The Let's Play Archive

Tales of Symphonia

by wdarkk

Part 45: Update 40

Update 40

Skit #284: Martel's Memories

: Hmm? What are you talking about?
: When her consciousness entered me, I could see into her heart, too. Hurt and betrayed by so many people, I was filled with sadness.
: ...I see. That's right, Martel was a half-elf, too.
: But despite all that, I could feel how strongly she loved the world, so much that it hurt. Even though it wouldn't have been strange if she'd hated the world, just like Mithos...
: I wonder where those feelings come from.
: Yes...I think she would be willing to sacrifice herself to save the world...
: The ritual of the also a ritual to find a vessel for Martel. ...It may have been based on the way Martel herself lived.

Skit #278: Living Our Days to the Fullest

: Yeah. Everyone worked really hard.
: "Saving the world" may in fact be of little importance to those that live in it.
: If we all lived each of our days to the fullest, the results will follow.
: In order for the people of the world to be able to do that, we need to restore the world to its original form.
: Yeah. For everyone trying to live on each day!
: Yeah!

Skit #286: When this Journey is Over...

: Hey! Sheena! What are you doing moping about over here?
: Go away. I can't think when you're around.
: Are you thinking about what's going to happen after this journey is over?
: What?!
: I knew it.
: J...just shut up!
: So, what are you going to do?
: I...we, the people of Mizuho, probably won't be able to stay in Tethe'alla.
: Cause you disobeyed the King's orders.
: The people of Mizuho aren't attached to the land. We'll just find some place that's easy to live and live there quietly.
: ...You don't have to go.
: What?
: I'll find a place for all of you to live. I can at least do that much.
: Zelos...
: I think that hot-headed idiot is growing on me. Eww, yuck.
: Can I...really believe you?
: Huh? Yeah.
: Just think of yourself as having boarded a mud boat and leave it all to me!
: In exchange, continue to pledge your loyalty to Zelos, the great Chosen! Ha ha ha!
: ...You idiot.

I don't think I've ever talked about the process of learning new techs(spells/abilities) in Tales of Symphonia, so let's do that here. In order to learn a new tech, you have to meet up to four perquisites. The first is of course level. The second is that for some techs you have to know one of the preceding spells, and the third is that you have to have used the preceding tech a certain number (usually 50) of times. The fourth one is that you don't have that tech's equivalent from the other "line" and I'll discuss that more in a bit.

Techs come in two different "lines", Tactical and Strike. Generally you can only have the Tactical or Strike version of a tech. The difference between Tactical and Strike is hard to articulate and varies based on the character, but in general Tactical gives you more access to Unison Attack components (Prism Stars requires a spell from both Genis and Raine's T lines). Whether a character has an S or T tendency is determined by whether the EX Gems assigned them in the EX Skill menu are T or S-type. You need to be on the S side of the bar to learn S techs and on the T side for T techs.

The Strike and Tactical rings help you change your tendency. Or at least, they're supposed to. They don't seem to be more powerful than a 3/4 T gem setup.

In order to do tech glitching, you have to take advantage of the fact that the fourth requirement listed above is only checked for techs in the "mid" tier. Since the techs in the advanced tier depend on techs that are themselves mutually exclusive across lines, it was thought that there was no reason to do a check for that.
Let's digress a moment to talk about controls. The screen above shows you that the c-stick shortcuts can be assigned to skills on another character. Here's where the glitch is: if you assign a skill to a c-stick shortcut for a different character, remove that character from the battle lineup, forget the skill, then bring back the character it's a shortcut for, you can activate that skill via the c-stick shortcut until the end of the battle.

That's exactly what I'm doing with Presea here.

Example Video 1
Viddler download
YouTube stream.
I forget Air Thrust (Presea's up c-stick) and this causes me to forget Cyclone, which depends on Air Thrust.

Same for Spread and Tidal Wave. Note that Raging Mist relies on BOTH Spread and Eruption, which means it has more detailed checks. Thus, I don't think it's possible to tech glitch to gain access to it.

Now we learn our new spells.

Aqua Laser is the counterpart to Spread.

Air Blade is the counterpart to Air Thrust.

Genis's S line differs from his T line in that the tier 3 S spells are hybrids of two elements and hence depend on two tier 2 spells. Thus, you want to tech glitch from T to S rather than from S to T. Atlas here is wind/water.

Example Video 2
Viddler download
YouTube stream.
Now we need to go back to the Technical side and glitch to relearn the tier 3 spells.

Hit the c-stick shortcut for Air Thrust until...

...Cyclone comes back. We can't have both Air Blade and Air Thrust (barring an actual cheat device like a gameshark) but I wasn't really interested in doing that.

Repeat for Spread...

...and Tidal Wave. That was a bit close, since that last spell finished the fight. If I'd failed to learn both in the same fight I'd have had to reload.

Now the process repeats for other spells.

This time I provide myself some backup, so if I learn one I can learn the other via Regal.

New tech Spark Wave, but you've seen it used by enemies.

New tech Flame Lance, it's also been used by enemies.

It's pretty sweet looking though.

