Part 33: The Laboratory (II)All right, we have a lot of murder to accomplish on this map, so let's get right to it.
We're thrown right into the next battle and - oh boy! It's Roget! Again!
First let's take a look at our new recruit, who can't be swapped out of this fight either. The magic robe isn't bad, but she needs gloves and some other stuff to get that terrible DEF up. I just pile everything I have left lying around on her.
Water mages aren't bad, but they can't learn lightning magic, which is a noticeable drawback. Aside from that, Corselia is a perfectly adequate caster, but as previously stated I like other characters better.
Roget is content to put down some wind terrain for now, but he's going to make a nuisance of himself soon enough. He's level 24 and comes with MP up to level 4, a Wind and a Water Rune, and the skills to use them. He also has Concentration, but fortunately lacks any movement based skills.
Most of his minions are fishmen, but he has three humans with him as well - swordsman, archer and caster. The archer can reach Katarina if she's close enough to do this, but I'm hoping parking Keneth next to her will keep him from interrupting this spell. Roget is bad enough; don't want to deal with another mage if I can help it.
Corselia is less useful here than she was on the last map, but she's sort of a main character so that means she has a bunch of supports.
I'm ready, Corselia.
So am I!
They learn Ice Crush Attack, which uses the same positioning as New Knight Attack and hits a single tile in front of Kyril. Weird that this happens before they start building good will, but...
...we can trigger the first good will convo right away.
Thank you for saving me.
Oh, that... Don't mention it! You aren't hurt, are you?
No, I'm fine... Thanks.
There is our Good Will!
And there is Tal putting his fisherman training to use and filleting one of these things for a kind of meh level.
Keneth parks himself next to Katarina and for some reason the archer doesn't even try to attack her. I'm not sure what's up with that. Maybe the computer cheated and saw that it would have triggered a support if it tried, or something. It would still have dealt damage though, so it's weird to see him just idle away his turn.
Either way, Katarina's spell goes off without a hitch and zappo! One caster less to worry about.
Corselia can't really do much. She doesn't have the stats to get into close combat, she has bad reach, bad MOV, and only one damaging spell and a single third level MP to use it with. The AoE on Breath of Ice can also work against you since your own dudes may get in the way. She'll be spending most of this map creating water terrain (because she's weak to all that naturally occurring lightning terrain on the map she can't be switched out on argh) and standing on it.
Oh, now he gets started. Wow.
Keneth takes some hits from the fishmen towards the rear of the map as well, but with the terrain and earrings healing him, it's going to take a lot more than that to bring him down.
Roget is already preparing to close in and get personal.
Aside from him, though, this fight isn't very interesting since it's just the previous map with mostly more of the same enemies. We'll also be seeing a lot of shitty level-ups here, which makes it even less interesting.
And a lot of reinforcements.
Katarina used up her third level spell, but she only needs a second level one to get rid of this guy. Archers don't have the MDF casters do.
If you can get a +2, put it in a stat you have a use for!
Looks like that good will convo paid off. I was actually a bit surprised to see that thing run all the way up there. I expected it to go after Keneth.
Oh boy, this is bad news. Roget is about to cast THE SHREDDING.
This is the fourth level Wind spell, and predictably, it's quite powerful. The AoE is a step up from what we've seen so far, and it has a range of 6, meaning this can hurt a lot of people - potentially way before they have a chance to hurt the caster.
It does have some charge time, however, and this time I was able to move Keneth out of his reach, so he cancels it. I'm still not sure if that was a good thing or not; Keneth is on native terrain and has the MDF buff from the fancy necklace, so it might have been more clever to let him eat that spell and deprive Roget of his strongest attack.
Let's try out that thing we got. The positioning may be iffy and the range may be shit, but the damage is certainly impressive!
Corselia freezes the opponent, and Kyril chops them into ice cubes...
...but even with Corselia initiating it, Kyril's "little problem" kicks in and the fishman survives the attack with one HP.
But although Kyril can't kill them, even a hit that deals zero damage still counts as an attack, and he gets experience for it. That was not a shitty level!
I can't help it. It's so tempting when they show up in such narrow formations.
Keneth continues to get lucky with 50% death attacks and takes out a fishmen he couldn't have beaten otherwise.
Katarina got her Berserk Blow back after levelling up, makes use of it to take out the casterfish, and picks up a bonito.
Most of the generics are done, so Lazlo and Kyril start pushing on ahead.
Corselia is pretty sure she can do one point of damage to the fish Kyril couldn't finish off. And she can!
That's the most embarrassing death ever.
Tal kills the last fish in the immediate area and levels up.
Tal continues his killing spree and wipes out the swordsman. This causes two more fishmen to spawn in near Roget's starting position.
Speaking of whom, we're now close enough to get Wind of Sleep'd.
The lone surviving fishman from the first wave of reinforcements makes it over to our starting position. Katarina takes it out before it can do anything.
The party advances. Beating Roget isn't the problem here; it's that doing so ends the map. I'd be much happier if I could take him out and leave a relatively harmless fishman behind instead, but no, if we want to do treasure hunting here, it means leaving Roget alone until we're done.
'course, that also means we have time to play with some new skills we've picked up.
As you can probably guess, this does nothing against boss types like Roget...
...but against generics, it's quite effective. And since it no longer has a chance to kill the user, it's not bad at all. Still not as good as Double-Edged Sword most of the time, of course - but not bad.
Katarina mildly inconveniences Roget with lightning. We can't really do much to him in terms of magic damage as long as he's on native terrain, but, well, it generates EXP.
Tal continues fishing.
He can continue fishing forever.
Those fishmen are annoying. Go away.
But now he's out of Winds of Sleep, and moves on to Breath of Ice.
