Part 8: Episode 7: Stick It To Them Like a Phoenix RiseGarbage isn't quite classic rock, but I didn't have much room to work with here! And this update is basically the inverse of update five. We have 2.5 bosses to slaughter and not much in the way of plot to worry about. You are about to see how a tiny bit of addition grinding and preparation will rock face.
Welcome to the Marsh! We aren't going to be here long. Just enough time to murder some guys attacking the 7th Fortress and snag some gear.
These merfolk and mushrooms account for our main enemies here. The mushrooms are completely ignorable. Die from one hit from any one and deal 5 damage. The merfolk aren't scary as long they just attack. On the other hand they can do do a water spell which will rip about 55 damage off of Dart or Lavitz.
We COULD go left over that tree branch now, but we have things to do to the north first.
We basically have a gauntlet of Sandoran soldiers to run through. Each of the five first fights is vs. 2 soldiers.
They still have their knife throw attack now up to 10-12 damage, or they can toss a water attack item out. Really nothing to worry about though and in short order you'll slice through them. The only thing to note is just before the start of each fight you get the option to retreat. If you do this you'll have to run the whole gauntlet over again. I guess it could be a really awful way to grind if you wanted.
Also get used to seeing this screen a lot if you are playing. God damn 32 max items.
After our fifth fight a Sandoran commander shows up from inside the fort.
Commander: "I won't let you go any further!!"
Dart: "Is that all?"
Inspired, dramatic lines from all parties.
This really isn't that much different than the previous fights except we now have the commander. I go completely overkill on it and start slaughtering with Rose and Dart in Dragoon form.
His only real trick is he can toss out an item that can stun one of our members. Stunned people just lay around on the ground doing nothing for a few turns or until you toss a heal item on them. Kind of a pain, but honestly Lavitz is my weakest char right now.
This is another screen we can get used to! Unlike at the end of battle we'll have to go to the menu, use/discard an item, then go back and see what the treasure we just horked an item for is.
And as a quick update/proof Lavitz is one slow bastard:
Once I picked up rose I ran around in the Marsh for a bit working on additions, not focusing on any one char. Just whoever came up first attacked. Despite being in the game far longer than her Rose has almost caught up to Lavitz on additions.
Dart is apparently horrified by the astonishing 5 dead people in here. Never mind he just killed quadruple that personally and watched another 5 knights of Bale get shivved outside.
More importantly, we have Stardust 10 up in this joint. That's enough to pick up our first item in a few minutes.
Lavitz: "Hang on! We beat the Sandoras!"
Head of 10th Knighthood: "Watch out...for the Dragon's...
Lavitz: "We will wreak your revenge upon them...."
He then hands over a Wargod's Amulet and keels over. I already have one though so his parting gift leaves something to be desired. With that in mind, we loot the crap out of the place and pick up 2 sun rhapsodies, a MP healing item, a SP potion, a healing potion, and Lavitz's next weapon, a Lance. He immediately starts sucking considerably less. Looting complete we had back to Bale for a quick rest and stardust dump.
Hey, it's that crazy lady from earlier that ran into us. I'm still not entirely convinced a baby actually exists.
Martel: You must be the man who bumped into me at the entrance of the town.
Well, perhaps I was a little careless so can we just forget about it? I was
in a hurry because I had something to ask him about.
Knowing Old Geezer: Ms. Martel came here to ask me about Stardust.
Damn it Dart. You already talked to this dork earlier in Bale and he gave you the lowdown. Must have taken a blow to the head since then.
Lavitz: I heard something about it in a fairy tale.
Shana: It's said that if you collect them all your wish comes true?
Martel: It's not a fairy tale!! I believe it's true. I need some.
Hey, why don't you give me the Stardust if you find some? Of course,
I didn't say for free. I'll give ya something rare that I found on
my journey in return for some of them. Whaddaya think? Not bad huh?
You don't have to but if you happen to find some, remember me, will ya?
And now we can dump off our first 10
Physical Ring is pretty nice. Gives you a 50% boost to the characters HP. I toss it on Dart for now and he goes up to 405. He shouldn't have to do much healing now outside of disasters.
And with that out of the way back to the swamp, and this time we use our tree bridge and find ourselves at a boat. A bit of maneuvering on here will snag us a Spirit Potion, Burn Out, Body Purifier, a Stun Guard accessory, and the one kind of interesting item the Magical Signet Stone.
