Part 58: Scarlets - Part 1a
Your formation doesn't really matter for this chapter, so I'll stick with the default.
Flan, you're okay!
...Ah, Marisa. That's right, I managed to get out again...
So that's Flandre? Her atmosphere is pretty similar to Remilia's.
It's hard to imagine that she possesses such power... Power enough to cause the foundations of this building to tremble...
...Patchouli isn't around. Did you let me out, Marisa?
Well, that's how it turned out. There's stuff I want to ask you regarding...
Ehehe, it's great that that conceited snob got what she deserves. Serves her right!
Wha!? Why are you speaking in such a manner...?
Hey Marisa. Now all the nuisances are gone. Let's continue playing from where we left off!
Sorry, but we didn't come here to play. We have business with you.
Huh, there's so many people here. Who are you?
...Remi...lia...? ...You all know about her?
Yeah. She's always coming to my shrine and causing a fuss.
Hehe, hehehehe. Remilia. Big sister Remilia.
Flan, wait. This has nothing to do with Remilia. We're here to talk to you...
You've got it wrong, Marisa. I'm really, really happy right now. Because my elder sister, who never cared about me up till now...
I dare say the shit has hit the fan.
Toys? You talking about us?
Yeah. Which whould I play with? There's so many, it's hard to choose...
...This pressure... Be careful, who knows what's coming!
Hehe, hehehehe. Nine dolls from my big sister. One, two, three dolls... I'll play with you all until your necks snap!
Flandre's referencing one of Agatha Christie's most famous works, And Then There Were None, and there'll be a couple more allusions to it sprinkled around the chapter.
Also everybody who cares already knows what And Then There Were None used to be called, so don't bring it up.
It is no use Marisa. Your words are not getting through to her at all... She is different from what you had said...
...Looks like we'll have to do this.
I've always wanted to play together with you, big sister. And now, my dream has finally come true.
Music: Soul of Scarlet
This song was actually playing from the beginning, but it won't get past the initial bit until the gameplay starts. It's a medley of various tracks from EoSD, more specifically Touhou 6's title theme and all seven of its stage themes. Like Scarlet Pressure, it'll override all of the characters' battle themes, which is nice since otherwise you wouldn't get to hear the whole thing.
FMW2's final stage song is also a medley. Looks like that's what Sanbondo's going to be doing for the final stages instead of having an arrange of the title theme.
As usual, my strategy is to send Reimu out on her own and cluster everyone else up.
The enemies will spend the first phase setting up too.
Unlike Chapter 11, where getting to Remilia was a challenge in and of itself, Flandre's allies are complete jokes. They exist solely to let you boost your characters' Power to reasonable levels before the final fight.
On the other hand, some of my characters are pretty bad themselves.
Though Nitori managed to dodge at least. Good thing I don't have P-Damage on her.
I've split my main group up into three chunks. One group takes care of the left side of the screen, the other takes care of the right, and the fairies just sit in the middle because I don't need Cirno and Dai needs to be in movement range of both tanks.
After this phase, I'll probably have to have everyone Focus. Those hit rates are smack dab in the middle of iffy.
One bat decides to ignore the example of his peers and attack Reimu.
It does not go well for him. Reimu's in position to get attacked by just about everyone, so P-Evade is going to make her Power skyrocket. By turn 4 she'll be able to one shot bats with criticals.
One out of three's alright.
Anyways, time for the main attraction! Don't even bother having anyone counter attack Flandre until the rest of your army is in position, by the way. I'll explain why later.
This pressure that makes others shiver... I can definitely accept that you are her little sister.
Never let it be said that Reimu does not have her priorities straight.
Your big sister Replica keeps coming to my shrine and being a nuisance, you know.
It's Remilia! Big sister Remilia! ...And I know already. She locks me up and goes outside to play.
That's no surprise. You're a problem child after all.
But now I have a flying toy over here...
What do you want to play?
That's too bad for you. No one can rival me in danmaku!
Music: Frantic Destroyer
Once this song starts up, it will keep on playing until you override it with a finisher.
Flandre's first attack is long-ranged laser barrage. It's relatively not that much of a threat, but you still want to have everyone Defend it since Evade puts you at risk of getting hit. And as you'll come to see, getting hit by Flandre is a big no-no.
So fun fact: the poem in And Then There Were None features ten people, not nine. Yes, there's actually a reason why you get so few playable characters in this game.
...Lady Patchouli is not present. I presume the sealing has failed.
...You're big sister's dog. Why are you here?
Milady's orders. I will be leading you back to your room.
...So you're gonna help us out!?
Recieving unexpected reinforcements is always heartening!
