Part 40: The Third and Fourth LayersNirvana
I had no choice... He was going to shoot Serph... so I... I...
It was all for Serph, I... Oh... What have I done!?
Yeah, so Argilla was totally jealous of Sera which is probably why Serph could manipulate her into shooting Heat easily.
Really, I'd just be glad that's one part of the real world that didn't make it through to the Junkyard.
So, it wasn't clear before but each layer of the Sun has its own little gimmick. The 2nd layer was a large mess with all of the damage floors; the 3rd layer is very short but pads itself out with semi-invisible walkways.
This one's just a straight line, but it's the only gimme in the entire layer.
Battle for Survival
Oh, Mada... how disappointing you are. To say he's meant to be able to devour the universe whole in one single gulp, with all deities inside it, he's...
Just use Bufudyne and he dies in one hit. Indra was scared of this guy.
Lilith also turns up here. Fatal Charm is clever. I like that.
Shame she always turns up with either more Liliths or Girimehkalas. How's that Seraph Lore looking? Because it has an added bonus in that it cannot miss things that are neutral or weak.
Sometimes I think they're not even trying any more.
Samael's upgraded his Mute weakness to an immunity and become easier in the process. That's disappointing. It does at least mean we won't be spending ages running around here to farm him now though. Might be why he's here in the first place.
Anyway, let's worry about making it through here now. Right away after the first yellow path, we can grab a free Revival Gem. Nice but useless with the orb.
This is also where a second large node is. Much like with the gimmicks, there's one of these per layer.
I... coulda swore we got this stat boost ages ago. Apparently not. Obviously not from this node since it requires two mantra that cost $400k each but you know what I mean.
Now is where things get a little more complicated. These rooms are large, devoid of any landmarks and the background couldn't be more blatantly copied and pasted if it tried.
So, uh, here's a quickly made map of the area for reference. It's not to scale by any means, but it gives the idea at least.
We'll be going to the southern door first.
From there, we'll ignore the turn west and instead head through that door.
Entirely because this lets us grab some Magic Data. Now we can follow this path around or double back and take the turn. We'll do the latter since that lets us...
Find this small data terminal. The path south here leads to the same spot continuing past the Magic data would. So this is progress.
We'll ignore that and instead head to the western area in the semi-invisible walkway room. That brings us to something that leads into the 3rd floor.
Normally we could not take this path, but...
Epic Battle ~ Prelude
We have the certificate from the Jack Frost quiz which grants us access through here. I just memorised the answers to all 100 questions because they're easy enough to do that, but if you don't know them offhand then you can find all answers on GameFAQs which I will presume is something it's actually worthwhile for.
Because there's no way to fuck that up, beyond sheer pure incompetence.
...what no i didnt accidentally delete the footage of 40 of the randomly selected questions that would take forever to rerecord dont be silly
Hee-eautiful! *clap clap* Hee-honderful! But...
Why? ...Eh, no reason! Life, hee... Life, ho... Hee ho is not fair!
Optional Boss: Nether Jack Frost the Magnificent
Battle with Rare Devil
Obvious stuff outta the way first; Jack is still a Jack Frost even if there is a chance of him making good on promise to kill us. His fire weakness is still a very real thing.
Oh, I see-ho. You think I'm just a plain old Frost! Isn't that right!? Yeah, I'm talking to you, hee-ho!
I'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget! Heeeeeeeeeeho!!!!!
Breath is a nasty, nasty move and you will want to take Jack seriously after this. Probably.
It's single-target Mega ice damage that hits 1-3 times and will murder the shit out anyone it hits twice. In Heat's case, he's done for if it hits period.
Also it has a very high chance of freezing (wiki lists is as 100% but it's actually "only" about 75%). Nasty business, and Jack will never target anyone with it that has the Hee-Ho Ring. Keep this in mind for now.
So, Gale's around for an obvious reason.
Pyriphlegethon is straight up the strongest Fire spell, and that's including the special one you can only get via a Combo.
And you get it for absolutely no effort at all. It's very expensive at 70MP a cast but its multi-target Severe fire damage. For reference, the hardest hitting stuff we've used before has been Mega tier. This is above that.
Granted this damage is with 2 Makakajas...
But so is this. Gale with ~20 magic less than Seraph will outdamage a boosted and amped Agidyne.
Pyriphlegethon is nuts good.
Of course, Jack will not just sit idly by and let you buff and wail on him. His AI is scripted in a way that he will never Dekaja immediately, nor will he do it randomly.
Do you have buffs? Yes? Okay, the turn after you cast them they stick around. The turn after that, he will remove them. It doesn't matter if it's +1 in one thing or +3 in everything.
So, Breath is Ice elemental and will fuck you up. Just stick up any barrier and he can't do shit right? Nope. Jack wasn't the quizmaster for nothing. He's smarter than you average Frost, so he won't use Breath at all then.
Despite him smacking Gale with a Ziodyne here, that's a good thing. It's still preferable to the alternative and he can't do Maziodyne.
Instead, he opts to Megidolaon for his multi-target damage.
Since all his attacks are magical, Spell Gloom (2x Makanda) is a good thing to bust out if ya got it.
