Part 26: Ruins of Obel (IV)
Time to explore level five of the Obel Ruins! Certainly looks welcoming, doesn't it?
This is where the game stops fucking around. You'll notice the objective has changed, as well - this is the deepest we're going to get... for the time being, at least.
Here's our party for this section. You'll notice a change here, too; I'm going to need Rene to be present through the entire map, and that just means the least useful member of the group has to go. Bye, Pablo; I won't miss you.
Level 5 is full of fuckery, and these things are responsible for about 98% of it. There's three of them. Three! Just one was a hassle in IV, and now they're expecting me to take on this many. God fucking damn it, Suikoden Tactics.
Also, we cannot access the treasure chests in the background here because the floor is
Oh, and in case you were wondering, these are the stats on this thing. 128 attack! That's enough to one-shot pretty much any member of the group. And that MDF? Yeah, no cheesing these things with double-edged sword.
There's also a bunch of lesser - but by no means non-threatening - foes to contend with...
...including these two at the very end of the path, which will slowly be making their way towards us.
Here's the reason I'm starting with Rene. You have to dig here on your first visit. If you do not get this treasure before clearing the map, it will be gone forever. Technically this shouldn't be a huge deal - all you're losing out on is a quest, and it shouldn't prevent you from levelling up your quest rank, but it just looks bad, you know?
Let's get the party started. One of the bats ventures a little too close for comfort. Maxine draws first blood (or, well, whatever the setting-things-on-fire equivalent is)...
...and also the first level of the map. She not only gets her spell back, but also becomes the first person on the team to get a third level magic point!
Sadly though, I'm not too fond of this spell, so there's not much point to it as long as she only has a regular fire rune. It's an interesting concept, but I've never found it very useful. I'll still show it off a little later on this map, though.
Andarc finishes the bat before it can start casting sleep spells at us. However, he's a bit over-levelled, so he doesn't get much for it.
Here's the important treasure. I could really kick Rene out at this point, but there's still a few more things to find and she'll be more help than Pablo anyway.
Most of the group starts moving right to receive the first wave of skeletons, but I left Eugene with Rene to hopefully draw the bats away from the helpless little girl. They take the bait. In all the wrong ways.
Fucking dickbag bats.
A 72% chance to get cross-countered is not something Snowe wants to risk. Don't worry, he'll get plenty of EXP later on.
I did mention this skill back in the underground path when I first showed off a red skeleton, but it's been a while, so let me reiterate: Cross Counter is exclusive to characters with fist weapons and increases the power of counterattacks based on the attacker's strength.
Seneca takes it out instead.
Lazlo softens up one of the others...
...and Flare considers, very briefly, shooting a few arrows at it, but reconsiders and gets the fuck out of the way.
Even the regular enemies are nothing to joke about at this point. That gear is nothing we're even close to getting our hands on.
The golems mill about aimlessly. Fortunately, oh so very fortunately, they are too big to leave the platforms where they start - having them chase after you like the bats and skeletons would basically turn the strategy for this map into "use immortal characters and pray."
Seneca really regrets not taking a step back after finishing that first skeleton.
The bats keep doing annoying things.
Cohort Attack is as ridiculous as always. Both skeletons die...
...and drop enough EXP to get both Seneca...
...and Andarc a level. Insert more griping about not having access to growth rates here; I'm not sure if Maxine is getting RNG blessed or if Andarc is getting screwed, or even if they're dead on and she just grows a bit faster.
Rene does things, and the rest of the team lines up for the long and tedious walk over to the next platform.
And the bats finally close in and start attacking. You've cast your last Wind of Sleep, lizard!
Treasure number two discovered! Now if only Rene would wake up again so she can start digging.
now hold that formation
Lazlo kills two of them and leaves the last one wounded. Bats count as mages, apparently, but I don't care because it doesn't have access to damaging spells anyway. I wish they had access to damaging spells instead.
Fun thing about Extra Move: if you cast a spell with charge time, you'll get to move again after it resolves. This is just one of many reasons Pablo is so terrible.
Eugene and Flare execute their bats and start running to catch up with the rest of the group.
Lazlo could kill the bat, but it would be a waste of his talents. He does something stupid instead.
Andarc is the only other character who's still both in range and not asleep and beats the bat to death with his stick.
It makes such a satisfying sound.
With most of the trash enemies down, it's time to turn our attention to the golems.
Wait, what happened to your
mother of fuck
Pictured: the range at which the golems can fuck you over.
Not pictured: the results of my first attempt at this, during which that rocket punch one-shotted Lazlo from full health at native terrain instead of simply leaving him in critical health.
Lazlo isn't going near that thing again for a good while.
Rene finally wakes up and digs up the second treasure.
The second golem readies its rocket punch.
This time, it's Eugene's turn to sacrifice himself. He does have more HP than Lazlo, but god damn, that damage.
This is going to require a lot of standing around on home terrain.
Fortunately, each golem only has two arms, and unlike proper super robots they don't return once they've been shot off.
There is one last bat. Unlike the others, it wastes all its Winds of Sleep by trying to catch Eugene with the "side" effect - just like Thunder Runner, it affects a + shaped area, but is most effective in the middle.