...Big sister even sent me her favorite toy. I didn't know she wanted to play with me so much.
I feel the same way. I really want to play with you, big sister. I really want to make you scream!
And with that, Sakuya joins the party! For one chapter only of course, but it's the thought that counts.
Sakuya's alright. With the exception of her incredible Skill (second highest in the party, no prizes for guessing who's first), her stats are mostly average (to put it in perspective, Cirno is three levels lower and is at 149 Range). This isn't Fire Emblem though, so being a balanced character isn't a bad thing.
An actual problem with Sakuya is that she starts with absolutely nothing. She has no upgrades, purchasable skills, or equipment, so while she's supposed to be comparable to Reimu or Marisa she's almost always going to be way behind them.
To make up for this, she still has Private Square. And it's been modified to be much more useful to boot: while Private Square (Player) doesn't have a 100% activation rate, now she doesn't have to sacrifice her attack to use it.
Speaking of her attacks, Sakuya kind of has a cliff notes version of the other two protagonists' movelists: Melee is her basic close ranged attack, Misdirection is her bread-and-butter ranged projectile, Killing Doll is her next-step-up spellcard, and Sakuya's World is her costly finisher. But unlike the other two, Sakuya has the stats to use all of her moves well. MP, on the other hand... well, let's just say that Sakuya won't exactly be spamming her spellcards.
With that all said, Sakuya can't do anything yet since she spawned in the back so I move her to join Keine's group.
Said group takes down a bat both holding a bomb and generating danmaku.
And on the opposite side, Marisa and Alice finish off the bats Nitori weakened on the enemy phase.
Alice gets a level too, netting her Alert just in time for the final battle.
Up north, Reimu continues to tempt fate by staying in the middle. I could get her out of Flandre's attack range and let her focus on one side, but I want her to draw in as many bats as possible.
Keine ends the turn with a cheap shot. I could have had her break formation and attack with Three Treasures, but I'd rather let the enemy come to me so I don't have to move as much to get everyone ready to fight Flandre.
Told you Reimu'd be insta-killing bats. Yin-Yang Orb is kind of an odd move, since it's almost useless during the player phase (since it's not post-movement), but during enemy phase it's by far Reimu's best counter. A shame it only has four shots.
This jerk attacked Cirno. Thankfully the bat missed, since otherwise that would have cost Cirno her first Grit.
Turns out on Normal, the northern bats don't have aggressive enough AI to charge Reimu. So I left her in range of Flandre for no reason.
The magicians have hit 110 Power.
But I want them to get even higher, so I have Reimu move right to weaken a bat for Alice. Not coincidentally, this puts her in range to be healed back to full health from Dai.
If you're wondering why I did that, on my first playthrough Reimu got hit on a 14% from Flandre and instantly died since she took some graze damage earlier.
Since Alice got the northern bat, Marisa will be taking this southern one Keine weakened. Separating the two might mean they can't use Proto Malice immediately, but it's not like they even need it right now.
By the way, I could be giving Sakuya some kills so she can hit 120 Power faster, but as far as I know any Graze or experience she gains in this chapter isn't carried over to FMW 2.
And even if they did, I'd rather give the Power to my heavier hitters.
I'll let her join Keine and Rumia in trying to bait those bats at least. Maybe she'll get targeted.
Luckily for her, however, Keine missed on her second counter so Sakuya can actually see some action!
Reimu doesn't even need to fire bullets anymore.
Time to finish off these bats.
I landed Marisa here so she could conserve a bit of MP. Pretty pointless, all things considered, but at least the land background is pretty cool.
I feel sorry for this bat. All the other ones got taken down in a respectable matter, this one just got kicked in the face twice.
With all the small fry cleaned up, the preparations for the final battle begin.
While I get everyone into formation, let me go back to an earlier statement I made.
Namely, that it's pointless to attack Flandre until the whole group's ready.
Just like Remilia, Flandre's packing both HP and MP Regen. Hers are at Medium level, however, which means she recovers 20% every turn. Since she has 15,500 HP on Normal, you have to do more than 3100 damage a turn if you actually want to see any impact. And since Flandre's Insane personality gives her +2 Power every time she gets hit (and if she dodges/hits), all you're really doing is making Flandre stronger.
Speaking of Flandre getting stronger, don't let her first attack deceive you.
While she indeed can't counter at point blank range right now, it should be obvious just from looking at her stats that Flandre is built to be a physical powerhouse. Starbow Break's blindspot is just there to lure you into getting smacked by her first spellcard.
Now if you excuse me, I'm just going to go move everyone right next to Flandre.
While all of you are going , Dai gets a level.
