Part 7: Update VII - The key to this mission is in skillfully evading detection.Update VII - The key to this mission is in skillfully evading detection
Video: Entering Tianna
Music: Talking Funk
We get all the dirty work! And for no pay, too.
Spider learns the downside to leaving the bounty hunter business: a strict chain of command.
Thats because Rs a Strategy Reploid. And youre just designed for fighting.
Yeah, I know. Anyway, Ive got my own goals. Thats why Im willing to work.
Uh, yeah. To blow the Rebellion Army to bits. No more working small-time jobs. Now lets move.
Toppling the Rebellion Army would look great on a resume, I'll admit.
Music: Chapter Title
Music: World of the Abyss
Our latest dungeon opens up into a few hallways.
Although it looks like someone got here first.
Video: Enter Massimo
Music: Resistance Line
Whoever he is, he looks a bit spooked.
Scratch that, very spooked.
He even sounds like we nearly gave him a heart attack.
Our Resistance opposes the Army.
Who are you?
Music: Steel Massimo
His voice changes here, dropping lower and putting on a blatently false sense of courage.
This is Massimo?
The guy that everyone in town was talking about? That Massimo?
Massimo... I remember hearing of a warrior named Massimo fighting the Rebellion Army.
Then, youre on our side! Whaddya say, Massimo? Join us?
His voice cracks here. Whatever he was expecting, it wasn't this.
So, first things first... Can you help me bust the 'roids out of this camp?
Music: World of the Abyss
I'll get into that later.
For a big name hero, Massimo is strangely weak, starting at level 1.
Stat-wise, he has sky high LE and Power and good defenses, but barely any speed. He also has 20% starting WE, so he'll always need two turns before he can AT. He also comes with an extra Power Charge.
Now, you might see these stats and think Massimo is a tank. Those stats are a goddamn lie for one, very important, reason:
Massimo takes 150% damage from every element. And as the game goes on, more and more enemies will start getting elemental attacks. Making it worse is his pitiful two FM slots, meaning no matter what he'll always have one weakness. At the very least, he has above average Immunity, more than even X started with.
Massimo also has the exclusive Massimo Plus FM, which boosts all stats by 1 and gives a 25% counter chance. Massimo Plus is also the most expensive FM we've seen so far, having a whopping 10 Erosion.
Massimo isn't a tank, but he does have a very important niche, but that'll come into play later.
In the room we can see an elevator platform. This is probably how Massimo got in.
Music: Irregular Battle I
Right off the bat, we see a Blowfish and a Tripuffer. The Blowfish can debuff people with Armor Peeler and support allies with Life Gain 25, while the Tripuffer has Shield Peeler and no support options. A Blowfish can also flee if its the last enemy standing.
Now that we have a full party, we unlock Final Strikes.
Final Strikes are simple. If you deal 75% of an enemies current (not max) HP in a single round, that new bar under them breaks and you can follow up with a Final Strike. The problem right now is actually dealing that amount without killing the target, so we'll see what a Final Strike is later.
Massimo himself is the first C-type party member we've seen since Zero, which kinda hurts him when his first outing is against aerial enemies.
Music: Victory Jingle + Trajectory of Battle I
The plus side to Massimo starting at level 1 is that he'll be gaining levels extremely quickly. That's two levels in a single fight!
Music: World of the Abyss
I give Massimo the second Power Charge for a laugh.
Starting from this point, save points can now send us home.
One of the main themes of this area is depth. We'll be seeing a lot of these lifts while we're here.
Which makes sense, for a former mine.
X... Be sure not to come within his range of sight. The last thing I want is for things to get sticky.
Our first challenge are these floating patrol bots. They follow a strict pattern and their sight range is clearly visible.
So, naturally, I run right into one to show off what happens.
It just warps you back here. Doesn't even start a fight or anything.
Normally I'd call this a dungeon gimmick, but there's one issue up ahead that complicates that.
The hallways are broken up by these small alcoves. You have to duck in here to slip by a drone or get loot.
There's a crystal at the very tip of this bot's patrol route, if you're slow, it'll catch you when you double back. You can actually see a faint bit of a sensor line by the minimap!
