Part 98: Will of the SpeciesWill of the Species
[Music: Heroes Have No Fear]
For once it actually keeps playing on the map screen and stuff!
But, yeah, for the last time let's fuse a few neat things.
We'll start off by fusing Remiel and Alilat to make a Norn of our own. Just a really good Megami demon; not much else to say about her really.
Next up's an Arioch and Suzaku to make Grendel. Much like fast demons use Multi-Strike to ruin days, he uses Deathbound because of his quite good Vitality.
Sadly, I forgot to actually use Grendel so he won't be making any appearances beyond this (on our side). That's because...
He combines with Kartikeya to give us Koumokuten. A very good Kishin, not much else to say here. Dude's taking the mantle of the requisite Deathbounder in this instance.
So, let's finally finish this. All that remains is Polaris...
Yo, Hibiki. We've been waiting for you.
Indeed, Shining One. We cannot start this without you, after all.
[Music: The Operation Starts]
...Something about this looks familiar. Can't quite place where from...
[Music: The Enigma Deepens]
Well, no matter. This place looks plenty weird enough as is.
Ah... it's been a long time. Many months and years since our parting...
From this point, most dialogue not done by Saiduq, Daichi, Hibiki or blatantly-Polaris is determined semi-randomly. The game uses an internal priority system based on who's currently in your party. It's weird and arbitrary but it's, uh, something.
Mm. Are you Polaris?
Indeed. I am Polaris... The administrator of worlds from the Heavenly Throne.
It's your fault that our world's... we'll never forgive you! You're going down!
Foolish mortals... What shall you accomplish by destroying me, the administrator?
Saiduq will fill in.
[Music: The Operation Starts]
Th-That's right! We don't need you anymore!
We're going to hand your throne over to Saiduq so he can create a new world!
The principles of the worlds are not so submissive that mere worms can subvert them.
I'm not so sure, Polaris. Man has potential... you will see it for yourself.
Heretic! But perhaps even your doubts regarding me were part of the celestial movement...
Thus did you test mankind. Not by force, but with your heart and words.
But I see it clearly now. The actions I took were my own. They were forced by no one!
And we'll prove it.
Thank you, Shining One... I have no means of proving this. Do you still believe me?
We're friends, aren't we?
Of course. You have incredible power, yet you suffer and let your feelings guide you...
I find you fascinating. And I certainly see no reason to doubt you.
...Thank you, everyone. Your words give rise to such wonderful emotions in me...
Fools... humans, Alcor, you are no longer worth speaking to. I shall erase you now...!
Unlike most bosses who just summon a bunch of regular demons, Polaris summons 7 very special enemies...
But be cautious... As I told you before, I cannot defeat Polaris.
This is an actual thing in the fight. Like how Benetnasch auto-blocked every hit from a Human regardless of its element, Polaris (and his newly summoned minion things) does the same but only to hits from Al Saiduq himself. So, healing role it is then.
If I fall, no one can take the Heavenly Throne and a new world will be impossible to create.
I must survive this battle along with at least one of you...
It will be difficult, but I'm sure you-- or rather, we-- can emerge victorious. Let's go!
First time in quite a long while we've had a mandatory Dispatch requirement. We also only need to beat Polaris but doing that without taking out the others might prove to be troublesome...
Fittingly enough, Polaris has... quite the defences. Reflects physicals, immune to curse and drains everything else. Combined with Anti-Almighty and Victory Cry this might take a while. He only has 2,850 HP though.
Oh, and Victory Cry is a step up over both Life Lift AND Mana Aid. It heals 25% HP and 13% MP, which is more than you'd get from using two slots for both passives. Not quite as absurd as it is in some other games but that's still plenty nuts.
There are only two passives we can crack, and we'll get them both of course.
The seven Guardians that Polaris summoned each have a gimmick. There's 5 representing elements (Physical, Fire, Ice, Electric and Force) and the other two are a bit more special.
So, we'll start by wiping the Fire one since it's right next to our starting point.
Thankfully, they're quite slow and even Hibiki can outspeed them from the offset of this fight. Just using Drain against these things to keep resources filled because this is a loooooong fight.
As each Guardian gets killed, this mesage appears.