Spiral Flare is the air/fire tier 3.

Thunder Arrow is the fire/electricity tier 3.

Use Eruption to relearn Explosion.

And Thunder Blade for Indignation.

Even though I'm also forgetting Ice Tornado, I don't bother putting it on a c-stick since it has no tier 3 spell depending on it. What's up with that? No Ice tier 3 on the T side?

Silly warning screen, we already forgot Gravity Well!

Grave is the tier 2 earth spell.

Earth Bite is the tier 3 earth/electricity spell. Why they made that particular combination I have no idea.

Freeze Lancer has less area than Ice Tornado but will hit a single target more reliably since it fires homing projectiles. Also we need it to learn Absolute, which is awesome.

Absolute has the distinction of being one of the two spells in the game that can stagger "unstaggerable" enemies, the other being Photon. Raine usually won't have time to cast Photon though.

Atlas and Absolute lead you to Prism Sword.

Prism Sword is Genis's only Light-elemental attack, and is totally sweet.

Relearn Ground Dasher via Stalagmite and we're done. I could theoretically tech glitch other characters but I don't consider it truly worth the effort. Maybe Raine but I'm not sure if you can tech glitch Holy Lance and Ray onto her simultaneously.

That took me two hours of real time to do, let's go rest up in scenic Mizuho.

: Yes. I know.
: What happened? Kuchinawa was carrying out Tiga's orders to act as a liaison to the Elemental Research Laboratory in Meltokio. Why is he dueling against you? Vice-Chief Tiga is angry, saying that this is personal.
: ...I'll report the details to the Vice-Chief.
: Then I will go as well. I have that right as Kuchinawa's brother.
: Yeah...Lloyd, you come, too.
: What? Ah, okay.

: ...Kuchinawa desires the opportunity to fight me to avenge his parents.
: So he still bears a grudge from the tragedy with Volt...
: And you accepted this?
: I believe what Kuchinawa says is correct. I am responsible for the deaths of Orochi and Kuchinawa's parents. I do not have a reason to refuse.
: That's wrong, Sheena! If you follow that logic, many of the villagers must also challenge you for revenge. It was an accident. It is wrong to hold on to that grudge.
: It is as Orochi says. I do not believe the Chief would have allowed this duel.
: I made a promise to Kuchinawa that I would accept this duel.
: ...Kuchinawa says that he will leave the village regardless of whether he wins or loses. Do you know why?
: Only criminals leave the village. ...Sheena, what has Kuchinawa done?
: ...
: Then I shall ask the visitor. Lloyd, do you know something?

: I don't know anything about it. If it's necessary, Sheena will explain. It's not my place to speak.
: Lloyd...Thank you.
: If that is your wish, Lloyd, I will not pursue it further. Then, head for the Isle of Decision. Orochi, prepare the boat.
: ...Yes, sir.
: And, who shall be the observer?
: I'd like to ask Lloyd.
: Me? What's an "observer"?
: Very well. Lloyd, please head for the Isle of Decision with them. When you are ready, let Orochi know.
: Hey! Someone tell me what an "observer" is!

Let's chat with our party.
: Well, settling things is better than letting them linger.

: Sheena! Don't give up!

: The man called Kuchinawa must have a deep darkness in his heart.

: Corrine's Bell...I hope she gets it back.

: Mizuho has a lot of unusual customs. It's fascinating....

: I hope Kuchinawa and Sheena can be friends again.

: Are you ready?
: Yes.
: Kuchinawa has already headed for the Isle. ...I leave my brother to you.

Viddler download
YouTube stream.

: ...So you really want to do this?
: Of course. Is he the observer?
: That's right. Lloyd Irving is the observer.
: Hey, what does the observer do exactly?
: He just watches over the fight. And when one side admits defeat or...
: Or dies, the observer confirms it.
: ...All right. Then...begin!

I ended up doing this on Hard rather than Mania. I might have done it on Mania, but I'm not too good with Sheena and it seemed close enough as it was.

Raiden throws a knife which is then hit by lightning.

My strategy here is to get up close with him by diving under the shurikens and running in.

This blast attack can still hurt you pretty good up close though.

I lost a whole bunch of times because I tried to use overlimit to summon, which gives him free damage on me. Also, Undine in particular has a hard time hitting him.

: So you don't want to kill me. I don't want your pity...I refuse it!

: Good-bye!
: Stop!

: I'm the observer, remember? I've confirmed your loss. It's over.
: ...Lloyd.
: It's all right for you to hate me. It's all right for you to resent me. So please...
: I'm being pitied by my parents' killer...I've fallen lower than I ever thought possible.
: Even's better than dying.
: ...It's possible to live a life more painful than death.
: No. Life and death are fundamentally different. There is meaning in living. There is no meaning in dying. That alone is enough to make them completely incomparable.
: ...No dying?!
: I'm not sure exactly how to say it, but it's because people have respect for the way someone lived that they're sad when that person dies.
: Yeah, exactly. That's why there's no meaning in dying. The meaning lies in the life you lived. have to live.
: ...Is there meaning in me living?
: I think that as long as you are alive, you can always give your life meaning.
: ...I see. Someday...when I'm able to think that way, I may be able to forgive you.
: Okay...
: ...I shall always be watching to see if what you have said is true. Don't betray me.

