Part 15: Pirate Rescue!Update 15: Pirate Rescue!
In This Update:
- We're still a little under-leveled.
- They're sky pirates, not sky assassins.
- I had to cut this update in half.
Welcome back! Last time, we unlocked a whole bunch of new jobs. We also found out a certain Baron Beltorey had been assaulted, and the sky pirates Vaan and Penelo are the prime suspects.
Samuel doesn't believe those two could do it, and it falls to Clan Sawyer to see if they're innocent.
But first, let's recruit our last clan member.
Viera Assassin was an option in both polls, but we couldn't recruit one directly until now.
I mean, probably. It's hard to say when particular jobs unlock. No one's really checked.
Would be nice if we could get to the Clan Mates location without being assaulted.
It's the same Fey Mischief battle we saw last time. These monster battles scale up with our clan, making them useful sources of XP. And 99 CP is nothing to sneeze at!
Anyway, Clan Mates. Which jobs you can hire is gated by your story progression. Of course, you don't know this beforehand, so you can work your way through the quiz only to be rejected at the last minute.
Answering BAAA nets us an assassin.
Look at those stats! 86 Speed is incredible.
The big reason I recruited Jalia now is that we will be swiftly passing level 30. However, the level of recruits is capped at 30. This game does not make it easy to train low-level units, so it's important to pick up any units you want before your clan's average level rises too far above level 30.
We now have a pretty full cornucopia of units. I'll be able to show off any combination of jobs, assuming I have the equipment and AP to master the needed abilities.
Lian is our first unit to have mastered a job! He's learned every A-Ability that Bishop has to offer, and the job now shows up as "Mastered" in the list. (He also knows all the R- and P-abilities, but those don't count towards mastery.)
Mastery doesn't mean anything important, besides letting you know the unit is done with that job's abilities.
I want to make him a Trickster, since he could really use the Speed and M.POW growths, but first he needs a couple Warrior abilities.
The next story quest, "Wanted: Sky Pirate Vaan", is rank 32. That means we'll see about five enemies who are around level 27 - 28. We're all around level 23, and that's enough to really make a difference in the damage we deal and take.
Time for another quick round of sidequests. I grab a bunch of level 24 and 25 ones, since that's exactly at our power level.
Wanted missions are usually good fun.
This one is themed, as a few others are. Clan Gaitsnipe is a group of ranged damage experts, and we aren't allowed to fight from range ourselves.
Looks like all his chickens came home to roost.
Our next quest takes us to the Galerria Deep for a geological survey.
Which really means a battle.
Lenolia's switched to Green Mage. She's picked up a couple Summons, but she really needs some speed.
Our actual mission is to investigate all the glowy spots on the floor. Eradicating the monsters is just a bonus.
Gria are awesome because they can fly, letting them ignore terrain and enemies. It makes missions like this somewhat faster.
We head up to the Rupie Mountains next.
This law is either the easiest you'll face or a complete bastard, depending on when you take the quest.
Fortunately, everyone on this team is exactly level 24, which doesn't violate the law.
On the left is Adelle's movement range. Zoe's is on the right.
Again, flying units make some things trivial. You can achieve the same effect with teleportation, if you have an item that grants that. (I don't.)
This mission is really just beating up a dragon, sorry, a Nagaraja. Bring ranged units, it won't reach you in time.
Lady, you did nothing.
Our last mission takes us up to the Ruins of Delgantua.
I really like all of the Ruin of Delgantua locations. They have some of the best artwork in the game.
Leed is here for fun, he can't actually do anything as a White Mage due to the law. He needs some XP, but obviously we don't want him to get a bad White Mage level. Fortunately, this battle won't give him enough to level up.
This side quest is actually somewhat important, since it introduces the Duelhorns. They're a foreign clan of criminals looking to establish a foothold in Ivalice.
Assassins are terrifying! Sleep + Doom is a potent combo, because sleep lasts at least 3 turns unless interrupted. Of course, you have to hope the unit is immune to sleep, doom and instant death.
There's a couple interesting enemy units. The Soldier has Chivalry, the Paladin skill set, and the Warrior is packing the Trickster skill set. It makes the battle more interesting, and I wish we saw more enemies like this. It also hints that this clan is more dangerous that we might think.
Doesn't take too long to clean them up.
While we're out and about, I also visit the clan trials.
Advocates is pretty easy, just 2 enemies (Tonberries again) in 3 turns. We can handle that quite easily.
For our efforts, we get Bonus AP 3! That's +60 AP per battle. We can really tear through skills now.
Right, on to the story.
We find Vaan and Penelo in the Rupie Mountains, where they're being accosted by some bounty hunters.
: You want a medal?
: Hra! Nay, I want yer head, lad. That business with the Baron's made your bounty all the more beautiful!
: I'd say we didn't do it, but something tells me you and reason aren't on speaking terms.
: If yer a headhunter, hunt elsewhere. These heads're mine. Dead or alive, they're leaving with me!
: Oh, I'm not here to get in your way. But listen to what they're saying for a second. What if they really didn't do it?
: Erh? I don't care if they killed a hundred souls or none. 'Tis not my concern! I'll have that head-price!
: Cid, let's help those two out or we'll never get to hear their story.
: My thoughts exactly. And if it turns out they're assassins after all, well, we'll turn 'em in ourselves.
: You hear that, boys? They're in cahoots! Take 'em all down!
: You sure? I thought you headhunters stuck together?
: He's really not my type. But, hey, if you want to go with old pigsnout, be my guest.
: He'll not find us such easy prey. Right, Penelo?
: Famous last words, Vaan. Here they come!
