Part 56Music: cushy mission
So I haven't been posting any real Lunatic updates since Yorihime. Part of this is because there's not really that much to say about FMW3 Lunatic until you hit like, chapter 54,
but the main reason why is because I'm actually going to be doing a challenge run of the last stretch of the game!
In the source material, youkai were forbidden from interacting with the Underworld. Thus to deal with the incident, a character of the player's choice would approach either Reimu or Marisa and send them underground as
The game forces a few youkai units, but I'll just have them hide in the back.
The rules of this run are simple: until I hit chapter 55 (where I'm no longer in the Underworld) I am only allowed six characters (Reimu, Marisa, Sakuya, Youmu, Sanae, and Keine), who each have access to up to three support characters. I can put youkai characters in their backrows to act as "support" characters, but they can never be allowed to swap to the front. Well until 55 anyways, since that takes place on the surface.
If you're curious, the available teams are:
I'll mostly be using Border, Magic, and Servant Teams for obvious reasons, but the other three will see some adjusting throughout the run.
While survival isn't hard for Border Team, everyone else is in an iffier situation. Sanae's dodge rates will soar once her faith gauge gets going, and Sakuya has her wall of defensive gimmicks, but Magic Team and GunXSword are relying entirely on Keine's by now completely outdated defenses. And Parry, which stops being useful once the grunts shift from hell crows and evil eyes to evil spirits en masse.
Combine that with more aggressive enemy AI and every chapter's stage portion turns back into FMW1.
Which is to say that Reimu is the bulk of my player phase offense while everyone else aims for counterattacks on the enemy phase.
51 went pretty smoothly up until the boss. I had some faint hopes that Border Team could distract Kisume, but she took one look at Reimu's pile of bullshit and left.
Defeating Yamame is the goal this chapter though, so I'll just ignore Kisume entirely and focus on taking her down.
First I have to surround Kisume though; wouldn't want Yamame to get those Support Defends. Or that friendship boost.
AIf it weren't enough that it now debuffs Mobility and Armor by 75% and base weapon damage by 800, Kandata's Rope now further adds a -30% to damage to all enemy units. Needless to say that if Kisume got off her field too, the duo would be completely untouchable.
But all six of my characters are fully upgraded, so their damage output is high enough to get over the debuffs.
I mentioned this in an aside back on the main 51 update, but Yamame having access to spirits isn't really a problem. She'll blow most of it on casting either Faith or Vigor, which are annoying but not a real issue. And once her SP gets really low she'll only have enough for Grit, which is hilariously useless on enemies since it just nullifies the Team Attack instead of the main one.
Points are meaningless when everyone involved is fully upgraded, so I'd rather aim for experience. Sanae and Marisa will be getting a lot of kills.
I do some inventory before heading into 52. Items were rearranged (turns out I didn't put anything on Keine!), personal skills swapped (why did i even have the moriya katamari setup), and I swapped Mokou for Eirin so Sakuya isn't my only MP restorer. I considered replacing Reisen with Yuyuko too, but Yuugi has Fury so Triumph will get more than Support Defend.
Focus+ is actually pretty handy since it saves Sanae some SP every turn.
Evil spirits are wimpy enough that I feel safe letting Sanae go out on her own. My goal was to get her to build up enough faith to trigger Max God.
Yeesh, look at all that danmaku. Anyway spirits have fairly timid AI so Sanae can kind of pick and choose who she wants to take down until Yuugi and Parsee get to close.
Which turned out to be sooner than I expected! I ended up having to have Sanae drop a Miracle to reach 100%, which really screwed her over since it didn't give her enough SP to use Alert. As I've discovered numerous times throughout this run, Max God isn't very good on Lunatic.
The endless waves of Fury make it so that Sakuya is useless, so I have her head down here to lure Parsee.
I quickly realized that Yuugi having the Guard spirit makes it so that actually capturing her first spell would be a huge waste of resources, so I changed strategies and timed out her first spell. That way, she won't have enough SP to do anything crazy during Knockout in Three Steps.
