Part 74: Stardust SkyUpdate 59: Stardust Sky
I gotta get one last fight in before we let the others get back t' work!
I hear there are creatures that appear to be muscled bipedal bovines near the start of the 6th Stratum. Shall we fight them?
As long as that's the last thing we have to fight, sure. Honestly, I'm kinda doubting that the giant chicken was real...
Looks like the others weren't kiddin' about how nice this place is.
No kiddin'! It looks like where yeh'd go after death when yeh've lived a good life.
I was skeptical of Jackie and Ranger's idea, but with this place...
Is there any point to whispering yourself when you're in a group of people?
Y-you heard that?
Now THIS looks like a challenge! Come at me!
HP: 25039, STR: 85, TEC: 65, VIT: 66, AGI: 46, LUC: 64
- Warhammer: Uses the arms. Deals 3-5 instances of 120% melee STR-based Bash damage to random targets. Can hit the same target multiple times. Reduces the Asterius's physical defense by 50% for 4 turns after use. Has an 80% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Reversal Beat: Uses the arms. Purges all debuffs from the Asterius. Deals 200% (if 3 debuffs), 150% (if 2 debuffs), or 90% (if one debuff) melee STR-based Bash damage to the party. Has a 60% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Black Steel. 90% chance. Sells for 7680 en. 1 needed to make Shishinoko (+194 ATK, +3 VIT).
"Fragments of the finest metal alloys. Metals made from this are unusually sharp."
- Conditional: Black Ingot (Kill with Bash damage). 80% chance. Sells for 13600 en. 1 needed to make Crusader Armor (Protector ultimate armor; +114 DEF, +30 HP, +20 TP). 1 needed to make Apocalypse (Highlander ultimate armor; +98 DEF, +20 TP, +3 STR).
"Chunk of quality steel struck with great impact. Good for making both weapons and armor."
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A head of a bull and a body of solid muscle. Your best shot is to break its giant axe...
As long as you don't stack debuffs on an Asterius, they're generally pretty manageable. Ursa can basically perpetually tank it with Phoebe, although she'd probably be in trouble on her own.
Notice how that conditional not only requires the least common physical damage type for actual damage dealers, it's also an 80% chance.
Much like the Master Bird fight, this is the only thing Zack will do.
There's nothing for Colette to block with Barrier.
Ursa should be pretty safe.
My strategy is literally identical to the Master Bird fight.
I see this thing hates its axe as much as I hate mine.
Hatin' yer weapon isn't an excuse for bein' bad with it.
You're fine, don't worry.
Well, why not?
This is what happens when Ursa doesn't have the 70% reduction of Front Guard and 45% reduction of Hit-Taker in effect.
Maybe I should've built an optimized party for this instead of sticking with the party I got stuck with for the chicken.
Make Ursa even tankier, sure, why not.
I'll rip and tear yer guts...n' your muscle, too!
What I'd give to just keep the Warhammer debuff on at all times.
This is the only time in the entire game that I'll use Warmight, and it's because Colette ran out of things to do.
That was Reversal Beat, incidentally. I repeat: Sad!
Charge Smash depletes Zack's TP so quickly that I have to use Head Bash to finish off the Asterius.
It is exactly my luck that I'd fail to roll for the 80% conditional chance. Fuck it, I'll drop the difficulty to Picnic and get it, I deserve the conditional.
Mine by right, as well as by might.
A boring thing plus two not-boring things.
Shishinoko (+194 ATK, +3 VIT) is unlocked by selling 1 Black Steel.
Crusader Armor (Protector ultimate armor; +114 DEF, +30 HP, +20 TP) is made from 1 Black Ingot. While lots of DEF is kind of pointless for Protectors, frankly, these things are almost as much symbolic as they are practical, and as such, I buy Phoebe this thing immediately.
Apocalypse (Highlander ultimate armor; +98 DEF, +20 TP, +3 STR) is made from 1 Black Ingot. This is one of two times in the game where a conditional drop makes two different pieces of equipment. Tyler always appreciates more STR--he gets this thing immediately.
Can I please have an uninterrupted break?
No. You're suffering with the rest of us.
No tellin' when that dragon'll strike next. I'm in no rush, but Marion seemed pretty stressed 'bout it.
At least I am permitted time with who I would've spent a break with.
Those chicken slices tasted amazing! ...But I kinda felt bad eating them, and I dunno why.
