Part 23: WAR
Time for one of the more unique moments of the game. It's a damn good one too!
Listen to this. It is awesome and only stops playing at the very end of the event. It doesn't even stop for random encounters!
: Men, as the vanguard in our battle against Dhaos, you now carry the weight of the future on your shoulders! Each of you has an essential role to play in this operation, and it is by your power that Midgard shall emerge victorious! However, you are also rivals. Those who do the most to change the tide of this battle will be justly rewarded.
Ones: We're being rewarded for fighting hard, huh?
: This battle shall decide the fate of our nation, destruction or salvation! Gentlemen, I pray for your success!
Oh boy, now we get to the gameplay part of the war! The idea here is to run through the plains to get to the inevitable and obvious boss fight in less than, or equal to, 5 days of in-game time. Time advances as you move around the field and after every fight it advances roughly 1-2 hours.
Fortunately, encounters in the plains aren't random; they're represented by these things. Touching them causes a fight, but it's pretty tough to say for sure; it's not perfect hit detection by means, since sometimes you can run straight through them and not get a fight. When you do get into a fight though... you can't escape. Oh, you can run from the fight, sure, but it does throws you into another immediately after since the enemy only despawns when you win. By using this, you can technically "reset" encounters to get the one you want The problem with that though is that even doing this advances time.
Come the end of a day, you get the option to rest which has two effects. It has a nice benefit of fully restoring HP and TP, but this too advances time (by 8 hours). Whether the trade-off is worth it is dependant pretty much entirely on your current HP and TP.
Anyway, since these guys are likely to be some of Dhaos' elites (why else would they be the frontline offense of a war?) let's take a closer look at them.
These guys are, easily, the most common two and actually have some decent-ish drops. They can drop 3 swords between them; they both drop a Longsword as their common but they have different rares. Fortunately, due to the sheer number of them you'll fight, getting both swords isn't difficult. I don't think there's any other ways to get those swords.
Neither's particularly difficult, but the Dragonewt loves poisoning you with its regular attack if it gets the chance. It's also pretty fast which makes it a little bit more difficult than it should, but it's weak to Thunder so it's no real threat.
The Draco-Centaurs look a lot like Jestona but they're not the same thing, honest. For one, he's a naga and these are dragon-human/horse things. Somehow. That's what their name implies at least. Anyway, these guys like to pretend they're dangerous by casting Thunder Blade if given the chance but that's nothing. They don't particularly have a lot of HP or anything else up their non-existant sleeves.
Some palette swap of the second boss, but it's not even remotely threatening. It just faffs around getting in the way of the real fight until it dies. If it remembers it can cast magic, it'll sometimes cast extremely powerful stuff like Fireball or Ice Needles!
Lastly, in a category all on its own, we have the Silver Dragon. This guy's kind of a dick but he's still harmless. You know how you just got Luna and Ray and how they're awesome and Light-elemental? This thing was plopped down here to ensure you can't realistically use them yet, since it likes to absorb Light attacks. This also makes the Moon Falx useless (something that caught me off-guard my first playthrough) and stops a few of Cless' artes in their tracks. It has a ton of HP too and it only has one item that it hates coughing up.
It's only a fucking Mixed Gel too! You can buy these things for 1,000 Gald so it gives you enough money to buy 4 of them if you really want, but you gotta get it to drop one if you want that Monster Encyclopaedia title too. Bleh.
Mint's new arte that she gets at level 35 is both a blessing and a curse. It's great for when random mooks start casting things like Deep Mist or Acid Rain since it negates their effects but if that character's been buffed by, say, Sharpness it negates that too. Fortunately the AI is smart enough to not cast it if only positive effects are on your guys. Shame its full party and only your party otherwise it'd be great for mass debuff of enemy units too.
Navigating through the plains is simple enough, so you can pretty easily reach the save point in less than a day if you manage to avoid enough fights (like, one or two less fights than I got into would do it). No prizes for what's coming next!
: You've done well to make it this far. I admire your bravery. I am the commander of Dhaos' army, Ishrant. I regret to inform you that this is where your luck runs out! You are standing upon your graves!!
Ishrant likes to pretend he's hard by bringing a few flunkies with him. If they weren't things you've been kicking around since the start of the Valhalla Plains this might be interesting.
