Part 35: Chapter XXXII: To Go The DistanceWhy waste time with introductions? The battle shall now be joined.
For the first boss, Nill, we're rolling with Team Cross-Gen 2. A fine line-up, I think. Coming into this fight, have melee fighters with a lot of accuracy (the huge boost to accuracy Weiss' formation bonus gives has not gone unnoticed), as well as lots of Light magic, like being able to use Flare Field level 3 and Earth Nova level 3. The inevitable gloom that haunts the conscious mind - Versus Nill
Nill is a slippery one. I mean, granted, he's like an evil ball of darkness, but it does give him pretty high evasion. But, without that evasion he doesn't have many abilities worth talking about. The Dullahans may look menacing, and they are, but that's why we brought Light magic in. They are weak to it, and how. And, they're packed nicely together, so that one attack will hit both. They are also quite weak to magic, which is why Eva is such a good choice.
Frankly, I'm surprised an enemy this late in the game is missing an attack at all, but without using EX Skills of their own, as well considerable evasion boost that comes from my Weiss, his AGI, and Party Rank A, this is what happens.
Any fight that gives me a chance to throw out Absolute Blaze is a good one. By amplifying the power of three generations and the power of the woman who has affected the destiny of the world since the moment she first drew breath, the team goes for an absolutely crushing move that shatters reality itself for a blazing attack. The other effect of Blaze, aside from having an extremely large blast radius, is that it raises the Wait of anyone caught in it.
That's one reason I like this game's battle system, is that attacks than can hamper an enemy actually work. You know how in most RPGs, bosses and high-tier enemies are just immune from status effects and things that negatively affect them for the most part? How there are so few exceptions, when it does come up it's incredible? For Finish Strikes passive effects in this game, at least, they absolutely do work. I mean, consider this: after this attack had finished, SCHWARZ got the next turn. That's how much the enemy's Wait went up as a result of that attack.
Unfortunately, without Weiss' accuracy bonus Schwarz just can't quite hit the Nill reliably. But, with so little HP, the fact magic always hits (unless there's an EX Skill in place), and Weiss still having super high accuracy, the Nill's days were numbered. Now my only nemesis is a badly weakened Dullahan.
Oh, and the gun Schwarz is currently using is what the game calls a 99 Magnum. While pretty dinky in actual combat, it's still a magnum and plenty powerful. Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice the Doragu Riser to acquire it, meaning I only have one really good gun at the moment. We'll be getting more, don't you worry. And wait until you see its big brother...
Though the power of the fairer sex is potent indeed, sometimes you just have to let the guys handle it. Weiss, Schwarz, and Grey can launch the Finish Strike Final Break. By combining the skills that made them heroes, the three generation heroes can launch a blistering assault that combines magic and physical power to make then one who got caught in it feel unlucky they were ever born.
One down, many to go.
With Nill's evaporation, three new battles open up. You can approach them in any order you want, but I'd say the fight at the top of the screen is the easiest, because every enemy in it is weak to Light. But, for now, we're going to be facing a most sinister avian. A demonic bird that soars through the sky, consumed by evil - Versus Lindwor
This fight gave me so much trouble, when I was attempting to record. I originally beat this fight with Team Cross-Gen 1, but the resulting fight was too long and too boring for me to upload. Besides, I like to change teams up between boss fights for the most part, and in that case only one party member changed between fights.
Anyhow, although magic is usually your best friend, not so in this fight. The Lindwor, your primary enemy, is obviously your biggest threat. He has extremely high magic resistance, taking much more damage from physical strikes. He's also weak to Wind, but there's not many things that combine Wind with physical attacks. Obviously you want to take out those little ankle-biting bastards, the Houri (there seems to have been a bit of translation issue here. In the commission for all the fairy-type enemies, these guys are called Furies), first. Like the big guy, they have high magical resistance but low physical. Depending on whether Anger is active or not, you can take them out in a single round of attacking, but you may need an Ultimate Strike otherwise.
