Part 26: Underground PrisonAs mentioned yesterday, Chapter 20 tomorrow. This is a pretty small update; calling it a 'chapter' is very generous.
Chapter 19: Underground Prison
(Or, "Probably The Most Pointless Stage In The Game")
and still others had been captured...
You're screwing with him, aren't you.
Enough talk, you two! Get to work.
And Kay comes with the save! Thank you, Kay.
Okay, never mind. THIS is the weirdest party I will be using, for a given value of "using."
Remember how Shino said that someone she knew was taken captive? Similarly, Yumiluna has someone to speak to here. Aegil isn't level 15 yet, and Alhambra's level 17 already, but her classes don't change her growths very much, so I don't really care about the loss.
I don't do anything with skills or equipment. This "chapter" isn't long enough to justify it.
There are, like, seven Scouts. Plus Izuna. That's it. It's baffling.
Alhambra goes and...
Okay, you know what? No. I one-shot these guys and they do this much to Alhambra:
That missing HP is from two of them. I'm not even going to treat this as a stage, not when most of the difficulty comes from trying not to accidentally end the stage early.
I murder everyone except Izuna, who Shino talks to, and Alberich, who Yumiluna talks to.
She says, as Shino passes her. Izuna won't move from Alberich's cell unless you're in her attack range, but Shino has just enough move speed to get behind her and open the door anyway.
Oh, Shino-sis! Long time no see!
What do you mean, "long time no see"?
A guy from the Empire gave me some food, so I thought I'd work to repay him! Aren't you proud?
One entire textbox of just two ellipses.
I was a fool to worry about you. Don't think you won't be disciplined when this is over.
Recruiting Izuna opens up one more conversation. Three guesses as to who it is, and the first two don't count.
Oh, hey! What's up?
Dammit, Margus, I thought we covered this. You only make this expression once per conversation so I don't have to make a portrait for it!
Eh, this update's short anyway. No one will notice two more images, right?
Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I need to see Shino-sis and face the music.
N-No way... You actually WANT to go get spanked by Shino-sis? She's famous for knocking guys out for days on end... You're not into that sort of thing, are you?
Is it that bad...?
Hey, some people would probably still be up for that. Maybe Ansom; I hear that's his scene.
Anyway, Alberich is special. Depending on your route choice next stage, you want either Yumiluna (Route B) or Serdic (Route A) to talk to him. We're headed down Route B, so Yumiluna is the correct choice.
Talking to him with the wrong character gets you nothing. It's kind of a dick move.
Since you need to talk to him with Serdic on the other route, I'll reserve that conversation for the second playthrough. Can you feel the SUSPENSE?
You're one of those who sided with the Pope... I see. That explains why it was so noisy.
I haven't forgotten the debt I owe you, for your attempt to rescue me. Thank you very much.
Your gratitude isn't necessary... I did what anyone would do. I'm the one who should thank you.
Yumiluna is kind of interesting. To me, at least, bits like this turning his phrase around, messing with Margus the start of the stage and the "some suspect her of (forgetting names) on purpose" suggest her ditzy behavior is all an act. It comes and goes, though. I'd probably like her more if she was more overt about it, but as it is that's more a crazy theory than a legitimate one.
I... see. Thank you, then. I appreciate your concern in rescuing me. But there is still something I must do... Farewell!
Then he vanishes. I'm sure setting loose one of Grand Meir's major generals won't bite us in the ass at all.
Alhambra kills the last two enemies she's been ignoring for the last few turns.
And this is WITH Yumiluna very slowly walking to Alberich four squares at a time. It's very hard not to get Complete Victory here.
The Proofs are nice; if nothing else, I know Margus will have enough to promote again.
You weren't exactly sweating it before...!
Hahahah, you're going to embarrass me if you keep up the compliments.
That was NOT a compliment!
And stage over. Now you see why this is on a half-update day.
Let's talk about Izuna.
a single enemy.
Izuna grew up in a clan of ninjas in the far east. Spoiled by Grandboss, the man who raised her, she has left home to wander the earth.
Card abilities: Max HP +20% (6x)
Izuna is the titular character of the game Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja, the same game Shino hails from. Like Shino, she can use Talismans as well; unlike Shino, she's a melee character who is good at physicals and bad at spells. Izuna learns all of the same spells, but learns her Holy Favor equivalent much later and never learns Earth Shard, the +Talisman damage skill.
Izuna does, however, hit hard. She starts with Invoke Might and soon learns Frontal Blow, and eventually learns Fearlessness. Fearlessness is the best +damage skill in the game, giving +10%*level damage against the second, third, etc enemies in an attack string. Fearlessness is a massive damage boost, and Izuna already hits hard. She can rip things to shreds, and her good HP and Magic (for a melee character) help her stay alive. Unfortunately, Izuna has average move and average-to-bad defense. She does learn Vital Power, an incredibly useful regen skill (up to 20% of HP at the start of every turn) but generally lacks useful skills otherwise. Amulets can help substantially, but that's true for everyone.
She does have a character-defining trick, though -- she starts with 30 skill points and Adamancy, enough to max it with 9 left over. With Adamancy maxed, there are no associated stat penalties for having a character Hurt, so Izuna can behave a lot like SF2's Peter, flying out to do massive damage with no real regard for her personal safety. In fact, dying makes her stronger on the next map -- Hurt takes priority over all other statuses, rendering Izuna effectively status-immune so long as she's Hurt. And since she also starts with Persistence (chance to survive with 1 HP when she takes lethal damage), she can combine it with Vital Power to sometimes cheat death several turns in a row, provided you're lucky enough.
Using Izuna this way is so straight-forward it feels almost esoteric; it simply involves doing things you would otherwise never do because now you can. I'll pass this round, though. I'm showing you the strategic side of the game with the gameplay segments, and while the "immortal berserker zombie" strategy can be hilarious, it's not terribly good tactics. Maybe next run.
Izuna's OB is similarly weird. It's the strongest attack in the game... But it's one range, only before movement, and it's in Rondo of Swords. In some other games, it might be fantastic. Here, it's just bizarrely out of place. And since it's not very good, Shino's OB (heal + give meter, Izuna only) is worse by proxy. Just about the only way you'll use it is by positioning Izuna at the very edge of an enemy's attack range.
(That's what you use Shino's OB for, I guess? Place Izuna [Enemy Move-2] tiles away, have Shino heal her and give her OB, and then blow them up.)
Total resets so far: 9 (+0)
Next time: The Fated Hour