Part 16: Atma Weapon is impossibleChapter 15 - Atma Weapon is impossible
After that hell gauntlet, surely it gets easier from here, right?
Well, what did you expect?
Thou canine est fineth.
Shadow has only one Esper available to him currently, so let's give him that so he can finally start learning some damn spells.
The Floating Continent, another area where its battles don't interrupt the music, has some pesky-tough enemies. The Gargoyles are fragile, but can cast Quake. Dactyls can do stuff like Cyclonic.
Behemoths are pretty tanky and cast Meteo, as well as using powerful physical attacks.
The Murasame is a katana that boosts Vigor/Stamina/Evade and features the "Randomly Counterattack" property.
Gigantos is still guarding a chest, and he's still a pain with earth-themed attacks like Avalanche and Magnitude.
Since he's human, Cyan rips through him like butter.
Our reward is the Ninjato, which has the insta-kill property and otherwise is the next step up for Shadow's ninja knives.
Speaking of Ninjas, these guys still throw all sorts of annoying daggers and scrolls. One nice perk is that they drop Shurikens when defeated, which is nice for Shadow.
Djinni are still undead that use Lifeshaver.
Dragons can freeze opponents and use strong physicals like what I assume is this DQ reference.
So here's Dragon vs Dragon.
Brainpans can stun and use the 1000-guaranteed-damage Blow Fish, which is still a Lore Strago can learn.
Near the end, we get the awesome Ninja Mask. +5 Vigor/Speed, evasion boost, random counters, and a nice increase in magic defense. Only Locke and Shadow can use it.
Sweet mercy, a save point!
And of course, you can choose to run away before fighting Atma Weapon.
Which you may need to do.
Now, the reason this update took so long. The new bane of my existance.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the toughest foe I've encountered so far in probably any LP I've done.
So, first he gives his big speech and so on.
Right off the bat, we've got our first problem. Atma has auto-regen. So no seizure, and he'll steadily negate a lot of damage. This sucks, but nothing we can do about that right now.
He has a variety of attacks to start with. Quartr and Gravity Bomb are pesky (3/4 HP damage to everyone, and I assume 15/16 HP damage to one person respectively), but not fatal.
He also has Magnitude and Quake, which can do some damage. Of course, Float negates both, and handily Shadow learns Float from Phantom pretty quickly, so you'll always have a way to cast it.
Purge is a pesky move that nullifies any buffs you have besides the ones given by relics. Thus, there's no reason to spend any time casting buffing spells right now besides Float.
And to mix things up, Atma casts Flare. Large damage, but at least it's only single-target.
And because the bastard doesn't heal enough from Regen, there's also Lifeshaver.
And because he isn't annoying enough, he'll cast multi-target Rasp to deplete your party's MP.
He also has physicals, but they're laughable.
Despite all this, the guy's still manageable. None of his attacks are really deadly, and your party won't really have much trouble out-damaging his Regen, especially if you exploit his Ice weakness.
But of course, if things were that simple, this fucker wouldn't have been a roadblock.
The good news is that after this point, he stops using Purge, so you're free to buff with Haste and Shell all you want.
Which you really, really should do, because the bad news is this guy becomes a fucking nightmare.
First off, his defenses increase, making it much tougher to out-damage his Regen. It also doesn't help that you'll be needing to heal a lot more.
After he charges, he'll unleash Flare Star, which does nasty damage to everyone. Fortunately, he only uses this once during a battle.
This is Mind Blast, which spreads all sorts of nasty status effects upon your party. Have fun healing those!
Raid (which is also a Lore) does large damage and inflicts Poison.
And he also has some strong physical counters now.
I didn't even get to see all his attacks, like the petrification-inflicting Glare, before he wiped me the first time. The sheer ferocity means you have to constantly heal and throw items, meaning less time damaging the guy through his high defenses and Regen.
My strategy eventually ended up being going Morphed Terra with Icebrand (where a Ice2 proc would deal over 3000 damage to the guy), Setzer on healing duty, Cyan spamming Flurry (though I hear Dragon and its defense-ignoring properties would've been better here), and Shadow spamming Float/Haste and throwing Items, whether at allies or Shurikens at Atma.
After six attempts at Atma with this party, I changed strategies.
He's weak against Ice, so why not throw two people who can cast Ice2 on the guy? And I hear Mog's a nice, reliable healer, so let's go with him. Surely this will work out.
Except it didn't, because of how low these guys' HP are. Nobody even cracks 500, which is kind of a big deal due to Atma's later attacks. I did two tries with these guys with everyone wearing Sprint Shoes and Wall Rings for auto Haste/Shell, but no luck.
Then I tried Locke/Strago/Setzer. The idea was to take advantage of Locke's Vigor, Speed, and HP to serve as a backup healer if needed, otherwise he'd spam the Icebrand. His magic was too lowish to take advantage of the Ice2 proc (plus he couldn't boost it like Terra/Celes could with the Mystery Veil), but his Vigor let him do more damage. Strago, of course, was all about spamming Ice2. Setzer's a freaking tank and would cast Cure2 when needed, and Slots otherwise. Finally, Shadow served the same role, casting Float and Haste when needed, and then in the second half of the fight chucking Remedies and Phoenix Downs constantly while throwing Shurikens at Atma when given the chance.
