Part 45: CondemnationWhat a wonderful morning.
What?! Training in a waterfall basin? How foolhardy. If you run into him, tell him to get his pathetic carcass home.
The mercs have set up shop in one of the rooms at the inn.
Hey! There are even more maidens here than in Rainwall! You sly prince, you!
Wilhelm is being Wilhelm as usual.
That damn fool. The only thing he'd do with a waterfall is stare at it and smile until his eyes glazed over...
And Mueller appears to know Richard quite well. But I have a feeling I'm forgetting something.
You know that book that glows at night? I heard that thing's pure evil! I know it's my job to watch over stuff, but I didn't sign up to watch THAT!
There was that thing I left.
I'll tell you, that thing spooks me out a little bit. I don't know who you got it from, but you ought to give it back!
Huh! Well, if you say so. You're probably the biggest authority on tomes in these parts right now.
But of course, the man has gone off somewhere.
Innkeeper: What's that? The seer who stays here? It looks like the seer's out at the moment... Did you need something?
Maybe you can hand him this.
I want to return a book...
I've had about as much luck as I think I can stomach for one day.
Innkeeper: All right. I'll take that for you, then.
Innkeeper: Oh, my! What a ghastly book! You're really sure that he wants this? Well, I suppose I'll give it back to him.
Capital. Well, come on then, Lyon.
I feel like breathing some salty air.
Why hello there! What a coincidence, us running into each other like this.
Actually, now that you mention it...
Ah, what an embuggerance. If only we'd gone here first... Oh well.
What?! Tell me everything!
Yes, that's it! The Book of Condemnation! My long search is finally over!
Exactly as described in my Bibliography Magicka. This cursed tome dooms its owner to a sudden, violent death.
There's not a moment to lose! To Yashuna Village!
I think I need to have words with a certain mysterious person.
Al joins the group here, but as you can see he's terrible.
Make haste to Yashuna Village! Now or never!
He will, however, take over Lyon's spot behind Frey for the duration. So at least he's good for something!
A couple of neat mirror tricks later...
...that sounds worrying.
Mysterious Seer: Waiting for m-m-m-e-e-e-...
I'm s-s-s-o-o h-h-a-a-ap-py...
God damn it, Euram.
Oh, no! This is it! This is the Book of Condemnation! It's already begun the Offering of Doom! The tome drains the life force out of the unwitting fool who opens it! It won't be sated until he's dead!
Oh well, what a pity.
Young man, I fear I may need your strength!
Do I have to...?
Oh. Apparently so.
I'll just do this...
Oh, and that works too.
Hey old man, I thought you said this thing was supposed to be dangerous.
???: Urgh... Ooohhh...
Oh. Yes. You. Maybe you have an explanation for this...
The power of the Book of Condemnation took you to the brink of the hereafter! That's all!
Mysterious Seer: The Book of... Condemnation? What? Huh?
AH, ha ha ha ha ha!!! Well, the cat's out of the bag now! The Mysterious Seer's secret identity, revealed at last! It is I! Euram Barows!!!
That's... not something you want to brag about... you know?
I found that book in my father's collection! I figured a cursed book would be the best way to get back at you!
But how could it be that you're fine, and I would up getting cursed?!
It's because you're Euram Barows.
And because I'm not.
Only he who opens the tome is affected by the curse.
...and that, I guess.
Oh... That explains it... It didn't seem to be working, so I thought I'd have a closer look. And then I just saw a bright light, and the most beautiful blossoming princesses you could imagine! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Did that book scramble your pitiful excuse for a brain even further, or were you always this bad and I just didn't notice?
He runs out.
And... descends... the stairs.
Innkeeper: Sir?! Sir, are you all right?!
???: Of course I'm not all right! Do these stairs look soft to you?! Ooohh, my poor, fragile, gentlemanly body! But my resolve is undamaged! I'll get my revenge for this pain, too!
Innkeeper: Uh? Sir?!
It's a long, long, long story.
Anyway, I must show my appreciation. I could never have retrieved the Book of Condemnation without your help. I thank you most sincerely.
Come on, join us!
My... So you are the Prince of Falena, and the general of the Iodine in Hell Army.
Very well. We shall travel together. There are many places to see, after all! Many libraries and shops with forgotten old tomes.
Here, take this. I won't take no for an answer. I seek only the most valuable of tomes. I hold no interest in cursed items.
Gee... thanks... or something.
Wait, cond... That sounds strangely famili-
I fucking knew it!
Hitting level 35 is a big moment for Frey, as that's where he gets his third rune slot. I'll just put this here for now.
1: Black Shiver - 100+ damage to one enemy, 10+ damage to user
2: Endless Ordeal - 300+ damage to one enemy, 50+ damage to user
3: Inevitable Blade - 300+ damage to all enemies, 100+ damage to user
4: Dark Summoning - Causes instant death to 1 foe (80%) and user (10%)
Oh my fucking joy. Lazlo, you fucker, come here and pacify this piece of sh... actually never mind I wouldn't use it anyway because it sucks even worse than its parent rune. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.
Quite the avid reader, he owned several valuable books, but they were all lost during the Lordlake uprising. It would have made Alhazred so happy if even a few of those "tomes" resurfaced. What a shame...
News travels quickly, it seems. I haven't even booted him from the party yet, and already everyone knows who he is!
