Part 28: Soul of Rebirth part 3After beating the Ultima Weapon, I'd like to say I started the second half of SoR, but no, there was more grinding. Even then, enemies were still pounding my face into the dirt. It was slow going.
But every battle won, and enemy drop gotten, helps. Scott gets toad.
Some drops... are less useful. L'il Murderer dropped this. Josef gets confuse for the sheer hell of it, but it's never useful. I'm only going to spend so much time grinding, and spending that time leveling Blink and Berserk will always be more useful.
But, two hours after arriving in Machanon, I finally made it to the second floor of the palace. After which I immediately walked back.
Rank 7, HP 5000, MP 450, Attack Power 180, Attacks 8, Accuracy 100%, Defense 180, Evasion 1-75%, Magic Defense 8-40%
Not before running into this nasty fellow.
It gets flare 16 too. Goodie gumdrops.
Fortunately, unlike the Ultima Weapon it's susceptible to matter. Minwu's gotten Mini up to a respectable level. He's not yet up to one-shotting whole enemy parties with it, but he'll usually take out single targets.
Sweet. Everyone wants this, but it goes to Ricard.
And more Black Robes, too. Minwu finally gets something to help with his survival.
And an Orukat drops a Protect Ring! Especially nice considering that death elemental attacks are kind of a problem now. Minwu equips it.
After sleeping at the inn, the party makes a serious run at the palace.
Rank 3, HP 700, MP 370, Attack Power 40, Attacks 7, Accuracy 75%, Defense 60, Evasion 1-90%, Magic Defense 5-40%
Rank 6, HP 1760, MP 150, Attack Power 50, Attacks 8, Accuracy 95%, Defense 50, Evasion 2-80%, Magic Defense 7-40%
Rank 4, HP 750, MP 600, Attack Power 40, Attacks 2, Accuracy 75%, Defense 35, Evasion 1-30%, Magic Defense 4-60%
Cait Siths have blaster, but other than that, not a terrifically difficult fight. You'd expect the lamias and magicians to be real jerks, but they weren't.
Hey, I finally managed to grab a palace treasure chest! Woo!
But the drops are even better. Thanks Black Dragon! Ricard equips it, and now the whole party has resistance against the main three elements (and poison).
Rank 5, HP 1200, MP 80, Attack Power 100, Attacks 8, Accuracy 90%, Defense 85, Evasion 1-65%, Magic Defense 5-70%
Rank 5, HP 800, MP 400, Attack Power 40, Attacks 5, Accuracy 65%, Defense 25, Evasion 1-50%, Magic Defense 3-50%
Catoblepases are kind of jerks.
Fortunately I have a gold needle kicking around, but only having one character who can cure status ailments can bite you in the ass. Also Minwu's esuna level isn't high enough to cure stone. Yeeeah.
Oh, and Twin Heads can cast toad.
Since this was at the beginning of the floor, I just reset.
Rank 7, HP 6000, MP 300, Attack Power 180, Attacks 9, Accuracy 100%, Defense 120, Evasion 1-40%, Magic Defense 8-30%
Thankfully it's a physical only enemy, meaning that once I blinked my fighters, this was no problem.
And this is just sitting out in the middle of nowhere. Okay.
And I'm actually going to use it! Ricard's evasion percent is high enough to take the hit, and he's not casting so he's not worrying about int/soul penalties.
The defense boost from the Genji Gloves really, really helps. Also a mind resistance is never a bad thing to have.
Rank 6, HP 1800, MP 190, Attack Power 120, Attacks 8, Accuracy 85, Defense 120, Evasion 1-70%, Magic Defense 5-70%
I could already tell this was gonna be bad.
First off: level 16 drain spell. Goodie.
This sucks. So, just reset, right?
And then they dropped the best axe in the game. Damn. I threw an ether onto Scott, and just walked back to town. Teleport doesn't work (and I threw it away anyway), so I gotta walk back every time. Yaaaaay. I don't know if Warp works, I assume it doesn't. There are two enemies that drop Warp, but I'm not grinding for that.
Rank 7, HP 3000, Attack Power 150, Attacks 8, Accuracy 95%, Defense 200, Evasion 1-50% Magic Defense 14-100%
And Golems. Weak to lightning. Physical only enemies. Yup.
Once I'm back in town, I buy as many ethers and elixirs I can get my grubby hands on. At the end I have 9 elixirs and 31 ethers. That should be enough. This time, I was determined to make it all the way to the end.
At least all these trips through the palace means I'm getting magic defense. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
Rank 5, HP 900, Attack Power 85, Attacks 8, Accuracy 85%, Defense 85, Evasion 1-70%, Magic Defense 5-70%
They're pretty similar to the Malboros of the end dungeon. Can inflict a ton of status upon hitting, but again physical only enemies can be neutralized, so not so bad.
