The Let's Play Archive

Conception Plus: Maidens of the Twelve Stars

by Psycho Knight

Part 31: Couldn't see a thing but open skies

Update XI: Couldn’t see a thing but open skies
Song Title Reference: Maybe I’m a Leo – Deep Purple (I’ll be honest, I’m reaching for this update title. I don’t have much to work with)

Here we go, it’s finally time to clear out the last Seasonal Labyrinth. From now on, the dungeon segments will only involve Floors 11-15 of whatever Star Sign I decide to tackle because we’ve already cleared Floors 1-10 in every season (remember, the Seasonal Labyrinths are the same up until Floor 10, which is where they split into 3 Star Signs).

Summer was getting a boost at the time I decided to start this, but I just decided to go in anyway since the enemies on Floors 1-5 are no threat to the current Star Children even with their seasonal stat boost. Once we hit Floor 5 and beat the boss there, Mana will drag us outside and the game will skip forward a week into Fall, so the boost isn’t going to stick around for very long anyway.

The Summer Labyrinth is about what you would expect. It looks really hot. Not a place I would like. I mentioned in the Winter Labyrinth that I’m a man of the cold.

We’re still rocking the same group of Star Children and probably will be for some time. They’re doing a good job of ripping through everything in their path and responding to whatever elements come their way, so I’ll probably keep using them for at least two more Labyrinths after this one. Once we’ve cleared six different Labyrinths, we should finally get access to all Star Child classes. At that point, I’ll hold another vote and change up the teams once more (possibly for the final time in this LP).

Nothing much happens during the first five floors. Roy and Alberta snag lance upgrades which appear to be a stick with a boxing glove strapped to one end. I give it to Alberta, but I hold back on Roy since he has a Wind-element lance and the boost in attack that Glorious gives is not worth the loss of an attack element (especially in this Labyrinth, where there are a lot of Fire and Earth enemies).

No new enemies to show, so we jump right into the Floor 5 guardian.

Watch for its tail.

We’re not afraid of this thing. Come on, everyone!

Go, Itsuki! Show it what you’re made of!

We are definitely not afraid of this thing. Its stats are fairly impressive (granted I believe they are being boosted because it’s also Summer in Granvania) but they still don’t compare to our teams. Furthermore, it’s a Fire element enemy and Ice/Water are sort of Team Psycho Knight and Team Canada 2.0’s specialty.

It is fast, I will give it that though. Itsuki is the only one that can outrun it, but it doesn’t have the offensive output to really make use of that.

Team Canada 2.0 doesn’t even get to attack it with their Icicle Fang skill. Team Psycho Knight hits it with Absolute Zero and then Team A(wful) just finishes it off.

I’m glad you didn’t fall victim to that sharp tail.

Eh. It was fast, but it’s nothing we couldn’t handle. I feel like I might have done too much grinding, although I guess the world is at stake so I shouldn’t be thinking of it like that.

Itsuki! Up ahead is the Imperial Flame Labyrinth. The enemies are even stronger there, so don’t let your guard down.

I know, I know. We should head back first, though. I want to give the Star Children a short break.

Then do you wanna return to the surface to regroup?

Yeah, let’s go.

I only include this part because it’s the last time we’ll see these scenes. They’re generic, but I figured I should show them one last time.

Nothing going on back in Granvania this time as far as events go, but we did pick up a quest item during our short time in the dungeon. I’m pretty sure Templar’s Belt can be found fairly easily (considering I got it somewhere in Floors 1-5 of a Labyrinth), but I’ve also never turned in this quest before. Weird. There is an exclamation point next to the “Tavern” section of Granvania whenever you are able to turn in a new quest, so I doubt I just ended up selling all the Templar’s Belts I’ve gotten up to now. Maybe I really did just have terrible luck. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Anyway, the reason I point out this quest is because of the reward. Turning in the first quest opens up another one called Four Seasons’ Peak. I already had a pair of Tracker Gloves, so I turned this quest in right away. The rewards for these quests are a sword called “Enterbladement” and a staff called “Award Staff.” They have…

…interesting designs. Enterbrain is a Japanese publisher under Kadokawa Future Publishing, which is itself a division of the Kadokawa Corporation (a media group in Japan that has their hands in a lot of pies, as it were). I’ll only focus on Enterbrain, because Kadokawa has way too many franchises and properties under its belt to list here.

