Part 60: All the burdens gone; Open the chest once moreUpdate XX: All the burdens gone; Open the chest once more
Song Title Reference: Dark Chest of Wonders - By Nightwish
This is it. The last Star Labyrinth/Impurity God/whatever the fuck we need to seal or kill in order to be done with the prep work. After this, its nothing but Ophiuchus standing between us and the end of this LP well, the story portion of it anyway. Theres still some extra updates after, including the last 3 episodes of the anime but thats future PKs problem.
Pisces is the final Labyrinth. Im not sure how much story content the ending will be composed of, so after we finish up here, well be heading to Ophiuchus for a little bit just to scope things out. That way well be able to get straight to the 13th Phantom next time.
It has a Yuzuha theme. Thats about it. The only thing I can find to say about it is that the little fins coming out of the columns look like Yuzuhas hair.
I will say that the Pisces Blessing room has one of the better effects. This might have been one of the better labyrinths to start with, because early on you dont have access to skills like Remove. That said, these rooms only appear occasionally, so its not going to make or break your run.
The only equipment we pick up in here is from an Item Shrine. Its a minor upgrade to the Holy Tree Lance, but in a strange sense. Holy Tower Lance has much higher MAT than Holy Tree Lance (as well as slightly higher ATK), but it has much less LUC (310 less). However, it adds the Light element attack that Holy Tree Lance didnt have. Usually weapons of the same design just have better stats instead of pros and cons.
Oh yeah, and Holy Tower Lance is based on Tokyo Tower instead of Tokyo Skytree. They didnt tweak the design (Tokyo Tower has an Eiffel Tower design, with a square observation deck/base. Skytree has a circular deck/triangular base closer to the CN Tower), but the name and the colour scheme match with Tokyo Tower.
This dude looks so doofy and I love it.
Mana tells us that Infideles has a good balance of offence and defence. It also has attacks that can drop speed, which can pose a decent threat. Speed is the one thing in this game that you dont want to be reduced.
The balance of offence and defence is fairly on point. Infideles doesnt have crazy MAT, but its regular ATK is pretty beefy and its DEF/MDF is serviceable. I recommend taking the magic route in this battle, if possible. Infideles will actually take advantage of speed, so you dont want to drag this fight out too long. Of course, this is if you wind up fighting it earlier on. At the stage were at, we could easily drag this battle out for as long as we felt like and still not come close to biting it.
A quick note: Infideles actually has 2 magic attack elements. Water and Earth. This isnt a huge deal (youd be pretty foolish to roll into the Pisces Boss with a majority Fire team), but it does mean that Wind (or Dark, if you have it) will be the only safe defensive element. Earth is supereffective against Water teams and Water will be supereffective against Fire teams. Light and Earth are also options if you want Neutral defence.
Attacking is much simpler. Just try and bring along Dark or Earth spells.
Theres also the mandatory Crater enemies to deal with. They should always be the first targets, since Bosses cant bring them back.
Oddly, despite getting a Chain Drive off immediately, Infideles and the Craters dont suffer any turn delay.
Team A(wful) MECUNITEs and takes out the two Craters. Then Team C eats fish tail for nearly 2k. That is fairly scary. Even more so when you remember that this is reduced damage (Team C has Earth element defence). On top of that, Infideles then gets another turn right after Team Cs. He seems to have a very short delay on his actions. Its not as though his speed is insane, so there must be something else going on.
Seeing as how Infideles likes to try and cripple speed, I decide to take the same approach and have Team B use a team skill called Snail Wind. Snail Wind is a strong attack that can also lower SPD and MAT by 10%.
Also, Team B has a frankly stupid Crit rate. So thats a bonus.
Still not a challenge, but I will applaud Infideles for at least providing some resistance. It at least took a few swings on its way to hell.
Mana has a few words for us now that weve taken out all 12 Impurity Gods.
Great. Now that thats done, we can focus on Ophiuchus.
Come on, Itsuki. Lets go back to the surface.
And thats it. Back to the world map.
