Part 33: CH33: Mad ScienceCH33: Mad Science
: The lab was near where Hubert had gotten lost on the way up.
: I had no idea Fourier's laboratory would be so huge! That's my sister for ya!
: Pascal, what is she like?
: My sis? Well, she's a year older than me, and totally smart. She's accomplished all kinds of stuff! I guess she's my idol. I used to run around and copy whatever she did. So anyway, I'm sure she'll understand when we explain what's going on.
: Could the valkines be inside this laboratory?
: That would be awesome, huh? But yeah, I dunno. Right now, we should just try and find Fourier.
Skit: Sins of the Brother
: Please keep such negativity in check. It's detrimental to group morale.
: I understand. I just feel like Richard is suffering while we're running around in circles.
: ...RICHARD is suffering? I cannot even begin to fathom what you're talking about.
: There has to be some reason Richard's acting the way that he is. I know this isn't what he wanted.
: I care not for his reasons. If King Richard does not put a stop to his current behavior, then I will be left with no choice but to kill him myself.
: Hubert! No. I refuse to think like that. If that's your position, then I'll just prove to you that I can stop him.
: However this ends, I fear the sin will be mine alone to bear. My brother lacks the temperament to kill a friend.
Skit: A Fundamental Flaw
: Pascal, are you saying that this machine can replenish spent eleth?
: Wow, Sis! I can't believe she invented this!
: That sounds pretty handy.
: It's far more than just handy. This could supply enough eleth for the entire kingdom of Fendel!
: Uh oh...
: Is something wrong? Please don't tell me it's...broken.
: Not broken so much as fundamentally defective. ...Mmm yeah. It's useless.
: Is there anything you can do, Pascal?
: Nope. This is beyond any of the Amarcians.
: This eleth recharger simply could not provide more eleth output than it required eleth input to run. While a more efficient mechanism is possible, it's not possible to build one with the equipment she could access.
: I'm wondering about that. Is a Valkines such a machine?
: Well, it's similar.
Skit: Accessorizing with Asbel
: I've wanted this ever since I joined the Knight Academy.
: Temper your enthusiasm.
: Those who rely too heavily on equipment neglect to hone themselves.
: Wait, wouldn't having equipment you love make you want to work that much harder?
: In the old days, swordsmen became legend without touching that sort of...thing.
But times have changed. Now the equipment does all the work, and any old half-wit can wield it!
: Here we go.
Anyway we've recently acquired Pascal's final summon deal (there are only 3 kinds of eleth, remember).
That's its normal Burst Arte version. It seems similar to Incineration Wave.
Now for Pascal's maximum level Mystic Arte. Remember how everyone else is still stuck with their level one MAs?
Oh, and we've got Cheria's shish kabob-knife things.
Skit: The Island of Dr. Fourier
: I've had about enough of this. The facility is full of monsters and we still haven't found your sister. Just how large-scale a project is this?
: The size of this laboratory alone means that we're getting near the valkines. How else could a poor country justify such a lavish facility as this?
: Sophie, they're having an important conversation right now. Please don't interrupt.
: But the monster in that tank-
: Don't get too close.
: No. There's something wrong with it.
: Oh, hmm. I didn't notice it at first, but now that you mention it, there is something odd about it.
From here, it almost seems like the creature was grown inside the tank. But, is something like that even possible?
: Could she be researching the creation of artificial monsters?
: So how long until they fight one?
: You really know this stuff hmm?
: Eventually they reached a larger, open lab area.
: I've heard that Fendel has been investing in biological weaponry. Perhaps this lab is being used to facilitate it.
Either I was sucking here, this boss is a bastard, or I had a really bad party setup. I'm not sure which.
He's got an unblockable overhead smash that you have to dodge.
He's also got a thing where he'll claw several times in a row.
Anyway I kept having a problem as Pascal where he'd run away from me while I was trying to build a combo or hit him with a B-arte or whatever and I switched to Sophie because I got frustrated. The whole reason I was playing as Pascal was based on a flawed memory of the fight anyway so fuck it.
