Part 18: SalamanderUpdate 13: Salamander
Up and at 'em, everyone! Let's get that Duchy mission done and over with!
I can appreciate enthusiasm, Tyler, but please don't go around shouting at everyone's doors...
I'm gonna miss not getting up this early.
We're only on duty for three floors, we can get as much sleep as we want soon enough.
Meet the new party for the second half of the stratum. Rheine's not really suited for the front row compared to Tyler or our other front liners, but she's a better choice than anyone else in the back row. At least she can wear heavy armor and equip shields.
First order of business: selling all the stuff I got from grinding up the entire guild.
Wrapped Bow is unlocked by selling 4 Ostrich Tendons. It has +6 ATK over the Kagenui, which isn't that big an upgrade.
Madfa is unlocked by selling 5 Iron Toenails and 1 Rock Shard. It has +9 ATK over the Bayonet. I'd probably buy it for Jackie if she was in the party.
Stone Claw is unlocked by selling 5 Rock Shards. It gives +9 ATK over the Iron Nail, but no extra stats, which is what Beasts want. Pass.
Iron Armor is unlocked by selling 7 Iron Toenails. It gives 27 DEF, a whopping +19 upgrade from the Half Armor Rheine has had since the start of the game. As such, I buy one for her.
Studded Leather is unlocked by selling 3 Collar Furs. It gives 22 DEF. I buy one for Tyler, since I want both him and Rheine to be as survivable as possible.
Flower Caftan is unlocked by selling 2 Scarlet Vines. I don't bother to buy it for any of our backliners.
Scout Boots are unlocked by selling Thick Boar Skins. They reduce damage taken from damage tiles, but that's kind of a non-issue with Realga in the party.
Blind Gas is unlocked by selling 5 Bendy Vines. The only person who can really make use of it in our current party is Sophie, and she already has Blinding Curse. Aside from that, I guess Survivalists or Dark Hunters can probably make use of it, but the base infliction chance on it is super low.
I also buy Lactarius Staves for Rheine, Realga, and Stardust, to give each of them a slight boost to TEC.
I also outfit Rheine and Tyler with shields to make them less susceptible to being one or two-shot.
Everyone's Grimoires. I took the level 8 Spear Assist Grimoire off of Tyler because that TP cost would not be sustainable at all. Any empty Grimoire slots are because there weren't any good Grimoires to put in said slot.
Rheine's skill build. I'm leaving Attack Order at level 9 since the TP cost jumps to a whopping 20 at level 10.
Since I didn't really want to level up any of the Orders at this time, I opted to have Rheine start learning Link Order. Link Order works like this: the Sovereign selects a target, and then prepares Link Order at the start of the turn. After that, when the target is hit with an elemental attack, the Sovereign will follow up with an extra hit of the same element. It gives the Sovereign a way to contribute some respectable damage when they're done buffing the party, and Link Order II is very nice for random encounters and boss fights with multiple targets.
Tyler's skill build. I maxed out Spear Mastery, and gained access to Delayed Charge, followed by Cross Charge when I leveled up Delayed Charge to level 3. Delayed Charge is basically what it sounds like: when the Highlander uses it, the skill becomes locked for a set amount of turns. Once that timer runs out, Delayed Charge activates, and deals damage alongside the Highlander's normal action for that turn. Cross Charge is kind of special--on its own, it's just a basic Stab attack. However, if it's used while Delayed Charge has its timer going, Delayed Charge will immediately activate at the same time as Cross Charge, and Cross Charge will deal bonus damage.
Realga's skill build. I leveled up both Unbind and Refresh to 3 so I could get Revive. At level 1, it revives someone with 1 HP. Right now, it's less useful in combat as it is saving money on Nectars during dungeon exploration. After getting Revive, I then opted to level up Salve, which I want to get to 5 before leveling up Overheal.
Stardust's skill build. Compression is maxed out, and gives a 175% damage boost to all-target skills at level 10. I'm now leveling up Cocytus Formula, since the upcoming stratum boss is weak to ice.
