Part 6: "The incident appeared 21 years ago after the large epidemic..."Before the update proper, a mechanics interlude for when this is archived, courtesy of HenryEx:
I looked into some of the elemental states of the game to see how exactly they work. I think these are the ones we've seen so far.
Gives you a chance to automatically defend against an enemy's attack. The chance is not actually fixed, but equal to your Agility! Which makes this potentially very, very good with rising Agility score. I haven't tested it, but if it works with the "Get SP while defending" element it could transform you into a impenetrable torrent of spells. At over 100 Agility you'll block every attack.
+X EXTRA ATTACK
Does pretty much what you think it does. Multiple ones of these stack; if you got +1, +1, +2 on your items, you can potentially attack 5 times per turn.
The chance for this is again reliant on Agility, but with diminishing returns. The chance for your first extra attack is again equal to your Agility score, but every further extra attack cuts the chance in half. So 100 Agility gets you 100% chance for a second attack, 50% for a third, 25% for a fourth etc.
It's probably not worth stacking more than 2, maybe 3 extra attacks.
FAST ATTACK / SLOW ATTACK
This sets your attack priority (which is usually calculated from your and the enemies' Agility) to 9999 and -1, respectively. So it's Always Go First and Always Go Last. Unless you wear both kinds, then they cancel each other out and you get the normal Agility calculation again.
RECOVER SP WHEN DEFENDING
Exactly what it says on the tin. Every time you defend, you recover 10% of your maximum SP. Again, increased usefulness with rising SP Max.
ITEM DROP RATE UP
Flat-out doubles your loot drop chance AFTER all other modifications to it.
For reference: The default drop rate seems to be 7%. Chaining enemies also increases the drop rate.
The enemy loot bonus multiplier is 1 + (# of enemies) * 0.2, so basically a 20% increase per enemy on the original drop rate. Thus fighting 5 enemies doubles the chance on each of their drops.
Then the Drop Rate UP dobles all that again. So if you like to fight multiple enemies at once, the item effect gets EVEN BETTER.
Remember that items level up? I checked to make sure, and it really is tied solely to the amount of battles you fought with the item equipped. Nothing else matters, number of enemies, EXP gained, etc.
For rank 1, you'll need 15 fought battles. Rank 2 requires 50, and rank 3 a hundred battles. It's only really worth getting 3 stars on the best items, since you'll have those equipped for the longest time.
The information on Sporadic Guard is particularly important, and I'll be making a lot of use of it from here on out.
Chapter 06: "The incident appeared 21 years ago after the large epidemic..."
(The Dragon Mountain, Aaron Aaron 2)
Welcome back! This is The Dragon Mountain, marking the first time Camil's doing a dungeon for a reason other than to pass through. As mentioned last time, there's no real music, just the sound of high winds.
The bottle kit this time is 5 Stamina Restores and 5 Energy Restores. Having multiple party members makes the kitout decision sometimes agonizing. Energy Restores revive, too, and status is going to be relevant soon... And since he can only really contribute as a caster, Randolf wants an Energy Restore on. On the other hand, I'm going to need to heal more often, especially since Randolf is lower-levelled.
Randolf doesn't say anything particularly significant when you rerecruit him, which I actually did twice; he's restored to full HP and SP when he leaves the party, and walking into the dungeon with half HP/SP after equipping him didn't appeal.
On the way back, I also stopped by His Memory (new achievement: "take 20 damage in one attack," for a total of six Memory points obtained) and picked up Shout. Shout increases all of Camil's stats for about 5-6 turns, costs 10 SP and requires her to be at 70% stamina, and is the only skill that'll be useful to her as a warrior for some time.
Camil's job here is going to be to kill everything. There's no Abominable Snow Monkeys here (and thank goodness for that), so it's easy to take things one at a time. The Kelde Laude can still utterly devastate, and since she won't ever really be using Energy Restores, the Sporadic Guard on the Turtle Shell helps cut down the amount of healing she needs. Despite not being kitted as a mage, Camil wants her 70% threshold to be as high HP as possible.
Randolf (Cake Attack, I keep trying to type "Joshua" instead, this is your fault) is built as a survivable caster. Unlike Camil, being at full HP isn't a problem, so he's using the Turtle Blood instead of the Bushy Tail. I'll be using about one Lightning a fight, ideally, keeping his SP drain to 2 per battle.
