Part 103: Ruins Locked in Snow and IceWe're going to the final dungeon today.
I went with Professor and we fixed up the gears as good as new! Now we can move it any time we want!
But not before going through the last batch of mail. No one cares about the revolving bridge; we've been able to teleport for the past 30 hours or so.
To tell the truth, I wanted to smack him, but I held back.
Good thing. I don't think Euram could take a smack. Maybe a gentle prod.
He came to apologize to me, too. He said that confronting the people of Lordlake two years back was one of the scariest things he'd ever done. He said that's why he gave the order to attack, but that he's regretted it ever since.
While it's not my place to say this sort of thing, please forgive him.
If he keeps at it like this, I'm definitely going to have to think about it.
Doesn't she remind you of somebody? I can't put my finger on who... Eh, who cares? She's a hottie!
Everybody always talks about how great they are, so I went to se for myself. They were even better than I imagined! I'll bet if Wabon and Professor worked together, they could make something even better. That is, if they could manage to play nice...
Never gonna happen.
Since coming here, I've discovered so many incredibly powerful people. I must still be a child to concern myself so with one single loss to a man like Belcoot. Still, I want to even the score... I WILL beat him!
On your own time, soldier.
The hammer I'm using now is getting really tough to work with. It's too bad...
I suppose platinum is kind of soft, now that I think about it...
Well, I guess he's behaving just like a proper dwarven leader. It's amazing what you can do if you apply a little effort.
I don't know what a proper dwarven leader should behave, so I can't comment.
I could never leave such a dangerous drug just lying around, but I have to have some on hand to make the antidote. Though administering the antidote may be the tricky part, especially if they took the drug of their own free will...
I understand where he's coming from, but I'm still kind of glad he didn't perfect that antidote in time for the battle with Alenihak. They both got what they deserved.
I know I said that he was up to something, but there's no sign of anything like that at all. Your Highness and my Lady were absolutely right.
Look at me, going around, casting suspicion... I must be a very small person.
I thought you were supposed to be tall.
Well then. Deep breath.
I did say I was going to use Killey one more time, so let's take the opportunity to show off the unites he's part of. With Zweig and Lorelai, you get Sindar Surge, a single-target attack.
If you combine him with Lorelai, Georg, and Viki, you get Fate, which quite handily demonstrates what happens if you combine returning characters, sneezing, and teleportation magic.
Either way, it's going to make them hate each other slightly more.
There are also some treasures in the Ashtwal Mountains that I didn't pick up last time because my inventory was full. This is a fully party heal. This item originates in the first game, where it was re-useable and healed 50 HP for everyone - nice to stick on someone who uses a rune that unbalances them every other round.
This does what it always does, tanking your accuracy and guaranteeing anything you hit drops something when it dies. Suikoden V gives you several ways to inflict Unbalance on enemies, including a formation skill, so the accuracy thing isn't as much of an issue this time around. 'course, by the time you get here, you probably don't care to grind drops any more...
It's a nice looking area, but quite small - you can actually make it through it entirely without random encounters if you get lucky.
This restores all MP; I believe it is the only such item in the entire game. Where did my mushrooms go?!
Finally though, all we have left is the last ruin. (music)
Any time you go in you can keep or re-arrange your groups; you can also return to Luserina at any time to swap people around. You even get slightly different dialogue options for the three characters if you do!
And if you say you want to leave...
We'd have to stop exploring the ruins. Are you sure?
...there's another one.
But of course we're not doing any of that now.
I'd like to reorganize them.
All right, then. Let's start with who will go with Your Highness.
Next, please select who will go with Lady Lyon.
Finally, please select who will go with Sir Georg and Zweig.
Are you happy with the parties you formed, Your Highness?
All right. We're all ready now. Please be careful.
And we're off.
In theory, this isn't a bad dungeon - it's a neat idea to make you use all those characters you've sitting around. But given how every character in V starts with fuckall skills and weapon levels, making three parties useable can be a massive pain in the behind if you've been keeping to mostly one group of characters. Not only the skills, weapons, and equipment, but level wise as well.
Getting a low level character up to scratch in Suikoden has never been too difficult given how the EXP scales, but levels also unlock rune slots, so you want to train them up, ideally to level 55 where those who have them get their third runes unlocked, then go back and fill those slots - and of course you also need to obtain enough runes to make 18 characters at least semi-useful. Double-Edged is more or less standard for fighters, but they're 300k a pop.
In the end, you're looking at a scale between grinding like an idiot and making slow, boring progress because you have like two characters who are worth a damn in each party with the rest doing the best they can with second-hand gear, C-level skills, and weapon levels in the single digits because upgrading that shit is expensive even when it's just your main party, and all the enemies still have 2500+ HP. It's not that it's difficult; you have Georg in one party, so put Galleon in the second and Belcoot, Richard, dragon horses or other tank of your choice in the third, use one of the arrow formations and most enemies will find it hard to do you much harm.
Anyway, since we've established I'm perfectly willing to cheat, these complaints are not terribly relevant for this run in particular. Otherwise, you're probably better off spreading Cathari and your Escape Route characters (Linfa also has it) between the parties and escaping from most of the enemies. It'll take a hell of a lot less time.