The reason why you may not want Anger active is because Accuracy is your best friend in this fight, and I cannot stress how important it will be going forward. Many enemies in this game hide behind extremely high evasion, but are otherwise pretty weak. Accuracy simply ignores evasion altogether. The reason for this extremely melee-oriented team is because no enemy in this fight is really weak to magic. We'll fight with our fists, and we'll win.
It has been way, way too long since Vanessa has torn up the battlefield. Happy to report her sexy gunslinging is as good as it ever was. I like how what you're supposed to gleam from Rush Beat as a move is the character using it is moving so fast they appear to be attacking from two directions at once. Also, I wish I would have used Argent Barette, her currently level one Original Skill (it starts as her level two when she gets it) as it is probably my favorite level one Original Skill in the game. I'll have to use it on camera one of these days.
Unfortunately, on the day I was playing this, my PS3 was choking for some reason, and randomly would take a really long time to load up things it would normally take a few seconds to do. At least this lasted long enough to give you a clear look that the Houri brought along some apples for the fight.
The Lindwor's other Original Skill is called Cataclysmic Dance, an unbelievably powerful skill that also comes with a high chance of inflicting insta-death. So, if getting destroyed by the attack wasn't enough, have another death on top of it. By comparison, Howl is downright merciful.
Valkyrie Climb is a pretty classy Original Skill, but in retrospect, I'm not entirely sure why I used it. Oh well, the more skills I show off, the better I say. Man that skill compilation video is going to be something else.
Oh, the spear Victoria is using is called the Nothung. I got it from a commission recently in the game, and even at level 1 it's the most powerful spear I have. I wouldn't advise upgrading it very much, though, as soon enough it'll be replaced by a much more powerful spear.
Luckily, for all his evasion, he cannot dodge an Ultimate and Finish Strike. Criminal Arts took down a nice chunk of his HP, but we've still got a ways to go.
A distance we covered the next turn! Anger and Accuracy are a really goddamned killer combo. Vanessa more than pulled her own weight this time.
Oh, and for this guy, at the very least, be very careful leaving him standing with <30% HP. He has an EX Skill called No Pain. It's the enemy's version of No Fear, and combined with boss HP counts well into the 100ks, No Pain can basically mean the fight is over, unless you have Genius and Rile on, and sometimes not even then. If an enemy turns No Pain on, consider the fight over, since it'll take an eternity even IF you break the enemy's guard.
If they turn Iron Wall on, just have everyone Stand By instead of fight, because at that point the enemy is pretty much invincible. All I'm saying is take the enemy out fast and hard, and just use your best judgment when it comes to HP counts. Around 40%, you should be fine, 30%, you're definitely in a bad place, and 20% watch your back. It's not like the enemy can turn on No Pain right at the start of a fight, so you don't have to worry about that, at the very least.
Messy fight, but a hell of a lot better than my previous wins against this guy. I forget what his rare drops are, but they aren't very good at all. Not too broken up about not stealing from this fellow very much.
This time, we're running with Team Wizardry. Friggin' Aina is a part of this fight, so you know it can't be that tough. Nah, I'm just being hard on her. Aina is actually a surprisingly good teammate, especially since she gets Force of Will (effects of Critical Break and Block Magic when her HP falls below 33%). Anyway, this fight is super simple in practice, because, as I mentioned, every enemy in this fight is weak to Light magic. Don't even bother with physical attacks, because they're just not worth it. The blade that cast a thousand souls into oblivion - Versus Cursed Sword
Making this fight even simpler for me is the Cursed Sword is positioned in JUST the right way as to allow me to hit everyone with a simple spell with the blast radius of Earth Nova, or several others spells in this game. Anyway, time to allow the light of judgment to shine forth.
Speaking of Judgment, basically it's the game's ultimate Light spell. Not only is it very powerful on its own, but it also has a chance of hitting the target with insta-death. As you might expect, if you're lucky enough to have it happen, the enemy's first life bar instantly goes to zero, and you can begin the process of Over Killing it if you want. Needless to say, it will never, ever happen against bosses.
Mm mm mm. That's just one round of attacking, albeit with Li Ra-Lua's formation bonus, Magic Up, helping everyone out. This crowd is not long for this world.