This is important since I can't time that spell out!
It took a whole bunch of Support Attacks and a couple suicides, but I made it through.
More rearranging. Neither Satori nor Orin have Fury, so I go all in on Support Defend. I also swapped out Max God for Living God.
I brought Aya because I was curious what she'd say to Satori. Don't worry, she won't do anything.
The strategy for 53 is to have Border Team solo Satori while everyone else gets ready for Orin.
If you're wondering how I dealt with the Alerts, I just had Reimu waste an attack every enemy phase. The automatic Alert goes up at the beginning of enemy phase, so if I can get rid of it before player phase I can easily have one unit take down Satori.
I guess I could have had the others come in to take down Satori's spells but that would leave the ship defenseless. So I just timed them out.
Satori summons the two different kinds of tengu on Reimu's route. They cast Strike and Valor on Lunatic, so they're sort of annoying.
Incidentally, there are minor route differences in conversation throughout chapters 53, 54, and 55. 53 has the most notable changes since Satori uses different spells:
Seeing my own danmaku reflected back at me makes me understand why the abilities of the satori are so highly regarded. Still, can you really mirror my full speed with YOUR body?
You have no need to worry. This danmaku has been formed from the memories of those who have seen it.
Now, how about you try fighting against yourself? The you that others see, that is.
Timed Out Illusionary Dominance posted:
Tch, she's quite an opponent.
So this is what the wind looks like when I go full speed. I sure am impressive.
Don't joke around. Who would have thought she could read things like spellcards...?!
Boundary of Life and Death has one major difference now: if you bomb the tile Satori is standing on, the entire "you can only hit her point-blank" effect vanishes. Bomb range is crippled to make that harder, though, and she moves around.
...This is the danmaku I showed Reimu and the others back then, in front of that cherry tree.
While I couldn't finish reading through your memories, this danmaku was filled with strong emotions. To think the youkai sage would expose her personal matters to humans...
Even I am but a single youkai. I think and feel like any other, and I will never be able to forget my regrets or my mistakes.
...You're fixated on the past. That will prove to be your downfall.
Though it seems you're already aware how foolish your actions are.
Timed Out Boundary of Life and Death posted:
Impossible, you escaped...
I've seen that spell before, so I already knew what to do.
The ship is in pretty big danger here,
so I just warp it over. It's not breaking the rules, Reimu could border jump in SA too.
The Underworlders are obviously allowed in the Underworld, so I use them. This is Lunatic so the best they can do fresh off the shelves is suicide though.
Probably the hardest part about the fight with Orin is all the enemies she summons. They're not really a threat, but there's so many that my weaker characters (Keine) get ganged up on and crippled. Orin is set to go last too, so even if I time out her spells I have to survive an enemy phase.
Orin's increased amount of HP (or rather, the fact I have so few characters) finally shows me how Zombie Fairy is supposed to work, by the way: she summons new fairies regardless of if the old ones were killed, and they can move on the turn they were summoned. Enemy phase is loooooong.
I briefly considered actually capturing Spleen Eater (which now cuts HP by 1000) with only five (out of SP) characters.
Special mention goes to Yuyuko, who saw that Youmu was going to die and went absolutely insane. She dodged on every single Support Defend without fail.
I'm not even going to cover 54 because it's just a slog. Utsuho doesn't have Fury so she's powerless against my Support Defense formation until she declares Giga Flare. But she does have an absolute shit ton of HP (58500, 56000, 58000, 68000, and 76000) which makes actually defeating her practically impossible for my understaffed team. So I just timed everything out again, which needless to say is pretty boring to write about.
Here's Reimu's one-liner before taking out Giga Flare:
...Good grief. Looks like we're not gonna get anywhere by talking.
I'll just have to seal your ambition along with the power of the sun!
