Part 19: Thieves, Healers and BackstabbersUpdate 19: Thieves, Healers and Backstabbers
In This Update:
- Clan Sawyer gets catfished!
- Magickal swords!
- Magickal earrings!
Welcome back! Last time, we took care of some of the 200+ side quests we have waiting for us.
Many side quests in FFTA2 are connected, forming small quest chains and stories that enrich the world of Ivalice. Today we're going to look at a couple small ones.
Way of the Meek starts innocuously enough: someone needs protecting from something! And that's really all we know.
Also yeah I was supposed to do this quest ages ago. Oh well.
Oh no, this map.
I'm not sure if Mirror Items breaks this law or not. The law might mean "using something from the Items menu." They can be very specific like that.
We can only bring five units this time, because Dayvis counts as a guest. He's easy to protect, since he's a complete coward who will hide in this back corner for the whole fight.
The setup: Dayvis is being pursued by these bandits.
Clan Sawyer, of course, tells them to back off, and Dayvis summons enough bravado to goad them into a fight.
Oh well, it's too late for civil discussion.
This is one of the most annoying battlefields in the game. It's 6 tiles wide and extremely steep. You always start in this lower corner and have to work your way up to the enemy's high ground.
Fortunately, we have a couple ways to make this easier. The first is gria, who can easily fly around the map.
The second is Faerie Shoes. They give a slight bonus to defenses, but more importantly allow the wearer to teleport! We only have one pair, but that's all we need.
Zoe and Cid can completely ignore verticality. Leed can hold the choke point that the enemy needs to take to reach Dayvis. Talf has Illusions so he can just stay in place and attack everyone, and Hurdy's spells have just enough range that he can support everyone from bottom of the mountain.
Like flying, teleportation is pretty useful in this game.
The enemy is a pretty solid team. Two ranged fighters, three melee fighters and a white mage for support.
They start with the high ground, but they're trying to reach Dayvis. The only way down to us is the narrow path that the melee units are standing on. We can effectively stop them just by parking someone in front of the White Monk.
Hurdy spends his turns throwing Haste around.
Disable is surprisingly uncommon for how useful it is. It makes the unit unable to contribute to the battle as anything but a warm body, but it doesn't make them as vulnerable as Sleep, Stop and Stone do.
Half MP is the best nu mou P-Ability. Hurdy could spend his turns restoring Talf's MP via Magick Ballad, letting Talf cast an illusion every turn.
The enemies are at a much lower level than we are, so this battle is really just a steamroll. As usual, I'll fast-forward through it.
Talf nails three of them with one illusion, which is cool. And that's the only noteworthy thing in this fight.
Cid notices Dayvis is carrying a large sword, and he asks why Dayvis never used it. The man insists that the sword is too heavy and valuable to use, what with its breathtaking adamantite inlay.
Dayvis thanks us for saving him and heads off to the Galerria Deep.
Back in the Quest Roster, we can see The Way of the Meek has been completed and has a line coming out of it. That means there's a followup quest to be had, but we can't see it until we look for it in the pub.
Also, Leed is finally a Ninja again!
The next quest is really just an excuse to move the plot along.
This fellow is from a weaponsmithing guild. They've lost a prototype sword called "King Arthur." The clan they sent to retrieve it from the thief was defeated in the Bisga Greenlands.
The item itself has an adamantite inlay. Samuel recognizes it immediately.
Not only is the sword valuable, but the magicks used in its construction are unstable. Basically, Dayvis stole a ticking magickal time bomb.
We pass on the information that Dayvis let slip, and the smith says he'll post a bill for a clan to go investigate the Galerria Deep.
Oh my, what could this be? Someone is asking for us specifically to protect them from some vague danger!
Is it still a trap if you run into it willingly?
How often do you target yourself? Well, buffs are pretty obvious. But also things like Double Cast Blood Magick Summoning, where you need to heal yourself with your own attacks.
A combination of high mobility and high ranged damage will serve us well here.
Dayvis taunts us for falling so willingly into his traps. It makes me wonder how much fraud there is in Ivalice.
I mean, there can't be that much fraud, right? People intrinsically trust the bills posted at the pub, and basically the whole society revolves around it. So it has to be pretty rare, I guess.
