Part 25: GBA Bonus Run Part 7
So the kid at Deist is apparently named Kain, at least in the GBA version. Whether this is just a cute reference or tiresome fan pandering is up to your own interpretation.
And we're up to the penultimate dungeon!
I was rather stupid and underestimated these guys. It certainly doesn't help that Mac's evasion isn't maxed out. Oops. Had to use up one of my phoenix downs, since I can't warp out, but I have two more.
As a consolation prize I get the best axe in the game. Damn.
Even without berserk, the rune axe tears enemies apart in this dungeon. I'm only one dungeon away from the rune axe, so it's not a game-breakingly awesome find or anything, but still pretty swell. (And I got another one later on. Lucky!)
Most of the crap treasure in this dungeon is still crap, but they did replace the knife here with an ether.
Charlie gets another new spear.
Theoretically the emperor's ghost here could be pretty shitty, since he casts a lot of status spells that the party doesn't have full protection from, but in practice they have enough magic defense to brush it off. Yeah, the revised magic defense leveling really makes the game so much easier...
And I got the stupid Sun Blade this time. Usually it's guarded by couerls, but this time I just got a single Lamia Queen. That ended quickly.
Also three elixirs, which brings the party total up to 6. With 12 ethers, the party's pretty decently prepared for the final dungeon, I think.
Other than the odd general fight, the dungeon goes pretty fast.
Turns out it's actually very easy.
And story and all that. Anyway, now we that Dennis has returned to the fold, we have the endgame party.
First off, I had an extra Haste scroll lying about, and gave it to Dennis. That's the only spell he'll get, but I hope to get it to a decent level.
Other than practicing haste, I actually plan to keep him in the front row. Yeah, three front-liner usually isn't a good idea, but I don't foresee Charlie or Mac getting more evasion levels, and three front-liners will make battles go even faster. All that diamond crap has to go, though.
This time, we actually get to use the Excalibur. Mac gets it.
And that's all we really had left to do. Time to tackle the final dungeon.
They added a teleporter here. I don't know why, but okay.
At least Dennis doesn't have to do much to trigger MP gains, but he only starts with a mere 5 MP. Since that haste spell will level very quickly he'll run out of his MP even faster.
It's been a very long time since Charlie's used maces/canes/staves, and he doesn't use this for long, but at least it gets some use.
This, however, sees zero use. Yeah, pretty much none of the knives are worth using except for the main gauche, but I'd argue the main gauche is worth training the skillset, even if Charlie isn't using it anymore.
Oh and it was guarded by a dragon but none of the dragons give me any trouble so whatever.
By the way, here is what a Great Malboro can do to you if you don't have a lot of evasion/status protection. Nasty. At least was just Dennis, and it didn't kill him.
This would be my third Rune Axe.
Yeah that could be deadly if you didn't die in two rounds.
Abyss Worms, on the other hand, are pretty deadly if you get large enough groups of them. Also, Dee only has so much MP for Cure, and while she can always steal more, it's up to RNG whether I get an enemy with MP.
Oh, and Dennis managed to get himself some evasion.
Dee never attacks any more, but she gets a new bow anyway.
Once again, the Red Dragon drops a Holy Lance. That's only a 10% chance, by the way. Odd. Charlie doesn't even really need it, since the Holy Lance and the Diamond Mace have the same attack power. Still, his spear level is higher, so the Diamond Mace's brief stint in the spotlight is over.
While Mac's now dual wielding, this shield is too good to pass up. Resistance to mind, matter, body, and death? Awesome. Also, this treasure room has Dragon Armor. Now it's heavy, and normally I wouldn't bother, but it has resistance to Fire, ice, lightning, and poison. Paired with the shield it's effectively a ribbon. The Dragon Armor does hurt spell casting, but Mac hasn't used a single spell all game, and the Aegis Shield can offset the evasion penalty. The major downside to all this is that Mac loses the power of dual wielding, but Dennis picks up his slack. As well as Mac's old armor.
Honestly, Death elemental attacks are so rare that the protect ring almost isn't worth it. Still, +21% to magic defense. Dennis can use it.
You know, I never used an elixir once during this entire run.
I did, however, start using ethers. I could have just warped out once Dennis got his MP increase, but honestly I wanted to do this dungeon in one go if I could. So instead Dennis got an ether. Why the hell not? Got twelve of them. Had only four ethers by the end of the game, and I got a couple during the dungeon, so that tells you how the party was chugging them down.
Speaking of which, I was kind of expecting to get fucked over by the Mega Parasites, but this is only time I encountered them, and that's all they did.
Indeed it is, Charlie.
So Death Riders are still son of bitches. And if you look most of that damage wasn't from the drain touch. Ouch. Still, Charlie and Mac have level six evasion at high percent, meaning this is about the max damage. Dennis is a little more vulnerable, with only level 4 evasion. Blink completely neuters the threat, but there's three members that need it. A full party blink is actually useful, though, if not foolproof.
Oh, and guess what Death Riders can drop. The Ribbon goes to Charlie. The Death Rider were also really fond of throwing Thunder Spears at me. That was kind of weird.
Again, I grab all the Genji stuff even though I never use any of it. Oh, and this would almost be one-hit kill from Dee's fire spell here. Damn.
Mac gets the Masamune. Mac's attack power with the Masamune is 164, which is just fifty or so points shy of Charlie dual wielding the Excalibur and a Rune Axe. The Masamune is great, folks.
This is all Tiamat manages to do.
Oh hey that's cool. (Although Tiamat can drop the life scroll but oh well.)
Even with no buffs applies the Masamune can still do decent damage. Also, Beez here doesn't get a single turn in. Sorry buddy.
