The Let's Play Archive

Shining Force 2

by inthesto

Part 13: Fire Emblem 4 is easier than this shit

Part 8: Fire Emblem 4 is easier than this shit

Last time we left off, I had a shotgun pointed at my groin.

A shotgun that fires tentacles.

Yes sir, it's time for the infamous kraken fight. Technically it's the second boss fight of the game, but everyone thinks of it as the first, and god damn it's far and away the hardest one. For those of you unfamiliar, the difficulty of this fight is largely a combination of two factors. The first is that you have no character selection – since it's early in the game, we're stuck with who we have. While several characters like Slade and Peter are very strong at this point, this is right about the spot where Kazin, Kiwi, and Chester begin to drag their feet. The other issue is that of mobility. Because you're on a raft, everyone except Peter and Luke have extremely limited movement, which means that hiding away your squishies and surrounding enemies is quite the task.

Add the fact that each individual monster is stronger than anything we've seen so far, and this fight is brutal. Obob did not hold back one bit on this fight, and you can see from the sheer stats on each monster. For the record, there are eight legs, two arms, and only one head, and they're all capable of killing anyone in two or three hits, if not less. But there's one more hidden fuck you.

These things crit often, and they crit hard. Strangely enough, the critical and counter rates, along with elemental resistances, are unchanged from the original version. Why kraken legs have weakness to ice when you have zero access to it by that point in the game is beyond me. Bless Obob for throwing me this one bone by allowing Kazin to learn Freeze.

This is 30% terrain Kiwi's standing on. Kiwi is not very useful for this fight, let me tell you.

On the plus side, the vulnerability to ice magic gives Kazin very respectable damage output for virtually no cost. In the original, Kazin only had Blaze, which kraken legs were actually resistant to, which rendered him completely useless.

This is pretty much the only way to properly tackle the kraken fight. Those corners are the best way to expose the kraken legs. If you try to fight them at a straight edge of the raft, only one character can melee it at a time. The exact same situation is going on the opposite corner of the raft, where Jaha and May are parked. The opening to this fight is very standard and predictable. It shouldn't be a problem taking out the first two legs, especially if you leash the legs onto a character standing on the dark brown tiles – they confer 30% terrain effect.

After you defeat the first two, the fight kicks into a higher gear. The first kraken arm starts approaching from the left, and it is a motherfucker. Not only does it hit harder and take more punishment than a leg, but it has range. This is a real problem because it can poke you from safe waters if you're at the raft edge, and it can reach past the edge tiles to hit people in the back row. Given that the kraken arm hits like a fucking monster, your casters are never safe from the kraken arms. The only, and I repeat only, way to keep Kazin and Sarah safe from the kraken arms is to park them on the other side of the raft. Thankfully, the AI is programmed so that both arms do not go active at the same time, else this fight would be impossible.

Kiwi getting hit by a kraken arm while on 30% terrain. I might have been a bit hasty in my original assessment of Kiwi from way back. I forgot how quickly enemies scaled up, and Kiwi's usefulness is really dropping off.

While bosses are generally immune to Slow, the lackeys are not. While this does put Sarah in immediate danger, she's so high level that the arm can't take her out in one shot. Slowing the arm basically adds on 11 free damage to every attack I make on it – extremely, extremely useful. Like I said before, slowing an enemy means it should be dead within the same round.

After I take out the first arm, the situation looks something like this:

I'm currently wrestling with three legs, but they're all leashed onto fairly durable characters on 30% terrain. I nearly thought I had this fight in the bag on my first try, until the kraken arm on the right decided to ruin my day.

Yeah, no more ice magic for me. This is a problem because Freeze 1 is 11 damage a pop, and it's ranged.

And then Gerhalt gets immediately double attacked.

And then Luke, May, and Sarah are immediately plunged into critical condition. All it took was one bad decision and one bad flip of the RNG and suddenly the fight completely turned out of my favor. It's worth noting where the kraken arm got aggressive on Kazin. It's very, very hard to leash the second kraken arm onto a corner, so it tends to stick by the edges where your potential damage output is severely restricted.

