Part 38: Family MattersPart XXX-2: Family Matters
As I've mentioned, an alternate ending to this whole part of the game involves an actual ending to the game. But like the Bad End in Dawn of the New World, it's treated as more of a glorified Game Over, even if it is an ending to the story. We'll begin at the point where, in the previous update, Ludger declared his intention to take Julius' life. Let's see what happens on this timeline...
Now you lose your nerve? Have you forgotten all the dimensions you destroyed to get here?!
Will that...be your final decision here?
Then you better go home, Ludger. You just don't have the stomach for this. Though I have to admit, that's what I love about-- Aaaaaaah! I'm sorry. But it looks like I will have to trouble you after all.
Oh boy... No turning back now.
It has to be this way. For the sake of this world, we must reach the Land of Canaan.
Knock it off!
Why would you--
What have you done?
This is truly your decision?
Ooooooh boy, let's talk about the Bad End fight. Aside from us turning into the bad guy (with a few shades of Victor), this fight is tough. Tough with a capital T. There are...quite a few reasons for this.
1. Obviously, we're alone in this. No one to back us up or draw the enemy's attention. All of their guns will be trained on us 100% of the time. This is an enormous problem because if one of your enemies is slighty off-screen, you could run right into them by accident and bring you from full to nothing in moments.
2. The Xillia cast LOVES their combos. Seriously, it's unrelenting. For most combos, you might as well go and make yourself a sandwich while they wrap things up. While I would not necessarily suggest this course of action, the point remains the same: your health can drop to nothing in a single devastating combo. Basically, this fight makes you empathize with all the poor enemies we've had to fight so often. Imagine if you had to play as one of the Elite Monsters I've got 100-hit combos against, and you get a rough idea.
3. Related to the above point: status effects galore. You are gonna need a TON of Syrup Bottles to get through this fight. I would say 15 minimum, just to be safe. You will almost certainly not use all of them, but you never know. Syrup Bottles prevent you from getting hit with any new status effects, but if you have any status effects and you use a Syrup Bottle, it won't clear them. You'll need a Panacea Bottle for those. Just about every attack you can get hit with may hit you with a status effect. Of these, Confusion and Stone are the worst, since there's nothing you can do about either until they go away.
4. Simply how *long* this fight takes. My successful run at this fight (after nearly 3 1/2 hours of trying and 98 attempts) lasted 11 minutes and change. No matter how you slice it, this fight is a slog. As you might guess, this is a 1-8 fight. The fight will always start with Jude, Milla, Leia, and Rowen as your starting adversaries. Once a single one of them goes down, the next cast member will tag in, and so forth. The order goes Alvin -> Elize -> Muzet -> Gaius. The thing is, this fight gets easier as you progress in it. Gaius and Muzet have glaring weaknesses between them, and I'd say as soon as Alvin shows up, you're in the deep shit. He gets my vote as the hardest of the 8.
Well, that's all well and good, but how do you win this thing? Well, there are a number of things to make it easier on yourself. First of all, if you have the Spirius Fangs and / or the Hallowed Doll, use them. Preferably together, like I did. Their odds of reviving you are independent of each other, and while not guaranteed, it's much better than nothing. This fight would be balls-ass hard without at least one of them.
Second of all, exploit weaknesses. Every enemy has at least one weakness: Jude (Fire), Milla (Darkness), Rowen (Fire and Wind), Leia (Gun), Alvin (Water), Elize (Slash, maybe. She usually dies so quickly I don't notice), Muzet (Light and Strike), and Gaius (Darkness). Now, obviously, starting combos is going to be the hardest part. This is where Crimson Fury (a Slash arte) comes in. Crimson Fury, as you might guess, is a Fire-attack. The important part is that it launches a target into the air. Once you've hit a target with Crimson Fury twice, you're usually high enough to avoid any counterattacks. As long as you have AC, and they don't counter, you can keep hitting them.
I would also highly advise the use of Moonlight Assault. It's a Light-elemental skill you can use in the air (so adding another element to a combo that starts with Crimson Fury). Moonlight Assault also comes with the rather good chance of hitting a target with Confusion. They're in the enviable position of being able to harass your former allies while they can't do anything about it. Obviously, not something to solely rely on, but it happens more often than you think. Now, I'll go into the enemy roll call, just to give you an idea how to handle each one, if each was a 1-1 fight.
Jude: because of his weakness to Fire, should be your first or second target. He can counterattack in mid-air, but it's nothing too devastating. He won't even able to counter if you mix up elements soon enough. He doesn't have much HP, so 1-2 good combos should be enough to critically wound him, if not kill him. None of Jude's attacks are particularly bad, it's just his speed is going to be your biggest worry.
Milla: definitely one of the most dangerous. Her summon artes are her best asset. Sylph II will fire out three projectiles that home in on you, and the only way to avoid getting staggered by them is to use Magic Guard. Gnome II is completely impossible to see coming, and it instantly locks in on you, so you just have to eat that damage, unfortunately. Milla you'll mostly want to catch in the crossfire.
