The Let's Play Archive

Shining Force 2

by inthesto

Part 22: I think the RNG is sentient

Part 14: I think the RNG is sentient

Last time we left off, we blasted through a crappy cave. On the other side is North Parmecia, and the town of Ketto is our greeting party.

I guess Ketto's thing is that there's signs everywhere. The place is under devil occupation, meaning the war doesn't go well. Also, even though item sales are prohibited, you can still wander to the back of the town to open up the shop anyway. All there is in this town is a new sword.

Side note, this is where the game starts to get hard if you decide not to promote at 20. The second merchant in Hassan (who only shows up after beating Taros) was the last place to pick up weapons for unpromoted characters. By this point, unpromoted characters haven't had new weapons for two or three cycles now, and will start to drag their feet. It's most noticeable with Chester or Rick, since their special promotion item doesn't normally turn up until after this fight, so you usually have a level 30 knight still stuck with a power spear.

This ugly bastard is Geshp. The centaur across from him is Higins. Higins kind of sucks, but Geshp seems to want his body as their new general. Why? Who knows.

Two new enemies, one of each in the far northeast cluster. The wizard is the captain, but I always forget this so I accidentally end the fight just a tad early. Other than that, it's old hat. Dark snipers are getting fragile, dark soldiers are still tanky, and lesser daemons are only a threat to squishies.

I've begun to notice that archer AI is easier to abuse than most. Put any unit at the very tip of their effective attack range, and they'll beeline straight for it, even if it means being cut off from other monsters. If this game had a way to check movement range and turn order, this would make things a lot easier to handle.

Remember how lesser daemons have Blaze 3? Apparently I didn't. You can guess what happened here. Thankfully enough, a single Blaze 3 is undone by a single Aura 1, but Karna won't learn that for another few levels still. Something to look forward to, though.

Bleed, my pretty EXP fountain.

Second wave incoming. For some reason, the pair of dark soldiers to the right meander about for a few turns, giving me time to pick off the sniper and soldier to the top first.

Of course, by the time I deal with those two, a pair of lesser daemons swoops in to make life hard. But that's why I have three archers, right?

Honestly, Slow is much more effective than half my army combined.

Okay, that's fine. I don't mind fliers targeting my squishies that aren't actually squishy, so promoting to brass gunner wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Does the RNG just know when things are getting too easy?

It only takes one turn to clean out a pair of monsters who have been slowed. It's 11 vs 5 now, but I'm still not optimistic about my chances. Lizardmen hit hard and wizards pack Blaze 3. There's also yet another bishop, sniper, and soldier up there.

The sniper is, as always, easy to eliminate. Bowie makes great archer bait.

Well, unless he takes a double attack that evaporates two-thirds of his HP.

You can predict how this one goes too.

Strangely, I'm okay with this situation. Even though magic can crit, it's a far cry from being able to one-shot either of my archers. A regular crit or double attack would have done 100% on either Elric of May, and I'm really not one for trusting the RNG anymore.

Lizardmen don't play nice.

Nor do lesser daemons! Why am I struggling so much in a basic fight? It couldn't possibly be because I've benched the two best characters in the game, could it?

Trick question, Sarah is the best character in the game. Nobody will ever be better than Sarah. All is forgiven, Challenge Mode.

I don't really need to show the next few screenshots to show how this concludes, do I?

Oh yeah, I also got this. Gives wizards and sorcerers +10 ATT. How useless! Luckily, it casts Blaze 2 on use, which can give your casters something useful to do when burning MP isn't worth it.

Battle Report!

Level 8 2 HP/1 MP/1 ATT/3 DEF/1 AGI
Level 13 4 HP/2 MP/2 ATT/4 DEF/3 AGI
Level 8 2 HP/1 ATT/2 DEF/2 AGI
Level 7 1 HP/2 MP/1 ATT/1 DEF/2 AGI
Level 8 1 HP/1 MP/2 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 8 2 HP/2 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 7 3 HP/4 MP/2 ATT/3 DEF/2 AGI
Level 8 3 HP/1 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 7 1 HP/1 ATT/1 DEF/2 AGI
Level 7 3 HP/4 MP/2 DEF/2 AGI

Yeah, it's that easy. For some reason, the demon that Astral purges from Higins immediately explodes. Why couldn't he do that to the one possessing the king?

