Part 48: UPDATE 43: InsanitySo first things first. If you'll recall, last mission we got some Ogre Armor and an Ogre Blade, Strength-boosting (and INT-draining) items to match the Ogre Helm we've had for a while.
Here's what Troi's stats look like with the second-strongest greatsword in the game, good armor, and a decent helm. You want to be paying particular attention to his front-row attack power and his weapon-defense rating.
Here's what he looks like fully decked-out Ogre style.
For context, here's a couple of regular-style characters to whom I'm giving awesome armor. (Yeah, by this point in the game there's really not much differentiating Dio from other frontliners in terms of stats.)
Cucka had been using Sanscion; he gets enough of an attack boost from the Heavy Axe that it's probably worth the switch to non-elemental damage. You'll want to be careful about doing that, though.
Finally, this shield. It's not really game-breaking, but it's appropriate gear for an Angel.
Anyway, we're off to the Blue Basilica. Just a heads-up, we've had access to this map for the last four missions or so, and the enemies have not been getting stronger in the meantime. They would if I took Latium first, but I'd rather finish clearing this whole region out before I do anything drastic like storm the capital.
Remember that time I did Tremos Mountains I and almost went friggin' crazy at the beginning because I was being gang-fucked by a bajillion units that all had like 5 levels on me? What I'm getting at here is that you should probably prepare for the opposite of that. It's not gonna be pretty.
Update 43: Insanity
SPOILER ALERT: no one goes crazy during this mission
Sounds cool, though, right?
: "Let's get started..."
No flavor speech this time either. We've seen all the plot already. Hugo is rendered speechless by our raw limitless time-wasting potential!
: "Our goal is to capture the castle."
: "I'm woried that we don't know who we're fighting against. There are sightings of monsters, as well as soldiers of both the Central Division and Lodis. The sightings are unconfirmed, but we should still exercise caution."
Yeah, obviously the writers were expecting you to plow on into Blue Basilica as soon as you finish Romulus. Maybe do Ptia first. We've all had plenty of time to get used to the idea of all our enemies working together -- we even have a pseudo-explanation for it -- but all of a sudden Hugo has forgotten everything we've learned and is as innocent as a newborn babe!
: "Regardless of who they once were, they all fight together. Brigade of Radiant Cross, Central Division soldiers... Be prepared for any attack."
didn't you just put on a whole song and dance to the effect that you didn't understand that, literally ten seconds ago? fine whatever
Welcome, WELCOME to the Blue Basilica! This map is named half after a church in Rome and half after the Danube river or something. It reminds me uncomfortably of Mylesia.
Predictably, our first obstacle is a series of attacks launched against our HQ. Leading the
There's a scene here too? JEEZ any plot we hear here is gonna be SUCH OLD NEWS
: "Wake up!!"
Pay attention sheeple everywhere! A guy wearing a cape who has a really long ponytail is here with his human-sized dolls to tell you all about THE CONSPIRACY!!!
FACT: That guy over there on the left is a demon. He's here defending the Central Region in the name of THE GOVERNMENT. COINCIDENCE?????
: "......Kill... Kill them all!"
...the sherson in the front row makes a compelling argument!
: "It's no use. He's fallen to the darkness... Damn it!"
So yeah, battle 1 was a bust due to an unlucky crit which allowed Reinhart to heal himself. Only in this game and the second Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is scoring a crit ever a really bad thing.
Luckily Battle 2 went better and I eventually claimed my prize: the Bow Of Tundra, which is stronger than anything we have besides Ji'ygla's Bow (the auto-petrifying dealie Liedel's packing). It'll probably go to one of Ankiseth's Dianas, since the ones in Europea's unit need to keep dealing Virtue damage.
As you may have seen in the Bow of Tundra screenshot, our next attacker unit is this guy. Griffins are chump monsters for chumps.
These attackers sure are spacing themselves out nice and wide! Diaz here is getting pretty tired for a guy with no Power Fruits.
As soon as I sent Europea out to find him it became apparent he agreed with this assessment and he turned the fuck around. Not that his directional facing particularly mattered in terms of when he died, really.
With that incredibly lackluster HQ attack behind me, it's time to get underway. Charle has a pretty decent unit, but without a level advantage it's not worth a whole lot.
Case in point.
That dragon still hits reasonably hard, but it's not nearly enough to keep me from dropping a billion meteors all over them. The unit is wiped and Pavia is mine!
Meanwhile, Army Group North has this somewhat more traditional opposition to deal with.
Jodeau wasn't worth paying attention to, but see all those individual units scattered all over the place? Yeah, as soon as Perg falls they're all gonna charge you at once. It's somewhat cleverer than an all-out HQ assault -- you're probably going to be at half strength here, like I am -- but (a) the stakes are way lower and (b) everyone on this screen in a red uniform is going to die horribly anyway.
First up: Barryum. Another prime target for melee strikes, and flying units tend to fly straight so I don't have to worry about his formation getting all
Y'know what? No. I refuse. You do it, Asnabel.
Long story short, Asnabel proved yet again why he's so goddamn awesome by wiping Barryum's dumb cheating ass out, sideways formation and all. Unfortunately, back-row wolfshape Biske doesn't have any fancy howl attack or anything. I'm as disappointed as you.
