The Let's Play Archive

Riviera: The Promised Land

by Didja Redo

Part 5: Lacrima Castle, Part 1

Ein awakened in Elendia, a village in Riviera, only to discover that his memories were gone.

The Sprites of Elendia, fearful of the invading demons, have taken no action, even though they have lost contact with the Arcs, the guardians of Lacrima Castle.

Fia and Lina, two Sprites who can't bear to stand by and wait any longer, use the village's magic circle to go and investigate Lacrima Castle, taking Ein with them.

Where are we?
We should be near Lacrima Castle. Grandfather must be worried, but I'm sure that after our report, he'll understand.
Yeah! Now let's do this.
Are we really going to search the castle? Maybe we shouldn't. It might be dangerous...
Don't worry. Lina and I shall protect you.
That's right!
Well, great. I'm glad we managed to clear that up without completely emasculating me.

Hmm. Something tells me that the highly conspicuous plant over there might just be worth examining. I know, I know. Me and my crazy hunches.

Look, everyone! There's some...uh...medicinal herbs growing here.
Medicinal herbs?
Yes. This place is known for the excellent quality of its...herbs. We should definitely pick some. To make medicine with.
...if you say so.
Yes. OK. Let's do that. Please put the sword away.

Now, I don't mean to imply anything here, but let's take these factors into consideration. First, Fia is very intent on getting this green, leafy "herb" picked, and as we established earlier, she's a bit of a hippy. Secondly, we've been informed that it has some kind of vaguely defined "medicinal properties". Thirdly, the skill associated with the item is "Sniff", which might seem harmless enough except for the fact that there's no logical reason why merely sniffing some herbs should use them up.

ok on second thoughts i have no idea why i said i wasn't implying anything because I AM UNMISTAKABLY IMPLYING SOMETHING

In any event, the Healing Herb removes status ailments, except when Fia uses it. She, instead, will use the "Practice Mix" skill, which does nothing in itself; however, mastering the item grants her an Over Skill that lets her convert all remaining herbs into brownies.

I mean, potions.

Of course, whether that's actually worth it or not is up to you to decide. There aren't that many status cure items in the game, whereas HP-restoring items are relatively easy to come by.

Option 1 raises Lina's affection, whereas number 2 has no effect. It's Serene we're after, so...

It restores your health when you drink it.
i am ein

When we try to leave Look mode here, we're RUDELY INTERRUPTED by Lina.

Well spotted, kid! I would never have noticed that there was grass here had you not so kindly pointed it out to me!

Anyway, when we search it, Lina finds a chipped dagger for us. Chappi can make this into something nice when we get back to Elendia.

Option 1 lowers Lina's affection, option 2 raises it. You all know where this is going. Especially you, Mr. Pity Vote.

Look what I found!
A dagger?
Here, Ein. I want you to have it.
Lina, it's broken. I won't be able to use-


Alright, I'm sick of the sight of this screen now, and I'm sure most of you are too. Let's move on.

A triffid?! Here? But how...

...Wyndham. That cunning bastard.

Well played, my old nemesis, well played. But a clever gambit winneth not the game entire. I'll get you yet.

It's high time I had a talk with you kids about weapons. I think you're old enough now.

Although any character can use any weapon, they are more proficient with some than they are with others; we caught a glimpse of this early on in the game when we compared Ein's usage of Lorelei vs. Einherjar.

The more proficient a character is with a certain weapon, the more uses it will take for them to master it, and the more powerful the associated Over Skill will be. Each character has one preferred weapon in which they learn their most powerful, level 3 Over Skills; Fia prefers rapiers, Lina prefers bows, and Ein prefers broadswords. All other weapons will grant level 1 or 2 Over Skills, unless the character has no proficiency with them at all, in which case they won't be able to master them.

Fortunately, Fia and Lina came with a free Rapier and Longbow, and along with that Iron Sword we got from Chappi earlier, we're all set as far as weapons go. Let's kick ass.

I brought the Naga Fang with me here because using the Lightning Call Over Skill is basically your only hope of S-ranking this battle.

Doing so earns us the Rose Whip, a nifty weapon that we otherwise wouldn't see until Chapter 3. (Normally these enemies drop the Slumber Ivy item, which has a chance of putting enemies to sleep. Not really worth bothering with, in my opinion.)

