Part 27: Welcome to the ArenaChapter 26 Welcome to the Arena
The arenas been open to us for some time now, but I was always going to put it off until the end to complete. Youll know why by the end of this chapter.
Side scenes are mostly done by now, but theres a few that relate to the arena specifically. As we come in, we notice Kazan at the front desk
Hes engaged in his favourite pastime: being a creep.
It is true that I am old. But if you see me fight once, youll forget how old I am!
Juana: B .bu ..buuuuut .Oh! Lang the Wanderer!
Its definitely not Cocky Langs canon decision, but let me show you what happens if you encourage Kazan.
Creepy Wingman Lang posted:
(Ah Aha! Ah yes When she takes a step back, I take one forward. Here I go!)
Juana: Huh?!? What are you thinking!? You pervert!
Kazan gets the Playboy nickname from this. Its not the ending we pick, but its the ending Kazan deserves.
If we choose to Help Juana
Aggressive Lang posted:
Master, I dont think you should. She doesnt seem to like it.
You shut your mouth! Dont get in my way! I wont tolerate it, even from you
Ho! Really? Finally! It is my time to bloom! I have reached my spring! Hah ha! Heh he! I must train for the next fight!
Cocky Lang chooses to diffuse the situation.
(Hmph! You would never understand my loneliness!!)
(Fine, but being forceful is no good. Youll have other chances, Master!)
Juana: N, No! I like strong, fighting men! Ill cheer for you, Kazan!
The utter irony that stopping Kazan makes this work out for him.
Now lets actually fight in the arena!
Weve seen the list before, but its here to refresh your memories. Well go through each tournament mode from the top down.
First on our list is the Championship Tournament.
Click here to me take down all the champions.
These are the most straightforward experiences in the arena. You just fight 8 battles and win a prize at the end.
As for what you fight? Well
Its the exact same medley of monsters we fought when getting the Flying Dragon. How exciting.
Of course, theres one noteworthy exception: the final boss of this mode is different. Its never Gorva, the Loghart Crab pallet swap we fought before. Instead it will be a different person depending on the circumstances before you entered the arena.
Our first final fight is against
Bubba. We knew he was going to feature in the arena at some point.
Unlike his Doplin Castle iteration, arena Bubba is no pushover. Hes got quite a bit of health, and at this level, he wont go down quickly. As this mode has a character fight alone, we cant use Variable Arts.
Unlike before, Bubba doesnt need to charge AP to attack. He uses this on the first round, and as you can see, it hits damn hard. Dancing Revolver also has the possibility of inducing the bewitch status, which would be disastrous in this 1x1 match.
This is the set up for a counter-attack. So you have to waste a turn to avoid whatever he has planned for you.
His healing ability could make this fight take a lot longer but then I remember I have Mystic Arts in my arsenal now. One of those makes short work of Bubba, and Bubba consistently hits hard enough to put anyone under half health.
A sign of how far weve come is that weve added 50000 more damage to our Mystic Art than we did to Vestra.
Demetrius: The audience is now calling you the Hot Swordsman! Lang, the Hot Swordsman! You will go down in Phorchoon history! Now, please claim your prizes!
We get both the Hot Swordsman nickname and a Zorda Hide, Jubon Rock, and Count Rembreau. The first two are combination materials, and the last is a house decoration. Nothing special, but the championships are the least profitable mode.
Every time you win one of the modes, you get a cut scene like this where Demetrius rewards you. However, what happens next only happens after the relevant guild quest
Demetrius: Whah, wh .who are you?
Demetrius: Stiel .? Stiel, the Silver Wolf?!?
Hmph! I see my reputation preceeds me. I should like to compete as well. Lang I do look forward to defeating you. Do not bow out before you reach me Heh heh heh .
Did you forget I already whooped your ass?
Hah! I was outnumbered, three to one! Youll never defeat me in a fair match!
Now that weve kicked Bubbas ass, he has something to say about it.