You'll notice back in the first screenshot that Randolf is leading the party. Press D and you switch leaders. Right now, we're the Vaan to his Ashe, the Tiz to his Agnes--this isn't our story to tell.
The game isn't above taking advantage of the visibility problem here.
Find both enemies on this screen!
(If you can't find number two, it's on the bottom-left.)
These little guys, the White Dragon Wisps, are a bit more visible when they're moving, but not by much. Not knowing there's an enemy in the way is sometimes the difference between fighting or not fighting something else, especially since the top guy up there gets aggressive when you have an engagement active.
Their drop, the White Dragon's Breath, gives +14 HP.
Thankfully, Randolf does not fuck around when it comes to magic. The Kelde Laude does 10 on a normal swing, and they have about 45 HP.
The red kobold sprites of the area are these sons of bitches, the White Dragon Knights. (There's a Wisp right behind him.) They do 14 damage to Camil. Wisps do 10, but at least you can one-shot them with Randolf! And Knights are fast, incredibly aggressive, and always know where you are, even if they're not visible. You WILL be fighting every single one of them on the way up.
Edit: Their drop is the Decoration, giving +10 Skill and no abilities. It's useful here, but it's rapidly eclipsed once you pass this dungeon. (Thank you, HenryEx.)
This is the party after one White Dragon Knight and one Wisp.
It's not quite as bad as it looks--the normal black enemies aren't aggressive at all if you're not in a fight, so you can go around and just take out the three other Wisps en route to heal up naturally--but White Dragon Knights are scary and should be treated with full respect.
That said? There's another screen with a White Dragon Knight, and Camil's low starting HP makes for a great demo of Shout.
Camil was doing about 6 to 8 before. Shout really, really helps here--it may be 400 gold but it's worth every penny.
Still a very close fight. Shout doesn't increase defenses, sadly, and the enemies really love to target Camil here.
Also, that level-up... +1 HP/+1 SP/+1 Agility. The lightning is great, Randolf, but you really can't afford to slack off. Camil can catch up with Shout.
Just gold in it. (There was a Wisp there by the chest. I had no idea until it fought me. This is frequent.)
Camil can open rusted chests without even trying, now.
OH FUCK NO. Yeah, this is basically a scripted encounter because of how their AI works! You're fighting both of them unless you're very good about grabbing one and running the hell away.
...but my choices are "fight two White Dragon Knights" or "fight one White Dragon Knight and one enemy, then immediately fight the other Knight." Fighting two of them is the least bad of my options.
Shout up. Thankfully, she's just high enough on HP to survive a full round. Even more thankfully, they hit Camil twice, so Randolf uses a Stamina Restore and I keep going.
Seriously, I cannot recommend coming into The Dragon Mountain without the Kelde Laude and Shout. I had neither on my first playthrough and it was suffering. With them? It's pretty reasonable, especially if you abuse Wisps for healing.
Directly above the first entrance and right of the first chest is this inexplicable save point. (Save in a different slot. It'd be embarrassing to get trapped here.) The Chatty Barber is an incredibly important cooking item, as I recall, so make sure you find it.
Another Wisp next to this treasure chest. Randolf was only at 7 SP, but good Kelde Laude luck meant the regen was basically free anyway! It's nice. Chest had a Glass Fragment, I think.
Unfortunately, the black type of kobold sprite hems me in and forces me to fight him. I was hoping I'd be able to go the entire dungeon then say "yeah by the way, those guys I never fought (), they're..."
"...White Dragon Disciples. Total chumps, though, even if you can't dodge them as well as I do." They go down in one-and-a-half rounds with Randolf's Lightning in play, or just one if you use it and the Laude hits twice. Without him, it takes about three.
Their drop is the Horn, giving +5 Attack and +2 HP. It's obsoleted by the Nails.
The Sagarmatha doesn't seem all that amazing at first! Okay, cool, good attack score, but it's no Kelde Laude.
But it is amazing. Oh it is amazing. +10 Attack and +10 Defense and Sporadic Guard, BEFORE it's leveled up? Sign me the fuck up! That's going on Camil to level as soon as she can spare the Kelde Laude's sheer murder power.
