Part 115: A Tragic Turn of--NO MORE GAMESUpdate 24: A Tragic Turn of-NO MORE GAMES! (Artelinde and Wilhelm)
It seems to be calling for help...
Th-This is terrible! We must rescue them at once!
Hold on there. Remember where we are. This could be some monster's trick. I don't think it'd be wise to rush over without a plan.
Bertrand is right. Little that could happen in this forest would surprise you. Whether you take the risk and approach the source of the voice is up to you.
Let's go towards it.
You find yourself unwilling to bear the consequences of ignoring a human's cry for help. Having decided to investigate come what may, you search for the source of the voice!
I thought it was coming from over here, but... there's nothing around.
No voice anymore either.
Could the voice have merely been your imagination...? Just as you are determining whether or not to continue your search, Bertrand raises his voice.
Hey! I found 'em! It's coming from under this snow!
Though doubtful, you dig away at the snow, but lo and behold--you find an iron helm that seems to belong to a guard!
Did he get caught in an avalanche!? Hang in there! We'll get you out!
You quickly dig out the snow covering the buried guard and lift him up.
He's chilled to the bone. We'll need to warm him up.
Though the guard is severely enfeebled from his time under the snow, he speaks haltingly as Chloe treats him.
I... I'm saved...?
Mm-hm. You're alive, Mr. Guard.
I-I see... I was on my rounds everything went white... I thought I was done for.
The guard shows an intense relief at surviving as he thanks you.
You saved my life. I want you to have this!
The soldier removes money from under his helm and holds it out shakily to you. You hesitate to accept his secret savings, but you'd feel awkward declining his show of gratitude, and so you gracefully take it.
After the guard watches you pocket the money, he leaves on his way to report back to the Grand Duchy.
That guard stored his wallet in a most peculiar place.
Hey, I'm just glad we could save him. Honestly.
But boy, I didn't expect you to be so desperate to find him, old man. How did you notice him under all that snow?
Didn't you say the voice might be a monster's trick?
Ugh, that's enough lip out of you kids. I just got lucky, that's all!
You continue to tease Bertrand as he stomps on ahead on your investigation.
You sense a dreadful presence beyond it, and you have an inkling of what that presence may be.
It's... Guild Esbat, isn't it.
That seems likely...
The pair said that they would be waiting for you in the frozen hall of the 15th floor. If they are past here, then is there indeed no recourse but to fight them...?
We'll have to fight them.
Given all that has transpired to this point, you see no other way through the situation but to fight Guild Esbat.
Mm-hm. They want to stop us, but we have to go. There's no compromise.
Their minds are already made up. We... just need to get ours made up too. Knight, if you're ready... then let's go.
Your guildmates all look to you. If your resolve is set, then open the door and march onward!
Here's my setup for this upcoming fight. I'm not stacking Grimoires yet (Everyone just has Natural Instinct.)
It belongs to the tall man named Wilhelm who warned you on the previous floor.
You shall pass no further.
The man standing resolutely to guard the door from you speaks in tones colder than the snow, as he draws his guns. A woman draws up beside him.
The witch takes her own step forward to block your passage.
...It's too bad, Knight. I hoped to never have to call you by that name. Because if I knew if that time ever came... it would be like this.
The woman's overtones are as cheerful as ever, but her speech has a sad ring to it...
This is senseless.
Oh? But you came here knowing what would happen. Wilhelm's warning was clear. ...It's very rare for him to give anyone a second warning after his first.
They told us at the Grand Duchy that no guild ever made it past the 3rd Stratum. Is that... because of you...?
I won't take credit for all of them. I mean, you've seen yourself how strong the monsters here are. A lot of guilds met their fates in the forest without us having to deal with them.
That's just stone cold.
Why are you doing this? I... It's hard for me to imagine that you could do something so heartless without ample reason. Why is it that you cannot stay your hand?
The princess asks sadly, and the witch's face stiffens.
...Sorry. I'm not one for small talk.
You will perish here by our hands. That is all you need know.
You have exhausted every other possibility... the time has come to take weapons in hand and fight!
- Corpse Ash: Cannot be disabled. Attempts to inflict every status ailment on each party member, with a 10% base chance. The poison has a base damage of 60 (around 86 adjusted for level). Has an 80% speed modifier.
- Blind Laughter: Cannot be disabled. Only used on targets with status ailments. Deals 100% melee STR-based Cut damage to one target. Reduces hit targets' physical/elemental attack and defense by 30% for 4 turns. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Loose Thread: Cannot be disabled. Only used on targets with status ailments. Deals 100% melee STR-based Cut damage to one target. Attempts to bind all of the target's body parts, with a 40% base chance. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Blossom Sketch: Cannot be disabled. Heals Artelinde and Wilhelm for 250% healing power, and purges all ailments, binds, and debuffs at both the start and end of the turn.
