Part 86: Colossus: The Black BeastColossus: The Black Beast
Before we take on Colossus, let's see what the town has to say about our exploits.
: Are your parents reachable, may I ask?
: Uh, good luck with that. I dunno what my mom's doing right now.
: I'm afraid not. Why do you ask?
: We were thinking of including you in the Chronicles as great heroes in Lagaard's history. I'm determined to have a full account of your lives in it. But your journey is not over... Where will it end, I wonder? I'm eager to find out. I expect great things from you.
: I've been doing some research on the subject... The Grand Duchy provided me with some information. But it's hard to verify if any of it is true... To me, it all sounds like a fairy tale. There was one thing that gave me pause, however. "In the Heavenly Keep's center, the Black Beast waits to punish the wicked." Another fairy tale? Who knows... But if the winged ones exist, so might this Black Beast. That's all the advice I have for you. May the Labyrinth's blessings be with you.
: Before yeh found it, it was just a legend... No one knew if it really existed, right? It hasn't been that long since yeh found it, and yet... Everyone acts as though it's been there all this time! But if yeh think about it... A floating castle, above our heads, looking down on us... Doesn't it give yeh chills?
: I suppose when you put it that way...
: Oh! Your clothes are so dirty, Emilia... Let me see if I can get that stain out.
: Uh, you don't have to-
: Arrgh... I don't think it's coming out. You might have to send it to the washer. I got the mud off, but I think you'll need a professional to get it looking like new. Oh! Your face is all muddy too... Here, hold still... There! Much better.
: Oh, uh, thanks.
: Hee hee... I know I can't go on a journey with you all... But if I can help you in any other way, I'd be more than happy to! Thanks so much, Firefly. I'm looking forward to seeing you again!
: It seems everything is going well for you. I hear all sorts of patients mention your name. Be sure to let me know if you find anything new! I'm always interested in new materials!
: Thank you.
: It's pretty funny how even now that you've found the floating castle... You're still the same people you were when you first walked into my inn. Maybe those fairy-tale heroes aren't always as wonderful as they sound, huh?
: Why the long face? You thought you were just like those heroes?
: Well, yeah...
: Bahaha! Stop dreaming and wipe your feet!
You need to complete In the cold, white night to unlock this quest.
: Oh! Oh! Can we take this one?
: Ahh, that one! I've been saving it for yeh lot! It's from the Explorers Guild. Remember when yeh helped them with the winter preparations? After that, every single guild I send their way gets rejected for being too low-quality.
: What a shame.
: It's all yeh're fault! Yeh set the bar too damned high! Anyways, they won't accept a middling job anymore. It's yeh lot or nothing. Augh! Speak of the devil! I'll be in the storeroom! This is yer responsibility!
: Uh, yeah. We're doing fine. Just uh, looking at quests! Oh, this is an interesting one!
: Ah, the quest you're looking at comes from me. So he finally gave it to someone competent... I insisted that he hire you for the job, but he kept telling me you were busy. That's all very well if we had any other guilds of your caliber, but we are not so fortunate. I grew tired of Cass's wheedling, so I came here directly. A noble acquaintance of mine has given birth to a fine baby girl. I've seen her on my infrequent visits, but she's rather shy. She recoils and screams if her own mother so much as tries to breastfeed her. You can only imagine her reaction to me, or the guard corps... But if she's to go out in public, she'll need security. And she's not making it easy on us.
: Quite the dilemma.
: Is there anything we can do?
: However, there is one thing that calms her down... animals. If she sees a dog or a cat, she'll start to gurgle and forget her fears. Now, I've heard that some guilds employ trained animals. That they prove so useful in the Labyrinth, they may even enjoy full membership status. So I'm looking out for any guild with a trained animal to assist us. How about you? We won't take any animals that don't meet our exacting standards. You won't disappoint me, I trust.
: Oh! I know just the- hey, where's Ling?
: I dunno. I think I saw him going at a pile of cheese earlier, but I don't know where he is now.
: No... I'm sorry, but this just won't do. I need an animal trained for defense. If you don't have one now, you'll simply have to find one and train it to our standards.
: Forgive me for asking, but why can't you do it yourself?
: I myself... don't care for animals. It's the fur, you see. Not the feel, or the smell, it's just... I can't stand the beasts! Look! All I need is an animal trained in defense! Understood?
The Guildmaster leaves.
: Huh. I didn't think she wasn't good with them. Hey Cass. It's safe to come out now!
: Yeh're taking that quest? Good, but yeh better head out fast or yeh won't make it. The guard that posted it left a second ago. Maybe yeh can still catch up to him.