This party was decided on a whim--a whim based around both painless exploration and getting conditional drops.
You might want to get used to not thinking about the Star too much.
Thank you for helping us evacuate the vault, before. We were able to finish moving our valuables after your departure. It would seem that you have encountered Klanvaline before.
If you mean "devoured" instead of "encountered," yeah!
It didn't seem to care about being killed, though. It just blew up most of the city.
That...must have been disastrous. Did it cause any damage to the city?
I just said it blew up most of the city. Not all, but most.
SYSTEM: You tell him that a part of the town has been all but destroyed. His expression clouds, a somber cast to his features.
That's...unfortunate indeed... Soon after the incident at the vault, it was seen flying to an earthbound city. I thought it best to warn you.
SYSTEM: He seems bitterly disappointed, but soon recovers his composure, and tells you of the monster that attacked.
Klanvaline... To you earthbound ones, he may be better known as the Storm Emperor. Much is unknown...but it is a member of a dragon tribe from ancient times. We treat it as you would treat a natural disaster.
SYSTEM: After a brief moment of silence, he looks at you with a stern expression.
...May I ask you something? Do you intend to oppose the incredible might of Klanvaline?
We've already beaten it once, another time couldn't hurt.
...Somehow, I knew that you would answer thus. It is the Star's will that we cannot fight...but we will stray from the Star's will for this case. I will aid you. I have discovered a certain legend pertaining to Klanvaline, in the documents that you recovered for us. The document reads, Upon ascendance to the Throne of Thunder shalt the Storm Emperor unleash his striking wrath." It would appear that time has come. If these texts are true, then its rampage will surely only worsen... However, if you are determined to stand against it, we may yet prove this legend false. Take this with you. It will open the path that you are bound for.
SYSTEM: Canaan hands you an old book. The binding of the tome appears to be gleaming gold, just like the hide of the dragon.
You will find the way to Klanvaline's nest here. Please, exercise due caution, Lumen.
Oh, this thing.
SYSTEM: However, aside from that, there doesn't seem to be anything else here. You stand, pondering your next move, when the golden book you received from Canaan floats gently from your grasp! The book begins glowing, bathing your surroundings in a golden light!
SYSTEM: You examine the tome again, but it simply appears to be a mundane book once more. If you wish to proceed, it seems you will have to lay hands upon the mysterious crest... Once you are ready to touch the crest, reach your hand out!
This thing is basically a shortcut.
We appear to be on the outer edges of the stratum.
HP: 1646, STR: 61, TEC: 42, VIT: 47, AGI: 37, LUC: 43
- Charge: Uses the head. Increases the damage of the next physical attack by 100%. Has an 80% speed modifier. Can be interrupted by Blast Grenades, which will cancel the Charge effect and stun the enemy.
- Reaping Claws: Uses the arms. Deals 180% melee STR-based Cut damage to the entire party. Attempts to instantly kill hit targets, with a 20% base chance. Has a 10% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Bloody Blade. 50% chance. Sells for 1290 en. 1 needed to make Hrunting (+171 ATK, +15 HP). 5 needed to make Bloody Armor (+92 DEF, +30 HP). 10 needed to make Crab Pincer (+188 ATK, +4 TEC, +4 VIT).
"Crab claws whose tips appear bloodstained. Despite the hardness, it's a crafting staple."
- Conditional: Shaking Shell (Kill while afraid). 80% chance. Sells for 2720 en. 1 needed to make Crab Gardbrace (+83 DEF, +30% Fear resistance).
"Shell that hardened from trembling in fear. The nature of this reaction is unclear."
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A crab so ferocious it will fight to the death, without giving a thought to its own safety.
Kill Scissor Crabs quickly, and they're no threat. Leave them alive, and be prepared to get a game over. The Night Flowers in this encounter don't help, but just one Inferno Formula one shots them, and leaves the Scissor Crab at critical HP.
Mmm, crab meat! Haven't had this in forever.
I'm on fire! ...Or, rather, YOU'RE on fire.
I said this way back at the start of the 2nd Stratum, but Ailing Slash is useful for deleting dangerous enemies--shame that War Magi are so slow.
Welcome back, floating platforms! The game amps up the difficulty of puzzles involving these here--still nothing mind-wracking, but you'll still have to think a little more compared to when we last saw them.
Well, these drakes evidently got lazy with their subspecies...