Next we have two drones, the further one's path takes it right up to the second, so you have to rush past the first after it turns around. The alcove to the left has a Figure Token, but grabbing it will almost certainly get you caught.
A quick jump in here lets the second drone drift by, and also gets us a free Decoy.
Third room, these guys have quick rotations, so you need good timing to slip by.
Now that we're in the prison proper, we can see that some walls are covered in security cameras. They never react to X running around, however.
It takes some tight timing, but slipping through the door to the left gets us a free Thunder Missile. I swap it for Spider's Twin Missiles.
A repeat of that gets us to the south door and out of the zone.
That's the only place in the dungeon with those security drones. I can't really call it a dungeon gimmick if it only gets used once, now can I?
A second lift takes us even deeper.
The minimap shows a locked door to the east, and that ties in with the second trick this dungeon has.
I go this way instead, grabbing a Boost Armor from the crystal. Unlike the Build items we've been seeing through the game, Boost items instead give a 25% buff to a stat during a battle, capping out at a 50% buff.
It was at this point that I remembered that I gave Spider the Analyzer.
No stats or any quick bits of info like FFX, but it does show enemy type, resistances, and items.
Even though Spider is the one to have it equipped, anyone can use the Analyze command without using an action. If there's no one with Analyzer in the front row, the command blacks out.
We get another Figure Token near this door, and in the distance we can see a glowy thing.
This is the second gimmick, consoles to open locked doors.
Remember how Giga City was built over the ocean? Well now we have jail cells in the uncaring abyss of the sea. Light can't go beyond 1 kilometer in the ocean, so we're deep underwater. Must play hell with a prisoner's morale to know that you're one Capcom Science-enhanced pane of glass away from learning what 3000 feet of water does to a Reploid body.
The crystal has a Build Speed, Massimo now calls dibs on all of those.
Back near the entrance, an even smaller cell with a Mega Thunder. On the way back, I decide to show something off.
Since it'd be rude to hide Massimo's Hyper Mode until the boss, I decided to erase this Met.
Giving it everything!
Massimo's Hyper Mode, Glint Armor (which has the much more metal name Daemonion in JP), gives him +50% LE, +25% Power, Armor, and Shield, and a whopping +50% WE Gain (so +12 WE per turn). It also gives him a 100% counter chance on single target attacks and has a 3 turn limit.
Behold, my true power!
Massimo's Action Trigger, Berserk Charge is much simpler after everything that goes into Fortune Card. You mash button, you get bonuses. Each bar in a category takes more mashing than the one before.
Attack increases damage by 1.25x, 1.50x, 1.75x, and 2.00x per level.
Code Red adds status effects to the hit, adding Blind, Virus, Bind, and Berserk on each level.
The more WE used on it, the more time you have to button mash.
That damage looks low, but keep in mind that Glint Armor has the lowest Power boost we've seen so far. And even at 50% you're barely able to fill out both bars with enough mashing, meaning it can be reliably used every two turns without issues. And on top of that we have ways of making that damage even better.
Past the hallway is yet another lift.
This one is much longer.
We're deep enough now to run into actual guards.
Destroy... Must... Destroy foes! Grrr!
Music: Event Battle
The Dober Man is a simple enemy. It can shoot you, it can call in more Dober Men with SOS, and it can heal other enemies with Life Gain 25. Any given Dober Man will always run away on their fourth turn.
The Big Monkey, on the other hand, has a few more tricks. It can buff all their allies with Boost All Speed, and use Power Charge to make those physical hits even more dangerous. It also has access to Mega Blizzard for elemental coverage.
Now that we have a full party, enemy damage gets a sizable boost, since damage can be spread over three people.
One Dober Man panics and tries to get help.
But the Big Monkey counts as two enemies for the enemy cap, making it do nothing.
I want to try something while I'm here.
I burn 60% WE for a double Power Charge.
It hurts more than a base Berserk Charge, for only 10% more WE.
The fight ends shortly after that.
Music: World of the Abyss
He? Is Massimo here to rescue someone?
Just look at you... You must really care about your friends. Cmon... Well know if theyre safe as soon as we get inside.
Even if theyre not here, we should be able to find some kind of clue. They're all counting on us. We cant make them wait any longer!
The door to the left is locked, and the door ahead screams plot progression.
So I head for the smaller side door.
