Part 25: UPDATE 20: Exploring the Western RegionIRON OGRE WEEKEND continues!!!!
Update 20: Exploring the Western Region
Or: How to Make Urns of Chaos and Influence People's Alignments
Or more simply: How to Beat the System
Also: Hunting For Random Encounters Is Time-Consuming And Annoying
Or: This Update Started As The Best Update And Ended As The Worst Update
I have SO been looking forward to this.
As you all know, I have been having PROBLEMS with ALIGNMENTS. Specifically, everyone is too Lawful and it's seriously fucking with my ability to liberate Strongholds or create the classes I want.
Last mission I received an item called an Urn of Chaos. You don't get too many of these: maybe 7 or 8 from unit defeat rewards, a couple you find on the ground, and you have a chance of getting them as birthday presents too. Certainly not more than 15 or so of them total across the span of an entire game. Let's try using one of them and see what happens.
Observe, next to that hexagon and to the left of the word Wizard, Bluemage's alignment. Pretty lawful, right?
This is what it looks like after using an Urn of Chaos. See the difference?
The Urn of Chaos will change your alignment by a few points out of 100. This, other than the ridiculously arcane and unusable rules that govern post-battle alignment changes, is your only means of controlling a character's alignment in OB64, which is your only means of controlling what ending you receive. It is, to put it plainly, BULLSHIT.
Fuck this system. We're going to smash it wide open. And even though last time I had a little outside help to get some extra Valiant Mantles, this time we're going to smash it wide open using the game's own faulty logic.
STEP ONE. Create a new unit.
Make sure at least one (or all) of the characters therein is capable of carrying one and only one item. For reference, the more "physical" classes can usually carry two. Wizards and Soldiers, for example, can carry one.
STEP TWO. Give that unit some items.
You want to fill all but the last two spots with some generic shit (almost always Heal Leaves).
STEP THREE. Put the item you need more of in the final item slot. Leave the second-to-last slot open.
Honestly by letting you do something like this they were pretty much just asking for trouble. It's got "edge-case error" written all over it. In this particular case, for some reason you have the capability to order a unit to carry around an Urn of Chaos in case you need to lower a character's Alignment on the road during a mission. I can't imagine WHY you would need to do this, but the option is there.
STEP FOUR. Remove a one-item-carrying character (like a set of Soldiers) from the unit.
As you can see, at this point the game is confused as to whether the unit is still carrying that Urn of Chaos or whether the item is back in storage. In this edge case, where the slot where that item was no longer exists (due to the departing character) but there's still room in other slots, what should happen to that item was never fully decided. In lieu of making an actual decision, the game appears to go with "both." We now have an Urn of Chaos in the hands of the unit, and one in storage. We got a free urn. Not bad, right?
WE CAN DO BETTER.
STEP FIVE. Return the copy of the item being carried by the unit back to storage.
At this point, the "EQUIP" number of the item would normally be decremented by one, because one fewer of the item is now equipped by a unit. Right? Fortunately, in this particular case that means the number of equipped Urns of Chaos we have has been decremented from 0 to negative 1. Since the variable storing this information is unsigned (because you really shouldn't be able to have negative one Urns of Chaos equipped), that means that with no error-checking the value wraps straight around to its maximum: 255. Since only the last two digits of the number are designed to display here, the visible number is 55.
At this point, if we were to leave the Organize Screen and come back, the game would recalculate, realize we don't actually have 255 urns of chaos equipped to units, and reset this value to zero. FUCK THAT.
STEP SIX. Sell two copies of the item.
Taking this action will decrease the ALL value of the item by two. We are able to do this because the EQUIP value is not equal to the ALL value, and they didn't think to check whether EQUIP > ALL because that shouldn't be possible. One minus two is, of course, 255. As far as the game is now concerned, we have 255 Urns of Chaos. The problem is they're all equipped to units. Apparently. This is an easy fix.
STEP SEVEN. Exit the Organize Screen and re-enter it.
At this point, the game "fixes" its mistake, because we don't REALLY have all those urns of chaos equipped to anything, right? Ha ha no, of course not. That would be silly! None of them are equipped. They're all in storage. All 255 of them.
Congratulations, we are now in control of our own destiny.
First things first, Asnabel and his whole goddamn unit is supposed to be Chaotic, and dammit that's what they'll be.
14 Urns of Chaos later, Asnabel registers as Neutral. Yeah. More Urns than you're likely to get in an entire legit playthrough are required to take ONE SINGLE CHARACTER from Lawful to Neutral. Fuck this system.
A full 29 FUCKING URNS OF FUCKING CHAOS later, Asnabel is now Chaotic. FUUUUUUCK.
While going through another 30 urns making Cucka Chaotic too, I hit zero urns. Or not. Remember, what appeared to be 55 urns is actually 255. Let's see what happens if I use another one now that I have zero.
