Part 59: Five Kings and Digging DeepUpdate 59: Five Kings and Digging Deep
In This Update:
- Rematch: the Five Kings of Cinquleur!
- Exploring the Nazan Mines!
In Update 11, we had our first encounter with the mage clan Cinquleur, when we fought Red King Ruuj. A master of both Red Magick and Elementalist magick, she provided an interesting challenge for Clan Sawyer.
Later, Update 33 found us fighting the other four members of Cinquleur. We faced each one in a solo battle, so perhaps the challenge wasn't as intense as it could have been.
And now Cinquleur is back for a rematch.
They've evened the odds: no more facing one mage at a time, instead we're battling the full might of Cinquleur.
This law exists to crank up the difficulty. You could hold off and try this quest when you're at a high level, or do it early and guarantee that you'll break the law.
Remember, breaking the law means we can't revive any allies. That can be disastrous in a fight like this.
The five mages are all very well equipped.
The two women have ribbons, and the three men have Orbs of Minwu. Don't trying to use conditions, unless you really know what you're doing.
Some of them are packing interesting defenses, like Verre's Mirror Mail. (Which I will forget about.)
Their ability selection hasn't changed since the first time we fought them, but they're still very dangerous. I would love to have Blood Price Sagacity on my team.
And, of course, the kicker: they're all level 99.
This mission is one of the hardest in the game. We're facing five enemies at max level with powerful ability combos and excellent equipment. Sure, you can dismantle them by destroying or stealing equipment, or use R-Abilities and elemental resistances to buff your defenses. But that would require us to be at or near level 99 ourselves, just so we could survive more than a turn or two. At our level, a slow strategy like that will end in failure every time.
Samuel has his Parivir abilities with Geomancy to make them even more powerful; Hoarfrost Blade will do excellent damage, and the Slow debuff it can inflict is not blocked by the Orb of Minwu.
Zoe is here as a Raptor/Ravager combo, and her job is to get behind the enemy and Sneak Attack them.
Leed is bringing his usual Magick Frenzy shenanigans.
Lenolia, as always, will be dropping wide-area healing and damage with Doublecast Summons.
Jalia's main contribution will be long-ranged attacks, since Double Shot will really boost her damage per turn.
Finally, Montblanc's one and only job is to cast Haste on everyone he can.
No gimmicks. No Mirror Item, no Scions, no Magick Frenzy Illusion, no Ultima. (Sure, Lenolia is a powerhouse. But she's not a "400 guaranteed damage per turn" powerhouse, at least not in this fight.)
This is sheer optimism.
Well, let's get this started. First, the requisite pre-battle posturing:
: Whoa! That's the entire clan!
: We are Cinquleur!
: Battle and victory! These we hold above all!
: We've lost to you too many times!
: We shall lose no more! The final reckoning is nigh!
: To battle, Cinquleur! And to victory!
They strike a fighting stance.
: Here they come! Let's give 'em all we got!
Now, you shouldn't be surprised that we're slower than them. Also wow that is a lot of health.
I want to show most of this battle, because the action will be pretty tight. But I'll cut out most of the turns like this where someone only moves. (There aren't many turns like that.)
Blanc should be your first target, because he is the only one who can heal. Blood Price means you don't have to kill him, just get him low enough to stop his spells.
But we're still going to kill him, because even his melee attacks are dangerous.
I'd like to point out two things:
- Two of our strongest characters did only ~140 damage in two turns.
- Holy hell that is a lot of damage.
And there's the law broken. Our chance of failure just skyrocketed, because we won't be able to undo any deaths.
Verre and Nware move forward.
Zoe charges in and bashes Blanc. Her Sneak Attack will be one of our most powerful moves, as long as she can get in position.
This isn't great, but it's better than taking damage.
Lenolia needs to heal everyone, and I also want everyone to have Regen. She can't quite reach everyone, but this is good enough.
Samuel lands an excellent Hoarfrost blade, nearly killing Blanc and inflicting Slow on him.
Ruuj's turn rolls around, and she shows us just why we should be scared. 300 damage in a single turn is scary no matter how much health you have, and Jalia just doesn't have enough.
You tried, Jalia, and that's what matters.
Montblanc does the one thing he needs to do, and Leed finally kills Blanc. We're up 1 over Cinquleur, and they've lost their healer.
And then we get a little lucky.
Nware is able to dive our back line, but his attack misses Lenolia thanks to her Evade Magick R-Ability. Montblanc still takes the full damage.
Then Verre tries to one-hit kill Lenolia, but her Ribbon (I think?) blocks the attack.
This leaves Cinquleur in the perfect position for Lenolia to hit three of them. The damage is better than I had hoped!
Zoe can't get close enough to attack, so she takes up a position in this corner and activates Bulwark.
Our luck falters a bit as Bliu kills Montblanc before the moogle can Haste anyone else. We're down 2, but honestly Montblanc wouldn't have been able to do much more.
