Part 64: Chapter 5, Part 1: Final Dungeon First Floor
Time to jump down a dark pit to find the Falchion and a route to Celica.
Pick the upper-left hole, and you'll fall through a single level to the first floor. That's where we're going to start this dungeon.
Other routes fall a bit farther.
Picking the lower-right hole leads to the third floor. The upper-right and lower-left pits keep falling.
At the bottom is a large room containing nothing but a set of stairs leading all the way back to the top. With Celica's party frequently taking damage the whole time, you don't want to spend a bunch of extra time running through the basement and climbing back up.
Anyway, we can choose between the first floor and the third floor here, and there's a battle on each. Technically the optimal path is to go to the third floor first, but I didn't figure that out until after recording the battle for the first floor so you're stuck with that one here.
A small map facing a small army. We've only got ten units ourselves; I think that will be the case for the rest of the game.
There are three high knights on the right side, and while they're tough they won't hold us back for long.
The left side has two vanilla slayers, four lightning-witches, and another summoning shaman. It's not much for a 10-v-10 battle.
The walls here are impassable even by flying units, so we have a ready-made chokepoint and two gold knights ready to clog it up. There's also a tile that looks something like a healing tile, but it's the wrong color.
Matilda and Zeke hold the gap in the wall, while the others advance. We've got the usual suspects for the battle: Alm, Dyute, Claire, Python, Force, Silk, and Teeta from the regulars, along with newcomer Mycen.
The shaman summons dragon zombies. Alm's army conquered that difficulty back in the mountains.
The high knights hit hard and don't take much damage in return, but I have a few different solutions for them. And that's without even getting Dyute involved.
Matilda and Zeke keep scratching at the high knights for some scraps of XP. They're both close to a level and they're both holding Angel Rings now.
And Matilda gets just enough XP for her level, adding even more Speed.
Claire might not be able to fly through this wall, but she can use the Gladius to get at the high knight anyway.
She uses it to good effect for 32 damage, but it's not quite enough for the kill.
Teeta tries out her new spell. Fortify is expensive but so worth it. Some flashy healing sparkles later, and everyone gets HP except for Teeta herself.
And everyone else continues to advance.
Two of the witches teleport down on the enemy phase, with one missing Alm and the other electrifying Force for 11 damage.
The high knights keep attacking Matilda and Zeke, but they're tough and I have a strong long-distance mass-healer now.
I don't really want that high knight to reach the strange tile, so Python moves up to harass him. The walls that are too tall for the fliers still let arrows through.
Alm and Mycen make short work of the witches, who weren't really much of a threat back in the third chapter and certainly aren't a problem now.
Claire softens up another high knight with the Gladius.
Matilda moves over to hand off the Angel Ring to Python. Zeke and Force then team up to take out the two high knights, but Force misses.
Zeke pulls off a level with the kill, but it's not a very helpful one.
On the enemy phase, the opening in front of Zeke draws the third high knight away from the tile. The slayer then closes the gap, but can't do much against Zeke's high Defense.
The wounded high knight attacks Force, who misses yet again.
The dragon zombies have to take the long way around the walls as well.
No missing this time.
Force has quietly become quite the powerful, uh, force.
Silk weakens the slayer a bit with her Angel magic, giving Python the opportunity for a kill and a level.
He's fast enough now to double-attack most enemies.
Claire is flying death with the Gladius in hand.
I leave most everyone back to hold the gap rather than rush through right away.
The other slayer goes for Claire on the enemy phase for 6 damage, but suffers a massive 25 damage counterattack.
Oh good, eight more dragon zombies.
Claire's pretty good at fighting those. Look at that maxed-out attack.
This is not a replay - a second dragon zombie suicides on Claire to round out the enemy phase.
Witches get stitches. Actually stitches won't help this one, she's dead.
Might as well keep Claire doing what she's good at here.
A knight against a slayer is normally a bit of a mismatch, but Force has a lot of Power now and can rely on the Quick Ring for a second attack if needed.
I wanted to see what would happen if I sent one of our units to the strange tile. Nothing did. And it doesn't look like an enemy unit is ever going to get there. So let's play the what-if game....
If an enemy unit steps on the tile, a switch sound activates, the screen shakes for a bit, and the front wall is replaced with a 5-tile-wide poison swamp. So if you had your army up against the wall banging against those high knights, good luck dealing with that. Fortunately the enemy AI is easily manipulated, and will head towards one of Alm's units if there's an open space for attacking, even if they can't actually reach in one turn.
Back in reality, Mycen rides up to take out the last witch.
Just an infinite number of dragon zombies and a dragon zombie-summoning shaman stand in our way now. And since this is an indoor map, there's no turn limit. That means....
It's time to farm for a ton of XP until I get bored. Here's a level montage:
Claire and Dyute are fed a level each, and Dyute caps Power.
Python and Matilda also get a level each. If I could find a promotion shrine somewhere in the final dungeon, Python could be promoted into a bow knight now.
Force picks up three levels, gaining even more Power. He's eligible to promote to the baron class now.
Two levels for Teeta, who's now surprisingly sturdy for a healer.
Yes that's five levels for Silk, who picks up Illusion magic to go with some extra Magic Power and Speed. Being able to use Angel to wipe out dragon zombies was very helpful for the healers. I'll try out Silk's version of Illusion later, if I remember, but I'm told that it summons something called "dark fighters".
Finally I force-feed two levels to Alm, and they pay off with great gains. Alm hits 38 Attack Power when holding the Regal Sword now - if he had more Defense, he'd be pretty unstoppable.
After the battle, we're left in an empty chamber. Just keep moving to the right.
Despite the extra holes, the light maze here doesn't actually get more complicated. But that'll be for another day.
The second floor awaits.