The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 27: Episode XXVII: Onward to the Endgame

Episode XXVII: Onward to the Endgame

Welcome back... presumably like at least an hour or so later since Koudelka and Edward have sobered up between scenes. Now that we have the nitroglycerine in our possession, it’s time to put it to good use...

...By stuffing it into our inventory with the remaining 83 78 bottles of liquor and assorted junk as we backtrack to the main church of Nemeton Monastery so we can go sort out that Gargoyle. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine. It’s a year after Castlevania 64 came out and the Resident Evil Remake wouldn’t be out for another year and nine months. So no fear of the nitro exploding if we run/get hit/sneeze and instantly killing everyone. One of the few gameplay decisions Koudelka made wisely.

So the Gargoyle... The recommended level for facing this thing is around the mid-to-upper 60s. We are a wee bit short of that. That would take a good two plus hours of grinding and I’m not feeling that. So we’re going to put our timer unlocked items to good tactical use. First of all, we’re going to shift the formation slightly to have Koudelka start hanging out directly behind Edward in the front row. James is fine hanging out in the rear where he has been.

We’re also going to employ the Gargoyle Killer. Which will help quite a bit but won’t actually kill the Gargoyle in three hits at our current levels. Again, for the Gargoyle Killer to work as intended we’d have to grind up to Level 60+ and pump Edward’s strength about 40 or so more than where it currently is standing. Fun fact: HP values top out at “9999 HP” but it can actually exceed that. The game is just incapable of showing those values. Edward actually has somewhere around 12-13,000 HP with this weapon equipped. So that’s neat. Though we most certainly needed to take a pit stop at a permanent save point to top off Edward’s newly buffed HP.

The game gives us a warning and we have to hit a prompt to enter because there’s a gargoyle inside and that dude SUCKS. But hey, maybe if all three of us don’t immediately haul ass and run this time we can take him. Isn’t that right, Edward...?

We actually need to run clear across the church to trigger the Gargoyle boss battle. Which is kinda annoying since there’s still random battles that we’ll just have to immediately run from to keep our party Gargoyle ready. It’s the same trash mobs from when we were briefly in here at the end of Disc 2.

New Music: Waterfall ~ Live
(It just actually plays the usual boss battle theme. But hey, here’s some spice.)

Gargoyle! Round 2! Here we go. It’s been a few hours since the start of All Saint’s Day so Gargoyle’s powers have waned... kinda... At least he’s no longer invincible/able to dodge absolute everything and effectively immortal. The creature does, however, have... 31,684 HP... Which is more health than every boss on Disc 3 and a healthy chunk of the ones on Disc 2... combined... So that’s problematic!

Just for a future reference, the final boss of Koudelka only has 22801 HP.

The Gargoyle is no longer an idle boy. He is very active little fella now and will frequently take turns to attack. Particularly, the Gargoyle now comes packing a haymaker and a flying headbutt physical attacks. Both of which would normally do around 3000+ HP of damage.

However, Edward is in the front row so he’s the only one Gargoyle can hit with melee attacks. He’s also equipped with the Gargoyle Killer which grants +99 Vitality. Vitality is both HP and physical damage resistance rolled into one stat because Koudelka is a weird game like that. So instead of getting wrecked for several thousand damage, Edward will just completely no-sell it taking 0 damage instead.

Even though Edward won’t actually lose any hit points from taking the hit, it’s still considered a strong enough attack that it will send Mr. Plunkett flying back one grid space... UNLESS, we have a party member directly behind him. Then he’ll just go flying straight up and land in the same space. Which is why we stuck Koudelka behind him before getting started.

We do NOT want the Gargoyle advancing in the field. Remember, if a monster advances on the grid past a downed party member, then we can no longer revive them and they’re effectively dead for the duration of the battle. Gargoyle is specifically programmed to immediately use his next turn (and he has a ton of Agility so he can always move after performing an attack) to advance past a downed party member like a jerk and take them out of the battle permanently. Real dick move!

So our strategy for taking out Gargoyle is not very exciting. But what else did you expect from Koudelka’s battle system at this point? Our chief order of business is going to be buffing the shit out of Edward’s strength stat. If we used Gargoyle Killer right now with his current stats, even with the tremendous boost he’s gotten he’d only do around the range of 5000 HP of damage. We’ve only got three hits with Gargoyle Killer. That’d only get us half way to beating him.

So instead we’re going to have everyone put their efforts into buffing Edward’s strength until he can at least do around 7500 HP of damage. Even Edward himself can chip in with this endeavor since even an idiot who barely knows what magic is will still do at bare minimum a +3 AP buff with any Fortify spell. Buffs last the duration of a battle so there’s no worry of it fizzling out unless the character in question gets KO’d or an enemy specifically casts a debuff. Gargoyle is not one of those enemies.

Koudelka can also contribute minimally with magic casts. They only do around 500-600 HP of damage. But it’s better than nothing. This is the solitary enemy where Roger’s Staff would have been remotely necessary. But we’re fine without it. You’d be surprised how much difference a few hundred HP of damage output can make.

Speaking of damage output, if we’re gonna use Gargoyle Killer we may as well use Chekhov’s Magic Scroll while we’re at it. Charlotte’s Book has been sitting in our inventory since 4:44:44. A Scroll is an extremely rare drop (a single enemy type, those Mars bobblehead looking aliens in the Library has an extremely rare chance of dropping ‘em) when used will cast a Level 4 version of a spell at max stats regardless of who is using its actual abilities.

So if Koudelka were at 99 Intelligence and Mind, this would be her damage output with Flare at Level 4. So that’s a decent chunk of his health burned off. Thanks, Charlotte. Hope we didn’t damn you to an eternal maelstrom of agony for lost spirits or anything when we forcefully exorcised you!

