Part 45: TALES OF PHANTASIA
: The Eternal Sword, which has the power to control time, likely resonated with Dhaos' power and brought us here.
So, now we're at the very definitely final dungeon. There's no going back from here!
Well, okay, fine, maybe there is actually going back for sidequests and stuff but we can do that later. You see, everything that I've said is "post-game" technically isn't. All you need to do to access it, is get to this point; it's all harder than this dungeon though and if you can't beat Dhaos (spoilers the final boss is Dhaos), then there's no chance of beating any of the optional stuff.
This is the exact same castle as from when we stormed it in the past. It's just had a wee bit of redecorating since then. There's something missing though...
Okay, now we can go and do this thing.
Right off the bat, we're confronted with a mini-boss. Outside of being vaguely referenced before we could come here, one NPC in Japon will mention these "EYE?" enemies.
As for the fight itself, the DARKEYE? is pretty uninteresting really. It teleports around the arena if given a chance but it's not exactly difficult. It tries to stunlock you and has the usual boss thing of, well...
It being weak to Light is pretty much like a giant "kick me" sign at this point since we have so many fun ways to inflict that.
When the DARKEYE?'s beaten you can just waltz in and out as you see fit since it doesn't respawn.
The first part of the dungeon is fairly uninteresting and kinda dark at the best of times so be thankful a lot of it is uninteresting corridors.
At least it has some very nice equipment up for grabs if you're willing to go out of your way to get them.
The Star Shield is Cless' third best shield and, despite not having an elemental resistance, is pretty damned good and is being used immediately.
Speaking of some good equipment, you can pick up a Witch Dress or 15 from the fights here. It's only usable by Arche and isn't quite as good as a Star Cloak (50 Defense to the Cloak's 55) but has a 15 Evasion bonus and it grants resistance to Earth, Fire, Water, Wind and Thunder. I'd say that it's definitely better for dungeon crawling but the Star Cloak is better for bosses, though it really depends on what you'll be fighting.
Another fun drop we can play around with later is the Dark Seal. It has a very fun effect in that, well...
1.5x exp is nice but there's an extra catch not mentioned in the description; it only works if the person equipped with it is in the active party. There's one time in which this isn't true but we'll see that later. It also doesn't apply to extra EXP earned from the Combo Counter but with the whole "seals abilities" thing it's kind of a non-issue.
More importantly, if we use a Rune Bottle on it we get the Demon's Seal which is mostly the same but better and worse simultaneously.
Double EXP is very nice but a fixed 0 defense is kinda painful when you can't spam artes/spells to prevent yourself from ever getting hit. Much like with the Dark Seal, whoever's equipped with it needs to be in the active party in all but one occasion. It's incredibly easy to get 6 of these and we can abuse their effect to make getting one thing so much easier.
In terms of actual treasure, we can get Meteor Swarm which isn't quite as overpowered here as it has a tendency to be in other games (it being non-elemental helps though). It has a chance of having at least half of its attacks miss but it will never miss everything with every attack; the last attack in particular is guaranteed to hit at least once thing. It has a fairly large TP cost but it's nothing compared to Arche's last two spells.
On top of the usual extra Star Cloaks we can pick up for super easy money (...like it's even needed any more), we can get this armour which is very, very nice indeed.
The Mumbane is usable by only Cless and Chester, so naturally it's pretty awesome. It's Chester's best armour though Cless has one more. What's not pictured is that it also resists Light. It resists Light a lot. Like, 80% a lot. The Mumbane is awesome.
This dungeon pulls the "hidden passage that shouldn't really be hidden" at least twice. In this case, it's not immediately apparent where the hidden passage. In both cases, you can run around a lot to find out that there's a hidden passage exactly where you'd think there is one.
Just past the not-hidden passage, we get a save point and then this totally normal white glow. What you have to do here isn't immediately obvious but remember that Derris Emblem we got in Early?
You have to give it to Cless (or, presumably, whoever you're controlling manually... so, Cless). You could give it to someone else, sure, but that's not going to do any good since the game'll just spit in your face for bothering.