Unfortunately this dude is tall enough to hit me while I'm in the air.
On the bright side, when I did get an Eleth Burst he took some serious damage. Enemies tend to get Eleth Break a lot more than you get Eleth Burst due to the bars getting extra eleth for getting hit while blocking. This happens far more frequently for them than for me. I'd imagine the difficulty setting also favors them in terms of Burst/Break as well.
Yellow outline = Iron Stance. Looking back now, I think a lot of my problems were due to not getting Red Charges from guarding to try to bust through on him. Also note the add spawn in the background.
I wasn't expecting Sophie to be my character, so I didn't have her setup right. I ended up switching this in for her neutral-b attack mid fight.
It causes her to disintegrate into light, rip through the enemy, and then reform.
CHERIA WHY ARE YOU STAYING NEAR HIM AFTER I REVIVED YOU!!?!?! This dude had a tendency to suddenly haul ass towards Cheria and kick her ass. I presume it's due to her low HP, since Malik doesn't seem to have as much of a problem.
Yeah go right for Cheria you asshole.
Malik's got a new spell.
OF COURSE it breaths fire.
Another of Malik's new spells, Cold Front.
Dude hit me with his wing. He's got a lot of reach. Also note all the times he has a yellow outline. I'm not labeling all of them but it's a lot.
Hate those wings. Makes it much harder to dodge his attacks. Granted, this is nothing compared to some other bosses
This is the last set of adds, unfortunately they cast spells.
Ok one of those is Malik I think, but still there are three caster adds.
C'mon Cheria, res me.
NOPE! Incidentally Resurrection is the ONE SPELL I have not had Cheria successfully cast enough times to get Mastery with.
Thankfully everyone has EB-Life which revives you when Eleth Burst triggers. Unfortunately you can only benefit from one of EB-Life and EB-Heal.
Malik and I manage to kill the adds.
Now we just need to get Pascal up and finish it.
: I'm surprised you were able to defeat my veres.
: P-Pascal? Is that you? Good heavens, I thought someone was trying to steal my work.
: Wow! I can't believe you built that veres and everything! You're amazing, Sis!
: It would've been more amazing if you hadn't defeated it so easily.
So what are you doing here?
: We came to talk about Fendel's valkines cryas experiment.
: On Forbrannir? I'll have you know, I spent years working on the research used in that experiment!
I may have used your work as a starting point, but what matters are results! You know that!
: It's okay! I didn't come here to take credit for anything. I know you've done a ton of work on it. But no matter how smart you are, Sis, the research is still flawed.
: And just what does that mean?
: Um... Well, it's like... Look, it's gonna be a lot faster if I can just show you.
: Do you have any cryas fragments laying around? Like, maybe one the size of a bean?
: How's this?
: That's perfect! Here, gimme.
: Yeah, but when we give this thingie a little chunka chunka...
: Pascal, what are you doing?
: Guys, you might wanna get back.
: Wh-What just happened...?
: See? That's the trouble with fire cryas.
If you apply too much pressure when extracting the eleth, it starts a chain reaction. And once that happens, it starts accelerating all the surrounding eleth and then... Ka-pow! You can contain the damage when it's a handheld weapon or something, but with the valkines? It would be a total disaster.
: So that's why you never finished your research...
: Yeah, I saw where it was headed, so I just chucked the whole kit and kaboodle. And that's why we gotta stop the experiment before everybody gets blown up!
: I...I can't do that.
: Yeah, it might be tough for you to tell 'em, huh? Well, look, howzabout you just show me where they are and I'll just do it?
: Are you trying to make a fool of me?
: Am I what now?
: You "saw where it was headed"? You just worked it all out in your head?! Do you have any concept of how hard I've worked to complete the research you've abandoned?!
You always do this! You mimic whatever I do, then just effortlessly do it better! I kill myself to be successful, and then you sweep in with your quick thinking and fancy talking and...and... and you just leap ahead of me like it's NOTHING!
: Fourier, I...
