Part 65: Chapter 5, Part 2: Final Dungeon Second Floor
The first floor's clear, so it's time for another jump.
The top row of pits leads to the second floor. One of the pits leads to the third floor, the rest go all the way to the bottom with a long hike back to the top.
Leaving the room starts the second battle of the final dungeon. We've got a couple slayers loose, with one starting right next to us, and a small cohort locked away behind another special gate.
The slayers are tough but we have a few super-units at this point and they won't be able to swarm us.
The gold knight here is one of the highest level units we've faced, with capped HP and stats that would be more impressive if we didn't have Alm and Dyute hitting upper 38 and 40 Power, respectively.
The two slayers on the upper left are co-bosses, with a very high Speed, but we actually have four units that can double-attack them (Dyute, Alm, Matilda, and whoever holds the Speed Ring).
It's been awhile since we've seen the bigle monster. It's fast but not very tough; however it can summon more copies of itself, each of which can in turn summon yet more copies. It'll get out of hand pretty quickly.
I'm not messing around this map. Dyute does 49 damage with one attack, slaying the slayer.
So this map has another gimmick. The special tile isn't a switch, but a teleporter that seems to activate only semi-randomly. In this case right after Dyute's initial attack.
In this case, we have plenty of units to pick off the ones that pop in outside the fort, as Python and Force demonstrate here.
I didn't realize this fact until later, but the red tiles outside the fort are the only possible destinations for the teleport tile. So by blocking the two red tiles outside the gate, I'm guaranteeing more slayers showing up near Dyute. Not a bad plan, if an unintentional one.
The northeast slayer heads towards Alm, while another slayer teleports out by Dyute.
And the bigle summons four more bigles, starting a rapid growth cycle.
Alm has quietly turned into quite the killing machine, wielding 38 Power with the Regal Sword on top of 24 Speed. That's more than enough attack strength to take out the slayer in one turn.
Meanwhile Dyute keeps on being Dyute.
Not really a whole lot that can be done until the gate comes down. Claire takes a shot with the Gladius at the next slayer in line for the teleporter, while Python harasses one of the bigles.
The gold knight goes after Claire for a solid strike, but Claire counters for 19 damage.
The teleporter activates but only after the slayer ended his turn there, so he's a sitting duck for Dyute next turn.
More bigles. Suddenly there are 13 of them.
Dyute gets a little closer as she has the Angel Ring instead of the Magic Ring now. Still the same result.
I don't think Dyute's levels really matter anymore.
Not much else happens this turn. Python takes out a bigle, and Claire weakens the gold knight a little more but can't finish it off.
Another sacrifice for Dyute.
Oh, wait. This one had the teleporter activate before moving, so he was free to go after Teeta.
Teeta has 17 Defense now. The slayer can barely touch her.
Up to 16 bigles now. I think they're hitting up against some unit limit for the map or there would probably be more by now.
And one of the slayer bosses goes down, with Dyute changing things up with the Aura spell this time.
Claire wipes out a bigle with an auto-crit due to her being a falcon knight attacking a monster.
After Claire's attack, the teleporter activates again, sending the second slayer boss out to the front gate for slaughter.
Python and Force are again up for the challenge.
Except Force misses his second attack. Oops.
Still plenty of help available for cleanup, and Alm does the honors this time with a crit.
So a gold knight boss, a damaged and healing slayer, and 15 bigles remain. No problem, right?
One problem - 13 of the bigles can reach Claire this turn. They do 4 damage each, not very much, but it adds up. Claire has 46 HP to start, so she can withstand only 11 attacks. And the bigles all die in their attacks, freeing up room for more of them to attack. Plus whatever the slayer and gold knight might do. Should've held Claire back a bit more so that only half or so of the bigle swarm could reach her.
The first four bigles all suicide on Claire, and now it's the slayer's turn. He does 10 damage across two attacks, which is the equivalent of another 3 bigles. Claire's down to 20 HP now, with another 9 bigles and the gold knight left to attack.