From this point onwards, we're allowed to choose our formation. I went over how this works back in Heaven's Gate, but I neglected to mention that we couldn't actually do it yet because Ledah would just throw a hissy fit and tell us to concentrate on fighting. But now we can.

So there you go.

Searching the grass here gets us another rock.


Heading east.

There's a patch of briars here. I don't think I need to explain why searching them is a bad idea.

But just in case I do: They are pointy, ergo they will shred your hands to shit, ergo you will lose hit points.

You retard.

So this is the castle. It looks creepy.
I feel evil emanating from it. And I sense that someone's watching us...
You think it's OK to be here? Just the three of us?
I'm sure Grandfather will understand.
Yeah, I'm a little more worried about getting horribly murdered than upsetting your grandpa.
If we wait for the Elder's permission, we'll be old and wrinkly by the time we go!

The first two options lower the affection of both girls, whereas the third does the opposite. Since we're not interested in either of them, I guess I'm playing Ein as a coward as well as an idiot.

And it's your fault.

...this is a purely hypothetical question, but if I were to insist on turning back, is there any chance at all that the two of you wouldn't guilt trip and/or coerce me into going anyway?
Absolutely none.
Right. That's what I thought. I'm so glad we're all on the same page.


I'm not even going to bother with the chest here; all it gets us is either an Iron Sword, a Rapier or a Longbow, all of which we have already.

However, I am going to examine one of the gargoyle statues.

Nothing much here.
Then we should go.
That stinks! Lina needs lewt!

Option 2 just ends the conversation. However, choosing option 1 goads Lina into searching the statue, which springs a trap.

If you fail, you get petrified, which costs you some HP and wastes several turns. Succeed and you get 3500 delicious, chargrilled points.

God, why'd this guy have to be yellow? I could have done a Black Knight joke here. It would have been awesome! Monty Python references are invariably funny, regardless of context! What is your favourite colour? Shrubbery! Ni! Unladen swallows!

These Gladiator-type enemies will often block your attacks, which I don't mind telling you is as annoying as shit. (Shit is annoying.) There's really not a damn thing you can do about it this early in the game. Furthermore, they have a resistance to physical damage, which is what the vast majority of your weapons inflict right now.

Under normal circumstances, these guys actually have a pretty solid chance of ruining your day. With everyone hurting for Over Skills, all you can do is have Fia use the Coral Staff to bump your health up, keep that Rage Gauge down, and hope that goddamned miserable FUCKING BASTARD GLADIATOR doesn't block every single one of your attacks.

And by "Normal circumstances," I mean "You didn't bring the Naga Fang."

At this early stage, Lina + Naga Fang = Pretty much the best thing ever, nailing everything in the back row with a hefty chunk of Lightning damage AND adding to their wait gauges.

I could S-rank this battle by finishing with Lightning Call, but in this particular case I actually want the "lesser" reward. The items you get for S-ranking these two both appear later on in the dungeon.

What we got is a Cape, which boosts Agility when used.


Doesn't matter what you choose here, so we might as well have Ein go all spider-sense on us.

I sense demons.
...yes. There are demons here. We had to fight through about a dozen of them to get this far, if you'll recall.
Someone's headed this way!

Success allows you to dodge a fight and earns you 3000 points. If you're curious, the battle would have been against another block-happy Gladiator and one of those little hammer dudes. The ones that use "Devastator". The attack that knocks off half of your maximum HP.

I suppose what I'm getting at here is fuck you I'm not subjecting myself to that. Moving east.

Look out it is a dog.

You might notice that Ein's Diviner kinda sucks now compared to what it was in Heaven's Gate. Sadly, his memory loss has nerfed him and Einherjar quite a bit, which also means no more Double Slash. Thankfully, it will grow in power as we progress through the game, and we'll be able to get a much better Over Skill with it later on.

You'll always get the Canine Fang item from this enemy; S-ranking it just gets you a bigger stack. Since I'm just going to be throwing it away anyway, it's not worth wasting the Naga Fang over.

Seems like this castle is well-guarded.
What should we do?
We must "Skill Up" and gain more power.
"Skill Up"?
...I think you might mean "level up".
No. I mean Skill Up. It is entirely different.
That makes no sense! "Skill" is not a verb!

It's at this point that the "Practice" option becomes available, which is basically what you'd expect it to be; a practice battle against a randomly selected group of enemies.

