Part 15: Dance of Freedom
Music: Sunshade, City of Pleasures
Primrose's only weapon type is the Dagger. Her damage options are limited compared to everyone else.
I went ahead and bought the Stinging Dagger in Rippletide because Evasion and Poison are nice to have.
Then some basic gear. That Arcane Knife would've been good too since it boosts ElemAtt as well, which is nice for Primrose's attack magic.
And what's the point of having Allure if you're not going to use it? This guy has a decent target-all lance attack and decent strength.
At any rate, we're ready for our next dungeon.
Music: Beneath the Surface
The catacombs have a nice look and are surprisingly linear for a dungeon.
Assassin Bugs. Nothing too remarkable.
Primrose specializes in Dark Magic and buffs. In particular, her favored stats are Speed and ElemAtt, with her defenses and PhysAtt pretty low compared to the other characters.
Let's take a look at her abilities.
Lion Dance (4SP) - One ally's physical attacks become more powerful for 2 turns.
The buff increases net damage by 1.5. Each boost point spend extends the duration by two turns, with a max duration of nine. Great for physical-geared characters.
Moonlight Waltz (7SP) - Deal heavy dark damage to a single foe.
Same formula as the other single-target elemental spells. Solid under Primrose's ElemAtt.
Peacock Strut (4SP) - Augment a single ally's elemental attacks for 2 turns.
Same deal as Lion Dance. Great for Cyrus and Primrose herself, of course.
Mole Dance (4SP) - Augment a single ally's physical defense for 2 turns.
Defensive buffs reduce net damage by 1/3. Kinda overshadowed by Hired Help giving party-wide PhysDef buffs, honestly.
Night Ode (10SP) - Deal dark damage to all foes.
Same formula as the multi-target elemental attacks.
Panther Dance (4SP) - Increase a single ally's speed for 2 turns.
Boosts speed by 1.5, with the usual "Every boost point adds two turns" thing. Has a small bonus where the target moves one spot ahead in turn order for the next turn.
Bewildering Grace (25SP) - Cause a curious effect to occur one time.
Oh boy, this freaking skill. There's a lot of different effects available, from simple attack spells to healing to even the possibility of multiplying your post-battle EXP and JP. Each boost point triggers another effect, and the more you boost, the more effects can happen. Of course, the holy grail is netting EXP x100 or JP x100, though each only happens at max boost with a 0.1% chance of triggering. You can even kill yourself with this if you're particularly unlucky, so uh, good luck.
If you're really curious, here's a spreadsheet of all possible effects.
Sealticge's Seduction (30SP) - [Divine Skill] For 3 turns, skills performed by a single ally that usually target one foe will affect all foes instead. (This will not affect divine skills)
One of the better Divine Skills. The text is misleading, as this effect also applies to allies with single-target buffs, like all of Primrose's, and thus this skill ends up vital against a couple of bosses. Note that it does not apply to self-buffs like Tressa's Sidestep and Rest.
The Show Goes On - Status augmentations you grant to allies will persist for one additional turn.
Pretty solid one for Primrose. Those extra turns add up, and is one more turn you can dedicate to damage or breaking instead of rebuffing.
Eye for an Eye - Gain a 50% chance of counterattacking after being targeted by a physical attack.
Another great passive ability. It can be a hindrance if you're timing a break just right and this accidentally triggers, but otherwise free hits and shield breaks, which can be invaluable for stall-battles where you're waiting out an opponent.
Second Wind - Recover a certain amount of SP each turn.
Have I mentioned Primrose has some of the best passive abilities in the game? The number is 5% of Max SP, which sounds low but adds up a lot and makes skill spam much more viable an option, plus it's just marvelous for random encounters. Invaluable for most of the game.
Encore - Once per battle, upon being incapacitated, you will recover with 25% of your maximum HP.
Probably the weakest of Primrose's passives, and even then it's not that it's bad, just easily overshadowed by others. Still a nice back-up option in case things look downhill.
Black Bats. These guys aren't too bad.
Good time to show off Summon!
Each summoned NPC has a basic attack and up to three skills they can use. This fellow only has Thrash, but that's still more than enough for this area, especially since he does solid physical damage.
Curious Bloom is yet another Concoct component, and one that does a variety of different things depending on the other ingredient. It's more unpredictable than the others, but also can be quite valuable. Bats are the best way to farm these up.
