Part 36: Don't Worry, Everything Whale be Okay.UPDATE 36: Don't Worry, Everything Whale be Okay.
Breaking continuity a little bit to show off what skills we have. Level 30 is the last level for skills for Aubrey, Kel, and Hero. Aubrey's final skill is Last Resort, which is basically self-destruct and does damage based on her health and then TOASTS her. This skill gets greatly overshadowed by Beatdown, which Aubrey learns at level 27. Beatdown is where Aubrey attacks the enemy three times, it's hack away but on someone with more attack. It's very very good. She also learned Mash which makes Aubrey recover 100% juice if she kills the enemy. It's useless on bosses for obvious reasons, sadly. It's not even that great on regular enemies unless you're somehow nowhere near a mari spot... come to think of it, it'd be good against those bears I never took care of.
I added Rally to Kel, but the first three skills are all you need. Run and gun is quite good, but I don't have built for that right now. Some of his weapons increase speed to help beef up run and gun, but I like the extra juice so we're going in on the richochet strat. Hero got refresh from the blender we found while running away from the experiment last time. It's quite good for Hero to give a crapton of juice back to someone else. Omori also has stare now, which is much better than Hero's smile and is why we can strip him of that skill. Speaking of the blender...
It's Hero's best weapon to date, giving him the most attack, while making juice snacks 50% more effective in battle. Everyone else has the same loadout as last time.
I do NOT want to imagine what that ride was like.
Hmm, I opened the update by talking about loadouts... we entered a new area that has no music... the new area has a creepy black pit underneath it... there's a save and heal point without Mari... I wonder what's going to happen when we cross that bridge?
A Rose By Any Other Name
STOP RIGHT THERE!! You can't leave just yet, Doll!
We just want our payment, darling. Can't you see how upset Marina is getting?
WHERE'S MY MONEY, LADY!?!?!? GIVE ME MY MONEY!!!!!
Uh-oh... It's Sweetheart and those sea witches!
There's no way we're getting caught in the middle of this. Let's make a run for it!
It's a common mistake, I'm afraid. Humans tend to fear what they cannot understand. Besides... I think I know why people think we're witches...
Hey! What are you lookin' at me for!?
That aside, we have a bigger problem on our hands.
That's right! Where do you think you're going... Sweetheart, darling?
You owe us a a big, big bag of clams!
Hmph! As if you three peasants are worthy of payment! All I wanted was for you to make me a perfect match... but you've all managed to fail me in three different ways! If you are so insistent to get your worthless clams... let these children cover the charge!
HUMPHREY: Yoo-hoo! I am here to report that Sweetheart has been disposed of. It's a good thing you asked! I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to hold myself back any longer. Also... This may or may not surprise you... but Sweetheart had a total balance of 0 clams on her. Zero! Not a single one! Which... is quite unfortunate... as I am getting a bit... hungry...
THAT WENCH DOUBLE-CROSSED US!!! I knew there was something fishy about her.
Hmm... Well, not necessarily. She did say these children would cover the charges.
Oh yeah, huh. In that case, she's definitely paid her due.
Whoa whoa whoa! We literally were here to kick her ass, surely we can all be on board with such a plan?
Don't be such a brute, Marina! I'm sure she meant the kids would pay us... not that we should sell them!
Alright, darlings... Now be good, and hand over your big, big bag of clams!
H-Huh? S-So, uh... yeah... about that... Just curious... How much does she owe you anyway?
Well, let's see here!
Fun fact: If you do have a million clams, either through grinding or save editing, Aubrey will say "We can't give over that many clams!". Real nice of the devs to think about the save editors breaking their game... or the poor souls that grinded for it.
Well... that's just too bad.
HUMPHREY!! SEAL THE EXITS!!!
Tough luck, kids... You walked into the wrong whale. Someone's gotta pay for all this. I would say desperate times call for desperate measures. Don't you agree, sisters?
Oooh... This one is too pretty to sell... Isn't he, Molly?
Well... I like the quiet one. He would make a great pet.
DON'T YOU TOUCH HIM! Let us go now! We didn't do anything wrong!
Ooh, feisty! I think you'd like this one, Marina! Fufufu...
Heh. Well... I guess selling just one will do.
If you kids can't pay us in clams... you can pay us with your arms and legs!
LET GO OF ME!!
PUT ME DOWN!! PUT ME DOWN!!!
YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS, BRAT!!!
Well now, it seems that you've gotten Marina all worked up! Our little prey is biting back.
Guys... It looks like we're going to have to fight out way out of this place!
Oh... it's a fight you want, is it? It's been a while since my last hunt!
Yes... It seems like our prey needs to be disciplined. Someone needs to teach you children some proper manners!
For prey, you're all way too picky... You don't want to be sold... You don't want to be pets... You all should really learn your place... Well... Whatever... That's fine with us.
There's always another option. Fufufu~
If you're going to keep resisting... you leave us with no other choice. I'm afraid we'll just have to...