Rowen: by far the easiest to kill. He doesn't have an aerial counterattack, so you can launch him into the air with Fury and he simply can't respond to that. His spells are extremely annoying, and he does have a healing arte he'll throw out occasionally when he gets low on HP. Jude or Rowen will be probably be the first to die. One more note: if you hear him yell out "Tightening Chains!" immediately Magic Guard it. You can't run away from it.
Leia: annoying more than anything. Her weakness to Guns is not easy to exploit, simply because Gun Ludger is extremely slow, and this is a fight you need to constantly be highly mobile in. My advice would be to hit Leia with Moonlight Assault + Power Charge 2 (3 is not especially necessary in this fight), then get her into the air as fast as possible. Leia goes down extremely quickly if you can get a good combo on her. The long reach with her staff and sheer variety of moves she'll throw out will get old real fast. If she has a healing spell (she does have a couple normally), I didn't see it all night fighting against her.
Alvin: again, my nomination for single most dangerous target. Alvin has a LOT of HP (relative for this fight, of course), and can hit you from any range, or at least pin you down with things like Squall Shot. Be mindful of when he's charged, because he'll always add more hits. Once again, focusing on Alvin alone can be tricky, so simply keep throwing stuff his way and eventually he'll break. Water is not an easy vulnerability to exploit (Arc Fire will probably be your best bet in this department), so my combo advice for Leia also goes for Alvin.
Elize: piss easy to kill. Not much health and very slow. Still, you'll want to take her out quickly, just so she doesn't heal, and she can be a rather bothersome ankle-biter. Still, Elize showing up is definitely when the fight gets easier.
Muzet: wide variety of attacks, but again, her lack of health or defense is her greatest weakness. Muzet on paper seems like an annoying adversary, for her ability to warp away from trouble, but the AI just doesn't do that very much, and if you hit her hard, she won't get much of a chance to. Her most dangerous attack is Elemental Hymn, where she'll fire 4 orbs of the Big 4 elements, and, just like in Xillia 1, getting hit with all four is more or less a death sentence. They do home in on you, but they're not especially accurate.
Gaius: weird adversary. He's simply awkward to fight because on paper he's very slow, but his sword attacks can be *very* fast to come out, and he can cut through the distance in an instant. Two artes you should watch out for: Dragon's Maw and Incineration Wave. The first one fires out a few shards of light that act like spears, and then Gaius will rush forward to impale you and toss you away. Assuming you dodge the first part, you can easily get behind him for a combo. Incineration Wave, Gaius will stop for a moment and then fire out a huge beam of energy for a few seconds. Obviously, once he starts firing, that's when you get behind him. You can also take advantage of Divine Ascension, where he'll charge up a massive swing that will cut through a block, but it's not an attack you should be blocking.
Of course, none of these fights but the last party member standing is a 1-1 fight, and when it's 1-1, the game's over for them. Simply put, a lot of this fight is going to depend on luck. Sometimes you'll get hit with a status effect at just the wrong time, and you'll die. Sometimes the enemy will just completely surround and you won't be able to break out. Sometimes you misjudge how close an enemy is when you use an item, and they'll be right on top of you, or you get blindsided by an enemy the camera didn't catch. What I've said as a guide to defeat your allies is simply everything to keep in mind when you fight. Make no mistake: this is an enormously difficult fight, and it's gonna take a while to win on Hard or above. There's just no getting around that.
Oh, and two final notes: cooking and the Chromatus. If you're having a lot of trouble, you can always eat something to give you an edge. Something to increase attack or defense, or both at the same time. Obviously, Fruit Yakisoba is your best bet, since it gives you a whopping 15% increase in all attack and defense stats.
The Chromatus you'll need to exploit a lot. Since Ludger took Julius' watch, your Chromatus charge can go up to level 3, but it's not worth waiting around that long, since you'll need the Chromatus to either stack on the damage or get out of trouble. When you are transformed, just spam Dark Projection (up+circle) and Azure Edge over and over. Projection will keep them running after you, preventing any clean hits, and Azure Edge has a rather large blast radius and will throw anyone caught in the blast radius away, forcing them to come back to try and hit you. Even a level 1 Chromatus can do a *ton* of damage. Of course, if you're level 2 or 3, throw in Form Destroyer if you can.
Of course, they can link with each other, and use their support skills, but remember: Linked allies take damage together. Once you've reached this stage in the fight, you've basically won it. Hell, once no more reinforcements come in, you've got that fight well in hand. There's a universe of difference between four adversaries at once and three, believe it or not. All you need to do is just not get careless, and wrap things up.
11 minutes for you, 3 1/2 hours for me...
At the end of the fondest wish
You... You threw away everything for me?
*sigh* So this was all in vain.
Sheesh... What a downer of an ending, when you think about it. I'm guessing by the lack of bodies around where Ludger fought, he didn't actually kill anyone on the team (I'm just guessing, since in RPGs defeating someone in battle does not necessarily mean they were killed), but something tells me they're not going to be partnering up with Ludger any time soon. Meanwhile, Julius and Ludger have bought a little more time, but it's all in vain in the first place, and Elle is done for. Bisley will get exactly what he wants, and...
Well, that's even *if* Bisley succeeds. He fails, and humanity is done for. Thankfully, that's why this is a glorified game over...