Part 36: Tales of The Ninja (2/2)
Not much left to do as far as we know, so let's go back to Japon. We have to walk to the Elven Village first but the ninja guy there lets us warp to our real destination at least.
At level 44 Mint picks up her last buff (and fourth from last spell) and it's questionably useful. The AI loves it and there's a few fights it helps in but if given the chance she'll spam this over Sharpness and will throw it out in every single fight.
Meanwhile, Chester picks up this at level 34. It's his requisite Wind elemental attack that hits upto 3 times but is otherwise uninteresting.
: We are eternally indebted to you for your assistance in the matter of Suzu's parents.
: No... If it weren't for me, Suzu's parents might still be alive.
: Do not speak another word. You could not find even a single member of our clan that would resent you. You are our most honored guest, the man who saved the souls of Suzu's parents.
: Hearing you say that makes me feel a little bit better.
: Please accept this as a symbol of our clan's deepest thanks.
: Huh? This is...
: It was entrusted to us by a traveler visiting from distant lands. His parting words have been passed down along with this.
: What did he say?
: And just as he said, you have appeared before us. Master Cless, I have no doubt that this was intended for you.
Claw Slash is a fun arcane arte. Since it uses Thunder Claw it's great for murdering spellcasters with minimal hassle but it uses Tiger Fang as well which makes it one of the few good attacks that focus solely on the weapon's Slash stat (as the name would imply). It probably goes without saying, but this one arte makes the Murasame go from "functionally useless" to "almost decent."
This bit is the quote/unquote "real" reward for this sidequest that was added for this version. It's probably worse than the Claw Slash all things considered.
: I also wished to ask the same. I am deeply indebted to you all. I would like the chance to return the favor. Until now, my mission has always been to find my parents, but that matter is now closed. I may be a burden on you at first, but from now on, I want to do everything I can to help.
: Although, it may be a little much to say it is for the sake of this world...
: Come with us!
: Let's do our best, okay?
: Suzu, grow strong alongside them.
Well, at least the bench won't be so lonely for whoever ends up occupying it now. Most of the time, they'll have Suzu for company.
: Master Cless, the people of our clan, no... all the people of this world pray for your success.
: We'll have to work hard to live up to those expectations.
: Indeed, I hope that you will continue to do your best. By the way, before you set off on your journey...
...Goddammit. We did this about 20 minutes ago!
: That water hits my body and I can just feel all my aches and pains being washed away...
: It feels like I've been reborn.
: Hm? What's up, Cless?
: Chester, man... you've really bulked up recently.
: Probably because since coming here it's been more or less constant training for me.
: You can definitely see the difference in your arms and chest.
: W, what do you mean?
: What the guys were just talking about! Maybe I'll just take a quick glance for confirmation.
: I... I don't think you should.
: No worries, it'll be fine. Besides... if they get to peek in the women's bath, we get to peek back!
: I don't believe it works like that...
: Now then, let's-take-a-look...
: Oh, thanks. You mind bringing it here?
: Klaus,you sure know how to do things right.
: H, hey!!
Okay NOW we're done with the hot springs. For real this time.
I'm not entirely sure why there was an entire second scene for this one title but whatever.
Anyway, Suzu... Suzu is pretty bad. She has a clearly defined role as is the norm but her role is only useful against a very small amount of enemies. On top of that, she suffers from a very limited equipment selection, none of her weapons are any good and pretty much every arte she has is awful too. Plus her stats are just plain shit, she can't take a hit worth a damn and, here's the ultimate kicker, she pretty much needs to be controlled to have around an iota of use. This means you're supposed to use her instead of Cless. Fine, I'll play along and let her take center stage sometime in the future for a short period. Then she can be benched and we will never speak of her almost non-existant role ever again.
What, you thought I was kidding when I said she was literally a child? She's the youngest party member in the entire series at that 11 years old.
Oshizu: They say that it won't be long until she succeeds the current leader of the clan.
Oh yeah, we should probably go talk to Ranzo before we leave. He hands over the last possible Channelling and triggers one of the two flags necessary to enter that fucking well.
I am not looking forward to the Cave of Ordeals. Not in the least.
Anyway, let's go over why Suzu is so bad rather than just saying she is. On top of having a whole 5 weapons total, they're all elemental. Her default weapon is Fire elemental and the earliest upgrade for it is Water elemental. Oh, did I say "earliest?" I'm sorry, I meant the only one you can get until either finishing the Cave of Ordeals or (one of) the post game dungeon(s).