HP: 2919, STR: 59, TEC: 63, VIT: 48, AGI: 43, LUC: 45
- Thunderous Fury: Uses the head. Deals 3-5 instances of 100% melee TEC-based Volt damage to random targets. Can hit the same target multiple times. Reduces hit targets' elemental attack by 50% for 4 turns. Has an 80% speed modifier and 120 base accuracy.
- Normal: Electric Crest. 70% chance. Sells for 2280 en. 1 needed to make Volt Bow (+163 ATK, normal attacks become Stab+Volt).
"Bladelike crest from the Lightning Drake's back. Imbues weapons with voltaic energy."
- Conditional: Coated Horn (Kill while poisoned). Sells for 5730 en. 1 needed to make Lightning Gage (Gunner ultimate non-body armor; +43 DEF, +3 AGI, +10% Volt resistance).
"Horn with mysterious textlike patterns on it. They slowly blink, as if breathing."
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A dragon with a long, electrically charged horn that reacts when poisoned.
Lightning Drakes are one-trick ponies. Thunderous Fury is annoying if you have an Alchemist and just "an attack" otherwise.
It's...kinda like steak? Except not? It's got some tang to it, though!
Permit me a second to pack some slices of the drake...
Can never have too many of these.
Here, you can kind of see how the outside skybox's mesh is built.
I remembered that these two had unspent level ups shortly after that last screenshot.
This puzzle is fairly simple--just push that platform we can see in the distance up, and then ride the one I'm standing on out.
I went back to town to rest and save.
Hrunting (+171 ATK, +15 HP) is unlocked by selling 1 Bloody Blade.
Crab Gardbrace (+83 DEF, +30% Fear resistance) is made from 1 Shaking Shell. It's a fairly decent piece of equipment, even if the Fear resistance part is kind of irrelevant.
Lightning Gage (Gunner ultimate non-body armor; +43 DEF, +3 AGI, +10% Volt resistance) is made from 1 Coated Horn. The volt resistance is completely irrelevant, but hey, more AGI.
This platform puzzle is decently complex. There's three platforms in play, one of which we're standing on.
Circle the platforms around until they're like this.
One circle later, one platform will end up in front of that island.
Ride a platform to the center, and you're home free.
We'll see what's in the top right soon enough.
One would think we'd see a giant, multi-eyed skeleton coming at us sooner...
It literally just came out of the holes in the floor!
HP: 14341, STR: 69, TEC: 55, VIT: 52, AGI: 44, LUC: 60
- Crazed Glare: Uses the head. Attempts to inflict panic on the party, with a 50% base chance. Increases the party's damage by 50% for 4 turns. Has no speed modifier.
- Ripping Claws: Uses the arms. Deals 110% melee STR-based Cut damage to one target, with splash damage. Has a 70% speed modifier and 99 base accuracy.
- Normal: Devil Wing. 100% chance. Sells for 1870 en. 1 needed to make Dragonbone Shield (+67 DEF, +2 AGI).
"Wing bone that's more elastic than pine wood. Despite its size, it's light and easy to carry."
- Conditional: Blind Eye (Kill while blinded). 100% chance. Sells for 3970 en. 1 needed to make Cursed Mail (Hexer ultimate armor; +71 DEF, +20 TP, +4 LUC).
"An evil eye that no longer sees. Its ominous power can be used for curses."
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This giant nemesis can disorient its enemies and drive them mad with a single glare!
Good luck killing this thing with standard physical damage.
Outside of that glib remark, I don't have a ton to say about Wandering Eyes. Crazed Glare is kind of like that one Pokémon skill that sharply increases your opponent's attack while also confusing them. Colette's really useful here since Barrier will stop Crazed Glare's panic while letting the buff go through..
I warned you.
...Ewwwww, there's meat below the bone!
I don't think bone marrow is this chewy...
Pathetic. Low energy. Sad!
Alright, now to kill it within a few turns.
Easier done than said.
Repeat the above statement but maybe with a bit more emphasis.
Three turns for a postgame FOE. Yawn.
And we close out with equipment from the Wandering Eye's drops.
Cursed Mail (Hexer ultimate armor; +71 DEF, +20 TP, +4 LUC) is made from 1 Blind Eye. Sophie has 75 LUC with this thing on--she's becoming too powerful.
Dragonbone Shield (+67 DEF, +2 AGI). I don't know how anything the Wandering Eye was made of could be considered "dragonbone."
Next time: we reach the Storm Emperor.