Sophie's skill build. I'm really starting to regret investing 3 skill points in Frailty Curse--I might rest her to allocate the points elsewhere. Aside from that, I leveled up Blinding Curse to 2, and Madness Curse to 5. Both of these unlocked Torpor Curse, which tries to put a row of enemies to sleep, and Corrupt Curse, which tries to curse a row of enemies. Curse is by far the least useful status ailment, but sleep is incredibly useful for random encounters. I'm prioritizing Madness Curse at the moment since standard attacks from enemies hurt a lot less than skills at this point.
The aloof man...Ranger. He mentioned something about a quest for gems on the seventh floor...
Oh, yeah. Let's take care 'a that before we go get the Fire Plume.
I think there's something here!
SYSTEM: It appears as though the wall might have some sort of mineral inside... Do you recall the quest you accepted at the bar? The people of High Lagaard anxiously seek stones to fashion into jewels for the Duke's daughter. This wall must be where the gems that the barkeep was talking about can be mined.
Lemme at it! HrrAGH!
SYSTEM: The wall is hard, and is taking more effort than you expected, but it still looks possible to dig something out. Before long, you hear the crack of stone give way to something sturdier. It seems you have reached something... When you carefully uncover it, it appears to be crystallized ore. When you bring the crystal to light, it flickers gently in the coarse facets. This is no ordinary stone...
These seem perfect for jewelery.
SYSTEM: There can be no mistaking it--this must be one of the unrefined gems that was requested! You gently deposit the ore into your bag, and move on...maintaining a gentle pace to prevent any damage to the crystal.
SYSTEM: You have obtained one unrefined gem that was requested. However, for the artisans to craft the finest gift, you must collect three gems.
The others already marked the other weird rocks. Let's get goin'!
Someone is certainly enthusiastic about manual labor.
Bein' recognized as a hero is easier when yeh have the favor of royalty.
An unremarkable random encounter--let's use it to see the new party in action, shall we?
Gonna have Rheine and Stardust combo that Fanged Vine down.
Head Pierce is a Stab attack that has chances to inflict either head bind or instant death. It's not worth leveling up, but it can be kind of nice when the instant death procs in a random encounter.
And I'll have Sophie try for the Fanged Vine's conditional drop.
Whenever you're ready, Luca!
Ack! My eyes!
Euch. Should've just eaten a salad.
Panicked enemies will sometimes attack either themselves or their allies. Pretty nice when it happens.
That's for my eyes, yeh leafy bastard!
The "Killed the Fanged Vine!" message means that Head Pierce's instant death activated.
Working off the embers from my pyrotechnics... I'm impressed, Rheine.
Got the conditional.
The text at each of the gem spots is the same, aside from minor variations on the end text.
This is probably enough gems. I dunno if the jewelers will even know what to do with all of these...
Let's just drop them off at the bar and get on that mission.
Wait, the bar? We're not presenting them to the Duke or his daughter? Bah.
Ahh, have yeh returned with the jewels? Give them here.
Trust me, trust me! I've got a jeweler's eye for these things! Haw haw haw!
Here yeh are. Three crystals with nary a scratch on 'em.
H-Holy... Look at 'em sparkle! Did yeh lot used to be in the Jewelers Guild? I can't believe it...! Some fine work there, Lumen! I know the jewelers will be drooling when I show them these babies! Here's the reward for a job very well done! Glad to see I can still count on yeh!
Getting more gems increases the money and EXP reward from the quest.
I put Realga's skill point in Salve.
Bite Earring's unlocked by selling Crazed Bulbs. We've already seen it, but Bite Earrings provide immunity to blind. Meh.
I don't think I've shown off sleeping till evening yet. It sets the time to 7 PM instead of 7 AM. Exploring at night really only comes up once in the game, but it's sometimes nice to explore at night just for variety.
Each stratum also has a slight variation on its splash screen for nighttime.
Oh man, that feels scorching hot even from the door. Everyone ready?
No, but let's get this over with anyway.
SYSTEM: The open area formed by the scarlet forest feels as though it's warmed by a furnace. You can sense a terrible aura drifting to the room's entrance from beyond the trees. Have a care! Fighting in this area will surely lead to your deaths. Be on your guard!