Kyril can't slap him out of it, so he nukes Tal and Corselia. Both of them survive, but Tal loses over half his health.
Huh? I was just getting warmed up.
So I kick him out.
(Actually I was planning to do it anyway, but...)
I actually didn't know where the treasure was in this fight - landing her right on top of it was pure luck. As the name implies (and as you may recall from Suikoden IV if you haven't drowned those memories in cheap liquor yet) we've picked up some gloves for casters.
Supposedly, if you defeat only Roget on this map, you'll get another Magic Hand as a reward - but that sounds painful and annoying and not fun at all.
This is what happens when you try to swap in a character who's already fought in the current battle. No matter how little they've done or how much damage they've taken, they'll excuse themselves and say they're not up for it. Rene just stands in a corner and digs instead for the rest of the fight; she's lagging behind in levels anyway, and could use the EXP.
Meanwhile, Roget continues picking on Corselia. I don't mind; she probably has the highest MDF in the group.
Oh, and a healing spell which places her on native terrain when used (even if Breath of Ice hadn't done so already).
Fucking finally! There's the second and final treasure of the map (this one in a chest) and that means we can finally kick Roget's Canadian behind!
Lazlo fails to do any kicking, but gets EXP for the attempt and gets another bad level.
Fortunately, Corselia is just fast enough to land a Breath of Ice on him before he finishes that spell. It doesn't do a lot of damage, and doesn't break his concentration, but...
...it probably saved Lazlo's life. (Well, or rather it spared him the indignity of having to retreat.) If Roget is standing on a wind tile when this goes off, this spell could one-shot most of my characters. The damage may not look that impressive, but Lazlo is on native terrain and has pretty good MDF.
Roget is off the wind terrain and out of damaging spells, so now it's just a matter of beating on him. Katarina smacks him with her stick and gets... oh, what a surprise, another shitty level.
Roget really hates Corselia and decides to smack her with his stick instead of creating more wind terrain.
Keneth finishes him off, and he teleports out again...
...leaving Keneth another disappointing level-up...
...and me another disappointing rewardless S-rank.
Then, it's plot time.
You should probably watch this.
It would appear not.
I wonder if the fact that we took over ten updates to get here could have anything to do with that - no, wait, never mind. I got video games confused with things that make sense again.
Mizuki hops over to the next platform. I was about to say something about how it's lazy as fuck to teleport over distances of less than ten meters when you have two fully functioning legs, but then I realized that if I had magical ninja teleporting powers, I'd be showing them off whenever I had a chance, too.
If there's no trace of it, how can you tell... crap, I'm doing it again.
Where could they have moved something so large?
And we were so close...
If there's nothing left to do, we should leave here right now. This place gives me the creeps!
I don't think you ever explained what you were doing here in the first place.
...You're right. Let's head back.
But perhaps we should have that conversation outside. You never know when more fishmen might show up, and I'm sure we could all use a break from those.
Very disappointing, but I suppose there's nothing we can do about that for now.
Our party starts heading for the exit.
My, I don't think she likes him very much! Are you telling me the slimy war profiteer is a bad guy?
Heh heh heh... Everything has its price.
"Weapons... drugs... people... parts of people..."
Don't trust him! He tricked my mother and lured the two of us into a trap. What do you want?
I'm so sorry you're mixed up in this, Corselia... Please, forgive me.
Don't forgive her. She's dumb.
Just another love-starved lady. But can you blame her? With that beast she calls a husband...
I'm not sure leaving a beast for a snake is an upgrade.
How dare you!
All I did was invite her to enjoy the charms of a real gentleman.
I think it went something along the lines of, "My beautiful Miranda. Every time we meet, the sadness on your face pierces my heart like a blade..."
...I'm just happy Keneth doesn't know where that necklace came from.
Isn't that right, my darling?
"I know he's a total douchebag without morals or scruples but he's just so pretty!"
"I think I'm gonna hurl."
I'm so sorry, Corselia.
"I can't help it. His flagrant disregard for human life turns me on like you wouldn't believe."
"Okay, now I'm definitely gonna hurl."
Aha-ha-ha-ha! Married to that madman with the mane of a lion! He lives only for the fight... You simply couldn't put up with him anymore, could you, my darling?
I think I'm going to get sick if I have to hear him say "my darling" again.
Stop it! Don't insult my father like that!
Didn't you see just now, Mother? Those fish monsters that Iskas set loose on us... I think they used to be human!
She pronounces this like "Wha?"
One of them might have been that boy we met back in Merseto!
Corselia, what are you talking about...??
Mother! Please believe me!!
But Miranda doesn't believe her because she's dumb and has the imagination and personality of a wet dishrag. (This also explains everything else Miranda does.)
...With Corselia, of course. Come along now, dear girl.
It's what your mother wants. You do want to see her again, don't you? Come here.
I could go off on a big rant about how creepy this guy is, but just listen to him.
No way! I'm going with Kyril!
(Unfortunately that also means listening to Corselia, which is not very pleasant either.)
Kyril... You're a good kid. I like you. So let me give you some advice. Hand Corselia over, if you know what's good for you.
I can't do that.
Something tells me I'm not the only one who wants to beat his face in!
Iskas doesn't seem too concerned, though.
No matter. We shall meet again before long!
Corselia... I suppose you have no other choice.
They walk out. Predictably, Seneca doesn't shoot Iskas in the back or anything even though that would have been the smart thing to do. Cutscenes.
Damn! That trickster...
Mother... how could you...?
That is a very good question.
But one better answered in an upcoming chapter.
(Disclaimer: questions may or may not be answered.)
Corselia and Miranda artwork.
And the party. Corselia is short. (This may be because she's 11.)