Part 12: "It's a beautiful story. However, reality doesn't work that way."Chapter 12: "It's a beautiful story. However, reality doesn't work that way."
(The Mirage, Kumo 7&8)
This looks like a perspective shot, doesn't it? Must be a long way down...
The Desert Crows wander slowly but become more erratic when you fight something else. The Desert Hawks stay still and become aggressive when you get into a fight with something else. Both are fairly fragile, especially the Hawks; Camil, in particular, can take out two a turn with a little double swing/critical luck. On the other hand, the Hawks also do 40 damage to either character, so "fragile" doesn't mean "weak."
The Hawks drop a Beak, which give +18 Attack, +8 HP, and +5 Speed. The Crows drop a Stained Bird Wing, which give +8 HP, +15 Defense, and +10 Agility.
The red enemies here are of a completely different type than usual: for once, they aren't the deadliest things in the area. They're just red to change their respawn settings.
Biter Vipers are fairly weak (I was taking about 15 damage from them, which is pathetic; at least they can poison, I guess?) but highly aggressive--they'll head towards you from wherever they are. The primary threat they pose is that they'll draw in other enemies, so take care of the birds first and the Vipers are barely a blip on your radar.
Their drop, the Poison Fang, gives +8 HP and +10 Attack.
This is the best example of the general strategy: engage a bird, draw in Hawks, avoid the Vipers (it's generally pretty easy) and continue on.
I could fight everything here--they're not very dangerous--but I won't. Bad habits. Besides, both characters have almost all their gear mastered.
The right exit has treasure.
The items are a Glass Fragment and a Marbled Meat. The Marbled Meat is a blast from the past; +15 HP hasn't been impressive for quite a while.
I head back one room and go south.
Pictured: why these areas can turn into clusterfucks. Add two more birds to the fight and this is actually dangerous. Prioritize Hawks--Crows do two-thirds their damage and are twice as tough.
Camil gets particularly unlucky and goes down. One of each healing item; I could probably just use an Energy Restore and gear her out for Magic, but eh, no point in taking risks.
The other one is a Glass Fragment.
It's a dead end again, so I head back one room and go south this time.
Long, winding corridor. The Biter Vipers are harder to dodge, but it's otherwise not anything too special. There's a chest with 160 gold.
I head left this time.
We're back here already! The Mirage is short.
...... My enemy is too strong.
Standard guest rules: if we leave this area, he leaves the party. Sadly, he counts the rest of The Mirage (that isn't directly up from here) to be "leaving this area."
Honestly, Kumo is no Nana. Even when he's fully leveled, he's not going to get anything nearly as ridiculous as Wish, Passion Burst or Happy Ending Supremacy.
I replace his gear with the Book of Manslaying and the Black Dress, but both equips deserve notice. They're very, very special items.
The Praying Mantis Axe is +30 Attack, 32 Range, and +5 Speed. As an All-Purpose, it's +12 Attack and +5 Agility and gives the Cutthroat instant death skill.
The Mask of Determination gives +10 Skill, +5 HP, +11 Defense, +3 Critical, and -10 to received magic damage. As an All-Purpose, it gives +5 HP and +10 Agility.
Neither of them seem all that impressive, right? Well, the Praying Mantis Axe gains +90% of its original stats each time it levels, and the Mask of Determination gains +100%. So, fully leveled? +111 Attack, +17 Speed or +42 Attack, +17 Agility for the Praying Mantis Axe, while the Mask of Determination is either +40 Skill, +20 HP, +44 Defense, +12 Critical, and -40 to received magic damage or +20 HP and +40 Agility.
For reference, my next-best attack weapons? The Amaryllis is +44 and the Book of Manslaying +64 if both are leveled to max.
(Edit: Valkama points out that the Praying Mantis Ax's quote is a reference to a Japanese folktale, where a praying mantis raises one of its arms to try and ward off an oncoming car. A mantis is therefore a symbol of the weak facing down a superior force without flinching... But it's kind of up to the viewer in any particular case as to whether the weak one is being brave or foolish. It's pretty obviously symbolizing Kumo here.)
I stick both of them on Camil immediately. Leveling it up once will be enough to make the Axe better than any other weapon I have, and while the Mask's Skill bonus might be better on Randolf, there's other +Skill armors but nothing else that gives +Critical.
Pictured: Mage Camil. Until the Axe levels up at 15 enemies, she's going to be rather weak physically... But if you unequip and then equip a high +HP item, such as the +40 HP Deli Meat, after each fight, then you ensure she's below the 85% threshold for Inferno. Only ever use Inferno if you're building her as a mage--Fire Wave and Flame Fang are not strong enough at this point. Since she needs to circumvent her HP threshold, her Skill can't get as high, so "almost as strong as Light Axe" doesn't cut it with her stats. Inferno, meanwhile, is stronger than Light Axe, even if it lacks the defense-ignoring.
She's currently ridiculously fragile (+11 defense and 1.5x damage taken, ouch), but the idea is to murder everything before that's a problem. Shouldn't be an issue with her spells so long as nothing's too far away from the other enemies.
Mage Camil at work. 26 SP per spell and she lives right at the edge of the Valley of Death, but it's worth it.
Pictured: the Valley of Death.
Picking up the Daybreak Club sets all the birds to wandering, and quite quickly too. The top row are Hawks, the bottom row are Crows.
The Daybreak Club itself gives +52 Attack. As an All-Purpose, it gives +20 Attack, +25 Defense, and Occasional Guard. Like the Axe, it immediately eclipses all of its competition. I give it to Randolf.
Normally, this valley is scary!
It is not scary with Mage Camil using Inferno.