: I was told there weren't many guilds who had made it that high up the Labyrinth. The Grand Duchy told me the same thing when I asked them for help, so I was losing hope. But about the job... Say, how far have you made it up anyway?
: We've reached the 23rd floor.
: Is that so...? Then it should be no problem for you. My job centers on the 23rd floor. We actually made it up there, but we were so worn out by then that we had to go home. I saw it, though... Behind some monsters, there was this small sapling. I've never seen a plant like that in the Heavenly Keep. It must have been special. But I couldn't see how to get past the nearby monsters... You might have to face them. I'm sorry. I know we guards are supposed to protect the explorers, but... Some of you guys are so far beyond us that it just doesn't work that way. Honestly, I'm constantly surprised at some of the things you explorers can do. I hear it was even one of the guilds that finally found the floating castle... The guys who managed that must be really something. You look pretty strong yourselves! Anyhow, can you search the southwest area of the 23rd floor? That's where I saw it. The reward's what I managed to put together, plus some grants from the Grand Duchy. I may be a guard, but I'm the son of a merchant. I know how to compensate people! I'm counting on you. Good luck!
I don't recommend trying to do this quest until you've killed the Colossus. Otherwise, you're probably end up in a fight with a Beamedge and some Deathmen.
See this quest? It's very important that you complete this one!
: Yeh picked the right quest. There's no guild but yeh lot that can manage this one. They want someone to investigate the 22nd floor of the Labyrinth.
: But we've already explored all of it!
: Not true. There's a few areas that we might have missed. See?
: Huh. You've got a point.
: The client claims anyone can make it there without breaking a sweat... A likely story. And when no one takes him up on the offer, he complains to me about it! I wish all explorers were as strong as yeh lot. It'd make my job a damn sight easier. But enough of my bellyaching. Go to the Duke's Palace for the details. G'luck!
: Thank you for accepting it. I was certain no one would and was about to withdraw it. I see that you've reached the halfway point in the Heavenly Keep already. How is that going?
: We've already reached the 23rd floor.
: Yes, well... Please look at your map of the 22nd floor. Have you noticed this yet?
: Yeah. There's a few areas missing.
: As we investigate the castle, we're finding that the exterior of each level is identical. But if you compare the 21st floor to the 22nd, both sides of the 22nd floor are missing. We've searched top to bottom, but can't find a way to access the missing areas of the map. Clearly, the layouts must be identical. How, then, do we account for the missing space? We assume that there must be a way to reach the missing regions from the other floor. What I am asking you to do is to file a complete and accurate map of the 22nd floor. We've already lost countless soldiers to this investigation. I won't lose another. We are all relying on your expertise, Firefly. I wish you the best of luck.
So this quest is special. It's part of a very important quest line. It's another mapping quest, but not only does it check to see how many tiles you've stepped on, there's specific tiles that the game checks to see if you've walked over before the quest can be considered complete. Oh don't worry, you can't miss those tiles, you pretty much have to walk over them when you're going through the castle. And there's no damage tiles to get in the way this time.
Let's get Ling for that quest. You need to have a level 50 Beast to get the maximum reward.
A noble family is looking for an escort for their young daughter... The beast currently in your party would be perfect for their needs! Return to the bar once you have a spare moment.
: O-Oi! She's back! Yeh handle this! I'm outta here!
: I hope you haven't forgotten. Time is a factor here.
: We've got him right here! C'mon, Ling!
: Hmm...? Yes... this one will do. Ah! Don't let it get any closer! It's... it's not that I don't like animals, but...
: A-Anyway... I'll accept this one for now. I supposed I must take it with me... Rrrgh. Give me an opponent to fight and I'll make short work of him, but this... I'll contact you when the job is done. Tell Cass to pick it up IMMEDIATELY afterward. And not a word about any of this. All you need to tell him is that you've taken the job. Urgh... so much fur... Stop shedding this instant! Argh...! I knew I could count... ugh... count on Firefly.
: But I certainly didn't expect that. Who'd have thought that animals were her weak point? Now that's news yeh can use... Haw!
: Ahh, come now, I won't do anything. Yeh know me. But I do get a mite lonely here... Maybe it's time I got a dog for the place. Yeah... He could take care of burglars, rowdy drunks, yeh name it. Right? Haw haw haw! Yeh've proven yer worth to me yet again... Almost makes me want to add a little bonus to yer reward. Only almost, though. Why don't yeh and I have a niiiiice long wait until the work's done with? Haw haw haw!