Rest in peace, Hastebot.
I'm going to read Montblanc's death as a sacrifice to RNG, because Ruuj decides to waste her turn attacking Zoe. The Bulwark status prevents all damage, rendering these attacks useless!
Finally, Verre puts Samuel to sleep. He'll be fine.
Lenolia charges forward to Doublecast on Cinquleur again. We still have a lot of health to chew through.
Getting hit by Blanc's Scathe fully charged Leed's MP thanks to his Replenish MP R-Ability, so he's able to unleash full-powered Magick Frenzy attacks.
Nware only has the -aga spells, so he doesn't have enough MP to cast this turn! But his melee attacks are powerful enough.
Samuel is asleep and Lenolia loses Haste.
Doesn't stop her from killing Ruuj though!
Verre spends her turn buffing Nware's accuracy, for some reason.
Zoe swoops in for another kill! Sneak Attack grants a huge damage boost to attacking behind, and mages don't have a ton of physical armor.
Bliu is the more dangerous of the two mages left. He doesn't quite kill Samuel, who is now wide awake.
Leed goes for a cheeky double Magick Frenzy.
It doesn't quite work out in his favor.
Samuel decides his best bet is to sacrifice his life in one huge attack, but he rolls high on the damage dice and secures the kill!
Lenolia can't kill Verre in one turn, so she does some healing instead.
Verre nearly kills Samuel, who really isn't having a good day at all.
And Zoe secures yet another Sneak Attack kill!
With Cinquleur defeated, the screen fades out...
: We are... defeated!?
Hell yeah you are!
: You... You did this, Clan Sawyer!
HELL YEAH WE DID!
: How could we have lost...?
We're just that good.
: I... I don't believe it, kupo!
You better start believing it -- you're living it!
: Yet it has happened. Cinquleur tastes defeat.
I think we gave you more than just a taste!
Sorry I'm just really hyped that we defeated Cinquleur. And that was our first try!
Condemner's Choker is another Scion-summoning item, though I sadly do not get to show it off this update.
Good fight, Cinquleur.
The rewards are quite good, too: 15,400 Gil, 99 Clan Points and rare loot.
Besides his appearance in FFXII, Zeromus is also the final boss of FFIV. Big Bang deals damage to one enemy equal to the amount of HP lost by the caster.
And that's the end of Cinquleur.
...or is it!?
The rest of this update focuses on the Nazan Mines, one of the creepier areas in Ivalice.
This quest is signed by "Rasgow, Nazan Miner." Time to do some proper heroics and go on a rescue mission!
Alright, add "remove ghosts" as a mission objective. We can't save those miners until we clear out these undead.
Oof, that's an annoying law. Lots of really useful anti-undead abilities are area-of-effect, like Cure or Hurdy's Requiem.
I hope the miners can wait a bit, this won't take too long.
: Let's take care of them and find Rasgow as soon as we can!
: Did it just ask for help?
I'm changing "remove ghosts" to "help ghosts." Sorry, Rasgow, we've got to help these guys first.
I'm switching back to summarizing battles. This won't be nearly as exciting as Five Kings, sorry.
Adelle is rocking the Ninja abilities, which includes "Wood Veil". This spell drops a log on the target's head. It's kind of hilarious.
As usual with undead, we need to remember to banish the ones that have fallen.
Penelo is our best bet for that, because she can do it from range. Raise targets a single square, so it won't break the law.
Frimelda and Cid can also clear away graves, but they are limited to melee-range abilities.
Also as usual, the undead spend their turns healing each other. It would be annoying if we weren't doing quadruple that damage per attack.
That's two down.
The others aren't in much better shape, honestly.
Penelo is busy with sending them permanently to the grave.
The last two are weakened, and Hurdy can use Requiem. It's an AoE attack but, if it succeeds, it'll be the last action of the battle and therefore avoid violating the law.
: It's a note from Rasgow!
Are you telling me this ghost actually stole from Rasgow? This quest has so many plot twists.
Let's jump ahead and read the letter.
Rasgow's Letter posted:
I was wrong.
That was no spirit whispering from beyond the grave, but my friends, calling to me.
I...will not be saved. This I know.
All I wish now is that no one else should hear this sad voice. Please, rid the mine of its spirits. Let its rock walls and vaulted halls sleep in peace.
Give the spirits their freedom, for I will be joining their number soon.
I'm sorry, Rasgow.
What the hell, Thil, why?
At least we're fighting living monsters this time.
This law is mildly annoying due to the presence of jellies, who are often weak to those elements. However, the Cream (the yellow one) and the Headless are weak to Water and Wind, respectively.
: Well, I guess we should get started with clearing them out.
Yeah, this one isn't going to be too hard.
It's a shame, but really, it's impossible to do every mission in such a way that they're all challenging.
