Part 6: Lacrima Castle, Part 2
placid saviour posted:
Looking forward to the update! But I will have you know that I won't be reading those skill lists!
fake edit: and I won't be reading that fanfic either!
FINE THEN. DON'T READ THE LISTS. SEE IF I CARE.
good call on the fanfic though
Again, the chest here contains one of three items that we already have, so there's no point spending a turn on it. Now let us dive into the shadows.
Just like Batman.
Hey, what's that?
There's something in the branches.
Maybe it'll fall if we shake the tree!
Option 2 lowers Lina's affection. Option 1 raises it. However, choosing option 2 also prevents us from squeezing any sort of reward out of this detour, and I'll be damned if I'll let myself get sidetracked for naught. There'll be plenty of opportunities to crush her soul later.
I SAID, maybe it'll fall if we shake the tree.
Oh. I see. Yes. Of course I'll go and shake the tree. Not like I'm worn out after all the training we just did or anything.
Failure has no negative consequences. Succeed and...
Option 1 places the fruit in your inventory as a usable item. We can pick one of these up later on, however, so we won't do that. Option 2 raises Lina's affection and adds 10 points to her maximum HP. Option 3 raises everyone's maximum HP by 5 points. (Fia decides to share it.) Option 4 raises Ein's max HP by 10 points and lowers Lina's affection. Option 5 is the same as option 2 but without the affection boost.
Going with number 4 is tempting, but 3 gives the largest net benefit, so 3 it is.
Fruuuity fruity fruuuity fruity fruuuity fruity fruityfruityfruity
Just eat it.
Going back to the screen we came here from.
No, this is not a mistake. This does happen twice.
No, this is not a mistake. The button sequence is exactly the same.
No, this is not a mistake. The screen does turn upside-down here.
This is not a mistake.
it's not a mistake
This is not a mistake.
This time the game throws you a curveball because you also have to stop Lina from sneezing. If you succeed, it raises Fia's affection for some reason. However, you also dodge a fight (again) and get 4000 points, so what the hell.
I'll say this for the Practice system; it does give you an actual incentive to avoid battles. When you have the ability to grind safely and farm as many items as you please, real fights only serve to slow you down and use up your resources, so it actually makes sense to not charge screaming at every monster you see. This is not the case for most RPGs, where the question "Do you want to avoid this battle?" could be better phrased as "Do you want to pass on some easy XP and money?"
Once again, this chest is full of crap we already have. There's actually another reason not to open it, however. Observe.
I heard leaves rustling.
Options 1 and 3 just get you into a fight, either now or when you try to leave the screen. Option 2 is much better.
(I hear voices.)
...so I kicked him in the head 'til he was dead! Ha ha ha!
(There are soldiers in the bushes.)
(They haven't noticed us yet.)
Notice you can't volunteer yourself for this. See, Ein really is a dick. He's just better at hiding it in the original script.
Doesn't matter whom you choose, so let's go with Fia. That's all she's good for anyway. Frigign' hippy.
I have a cunning plan!
What's going on? What's wrong?
I saw a mouse!
There on the stair!
Where on the stair?
A little mouse with clogs on! Well, I declare!
...going clip-clippety clop on the stair!
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
what the shit
This is the will of the gods.
Doing it this way gets us an affection boost from both girls, which we could have avoided (and got 5000 points) by just sneaking past. However, then we wouldn't have been able to murder a dude with a treasure chest. Some sacrifices must be made.
(If you open the chest first, you still have to fight him but he starts at half health or something.)
Incidentally, if you do end up fighting this guy, the only other thing with him is a giant spider, which raises the question of just who the hell he was talking to earlier. Maybe arachnids are better conversationalists than I've been giving them credit for.
Now let's head to the next area.
Hey look, some bones! Let's desecrate them!
Did I say desecrate? I meant examine. Always get those two mixed up.
I was going to be a forensic scientist, you know.
Now I'm doing this.
I feel a dark energy. This man must have been possessed.
If you choose to have Lina deal with it, she flips out and shoots the guy's remains, which is hilarious but not especially helpful. I guess Fia's supposed to be our holy priestess type person (although I don't remember getting that memo) so we'll leave it to her.
Hello, extremely primitive rhythm game!
This is the one mini-game we haven't seen yet. Basically you just press the buttons in time with the cursor as it moves along.
