Part 50: The Arena's Champion
So, we have the Bahamut's Tear and are a decently high level. Let's go to the arena!
After stuffing a few extra stat boosting plants down Cless' gullet, this is how we're looking going into this. When we're done, we'll have a few more levels too so we'll have 9999 HP as well. Hurray!
This is totally not relevant at all. We'll never see anything come out of this, nope.
Anyway, the arena itself. We've been here a few times now and did the first runthrough a while back (just after getting the Gungnir), so let's skip all the formalities. We know how this works - Cless solos 8 dudes in a row, then fights the Galf Beast. Each new run through the arena adds at least 1 new enemy to try and deal with. The exceptions being 8, 9 and 10; 8 just gives you the hardest (I guess) enemies to contend with, whereas 9 and 10 do things differently to the previous runs.
Incidentally, this is super repetitive and tedious so to save you sitting through 80 fights where nothing happens, the only thing I recorded was the reason for doing this.
So, new things! Round 2 brings us an enemy from a dungeon we haven't seen yet. The Dhole is a palette swap of various things, but it has a fair chunk of HP; it's nothing particularly threatening on its own though. As part of a recurring theme for this place, it's weak to fire.
Next we get the Tyrant. It takes less damage from attacks than you'd like and it can nullify Light too. It's not much for offence though.
Round 2 also brings us the Skeleton King. It's a Skeleton. It's painted gold now.
For finishing this the second time onwards, we get a whole bunch of items. Some are significantly better than others. This just contains some valuables; 1 Tea Cup, 1 Tapestry and 1 Marble.
Round 3 brings us the Woodkarla. It's a thoroughly uninteresting enemy that you can only fight here; being a giant tree, it's weak to fire.
This thing is a dick; it can paralyze you OR petrify you with a regular attack. It also has a tiny, tiny hitbox and will dodge a lot more than you expect. Definitely one of the more dangerous things you could fight since you're solo so all it takes is some bad luck to end your attempt.
Or you could just use a Liqueur Bottle. That works too.
Poison Check, Paralysis Check and Stone Check. One of the weaker sets of items, but still far from the worst.
Round 4 brings the Pharaoh, and it starts taking the kid gloves off (y'know, for the regular stuff). Whilst this thing isn't threatening on its own, it can poison you with a regular attack if it gets the chance. Aside from insta-death ailments, that's the worst thing that can happen since you're limited in your healing items here and poison drains more HP than a Holy Symbol can restore.
Aside from the regular Skeleton, the Queen Bee is the least threatening thing here. It's got next to no HP, a severe weakness to fire and if it can do anything to pretend to be dangerous, I've no clue since I've never seen it. A single Crimson Blade wipes it out.
1 Pork, 1 Beef, 1 Chicken. The worst set of items you could get by far.
Round 5 brings us this guy. As you can guess from its sprite, this thing drops Ivory. It's one of two (!) enemies to do so. Much like the other one, this guy can be found in a dungeon we'll be getting to later. As for right now, even when fighting it alone it's not too tough but it'll definitely hang around a fair bit longer than you might be used to.
And the last dude for Round 5 is the Air Giant. Much like the Djinn he's a palette swap of, he's just a slab of HP with no weakness. It's still incredibly easy to just lock down with artes, so it's no threat at all.
Our reward for this round is the second best at this point, and even then it consists of stuff we can get elsewhere. It's easier to get it here though.
2 of every regular herb isn't too terrible; shame it's non-repeatable though.
Round 6 just brings us a... flying... green... pumpkin. It's not much of a threat but it is certainly unique compared to anything else we've seen so far. As you'd expect from flying produce, though, it's weak to fire. It even has enough HP to survive 2 Crimson Blades! Not 3, but points for trying.
6th reward is 1 Rune Bottle, 1 Holy Bottle and 1 Dark Bottle. If the meat set is the worst, this is very narrowly behind it.
The last regular enemy we'll meet is introduced right at the end of round 7. The Gallic Sword is, much like the other flying swords, kind of a dick. It has a chance of nullifying everything except Light which it absorbs. Fortunately, it's weak to Lightning which is nice.