Next stop: Pacalon. Place has seen some hard times.

Interesting. Desite being four levels down, Slade still has higher attack than Jaha and Bowie. Might have been a mistake to boot him.

Look at my cash after reviving and new weapons. I do not remember ever being so strapped for money in this game. I may have to resort to grinding for gold later on.

There's some stuff people say in Pacalon, but none of it is important. In fact, you could probably skip over both Ketto and Pacalon entirely, and it wouldn't matter.

Anyways, I want to put in Higins because I know nobody uses him. We don't really need three archers, right?


Hey, if I'm going to have Karna, I might as well try to make things a little more difficult.

Map layout is very straightforward on this one. You can eyeball all five enemy clusters pretty easily. I still get dicked over in the fight.

Also, this is where shit start to get real on Super difficulty. Because unarmed monsters benefit from Super more, the wyverns are the point where enemy attack power really goes unchecked. Very few characters can survive even a single hit from them at this point, and a lot of the game is just hoping that the wyvern uses its flame breath instead.

Second fucking turn of the fight. Of course that attack was a critical, and now I'm devoid of any real magic damage.

The attack animation for the new archer weapon I picked up in Pacalon. It explodes and stuff. Kind of cool.

No enemy shall go unslowed.

Wizards really would be better off if they just did normal attacks all the time. Also, Higins's sprite. I like his color scheme better than Chester or Rick.

It will rain blood.


Or I could be careless and lose an archer, who are key to taking down wyverns in a timely manner. Man do I wish I had May right now!

Some of the enemies are really starting to lose their fangs. Snipers also don't hit very hard anymore. The real threats on this map are the lizardmen and the wyverns.

Wyverns hit hard, but they also take a ton of damage. To be fair, Jaha did crit. I also forgot to mention that promoting to baron does give the benefit of better criticals. Gladiators only have a 1/16 chance to hit for 125% damage, whereas barons have a 1/8 chance to hit for 150%. That's actually quite worth the loss in defense.

A reminder that wyverns are resistant to fire. Makes sense because they breathe fire themselves. For some reason, I thought they had ice breath, probably due to the color scheme.

A reminder to heal your glass cannons instead of hoping the turn order doesn't fuck you over. I passed up the chance for Sarah to heal Gerhalt in the hopes that I'd kill the wyvern, but I was one hit short. I am now down my mage, my stronger archer, and my hardest hitter. Oops.

Granted Elric doesn't hit very hard, but lizardmen are tough regardless.

Thankfully they're not resistant to fire. Somehow, Kiwi triggered flame breath three turns in a row when I really didn't want him to. So much MP wasted.

Nine against four. I had better odds last time, and we all saw how that turned out. On top of that, I'm missing some of my most pivotal characters right now. How to solve this?

Boost my best defender!

Yeah, fuck you too game. You and your silly fucking RNG that made me lose five characters in an easy fucking fight can go jump off a cliff.

After the bishop and sniper get ripped to pieces, the lizardman is easy enough to take down solo.

Battle Report!

Level 9 2 HP/1 ATT/3 DEF/1 AGI
Level 9 2 HP/1 ATT/3 DEF/1 AGI
Level 9 3 HP/3 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 9 3 HP/4 MP/2 ATT/4 DEF/3 AGI
Level 9 2 HP/1 ATT/3 DEF/1 AGI
Level 8 2 HP/1 ATT/1 DEF/1 AGI
Level 8 2 HP/2 MP/1 DEF/1 AGI
Level 7 1 HP/1 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
2 HP/1 ATT/2 DEF/2 AGI

Look at how much money I managed to earn in that fight! That's not enough to buy me any new weapons at the next town! Yippee!

NEXT TIME: The fight that made everyone cry on Super