Part 23: Duelhorn, Part 1Update 23: Duelhorn, Part 1
In This Update:
- We unlock the last job!
- We fight the Duelhorns!
- We find a weird lady in the woods!
After the last update, I asked the thread if there were any side quest chains they would particularly like to see. Several people asked for one particular quest chain, which is one of the longest and most developed in the game.
But before we dig into that, let's unlock the last job.
I attempted this quest several updates ago, but had to quit after a couple tries. We were just too under-leveled to survive.
We have to kill the Lord of the Flowsand 2.0 before Tigrina does. The law basically just forces us to run down to the Lord as fast as possible, which honestly is the best plan.
The Lord of the Flowsand is beefier and hits harder, but he only has one new ability. He never used it though.
Here's the squad. Samuel has Geomancy now, so his Parivir attacks are super strong. Lenolia is here as the classic Double Cast Summoner. Leed has Magick Frenzy, and Jalia just hits hard and moves fast.
Our quest giver, Tigrina, is very excited for this battle. Apparently Clan Sawyer is getting something of a reputation in Ivalice, and she wants to prove herself against us.
Samuel doesn't care, he's just bloodthirsty.
As I mentioned above, my plan is to charge into the boss and burn it down as quickly as possible.
The Flowsand Lord hits pretty hard, we're taking 50+ damage per turn here.
Geomancy really powers up Samuel's attacks. The P-ability lowers enemy's elemental resistance by once stage, so this Antlion is now weak to Ice.
One of the better Ravager abilities is Sneak Attack, which does more damage based on the target's facing. You should already be attacking the backs and sides of enemies anyway, and this ability makes that work even better.
It turns out that killing these mobs is fine, they won't summon more like in the first Flowsand Lord mission.
On the other hand, they're a good distraction. Tigrina spends a lot of turns chasing them around.
It's been like two rounds of combat and Samuel is already almost dead.
But thanks to this coincidentally perfect positioning, Lenolia can step in and heal everyone to full.
Next turn, we've reached the Flowsand Lord. Geomancy is really putting in work, though it's a shame the boss is immune to the status effects.
Leed's main damage is via Magick Frenzy, of course. He's using Blizzara, because the Ninja Veils are useless here. Their only real advantages are their price and the extra status effects. He's built up an MP pool on the way over and the status effects won't stick to the boss.
He ends up doing around 180 damage total with this attack, which is really respectable.
As before, Counter deals an extra hundred damage or so during the enemy's turn.
Oh yes, Jalia's been working on the Assassin's Ultima ability for a while now.
That's like a sixth of his HP right there.
Unfortunately Lenolia can't Summon without breaking the law, but the Red Mage spells are sufficient.
Tigrina hasn't had a turn in a bit, we're just that much faster.
In fact, this is as close as she gets. She never gets an attack in on the boss.
It does get a heal in thanks to Draw In, but 85 damage isn't enough to kill Samuel or save the Flowsand Lord.
One more Magick Frenzy finishes the battle.
Tigrina is sad that she lost because she thinks it makes her look like a loser. But honestly, it was 4 of us against just her, what did she expect?
Samuel reassures her that she's still cool and that her moves were awesome, despite the fact we saw only one or two attacks from her.
And we finally unlock Ravager!
I'm missing the last pole Zoe needs to master Geomancer, so she's going to be a Ravager for now.
Now, onto the main bulk of this update.
Back in update 15, we took the quest "Unfamiliar Folk," during which we encountered and shut down an advance party of a some invading force.
But that wasn't the last of them.
In the forests of Baptiste Hill, we find another scouting party.
We actually do have abilities that restore MP now, but we don't rely on them.
It sounds like this is much bigger than a couple small raiding parties.
That was probably us.
Zoe is actually a Raptor, not a Ravager, because I did this quest before the Ravager one.
The leader of this advance team is happy to see us, because apparently scouting in the woods entails fighting everyone you meet. Are they even trying to be sneaky?