If even one person doesn't have a Derris Emblem equipped, this'll happen. What it does, is send people without one all the way back a bunch of jail cells situated right at the start of the dungeon. It also sends everyone there, even people with one, if the person you're controlling doesn't have one equipped. There's two ways to get around; the first is to run around on the previous screen and wait for ROAMEYE?'s to appear, kill it, hope it drops one and repeat until you get 5 more Derris Emblems. Sound familiar? It's exactly the same as a certain something we did before, only this time it isn't mandatory (thankfully). The alternative?
Gun it solo until you're done with this section. This is easier than it sounds but still slightly more difficult than drop-farming the Derris Emblems. Because you just have one guy. And this is the final dungeon. It's still quicker though!
Just past the teleporting section, we can run around a fairly small grid which has the rest of the Derris Emblems we need. Of course, this is way too easy so there's a minor wrinkle this in too.
That wrinkle being a ninja will ambush you at every chest (bar one).
They're pretty easy even with just Cless. They don't put up much of a fight so it's really easy to just smack them around on the edge of the screen for about 20-30 seconds and you've won already.
The only unguarded Derris Emblem is located right by the exit to this section, so you could grab that and pick up someone to help if you're severely underlevelled or just plain bad at the game or something.
Oh and, no, we can't just carry on ahead solo. There's nothing stopping us but we need to pick up everyone from the jail before Cless will open the door.
Fighting solo isn't exactly difficult but it is incredibly tedious. This is probably the only time I'd ever seriously recommend abusing Holy Bottles.
On top of the Derris Emblems, though, this section has two treasures that are probably worth grabbing. One is a weapon upgrade for Klaus (there was a second chest in this room but it was just another Star Beret).
The True Magick is Klaus' second best weapon and we'll take a better look at it when we get him back.
The other treasure worth a damn is Cless' second best gloves. Much like with True Magick, there's another item in here but its some rod for Mint and thus not worth anything more than the (decent amount of) cash you'll get for pawning it.
Much like the shield, the Star Gloves don't grant any elemental resistance but they're worth it in spite of that.
That's all there is in this area so now we get to backtrack all the way to the start of the dungeon. If only there was a shortcut we could take...
Just removing Cless' Derris Emblem and then running into the white barrier thing works just fine, fortunately.
This one line from after you undoubtedly screw up at least once is the only hint that you need the Derris Emblems to continue. I don't mind puzzles, in fact I love them, but this is just abstract for the sake of abstract. And padding. Can't forget the padding.
Before he got thrown in the jail cell, apparently Chester picked up Dragon Slayer (level 52) which is his last arte. It's stupidly expensive, and in fact costs more than twice that of his second most expensive one, but it can hit upto 6 times and has the same element as his equipped weapon. Also it shoots lasers.
See? Lasers. From a bow. Chester is fucking badass, goddamn,
Anyway, the True Magick. Second best weapon, Light elemental, pretty nice attack stat for a mage, fairly decent accuracy. More importantly, it's not a Lovecraftian tome so it's not actually interesting.
With everyone rescued from standing around doing nothing, we can finally press on past this point and what lies beyond the door?
Lots of loot!
...Lots of mediocre, outdated and mostly terrible loot. In fact, there's only one thing here worth noting:
A new helmet. If you've been paying attention at all, I'm sure you can guess just what helmet this is. If not, pay attention.
It's the Star Helmet, but I forget to use a Rune Bottle on it so I don't use it at all. Oops.
Fortunately, I still have it on at least one of my way too fucking many save files so as you can see it follows the tradition of being pretty good at the expense of elemental resistance. As per usual, it's worth using over the Rare gear since it's better and their elemental resistance, while nice, is negligable.
Just past the treasure trove of worthless tat, the dungeon suddenly becomes well lit. That's nice of it.
At level 60, Cless picks up a new title assuming you have "some" arcane artes. Since this is only likely to happen around now, if not later, that's kind of a moot point as you could have them all bar like one.
Oh and since we can clearly see both door types here: the ones with orange centres can be opened, the ones that are red are locked.
