The Let's Play Archive

Tales of Graces f

by wdarkk

Part 7: CH7: Mainly Concerning Game Mechanics

CH7: Mainly Concerning Game Mechanics

: Time passes all too quickly for those like us...

: Right!

Once again Graces reminds us of its focus on sweet battles. We've been in the future for like 10 seconds and it's our first fight!

Asbel has a new outfit, new moves, new titles, etc. It's like he's a whole other character (I think it might actually be handled this way internally, not sure).

Much flashier moves too.

: A normal wolf is no match for a knight, or in Asbel's case, a knight-trainee.

I'm not sure what the hell the purpose of these shots is. It's almost like they're trying to make it look like Malik will attack Asbel, which is dumb as shit.

: Sir. My success is due to your superior instruction.
: You don't have to be so formal. Just keep doing what you've been doing and we'll be fine.
: Sir!
: All right. Let's go over the mission briefing one more time.
We're here to investigate Orlen, a village located on the far side of the forest.
It has a population of about 50, give or take - mostly employed in forestry.
A few days ago, the Royal Knights received word that the residents of Orlen had suddenly vanished without a trace.
Our mission is to meet the knights investigating the area and provide them with whatever assistance they require.
: Understood, sir.
: It's an unusual mission. Keep your guard up, and be prepared for anything.
This concludes the briefing.

Orlen Woods is a "dungeon" but I didn't make a dungeon video for it because it's entirely straightforward and has nothing but weak-ass enemies.

Skit: Walking the Point

: Problem?
: Not at all, sir! I'm ready to proceed.
: Asbel, I'd like you to take the lead until we reach Orlen.
: The lead, sir?
: I need to see what you're capable of. If monsters come, I will provide support only. Remember that fleeing is always an option if things go badly.
: Understood, sir. But, rest assured, I will not flee.
: Don't be foolish. A knight must always know when he's overmatched. I will not think any less of you for it.
: Regardless, I won't flee.
: Heh.
: F-Forgive me, sir. I'll make preparations to move out!
: All right.

Asbel's new A-artes tree, ladies and gentlemen. I don't think we're supposed to have Burial Blade here but I'm not 100% sure. I know we're not supposed to have Void Sword, since that was a pain in the ass to get the first time. I'd beaten the game before I got the damn thing.

Here's something new, the B Artes menu. These are fired off with the circle button, and are the only attacks (bar a couple) Asbel will bother drawing his sword for.

I don't know if there's some bug with the NG+ options or what, but Malik wasn't given some of the spells he'd normally have. I'll be able to grab them no problem, it's just that he has less Skill Points than he should it seems. Either that or they're distributed weird.

Also, now we have the Eleth Mixer. The mixer serves two distinct functions. First, it provides a variety of bonuses in battle, second, it randomly produces items in the field. In both cases, it usually costs eleth. Eleth can be refilled at any inn or shop.

The Eleth Mixer has several slots, each of which can be filled with one of three types of item. It starts with a low number of slots, but they increase as you use it. The first type of item (the pickaxe) is an ingredient, each time you take a step it has a chance to make one and take out its eleth cost. The second type is food, indicated by the pot icon. Each food has a condition that it triggers on, and an eleth cost. When the food is triggered, it has an effect (usually including healing) such as the critical bonus here. The final type of item is books, which modify the gameplay rules in minor ways (converting gold gained from battle to eleth or vice versa, restricting the number of characters in the fight to one, that sort of thing).

Oh, and I decided to challenge myself a little. This will prove to be a bit of a mistake later, because I suck.

Here's a little aside about weaknesses. There's no normal elemental affinity in this game. Instead, each creature has a list of attack types, status conditions, and creature properties that it's weak to. If we hit all of them in the same combo we get bonus eleth (and some other bonuses I've forgotten). IIRC only creatures weak to a status ailment can be affected by it, but I could be wrong there. Burn and Freeze sort of correspond to the Fire and Water "elements", but remember there's only three kinds of eleth, Fire, Water and Wind.

Anyway less sperging and more kicking.

Nimble Fang kicks three times and is Strike.

Dual Impact is both Strike and Impact.

Burial Blade fires a shockwave from Asbel's sword and has both a range and I believe an AOE. It's Slash, Nova, and Petrify.

And here's Malik's attack. That weird sword he has is a boomerang sword, which he manipulates using magic or wizardry or maybe the laws of physics are just scared of him.

Second Wind causes the sworderang to spin in place, then...

...fucking air juggle the poor fuck.

Third Degree then slams them the fuck into the ground.

I just want to remind you that this is Malik's normal combo, the most boring attack sequence he can possibly do.

And then if finishes with Fourth Circle.

Malik summons shadowy copies of his bladerang and all four of them go to town.

Oh and we've gotten Malik his spells back.

IMO Photon Burst is cooler.

Oh, I also bought some attachments from the PSN store. Most of the attachments are paid DLC but anything for you, my fans!

Now let's make Asbel look ridiculous.

Perfect. Or rather, purrrfect.

Oh, here's another function of the Eleth Mixer. It also controls our and enemies' overlimit mechanic. Ours is called Eleth Burst, whereas theres is called Eleth Break.