(Another solution might be to utilize the Magic Absorb rune and spending every other round nuking, but watching those 4th-level spell animations over and over takes a lot of time and over gets boring pretty fast, too.)
Frey runs out to the right...
...and straight into the final dungeon gimmick, the reason we need three parties in the first place. Let's do the only thing we can do, other than running all the way back out and hiding under the bed.
Lyon runs left... and straight into a dragon. There are a lot of these things in here.
It's not like she could just step over the ankle-high barrier to the side and walk around this thing or anything so we'll have to swap to Zweig.
This plate lowers the barrier in front of Zweig, so he can just walk on.
The loot outside was just the beginning - there are some nice chests inside as well. The Sun gear is all very nice and improves your Sun attack... although the only people who care are Frey and Lyon who are already at natural A ranks.
Zweig runs into another barrier a bit further in.
But the button he stepped on also lets Lyon progress. These things are elevators... they look terribly unsafe, with all the ice.
This plate lowers the barrier in front of Frey. It's kind of annoying because it keeps panning to the barrier it lowers, then back again, so it takes a while to get anywhere.
Nice gear with +20 Magic - it goes to Viki, naturally.
Frey has to step on this...
...to give Lyon access to this...
...and it's back to Zweig.
This lets Frey progress. The Royal Garb isn't anything too special, just decent body gear. You don't need to be royalty to wear it.
It's time for Frey to finally change out of that dress.
This looks important...
...but Zweig can't get past it.
Look at that PDF increase. Dresses are terrible defensive gear, down like 15 points from his starting equipment.
Each part of the... sun set... grants +1 to all stats, and the full set bonus is +5 to all stats - which isn't really anything to write home about. You're probably better off splitting it between Frey and Lyon for the Sun damage boost.
Last part of the set.
And Lyon steps on her last switch.
Frey puts on the gloves from the magical party inventory before going on.
This opens a way back...
...so we can leave the dungeon quickly if we change our minds at the last minute.
But we won't! We're in this to the end!
This is kind of meh, but also the last treasure.
Frey faces the last barrier.
Lyon's path is open, so she runs on ahead, and straight into...
...the first guardian of the Ashtwal ruins! (music)
Let's see that Twilight Rune in action.
We've actually seen this spell already - it's the same one Alenia and Sialeeds used on us in war battles. All the war spells are pretty much the highest level spell from the elemental rune.
It looks hella impressive!
It looks like the guardians of the Sun Rune ruins are strong against sun damage, who'da thunk it?
Let's see if the Island Nations crew can do better.
That's what I'm talking about.
But the Maximilian Knights aren't just going to sit back and watch.
God damn, that's more damage out of the two of them than the three-person unite! Mathias and Isabel are really good.
The bosses in here all have 8500 HP, up considerably from the previous ones, and unless you're either grinding or cheating, your parties are likely weaker - these fights may actually prove something of a challenge.
Beating the boss lowers the barrier blocking Zweig's path. Lyon proceeds...
...through a corridor much like the one she started in...
...and is the first to arrive in the chamber beyond.
We immediately switch back to Zweig...
...who faces the second... wait, something isn't quite right here.
"I am Georg Prime..."
"The sword that smites evil!"
"I'll cut you in two!"
"There is nothing my perfectly normal-sized blade cannot cut!"
Getting rid of Gudalim opens Frey's barrier, and allows Zweig to continue...
...into the room beyond.
Now surely Frey's battle will be even more awe-inspiring than the last!
This ugly mutha is Enemsharra. It's about to eat Dawn Rune.
Frey's last spell is the same one he's been throwing out during the war battles as well. Which makes me wonder why he hasn't been able to use it in regular encounters before now...
Well I still have Viki, Miakis and the Dragon Cavalry with me! Should be a cinch, right?!
...oh yeah, that's right, S-range characters shouldn't be in the back row.
Damn it Viki, you had one chance to show off SS Chain Magic...
That's kind of embarrassing for everyone involved.
Wait, what are you doing?
Looks like that unite I was waiting for won't be happening.
Fuck, he has eye lasers!
Fortunately that got Miakis mad, so she decides to slaughter it.
Kinda surprised Roog and Rahal falling didn't berserk her, to be honest.
We're never going to speak of this ever again. Clear?
Are you all right?! You haven't been hurt, have you?!
No, no, we're all perfectly fine, no problems getting in here whatsoever!
Heh... I see nothing's changed between you two.
Now that we're all here, let's press on. This way.
Something starts thumping.
Could the guardians of the ruins still be here?
Frey, Lyon! Take some of the party ahead with you! The rest will stand guard here!
Just do it!
Decide who to take!
We now get to form our final party from the characters who made up the three parties that went through the ruins. Should we find them lacking, Blinking Rune Pieces will still work! However, we cannot bring Georg, as he will stay here and take on anything that tries to chase after us and prevent us from reaching the Sun Rune.
Okay, let's go!
We're counting on you. Get that Sun Rune!
We won't let you down!
Somewhere beyond this door...
...the Sun Rune awaits.