Part 35: The Man Who ChallengesPart XXXV: The Man Who Challenges
Welcome to the Post-game. It offically begins after you get your ending: either the Normal or True ending, both of which are entirely reliant on the choices you make to Origin at the very end of the game. Of course, both of those endings will be covered, but that'll only come after I record and post the "joke" endings. The first, and simplest, joke ending is for paying back all of your 20,000,000 Gald debt. Through the course of the game, you only need to actually pay back about 1.5 million or so of that, and as of the start of my post-game recordings, I'm just under 17,000,000 needed to pay back everything.
So clearly, it's not going to be for a while until I can post those endings. But, just keep that in mind. The other ending is for unlocking, and beating, a certain fight. That's not for a loooong time. There's a ton of stuff you (well, I guess that means "I" have to do to actually unlock that fight). The point is, there's a long road ahead of us. But hey, let's start in the present. For finishing the game, you get a free gift of 1,000,000 Gald, Ludger's Endless Waltz arte (not to be confused with the Mystic Arte called Eternal Waltz), a Bond of Shadow (will, of course, be explained later), and the Chromatus Drive / Overdrive skills for Ludger, which can be activated as soon as you desire.
First off, make sure to constantly check when new random jobs come in. You'll regularly pull in 40-50k for even the most minor of jobs, such as Beast Dung (which you should be rolling in...so to speak), you can very quickly fill your coffers for another big payment to Nova, since when the game randomizes new jobs, most of the time you'll get a bunch of jobs for crafting materials you already have. I went to Lakutam Highroad (outside of Xian Du) to complete some jobs I took before going to Canaan, and went to Nia Khera to turn them in, whereupon I got a couple more skits, for your enjoyment. The second one in particular is good.
However, because there's a few skits I didn't get in the normal course of the game, the skit video will have a lot more than these two skits. Check it out!
Also unlocked in the post-game is this special shopping mart, in Fennmont's item store. Just take those elevators up, and...
New weapons, armor, and accessories shops. Everything sold here will almost certainly be an improvement over what your characters are using now, and it's your discretion who to upgrade. The weapons will all run for 50,000 Gald, which might seem a lot, but it's really, really not. These weapons will be obsolete fairly soon, but every little bit helps.
I should also note Gaius' katana here, the Yasutsuna, is stat-wise an improvement over the Conqueror's Blade in every way. However, it doesn't hit for every basic element with every swing / restore HP and TP / chance for KO recovery. A very good example of why stats don't mean everything. You could honestly keep Gaius using the Conqueror's Blade until the end of the post-game and not be considerably worse off for the wear. It's that good.
Don't forget Customization, either. While you still don't have access to the best customization has to offer, just keep it in mind for now. You can still make good armor / accessories. Well, when you've shopped to your heart's content, let's head on over to the Spirius Corporation for our first post-game event...
Excellent. You have all arrived.
What impeccable timing.
We heard reports about an incident in Drellin. Something strange is going on at one of the warehouses there.
What can be going on at a warehouse?! Are the cockroach freedom-fighters rebelling against their vermin overlords?
That's going to give me nightmares!
Yeah, rats and roaches? Count me out of this one!
That is not the situation. They say one of the warehouses is sealed with a mysterious force. They say when you enter, a strange force teleports you back outside.
We would like you lot to handle this for us.
You two sick or something? You're acting a little different from normal.
No, we are considerably fine.
Ludger, the warehouse in question belogns to our company. We must insist that you investigate.
This may be the effect of some powerful spirit artes.
Indeed. Someone might be inside the warehouse, manipulating the barrier from within.
Whoever's behind this has been waiting for this opportunity.
Looks like we need to check this out! Let's head to Drellin.
Yeah, let's...get out of here. Those two are creeping me out.
Said warehouse is in the back of the long corridor in-between the armor shop and the job board in Drellin. Don't see what's so...
So this is the place Vera was talking about.
It's quite vast.
Is this really the inside of a warehouse?!
If it is, why isn't the barrier keeping us out?
Probably because whoever set it up wants us inside.
I think the word you're looking for is "trap".
