Part 25: Duelhorn, Part 3: The Fall of DuelhornUpdate 25: Duelhorn, Part 3: The Fall of Duelhorn
In This Update:
- Clan Sawyer dismantles Duelhorn in one night.
- Maquis has Anime Powers.
- Everyone blames Khamja anyway.
Welcome back. Last time, we heard from Alys the Ensorceled, one of the Four Bosses of Duelhorn, that a confrontation between Duelhorn and Khamja was inevitable.
Today, Duelhorn will take the offensive. I'm guessing the last part of the strategy is something like, "to attack the Khamja headquarters."
We have to stop all three attacks, presumably all in one night.
We'll start in Moorabella, where Alys is leading the Duelhorn offensive.
Each battle is the same: Defeat the Duelhorn Boss. There's four bosses but only three battles -- guess which boss we won't be seeing.
These battles are not exactly easy. Alys is level 55, a good 22 levels above Clan Sawyer. Her minions are only a dozen or so levels higher. "Only."
Our only real chance of winning this is to rush Alys.
You may have noticed Alys is standing on a roof. Normally that would mean surrounding her with ranged units, but that will expose our team to Alys's minions. It would be a meat grinder.
Instead, Samuel and Zoe will go in equipped for high mobility. They're two of our hardest hitters, and Alys's weapon defense is much lower than her magick defense.
We start all the way down here, but the Move +2 Privilege makes a huge difference. It's not like we can get AP from this battle anyway.
Did you think we were here to stop Duelhorn from attacking the cities? No, we're trying to warn them that their plan has been leaked.
I suppose this a less of two evils situations. A foreign crime organization invading Jylland should be stopped at all costs, but on the other hand, they're fighting the shadowy assassin cabal that's been bugging us for half the game.
Not that they'll listen, of course!
Maquis and Alys want to put an end to war by somehow leveraging the power of Duelhorn.
But what are they going to do once they've reached the top?
Also that line is metal as fuck.
Alys is giving this big impassioned speech about A World Without War, and the best we can come up with is, "OK."
We're facing a team of viera, with no viera of our own because of the law. They're going to be a bit faster than us, and they're going to hit very hard.
We need to take as few hits as possible and take down Alys quickly.
Like last time we fought with her, Alys has stacked debuffs on herself that immediately wear off. Also like before, she's a pure support unit.
She actually doesn't do anything on this first turn.
She also has a pet White Mage who will spend the match buffing and healing her.
This is Zoe's movement range. And she can fly. Alys isn't safe on her roof.
(She should be able to go a bit further, but the geometry of the house and stairs stops her movement.)
Remember Roar? It's a Blue Magick spell that strips all buffs from every unit. Removing Shell and Protect helps our damage a lot.
And thanks to the +2 movement, he can catch up to Zoe.
The rest of the team is on support. They can't catch up to Samuel and Zoe, but they can distract the other enemies.
Pretty great damage.
Down below, Clan Sawyer engages with the mooks.
Alys uses Blood Price, so each spell she casts helps us a little bit.
I should mention that this is my second attempt at this battle. This was cathartic.
Remember: We're 20 levels below Alys.
The hard part isn't really Alys herself, though if we actually had to contend with a Blood Price Summoner, I'd be worried! It's really the setup of Alys being hard to reach and all her minions being really strong.
Abusing our high movement, high speed and Smile Toss lets us tear through the battle.
One down. Two to go.
The next battle is against The Night Dancer in Camoa.
For the purposes of the law, The Night Dancer is male.
There's an argument to be made that The Night Dancer is somewhat problematic because of how her gender expression is handled. (This game is from 2007, after all. Things have changed.)
But from a game design perspective, it's actually good that The Night Dancer is considered male. Each Duelhorn boss has a posse of the same race, as we saw with Alys's viera squad. The Night Dancer is accompanied by bangaa, and the law would force you to bring units that couldn't attack the boss.
That's not a huge problem for me, because my strategy ignores all the other enemies anyway.
Still, we're bringing an all-dude crew anyway. Move +2 is still my privilege of choice. Same strategy as before: rush the boss.
As before, we confront the Duelhorn boss before attacking.
Stop making this weird!
Again, we try to warn them that their plans have leaked.