WHOA BACK UP TO 99! Or even better: 199. We're in business now for, oh, at LEAST a unit or two before we have to dupe again. This is a good trick, no?
After I dump chaos all over them for long enough, Asnabel's entire unit -- 5 characters -- now registers as JUST BARELY Chaotic. The total number of Urns of Chaos I had to go through to do this?
136. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FUCKING SIX. ONE UNIT.
Yeah, without this trick, I doubt I would have played this game more than the once.
However, now that I've used it, I can make a few... CHANGES.
Cucka is now a Ninja Master.
Asnabel himself is now a Black Knight. (Naturally I went in and gave him back his hat. It's a nice hat.)
Swift is one too. Of course, Black Knight is not the upgraded Fencer class, but Swift is in a Chaotic unit now and it's time he accepted that.
Apparently neither Tallgeese nor Bluemage qualifies to become an Archmage quite yet. They'll get there. We're not in any hurry, especially with the front row upgraded like that. (Tallgeese, I know you wanted to be Lawful. You will (and you'll change units as a result). I'm just waiting until you upgrade first, since that will require you to be Chaotic anyway. You understand, I'm sure.
After I finished with this, I brought Ivory's unit down to Neutral alignment to fit better with the original vision I had for it. I let Marty go down a little further so I could bump him up to Master.
I also had a few unrelated changes I thought it was about time to make. FOR EXAMPLE:
Zemeckis and Karkat become Paladins. I am giddy with excitement.
Reynolds is a Priest now! THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!
Fel trades her skull hat in for some
With a little (extra-training) nudge, MacLeod is ready to be a Sword Master. Have I talked about Sword Masters yet? Let's talk about Sword Masters!
This guy is basically the Highlander. He's an awesome old Scottish dude with a claymore and he'll kick your goddamn ass. I do wish they'd made his kilt a little bit more plaid, but what are you gonna do? Anyway the Sword Master, like the Fencer before him, is a bit of a glass cannon. He'll wreck some shit, but be careful about how much damage he's taking, he's old! Three attacks in the front, two in the middle; in the back he gets something called a Sonic Boom which hits the back row for physical damage, but also hurts the Sword Master, and doesn't really deal enough damage to be worth that. Pass. Put him in the front.
Not a bad haul so far. But what with all the areas we've unlocked since the last time we went exploring I bet we can get our army MUCH more badass than this. Let's take a look around, shall we?
My first destination is the Highland of Soathon. We've got some stuff to do here.
I'm splitting my units up (roughly): some of them are going to the barrens in the southeast; the others are heading for a big forest in the southwest.
Once we get to Jiram (over that thankfully intact bridge), I send Troi in for a little look around.
: "Thankfully, there weren't any casualties from here, but a stray arrow hit our dog... Since I support the cause, I try not to blame you, but my son's depressed. If you have a dog to spare, would you give it to him?"
Huh. Well that's a goddamn shame. I'm not sure exactly how it could have happened, since I only have the one archer and I never actually took over this stronghold as I recall, but we have to put this right.
Sheen, your first order is to deliver this dog.
I don't like the idea of not having a Hellhound at all, though, so while we're in the area we're going to find ourselves a replacement Fuzzums.
Hellhounds live in the Barrens, which means a whole lot of walking back and forth in this desert. For the cause, right?
LONG before anyone finds anything, Sheen arrives at Jiram.
: "They started fighting here, and my dog, Bacchus, got lost. My mom tells me that Bacchus ran far away, and he won't be coming back... But I already know... I know he's not alive..."
Slight pause here as realization dawns.
: "You're from the Revolutionary Army! How dare you!! Why did you have to do that to Bacchus? Give me back my Bacchus! Now!"
Jeez kid, calm down already. I brought you something.
BYE FUZZUMS BE A GOOD DOG AND TRY NOT TO EAT THIS LITTLE BOY OKAY
: "Will you take good care of it?"
: "Sure. Of course. But, this dog has two heads. Do I have to feed them both?"
Yup. This kid... had the PEDRA OF BANE. He FOUND IT ON THE GROUND. And he gave it to us in exchange for a two-headed war dog twice the size of him. Ogre Battle, ladies and gentlemen. That's our second Pedra. 2/6.
Anyway, we still have some hunting to do.
Soathon is the first convenient place to find Pumpkinheads. I really want to make a Pumpkinhead unit. Asnabel remains better at hunting than pretty much anyone else.
Awesome. This didn't even take half an hour like it does sometimes. Still need one more Pumpkinhead.
And we're done here.
uhhh, I guess we got a third one. (Literally a second after Freddie's combat was done, before I got the chance to quit out of Area Investigation, Dio found another one. What the hell, let's take it along.)
Immediately after leaving I remembered one other thing I forgot to do in Soathon.