Totus tuus, minimus canis, Costacurta, Baggio, Roberto...
Hey, did it just move?
It moved. Look, its fingers are twitching.
This thing can succinctly be described as a complete bastard. Unless you kill it in a single attack, (which IS possible, but only with a special super-item that you can't get unless you've beaten the game at least once) it calls you weak and blows you away to another part of the map. You then have to work your way back here and fight it again.
This will happen every single time its Rage gauge fills up. In the first fight, it starts out maxed, which is why you only get one shot. If you didn't train up and/or bring the Dragon Killer along (as I didn't the first time I played, because I completely misunderstood the mechanics of practice battles) you WILL end up going through this process four or five times until you finally whittle the son of a bitch down.
Oh good. Lina got to go first.
Ugh...is everyone alright?
Yes, I'm fine.
What about you, Lina?
...why are you smiling?
Stop bringing up my lockjaw! It is a very sensitive issue for me!
Yes, the spider just growled.
"Growling spiders" are now on my list of "Worst things that don't exist that could EVER EXIST," right up there with "scorpion suppositories."
These slime enemies are troublesome, as their attacks can lower the durability of your items. This becomes a much bigger problem in the late game, because more powerful weapons tend to come in smaller stacks.
Heading on back to the mini-boss. Once you drop down from here, you end up back in the Moonlit Gardens, and the path is exactly the same as it was last time.
Fia! Ein! I found you!
Lina! Thank goodness!
I never expected that to happen...
God damn it. Why can't there be a jerk response? I am trying to get women in a video game to hate me. For the Internet. Consider this the next time you create a game, Sting Entertainment.
You're going to end up making someone happy here, no matter what. Either Lina by a lot or Fia and Lina by a little bit. Oh the trials I must endure.
Actually, I'm glad we're back together.
Yes. If I have to take hits, I'd rather it be 33 percent of them than 50.
It's easy enough to finish it off this time around, but I actually want to get blown away again, because doing so gets us...
...this, which will come in handy later on.
Backtracking once again, killed it this time, no reward whatsoever beyond being able to progress. Huzzah.
Look! A bat!
Nooo! What'd you do that for?!
(Obviously this is my "adjusted" version of the script, but I honestly don't think I'm mischaracterising Ein in any way here. The game does give you the option of throwing a rock at the bat. You make that choice, and Ein just does it. He doesn't explain why he's doing it, or make any attempt whatsoever to justify himself; he just straight up fucking murders that bat.
And then rips its wings off.
Can you think of a better explanation than an irrational hatred of order Chiroptera? Because I can't.)
You can also choose to catch the bat. If you succeed in doing so, you get the "Mr. Bat" battle item, which launches a powerful, health-draining combo on an enemy. It's pretty cool. However, inventory space is, as always, at a premium, and the Dark Bat Wings have their own use, which we'll be seeing later on. Also, Lina loses affection if you kill it because apparently she likes bats.
Chest contains the usual junk. Skipping that.
These ghost enemies can actually steal your items if you take too long to kill them. You do get them back after the battle, though, so it's not as bad as it sounds.
What the fuck.
No you're not.
See, this is why I said that using practice battles feels like cheating. On top of everything else, meticulously mastering as many items as we did earlier leaves you retardedly overpowered. It kind of evens out later on, but not by much.
OH JESUS NO OH GOD AAAHHHHHHH
Sorry about that. Pokémon reflex.
FUN FACT: There are only two non-weapon items in the game in which someone can learn a level 3 Over Skill. The Rosary is one of them.
The chest here contains 15 Hell Scythes. Although this is an item we don't have yet, I'm still going to skip it. We'll be getting plenty of scythes very shortly, exactly when we're going to start needing them.
Three chests in a row? I do not find this suspect in the slightest!
Well RIDE ME SIDEWAYS it was a trap.
Sadly the Naga Fang isn't quite as effective as normal here, since both the enemies in the back row are resistant to Lightning damage.
The succubus drops a Pendant if you don't S-rank it, and a Hell Scythe if you do. We want the Pendant, which is just as well since it's actually quite difficult to pull off an S in this fight.
I have to be honest with you, folks.
I'm a little concerned about this situation.
Yay! Another chest! Lucky!
DO NOT OPEN THAT CHEST.
