Part 57: The DavilApologies for what has once again happened to the update schedule. Let's cover the bonus dungeon real quick.
"This field area is a place where you can enjoy combat without regard to the progress of the story."
So, welcome back to Raul Hills. It's totally different to the way it was last time we were here, with one exception:
The trap monsters are a couple dozen levels outdated and comically ineffectual. Anyway, the Silent Boat takes us to the meat of the area.
The old monsters have been replaced. There's Nyarmots and Dragon Knights from Valmar's Moon...
...as well as Snow Leopards, which we previously saw alongside the Leck Guarder.
We actually start in Raul Hills 2, and as before there are two paths leading back to Raul Hills 1.
The nearest one leads to the broken bridge from before, but there's some new stuff here:
The Zero Broadsword, Useless Staff, Rusty Hoop and Dull Knife. As you might guess from their names, they give a whopping 0 attack power and have no use whatsoever. The Hard Hack gives them a few minor effects like +stats and on-hit effects out of pity.
They're actually a callback to the first game, where a similar set of weapons could be found in an optional dungeon. Since characters in Grandia I had weapon skills that leveled up every time you attacked with weapons of that type, the Zero weapons could be used to prolong fights and grind for weapon skill. In Grandia II, they're just here for nostalgia's sake, I suppose.
Back in Raul Hills 2, there's nothing new other than the replaced monsters, so let's make our way to the last available exit.
Through here lies the stone maze, which is under new management.
Meet the closest thing this game has to an optional boss.
HP: ~15000 (from 5800)
Abilities: Burnstrike (~3100), BOOM! (~1200), BA-BOOM! (~2000)
Special: and Cancel on hit. Run Away option disabled.
Resistant to , Weak to
So, the thing about these guys is that they can do this:
It does about half of the entire party's health in damage, and they come in packs of three.
They find the math amusing.
Anyway, they're not as bad as you might think. As long as you get initiative, you can take advantage of their weakness to confusion and paralysis and keep them locked down for long stretches of time. They recover from status effects super quickly, but it still knocks them back to the start of the IP bar.
There's very little in the way of Explosion resistance you can equip, so you just have to throw out a lot of Crazes and cancel specials to stop the boom train. Roan should be drowning them in Cracklings every chance he gets.
Beating them occasionally nets you a Jet-Black Cape, which gives resistance to all status effects and slightly reduces all elemental damage.
The area is actually designed so you never have to fight a single Devil, if they intimidate you. Each of them is on a strict patrol route with a blind spot you can sneak through, allowing you to snag all the treasure in one go. Of course, if you screw up and get surprised, you're rolling some real unfair dice to see if you survive the first round.
The treasure, in increasing order of interest:
- A Lore of Magic, which gives 1000 MC when consumed;
- A Platinum Feather, which brings the entire party to COM when used (or ACT if they're past COM)
- An Energy Charm, an accessory that reduces SP consumption by 25%;
- A Demon Necklace, which does the same for MP;
- A Sonic Belt, accessory, +40 ACT;
- The Astral Miracle, which doubles all SC gains;
- The Soul of a Hero, which doubles all EXP gains;
- The Fairy Egg, a new mana egg.
That's all there is to the Raul Hills Special Stage. Since we're about to hit the point of no return for the end of the game, let's wrap up a few loose ends.
Here is a video of King Roan's changed moves, Tio's new move and every spell in the game save a few healing spells that all basically look the same.
I'm not even going to count the graphical and sound bugs anymore. There's too many, and it's too sad.
True Dragon Rise (42 SP) - Straight up does not work on the PC version, is instead regular Dragon Rise. You're not missing much.
Ice Prison (30 SP) - Is now single target.
Whisper to Stars (99 SP from 36) - Tio's new skill since Mareg's death. +1 to all stats for the whole party. Worst sound bug on PC.
Heal, Healer, Healer+ (6/12/24 MP) - Not pictured, but I'm sure you can fill in the gaps
Alhealer (18 MP) - Bread and butter healing spell throughout the entire game.
Snooze (12 MP from 5) - Puts all enemies to sleep.
Resurrect (40 MP) - Always brings the character to full health.
Howl (9 MP) - Minor wind damage in an area
Howlslash (14 MP) - Ostensibly does damage in a line, tends to hit a lot more due to janky PC collision.
Howlnado (45 MP) - Hits all, can cause Confusion.
Runner (3 MP) - +1 MOV to all party members.
Shhh! (10 MP) - Inflicts Magic Block in an area.
Diggin' (4 MP) - +2 DEF to all party members.
Def-Loss (5 MP) - -2 DEF to all enemies.
Gravity (8 MP) - Attracts nearby enemies to target enemy.
Tremor (15 MP) - Earth damage, hits in an area.
Quake (40 MP) - Hits all.
Burn! (6 MP) - Single-target fire damage.
Burnflame (16 MP) - AoE fire damage.
Burnstrike (20 MP) - The Big Guns.
Hellburner (42 MP) - Hits all.
Zap! (24 MP) - AoE lightning damage. Lightning spells also have a chance to Paralyze.
Zap All (36 MP) - Yep.
DragonZap (58 MP) - Deals a bunch of lightning damage in a line.
GadZap (55 MP) - Heavy lightning damage to one target.
Stram (6 MP) - Target enemy gets -2 ATK.
BOOM! (22 MP) - Underwhelming Explosion damage in an area.
BA-BOOM! (75 MP) - Hits all. Flashy, but not really any good on Hard Mode.
Meteor Strike (50 MP) - Heavy explosion damage to one target.
WOW! (6 MP) - Target ally gets +2 ATK.
Crackle (16 MP) - Strong single target ice damage, significant IP damage as well.
Crackling (52 MP) - Hits all.
Freeze! (30 MP from 5) - Used to reduce the MOV of all enemies, but in the hard hack it does area damage.
Cold (40 MP from 7) - Target enemy gets -1 ACT.
Fiora (12 MP) - Inflicts Move Block in an area.
Cure (4 MP) - Cures Poison and Paralysis.
Refresh (12 MP) - Unblocks Moves and Magic.
Halvah (24 MP) - Cures all status ailments, removes all stat debuffs.
Speedy (20 MP from 7) - Target ally gets +2 ACT.
Poizn (15 MP) - Deals damage and inflicts Poison in an area.
For reference, our casters' MP will be hovering around 300 by the end of the game. The damage the spells do in the video is for the most part not representative, as a lot of them are low level and almost none of them have the appropriate chants equipped because that would take a lot of effort.
As for the mana eggs I haven't covered, the Soul Egg has mediocre spells of all stripes plus Resurrect, the Star Egg is an offensive fire/explosion egg that also has Resurrect and the Fairy Egg has only healing and support spells on it.
Aside from my purchase of a trio of fire, ice and lightning-elemental swords for Ryudo back in Cyrum, I don't think there's any more gameplay stuff for me to cover. Join me next time for plot.
Official Art: Weapons: Elena, Millenia, Roan, Mareg, Tio, Melfice