One bright side - the slayer is blocking the easiest access point to Claire, so some of the bigles can't reach her and summon more bigles instead. Eventually the bigle sitting right next to her joins the suicide brigade, freeing up the space again. Four more successful bigle attacks bring Claire down to just 8 HP remaining. I'm not really clear at this point on how many more attacks are coming - up to 5, at worst.
Another hit. Claire's down to 4 HP, and can't take any more hits.
At least she got a nice level, if she lives to keep it.
If I look at this picture right, two of the bigles that could've reached Claire are gray, which means they were blocked earlier and used their turns summoning instead. That still leaves two attackers, and I need both to miss.
I was certain I'd have to reset the battle there. Maybe that extra Speed really did help her dodge chance just enough to pull off the great escape. (Dodging 9 of 11 attacks is actually pretty average for that hit rate, just strange to see the first nine hit and then the last two miss like that.)
Even after all those bigles killed by Claire, there's still 14 left thanks to fresh summons. I get Claire back for healing and continue to mass outside the gate, waiting for it to drop.
And the gate finally falls. I'm not sure what the trigger was in the end - a certain number of turns, or there being no enemies running loose outside the fort?
Outside of a single stray bigle attack against Mycen, the enemy doesn't really take advantage.
Matilda is tough and fast and with the Gradius also pretty strong, so she leads the charge into the fort and takes out the last slayer.
Force is another survivable counter-kill machine so he takes up position against the bigles, eliminating one of them.
Silk takes out the lead bigle with a shot of Angel.
Alm kills another bigle. He's got a lot of HP but not as much Defense as I would like up there.
Mycen, Zeke, and Python all move forward but can't attack twice so don't actually kill anything.
Zeke draws in the first attacker on the enemy phase, but doesn't counter-kill so keeps the tile occupied.
Nine more bigle attacks follow, with six suiciding on Matilda. The others attacked Zeke and Mycen as space opened up; for some reason Alm was left alone despite his low Defense. Possibly the bigles preferred to attack the gold knights who couldn't attack twice, when given the opportunity.
Matilda didn't even make a dent in the bigle numbers - there's still 18 of them at the start of the turn. I'm not even trying to grind here - the bigles are only worth 3-5 XP each, hardly worth it - but they're just that hard to get under control.
Python and Matilda start out by thinning the bigles' numbers a bit. Getting Matilda in range of more of the bigles for the enemy phase so that she can counter-kill more of them is my big strategy for this turn.
Alm and Force each take out a bigle and join the counter-kill line.
Teeta and Claire wipe out two more bigles. I'm not about to leave Claire out front this time, though.
Silk rounds out the action this turn with another bigle kill. There are still 11 of them left for the enemy phase, though.
I lied and left Claire out there. I guess with only 11 bigles she'll probably be fine this time. I've been ignoring that last gold knight since he's sitting on a healing tile minding his own business and hard to hit with physical attacks.
Lots of this on the enemy phase. Claire's back at full HP so she can handle all 11 bigles if necessary.
The first four bigles died on Claire's spear. The fifth here couldn't reach her so settled for sparring with Zeke.
A fifth bigle attacks Claire, and then the other five bigles inexplicably do nothing and the enemy phase ends. Seriously they didn't attack or summon more copies of themselves or anything. I guess some script got broken somewhere.
Our saints finally take care of the gold knight.
Python picked up a pretty good level by poking at a bigle.
Mycen finishes off a wounded bigle, and Matilda takes out a corner one.
Force and Alm take out two more, and we're almost out of this map.
Claire kills another bigle. All I have left is Zeke and he can't finish off the last one himself.
That's okay though because the last bigle helpfully kills itself on Claire, finally ending the battle.
The challenge was over early, but those bigle swarms were a pain to put down.
Another nondescript room is revealed, with only one path forward.
And we've seen this room last update, although briefly as we were falling through it at the time. Next update we'll fall through to the third floor, where another battle awaits.
It's a battle royale, no-holds-barred.