And Reimu kicks Flandre for another level.
Here's hoping Cirno gets to keep her Grit.
Isn't it boring here?
Well, I've been here forever, so it's boring for me.
Hehe, I win! I know a lot of places that are more fun!
Fun places, huh? So they're outside? If I go outside, I can go to those places too, right?
Of course. I'll show you where they are.
Ehehe, okay! I'll go play outside after I'm done with you dolls!
I spend the next turn moving more units next to Flandre. I swear there's a method to my madness, just wait for a bit.
And this is a point blank attack too. Man Rumia, your aim sucks.
I'm fighting a vampire again. I'll make you lost in the middle of my darkness~.
Darkness...? Ehehe, I'm already used to the darkness. Much more used to it than you!
Rumia gets Parried.
Also this line is another big hint that the Starbow Break blindspot is a trap.
Cirno's still great at being bait.
Honestly, I'm not really sure why I'm attacking Flandre. As I said earlier, all I'm really doing is boosting her Power.
Flan, you must not act so violently!
...Who are you? Don't talk to me like you're my friend.
I heard about you from Marisa. We have come to help you, so please listen to us.
I don't need any help. I'm already outside. So next up is to play. I'm gonna play lots and lots!
She is not listening... We will have to fight after all!
I guess I'll start the actual attack with her at not quite full health? vv
At least none of the attackers are actually wasting MP.
Ahh, it's the dog. What do you want?
I have already stated my intentions earlier. Lady Remilia has ordered me to show you back to your room.
Remilia, Remilia, it's always about her... Ahh, will she cry if I destroy her favorite toy?
Anything big sister likes is something I hate. I'm gonna break you to pieces!
Flandre's at 147 Power now. Let's just call it a self-imposed challenge.
I've finished my formation! As you can see, I've totally boxed in Flandre. Cirno should have enough SP to last past the first spell, and Keine and Nitori are protecting everyone on the left side.
...Oh wait I forgot to have Marisa lift off again.
Marisa! It's Marisa! Did you come to play with me?
Nope, there's something I need to know. Why are you...
Ehehe. I'm so glad you came, Marisa!
...Dammit, she ain't listening. Looks like I've got to do this the hard way!
I had Marisa Defend, but thankfully she dodged.
Marisa and Alice will have Alert on 24/7.
And everyone will be Focused to get around Flandre's Small size.
Flandre's built to last, so Support Attacks won't be doing much damage. Her already being at max Power doesn't help.
However, Flandre's actually weaker than she should be! Due to a bug(?) in the English patch, instead of holding an Oni's Fang (HP +1000, Armor +100), Flandre's holding the lesser Oni's Nail. This makes the fight easier, but it also means you don't get the Oni's Fang for beating her. If you want it, you'll either have to play the japanese version or hack it in.
Oh, and if any of you were curious, no it's still not Night terrain. Flandre's S in Night is functionally useless.
The physical beatdown continues. The safest strategy for dealing with the first healthbar is to just slowly out damage her regeneration with your melee and supports,
but that's boring. This battle is at its best when both sides are going all-out, so I'm not going to drag things out.
So you're calling a puppeteer a doll... I can't decide if you're smart or not. If you want to play with dolls, perhaps mine will do?
Nope, no way. I'm tired of playing with dolls.
Why not? Once you know how to associate with them, dolls are gentle and wonderful beings.
Alice really needs to get out more.
Nah, they're boring. You can whack them and tear them and they won't say a thing...
But you're different. Right, Miss doll?
One more blast should do it.
That means Marisa gets to keep her Alert, since it only goes away if the enemy actually manages to attack you.
Proto Malice is even stronger now! Also Flandre drops the second and final Bomb of the chapter.
Ehehe, so much fun. Just as I would expect from toys of hers!
You make it sound so simple. We're having a hard time just getting close to you.
I really like having durable dolls. What should I play next... Yeah, let's do some busting.
Hey, remember what weapon Flandre was using back when she was playing Bat Busters with Marisa in Chapter 13M?
I'm always playing it with bats, playing it with dolls might be more fun!
Hey, is she being serious when she says such weird stuff?
...She doesn't appear to be joking. That sword has an abnormal amount of mystical power focused into it!
Watch out, that sword ain't normal... It'll take you out easily if it hits!
How will it feel, how will it sound, how will it taste... It makes me excited just thinking about it!
Yep, it's this thing again.
As cliche as it may sound, now the real fight begins.
As a physical weapon, Laevateinn is running off of Flandre's ridiculous 175 Melee stat.
If that weren't bad enough, the danmaku effect is designed to make you take as much damage as possible.