: ...I hope he forgives you someday.
: ...Yeah...I hope so, too.

Skit #156: Sheena's Nightmare

: What's wrong? You're sweating all over.
: It's nothing.
: But you were screaming!
: I said, it's nothing.
: ...I see. I'm sorry.
: That dream again...of that time...

: I think it's the Chief's voice.
: Is the Chief awake?!
: No, I haven't heard anything....
: Grandpa...

: I see. A rumor like is true that the Chief's voice is heard periodically.
: Volt is...Vo...
: Grandpa!
: One...two...three...
: What's he saying?
: It sounds like he's counting something, but...
: ...There are some missing....
: Grandpa?! What's missing?
: It's no use....He always ends there.
: I wonder if it has something to do with Volt....
: Grandpa was with me in the Temple of Lightning when I failed the pact with Volt. He's been asleep since.
: Hmm...How about visiting the Temple of Lightning once more?
: Yeah. Sheena, let's go have a look. There might be some clues.
: ...Yeah. I hope so....

I put Mania back on at this point in case a fight broke out, I didn't really remember this sidequest too well.

: That's Grandpa's voice!
: Okay, let's go.

: Gr...Grandpa?!

: Grandpa! Three missing what? What's missing?!
: With just these... I cannot defeat Volt....
: Grandpa! It's me, Sheena! I made a pact with Volt. Grandpa!
: Sheena, summon Volt! If you do that, maybe he'll notice.
: Okay. I'll try it. I call upon the hammer of godly lightning. I summon thee....Come, Volt!

: Ohhh! What's going on? Hmm? Who are you people?
: Grandpa! Thanks, Volt. You can go back now.
: What?! Did you make a pact with Volt? Sheena is going to be sad....
: Grandpa! It's me! I'm Sheena!
: What are you talking about? Sheena is only seven.
: Grandpa! It's been more than ten years since the Volt accident! I'm Sheena! I'm Sheena Fujibayashi, the child you found in Gaoracchia Forest!
: ...Are you really?...But if so, then what have I...
: Maybe you're an astral body. Your heart separated from your body during the Volt accident.
: Is that possible?
: If he's using an Exsphere, it's quite possible. It seems they make it easier for the heart and the body to separate.
: It's true that I and some of the villagers use Exspheres. So then, that means I am just a consciousness?
: How do we save Grandpa?!
: What if we return him to his body?
: How?
: Hmmm. It's likely that it's just his consciousness that is lost. Let's take him back to the village.
: Hahaha! Don't treat me like a baby. I've already come to understand this body. Let's see....

: It seems a waste to return to my original body.
: Grandpa! This isn't the time to play around!
: Hahaha! Don't get angry. Well then, I shall go on ahead. Sheena, I'll be waiting for you at the village.
: Gr...Grandpa!
: If he's in such good spirits, I'm sure there's no need to worry. Let's return to Mizuho.

Skit #050: Chief Awakens

: But now, the people of Mizuho can finally relax.
: I'm so happy for you, Sheena. The Chief finally woke up.
: Thanks...Yeah, I'm really happy. I think I may finally be able to like Volt.
: Sheena...that's wonderful. Overcoming the painful events of your past like that... I...want to learn to be like you.
: Ah, oh, stop it. I'm...just simple-minded, you know?
: Yeah, exactly. Sheena's got the brains of an amoeba.
: ...You better shut up before I smack you!
: Don't say that after you smack me!

: Ah, yeah.
: Come, the Chief awaits. Hurry!

: Grandpa!
: Sheena...
: ...Y...yes, Chief...
: Congratulations.
: What?
: You succeeded in making the pact with Volt. I'm very proud of you.
: ...Grandpa!
: ...Let's leave them alone for a little while.

: I've heard. It seems we owe you a debt of gratitude for taking good care of Sheena.
: Ah, nah...
: Tiga's plans will not change even though I am awake. We, the people of Mizuho, will cooperate with you in building the world you seek.
: Yeah. We'll work hard, too.
: In regards to that, we would like to have Sheena remain in the village for a short while.
: What for?
: I can't say right now. It is the Chief's orders.
: It is nothing to worry about. Let's see, hmm. Just leave her with us for one night.
: I'm sorry, guys, I promise I'll be back, so please wait a little.
: ...All right. We'll go kill some time elsewhere and come back for you.

: Well, we'll find out tomorrow, right?
: Yeah...

: I wonder if Alicia, too, was an astral body.... I save her....

: Astral body...I wonder what I'd do if I became like that.

: So that's the man that raised Sheena. He sure looks like he's strict.

: If Alicia had a body...would she have been able to live? No, that would oppose the laws of nature....I'm sorry.

: Sheena seemed really happy. I'm so glad.

: It's amazing the way he was able to move so freely while in astral form. I guess he truly is the Chief of Mizuho.

