Part 13: Mythe's Adventure - Part 13: FinaleUnlimited Saga, Part 13: Knights of the Round
The problem with getting a Magic Blender so late on a character with very little magic is that magic is annoying to get and there's no way to control what kind you'll find. There were certainly quests I could do that give you a tablet, but unless it was wood it wouldn't help Grace heal people and unless it was very high level it wouldn't teach my other casters anything of value. So I decided that I did not care about any of that and was going to go fight the boss to see what happened. And it worked! So that is nice.
Here's how the party prepared for the final dungeon:
Everyone is kitted out with either a high-end weapon (for physical attackers) or a weapon that lets them cast spells. We've got a few damascus weapons, and I also found another diamond so Michelle got a spear made of that. I had given her a spear panel for extra endurance, so I figured she might as well have one.
We have two obsidian armlets, both made from obsidian found in shops. None ever dropped in a dungeon. I gave one armlet to Laura, as the strongest physical attacker, and one to Mythe, who is the best healer and, of course, the protagonist. If he dies, it's game over. Everyone has at least one bone cross, because they have life protection and I kept finding cheap bone in shops; Michelle is lucky because she gets my only Angelite accessory which also boosts healing. I figured since she dies all the time she might benefit from that.
With armor, it's a mixed bag. I didn't want to risk people dying, of course, so I didn't bother finding good, light armor for anyone. They're all dressed in heavy armor, mostly quartz. Bone armor seems to be the best option but I don't have much of that. Being light-weight makes you better at evasive, supposedly, but there's nothing I can do about that.
And, of course, Tiffon, Laura, and Michelle can all bust out highly-damaging techniques on demand. We've got Grace and Sapphire for crowd control during the dungeon, and Michelle to clear out individual enemies. Mythe is the healer, and Marie is... also in the party. The fact that I kept getting wood tablets means she doesn't know anything Mythe and Sapphire don't know, and her damage output is also inferior. Ultimately, I might have been better off just using Pharr.
Everybody's equipment is at 99 durability, too, because by the end of the game money stops mattering and you can buy anything. I could certainly have done more quests and gotten stronger; there's still people with level 3 panels about that could be replaced given time, and I could have perhaps found some more fancy stuff in the shops as well. But This wasn't intended to be a 100% run of the game, and the party is ready for what's in store. It's time to go. The Knights await!
Jesus Christ that is pathetic.
Mythe... I appreciate it.
We've been here before, of course, and the early part of the dungeon remains the same. However, now that we've got a bonafide ancient on our side, we can read those mysterious signs and actually progress.
A few things have changed, though. The enemies are much stronger, for one:
However, these guys are still the same:
Ah, the memories. There's two buttons with an intruder alarm hooked up to them, and the first step to clearing Pharos is to press them both. Each disables some of the barriers on the third floor, and so both are needed to progress. Technically, you can do this part during your first visit, but since the other buttons are inoperable it's as far as you can go. Now, however, we'll be able to activate the rest of the ruins and reach the Knights who lurk within.
Incidentally, some people have asked if there's any particular reason Silver Girl has been sent here, or why Mythe would need to kill the Knights of the Round Table. Well, not in this story there isn't. Everything there is to know about the Knights themselves comes from Ventus's story, which also involves them (and our friend Silver Girl, as well). From his scenario, we know they are somehow in charge of the undead in the world; they create vampires and other evil things like that. Nobody can kill them, because they're powerful and ancient and live in a big dungeon that nobody can enter. So it makes sense that someone would want to get rid of them, but we're given no context. These are bad people (ghosts? gods? whatever) and Iskandar asked us to kill them, so we are going to kill them.
With Faedaljen in tow we can actually tell what the buttons in the dungeon do. For example, here's one of the switches on the third floor. We could reach it during our initial visit, but Mythe wouldn't press it because he didn't know what it did. Now we've got a translator, so he's willing to mess about.
Incidentally, here's a Satanachia. They're the toughest kind of demon you can run into, and they look kind of cool.
They're actually quite strong, with high LP and a variety of powerful magic attacks. They're used as mini-bosses sometimes, but we've progressed to a point where they can show up as random encounters.
In the northwest part of the floor we find another switch.