Only, uh, remember to void ice if you do that. Because Breath is still pretty nasty and now Seraph is frozen.
If you get Frozen on his first turn, he uses his second to Psycho Rage.
Jack really wants to be taken seriously, you see.
So he will then use those 4 turns to punch the shit outta whoever gets frozen until they die. He then uses Breath on someone else and presumably kills them with punches as well.
If you somehow have Phys Repel/Attack Mirror but no Void Ice (technically impossible but you probably won't have the latter equipped) then that works as an alternative here. Just not a very good one.
His Dekunda AI is identical to his Dekaja one. If you stagger your buffs and debuffs, you could technically make him waste one of his actions every turn.
Oh and as a last little gotcha, he has Tentarafoo as well. He doesn't use it much, but if you don't know it'll be coming he will smack you with it.
Fortunately, Cielo has Null Panic which helps. Since it's MT, he'll use it even if one person is immune. A bit of a mistake on his part though.
Speaking of mistakes, that's some nice karma and a lot of money. But he gives no AP. And I had everyone equipped with AP boosting skills. Oops.
At least I didn't need the slots for anything else so it wasn't as annoying as it could be.
That was just a little hee-joke! Don't rush off... Don't b so rude, hee ho. Calm... Calm down, ho... Hee... Just a joke...
......Psych, ho! Heeyonara! Adios, amiho!
And with that, Jack absconds and we won't see him again.
Unless we run into him as a random encounter in which case he just gives us a free item. So no different to before.
Let's just grab those items for kicking Jack's teeth in.
The Pass Ring is kind of a weird reward for the time this might take to do.
It's not bad, per se, since its effect isn't that terrible. It's just very niche and you won't really be running around with it equipped all that often.
The other reward is our old buddy, and former best bullet, the Magatama.
Like before, it's a flat 200 power with no added effects. Also like before, this is the only one of its ilk.
Unlike before, it's not the best bullet. There is one above even this.
With that, we'll head back to the southern path and come to an even larger area.
Once more, here's a very rough idea of the layout here (not to scale, just a brief outline etc. etc.). We'll head on over to that X in the left corner first.
Mostly because it lets us get the Murder Rock for absolutely no hassle at all. And it's identical to before too. How bizarre.
Next we'll head to the room over on the top-right corner.
This just lets us pick up a couple of nice, but not overly critical, items. That just leaves the northern most exit in the top-left corner which...
Well, this clearly isn't ominous at all. Both data and life nodes, huh?
...Yeah, unsurprisingly, the linear path here leads to a door that looks very familiar.
Epic Battle ~ Prelude
And an inhabitant that we've seen more than enough of already.
wE do wHaTeVeR It TaKEs to SUrvIVe. YoU'Re the SaME aS ME... AdmIT IT... sAY it, BitCH!
Boss Redux ~ Asura Camazotz
Big Battle ~ Enemies Reborn
So, Camazotz is slightly different to Hayagriva and his former incarnations. Appropriately, this fourth and final fight with the fucker is mostly harder than the other three.
I say "mostly" because he's now weak to Electricity when not guarding. Why? umm...
His moves are mostly what we've come to know and love about Camazotz. Though he doesn't just throw everything at you immediately.
He's mechanically not too dissimilar to his third incarnation and is a chatty bugger too.
After losing ~1000 HP (he has 5000), he switches things up a bit. Since he only gets one press turn he opts to Rage now.
He likes using Winds of Hell a lot more here than he did previously. It is still Force elemental so we can deal with it easy enough.
If he hits you with it, he'll probably guard at which point he will lose his Elec weakness and regain his normal Earth one.
Just keep blasting through another couple thousand and then he switches for the last time.
Rather than Raging, he now enters a Psycho Rage of his own.
Usually he follows it up with his favourite of combos.
Which consists of 3 Zotzilaha Banes in a row. One per person, and it's still Almighty, still drains and still inflicts Bat.
Which I swear is worse here. Feels like it cuts stats more; HP and MP slashed to around half and your damage output plummets like a stone too.
Since he WILL get that off, this is when he guards for real.
No prizes for what he does after that, since Bats are weak to Force.
And if you drain it, it's a guaranteed full heal since it hits for over one thousand damage. Which, yes, we do often.
Always feels weird when it happens to us though.
But, eh, Bat is Bat and so he doesn't put up much of a fight. Gives damn nice money though.
I think I'd have rather had another flower; this is nice but we'll have plenty by the time they matter.
So, the fourth layer is something we'll be doing.... um....
Right now I guess. The third one was short as heck, and this one is even shorter. Or at least it feels like it.
First off, free item behind the entrance. Just a diamond, but it's there so why leave it?
The quiz Jack was not one of the Hip Hop Bros., since they're right here.
And are still amazing.
Large Data right by the entrance this time around. Probably for the best, since there enough floor anywhere else for it.
This layer's gimmick is moving platforms. And it's not as bad as that sounds, I promise!
It's actually ridiculously linear for the first couple floors with no deviation whatsoever.
We get a bit of a choice on the third floor, so we'll take the right (eastern) pad first.
