The Let's Play Archive

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

by OOrochi

Part 56: Teratoma and Ending 1

Update 56: Teratoma and Ending 1

Hello and welcome back! After polling everyone, the consensus was to continue forward and finish off the story before circling back to show off all of the sidequests and the final ending. So, this time we’ll be confronting The Maw in the area ominously named Teratoma.

The part walks in and sees an environment deformed beyond even what had been seen at the Wellspring.

This is much worse than anything I feared.

The camera pans up to show The Maw surrounded by demons and it lets loose a roar.

It’s as if The Maw is transforming the land itself to match its home realm.

We must put everything on the line to stop this. Any sacrifice that’s required to take out The Maw…

We should be ready to use the Sealing Ritual, just in case we can’t obtain the Energy Fragment.
Kyrie, let me handle the Medallion. I will complete that part of the Ritual.
Are you sure about this? It seems like someone with magic as their specialty would-
Come on, Kyrie, you know I can easily manage a such a simple Ritual. You’re a Marked in line to become an Immortal. Let this be my footnote in history.
I’ve known you all my life and I can say for a fact you’re not one to care about a “footnote in history.”
Shows what you know!

… All right. I’m sure you’ll do a fine job of it.
Excellent! Maybe they’ll dub me “Reiner, the Void Chaser”, or something grand like that.
I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
Everyone, this is it. The fate of Teora rests on this battle!

And it’s time to fight! The objective this fight is just to take out The Maw.

For that purpose, we’ll be bringing in Anadine, Reiner, Sophia, Azure, and Bobby. The only notable change from previous uses is that Bobby is back to being a Sorcerer/Wizard since everything in this fight resists the Lich’s dark damage. Since most people probably won’t finish the Henge Fragments quest their first time through, we’ll just be ignoring the Energy Fragment possibility for this fight.

But taking out The Maw is not going to be trivial. It has a ton of HP and very solid all-around stats. Its basic attacks have a long range and it has the counter shot reaction, so you’re not going to be able pick apart from range with anything short of map-wide attacks.

It has a bit of a limited ability list, but they’re all powerful. Dreadmaw is shown above and is a massive pain because you can’t keep your buffs up, Forsaken One reduces all of my unit’s HP to 1 and cannot be evaded or resisted by any means (though The Maw typically won’t use it until it gets low on HP), and Sacrifice targets an allied unit, dispels all buffs on it, and then instantly kills them. The Maw then gets all of its stats buffed, a crit buff, and a barrier. Finally, Immortal Souls and Voidstorm are exactly the same as the versions we have access to.

Things don’t end there either! The Maw has a number of strong passives too. Mana Rush means that leaving it low risks you getting obliterated by The Maw spamming its abilities. Ecdysis makes it so that all debuffs only last for 1 turn on The Maw, and when a debuff wears off it transfers to all adjacent enemies. Similarly, when a buff on The Maw wears off, it gets transferred to all adjacent allies. Broodmaster makes it so that every living ally reduces the amount of damage The Maw takes, and Strong Body cuts all percentage damage by half.

Backing The Maw up, we have 2 Domincubi, a Sincubus, an Overscourge, a Harrower, one of each type of Aeoth

And 2 of these Viscerawyrms. Stawise they’re solidly tough, with a good number of elemental resistances and a ranged physical attack, though they can’t move.

They have a few very annoying abilities. Gutspawn takes 20 MP and spawns a new lowest class demon (so Malcubi, Harvesters etc.), Gastric Acid deals damage to the target’s MP and absorbs it, letting the Viscerawyrm pop out more demons, and then Blisterburst is a suicide attack that hurts everyone (friend and foe) on the field and can only be used when the Viscerawyrm is low on HP.

The Wyrms have the same Ecdysis passive as The Maw, and also regenerate back to full health 3 turns after dying. There’s a gameplay reason for this, but for this fight it’ll just mean that there’s not much point in trying to kill them.

To start the fight, I have Azure take a potshot at the Harrower. My strategy for the fight is to take out the initial demons ASAP (ignoring the Aeoths because they’re bulky and a pain). That’ll both reduce the incoming damage and let you actually hurt The Maw. Additionally, though the Viscerawyrms will be regularly popping out new demons, the lower stats and limited ability list makes them a lot less dangerous than the upgraded demons.

Thankfully, The Maw seems like it wants to help out and Sacrifices one of the Domincubi to buff itself right off the bat. That’s not great, since The Maw will now hit really hard and be even bulkier. (I’m pretty sure that this is at least somewhat scripted to happen. Every time I’ve tested the fight, it’s started off with this move.)

There’s a bit of buffing and advancing, the Aeoths start targeting barrages, and the Harrower comes up and hits Kyrie and Anadine with a Spearvault. I have Bobby take advantage of its fire weakness to kill it.

And up top Kyrie lands the first blow on The Maw with a Water Bolt.