: Sheena restored all twelve of the lost guardians. Thus, Sheena shall become the next chief. Are there any objections?
: ...If Sheena's power will open a new world to us, then even those of us who bear the scars from Volt, will have no choice but to recognize Sheena.
: Yes. But for now... congratulations, Sheena.
: Congratulations, next Chief!
Sheena obtains the "Successor" costume title.
: Th...thank you, everyone!
: Sheena. In order to be truly recognized as Chief, you must reunite the world. Do your best...for Kuchinawa's sake as well.
: ...Yeah. I'll do my best to become a Chief who will make Kuchinawa want to come back.
: Lloyd. As you see, Sheena has been chosen to become the next Chief.
: So that was it....It was for those preparations that Sheena stayed in the village.
: Sheena is currently working to bring new hope to the people of Mizuho.
: The new world brought about by reuniting the worlds, right?
: Yes. So we wish to lead the village into new prosperity by naming her as the next Chief.
: I'll work reunite the worlds and to allow the people of Mizuho, and all life, to find hope.
: All right! Let's do our best, Sheena!
: Yeah!
: Then, everyone, I leave my granddaughter, Sheena, in your care.

Skit #257: Next Chief

: Ah, haha, oh stop it, you're embarrassing me.
: How about working on your acceptance speech as the next Chief?
: Ah, good idea. I'll start working on that. Let's see... "On this pleasant day...
: But if it's raining on that day, you can't use that.
: ...
: How about, "On this fine day..." or something?
: On this fine day as I accept the position of Chief...
: Next, she should probably talk about her Management objectives.
: "Management" huh? I suppose being a village leader is kind of like being a Manager.
: 1. Hate the sin, not the sinner.
: 2. Our customers' smiles are our company's treasure.
: 3. This old man, he played three, he played knick-knack on my knee!
: ...Hey! Stop taking over my speech!

: What was it you were counting in the Temple of Lightning?
: Oh, that. Those were the twelve guardians that protect this village.
: At the time of the Volt accident, Grandpa gave me three of the guardians.
: The guardians you used when you were going after Colette were...
: Yes, those. Every chief uses them to protect the village.
: I completely forgot about doing that. I didn't even realize I had become a spiritual being, and was looking for the guardians in order to defeat Volt in Sheena's place.
: Wow. You're really loved, Sheena.
: Hehehe...

: Then, this is...
: Okay, let's try opening it.
Fafnir, Zelos's Sword-type Devil's Arm.
: I thought so! It's a Devil's Arm.
: Lloyd! You've already found some Devil's Arms. Wonderful!
: Abyssion! Is it okay for you to come here?
: I'm sorry. I was worried about you.... My body feels a little better when I'm not carrying the Devil's Arms.
: ...Ugh.
: Presea! What's wrong?
: My hurts....
: Maybe you're sick?
: No...when I am close to the Devil's Arms...
: It's caused by the Devil's Arms?

: Should we stop collecting them?
: Lloyd, we already said we'd do it.
: I'm all right. Thank you for your concern.
: Presea, right? Please don't exert yourself.
: You, too, Abyssion.
: Yes. Thank you.

The Altamira night-time casino.

: What's wrong?
: Oh, it's a sad, sad tale. I lost my entire fortune at the casino over there....
: Isn't that your own fault?
: D...don't say things like that! ...Hmm?! Hey, do you like kendamas?
: Yeah.
: Oh! What a coincidence! You see, I have a rare kendama on me. I'll sell it to you for 1,000 Gald!
: What?
: Okay.
: Thank you, come again!
: Hmmmm...huh?
: What is it?
: This is a Devil's Arm!
: You're right!
: See, I told you this was a cool item. Ever since I got this thing my luck plummeted into the gutter.... Ah, um, I mean...a...anyway, it's really amazing! Bye now!
IIRC it has a penalty to the luck stat. Devil's Arms seem to have a lot of attribute penalties on them.
: ...He went into the casino.
: ...I guess he doesn't learn.
: Lloyd!
: Hmm? What are you doing here, Abyssion?
: I've got some information about the Devil's Arms.
: Do you know where the next piece is?
: No, I heard that the Devil's Arms sometimes choose a particular person, transform them into a magic swordsman, and enslaves[sic] them for life. I remembered Presea and grew worried....
: Does that mean... the Devil's Arms have chosen me?
: No! I won't allow something like that to happen!
: Yeah! Don't worry, Presea!
: It's only a legend. As long as you don't hear whispers from the items, I think you'll be fine.
: Presea? Do you hear anything?
: ...No.
: That's good. The rest of you, please be careful as well.
: ...The voice of the items.

While we're here, a quick view of the casino. In the PS2 version, you can play the games here and have to win the Devil's Arm above from the house.

: Yeah, it looks like we'll be able to save you soon.
: Thank you. With this, my life-long dream will finally come true.
: ...
: I'll go on ahead to the Temple of Darkness where the ritual to seal them will be performed. When you have obtained the last one, please come to the Temple of Darkness.
: Gotcha.
: Presea...I will be waiting for you, as well.
: I wonder where the last piece of the Devil's Arms is?
: The fact that we still haven't found it even after searching this much, may indicate that, like the Disaster, someone is in possession of it.
: Is there anyone that would actually want something that dangerous?
: Oh!
: What is it, Genis?
: There is someone. Koton, on Hakonesia Peak.
: That old geezer...