Next up, Gilbert and Mary Jane showed Zeppelin the true meaning of classic rock!
Kudos to Mary Jane, by the way -- dodged all three Ogre attacks. Being ridiculously hard to hit when led by a Beast Master is one of the Cockatrice's finest features.
Ugh. More Griffins? WHEN WILL YOU LEARN.
A Saturos with that name clearly constitutes copyright infringement until 50 years after Hector's natural death. Sorry bub, I don't make the rules.
One more. Subtlety is perhaps not Ralph's strong suit.
Neither are "proper use of meatshields" or "surviving a light bump from a tiny knee-high puppet." Golems 1, Ogres 0.
Brief treasure break. Both of these fall under the category of items that would be really cool had we come here before taking the long-way-around path. We've already got an Axe of Wyrm and it's mostly outclassed by now; Balmung is the third-most-powerful greatsword in the game, but by now we already have the strongest one and two of the second-strongest. Plus it's non-elemental. LAME.
And also the, uh, the Doll of... the Doll of Curse is...
Seriously though we have no use for any doll that isn't the Gallant Doll, and neither will you unless you have more than one Enchanter in your army for God knows what reason.
Slightly out of our path, Tabatha here was too chicken to join the massive attack with all her buddies. Given that her unit is basically like Charle's from earlier only with a worse dragon I don't blame her.
And predictably she does a slightly worse job of fighting me than Charle did. Saradin takes decent damage, but nobody else does.
Our next target in the south is guarded by...
Get the hell out of here.
The Reverend Cookie is apparently of the opinion that she can somehow get to safe haven in any direction at all. Ankiseth disabuses her of this notion.
MORE SPOILS. The Wind Armor is basically a Wind-flavored version of stuff we already have (Breidablick/Rune Plate, etc). Slightly worse than the Jeulnelune, but that one's unique. And yeah, it really is a damn shame nothing that can hold a greatsword can also hold a shield. OH WELL
Brandle here had been the guard of the next stronghold in my path, and I guess he figured that one of my units separated from all the others was as ripe a target as he was gonna get.
To be fair he was probably right, but that's not saying much.
Emily here doesn't even have that excuse, but to be fair Pumpkinheads are somewhat more intimidating than Gremlins.
Luckily with Tallgeese holding White Mute I can wipe their dumb asses out in the first battle so they can never Shower me from the back row. Score. Unfortunately getting a second Earth Javelin is now about as exciting as getting a second Wyrm Axe was (read: not much).
Particularly when I can find a much better one just sitting on the ground directly in my path! The Holy Lance is better than the Lance of Longinus, the Virtue spear we already have, if less cool-looking. It's somewhere between the Evil Spear and Ignis in strength.
Rollin', rollin' / Rollin' on the river
This area's shop is at Clemona. Man is Meredia ever gonna be disappointed when she finds out I have absolutely no interest in buying anything there!
Y'know, maybe it's the tiny inexplicable fedora, or maybe it's the amusing name, but I think the Lia Fail is the least-horrifying doll I've found. Meanwhile the Ring of Branding is an improved Ring of Eloquence -- it drains less STR and imparts more INT. It IS bane-element, but that's barely a downside.
Brief break from loot-finding for me to claim this unguarded stronghold to use as a forward base ~~~
Okay, done! Another Sword of Dragon Gem is good to find, and you didn't seriously think I'd be leaving this map without another Drakonite book, did you? Tempest, the Wind-element Drakonite book, completes the set!
Anyway our boss tonight is... yet another Temple Command we've never heard of before and who I venture to guess wil not survive this mission. He is distinguishable from the others by the fact that his sprite and his portrait look absolutely nothing like each other.
Very kind of you, Mr...?
: "Knight of the Caliginous Order... You, too, walk in darkness!?"
: "...All my life, I've pursued pure, unfettered strength. The formidable strength."
Well, uhhh, thank you for specifying which strength you were referring to but that's not really an answer to the question and I don't think I ever actually caught your name, Mr...?
: "I never dreamt I had such power within me... I gladly use this power for my own gains! My body... craves your blood! My heart tells me to slay all of you!!"
Well I never! <> How impossibly rude! Your body craves my blood indeed! You overstep yourself, Mr...?
I dunno if I really believe all that stuff about your heart. I think we'd better have a look at it just to be sure. If you would be so kind, Destin?
: "You'll understand eventually... Defeat, disgrace, dishonor... The vexation I felt when I lost my position... My... pursuit of strength, my craving... for... power......"
The one question remaining to me after all this: Who the HELL was that guy anyway???
Well, our mysterious (and quite improper!) acquaintance left me the quite powerful (if visually unimpressive) Nephrite Sword. Not quite Notos-level, but it's up there.
Well, we've put this off for so long that there's no more plot left to see. Upon killing the guy with the greasy hair we're dumped unceremoniously onto the World Map. Our only remaining destination is Latium. Nothing for it anymore, I guess we're finally gonna have to storm the capital! NEXT TIME ON OGRE BATTLE: I do literally everything in the world except storm the capital