Of course, we're still ignor--
STOP MAKING THIS WEIRD.
I guess bangaa are actually coldblooded. The Night Dancer warms up from the light of the moon instead of the warmth of the sun. Or something. This makes her more powerful, apparently.
Probably not, I've been reliably informed that we can't stop (can't stop) can't stop the beat.
Same as before, we're way underleveled! Bangaa hit even harder than viera do, but most of my problems are actually caused by conditions.
The battle starts off just great with Talf becoming the target for every attack.
One thing in our favor for this battle: Bangaa aren't the fastest units, and only The Night Dancer outspeeds us.
A good start, right? Well, at some point I'll learn not to send a unit by itself deep behind enemy lines.
Are you trying to convince us or yourself?
Back attacks are even more important. We'd be doing 120 damage instead of only 60. But I'll take what I can get.
This is the beginning of the end of my first attempt.
Samuel dodges three 95% accurate attacks in a row. So now I have a charmed Geomancy Paravir running around the battlefield.
And then Night Dancer kills Talf. Let's try again!
I brought Lenolia this time. Summons are great for healing and curing debuffs, even though she can't attack anyone.
But then I noticed Tsing's movement range.
And frankly, I didn't want to slog through this again.
We tried to warn you!
The last battle is in Graszton.
This time we're up against Duke Snakeheart.
Once again, we're charging in. I'm still using Move +2 even though we could use Bonus AP here.
Will they listen this time?
Yeah, we should have seen this coming. Snakeheart is probably in his element here, with all the chaos and battle.
Snakeheart's crew is entirely nu mou, unsurprisingly. Which means we actually get to move before them!
Snakeheart and three of his lackeys are up here. There's a Black Mage and Sage near our starting position.
I don't want this Time Mage buffing anyone (or Slowing us) so I'm taking him out first. Plus we can't reach Snakeheart in one turn.
Unlike the other maps, there are traps here. This is the one time I didn't bring Tsing, too.
Being entirely magick units, Snakeheart's gang hits pretty hard.
This spell hits 4 targets: the caster (a Sage/Arcanist hybrid), the Black Mage, Duke Snakeheart himself and Imino.
Imino is wearing Dark-absorbing armor.
Arcanists: Your Enemy's Best Friend.
Also, the enemy doesn't evade the traps, for once.
Another Nu Mou with Blood Price. Really wish we could get that ourselves!
If this Illusionist had any Speed, this battle would already be over. 500+ damage across the whole team would wear us down so quickly.
We take out this Time Mage right before he can get a useful turn in. He spent his first turn attacking Zoe, earning him a Counter to the face.
Next turn, we dive in on Snakeheart.
Snakeheart has a ton of MP thanks to his R-Ability, which restores his MP based on the damage he takes. This makes him more than a little dangerous, considering our luck against his Death spell.
Except he runs into a trap instead. (No effect because he's immune to most conditions.)
Samuel finishes him off.
He sound so sad.
We did it! Well, we did something. Sure, we stopped the Duelhorn attacks, but we were really trying to warn them that Khamja was onto them. But none of them would listen.
And for that matter, what happened to Maquis?
Back at the pub, we find part of the answer.
That Pretty Man posted:
There was this guy, except he kinda looked like a lady, and he saved the village!
See, it happened at night. There was this incredible noise, and the house next door collapsed.
That's when I saw him... or her, helping the people inside!
So I hear that it was some Duelhorn folks who wrecked our town, and I guess that guy was one of them? But I heard him er ...her shouting something about not sacrificing the townspeople, and he sounded pretty angry. That means he was helping us, right?
- Crybaby Kocott.
When I first played this game, I thought this notice was about The Night Dancer.
No, apparently Maquis is just that pretty.
That unlocks the final Duelhorn quest.
Not a hard law for us, since we have basically no ranged weapon users.
Maquis is only level 50, slightly lower than the other three Bosses. As a Ninja, he's really fast but has terrible defenses.
I'm bringing a good mix of ranged (magickal) and melee damage to this fight. Bonus AP 3 finally makes an appearance.
Maquis has been getting more and more obsessed with Khamja, I think.
Even now, we're still trying to help.
