Part 47: UPDATE 42: Advocates of the Darkness
Huh. Ankiseth wears medium armor? Really? That's... really surprising actually. Well here, have some Hwail Mail.
SOMEONE's gotta wear this Breidablick. All yours, Troi.
I'm always shocked whenever I go to distribute fancy spears and find that I only have two people who can actually wield them. I usually have at least one more Cataphract and like four Freyas. I might have to switch some Dragon Masters over to Freyas at some point -- Dragon Masters have better melee stat growth, but after you level them enough there's non-trivial worth in allowing them access to spears (which are much better than rapiers) and medium armor (which is of course much better than light armor).
also in the interest of full disclosure i forgot to equip new spears in the gameplay part of this update
Alright, let's shuffle around some Drakonite books. Lemon gets to switch from Meteor Strike to Annihilation.
The main reason for this is so I can give Rose and Meredia matching Meteor Strikes. This unit is gonna drop SO MANY METEORS on people, guys!
Which frees up the White Mute for Tallgeese. There, happy? Your alignment is also getting on the Lawful side as a side-effect of hanging out with Leia all the time!
Aaaand THERE, Liedel is now broken. Seriously guys I love this bow.
Lastly, Fritz isn't a very good demon name -- yeah, I guess it is German, which is SORT OF scary, but rather than calling to mind legions of guys with pointy helmets and a very specific interest in my death, it calls to mind an easygoing fat dude with a moustache wearing suspenders and eating sausage and beer. Hector works MUCH better. Here he is decked out in Air gear. We don't have any buddies for him yet, though. It'll come.
Anyway I know it was established at the end of last update that we need to hurry and take Winnea before Yumil brings about the apocalypse and we all have to share our middle-class suburban neighborhoods with demon families () but I'm honestly just really intrigued by this place up here. The Wicked Land? Like, wicked like evil or wicked like British slang for cool? I MUST KNOW. Let's go find out!
Update 42: Advocates of the Darkness
: "But, there is one concern..."
"that being what in the hell you're doing wasting our time here, you fuckin' moron"
: "The demons seem to rule this land... But, it seems pretty peaceful. That's why people are flocking here."
I seriously do not understand this. I mean, we're fighting with swords in groups of five people, it seems like civilian casualties are gonna be pretty low? I'm pretty sure the tally now stands at one dog, WHICH I REPLACED BY THE WAY THANK YOU VERY MUCH. So why go running off to the icy north to join a demon suburb just because it's far away from the fighting?
I mean, this war is being fought over some pretty serious shit anyway. It's not like we're fighting over Fantasy Oil or Fantasy Logging Rights or anything, it's IMPORTANT. So I really don't get how you could be conscientious enough of an objector to pick up and move to a place called Tybell, The Wicked Land, which (judging by what I can see of Hugo's map) appears to suck pretty badly even if it weren't ruled BY DEMONS.
Conjecture: The people living here are all just goths jumping at the chance to be ruled by demons and they're using the war as an excuse to do so.
: "Are you saying they're dependent upon them?"
: "It seems that way. This only compounds matters. They've stationed their units to protect the refugees. They want us dead. ...Here are the details. Let's get started..."
Still, the demons are being surprisingly benevolent here. Good old Ogre Battle moral ambiguity, still alive and kicking.
: "We must liberate this castle."
Yeah, this LOOKS like a big map, but it's important to realize that you really have no particular reason to go east of that river unless you really want to lower your Chaos Frame since there's nothing there other than a neutral stronghold. I think there's one hidden item there, but that's about it. I'll just send Sheen over to pick it up.
: "The enemy are demons from the netherworld, led by more powerful beings. Some possess special powers that we can't even imagine. However, there must be ways to deal with them. Do not give up."
I can think of one. Stick 'em with the pointy end.
: "But, I'm certain they're watching and waiting for us."
Well this would be a pretty easy mission if they weren't.
Looks pretty quiet. Maybe there really isn't anything shady going on here? C'mon out and take a look, Sheen.
Okay yeah there is definitely something shady going on here.
I cannot stress enough how useful flying units' increased visibility is. Make yourself a Hawkman unit as soon as possible, you won't regret it. Well, looks like this is one of those missions with a huge HQ attack and that's about it. Let's see what we've got.
Y'know, advanced Hawkman classes actually start getting pretty good eventually -- everybody in Sheen's unit hits pretty damn hard now that they've got some decent weapons. So why are AI flying units still sending basic Hawkmen and Gremlins at me? The times are a-changing, Marlow!
