The Let's Play Archive

Rondo of Swords

by Einander

Part 18: Thunder Emperor (kill everyone)

Chapter 13.5: Thunder Emperor
(Or, "What This Chapter Actually Looks Like")

This time, Kay doesn't come along. We're looking at a lot of spellfire, and he doesn't have the range to get in and out without taking fire or the HP/Magic to survive when he does. All of the amulets are going to Serdic, and that makes Kay a liability.

(Actually, in hindsight, he isn't coming to the next map anyway. I should have brought him; having someone with high range who you don't need to keep alive can be nice.)

If you don't remember the map layout, look back at the last update.

If the Scout attacks Cotton, she'll survive; he's not very strong. More importantly, she's in range to start spelling down the Armors. The strategy for the right side is simple: Serdic and Margus are tough enough to take several spells a round and survive (thanks to the amulets and thanks to raw HP, respectively), so they're going to go do that.

Ansom is going to handle most of the left side by himself. I expect the mages will spend most of their time looking at his range, screaming, and running away

Hey, I said I was going to do the stage without insta-gibbing Ernest. I didn't say I was benching the death cannon.

Cotton takes damage, Margus takes zero and ZOCs the only aggressive Scout. Marie heals Cotton up again.

This is a positioning game. The Mage separated from the rest has Fire Raid. The one at the right of the upper cluster does as well, and the other two to his left have White Dust. Serdic and Margus are six spaces away from the separated Fire Raid Mage and Margus is five away from the upper Fire Raid Mage. If both of them have level 4 or 5 Fire Raid, then Margus still has pretty good odds -- he has a lot of HP. If he does die, then I reset and give him another Amulet. If not, then the two White Dust Mages will still attack, Margus can kill them, and Serdic can charge in to take one of the two survivors.

Working around Mages is very interesting sometimes. You hope for the best, plan for the worst, and try to maximize the information you get from each round. I'd probably still prefer having more information, but it's not too bad as it is.

On the left side, Ansom kills the Scout. The other Ice Spear Mage is a very manageable threat, thanks to the linear range on it. I'm probably going to ignore him for a quite a while.

This is after two White Dusts and a Fire Raid. The Mages probably have the same level of Fire Raid, so only level 3 -- good.

I might have slightly over-stated the threat they pose...

Marie cures Margus, Margus kills the two White Dust Mages. Fire Raid may be about 50% stronger, but the lower range makes it easier to control, so Fire Raid is a lower priority.

If the left one has level 4 Fire Raid, then Serdic will take two attacks this round. I'd be very surprised if he died, however -- Margus took 100 from that same Mage and Margus has both a lower Magic stat and fewer amulets.

I know from the previous enemy that Cotton does about 90% to armors, even through Magic Guard -- Serdic will be enough to take the kill.

Ansom kills the Meteor Gate War Mage.

Margus takes two Fire Raids, both of which do about 100 damage. Only level 3, then. Serdic takes about 80 from the Armor.

I don't remember whether talking to Arios actually does something. Margus has the top anyway, he'll be fine.

Cotton blows up the Armor.

The three enemies shown are the only ones in range. Margus has almost 2/3 of his HP left and the Scout should do nearly no damage -- I'm pretty confident he won't bite it.

Ansom actually can't one shot this guy -- 6 HP short. Huh.

Well, whatever.

Marie moves one space to the left to ensure she can Cure Drop Margus next round.

And he lives! I love you, Margus.

Margus can't both 1) be in range to be healed and 2) be in range to kill both mages, so I prioritize the first. The Fire Raid Mage dies, though, so the biggest threat to him has passed.

Even if the Spark Edge War Mage has level 5, Cotton has 2 OB and enough HP to tank it. Depending on her OB healing, I may be able to take out the White Dust Mage and leave the War Mage for next turn.

This Spark Edge War Mage has a curious lack of survival instinct. Eh, it works out.

Margus and Ansom each kill a Spark Edge War Mage. The Scout dodges, unfortunately.

Remaining Mages: Ernest (Magna Volt), left War Mage (Magna Volt), right War Mage (Sedna Prison), Mage (White Dust).

Serdic moves up to join the fight (but he probably won't matter).

Cotton moves just below Ansom; she'll blow up the Ice Spear Mage and then use her OB, since she's just about tapped out.

For some bizarre reason, the Magna Volt War Mage moved up. That works out; Margus can kill them more easily this way.

The Attacker moves down, so I change plans and have Cotton kill him. The Ice Spear Mage isn't going anywhere. (If he doesn't move, we can't see him!)

Ansom moves in to attack the right Armor. He's eight squares away, so a level 3 Magna Volt or higher will hit him. I'm pretty confident Ansom will survive -- his Magic might be awful, but he has good HP.

And... No Magna Volt. So Ernest has level 2 or less. Wow, that's kind of awful.

Sedna Prison hits Margus. He kills the War Mage afterward.

Ansom kills the Armor.

Cotton uses her OB, healing 121 MP. So it's 15/33/50, then? Odd distribution...

Magna Volt time! It must be level 2.

(spoken, no text) Thunder rampage!

Okay. You know, I start stages, look at enemies, and theory-craft. I know the game well enough to approximate numbers in my head, but I don't know skill levels. When I saw that damage number, I sighed, paused the game and went off to go get a drink.

If Ernest has level 5 Magna Volt, he'd still be fairly simple, even if he could cast it 2-3 times. When you consider his magic and the power difference, this would give him about three times as much damage and 50% more range.

Margus has good HP, yes, but his Magic is nothing special. Margus is on the team's high end in terms of damage taken from spells, and he's not wearing very many amulets. Kay could have survived a level 5 Magna Volt, and Serdic definitely could have. And that's an extreme case -- the strongest lightning spell he could possibly have. As it is, there is not a single non-Mage in the group who couldn't survive level 2 Magna Volt with an amulet or two. He's barely even doing more damage than the normal Mages! And remember, we have Holy Favor. I used Ansom on the left side, but when it comes down to it, Kay + Holy Favor is pretty much the same thing against fragile mages. Similar range, same effect.

This is just embarrassing, guys.

This saps me of all the triumph of the last update. Before, I thought I was skipping a stage that looked difficult. Now I feel like a punched a small child in the face.

Ansom just shoots him in the face again; there's no point in drawing it out. I don't think he can kill Margus through the Angel Medallion's HP regen anyway.

Final tutorial update tomorrow.

Resets So Far: 8 (+0)

Next time:
The Voice of Darkness.