And there goes the final rocket punch.
GOD FUCKING DAMN IT THIS FUCKING HURTS
The skeletons are getting closer, so Maxine strategically slaps down some fire terrain for later use. Eugene medicates himself because these enemies hit a lot harder than ones on previous levels.
(And because if he didn't, something terrible might have happened. But it obviously didn't.)
But he can give as good as he gets... almost.
And there we go: Blazing Wall.
Maxine doesn't level up, but she gets pretty close. Also, she parks herself on the fire terrain because she should be able to survive a hit that way. The skeleton, however, decides that fuck Maxine and fuck the Firefly Rune too; it wants to shoot Seneca.
Lazlo blasts it out of existence...
...and Seneca takes out the last bat, leaving only the golems to contend with.
Golems are assholes.
You're not going to hurt them with magic.
Rene is the only person actually doing something useful at this point. The rest of this fight is a ridiculous slog against the ridiculous tanky golems - but hell, they're literal brick walls, so I don't know what I was expecting.
Without a terrain advantage, this takes a long time.
Assuming you can even manage to deal damage to them at all, that is.
Wow, Flare, you managed to deal the first point of damage against this golem.
While wearing a berserker belt.
Fucking things have an S in Armor Defense. This is going to keep happening.
Oh, and they're not harmless just because they've been disarmed. That just means they can't use their 9-range "fuck you and everything you stand for" attack, but they retain a "fuck you and most of the things you stand for" one and there's no getting rid of that. It's a 2x2 tile AoE in front of the golem, but they don't seem to like using it against a target two tiles off; these two only use it when I'm right up in their faces.
Finally, things start going my way.
...but of course they have to go and switch positions before I can off the weakened one. Normally, the smart thing to do would be to hit them with -Affinity terrain and sit back until they're at 1 HP, but one is lightning and one water, so that's kind of problematic. At least beating on them builds character.
Lots of character.
Meanwhile, the people who can't deal any damage find other ways to amuse themselves.
*sigh* Enough with the "Princess" Flare! Please...
Oh, I'm sorry... But is still worries me to have you fighting like this. Are you really sure that the king won't be mad about it later?
Yes, I'm sure. My whole family fights like this.
Haha, believe it... Come on, let's go!
More Good Will.
I'm taking a gamble, hoping I can kill off the water golem with the help of -Affinity terrain before it goes and changes places with the other one.
Success! They blow up when they die, and tend to leave materials like platinum and diamonds behind.
I'm going to take some more chances here but fuck it, this has gone on far too long already.
Snowe gets the kill. That explosion is pretty satisfying.
Just like I hoped, the third and final golem went for Eugene.
Rene, completely oblivious to the giant stone fist that dropped from the sky and barely missed her, continues digging.
And that's the last shot! The map is in the bag; we just have to actually kill the thing.
It's perfectly safe now that it doesn't have its arms and
Oh, come the fuck on! All that hanging around the other two at a two tile distance and they never used that attack, but now you decide to use it? Fucks motherfucking sake!
All right, new strategy: asshole golem is earth elemental, so bomb the hell out of it with wind terrain.
Suffer, you son of a fuck!
Seneca is feeling chatty today.
If it's about that journal again, we already had that discussion. Five minutes ago.
Kyril has grown into a strong young man lately, don't you think?
Not really. I mean, you both outlevel him.
Hmm... Indeed, he has.
He probably won't need our help for much longer.
Fair warning: either one of you get yourself eaten by man-eating spores after that line, I'm bringing you back from the dead so I can kick your ass personally. Seriously. It's been done.
Even if he says he doesn't need my help anymore, I swore that I would be loyal for the rest of my life!
No guarantees on how long that will be, see above comment about man-eating spores.
Sheesh, I know, already! I was kidding. Sort of.
But... Well... I think I'll stick with him, too.
You damn well better. You're some of my better units!
(Also Kyril already lost enough parental figures.)
Anyway, they proceed to increase Good Will and the golem proceeds to run into a corner like a moron, not that I'm complaining because that means it's completely neutered.
Rene digs up the Platinum buried on this platform.
Lazlo blasts open this treasure chest. There's a Cape of Darkness inside. Don't ask me how they got it out from all the way over there.
I was pretty sure that was the last treasure on the map, but just to be sure, I sent Rene along to check out the rest of it. Turns out, I was right, and there's nothing here.
Snowe gets to kill this one, too, since his level is the lowest.
It was... kind of worth it, I guess.
And that ends it.
How the fuck is that a B rank? This map alone took as long to finish as all the previous ones put together! I took like a thousand points of damage! But what the hell, I don't care; I'm just glad it's over...
...or is it?
There is a sound of running water...
...and a new path lies open. An even greater challenge awaits us... if we dare accept it.
Our options are as follows:
An even greater challenge? Sign me the fuck up! Death and/or glory!
Weren't we on some kind of quest? I remember something about fishmen and rune cannons...
Also, I've been using these people for a long time, so give me another six characters from the list.
And bold your votes.