The Let's Play Archive

The Last Remnant

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 13: Chapter X - A scolding isn’t going to stop guys like that!

A scolding isn’t going to stop guys like that!

Celapaleis has sighted men matching the description of the ones we encountered in Dillmoor. They request we look into it at once. Once you’ve completed your preparations, let us head to Blackdale.
A mage wearing white and a flying Remnant have been confirmed among the troops sighted invading Blackdale. It’s no question that they must be the same men we encountered at Dillmoor…
Did anyone see Irina?
Unfortunately, we have been unable to verify if she is there or not.

We must be careful not to underestimate them. Keep your head about you, Rush.
Rush, if you’ve got some extra components, you should take ‘em down to the Customization Shop. They can fix your equipment up good!
Already taken care of that big guy, check these out!
Going so far as to request Lord David to come along as part of their “request” … Celapaleis really loves rubbing our faces in it. Still, this could be a good chance to learn what that magus in white is all about. We won’t be letting him off easily this time.
While to the uninitiated it may appear as if we were equals, in actuality Athlum is a territory under Celapaleis’s domain. Still, to require Lord David to chase after a simple group of unknowns is a situation I would prefer be avoided in the future.

Ah. In the thread, you may have heard talk about a particularly tricky part at the end of the game’s extended tutorial section. This is the reason why. See, David and his Four Generals have joined the party, but as guest unions. That means we can’t give them orders, but that’s not the part which makes this hard.

- Video: The Battle of Blackdale

Blackdale – Plateau: A plateau above a string of caves. Portions of it crumble away on a daily basis, providing new paths into the cave

Jackpot! Dave…

I am David Nassau, the Marquis of Athlum!

Your presence here is regarded as an act of aggression against Athlum! Lay down your arms immediately and state your names and intentions!

If you fail to comply, we shall have no choice but to use deadly force! I shall give you only one chance! Surrender now!

What are you doing?! A scolding isn’t going to stop guys like that!
It’s politics, kid. The leader of a city can’t just smash people’s skulls up for no reason.

So be it. We shall make them rue the day they stepped into Athlum.

All men, CHARGE!
See? NOW we can smash up their skulls!

Mission: Defeat the enemy!

This is our first real Battlefield map (denoted on the world map by orange-red circles). Battlefields are one-time-only, pretty lengthy boss battles which take place as soon as the map loads – there is no dungeon crawl, just a long fight against a large enemy force.

Sometimes, enemies are too far away to target. This can happen on battlefield maps, (possibly) in dungeons if you timeshift and grab an enemy, but run a long way before triggering the battle, or in a fight if you are deadlocked and try to switch targets to one farther off. Too-far targets appear as circles on the minimap.

Most of the enemy is too far, so Rush only has two choices to target, both Mystic Squads of the “Third Committee”, whatever that is.

Come on, let’s kick some A!

These guys were on Standby, I guess, not prepared to fight. Our team dodges their attack, and Rush one-shots them. David uses Spark to one-shot his target group, and Torgal’s target is downed by a Dodge-Counter. That was just the warm-up round, though.

Unlike in dungeons, Battlefield maps can receive reinforcements after a wave is defeated (without a square-shaped indicator appearing on the battlefield map). The side that gets reinforced (never us) receives a morale boost.

I won’t let bullies like you get in my way!

This, this is where the tough part starts. You see, the thing about Guest unions is that they do not count for purposes of “Party Unions Still Alive” – only actual full unions (Rush’s Troop) count.

There are seven enemy unions on the field, enough to leave five left over once two deadlock with David’s Division and Torgal’s Squad. Even those unions can be killed if enough enemy unions attack them, and Rush’s Troop is the lowest-health union.

Normally, the proper strategy in battles of this scale is to focus on taking out the smaller, weaker unions first, because they die fast, and that’s fewer unions that can flank you. That’s a pretty risky strategy here, and when I tried it, I tended to get killed quickly.

Instead, I’ve taken the suggestion to figure out how to “best support your guest union.” I’ve noted that David’s AI tends to target the boss, the guy with the Flying Remnant. The game helpfully provides the name of Jager for him. My strategy is to also target Jager, because then David’s Division is close enough that they can provide healing support to Rush. If Rush and David and Torgal all engage different unions, the only way for one to provide healing to one of the others is by breaking deadlock, which the Guest Union AI is reluctant to do.

Look who’s here.

Torgal’s Squad takes out their target in one blow – just in time before Jager comes in.

Jager uses a “Bone” attack, which does 302 damage. So far, we’ve eliminated 4 enemy unions, leaving 5 plus Jager, and that’s the first damage anyone has taken. So we’re doing okay…

But my plan has just been derailed. It had worked on the previous attempts, but not this time. There’s more than enough randomization in battles to keep things interesting.

A Critical Offense plus Baulson took them out with no damage. David takes out the union intercepting him with another Critical Trigger chain, but the other two unions follow Jager’s lead and go after Torgal.

Torgal’s union was flanked twice, but I can’t help, I have to heal myself.

But he’s got this.

Get ready, I’m about to OWN you!