Checking Polaris again... and his Fire resistance is gone. Each elemental Guardian grants an extra 3 stages to each of these resistances (Neutral -> Strong -> Null -> Drain -> Reflect) so we can get rid of them quite easily.
Sadly there isn't a Curse one, but if there was that'd be hilarious since that would make this guy innately weak to Curse.
We want to drop as many of them as we can before Polaris even gets a turn; 2 is very possible, but 3 is the most doable before Polaris' first turn.
This one's the Ice Guardian, so it's naturally weak against Fire. Loki can take advantage of that without issue.
Polaris has, um, infinite attack range.
Not really much we can do about that one though.
[Music: Break Out]
Mostly at this stage, Polaris just uses Heaven Wrath which... hits quite a lot of times. It also deals Almighty damage, so we can't do much about it just yet.
He also likes to use it twice, which is much more of an issue. Thankfully this time he picked a fight with Jungo, who can just say "fuck that" and not let it happen.
Oh. Hm. That's as many attacks as there are enemies. Is that a coincidence?
Thankfully, no, it's not. Heaven Wrath deals a hit per each Guardian alive at the time. Dropping down to 0 Guardians is probably possible just absurdly hard (you'll see). Once you get down to 2-3, you're probably fine anyway.
So, this is the Physical Guardian. Hibiki has Reflect Phys equipped (there's a reason for this). He's also paired with Titania and Purple Mirror.
You can guess how that one went. This one is a bit trickier in comparison by default.
If only because Fumi's entire team isn't straight up immune to Electric spells. Doesn't matter when you outspeed them without issue though.
Polaris picking a fight with Saiduq seems like it would be a bad thing normally.
But when he just uses it to Ziodyne instead it's not that much of a problem.
So, this is the easiest Guardian if only because it going badly doesn't result in tanking damage.
It's not going to go badly, mind. Just an "if it did" thing.
And, yeah, eventually the Guardians respawn. This is what makes it hard to completely nullify Heaven Wrath.
Since we're already right here, we'll get rid of it again.
When they respawn, Polaris' defences aren't restored mind. The only reason to re-eliminate them is to keep Heaven Wrath hits down, and I guess for last minute grinding if you really need it.
The Guardians aren't particularly taxing. They're just means of wearing down your resources more than anything else really.
Well, the first 5 are. This one is a bit tougher than normal.
Its only spells are Life Drain and Makarakarn. Life Drain is more of an issue if only because we can't stop it.
In the interim, the Electric Guardian had respawned. It gets blasted for its troubles.
Polaris' little Life Drain buddy over here pretty much cost itself any chance at surviving for the moment.
Two of us can play at the Drain game. And we do it better at that.
As an added bonus, we even get Victory Cry from this one.
Since this one is more of an Almighty Guardian, you'd think it would remove his Almighty resistance. Not quite.
It removes his Victory Cry.
Force one respawned, when Jungo and Saiduq were stood right next to it.
It doesn't really go all that well for it.
Last Guardian now, and we're right in front of Polaris on both sides of the map.
This one has Anti-Almighty, Megidolaon and regular Drain. It also has a Weakness to Punching, but that's pretty irrelevant since Hibiki's team actively cannot punch. Purple Mirror can blast it with fire without issue though.
Naturally, since this one gives us Anti-Almighty, it's also removed from Polaris. After all, Victory Cry worked that way.
So, yeah. With every Guardian beaten once, we can nerf Polaris pretty hard. No important resistances, only a mild resistance to Jungoing and no means of replenishing itself any more.
Only thing left to do now is take out Polaris himself. No more of these silly Guardian distractions.
[Music: Break Out]
Even with being technically outdated, Titania can still hold her own even against Polaris. Boosted quite a fair bit, but its still on par with everyone else.
Sadly, we don't get to take out Polaris here. Much like with Benetnasch in the second fight there, once Polaris drops to yellow HP or less the fight changes to its second stage.
Yeah, so if you thought the Guardian designs looked like they would fit together... it's because they do.
The truth is that neither of us can know the movement of the stars. I will take the throne!
Absurd. You are no more than my sword. Your duty is over, Alcor. I will extinguish you!
Oh my... I cannot move...
Hmm... Saiduq being trapped like that is a problem.