I do feel slightly bad that they can barely scratch us though.
But the most interesting part of this battle isn't an enemy.
It's this treasure chest.
I don't know if this is extremely good luck or what.
Hey, remember when Frimelda was a Paladin? This is one of the job's special attacks, which hits surrounding enemies with Holy damage.
Lian follows it up with a double kill on the remaining jellies.
And Vaan stabs the last Headless in the back.
: So much for them... Though I still question the choice of picnic location.
Fortunately, they do choose to hold the picnic elsewhere:
Picnic Plans Changed posted:
I am writing to thank you once again for scouting out our proposed picnic location the other day.
Thanks to your findings, we decided to change our picnic from a spelunking tour of the Nazan Mines to a manufactory tour of Goug.
Though I had wished to expose the children to the unique and remarkable beauty of the mines, safety must always come first.
On our tour, I was able to introduce my students to the fascination of a large scale manufactory and the stoic beauty of the exhaust pipe arrangements we saw there.
In short, you may rest assured that your assistance has been to the very great benefit of a number of young minds.
You know, it doesn't really sound like they took a guided tour of the factory to me.
The next two missions, well, kind of suck.
I mean, gemstones are pretty cool and all. But...
We're supposed to collect the gemstones instead of fight! Boring!
Not that these petty thieves would be very interesting opponents.
: Look at those gemstones! And were just here to steal ore! Change of plans! Grab as many of those shinies as you can!
: Ach, we've got company! Clean them up, then get back to the gems!
: I'm not sure we want to fight these guys. Let's get those gemstones and get out of this mine as fast we can!
You're extremely wrong, Adelle, we can definitely take these guys.
I mean, sure, I'll grab this gem since it's right here.
But look, these guys aren't exactly threatening.
In fact, they're pretty weak.
...Oh. That's what you meant by "we don't want to fight these guys." They'll keep summoning reinforcements when we kill them.
Honestly if the rewards were better, I'd probably grind here a bit. But we're getting next to no XP and we don't need their low-level loot.
Pro tip: Always look for traps in the Nazan Mines. For some reason, it is absolutely full of them.
Guess we'll focus on gemstones.
The enemy likes to spend their turns stealing our money, which, fair enough, it's completely in character.
There's another one.
Oh, they'll also try to steal items.
Here's an unusual ability. Steal Limelight removes some of the target's Smash! Gauge, which is the little blue-green bar on the inside edge of the character card. It's what we use to summon Scions.
Be wary of traps when picking up gemstones. You often need to use alternate approaches.
Adelle gets a rare double crit. This is the, I don't know, fifth kill so far?
There's significant lag between the demise of an enemy and the appearance of their replacement. The battlefield is almost clear right now.
Another location that's guarded by a trap if you take the obvious route.
And that's the last of the gems.
: That's all of the gemstones! Time to leave!
Not hard, not interesting, not too tedious.
This quest is basically the same thing, except with ore instead of gems.
And undead instead of thieves. Sorry, Rasgow, I guess we didn't clear out all the spirits.
Same law as before, interestingly enough.
: We can't exactly go back empty-handed. Let's gather as much ore as we can before we go.
...You know what? Whatever. I'm sick of these laws. Screw it.
Again, look for traps! If you don't have a Ranger with Awareness, you can use Al-Cid's Interrogate ability.
Yeah, same as last mission.
Except we don't fight any of the enemies.
Why bother? We won't get loot unless we banish them.
Sorry, I guess I'm just a little annoyed by these missions.
Do you think there are clans that only do missions like this?
Just running around doing the jobs other people don't want to do?
: This should be enough.
I guess someone has to do it.
A palette cleanser.
As usual, no one is here.
: Let's see... "To the clan who accepted my quest. Urgent business has called me away. Please meet me where the sun begins its march across the sky. I still require the delivery be made on time. Ezel Berbier."
: March across the sky, huh? I guess that means we're headed east.
There's only one location to the east...
I swear this was completely random and unplanned.
: Ah, Samuel. Sorry about changing the meeting place on you at the last minute. When you're as famous as I am, it comes with the territory.
: Incidentally, have you ever been to these magicite mines before? What a mess! They've dug out what they wanted and left the rest. With time, I'd thought the Mist would return to the place once so rich in it, but now I'm not sure.
: You really get around, Ezel. I don't know where you find the energy. Oh, before I forget, here's the ether you asked for.
: Ah, yes. Thank you. Energy flows where attention goes. Or so they say. Farewell, Samuel.
Thanks for reading! That Five Kings battle was a ton of fun. I was legitimately worried for our chances there.
Let's knock out some more small quests. Vote for one of the following!
(Just one because I'll be doing some filler too.)
1. How does a dive into the world of stamp collecting sound?
2. Or maybe you would be more interested in helping out Komodo Potions?
3. Tinder hasn't been invented yet, but you can hire a clan to help you date?!