Part 31: Chapter XXVI - My heart was the only casualty
My heart was the only casualty
More girlfriend troubles, right?
East of Balterossa, deep below the Great Sand Sea, lives a very kind old seer. Charlotte and I would appreciate it if you would escort us to him.
I hate to involve you in our personal intrigues yet again, but you have my gratitude. Our parents refuse to acknowledge our love. Throughout the time we've been kept apart, we've communicated in secret. But now...we are tired of all this cloak-and-dagger - keeping our true feelings in the shadows, as if we are shamed by such a thing! We've decided to elope.
(This could indeed end badly.)
The seer has agreed to keep us for a short time. Afterwards, we'll flee to some place far, somewhere we may be together.
Not Athlum. Were er were full.
Full? You mean the whole city of Athlum is full?
Yes, thats right. You know how things go, paperwork gets lost or confused, and the next thing you know, an entire city just gets filled right up! Sorry. Its really embarrassing.
Never mind that now. Let us make our way to the Great Subterrane. You are the only man I can trust, Rush... Know that I appreciate this.
Okay, just no more random rocks as payment, please?
Accepted quest: Goodbye, Sweet Love
Woah, spoiler alert, game!
Music: Into the Depths
- Video: Goodbye, Sweet Love (Part 1)
Paris...wait, please. I... I'm worried, Paris. Is running away like this truly the right thing for us to do?
Charlotte, what's come over you all of a sudden? This was your idea to begin with!
I know... And I deeply believe as the seer says, that with you I will find true happiness. But...but still, Paris... What about Mother? Will she be able to share in our joy? Or will it be the opposite? What of your father?
By ridding the world of the two of you, our organization will be able to spread joy to many, many people.
Ouch. Thats kinda harsh.
Charlotte is suddenly whisked away.
That voice - that's the seer...
We've gotta go after 'em!
Right! Thank you. The seer's home is further in. We must hurry and save Charlotte!
A guest union has joined the party.
Paris hired me as a bodyguard again. I was about to meet with him and Charlotte in the Great Subterrane, when Charlotte was kidnapped!
This should be a snap now that were at a higher level AND have Paris with us. This time, our destination is the Tranquil Springs.
The corridors are way too narrow to dodge all these guys, never mind the Rare, so Ill just fight my way through.
Music: Clash of Opposites
Its best to clean up the trash before dealing with the tough enemies, so Ill let the Rare stay alive for now.
Nicely done, Torgal.
Yeah, you just keep working at that, Spiders. Im sure that youll wear him down eventually.
Stench seems to inflict Silence and Paralyze when it hits.
This was fun, but I dont have time to play with you, theres a damsel to rescue.
has learned Mighty Quad Slice III!
has learned Spark II!
That fight just bumped us up to BR 19 for reference. I know Im not keeping track of that much, so Im just letting you know now. With the cutscene and that fight, it was long enough for me to break up the second part of the dungeon into its own video.
- Video: Goodbye, Sweet Love (Part 2)
This is another irritating section with lots of narrow corridors, so I fought my way through. The video has been increased to 4x speed until the important part.
class changed to Expert Mysticknight!
I decide to try out the Mystic Mountain formation. It lowers some of Davids stats to half, but everyone else gets a benefit.
class changed to Master Monk!
I hate these narrow corridors. Theres no good way to dodge, so I basically fight my way through this section.
has learned Thunderclap!
has learned Double Time!
has learned Resonance Edge!
Still, that does have some benefits
Hmph. There is no need for me to explain. All I'll have to explain is how I found the two of you - victims of lovers' suicide!
Mission: Defeat the Seer!
Are you shitting me? No just why?
Yes, I'm fine. Paris...I'm sorry, I can't do this. I tried, but...I need to be at Mother's side.
Why? You believe that the times we spent together, the feelings we shared were nothing more than illusions created by the seer?
(Wait, where did that come from?)
(How should I know?)
I just - I can't...
I... I see... ...It's alright. I knew that someday, we would have to face the cruel truth of our situation. I only hoped our borrowed time would have lasted longer...
Paris, I still -
Let us return... Back to where each of us belongs. Ahh...forgive me, Rush. I'm sorry you had to get mixed up in this.
Im not. This is much more entertaining than Celapaleian politics!
The guest union has left the party.
Dont ask me dude, I dont even have a girlfriend.
...At the very least, it's due to your assistance that Charlotte is unharmed, Rush. My heart was the only casualty... Forgive me, my mind wanders. Here, a small token of my gratitude.
