The Let's Play Archive

Tales of Symphonia

by wdarkk

Part 53: Update 45

Update 45

Welcome back to BEATING YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL Theater, AKA Solo Arena.

I tried to beat the first match with Lloyd on Mania. The general strategy is to try to keep each of the two guys knocked down/away from you.

Unfortunately I just couldn't keep it up long enough to win.

: This whole arena thing... Well, I guess it's helping them get stronger for when they fight Mithos. I'd say they're strong enough now, though.

Presea, Sieg's Daughter.
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Presea works better. The general strategy is to use Techs that hit behind us to try to keep the secondary target staggered.

Success, but it was a bit narrow. Before I cooked my HP was about 1/5 that.

This guy is a joke. The only real threat here is that you'll get bored.

This guy is an even bigger joke. I can beat him without taking even one point of damage on a reliable basis.

When you stagger a flying creature, they drop to the ground.

They have to fly up to attack. So if you attack them again before they get high enough...


This guy's difficulty varies a good bit by how often he uses the damn magic sword attack. In this run he NEVER used it so I got him pretty good. Here he's firing ice crystals out of his left arm at me.

He's really good at blocking, then countering you.

Not good ENOUGH though.

This guy is cheaper than Costco.

He hits stupidly hard and it knocks you back a fair distance. It also has no safe zone within its reach. You can't jump over him unless I really suck at jumping (this may be the case). On the plus side, he does have one attack that makes him easier - when he flies up to use his fire stream breath.

On the plus side if Presea's player is careful you can sit her under the rain of fireballs he spits and even attack him. Fireballs are launched in trios.

There's probably a better strategy than this. Note my HP.

Anyway, outside after the fight.

: Seles, please hurry! You'll miss Zelos' match again!
: I know that, Tokunaga! *Cough* *Cough*...
: Not again...
: Ohhhhhh! The...the...Ch...Ch...Chosen! are you doing?
: Um, Tokunaga...
: Oh, I just remembered I have something very important that I must do. Please excuse me!
In order to finish this sidequest, you have to beat the Arena with Zelos. I'm not very good with Zelos. Fortunately, you can change the difficulty.

Zelos, who is considerably less manly (Difficulty=Easy).
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Here's that sword attack I mentioned. He can't be stunned or interrupted during this (maybe Photon/Absolute could do it, but I haven't gotten Raine/Genis to this point yet.

It normally hits twice, and that damage is Easy difficulty. You can't backstep all the way out of it either.

There's the EZ-mode breath. Note how Zelos is over to the side healing. I wish he'd use that attack when I'm using Presea.

: Please wait just a moment! Chosen, you opponent is... Seles!
: Zelos...I mean, Chosen.... I...I...I will...
: Hey, hey, hey! Do you think I can fight against my own sister for real?
: I'll show you that I'm worthy of being the true Chosen. Prepare yourself!
Prepare yourself indeed. Due to the solo/can't use items nature of the battle, I'd consider Seles the hardest possible opponent I could face.

After some humiliation...
: Well, you certainly aren't anything special!
: Congratulations, Seles! With this, surely the Chosen will allow you to...
: So you're the ones that just came barging in here! Now come with me!
: Ahh! Insolence! Release me at once!
: S...Seles!

Presea doesn't have much more luck.
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I made a mistake earlier in saying that defeating Dark Dragon unlocked the final set of quests. In actuality, you have to go into the room behind him and watch a cutscene. You are then presented with "Press A for final boss fight". If you then head back out, you can get the last set of sidequests.

I'll cover this cutscene later, with the actual final boss fight. It makes no damn sense here in the narrative.

Now that the game's almost over and all, I'd like to talk about my biggest regret in the way I've conducted this LP. It's that I've used "Inherit Recipes". This prevents you from getting the scenes where you learn them.

They're pretty much all the same. You interact with a random object in a room somewhere in town, and that guy pops out, teaches it to you, and pops back in. Anyway, if I hadn't done that you'd have had more context for this scene.

: Wait! Hand over the Ultimate Recipe!
: ...This is for my successor.
: What are you doing?!
: Shut up! Amateurs who know nothing about cooking should just stay out of the way!
: But it is those amateurs that you cook for. If you look down upon your audience, you will never be able to make good food.
: What did you say?!
: It is as he says. I can't entrust this recipe to someone who doesn't possess the heart for cooking! Farewell!
: The Wonder Chef got away because of you! You're gonna pay for it!
: You wanna fight?
: Yeah! A cooking battle!
: Wh...what?!
: Heh...very well!
: How the hell is this helping you stop the seperation of Derris-Kharlan and/or save the world?
: What?!
: I will choose the recipe. ...All right! Beef stew!
He gives us the recipe for it.