It's also worth noting that while the kraken head technically has a standard attack, the AI never uses it. Instead, it opts to use a custom spell called “bubble breath”.

The damage on it is actually pretty merciful when you consider that a standard attack would actually do way more than that. Even so, the bubble breath has a range of 3, ignores defense, and the kraken head gets to move twice per round. The thing can instagib just about anyone on my team except Bowie and Chester.

Also, the kraken head is the first enemy to use boss music when it attacks.

My only, only reasonable plan is to juice up Peter with the Attack spell and try to chunk the kraken head before it can kill me.

Thanks for the critical hit, kraken arm.

Yeah, who didn't see this coming.

Good god, my fucking money is gone. After reviving everyone and restocking on healing items, I'm left with approximately 200 gold. I tried taking on the kraken again, but I kept getting checkmated by at the very end by the kraken arm+head combo. I seriously reset eight or nine times and actually gave up to go play Fire Emblem 4 instead. That's right, FE4 is easier than the kraken fight.

I didn't want to do this, but the kraken fight is a motherfucker and I really didn't have any other choice.

That's right, I'm backtracking to the fight in the desert, which can randomly re-trigger. I am going to grind for more money, because that is how badly the kraken is fucking me up. The enemies in this fight are easy at this point, so I don't get much in the way of experience. Being able to fund resurrections is far more important.

Oh yeah, I guess this is important too:

Yeah, Desoul is the instant kill spell and only Kazin learns it. It really wasn't worth the MP in the original game, but when taking down a single enemy requires every single character in your army, Desoul can actually save you a lot of sweat. It has a pretty good success rate if the enemy is below 50% HP, and that's super important when going up against, oh say, a kraken arm.

What happens the next time I roll up to the kraken?

Two lucky Desouls and the fight is 100x easier. The long term result?

Take note of those last three kraken legs. The AI kind of just jams them into those areas, so if you just steer your characters clear of those zones, you're pretty much fighting the boss solo. I'm sure some of you are completionist freaks who want to kill every single enemy, but jesus don't even try it because I guarantee you will die because of it.

I probably shouldn't have fed this kill to my most overleveled character, but fuck it.

Also I'm skipping battle reports for this update because I fucked up a lot and have no idea what the fuck is what anymore. True story: the first time I cleared the kraken fight, I went to tab out of my emulator only to miss the ALT key. Tab is hard reset on my emulator.

Victory! Our reward is the next town, Hassan. Hassan has had a very, very significant change to its item shop.

That's right, you can buy the special promotion items in Hassan now! No accidentally leveling up Sarah to 30 before getting her special promotion! The Vigor Ball turns Sarah into a master monk, and it's the only item I'm interested in buying at the moment. This is because you get a Warrior's Pride for Jaha way back in New Granseal, the Pegasus Wing is fucking terrible on Chester, and I'm attempting to use non-sorcerer Kazin this game.

An amusing typo I never caught until my later years. More on how promotion works in a separate post.

I think gramps here just hasn't showered in a while. Anyway, we need the Achilles Sword to get this scene to trigger, and we need the old fart in tow in order to trigger the next boss. But before that!

This fight really couldn't be any less interesting! It's populated with a lot of old enemies: Black monks, master mages, gargoyles, golems, and arrow launchers. None of them are a legitimate threat, and the enemy AI is hyper aggressive – every gargoyle flings itself right at you and is just food for May. There is a new enemy:

They hit hard and can cast Desoul, which is incredibly annoying when the RNG flips out of your favor, but there's only two of them and their AI is much less aggressive than all the other monsters. It's very easy to isolate them. As a result, I have no screencaps of this fight but trust me when I say it's really boring and just a filler fight to get everyone promoted.

Speaking of promotions, it looks like Sarah's been working out.

After the random desert fight, I've only got three characters left unpromoted:

Chester, I don't care about because he's a useless turd. Kiwi and Kazin are somewhat annoying though, as they both gain quite a bit of utility after promotion. Oh yeah, one more thing about getting everyone promoted:

Slade can equip swords now.

Okay one more one more thing about promotion:

Peter doesn't look retarded anymore!

NEXT TIME: This fight is almost as hard as the kraken, god dammit