We've got the power going up here, but we need the first floor to be powered up as well, and the barriers are in the way. So the solution is to head to the center of the map:
This turns all the first floor barriers off, but raises the ones up here. So it's best to do each floor in its entirety before switching.
Since the first floor is now open for exploration, it's a simple task to search around and find the power switches. Once you've got everything turned on, you can activate a special machine on the first floor to turn every barrier off.
This also activates the elevator, which is initially parked on the second floor and out of reach. Once you get everything turned on, it'll move to either the first or third floor, and then you can get on.
As you might have guessed, the second floor is where we want to be. The elevator stops at an otherwise-inaccessible area in between the two energy distribution buttons. Once it's here, there's no getting back on -- the elevator won't move.
This is where the Knights are hiding. You can, optionally, fight an extra-powerful Satanachia to fix the elevator and allow free movement between all three floors. Why would you do this when the final boss is right there and you can't leave the dungeon anyway? Well, it's because of this:
Every final dungeon has a Tetra Force in it. You can use it to save your game, restore everybody's LP, and be awarded a new set of panels -- just like when you finish an adventure. This means that you can, indeed, continue to grind in the final dungeon, gaining power and improving your characters. There's a restriction on its use, though: you can't use it at full health, and each time you use it you need to have lower and lower LP. Still, if you get to the end and decide you need just a little more power, you can level a bit this way. If you found a tablet in the dungeon you can give it to somebody and maybe learn a spell or two before fighting the boss. And with Quick-Fix or Recycle to repair your weapons, you can probably stay here forever. So, they gave the player a way to leave this little area and return to where the enemies are.
Laura's final dungeon doesn't have this courtesy, by the way. The Tetra force is in a small room with no enemies and nowhere to go but the final encounter, so you get some new panels right away but can't get any stronger. Since the final boss is always a huge increase in difficulty this can result in an unwinnable save file, and that's terrible.
We don't need to grind, but the Tetra Force's final set of panels actually did give me something nice. Check it out:
Sapphire finally got her Blender, and unlike Grace she's got a lot of spells to choose from. So let's look at that.
The way it works is, you choose a spell to customize. Like so:
Then you pick three other spells, and they make the first spell stronger. The HP cost will go up too, though.
If you've played Minstrel Song this'll be familiar. If you mix in several high-level spells it'll increase the damage (or healing) by quite a lot, and so even if you don't muck about with recipes and FAQs and so on the Blender will improve your caster's efficacy. It is very, very good. However, sometimes you'll even get a brand new spell based on the original. For example, if you shove some water and wood spells into Purify, you may get Refresh, and that's the best curing spell in the game. It heals more AND cures more status effects than the regular Purify. So that's what I went with.
Alright, here we go!
Come on, you can do it.
In place of Iskandar and the lost gods, I call to those of the Round Table in the still waters of time! Forsake your lust, there is no everlasting life. Release the world from your soiled hands. You are not our gods.
And that's all you get. It is time for the final boss!
We are here to kill the Knights of the Round Table. They will face us, one-by-one, until they're all dead.
As you can see, there's a limit on how many people we can have out at one time. You probably wouldn't want to put a full group out at once regardless, but this means that if 3 people are dead, knocked out, or petrified on the field at once, well... it's game over. There's not a lot of leeway for error here.
This guy has a spear, and he has 14 LP. Since he is undead, and since Grace has access to her water spells, I have her Detect Undead to lower his defense.
Grace, Michelle, and Laura are the best physical attacked we have right now. Tiffon is usually much better than Grace, but the Knights are also undead so she can't really hurt them.
While Spear Knight has a lot of health, he's not actually that intimidating. His ability to deal damage is pretty limited, since it's all physical attacks that the party can block or evade fairly easily. With a few rounds of combos, he goes down.
When he's dead, he's replaced with Sword Knight.
Sword Knight knows some magic, and assuming you've got shields or parrying stuff on everybody that ends up being the real danger here. If you're lucky he'll use mostly physical attacks, and you'll block them.
He is very fast, which is dangerous because he can combo with himself and do a lot of damage. However, if that happens, it opens the way for your characters to do a nice, long combo.