Anyway, if you haven't used Luna or Ray yet this is the perfect opportunity to do so, since Sylph and Cyclone get benched in their place.
Aside from the mooks, Ishrant's pretty unremarkable. Like most every boss that matters, he has a chance to nullify everything, even non-elemental stuff, and he likes spells. Well, one spell at least; Thunder Blade of course. You can just smack him around with spells of your own though since he has a surprisingly low max HP, and Cless is basically only there to make sure the fighters that matter here don't get kicked around too badly. It's not like Ishrant exactly likes Cless getting close enough to hit him in the first place. Ishrant's "thing" is that he has a habit of spitting out two giant fireballs that deal damage if you touch them and keep doing so until you get away from them. The way he does it, is that they appear directly in front of him (obviously) and one is in front and just above the other; this stops you jumping over with, say, Rising Phoenix or the like.
Also it turns out he's immune to time-stop. Since I haven't used an Hourglass or Chronoglass since Demeter, I have no idea what else is upto this point. I didn't know Ishrant was, either, until now. At least it keeps the Dragon-[x] things out of your hair or whatever.
With Ishrant beaten, the fight for control of the Valhalla Plains is over and Midgard wins. Hurray!
: Special Forces Unit 4 Commander Klaus F. Lester. I shall now present you with the reward that you have earned in full with your bravery.
: Everyone, you have done us a great service. With this, our victory in this war is all bur assured.
Soldier: Your Majesty---!!!
Soldier: The enemy... the enemy is mounting an offensive as we speak!!
: What!? That's impossible! The Plains are already under our control.
Soldier: T, that's just it... they're coming from the air!
: An aerial attack!?
You should really watch this one!
: Your Majesty, we need to get you to a secure location.
: No, I shall remain here. I will not leave my subjects here to die while I flee.
: ...Understood. This is the perfect chance.
This is quite the plan. Controlling the plains didn't work? Okay, let's fire our big fuckoff cannon at these guys. Needless to say, Raizen walks off to get the giant magic firing cannon ready or something. As well as ordering the use of catapults just in case the cannon somehow fails or something.
: Things are looking bad...
: Let's go back them up!!
: But they're coming from the sky...
: There has to be something we can do.
I guess, but for now let's go back in time to the Valhalla Plains again for a short moment. Remember how we were given 5 days to finish there? Our reward for it is determined by how quickly we finish. How many random fights we win is irrelevant; all that matters is how quickly you make it to Ishrant.
Fortunately, waiting for time to pass is easy enough; just run in a circle on the screen with the save point and it goes by quick enough.
Finishing on day 2 gets you the 50,000 still so let's skip to day 3 which nets us...
1/5th of the reward normally. That's it. Pretty uninteresting really.
Day 4 gets us the 10,000 again but it also gives us more than day 3 did.
Ones: The enemy is extremely powerful, be careful!
: Fwahahahaha, they're sending out all the small fries, huh? I am the commander of Dhaos' army, Ishrant. It's time that I finish you all off!!
Sadly, we don't actually get backup in the fight and it's not actually changed. Still, it's the thought that counts I guess. A slightly different scene is better than nothing I suppose.
Ones: We're fine.
Except those guys that are all clearly dead here. Aside from that, completely fine!
Ones: You did a fine job, you have my thanks.
: This should've had some effect on the enemy's movement.
: Let's return to Midhard, we need to make our report to His Majesty.
Day 5 is identical to Day 4. Day 6... wait, what?
That's... I thought we had 5 days to make it to Ishrant and kill him before Dhaos would have won. Am I imagining things?
Apparently not. I guess you're not timed after all. Maybe it's because I bothered to run through this far so the game's counting it as cleared for some reason or something?
Ones: Too bad for you all, but the curtain has already closed on this act.
: So we were too late, huh?
And back at Midgard, we don't get a reward. Instead it goes to that Ones prick. That's pretty disappointing for all the wrong reasons; I was expecting some kind of unique game over or whatever. Hell, a guide I checked even said you DO get a game over for taking more than 5 days to finish.
It's not even because we went through the plains aside from the boss screen either. Just running back and forth in front of Raizen until the end of day 5 causes the same thing. Go figure.
Dhaos render; Tales of VS edition.