In terms of items we can find now, it's mostly useless tat and stat boosting herbs. There's also another
After blundering around a bit, there's another mini-boss fight to be had. This time against two SEALEYE?s
Imagine the DARKEYE? from the beginning, only it's a bit weaker and there's two of them. That's this fight in a nutshell. Pretty uninteresting, but there being two lets it pretend to be dangerous. Until they both end up one side of Cless and you massacre them.
Also unlike the DARKEYE? these guys aren't even unique. You can run into them as random encounters in the second half of the dungeon (that being this half).
I don't even know what they were thinking here either. I'd have rather have fought something actually difficult what with this being the final dungeon and all, but a palette swap of a palette swap'll have to do.
At least we get a puzzle here that actually stumped me the first time. Because I'm an idiot. It's a switch puzzle. Again. I didn't say it was a goodpuzzle.
Run to the back of the area, avoiding switches, press the last one, then press everyone you see on the way back to the sign. That's it.
At least we get the second set of Mumbane armour for Chester along the way. More importantly, though, we get these:
A set of gloves for Suzu (I keep thinking of them as an accessory hence why I never bothered to mention them before). The Claw Gauntlets are pretty much her best and they're still not very good.
That is a much, much, much needed Attack boost even if they're not quite as good as the Pretty Mittens for defense. I normally don't even think about these things since I don't use Suzu (and you can get them at Volt's Cave if you're lucky too) most of the time. Because she's terrible.
We've been through this before. A new set of gloves doesn't change that.
Remember how I mentioned there's at least one more hidden passage here?
They didn't even try to hide that one, and yet you can still run on ahead to find a sign that lets you know there's a hidden passage here. This leads to both where we need to go and a lot of treasure which mostly consists of stat boosting herbs. There's three exceptions though; an hourglass, an Elixir and this thing;
The Magic Pouch is a dumb accessory that randomly gives you shit items as you run around a dungeon with it equipped. Such wonders it can give you include: a Long Sword (that you need to rune bottle), another Long Sword (that you don't need to rune bottle), a Battle Axe, a Pin-Up Mag (the only way to get one if you sold the two that are easy to get), a Leather Mantle and some crap food items.
If we use a Rune Bottle on the Magic Pouch, it becomes a Magical Pouch which does mostly the same thing but gives you better items. And by better I mean it can spit a Holy Symbol out and that's worth it alone. It also coughs up Sages and Verbenas occasionally as well as a very rare item that we can only get from the arena (once) otherwise. I don't bother with it though because whoever has it equipped needs to be in the active party otherwise I'd give it to Suzu and never, ever take it off.
Little bit further ahead, we come across a mirror. Unlike before, this one doesn't have
Just before the end, we come across this guy. On the first try. Fuck yes!
So, the Reaper here is the best NPC in the game. We have millions of gald just lying around with bugger all to do with it. Except spend it with this guy. There's a catch though; not only can the Reaper not show up, but if he does and you leave the room he's gone. Whether he spawns or not is determined when you enter the dungeon. If you get this far and he's not here, you have to run all the way back to the "mine" near Early just to give him another chance of turning up. If he's here but you leave the room you have to do the same.
Now, as for what he does?
We give him buckets of gald.
He gives us buckets of EXP. The more gald you give him, the more EXP you get. It's randomized to a point; if you pay 765,000 you'll never get less than 100,000 EXP out of him. If you pay 765, you'll get maybe 100 or so if you're lucky.
The best part? Demon and Dark Seals are fair game. The Reaper is hilariously broken because of that and since it's pretty much impossible to get this far and not have millions just lying around...
If the game didn't let me do this, I'd consider it unfair.
Oh and Suzu got a title for reaching level 60. Whatever.
Speaking of though, Cless is level 70 now. Level 70 is the level requirement for another of his level based titles... if you have all of his artes. All base, all arcane and Blade of Ascension. It didn't trigger, because we're missing one base and one arcane. We can't get the missing base arte until reaching level 100 (with a very specific weapon equipped at that). Yeah, even with Reaper we ain't getting that one for quite a while.