Astaroth got a drain spell in on Charlie and a scourge on Dennis. Got two hits in, go Astaroth! Gave me a Mythril Mirror after the battle, which... something.
The ribbon I got here goes to Dee, who trades in the venerable White Robe for a Black Robe. Dennis would get her White Robe, but the strength bonus from the Power Vest is too nice to give up.
After the mini-boss squad, the dangerous (and interesting) part of this dungeon is over. All that's really left is the final boss.
I have zero doubt I can beat this boss, so I'm not going to even bother making this a challenge. However, I do wanna test something, so I'm gonna use a one-handed Blood Sword. I was trying to kit him out with as much strength as I could, but I felt like he needed a ribbon, too. The Twist Headband and Power Vest would have protected him from whatever the emperor can do, so I could have easily had +30 to strength. Oh well.
Before we end this, let's look at the party we ended up with. All these stats are sans equipment, although I didn't fight the emperor with a naked party (sorry).
Charlie was a pretty poor secondary spellcaster, that's what happens when MP and items are so tight that you can't really practice, but as a fighter he's quite decent. The fact that he has weapon skills in pretty much everything meant that at least it was easy to keep his attack power high. You definitely couldn't have those weapon skills in the original, not without some hellacious grinding, anyway. He ended up pretty solid.
Like Charlie, Dee's stats suffered early on due to a lack of MP or MP restoring items, but once she got osmose her intelligence really blossomed. Considering that bows don't give evasion bonuses, her agility's not bad, either. Obviously her stamina is on the low end, but due to how this version handles HP gains her HP is quite sufficient. Wish she had more spirit, but that's not a major issue. By this point, she's mostly good for casting berserk, toad, or healing, but she does that well.
Mac, on the other hand, ended up disappointing. How the hell does a character who did nothing but attack have such low strength?! He didn't get the Mysidia bonus, true, but a strength of less than 40 for a melee only character is sad. If I had to guess why this happened, I'd guess that battles were simply over too quickly to trigger strength gains. Strength is harder to gain than intelligence or spirit, after all. Yeah, that's one problem with this party's efficiency. At least his agility score is good.
And Dennis. Man, his strength blows everyone else's out of the water. I should have had Mac train up Haste instead. Oh well. Dennis at least comes with decent enough intelligence to be a back-up spell caster, even if his MP is tiny. He ended up being decently useful in the last dungeon. However, since his evasion level is so low, he's gonna have to hang in the back row for the final boss. Wasn't going to use him in the front row anyway.
Oh shut up no one cares.
So, emperor fight.
The emperor has been given 5000 extra HP, which is substantial, but at least not as bad as giving Chaos ten times as much HP. (As a matter of fact, the emperor here as less HP than DoS Chaos. Yeah. Even without the blood sword it's way easier to do higher damage in FF2. Also the emperor can't heal all his HP in one go.)
But I'm curious about one thing; could I replicate Vivian's blood sword one-hit kill? Does the game allow for five-digit damage?
Unfortunately, without hacking that's hard to do. The Blood Sword has zero base accuracy, and since Mac's base strength is pretty low he's only got an accuracy of about 50. And keep in mind in that screenshot he's already been hasted. (Although it's not as though 6,000 damage is bad...)
I actually don't really bother much with defenses, and for the most part everyone just keeps hasting and berserking Mac. As you can see, his attack is still pretty gnarly, although wearing armor helps.
And his Meteor/Starfall attack hits everyone for 250 to 300, which hurts much more than it did for Vivian. Also it has a ten second animation now.
While I never managed to break 16 hits, but 11/16th of 15,000 is over 10,000, so it's obvious that, yes, your damage is capped. It is impossible to one hit kill the emperor. You could still two hit kill him, but with his higher HP and the blood sword's inaccuracy that's a bit trickier to pull off.
Although this was only four rounds, so it's not like it was a slugfest or anything.
And then he explodes.
So, mostly I wanted to do this run to see how it was like in FF2. To be honest, it more or less went how I thought it would; damn hard in the beginning, and got progressively easier as the game went on. By the end it really wasn't different from a regular run, just with slightly less effective spellcasters.
Ugh! Stop being happy Dee!
Oh, and the final monologue is put over some images. Yeah.
Anyway, you might be wondering how a living off the land challenge would work in the original FF2. Your number one problem would definitely be inventory space. Vivian didn't really need to skip the pass and get rid of the wyvern, but in for a LOTL you need all the space you can get. You'd have to be choosier about what status restoring items you carry.
You'd also have to be a lot more careful in how you train your characters. You couldn't have a character train in everything like Charlie did; he'd have to choose two or three weapon types and stick with them. Also, the invisible int/soul thing is really going to restrict your choices. It would have been hell for Dee, since bows were hit the hardest, but once osmose comes into play she could have just stop using weapons entirely. While the early game would be harder, I think it would still be pretty easy by the end.
Although one thing that would make a LOTL so, so much easier would be Minwu. Not only would the lack of healing in the first dungeon be a non-issue (although the snow cave would still be nasty) you also wouldn't have to worry about status ailments in the early game. Moreover, depending on whether you consider it in-bounds, you could have him use Sap on your party to get some MP early on.
Still, it feels like it needs more restrictions. I guess forbid all the overpowered spells like Berserk and Toad. Then again, you could combine LOTL with this LP's solo challenge. That would be honestly quite hellish, especially the lamia fight... I'll have to try it some time.
But we've got one more thing to do. And, it's uh, well... I don't wanna give it all away, but those of you who think this LP hasn't contained enough suffering should be pleased. Next time: Soul of Rebirth.