Part 9: Highlands TempleUpdate 9: Highlands Temple
Last time, we left off as Alphonse had just used a device to apparently drain the relic of its energy and was finally going to fight us. This time, well actually get to beat his smug face in.
However before the fight starts, there is a quick pause and then
So much POWER!
Seriously, someone tell me this isnt a normal part of the Pilgrimage.
And with that were in a fight.
We start down low with a smaller party. Anadines coming to be another heavy hitter, Reiner for ranged damage, Bobby for hitting elemental weaknesses, and Sophia to make sure that people dont die too quickly. Which they will, because Alphonse hits HARD.
Up top, Alphonse has a ton of HP and some really nasty stats. He also has a bunch of strong AOE skills that can inflict status ailments, the counterattack skill, and passives that make his physical attacks cause bleeding and transfer any debuffs on him to his victim. He also cuts the damage that any percent based attacks do by 50%, so things like heavy hit arent nearly as useful here.
Thanks to the difficulty settings, hes also joined by a pretty strong Komainu with a sweet name. Still, hes much weaker defensively so itll make sense to take him out quickly.
Bzaro starts out the fight by charging ahead and taking a big hit from Blood Knight.
While Alphonse targets Kyrie, doing nearly a third of her health and inflicting a bunch of status effects.
Kyrie and Reiner then focus down the Komainu so Bobby can take him out before he runs off to heal. Anadine also runs up to first aid Kyrie and clear her status effects.
Alphonse floats down and puts Bobby, Reiner, and Sophia to sleep, while also doing decent chunks of damage to them. I brilliantly decide to try and debuff his attack with Kyrie, who promptly gets counterattacked, starts bleeding, and gets the debuff transferred to herself. Im a bit smarter with Anadine, who uses flash strike to bypass the counter, while Bzaro decides to heal both ladies.
But Alphonse ignores the group and backhands the hell out of Sophia, doing almost enough damage to 1HKO her if shed been at full. Definitely not good to lose my healer so early on.
Kyrie, Anadine, and Bzaro continue to swarm Alphonse, doing a decent bit of damage.
But not enough to stop him from taking out Reiner and Bobby in 1 move.
In desperation, I have Kyrie run to the back and use a revive item to get Sophia back up, while Anadine uses stunning strike to delay Alphonses turn and eats a big counterattack as thanks.
Sophia thankfully has just enough MP to bring Reiner back, since he at least has enough HP and defense to eat 1 backhand before dying.
And Im quickly rewarded for my choice by being able to do a big sneak attack on Alphonse after he does another 3rd of Anadines HP.
After a bit more swarming, Alphonse is nearly down but were hurting too. This nightmare leaves Anadine with single digit HP and puts Kyrie and Bzaro to sleep.
I get some healing done, and have Reiner body block Alphonse from sneaking back to Sophia, while also waking Kyrie back up.
Being blocked doesnt mean much to Alphonse though, and he throws out a nightmare to take out Bzaro and put all 3 of our fighters to sleep. Thankfully, he follows up with another one after Sophia heals the group. No one dies this time, and all 3 of them wake up.
After 1 more attack from Kyrie, Reiner is able to finally take out Alphonse and end the fight.
This was definitely a close one, though there were some ways I couldve mitigated things. The alchemystic (which Bobby couldve been) has access to a buff that negates a status effect per cast and can boost defense and resistance, the plague doctor can cure status and slightly heal in an AOE, and I also couldve used a Templar or one of the Marked skills to hit Alphonses weakness to holy.
Still, I think that this is a pretty well-designed fight that is decently tough but not impossible. If you dont come in with a plan, Alphonse can absolutely rock you, even with the action economy advantage that a player has in this fight.
After the fight,
I dont know what sorcery Alphonse invoked, but he was the most difficult opponent weve yet faced.
When you said this guy was unsavory, I didnt realize how much of an understatement that was.
All right. Lets Lets do what we came to do and move on.
Are you sure you want to go ahead with this, Kyrie? After what happened to Alphonse, Im having second thoughts about this Relic.
And look, it stopped glowing. Do we even know that this stage of the Pilgrimage can be completed now?
There is yet a faint power radiating from the Relic. Whatever Alphonse did, at least some of its energy remains. The Pilgrimage has always involved risk. Though I admit the risk now appears to be higher than I expected. Still I have to proceed.
I know you are pledged to the Immortals to complete the Pilgrimage, but surely the circumstances
I dont like it either, Reiner. But I am already one of the Marked. It is too late to back down now.
Honestly, I dont believe all this concern is necessary. Alphonse was using some kind of magical device on the Relic. I warrant thats what triggered his transformation.
Very well. I will abide by your decision, Kyrie, whatever it is.
Kyrie raises her hand up to the drained artifact and soon after glows with the same flame that covered Alphonse. However, it soon fades and she turns back around.
Oh! I feel the dark energy of the Mark. Very unpleasant. It has grown stronger, but I can manage it.
I was looking forward to the giant purple Kyrie, but I suppose this will have to do.
Dont look at me that way, Reiner! It was a joke! Just a harmless joke!
Meanwhile, Anadine turns to face the spear looking thing that Alphonse dropped.
We should bring this device to the Council.
Anadine bends over to grab the device and the screen flashes purple.
And that dark flame appears over her.
And then she collapses on the floor.
Kyrie and Reiner rush over, and Reiner puts his hand to Anadines forehead.
Shes burning up.
Outside the temple, it doesnt look like much has changed.
Bzaro, can you report everything thats happened here to Quintus? We have to find someone who can help Anadine.
Ill do whatever I can to help, naturally. But why do you ask me to report to Quintus rather than to the Council? Whatever is going on here, the Council needs to know.
I understand little of Alphonses schemes, but to become a Marked, he must have had backing from someone on the Council. Which means at least one of them cannot be trusted. That is why you must report directly to Quintus, and bring him the strange device. Whoever Alphonses master may be, Im fairly certain it wasnt Quintus.
Hmmm This traitor has placed us in a difficult position, but I see your point. And I concur with your opinion of Quintus. I will go straight to Quintus. He will know best what to share with the rest of the Council, and what to withhold.
Thank you, Bzaro.
Reiner is grouchy enough without having this on his mind too.
Bzaro then heads off down the road and off screen. After he heads out, Kyrie approaches Reiner.
We need to bring her to Yates.
What? Yates?! You cant be serious. We cant trust that bastard with Anadines life!
Reiner, I know what he did to your- I know what he did was very wrong. But I also know that hes the best healer on the continent, and the most likely to know something about the dark energy that struck down Anadine.
Surely theres another option. Someone trustworthy, or at least-
Yatess clinic is about half a day from here. There isnt another healer within a weeks march, and on one at all who is as qualified.
I I know youre right. But if he crosses us, if anything happens, anything like what happened before his life will be forfeit.
Let us make haste. Or it may not matter who sees to her.
And with that, Yatess Cabin appears to our northwest.
Fitting the story, Anadine is currently out of our party and all of her equipment has been put back in our inventory. Also, because we have so many people injured, and because I think of this mission as the end of the first arc of the game, well be having some new generics join us on the next update. As of posting this, Ive already made one, but if anyone wants to submit a new one, feel free.