So what now, Milla?
Standing around talking won't get us anywhere. We need to get to the bottom of this ourselves.
Let's head further in.
This is the Illusionary Darkness, the obligatory Tales bonus dungeon. Nearly every Tales game has a bonus dungeon, with some having several areas that are completely optional (Phantasia is a good example. Shadow's Cave and the Depths of Moria were both unnecessary to finish the game). Legendia, however, has no bonus dungeon, but Legendia is both a weird Tales game and a weird game in general.
Now then, the gimmick of this place? Well...we shall come back to this, next time. This update is focused on wrapping up some odds and ends, then we can throw everything we got at the Darkness.
Instead, we have quite the business opportunity, and what I'm about to tell you will be your #1 source of rank points / money for quite a while. All of the Elite Monsters are back. All of 'em. However, they are *significantly* buffed and are considerably more dangerous. Scorpactus here is a perfect example. When we only had Jude and Ludger as our running team, this guy gave us a little grief, but certainly nothing I couldn't overcome. Now this guy, he's the real deal. For bringing his head to the job board, you'll receive 640k gald, and 192k rank points. That's... a bit more than he was worth the last time. So what's the catch?
He hits HARD. Harder than a mach truck. Basically any attack he uses will either kill you in one hit or very close to it, even if you block. The AI is simply unable to deal with this fight. As I've mentioned, they just don't handle burrowing enemies very well. They run after them, they don't bother to block, etc. So combining an *extremely* powerful monster and an AI that deals poorly with that is a recipe for trouble, and honestly, this is definitely in the top 10 most difficult fights in the game.
If you wanted my opinion as to difficulty, I'd still say Volt is by far the toughest boss in the game, weighing everything equally. Anyway, how to deal with this guy? Well, all EX bosses still share the same vulnerabilities and strengths they did the first time around. Since the original boss was meant to be fought with a Jude / Ludger party, he's weak to Wind and Earth, both elements Ludger / Jude could exploit at that early point in the game.
What this means for right now is Gaius is an *excellent* choice with the Conqueror's Blade, since every standard hit will be a Power Hit, and he can hit Strike (Hydra Strike), and Light (Celestial Rupture is the easiest to combo). But why Gaius in particular? He's one among four characters (technically five, with Jude's Restore, but that's not guaranteed / hard to get to activate under these particular circumstances) who can revive (himself, Elize, Leia, and Muzet). He can revive all fallen brothers and sisters in a small radius with Spirit Channel, and he himself will occasionally shrug off KO due to his currently-equipped katana. He makes an excellent choice. Elize is along because of her Darkness skills, and Leia because she can throw out buffs, though you could probably replace her with Muzet and you might even do better.
Gaius' Retribution is also really good at staggering the target. Once Gaius has all his Retribution-buffing skills, he can block a strike, run around for a bit, and keep the charge going. It's only when he takes a front step is the counterattack actually triggered.
Now, this guy has a *ton* of health, so there's just no getting past the fact this is a long struggle. But, just keep the pressure on him, back off when needed, and play it cool, and you'l bring him down before too too long. One tip I can give you is the character you play as most (which would be Gaius in this video's case), you should turn on Fury Stroke 1 and 2. These skills will, after that character's taunt, make them the target of enemy attacks / attention for 10 seconds. Against a guy this dangerous, that's big, being able to draw attention while your allies get back on their feet. Being able to control the AI is always beneficial.
Of course, stack on Chromatus combos (you can only use Eternal Waltz in Chromatus Level 4. It just replaces Form Destroyer at that level). Just keep the pressure up, and take advantage of heavy stuns as much as you can.
One final tip I'll give you, is don't try to sidestep away from the surfacing attack. Because your character is still focused on the boss, they will just sidestep in a circle, ripe for the devastating attack coming up. Just Free Run away from it.
The EXP rewards for victory are...considerable. Again, that rank points number is absolutely huge. I jumped about three levels in one bound, and once all the EX monsters are dead...
All of the monster descriptions are basically like this. Apparently some mad scientist revived all of them and made them considerably stronger, so naturally, it's up to us to fix things.
