Part 16: Jagd Little PillUpdate 16: Jagd Little Pill
In This Update:
- Our past comes back to bite us.
- In multiple ways, really.
- Everyone has questions.
Welcome back! Last time, Clan Sawyer rescued Vaan and Penelo from headhunters. Cid seemed worried about something, and he ran off to Graszton.
In the Graszton pub...
: Will you just tell me what's going on with Khamja and this baron guy?
: There is something I need to make sure of first.
: Where're you going now?
: What does it matter?
: Back to that streetear? I could join you...
I capped this so you wouldn't accuse me of making a typo.
: Hey, don't forget, last time you were here you almost died! You left without saying anything that time, too. You really think I'm going to let you do that again!?
: I said leave me be, boy!
: Hey, why am I suddenly some "boy" when it's convenient for you!? Something's been eating you lately, and I wanna know what it is!
: Friends shouldn't keep too many secrets. Clanners less.
: You're one to talk.
: I'm sorry... That was wrong of me.
: Says there's a bill up that specifically requests our clan, kupo! Also, this came along with the request...
Hurdy reveals a familiar, silvery-white stone.
: Hey! This looks just like that magicite! The color's a bit faded... but it has to be the same!
: So the stolen magicite has come back into our possession? And right now, of all times? Pretty suspicious, if you ask me.
: I'm going out for some fresh air. The cooler head prevails, they say.
Cid walks off.
: Argh! How annoying can that guy get?
I feel like this should have been Samuel's line.
: Have a little patience, now. Sometimes, the best way through a fortress isn't the front gate.
: What's that supposed to mean?
: I mean, not everyone is as... open as you are. Think on it a moment, Cid is powerful, yes? Yet he employs a judge! Don't you think there might be a reason?
: What kind of reason?
: By pledging to uphold a judge's laws, you avoid true death in battle. But if you're strong enough to win anyway, the merit of having a judge is lessened.
: That's right! With a judge around, you have to follow all those laws, kupo! Most hunters, well, they're too busy holding up each other to uphold the law.
: Some are of a mind that those with judges are mere cowards, afraid to fight. Does this strike you as a fitting description of our Cid? Hardly. He's not the type to want anything to do with the judges, normally.
: Normally? So Cid has some special reasons, then...
: Oh, at least one. Probably several. No simple man, that one. Not that I'm losing any sleep over it, mind you.
: Well, I'll put aside that bill for the clan, kupo! There was no date they wanted it done by, kupo, so you can pick it up whenever you fancy.
That request sounds normal, but the postscript makes it really creepy. Or is it just me?
The Hall of Kings. Appropriate. Another really cool location that we don't get to see enough.
: It's her!
: Sad to see your memory fail at such a youthful age. I've never run in my life, Illua.
: Cid, is she...?
: Khamja, yes. One of their number.
: Illua. I've two questions in need of answers.
: Do tell.
: You did for Baron Beltorey.
: Whatever makes you think that?
: Well, I was pondering the baron's peculiar fondness for painting his nails blue... when I recalled a curious side effect of that poison of yours... Lazulum.
: ...And your next accusation? Excuse me, "question"?
: The whitesilver magicite. What is it?
: A catalyst I needed to work certain magicks. The palings protecting the baron were not easily broken, you see. Had those sky pirates not arrived on the scene... The lucky old coot.
: Yet, I believe his grace understood our message. I fain think he'll move against Khamja without second thoughts. The baron is an intelligent man. Would I could say the same for you.
: Hmph, I'm afraid the only cure for my brand of idiocy is steel, my dear.
: Then I suppose I'll have to kill you. Again.
Illua backs away. Cid turns to Adelle and Samuel.
: Leave now, and she'll let you go.
: What, you want me to leave you here!? Not a chance! This is my fight, too!
: Then you're an idiot as well.
: So, either we win here, or I'm cured, right?
: Ha ha ha! ...Just be careful. Good?
: I'll be fine.
I think that's one of the scenes where this game's writing really shines. There's some great lines in there from everyone.
This law is inconsequential, since no one here can steal.
Illua's job is given as "Nightshade," a master assassin. Her abilities are a little terrifying.
Saber is the same as Vaan's "Razor's Edge," granting a buff to damage and accuracy. Dimensional Rift is the real threat: 75% HP removed from all units in a 3x3 area.