- Spellsword: Used at the end of the turn turn where either Artelinde is dropped below 30% HP, or Wilhelm is killed, whichever comes first. Blind Laughter and Loose Thread will no longer exclusively target party members with status ailments, and will hit the entire party.
- Nature's Will: Used three turns after Spellsword. Cannot be disabled. Deals 16 instances of 250% ranged TEC-based Almighty damage to random targets. Can hit the same target multiple times. Kills Artelinde after use. Has a 20% speed modifier, and does not check for accuracy.
100% 100% 100% 125% 100% 75%
0% 25% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
0% 0% 10%
0% 0% 0%
- Fire/Ice/Volt Rounds: Uses the arms. Deals 120% ranged TEC-based Fire/Ice/Volt damage to one party member. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Rapid Fire: Uses the arms. Deals 90% melee STR-based Stab damage to each party member. Has a 150% speed modifier and 90 base accuracy.
- Accelerate: Used at the end of the turn where either Wilhelm is dropped below 25% HP, or Artelinde is killed, whichever comes first. Fire/Ice/Volt Rounds become 3-4 instances of 100% ranged TEC-based Fire/Ice/Volt damage to random targets (can hit the same target multiple times).
- Mystic Shot: Used three turns after Accelerate. Cannot be disabled. Deals 16 instances of 250% melee STR-based Stab damage to random targets. Can hit the same target multiple times. Kills Wilhelm after use. Has no speed modifier and does not check for accuracy.
100% 100% 100% 125% 100% 75%
25% 100% 50% 50% 50% 100% 50%
0% 0% 50%
50% 50% 50%
Say hi to one of the most reviled boss fights in the game. In the original game, these two were incredibly easy unless you had a terrible party. (The scars from that LP will never heal! ) Even more so if you had access to ailments there, which essentially shut them down completely. Atlus' solution to that? Make one of them completely immune to most ailments. Thanks a lot, Atlus. Anyways, the start of the fight isn't too bad.
Setting up here like always.
I'm having Chloe rev up the pain train to smash into Wilhelm with. I'm going to try to inflict a certain ailment on Wilhelm, which has a low chance of landing. Which is why I'm busting out Chloe's Force Boost now.
Bertrand will just defend the party throughout the entire fight.
I don't anticipate this fight taking long, so I'm breaking out Flavio's Force Boost now.
Gonna try to Blind Wilhelm, but with his Blind resistance, Flavio only has a 16% chance of landing it.
Artelinde will use Corpse Ash on the first turn, and on every 5th turn after that. I'll have Arianna use an AOE Prevent Order to put a stop to that.
Eh. Like I said, the chances of landing that were pretty low.
And that's a decent chunk of Wilhelm's HP gone.
I do have to say, Guardians of the Sorrowful Ice is a very track. And it got a nice remastering in EO2U. It's very fitting for the fight against Artelinde and Wihelm, which is quite the tragic turn of-
No more games.
Oh. Well that's the last time I'll be hearing that song in the game. Anyways, while Chloe and Flavio will be focusing down Wilhelm, I'll have Knight forcus down Artelinde.
Wilhelm follows a set pattern, so I'm gonna have Bertrand deal with that. Mainly because I find that his attacks are more threatening than Artelinde's. As long as you don't have any ailments on your party, she really can't do much against them.
And I'm gonna increase our party's damage with Attack Order.
AHAHAHA! Well this fight just got a whole lot easier!
Kind of regret not using Front Guard, but I didn't want to rely on a 16% chance. I mean I just got really lucky there.
And that's not even the level 20 version.
Fortunately for me, Artelinde got hit more with that.
Finishing up the combo before I use Extend.
Wilhelm is effectively a non-entity in this fight now, so I can have Betrand focus on defending against Artelinde's attacks.
I don't see this fight going on for long, so I'm using Flavio's Force Break now.
Reapplying Prevent Order for the next time Artelinde casts Corpse Ash.
A reminder that Rapid Fire is an AOE.
And it didn't hit a single person. That's just how powerful the Blind food is. It effectively buys you free turns if you can Blind your enemies.
Summer Rain took off a decent chunk of their HP.
Decent damage to Artelinde.
Aaaand, this is where the fight gets awful. Being explorers, Artelinde and Wilhelm have access to Force Boosts. Accelerate turns his elemental shots into random target attacks. Which is kind of annoying since the elemental walls are no longer guaranteed to protect your party from those attacks. The actual threatening part is that Wilhelm is granted priority. This means he can't be out-sped unless you're using Swap Step or if you leg bound him. If someone is left at low HP at the end of a turn, chances are that they're gonna get finished off on the next turn.
