Part 26: Summoner's Lineage23. Summoner's Lineage
The next batch of floors is probably even more straightforward than any we've seen yet. Well, except for this floor which is kinda mean at first.
See, it's a maze wherein every choice you make to branch is permanent. There's only one route through that gets you to the end, and you need to restart everytime you mess up. It's not hard; just time consuming and not very interesting. There's also some treasure lying around but none worth worrying about for our purposes.
The only non-consumable is something we can't use anyway so I just skipped it.
For new enemies, this time we have the Sahagin Prince. Not particularly exciting, seeing as they're just an updated version of something from aaaaages ago.
Paradoxically, they cast Thundaga for some reason. This is not a very smart idea on their part, considering one little thing.
They're weak to Thunder. This damage might not seem overly impressive, but remember this IS split so its less than usual.
Oh and like everything here they're worth absurd exp. The Lunar Eidolons might give the most per enemy but for time and per fight they're kinda shitty all things considered.
...Oh and our old friend the Golden
We're now also completely done with fights until the next trial. This floor we can leave immediately, and there's not much of a reason to stick around either. There's no enemies, no treasure, no money, no quirky puzzle...
The only thing there is, is a Sylph that restores you to full HP and MP. Nice but not really necessary.
The next floor, however, actually does something smart by removing encounters. This room would be awful if it didn't.
See, there's 10 tiles around the room, and we have to find the 8 this guy tells us. It also must be in the order he tells us. Trying to keep track of this order, where you are in it and where all the tiles are would be obnoxious if you were constantly interrupted by any enemy.
As is, it's just a matter of remembering a simple 8 digit code and running around the room stepping on tiles in a set order.
Once that's done, the door back where we started opens up and we can continue to...
The next trial, and the only one that we can enter without messing around grabbing more people.
Of course, we need... something to keep it vaguely interesting. So, a return to Child Rydia it is. Other than the obvious changeses of the old sprite/portrait, regaining the ability to equip a staff and being able to cast a whole 3 white magic spells (Cure/Hold/Sight; should have Cura too but it got dummied out) this doesn't do anything much.
Oh, right. We can't use Ifrit, Shiva, Ramuh or Titan here either. We can still use every other summon and Black Magic spell we have though. Including the Mist Dragon who's only noteworthy as an exception because the Dragon was added to her list the same time as the other 4.
But we already fought the Mist Dragon as the very, very first boss. We have not fought the other 4, yet.
So this trial is basically another marathon of fights. I would argue that it's less interesting than Yang's, because the monks were a proper gauntlet. This just involves running around a small cave area picking whose lunch money you steal next.
Also there are random encounters. They're not very interesting, beyond having very slightly more than 10,000 HP though.
The Kraken casts Osmose whenever you hit it with a spell. That's all.
Might as well start in the top-left corner and go clockwise from there. This gives us the quote/unquote "hardest" fight here first.
[Music: Battle 2 ~ The Magic Book]
We've already beaten Lunar Titan, so there's not really much regular Titan can do that's as threatening. Or even surprising, for that matter.
Titan's got the highest HP, strength and what have you of the fights that are here. This just amounts to being the most time consuming, and MP intensive.
His regular attacks are nothing in comparison to his Lunar counterpart. How disappointing.
He also takes an easy 9999 per hit, making his relatively light 75,000 HP not last all that long.
A regular Quake is the best offense he can mount, but even this is managable all things considered. 1200 from a hit would be threatening and a big deal if it happened anything resembling semi-frequently, as is he forgets its even an option more often than not.
And of course he has his signature Earthquake. Not exactly a big deal this one, though.
To say Titan's the one here that closest resembles "difficult," I'm already unimpressed.
Oh, right. See, we can't just skip the remaining three fights and go to the Lunar Eidolon just yet. We gotta beat 'em all before we're allowed to proceed.
So, next up let's take out Ramuh since he's in the top-left corner.
If Titan counts as the hardest, by sheer technicality, then Ramuh's meant to be the closest they have to the easiest.
The only reason he has anything that can pretend to be called longevity is that he has no weakness and there's that 9999 damage cap.
...I'm not sure why he absorbs nothing though. Lightning's merely listed as a resistance so the thunder summon takes damage from Thunder spells. Amazing.
His regular attacks aren't that much lower than Titan's but that's not really something to be proud of. Especially since Titan could still rely on Quake to deal damage.
Ramuh, meanwhile, only has Thundara. To say this is dumb and unimpressive is an understatement.
At least he has Blitz which still deals proportional damage. It's not the only one though!
His special attack does too. And it's still 10% of your max HP. I'm not even sure why he has both when they do the exact same thing, but whatever.
I'm beginning to see why we never had to waste our time with these guys before.
Next up in the bottom right corner is Shiva.
Despite what you might expect, Shiva is actually marginally different in more ways than "uses Ice instead of Lightning."
She's marginally harder than Ramuh, I guess, but her higher HP is mitigated by having a Fire weakness. This makes her beatable without spamming Flares so we can save a lot of MP.