Dont get big-headed, kid! You aint seen nothin yet! You watch, the next one will be mine!
We can also camp chat about this.
Maybe nothing. Maybe he just wants to fight.
What do you mean?
Maybe to test his strength. Or maybe hes just trying to reach a higher skill level.
The true meaning of fighting is to know yourself.
Whoa thats deep.
Oh, come on! Its nothing as cool as all that! He just wants the prizes! Its the PRIZES, I tell you!
Is that not your own motivation?
Hey! Are you trying to pick a fight with me? You-!
Were not done camp chatting.
Hey, Lang, I heard a strange rumor.
Huh? That was pretty random. Well, what was it Maya?
Guess what! I heard Marienne and Elliott showed up in the arena!
Youre kidding! But we killed them! In Drokonia ! They should be dead!
BUT they also say that if you go to the waiting room, the two of them are nowhere to be seen! Pretty spooky, huh ?
Do you think its true? Maybe its just someone that LOOKS like them.
Ohmigod! Thats nuts! They were scary enough when they were alive! Dont tell me theyre GHOSTS now! Maya just why do you like ghost stories so much? Youre scaring me out of my wits!
Oh! Im sorry! I was just wondering about it, thats all
Ho if we come across them in the arena, I think we should run
Oh for fucks sake, we killed Velna, and she was the closest thing to a genuine ghost weve ever seen! Theyre not intimidating!
The point of this chat is basically to foreshadow a certain function of the arena.
If we go back into the arena and check on Bubba
That is some corny slang.
Stekin: But Bro If you become famous, peepsll hear about you and get all up in your face! Nah! Forget about that! Your strength and courage will become a legend in Phorchoon!
A le .Legend! Heh! I like the sound of that!
Stekin: Right? Right?!!??!? And thats where I come in! First, I
Aha .Hmm .
This will be relevant to the end of the game, if you can believe it.
Now, lets get on with the actual arena content.
Stiel has not changed much since Thunder Mine. He has a bit more health, but thats it. The main challenge here comes from the fact were fighting him alone, and thus one successful stun might ruin our run.
But we get the better of Stiel eventually.
For winning this time, we get accessories, including a Tireless Ribbon. This is one way to get them that doesnt involve knowing the combination.
Having beaten Stiel, some people have come to visit the arena
NO! Me no lose! Muscles want to fight!
Oh, stop it!
NO! Me go! Me fight! And me win!
We get a choice. We decide to let Balzac try.
You should try and see. If youre lucky well, Balzac, I think you have a good shot.
HAAAH! You hear Phanta?
Pffft! I dont believe that for a second!
Stan: Of course! Lang the Hot Swordsman has won the competition!
R, really?! All right. Fine, Balzac. You may compete in the battle.
Despite this whole scene, you wont see Balzac in the arena.
With Stiel and Bubba out of the way, we have one last opponent to face in the championships.
Unfortunately, Vixon does not have a delightfully hammy experience planned for us. He just hits us with his weird mace and goes down easier than Bubba and Stiel. Sad.
Not only does Vixon react to his defeat, but you can see Lang has replaced his cutout form too.
Its not possible! One more time! I demand a re-match!
With Vixons defeat, we have exhausted content for the championships. Let us move on to the next mode.
Click here for a demonstration of the Gambling Arena.
The Gambling Arena is not all that different from the championships with one key exception
At the start of every match, you get a slot machine style roller that picks out a random buff/debuff for that match. Theres all kinds of effects, like the +50% HP seen above or penalties to your defence. Perhaps the worst is the one that prevents the use of Arts, which are our greatest damage dealer.
Otherwise, the battles are just pallet swaps and not terribly challenging.
The final match is a pallet swap Zoan Stoara. Enough said.
The Gambling Arena pays out slightly better than the championships. You also get new nicknames when you win, such as Lang getting God of Gamblers. We also get a bunch of stat raising items, so thats nice.