Given how late it comes, this set isn't that great; it's got two nice things though. It's the only other place to get a Magical Ribbon or Magical Broom; the ribbon is one of the better items from the set (as for the broom? See: previous update). It also comes with a Magical Pouch which you should probably have from Dhaos' Castle by now. What makes it almost worth it, though, is this thing:
The Magical Rouge is an infinite discount, assuming you remember to use it in every shop. It's not a great discount, it's only 10%, and it doesn't stack with anything else. You can even get a second one for some reason, so it's not even unique. Still, it's the thought that counts even though the two things you'll really be buying that warrant it (Miso and EXP) aren't affected by it. I guess it's nice for Rune Bottles and other cooking ingredients if you're still having cashflow problems at a time where carrying around 5 million+ gald is almost guaranteed.
Anyway, as I said earlier Round 8 introduces no new dudes to kill. Instead it gives us what I imagine are supposed to be the 8 toughest enemies in the most schizophrenic order possible; Pumpkin King, Tyrant, Skeleton King, Woodkarla, Pharaoh, Dhole, Superstar, and then lastly another Gallic Sword. Now, if I were to order those from weakest to toughest I'd rearrange it so that it goes Dhole, Woordkarla, Skeleton King, Tyrant, Pumpkin King, Pharaoh, Superstar and Gallic Sword. That's just me though.
For beating this set, we get a Star Beret, Star Cloak, Star Broom and Star Mace for our troubles. None of which we need at this point, but all of which are great for making a profit out of! How nice of the game to give us something we can use even if its not in the manner it expected.
Now, round 9 and round 10... these two don't do this the way we're used to at this point. The first 8 rounds give us a bunch of shit to fight in a predetermined order; from now on, we still fight 8 things before a boss but it can be any 8 in any order. The game chooses them at random. The only limitation on that, is that it only chooses enemies you fought in the first 8 rounds, and even then it only chooses the normal stuff and never the Galf Beast.
My round 9 lineup, for reference, was Woodkarla, Boar Boar, Kraken, Basilisk King, Clay Golem, Tyrant, Mandrake, Superstar.
More importantly, though, for beating the 9th round we get even more money! Er, I mean, a Star Helm, Star Shield and Star Gloves. Sometimes I wish they'd just skip the middleman and hand us the cash upfront instead. Oh well.
Round 10's more random dudes before the boss. I got Mighty Oak, Great Tusk, Kraken, Basilisk King, Clay Golem, Tyrant, Boar Boar, Air Giant. Kinda weird how the middle bunch was the exact same enemies in the exact same order as round 9.
Round 10 has an exciting twist though! It brings us a very special 9th fight instead of another Galf Beast which is nice. It even starts of a mini-tradition prevalent in every game with an arena.
It starts off normally until some random NPC runs on-screen from the same place monsters come from.
That's... quite impressive.
Announcer: Oh my! It looks like we have an intruder on the main event. Moreover, our intruder seems to be a young girl. And to top it all off, she beat the ferocious Galf Beast into submission in just 3 seconds.
: Don't you know that it's dangerous to come to a place like this?
: You know, you sound exactly like my older brother. I'll be fine. If we're comparing strength, you're much weaker than me.
: Weak, she says...
: Cless, I've been watching all of your matches up until now. In this colosseum, your strength is unmatched. So please accept my challenge!
: Wait! Wait!!
: Well, you know, I have my reasons!
: That doesn't mean much coming from you, shorty!
: Who are you calling shorty!? ...Anyway!! You will accept this challenge!
: E, even if you say it like that, my heart really isn't in this...
Announcer: I've just received word from the Tournament's High Commission stating that this bout will now be officially recognised.
: And with that out of the way, here I come!
Oh god, Lilith Aileron... I might have 9999 HP going into this, but she can eat through that in no time. I'd go so far as to say that Lilith is the second hardest fight in the entire game.
In case you were wondering, she's from Tales of Destiny. Namely, she's the sister of the main character to that game. She has a set of artes and stuff programmed in to the PSX version, but she's only a playable character in the PS2 remake that was only ever released in Japan. That is, assuming you can beat her in the arena there.