But the worst part is something you can't see. For this spell (and maybe the ones after it), Flandre will move.
This means that if you don't have everyone boxing her in, she'll happily move wherever she wants and possibly completely screw up your positioning for your nukes. And believe me, you'll be needing those.
Every enemy phase, the spellcard's secondary danmaku field will flip directions. It's a clear reference to the original game's bullet pattern, which you can see in the exhibition video.
Cirno's low HP and shit Armor are irresistable. I shouldn't have had her Focus though, even if Laevateinn's danmaku field would have tanked her evasion rate.
Watch Flandre torch Cirno!
Being at point blank range means Laevateinn has a pretty good hit rate. Everyone will be dipping into their SP to account for that.
This will probably sound really weird, but Laevateinn is both a spell you want to end really quickly and a spell you want to take your time on.
Laevateinn really, really hurts, and most of your characters can't get good dodge rates,
but the spell after it is much worse, and in my opinion Flandre's most dangerous spell. You want to be able to start that one with as many characters ready to attack as possible.
On a related tangent, let me talk about Chapter 15 for a bit. It's very much like a regular Touhou game's Extra stage: a lot of the difficulty comes from the fact that you have no idea what's coming next. On my first playthrough I thought Chapter 15 was by far the hardest in the game, but subsequent runs changed my mind. In my opinion, once you learn how it works Chapter 15 is much easier than Chapter 11. You're not dealing with Night terrain, you don't have to fight through three bosses, Flandre is much less dodgy than Remilia, and above all your characters are at their absolute best. If by Chapter 15 your characters don't have the upgrades, skills, equipment, and levels they need, you've really messed up.
This is 32% of Laevateinn's damage. And Youmu's not in the +1000 damage danmaku field.
Good thing Dai's here.
I should be able to take out Flandre next turn.
And there's nothing Flandre can do to really stop me. Support Defend is just the best.
I wonder if Flandre's wing boosters are a Gundam reference?
Flandre's referencing Destiny Gundam with the Laevateinn attack. The light wing boosters, combined with the legendary sword motif, are a dead giveaway.
Looks like it was.
I have one more turn of Laevateinn, so I'm going to use this turn to move Marisa in range for Master Spark.
Reimu chips down Flandre's health some more,
and Nitori helps out with a weak atta-
...You didn't break.
Did she calm down a bit? Maybe she'll listen now.
Yes, we must talk to her properly and make her understand!
What are you talking about!? You think you're so great just cuz you're her minions!?
Please listen to us! We do not serve Remilia!
That's right. We only want to know why she imprisoned you here.
Well she's half right.
If she doesn't lock me up, she can't go outside and play without worrying.
That's not true, Lady Remilia does not think that at...
Shut up! A dog like you should never address her by her name!
And you all are the same. You look at me with fear in your eyes.
You've got it wrong, Flan! That's not what we mean...
You're scared of me, so you came to lock me up again!
Everyone's scared of me. So, so scared that they leave me behind and run away...
Then they won't ever run away again!
Your eyes are not fooling you. There are four Flandres.
And the original one's getting an accuracy boost for each one.
Individually, the Four of a Kind clones aren't a threat since they're much weaker. They're based off of Chapter 13M's Flandre, in fact.
The problem with this spell is similar to Star of David's: the boss gets more than one attack per turn. This does not mix very well with my strategy of abusing Support Defend to make every boss a joke.
Thankfully it's not a map attack so Support Defend isn't entirely ignored, but I have to hope that after Flandre wastes a support the clones don't attack the people who were being covered.
And because Nitori is such a fuck-up, I don't have Reimu or Marisa ready to quickly blow through this spell.
My best bet now (since I can't safely capture this spell without the protagonists) is to brace for impact and hope for the best.
Guess who forgot to have Youmu cast Focus?
Four of a Kind is probably Flandre's most spectacular attack.
Also I'm getting background problems again.
I'm pretty sure at this point that the errors I'm getting are due to me playing the game in a single session for far too long. Which I have to do because of this LP's gimmick. Oh well.
The first clone attacks the now supportless Reimu. Also they have their own danmaku fields.
The second goes for Youmu. She has to Defend so she can start regenerating MP.
The last one attacks the also defenseless Dai.
Time to take this spell out. Rumia drops my first bomb,
and Marisa and Alice bust out the big guns. As always, I wish they had their support.
The first combination cripples Flandre,
and I'll never know how the second one would go because the game froze.
Huh huh, you're done already? You're more cautious than I expected.
Hmm... Or are you running away because I'm scary?
Hehe... Just kidding. Come back quickly and play with me, okay?