: Regal's cooking is as good as always!
: Compared to that, yours is missing something.
: What?!
: The seasoning is unimaginative, and no real thought went into the cooking temperature. You didn't put your heart into it.
: ...That's impossible....
: Your pride as a professional has resulted in the loss of your skills.
: ...I see. In my quest for the ultimate recipe, I overestimated my own skills....
: Now that you've realized that, your cooking will surely shine.
: ...I see. Yes, I must return to training.
: I am sure that that cook will once again return to making dishes that please others.
: But I gotta ask, why are we involved in a cooking contest?

: That was a marvelous battle, Regal Bryant.
: Whoa, he came back again!
: In commemoration of your victory in the cooking showdown, I have a gift for Regal.

: You can feel the heartbeat of this costume! Become the next Wonder Chef and pursue the path of cooking.
: H...hey, wait! Why was that weird cook after you?
: He was not after me, but the Ultimate Recipe that is passed on by my family from one generation to the next. They are agents of the Dark Chef Alliance.
Guess what never shows up again in the sequel.
: ...I guess there's a lot more to this than I thought.
: In order to save the hearts of cooks that have fallen to evil, we of the Wonder Chef family are always looking for a successor. Regal. Keep it up. You have the necessary qualities!
: ...But I...
: Hmm? I hear the cries of those suffering at the hands of the Dark Chefs. Farewell!
: ...Well, I will take these clothes with gratitude.
: Yeah. Wear that and cook some good food for us again.
: Understood.
We obtain the chef costume title, "God of The Kitchen." While I'm at it, what's with Japan and secret evil chef organizations? I know they're in here and in Suikoden. Is it just that they're the homeland of Iron Chef?

One other thing. After that cutscene behind the door, Altessa gets up at last. If you visit him earlier, he'd be sleeping.

Tabatha is standing around too. She's talking normally still, as well. Nobody explains why. I'm assuming she means "take care of" in the organized crime sense.

: Is it okay for you to be up walking around?
: Yes, thanks to you all. I want to repay you somehow.... ... I know. Customizing. I can craft things for you. How about that?
: It's okay, you don't have to thank us. And besides, it's not good for you to push yourself.
: No, it's all right. Please let me do at least this much for repayment.
: ...All right. When we want something customized, we'll be sure to talk to you.
He makes a ton of accessories, but most of them have a lot of components, many of which are fairly rare/useful themselves. Dirk also makes accessories. At this point in the game I don't really need them that much, since I'm going to break the game in half before the end of the update.

Let's talk about Noishe.

: I remember... Martel knew something about this...
: I'm not making it up. Protozoans really do exist.
For some reason, the second boy is given the name "Elan" but no unique figurine.
: You believe me, don't you?
: What's a protozoan?
: The first animal born in this world.
: Do you know about it?
: No...I've never heard of it.

: Evolve?
: Protozoans are born as single-cell life forms. In their first evolution, they evolve into a creature known as an aquan.
: Ah...kwan?
: A life form that looks much like a fish. After that, it evolves into a bird-like life form called aeros, and then into a life form that runs on land called arshis.
: ARGH! It's at the edge of remembering.
: Then next, into fenrilra, and finally into a human who hunts evil.
: A single species changes its form that much?
: Yes. It is truly a life form that spends its whole life evolving. However, because of their battle abilities, they were used in battle during the Ancient War and became extinct. The last protozoan was seen 4000 years ago.
: But I saw it! It was a protozoan evolved into arshis!
: Are you sure it wasn't something else? Many living things run across the land....

: ...Arshis!
: What?! The legendary arshis?
: *Whine*
: I knew it. I saw it in a book. Arshis has big ears and runs fast like the wind.
: *Howl*
: What are you talking about? Noishe is a dog.
: Noishe? Is that this arshis' name?
: I'm telling you, he's a dog.
: It's an arshis? Arshis, the evolved form of a protozoan?
: Yeah. How could you mistake him for anything else?
: What? Noishe isn't a dog?!
: ...I'd been wondering about that. He's awfully strange looking for a dog.
: But he has a tail, and he howls, so that means he's either a dog or a wolf, right? He doesn't seem wolfish, so I thought he was a dog....
: Protozoans are a proud, ancient species. They're the second oldest after the elves!
: Really?
: *Whine*
: Say, will you bring Noishe again?
: Okay...
: That's a promise! I'll be waiting, okay?
: Yeah, we'll come again.
: Of course. Noishe was the Protozoan the Four Seraphim journeyed with.