They have a good spread of units here. I recommend targeting the White Mage and Time Mage first, because the healing and buffs will make this battle harder.
Their only melee attackers are the Fencer and Warrior, who admittedly are pretty buff.
It's raining, so Zoe can use Venom Squall. I really like Geomancer as a secondary ability set, since it gives you great ranged options.
Time Mages do their thing on both sides of the battle field.
Hurdy gets a fantastic triple Slow, nailing the Time Mage, Fencer and Warrior. Even better, this cancels out the Haste buff on the Fencer.
Again, take out the White Mage ASAP! He's undoing a lot of work right here.
So Tsing drops a potion on him. How's the healing feel now, huh?
We build some momentum off that kill. Imino disables their Warrior, so we won't have to worry about him for a few turns.
I'm honestly not loving Trickster that much. Their basic attack range is fantastic, and I'm sure it would work well with something like Gladiator as a secondary skill set.
But the point is to slam the enemy with as many status effects as you can, then use Traumatize for massive damage. But status effects were nerfed pretty hard, and it's kind of a waste of time to try to inflict more than a couple on one target. Traumatize doesn't do appreciable damage until you have 4 or more conditions on one enemy.
You're better off using one good condition, like Stop, Stone or Sleep, rather than trying to layer a bunch of weaker ones.
Anyway, the battle continues. More disabling, more damage being thrown around.
The kills start piling up.
After the Disable wore off on the warrior, Imino landed another one on him. Then Hurdy hit him with Spellbound, which makes buffs and debuffs last longer.
Talf had poisoned the Time Mage using Bio, one of his Sage spells. I just let it kill him while I handled the rest of the enemies.
The Warrior falls not long after.
Of course, this is all part of something bigger. That's what an "advance team" suggests, doesn't it? I'm sure the Four Bosses aren't all that bad.
Shortly after, in Graszton...
The Four Bosses arrive.
The objective is actually a lie, as we'll see in a bit.
There's three males (the bangaa, the hume and the nu mou) and one female (the viera) so our team is weighted towards males.
This is Maquis the Phantasm, a Ninja, the leader of Duelhorn.
Alys the Ensorceled, a powerful Summoner and loyal friend to Maquis.
The Night Dancer, a kind of problematic character for reasons we'll be seeing in the next quest. They're... unique. Yeah, let's go with that.
And finally, Duke Snakeheart, a greasy little goblin of a nu mou.
The Four Bosses quickly notice us.
But instead of doing anything sensible like, I don't know, leaving so they aren't captured by the clan that has bested two of their advance teams, they tell us why they're here.
You see, the Four Bosses are on a mission.
Maybe he wasn't supposed to tell us that though.
Seriously, the guy's been on land for all of five minutes and he's already Evil Overlord Monologuing.
The other three are all "No Snakeheart what are you doing," and he's just spinning the purplest prose.
He's just maniacally evil in a way that makes me wonder why the rest of Duelhorn puts up with him.
Anyway, on with the beatdown.
Oh wow OK, maybe he's serious.
This is the only time I've ever felt threatened by an Arcanist.
Maquis is packing the Seer skill set and uses the Veil + Magick Frenzy combo against us to good effect.
It does not go well for him.
But before we can really get serious, a messenger arrives.
Oh, yeah, that was us, like a couple months ago.
Or maybe it wasn't? I suppose we aren't the only people interested in keeping foreign crime lords out of Jylland.
Maquis cries that they must go help the advance team, and the Four Bosses teleport away.
Not before dropping a one-liner, of course.
"...anything but trouble?"
To unlock the next stage of the Duelhorn quest line, we have to check the pub for some notices. I'm guessing Clan Sawyer didn't see fit to let anyone else know Duelhorn is trying to take over the country.
Leave and come back and another notification shows up.
Finally, leave and come back one last time to find the next Duelhorn quest, "Strong Lady."
Yes, the Night Dancer is canonically a crossdresser. Why? I don't know! I would be happier if they played up the ambiguity of the Night Dancer's gender rather than just "lol he's an old man who dresses like a woman."