Sword Knight has 10 LP. Again, though, he's mostly dangerous because of attrition -- he might only get a few good hits in, but the party is pretty fragile and there's a lot more still to come. Tiffon actually had a chance to shine here, because Laura was having trouble getting through this guy's LP defense. While Tiffon can't do any HP damage, due to her phobia, that doesn't stop her from doing LP damage with Bloody Mary.
Club Knight is terrible. He's weak, and dies quickly. However, he can cast sleep, and if you're caught unawares this could lead to serious trouble. Remember, if everyone on the field is incapacitated at once, that's it. Game over. If your characters don't fall asleep he's not too bad, though. Next!
Ok, so this is Staff Knight, and he has lots of powerful magic attacks. His modus operandi is to buff himself with meditation, rainbringer, and so on, then follow up for massive spell damage. Thankfully, since he is a wizard, you can probably deal with him relatively quickly. He's only got 6 LP and, you know, he's a wizard. Dude can't take a punch.
This guy, however, is a huge pain. He's got massive amounts of health, 22 LP, high defense, and while he only knows two moves they're pretty good ones. He can either spray poison for magic damage, or attack with his axe. Since I kitted everyone out to help deal with piercing attacks, they're vulnerable to this, and it hurts a lot.
He almost managed to kill Michelle before I took him down. The problem with Axe Knight isn't that his damage is extreme -- he'll probably only deal 1 LP per hit -- but that he takes so long to kill that he has a lot of time to dish out that damage. If you continually heal during your turns, you've got a better chance of surviving to fight...
It's Club Knight again! This time he has less LP but does more damage and has more defense. This means he survives long enough to pull off his strongest attack:
Pellet is the ultimate earth-elemental spell. It's a Blender spell, and has very specific and rare requirements, so you're basically never going to see it except during this fight. It does hurt a fair bit, I guess?
But it is still Club Knight and he dies in his very first round. Club Knight is the worst Knight.
The return of Sword Knight! This time he's faster and gets more actions, meaning he's able to deal some damage and cast his spells. It's best when he tries to cast debuffs, because they usually don't work.
When he uses attack spells it works quite well, though. Still dies quickly, but he manages to get off a fair number of attacks in the process.
After this, it's the return of Staff Knight, and this time he's a lot more dangerous. Here's why:
He can paralyze party members! Now, you can cure paralysis with Purify, so it's not a huge deal, but each paralyzed person lowers the amount of actions you can take, plus there's only room for three before you lose the game. Thankfully, he's kind of a one-trick pony.
Spear Knight is exactly the same and exactly as unimpressive. Laura's shield skills make her mostly invincible to this kind of enemy so she just hits him with an axe over and over until he falls down.
Rest in peace Spear Knight 2.0. The battle is over. Sapphire finally learns Detect Vegeplasts, which I'm sure will be useful.
But you knew there had to be a final form, right? With all ten Knights gone, we now must face their leader.
Attacking us with your Mortal Weapons. Fools! Die!
This is Phantom, and he is an asshole. The only member of our party who's actually still at full health is Grace, who somehow managed to remain unscathed through the entire fight with the Knights. She'll be the tank for this fight, assuming she doesn't get petrified. Or killed.
Phantom's got two main attacks: Triple Zero, which is a physical attack that does a normal amount of damage and petrifies people, and Bloody Sword which is a physical attack that does an enormous amount of damage and does not petrify people. He can also use some regular spells, which are a welcome respite from everyone being killed all the time.
The most LP damage an attack can deal is 3. So at least he can't do more than that, I guess. And thankfully, while combos break the damage limit for the player, they do not do that when the enemy attacks. So, in a sense, it's actually better when this guy builds a huge combo because it ends up reducing his damage overall. Like this:
He's able to kill most of the party in a single turn if he gets lucky. Michelle, who had 3 LP left after fighting the Knights, stood no chance.
Bloody Sword can be blocked, which is nice. Doesn't seem to happen much, but it's appreciated.
Michelle is dead, so someone has to waste a turn moving her corpse. Otherwise, she'll take up space and reduce the number of actions we can take, so she has to go. Tiffon gets the job, mostly because it's OK if Tiffon gets hit since she has very little to do in this boss fight. She could manage LP damage against the Knights, but Phantom's defense is of course much higher and she can't do anything.
