Part 64: Bonus Alternate Classes 2, and The Black RabiteBonus Update 2: Alternate Classes 2, and The Black Rabite
For the final update, we're going to be doubling up on alternate classes and finally getting into an explanation of the Black Rabite. First off, let's talk a bit about Duran's first class change.
Back when we first class-changed, we could have gone either way with Duran. His Light classes tend toward defense, healing, and support, but they have one really large difference from the Dark classes.
Duran's Light classes all have the ability to equip shields, which was meant to make them tankier and more defensive. Unfortunately, as people mentioned previously, the game only checks base evade rate so they're effectively useless. They also fill the fifth slot in the character equipment screen, which all characters have and only Duran can use in three of his classes. Yeah, that makes sense.
Shields also show up on the character model, and are a bit different depending on which shield you have. It's a nice little detail, but I'm definitely not trying to show every single shield off. If you want to see it, find the game and use Duran.
Second Class Change Alternates
For our second bit, we'll talk about the other options we could have went with at our last set of class changes. For the most part, the differences are pretty small with this set.
For reference, this is what the character portraits look like. Duran's might be an improvement and I think Angela's definitely looks better. Gene/Kevin had a much cooler portrait as a Godhand.
Duran's Level 3 Tech for Duelist, Eruption Sword, is much cooler looking although it's about equally effective. Luckily the developers were nice enough not to put elemental attributes on basic attacks.
Gene/Kevin gets the ability to either spike the enemy like a volleyball or to do a Chun-Li style kicking attack on both sides of the enemy. No option to hit the entire screen as a Warrior Monk, which kind of sucks. The tech names are Blow Impact and Genbu 100-Kick, respectively.
Angela's is the most boring of all. Spiral Rod is exactly what you'd expect - a spinning staff throw. At least Dancing Rod has her doing a snake-charmer bit. At least Double Spell (very misleadingly named) makes up for it a bit.
Angela's ultimate light/light attack starts off with her splitting and all of our characters glowing white as lightning rains down all over the screen...
Followed by a lake of bubbling lava under pretty much the entire field...
And ending with giant chunks of ice being dropped on the enemies. Somehow this all cancels out to make the spell non-elemental, as well as being pretty awesome to look at. Okay, up next...
The Black Rabite!
The Black Rabite is SD3's optional super-boss, although in many ways he's not actually that super. He can be tough if you don't realize what he's doing, but there's a right way and a wrong way to fight him. The important thing to realize is that the Black Rabite is almost entirely reactive in nature. We'll talk about the wrong way first:
Using any technique above level 1...
Will result in this happening. He can summon level 99 greater demons all day long. So Black Rabite Rule #1: Only Level 1 Techs. You can set the AI to only use level 1 techs, but you have to be careful about the character you're controlling.
Black Rabite Rule #2: No magic spells on the Rabite. Doing so triggers either a counterspell or a Summon Level 99. The Rabite's spells can hurt pretty bad, but there's an important note about this rule: The counter/summoning activates if, and only if, the Rabite is damaged by a spell. Originator doesn't matter, which will be important for several reasons, and spells that end up healing the Rabite because of elemental absorption won't trigger it either. This is also important, and you should note at this point that the Rabite is Shade Elemental.
As long as you obey these two rules, the Rabite will be a gentleman and stick to normal attacks except for in two specific circumstances that we'll discuss in a minute. He attacks pretty fast and does damage in the teens, but that isn't terribly threatening. If you break either rule more than a couple times, you'll likely to see your characters in this condition. Before we continue, these are the characters I used to smash the Rabite.
55 is the level where all of my characters maxed their stat potential, and have gotten varying amounts of their final gear from Weapon/Armor seeds. Duran is pretty much fully equipped, and 334 is a monstrous amount of attack power. For reference, Duran's other ultimate weapons are the Sigmund, Brave Blade, and Deathbringer. Anybody who's played a few RPGs will probably recognize most of those names.