Illua and her companions are well equipped. They all have strong elemental defenses thanks to gear that absorbs, negates or halves damage from particular elements.
This Spellblade can drop a lot of conditions on us, like Sleep and Doom. Plus she hits hard and absorbs two elements.
This Seer takes half damage from Ice, making him the least threatening-- wait.
Nyno?! As in, Nyno the Archer?!
I guess he fell into a rough crowd after being kicked out of Clan Sawyer.
The Illusionist is immune to Fire and absorbs Lightning and Ice. Fortunately, he doesn't have Blood Price, so he can't cast anything for a while. Try to neutralize him before he has enough MP.
This Elementalist is the biggest threat at the start. She's immune to lightning, deals heavy damage to most characters and can inflict a ton of conditions. Take her down early!
Can anyone think of a good reason why the Rubber Suit is a women-only garment?
Finally, there's Ewen. Yes, our favorite ninja (well, Nightfall) makes a return. He's immune to a number of conditions.
We'll go with this crew. Everyone here is a hard-hitting, powerful unit with good abilities. More ranged damage may have been helpful, but this battlefield isn't that large.
Yes, I brought three Master Monks. Lian learned enough Warrior abilities to switch over -- he's the one facing backwards. Cid and Henri are adjacent to him.
Notably, I'm not bringing Lenolia. She'd be a natural here, considering how clumped up the enemies will be. But Lenolia can't do much with her Summons, because of all the elemental resistances. In particular, Maduin would be absorbed by Illua and the Spellblade.
There's some special stuff that can happen with Ewen, and I want to show that off.
There's no animation of our judge being trapped, there's just the spell and suddenly he's gone.
Ewen doesn't escape the battle this time.
And like that, he's dead. Really, actually dead. For real this time.
I want to keep him alive. It's not the most important thing, but it makes the story more interesting later on.
On to the battle proper. We're still the fastest clan in the land. Tsing and Adelle move up, dropping a trap and an ineffective Veil.
Tsing's back is a tasty, tasty target for the Spellblade.
It's a trick I don't pull off that often. As usual, I'm trying to avoid Mirror Items.
Henri and Lian move in, but they don't quite manage to kill her. Critical: Evasion does trigger, which is annoying.
Up top, Illua buffs herself. I'm a little worried, because increasing her accuracy makes Dimensional Rift even scarier.
But we have ways to deal with that! Roar handily strips away the buffs from both enemies. I knew Blue Magic would be useful!
Cid moves up to the Elementalist. I want her down quickly.
This is why. Adelle won't get hit by the Slow condition that Sliprain inflicts, but 58 damage is nothing to scoff at.
Ewen is suicidal, which makes my job harder. I'll heal him if I have to.
Illua's turn comes around again, and she drops Dimensional Rift on us. The range on that is unfairly huge -- you can barely see her in this screenshot! -- and the AoE is as large as a Summon.
I'll give her this: it looks awesome.
Lian was hit hard, as was Samuel. Tsing's Item Lore is really useful for pinch healing like this.
A lucky critical from Adelle nearly takes out the Elementalist.
Across the room, Henri finishes off the Spellblade. Holy Strike would have healed her, and a basic attack was too weak. Cross-Counter is basically the best Master Monk ability.
Samuel unleashes the horrifying spirits of death on the Elementalist.
I did not notice how low his health is.
Nyno takes it upon himself to remind me.
Well, death is hardly permanent, so we can keep going.
Oh right! Samuel has an Angel Ring equipped, which automatically brings him back to life once per battle.
With the Elementalist and Spellblade out of the way, it's time to move on Illua. If we move quickly enough, we can finish this before the Illusionist can do too much damage.
OK, he can survive that.
There's a chance-
Nyno, I was going to keep you alive. But now you've betrayed us.
Everyone focused on Illua now. Adelle is beating up the Illusionist, actually.
Cid gets a good hit in.
I'm impatient, and this is already over.
Give it a rest, Illua.
Of course, Illua isn't ready to give it up just yet.
: I thought your fangs chipped and dull... I thought wrong. You and I are of a kind, Cid. Feral creatures that live by the blade alone.
: I was never as hungry for power as you, Illua.
: Me, hungry for power? You miss the point. The world needs people with power... be they many or few.
: So, you're saying the world "needs" you?