Also, after 3 turns in their Force Boosts, Artelinde and Wilhelm will explode and likely kill your entire party. But thanks to Wilhelm's priority boost, you effectively have only 2 turns to take him down before he uses Mystic Shot. Which is why people prefer to take out Artelinde first and just use something like Perfect Defense for Mystic Shot.
Oh and unlike your Force Boosts, Artelinde's and Wilhelm's last indefinitely. But you would only know this if you tried to disable Wilhelm through Panic or something though.
But he's pretty close to dying, and Ailing Slash should finish him off.
...Really? You just did that?
Ailing Slash isn't that impressive if it can't get the damage boost.
Not much I can do now since I've exhausted most of my damage options.
Ha! That's why I used the last turn of Victory Vow to set up another AOE Prevent Order instead of using Proof of Nobility.
There we go!
Slowly but surely, Artelinde is being whittle down.
Once you've taken down one of the members of Guild Esbat, the other one will enter their Force Boost state. In Artelinde's case, Spellsword turns all of her attacks into AOEs, and enables her to use Blind Laughter and Loose Thread on party members without ailments. She'll use those moves before unleashing Nature's Will. This is why people prefer to target Artelinde while ignoring Wilhelm completely. Her Force Boost is much harder to live through than Wilhelm's. Loose Thread is the real threat, especially if your main strategy is to wait until their Force Breaks kill them. An Arm Bind can ruin any plans to use Perfect Defense and True Endurance to avoid that.
Now that Artelinde has entered her Force Boost, I use Shield Protect along with Front Guard to reduce Artelinde's damage output by 77.5%.
Flavio's damage output isn't much, but that Blind he landed earlier made the fight a lot more bearable.
This may not seem like a lot of damage, but it's adding up.
Artelinde's Blind Laughter dispelled the attack buff on everyone. A shame.
It's the final turn of Knight's Force Boost, so I might as well use his Break.
Now most people just like to focus down one of Esbat members and just use Perfect Defense or True Endurance to defend against their Force Break and let them kill themselves for an easy victory.
I'm not one of those people.
And the effects of Loose Thread are completely blocked, so my party can go to town on Artelinde.
That fight went very smoothly for me. That Blind is pretty much the biggest reason why, as it kept Wilhelm out of the fight for a good while. Oh revenge is so sweet.
Vibrant red stains the pure white hall. The victor has been decided.
What you do doesn't matter here.
Wait... the battle... isn't over...
Dame Artelinde... We must reach the end of this Stratum. It is of the utmost importance that we find the powerful monster rumored to dwell here and slay it. Our intention in coming here was never to harm you. Withdraw, I beg of you.
...We cannot grant that request. As long as there is strength in our limbs and air in our lungs... we must fight.
Why!? We're all civilized people here! Why are you so intent on fighting us!?
We've killed many because of our own selfish circumstances. To protect something we love... we destroyed countless many who must have been loved by somebody else. That's why if the day ever came that we fell... we resolved that we would atone for our sins.
Atone... for your sins?
Yes... we would atone for the innumerable lives we took... with our own...
That won't atone for anything!
...... ...I don't know about that, Princess. These guys admit that the things they did were inhuman. If they understand the weight of what they've done... we should let them atone as they see fit.
That's their desire, after all.
Atoning for crimes with one's life... The weight of the sins they've committed in the past... Bertrand's words echo heavily in your mind. But is death truly a means of atonement...?
There are better ways to atone.
Then what do you suggest they do!? Keep living with their sins, never allowed to die!?
Some things you can only do while alive.
I... I agree with what Sir Knight says.
To offer up one's life as atonement... it is barbarous...
Wilhelm... It's time we ended this.
They beat us.
In contrast to the elderly marksman's fury, the woman's voice is quiet and coaxing.
The man bites his lip, mortified... but the strength ebbs from him, and he crumbles to his knees again.
Your objective here seems different from most explorers... but you mean to move on all the same, right?
You nod to the woman's question. You tell her that you must forge onward until you have gained power in the depths of the forest.
The woman furrows her brow in sadness and bites her lip.
It's the law of the forest to obey the victor. But... still... I can't change my ways. There's someone I'm here to protect, after all. ...Goodbye.
With that, the witch and her guardian withdraw from the frozen hall.
All that... and still she would not tell us her reasons for fighting.
I wonder just who it was she said she wanted to protect...
The battle with Guild Esbat is over, though it left you with mixed feelings as to its outcome. You may proceed onward now if you wish, or return to town to regroup.