I turn in the final boss quest and check out what I have left to do in terms of regular quests. Ill be honest with you, I was intending to complete all the quests to see if any special ones popped up, but there is a small detail that I forgot about when it comes to quests.
I went to check the database after this and see how many ??? quests were left. Turns out I only have 56% of them done. How can I be missing that many when theres only 4 or 5 Ophiuchus quests open at the moment?
Turns out that the Star Maidens have 3 quests each to dish out (except Alfie), for a total of 36. Do you remember waaaaay back at the start of the game where it was mentioned that Star Maidens will sometimes call up Itsuki and ask him to fulfill a request? Me neither. But apparently that is something they can do (although it has never happened to me throughout this entire game).
From what I read, it happens randomly when they call you either in a dungeon or when you are in the middle of an event with another Star Maiden. Also, the quests are repeatable, so you could wind up getting a quest youve already completed. Fun stuff.
Im not doing that. At least that is what I am currently telling myself.
I will have that Photon Blade for Itsuki though. I swear it.
Anyway, the shop finally has new equipment in stock that we dont already have better versions of.
Not all of them are better, but there are a few. Guto is a straight upgrade to Itsukis Bat weapon. A big upgrade in fact (+400 ATK. I later find an upgrade to this in Ophiuchus called Guto Luck which gives Itsuki a +680 to LUC).
More importantly, we are finally free to buy up the stat fruits. They are incredibly expensive, but at this stage of the game money isnt good for much else. The remainder of our equipment upgrades will be coming from the Ophiuchus Labyrinth. I wind up blowing 1 million on five Power Fruit and five Speed Fruit for Itsuki.
I make sure to hang on to 500k in the off chance that more healing items are required. Now, Ive been saying all this time that were stocked to the gills on healing items of every type. So why would I start getting concerned about inventory now?
Because of this. At first glance, Ophiuchus is only a short five floor dungeon.
Just about every enemy type will pop up throughout the course of this dungeon and they will be of the highest-level palette swap. There are some slightly weaker versions thrown into encounters as helpers of the strong one, but all of them are beefy enough to tank several hits from any of your teams. There will be no Gods Poking happening in this dungeon.
Because of that, its rare to come out of a battle completely unscathed. Even taking advantage of Chain Drive, Itsuki and the kids were regularly taking a beating. Youll need to heal everyone up after every two or three battles (sometimes after each battle). This means that potions are going to start quickly vanishing.
The Ophiuchus Labyrinth is also not a fan of those little HP/MP/Status Cure checkpoints that other labyrinths have been littering around. I dont think its possible for them to show up at all in here. The only bonus points have been shops.
The good news is that Ophiuchus is where all the good shit is hiding out. Throughout the first five floors basically every Star Child received an upgrade, either in the form of a weapon or armour. Mokino here is wearing a Haze Ninja Garb, Raitzeno got Libra Mail, Neoman got Lucky Armor+, and Blaze got special Bondsman-only armor called Heart Full Plate.
Those are just some examples. Ill show off everyones final loadout once we are sitting in front of the final boss, because Id imagine weapons and armor will be changing rapidly over the course of this dungeon.
Now, as for the dungeon itself. When I got to floor 5 I decided to make a save and just see if the portal was going to lead straight to the final boss. I was relieved to see that Ophiuchus was only 5 floors, but I was also suspicious of that fact. It couldnt be that simple, could it?
Turns out it wasnt. No, Ophiuchus is indeed 15 floors, just like the other labyrinths. The game just fucks with you by only showing Section 1 at first. Upon hitting the portal on floor 5, the message above is displayed. Its slightly different than normal, as the usual message involves an evil presence or something. What makes the presence familiar?
Yeah, were fighting the boss that we just defeated earlier in the update. Im not sure how the game decides which boss to use or if it just pulls out the last one that you defeated.
I recognize its face, but its giving off a more powerful aura.
Great Well, we beat it once before. We can do it again. Come on, everyone!
Itsuki, dont let your guard down!