Legions always look weird and lopsided when they have even numbers of units in them. I don't even get why Belmont does it -- I mean, it's not like including that Saturos is suddenly going to make your core unit not suck, you might as well throw in another group of Soldiers so your support attacks have a chance of hitting for double-digit damage.
Yeah yeah, demons and goblins and Hot Topic and industrial music and too much makeup and the last two Matrix movies, etc etc
Huh. Okay, this is a good unit. Any Dragon Master unit with an Ahzi Dahaka in the back row and some sort of meatshielding going on is a good unit. Fortunately for me I have Sheen to make it trivial anyway.
I don't even know WHAT McGuile is getting at here, this is just a clusterfuck!
LET THE KILLING BEGIN IN EARNEST
Sheen was able to kill Ophelia's Goblin meatshields, but not her or her dragon. He then immediately got sucked into this fight with Iria. I'd been hoping to avoid it...
...and here's why. Poor Brundlefly.
As we all know, in the battle of musical genres co-opted by Hot Topic to be sold at high prices to the children of the bourgeoisie, '80s heavy metal outperforms industrial every time. Asnabel proves this quite ably.
McGuile is the equivalent of the guy in the sitcom who is going through some personal issues and showed up to work drunk. McGuile, what are you even doing here? Take the rest of the day off. Go home, get your head straight. Come back in when you've got your act together.
Ophelia's unit is currently attempting to limp away and heal up. I can't let that happen because my counter-Dahaka unit is currently down one character. Luckily from behind pretty much anyone can wipe her out!
Now that that's mostly dealt with, I've got a second wave (of sorts) coming up on me.
Ogre Battle, why do you do this to me? We've seen both of these unit designs several times already.
I mean, this is a wonderful unit-creation system. It really is! Once you've got the hang of the battle mechanics (which granted takes some doing) you can arrange your pieces in any number of creative ways to result in awesome and powerful units. It's incredibly wide-open and customizable to all hell and back. Or, failing that, you can just make 10 Paladin/Priest units, but the creativity-vs-laziness problem shows up in many other games (for example Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts or Scribblenauts) and they make it work anyway.
So why exactly are we seeing so many repeats in the unit design? Was there a deadline crunch or something? If there's anything this game needs to become a true classic, it's (a) a dedicated modding community and/or (b) an official remake, with mechanic/design tweaks, rather than the simple port it got on its VC release. I'm doing my part by showing it to people and making snarky comments! Sort of.
Well, for now, all I can do is advance on Mayfield and get my lazy ass off my HQ.
Impressive combo, but let's be honest, Saturoses are frontliners and your Ogre's dead. I'm not intimidated.
BAM. The stronghold with the weird name is mine! Huh. It was liberated, too. Yeah, I'm sure you assholes are ECSTATIC that I've come to rescue you from the big mean demons. Cowards.
Meanwhile I turn my attention north. This stronghold doesn't really have any strategic value, but neither does this whole goddamn region anyway. For whatever reason it has TWO units guarding it. Brilliant strategy, demons!
There's something to be said for the unpretentious brute-force approach presented by double-Ogre units. As you see, they've got biceps to spare.
Gosh it disturbs me to see you, Gaston, looking so down in ugh nevermind i can't finish it
Well, I can't say I'm glad to see the Chaos Frame hit, but at least these guys are honest about their intentions. They came here to join the demons, dammit, the LAST thing they wanted to see was a nun and her Pumpkin Palz.
There's supposed to be some kind of treasure hidden in these mountains somewhere, but I cannot for the life of me figure out where it is. Sheen used up like two full Fatigue gauges looking.
Fuck it, I'll use a Dowsing Rod for it. Go take a nap, Sheen.
YESSSSS. I KNEW there was a reason I sent Guy up to the ass-end of nowhere chasing after those flyers!
Because he was in the area, because there was no one guarding it for some reason, and because I needed the Witch Den, I sent Sheen ahead of the group to take Letze. Back to full strength!
IMPORTANT GROUND TREASURE NUMBER ONE: Our second Chaladholg is sitting around in the middle of this forest! Send someone in to get it.
Numbers two and three are in this other forest and this random-ass patch of ground, respectively. The Saint's Shield is not quite as protective as a Tower Shield, but gives good Bane resistance and a MEN boost. It's the shield Angel Knights are rendered with, so I like to give it to one of them. The Heavy Axe is stronger than the Rune Axe, but non-Elemental. It's basically a humongous sheet of metal.
So soon after a Gorgon unit was an area boss, this one shows up as a run-of-the-mill Stronghold guard!
Luckily this trick still works!
This does have the side-effect of putting her Golems in the front row, but they're Stone Golems so it's not really a big deal at this point. Wiped 'em out in one.