They drop some neat stuff, but I actually don't equip any of this. Body resistance wouldn't be bad, if only to stop stun, but everyone's happy with the armor they already have. Poison resistance is pointless, and it's not better than the two protect rings and genji gloves I already have. I guess I could give it to Josef, but it's really not needed for a back row character, especially since it would lower his evasion.
And we're up to the fourth floor, and its squad of mini-bosses. Originally they protected some Genji stuff (which I finally found some use for, at least) and a single ribbon. Here.... well, let's see. We start at the far left.
These count as different floors, by the way, which I consider enough to count a save point. Deal with it.
Okay, we start off with the Ribbon. Not bad.
Rank 7, HP 6500, MP 480, Attack Power 180. Attacks 12, Accuracy 100%, Defense 200, Evasion 0, Magic Defense 14-100%
Unlike his Iron brother, this isn't a physical only boss.
Other than Starfall he's also got level 16 slow, which he cast on Josef for whatever reason, and Curse 16. Minwu's barrier helps block that.
Oh and Flare 16 because of course he has Flare 16. And yes, that kills Minwu. Hooray.
However, the Steel Giant has much less HP, so the fight isn't nearly as long as the Ultima Weapon fight. And he's also weak to lightning like the Iron Giant, but I didn't realize that. Oops. Oh, and he dropped another set of Genji Gloves. Didn't use them.
The Ribbon goes to Minwu, who takes off his black robe and protect ring to gain back some evasion. The protect ring passes onto Josef.
Now in the main game the door that led to progress was the third from the left. Since everything's been flipped, it's now the second from the left. Meaning that we skip the next door down and go to the third door from the left.
Rank 4, HP 500, MP 170, Attack Power 35, Attacks 4, Accuracy 80%, Defense 40, Evasion 1-50%, Magic Defense 4-50%
They cast low level full party spells. Not scary at this point.
Nor do they drop anything that a) you don't already have or b) want. I don't have much to say about Dark Souls.
Oh yeah, Catoblepases also have stone touch in addition to gaze. Fuckers. At least I had the foresight to buy ten Golden Needles on my latest trip back to town.
However, Minwu is starting to get scary with Mini. It's up to level 6 now.
One nice thing about Catoblepases, though: they drop the Sun Blade. A lot of people have mentioned that you can get a Sun Blade drop off the first battle of SoR if you're lucky or patient. I am neither. Ricard gets a much needed weapon upgrade.
While the first chest we grabbed had a familiar Ribbon, the rest of the chests here have entirely new equipment. Of course, we gotta fight a boss before we can use it.
Rank 7, HP 8000, MP 450, Attack Power 160, Attacks 9, Accuracy 100%, Defense 190, Evasion 1-80%, Magic Defense 8-70%
I get a preemptive strike to set up all my buffs, so this starts on a good note.
It turns out not to really matter. It also has a party wide Thunderbolt 16, equally unimpressive. And that's all it managed to do before it died.
It was very underwhelming.
The treasure is not, however. All of equipment on this floor, with the exception of the ribbon, can only be equipped by a specific character. As you can see, Minwu gets the Stardust Rod. It has okay attack power, but he can't use this from the back row anyway. It casts Fire 16 when used as an item, and I believe it can't be broken, but that's not that awesome.
What is awesome is that it will put his Spirit, Intelligence, and Magic up to 99. All of the character specific equipment will set certain stats to 99. You may think that's overpowered as hell, and it is.
All right, next door down.
Oh and on the way to the next treasure chest I got two(!) Yoichi bows from some Malboros. Minwu doesn't want it, but Josef can use it.
I think we know who gets this one.
Wait, that's it? You couldn't even give me an actual boss here? Lazy.
Anyway, in addition to 169 attack power (which is better than the Masamune) the Wyvern Lance gives Ricard 99 strength and agility. Awesome. It doesn't cast anything when used, however.
If you recall in the main game the first door on the left had the Masamune. And the path is still there.
However, it has this sword instead of the Masamune.
Rank 7, HP 10000, MP 540, Attack Power 160, Attacks 9, Accuracy 100%, Defense 190, Evasion 1-80%, Magic Defense 8-70%
Unlike the main game, it's guarded.
Luci has a single target Fire 16, which did pitiful damage against Scott, and single target Death, which Josef resisted. And I have no idea what else it can do because that's all it did before I killed it.
...my word, is this starting to become easy?
Nice. Scott is lacking in status protection, so he equips it.
Anyway, the Wild Rose. It has 100 attack, and gives Scott 99 strength and intelligence. Nice, but not as good as the Wyvern Lance, right?