Underwater Prom Queens
I do like that the game made it seem like you'd be fighting Sweetheart again and then pull in the Slime Girls instead. I do wish we could have had more interaction with them during Humphrey rather than having to listen to a 5 minute monologue right before the boss fight. Anyway, this is one of my favorite fights, even if the formula is going to sound familiar.
Make 'em sad, make us angry, drop their defense. It's become formulaic, but it's because it works incredibly well.
Jesus, Hero! How strong are you to be able to withstand a fucking chainsaw?!
Here's stare in action. It's uh... really creepy! It's quite fitting! Unlike Smile, which only reduces an enemy attack, Stare reduces all stats so defense, speed, and attack go down. It's a really good opening/2nd opening move for Omori. The cost is great but easily worth it. It'd be worth it even the cost was doubled.
Aubrey's beatdown is three of these. It's really really good. The cost is somewhat prohibitive on Aubrey, 30 juice, but we're swimming in healing items since we're in the late game.
Granted, Omori's boost from the Coral Branch is really on show right now. Being able to do the same damage as Aubrey is really really good.
Once you drop the girls to about half health, they'll get mad and go angry on you. Unlike with the other major bosses, they are not permanently angry however. We can make them sad again quite easily. Their all party attack isn't too bad so long as you've been having Hero keep up with healing.
Here's what a flex does to ricochet's first strike. Kel is uh, quite powerful late game! Worth pointing out that Kel doesn't even have the right emotion either!
If you don't know this move is coming, you could be seriously screwed if you were playing it too dangerously on your juice. I meanwhile, had a snacktime queued up and basically get back to full health right after they do this.
I haven't showed off this follow-up yet, but it's incredibly good when it finally unlocks after beating Sweetheart. Not only do Aubrey and Kel (two big damage dealers) get to be enraged, they also get their attacks buffed quite a bit! It's such a good move and I'm only sad it unlocks so late that you can't use it to break things earlier.
Seriously, flex + attack up and this is the first strike damage it does.
Compare that with a regular attack and ooh boy do I love this move.
Aubrey, not to be undone, then does 2000 DAMAGE to the slime girls. Do NOT mess with this girl!
And that's a wrap on the Slime Girls! Could have actually used Aubrey's follow-up sooner and probably knocked them out in a turn or two less, but eh, this was much funnier.
Huff... Forget hunting... I'm not cut out for this kind of nonsense anymore. I'm just... huff... going to stick to research from now on.
Well, dolls... it seems we are all past our prime. If only we were 200 years younger.
Yeah, yeah, Humphrey... We got you. Molly, feed Humphrey some clams.
Hm? I'm sure I fed him last time! Besides... I used up all my clams on software for the last job.
HUMPHREY: I'm getting... HUNGRIER!
Okay, fine then. How about you, Medusa?
Well, I... I wasn't expecting to feed Humphrey again so soon. If memory serves me correctly, isn't it your turn to feed him, Marina?
Oh wait, is it? I thought it was Molly's turn.
I'm pretty sure it was Medusa's turn this time.
HUMPHREY: If you can't feed me... I guess I'll just have to help myself!
NOOOOOOOOOO!! MY FURNITURE!!
What are we gonna do now!? Humphrey's gonna digest everything!
Hmm... Perhaps... we should plan an escape?
We've already expended so much energy. perhaps it's finally time for us to swim with the fishes...
What the fuck game, I didn't need that. Sure they weren't nice people but uh... getting eaten alive is a bit much.
HUMPHREY: Mmm... Seafood... DEEEEE...LICIOUS!!
Humphrey is out of control!
HOW ARE WE GONNA GET OUT OF HERE!?
Keep calm, everyone. Let's look for an exit!
The music playing is a sped up version of Thalassophobia - the song that played during Sunny's drowning scene. I never get to talk about the songs that play during the fear fights, but the songs are really good and it's a shame most people only get to hear the first 60 seconds of it.
Err, anyway... fleeing from a dread whale that wants to digest us! You know what would make this situation feel worse?
...If we had an audience of Humphries watching and drooling while we try and flee in terror. Wonderful!
Welp! All the doors to the Slime Girl's labs are locked, so it's back to where we came... y'know, a mouth elevator. Surely THAT path is still open to us.
Humphrey, stop this! Haven't you eaten enough? We promise we'll feed you later!
HUMPHREY: But... You can feed me now! Just... let me eat you
Please don't eat us, Humphrey! We don't want to be eaten!
HUMPHREY: Well, it's a little too late for that, isn't it? You should have thought of that before you walked into my mouth! Nyak, nyak!
...I knew that was a bad idea.
Don't say that, Hero!
Yeah, we can't let it end like this!
HUMPHREY: Nyak, nyak, nyak, nyak, nyak, nyak, nyak, nyak!!
HUMPHREY: Then again... It is always more satisfying when you prepare your own food! Now you all just sit still...The preparations have already been made...
Whale Whale Whale
So Humphrey... he can actually be quite dangerous - mostly because he's quite tanky. This is going to be quite a long battle, so definitely make sure to set your buffs early - those are very very important.