That hurt a lot and KO’ed a generic soldier. Dave has Torgal’s back, though, and eliminates another union.

Intelligent enemies (not monsters) can actually heal and buff each other. That’s usually worthless though.

Torgal’s union is healed before Jager tries and fails to hit Pagus with a Beatdown. David moves in to flank Jager, leaving Rush to deal with the other two unions on his own. Rush’s Troop does finish one, but eats the attack from the second.

All that’s left are just the supporting squad, so they shouldn’t hit too hard.

Music: Reversal

learned Devil’s Due II!

Rush took out his union, so that does it for the battle. Note that Jager did not dissolve into sparkles.

learned Restore III!

And Rush learned Restore III as well. Excellent.

After him!

Music: Into the Depths

- Dungeon Video: Blackdale (1)

Blackdale: A network of caves that connects the torn earth of the region. As the caves steadily expand, so does the danger that the ground above may collapse at any time.

I do like the consistency in the setting, with the Athlum area in an area that’s highly unstable. It makes the ground collapse in the prologue seem much less arbitrary. Blackdale has a few areas, here’s the map for the first, the Speckled Chasm.

By the way, we’ll never see that battlefield map again. Any further trips to Blackdale will start us off here. EDIT: That is we'll only see the battlefield again if there's a sidequest that sends us to it.

That long projection on the upper left of the map is what we can see ahead of us. There’s a chest we can barely see in the distance. A Guild Task, the rare monster, Dominator can spawn over there, and you can see it from the entrance by taking only a few steps, if you have draw distance set to maximum.

The enemies here are Spiders/Grand Spiders, Skull Scavengers (Vultures), and Hypnos, and none are particularly hard, even with only guest unions backing you up. Feel free to link 3 units together, you should easily be able to handle them. In fact, it’s so easy that I turned on turbo mode for this dungeon after the first battle.

In theory, it’s possible to dodge enemies to avoid battles, and I probably should avoid fighting since guest unions don’t gain XP towards stats or arts. However dodging enemies is tricky in the narrow corridors. Flying enemies are particularly tough to dodge. It’s better to fight than to let an enemy touch you and break your chains.

If you’re going to turn Turbo mode on, be sure to also turn the Critical Triggers to automatic, because they’re virtually impossible to manually hit in Turbo mode.

These guys are the same kind of monsters who attacked Rush and Irina on Eulam. Also, that “Miss” is from the Automatic Trigger missing – it’s not an automatic success, although there’s only about a 20% failure rate.

The combat Francisca is a one-handed axe. I guess the -1 means it has a penalty (no idea what) and needs to be upgraded or customized at a smith to get up to normal strength. EDIT: Stelas knows what's up:

Stelas posted:

It's a fairly hefty dip to all of the item's stats. At -1, that Combat Francisca is down 4 ATK, 3 MATK, 2 DEF and 1 MDEF. You don't actually upgrade it at a shop, it and every other weapon has a growth rate just like everything else in the game. The trouble is that a) you have to use normal attacks, not arts, and b) the Equipment+ from your Ragnarock doesn't actually boost it, because I guess it's completely unimplemented.

Weapon Recipes are components used to customize some weapons. For some strange reason, some of them only appear in chests – meaning that you can only get one per playthrough. I don’t understand why. The only use for this one is to skip a step in Sledgehammer customization. It’s rather pointless, though, since change a Sledgehammer into a Warrior’s Sledgehammer without having to make a Combat Sledgehammer first. It saves a tiny amount of gold, but even this early in the game, it’s not really worth spending a one-time recipe on.

This is the third combat art Rush has learned since getting the Ragna-rock, and I only fought one battle in the previous update. Each rank requires more and more art-specific XP to learn.

The Nimble prefix indicates that we’ve learned a Power/Technique style. Power/Technique styles either provide a modifier to Strength (Mighty -> Peerless), or Speed (Nimble -> Swift). The specific style you get depends on the specific weapon you are using. Weapons either have Strength or Speed progression, but not both (and so dual-wielding with weapons of different types will slow down the progression of both) The Katana-type weapons I’m currently using are all Speed types, although there are also Katanas with Strength type.

This is the second area of Blackdale, the Sapphire Pit. It’s much shorter. There’s one treasure chest, but all it has is the first Blackdale map.

Sometimes there’s an orange harvesting spot behind the spiders, that’s the only reason I fought them. But I learned Bladedancer from that fight, so I’m turning Turbo mode off to show it.

Devil’s Due was a C-Rank Dual-Wield art. Bladedancer is our first B-rank art, and it means that our hidden “Dual Wield” level has reached 5. Looks pretty awesome.

This spot has the Morsel for Blackdale to increase Mr. Diggs count.

Just past the vultures, this dead-end seems to have a tunnel up there, but we can’t get to it. Anyway, we’re done with the Sapphire Pit now, and this update too, because surprisingly, the next one is longer than this one. Next time is the boss.

New Arts Summary


class changed to Expert Fighter!

Video: The Battle of Blackdale
Dungeon Video: Blackdale (1)

Next Time: I shan’t dare do anything to put you out.