: ...Humph. What's a half-elf doing here?
: Ricardo! Have you forgotten that we were saved by these people?
: Bah, if the elves were to truly rise up, we could do any--
: You didn't do anything yourselves, so shut up!
: You didn't do anything during the Kharlan War either.
: ... That's...
: It is as this boy says. We decided to stay neutral. Since we are the ones that made that choice, your words server only as an insult to these people and to us elves.
: But I know I won't lose to this half-elf! I've trained under you, Master Crowley. Let me try fighting him.
: We don't have time for that! If mana is exhausted, magic will be unusable. And soon, the earth will lose all power and be destroyed.
wdarkk's note: I think they mean "planet" there.
: ...
: When peace comes, I'll duel with you.
: ...Of course, there's no question that I'll win.
: ...Then, hurry up and save this land and come back to challenge me! I'll be waiting for you, so ...don't die!
: I apologize for the rude behavior of my apprentice.
: ...But I think he was cheering on Genis... cheering on a half-elf in his own way.
: ...Yeah, I think so, too. I promise I'll come back alive and have a magic duel with him.
: To do that, you're going to fight against those powerful angels, yes? ...As a show of my appreciation for saving our lives, I shall pass my technique on to you.
: ...What?! But I'm a half-elf!
: Now you're saying something that we don't have the time to argue about. I have passed this art to Ricardo as well. Learn it for the day you will duel with him.
: Genis. Go ahead and learn it.
: ...Yeah. Heheh, yeah, okay. Please.
: Yes...
Now Genis learns Meteor Storm and obtains the title of Mana Master. Meteor Storm is a totally awesome technique and it's sort of annoying you get it so late, since it's one of the things that helps Genis avoid falling behind too fast.
: I'll use this spell and... regenerate the land!
: Take care. Yes. When that time comes, I shall grant my secret art to the victor.
: Heheh. Yeah...I'll do my best.
Yeah, another plot thread that could have been in the sequel but wasn't. I wanted to see what spell was so awesome beyond Meteor Storm.

Skit #273: Noishe in Danger

: Protozoan. The first animal born to this world. Born when the power of the Giant Kharlan Tree united with the land itself...
: ...Get ready, Noishe. Here it comes.
: *Whine*
: The wondrous mystery of life...
: I simply must dissect it!
: That's it! Run!
: *Whine*

Now that we've seen the cutscene, we get really nifty weapons when we beat Dragon Knight for the first time with a character.

I got fed up with Celes. I'm going to come back after I become stronger.

We promised to collect the Devil's Arms for Abyssion, and we have done so.
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We return to the Temple of Darkness, where Abyssion waits for the Devil's Arms. Surely he's on the up and up.

: Don't do it! Is what's happening now not destroying the world fast enough for your taste?
: I've been waiting for you. Please hand me the Devil's Arms.

It's hard to see but that book is hovering, and appeared out of thin air to boot.
: That's...the Necronomicon? Why does he have the forbidden book of darkness?!
: Guess.

: What happened?!
: The Necronomicon is said to contain spells to revive the dead. He can't be...
: I'm guessing Mithos declined to use it to try to revive Martel. That's pretty bad.
: Yes. Nebilim has just been revived right here, right now. The power of Nebilim will turn this world into darkness that abides by the order of evil.
: You lied to us.
: Damn you! I'm not going to let you get away with this!
: All who interfere shall be consumed by darkness!

He's an odd looking mofo. He's also wearing Regal's boots, although all other weapons aren't visible yet.

Note that he's now wielding two squid-swords. The giant glowing ball is the "teleport the weapons onto him" animation.

And when he finishes, he teleports them off him. For comparison purposes, note the damage he did vs the damage I did.

One of Colette's attacks, and Colette's Devil's Arm.

Presea's Devil's Arm.

I interrupt him killing me with a Unison Attack.

Not bad damage.


This is immediately followed by the first life bottle of the battle. It will by no means be the last.

Supposedly he uses Genis's Devil's Arm for spellcasting but I don't see it.


I finally feel safe enough to check his HP. We're gonna be here a while folks.

At this point I hadn't quite figured out how to attack him without risk of getting obliterated.

Zelos's Devil's Arm.

Abyssion tries to cast Thunder Arrow on Raine, but she runs out of it. AI is actually working in my favor for once.

Genis manages to take less damage than me somehow.