Its the same fight we just had, except now Infideles has Crater D enemies with it. As for the boss itself, I think its supposed to be stronger, but these stats look the same as the first time. I compared the two side by side and this version of Infideles is 2 levels higher and some of its stats are maybe 100 higher. Weirdly, its DEF and LUC are somehow lower than the last time we fought it.
Oh well. This is the same as before. Although Infideles managed to put up less of a fight this time for some reason. Strange.
Just... please Conception Plus, please let this just be filler. Dont make me refight all 12 Impurity Gods again in reverse order or something.
Well done! I knew you had it in you, Itsuki!
It it was nothing. Huff
Itsuki, you okay? You look tired We should head to the surface for a little bit.
N-No, Im fine I can keep going. Dont worry about me.
No, were turning back. Unlike other labyrinths, this place will suck away your life force.
I hear that.
Isnt there a proverb on Sora for this? Slow and steady wins the race, right?
That saying is based on a story about a cocky hare that would have totally kicked the shit out of that tortoise if not for the fact that he was an arrogant prick. Slow and steady didnt get the tortoise the win. Hubris caused the hare to lose.
The enemies are even stronger from here on. Dont be a daredevil, Itsuki. Return to the surface and get some rest. This is for everyone, not just you.
Okay. Fine. Well go back and rest.
And then were forced back out to the world map again.
Thats everything worth looking at for now. If I snag any nifty new equipment during my remaining quest grinding then Ill point it out before we tackle the final boss. The rest of Ophiuchus is just going to involve me battling all the same monsters and possibly fighting another recycled boss while hunting for cool new weapons (I ended up fighting Pseudothei again as the Floor 10 Gatekeeper. It was far from being a threat).
Which brings me to the next point. As we are just about to go up against the dreaded 13th Phantom, we need to make a decision on how this is all going to end. I dont know whats going to happen to Itsuki or the Star Maidens or Granvania or anyone else in this game. What I do know is that each Maiden gets some kind of individual ending event (they all have one ??? event after their Final Bonding Event).
Because I think Harem endings are fucking stupid, a final Star Maiden poll was created in order to decide which character ending would be the canonical one for this LP. The results were
not quite as close as I thought they would be. This may have been the result of everyone only getting a single vote. I wanted to let people have 3 each, but the polling site doesnt have advanced options like that. Either I gave everybody a single vote, or I let them all pick however many choices they wanted. I felt this was the better option.
So Aries will be the canonical ending for this LP.
As a consolation, Alfie, Mirei, Ruka, and Femiruna will get detailed endings in an extra update. They were the only Maidens (along with Arie) to get more than a single vote.
Which kind of surprised me to be honest. Well, not so much Alfie, I guess. Alfie remained neck and neck with Arie throughout the entire voting period. Alfie was certainly popular, but I think the late reveal that shes (supposedly) only going to live for 10 years may have given some people pause.
I cant make much sense of the other top Maidens. All three were part of the Top 6 since the second vote (Mirei has always been in the Top 6), so its not necessarily surprising to see them here. I think what I find strange is that they all beat out Farun. Farun really seemed like she was becoming the thread favourite during the Final Bonding Event updates. In comparison, Ruka and Femirunas routes seemed to sputter out and didnt build much excitement. I think Mireis has generally been pretty neutral.
Maybe the Farun supporters just shifted to Alfie/Arie or something.
In case you're wondering, I will be showing the ending CG for each Star Maiden. The other 8 Star Maidens will get short summaries of what happens in their endings and the CGs will be posted.
The only other surprising thing about the poll was that both Reone and Lillith/Lillie came out of it without a single vote. Reones brother thing had been resolved and I thought her final events were really nice. Definitely a turnaround from the middle where we were all being creeped out by her brother complex. Lillith/Lillie have always been one of my least favourite, but the last few events seemed okay. I figured somebody would have voted for them.
The weirdest part (to me) is that Tarua ranked higher than them. Sure, it was only because she got a single vote while they got none, but still.
Oh well. Everyone has their own preferences, I guess. Point is, weve got everything out of the way and our path is clear. Next time: We put an end to the 13th Phantom and save the world! Begrudgingly.