Enterbrain hasn’t done a lot in terms of video games. They helped work on the RPG Maker series and have published a handful of titles, although I don’t think any of them ever saw an English release. Enterbrain’s main focus is on their magazine and light novel publications, although they’ve also released a few table-top games as well.

The reason for this in-game appearance is because Enterbrain published the Official Guidebook for Conception (the original PSP version) back in 2012. They didn’t do one for Conception PLUS, but I guess the developers decided to leave the items in anyway.

The weapons aren’t bad, but they probably would have been more beneficial to us if we had gotten them sooner. The Award Staff is 6 points better for MAT than the Planet Rod+ that I’ve equipped to every Sage, but the trade off is a huge loss of DEF and a not-insignificant hit to MDF.

The sword is even less useful. Calamity+ barely edges it out for ATK and crushes it in terms of MAT/MDF boosts (Enterbladement has -546 MAT and -150 MDF compared to Calamity+). The only boost Enterbladement gives is a +75 to DEF, which is not worth it even with the Light element attack.

Still, I hang on to both of them since they are unique weapons. Meanwhile, back in the dungeon, we start running in to the elemental generic versions of that lizard we just froze to death.

In terms of new enemies, we’ve got these ladies. I’m fairly sure we haven’t seen Cassiopeiarus or variants of her before, but I could be wrong. Honestly, these things blur together when you’re tearing through these dungeons (and watching Youtube videos off to the side).

And of course there’s still floor traps. All of our teams have a skill called “Remove” which will block these traps from going off for a while, but the spell doesn’t last long enough to make it worth constantly reapplying. I think you can run through two rooms and the connecting hallway before it wears off.

Oh well, it’s not like we’re hurting for items at this point. Or cash (you may have noticed back in the first screenshot that we’re sitting at over half a million). Speeding through the entry portions of these Labyrinths in order to train up new Star Children will quickly leave your item bag overflowing with certain items, not to mention all the equipment you can get and sell.

Money won’t be a problem anymore at this point. All the good equipment comes from scouring the Star Sign portions of the Labyrinths (the stuff that the shop in Granvania sells is horribly out of date) and you will quickly cap out on the Potion and Mana Stone items since they are the most common Treasure Chest items. Potions and Mana Stones will act as your out-of-battle healing, which will let you hang on to the more important Potion EX/F and Mana Stone EX/F. The only thing I spend money on anymore is Day Camp (I could be using Scavenger more, I guess. I just never remember to do it).

Floor 10 boss, here we go. The last common boss that we’ll see for the rest of the game, unless the final Labyrinth decides to throw mini-bosses in, I guess.

And it’s even holding weapons!

It’s just a spear, Mana. Calm down. We can take it.

Go get ‘em, Itsuki! We’re only a few steps away from the deepest part of the labyrinth!

Serpens has two of those Fornax skeleton floating things as back up, but they are earth based and therefore Team A(wful) will use Cyclone to sweep the floor with them.

Serpens itself has good physical defence, but it’s lacking on the magic defence front. It’s also Fire element, which means-

Yeah. Serpens manages to hit Team Psycho Knight with Burning Fuse for about 1100 damage (slightly less than half their health), then promptly gets killed by them in retaliation. One helper is already gone thanks to Team A(wful) and the other helper was going for a charge attack that is about to whiff because nobody is standing in the attack zone and I can simply position Itsuki/the Star Children off to the sides. Everyone gangs up on the last helper and it quickly dies.

All Impurities will suffer the wrath of our overwhelming magical firepower!

From here, you can go to the Cancer, Leo, and Virgo Labyrinths. The Impurities will be stronger than before. How about returning to the surface so you can regroup? I see a dimensional rift over there.

Sure. The Star Children could use a minute to cool down.

~Stardust Labyrinth Entrance~

Hm… Speaking of the Summer Labyrinth…

You all know where this is going.

I heard from Mahiru that on Sora, there’s a country called Japan… In the summer, you all supposedly go to the beach.

I have a feeling that Mana came up with that last part. Doesn’t seem like something Mahiru would say.

You even stay under the sun until you get burnt. Is that true?