: Of course. I am powerful, after all. And something else, Cid. You see, I understand the power I possess. I was chosen. The power could not deny me.
Dark magic flares out from Illua.
: Hey, what's going on!?
: The words on the page... they're glowing!
: It can't be... a grimoire!?
She pulls out her blade and strikes the journal.
It repels her, flinging her into the wall.
: My journal... What the-!?
: This... This is the place from my dream!
: And Illua is nowhere to be seen. Quite a run-in she had with your book.
: Speaking of which, Samuel... You don't happen to have your journal... do you.
: No. When she hit it with her sword, I let go... It's gone.
: Well, that's just great. What are we supposed to do now!? We don't even know where we are!
: If I'd known this was going to be this kind of quest, I'd have stayed in Graszton. One of those chiffon cakes down at the Gateau Kaldi cafe sounds good about now...
: Quit your grousing. You're making me hungry.
: Forgive a girl for needing a distraction... this Mist ties my stomach in knots.
: Ah, my apologies.
: I do sort of wonder what we're supposed to do now. Somehow, this doesn't seem like the kind of place you can just walk home from.
: Samuel... You must leave at once. This place is dangerous. Follow the path I shall make plain for you... Come back...
: Lezaford...? Lezaford!!!
Watch this in motion!
: What the heck is that!?
: The demon... you must not let it through!
: What? How!? Lezaford!?
The demon roars, a deep, bestial and hellish sound that shakes the landscape.
: Eeek! Why do these things always happen to me!?
: Ha! You're not the only one here, princess.
: Stop it... Bind it...
: Bind it? You mean we have to defeat this thing!? Us!?
: You see anyone else around?
: ... When you put it that way...
: That's right, Samuel Clemens is the name! And fighting impossibly huge demonic hands is my game... *gulp*
The demon howls again.
Clan Sawyer is in a bit of a pickle now, huh? Don't worry, it's nothing that cold steel and strong magick can't handle.
Neukhia, the demon, has a number of terrifyingly-named abilities.
He also brought friends. They are merely distractions.
Here's our crew. Samuel is required, as usual. Adelle, Henri and Zoe are here for their combination of mobility (especially Zoe) and power. Hurdy is a Time Mage and will be throwing Hastes around. Lenolia is still a Green Mage, but she's here for her Summons.
No AP here, so Regen is my privilege of choice.
: Huh? What are those weird purple glowing things?
: Is this... some kind of weapon? Hey! Maybe something like this could put that demon back in its place and keep it there!
Here's the big mechanic for the boss fight: the mage cannon.
Our goal is to defeat Neukhia, who is an absolute bucket of HP with a few nasty abilities.
There's four mage cannon buttons in the four corners of the map. Adelle, Henri, Samuel and Zoe will head towards those buttons. Hurdy and Lenolia will stay in the middle, supporting the other four and fighting the demon directly.
Also, there's traps. I have no way to see them, so hopefully I'll just get lucky and avoid them!
When next to a button, the unit can select "Charge."
This charges the mage cannon.
Pressing the second lit button fully charges the cannon.
The mage cannon immediately fires.
It's about 100 damage per shot. The weakened Plague (Henri hit it earlier) is knocked out entirely.
At the end of the turn, the mage cannon is drained of power and the buttons to activate change. This is why I need a unit stationed at each button.
Meanwhile, the demon gets a turn. (Well, a second turn. It did nothing on its first turn.)
Suitably epic for a demon boss!
Oh come on, Illua did more than that!
Samuel and Lenolia take care of the second Plague.
Of course there are reinforcements. Even worse, these ones will absorb Lenolia's holy damage. But that's the only element Neukhia doesn't resist, so we're sticking with it.
Henri and Adelle charge the cannon again.
The mage cannon hit all enemies on the battlefield and will never hit us.
The other two buttons light up.
The mage cannon is pretty useful, dealing about 100 damage to all targets. If there are multiple enemies, which there usually will be, it's slightly better than attacking ourselves. But you might be able to do more damage more quickly by focusing on the boss.
Henri has nothing to do while the cannon is charging, so he handles the adds and gets a very good loot drop for it.
Neukhia isn't letting us attack us with no reprisals, of course.
Does basically nothing!
The mage cannon sometimes doesn't do a lot of damage. It's not the most reliable mechanic, which is kind of frustrating.