Once we reach the top area, we suddenly find ourselves in a tower for no explainable reason. Don't worry though, it's going to get weirder I promise.
I'm not (just) referring to the inexplicable fountain of blood that's unavoidable and deals damage to everyone when you walk in it.
Why does Dhaos even have something as gauche as this anyway? This just doesn't seem like his style.
Shortly after that, we're in space. Which has breathable oxygen somehow. I don't know, just roll with it.
Anywho, this room is very clearly not ominous in the slightest and we're definitely not going to make another save file here for later. Nope, not at all.
Since the final boss is blatantly in the next room let's take a look at the entire party. Yes, everyone's getting their chance to fight in this. Even Suzu.
Naturally, Cless is pretty damned strong even for level 70. All those herbs I've been stuffing down his throat are showing their worth by giving him damn near max HP/TP naturally and his Strength is very nice too. The equipment could be better if I remember to use the Star Helm but it's just a few points of defence and wouldn't make or break the fight anyway. The Fight and Holy Symbols are pretty odd but there's a reason; since Cless is going to get bombarded by attacks very often, the Holy Symbol helps keep TP costs down re healing. The Fight Symbol is just to make things go by quicker since the boost to his attack just gets better the later in the game we are (proportional buffs are wonderful, aren't they).
For a token healer (also buffer), Mint's got some damned nice Defense there. If we were to give her a weapon other than the Unicorn Horn for some silly reason it'd be enough of a decrease to be a bit of an annoyance. Much like with Cless, her equipment could be better since for this, the White Gloves can be swapped out for the extra few defence the Pretty Mittens grant. Whether the Earring or a Fairy Ring is what you want is up to you, but you'll want the Mystic Symbol just so she actually gets healing off.
Not much to say about Klaus here sadly. His equipment is as good as its going to get for this, and the only thing that could be upgraded is his weapon anyway. For this fight he's honestly one of the people I'd have on the bench since his summons damage is mostly fixed barring weakness/resistances.
Much like with Mint, you could give Arche the Pretty Mittons for gloves but it's not that big a deal either way. She's more usable than Klaus since she has more variety to her attacks, more TP and Meteor Swarm.
There's one good reason I'd bench Klaus for this, and Chester is that reason. This seems like it'd be incredibly silly until you realise he can deal the same damage and then some. I've been pretty unfair to the really since he's actually useful once he gains a few levels and now that he's on par with everyone else he's not even a liability. His only real drawback at this stage, is that his AI fucking loves spamming artes and Chester's TP pool is... well, it's terrible. That's why he's got the Fairy Ring. Plus he has the advantage of not grinding battles to a halt with most of his attacks.
Now that's she caught up with everyone else, Suzu... is still terrible. Even if she were wearing the Claw Gauntlets, she'd still only have a higher than Mint. She's a frontline physical fighter, and two-thirds of the mages are better than her at that. She also has terrible HP and TP, her one useful aspect is useless here (since this is part of that 99% of the time where there's nothing to steal) and her terribly limited equipment is apparent now more than ever. I can't think of any other character in any game who's role can be described as "designated bench warmer" to the extent that it sums up Suzu.
: Hahaha... So, you've come this far? I'm impressed. All of your recklessness has paid off, you're known far and wide as heroes of legend.
: I've heard enough!! You're going to feel the pain of everyone you trampled over!!
: Please wait!
: Mint, stay back!!
: What is it?
: After coming all this way, you want to beg for your life?
: There's something I want to ask you. You once said that you had no reason to fight us. Why would you say that?
: Why are you trying to eliminate Magitech?
: Because Magitech consumes an extraordinary amount of mana! Therefore, I must erase every human who dares to pursue Magitech!
: But why would you go so far just to get rid of Magitech?
: Certainly Magitech's destructive power is terrible...
: But you're just using humanity as an easy scapegoat!
Note that they literally used Magitech there once per text box (aside from that last line). I don't think you're in danger of forgetting that we're talking about Magitech anytime soon.
