Part 9: I Hope You Like Menu Screens, Part I
Chapter 8: I Hope You Like Menu Screens, Part I
Last time, we were talking about how useful Perseverance is. It takes 80 SP to max out at Level 10, so in the new game, I dumped all of our early-game SP into it, then go to fight some bitches on the mountain.
In the desert, you'll occasionally run into some hourglass enemies. They are horrible to fight because the targeting AI has a hard time judging their hitbox and you're usually too far away from them to actually hit them. They also move too fast for most Killer Moves to hit accurately. However, they drop Fairy Glasses at a ~25% rate, which you can also sell for insane amounts of money.
They're incredibly useful items, as you can see from their description, but you can also make them at a 100% rate with item creation later in the game, so sell, sell, sell (unless you like the pretty picture).
Also, someone mentioned something in this thread about thinking that you can't get to the desert this early in the game. You're thinking of a different desert entirely, but I'm fairly certain that the encounter groups are the same there as here.
Long story short, we're back to where we ended the last update. This time, Billy has Dexterity. It didn't take very long, but Billy still needs a few SP to max out Pickpocketing.
However, this time, Billy also didn't start with Sense of Taste, so here's a great time to show how Skill Unlocking works in this game.
Basically, you buy a lot of items needed to use a given item creation skill.
I thought that the Toro Tuna was a certain late-game character's favorite food (fully restores him or her when eaten out of battle), but it's not; his favorite food is the Big Tuna. Yes, there's a difference. No, I didn't buy it.
Anyway, we go to the item screen.
We cook some vegetables.
It only took one try! Secret Talents, like mentioned before, greatly aid in item creation. They also have a secondary bonus, however:
They give you 100 free SP when you unlock one. Assuming you don't start with ANY, you can get up to 700 free SP with a given character, which is probably enough to get almost any skill you could ever want barring Reproduction, Music, and combat abilities.
THIS TIME, we did it right. Max Poker Face, pump up Courage as high as it can go.
Skill levels are the rounded-down average of all of its component skills' levels. Since Poker Face is at 10 and Courage is at 1 here, Billy's Pickpocketing is Level 5, which isn't terrible, but it's frugal to pump it up as high as it can go. Why? Because...
... because we're going to Mars Village. Again. Star Ocean 2 veterans know exactly what I'm about to do.
If you pickpocket the old man standing outside of the inn, you get a Treasure Chest item.
The Treasure Chest gives you three items at COMPLETE random--no "oh this item is really hard to get so CROSS YOUR FINGERS!" bullshit--from a pool of 256 items. You can create Treasure Chests with the Art skill, but by the time you have a high enough skill level for it, you can probably BUY the items you can get from the Treasure Chest.
For your entertainment, I took screenshots of the more fun items we got while waiting for the one I was looking for.
This sword sounds badass as hell and has better stats than anything you can get on Expel, but it's actually pretty crappy because it eats MP whenever you swing it, hit or miss.
OH BOY I GOT A X BOX FOR CHRISTMAS
With an attack of 1,120, I wouldn't call it just "sort of" dangerous. This is, by the way, one of the "best" items you can get from the Treasure Chest.
only if your dreams include reading a magazine featuring a dude who looks like a chick
Tri-emplems are perhaps a bit tricksy. They're actually not bad accessories stat-wise (considering 99% of the accessories in this game don't increase your stats AT ALL) and you can even reasonably equip them against the normal last boss, but they're shitty versions of a much better accessory called the Tri-emblem that gives TEN TIMES their stat boosts and protects you against ALL ELEMENTS.
Another one of the "best" items. You can actually turn it into one character's best weapon while still on Disc 1.
I dunno if this is like actually porn or what, but if anyone can tell me what it is, it'd be a real help.
Finally, we get THIS.
THIS FUCKING SWORD
Basically, it's our new best friend right up until we get the Eternal Sphere.
Obviously, we also get this fucking thing in the same group.
If there ever was a time for a :charliebrown: emote, this would be it.
Anyway, these enemies are just trash, but this is basically a good measure of the minimum damage we'll do to everything in the entire game from now on.
Right about then, I noticed that 'Geese was getting some crappy MP healing after battle.
After-battle healing is based on one stat alone: Stamina. Characters with a high STM can fully recover HP and MP after every battle. We pump up Tallgeese's Danger Sense to give him some free points in the stat.
There we go, 10 MP after each battle ain't bad at all.
It also unlocks Scout. Oh boy Scout. Remember how we unlocked Billy's Sense of Taste earlier in this update?
Well Scout works the same way, except it doesn't consume anything to use, and the chance for unlocking its related talent is considerably smaller.
Every time you use a skill, you have a certain percent chance of unlocking a related talent. Each character has his or her own percent for each talent. Billy's chance for unlocking Sense of Taste is like 11% each time she uses Cooking, which means she's pretty much guaranteed to get it once you use it nine times or so. Tallgeese's chance, on the other hand, is like 3%.
Each time you click any of the three options on the screen shown here, you have a chance to unlock Sixth Sense (For Geese, it's like a .08% chance; Billy has a flat-out 0% chance of unlocking it). It doesn't really do anything because it's only related to Scout (which is pretty useless already anyway), but it's a free 100 SP.
I wanna say that took about five minutes of mashing the fuck out of my controller. Not too terrible.
There's a way to unlock talents easier, but you can't access it AT ALL until Disc 2, so there will be no more words about that.
Anyway, we max out Courage with Billy so we now have a Level 10 Pickpocket ceiling.
We can now steal
this from the newlywed wife in Arlia.
It's not special by any means and you can make them in ghetto-science microwavable batches of 20 later in the game, but at this point, much like Orichalcum, Damascus, or Fairy Glasses, it's just too awesome to not have.
I'd like to conclude this update on the main menu screen. Note my levels, money, time, and number of battles. The real time should probably be about half an hour longer, but being set for pretty much the rest of the first disc in under three hours and 100 encounters is still not terrible by any measure.
And now you can do it too!
Also if you wanted to see any story progression, too bad.