Part 3: Mythe's Adventure - Part 3Unlimited Saga, Part 3: Magic Tablets
Sometimes the Random Number Generator is very cruel.
Well, first of all, I found some Merman Mail in a shop, which is nice.
It's got good defense and can resist water damage. Plus, since it's not made of metal, it will eventually get life protection. Better than anything else I can get right now, so that's cool. I also bought some regular scale mail for Sapphire, and made a lead knife for Tiffon. Generally, the heavier the weapon, the better the skills, though you lost deflect and parry and stuff like that if you make it too heavy. Her default dagger already has parry, which isn't as good as deflect, but I spent all my money on fancy armor so it's gonna have to do.
On the way to meet up with Grace in Nivocalina, Tiffon gets a Lv3 Dagger panel and I pawn all of Sapphire's valuables to buy rocks. Mythe's gun is a pain to repair and I constantly have to pour money into quartz or serpentine or metal to fix it.
It's Grace! Grace is a completely baffling character because she starts with a bunch of high-level water spells that do almost no damage because she has terrible water stats. It's possible to do an entire playthrough and never find the spells she has for free... but she's terrible. Good metal growth, I guess. However, she has quite high HP, LP, and Endurance, plus she's got acceptable Skill as well, so we're going to make her our tank and give her a bow for crowd control.
Yes, I'm very sorry to trouble you.
Young men like you are no trouble at all. So the photo has resurfaced?
Yes, it belongs to an aristocrat in Longshank.
Then I suppose it won't be easy to recover. Do you know who stole it?
I'm afraid not... By the way, how did you happen to acquire the photo?
It was a gift. Ms. Pharr sent it to me, saying it was part of the spoils of her adventure.
Yes, Pharr Andales, the Gold Lion of Balke. A notable commander and brave warrior.
I would like to make her acquaintance. Where can I find her?
She's very particular about people. I'd better take you to her. To Iskanderia, where Ms. Pharr awaits!
But we won't be going to Iskanderia, because I want to do some sidequests.
Also, apparently it's very cold here. Who knew?
We're going to do Night Desert, which leaves from Wanda.
A merchant, crossing the desert by night, was attacked by a mysterious shadow. Although the merchant was able to escape the desert with few injuries, his merchandise was scattered all over the desert. Although the identity of the mysterious shadow is still unknown, it's dangerously strong. You must avoid the shadow and recover the merchandise.
"I know it's small comfort, but please take this special feather, which the monster hates. It might come in handy."
Received five Retreating Feathers from the merchant.
So, you can see what I meant when I said this game was all about sidequests. So far our story missions have been going down a road to the end. Here, we need to explore a desert, there's a new gimmick, and you can actually ignore the merchant's advice here if you want, and kill the monster. Which is what we're going to do!
So you start here, in the desert:
And you have to find the crates, which are in the desert somewhere. Later sidequests will have more involved, bespoke areas, and some have some really cool gimmicks.
After a few turns, we hear a loud roar:
Worrisome, but fine. There are also monsters wandering around, some of which are new.
Tiffon is good with daggers, which is nice. Daggers are piercing weapons, so they have a much higher chance of dealing LP damage, even against enemies that still have HP left. Like this:
Higher level skills, or high combos, make this even more likely. It also depends, of course, on the strength of your weapon or martial arts. If you build a long combo with a bunch of dagger techs you can sometimes deal 6 or 7 LP all at once!
However, it's not guaranteed, and it's still good to lower the enemy's HP first. In this example, Sapphire has punched the goblin in the middle a few times, but the slime on the left is untouched:
So Mythe was able to deal some LP damage even though he was just doing a kick, and Tiffon failed to kill the slime. Sad.
Slimes transform to attack, and each attack they can perform has a different shape. Also, Mythe's new Merman Mail is really good.
Here's a slime doing a poison attack:
After a few more turns, the shadow gets closer:
And then, finally, it appears!
It's the tiger that killed us in Tiffon's quest! We can use one of the feathers here to drive it away, or we can take it on directly. So if you do this quest early on, it's doable; if you do it later, you can get a boss to spark techs off instead. Pretty good.
Mythe got a familiar panel somewhere, I forget when. It's an earth familiar, Lv2, which means it knows Earth Veil (raises your earth stat) and Detect Animals, which detects animals when you're walking around. It can also be used on animals to lower their defense a bit, though not much. They're both pretty bad, honestly. However, this tiger is an animal, so we'll use it as a setup for something else.
This tiger is very dangerous. It can easy focus someone down and kill them with continual LP damage.
In addition to Deathcry, it can also use Howl, which attempts to directly deal 1 LP damage to everyone one the field. This is actually preferable because Deathcry can do 2 LP sometimes, on account of us being so weak.
I almost feel bad killing it though, because look at it:
This cat has a lot of HP and LP, and we have to wear it down carefully. You can actually keep using a weapon in any battle past the point where it runs out of durability, because it only stops working once the battle ends. Thus, Mythe can just keep shooting his gun forever, dealing an appreciable amount of HP damage. Similarly, you can use skills even if you are out of HP. It's risky, of course, but if you want to take a gamble or absolutely need to heal right now, you can. Mythe's stats aren't great yet, magic-wise, so he can only heal about 150HP, but it's still helpful in keeping those deathcry attacks from dealing 2LP. Against a fully healed person... they deal 1, instead. Ouch.
Detect Animals is a spell we can cast essentially for free, because familiars do not have durability and it's so terrible that it's very cheap HP-wise, as well. Why does this matter? Well, we're honestly underleveled to fight this boss, so the only chance is to get Tiffon a really long combo. The tiger can attack four or five times a turn, so that's essentially impossible unless we abuse turn orders using magic or slow attacks.
