Part 24: Ruins of Obel (II)
Of course we're heading deeper into the ruins! Who the hell do you think I am?
This is familiar enough by now, I should think.
Lazlo can't reach anyone from here, but all the enemies will move before he can charge Double-Edged Sword, so if he starts now there's a good chance at least one of them will be within range by the time he's done.
The goddamn bats do their best, but they can't stop him.
Maxine, in proud tradition, continues to almost kill things with her spells. On the plus side, the lighting conditions are a bit different down here - casting spells doesn't fill the entire screen with white light! Which is nice because then I can kind of show things off without having to use settings that make the game run at 20fps. First world problems
The skeletons are technically more dangerous than the bats, but I kill the bats first anyway because fuck bats.
Error 404: bat not found.
Eugene rides up, notices that he can't kill the skeleton and it has a 40% chance to cross counter him to death...
...so he dismounts and uses First Style instead. It does unbalance him, but that's better than Cross Counter.
Pablo catches up with Snowe... levels-wise. But just look at this level. Look at it. Not only does he have the lowest MAG of any caster (well, technically tied for lowest with a later one), but Pablo is also the physically weakest character in the game - his expected STR by level 50 is in the mid teens. (Maxine and Andarc, for comparison, should end somewhere around 40 and 50, respectively.)
But that isn't his only problem. Pablo also comes with the Earth Magic skill permanently equipped (you know, in case you were thinking of giving him a better elemental rune). Normally it's not really a big deal for a mage to come with their appropriate magic skill (although both Andarc and Maxine can remove theirs), but Earth Magic does nothing for him at this time.
Let's review this. The magic skills do two things: first, they improve damage - which is useful for both Andarc and Maxine from the very beginning, but the only damaging Earth spell is Earthquake, the fourth level spell. Second, they reduce charging time - which none of our mages aside from Lazlo care about right now. Typically, it's the third level spells and higher that require charging. However, the third level Earth spell is instantaneous, so the skill does nothing but take up space until he can access fourth level MP.
(But on the plus side, he doesn't particularly need that skill slot anyway because he can't learn Extra Move.)
On top of all that, he suffers from the same problem Warlock had in that Earth magic is not very good. Buffs are at best situational, and at worst completely pointless in a game as easy as your average Suikoden. Tactics is even worse in this regard given that standing on native terrain is already a better buff.
If your eyes started glazing over before you could get halfway through that wall of text, what I'm saying is that neither Pablo nor Earth magic are particularly good on their own, and combining the two does nothing to offset this.
But enough talk; it's time for action. Blah blah not getting EXP for this, blah not caring, blah wanting the bats dead.
Eugene may be a tank, but these skeletons are no slouches. With three of them in range, they could actually kill him! Andarc tosses him some meds, though; that should fix the problem.
However, Eugene's presence still doesn't mean that all enemies will always go after him. This skeleton thought it had a good chance to kill the sleeping Flare...
...but Lazlo thwarts it just in time. Closest I've been to a reset so far.
The third one can't reach Flare, and settles for punching Eugene's nose in.
Lazlo and Snowe do their thing. Snowe is ahead of Pablo again. (Naturally.)
And that's Lazlo's contribution.
Maxine nukes the skeleton, but it regains HP. I'm guessing it's Hidden Power triggering. Don't remember if I've ever even seen this before. It's still on low health, though! Maybe with earth terrain and a side attack, Pablo could-
-oh wait, it's Pablo we're talking about. Never mind.
He medicates Flare instead. Don't need stats for that!
Eugene could finish the last skeleton by the entrance, but he's feeling suicidal, so he charges on ahead.
Flare takes care of it instead and levels up. A bit disappointing after the one she got last time, but at the same time, I can't complain too much after the last one either.
But Eugene is still tanky enough to survive the archer's attack, and then we have a lot of dudes coming up who can help him out.
Cohort Attack, go!
And Eugene himself takes out the archer, leaving only a bat, which is mostly harmless apart from Wind of Sleep
As if that wasn't enough, he levels up and gets all his HP back, although the stats are a bit disappointing. Speed, damn it. Speed.
Lazlo is out of Double-Edged Swords and way ahead on the EXP, so he swaps out for Rene. The treasure we want for that quest is on this level, and having her along is the only way to get it.
She finds the treasure on her first turn! (See the glowing thing next to the lightning bolt.) And Andarc softens up the bat a bit.
Flare gets the killing shot. Her level is too high to get anything much out of it, but it's certainly satisfying.
Rene digs up the treasure. This should be here every time you come to this level until you dig it up, so you can't miss it, but there's no reason not to get it on the first run.
The chest contains a One-Piece Dress. It's okay, I guess.
Eugene still feels a bit suicidal and charges ahead again.
This causes the last enemies of the map to spawn in. If you're unprepared for this, it's a very unpleasant surprise.
"Don't leave me here! "
Rene digs in a spot carefully picked to put her out of the enemies' reach.
Spirits are some of the more unpleasant enemies in the game. The symbols over their heads indicate Magic Sword status. This is the same thing the third level spell from the Magic Sword runes does: the character leaves a trail of the appropriate elemental terrain as they move - and as a result of this, are always standing on that terrain - and their attacks deal extra damage based on the character's MAG. (This is the only use fighters have for the magic stat. For characters such as Wendel, it can be quite worth it.)
Magic Sword status normally wears off after a few turns. However, spirits are permanently affected by it.
Eugene gets a taste of what it's like to be on the receiving end.
Fortunately, the fire spirit isn't in position to attack anyone...
...and it never will.
If I'm to say anything nice about spirits, it's that they drop fragments more often than elementals.
Snowe kills off the wind spirit.
But Maxine can't kill the lightning one.
That's our last treasure! Rene picks up a Killer Ring on her next turn.
And that was our last enemy.
Huh. Wasn't expecting that.
The S-rank rewards for the ruins are just this - items named after the map where you got it. Useless and unnecessary.
And we're faced with a difficult choice...
(Actually no, that's still a lie.)