Well, technically that’s all true, to some degree. I’ve heard of nudist beaches before, and I guess tanning can cause burns. That’s not what people set out do to though. We just lay on the beach to get a tan from the sun to darken the skin a little.

So it’s true?! Hmm… When Mahiru told me that, I thought she was just pulling my leg. Why would the humans of Sora do something to hurt themselves like that? You’re practically cooking yourself!

It’s a beauty thing. Beauty things are usually painful or risky in one way or another.

You’re overthinking it. The main reason to go is so that we can swim in the ocean. Don’t people in Granvania do that?

It’s one thing to swim in lakes or pools, but there are dangerous creatures in the ocean.


You’ll be fish food immediately.

What the hell is swimming around in Granvania’s waters? In Conception II the ocean was dangerous because there were underwater Nests which spawned underwater monsters, but this world doesn’t really have that problem because the Impurities are (almost) entirely contained to the Labyrinths. So if it’s not Impurity monsters, then what kind of horrible Cthulhu beasts are down there?

However! I really like the idea of tanning for some reason! It makes me wanna go to Sora.

I was going to question why Mana would care bout tanning because she’s a racoon or tanuki or… whatever the hell she is, but then I realized that she’s probably interested in it because she can watch girls tanning in swimsuits.

Speaking of… is there a particular name for a character that isn’t human but is still perverted and also seems to be attracted to dudes and chicks? That stuffed toy thing from Bleach is pretty close to Mana, but I don’t think he/she was ever down for the Y chromosome.

But anyway, I wanna recommend this beach-going custom to the king. Now that people can’t get it on with each other, they need other forms of entertainment.

I’ll ask the king to make this beach going custom more widespread!

Like, why would Mana even get turned on by the idea of the Star Maidens or Itsuki or any of that stuff? Is it all just a façade in order to screw with people because she finds it fun? Does she—Never mind, that’s going in a direction I don’t want the answer to. We already know more than we should about Mana.

~Palace Throne Room~

I heard from Mana. Narcisstes, I trust you will arrange for the people to go to the beach every summer.

Understood, Your Majesty.

You can do that?! Why the fuck haven’t you already done it?! Why is everyone in this world so stupid?!

I hate Granvania!

Oh, and when the time comes to go to the beach, you better ask a girl out. Maybe they’ll even invite you! Either way, go out and enjoy looking at the Star Maidens in their swimsuits.

We’re going back to the Labyrinths. If we don’t do it now then I may lose my motivation and just not finish the LP, because then I can imagine that Itsuki never accomplished his mission and Granvania was cleansed of the rampant idiocy that infects it.

I pick Leo because whatever. Femiruna is highest in the polling for these three, I guess. Just get me back to killing things as quickly as possible.

The Leo Labyrinth appears to take a few cues from Femiruna’s stylist. The columns along the walls have her dress design and some of them are topped with wigs that look like her hair. Neat.

No new enemies, other than generic versions of Serpens. There’s another weapon upgrade for Alberta though. That’s nice.

Manitoba also finally gets a decent Bow upgrade.

I offer up an extra Champion Lance to a shrine at one point, and in return get a Royal Lance+. So Roy gets a lance upgrade. Roy picked up an upgrade to his Windus lance (called El Windus) somewhere along the way, but the ATK increase from Royal Lance+ is enough to justify losing the Wind-elemental damage (Team A(wful) still has Cyclone).

Alberta then gets another lance upgrade of her own. It’s a rifle with a bayonet on it, which is cool. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually shoot stuff though.

Then Manitoba gets another upgrade. Demon Wing+ has Dark element for its attack, which is much appreciated since that will bump his damage against the base elements.

Just before the Labyrinth Boss, Itsuki hits Level 38 and picks up the skill Terra.

It was surprisingly disappointing for such a late skill. It does attack from all four directions, so it has the potential to be very devastating (on enemies with more than one weak point), but I was expecting more. I guess it will be handy for enemies that have strong physical defence, though.

One last lance upgrade. This one goes to Alberta.

Okay, so I did collect another lance afterward, but I didn’t equip it. The SUM-Brella is actually pretty good (better attack than Royal Lance) and it has Water element attack, but the Bayonet+ that Albeta was using has much better ATK, so I give that to Roy instead.

The Leo Boss is looking pretty imposing.