There's a Tank Energy 100 on the way.
Surprise, another forced fight right after the last one!
Grrr... Grrr... Prisoners run away?
Prisoners? Cannot play outside! Destroy! Destroy! Grrr!
How dare you! Dont interfere!!
Music: Event Battle
Double surprise, a extra Big Monkey shows up for the fight!
There are two important notes for this fight:
1) Trickstar crits are beefy.
I'll need to talk about Power Charge for the second.
Everyone we've seen so far would be a bad fit for it. X in normal mode would lose his crit bonus if he uses it with Charge Shot, and X Fire loses several hits and would get only a slight bonus over just using X Collider at 100%.
Zero, for what little we saw of him, also wouldn't need it. Heat Haze filled a similar role, and only costed 25% WE.
You could make an arguement for Spider, I imagine a Power Charged Straight Flush or RSF would be one of the biggest hitting moves in the game, but that comes at the cost of relying on RNG. A Charged Fumble wouldn't be of much use, for example. He also couldn't use it on normal attacks either, the cost of Power Charge would push him below 75% and cut out his suit bonus, so no boosted double hits from Club.
Massimo, on the other hand,
only cares about that required 50%. Which leads into,
2) Massimo only needs 80% WE to hit really, really hard.
If I wanted to burn a Hyper turn, I could have passed the turn and Power Charged a second time for even more damage. And this is all with base stats, once we start getting things that bolsters WE Gain this will get easier and easier to do.
I mentioned Massimo having a niche earlier, and this is it: he's a big gun that you break out when you want something to die right here and now. The lower Power bonus on Glint Armor also means this will still work a treat even if you've burned all his Hyper turns.
And if that wasn't enough, we'll be finding ways to boost his damage even higher down the line.
Music: World of the Abyss
Another locked room with the access panel in plain sight.
It doesn't even have a password, the Rebellion's IT is sorely lacking.
I'll start on the furthest room and work my way back.
And in it, a friendly face!
While this room isn't floating over the abyss, its still incredibly fucked up. Ankle-deep water, barely any room, and no bed. I'm, like, 90% sure this violates a number of treaties.
Could you be...Steel Massimo?! I cant believe it! Steel Massimo saved me! Take this as a token of my thanks!
Obtained Key Item 「Prison ID」
Hold on, this is plot progression! I've been betrayed by my own instincts!
A guard dropped this, and Ive had it ever since. With it, you can open the door that leads to the lower levels.
They didn't check the prisoners when an ID went missing? Or even deactivate the ID when it was reported?
Please... You must defeat the warden, Silver Horn. He must pay for our suffering!
Yet another name from Lagrano.
The other rooms here are the normal abyss type.
Sorta strange how they use these empty cells as storage rooms.
I get Analyze shots of these two on the way. These fish are the first normal enemies we've fought that has a full absorb over just a resistance.
The Cooler the Tripuffer holds cures Berserk, although we haven't fought any enemies that inflict it.
With that done...
Note the bar on the far right.
A Final Strike is a fancy coup-de-grace to finish off weakened enemies. Considering you need to deal 75% of their current HP to use it, most of the damage ends up being overkill.
You may notice that the bar started off fairly empty. If you can put multiple enemies into a Final Strike at once, you get more time on the clock, starting at 4 seconds for one enemy and 9 seconds for four.
Granted, the only party wide attacks we have right now is X's Charge Shot and Spider using a Spade, and getting an entire enemy party to the point where a hit would knock all of them past the threshold would be maddening, but we'll get more options for both those issues down the line.
As a bonus, whoever dealt the hit that starts a Final Strike gets a WE boost based on how many enemies were involved, starting at 25% WE and going all the way to 55% WE.
One final room.
You shouldve known I was a fake! Now, take this!
A single Dober Man that opens with SOS. While they can pull off an SOS chain and draw out the fight, they aren't that much of a threat.
How did that disguise work, anyways? Is the muzzle retractible?
Theres a rumor that they caught a female Reploid recently. I heard shes got super-slick features. They have her doing forced labor out there somewhere.
Well, at the very least, we know that Nana is still alive and that the Rebellion were actually stupid enough to put her on their systems. I give it a 90% chance the reason all those wall cameras did nothing is because of her.