However, it comes with some hefty bonuses. Firstly, you can use your items as much as you like in a practice battle; it won't decrease their remaining uses. Secondly, you get to keep any and all experience you earn in practice mode, allowing you to master items right away without worrying about them breaking. Thirdly, you still receive items for winning.

To be honest, using practice battles kind of feels like cheating, but the game appears to be designed under the assumption that you will use them, so...cheating it is.

Incidentally, this is why we were saving the Rosier we found. Now that Practice mode is available, we can have everyone master it long before it becomes available in chapters 5-7, giving us early access to those delicious stat boosts. Also, rather than wasting it on a standard attack, we can have Fia bust out her most powerful Over Skill with it, which will pretty much ruin anything at this early stage.

With that said, we've got some training to do. Now, I could bore you all with screen-by-screen accounts of the battles I participate in, the items we're using, and the various skills we'll be learning during this lengthy, vigorous workout.

But why do that when I can show you a cheesy training montage instead?

(Answer: Because I have literally never done any video editing before and this took for-friggin'-ever to make. Also I probably missed some crucial step or accidentally didn't EXPORT TO H.264/AAC IN MP4 which makes this video terrible and this LP terrible and my existence terrible. But hell, here it is anyway.)

Viddler-type Training Montage | Dailymotion-type alternative

This is where I leave it for today, folks. If the update seems shorter than usual, it's because of how much time it took to get that damn video right. Blame my crippling inexperience.

However, for anyone who's actually interested (i.e. none of you) and felt that the video wasn't comprehensive enough, I'll leave you with a detailed list of the various Over Skills we picked up during this session. Enjoy.

---LEVEL 1---
Berserk Arrow
Item: Longbow
Effect: Single attack, power of 70.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Piercing.

Force Impact
Item: Coral Staff
Effect: Two-hit Magic combo, power of 43.
Target: Random Enemy

Shield Barrier
Item: Shield (obtained from Skeleton)
Effect: Raises Guard.
Target: All allies.

---LEVEL 2---
Un Deux
Item: Rapier
Effect: Three-hit Attack combo, power of 40.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Piercing.

Terre Promise
Item: Rosier
Effect: Six-hit Attack combo, power of 163. Holy damage.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Piercing.

Item: Mage Armour (obtained from Gladiator)
Effect: Raises Vitality.
Target: All allies.

---LEVEL 3---
Sword Blitz
Item: Iron Sword
Effect: Three-hit Attack combo, power of 72.
Target: Nearest Enemy

---LEVEL 1---
Critical Edge
Item: Iron Sword
Effect: Two-hit Magic combo, power of 44.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Does not affect air enemies.

Item: Shield
Effect: Raises Guard and restores 20% HP.
Target: All allies

---LEVEL 2---
Cleave Arrow
Item: Longbow
Effect: Two-hit Attack combo, power of 54.
Target: Enemy with lowest HP.
Additional: Extra damage to air enemies.

Mix Potion
Item: Healing Herb
Effect: Converts remaining Healing Herbs to Potions.
Target: N/A

White Wave
Item: Coral Staff
Effect: Two-hit Magic combo, power of 55.
Target: Back row
Additional: Does not affect air enemies.

---LEVEL 3---
Item: Rapier
Effect: Three-hit Attack combo, power of 61.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Has the "Not-Vit" property. I'm not entirely sure what this is; the description simply says "Ignore Enemy Properties", which doesn't tell me much. Maybe it bypasses resistances?

Item: Rosier
Effect: Eight-hit Attack combo, power of 184. Holy damage.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Last two strikes pierce. Cannot be blocked.

---LEVEL 1---
Rosy Roll
Item: Rose Whip
Effect: Three-hit Attack combo, power of 55.
Target: Random enemy
Additional: Also damages Lina. The lower Lina's HP, the more damage inflicted.

---LEVEL 2---
Cape magic
Item: Cape
Effect: Raises Agility.
Target: All allies

Pretty Dance
Item: Ribbon
Effect: Confers immunity to status ailments.
Target: All allies.

Shield Slugger
Item: Shield
Effect: Inflicts 25% of maximum HP in damage.
Target: Back row
Additional: Cannot be blocked.

---LEVEL 3---
Arrow Rain
Item: Longbow
Effect: Three-hit Attack combo, power of 63.
Target: Random enemies.
Additional: Extra damage to air enemies.