If it wasn't so funny, I'd almost feel guilty. Oh yeah, the Dullahans have a Rusty Sword as a rare drop. So, that's a third Gram if I were interested (I am not particularly interested). Next!
Team Wizardry certainly had a strong showing. Oh, and from this fight, Grey has the honor of being the first character to hit level 100. Eva is right on his tail, though.
Time for Team Testosterone to take it to the limit. Between that last fight, though, and this one, I did a hell of a lot of grinding (nearly 10 hours worth or so), for all those commissions I mentioned last update, like the various team commissions, hunting enemies, and the like. The result was like, 10 million more Gold all told, a ton of TP, and a lot more equipment. Oh yeah, and everyone in the party gaining 15-20 levels.
Particularly, the Strange Dragons, which can be found in the Boundary Plain, drop Rusty Bracelets for a rare drop. I got like, three or four of those during my fighting, two of which I proceeded to convert into fully upgraded Aegises. Jude and Ignis are currently wearing this extremely valuable piece of armor, which in addition to making it easy to link nodes together, provides 50% defense against Earth attacks. Ignis is a goddamned tank right now, incredibly difficult to kill, but also very powerful. The women in the party have proved themselves time and again. Let's see if the boys can do it. A crazed beast of calamity, mired in catastrophe - Versus Grandleon
Well, this big sucker is certainly not going to make it easy on us. During my grinding, I decided to outfit Jainus with an Amplify All+, which provides every single buff a support skill can do, to every party member within one square of the original target (it includes the original target, of course). Works remarkably well with Georg's formation.
Oh yeah, I also got Jude a new weapon: the Apocalypse. Despite the name, it is nowhere near the most powerful gun. But, since we do have two gun users in this fight, we need something Jude can use. Jainus currently has the 99 Magnum, Ignis the Glory, and Georg the Gram. Can't get much better than those at this point in the game.
Ah, it's been a while since we've had a good No Fear use. And this one is pretty special, and you'll soon see why.
When I first saw this, I was scared to death. Here's a very powerful enemy, using his second Original Skill, and hitting my entire party. But the amazing thing is, he didn't do any damage! Mighty Breath literally did absolutely zero damage to anyone in the party. I was amazed, but goddamn it Jainus, you are the man!
Anyhow, after that, I got Georg to put on See All, now that's we're down to only one Houri (I am getting really goddamn sick of those things). Let's see how this pans out.
From completing the Team Testosterone commission, I got the Esoteric Book for Final Shot at last. Unfortunately, the requirements for it are very harsh: a team of Georg, Jainus, Jude, and Ignis, 3 Ultimate Points, and let's say 3 SP. Although I do have the Ultimate Points, and the characters, but don't have just one more SP. I had seven when Jainus began his turn, but Fighting Spirit took up 4 and Feat of Agility 1. It likely was a matter of choosing between breaking this guy and getting Final Shot, but I opted for the former.
Though, in retrospect, I shouldn't have used Feat of Agility.
I guess Wrath of Sheol (Jude, Jainus, Ignis Finish Strike) is acceptable. He certainly won't be living another turn. He was lucky to survive this one.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Although it may be a truism that more women around makes pretty much anything better, we did some good work here. This was basically the perfect team to fight this guy, especially with See All counteracting Grandelon's physical counterattack, and him not having as much physical resistance as you'd expect a big asshole demon to have. We'll just have to keep this up.
Let's see...we've won with Team Cross-Gen 2, Team Aggression, Team Wizardry, and now Team Testosterone. I think it's time for Team Cross-Gen 1 to shine.
But first we have to make it to the next round of fights. By defeating the first four bosses, the path down the left side of the map is unlocked. There's only a few fights before we unlock the next couple fights.
Once you've beaten the three regular fights on the way, three more boss battles are open to you. Kaiser Dragon is the battle point midway between the top and bottom fights, Waffe is the one I'm standing over, and Rune Blade is the southernmost point. We're going to be facing off against Waffe first. Make sure someone in this fight has AGI in the mid 200s, at the very least, because this guy is blazing fast.