Finally, he begins to take LP damage. With Michelle and her spears gone, and Tiffon too scared, the only character left who can deal piercing damage is Grace. She is able to deal the killing blow!
We are Immortal. We are Immortal. We will continue to exist forever.
But you knew there had to be a final form, right? With Phantom gone, we now must face Chaos.
Are you saying youre the ultimate truth of this world?
This is Chaos, and it is the final boss of Unlimited Saga. What exactly it is, well, that's unclear. Some kind of celestial being? Something related to the moons? Some kind of weird meta-commentary on the game design of Unlimited Saga? Who knows. Regardless, every character has a boss related to their own story, and then after killing him or her they also have to fight their own version of Chaos too. Usually, though, it's a single person, or maybe it's somebody with a guard accompanying them. Ventus actually fights Phantom and the Knights in his own storyline, but not as the final boss, and he has access to free health regeneration and a variety of tanky characters, meaning it's actually not particularly difficult. Plus he doesn't have to fight Chaos immediately afterwards, since that happens later on.
Characters regain a little LP before the fight begins, though, so dead Michelle is alive again (albeit with 1 LP) and everyone else heals up a bit. Not to full, though.
Since Michelle is a dead woman walking, I send her out early. Later on, Chaos will use attacks that deal direct LP damage and they'll definitely kill her, so she might as well do her best while she can.
As you can imagine, the Chaos fight has several phases. However, it does not regain HP between the phases, meaning the best strategy is to deal as much as possible before it starts pulling out the big, killer attacks. Then, when it's weak, you can have Tiffon or whoever run in and stab it to death.
If you were wondering why I brought Tiffon to fight a bunch of undead, well... I forgot. But it still worked out, so shut up.
Rest in peace, Michelle. Again.
The first phase of Chaos isn't really that dangerous. Sure, it killed Michelle, but she was almost dead already. It can inflict paralysis through Seal of the Abyss, but we don't have to worry about maximum participants this time so it's not a major issue. Nothing it does is as dangerous as Bloody Sword or Triple Zero; nothing does more than 1 LP. And most of its attacks can be deflected or evaded, meaning it may do no damage at all.
You can tell it's low on HP when it moves its wing.
However, this is just a visual cue. It won't change behavior until you deal enough damage to make it change forms, at which point it loses a mask and starts casting thunderbringer all the time.
It can also cast Breath of Chaos, which causes Blackout.
However, if your party actually makes it through all the Knights and Phantom, the first two phases won't be anything you can't handle. They're dangerous, but no more dangerous than the Sword Knight you killed to get here -- twice!
Once it loses both masks, things change.
Up to this point, Chaos was identical for every character. This is why it's such a step down in difficulty for Mythe. However, once you reach the third form, Chaos gains the abilities of whoever the story's final boss was. So...
It also gets some unique spells, like Neutron Slap, which hits the entire party. At this point, all I can do is have Laura, Tiffon, and Mythe use their strongest attacks over and over in the hopes it will die. Sapphire, who is the only one that knows Refresh, gets killed by a double Triple Zero combo. In the end, it's Tiffon who lands the killing blow with Bloody Mary.
But of course, there's a FINAL FORM.
Now we're in... a painting? Space? Who knows. This time, Chaos gets full HP and 20 LP, and we have to drain it all again.
This form gets a bunch of new attacks, but ironically none are as powerful as the ones Phantom used, so the effect is to make this form weaker than the third one as it can't spam Triple Zero all the time.
Well, except for this one:
Basically, whoever I send out will take at least 3 LP damage, but may take much more. So I can never put Mythe on the front lines again, but that's ok because there's also no point in healing anybody. It is a pure damage race, in which everybody is sent out to do as much damage as possible and then die.
Laura, Grace, and Tiffon all die. In the end, it's Marie who deals the killing blow, with her only actual attack, Fire Arrows.
Good work Marie. You finally did something useful. By the way, the total LP of Mythe's final boss sequence is 170LP, more than his entire party.
I can't wait to show it to her. And I'm dying to hear what she'll say. I'm off. To be by her side.
And that's the end.
I haven't decided who the next playthrough should be. Updates will be less frequent from now on since I have to record another playthrough, plus work, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. So stay tuned!