This is the first of our reusable battle items. Once a battle we can use it on an enemy to stop them from doing anything for three turns. Usually I'll completely forget about it, but there are some random battles with really nice xp/money/items that run away that it is handy on.
Also while over here we start getting attacked by crocodiles. These guys hit for quite a bit and only Rose can one shot them. They can also vomit skulls at you for their magic attack.
Dart: "What's wrong, Shana?"
Shana: "I'm f, fine. My foot was stuck in the mud, that's all. See. Oh no!"
Dart: "Did you twist your ankle?"
Shana: "It's nothing...."
Dart: "You can't stand up, can you? Come on, I'll give you a piggy back ride."
Shana: "But, it's embarrassing."
Dart: "What are you talking about? I used to give you piggy back rides when you
were little, remember?"
Shana: "Uh huh, thanks!"
During all this Lavitz and Rose standard awkward off to the side. You can just tell Rose is like "Well, I guess 2/3 non-rejects isn't too bad.
Shana: "I'm such trouble aren't I?"
Dart: "I don't think so."
Shana: "I guess...I shouldn't stayed in Hoax?"
Dart: "Are you serious?"
Shana: "No, it's not so...I guess I had a bit of a weak moment.... You know
what, I have more confidence now. I can fight to help everybody. I'm not
a drag on others, but I still cannot fight like Rose."
Dart: "Shana, you have something only you can do, right? You don't need to
pretend to be strong. Besides, you can rely on me more. Like in the old
Lavitz: "Dart! Is Shana all right!?"
Shana: "I'm okay now!"
Shana: "The pain is gone. Let's go everybody!"
During this whole process Dart manages to carry her about two feet to the left. Rose and Lavitz haven't even moved by the time she's healed. Enough of that sillyness though, onto the volcano villude!
Dart: "What's that!?"
Lavitz: "Is that an eruption of the volcano!?"
Rose: "No, it's not. That is...Fire Bird. It's bad timing, showing up now. We
still have to deal with the Dragon."
Dart: "Can we just let it go?"
Rose: "It's up to him."
Dart: "He saw us! Run!!"
Shana: "It seems we lost him."
This is a pretty damn short dungeon. Although they manage to cram two boss fights into it. Must be a convention or something. Right away we'll go and pick up a Spear Frost which is going to prove handy for us before moving on.
Our random enemy here are Salamanders. They hit for a decent amount of damage, but their main threat is they can Stun one of your team on attack. They really don't have a lot of HP though and two hits will wipe them out.
We go up the path aways and come to an intersection. Off to the right we can pick up a Panic Guard. Shockingly it stops panic. And over to our left is a save point. Now wouldn't be an awful time to heal up.
Shana: "!? What...is this feeling? It's...calling me!?"
[She runs off.]
Dart: "Shana! Where are you going!?"
Dart: "You were 'being called' by this?"
Shana: "I don't know. But when I came here, I didn't hear the voice anymore."
Dart: "Is that alive? I'm not sure if I'd rather it be alive or dead. If
it's alive you talk to eldritch monstrosities that live in lava. If it's dead
you are just plain crazy."
Lavitz: "Looks like a stone statue."
Shana: "Don't go near it! I feel...something's wrong."
Rose: "Listen to Shana. This Virage is still alive."
Rose: "You don't know about it? Okay, I'll explain it to you. You know about
the Dragon Campaign, right? The Winglies were outnumbered, so they used
this creature called Virage as their trump card in the war. Just as
Humans used Dragons, Winglies used Virage."
Shana: "I thought the Dragon Campaign was over 11,000 years ago. How can this
still be alive?"
Wanting to help end the debate the Virage's hand starts twitching along the ground.
Rose: "I would say, it's due to the hatred of Humans, or a vendetta against us
Dragoons. We gotta settle this."
Dart: "Or let's run!!"
Sorry bucko. You already ran away from one boss, you gotta fight this one like a man.
And so starts our first fight of many with Virage's throughout the game. This one is already pretty banged up though, so not necessarily a good example of them. For better or worse Virage is non-elemental. So nobody we'll be eating extra damage, but no one is dishing it either.
His most dangerous attack is this nice little eye laser. After a few seconds of charging he beams the crap out of the receiver.
He chooses meat shield dart as his first hit though, and we can definitely deal with that.