We're going with our usual strat - make him sad, make us angry, buffs and debuffs when appropriate. Humphrey likes attacking two people at once. It's quite a bit of damage too, especially considering the emotion disadvantage.
We're buffing Aubrey and Kel early this time - on turn 2 even. This is really really going to make defeating this boss much easier.
Aubrey and Kel get two more attacks in to really drive in how good they are.
For all that damage we did... Here's how much it actually affected Humphrey. Seems like a lot right? Well...
Say hello to Humphrey Grande! It's a multi-phase boss! Every JRPG is contractually required to have at least one, and we've been lacking in that regard so far. The second phase starts with another full health bar, and needs debuffs applied again. Thankfully, we keep any buffs applied on us which is why that's so important to do.
This fight actually drags on long enough that I have to use juice healing items and skills. Humphrey is actually a tough boss, if only because of the attrition involved in fighting him.
Despite being in the second phase, the first phase sucks worse because this phase only attacks once instead of twice. I'm not sure fights are supposed to get easier as they go on...
Here's something fun and why I love using sad so much - we've gone through all of Humphrey's juice pool and can now do all our damage against his health. It happened at the end of the Slime Girls too just in time for Aubrey's amazing crit. Having the juice pool as a second HP bar is the only downside of using sad on bosses, and now it's no longer a downside.
Big body-horror warning coming up on this next phase...
When Humphrey starts to run out of health on his second phase, he decides to just straight up swallow us and dealing damage to the whole party. He also decides to be a dick and get an extra attack in on Hero and Toast him.
Guess what's happening to us at the end of every turn now? If you guessed Humphrey swallowing us, then congrats! Your prize is getting to view that swallow animation over and over again until your sanity goes (I never had any, which is why it no longer bothers me).
It gets darker and darker the longer the battle goes on. There's no secret ending to this fight, it just gets darker until you beat him or die.
After several rounds of attacking of Humphrey, we've finally dealt enough damage that he's below half health. And thanks to Humphrey dealing multi-target damage every turn, we've got more than enough energy...
Huff... Huff... It's no use... How will we get out of here if Humphrey keeps swallowing us?
Omori... I'm scared... Why did we get ourselves into this mess?
Don't worry, Aubrey. We'll get through this! We've gotten out of plenty stick situations before!
Yeah... We can't give up now! There's just gotta be a way out of here...
Who's ready for another long boss fight phase?
Nobody, including Humphrey.
So ends Humphrey... as a dungeon anyway, he seems to still be alive... sadly. Despite Humphrey being disappointing from my original expectations, I did end up enjoying it on my first run, and on this run too! That I could write up the entirety Humphrey dungeon in a few days compared to the two excruciating weeks of Sweetheart's castle, says it all to me.
Huff... Huff... That was a close one...
Yeah... Never underestimate a hungry stomach.
That was really scary... huff...
But you know what...
At least we got through it together!
So what do you guys want to do now?
Wait, didn't Hero mention this before too?
Yeah, we were just following Sweetheart... but...
That situation... seems to have resolved itself.
No... I'm pretty sure there was something else...
Aubrey, you're always worrying about nothing! Come on! You should learn to relax and just enjoy yourself sometimes!
I guess that's true... I am a little tired of worrying so much.
Speaking of worry... do you know what worries me?
... THAT. That worries me. We found all the keys to the hangman game. Despite seeming like an optional minigame, the hangman game is actually required in order to progress in this game.
Sigh... you'd think I'd have learned by now, but yes let's see...
This vision isn't as outright creepy as the others, but it's a lot more... unsettling to me. There's no spooky sprite, no jumpscare, just... an ominous atmosphere.
Now then, let's finish this journey off properly...
Each time, your adventures may be disparate. But as your journey nears its end... it will always lead you back here. The truth. The truth is always the same.
It was moved to a lighthouse in a pier. Then, to a library banished deep underground. And after that, to an old barn on a distant planet. And... this time... it will be in the heart of a vast forest.
Even as hollow shells, they will continue to evolve. And each time, they will grow wings... and fly too close to the sun. It is their nature. They are the only ones who know... and one has carried it with her to her grave.
Although they are revived time and again, the most haunting stay in this world... even if only their bones remain. The long lost ones sink here... to the bottom of the Deep Well... and become nothing. You have forsaken them, yet they still yearn for your care. Their souls know nothing but how to scream for help. Do you take pity on them?
Yet it is her nature to leave and to protect. And when she does, she will leave you again and be born anew... with the undying soul that you have cursed her with.
Yet... The path to the truth is closer to your most precious room than ever before. Will you be able to bury it this time? Perhaps it is too late for you.
The end of this journey will lead to suffering... but if you do not face this, you cannot continue. This form, though it has not shown its true self, is evil. You will not see that unless you fight it. When your intentions become hazy, they will transpire into this world like a thick fog. You will know when it happens. It has already happened before. At that time... return to where the truth was reborn... to the heart of the forest. And like each time before it... attempt to rewrite your fate.
Explore this world while you can, Dreamer. Until there is nothing left...