In retrospect I probably should have disable all non-Absolute spells on Genis. Spiral Flare and Atlas if nothing else, those two did crap damage.

Meteor Storm can stay.

Indignation can stay too, since I need it to perform Indignation Judgement. Wait...


The scary part is I was dead for the last few hits, so who knows what the total could have been. It could be worse though. In the PS2 version he can use Lloyd's ultimate attack as well as TIME STOP and a few PS2-only attacks. Speaking of Lloyd's Ultimate Attack, I'll try to show it off at some point.

And right after that I get THIS.

Unison Attack ends spells. THANK FUCK. One of those meteors hit raine for 2400+.

I just can't take a break from OHSHIT moments, can I? Fortunately it only kills Genis.

That was a pretty bad Indignation but I've got life bottles and his AI is terrible.

He teleports AWAY from Raine and then goes and attacks Presea

He does it AGAIN. I don't know WTF, there's nobody over there. Most other bosses teleport TO Raine for purposes of tearing through her paper-thin defense.

This was a bad decision.

This is literally the next thing he does right after that.





I totally expected it to end there, but that's no reason not to try to turn it around.

Step 1.

Step 2.

Now we need to exploit his terrible AI. I backstep out of his attack, buying valuable time.

Step 3. Stabilize HP situation.

Uh-oh. I started with 30 btw.

At this point I have to be more conservative with my remaining four life bottles.

Raine cast res on Genis anyway, but at least it heals him some.



Fortunately his bizzare fear of standing next to Raine continues.

From now on, life bottles are emergency-only. (AKA reserved for Raine.)

That's a bit close. Fortunately Raine manages to run off.

28 Life Bottles down. 2 to go.

Run in between him and Raine.

He kills Raine and Genis with Explosion. 1 Life Bottle Remaining.

24k remaining, he's at 10%. Our Unison Attack bar is almost full.

A Unison Attack might finish him, but it might not.

Now I don't have a choice except to use it. Without Regal.

He's still up.

Almost there.

That's a bit close.


We're OK though.


The GRADE is really low most likely due to the huge item usage and the fact that OH YEAH I DIED 40 TIMES.

: Did we get him?
: Yup.
: Whoa, what the?!
: Oh shit, that black sphere is...
Yes I know it's hard to see the black sphere.
: ...He is calling. Nebilim...He wants to devour our souls and turn us into creatures of darkness....
: ...This girl's loneliness and is a fitting darkness for my body!
: Presea! Lloyd, Presea's body is possessed!
: The Necronomicon! If we can do something to it!...

: Yeah! Stun the demon with mana!
: I...What was I doing
: ...It was nothing. It's fine now.
: I've...caused trouble for everyone again....I'm sorry.
: No, Presea. The Devil's Arms caused this. It's not your fault.
: I'll show you what we should do to something like this!

: Ah! The valuable Necronomicon! My precious research material...
: Professor...
: Good, with that destroyed Nebilim can't come back. You can even use the Devil's Arms without getting taken over by blasphemous forces!

Presea gets the "Empty Soul" title, which is really awesome. It's strictly better than her Arena title, and most characters don't have a title like that.

Skit #046: You Have Us

: ...He was...just like me.
: Huh? What do you mean?
: The Devil's Arms kept speaking to me. They tried to entice me into joining them...
: Why were they speaking to you?
: Because...I was always alone. No...because I always thought of myself as alone.
: Oh....So that's why Abyssion looked so sad in the end.
: Yes...He was just like me.
: No. That's not true. He tried to use us. You don't have any intentions of using anyone. And that's why everyone is happy to help you.
: You have us, Presea. We'll drown out the voices of the Devil's Arms! Okay?
: ...Thank you, everyone.

Anyway, let's talk about the Devil's Arms. They increase in power with each enemy that character has killed. Thanks to the "Inherit Battle Data" new game+ option, you can build this up between playthroughs.

There was a challenge here (not here specifically, but the game in general).

Now it is gone.

The one unfortunate thing is that it doesn't apply to spell attacks, which use int rather than attack. So Genis is now way behind even Colette damage-wise. After you get the Devil's Arms powered up, he's only used out of pity (granted, there's almost nothing worth fighting now).
Anyway, now that we have these fantastic weapons, what will we do with them? CRUSH THE ARENA!

Presea, Sieg's Daughter.
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Lloyd, wielder of the special exsphere.
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Sheena, the world's only foremost summoner.
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Zelos, Chosen of Mana.
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Colette, other Chosen of Mana.
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I'm giving Colette slightly more a writeup because I wanted to discuss Torrential Paraball spam.