Reward: Bracelet of Grafting, 3000 G.
They say that given enough time, a broken heart becomes inured to the pain... I suppose all I can do is wait...
Completed quest: Goodbye, Sweet Love
We saved Charlotte, but she ended up dumping Paris because it was upsetting her mom. Seriously? I think it's time to leave the nest.
No, Paris is STILL not recruitable yet. The Bracelet of Grafting he gave us is pretty good though, it gives +10% to Max HP, and +2 to Maul-type attacks which do me no good as the Katanas Im using have Slash-type attacks. Thats only this type of Katanas, though. There are types which do maul-type damage. This bracelet is going on Rush soon to replace his +5% HP thing.
So there's supposed to be something the Imperator sealed out in the great swamp, but now the seal is broken. Maybe it's the entrance to another world... That's the latest news, Daddy.
Bartender: Once one enters another world, most likely they cant return. Alright, beloved daughter, dont go to the swamp until I say so!
Definitely mystic arts!
Mmm, you have a point, mastering mystic arts is a powerful and useful skill.
Hmmm The spell Invocations Is it worth the time to learn it? Or ought I just stick with what I already know?
Oh hey, its our first New Arts. Upon reaching certain BR, party members and unique leaders can get the opportunity at Rushs discretion to learn new categories of Mystic or Item arts. Generics do not ever learn New Arts, which is one reason why they are inferior.
On the Xbox version, you want to pick and choose what you want leaders to learn. For instance, Emma should NOT learn Invocations, because her stats are pretty crappy for them.
On the PC version, though, you may as well just say Yes to everything, and turn off the arts you dont want them to use, because you have that freedom. I forgot to turn off Emmas Invocations.
Dont run from a challenge!
A challenge, hmm? Fine, Ill give it a shot.
So I was thinking of learning Remedies Think thats a good idea?
Yeah, go for it!
Alright, then. The more you know, eh?
More magical healing is never a bad thing.
Hey, you think Im trainin in the right things? Ridiculous, aint it? A bandit worrying about this type of stuff
Mystic arts, for sure.
Yeah, I saw the usefulness of mystic arts firsthand when I was actively banditing.
How should I focus my training from now on? Id value your opinion, Rush.
Combat arts, for sure!
An unerring judgment. Of course, I expected nothing less.
Say, Rush, you look unoccupied. How about we pick up some battles, hmm? Just a little something to work the kinks out.
Sounds like a plan.
Oho? You surprised me. I didnt think youd be up for any fun.
Hey Rush, you look bored! Lets go find some Vackel Iron!
Sheesh by the way, I will NEVER cut these sections out of an update. I want you to have the full experience of what its like, after all. Lets go to Mojcado castle and talk with Charlotte and the court.
Lady Bertrude is quite stoic about it, but this business with her daughter really pains her.
Thank heavens, the Lady Charlotte has returned safely. The Duchess is very relieved.
To think, the Lady Charlotte was exposed to such danger This is a blight to the honor of Balterossa.
My daughter has made the right choice in returning to me. I will not accept her dallying with that man.
Mother only wants whats best for me. She raised me herself I cannot betray her trust. If only he could understand
You know what Ive saved my game after doing Pariss quest, I might as well give The Ancient War another shot. If I get creamed, Ill come back later, like the usual plan.
A thousand years ago, there was a great kingdom in the desert. Its military was renowned around the world. And within that force was the queensguard the Mantroskylo. Their prowess in battle is still sung in legend today. They were heroes who sealed countless wild monsters. A brotherhood who protected their queen like an iron wall. Skilled warriors who could win while outnumbered a thousand to one. However, they were eventually destroyed by their own strength. They turned into monsters, and turned upon the Imperator. The Imperator immediately struck back. After a fierce battle on both sides, the Imperator took the Tao Tie and sealed the Mantroskylo.
Sounds like an old story. Whats the big deal?
Young traveler, this is no simple nursery-tale. After a thousand years, the Mantroskylo have returned. They assemble against Balterossa to take back the Tao Tie. This cannot be allowed, no matter the cost. Somehow, the force that was strong enough to even plague the Imperator must be defeated.
Sure, Ill help!
Yeah, but I gotta try!
Then go, traveler!
Accepted Quest: The Ancient War
I have those formations already from my previous playthrough. Before coming here, I put Rush and Emmas unions into Batwings formation, and Davids union into Vanguard. The benefit for these formations is supposedly that they spread your units out enough that the bosss AoE attack wont hit all of them.