Well, the good news for you is that the Scorpactus EX is definitely one of the hardest, and Veywind Eye does not...exactly live up to that reputation. But, I guess you'll be the judge of that. The next bit of business brings us to Sharilton and that little antiques shop directly in front of the main entrance to the city.
Good to him to just hand it over, really. Now back to Spirius.
Would it be all right if I pressed play? Oh, that's strange. There are no recordings on these disks. It's a sequence... This is an unlock code, probably for a door somewhere.
A door, huh?
This is the key to Julius' room?
I believe so, yes. Here, you should have this, Ludger.
Okay, not that they're wrong, but seriously, how could Milla and Vera possibly know that? Milla's been in Ludger's apartment all of once (Alt Milla doesn't count), and Vera's never been there at all. Julius' room has been locked from the beginning of the game.... Ah, doesn't matter.
Well, what are you waiting for? Julius' room, which has been locked since the very beginning of the game, is now open to you. As a note, you have to have completed all the Julius data disk jobs to open this door. There's nothing *too* huge in here, but hey. I would be in error not recording this scene and bringing it to you.
"I have a feeling that if anyone out there finds this letter, it will be you, Ludger. Am I right? If I am, then I assume you have also found all of my recordings. I won't try and make excuses. Everything you heard on those disks was true."
Somehow, he knew you'd find this letter...
"Ludger, I know you always looked up to me like an older brother, but I'm no good. I used you to gain more strength, but I was still never able to activate a full chromatus. I couldn't even find the Canaan Waymarkers, let alone the Key of Kresnik! I was a failure, Ludger. And I let everyone else down... Sometimes I even contemplated how much easier it would be if I just simply degenerated into a divergence catalyst. To take my mind off such thoughts, I went on a horrible rampage. Rideaux and I made a game of it, to see who could destroy more dimensions. Sometimes I slaughtered whole towns just to save me the trouble of tracking down the divergence catalyst."
I never thought Julius'd be capable of something like that...
"But you saved me, brother. Do you recall when you were seven, and you made that margherita pasta? It was the first thing you ever cooked. You were only seven, but you saw how thin I'd gotten, and you were worried about me... So you made me dinner. It was hen I saw those burn marks on your hands that I came to a realization... I decided that my purpose from that point forward was to protect you... But there, too, I failed... I hope you can forgive your selfish brother one day. I tried to do right by you... But I guess rambling on about it doesn't change things."
Damn... Well, picking up the pieces, Julius lends us a bit more of his strength: the Castor Twins Reforged, which is a purple version of Julius' Castor Twins, which Ludger is already in possession of. You know they're stronger because they're a different color. You also get Julius' Glasses, but we already had those. You can check out the bookshelf in our big bro's room for a Royal Feast, Kitty Toy, and Gummy Fishies, and you can raid his closet for a pair of Rare Boots.
But now it's time for the EX Monster shitshow! Unless I pause things to say something, assume I had nothing interesting to say about the boss. In many cases, the strategies and general gimmicks for the first version of the boss stand for the EX version: Heavy Claw EX, Greater Demon EX, Radiant Horn EX, Goddess Touch EX, Bluetaur EX, Graddic Claw EX, Moralzamm EX (EX monster in under 2 minutes!), Ghastly Stump EX (one of the Elite Monsters that is much, much more dangerous in its second iteration, especially with getting heavy stuns way too much. That's a bad thing), Arrow Folzam EX, Veywind Stinger EX, Krudis Eye EX, Hydro Blade EX (Christ this is a hard fight. Any way you cut it, a monster with more than 2 million HP takes a long, long time to kill. And he's extremely powerful...)
Now, for our last normal Elite Monster, Siennabronc, it's a little more difficult to find this guy. There's a few locations in the game he can appear in, but unless you're looking for him, it's extremely unlikely you'll come upon him by chance. What's the solution? Start in the Xagut Floodmeadow. Head to the Northeast region and cross over into the Southeast region, at this screen. Those three trees in the distance will be your landmark. If you don't see Siennabronc, just keep going back and forth between screens until he does appear. If you don't see him, that means the game spawned him elsewhere, but this is by far the best spot to look for him.