If there was a Doppleganger quick-equip-switch option, then continually switching Camil between physical attacking and spellcasting would be best. The only thing not making Mage Camil clearly superior against random enemies is that 26 SP cost, and SP regenerates... Just not quickly enough to use Inferno every battle, and Mage Camil is not useful without that spell available.
That said, even a physical Camil can make pretty good use of Inferno, since Attack is also involved in the formula. That's another reason to get the Praying Mantis Axe on her when it pops up.
Basically, this about four times. The Valley of Death has good rewards... Shame Kumo didn't come with.
(One of them gets a bit tense--I forgot to restore Camil's SP beforehand--but Randolf is tough and sometimes dodges attacks. I revive her and pull through.)
This is what I mean with Flame Fang, by the way: that damage just isn't good enough. Use Inferno or don't bother.
Before we talk to Kumo and explore his Story, let's look at the area past him. The Dragon Mountain and the Tower both had something on the other end when the main character wasn't there to summon the Story.
...huh. Tiny ship! Tiny model chests. Guess it wasn't a perspective shot after all.
You can't open the tiny chests, by the way.
You can, however, move the rocks around. There's a red chest, and there's a dark area of sand at the top, but both are blocked off by tiny, differently-colored rocks... Rocks about the same size as the treasure chests, actually.
And when you pass through again with Kumo...
...the Story takes hold.
While this was a short update, the ones on either side of it were long ones, so there wasn't any real way to join them. Sorry.
Here's Kumo's last two personal chapters, the last two of the game.
Aeritz just disappeared.
On that day... We escaped to this island, and Aeritz barely survived his brush with death. Aeritz, with a wild look in his eye, swore to attempt the plan once more. Even though one eye was missing, he was still the same man he always was.
I promised I would follow him anywhere. Aeritz was my savior; the man who gave my life meaning.
Aeritz slowly began to recover while recuperating on that small peaceful island. Every single day, Aeritz took his sword in hand and reforged his broken body. I began to draw up a plan. Those were very productive days.
However, one day... Aeritz just disappeared. He went out to fetch water, and never returned.
I searched through Aeritz's belongings. Along with his junk and supplies, a very old book was tucked away. "Demon King Chronicle" It wasn't even a full book. It looked like half was cut away, with only Chapter 2 remaining.
From that day, I began reading the "Demon King Chronicle" I made a habit of reading it every day. I wanted to see and experience the same things as Aeritz did.
If not for The Mole's Glossary entry, you'd think The Mole is Aeritz (one eye, training every day to defeat Zelphie), but... No, apparently not. It's just an odd coincidence.
Also interesting: "half was cut away, with only Chapter 2 remaining." You can't read too much into exact words of a translation, but this implies that Aeritz got a copy back when Chapter 3 wasn't yet written.
(two blank screens)
We planned to defeat an evil force, and be hailed as heroes by all.
It was a very clear cut story. At one time, this was the story Aeritz and I had envisioned. Now it is just a fictional story, like so many others. Somewhere along the path, something got set off track.
It's clear to me now. During that final moment of triumph, Aeritz just couldn't rid himself of mercy. It was just like Ritzea in the "Demon King Chronicle." Having won the battle with the demon whale, Ritzea knew pity, and returned it to the sea without delivering the final blow.
It's a beautiful story. However, reality doesn't work that way. Our merciful actions didn't lead us to some wonderful ending.
I will carry on Aeritz's will.
However, before I can do that, there is an enemy I must defeat. Beyond the endless sand dunes, deep inside The Mirage. My enemy awaits me there.
This story brings up something interesting:
Aaron Aaron's theory mentions the three heroes of the Chronicle and their three inspirations, one per chapter. Randolf of the Chronicle is based on Flodnar, and he's Chapter Three. Ritzea is based on Aeritz, and this story tells us that he's in Chapter Two. Sera, and therefore Ares, must therefore be Chapter One, Tower.
Here, have a couple of screenshots from the impending bonus update on missed content. It'll go up after the next dungeon, but these two are relevant to my point here:
After what we've seen, we have pretty good reason to suspect that Randolf isn't just indulging in solipsism. The dungeons, and their contents, are what the Chronicle holders wish them to be. In this case, The Dragon Mountain fulfills Randolf's wishes and the Tower fulfills Nana's. This raises an interesting question.
The Tower had Ares's Clothes in a red chest. It's highly unlikely to be named after the Greek war god Ares at this point. But if they were put there by Nana's imagination, wouldn't it be Sera's Clothes instead? Sure, she lives in the same place as Aaron Aaron, who knows that Sera was based off of Ares, but that still seems unlikely. She'd have a much stronger tie to the imaginary hero.
What about Randolf, then? Well, Flodnar knew Aeritz, and Kumo tells us (another missed conversation, it's in that impending update) that Aeritz talked about Ares all the time. They saw each other often. So it's possible that Aeritz told Flodnar, and that Flodnar told Randolf... But if that's the case, wouldn't the chest have been in The Dragon Mountain instead?
So either the Chronicle holders don't wholly influence the Story, so things can appear without their knowledge or desire, or Camil has some personal tie to Ares strong enough to influence The Tower. Either way, we know a little more about something that the game's in no real rush to explain.
Next time, The Leviathan Depths.
Current winner: Cake Attack (29)
Next: Feldherren (35)
Demon King Chronicle
Max damage taken:105
Items:57 Types 154 Items
The Nest: 6/8
Demon King's Castle: 26/26
The Hamlet: 31/31
The Snow Fields: 20/20
The Dragon Mountain: 6/6
Sands of Remembrance: 26/26
The Tower: 11/11
The Seashore: 12/12
The Mirage: 8/10
The Disease: 1/20
Unmapped area: 7/10
・Praying Mantis Axe(0)
・Mask of Determination(0)
・Varnished Bird Wing(3)
■Top 10 defeats
Green Mud Man(178)
Abominable Snow Monkey(97)
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