While Gargoyle will attack with physical strikes the vast majority of the time, he does have one magic attack that is quite an issue. Brace yourself when he turns into a spinning boy!

Gargoyle has a tornado attack. This will only do around 1400-1500 HP of damage to Koudelka or James. Edward will take a 3500+ damage toll. The major issue with this attack is it tosses on status effects. All the status effects. Paralysis, Poison and Silence are all rolled into the Gargoyle’s Tornado.

That character is effectively out of the battle if it gets hit with this unless they’re cured with a Panacea. Unfortunately... we’re only carrying three of those at this point and the only enemy that drops any is clear across Nemeton Monastery and it’s a very rare drop from an enemy that is only in one of about five potential mobs. So that’s a pretty severe issue we have here. A bit of a race against the clock because Gargoyle uses two rounds for physical attacks and the third round is its tornado again.

So coming down to the wire, we’ve got Edward able to dish out around 7500 HP of damage three times. Plus that 6800 or so damage Charlotte’s Book did. That leaves us just shy of what we need to beat Gargoyle with all our trump cards played.

As soon as Gargoyle Killer is broken, Edward’s stats return to normal levels meaning he’s down to only 3721 HP and can no longer face tank Gargoyle’s blows. As a result...

Edward is instantly obliterated by the next Tornado cast. Though thankfully, he’s the one who took that hit since Edward is COMPLETELY worthless now and we’re out of panacea by this point. You were the MVP of this fight even if you’re not going to be conscious to see it through to the end.

I was quite worried this was a wasted effort and I’d have to go grind for a couple hours to do this “right” since the next two attacks would certainly murder the hell out of James and Koudelka. However...
I went for one last ditch magic cast and...

Wouldn’t you know it! Old Gargoyle only had less than 350 HP left. I’ve never been so relieved to have just barely cheesed a super boss after a fifteen minute fight. Eat shit, Gargoyle!

So remember how I said it was fine that Edward was dead, despite this game doing the obnoxious thing of awarding zero experience points to characters KO’d at the end of battles? Well guess what? Gargoyle doesn’t give out any EXP. He’s by far the hardest boss in the game. If you can beat him you can beat anything! Why would you need to be stronger? What? To make the extremely tedious battles go by faster? Pfft... Nonsense! You clearly loved them enough to put up with this bullshit fight!

The Gargoyle does randomly gift the party a new item type as a reward – an Idol. Idols are a permanent three point stat boost consumable. There’s one for every single stat. Gargoyle drops a random one upon death. But there’s a couple enemies in the final stretch of the game that will also drop ‘em. I think Edward earned this one, even if he got knocked the fuck out in that fight.

Even though Gargoyle itself didn’t give up a reward of much note, there is one to be had for defeating the super boss. We need to return to the far end of the courtyard to find it.

Minor note: We can re-enter the execution chamber where the... unpleasantries with the Hartmans transpired and have a good look at their corpses/get around to the lower levels. As with most things, the party has no comment.

Anyway, returning to the main gate if Nemeton Monastery, you may recall there was a statue holding aloft the “Sacnoth Sword” but it wasn’t giving it up anytime soon. But now that we’ve proven our worth by slaying the Gargoyle, we can now take that Soul Edge ass looking sucker for our own!

The Sacnoth is the strongest sword in the game barring the Gargoyle Killer. Unlike that glass cannon, this one lasts 100+ strikes so it could effectively be used for the entire rest of the game. The whole hour and change left of it, at least... Sacnoth grants +70 Strength, +24 Dexterity and +10 Agility with zero drawbacks. It’s pretty good!

Not worth wasting your time beating the Gargoyle since there’s exactly one challenging enemy left in the game. But not too shabby otherwise.

In any case, that’s all the optional content of Koudelka out of the way. All that’s left is finishing the game now. Which means once more returning to the Church Vestry and using that nitroglycerine that’s been jostling around in our inventory this entire time. Returning to the locked gate and clicking on the door results in...

A nice overview of the final area of the game. Remember how the westernmost part of the monastery map went up to the 7th floor? Well, time for that to come into play shortly...

I’m disappointed they didn’t show the discussion where Edward convinces everyone that having him shoot this nitro bottle is absolutely the best way to handle the explosives. The fact that only Edward is present in the room leads me to believe James and Koudelka just went “fine, blow yourself up, idiot” and left him to it...

Real missed opportunity for Edward to be fine from the explosion but his eyebrows are totally singed off the remainder of the game.

Against all odds, an aging bishop using his barely remembered college chemistry expertise to craft a bottle of nitroglycerine and having an idiot shoot the bottle to blow up a locked door was the correct and successful solution to the problem of this particular locked door.

Edward has magicked up a lantern from the same Convenient Light Source Dimension™ that Ashley Graham obtained that flashlight between loading screens in Resident Evil 4.

It’s amazing...
I’d use blasphemous. An abomination...
Yeah, you would. What about you Koudelka?

I can’t believe you set off a bloody explosion while I have this big of a hangover...
Tch. You should have just done like me...
And what exactly did you do? <groans>
<pulls out flask and takes a swig> Kept drinking. Hic.

See, this guy gets it!
That’s a statue, Edward.
Yeah... He’s like me. A rock. I just soak up that whiskey.
That... does not work on multiple levels...
Not with that attitude.
Could we stay focused, people?
Yeah, I’ll focus you, old man...

Tune in next time for the final area of Koudelka -- The Tower. It’s ALWAYS gotta be a frikkin’ tower, doesn’t it...?

Video: Gargoyle Battle

Video: Episode 27 Highlight Reel
(You should watch this.)

Edward Concept Art – The backpack was key.