At first glance, it might not look like there's much of a reward for finally beating her but there definitely is. As you'd expect from a boss, she has roughly a 1-in-3 chance of nullifying nearly everything, is almost guaranteed to nullify fire and will absorb thunder... there goes just spamming Claw Strike until she's dead, huh? Gotta change things up a bit. Also, you never want to use a spear of any kind in this fight. Since she's also fighting up-close, you'll never hit her with it. Best to use either a sword or Bahamut's Tear.
Oh and she is fucking fast as hell. Like, you blink and she's eating your face fast. None of her attacks is a simple one hit then you get a chance to counterattack either; she will push you on the defense within moments of the fight starting and she will never, ever let up.
Her normal attack isn't what she'd use particularly often but it's still not to be scoffed at.
She even has her own version of Swallow Dance! It's much more powerful than Cless' and is better at stunlocking too.
She has a couple of more unique base artes though. First of which, and her preferred one, is Rolling Thunder. There's a few frames where you can potentially slip in a counterattack but the timing is super tight and it's not large enough to do anything than block one attack.
Her other base arte is Thunder Fist which just involves uppercutting Cless twice. It's probably her least damaging attack but it can juggle the hell out of you and it leaves you more than open to any other attacks.
As for arcane artes? She has one of them too! Thundering Roar is her first and it combines... Roaring Fang... with Rolling Thunder. Unlike our own arcane artes though, she even adds a bit more onto the end of it that kicks you around even more.
But that's not all. Oh no, much like Cless she has a mystic arte of her own! (No gif because getting a decent sized one is borderline impossible.) She can use these whenever, but it becomes much more likely when she has less than 10,000 HP left.
Thunder Sword is rather simple, but ever so effective. It consists of one uppercut...
A second uppercut...
And finally a giant laser just for good measure.
If (when) this hits, it'll leave Cless stunned for a good while as well as missing a massive chunk of health.
Wait, sorry. Did I say "a" mystic arte? I meant two of them. Thunder Sword is the flashier but weaker one. Thunder Fang, however, hurts like a bitch.
It's much more straightforward, consisting of only three hits; two simple uppercuts...
And then one giant one that deals a fuckton of lightning damage. It's a fairly random amount too dealing anywhere between 2,000 or so at the low-end and upto, or even beyond, 5,000 if you're unlucky. There's a very good chance that when she uses this, you're going to die.
And to add to it all, she's immune to time stop abilities too.
So, in short: Lilith hits like a truck, moves faster than the Eurostar and can randomly take no damage just because. And there's a harder fight waiting for us later. At least this one has a decent reward whenever you finally win.
: So, I lost... Cless, you were every bit the man I expected. Please take this. Since it's you, I'm sure that you'll be able to handle it.
: What is this?
: But if you think having it will help you, I'll gladly give it to you.
: Are you sure about this?
: Giving me something that important...
: Yes, I'm sure my brother would agree.
: I understand. I'll accept this sword and use it gratefully.
Announcer: And so this tournament is brought to a spectacular conclusion with a knock-out victory by Cless Alvein!! Everyone, let's send off our young champion and lovely challenger with a thunderour round of applause!!
: Well, this is goodbye then.
1 of every gel. It's not that great, and it's the only thing you'll get if you beat the arena from now. Not really worth it. More importantly, we got a sword; let's give it a look.
The S.D. is the second best sword and is the only weapon with a special ability tied to it. The catch, is that we don't get it until Cless hits a very specific level. He needs to reach level 100 to gain his final base arte and he must have the S.D. equipped to learn it. If you reach level 100 without it, then you need it equipped for level 101 and so on until you hit level 999 somehow.
And, for anyone that doesn't know, S.D. stands for "Swordian Dymlos." It's kind of a special sword in Tales of Destiny that was the first, and best, weapon for Stahn Aileron. Due to some plot stuff for ToD, Dymlos could both talk to Stahn, and the other Swordian wielders, in cutscenes and was a character in the Emotional Card Chats (fancy term for the skits) in the PS2 remake.
So, now we have to do things in a very specific order. With that in mind our next stop can only be one place... the Moria Mine!
Lilith Aileron (PS2) official art.