Indeed. I have taken your freedom away. Now perish there!
For stage 2, Polaris DOES summon a bunch of normal demons. And these ones don't respawn when you wipe 'em out.
We gotta protect Saiduq while we fight Polaris!
[Music: Will of the Species]
We don't get to reconfigure our team, pick any potential new cracks, have our HP/MP restored or anything like that. Which is why it's important to not waste too many resources on the first part.
And, also, Polaris's HP is just boosted back up to ~25% of his original maximum. Just caps out at the maximum of the yellow number here. His resistances and skills and the like all carry over from stage 1 but are non-manipulatable at this point.
The regular demons here are kind of both harder and easier than the guardians at the same time. Harder because they're not rigidly tied to 1 element.
Easier because ahahahahaha. These ARE regular, generic trash demons. Think of this as a free period to make sure you are healed up and stuff.
It's also the last chance to get some extra free EXP. Its limited here though, so if you care about that it needs to be well distributed.
We don't really care about it, nor do we need to. So I just drop things with whoever's most convenient.
Aside from like maybe that Loki, none of these guys even put up much of a fight anyway.
It's pretty jarring to go from the first stage being a possibly tricky game of resource management to this being a "how hard can you get your murder on."
And the answer is, pretty much invariably, "very."
Oh, they do put up a token resistance but it's not really much to write home about.
We have plenty of ways to heal up competently by now, and we sort of do more damage to ourselves through skill use.
Enemy demons now get to finally move, and there's only 3 left already. It's oddly reminiscent of an earlier map in how efficiently we can drop these things.
...Admittedly it does get wacky when they also help speed things up a lot.
Ganesha even threw out a Hassohappa which straight up ruined himself.
So, that's stage 2 in a nutshell. A nice, relaxing break that gives us an opportunity to heal up. We'll need it though!
Not for this. He doesn't even have the MP necessary to cast this by now.
And the final Murmur willingly dies on Fumi.
If it didn't pick Fumi this might prove a problem. Might.
Instead, Alilat drops an Agidyne on Murmur and incinerates it without issue.
Since Polaris is exactly the same here as in Stage 1, you might think this would mean he's going to have a hard-on for Heaven Wrath again.
He might, but he can't use it any more. No demons remaining.
So, yeah. Just take our time to casually saunter up to Polaris and punch his lights out.
[Music: Break Out]
Well, he certainly does the punching bit himself at least.
We just Drain him to death. And this time we actually do get to drop him to 0 HP. Not like it really matters because...
[Music: Akashic Records]
Polaris... At last, you show your true form.
Let us go forth, everyone. We shall destroy Polaris now!
It's just about over. We're almost there! Let's do it!
So, the final stretch and... this one's kiiiinda bullshit. See, Polaris here is now in three parts. One of them has an attack range of infinite. That part always gets the first action.
It uses nothing but physical attacks. Very powerful physical attacks.
It gets to attack twice as if it has Beast Eye as a passive, without actually having Beast Eye as a passive.
It also gets Double Extras with no indication of that being a thing it can do either.
Only reason Fumi got lucky and didn't drop here is because I gave her Dodge.
If it hits Saiduq here, there's a reasonable chance you just lose before you can even move. He doesn't have Pierce innately, but he does have Piercing Hit. You'll want Reflect Phys on Saiduq then, right?
You want Reflect Phys on whoever's going to fight the main body. That leaves Saiduq open, even if you use the other resistance passives.
This also has the problem of just robbing you of something special after a possible 20-30+ minute slog through the slower first two stages.
Thankfully, Polaris B up there is the only one that's a real issue. If you can survive through its immediate attack you're probably able to survive the rest without issue.
Ab here should never come up beyond its minor gimmick. No reason to head over to it.
This leaves Polaris A as the main body. This one has a slew of unique skills, but not much thats an issue.
Supernova is map-only. Never happening.
Heaven Throne's its racial skill and its main use is to dictate its attack range (it is outrangable but we don't care about that). Also if we take out B or Ab then A will revive them.
Cepheid is basically just a bad version of Mow Down. Its also its main attack, so that's why the Polaris killer wants Repel Phys. Saiduq actively cannot fill this role, which is why he doesn't get it.