Two major weapon upgrades are worth talking about before we begin. Fiona is currently using Calinou's Hammer, the first artifact you can forge in the game. The toughest part about making it is that you have to know you can get Quicksilver, which is needed for the forging, from Fendias' Thawing Sea. This is not exactly intuitive, as nothing about the point over the Thawing Sea tells you that there's something special to it. All I know about when the Quicksilver shows up as an item is that it's available in the third generation. I really couldn't tell you when specifically it becomes available, but it is certainly true you can't make the Hammer before defeating Summerill, since you need the Meteor Ore and Rainbow Shard from the commissions resulting from that fight to make the Hammer.
The other is Schwarz's current gun, the Blue Dolphin. To forge it, you need a Mizuchi (rare drop from the Balrogs in Etre Large Hollow), a Hydropain (the recipe for this gun we got from one of the boss battles we've already beaten this update. You need another Mizuchi and a Sorcery Gun to forge that. The Sorcery Gun we've already gotten, from a commission previously in the game, but to make one you'll need a Railgun, which can only be acquired from Righteous Beheading's Collection store. Costs 6000 TP). Once you have a Hydropain and a Mizuchi, you'll also need two Stabilizers (from the Strange Dragons in Boundary Plain), and the Hunter's Title, which is a special crafting item we got from one of the boss fights we've done. Assuming all those conditions are met, you can make yourself the Blue Dolphin. While not exceptionally powerful, physically, it does have a ton of magical attack power (3301 fully upgraded), turning whichever gun-user currently using it into a pretty powerful mage. Schwarz can finally magically attack worth a damn.
Anyway, all that said, let's begin. A dark knight who wields an assassin's dagger - Versus Waffe
Like I mentioned, the Waffe is very fast. It has a physical counterattack, as you might expect from an enemy using a dagger, a lot of HP, but not a whole lot of defense, either physically or magically. He's also weak to Thunder and is strong against Wind, so you best be getting the juice flowing if you really want to lay into this guy. Grey and Schwarz currently have Thunderstorm level 3, and that'll do a lot of good, especially since he takes more damage in Stunned.
For the other foes, the Reapers are your typical mage enemies, and the Echidna is nearly as fast as the Waffe. I'd advise targeting the Reapers first, and the Echidna as soon as possible, since the last thing you need is another couple Original Skills being thrown at you. Charm Breath, the Echidna's level two Original Skill, in particular, is a real piece of work. Very powerful, with a very large area of effect.
Calinou's Hammer is our first gameplay artifact, and it is more than worthy the name. Fiona is the strongest character I have in this fight, and Weiss among the weakest, for a change of pace. As a note with weapons, armor, and accessories that you can only make once because of materials, they can't be converted. Once they upgraded all the way, the only thing more you can do with them is attach stuff to them, and even without any attachments, the Hammer is very powerful.
Huh. First Rile use we've seen in a bit. Weiss is just that good. I don't think KO'd characters receive the benefits of EX Skills until they are revived, which is why I used Rile twice. Fiona with Rile on is a killing machine. Now that everything is just right for a use of Akashic Nova against the Waffe, let's see just how damage we get to do, now that we have a ton of AP.
A dazzling lights display covers true power here. Fiona traps the targets in a cage of magic, while Schwarz, Grey, and Weiss all combine their abilities to amplify her magic, creating a whirlwind of suffering that annihilates the souls of anyone caught in the blast radius. The cage is then destroyed, inflicting even more severe damage against whoever was in it. I'd just like to bring up I did 840,000 damage against a single target. I severely Over Killed the Waffe, but...
Look at those drops! Just terrible. It's not really worth Over Killing bosses in the Boundary Plain, since they all seem to drop boring stat increasing items as Over Kills. Just defeat them, first and foremost.
Well, without Waffe around the Reaper and Echidna are not exactly in a great spot. They managed to take out Weiss, but good job killing a dude who has like 1600 HP. Schwarz took over after that, more than leading us to victory against our nemeses. For even more overkill, I had Schwarz turn on No Fear, giving everyone a 31,000 HP shield. Combined with everyone's defense, that basically means the team is invincible.