Now heres an interesting thing about these formations. Vanguard is easy to get (The Hero). Batwings requires you to complete a quest you can get later (Wisdoms Echo). The thing about Wisdoms Echo is that some people like to put it off until Disc 2, because it can be used to grind stats. However, The Ancient War expires at the end of Disc 1.
Anyway, lets get to it. I hope youre sitting comfortably, because this battle will last the remainder of the update. This is a tough battle, and Im attempting earlier than expected. Tough battles in this game can last quite a long time.
Music: Sliver of Hope
- Battlefield Video: The Ancient War
Salamander's Belly - Flatlands found northeast of the Great Sand Sea. The heat and lack of moisture cause many to lose their lives. It is also called the Salamander's Belly.
Mission: Defeat the enemy!
We have 800 more HP and much better stats and arts from our previous, doomed attempt at this.
Rarely, in battlefields, you can sometimes be too far from any union to attack them and have to march to reach an enemy. Rushs union is in that situation, so I order him to stand by, building up some AP. More AP never hurts. Davids union is sent to attack some Xi plants on the left side of the map, Emma to target some Xis on the right side.
This start is much improved already. I think that guy must be at like 1 HP.
Mantroskylo is content to stay on Standby until it gets attacked or takes damage. Thats fine, Im glad to clear out all the lesser enemies first itll let me build up both morale and AP. One good thing about this fight is that there are no waves of reinforcements. What you see on the field is what you get. That does not, however, mean that it will be easy to win.
The enemies were the ones who moved closer, so now Rush has his pick of targets. I go for the ones who look to be trying to flank Daves union.
Better hit harder than that!
The downside to hitting dodge-counters is that it reduces the XP that units could get for using arts but in a fight this long and hard, thats okay.
Sometimes, youre even too far to target an enemy and march towards them. All Emma is in range to do is pile onto union D. Most of our unions have a buttload of AP. AP tends to pile up faster than you can spend it, especially in battles which last more than three turns, so the main reason for using less AP-intensive actions is to practice specific arts.
At the end of this turn, union D is dead, and no one is in range, so I have everyone move on the next closest target, Omicron (E).
Music: Struggle Eternal
Dave! End it with the Gae Bolg!
Oh, hell yes.
This is, I believe, the first time weve had a chance to see the Gae Bolg in action since the first update. The main reason for that is because it requires a lot of conditions to be met:
1. There must be at least three enemy unions on the field. Thats the minimum, although more unions will increase the chances of it being available.
2. Davids Division must not be in Deadlock
3. Davids Division must have high or low morale.
4. Davids Division must have at least 80 AP (PC version only Xbox version has no AP requirement).
The hardest one is to not be in Deadlock. That means its very rare to see it as an option in normal in-dungeon battles. Thats actually fairly appropriate, as it serves to keep use of it rare. Once you do get the command though it usually does not matter at all what you tell your other unions to do.
Gae Bolg, I call upon thee!
I think that it does more damage the more enemies are on the field. Its usually enough to wipe out any non-boss instantly, and as a unique art, it scales with you throughout the game. Also, despite what the warning in the opening cutscene implies, the Gae Bolg does no damage to allied units.
That scratch woke the sleeping dragon and seemed to knock 1/16th off its health. The Mantroskylo has a base BR of 40-42, and no less than 98,000 HP. Its immune to Blackout and Poison, but susceptible to Silence and Paralyze. (No one has any arts that do that enabled.) Its not the dragons HP which will be the problem in this fight, though.
Its a new art bonanza!
None of my unions has the option to march to the last enemy. So once the Mantroskylo is defeated, well have to kill that too.
One of its normal attacks is a tail swipe.
Didnt think you had it in you
This isnt over!
OUCH. Vulcanbreath is the real killer for this fight. Its a very nasty AoE that does enough damage to potentially one-shot my toughest union from full HP (at least at low morale). You might want to make sure you have a good stock of Herbs. Do NOT go into a long dungeon or battlefield with your herbs depleted.
I could have activated Talismans Gift, but I didnt think it would be that helpful. (As it turns out, both Deathly Fang and Vulcanbreath are considered Combat Arts, and so Protection is effective against them.) Instead I decided to sacrifice Rushs union to bring back someone else.
Rise and fight with us once more!
Rushs union is so badly off that the AI decides to heal it instead of Emmas union. Gabriel tosses some Restorative Herb III Emmas way.
Good, that helps. Next turn, I have Rush keeping his HP up while Emma goes to revive David.
