Part 40: FINISH HIMPart 27: FINISH HIM
Okay, this has been a long time coming. Let's finish this fucking game.
Strangely enough, evil beasts don't make a return, making them a one fight wonder. Blue shamans aren't new, but the sole one on this map is notable because it carries a healing rain which it will drop on death. Zeon guards are just beefy reprisals of the prism flowers, but they're easy to kill and are only a small roadblock in the fight.
Zeon, on the other hand, is just plain nasty. He packs a thousand hit points, hits like a beast, has maxed out crit, double, and counter rates. Demon Breath 2 is also nasty, dealing ~45 damage to a two-square radius, requiring Aura 3 to patch it up.
Oh, and you read that right. Zeon can move. It actually turns out that's a blessing in disguise.
To the bottom left is an arch demon, who is moderately annoying because it casts Bolt 3. To the bottom right is a pyrohydra which has a fair chance of instagibbing any character, but is otherwise unimpressive. A horseman will also charge in on turn 3, but it will quickly leash to Bowie if you don't move him. Dealing with the horseman is actually annoying, since moving Bowie gives it a high chance to releash, and bypassing the bottleneck with fliers will just get them killed.
Also, that single demon master is a dick. You have to remember not to step on tiles where it can snipe you with Freeze 4.
There's also a devil griffin way out to the right, but taking it down with archers isn't difficult.
Roughly six turns into the fight, and I've already mishandled things. The horseman is really giving me problems. Not that it's dangerous, since it's only pegging Bowie for 10 HP per turn, but trying to kill it is getting my other characters killed. You already saw Gyan get tagged by the demon master, and Sarah also got killed by the combination of a devil griffin and a pyrohydra.
It's worth mentioning at this point that most monsters will kill most of your characters with either a double attack or a critical. A smart player will use Boost very liberally (though squishies will still die to a double or a crit, even while boosted).
This might be a screenshot of Skreech trying to clear out the demon master and eating a Bolt 3 and a pyrohydra as a result. Suffice it to say, I played this fight far too aggressively the first time around.
But one I clear out that clusterfuck down the middle, the fight is actually very easy. To the left (first screenshot) are a pyrohydra, a demon master, and a Zeon guard. As I've mentioned, the Zeon guard doesn't actually do anything, and the other two are easy to deal with in isolation and without bottlenecks. To the right are two pyrohydras, a demon master and a zeon guard. Not difficult to take out with relatively open terrain either.
The blue shaman also has very aggressive AI with Blast 4, so it's easy to lure out and take down, for an easy healing rain.
Frayja also picked up this.
This is Zeon taking advantage of his new found floating head abilities. Yes, that's the range and area effect for Demon Breath 2. It's not nice, but as previously mentioned, an Aura 3 cast in the same spot will undo its effects. Too bad Zeon acts twice per round.
Also, be careful in the middle bottleneck at the very beginning. It's possible to step one square too far and walk right into Zeon's max Demon Breath range in the first turn, and that is absolutely the last thing you want to happen.
So now Zeon's active and angry, he's still got two cronies left, and three of my guys are dead (one of whom is Sarah). These are pretty bad odds.
Make that four dead guys.
Just decided to include this screenshot, because that face at the bottom is pretty damn detailed.
So, with no real hope of winning, the only solution is to sacrifice Bowie and minimize resurrection costs.
Zeon's defense isn't particularly high. He just has boatloads of HP and the ability to kill anyone by yawning at them.
But it turns out that for some reason, Zeon actually de-prioritizes attacking Bowie. Leave several characters next to Zeon, and the AI will always attack somebody other than him. Thank god too, because it would be irritating as hell to have to fight Zeon while constantly having Bowie on the run.
Zeon kind of does way too much damage. The crappy AI that plagued Red Baron and Odd Eye doesn't work on Zeon. He is far too happy to just rip everybody to pieces with his normal attack.
To be fair, even in such a crappy situation, I managed to knock Zeon down to nearly half health. Turns out that full focus beatdowns actually crank out a lot of damage per turn. If Zeon couldn't move, it would be much harder to position characters around him for damage, and this fight would take a lot longer.
Yeah that's about right. But this time, I'm coming in prepared.
Remember those things? If shit goes wrong, I have an escape plan now!
Let's get back into the fight and skip the boring stuff. If you take down the first arch demon, pyrohydra, and horseman without getting the demon masters involved, the beginning of the fight is actually easy and shouldn't get anybody killed (barring RNG shenanigans).
Despite the fact that the blue shaman spawns with healing rains again, I couldn't get it to drop the thing when killing it. Too bad.
I would say this is ten turns later, but I used frameskip to refill Taya's MP again. I do not feel one bit guilty about this.
I wish this were more dramatic in the gameplay sense. Bolt is really Bowie's signature spell, but he can't realistically learn Bolt 4.
Since Zeon has double the HP he does in the original game, the lifebar kind of freaks out until you take him down to 500.
Surprise, surprise. This is what's going to be saving my ass.
Did I mention that Zeon does way too much damage yet? This isn't even a critical hit.
And this is while Jaha is boosted.
But after three turns, I can shave off 600 HP. Casting Attack on Claude, beating Zeon down with everyone, and liberal use of Atlas 2 are all to thank. It's funny how you never realize how much damage you can actually output in this game until you actually, you know, have to.
Zynk with Attack on too. I'm really afraid to think what would have happened if I didn't take in Zynk and Claude as my last two characters and left myself with crap like Higins and Luke. I'd like to see somebody run through this game with a ban on unarmed characters.
Two turns later.
Well, let's finish this properly, then.
Not like that.
Yeah, like that.
Bowie doesn't get a special animation for finishing Zeon like Max did with Dragon Dragon, though.
Yeah, that's real relevant.
And that's the end of the game. No really, that's it. There's an ending sequence, but you can go read Random Hajile's LP of this part if you actually care. Haha, who am I kidding, everyone reading this LP has beaten the original game at least ten times.
Anyways, it's been a fun ride. The hack did become crushingly hard at a few points, mostly in the first three boss battles. But honestly, it's fair in its difficulty, especially because the AI is so easy to manipulate. The hack did succeed in forcing use of actual tactics, mostly in the form of Attack, Boost, Atlas, and mystery staves.
Really, go play the hack for yourself. It's a rewarding experience (except when you get RNGed out), and forces you to use your brain while playing Shining Force 2.
Oh but before I close out the LP, I guess there's one last thing to do.
God damn, Elis has ridiculous hair.
And then there's a long credits roll that's not particularly impressive but does sport some new music. And with that track, we've listened to the entire symphonic suite soundtrack!
I used to think this was Simone from Shining Force 1, but apparently it's Mitula. Which makes no god damn sense because she was already in the story and all that, but whatever. Writing isn't Shining Force's strong point.
Oh yeah, the ending screen of the jewels is bugged out for some reason.
BUT THIS ISN'T MOTHERFUCKERS.
NEXT TIME: Hahaha, you didn't seriously think I was done, did you?