Magic takes a long time to cast, which means if we start our turn with that it'll give the tiger plenty of time to attack... and then, when it runs out, Tiffon can spam her attacks and kill it. A good way to know when the enemy is ready for piercing attacks is to see when it starts to take LP damage from regular or blunt attacks; that means its HP must be low. You can also do this with other slow attacks, like axes or whatever.
Tiffon has an axe right now, so she can do this all by herself!
Why did we want to kill a boss we weren't ready for? Well, a couple reasons. Well, to spark arts, like the lightning stab seen above. Somehow Tiffon was the only one who learned anything though so it was a bit of a bust there. We also got lucky, though, because this guy dropped a magic tablet!
The tiger comes back again a few turns later, but we've got plenty of feathers and there's no way anyone is ready to fight it again. It's pretty easy to find the crates if you just search efficiently, and every crate gives you another feather as well.
Find all three and the mission ends. Success!
Magic tablets show up on the growth screen, like so:
This is a basic metal tablet, meaning it teaches low-level metal spells to whoever you give it to. The level of tablets depends on the level scaling, just like encounters, and we're early yet so we're not going to find anything amazing. I should probably have given it to Grace, but I forgot, so I gave it to Sapphire. Grace got a Monger skill, which lets you haggle -- awesome! I put it on the side there, rather than in her empty spot up on top, because I want to make a line of keys and so as soon as I get one of those it'd be replaced. Monger is cool, so I want to keep it around for a while.
Sadly, everyone else got pretty lame tablets, though since there's still blanks on their grids it's an upgrade regardless. For example, Mythe is never, ever going to use swords, but he'll still use the endurance this gives him:
I found a silver sword in the shop, and so I bought that and as much bestial material as I can. Bestial stuff is topaz, lazuli, ravenite, opal, and, uh... the other one, haha. Basically, anything that gives you an elemental arts skill. Silver has a chance of turning into platinum if you combine them but it's pretty low so you can either save-scum, or just do it a lot. The resultant Fairie Shield sells for quite a bit and I use it to buy stuff for repairing everything, because I broke all my weapons on the giant cat.
Also, Sapphire has a magic tablet now, so we need something for her to cast with. You learn the spells on a tablet by casting others, so I have to buy her one of the expensive enchanted weapons from Loch Vaan's magic shop. It'll let her cast Detect Gold without knowing it, and also let her cast metal arts once she does. Repairing these weapons removes the enchantment, but it'll still have Metal Arts on it so she'll be able to cast her spells. Familiar spells also count for learning magic, so if you have a mage with one of those you can forgo this and just cast detect animals over and over.
Speaking of Mythe, let's go get him a magic tablet. The real reason I picked Night Desert is because there's a magic tablet lying in the desert, but the tiger was more dangerous than I expected and it dropped a tablet of its own. I didn't want to risk getting two tablets that I wanted to give to the same person, and there's another sidequest that takes place there too: Lumina Stones.
A retired inventor gathered adventurers, and organized a race to gather as many Lumina Stones as possible. The goal of the retiree is to collect the Lumina Stones. He will exchange the Lumina Stones gathered by the adventurers for his latest inventions. Lumina Stones can be found around the oasis. The item rank will change depending on the number of Lumina Stones gathered. It is necessary to collect more than nine to get a high-quality item. During the race, the whistle will be blown twice, to signify that the gate for the finish line has been opened. Near the end of the tournament, the whistle will be blown three times. If you don't get back to the exit by then, you will be disqualified!
That sounds kind of frustrating but there's like thirty stones lying around, plus NPCs will just run up and give them to you, so there's basically no chance of failure. Not a very interesting sidequest but we're just here to get a tablet, so it's fine.
Sapphire has a tablet now so let's look at that. You have to select a magic tablet to translate in the status screen. It's not automatic so don't forget! Sapphire only has the one, of course, so we pick the metal tablet. As long as the character casts a spell during combat, this screen will appear afterwards:
Pick a spell, and they advance the bar beneath it. When it's full, the spell is learned and the list will move up, filling in the blank. If you learn them all then the tablet gives you a stat bonus. Detect Gold shows you where treasure chests are on the map (useful) and decreases the defense of mimics (literally never useful, ever). Magic lock keeps mimics from casting spells I think? I don't know why you would cast any of these spells. However, it will eventually teach Shock, which deals damage based on your metal stat so maybe I should have given it to Grace. I don't know.
Grace has a bow, now, and it's about twice as powerful as anything else anyone has because it is made of Steel! Steel is just iron + wood, 100% chance of working, so it's easy to make and it's pretty awesome for weapons. Or you can just sell it, if you want! With ridiculous luck, and some mullock, you can then turn the steel into Damascus, which is the best material in the game. Damascus can also rarely appear in shops, though it'll cost you. Anyway, bows are good at LP damage just like daggers, though they obviously have a different set of attacks. She and Tiffon will be doing a lot of the work here for a while.
Mythe sparks Sinker off a random encounter.
It's actually a pretty good attack and since it's level 1 you can do it pretty easily.
Finally, we get what we came for.
By this time I had 20 Lumina Stones, so I left.
Anyway, this one turned out to be a water tablet. I wanted a fire one! I gave this to Mythe which was stupid since he already knows Purify, and I am an idiot. All in all, a disappointing series of tablets. Still, I'm sure we'll find some more. And with everyone either learning a tablet or setup with a good tech panel, we're in a good place to develop our characters. Next time, we'll probably go get Pharr, and who knows what's next! Stay tuned, I guess?