Also, apparently "Sagarmatha" is the Nepalese name for Mount Everest? I'm not sure what pickles have to do with anything; I was hoping "Sagarmatha" was some language's word for "giant barrel" or something. It'd even make sense with the ability and stats!
I kill a Disciple and several Wisps to get over to the area to the right of Mount Everest. You need to bite the bullet and get to the end--it's one of the few areas with respawning, thanks to the enemy at the end.
The Avalanche Spirit is a mini-boss, and it's kind of scary! It has about as much HP as a White Dragon Knight and hits just about as hard, doing about 2-7 damage per hit and hitting three times every turn.
As a one-time enemy, though, it has a fixed drop. The Snow Maiden gives +4 SP and Regenerate SP When Defending--it's worth using for quite a while
(And somehow his second level is EVEN WORSE. +1 HP? That's it? REALLY?)
Another Glass Fragment.
The top area has a bunch of wisps, in case you're running away in that direction for some reason--about five to start.
Past them... The wind stops. There's quite a ways to walk, then...
What's very obviously the way to the boss. Time to take a more and change out equips.
The roles here are pretty simple. Randolf can use Lightning basically every other round this way, saving the 3 Energy Restores for when they're really needed. Other than that, Camil is going to Shout at her first opportunity; she'll heal until then and Randolf will afteraward. I'd like to have Sporadic Guard on Randolf here, but the Rat Slayer is what makes him magically competent (supplying +24 of his current skill), the Energy Restore supplies +12 max SP, and I'd like to have +SP On Defend on him... What could I spare, really?
That said... As Valkama pointed out in thread, I was incorrect on the criteria for red enemies respawning--it's based off time, with each respawning after about 30 to 60 minutes. The White Dragon Knights take 40 minutes and the dungeon is short, so there's really no reason not to get to the end, kill the Knights and the Avalanche Spirit, and then run back down to heal. The Wisps are unthreatening so long as you don't fight a lot all at once (as you can tell, since they supplied the vast majority of my healing) and the Disciples aren't very aggressive.
(There's no portrait, but... It's probably Randolf speaking. Picking "No" just ends the conversation.)
Huh. That's a weird-looking drag
What the fuck is that?
Seriously, what the hell? I just...
Okay. Whatever. We're fighting it.
(And yes, "decisive" is spelled wrong in the song title. I didn't want to stick a [sic] in there.)
Damage shown from Camil's attack; a normal did 15 or so. I pressed a bit too quickly on Lightning, but it did 25. Puff the Magic Dragon will always start with a full-party Poison Gas, which poisons very often. Its other attacks are single-target Poison Gas and double-hit Poison Gas and double-hit target-all Poison Gas. Each version does about 8-9 per hit, and poison is 10% HP, seeming to swing between rounding up or down.
The game is irritatingly sticky with inputs, even after you navigate away, so I accidentally end up attacking with both characters on turn 2. (It's only really a problem with the Enter key, but I hate it.) On turn 3, I Shout and use Lightning again.
One thing that really needs to be highlighted here: Poison takes effect before you act, and Poison can kill. You're nearly always poisoned and therefore need to be very careful about it, especially if you waste turns trying to clear status with Energy Restores.
Edit: As SSNeoman pointed out, the Apples the (normal black on-map) Mutts in The Snow Fields drop prevents poison. This isn't very easy to tell, since it just says "Poison" for its skill description, but it does make this boss notably easier.
And as HenryEx points out, the Jerky also has this ability! Which explains why you get two of them before this boss.
Despite that, Shout takes Camil's normal damage up to Randolf's Lightning and lets her absolutely tear the White Dragon apart. You need that power.
I was out of healing and out of gas, and Randolph couldn't have scratched it with a normal attack. Camil won on the absolute last action I had left.
I've mentioned repeatedly that I am about as strong as you can possibly be here, and I only used two healing items (1 Stamina, 1 Energy) on the way up. Kelde Laude + Shout is the top tier of damage available here, and I still won by virtue of a single extra swing, somewhere down the line.