It casts Berserk 16 when used as an item. Berserk 16. And keep in mind that when you use spells procured from items the game does factor in intelligence. Which the Wild Rose gives you 99 of. Now, it is multi-target, but level 16 Berserk cast by a character with 99 intelligence is still quite awesome. Plus it's faster. Honestly, I'll probably never cast Berserk regularly ever again. Josef definately never will, although he'll cast Haste instead, so he's got something to do. I probably should have skipped berserk entirely, but honestly I needed berserk to get to this point.
And now we go through the last of these four doors.
Rank 7, HP 8000, MP 450, Attack Power 160, Attacks 9, Accuracy 100%, Defense 190, Evasion 1-80%, Magic Defense 8-70%
Hello again Beez. Will you actually do something this time?
At least this time around Beez has matter resistance. Both palette swapped Astaroth and Tiamat lack matter resistance. I kind of assumed that they wouldn't let you just frog one of the bosses in the optional dungeon, but nope! You can still frog two of them. (Well, I would have minied them, but whatever.) Guess that was kind of silly for me to assume that.
Also I just noticed that apart from the Iron Giant all the bosses here have the exact same attack power, number of attacks, defense, evasion, and magic defense. Lazy.
Oh, and the Bracers go to Josef, and unlike all the other character specific equipment it's armor, not a weapon.
And like Josef, it's underwhelming. It'd be nice if it boosted his agility, since fist only characters have problems with agility, but nooope. And as far as I can tell, it doesn't protect against any elements.
And now we are officially on the end stretch of this dungeon.
At least the chests in the latter part actually has noteworthy stuff in them. Ricard doesn't have anything better in the helmet slot, and his evasion percent is untouchable, so he dons the Genji Helm.
Honestly, by this point this team has weathered so much that they're not going to have a lot of problems any more. Minwu and Josef's HP are still sad, but otherwise everyone's got decent status protection, decent magic defense, and enough buffing spells to get through anything. Chaos Riders could be an annoyance, but like the Death Riders, they don't show up in the later floors.
The only issue at this point is if I have enough ethers to get to the end. Out of 31 ethers I ended with 17. Yeah, I had enough.
Due to a series of stupid decisions on my part, I didn't record it, but this chest contained an Aegis Shield. Scott got it, and gave the White Robe to Josef. Other than Ricard, everyone is completely immune to status ailments.
I actually didn't equip this. I wanted the matter resistance the Black Garb gave Ricard. Of course, the Genji Helm he was already wearing also protects against matter, which I forgot at the time, so it's a moot point. Still, the Genji Armor protects against death, and Ricard's magic defense is getting good enough to resist most death spells anyway.
On the penultimate floor for some reason the flipped perspective threw me. When it wasn't in the bottom left I thought it was up top for some reason. It's just on the bottom right corner. I don't know why I got confused.
Hey, a Gold Hairpin. Josef finally gets a helmet.
But we're finally on the last floor. What will we find?
Since we're almmost done, let's take one final look at the party.
This won't be fully accurate, since I'm going to present everyone sans equipment, and they have their ultimate weapons equipped for the final battle, but I figure you're curious. Although Minwu's close to 99 spirit anyway. Not bad. Unless you did something criminally stupid with Minwu, like have him forget all his spells, he'll always be useful. Not much to say. He's great in the main game and great here. His low HP is a bugbear, though.
Scott can be a major weak link, or a boon, depending on how you prepared your characters for SoR. If you're into power grinding getting stuck with Scott can be a downer. Still, he's one of the first two characters you get, and unless you trained Minwu as a front row fighter, you need him. He's versatile enough to fill any role you need him to, so he's never completely useless. As for my party, he was my lifeblood early on, but once came into his own Scott became more of a hybrid fighter and supporting mage. But he does it well. At this point he's pretty much here for the Wild Rose's Berserk 16. That makes it sounds like he's useless now, but Berserk 16 is just that good. Even without that he's quite solid.
As I and a lot of people have mentioned, Ricard can be ridiculous in SoR. After all, you get him later, and he's with you for a long time, so you can plenty of time to level him up in the main game. Even if you don't really train him well, he can at least come in with awesome late game equipment. At base stats, he was overshadowed by Scott at first if only because of Scott's versatility. Ricard came into his own quite quickly, though. Actually, what holds him back is that he starts with weapon levels in spear and sword (fun fact: in the original game, he just had sword skill. No levels in spear) and SoR doesn't give you a lot of swords and spears. It kind of hampered him. I could have had him train with something like axes like with Scott, but I just chose not to. Still, his ultimate weapon helps out his mediocre strength and agility (at least his base strength is higher than Mac's....) and that's all you really need for Ricard.
Well, let's find out who's at the top of this palace.
What the fuck is that.