Although I blow past normal Siennabronc, keep something in mind: the item you can steal from him is the Omega Elixir, which restores all HP / TP, removes all negative status effects, and revives from KO. Normally, a normal Elixir could do all of that, but the Omega Elixir is a four-way Elixir. It's really really really good, and you'll want to quickly acquire as many of them as possible. No use in passing up this opportunity. Make sure you bring Leia along for this fight, and make sure you get that Omega Elixir. Anyhow, round 2 of the EX Monsters: Siennabronc, Dark Teagle EX, Wind Racer EX, Fortune Stepper EX, Hammerzamm EX, Vampiric Plant EX, Cthulhu Demon EX, Magma Dragon EX.
Magma Dragon is an *extremely* tedious fight, mainly because you have two targets with mountains of HP between them. As with the first fight, basically you'll want to focus your attacks on one target (if you're using Milla, the one that's weak to Sword attacks), while your teammates haplessly occupy the other. Ideally, you'll keep them apart for long periods of time. Of course, any fire-resistant accessories / armor you have on hand, you'll want to equip them. Milla has an extremely fast full Power Combo she can pull off by herself. I like to start with Binding Sphere (Darkness), Elemental Shot (all four primary elements. There's a little delay in them coming out, which is why Sphere keeps the combo going), Condemnation (Gun), Shimmer Spin (Light, though you could also use Radiant Rondo here), and Overdrive (Strike). Overdrive will knock the target down (assuming it wasn't Stoned from Shot), but you can get it back on its feet with either Grave or a focus hit (L1 + X). Elemental Shot does a ton of damage and has a decent chance of Stone, so that should be the backbone of your attack.
Milla in general makes a very good ally, her only downside being she has no way of reviving others. Still, her offensive prowess is considerable.
Next up, everyone's favorite Elite Monster: Exoplasma. To be perfectly honest, I was expecting this fight to be a total shitshow. I got a ton of Miracle Gels in preparation, and was even prepared to use Fruit Yakisoba (25% increase to all main stats, instead of Spicy Chicken Roll for EXP increase). I mean, the first round was a cluster, right? Well, to my very big surprise, I beat him on my first try, and it didn't even take that long. Mainly because I was lucky with Chromatus uses. Chromatus Azure Edge absolutely kicks the shit out Prime Exoplasma and his buddies, and there's not whole lot they can do about that.
I mean, it certainly helps I had my general strategy in place, which was to focus on the big guy first, instead of constantly trying to put out fires by taking out his spawn first. This way I don't have to wait until his drains through his just shy of 2 million HP spawning his buddies, which would have taken *forever*. Color me surprised this went as well as it did, even though I wish it had ended slightly differently. You'll see why. Also, keep in mind, their Rolling Spin attack always has a longer range than you think it does. That's the one you really have to watch for.
Siennabronc EX But our penultimate EX boss challenge is by FAR the hardest of the bunch. Siennabronc is an unprecedented danger to your team. He has an incredible amount of HP on Hard, standing at no less than 2,385,000, and that number goes down very slowly, not unlike Hydro Blade, which is also an extremely hard fight. Unlike Blade, he is pretty fast, hits just as hard, and has reach, unlike Scorpactus EX. There's absoultely no playing around with this guy. I originally wanted to get through this fight with Gaius, but nope. That just wasn't going to happen. You will have to have your full Power Combo combo down pat, and even a single mistake can destroy everything. I've already explained why Leia comes into this fight (all EX monsters have the same drops and stealable items the same as the originals), but everyone on your team must be able to revive, with the exception of Ludger, because the Chromatus is just too potent as a damage-dealing weapon to take out of your arsenal. Also helps to have Revive Rings and / or Hallowed Dolls on everyone, because, again, a single mistake can easily destroy your team.
Having Fury Stroke is, again, extremely good too, even if the enemy AI doesn't always listen to it. As far as getting a combo started, Guns are by far the best way to open up damage-dealing, because you can do it at range.