It just gets worse on 55, which is a tremendous pile of bullshit. Back in Normal, Utsuho's insane firepower was kept in check by the fact your damage output was high enough that with some smart positioning and the proper skill setups you can blow right through her spells. On Lunatic? Her HP is bonkers (60000, 54000, 52000, 54000, 54000, 84000), and that's before you add in Prevail+!
As if that weren't bad enough, Berserk leveled up. It now gives her two extra turns, and the cherry on top of that shit sundae is that Giga Flare is post-movement on Lunatic. This makes it impossible to confront Berserk Utsuho on your own terms, as without fail the first phase of the fight boils down to everyone throwing up Alert/Grit and standing just far away enough that Utsuho can only reach them on her third move. Then everyone tanks the Giga Flare and bum rushes Utsuho in hopes of triggering Uncontainable Nuclear Reaction.
It just gets worse from there, as Utsuho's multiple turns make everything much more complicated. Want to time out Uncontainable Nuclear Reaction? Well three people are dying per turn and as soon as she declares Peta Flare she'll spam that thrice. Decide to capture it? Start tearing into your SP since Berserk Utsuho has frankly insane Hit/Evade. I would actually recommend bringing Cirno and Kanako just to use the Freeze debuff and Virtue of Wind God. Combine that with Mystia's accuracy buffs, and you end up saving a ton of SP since now you won't have to cast Strike every turn. And believe me, you want that because Fury is abso-fucking-lutely essential to get anywhere in this fight.
The tipping point is Uncontainable Nuclear Reaction Dive, because on Lunatic Utsuho gets up to four bonus turns. Which adds to seven total, which is kind of sort of insane! Once you manage to ford that, though, you can fairly easily time out Hell and Heaven Meltdown (I recommend moving the ship to the safe zone earlier in the fight) and Subterranean Sun (which now jacks Utsuho's maximum Power all the way up to 1000). But if you actually want to capture those spells, then uh good luck with that since you'll need one hell of a sustained assault to make it past Utsuho's HP Regen in Hell/Heaven and her massive wall of HP on Subterranean. I really don't think there's a cute strategy you can use to make beating Berserk Utsuho easier, it all comes down to pure, brute force.
Probably the worst part of the chapter is having to sit through the opening cinematic every single time though.
So with that all said and done, I'm sure you're wondering who I'm going to bring into the fight.
Well it's like the very first thread title said:
JUST USE REIMU
FMW3 has a fairly amusing glitch with its in-chapter deployment screen. See, all the characters you have are grouped together in little pairs of two. The player can move them around as they see fit, and naturally that means they can split those pairs into individual characters. Since the game wants to let you be as free as possible, whenever you're out of empty pairs to put characters in it generates a new one. There's a hard limit of about 45 total groups though... and you can break that once you hit the SA section.
Whenever you deselect a team from this screen, the game automatically generates an empty space for them regardless of the cap. So spend some time to separate out all of your groups, pick a random team of whoever, and deselect all of them. Do this enough times and the game will freak out and give you a free team of two Reimus. Why Reimu? I dunno, probably because she's the first character coded into the game or something. You can do this as many times as you want for more Reimu than you can shake a stick at.
These Reimus don't cost anything, but they will give you more cost if you undeploy them. This is a cheap way to get infinite cost, but chances are you'll just want to keep the Reimus since they all share the same items and skills.
I threw out two Reimus so I could bring in Yukari and Yuyuko for some early Rally spam. Let's go.
...Is what I'd like to say but to be honest this isn't going to change much on Lunatic. Reimu may have Shrine Maiden to get around Utsuho's evasion, and she may have Fury to get around Prevail+ and Subterranean Sun, but she doesn't have any way to deal with Strike beyond the expensive Sense. She can probably barrel through the first four lifebars anyways then stall long enough to time out the last two spells, but that's not anything special, you know? It'd take forever too and with finals coming up I'm on a tight timetable so that's a no-go.
So let's cheat.
Unlike regular SRW games, FMW3 doesn't cap your stats at 400. I actually don't even know what the cap is, maybe 65535?