Angela's got her best armor and accessory, but didn't hit the lottery on her helmet and weapon. Her final weapon options (because the weapons are most interesting items) are the Rune Staff, Spirit Cane, Ganvantein, and the Dragon Rod. She's still pretty fragile at this point, but she does have some pretty solid magic defense to help offset the difference.
Gene ended up with his best weapon, armor, and armband. I've had rotten luck with helmets, as you can see. If you've been paying attention, you'll see that all of our characters maxed out at 300 defense. That's pretty much how it is across the board, although HP totals make a difference. Gene is still a nearly indestructible monster. His other weapon possibilities are the Gigas Glove, Skull Dissect (Bad Ass!), and Holy Glove. Now, on to the main event...
Every time you step into the room, the Black Rabite welcomes you with a display of his power. Huh, I didn't mention that. You can walk in or out of the Black Rabite's room anytime you want. His HP just resets every time you do and the battle begins all over again. This attack isn't terribly dangerous, only doing about 150 damage to all your characters, but it lets you know that he means business.
When you knock him below 50% HP, the Black Rabite will start a chain of attacks that begins with Psychowave. This triggers whenever his HP goes below 50% which is another important detail.
The Vorpal Rabite follows up immediately by turning your group into Moogles, and then drops a couple of Dark Spells on himself to heal up. It's incredibly rapid fire, so you pretty much have to slam on the menu button to take any action. If you're lucky, you might be able to cure the Moogle Effect and get a healing spell underway before he moves on to the last bit.
To end his combo, the Dire Rabite drops a powerful spell on your group to give you something to remember him by. It can range throughout most of the boss only spells, but the main point is that they hurt. Spiral Moon is particularly annoying, as it lowers your maximum HP.
Now, remember when I said that this happens every time his HP dips below 50%? Now that the Rabite has healed himself, he's over 50% so a few hits, and the cycle repeats all over again. If you don't know what's happening or aren't careful, you can lock yourself into a loop. Again and again, sitting through 5 spells and getting nowhere the entire time until you run out of healing items and MP and then die. There's three ways to break the cycle:
1) Gradually wear him down to where his healing doesn't quite get him to 50% HP
2) Hit him good and hard so that the healing can't catch up and eat the counters or
3) Use a Specter's Eye on the Rabite to strip him of his Shade absorption so he hurts himself with his dark spells. This will trigger a couple of demons summonings (since his counter is based on taking damage from spells) but won't trigger a spell counter because he won't aim spells at himself.
Once you get him down to around 25% HP, the Rabite will drop an Ancient on your head. It's a pretty hard hit, so you want to keep fully healed up when you're approaching this point. Since it's a standalone spell, there's no danger in being trapped in a loop. Once you've survived the Ancient, you're pretty much in the clear.
So, with all that said, here's what beating the Black Rabite looks like: Black Rabite Legit. For this playthrough I used a Specter's Eye, but I could have used Aura Wave to charge up two level 3 attacks and a RAINBOW! to blow past his healing capacity. There is, however, another method
Black Rabite Owned
Okay, what the hell just happened?
A very simple mistake. The Black Rabite has the maximum amount of HP you can have in SD3. He also absorbs Shade, and somebody forgot to set the variable correctly. Casting a Shade element spell causes his HP to roll over into the low triple digits if you use it as soon as the fight starts. A few regular hits and he's done. Another place where this makes an appearance is in Lufia 2's optional boss. The common version of this trick is to use a dark spell immediately followed by a light spell, but this isn't an optimal method. Using a spell that damages the Rabite triggers a counter, while just wailing on him with weapons means that he'll die quietly, skipping the 50% and 25% HP triggers. It's pretty clear that the various FAQ writers on this game didn't understand triggers and flags.
You particularly don't want to trigger a counter because it'll keep the Black Rabite from dropping your prize for this particular fight. Item drops are based on the last enemy killed, so a level 99 demon can really cause a problem. The Moogle Charm allows you to reverse Moogling without going through the Chibiko Hammer process, and serves as a badge of honor. Unfortunately, by the time you deal with this little guy you really don't need to worry about being Moogled. Also, it doesn't drop 100% of the time. And with that
For real this time.