He gets all the way to those ruins, and then he just leaves... What is he up to?
I don't care!
Only the foulest mediocrity would stoop to putting a price on a work of art. He's rubbed me the wrong way ever since I first encountered Haud Village. He and I will have to have a talk...
I don't care!!
From one thing to another, we'll boot Al and exchange him for... that woman.
Somehow Richard seems to have vanishes, but...
What the heck is that?
I must be going... crazy in my... old age... You are clearly an attractive young human.
It's amazing how wrong a tortoise can be! She has the ugliest personality in my entire army, she's old as dirt, and I'm not sure about the "human" bit either.
Not half as rude as you, you colossal prick.
I thought I sensed someone who has lived... quite long. Yes... Quite long...
So he says if we return again.
Finally, booting Zerase causes Richard to respawn.
So Mueller's in your castle, right? Is it okay if I come stay there, too? C'mon, please?!
Would I come out all the wa-
oh fuck it just get in.
All right! I'm heading there right now!
No, get in my-
God dammit Richard!
Much like Zerase, Richard is a powerful but overhyped character. His strength lies in avoiding damage - he's even better at parrying and countering than Belcoot or Georg, and he's evasive as hell on top of that. Basically, if you're in the business of dealing physical damage, Richard isn't having any of your shit.
Pictured, how to use Richard, an illustrated guide for dummies.
The Swallow Rune he's using here first appeared in Suikoden II where it was utter shit (and it didn't help that it was on, like, the worst character in the game on top of that). It's better now, 2x damage and 20% instant death against one enemy - but can only be used once per battle, so it's still not great. He also never gets a third rune slot, which limits his damage output. Still, quite solid, but I'm benching him because he's boring.
We could actually recruit Genoh, the big tortoise the beavers call "boss," if we wanted to, but I'm going to hold off and see if he has something fun to say about a certain other mysterious ageless magic chick. He's kind of horrible, anyway. More importantly, he's our last optional recruit for the time being! We should get to work on talking to Fuwala soon, but first, I need to a bit about our available casters.
You may recall me talking about magic affinities back in part 11. (Or you may have forgotten because that was 34 updates ago and not particularly relevant back then.) Either way, now that we have proper wizards, those things are starting to become more interesting.
Here's Zerase. She is by no means bad. Fact is, she's pretty fuckin' great (personality issues aside).
She also comes with a unique rune permanently attached to her forehead:
1: Twinkling Star - 300 damage, one enemy.
2: Starry Stillness - Inflicts Sleep (20%) and Silence (30%), all enemies.
3: Comet - 800 damage, column.
4: Meteor Shower - 1000 damage, all enemies.
Hell of a lot better than the Blinking Rune!
The Star Rune is much like its owner in that it's good but people seem to think it's much better than it really is. If you compare it to a regular lightning rune, it has a better first level spell, but its second level spell is basically Wind of Sleep all over again, and you should all know how useful that is by now. The third level Lightning spell beats Star by 100 points against a single enemy which is what I'd typically use it against, and both fourth level spells have 1000 base power.
Zerase comes with an A rank in Star magic, which means a 20% damage increase. That's pretty decent!
Here's the competition, having caught up levels-wise. I've unequipped both of them for these shots, and they both have Magic at B rank. You'll notice that Viki's stats are a little worse than Zerase's, notably in the speed department; she'll sometimes go after an enemy that Zerase will beat in speed. But she's just about equal in magic, and more importantly, she has Chain Magic where Zerase has Tutor.
I don't have the numbers for Chain Magic, but from what I've seen, it has maybe a 20% activation rate at B rank. That's a pretty good chance of it happening at least once during a boss fight.
Viki and Zerase both come with a B rank in lightning magic. At the point Viki joins, the game has already handed you two pieces of equipment that boost lightning damage: the ring from the revolving bridge, and the amulet Cius comes with.
Casting a spell with an S rank boosts damage by 50%.
The Star Rune is pretty much obsolete from the moment you get it. Not just Viki, but even Zerase herself would do more damage with lightning than she would with her personal rune.
(I should note that star's first level spell at A is still better than the lightning rune's even with an S-rank, but S ranked lightning beats A-ranked star for damage in second, third and fourth level spells.)
So basically what I'm getting at is Viki rules, Zerase drools, and good luck getting her to break 3200 damage in a single round.
Speaking of Zerase though, I'm going to pick up the latest intel. That's... not very intelligent at all! I'm disappointed in you, Oboro. Do better next time!
Then, we're finally off to Beaveristan. (music)
Though we can never fully atone for building the fortress, I hope we've shown Lordlake our true colors now.
Yeah, you're kind of... beige? Mostly.
So, what can I do for you today?
Please join our cause!
Join your cause?!
There's something you guys know about that word that I don't, isn't there?
Oh, you sure know how to put a beaver on the spot.
Now, please understand, were we to join any human cause, it would be yours. But we've learned our lesson from building the fortress. Better to be safe and avoid all human conflicts.
Besides, we beavers are builders, not fighters. Our furry little paws aren't much good at holding weapons...
You've got teeth, don't you?
...stop trying to comb your beaver 'stache over them, it's not working!
But it seems we're not getting any more help from them any time soon.
It's time we went back to that whole "kicking the Godwins out of Falena" business.
Next time, we'll see what we can do about that.
Alhazred is not a very good character, but he has some really great expressions.