Azure takes a shot at The Maw as well.

And gets bitten in retaliation.

The Overscourge gets a Plaguestorm off, but it doesn’t give anything nasty like charm or berserk.

And up top Anadine pushes the advancing Domincubus off of the cliff.

While the Maw flies behind Kyrie and does a big chunk of damage to her and Reiner.

Sophia heals Kyrie to keep her up.

Bobby goes to finish off the Domincubus, but whiffs entirely.

While Kyrie takes a whack at The Maw. It doesn’t do that much damage, but it does poison it and slow it. Though statuses won’t last long, they can be really useful to hurry the fight up or keep The Maw’s damage down. Just make sure that your important people are immune to the disabling ones they’d care about.

Since she can’t miss, I have Azure kill the Domincubus.

And then have Anadine shove The Maw off of a cliff as well.

Meanwhile the new enemies keep pouring in as a Viscerawyrm spawns an Archafflictor.

Azure gets weakened by the Overscourge and The Maw takes her out. Thankfully, The Maw’s buffs expire afterwards so it won’t hit quite as hard from now on.

To make things worse, the Sincubus puts Bobby to sleep. He’s currently in the center of a Barrage attack and now won’t be able to move away in time.

A Viscerawyrm pops out a Malcubus but I have Kyrie even the numbers by killing the new Archafflictor.

Bobby gets whacked by the Barrage but just barely survives.

Anadine’s unable to kill either of these demons so she settles for seriously weakening both of them.

While The Maw kills Bobby and weakens everyone else with a Voidstorm.

Reiner’s weak but I have Sophia and Kyrie focus on killing demons instead of healing him.

And that’s because I’ve reached the wonderful phase of the fight where the Aeoths start getting multiple turns between my moves. So Reiner dies to a Barrage.

Anadine goes after The Maw again. Even with the enemies’ numbers thinning, it’s still hard to do much damage to it.

And Sophia revives Azure

Who immediately gets put to sleep by a Malcubus.

Kyrie and Sophia swarm The Maw too and it retaliates by whacking Sophia and applying a few statuses.

Anadine wakes Azure up with a remedy as Kyrie goes to kill a newly spawned Malcubus but, yet again, whiffs part of it.

So Sophia finishes it off instead.

And Azure takes out the Malcubus that put her to sleep as well.

Though she’s taken out by The Maw immediately afterwards.

I want her up to keep people away, so I have Anadine revive Azure again.

Kyrie hurts The Maw again and I make sure to have Sophia actually heal Azure this time.

A good thing too, because The Maw really seems to hate her. Though Azure does survive this time.

Kyrie and Anadine keep hitting The Maw, almost killing it.

But both Azure and Sophia fall to another of the Aeoth’s Barrages.

While the enemy hordes keep growing.

And The Maw, now in critical health, keeps on spamming Immortal Souls.

Fitting the situation, Anadine goes for a Desperate Blow

Which lands and takes The Maw down with damage to spare!

This was a close one! In my experience, the key to this fight is to manage the stream of enemies while making sure to keep pressure on The Maw. This time I struggled a bit with losing people to status effects (especially sleep) and getting hit by the Aeoths’ barrages, so another tip for it is to stick some elemental resistances like robes or shields on your characters.

After the fight, the party surrounds The Maw, which gives off another roar.

We couldn’t obtain an Energy Fragment. We’ll have to seal The Maw after all, otherwise it might come back again. Quickly, before it has time to retreat to its own realm!

Reiner puts his hand out and starts chanting

“You were brought here by ancient covenant, and by ancient covenant you shall abide!”

There’s a flash and The Maw slumps.

“Here is the token that signed the accord!”

It seems like the beast is trapped.

But it roars once more and the wards fade away.

There really is no other way.
What’s happening, Reiner? Is it not working?
It will work, have no fear.
Kyrie, I wanted you to know… Thank you for always standing by my side, even after Alicia died. We might not be related by blood, but to me, you’ll always be my true sister. And I know you’ll make Teora a better place once this is all over.
Reiner, what’s wrong? This is coming out of nowhere.

Reiner doesn’t respond, but lifts his arm back up instead.

“For the hearts to beat, for the bonds to hold, my blood is freely offered.”

He takes out a dagger,

plunges it into his breast,

And collapses to the ground as blood pools around him.

A faint heart, the same as one of the Relics floats out of the Medallion.

The wards reappear

And The Maw shrinks and shrinks.

Eventually compressing into a sphere which flies into the new Relic, which then floats back into the Medallion.

It worked! The Maw has been sealed again.

As Anadine and Kyrie rush over to Reiner, the screen fades out.

And the credits roll.

But they’re eventually interrupted by Quintus.

Cut to the Immortal Council Chambers, where we see that a Relic is seated in the same mechanism one previously was in.