Just sending Leia to Shafferville quickly and then I swear to God I'm done here.
Specifically it's a scene for Vad.
: "I didn't expect to see you alive!"
uh and WHY NOT exactly???
: "I'm sorry to make you worry. I fight in the Revolutionary Army... the Generic Army. However, do not think I've forgotten about my friends! I never will..."
: "There's no need to say. I understand. I'm sure they'll be successful, as long as you're on their side. ...I almost forgot!! Let me give this to you. I found this in Castle Ziggiveld a long time ago. It belonged to a Nirdamese soldier. I'm sure you can make good use of it?"
: "I will return! ...With this... most definitely!"
: "Yes, yes. We'll be waiting for you, Vad."
Idaten's Mail is notable mostly for boosting the fuck out of Vad's already-considerable AGI score. Definitely worth picking up.
Now: Quick sidequest in Mount Ithaca.
The town of Kynora, waaaaay off far away from anything else in existence, is our target. Know what I'm not at all sure about? Which of these mountains is Mount Ithaca. The game is remarkably vague on this point.
Freddie both finds a treasure and passes out from exhaustion on his way there, but he made it eventually.
Yeah, remember this quest? It's still a thing. It never stopped being a thing we needed to do.
: "But, since the ore shortage... I quit forging them. I couldn't make a living. ...The ore? It's an ore called Condrite. Condrite is thought to have fallen from the sky in primordial times. It's a rare material, but you may be able to find it in the market of Dardunnelles. Dardunnelles is the center of commerce, and many rare materials can be found there. I'll be happy to make Dragon Armor for you, free of charge. If you can find the Condrite..."
Oh, the market of Dardunnelles. We'll be having some fun there, let me tell you. Just have to wait until after our next mission there. I think. Even if we don't HAVE to, that's what I'll be doing. ...Oh. Spoiler alert, we'll be going back to Dardunnelles eventually. Whoops.
Next up: More hunting. Audvera Heights this time.
Specifically, we're going to be combing the hell out of this desert right by our HQ.
CHRIST, this took WAY too long.
The very next mission we're going to be playing will contain our first opportunity to upgrade our current Golems naturally. I still intend to try to do that, but as long as I'm doing a Hunting Update I might as well get my backup recruits now just in case.
Not that we're done here yet. Nope. One more thing I want to catch. For that I'm gonna need to wander around in the Forests for a while. And I can just TELL I'm gonna have a hell of a time getting my units' pathfinding to stay there.
Jesus CHRIST did this take forever. The best part about emulating this definitely has to be the option to turn off FPS limiting and make the game run at double speed.
The downside of doing that is that when Troi said "Wow, a wild Cockatrice!" or whatever I wasn't able to catch it before the battle started.
A giant monster chicken thing. In the front row, they're generic (and subpar) attacker beasts; in the back row they have the Petrify attack, which naturally has a chance to Petrify enemies. They're the only character type
With this and our new Hellhound, we have every element we'd need to create a new Beast Tamer unit... except a unitless male frontliner to use as a Beast Tamer. I didn't think of that. I'll figure something out. Maybe I should sub Penthesilea in for Marty and have him do it, but it might not fit his "narrative" to have a command again...
Finally, one more hunting trip in Crenel Canyon. Our job here is to just walk all the fuck over and wait until we find some Hawkmen.
Just wanted to make it clear that after two weeks of game time I still hadn't found anything. Hunting can be goddamn frustrating sometimes.
Fuckin' FINALLY. Now I need two more of these fuckers. Okay, this update is no longer fun.
Three-week mark. This is taking a REALLY LONG TIME. THIS LP IS CURSED
HAHAHAHAHA YES ANOTHER ONE
Man if I wasn't savescumming to avoid having them flee on me this would be fucking INTOLERABLE.
Pretty much immediately after I realized I spaced out and missed the four-week mark Ivory saved my goddamn life and found a third Hawkman.
Okay, done here. No more hunting. EVER. until much later
My new monsters:
Still open for naming are the Stone Golems (which I might not end up using of course), the Cockatrice, and the Pumpkinheads!
Sheen's new unit. Sheen is the only base Hawkman capable of leading a unit. Sheen is an F-18, bro, and he will destroy you in the air and he will deploy his ordnance to the ground.
After training them for approximately forever, I was able to change them into this functional class arrangement. Flying unit: COMPLETE.
Hey look, found a new job for Katreda already. This is gonna be a fun unit.
Hahaha I am beating the SHIT out of this training instructor and her dumb soldiers
After only a little training Katreda was ready to become a Priest, which is really necessary for a dual-Pumpkin-Shower unit. Oh man I am SO PUMPED to use this thing. I hope it doesn't end up sucking.
Okay, enough fucking around. We had a Western Division to fight or something like that. We're unstoppably powerful, time to do something with it. NEXT TIME: Debatably wasting more time somehow.