Heaven Throne dictates that B and Ab can be revived. Heavenly Gift is what revives them. Again, not happening.
On its turns, Ab will use Magnetite Conversion. This doesn't do anything particularly exciting or generally noteworthy. It merely...
Creates demons. If you need to grind at this stage, it, uh, is something I guess. Doesn't help though. Polaris B will just murder you if you even try.
Again, it has infinite attack range. Polaris B here is the only enemy in this very long fight that has infinite attack range and uses it menacingly.
Except for when it heals Saiduq with a Multi-Strike I guess.
If you're in front of it, but not in attack range Polaris A will use Star Compression here.
This indicates that its next turn will be Supernova. This is the closest it gets.
Meanwhile, a Ganesha picked a fight with Hibiki. Then killed itself with a Hassohappa. Again.
Just as a precaution, Jungo's taking out this Vritra.
He does it quite well, I gotta admit.
Polaris B tries to take him out in response.
I, um, actually kinda meant to give Jungo Null Phys and thought I did. Apparently I forgot to actually do it. Never noticed until now.
Thankfully it doesn't matter, since Jungo survived with 25 HP. Cerberus survived without problems.
And that's all that matters. It would be stupid to not Escape here.
Hibiki, in the meantime, just beelined straight for Polaris A. We take this out, we win on the spot.
[Music: Overseer of the World]
Reminder that everyone in Hibiki's team has Repel Phys. Polaris doesn't actually punch that hard, so he barely scratches himself.
He has no elemental resists beyond Curse. So we just don't care and we dance the Holy Dance.
Everyone does it twice. Polaris A dies. We took it out, we win on the spot.
Sleep, master of memories. The world will have a new administrator. Begone...
This is not man's world... Much will be lost if you go down man's path...!
Perhaps... but I wish to see where their path leads. I am different... not like you.
Polaris dies and hurtles through... space...? Whatever, its not actually animated much anyway.
[Music: Connected Hearts]
It's all over.
Yes... You have won a new world with your own hands.
Yessssss! We did it! We totally did it!
The occupant is responsible for managing the world and may use the power as he sees fit.
The Heavenly Throne...? Then why don't you sit down? You should hurry...!
Mm... Tell me, Shining One.
Hm...? Surprising... you don't doubt me in the least.
But you... you are different. I'm glad I put my faith in you and your potential.
Thus do I gladly ascend as the foundation of your new world!
I'm counting on you!
It's the new world.
Correct. This is your new world. You will no longer be bound by anything...
Huh...!? That voice... Is that Saiduq!? Where are you!?
I should be thanking you, Shining One. You cast away my doubt and gave me light...
I have no physical form now, but I need none. This world requires no administrator.
I look forward to seeing where your potential takes you...
...He's really gone. That idiot... If this is the end, he should've at least...
I'll miss him.
Urghhh... We'll miss you, dammit! It'll be lonely without you around!
Oh... The day's breaking...
Haha... Damn. It's beautiful... This is the best sunrise I've ever seen, dammit!
It starts here.
We won't lose, Saiduq! I hope you're watching this...!
Post-credits, we get one more short little thing...
It appears that we have one more message to read.
Alright, so before we finish off here there's just one last little thing.
Namely, we can make a save to let us do some other stuff later. But the save screen does have one other little thing on the top screen.
With the game beaten, different aspects of it light up much like the Big Dipper did here. Each ending corresponds with a different part of the save screen.
So, I guess we've got a long way to go before we're actually done for good.
Let's quickly load that Cleared Save for one moment. Depending on what actions we did during the game, we can get various titles which will help us on future runs. Survivor's just for beating the game once. Ending doesn't matter.
Each and every one of these is for getting someone to Fate 5. There's 13 in all, so y'know one for each character. 7/13 isn't too shabby for a first run, all things considered.
There's also a title for each specific ending. Makes Survivor kind of weird and redundant but whatever. This one is for replacing Polaris with Alcor.
And, of course, we also got this. This is for having no team leaders drop in a fight in the entire game. Regardless of whether its a plot battle or free, the game doesn't care. Doing this on this route on a fresh save is the hardest way to get it.
Which is pretty damning, since we breezed through most of it anyway.
So, uh, New Game+?