: Whoa, the sword is reacting!
: Oh, it's you people. Good timing. Take a look at this staff. It was lying in the grasslands near Palmacosta. Isn't it impressive? I'm sure it's extremely valuable.
: This is!...Lloyd, this is the last Devil's--
: Yeah, there's no doubt about it. The sword is reacting to it! Old man! Give us this staff!
: Not again! Would you people stop that?! This is going to be my new staff. My old one is almost broken. So you can't have it.
: Well, I see you're just as stingy as ever!
: Shut up.
: ...Oh, I know. Koton, are you familiar with the Priests' Crowns from the Asgard ruins?
: Ah, the Crown of Heaven and the Crown of Earth. I heard the Crown of Earth was carried off by someone five years ago.
: How about trading for that?
: !!! What?! You have the Crown of Earth?!
: I received it from a certain person five years ago. Well, what's your answer?
: Ah...hmmmm...Very well. It's a deal.
And we get the last Devil's Arm. It's called "Heart of Chaos" and is IIRC the only Devil's Arm that's worth using right now, since it's got a huge INT boost, which can help with Raine's offensive magics. It does have penalties to attack (useless), accuracy (even more useless), and luck (donno what this does for Raine). I will probably use it for regular fights starting sometime soon.
: Professor, is that okay?
: It's fine. The Crown of Earth is meaningless by itself, anyway. ...And there's no point in clinging to items I received from him....
: Him?
: ...Nothing. I'm sorry.
I have no idea who "he" is. If anyone knows (Polsy?) please tell me in a spoiler.
: Now we have all the Devil's Arms. Let's go to the Temple of Darkness.
AHAHAHAHAH Fuck no. Not quite yet.
Let's go visit the Arena. Solo Battle: Beginner
Viddler download
YouTube stream.

In the arena we fight a series of battles with no interruption either on our own or with two partners (never the full four). Solo has three sets of fights: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Team has two: Beginner and Advanced.

Here I've entered Lloyd. Note that the person who's got the highest affection for him comes to cheer him on before the fight.
: Okay, then, here I go!
: Don't do anything dangerous.
: Yeah.
AFAIK only Lloyd gets that extra bit of dialog.

: Now, the challenger has arrived! His name is... Lloyd Irving, the Arrgh, Me Hearties!
Yeah, he says "$Name, the $Title!" even when it sounds a bit stupid.
: Let the first fight begin!

Our first fight is against the Tethe'alla version of the Bandit, the Rogue. He's not much to say about.

Note that you can cook between battles. This is the only restoration you can get, other than healing yourself if you're Zelos or Raine, and various not-as-effective-by-comparison-to-cooking accessories.
: Lloyd wins the first match!
: Well, no surprise there.
: Now, let's proceed to the second battle! Please begin!

Next up is a Duelist. These guys are little bitches.

Yeah, that attack has a 100% chance of guard breaking you. You have to back up when you see it, get back in to attack. I never died to it, but the first time I did this fight I lost so much health the next one killed me easily. It's worth mentioning here that losing in the arena doesn't result in a game over, and you get healed to full when you enter. So if you have money for the entry fee you can just keep going.
: Okay, I did it!
: Will Lloyd conquer the Beginner Class?! It's time for the final match!

Last up is a Heavy Armor, which is just a guy who swings a big axe slowly. He's toast if you didn't lose too much HP to the Duelist. Note I swapped in the pirate costume. I wore my pirate costume for the second attempt because I felt like it.

: Lloyd did it! Lloyd has conquered the Beginner Class!
: Heh heh. That's about what I expected!
: Lloyd will be given 12,000 Gald and a medicine set! That about wraps it up. See you next time!

The first time you beat Beginner:

: Chosen, it has been a while.
: You know him?
: Hmm? Ah, yeah, kind of. What is it? Do you want something from me?
: You and your attendants are very powerful.
: ...Who are you calling "attendants"?
: Ah, well, I am the Chosen, after all, you know? Heaven has granted me multiple gifts. Strength, beauty, intelligence, refinement...
: Then, if someone defeated you at the Coliseum, you would have to acknowledge them, yes?
: Huh? Ah, yeah, I guess so. Although I don't think there's anyone who could defeat the beautiful Zelos.
: I see, then... I will be looking forward to your next fight.
: You betcha.
: Who was he?
: He' know, an old acquaintance.

Team Battle Beginner: Almost doesn't cut it!
Viddler download
YouTube stream.
Team Battle Beginner: Swords and axes however, do cut it!
Viddler download
YouTube stream.

When you enter, you get the first three people in your party. They give you a chance to say no if you have them in the wrong order, and a chance to set up your equipment in the waiting area.
: Working together, in pursuit of victory! It's the start of the Team Battles! Now, the team led by Lloyd, the Grand Swordsman, enters the arena!
Yeah, Grand Swordsman is another title.
: D...don't call me that!
: Let's begin our first battle! Ready? Go!