Everyone contributed to a remarkable victory. A fine performance. I also had Schwarz turn on Gospel, since after Waffe's death I pretty much had no chance of losing. Also, you'll notice I was pumping a lot of my post-battle points into AGI. That's because everyone's VIT and STR are looking really good, but we could certainly do with a faster team. All that HP and strength doesn't mean much if we can't get any turns to use it.
Let's move right along to the final battle of the update. It's been too long since Yumil and Liel have been on the team, as well as all the second generation Pillars being in the same fight. This is mostly for their Finish Strike, Celestial Heaven, one of my favorite Finish Strikes in the game. An azure blade that has forsaken its vow to eradicate evil - Versus Rune Blade
The Rune Blade is our second and last disembodied evil sword boss. This is an interesting fight, I think. It has three Echidnas for backup, which might be a problem until we remember that Yumil has Blast Wing and can Bind and Stun all three of them as soon as we get an Ultimate Point. As for the sword itself, it has resistance to most elements, as well as just generally being strong against magic. It takes a lot more damage from physical strikes, so Vanessa will be the key to my victory, with Anger and Accuracy. Yumil can also help out by activating Desperate Strength.
Unfortunately, first round didn't go very well. I hate Charm Breath so goddamn much. I will enjoy tearing all three Echidnas apart. You can count on that.
When you're ready to begin the attack on the Rune Blade, keep in mind it does have a physical counterattack. Normally I'd rectify this with See All, but seeing as how nobody in this fight has that, I'm stuck with the less than desireable option of just having Vanessa shoulder the entire attack.
Oh well, too late to complain about it. At least I get to show Argent Barette. Vanessa initially dashes forward, firing four shots at the enemy before leaping into the air for some fancy gunplay. She fires a couple shots, flips upside down and fires a couple more, before turning around again to land on her feet and use something from her gun to launch the target into the air. It's just so smooth is what I like about it, I think. It also has the lovely side effect of afflicting Bind and Stun on a target, making it quite the improvement over Elgar Volcano.
Love Celestial Heaven. Li Ra-Lua and Vanessa create a spiraling pillar of magic, and Yumil dashes straight up into the sky to gather all that magic and fire it back down toward the battlefield. Li Ra-Lua then uses her magic to create a massive glacier around the target, before Yumil takes what's left to fire a massive ball of magic downward. Before it hits the ground, Vanessa combines her power into that ball before it strikes. The magic tears apart the target before exploding into a brilliant rainbow of colors.
Unfortunately, afterwards things kinda went bad. Vanessa got counterattacked and put into Over Wait from Celestial Heaven (for the purposes of counterattacks, that Finish Strike counts as Vanessa's attack). This was as I expected, aside from the Over Wait thing. Anyway, I revived her, and had Yumil put on Desperate Strength. I expected Liel to kill him, because she has Anger and Accuracy on, but she JUST came up short (goddamn Ground Fissure ruined everything). Anyway, Liel got counterattacked, but I still had Yumil with Anger, Accuracy, and Desperate Strength on. The winged girl convincingly killed him right after.
Not the best I've ever done, certainly. I could have made things easier in a number of ways, but you know? Gotta stick with the ladies. A win is a win, and it's not like that was an 18 turn battle or something. You think I jest, but I have had fights that went 18 rounds. Mostly because of No Pain and me foolishly think I could break the enemy's guard. Turns out I couldn't, but there's no way I'd upload something like that.
I mean, one positive thing this LP has done for me, at least, is to learn how to not play this game like crap. When I'm playing with the camera off, doesn't matter what I do, because no one but me will remember exactly what happened (and sometimes not even then). When the camera is on, I have to not only sit through animations unless a fight is really getting long in the tooth, but I also have to play well, because no one wants to sit through a 20 minute battle, least of all me.
Well, we kicked some ass and had some fun. Tune in next time for the second half of the Boundary Plain. Kaiser Dragon, Satanael, Astral, Vermillion and his two arms, and the lord of all dragons, the Holy Dragon. I'm just getting warmed up, which I say even though I've defeated the Kaiser Dragon and Astral as of this writing.