Life Powder heals a small amount to all units in a union.
Strong aintcha ?
I just thought Violet blocking a freakin DRAGON with her puny staff was a cool image to include.
This is gonna be a thing with you, isnt it. At least Davids division took no damage. I tell Davids division to Save Emmas Squad, no matter what, while Emma goes to bring Rush back.
Well, at least she brought Rush back first.
The AI is flexible in this game. Even though at the time it was given, that command was to HEAL Emmas union, it is smart enough to try and revive her if she got killed first.
Its not related, but one other nice thing about this game is that even if you die, your AP is preserved, so once youre on your feet again, you can use your best stuff.
Are you all right?
Dont underestimate them!
That did 1600 damage and overkilled Loki. The damage penalty from Ultra-low-morale is a big pain. I think I should re-enable Psionics on Rush.
Caedmon gets an upgrade, and his blow knocks Mantryskylo into critical HP.
But its not like were in great shape either. This is a pretty dangerous stage of the fight you have to prioritize keeping yourself alive ahead of finishing him off, because he still has a quarter of his health left, and thats a lot to try and take off in one round. I have everyone break deadlock to heal. Mantroskylo can only Raidlock one of us, and hes much less likely to use Vulcanbreath if hes only deadlocked with one union than with two or three.
After taking his sweet time to get Vivification Herb, Caedmons Item arts are improving rapidly.
Petrification makes you unable to defend (with use of the Defend command), and any damage taken has an 80% chance of causing a KO. You can still dodge and attack just fine, though. Next turn, I order Rush to bring Loki back.
Gird yourselves, men!
That was more damage than Emma has total health but our other unions were totally untouched, probably in large part because they werent in deadlock with the boss. Looks like the formations are working? I send David to get Emma back on her feet.
Long fights are pretty great. This blow does 4200+ damage.
Mend restores 30% HP. Looks like the fight will last a little longer. I order Rush to break deadlock to heal, the other unions will continue the attack.
Finally, well get to make use of Rushs Ranger ability to engage in flanking. This is good largely because of the morale bonus I get. I probably wont be able to do it forever thanks to Vulcanbreath, but Ill go as long as I can. Emma will break off, David will keep fighting while healing.
Im getting good luck with avoiding petrification-based-death. Pagus clears that status immediately afterwards.
Oh boy, a flank attack, plus the pretty powerful Third Eye II, plus a successful Critical Offense chain guaranteeing a critical hit
7640 damage with that one hit. That knocked a visible chunk out of Mantroskylos HP and kicked it back into critical health.
Pile it on!
This is our big chance to end it, right here!
3612 + 10119 + 15028 = 28759 damage in that round. So long Dragon!
Suddenly that bird is looking a little lonely.
The great thing about having a bird left until last is that if I had any downed units, I could get them up before finishing the battle, so they wouldnt miss out on all that art XP.
Battle Rank: 20
Total Number of Turns: 21
Total Enemies Defeated: 9
I see, you struck without hesitation. Then, I give you this.
Reward: 20000 G
Balterossa's crisis has passed. Still, why would the Mantroskylo betray the Imperator to begin with? Perhaps some day the truth will come to light. Until then, be well, young traveler."
I destroyed the royal troop of Mantroskylo, protectors of the ancient desert kingdom. We'll never know its history, but at least Balterossa's safe.
That reward might not seem like much for all that work, but its tied for the fourth-largest quest reward in the game. Of course, its a DISTANT fourth, as the first and second-highest ones are really substantial.
Phew, that was long. The video clocks in at 21 minutes, 20 of which was the battle. Most of that - 14 turns and 14 minutes was spent on the Mantroskylo itself. Next time, well have a slightly shorter battle with an even harder boss. There will be bloopers. This also wont be the only Dragon we fight on this road trip.
New Arts Summary
has learned Mighty Quad Slice III!
has learned Spark II!
class changed to Expert Mysticknight!
- Focus Strike II!
- Restorative Herb IV!
- Life Powder!
class changed to Master Monk!
has learned Thunderclap!
- Double Time!
- Wind Shear!
- Resonance Edge!
- Restore IV!
- Acalas Wrath II!
- Third Eye II!
has learned Cutting Lunge!
has learned Switchback!
... I think it's time for me to fully update the stats and arts in the third post.
Goodbye, Sweet Love (Part 1)
Goodbye, Sweet Love (Part 2)
Quest: The Ancient War
Next Time: Ice burrrn!