Part 32: Saved by the bad AIPart 21: Saved by the bad AI
Geshp is awfully vengeful when he was the one who endangered his pets in the first place.
The map is big, but the fight is fairly straightforward and manageable. While Red Baron is even beefier than Cameela, the spell he packs is actually quite a bit worse, so he's overall less of a threat.
The first clump of enemies, and it's a doozy. Three bow knights means I have to be extremely careful with Jaro and Skreech. If you recall, archers are very eager to break leashes.
Liberal use of Slow and heavy leashing onto Jaha while I pick apart idiots who rush at Taya lets me survive the day, however. At this point, the executioner is still attached to Jaha, and the bow knight is trying to kill whomever it can, but it's not strong enough to one-shot anyone in heavy terrain. There was a strange dearth of screenshots while I was fighting the first group of enemies, and I can't explain why. Sorry.
But doom approaches. I've figured out by now that the secret to managing mist demons is to calculate their movement range. They will only fly in for Muddle 2 if a straight attack isn't an option. Thus, just count their maximum range, and move somebody durable to the edge of it. The monster will always go to attack instead of casting the horrible RNG murder spell.
Laser beams: Still awesome. Sadly, it never levels up. But it's still awesome.
While I'm tangling with the last of the enemies up north, this group of baddies is incoming from the bottom. Minotaurs and hell hounds both hit hard, but they're pretty fragile especially while slowed. As long as I don't get confused, this is an easy enemy group to manage.
Moving Bowie out to the front to prevent any Muddle shenanigans.
For some reason, the mist demon decides to fly right by him and aim for Claude instead. Thanks for making my life easier, I guess?
Minotaurs have the same problem that dragonewts do. Namely, since their equipped weapons cast spells, they're all too eager to do crappy magic damage instead of hacking for half my HP. If Obob really wanted to be a douchebag, he could have removed spell casts from a bunch of these weapons, or re-equipped the monsters with non-casting items. Frankly, I'm glad he left this in.
The minotaur dies three attacks later. They're relatively fragile to begin with, and super fragile when debuffed.
Indra staffs are great, and mist demons are a great source of MP.
Sadly, I leave Taya open to an attack that only barely kills her. A sorcerer dying with that much MP left is a frustrating thing indeed.
Thankfully, I can always do this between waves of monsters. Between the goddess staff and three healers, there's literally no reason to enter into a skirmish at less than full HP anymore.
Tentatively moving Claude into a forward position because...
Yeah, because of that. Claude now has weakness to fire spells for refence, Blaze 4 usually does around 41 damage. Thanks for that one, Obob. I loaded state because I knew that was going to happen and just wanted to demonstrate that Claude still does suffer from some of Kiwi's weaknesses.
Breath weapons are so merciful at this point.
All three monsters have fairly low defense, are slowable, and are leashed onto durable characters (Wizard → Sarah, Hell Hound → Claude, Bishop → healing the wizard). A good situation.
Blaze 4 is pretty ugly when it crits too.
The first time I've ever used Heal 4, and probably one of the last. It's ridiculously MP inefficient and really should only be used in an absolute pinch.
This is the part where I beat down the healer and let it bleed out EXP as it tries to heal itself in vain. I also let Frayja go to town with his indra staff and recover about 20 MP from it. Not a bad haul.
After that's done, all that's left is Red Baron's posse.
The bow knight is easy to peel away.
You keep on doing that, and I'll let you live.
At this point, Skreech's primary function is to draw attacks away from better characters and not get killed in one hit.
Bow knight already down, minotaur dies soon after thanks to Slow.
Doesn't take long for Red Baron to jump in on the fun. This is while Jaha has Boost on, for the record. Red Baron doesn't play nice, but there's a balancing factor.
Not that, but I appreciate that one too.
Red Baron likes to waste his time casting Desoul from his Dark Sword. The RNG is no kinder to him than it is to me, and that's a relief. I would have suffered a lot more damage if he just attacked every time he cast Desoul.
Pretty much smooth sailing from here on out.
I would complain about losing a full HP character to Desoul, but Karna was just about out of MP anyway.
And with the Chaos Wizard down, it's just a slugfest. It's really not that interesting other than watching Red Baron fail Desoul every time, but still getting a shitload of double attacks and counters.
He also has pretty buff defense, and you're more or less forced to fight him in 30% terrain. Even so, with full round beatdowns on a single target, even 350 HP doesn't last that long. Honestly, the Cameela fight was harder than this one. Cameela's Blaze 4 was far more threatening than Red Baron's Desoul, and I didn't have meatwalls like Claude and Zynk back then. Red Baron might very well be the easiest of the greater devils.
You have no idea how outraged I would have been if that had worked.
And down he goes! That really wasn't bad at all, even if I lost five out of my twelve characters.
Level 19 2 HP/1 MP/1 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 23 2 HP/1 MP/1 ATT/2 DEF/1 AGI
Level 20 2 HP/2 ATT/3 DEF/2 AGI
Level 27 5 HP/2 MP/2 DEF/2 AGI
Level 19 4 HP/4 MP/2 ATT/4 DEF/3 AGI
Level 19 4 HP/2 ATT/4 DEF/3 AGI
Level 25 3 HP/2 MP/2 ATT/3 DEF/2 AGI
Level 19 4 HP/2 ATT/5 DEF/2 AGI
Level 20 4 HP/2 MP/4 ATT/4 DEF/2 AGI
Level 20 3 HP/4 ATT/6 DEF/2 AGI
And like the wind, he's gone. I have no idea why the translation uses devil and vampire so interchangeably, but there you go.
Hey, a secret thing. Just like the hidden elven town, there's a hidden dwarven town in that light patch of forest. If you talk to everyone around various towns, there's a bunch of clues that this is here. Or you could just read any of a million guides written for this game in the nearly twenty years since its release.
Since it's a dwarf town, everything's underground. Because dwarves.
Some loot. The demon rod is awful and should be sold. The white ring gives +10 DEF to heroes and vicars and casts Aura 2 on use. Frayja is already packing the goddess staff and Karna is plenty durable, so I toss it onto Bowie and give Skreech the surplus protect ring.
Yeah, so for some reason I thought all the mithril weapons were buyable in this hack, to cut down on save state fuckery. Turns out they're not, and you have to go crafting them in the normal way. For those unfamiliar, the normal way means forking over a mithril and 5000 gold, picking a character for whom the weapon will be crafted, and then rolling the RNG. The chances of getting the best weapon for any character is tiny, and frankly takes far too much time fucking around with save states and the RNG. So, my solution?
Honestly, I have better things to do with my time. If the mithril weapons were shop purchaseable, I would have just bought them normally, but I really don't feel like wasting time to get the best weapons (and in some cases, two weapons) for eight different characters.
Ah, much better. In case you're wondering: The levanter equips are not a hack or glitch. Every sword class can wield them in Challenge Mode. The ground axes for Jaha and Gyan are because they give +1 MOV on equip, and since changing weapons is a free action, you get to break normal movement from now on. And the reason Frayja and Karna don't get mystery staves, which regenerate 2 MP per round? Because in a stroke of cruelty, Obob made it so vicars can't equip that weapon anymore. Taya still gets one, but the vicars are more or less going to stick with the guardian staves.
NEXT TIME: I actually don't remember what fight is next