Part 51: Chapter 4, Interlude: Fear Shrine
Alm's up today, with another shrine to conquer.
But first, some leftover business for Celica and company in the Lost Woods. With that out of the way, Alm enters the Fear Shrine.
The usual entrance room, with a battle waiting in the screen above.
It's the first shrine battle with either multiple screens or terrain. The swampland in the upper half will be annoying but not too much trouble.
The wizards are no problem. One of them is level 3 but isn't any more of an issue.
The shaman summons gargoyles. There's also a handy chokepoint between the two halves of the map. Hello, XP.
Inside a shrine, there is no option to retreat, and no turn limit. So we can farm gargoyles for as long as we want. As soon as I realize this, I restart the battle with the junior varsity team (added Luka, Robin, and Gray; benched Claire, Cliff, and Cleive).
Ryuto drew in the wizards on the first turn, and most of them were dead on the second turn. Nothing really interesting to show here.
The next umpteen-billion turns looked pretty much like this, with two units holding the chokepoint against infinite gargoyles.
Yeah, lots of gargoyles. No one needs to see all that. Instead, here's a level-up montage.
Ryuto only needed two levels to be able to promote into a sage, adding a bunch of Speed. Did I mention that Celica sent over the Angel Ring to Alm's group last turn? Kind of makes the whole exercise work here.
A few well-rounded levels for Python for a couple extra points of everything but luck.
Force gets a massive Power surge. His Speed still sucks he'll make a good wall eventually.
Luka gains a bunch of Skill, to go along with a bit of Speed, Power, and Defense (the actual important stats).
Lots of Power, Skill, and Speed for Robin, but he's still made of paper so won't be all that useful. Promotion will help there a little.
Gray gets a little more Power and Defense but overall pretty disappointing as usual. He does get the Arrow spell for some extra might.
Matilda gets a huge Speed boost (+10 in 6 levels). If we could find her a strong, heavy weapon she'd be all set. She became eligible for promotion to Gold Knight at level 10.
Even Silk gets some action with three great levels for Silk. She's suddenly a powerful healer, and can now promote into the not-yet-seen Saint class.
I took Alm all the way to level 20. He gets a story-forced promotion soon. He gained a lot of different stats and is now pretty beastly, especially when he's got that Regal Sword.
Dyute also got pushed to level 20, because the female mage class is bugged and can't promote until level 20 (at which time they can promote into the new Priest class; different from the Priest class in which Celica starts the game). In 11 levels, she got 12 Magic Power, 10 Speed, and 6 Defense which is pretty incredible. She also picked up two great spells - the monster-killer Angel, and the everything-killer Ragnarok. The latter spell has 24 Might and 100% Hit Rate for 20 Weight and 10 HP. It's massive, and with Dyute's super-charged Magic Power, she can throw out a 51 Magic Attack with a very small but non-zero 1 Attack Speed. Combine that power with the Prayer Ring which guarantees a crit when at low health - a calculation made after the spell's HP cost is subtracted - and Dyute is now the ultimate boss-killer.
Here's Dyute one-shotting the boss of the battle with her new spell:
Not much trouble there.
Let's keep going a bit further.
I don't have to tell you which of these bonuses is better. Choose three characters to receive an extra point of Speed: VOTE
Let's get our long-overdue promotions from that angel statue:
Luka gets a little tougher - he's actually moderately useful now.
Some more Speed for Gray is obviously welcome but won't make much difference. Of more importance - like all mages, he gets access to the Recover spell as a promotion bonus. All of our mages are now also healers, and Alm's army immediately goes from a single healer to four of them.
Not much of a bonus for Ryuto, but his stats were already pretty good. Like Gray, he can now cast Recover for some healing.
Silk gets a lot more survivability. She also gets a much more useful offensive spell - Angel.
Dyute's stats are already crazy high, so all she gets is HP (plus Recover). More Ragnarok fuel really. She's also now a super-charged healer.
Robin's biggest problem gets a little patch, but he's still pretty underwhelming.
Matilda becomes our first third-tier unit, and gets some massive promotion bonuses befitting the position.
Not much of a boost for Python, whose only real asset is his range.
Force becomes a bit more of a wall, with 4 more Power than Luka but 2 fewer Speed.
Claire, Cliff, and Cleive all missed out the battle since they were all level 11/12, but they still get to promote. She gets a massive +7 Defense and +19 HP to bring her up to the falcon knight base stats, much like Celica's fliers.
Cliff was already pretty well-rounded, but his extra Speed will come in handy.
Cleive already meets the minimum for every paladin stat, so just gets a small boost to his HP.
It's pretty easy to see that the two units who got all the way to level 20 on their first class (Alm, Dyute) are the best-off right now. So if you have the patience for it, grinding up even more levels would pay off. It's just pretty boring.
There's more to the shrine behind the angel statue. Some treasure maybe?
Oh - stairs. Ok, let's head down.
There's another floor to the shrine! The Fear Shrine is Alm's mini-dungeon, similar to Celica's Lost Woods only without the stupid unfair maze part. We'll explore the rest of the shrine in full - next time.