Your first fight isn't so bad, just keep the witch from casting and the others from killing Raine. By the way you might note the absence of Genis. If I could bring four guys, he'd be a shoo-in with his sister, but with three there's no way to keep him safe. Presea's wide area off attacks make her really good at controlling the crowd while we work the casters.
: Team Lloyd wins the first battle!
: Nice one, guys!
: On to battle two! Ready...go!

This is largely the same fight, but replaces the Rogues with far more dangerous Duelists. I actually lost this one a few times due to them ganging up on people and guard breaking.

Field Barrier from Raine helps a lot.

This was a pretty near thing. Fortunately that Mystic Symbol we got in the Tower of Salvation gives Raine a faster casting time, allowing us to get Lloyd up and heal him. Also fortunately the bad guys all stayed on Presea.
: Team Lloyd wins their second battle!
: We're not done yet! Let's go!
: We're just gonna keep on going! Battle number three...ready...go!

The Seahorse can poison you, but that's about it.

Cutting it a bit close there.
: Battle number three is won by Team Lloyd!
: We won yet again! Let's keep going to the end just like this!
: The fight has reached a climax! Battle number four, ready...go!

These guys are ALL weak to light, so popping out some Ray casts at the start of battle helps make it more manageable. The grim reaper-looking guys are casters and can hurt you pretty badly with their spells if they get a chance and choose to cast rather than attack with their scythes.

Another close call there, that Mystic Symbol is earning its keep. Anyway those ghost guys can hit kind of hard.

Yeah I died twice in one battle. A ghost got me in the back RIGHT BEFORE Revitalize could heal me to full.
: Team Lloyd wins battle number four!
: Next is the last one! Let's do our best!
: Now, Team Lloyd, this is the final Team Battle! Ready...go!

This is even easier than last battle. I did lose here once because Raine entered the battle with nearly no mana due to me forgetting to cook, but this isn't that time.


: Team Lloyd has conquered the Team Battle!
: We did it! We won!
: Team Lloyd will be given 20,000 Gald and a medicine set! Well, farewell everyone until our next heated battle!

I take a break here to stock up on ingredients in Sybak. The cafeteria at the school sells pretty much every kind of ingredient. While there, I rested at the inn and got two inn rest skits.
Skit #287: Mithos's Cruxis Crystal

: Hey, Genis!
: Llo...Lloyd!
: Hmm? What are you hiding?
: Ah?! Ah, this is...
: I got hungry, and...I wanted a little something to eat.
: ...
: P...please don't tell the others.
: Genis...
: Hmm! What is it?
: I'm relieved. You seemed depressed, so everyone was worrying about you.
: Ah...I...I'm sorry.
: Well, once you've eaten that, come on back, okay?
Lloyd exits.
: I'm sorry, Lloyd...

Skit #139: Maxwell

: Sheena?
: Hmm? What is it?
: It looked like you were thinking about something.
: Ah, I was just thinking, we've been all over the world, but we haven't heard anything about Maxwell.
: Maxwell?
: Yes. I've been thinking I'd like it if he would lend me his power.
: Could there be a seal somewhere that people rarely visit?
: I don't know. But I have a hard time thinking that there's a temple somewhere with Maxwell just waiting behind the seal.
: Why?
: Haha....because if that's the way it was, there should have been some record of it. He may be wandering, just like Aska.
: ...Then, can we call him in the same manner we called Aska?
: Perhaps...But we don't have enough information.
: ...True.
I'm pretty sure that's the first mention of Maxwell in the game, if you haven't already talked to the NPC who gives you a clue to where he is.

Return to the Arena. Solo Battle: Intermediate
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: It's the start of the Intermediate Class as the battle heats up! Now, the challenger has arrived! His name is... Lloyd Irving, the Grand Swordsman! Let the first fight begin!

The Boxer Iris has some pretty vicious hits and a ray it can use if you try to run away.

Float like a butterfly...

...and sting like a bee! I never quite got the timing down, but in the end it didn't matter.
: Lloyd wins the first round!
: Today was pretty easy, too.
: Now we'll move on to the second match! Please begin!

Block->Combo like mad->Repeat

Thanks to my low HP coming into this it was pretty close.
: Lloyd wins the second match!
: No one can stand before my swords!
: Now, it's the third round! Please begin!

This fight is actually kind of sad. The harpy can't attack you unless it's all the way up in the air, but your attacks cause it to drop to the ground. You can see how it's possible to prevent it from EVER attacking. I did that my first time on her, but this time she gets in a couple licks.

: Lloyd wins the third round!
: I won again!
: Will Lloyd conquer the Intermediate Class?! It's time for the final round!

This guy is a bitch, his tongue attack causes SEALED ARTES. That means no attacks that cost TP, leaving you with your basic combos. This is bad, since it totally destroys your ability to execute lengthy combos. Combos are vital because the enemy isn't attacking you while you're staggering it, and you're getting off more damage during that time.