Here I'm using an exgem setup that gives me hp and tp recovery each time I combo, increasing as the combo increases. The idea is that you can just spam Torrential Paraball for 8-hit combos at will. Unfortunately enemies seem to be a bit better at blocking it than the people who posted about it claim. I couldn't beat mania difficulty arena without the Devil's Arms, although I could come close (at least, I think so - recording all this arena stuff was a gigantic project up until I got the Devil's Arms and steamrolled everything).

Anyway, back to Seles. I was never able to defeat her on Mania without using the Devil's Arms and got sick of trying. So here you can see a Devil's Arm dps race kill, then I dance around on Easy to get the attacks she never had a chance to use.

She's got that little bag there, which has a cover on the front she can pull items through, like a one-handed sword longer than she is tall, a shield, and a wand.

Unfortunately she hits really damn hard. Let's go to plan D. The D is for "Devil's Arms".

Eat unholy blade, Celes.
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I gotta come out swinging. On Mania I've got to deal 24k damage by myself against Celes.

Celes is no slouch either, and I've got a lot less HP.

This is a bit close.

Photo Finish!

Showing off Celes's attacks.
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Once you do enough damage to her, her hat falls off. I'd say it's at the halfway point, but I'm not sure that's right - I can't use items here, so I can't scan her HP.

That's the damage it does when I block.

Her spell damage isn't as impressive. Especially when I do magic guard.

Mini Meteor automatically guard crushes.

Thank goodness for invincibility frames while getting up.

This is from another run, Freeze Lancer.

And Absolute.

Anyway, let's see what she wanted.

: Seles! This must be some kind of mistake!
: ...It's all right, Tokunaga. I was...not strong enough....
: So you're the ones that just came barging in here! Now come with me!
: ...Please wait. Perhaps she has something she would like to tell us.
: Then...everyone, please come to the waiting room.

: And, so? Why did you do this?
: ...
: Seles! You aren't even supposed to leave the abbey! And even though you are my sister--
: Chosen, please wait! It's not what you think! I arranged this journey entirely by myself....
: Silence, Tokunaga! I'm the one that agreed to your plan. The responsibility is mine.
: Um, what are you people talking about?
: I was foolish. If Seles won against the Chosen and all of you in the Coliseum, then everyone would be forced to recognize Seles' strength. Then I hoped you would allow Seles to join you on your journey....
: To...Tokunaga!
: What? Seles wanted to come with us, too?
: N...No...
: Seles was...worried about the safety of her brother, the Chosen, and wished to travel with him.
: Man, I wouldn't want hurt Zelos. Seles was fighting to disable, not kill, out there. I wouldn't want to see her fighting ruthlessly. She might give Kratos or even Mithos a run for his money.
:'m not.... I mean, Zelos is Mother's...
: ...Yeah...I'm sorry. I mean, I deserve to be hated by you.
: I...I don't hate you! I love both Mother and...
: ...Seles...
: Despite my weak body, I am now able to fight using the power of the Exsphere. ...But when I was a child and couldn't even do that...the happiest time for me was... when you played with me....
: Chosen One, everyone, Seles lost, but she is still strong, don't you agree? Please, allow Seles to join you on your journey.
: ...That I can't allow.
: Zelos! So you do hate...
: No, no. I don't hate you or anything.
: Then!
: Listen! Even with that Exsphere, you'll still get sick and wind up in bed! I can't take you on a dangerous journey like this.
: But I...
: I'm saying this because... because you're important to me. Do you understand?
: I'm...important to you? Really?
: ...I've never lied to you. Right?
: ...Right.

Skit #370: Worrying Brother

: Yeah. But I'm glad Zelos and Seles were able to come to an understanding.
: ...Huh?... Ah, yeah, yeah...
: Hmm? What's wrong, Zelos? You don't sound well.
: Ah, no, it's nothing, my dear Colette.
: Oh, really? I was certain that you were worried that Seles might be following us.
: Oh! So that's it... you're worried about Seles.
:, it's nothing like that! The cool and sexy Zelos doesn't waste time worrying about his sister.
: Hmmm? So, you don't care about your sister at all?
: Not really... She's only my half-sister....
: Oh, speak of the devil, there's Seles!
: What? That idiot! How many times have I told you, it's too dangerous! You can't come with us! ...Where is she?!
: ...Just kidding.
: Ahahahahahaha!
: Zelos, you're so nice.
: ...Miss Raine, don't think I'll forget this!