Fade to black.
: Hey, we're back! Now that were a good time! Haw haw haw! She tried to play it cool, but I could see her sweat. Haw! Ahh, I havent had so much fun in a dog's age, and it's all thanks to yeh lot! Keep up the good work, friends! Haw haw haw!
You only get 2,000en if your Beast is above level 30.
A bunch of handy consumables.
This is the party we'll be going with for this fight.
But first, I stock up on supplies. If you want to avoid all the FOEs, you'll only need one of these, but if you don't want to fight more than one Guardian, get two.
Follow these directions exactly to avoid every single FOE. The directions I'm about to give only apply to the left side since the FOE placement is different. There's no random encounters on this floor, so don't worry about that. From the start, head all the way left until you hit a wall.
: Night night!
Then head down one tile and left one. Use a Sleep Bell on this spot, otherwise you'll get into a fight with a Deathman.
Now it doesn't matter exactly where you decide to do this, but it's very important that you backtrack one tile, and then walk forward one tile. And then just keep on the path from there.
If you don't, this Beamedge I'm right next to will catch you and pin you to the wall.
After that, follow this path and you're home free.
: They're onto us!
: There's a door here! Hurry!
: My my, that was a little too close.
: At least we made it out of there.
: I don't think we can sneak past these things.
: They don't look to be too sturdy, so let's just exterminate them.
The annoying thing about Guardians is that they will always blindside you. If they happen to bind the right body part, you're going to be here for a long time.
Fortunately they went for the arms.
: That seemed excessive.
: Well if you haven't noticed, there's four others in the room! We need to get out of here, now!
Once you get into a fight, they will all go into aggro mode until you leave the room.
This is why I said to get a second Sleep Bell in order to avoid fighting more than one.
The head honcho at last. Before we fight it, here's some notes from GeneralYeti on the beast.
The Colossus: in the English language today, it's pretty much used as a synonym for 'really fucking big' - which is certainly the case. However, it used to be more specific, referring more to exceptionally large statues; the most famous one is probably the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Colossus of Rhodes (hereafter referred to as simply the Colossus, because I'm tired of typing that out) is a statue of the Greek sun god Helios and stood over 30 meters tall. Note the past tense - unfortunately, the Colossus was destroyed in the earthquake of 226 BC. It was originally built to celebrate Rhodes' victory over Cyprus when the latter tried to invade.
: Holy... Look at the size of that thing!
: An impressive beast. But I doubt it can stand up to my formulas.
Ken's job is to be dishing out a ton of physical damage.
Aegis is gonna try to keep Ken alive on the front lines and take the heat off the rest of the party.
Pauline's job is to support the team.
Bellamy is going to be dishing out a ton of damage.
Aliara has one important job and that's letting Ken tear into the thing.
First turn setup. I'm going to have Pauline 1st Turn Aliara so Ken and Bellamy can both dish out a ton of damage right off the bat.
: Behind me!
: Heh heh heh, doom reigns!
: Huh, feels like I'm cutting through paper.
: You can thank me later.
Okay, both Aegis and Ken should be able to tank this.
: That wasn't part of the plan.
And right here is where my whole plan to stun lock the thing falls apart, and where I had to start improvising.
: Goddammit, that was my only good spleen!
: Do you know how expensive those are to replace!?
Ken's going to keep fighting.
Now I'm banking on the fact that Colossus will use Barrier on this turn, so I have Aegis Provoke Colossus in order to take the heat off the rest of the team.
I have Bellamy heal himself up to reduce the risk of him dying.
Aliara will revive Pauline.
: TO ME!
Crap, Ken getting off a Midareba before Colossus did anything means that he's not using Barrier this turn.
: Wake up! Now!
: Tried failure. Didn't like.
: Not so fast!
: Mmm, nope. Didn't feel any of that.
: I did, though. Oh god.
I tried having Pauline heal up Ken in case Colossus decided to use Brandish again.
Ken is still outputting a crazy amount of damage. Thank you, Dampen!
: Awww... It was worth a shot.
Colossus isn't that resistant to status effects and binds, so trying to disable it is a valid tactic.
: And it looks like that thing doesn't give a crap about me anymore. What a shame.
Since Provoke is a defense buff, Destroy gets rid of the Provoke effect.
: I just got back up...
Ken's dishing out more damage.
: Don't worry, you're safe.
: That was careless.
: ...Or not. Whatever.
Gah, if Ken was at full health, he would have lived.
: Can't keep a good girl down!
: Hmm, not as effective as my electrifying formulas.
: Ow my head... Is it over?