Dayvis also stole a swordbreaker. If this was FFTA, this would be an ideal time to steal it.
Anyway, this battle is going to be another steamroll. But at least I can finally show off Magick Frenzy!
Magick Frenzy works with most abilities that cost MP, such as the Ninja Veils.
First, Leed casts Gold Veil, which deals non-elemental damage and may blind the target. Then he teleports in front of the target for a melee attack!
18 damage from the Gold Veil, then two hits of ~30 damage from the melee attack. That's not bad at all, plus it's a ranged attack and can inflict a condition. And it only costs 4 MP!
Also this happened. 20% chance to hit actually hits for once!
I mean, it's barely even detrimental, Leed is just going to kill them more quickly now.
Lenolia knocks out Dayvis, everyone else dies in short order, as usual.
And that's that. Clan Sawyer aided and abetted a criminal, then redeemed themselves by winning back the stolen goods.
Is it a plot hole that the Templar said he was going to post a bill to investigate the Galerria Deep, but we took the fake bill instead? Maybe someone else did the investigation. Wait, why would Dayvis even bait us like that? Why not just run away?
Oh well. Let's move on.
Back in update 4, we traded some cactus fruit to a healer, Mack Ocktor, so that he could make a salve that would save a boy's life.
Then, in update 11, we delivered medicine for him from Moorabella to Targ Woods. At the time, he was worried someone may try to steal the medicine from us, but we didn't have any trouble. Mack had grown from being a simple village healer to an accomplished medical researcher.
He's calling upon us once again. It's dangerous to travel alone, especially for Loar's preeminent medical researcher.
Of course, the journey does not go smoothly.
Full disclosure: This is one of my favorite battles. I wish I had taken it earlier, when we were not as powerful. You're facing a squad of hard-hitting enemies whose many area-of-effect abilities take full advantage of the law. The law presents a tactical challenge that you rarely see in this game -- usually difficulty is raised by adding more strong enemies.
And, of course, following the law is completely optional. If you don't want this challenge, you can pay a small price to avoid it.
What does this squad bring? Adelle and Samuel are highly mobile with great melee damage. (Adelle's a Fighter now, not a Ninja.) Zoe and Lenolia have great magickal ranged damage -- though all our enemies are mages, too, so they'll have high magick defense. And Leed combines the two and has some nice conditions that can really help.
Mack is surprised to see his coworkers here.
: What are you doing out here, and dressed for battle? Is something wrong?
: We're the ones who whispered about the new medicine... and earned a few fair gil doing it, too. Now our clients are asking for something special... you! And they're offering us ten times as much!
: Mack, you should stand back. They're after you, not us.
: You... You were the traitors? Why? How...? But you worked by my side! We shared defeats, and triumphs! Together!
: Oh, I'll admit it was entertaining... but this is far more profitable. Don't get me wrong. We're grateful. And we'll be even more so when we've collected the price on your head.
: Not if we have anything to say! We fight, and protect Mack!
Protect Mack from being kidnapped! Or perhaps killed.
Mack's starting position is very deliberate. He's the anchor you have to use to start your advance towards the enemy. They're all mages and can hang back and attack you as they like.
Mack himself is only mostly useless. He's a Scholar, but only knows the two buff spells. Force raises your resistance against status effects, which isn't very useful in this fight.
Our enemy is packing some (potentially) serious heat. Well, the Seer and Black Mage have some powerful spells, at least. Also, the enemies have been raised to our level! So this fight won't be too easy.
91 damage is nothing to sneeze at!
We talked about Arcanists a while ago. Their spells hit every unit that meets certain conditions -- in this case, everyone with a level that's a multiple of 3 is hit with Dark damage. That includes Samuel and Mack, who are both level 30. But it also includes the enemy Seer, Green Mage and Scholar.
There are some things you have to keep in mind if you're trying to follow the law. Remember, you have to end your turn next to another unit. Walking up to an enemy and killing it or knocking it away means you'll break the law!
Here we got lucky. The Scholar is standing next to a ledge, so Adelle's crit couldn't knock him back.
Here's a nice place for Samuel to stand. He gets the extra damage from attacking the Time Mage from the side, and no matter how that attack goes he'll still be next to the Seer.