However, all the advice I can give is secondary to this: patience. There is no way this fight is going to be under 10 minutes. Best case, you keep it between 15-20, but even then, that's if you're completely on point and don't have to spend too long worrying about your allies getting themselves killed. One of the top 10 hardest fights in the game? Absolutely.
Now, the final EX monster is the Snow Cougar, which I did record, but due to various recording complications that I went into detail in the thread in, no longer have. It's not a big loss. Really, it's a pretty boring fight, but it has one crucial gimmick. Once it falls to about 25-30% HP, it'll throw out its arcane arte, where it'll curl up and call in a big snowstorm. Now, if it activates this move and you don't have a Chromatus use charged up, that's game. Even if you survive the initial hit, it'll just keep going, Stoning any survivors, while a pack of more generic mooks tear you apart, and it'll just keep going. You have lost the game under those circumstances.
Basically, think of it as an offensive version of Chronos' time reversal. Near as far as I can figure, you NEED the Chromatus to win this fight, so if someone has been able to beat it without Ludger in the party, I would be very impressed. But that's it. Your collective reward for defeating all the EX monsters is *monstrous*. Total value of all the monsters is 10,590,000 Gald. So yeah, *kinda* worth your time to take out all those little bastards. Also note that money does *not* include the money you get from money straight from the battles, and your characters will probably be, by the end of things, 25-30 levels higher than when they started. A good start, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
Like cat hunting! The first cat is in the Brauner Highroad, just outside the entrance to Fennmont. Somehow, even though I combed over this area many, many times looking for cats, I never found this one... The Highroad in general gave me a lot of trouble with Ktty hunting, surprisingly. The other one's just in Sillea Tundra, easy to find. These two were acquired before I went to Canaan, and including the two Kitties from Canaan, brings me up to 96. I was completely lost on where the final four were, but...
Oh, another interesting tanget for this point in the game.
This actually happened sometime ago, after that scene where Elle left the party to go with Bisley to Canaan. It's a little sad, yeah, but don't worry. When you restart the game, Elle returns to the title screen. Anyhow...
The first is in Sapstrath Seahaven. I'll tell you what Gaius is referring to next time. Hint: I wouldn't necessarily agree with him...
Aladhi Trail, far away in the West Branch. This one is located near Heavy Claw's old haunt. Two more to go, and both are in Hamil.
Oh, I should mention sometimes when you take a job, your buddies will comment on the enemy type. Muzet talks about how she finds Polwigles cute, and Gaius comments on Gentleman and Skeleton-type enemies. Of course, this is all a prototype for Zestiria, where your party will comment on basically every generic enemy when you find yourself in a battle with them, which is really an underrated part of the game. I can only hope that's continued in Berseria.
Hamil's map location Kitty is up this ladder, where you can also pluck a single Porange from one of the trees. The other is acquired through Kitty Dispatch, which, upon retrieval, made that cat my 100th feline. This gives you this amusing skit, as Rollo begins punching above his weight. And why not? He's got a goddamn feline army behind him on this.
Well, this has been kinda a disjointed update, but it's stuff that needed to be tackled. We're not entirely done with post-game events, but I will get around to that. Next time I'll be going through the EX Chapter and beginning the deep dive into the bonus dungeon. Surprisingly enough, we've got about... I wanna say a couple more non-ending updates to go through. HOWEVER, my work has just begun. Stay tuned...
Update 35 skits
Update 35 alternate skit compilation
I was made aware of a method of how to defeat Snow Cougar EX without Ludger in the party. Everything here is certainly true, but more trouble than its worth, if you ask me. Still, it's a good challenge. You're still not missing much with no video, though.
To answer a question you had a while ago: The Snow Cougar EX is defeatable without Ludger. It only uses Snowfall when it's in Overlimit, and when it uses Snowfall, three Snow Wolves spawn and if you kill all three before you die the attack stops. Gaius in particular is very good at it given Retribution. So, either negate it with your own Mystic Artes or kick their ass.
Edit: My source is myself because I literally just did it. Power Comboed that motherfucker for 1.4 million damage. Eat shit Snow Cougar EX