This should do.
Everyone else can just stay back, God Reimu's got this.
On Hard/Lunatic, Berserk Utsuho starts moving on turn 3. She doesn't do anything but move next to God Reimu and end turn though, because even an out of control Yatagarasu knows not to trifle with his betters.
God Reimu declares Fantasy Nature. It's her way of saying she's only going to need three turns.
Down goes Uncontainable Nuclear Reaction.
RIP Peta Flare.
Berserk Utsuho sees she's done for and goes for the ship. Her AI forces her to change targets every move though, so she heads back to God Reimu.
Who's mad now. Between the Mystic Memory and nine levels of SP Up, God Reimu can cast Zeal thrice.
With a little help from Sanae, this means I can take down the last three spells in one turn.
Here's Reimu's version of the final motivational speech before Subterranean Sun starts up:
After hearing that, I don't want to even consider losing her.
So I beg of you, save Okuu.
...I would've helped her even if you didn't ask.
I'm not going to let this end any other way!
So you're saying you can seal Yatagarasu's power without hurting her?!
Now that you've said it, we've just gotta do it!
We'll just have to take on everything she's got, both her power and her heart!
Stay with me, everyone! We're going to stop the sun!
And finally, here's Reimu's version of the final protagonist conversation:
To think that Utsuho had been holding back Yatagarasu's power until now...
...She was definitely doing it for us. But you know what? Nobody wants an ending where someone gets hurt.
We absolutely MUST save her. I won't accept any other conclusion.
Duh. We made a mistake, and we're going to deal with it. There's no doubt in my mind that we can stop Utsuho.
...If we combine our power, maybe we can get through to Okuu.
Once again, let's go!
Even halved, God Reimu's accuracy is still 100%.
Reimu doesn't say anything special if she wins with Fantasy Nature, so I switched to another quicksave (if you reload a quicksave with a character with insane stats, they'll plummet) to see if Fantasy Seal would get anything.
Whether it's the surface or whatever, I'm not letting you burn anything on my watch!
I'll seal Yatagarasu's power!
I can see right through you!
This is the end!
Now it's all up to Utsuho...
And that's Lunatic. Not exactly the best playthrough ever, but I'm not going to lie: Lunatic is just not very fun. I feel like Sanbondo doesn't really even try to balance it, they just make sure it's technically beatable and call it a day. In contrast Normal sees everything hilariously nerfed, to the point I'm surprised Easy is even a thing. I guess what I'm saying here is that if you ever want to play this series, Hard is the way to go.
Congratulations for beating the game!
Even Miss Ran and Lady Yakumo were talking about how hard you've been trying. Having you play so much makes us all happy.
This is even the third time we've had a message like this. It's all very touching.
It's actually the sixth time, if you count the demos. I'm impressed at how shamelessly they keep repeating this, even for the era where we weren't even used in the source games.
Chen's grown a lot since then. Take a look at this riceball.
It's almost triangular. Chen, who used to only be able to make her riceballs like snowballs, actually managed to...
Oh, have you two already eaten the riceballs? Sorry, I've been practicing but I still can't quite get them triangular.
You needn't push yourself to make them triangular. Even snowball shapes can be good too, right?
But didn't you say it's easier to eat them like that when you're tired?
So that's why you've been molding riceballs continuously, until your body's been covered in rice?
...So Ran had already noticed. How could I have missed this until now?!
Chen's feelings, her efforts, her devotion to her family... So all the snowballs I've been eating these past three months were in fact failed attempts at following that theory.
Not only that, she still sometimes mixes up the salt and sugar.
I've decided on Fantasy Maiden Wars' next title.
Oh, what is it?
Fantasy Maiden Wars "Bonds". It'll be a three hour family special.
Pack lots of riceball ingredients, so you'll have no regrets.
We'll be putting everything we've got into this.
We've out of time here again, but I'm sure we'll meet again next game.
See you later!