(We used Skyfury Blade instead of Hoarfrost Blade here because the Time Mage is immune to ice damage. Managing elemental resistances is a large part of this fight.)
Similarly, Lenolia can stand here and attack other enemies. She doesn't have to worry about killing the Time Mage.
Of course, you can attack first and then move. This lets you react to the situation.
The spell did no damage -- their resistance is really high and veils are very weak -- but Leed gets a crit and finishes off the Time Mage.
Any now he's free to move here. A regular melee attack would have left him standing all alone, breaking the law.
Scholar spells cost 28 MP, so he can't do anything but attack.
I forgot to bring a healer of my own, but Mack has us covered.
Well, I suppose Lenolia can also handle it with summons. Unicorn is a combination Curaga + Esuna, restoring a ton of HP and curing conditions in a large area.
Two down. The battle actually gets a little harder when you kill enemies, because you have fewer units to stand next to!
That's a really respectable amount of damage. I'm liking Geomancer more and more.
Guess who forgot to use Magick Frenzy? I do this all the time, especially with Double Cast. At least the Silence landed.
Kind of wish I had equipped Samuel with a Bone Plate so he'd absorb all these Level 3 Dark spells. Yes, the Arcanist keeps hitting himself.
This time I actually remembered to use Magick Frenzy, landing a second Silence. Without any spells to cast, the Black Mage decides to deliver a beat down.
Is this a good spot to attack from? No! Adelle has Dual Wield, so we don't know how much damage the second attack will do. An (un)lucky critical hit would probably kill the Black Mage, leaving Adelle standing alone and breaking the law.
Instead, stand here and get a guaranteed kill while still standing next to other units.
This Arcanist is standing by himself, but that's what ranged attacks are for.
Leed finishes him off.
A couple turns later, Adelle ends the Black Mage. As usual, you don't have to obey the law on the very last turn of the battle.
: What a bunch of jerks. You okay, Mack?
: I am fine, thanks to you. But... I still cannot understand how they could do such a thing. We are supposed to aid others! Was I wrong in my assumptions? Did I lead them astray?
: No way. There are lots of people who are grateful to you - who owe you their lives! The ones who were trying to use you were wrong.
: ...Thank you.
Mack's story isn't quite over yet.
The Ocktor Tome of Medicine is the book we traded the Cactus Fruit for.
The Ocktor Tome of Medicine posted:
House Ocktor has produced physicians for generations now, and their accomplishments in the realm of the curing arts are innumerable.
A collection of their techniques, "The Ocktor Tome of Medicine", has been called the godsbook of the profession, and there have been no lack of aspirants to glory, both principled and unprincipled, who have sought to claim it.
Sadly, those who envied House Ocktor were legion. In time, they drove the family out of the medical profession with tarnished name, and so was the book of arts lost to the knowledge of man.
That is, until Mack Ocktor, twelfth in the House Ocktor line, discovered the book in a hidden passageway beneath the ruins of the Ocktor Manse. The book is currently in his possession, its secrets once again the property of the family that first committed them to paper.
: Ah, it is you. We have been here, doing this, before.
: I brought what you were asking for. I know this book was important to you, Mack. Never thought I'd be bringing it back to you, though!
: Fate works in mysterious ways! Truth be told, I feared none would accept my proposal. Though its contents are a part of me... I felt the book was more than words. It is my origin, perhaps. I wanted to have it by my hand as I began here as this village's salve-maker.
: Well, it sounds like you're back to doing what you do best. Mack the researcher has a certain ring to it, sure, but I think this suits you much better!
: Thank you. Your words give me much joy. I think it is the faces - I need to see the faces of the ones I treat in order to help them... But my patients are waiting, I must return. Be well!
So ends the story of Mack Ocktor, Healer.
The Earrings of the Dead are part of a set of rare accessories. They are used to summon Scions, powerful beings that deliver battlefield-wide effects. They're basically the Totema from FFTA, really.
Condemnation summons Zalera the Angel of Death, dealing Dark damage to all enemies and inflicting Sleep and Doom. Basically a map-wide Nightmare.
Actually using the earrings will be covered in another update, when I can be bothered to actually equip them.