Oh, before I forget, this is yet another map with a shop on the HQ -- seems to happen a lot on maps with a big initial attack. I took the opportunity to stock up on garish pieces of shit.
Liberating the Gorgon's stronghold (or maybe it was killing her???) seemed to trigger the attack of a couple of Saturoses that had been standing guard around the enemy HQ. Hey, I can kill you there or I can kill you here. It don't matter to Freddie. This bush-leage psyche-out stuff. Laughable, man -- ha ha!
The thing about Ogres is that they're really only intimidating if they manage to hit the same target a bunch of times in a row or if they've got a level advantage. At this point in the game, on a level playing field, and without any RNG bullshit, a good row of Paladins (with optional Dragoon) can outperform them any day of the week.
And of course Goblins and Gremlins are never intimidating at all.
Ah yeah, this here's the shit. The Ogre Armor functions similarly to the Ogre Helm -- it's Bane-element and it gives you a Strength bonus at the cost of some Intelligence (which is useless to melee classes anyway). And it's stronger than the Armor of Death, which is our current best.
Which brings us to the Caldia I just found on the ground. Remember the Battle Fan? That thing I keep finding which nothing we have can use and which I keep hinting that exactly one character will ever be able to use? The Caldia is an upgraded version of it. Two updates from now we'll have a use for it. I promise.
Anyway, now that I've found that let's go ahead and use a Dowsing Rod since I haven't before. These things, in case I didn't explain them either, will uncover a hidden ground item for you without having to send in a unit on foot to find it. They're especially useful if you know there's an item around and you want it but you CAN'T FRIGGIN' FIND IT (like right now!), or if an item is far out of your way and you can't be arsed to send someone for it.
This triggers a cool little animation where the mission map spins rapidly! WHOOOAAAA
THERE? You're KIDDING. I sent Sheen over like that exact spot like four times! BULLSHIT. Anyway. The Saint's Garb is the strongest light armor in the game, and Virtue-element. I'll probably give it to Ivory.
Nothing for it now but to fight the boss. Meet
Same as with the Knight Templar, this shitty JPG taken from a Japanese wiki I couldn't read is the best-quality picture I could find of the Daemon, because you can never get one of these things in your army. Unlike the Saturos, they always show up as unit leaders or in boss units, both of which are immune to Love And Peace, and they never show up in the wild either. I imagine their stat growth is probably better? At any rate, they can lead Legions, but for some reason every Legion a demon army ever brings to bear against you is led by a Centurion anyway. Think of them basically as the demonic stand-in for a Temple Command (which, in case I didn't state it explicitly, is Pruflas/Amazeroth's class).
: "Why do you stand in my way? I'm only here to grant the wishes of you humans... To be free from restrictions, like in my world... To create an ideal world where you are bound to no one..."
I guess that's as opportune of a moment to begin battle as any?
Your diabolical brand of libertarianism won't stand here in Palatinus, Frohm!
Well, add Frohm to the list of bosses immune to Sleep! As well as the list of bosses I killed with one sweep of my front row. Damn, he went down FAST. Well I guess he IS the anarchist leader of a bunch of goths, by real-life standards he should probably weigh like 80 pounds.
Well, I'm quite sure that no one in Frohm's unit was actually using this thing, but it's the strongest greatsword in the game -- better even than Chaladholg -- so I am not arguing.
: "Each and every one of us live to satisfy our wants, being true to our feelings."
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and instead of paying all your money to the government in taxes you pay it all to the insurance companies so they'll pay the fire department if your house burns down, etc etc. "Is not a daemon entitled to the fire of his purples," blah blah blah
: "The only law we have is strength. Humans, do you realize that this is not the time to quarrel among yourselves?"
The thought had crossed my mind, yeah, but the thing is we'd already started quarreling before you guys showed up, and these aren't exactly the kind of quarrels you can go backsies on. Not that it currently appears to matter; I'm taking on everybody all at once and kicking ass.
: "The denizens of the netherworld want this blessed land... your world as their own. ...Be warned."
: "Why did you tell me that?"
"I mean, I already heard it from my plot ninja anyway, but still"
: "Humans are so different from us... They hate and kill each other over trivial matters, while they laugh and find joy in such insignificant things... I wished... I could live in comfort... like the way... you... do..."
Man, for such an Idealist, Frohm doesn't really have his ideals in order. Who lives better, demons or humans? Make up your damn mind!
Wait, he's dead. Okay nevermind.
Well, completing Tybell doesn't unlock any new areas. You're in it basically for the treasure and to ruin some refugees' day. We still won't be storming Latium next time, though. I believe there was a certain river valley we got access to like two weeks ago? Stay tuned!