The law in the last quest considers the Night Dancer to be male, but some abilities that target female-only characters will work. Go figure.
Anyway, on to the quest.
This law rears its ugly head once again.
Fortunately, the weakest enemy here is this guy, and only a couple of our clan members are above level 31. We're at the perfect level for this quest, basically.
The Night Dancer prefers to hang back and let the melee units take care of us. Our group is a mix of front-line attacks that can hold the bridges while the ranged units wear them down.
Apparently we're interrupting their recruiting drive.
They ask us if we have any idea who may have attacked their advance team. Apparently we don't count? Anyway, it was probably Kha-
Yeah, we're gonna have to wipe that smug look off your face instead.
Sarcasm is one of the recruitment requirements for Clan Sawyer.
Zoe is finally a Ravager! And I like repeating my mistakes, so she dives right in to Sneak Attack the White Monk.
Tsing takes him out of the fight with a well-placed Blind.
Then the enemy spends their turns beating her up for it.
Also, almost every enemy here has some kind of elemental absorption, mostly of the Fire element.
Fortunately, we don't really rely on fire. The lightning-element Tempest Illusion does well enough instead.
That's another enemy out of the fight for now.
Zoe was able to fly back to us, where she can slam them with Geomancer spells. Lenolia's working on giving us an opening to charge across the bridge while also healing Zoe.
And the Night Dancer has the gall to taunt us for taking our sweet time. As far as I know, there's no reward for finishing the battle before they say this line.
Imino and Zoe land a couple Disables, which is all the opening we need.
Another Tempest clears out the weakened mooks, and we charge in.
Imino just straight up shanks a dude.
And Tsing is fed up with the Night Dancer's attitude and drops a potion on them.
The battle over, the Night Dancer makes their excuses.
With that, the Night Dancer flees.
Adelle's mastered Wermut, so let's close out this update with another Heritor quest.
It's a bit silly that we can read this notice, but then ignore the quest for a months. "Oh, a lady in the woods, surrounded by monsters? "
I appreciate that this one actually tells you where the quest is.
: She doesn't look hurt. We made it just in time!
She notices us.
: I had often thought to visit you. Never did I think it would be you who would come to me.
: If you don't look out, those monsters are gonna have you for dinner!
Ljda looks at the drakes and they... fall asleep?
: There is no need to worry. These creatures hear my words, and heed them.
: But that's impossible... isn't it?
: It is my power. My Gift.
: She's one of the Gifted Ones!
: And now I shall test you. Wermut saw something in you. Was he right?
It's just a headhunt, and we're much faster than her. The law is a little worrying because of random critical hits.
Sorry Ljda, but you won't get a chance to show off.
And that's that.
: With it, you should be able to make some small part of my power your own.
: Your power? You mean...talking to beasts?
: Not only beasts. All the beings of this world, both great and small.
: Hmph. I'll just have to get by on my youth and good looks, then.
: If I didn't know better, I'd say you were jealous.
: Ah, you are so young. But worry not. What you lack in experience and ability, you make up for in spirit.
: Wermut and I have met many of the Gifted. Not all tame their powers. Many are crushed by them.
: Wermut... He was a Gifted One, too, wasn't he. I felt a great power in the weapon he gave me, but I couldn't be sure.
: You have learned to wield the power he gave you. Learn now to do the same with mine.
: I have seen what is to be seen, and said what is to be said. I go. Good-bye.
: Thank you.
: Twice your charm. At least.
: That's gonna take an awful lot of luck.
Ljda walks off into the woods.
And we get Ayvuir Blue! Ljda's power is not the greatest in the Heritor's skill set. It's just Charm, no damage, very low range. Trickster and Fusilier do it better.
Veterans of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance will recognize these two swords. They're the two best Blades in the game with 64 Attack each and buffs to Evasion, Speed, Defense and Resistance. Unfortunately, we don't get to explore their backstory at all -- Gaol and Lini don't make an appearance in FFTA2.
Thanks for reading! Next time: More Duelhorns.