: Fourier, we must get to the valkines cryas. Even if the experiment wasn't a danger, there's a different threat on the way. If we don't act now, it will be drained of its eleth, just like the other valkines.
: Wait, the other valkines...?
: Yes. So we have to stop it, no matter what. Please, Fourier. Tell us where Forbrannir is.
: ...I don't know where it is. But the man in charge of the experiment does.
: Who's that?
: Fendel's chief science officer, Kurt Bessel.
: Kurt Bessel?!
: You know him, Captain?
: Yes. Though I never imagined we would meet again like this...
: Where can we find him?
: The Ministry of Science is located in the capital, although I couldn't say if he's there at the moment.
: Thank you. That's a good place to start. We'll try to speak with Kurt ourselves.
: Do as you like. It matters not to me.
Skit: Irrelevant Nonsense
: It was the best outcome we could have expected. At the very least, we learned that Fourier's primary objective wasn't bio-weapons development.
: Hubert...you saw how painful that was for Pascal and Fourier. Don't you feel anything at all?
: Of course, but that ultimately has no connection to our key objectives.
: But...I hate seeing Pascal like this.
: I know what you mean. Isn't there something we can do to help them work it out?
: Stop this at once! I can't allow the two of you to waste more time discussing irrelevant nonsense! We have a mission to accomplish.
: They returned to the surface, but their spirits remained in the depths.
: All this time... I've been making her miserable all this time...
I...I should go back and apologize!
: I don't think that will help.
Fourier's problem isn't you, Pascal. ...It's Fourier. Her spirit has been crushed by years of doubt and self-loathing. Sympathy will only make the problem worse.
: But I...I love her, ya know? I just wish she knew that.
: Oh, Pascal...
: Don't worry. She'll understand someday. You're the only one who can stop the valkines experiment now. Fourier knows that's true, even if she'll never admit it. If the experiment isn't stopped, Fourier's work will end up killing a whole lot of people. And no one wants that. Especially not you.
: He's right. Helping us will save your sister's reputation, and maybe even her life. Plus, we...we need you, Pascal. We can't do this alone. So come on. Pull yourself together and let's go.
: Aw, Little Bro... Th-Thanks, guys. You're the best.
: That was all right, Hubert.
: ...I know what she's going through. And besides, it would be far too quiet if she weren't around. Now can we all stop talking and just head for Zavhert? There's no time to waste.
Skit: Practice Makes Perfect
: Wait a minute. Hold on. Fight you? What's this about Sophie?
: It's what I want. Please!
: If you're just looking to train, then all right.
: Yes, let's call it practice! But don't hold anything back. Okay, Asbel?
Sophie is pretty tough.
If you mess up, well, she's going to rip chunks out of you.
Also, she's got constant regeneration...
...and occasional larger regeneration. I guess that's instead of her heal spells or something.
Skit: This Won't Do
: This won't do.
: Wait, what do you mean?
: Even for practice, that was a pitiful showing. If that's your best, we'll have a tough road ahead.
: Hey, c'mon.
: No, that's not it. I'm sorry, Asbel.
Skit: One More Time
: Of course not. Give me another chance. I'm tired of losing!
: (And I can't get over how Sophie seemed so disappointed.)
: Let's do this, Sophie.
Really this fight is about getting red charges and using them to go on the offensive. Don't let Sophie get an unblocked hit EVER.
She's got a moment of weakness at the start of some of her level 4 A-Artes that I found out the hard way vs Veres so that's a good spot to switch to attacking (aside from doing so whenever you have a red charge).
Hit block when you stun so you can start off with a 1-cc arte to get the bonus CC.
Skit: Now I Know
: Victory! But man, am I exhausted! ...You look pretty tired too, Sophie.
: Yes, but I'm relieved. Now I know, if we have to fight Richard, I think it will be okay.
: I realized something while fighting you, Asbel.
: Realized what?
: That you really are my friend.
: I still don't know what you're getting at, but... HAA-CHOO! Oh man, I'm starting to cool down.
: I don't want you two to catch a cold. I'll get you something hot to drink.
: Let's go, Sophie.