Fortunately I get lucky and/or manage to keep him juggled most of the time.

That was a REALLY well timed backstep.

It's over. For now.
: Lloyd did it! Lloyd conquered the Intermediate Class!
: Heh...Just kidding! It feels kind of embarrassing when I try to play it cool.
: Lloyd will be given 20,000 Gald and a medicinal herb set!

: Tokunaga! Wait! I'm...out of...breath....
: ...Huh? Se...Seles?!
: !
: Ohhhhhh! The...the...the...Ch...Ch...Chosen! are you doing?
: Just one moment, Tokunaga. Was that Seles?
: *Cough* *Cough* *Cough* Ah, ahh...wh...what are you talking about? Seles is in the abbey. She couldn't possibly be in a place like this.
: But I...
: You know very well how easily Seles can get sick. She wouldn't be in a place like this. No, she's definitely not here! Do you understand?! Then, farewell!
: ...What is going on?

I try out the Advanced Class, but...
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Note that there's two opponents here, the rider and mount.

After some damage, they separate.

It goes well at first, but...

...I can be surrounded.

Let's save this for a future update.

I give Genis Solo Arena a shot.

Randomizer causes your spells to have a chance to have a casting time of normal, longer, or zero. So you cancel casts until you get a zero cast time spell. At least, in theory.

In practice it has some problems. Now that I'm looking at it in retrospect, I think I see what I did wrong. Notice how the spell is going off behind the guy? I need to use spells that originate from Genis and go towards the bad guys. Now that I'm actually writing this update, I realize what I need to do. Luckily since I did that tech glitching earlier my mid-tier spells are now highly suited for this fight. I'll give it a shot again next update.

Next time, Gadget! NEXT TIME!

I take a break to go looking for Maxwell. Because Sheena had a skit about him, I thought it might be possible to take him on, even though I should have remembered better.

: Of course, it happened several thousand years ago, so no one knows if it's the truth.

You know, that seemingly-inaccessible long bridge way behind the Elder's house looks suspicious.

: What is this? There's an engraved stone here....
: I feel tremendous power. I wonder what's written on it.
: Show it to me!
: If you wish to meet the one who controls matter itself, prove you control earth, water, fire, and wind.... ...This is!...
: Is that talking about Maxwell? If we show proof to this stone, can we meet Maxwell?
: Most likely. I can't believe something like this has been sleeping here all this time!
: Proof, huh...What are we supposed to do?

You're supposed to equip people with the gems you got from the Summon Spirits.

: You're Maxwell, right?! We showed proof that we control earth, water, fire, and wind. Please form a pact with me and lend me your power.
: You do possess the right of the pact and you have demonstrated the Proof. But no, I can't do it now.
: Why?
: Because you're still fledglings. The fledglings always want to be babied and I hate that.
: How much power must we have in order for you to acknowledge us?
: You must think of that. If you must ask me that question, then you are still a fledgling.
: Indeed...
: When you believe you are ready, come here again. Hahaha!
: I don't like him calling us "fledglings."
: That can't be helped. He is one of the most powerful Summon Spirits. Let's come back after we've grown stronger.
It's annoying how close to the very end of the game you need to be to fight Maxwell, by the time you get him there's very little left to use him on.
: Yeah.

I was a bit pissed at that point and wanted to fight a boss, so...
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Usually I fight this guy after the next story section is done, since at the end of it we're sent to approximately this area automatically.

But fuck it, I want a fight right now!
: I have reclaimed all I had once lost. Now, fight!
: You're on!
: Everything was for this moment....

Sword Dancer this time is more of a caster than a fighter. If I'd remembered that, I might have brought Lloyd to take the meat-wall position instead, and had him attack during casts. It's worth pointing out that as far as I know it's impossible to stop that bastard's casts without a Unison Attack or something similar. Maybe Absolute could do it, but I didn't think to try it.

It didn't really matter in the end. I had Genis spam Prism Sword nonstop, and it rewarded me with giant chunks of damage (hello light weakness) and knocking the bastard down.

: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a glowing sword stamping on a skeleton face - forever!

I think Soul Infusion caused his attack power to increase over time, but I'm not 100%. In any case, he didn't attack that much compared to just casting away at us. There's also a version with a slightly different animation that buffs his defense. Most of my damage was Prism Sword-based anyway.

Prism Sword, ladies and gentlemen.

I did a lot of backstepping out of spells.

I'd left Meteor Storm on the U Attack list since Yggdrasill, whoops. Prism Stars would have put huge hurt on. Note that Colette can steal during a U Attack.

Judgement wasn't nearly as useful as I'd expected. In retrospect I maybe shouldn't have brought Colette.

OHSHITRUN - actually, you have plenty of time to get out of it.

I forgot to put its HP meter up. That's way more HP than Maxwell has, and about 3x what Yggdrasill had. It's not the highest HP total in the game but it's pretty good.



Surprisingly this isn't the end. A Life Bottle or two, a Resurrection...

...and a less well aimed Indignation get us back in the fight.

Indignation Judgement and Prism Sword in the same move set is possible even without the tech glitch, but leaves you without a lot of other spells.

