Part 48: The Ninja Of The Ordeal
Well, we've gotta do it eventually. Let's finally get this dumb sidequest out of the way. We've put it off more than long enough by now so it should be much less of a hassle.
You might remember Okayo, and you might not. She wanted to see someone considered a Champion and ever since we cleared out the Arena once we had that requirement done. All we have to do now is talk to her with that title equipped (this is the only time your title actually makes any difference). Our reward for all this?
The last collectible card. Well, uh, it'll... it'll do I suppose.
There's two requirements to actually enter this cave at the bottom of a well; speaking to Ranzo anytime after getting Suzu and obtaining any of Suzu's optional artes. Whilst this means you could enter it around about 3 minutes after actually getting her, that would be an incredibly bad idea.
This is only part of the reason why. The other part?
We get the chance to heal and such between fights but it has to be 5 in a row without leaving or losing any. Fortunately, we don't get Game Over'd for losing down here but we do get kicked back to the start with 1 HP. Assuming either that happens or we leave, we have to start from the beginning again making the entire thing infinitely more tedious than it ought to be.
The game tells you that your answers to these questions don't matter and in a sense they don't. It has an influence on the scenes before the fights and on the scene at the end and that's it. Basically if we answer any "wrong," we get bitched at and the last scene changes slightly.
In each room with a fight, there's an odd square piece of floor that's made entirely of wood. I'm going to assume that what is written in the middle of each room is the emotion that room is testing or whatever. In this case it would be "anger" if I'm right.
This is how I can safely presume that. Fortunately, this is also in every room and it serves to tell you very, very roughly what you'll be asked about and to give you an extremely vague idea of how you're expected to answer.
Also our enemies are ninja ghosts. Sure, whatever. Let's just answer this by saying we'd kill a baby if need be because ninja.
That's the reasoning for everything by the way.
No matter what we answer, we get into a fight but the reasoning is different. If you're "right" it's because the ghosts want to see proof of your conviction. If you're "wrong" it's because they get angry. Which is oddly ironic given that we were pretty much just told that a true ninja would never do that.
All five fights here are one-on-one against, surprise, a ninja. I'm beginning to sense a theme here.
Anyway, aside from their raw stats and being varying degrees of palette swaps none of them are actually different from each other at all. They all use the exact same attacks, have the same weaknesses and resistances and that's about it. They're nothing new at all, except now we get to fight them with Suzu. Alone.
Fighting with Suzu at all isn't particularly fun the best of times, let alone now but for different reasons. Ordinarily, you'll be raging at how fucking incompetent Suzu is against pretty much everything with more than 300 HP. Here you'll be spamming Unknown Fire ad nauseum in every fight until she steals a Mask from the Ninja of the Room (unless you want to do this ever again, and you don't). And then you'll be doing the same few things in the same order over and over and over again until whoever you're fighting is deader than they were before. This consists of a regular combo to a Red Spider Lily to a Thunderbolt and then throwing in a Whirlwind if you're feeling daring. The only things that change for later rooms is that you'll be dealing less damage, the AI might remember to guard occsaionally and you'll be using a Flare Bottle or three to be done in any reasonable length of time.
Just in case it's not obvious enough by now, these fights are incredibly boring to play and they get even more tedious the further in you get so I'm sparing you sitting through 7 minutes of repeating the same two moves over and over again. The irony of that being what most fights end up as, but with added waiting time due to magic, is almost tangible.
And for completions sake, here's this guy's stats. For refence, here's the fifth guys stats;
Ten times the first's HP, and 100 more Defense. He's not harder, he just takes forever to kill. Their Light weaknesses don't even matter because none of Suzu's weapons are Light elemental and she never gets any Light elemental artes either.
So, to summarise: this sidequest is the epitome of tedium and isn't even remotely fun when the fights are quick. Your actively penalised for answering questions with no right answer incorrectly and if you don't remember to use Unknown Fire the many, many, many times you'll need to for it to succeed, in every fight, you get to do this all over again on a later playthrough. And while you're doing that, the enemy can and will mercilessly wail on you and in the later fights that is actually dangerous because Suzu's HP and Defense is completely and utterly terrible. Fun stuff, huh?
Whilst the last room poses a final yes/no question, it's framed ever-so-differently to the previous four.
Ninja: A situation has arisen that forces you to cross blades with your parents. Could you slay your parents for the sake of your mission?
: T, that is...
Ninja: Answer! Are you prepared to slay them?
: If... if that situation were to arise, the lawof the shinobi is clear...
Yep, that's it. There's one last mini-room before we get our reward for this waste of time.
"Hey you know all those questions we just told you, you gave the wrong answers to? Yeah, they weren't wrong. Except that they were." Anyway, that's enough complaining. Let's go get our no doubt outdated reward for this and move on.
: It seems there is nothing more to teach you about the way of the shinobi. However, as you are now, you still suffer from one major deficiency. When you discover what that is, then and only then will you possess what it takes to lead the clan. The way of the ninja is unforgiving.
This letter is what changes depending on your answers by the way. That's what it says when you answer them all correctly.
The other chest just has some weapon in it.
And now that we're really done with this, so we can pretend it never existed.
Oh and we get a title for this, just in case Suzu's second best sword wasn't a good enough reward.
Actually, Suzu's second best wasn't a good enough reward for one clear reason:
It's Dark elemental. Out of Suzu's 5 weapons, two are Dark (if I said this before, I'm saying it again because it bears repeating). Those two are both the best and the worst at the same time. On paper, they are the best and, her strongest still isn't very good, but in practice they're terrible because everything worth noting resists or absorbs Dark. So by spending time making Suzu questionably more useful, she becomes even more of a liability than she was a few minutes ago.
I think we need something more bearable and fun than this for the next sidequest. A gimmick dungeon that is also a terrible maze sounds like it could be perfect for this. We're already in the area too...
We've got all the collectible cards, so let's take a look at what our collection consists of. Maybe there'll be some interesting pattern to the way they're ordered!
...Or, not. The second set very nearly had an order but it lost it there at the end. Oh well.