We must defeat it and enshrine the Leo Star Offering! Let’s do this! This is Giatores of Leo. It’s a Fire element Impurity God!

Meaning that it’s already dead.

It’s quick and its regular attacks deal massive damage! But it’s not good with magic attacks, and its regular defense is low!

Watch: Giatores Boss Fight

Like Mana just told us, Giatores is strong and is a brick wall when it comes to physical defence. Unlike what Mana told us, it is not “quick”, at least not in terms of skill recovery time (you’ll see what I mean in a little bit).

Like every boss, Giatores is accompanied by elemental Crater enemies. Fire and Earth, just like the last Star God we faced. The same strategy applies here. Focus on smearing the support enemies first while trying to get Giatores to waste its turns moving around the battlefield trying to catch you. You should have enough of a Speed advantage that all of your teams and Itsuki will be able to get a turn before the enemies.

This is important, because leaving one team behind to try and tank Giatores is not a great idea. I have Team A(wful) and Itsuki tackle the Earth Crater while Team Canada 2.0 and Team Psycho Knight take out the Fire Crater. Both are dead before any of the enemies are even able to move.

Giatores moves in behind Itsuki and Team A(wful), then Itsuki and Team Canada 2.0 swing around his back in order to start chipping away at his HP.

Giatores’ counterattack is brutally effective. Both Itsuki and Team Canada 2.0 need to be healed or they are going to bite it next turn. I have Team Psycho Knight heal Itsuki (since it’s game over if he goes down) and I leave Team Canada 2.0 to hopefully weather the coming storm.

I do this so that I can get Team A(wful) into position with Rite of Auras, which deals damage and also gives them a damage reduction buff.

The gamble pays off, as Team Canada 2.0 is able to hold on (Manitoba is somehow the only one to survive the hit, despite the fact that he’s the only “base” class in the group).

Unfortunately, Giatores isn’t done. Here is the caveat I mentioned in the boss intro. Despite Giatores not having great speed, he does benefit from having ridiculous physical attack. That means that he doesn’t really have to use any skills or spells in order to be a threat. Spells, items, and skills (the player's primary means of fighting) have a greater cooldown than regular attacks.

Those of you that read through the CII thread will remember a certain character making great use of this battle feature by just standing in the middle and basically spinning in circles like a blender while the player desperately tries to stay healed and mount some kind of offense. Even if you are faster, a slower enemy can still outrun you if they stick to attacks with shorter delays than what you are doing.

Giatores is thankfully limited to only being able to hit from 1 or 2 directions as opposed to all directions at once, but he can still catch you in a tricky situation. I had Itsuki defend that attack, which was risky, but it paid off. Team Canada 2.0 goes down, but Team Psycho Knight (who are safely out of harm’s way in another part of the battlefield) immediately revive them with a full revive. Itsuki then pops a heal of his own before Giatores takes another swing.

However, the brief stalling has worked, and I’m finally put into a good attack position. Everyone proceeds to dump on Giatores and Team Canada 2.0 takes sweet maple-flavoured revenge for their recent KO’ing by nailing the boss with an Icicle Fang-

Sorry, I mean a Critical Icicle Fang that hits the damage cap. The battle is over at this point, but I take the cautious route and have Team A(wful) use their turn to heal Itsuki. Giatores ends up turning away from Itsuki and swipes at Team A(wful) instead, but nobody goes down as a result so I don’t regret taking the safe route. I already took an unnecessary risk in this fight with Itsuki, so I didn’t want to press my luck and have something go horribly awry at the clutch moment. If Team A(wful) had somehow missed or otherwise failed to finish off Giatores in their turn, then he definitely would have ended Itsuki during his turn. Then I’d be complaining about how bullshit every RPG with an “MC defeat=instant game over” condition is as I march back through the last five floors in order to start the boss fight over.

Then I’d proceed to look over at my wall of games and remember that I’ve played Persona 3-5, Nocturne, Resonance of Fate, SaGa Frontier, Infinite Space, Conception II and Valkyria Chronicles which all had that same stipulation and which I all got pissed off at at some point or another for the exact same reason.

What were we doing again? …Right, we killed Giatores or whatever the hell it was. Leo Labyrinth is now sealed and the same cutscene plays where Itsuki throws a thing into the big screw in the ground and Mana celebrates, then we go back to the surface and-