It's not quite as good as a Prism Sword though.

This Unison Attack...

...the stars are shining!

Most of that -17 GRADE is due to Indignation-Related Injuries. There's a lot that I could have done to improve that though. I could have thrown lightning resist on Raine and maybe Genis. I could have tried Absolute. I could have used Lloyd instead of Presea (although who knows if that would actually improve things much). I could have attacked better with Presea. I could have replaced Colette with, well, probably anyone. I considered redoing it but ultimately decided against it. Sword Dancer 3 is kind of a letdown because while he can indignation down the party all he wants, he just can't seal the deal on a player-controlled Presea - he did kill me twice, but only because I got cocky about attacking him rather than just soaking. He also only managed to kill Presea with unblocked melee, rather than spells. If he was more mobile and aggressive this fight could actually be interesting, but really here he's a giant bag of HP that you wear down. If they'd somehow let him attack and cast simultaneously this could be seriously scary. I came back from a 3/4 dead party and that's just inexcusable for a "challenging" fight. I don't think I was particularly overleveled, level 65+ is recommended for a first playthrough (IE Normal/Hard) fight, and this is Mania difficulty at level 68. Aside from one Meteor Storm during a Unison Attack that was set that way by mistake, I didn't use any skill, item, or ability I shouldn't have had at that point in the game.
: I...ah...augh...Farewell, strong ones....
We get the Kusanagi Blade. I'll talk more about this next update.
Skit #127: Elite from the Underworld Take Three

: Yes. I don't think it will appear again.
: With this, that poor skeleton's finally been saved.
: Saved?
: It might have been painful for him if he had to give up, but if he was satisfied, then it means he's been released from his suffering.
: Suffering...I never thought about that at all.
: In other words, even that monster may have had a reason to be seeking combat.
: But I think his desire was finally fulfilled.
: ...While it may have been a creature of the Underworld, it still possessed intelligence, just like us. It has a reason for existing. I let my preconceptions prevent me from seeing such an obvious thing...It looks like even I still have a lot to learn.
: So, sometimes you can save someone just by fighting and defeating them.
: I think he was satisfied because you worked so hard for him.
: ...You're amazing, Colette.
: Huh?
: Thanks to you, that guy was saved.
: Yes. If Colette hadn't told us this, he'd have been no more than just a defeated monster.

Team Arena: Advanced
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: Now, the team led by the Grand Swordsman, Lloyd, enters the arena!
: D...don't call me that!
: All right, here's the first battle! Ready...go!

This isn't very hard at all, just keep the two druids from casting and attack the Beast Ogre if it goes after Raine. If you watch the video the Beast Ogre makes really odd squealing noises.
: Nice one, guys!
: On to battle two! Ready...go!

This fight is exactly the same as one of the fights in the Ymir Forest, except you have three party members rather than four and can't use items or run away. It can get dicy if the boars gang up on anyone (especially Raine) but overall it's not too bad.

The piglets will run off on you, surprisingly.
: We're not done yet! Let's go!
: We're going to keep right on going to battle number three! Ready...go!

These guys are the nightmare. They can hit hard, they're rather mobile, and they don't stand still to cast. They have a tendency to drop Presea or Lloyd by all ganging up on her or him, then the other one, causing Raine to fall behind on healing/reviving until we lose. I've equipped Lloyd with a gem to grant his attacks an element the bugs are weak to, as they're the greater threat.

That was really close, if that harpy coming for me had been faster I'd have been dead.

ANOTHER close call.

Trying to keep stuff off Raine is tough.

Presea and I kill two nearly simultaneously, making the rest of the battle trivial. This is one of only two times over about 20 tries that I beat this fight, it's just too prone to sudden strokes of brilliance on the AI's part or stupidity on mine.
: Battle three won by Team Lloyd!
: We won yet again! Let's keep going to the end just like this!
: The tension is rising! Battle number four! Ready...go!

Ironically while this fight seems like it should be easy, I get my ass kicked here. The Evil Teddies are casters and can also hit decently hard, while Mr Beehive-for-a-butt there hits like a truck.

Raine WAS at full health before that hit.

She heals herself to full and prepares to run for it...

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU... Anyway, she got killed from full to zero in literally three seconds. That guy does not fuck around.

We manage to win, but our chances of winning the next match are rather low, since Symphonia doesn't revive characters to 1HP at the end of a battle like I recall Abyss does.
: Team Lloyd wins the fourth battle!
: Next is the last one! Let's do our best!
: We've finally reached the last fight! Will the goddess of victory smile on Team Lloyd?! Final Battle! Ready...go!

Ironically the final battle wouldn't be THAT bad. There's two druids (who we slaughtered in round one) and a Dragon Knight, which we have to fight SOLO at the end of Solo Advanced. Unfortunately with only two people and no Res for Raine we're in trouble.
: The members of Team Lloyd ran out of strength at the final battle! Let's look forward to Team Lloyd trying again! Farewell until next time, everyone!
I've noted a number of flaws in the techniques I used, so I'll try again next week before I do anything else.