Here's their equipment layout. Thief Glove boosts physical attacks like the Power Glove, and sacrifices two points of Vigor for five points of Speed, so it's a good fit for Locke here. Strago gets the Amulet to protect against the nastier statuses, because he needs to be on the offense constantly. Setzer has the Switchblade for its stats since he's not attacking, the Magic Cube to boost Cure2s, and the Ribbon because I don't want my main healer saddled with status effects. Finally, I boost Shadow's offense because it also helps with Throw, plus it helps his physicals for the first half of the fight.
52 Phoenix Downs, 18 Remedies. Keep that in mind.
Hah, forgot to cast Float before the battle. Oops.
This is what Strago can do with Ice2. Easily my most reliable damage dealer. Well, he would be if his lowish HP didn't lead him to die constantly.
Locke's physicals are kinda nice too, though Atma has some evasion to him which can cause some whiffs.
Shadow's physicals are crap against Atma, sadly.
At this point, blowing through the first half is cake.
Holy crap, I'm using items! I've used an X-Potion or two, several Tinictures, and a couple of Ethers.
Even more awesome, Flare Star didn't kill anybody.
Now I bust out the espers. Seraph casts Rerise on everyone, which is kind of a big deal in a fight where actions are precious.
With Purge gone, Shadow can Haste Strago and Setzer.
I have Setzer and Locke heal after the Flare Star just to make sure everyone's in good shape. You can see Locke's already confused from Mind Blast.
Finally, Zoneseek casts Shell on everyone, which helps a lot with Atma's damage.
He's still powerful as hell, though, and Strago spends a lot of the battle dead. But that's what Shadow and my hefty supply of Phoenix Downs are for!
When I need to heal single-target damage, Regen's a good choice. Weaker than Cure2, but it adds Regen, whose healing can add up.
I even get lucky with Slots and trigger Zoneseek again. Granted, Strago was the only one who needed Shell.
I burned through a lot of Remedies.
Throw does...alright damage. What sucks is that once you choose to throw something, it's expended, even if the tosser dies before actually throwing it. Which happens a lot for Shadow.
Shadow spends a good chunk of the fight Berserk as well. I let it slide since it boosts offense a bit, at least until I need him throwing stuff again. Same thing eventually happens with Locke.
I use Phoenix Downs on Strago and Shadow since it doesn't matter what their HP is when they revive, but for Locke, a Phoenix Tear is good because it restores him to half-HP.
Lucky Bahamut on slots!
I even throw my fancy new Ninjato at the guy. The damage was worth it, at least.
OH MY GOD FUCK YES.
Easily one of the most intense bosses I've fought. I just wish the battle wasn't so damn long. No kidding, it took me over thirty-five fucking minutes to beat this damn guy. I'm tempted to say that they could've done a better job balancing the damn thing, but then again maybe I just suck.
Took me twelve tries, but it worked out.
Picked up Raze for Strago, and got the other Atma Weapon, which doesn't seem to have changed that much.
And then Shadow decides to leave. I don't blame him.
Also, I ended up using 21 Phoenix Downs and 16 Remedies. I literally had two Remedies left.
Anyway, picked up Blowfish because why not.
Now for the finale!
Celes? You were following us the whole time?
Why the fuck didn't you help us fight that god damn beast?
Aaah, such power!
...What the fuck!?
Mwehehe, I've seen the way you look at me, baby?
That's disgusting! What kind of person would even think about doing...that...with Kefka?
You'd be surprised! Ahahahaha!
(He really must be insane if he thinks I'm that dumb.)
Besides, the guys I'm currently hanging out with aren't actually assholes. Well, most of them aren't, anyway.
But that just makes you love me more, right?
Should've seen that one coming.
Now tell us how you really feel.
Wrong answer, morons!
Stop screwing around, you stupid rocks!
Like I care!
I'm trying to gather unrivaled power so I can shape the world in my image! Does that sound like something an insane person would do to you?
Oh, so when I do it, it's insane. But when you do it...
Oh, how I wanted to do this for so long. It's time to have some fun!
I said show him your true power, idiots!
Now that's what I'm talking about!
See you next fall!
Alright, now to business.
Damn, these things are heavy! You guys should lose some weight!
Oops! Did I destroy the world now?
You're a fucking idiot.
It's time someone competent handled things for once.
You're welcome, by the way.
But now would be the perfect time to kill the bastard!
Who cares? We've gotta get outta here.
Only enemy are Bat Ladies.
They cast Storm. They're also weak to Ice and will go down in one Ice2. Mugging them gives decent items too, Tinctures and Potions.
WHAT THE FUCK
Hey, who's ready for some awkwardly-implemented fanfic shit?
Trust me, there's a lot I'm leaving out here.
It's as dumb as it looks.
It casts powerful magic that doesn't affect Celes while she babbles on about her deep and meaningful backstory.
And you guys owe me a lot. A lot.
End First Half