Battle for Survival
Because there isn't much movement to speak of, random encounters are actually pretty sparse on this layer. What ones there are, though, can be nasty in theory.
Mithra not so much. Just use something to mute him and he's worthless.
He also frequently comes partnered with Thor. Who inexplicably has the same problem. It being a weakness is fair enough, but he basically never uses physical attacks.
Anyway, the platform leads us to... a very nice treasure haul.
The MP Data, Star Sapphire and Soma are all nice to have. Olive Branches are a new flower and are dropped very frequently by things on this layer, mainly Mithra and Thor.
Dead End's a bullet.
A very nice bullet that inflicts Petrification. It used to be the only bullet worth buying, but now that's just a waste of money since we get it free.
But wait, there was way more than 5 flowers here.
Yeah, uh, about that... 3 of the remaining 7 just make you eat damage. At least there's no ailments in there.
The last four are fights.
A single Kingu is cute but we have the Skull Ring which makes it a non-issue.
Ummmm.... The, uh, the Hope Diamond is the normal reward for this.
The Lotus Seed is Kingu's drop. And it's quite rare to get at the moment.
Because THAT is the best flower.
Fight #2 is a Girimehkala and two Barongs. They mostly like to Mind Charge into a Xanadu or the like. They should be glad they came with Girimehkala.
Because they're quite weak to death. And we just got the Murder Rock.
They also turn up on this layer as random dudes. Just not very often.
Fight #3 is a Mithra and Girimehkala. Not a very threatening combo.
Last one is two Pallas Athena and Thor. Thor is not immune to death, so Murder Rock it is.
Speaking of Athena, we'll go back now and take the left platform to go further in. This brings us straight to an Athena.
Wait... You are no longer human. The blood of battle is warming in my veins... I have no choice but to challenge you! I hereby order you to fight. Prove your mettle, curious mortal!
So we fight two Athenas. We Murder Rock them and they die.
Really thinking just giving us that for no trouble at all was not the best decision ever made. Anyway, another choice. We'll take the top platform first.
This leads us to a split in the path.
Left lets us pick up some Power Data...
While right gives us an Olive Branch.
Nothing else here, so we'll double back and take the southern platform.
This brings us to a normal door and a small data terminal node around the corner.
Taking that platform before the turn...
A free gem. We can get these ones as drops on the second layer from Cu Chulainn. It's unnecessary but it's there.
The path there leads to another platform or a turn to a door. That leads to a dead-end caused by a giant hole...
Platform puts us on the path to filling that in. It's a very linear route so we'll leave that platform there forever now. It makes backtracking easier if you ever need to do it manually for some reason.
And now we run into a Girimehkala.
I was a Corporal in the Brutes... But, I was also born Girimehkala. No, I'm a knight... On a crusade. There's too much solar data here. I can't maintain my self... I need to eliminate unnecessary data. Yeah, that'll work... Unnecessary solar data like you!
So now we fight two of these guys. Actually not even remotely a problem. Either have Argilla use Seraph Lore or if you don't have it or don't want to use it then (Ma)Hama(on) works just as well since they're weak and all.
In a move that looks very familiar, it puts us betwixt two more platforms. We'll take the top one first again.
This lets us pick up another new bullet and two Earth Walls for good measure.
Mechanically the Forged Shot hits harder than the Dead End but does no added effects so its not as good.
Going back and continuing off the other path, we follow a long, linear line and come to a Samael.
Man and woman are not yet to become one. By God's will, your mind and body must be split asunder once more! Ingest once more the fruit of knowledge, and realize your sin.
I think Samael is bad at his job, since that's... y'know what. Never mind.
Anyway, it's just the one Samael so we murderise it in no time.
That brings us up to the eighth floor which is a bunch of circles held together by a spider's web. Naturally this leads us to our requisite boss fight for the area.
Epic Battle ~ Prelude
Boss Redux ~ Asura Rahu
Big Battle ~ Enemies Reborn
Compared to Camazotz, Rahu is relatively tame and that feels like a weird thing to say. Makes sense though, since Camazotz was based on his final incarnation but they're ordered based on when you originally fought them.
This time, his punches deal sub-100 damage with no Tarukajas. Oh how threatening that isn't.
And the head doesn't need to wait to complete its gimmick to use buffs.
Speaking of which, yeah, it's gimmick is unchanged.
Mostly. Dragon Thrash still removes someone from the fight until either the head, body or captive dies. It does not, however, target the person with the highest Strength now.
Oh and it still counters everything by draining some HP.
But it doesn't matter because this time we kill it immediately.
And the body is still weak to Fire. Head was immune hence why we had to get rid of the head first this time around.
Rahu doesn't take losing half of his parts very well, to say the least.
I was expecting a Dragon Quake, but he instead removed the Taunt. Uh, sure thing bud.
He then dies immediately because that does not matter.
So, uh, Rahu was easier than Camazotz, gives a similar drop, less money but more Karma.
Oh right and each part only has around 3500HP. Same as Hayagriva. How weak.
He tries to even it out by giving us a better item though.
Next time, we'll deal with the fifth layer and its gimmick is going to be a fun one. I can just feel it.