Oh have I mentioned he's actually 3 parts that each have their own attacks? Yep. He is. So he gets a second slam attack with the arm on Lavitz before I can move. Oddly enough we don't ever have to deal with the body. It's there, it has HP, but it doesn't attack and if we kill the head the whole thing dies.
The hand actually has pretty crap HP though. So Rose blows it up with an Astral Drain and heals the two boys up. The hand CAN regenerate but I slaughter this fight so it never gets another attack in.
Dart add's to its woes by lighting it on fire. His next attack was going to be a Dragoon addition but my computer decided to hiccup and fucking wreck it.
Really though it doesn't matter. Another Astral Drain to the dome and a few additions and it is over.
For once Dart's finishing blow is actually succesful and knocks the Virage into the lava.
Lavitz: "Whoa! It's dangerous here! Let's go back!"
Dart: "Come on! Shana. Are you alright!?"
Dart: "Rose! Rose! Run!"
Rose does not run away from this shit. Rose casually strolls away after its clear the Virage is roasted.
The crew proceed to go "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" and make no mention of Shana apparently can communicate with 11,000 year old things that hate everything alive. Rose looks like she has some suspicions but is keeping her mouth shut.
In fact, our next conversation is of...a very different sort. You should watch this just for the music. We get it by heading the opposite way of where Shana ran off to.
Dart: "Did you hear something?"
???: "Heeey! Heeelp!"
Shana: "Look, over there!!"
???: "Help me!! My foot slipped and I fell!!"
Dart: "We got you!"
I'm not sure any man with that hat deserves to live. Dart is more accepting than I am though and drags him up with Shana's help. I'm surprised Shana doesn't fall off the cliff and add 20 minutes to the dungeon.
???: "Phew! Thanks! Really!! I didn't think I would make it!!"
Shana: "It was really *huff huff* good."
???: "Yeah, thanks! I can't thank you enough, but please at least take this!"
Shana: "Oh don't! We can't accept such an expensive item."
???: "Yes, you have to! You folks saved my life! I'll feel bad if you folks
don't take it!"
Shana: "Well, thank you."
Oh hey. A sapphire pin. Maybe letting him live was ok. This let's us recover MP when the wearer gets hit by magic. Although right now I'm going to be mainly using 10MP things and Dart and Rose are both at 40mp. No boss should really take more than two transformations for a long while.
Dabas: "I'm Dabas of Lohan. I was told I could find a 'Burning Gem' around here
so I came, and look what happened to me! By the way, I am an antique
dealer. If you happen to be in Lohan, why don't ya drop by. Later!"
Shana: "He is funny."
He's something alright.
One more bit of murder and this dungeon is all clear. Keep going past where we found Dabas and our good buddy Fire Bird shows up again.
Lavitz: "Fire Bird!"
Dart: "Shana! Can we go to the exit!?"
Shana: "No! It's in flames!"
Dart: "I guess we gotta fight!"
I REALLY wish I could have gotten to go Rose/Shana/Dart on this fight. It would have been over in about 4 attacks. As is this guy goes down like a bitch.
He lucked out and got to attack first with one of his 3 attacks. Basically he blows wind or something at your party then the ground explodes into lava.
I'm not worried though. I came prepared.
Yeeeeeaeh. Fire Bird has 600 HP total. I just did over 1/4 of his life with my very first attack. I got the multiplier on that one up to 190%. I must have been in peak button mashing form.
Fire Bird's next attack he flies over you, slams down, explodes the ground, then flies back up from out of the lava. Once again the bosses are actually making use of the special areas they get to fight in.
He actually has one more attack, but I slaughtered him before he could use it. Basically he summons 4 or 5 weak little flame elementals then throws them.
Pff. You guys barely broke a sweat. No one even transformed into a Dragoon! And with that we have pretty much cleared the Volcano Villude. When we head out we run into Dabas again. He's now open for business and we can stock up if we need to. If you didn't pick up the all enemy earth magic attack item in Bale you can pick up a Pellet here for the upcoming boss. Not as good, but still handy.
Next time! It's time to slay a fucking dragon. It ain't gonna be pretty.
Edit: I forgot to mention we get a Red-Eye Stone from the Fire Bird. This is an accessory that halves fire damage. Not bad, but we don't really face any fire bosses for quite a while now.