We can't actually get into random encounters in this area.
2:15 PM - Dr. Fetus: yeah
2:15 PM - Dr. Fetus: it's copy pasted text from OG EO2
2:15 PM - Dr. Fetus: You can sense a terrible aura drifting to the room's entrance from beyond the trees! Have a care! Fighting in this area will surely lead to your deaths. Be on your guard!
Good gods, the thing's massive!
I'd say it's as big...mm, actually bigger than Chimaera.
It's not doing anything, though. It's just standing there... I wonder what meat those silvery parts are made of...
I'd...rather not find out, at least now. Can we just move towards the spot that Dubois marked?
SYSTEM: You are clearly within its sights, as it is glaring directly at you! Just feeling its terrifying presence is enough to make the sweat roll down your back... The monster is that powerful. You must remember that if you are to face it head on, you will not escape unscathed.
Even for a monster of that size, that is an impressive amount of fire...
Salamander's field gimmick is basically the Baby Salamanders, but amplified. Salamander's line of sight is a 3 tiles wide, 6 tiles long area in front of where it's facing. Much like the Baby Salamander fire, the initial blaze pushes you back, and can be walked through after that at the expense of HP.
SYSTEM: The very instant after you see the Salamander draw in a deep breath, it releases a gout of flame towards you! Thankfully, you dodge in time, but a single miss should it breathe at you again could prove disastrous. The best course would seem to be to walk cautiously around the Salamander, gauging its movements and behavior. When you are ready, act at once to claim the Salamander's feather that is found somewhere in this room!
So we basically have to circle around this entire huge area to get to the Fire Plume, clearly marked with the yellow exclamation point. There's no random encounters in this area, thankfully, so we can walk around as much as we want. We could even cheese the thing by just walking through the fire through the tiny entrance to this area we're in now, but I want to map out the entire area.
That Salamander seems pretty skittish. It turns around every time we walk!
Can't say I've ever seen a paranoid monster before.
Maybe it's scared of becoming Sophie's dinner...
After the initial scene introducing the Salamander, it'll start turning every time we take a step. When it's not facing us, it won't breathe fire at us.
As soon as Salamander sees you, though, it'll get ready to breathe fire.
Salamander also won't turn if there's fire out on the field.
Hmm... Heh heh, I've got an idea!
Hey! Big, steamin' and ugly! Lookit me!
...Is the Salamander hyperventilating?
SYSTEM: It may have grown exhausted from breathing its flames so often... You suspect from the look of it that the Salamander will be incapacitated for a little while. This may be your best opportunity to hurry and find the Salamander's feather.
Even big beasts've gotta get tired when they do that much that quickly!
Please don't make me worry like that again. I can only revive you so many times... And I can't charge the revival fee once I run out of medicine.
After the Salamander breathes fire three times or so in a row, it'll become inactive for a few turns, giving you free reign to run in front of it without being breathed at.
How many children does the Salamander have to need a nest this big?
Given all the Baby Salamanders that the others said they saw...I'd say somewhere between "quite a few" and "a lot."
I do appreciate that there's no random encounters in the Salamander's nest, but the sheer size of the place means it's pretty boring to walk around in.
Hold up. Did we just make a big circle back to where we are?
Looks like it.
Uggghhhh. At least I think I can see the Fire Plume from here... Can we just sprint over there and be done with this?
While we can't sprint to the Fire Plume area from the start even with the fire, we could've sprinted to here if we wanted to.
SYSTEM: Suddenly, you brush aside the soil and a shining rainbow plume lies before you! This must be the Fire Plume you seek!
Heh-hah! Fine work, Sophie! I hope Dubois is still up this late.
A few floor jumps later, and we're back in town.
Ah, members of Lumen. You did well in bringing back the dreadful beast's plume!
Simply amazing work. I've half a mind to ask you to train our own guard corps!
Um, no thanks. I don't think being a drill sergeant pays well.
I assume you were able to avoid contact with the Salamander? There's no shame in fleeing from it. Take your time, build your strength, and challenge it when you have more experience. It's more than enough for our purposes that you were able to bring back the plume! As a reward for you excellent service to the Grand Duchy, I present you with this.