Oh, this law. Movement-based laws are always the most annoying! This one really wouldn't be too bad, but Vaan and Penelo can really mess it up for you.
For example. It's Imino's turn, but Vaan moved next to him. He has no way to follow the law now! (This is from an earlier, failed attempt.)
Here's our starting formation. We're forced to take Samuel, and he'll take the left path up the mountain. Zoe has a bow, but she can use her wings to freely move up the mountain. Imino, Jalia and Tsing have guns and bows, and they'll be staying down at the base.
To add to the misery of law, there's a scattering of traps around. The enemy Ranger will also contribute a few more. The blue one in front of Tsing is a Sten Needle, and the green one is a Leech, which drains the victim's MP. It's not the most dangerous trap, but it still ends your turn early.
Vaan starts his turn with some more dialogue.
: So, you didn't do it? I can trust you?
: All I can say is, we didn't do it. Trusting Vaan or not is an entirely different matter.
: Right... Hey!
: Well, you sure don't act like assassins.
: You think?
He then moves down towards us and starts attacking.
Penelo is a Dancer, another unique job. She's also technically a Viera. Mincing Minuet is a basic ranged attack, like Air Render.
She also moves over a space. This ends up being a bad decision.
Zoe is able to fly up one space. The law cares how many squares you move through, not how many squares away you are from your starting position. Anyone else would need to move through at least three squares to get here from Zoe's starting position.
Being able to fly is really good.
Imino's picked up a couple great Fusilier abilities, such as Charmshot and Concentration. Charm is a weak crowd-control condition. I swear the AI will do the one action that guarantees the Charmed unit will take damage and thus become un-Charmed.
Remember I said that was a bad position? Penelo takes 244 damage in a single turn thanks to a lucky critical. Abilities with inherent knockback really shine on maps like these.
That fall hurt like hell, but her Critical: Quicken helps her survive. Tsing will drop a potion on her, too. Fortunately, the enemy is too far away to target her.
Samuel mastered his third Fighter ability, and he's switched to Parivir. This gives him access to a Wind Slash, a nice ranged ability.
This seeq is a Lanista, which I'm not sure how to pronounce. They have a lot of flashy and cool abilities that I'm really looking forward to! Souleater deals Dark damage and heals the unit, but since Zoe's armor absorbs Dark, he just hurts himself instead.
Up north, the enemy Bishop charms himself. That's now two enemy units charmed!
Not that it lasts.
The problem with charming enemies is you eventually have to attack them anyway. Conditions like Slow or Blind are a little better in that respect.
Still, it does take them out of the battle for a bit.
Down below, we've weakened the Berserker and Jalia goes for the kill. But the shot is too steep and she hits the Lanista instead! As far as I know, this can't happen with guns but will happen with bows. You can avoid it by using abilities, which don't care about line-of-sight or trajectories.
Zoe follows up with the kill a few turns later.
Imino lands yet another Charm. We've said conditions were nerfed since FFTA, but he doesn't seem to care!
I mentioned earlier that the AI always seems to take the action that will dispel Charm.
This looks innocuous enough, right?
The Lanista is wearing Mirror Mail, which has a permanent innate Reflect. The Bishop has the Spring Staff, which makes him immune to Water damage. By casting the Water spell on the Lanista, he hits himself for 0 damage and cures Charm.
The Lanista is still Charmed though, thankfully.
Charming the Ranger had one advantage: He stopped laying traps for a bit. (The Bishop attacked him and removed Charm.)
Tsing casts Awareness again, revealing the new traps. One is next to Samuel and the other is next to Imino, right above Tsing's hat.
Another enemy down. Zoe takes him out up close with her bow.
Imino is 4 for 4 on these Charms!
He also has no choice but to step on the Leech trap. Fortunately, it just drains his MP, which is meaningless for him.
Samuel takes down the Ranger. Just two left, though the Lanista already removed the Gladiator's Charm.
Can Tsing make this shot from the base of the mountain?
Nope. It plinks off the side of the mountain.
That just leaves the Lanista then.
Charm eventually fades, but he won't be alive long enough for that to be a problem. Imino lands a Blind on him as he runs away.
Zoe has had the Seventh Heaven equipped all this time, which teaches Ultima Shot to Hunters. I don't have any other good abilities for her to learn, you see.
Why yes, that'll do quite nicely.
Witness the power! (gfycat link)
And that's that.
: You two all right?
: We're fine, thanks to your help.
: Yeah, thanks. They were tougher than they looked.
: It's nice to know you're grateful, but I'd rather know what happened to the Baron. Assuming, of course, you truly were not involved.
: Oh, we were involved. 'Cept, we weren't trying to kill him. We were trying to save him.
: By the time we arrived at the manse, the attack had already taken place.
: Blue nails... You don't say.
: We did what we could for him and tried to get out of there before anyone caught up. No such luck.
: They take our treasure, and call us assassins to boot. A simple shiv in the ribs'd be kinder.
: What are you going to do now?
: Well, not much else to do but lay low for a while, I suppose.
: Once the baron's mended, it will be clear that it wasn't us.
: That's right. I hope they find the onces who did it soon.
: That makes two of us.
: Well, Vaan, time to leave?
: Hey, we owe you one. We sky pirates may steal, but we pay our debts.
: Thanks. I'll remember that.
With a cheerful wave, Vaan and Penelo scamper off.
: You know, I believe them. I really don't think they did it. Of course, that doesn't tell us whether Khamja was behind it or not.
: Nay, the stench of Khamja is all over it.
: I'm going to Graszton.
: Huh, Cid, what do you -
Thanks for reading!
Why are the blue nails important? Why is Cid in such a rush? Find out next update, when we chase Cid back to Graszton!