Click here for a demonstration of Battle Maniax.
Battle Maniax sends you into the arena with your current party, unlike the 1x1s of every other mode.
The gimmick here is every battle has a challenge you need to clear to win. This one has a time limit, which expires even when in menus, so youd better be quick about it. Others have challenges like beating in a set number of turns, or winning where only your first hit (with each character) does damage.
Otherwise, the battles arent terribly special. Theyre the same collection of pallet swaps every time, and the same challenges for each group.
Winning pays out better than the previous two modes. It seems only Lang gets a nickname here (Prince of War), and even changing which character was in which slot could not affect this. Lang cant be removed from the party, of course.
Click here to see an example of a Free Fight.
Free Fight basically just entails a random series of encounters with no strings attached. It pays better than championships, so thats nice.
Perhaps the most distinct feature of Free Fight is that you can face your own party members here. In Free Fight, only Lang can be used to compete, but this is weird given the party members can all face each other in Dream Match anyway. They all have unique things to say when they win, like Lang apologising to the girls, or Sharon sarcastically claiming she didnt want to ruin Mayas pretty face.
The problem, of course, is that the characters are all based on themselves as is. They dont get any buffs or debuffs. At first this sounds good, but you have to realise that this means that your characters can hit for the stupidly high amounts you dish out in regular battles, which is well beyond your ability to survive. Similarly, they have such low HP you can beat them in one round, but the problem lies in Sharon. She is so fast she can wreck Lang if she gets a shot in.
Of course, theres a cheap solution in removing your characters beneficial accessories and giving them stuff like the Barricade Ring that gimps their strength.
Completing Free Fight gets Lang the Bloody Monarch title, along with other prizes.
Now, I would go on to describe the Dream Match mode, but theres something we need to complete before touching it.
Were going to Jinga.
Miuras here, after having been scared off from Dareks Haunt. Why ice Miura out if youre gonna let scummy Kenjiro trade here?
This is what we came here for.
Now Playing Centurion Challenge
Tōshi no shiren. It comes out more like Warriors Trial, but funnily enough, Centurion Challenge makes more sense in a roundabout way.
The way the challenge works is you touch the demonic wall things blocking you way, and each one provides an encounter. You beat the counter, the wall is out of your way, and you can touch the next one.
You must do this one hundred times. Hence the Centurion Challenge, you see?
Fun fact: The Centurions Challenge was actually used as a demo level for the game, but all the wall thingies would take you to a different location to fight, and it was topped off with the Rauss boss fight. You can find a video on Youtube.
The first encounters are against enemies weve seen in the game. Theyre all as weak as they were when we first fought them, so no big deal.
Then you start encountering these renamed enemies, as in theyre the same models, but they have different names and better stats. Theyre harder, but not overly difficult.
One problem posed by the challenge is that your cooking runs out early on. This doesnt cripple us, especially as weve got infinite Hyper Arts now, but it does make some of the later enemies take more time than they might have to beat.
The Centurion Challenge is a great place to train for the end game. Completing it normally gets you plenty of EXP, but we also brought Sagely Ribbons, which have a skill to double EXP gain. By the end of the challenge, were nearly at max level for the whole main party.
Speaking of the end, can you guess what we might be facing?
If your guess was A pallet swap of the Storm Idol, then you got it right! He doesnt even have any unique attacks! There were a few enemies during the Centurion Challenge that were more challenging than this asshole.
As we complete the challenge, there will be chest to open and loot to gain. Right at the end, we get five Fruits of the Gods, which raise all stats.
Lang gets the Wander-Fighter nickname and a Heavens Secret from Chief West Wind here.
Before we mop up our last challenge, lets have another camp chat.
Just because you won that one little match, dont go thinking youre stronger than me!