: Does that rampaging beast look dead to you!?
: Kind of.
: Sleeping is not the same thing as being dead!
: Are you sure about that?
: It is now!
In case you thought that battle was way too one-sided, here's a run of the fight where I took on Colossus with the 5 least popular character choices. It was a thing all right.
: God, that was such a brutal fight.
: Oh please, you only got taken out twice.
: Oh of course you wouldn't think so, Sir Tanksalot.
: Well, that is my job. Now tell me, what useful things have you done lately?
: I... Uh...
: Quit it, you two.
: So... it seems no monster of my devising can deter you. Then you leave me no choice. Come to the 25th floor, the pinnacle of my stronghold. As Overlord, it falls to me to end your journey myself. One way or another, I shall use the Grail of Kings to install new life in you...
The mysterious voice fades away with this ominous promise. It seems you are drawing near to the dread Overlord and the Holy Grail he wields. You consider returning to town and stocking up on provisions before proceeding...
: Over my dead body!
: I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it's intending to do.
And here's the stairs.
: So. Now what?
: Sounds like the floor got really quiet. Think those FOEs are gone? We could have a look around before going up.
: Heh, sounds like a good plan. We never did explore the whole pla- What the hell is going on with this map?
If I find out that all of your maps look like this when playing EO, I will be a sad fetus. Please draw good maps.
: There's like nothing on it.
: Well we were on the run, so I couldn't really draw much.
Once Colossus is dead, all those FOEs will disappear. They won't respawn until you leave the floor, and even then a bunch of them were one time FOEs. On repeat visits, there's only 7 FOEs wandering around compared to the 21 that you had to sneak past on the first go.
: Huh, there's a button here. Uh, should I press it?
: Lemme see. Oh, yeah. Go ahead and press it.
: Are you sure that it's safe?
: Yes, I can vouch for her. Nothing bad should happen if you press it.
It seems to have been neglected for years, but it somehow manages to catch your interest. Though pressing it seems to accomplish nothing, before long a disembodied voice sounds.
The mysterious voice abruptly ends there. You cock your head, marveling at the strange phenomenon, before returning to your quest.
: ...What the crap was that?
: I didn't understand a thing.
: Uhh... Not sure what to think about that.
: Don't worry about it.
: None of us understood anything about this stuff either.
: Huh, there was a shortcut here?'
: We never did get a good look around the floor.
On the right side is a mining point.
Common: Moonstone - 1 needed for Stone Ring. 5 needed for Duergar (Sword.) 10 needed for Ichimonj (Katana.)
-Pale blue gem that gives off a milky glow.
Uncommon: Tourmaline - 1 needed for Bardiche (Axe), Magic Wall, and State Wall. 5 needed for Agbuster (Gun.)
-Rare mineral that's electrified when heated.
Rare: Shine Rock - 1 needed for Wise Piece, Glow Brace, and Vigor Belt. 2 needed for the quests Easing the pain and Bonds of promotion.
-Rare, weak mineral that stores and emits light.
And the other Mine point is right on the other side.
: What's that over there?
Framed by a stone arch, it has a presence like nothing else you've seen here. You're tempted to investigate it further...
It is roughly your height, but it emits a pale blue glow, and has a mysterious aura. Its roots have dug into the rocky surface below. Fertile soil can be seen underneath. A gold plate is set here. You can barely make out the inscription. When you clear the dirt away, you can see it is a crest of some unknown animal. You remember the quest you accepted at the bar... You agreed to find the strange sapling that grows on the 23rd floor. This must be the sapling that the guard mentioned to you. You see two large, red fruits dangling from the sapling's branches. They look delicious. Unable to resist, Ken reaches toward the fruit to take one.
: Man, I'm pooped from that battle. I could use a snack.
: Wait! You don't know if it's dangerous!
: Save some for the rest of us, you hog!
The fresh, sweet juice oozes out as Ken takes bite after bite.
: Mmph! So good!
It seems this fruit has a mysterious power. There is one fruit remaining. You can return here anytime to taste the tree's bounty. Otherwise, your quest is complete! Report to the bar when you return to Lagaard.
Your first party member recovers a lot of HP at this event.
A large, shining, red fruit grows on it. It looks indescribably delicious... You have a powerful urge to pluck the last remaining fruit on the branch and eat it now.
You can check the spot again to get another big heal, but that's it.
You hesitate to eat the last of the precious fruit now, and take your leave of the plant.
And this is what the whole floor looks like. Doesn't that look a lot better than a barebones map?
And here's floor 24. Which we will explore next time.