No? You have valuable intel about Jylland that the War Chiefs would undoubtedly find useful. Returning to your home to lick your wounds is a better idea.
Maybe this is an honor thing. Will the War Chiefs punish him for his failure?
Keep this in mind for when we inevitably fight Khamja all on our own.
Alys's status gives Maquis some pause, but he's still determined to keep fighting.
The Night Dancer and Duke Snakeheart are, apparently, missing. What happened after we fought them? No idea.
We're actually trying to help you!
He has Flashback Powers!
Each clone has a different set of abilities. This one is the base model, with only Dual Wield to make it special.
The Illusionist, with Blood Price.
The Blue Mage.
He splits off a sixth clone.
The last one is a Black Mage.
This one is the original Maquis. Notice his gear: it's all top-tier stuff. Plus he has the High Magick we saw him use in previous battles.
So, what have we gotten ourselves into?
First of all, we're completely out-sped. Here's the top battle screen, which I think I've shown before. Those red and blue cards at the bottom show the turn order; each red card is an enemy, and blue cards are allies.
The turn order is recalculated every turn, so it's not as bad as it may look. They won't be taking two turns for each one of ours, at least.
So yeah, we spend the first few minutes of the battle weathering Maquis' attacks.
But you may have noticed that a bunch of those phantasms have Counter, and we have two Master Monks.
We also have a Dual Cast Summoner. If I had swapped hers and Zoe's positions, I could have hit three clones with both spells.
Zoe lands a lucky hit, which might be the game apologizing for those ridiculous misses in The Night Dancer battle.
That's OG Maquis down already. Five more to go.
It's actually kind of nice having all our turns in a row. It's a little easier to strategize when you don't have to worry about the enemy interfering with your plans.
This one is Dual Wield Maquis, by the way.
This really shows off the stat differences. Hurdy isn't exactly a magickal powerhouse, but Maquis is basically matching his damage with a spell that should be much more powerful.
Evade Magick was a fantastic choice for Lenolia's R-Ability.
Fighter Maquis is the next to fall.
There's only three left now. Lenolia severely weakens the Black Mage and Blue Mage copies. Illusionist Maquis attacked Talf, so he's out of range.
Zoe goes for the kill, but only gets Black Mage Maquis. This actually worked out really well: Black Mage's turn was next, and Cid has his turn before Blue Mage's.
Cid obligingly takes care of the Blue Mage Maquis.
Talf and Lenolia weaken the last clone, Illusionist Maquis.
I don't know why I didn't just go for the kill with Lenolia -- two Maduins would have finished it. I may have been worried that one would miss, and Maquis would kill Talf.
And that's that. Maquis falls.
I don't know, Lenolia, it's been pretty fun so far.
You know, besides the general uptick in violent crime, anyway.
Duelhorn's Demise posted:
Duelhorn's three-pronged attack striking Camoa, Graszton and Moorabella, while inflicting considerable damage in each of those towns, has ended in failure.
Though details are sparse, as the attacks occurred during the night, and there were few witnesses, it appears that the Duelhorn assailants were themselves driven off by either a clan, or the mysterious organization that has been targeting Duelhorn operatives in recent days.
The whereabouts of the Four Bosses, leaders of Duelhorn, is unknown at present. Bereft of their leadership, the clan members have scattered, and some from the old country have even begun to pack up their belongings to return home. This, we can safely say, ends any formal presence of Duelhorn in Jylland.
In the wake of Duelhorn's offensive, influential Graszton citizen Baron Beltorey has extended a helping hand to those who lost their homes, while denouncing Duelhorn's actions and calling for more military strength in Jylland to fend off such foreign incursions.
Thus ends the sage of Duelhorn.
I'm left wondering what happened to the Four Bosses. Alys is recovering from her wounds somewhere. We stopped Maquis from his suicidal crusade against Khamja. But what about Snakeheart and The Night Dancer?
It sounds like the clans who had been shanghaied into Duelhorn were able to walk away. So I suppose some good came out of all this.
The name Baron Beltorey should sound familiar: he was the target of the Khamja assassination that Vaan and Penelo interrupted.
Thanks for reading! With Duelhorn taken care of, Clan Sawyer turns its gaze to more mundane tasks. Next time: More side quests!