Did you know Magitech was made in Midgard? Midgard made Magitech. They made Magitech to fight Dhaos. Dhaos destroyed Midgard because they made Magitech. After Dhaos destroyed Midgard over Magitech, the Magitech lab moved to Euclid. Dhaos didn't destroy Euclid over Magitech. Presumably he didn't know the Magitech stuff was at Euclid after he destroyed Midgard. Is there anything else about Magitech we're missing? No? Can we get on with it now then?
: The World Tree was already withering away before they were involved!
: Do you truly believe that? The truth of the matter is, had I not destroyed Midgard, the Yggdrasil would already be dead.
: You would go so far just to protect the Yggdrasil!? What the hell are you after?
: Howeve, even if I were to tell you my reasons...
: You are incapable of understanding.
: I don't want to understand! After everything you've done, your excuses don't mean a damn thing!
: Hahahahaha! "Excuses?" Why should I have to justify my actions?
: You should be the ones apologizing for having the gall to stand in my way!
: Enough of this bullshit...
: Even if... even if you had some reason... Destroying life without a second though... I'll never forgive you!!
: Enough talk!
On the one hand, gotta give him credit for thinking he can win. On the other hand, after kicking his arse pretty thoroughly twice already, a third time shouldn't be too taxing.
Especially since he's completely unchanged from the last time we fought. Oh sure, he might have 75,000 HP now and more Attack/Defense to go with it but his moves and such are unchanged. He also uses Dhaos Collider a bit more freely now but since he's such a pushover it's irrelevant.
I even used Suzu here and still beat him down in less than a minute. He's that easy to beat.
Oh, and what's not apparent is that at the end there's at least three possible outcomes. Sometimes, like here, he'll just collapse and that's that. Other times, he'll collapse like he did at the end of the second fight with a weird texture to represent damage or something. The rest, he'll call out as if you beat him with an Indignation, even if you actually didn't (I got it to happen with this very party when testing to see how the fight would go with it).
The next part of the scene, and the fight to accompany it, can be seen here.
: No, it's not over yet!
: I never expected you lower lifeforms to push me this far.
: To honor that, I will show you my true power! My body, my soul, I will wager everything on this battle!
: A, are you trying to say that you were going easy on us all along!?
: Being so confined will only hinder my power, a situation easily remedied.
: I will eliminate all those who stand in my way!!
: Release my true power!!
This is kinda bad. Derris-Kharlan is basically a giant ball of mana inhabited by angels and that first line there implies that Dhaos is their king. Dude's probably not dicking around when he says anything about actually being stupidly strong.
Though that doesn't look like any angel I've ever seen.
After getting a chance to adjust formation (which I actually do to remove Suzu), we're onto part 2 of this fight and we get to take on
Amusingly enough, Cless is probably the worst person to use for this part of the fight. Feather Dhaos' repertoire is basically designed solely to keep Cless out of melee range, while simultaneously dealing a ton of damage to everyone. This is why I cannot stand fighting Feather Dhaos. It's an exercise in frustration more than anything else; maybe I'm doing something wrong, but this fight feels like it's built more around using mages and Chester.
Watch the scene here, seriously
: U, ugh... It's futile! I will never give in! I cannot fail! Not until the Great Harvest is complete! Hear me, oh God! Oh God of my homeland, Derris-Kharlan! Grant me power! Grant me power!!!
: Be careful! something's not right here!
: What the hell is happening to him!?
: T, this much magical energy, it's not possible!
: My prayers... The prayers of my people... I can... I can still fight!
One last formation change, and we can now fight the last form of Dhaos. This one wasn't in the original and it feels pretty tacked on too; Feather Dhaos just has more of a final fight vibe to it. That's not to say that if he gets going, this form can't be super fucking tough or anything...
But most of the time, he'll either not get the chance to do anything of importance or he'll just flail about with a regular attack. Which is comprised of lasers, of course.
This last form just has a ton of HP and takes reduced damage from everything so it takes a bit longer to whittle down than it would otherwise. Aside from that and a few spells to watch out for, he's pretty much a non-issue.
Yes, but the ending itself will have to be seperate because this is pretty damned long as is. The actual ending isn't what I'd call "short" either.