That's going in the guild reserves, Realga. Please stop looking at it like that.
Man I love mission EXP.
Another point in Link Order for Rheine.
Delayed Charge does a lot more damage with each additional level than Cross Charge does, so I'm prioritizing it over Cross Charge.
Salve is now level 5, which not only gives a big increase to the heal amount and increases the TP to 16, it also increases its action speed, which is what I'm primarily interested in when leveling it up.
Cocytus Formula now deals considerably more damage at the cost of 12 more TP per cast.
Both of Sophie's skill points went into Blinding Curse.
...Ah... No... The fire...
Y'know what? How tough can a monster on the 8th floor be? I bet we'll take it out in no time!
Finally, I can taste the silver meat...
By approaching Salamander from the Tetris block in the top left, you can get behind it and get a preemptive attack.
To arms! HRRAAAGH!
Do we...really want to do this? Can we just leave these two to die, revive them, and never do this again?
Where is your sense of teamwork, Realga?! We must work together!
...As much as I don't like this, Rheine is right.
VIDEO: Boss Fight: Salamander
[49 4D 41 47 45 20 4D 49 53 53 49 4E 47]
HP: 74 68 69 73 20 77 61 73 20, STR: 61 20 74 65 72 72 69 62 6C, VIT: 65 20 6D 69 73 74 61 6B 65
- 54 4F 4F 20 4D 41 4E 59
- Normal: Flame Marrow
- Conditional: Flame Breath (Kill while afraid)
- Normal: Cut, Stab, Bash, Volt
- Weak: Ice
- Nullify: Fire
- Normal: Poison, Sleep, Head bind
- Weak: Curse
- Resist: Paralysis, Panic, Fear, Stun, Arm bind, Leg bind
- Nullify: Blind, Petrification, Instant Death
A giant creature that wears flame itself as armor! It seeks to incinerate its foes.
Ah shit, I think my Monstrous Codex file got corrupted. Gonna have to fix that. Anyway, Salamander shouldn't be too bad, right? It's an 8th floor mini-boss, by the looks of it. We've got the ability to deal quite a bit of Ice damage, so we can get to exploiting its weakness. Inflicting Fear is a bit of a pain in the ass since Salamander resists it quite a bit, but it shouldn't be too hard...once I get Evil Eye.
Rheine'll buff hers and Tyler's damage.
Tyler'll ready up Delayed Charge.
Realga has nothing to do, so I'll just have her Defend.
Stardust'll ready Compression.
And Sophie'll try to inflict whatever.
We cannot lose!
Ready yerself, Salamander! This is gonna hurt!
I can't reach the silvery meat!
Dammit. Like I said, Salamander resists panic pretty heavily.
Pack these together...
I could buff the back row, but I opted for Link Order instead.
Tyler'll work off Stardust and Rheine's ice damage.
Realga still has nothing to do.
Stardust'll start unloading Cocytus Formulas.
And Sophie'll keep trying to inflict panic.
Alright, this can't be that--
Is...is that my blood comin' out?
I-I don't think I fazed it.
Shit shit shit.
T-the same for me.
SHIT SHIT SHIT.
I didn't even dent the thing.
A war of attrition it is, then!
Alright, Realga can fix this, no problem!
Please come back, Tyler!
Alright, that's not something I wanna repeat! Let's get back to it!
A sovereign must never falter...
Send my spear...to my parents...
This is beyond healing...
Okay, hold up, I'm calling bullshit. What are the Salamander's stats?
HP: 23000, STR: 60, VIT: 50
O-oh. That was...a mistake, to put it lightly. I should've taken the g61me's 61dvi6365--
Ranger?! Everything okay?
Y-yeah. You guys are alive?
What're yeh talking about? We just got back from the Duchy. ...Yeh okay there? Yeh look like something's botherin' yeh...
Yeah, I'm fine--owwwww. Just a really bad headache.
We're smart enough to not die, Ranger. Just get some rest.
We'll actually explore 8F next time.