We pan down to see the surviving Immortals, Quintus, Tertia, and the mostly absent Quarta, as well as Kyrie addressing a number of Arbiter Captains.

I can think of none better-suited to sit amongst the Counvil and keep watch over the realm, Kyrie. Or should I say, Prima?

Our eternal titles help promote a sense of permanence and stability for the people. They need that, now more than ever. And yet… Hm. Yes. Perhaps it would indeed be wise to retire his title… and his memory. Since we are embarking upon a new beginning for the Council, perhaps Nihila would be a more fitting title for you, then?
Yes, yes, all fine and good. Regardless of titles and other frippery, though, I fear we must address the more urgent matter at hand. We must replenish the Council’s ranks without delay. This will be a rather unorthodox Pilgrimage, but each of us must go and choose a Marked, post-haste.
Very well. Am I dismissed?
We are equals now, Nihila. You needn’t ask permission.

Kyrie and Quarta teleport out as the Captains file out on foot.

I often wonder if we ask too much of our Marked… and those they care for.
You mustn’t dwell on it. Her brother made the right choice, for the good of the Council and all the realm.

Tertia teleports out.

And Quintus bows his head as the scene fades out.

And cuts to one more scene, this time Anadine at Yates’s cabin.

Anadine! I didn’t expect to see you here. I would have thought you’d be busy with other things, after your promotion to a full Arbiter. Congratulations, by the way.
Oh, yeah, I just wanted to help Yates clean up a bit around here first, so he can get back to healing people. No job too small for an Arbiter, right?
So… it looks like you went through with becoming an Immortal after all. I know it’s not what you wanted.
Don’t spare it a thought. It had to be done.
But… there has to be another way, Kyrie! Any other way than… all of this! It’s not right!
Anadine, we’ve already gone over this. I HAVE to believe that it was the only way! Otherwise… Otherwise, it was all for nothing. Please, leave it be.
… I miss him too, Kyrie. He was a better Arbiter than any of us.
… Well, anyway. I cam here to speak with Yates, but it’s good that you’re here too.
It’s good that you’re here, because I need to choose a Marked. Anadine, would you join me on the Council?
But… you mean… permanently?
I won’t order you to be my Marked, like Quintus did to me. But we need good people in charge during these dark times. And, this might be selfish. But… I could really use the company.
I’m flattered, but… can I have some time to think about it?

There’s the sound of a door opening.

I mean, Immortal Kyrie. Now, an Immortal at my doorstep? What an honor!
I’ll choose to take that as sarcasm, Yates. It makes this easier.

Tell me, Yates… did you know? Did you know that a sacrifice was needed to seal The Maw away? Did you know what Reiner planned to do?
… You’ve always been honest, if nothing else. So please, tell me.
… I did surmise as much, yes.
I presume he wheedled the information about needing a catalyst from the Kawa elders and then swore them to silence about his intentions.

(Sigh)… If you were made aware of his choice, your personal attachments would have interfered with what needed to be done. I understood that. The Kawa elders understood that.
And Reiner understood that. We should accept his gift graciously.

The screen suddenly goes black.

A dark flame envelops Kyrie.

Anadine? I..?...

Anadine, please give some thought to my offer, and quickly. I… will have to come back later for your answer.

And she teleports out.

My thanks, young lady, for your timely intervention. It appears you and I have both saved each other, now.
That wasn’t Kyrie.

That settles it.
You can come out now, everyone!

Katja and 2 folks in green step out from hiding.

Ye on board with us after all, lass? Ye cannae bear nay long t’ be ruled by a gaggle of old folks with naught but a demon ‘tween their ears, can ye?
The Council… it sentenced my mother to death. It forced Reiner into that horrible choice. And now it’s poisoning Kyrie’s mind.
Yes. Count me in. We’re going to find a way to destroy The Maw for good. There has to be a way.
Sedition it is, then! Music to me ears!

The scene fades out once more

And the rest of the credits roll.

At the end, we’re presented with a new outfit for customization in the Guild, and get a shiny star next to our save file. If it’s reloaded, it pops us out to right before the fight in the Teratoma.

Now, even though that that ending was almost a total downer I do like it. It gives insight as to what the Immortals had to deal with on a daily basis. Then you realize that Primus and Quintus have been enduring it for hundreds of years, as they watch almost everyone they know and love age and wither. While it doesn’t excuse it at all, I think it does at least explain a bit how Primus could fall so far and so hard.
I also really like the bit of development that it gives Anadine. When I first played through, I was sure that something was going to happen to Kyrie at some point and Anadine would take up her mantle and become more of a “protagonist”. That obviously didn’t happen in game, but this ending does show that Anadine took to heart everything that Kyrie had been saying throughout the story and is finally ready to take the lead on her own quest for justice.

Anyway, with my thoughts out of the way, it’s time to circle back around. Next time we’ll starting in on the sidequests that have been becoming available since we finished off Primus.