Firaga's even kind enough to deal 9999 every single time you hit her with it. She doesn't have a counter for it either.
...Stuff like this is just disappointing though. I have no idea why they have mid-level spells in the midst of the postgame dungeon.
Oh, her regular attack is kinda nice at least. That one manages to deal more than Titan sometimes.
Ice Storm is vaguely impressive, since it deals real damage and not a fixed amount. That's about it though.
That Fire weakness really lets you tear through her HP quite nicely. Nothing she can do about it either.
Before we deal with Ifrit, the last two of the three random encounters decided to appear simultaneously. The Eagle is uninteresting in every way, and the Summoner can appear with a Kraken too. If it appears with an Eagle, it summons Eagles. If Kraken, then it summons Krakens.
Either way it knows how to heal which is... something I guess.
Let's just beat up Ifrit and get on with it already.
Unlike Shiva, Ifrit IS just "Ramuh but replace Lightning with Fire."
Oh, wait that's not completely true. Ramuh didn't have a weakness; Ifrit has an obvious Ice one.
This lets us get away with the strategy we just used against Shiva, who was more threatening.
Ramuh might be the easiest fight on paper, but I'm inclined to say Ifrit is the de facto easiest thinking about it now. He's all the wimpiest parts of the other three but with a lot of HP to compensate.
Seeing half these fights just devolve into absolutely nothing that even pretends to be challenging is kinda disappointing honestly.
...And, yeah, there's a reason why we don't bother with these guys in any sincere capacity any more. Even when hitting a weakness they are astoundingly bad.
On the plus side, we're done and can now fight a real boss.
With all four beaten, we can proceed past the fog barrier at the north of the room and go to the Lunar Eidolon.
[Music: Fighting of the Spirit ~ Narikiri Dungeon]
As obvious as it that the boss is going to be the Lunar Dragon, I still think it's pretty clever. Not only is the Dragon the one that's conspicuously absent beforehand, but it makes the most thematic sense for her trial to be her mother's summon too.
Whether it's a good fight or not is a completely different discussion entirely. I'm inclined to say that it's the easiest of the 3 we've fought so far, but that's not something I say lightly. The Holy absorption doesn't mean THAT much for us but it does mean we can't try to use Meteor. Not sure why we would but we couldn't even if we wanted to.
Its regular attack is nothing to scoff at, but it only really gets to pull it off once or twice.
Its magic defense is enough to make Flare not deal a consistent 9999 damage. It does it a fair bit still, but its not a sure bet.
The Dragon also takes a leaf out of Lugae's book. It throws some Poison Gas at you relatively early on, which doesn't really matter that much all things considered.
Unlike its original counterpart, the Dragon doesn't announce when its changing from corporeal to mist or vice versa. It also switches between the two relatively quickly at times.
...Sometimes a bit TOO quickly.
When its in its mist form, it replaces the Poison Gas with the Sleep variant. This one basically has no excuse to ever work though.
It might not yell at you that it's returning corporeal, but most of the time it highlights it anyway. In its mist form, it casts Slow and then immediately afterwards goes back to normal.
The only other major thing of note is that it has Restore, which will always heal 9999 HP. Remember, this is also a 10% of max HP deal, but it's stopped from doing 10,500 thankfully.
And for whatever reason, once it got Slow off the once at the beginning it never connected with a hit again. I initially thought this was due to the Poison screwing it up a bit but no, I took a second hit after that one. Every attack after the first Slow missed without exception.
I think if it didn't mess up and constantly miss, then this fight might've been a good challenge. Oh well, that's not the weirdest thing this fight did.
The Grimoire isn't, either.
The Mist Ring is nice, I like the Mist Ring. It gives me a good reason to use the Dragon for more reasons than wacky gimmicks.
Beating the Lunar Dragon again gives us Soma Drops. This is very worth it as you might imagine.
...Except, uh, this weird guy is in the party now. I did the Lunar Dragon fight a second time, and he appeared then too. I think he spawned in because Rydia had the Ribbon equipped which messed with the Poison Gas in some way but I dunno for sure.
It's also a complete mess of gibberish glitchy nonsense in the status screen. It's hard to see, but in his left hand he has something that says "esume?" and is a claw.
Removing it from this... thing doesn't add it to our inventory of course. I'm tempted to keep this guy around and put up with a permanent poison effect on the map itself for a little while. See what other weird things it does but I'm expecting that to just end up as "crashes the game at some point."
Oh, right the Mist Ring. Its text is a bit misleading, but the +6 Magic Defense is worth one of two reasons I like this thing. It's a minor hit to physical defense, sure, but we can deal with that eventually anyway. Not a big deal!
The other reason I like it is because with it equipped whenever we summon the Mist Dragon it gives us Blink status. I can think of at least one fight where this makes us unable to lose so long as I have MP but we'll see how it goes.
Next time: white night annihilation sword.
Optional Bosses Fought: 21
Optional Bosses Killed: 21
Success Rate: 100%