The Nagatsuki we picked up is Suzu's second best armour and she gets an awe-inspiring 4 of them. Oh, things like the Mithril Mesh that we've had forever that is literally equippable by everyone else? Sorry, no dice. If it's not one of the four kimonos you can get, she can't use it. Sure, statistically even her default one is better but none of them, except her best, has any elemental resistances.
For helmets she gets to choose between a massive two! The hood we can buy at the Japon store, and is outright inferior to the Mask that we can get at least 6 of with ease. For free. There's not much though been put into this equipment so far, huh?
It gets better though. Mint and Arche at least get unique gloves that may or may not be the best for them. Suzu gets left with whatever they don't use, which leaves those Pretty Mittens we've had for ages as her ultimate gloves. Yes, really. We've had her for all of 20 seconds and she already has half her best gear and won't get the other half until we kick the final bosses teeth in.
Accessories are the same as everyone that isn't Klaus so there's nothing worth mentioning there. Still, it can't all be bad right?
Um, no. Her (default) artes are shit and the ones you get later aren't much better. Replication basically doubles the amount of damage she can deal as well as lets her add more hits to the combo but it prevents the use of any other arte. Fox Drop's probably the best of the lot as it gives her a bunch of invincibility frames and smacks enemies around a lot. Leaf Cover takes forever to let you maybe escape if a) it doesn't fail and b) Suzu manages to go the 5-10 or so seconds it takes to use without getting hit.
Unknown Fire is the most important. It's not the best, but it is the most important. Around 20-30 enemies have shit you can steal from them. Fortunately it's only one item for each enemy but you have to get it from them all if you want to complete the Monster Encyclopaedia. Most things you can steal is shit like Bread that we've had 15 of consistently since about 20 minutes into the game, but some things are questionably worth it like Coral (sells for a fucking ton now at Olive!) or some equipment... for people not named Suzu.
To say that much thought wasn't given to Suzu would be putting it nicely. I mean, she has a total of 11 pieces of equipment that aren't leftovers from everyone else, she adds almost nothing to most scenes, she changes about 2 scenes in the entire game, there's 1 sidequest we can do now that we have her (it's the Cave of Ordeals and I think you're getting an idea of why that's not gonna be fun now), even with her we can still only use Cless in the arena because she refuses to enter it, getting her made it outright harder to get some equipment and completely closes off at least one optional scene.
Fuck it, let's go to Lone Valley and then Suzu can at least pretend to be useful.
There's a chef in Bart's house now. There's not many of these guys left if I've counted properly.
In the actual cave we can find a pact ring. The Amethyst reduces Dark type damage so this is clearly for Shadow (once we jump through the hoops needed to get to him at least). You might not remember Shadow since he's been mentioned all of once so far... in a book in Klaus' house.
If we go to where Sylph was, this lady will teach us Whirlwind for 53,000 gald. This is a somewhat reasonable price and I don't feel ripped off since Whirlwind lets Suzu "help" with random encounters. Set it to a shortcut, hold it down, watch her eat through her TP and sorta stunlock enemies... hey, wait a second that sounds familiar. Probably just imagining it.
Oh Mr. Galf Beast, come out and play!
The Galf Beast is one of the hardest enemies in the entire game, but he is by no means a difficult fight (this makes sense, honest). He hits like a truck, can tell you to effectively piss off on a whim, is borderline impossible to stunlock and is effectively immune to dark attacks so that Doom Blade we picked up befpre is useless here. Even if you come after him with end-game equipment there's still a possibility that he'll just fuck you over and will be unbeatable just because. Those spikes are, essentially, unavoidable and even by abusing invincibility frames you're still gonna take a ton of damage (considering Blade of Ascension is pretty much all of them you need to take a ton of damage to even abuse them). If he spams that over and over again complete with cornering you on a whim you're fucked and there's bugger all you can do about it... fortunately, this doesn't happen very often.
This sounds pretty bad, and it is, but considering that he has two elemental weaknesses (Light and Fire) it is very easy to pick him apart if the game doesn't decide that you're just not gonna win this one. Most of Cless' best base artes are fire or light elemental and the best weapon at the time has a tendency of being either Light or non-elemental too. Add to that some other artes that use the weapons element for their own and suddenly the dude becomes a trivial fight assuming the game doesn't decide you've lost no matter what.
Still I only beat him here by getting incredibly lucky with that Blade of Ascension that somehow almost completely missed (I was holding right and everything) so this fight doesn't count. We'll be back with a weapon that isn't the Murasame soon enough.