This time, we need to hit 3 buttons to charge the cannon.
We're about halfway through the battle, and Lenolia is going to speed things up with Maduin. That spell does as much as the mage cannon was doing!
The battle rages on. More adds appear, we fire the cannon a couple more times, and it's not too long before Neukhia is defeated.
It's sucked back into the rift.
The team is battered and exhausted when Lezaford reappears before them.
: Ahh, you're all right! I am relieved.
: If you call battered, bruised, and scarred for life "all right," then, yes.
: So... what is this place? I've seen it before, but only in my dreams. Oh, and you remember that magick journal of mine...?
: There will be time for talk later. First, you must leave this place.
: How do we do that?
: To the east you will find a large crystal... A gate crystal. Touch it, and you will come back. As I'm sure you are aware, this place is unnatural. It will not do to linger. I will be waiting beyond the gate.
: You don't have to tell me to get our of here twice!
: We move.
The map is surreal, I love it.
We head out, as Lezaford suggested, to find a cavern with a large, spinning crystal.
: This must be it. I'm going for it. Okay?
Samuel reaches out and touches the spinning crystal. It stops and flashes.
: Yes, but magick so powerful is not lightly used. In order to use a stone of such power, one must pay a commensurate price. And this stone, this has been forcefully reduced to its original state.
: If whoever did this released all the energies within... It must have drained them terribly. They wouldn't be able to cast for days.
: Apparently, a risk worth taking to send Baron Beltorey a message. Makes you wonder what the baron did to deserve such attention?
: ...Never mind. Unraveling the mystery of that stone is enough for now. I've said my piece. Now tell us about that place we were sent.
: Yes, yes... Where to begin? The name I suppose. You were in Jagd Zellea. One of many jagds in this world - places where the Mist is unstable indeed.
: Jagd Zellea? Where have I heard that?
: Wait, I know! The Forbidden Keep! Quite a famous place in pirating circles... Something about a treasure there that, when held, would let one rule the world.
: ...Quite. A power of immense proportions sleeps in that land. You saw it, did you not? The rift, and the demon that emerged from it?
: Jagd is known for rifts of this nature - gateways to other worlds. They open now and then, sometimes letting in great evils. It was the power of the rifts that cast Zellea off on its own, a barren waste.
: No rift has been known to open full-way, yet if one did, the effects would be catastrophic. The mages who knew of the rifts were wary of their power. They created magicks to bind the rifts closed. Your magick tome is one such book.
It wasn't destroyed after all!
: You mean... my journal? But Illua, she cut it in two...
: The Grimoire of the Rift. So is your book named.
: Well that clears up a great many things... including what Illua's been after. She wants to use the power that flows in through the rifts, I'd wager. And Baron Beltorey must have known something about it. That's why he was attacked. She called us out because of the whitesilver magicite...
: But when she realized what Samuel was holding, she tried to destroy it. After all, that book has the power to seal the rifts.
: This may be true. Yet, that book is not something to be ruined by brand or blade. It is protected by a magick most potent. And the source of that magick's power... is you, Samuel.
: Huh? Me?
: Yes. The words written upon its pages - the telling of your life. That proof of your being protects the grimoire. The power you and that book generate is far greater than you imagine.
: So this book, this Grimoire of the Rift thing... What am I supposed to do with it? What if I don't do the right thing, and that rift opens? What will happen to this world?
: I mean, if this were just about me not being able to go home, that's one thing. But you're talking about a whole world!
: Think naught of these things. Continue filling in the pages as you have thus far. Worry not, for you have that of which the grimoire has need. Did you not protect the book from Illua's blade?
: I guess...
: Do as you will. Meet those you will. Live life, for life lived is the source of the book's power.
: Okay... I just, I'm just not sure I have what it takes to finish the thing.
: When the times comes, you will write the final words. And so will end your story in this world. I believe you know why.
: The world I came from...
: The grimoire chose your life to be its wellspring. Live your life as you would. The book wants nothing more than this.
: ...Okay. Let's go back to town. I've got to check the bills up in the pub. And I don't know all I'd like to know about Khamja yet, either. Thank you for everything, Lezaford.
The group leaves.
But Adelle returns alone a minute later. She hesitates, then speaks:
: Um, I was wondering if I could ask you something...