In this state enemies cannot be staggered at all, and there's nothing to stop them from going to town on you (bar one super-secret thing we should most definitely not have yet and most definitely do not have right now). If they have mystic artes this is where they come out.

Pretty much just dodge and run until it ends.

Note the spell not doing anything to make them so much as display a hit animation.

Skit: Flower Power

: Yes, sir?
: These are Morino flowers. Combine them with Water of Absolution, and you have the raw ingredients for a Holy Bottle. Wait here a minute...
: (I've studied for seven years and I still didn't know that? ...Am I really ready to become a knight?)
: What's on your mind?
: Nothing, sir. It's just, you're so knowledgeable about everything, and it makes me doubt myself.
: Knowledge for its own sake is meaningless.
But this is information that can help you to protect yourself and others when you become a knight. Remember it.
: Sir!

: Additional troops met them in the village.

: What have you learned?
Young Knight: Early reports on the missing villagers appear to be true. We've found no trace of them.

: So it does. A bad one, from the state of things. Any connection between the fire and the missing villagers?
Young Knight: We're looking into that right now. If you could lend a hand, it would be much appreciated.
:You heard them, Asbel.
: Yes, sir.
Young Knight: Is this the cadet we've been hearing about, Captain Malik?
: This is Asbel Lhant. Today is his first field mission.
: It's an honor to meet you.
: All right, let's get started. First, we'll split up and take a look around the village. If you find anything, let me know ASAP.
: Yes, sir.

: While investigating, Asbel heard a noise.

: (Hmm... I shouldn't call the captain until I know where that noise is coming from.)

: He found some sort of animal, but it fled from him.

: Was that a dog? Or maybe a wolf?

: Asbel didn't think to notify the other knights and ask for assistance.

: He had cornered it, and it had to fight him. Asbel would now face the most fearsome foe he'd seen since the secret passage.

I really don't like this fight. Maybe I was just underleveled for Evil difficulty, but I had to restart this fight and even then my kill is anything but clean.

Welcome to Nova Barrier. Nova Barrier reduces ALL damage to 1 and can only be removed by hitting it with a Nova arte. At this point in the game you're not supposed to have any Nova artes.

Also, that "!" represents an unblockable attack. Thus making this bastard the first to use two rather dangerous mechanics.

Nova Barrier. Despite this, the fight isn't unwinnable.

Because a cutscene starts.

: I'm not about to lose here!

: Power poured fourth from Asbel's hand.

: He had no notion of how to use it, but his body had made itself ready. Instinct took over...

: ...and the barrier shattered.

BTW note the combo number, this cutscene is taking place inside the battle engine.
: All right.

And just like that the game has given us a new arte.

Asbel unsheathes his sword before any B arte if it's not unsheathed already.

And then we bring the thunder.

Unfortunately Nova Wolf is a piece of shit and will spam Nova Barrier. Note that it deals damage, and if you aren't blocking knocks you down.

Fuck you, Nova Wolf.

Oh and randomly he'll have Iron Stance. Fuck him.

Oh and let's introduce a third new thing here! Enemies can have hitscan ranged attacks. Yes, he will spam it if you're out of range.

This try wasn't very successful.

Ok, so the guage on the left shows how close we are to an Eleth Burst (top half) and Break (bottom half).

In Eleth Burst, we can't be staggered, but also have effectively infinite CC. If I had a Mystic Arte we'd have a meter for it on the left, but I'll explain that later.

Second try's the charm.

Oh tell us this NOW.

: (But what was that light from my hand?)
What is this thing?

: It's a good thing it was Asbel that found it and not one of the others. They'd be helpless.

: Yes, sir. It attacked without warning, so I defended myself.
Young Knight: Captain, do you think this creature is responsible for the missing villagers?
: It's certainly possible.
I found evidence of wild animal attacks while I was exploring the village. This thing could have been part of a larger group, but we'll need more info to be sure.
Young Knight: You have our gratitude, Captain. I think we can take it the rest of the way.
: Understood. Asbel? We're done here.
Young Knight: Thank you for your assistance, Asbel Lhant.
: Of course, sir. I'm glad I was able to help.
Young Knight: Indeed. Your efforts may have unlocked the core of this little mystery. Captain Malik has chosen well. I look forward to having you in our ranks.
: Now, now. This boy is no knight. Not yet, anyway.
Young Knight: Ah, forgive me, sir!
You're a lucky man to be trained by the captain himself. Do not waste the opportunity.
: Thank you, sir. I appreciate the advice.
: This ends your first field mission. Let's be on our way back to the capital.

Skit: Hidden Talents

: Y-Yes, sir.
: Asbel, I was glad for an opportunity to see your true prowess, but I must admit, I was...surprised at what I witnessed.
: S-Surprised, sir?
: That monster was ready to destroy you, but then you suddenly... Well, I'm not sure what you did.
Why have you kept this ability hidden?
: It's nothing I've tried to hide, Captain. In truth, I'm not sure how I beat the thing...
: You could be ready for real action now. I might even have to challenge you to spar one of these days.
: (Did the captain just...praise me?!)

Oh, here's the little combat-end chat you get for taking off Malik's armor.