Now, I did have that sticky inputs thing screw up my second turn, I didn't build one Bottle that I could have, I didn't use the Crimson or Azure Wind skills to debuff (-Attack/Defense), and I did win on the first try (of a second playthrough), but the point remains: The White Dragon is hard. You do not have much room for error, and between targeting, his poison, and his ability to multi-hit, he's worryingly random. And if you screw up, you've got a fair amount dungeon to cross before you can try again.
So you probably shouldn't challenge-mode him like I did by running the mountain in one go. Seriously, go back and heal first.
Edit: Courtesy of HenryEx,
Here's some stats on the White Dragon(?): He has 450 HP and 50 defense, so prepare for a long fight. His only attack, the Poison Gas, can either target just one person, two persons for slightly less damage or one person twice for full damage. Below 50% HP, he also gains two stronger versions of his attack: A triple strike against one person, and a high-powered single-hit that's more than twice as powerful as his normal attack.
And yes, equipping an Apple or a Jerky can help in the fight, since they give Poison immunity.
All the same... We get a fade to black.
(That's the diary that was at his desk. The Demon King Chronicle chapters are blue.)
Yes, despite what his incredibly awful levels may have you suspect, Randolf is a permanent party member!
Randolf grows quite a bit. When he has some levels in him, he'll surpass Camil handily in both Attack and Skill, though all his other stats are lower. Much lower, in some cases. Camil's skills, meanwhile, will grow her into a supportive character, giving her some of the most useful skills in the game.
The blue crystals in His Memory are for him. His three in the second room are all stat-boosting (and therefore will be a long, long time away from purchase), but the third room gives him Light Axe (his second of three attack spells) and Waterboy Resolve, his version of Shout. Despite the "version of Shout" description a second ago and this whole update, it's not worth buying Randolf's; there's no version of Extra Attack+ for spells, and it doesn't add enough damage when it's temporary and costs just as much as Lightning.
Light Axe, meanwhile, is very powerful right now, doing about 2-3x the damage of Lightning at twice the cost. It's one of the most important skills in the game. Shout is still a better first purchase, but Light Axe will be the absolute next thing I buy.
After this kitchen.
...at least the name of the Chatty Barber item makes sense now? I guess?
(Notably, the Roast Rat requires 4x Rat Meat, gives 7 HP, and gives the skill Azure Wind. Azure Wind, like Crimson Wind, requires 95% or less HP to use and decreases an enemy stat--in this case, Defense. Not awful, but much like the Fire Emperor Sword, it's only really a good item if you get the kitchen earlier than this.)
The Dragon Scale item gives +10 Defense and the Trip skill. Stagger causes the target to be unable to act for a turn or two.
In Randolf's room, the diary is gone (of course). You can't read it again once you've completed his dungeon. Surprisingly...
...so is Chapter 3 of the Demon King Chronicle, "Snow."
Let's check on the most likely culprit!
I could talk about this all day.
...okay, on second thought, he probably has like ten copies of every chapter, so there's no real need to steal Randolf's.
Completing the first dungeon did unlock the second part of his papers, though.
At the same time that the "Demon King Chronicle" was being written, a certain incident occurred. A person from the continent appeared in a native village... and gave a flower to a woman suffering from a painful child birth. The incident appeared 21 years ago after the large epidemic, and as a result... Just like on the continent, flowers on the island had also became a very rare sight. This incident is said to have happened on the exact same island where Harold wrote the "Demon King Chronicle." I'm very interested in the fact that this incident happened 21 years ago, on the exact same island and at the exact same time as the creation of the "Demon King Chronicle." Using this story to hypothesize the origin of the "Demon King Chronicle," I have even guessed at the ending to the final chapter of the story.
In Aaron Aaron's exciting next entry: "Demon King Chronicle" fan fiction
In all seriousness, this puts two things into perspective. First, why is the island so strangely post-apocalyptic? Because it is. This "large epidemic" was bad news, it seems. Second, The Coward was really a dick. Chances are pretty high that no one on the island's seen a flower in ages, and she destroyed them for no real reason.
Finally... Walking back to The Dragon Mountain.
In short, The Dragon Mountain isn't The Dragon Mountain now. That story's over, remember?
Next time: the Sands of Remembrance.
A beast born so that Randolf could fulfill
the dream of his father. He uses attacks like
"Poison Gas," and other attacks which
cause the poison status.