high critical strike chance, making it more likely to deal more damage overall in the long run.
"On some crappy island with one less legendary sword in your possession, ya chump."
"Riddel... Is that you, Riddel? What happened to me?"
"Dario... Thank goodness... Your memory has returned."
"Memory? Oh, yes... I had taken a hold of the Masamune when..."
"You got wacked cuz you're weak. Twice. Three times if you count the other dimension. You're pretty much the worst evil sword possessed dude ever."
"Ahh, forget about it!"
"Although your memory has returned, let us not forget the harsh reality which lies in wait. Come."
"Anyone ever tell you you're kind of an asshole, gramps? Big help in that fight before, by the way. What? Did your dick punching hand get a cramp?"
"You seemed to handle the situation well enough."
"Oh...the situation...? You mean the guy you murdered possessing his son to go on a blood lust murder rampage? That situation?"
"You're an asshole, gramps."
"I have been prepared for this day..."
"Oh yeah... Sorry I broke into your house and found the guy you'd nursed back to health and decide to come back with his much younger, hotter girlfriend. I mean...it's kinda funny if you think about it. Heh. I mean, what are the odds? I just stopped here to take a quick piss. Funny how things work out, eh? Heh..."
"Farewell.... I wish you all the best..."
"Geez...what's her problem?"
The woman returns to her hut. Probably to go hang herself now that we've busted in and stolen her only friend away. All in a day's work!
"Inexperienced and incomplete... However, by living as such, we may change for the better into something bigger... Something more...gentle..."
"Seriously, Riddel. Your name is already a snake pun. Enough with the sex euphemisms. Sheesh."
"Come. Master Dario hasn't had enough of his day ruined yet. To Viper Manor."
Some time later at the ruins of Viper Manor...
Reminicence ~ Unerasable Memory
"Where have the general and the others gone? Riddel, you said that you all came from another world. Then where are Karsh, you, and the others in this world?"
"Unfortunately, no one from Viper Manor who went to the Dead Sea will return."
"They were caught in a time-space thingamajig in the Dead Sea."
"And that means?"
"They're all dead, dude. Very, very dead."
"In search of the Frozen Flame... They were swallowed up by a terminated time line...and have perished along with the Dead Sea..."
<sigh> "How ironic that it is I who have survived..."
"But Dario... You still have me."
"We may be from different worlds, but you are you, and I am I."
"That...isn't really how it works. For all you know this Dario got boozed up every night and beat you senseless before bending you over a table and then stumbling off to bed."
"What!? All you jerks are taking this alternate dimension thing WAY the hell too lightly! Seriously, everyone who ISN'T dead in one of the two dimensions raise your hand."
"Not so fast, gramps. You could have tripped down the ladder to your house and broke your neck since we last saw the other you."
"Nope. You got upper cut into acid. FATALITY flashed on the screen in bloody letters and everything."
Music: Dragon Knight
"There ain't no one who can take my life! Gah-haha-ha! ZOAH and Marcy are here, too... We can also call the old dragon stable keeper!"
"Yeah...don't tell me you hired that shin-kicker when she was like five years old. Seriously, this is what I mean about these whole alternate timelines."
"Wait...wasn't she among those at the Dead Sea...? Wouldn't she have been around six years old...?"
"See! You're getting it now, gramps. That is fucked! These alternate dimensions are some messed up stuff. It's not like riding a boat across the bay. Geez!"
"I guess you are right. I am alive. And I will do whatever I must do."
"So uhh...what's that gonna be? You're kinda...unemployed at this point."
"I do not know how many years it will take, but I will rebuild Viper Manor. It is my duty."
"Did anyone mention to him that the Porre Empire invaded too? Well, the Porre Empire invaded too. They might have issue with that. Just sayin'... I really wouldn't worry about them too much. They are...well...not very good...at anything...ever..."
"My, my, my... Perhaps it's about time I came out of retirement... Time for one last hurrah! Hoh-hoh-hoh!"
"OH YEAH! Bring it on! Even though we may be from different worlds, the 4 Devas are back in business!"
Dario nearly keels over...
"I don't think you're fit for battle, yet."
"Forgive me... Four years of isolation have taken their toll."
"You coulda fooled me... But seriously, you should sue that lady. I dunno what was going on back there but I don't think it was very therapeutic..."
"Are you alright?"
"Riddel... I want you to take this."
Oh yeah, we also get Riddel's rather lame Level 7 Tech as a compromise for Dario being the only jerk that by all accounts should be joining our party but does not.
And that's a wrap for Dario's sidequest. Shockingly enough, Dario really will start rebuilding Viper Manor during the course of the game and not just walk in the ruins of the place and idly talk about it. But, that is a story for another day...
Chrono Cross Game Over Sequence
Riddel's Snake Fangs