We get a choice. Cocky Langs general policy is to be nice to allies, but when theres a chance to flex? No, were rubbing Kazans face in this
Youre my pupil, so I went easy on you, thats all! Now I know I shouldnt have been so nice! If thats the way youre gonna be, I wont go easy on you! Im taking out my sword! Ill beat some sense into your hide!
Yeah yeah, I totally believe your little act.
Ill whoop your ass as many times as it takes, OLD man!
In case youre wondering, Lang is forced to be intimidated by Kazans bullshit here, which I could not abide making canon for Cocky Lang. Its a testament to how despite all the choices you have, you really cant have the character the way you want him to be.
Also no, beating Kazan again wont net you a chat where he admits what a little bitch he actually is.
Anyway, let us now move on to our final challenge
Click here to see the Dream Match take place.
(Note the above footage is cobbled together from a few different videos, hence the discrepancies)
Just like in Free Fight, you can fight your companions. As I mentioned, this is where you can use anyone you want against whomever might appear.
You can also see that every fight has a fancy cut-in now, rather than the ones from every other mode.
As foreshadowed earlier, Elliott and Marienne can be fought here. The premise of Dream Match is that you can face people who are dead. This includes seeing the MIGHTY Balken fight alongside his brothers, Raynoff the Brave and Vixon the Great.
The first 5 matches are randomized, but the last few are the same every time you participate.
Rauss is always the 6th fight. Hes piss easy because all he ever uses is Destruction, and it doesnt even do much damage at this point.
Velna and Vestra are always 7th. This fight is one part easier due to Vestra no longer being immune to regular attacks (although he still halves damage for them) and one part harder because unless you can KO Velna quickly, they can easily use their instant death attack, ending your run.
Yes, thats right, the final boss is here in this optional arena match. Unless you chose to beat the game and then reload to do side content, this will be a sneak peak of his boss fight.
However, Avalon here will not actually use many of his attacks from his final fight. Instead, he uses just one .
That is almost all of Langs health. If you, say, stuck it out with Vestra to use a Mystic Art and came to fight Dream Avalon unprepared, he will kill you immediately, ruining your whole run.
Of course, you might ask, why not just use a Mystic Art on the bastard too? Well, Dream Avalon has enough HP to tank multiple Mystic Arts. As he will use Elzebreault every turn, this means you cant attack unless you have some way of annihilating him in one hit or mitigating the damage hes putting out.
The simplest strategy is to get the ability Full Power, which triples your strength after guarding. Thus, you just guard once or twice, let Dram Avalon bring you down low enough, and then let off a supped up Mystic Art. This isnt a sure thing, as you need enough strength to pull it off, and some characters might fall short of doing Avalons full health, but theres a good chance.
But even with Avalons defeat, were not done yet.
Stiel is the true final battle. He isnt necessarily harder than Avalon, but he is more tedious. He doesnt hit as hard, but he still causes status effects. This is negated by using a Vaccine Syringe, which prevents status effects for the whole match.
This doesnt eliminate the threat altogether, unfortunately. While Stiel doesnt hit as hard as Avalon, he is still hitting really hard. He can also tank Mystic Arts, and more of them than Avalon, so you have to take the slow and steady approach, healing between attacks and using whatever you can to whittle down his HP. Stiel will typically use Cutting Edge every few turns, which does a lot more damage than Blade of Fury, which he uses every other attack. He can very easily cheap shot you and ruin your whole run.
Even with the Full Power ability, you cant defeat Stiel in a single blow. Stiel needs to be taken care of slowly but surely.
But down he goes, in the end.
Winning nets us the True Conqueror title for Lang, a bunch of typical prizes, and a Heavens Secret.
And that concludes our jaunt through the arena. Most of it was pretty easy, but Avalon and Stiel at the end? Those assholes took a long damn time. Its as if the game makers realised theyd made things too easy the whole way through and threw in overpowered encounters right at the end.
But were done. We need not set foot in the arena again.
Join me next time, where we clear up a bunch of miscellaneous things before completing the game. Like some end-game Art Exhibitions!