Finally, there's Sand Lizardmen around. Left is Tier II, right is Tier I.
+50HP. Nice for Primrose right now.
I also pick up Night Ode, because again, target-all abilities are wonderful.
Alright, time to find our man!
Video: Fight for Freedom
(I won't let that happen!)
Music: Creeping Dread
Whatever are you doing here at this hour?
Funny you should ask...
She was quite intent on keeping her mouth shut. But my boys helped her get it open.
That...does not look good.
P-Prim... I've never...heard you...shout so...
What!? This is no time to...
Everyone was so cruel...so miserable... I thought I'd never...make any...friends... It was...lonely... Having...no one...
Always...standing tall...proud... No matter...how hard...your days...
And with that, Yusufa has drawn her last breath...
If she'd shown that sort of potential earlier, I might have kept her on longer...
Primrose has lost her only friend out here, and she has finally found a lead as to where one of her father's murderers may be.
What was that...?
Oh, was it now? So some wheels do turn in that pretty little head of yours... Here I thought it a waste as empty as the desert.
You would take that tone with me!?
Music: Primrose, the Dancer
I have always danced on my own two feet. I have always chosen where I step.
Who do you think you're speaking to, whore!?
All these years... The jeers, the beatings, the dishonor... I endured it all. All for this day. The day that man appeared before me.
You wanted to see your master frown. Fine! Very well! You've had your fun.
I will overlook your impertinence.
Music: For Revenge
It's a shame, Primrose. You were always my favorite... What a waste.
The only shame...
Video: Boss - Helgenish
Music: Decisive Battle I
As much a terrible bastard as Helgenish is, I must admit, his boss sprite is perfection.
Helgenish has a couple guards that can slow things down, so they're the first targets.
For this stage of the game, Helgenish and his guards hit pretty hard. It's a bit difficult to keep healed with this onslaught, so the sooner those guards go down, the better.
Night Ode helps out a lot here, as the guards are weak to Dark attacks. Helgenish, of course, is not, but Spears, Daggers, and Ice Magic are more than enough.
Unlike the previous bosses, Helgenish's big attack is actually scary.
It hurts. Pretty much half the party's HP in damage. I was lucky all my characters survived that!
Luckily, it's not much longer until the guards go down, and we can focus on Helgenish.
But he's no slouch even with regular attacks. His Double Slap does a pair of painful attacks on a target.
I wolf down so many grapes this battle...
Just gotta chip away until he breaks and unleash my most powerful attacks.
Summons leave battle after a period of time, but you can always resummon them, assuming you have enough "charges" left to do so. Old Man has quite a few, so he'll come back in soon enough.
My party isn't really physical-oriented yet, so Lion Dance isn't that great here, but might as well throw in a buff here and there.
Also Tressa doesn't help for free. She expects to get paid for her services of kicking your ass.
Sometimes your summoned NPCs will even take hits for you. What a pro!
I was not prepared to break him this time, and disaster nearly ended this run.
Priority is to heal up Cyrus before reviving the others. Luckily none of the other attacks will break 100 damage besides Double Slap.
Unluckily, Helgenish brought in some more guards. At least these are a bit softened up already so they're easier to kill.
Apparently Helgenish has a target-all dark attack that can hurt. Oof.
This should be easy. He's only three shields away, and Primrose and Tressa can do more than enough to break him and interrupt his big attack.
I play it poorly however, opting to break the guards instead. I pay for my hubris.
Fortunately, Trade Tempest is just enough to finally end Helgenish and one of the guards.
After I revive the others to get their well-deserved rewards...
...I let Primrose finish things off.
A job well done.
You always were...different from the rest... The fire in your eyes...it burned brighter than any other's. I have seen many a girl in my years...but none...quite like you... You fascinated me...from the start...
What say you? Shall we give the horrible, unredeemable wretch one last pitiful dance?
I hope you enjoy that audio. I certainly did!
On the bright side, Helgenish is finally dead, and his terrible hold on the dancers of Sunshade is over.
Music: Primrose, the Dancer
Enjoy rotting in the sand, you miserable bastard.
Primrose has reclaimed the freedom she always had. And she might as well join up with the companions that helped her so far, right?
But we need more companions. Vote us up another one! I'll take the winner in a day or two.
We'll explore Sunshade next time.