I'm sorry, but all I understood in that sentence was "Open that chest!"
Lina, I don't want to offend you, but you are basically terrible in every conceivable aspect.
Once again, chest is filled with crap we have already. Moving on.
Next time on "Cheat Codes Through The Ages": New archaeological evidence suggests that the Konami Code may have been inspired by ancient Babylonians.
More chests to loot!
Lina! Those are coffins. They're for placing the dead inside, as a mark of respect.
Is there still a chance that there's loot in them?
Then I guess I don't really care what they're for.
Basically, these coffins each contain an item; either a FlamBERGE, a Silver Rapier, or a Thunder Bow. You're only getting one of these, however, because once you open a coffin, the other two disappear.
I'm going to go with the FlamBERGE. (The game spells it without an "e" on the end but goddammit that's not how you spell it and I'm not going to indulge its mistake.) It doesn't really matter since all three of them can be easily obtained in the next chapter anyway.
As they say, however, there's no such thing as a sword you can take out of a coffin without being assailed by vengeful spirits. (The "free lunch" version of this adage was rendered obsolete as of right now.)
This battle can really screw you over. Let's say that, as most people would, you assume it will be like any other fight and bring in a Rapier, a Longbow, an Iron Sword and, say, a healing item. No need to use up your shiny, brand new weapon on a single enemy, right?
Dear Player, Fuck you. Yours sincerely, Sting Entertainment
None of our Over Skills would have actually worked on this thing, so I couldn't S-Rank this battle. Either way we get a new item, however, so it's no big deal.
AAAAAAAAAND WE END UP BACK HERE YET AGAIN. JOY UPON JOY.
Grumble grumble sentry tower up the stairs there's the place where we fought that wind dragon there's the place where we killed the bat connecting bridge crappy chests drop down from the ledge HERE WE GO.
Not concerned about S-ranking the little imps in the back there. They'll always drop the Hourglass item, which we're just going to toss.
(Kind of forgot to mention this until now, but the enemy that falls last is the one you'll get your item from once you win.)
Some of the tiles here are cracked, but we won't notice unless we examine the roof. If you try to move forward before doing this, you end up falling, and you have to play a mini-game to avoid getting hurt.
Blue flame? That looks interesting.
Here's our second instance of "unbelievably stupid crap for which we get rewarded". Let's stick our hand in the flames! That's a good plan, right? That is something people do. I cannot conceive of anything but positive repercussions for this entirely logical course of action.
See? Good thing I'm a smart and well-adjusted person, otherwise I might have thought that touching fire would be a BAD idea.
Also, remember the Mosamo Branch we picked up earlier?
I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE,
AND I BRING YOU
Depowered though it may be, it's still worth using Einherjar here. The Skeletons are vulnerable to holy damage, and Einherjar will target both of them at once.
Well, goodbye Naga Fang. Your loyal service shall not be forgotten.
I actually didn't know that you could get Silver Rapiers by S-Ranking skeletons. Learn something new every day, I suppose. With the Naga Fang gone, I don't even have to make space for it. Awesome.
CHEST FULL OF JUNK
What lies in store for our heroes as they journey deeper into Lacrima Castle? Why has there not yet been any sign of the elusive Arcs?
Find out next time on Cheat Codes Through The Ages.
FlamBERGE: Broadsword-type weapon. Fire damage.
Lightning Orb: Support item. Raises Lightning resistance.
Pendant: Support item. User regenerates health each turn.
Rosary: Support item. Removes status effects from party.
Silver Rapier: Rapier-type weapon. Holy damage.
------NEW OVER SKILLS------
Item: Silver Rapier
Effect: Three-hit Attack combo, power of 72.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Effect: Four-hit Attack combo, power of 81.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Effect: Two-hit Magic combo, power of 70.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Does not affect air enemies.
Effect: May cause enemies to vanish.
Target: All Enemies
Additional: Removes all remaining Rosaries from inventory.
Item: Silver Rapier
Effect: Four-hit Attack combo, power of 82.
Target: Nearest Enemy
Additional: Last strike pierces.
Effect: Inflicts 25% HP damage.
Target: Back row.
Additional: Extra damage to undead enemies.
Item: Lightning Orb
Effect: Increases Lightning resistance.
Target: All allies
(Count the references in this update.)
(Scary girl by Jay-Hobbit.)