Part 18: Part 3-4
Homeland: Crell Monferaigne
A knight of Crell Monferaigne, he was chosen to perform an assassination due to his skill. When it went public, he sacrificed himself rather than betray his country, but his compatriots regarded his sacrifice with contempt.
Janus is an Archer, and arguably the best one outside of Lenneth for damage purposes. Janus' attacks are odd - his first two attacks build barely any meter, but his third attack (Restrain Flame) adds a whopping 50. He is also the only character with an attack that inflicts a status condition - Diseased Needle inflicts Poison. This can be very helpful especially later on in the game, and being an Archer gives Janus utility in hitting enemies in the back row. Taking advantage of Janus' positives (meter gain, poison, archery) makes him a pretty good Einherjar, all things considered. He's also our first Einherjar with a tolerance to the Poison element.
Class: Heavy Knight/Adventurer
Disdaining all profit and personal gain, he travels the land in search of adventure. He wields an enormous sword to prepare for his meeting with a certain person. He shows no disdain toward those who fight for their ideals.
Our second Warrior, Kashell has the unfortunate aspect of being compared to Arngrim. He starts off visibly weaker than Arngrim (at level 1, Kashell has 20 less Strength), and their attacks are very similar overall, though Kashell arguably wins out just slightly because he deals one more hit and his attacks are slightly better at connecting, especially Air Pressure. Otherwise, Arngrim is flat-out superior, and Kashell's PWS doesn't help him by being visibly below-par.
Kashell is slightly better in Hard Mode because he'll have the benefit of getting a few levels with the Emerald Necklace, but overall I tend to be inclined towards Arngrim.
A maiden of the Mermaid people, she is able to change into human form whenever she desires. She was raised to be wary of people but always tries to appear cheerful. Hers is a somewhat sad and tragic life.
Yumei is our second Sorceress. At their base stats, Jelanda is actually slightly better, as she gets a little more Agility and will have a few levels over Yumei, but otherwise they're identical mechanically, down to their tolerance (Ice). Yumei starts with Frigid Damsel, Icicle Edge and Stone Torch - the latter two we haven't seen yet, but Frigid Damsel and Icicle Edge puts her in a good initial position, and we can quickly teach her Heal and Normalize.
Shops are updated again. I get a Windlass-Crossbow for Lenneth and give Janus the Supreme Crossbow, since he really wants three attacks and the Supreme Crossbow is the only one that fits right now. Lenneth will do fine with two.
The Striking Sword is a powerful and cheap greatsword, but only has one attack as compared to the Elemental Edge, which has three - I put the Elemental Edge onto Kashell at the moment, since Lenneth's power is enough to fell most foes as it is so more attacks translate into more crystals/gems.
For a low 200 MP, the Power and Magic Bangles offer cheap and immediate power boosts. You can't equip two, but considering their cost there's no reason not to outfit your party with a matching set of Bangles.
We got two new skills in Splash and Throw. Throw gives Warriors two small projectiles that they'll shoot before an attack for free damage, but First Aid and Cure Condition are usually better skills to have. Splash is an Attack Skill, and usable by Warriors - it is effectively free extra damage on attacks. Not a bad investment if you have extra CP lying around.
Finally, we unload some spells onto Yumei - aside from Fire Storm, Heal and Normalize, she also uses our copy of Lightning Bolt and Shadow Servant. We also transmute another copy of Shadow Servant into Dark Savior and teach it to her, outfitting her with a good complement of offensive spells.
Finally, we get Janus some points in Survival - being an Archer means relatively low DME, so we'll help to remedy that.
There are quite a few dungeons in this chapter, some which aren't obvious. We'll start with this one.
OST: Illuminating Magic Links
The music in the dungeon is, as always, pretty cool.
Gorhla HQ, at first glance, is completely empty, even of monsters. Since there's no clear indicator of where to go and many hallways are very similar, it can take a while to stumble on the right room. First, we'll keep following the hallway right to pick up one of the best skills in the game, Guts.
Guts is an Active skill that has a chance of triggering when the character dies, giving them a chance to automatically revive themselves, with the chance going up as skill level rises. For obvious reasons, this is a great skill.
Angel Curios, purchasable in the shop, also automatically revive a character, with a 30% chance of breaking. The two can be combined to make a very tough to break defense. We can make the strategy even better later on.
In any case, to proceed we need to head down the second hallway and follow it to the end.
What errand brings you to this place today?
But you are not human!? Appear in your true form, evil thing!
You understand me well.
I hunt for the souls of man. What do you hope to accomplish?
Is there need to respond? It is obvious your intentions are to bury me, no matter what I say.
...I should destroy you. You hold a grudge against the living!
I would ask you to hold off on that.
We get thrown into a fight against two Lesser Vampires and a Thaumaturgist. The Thaumaturgist, hanging in the back row, is a spellcaster that usually fights with Lightning Bolt.
The Lesser Vampires are now appropriately buffed, and have a new attack up their sleeves, Hydrophobia. It deals a fair amount of damage (around 1500 if you haven't been upgrading your armour) and has a good chance of inflicting Poison.
...Maybe bringing a level 4 Kashell wasn't the best option.
And Janus dies from Poison. Poison deals damage to that unit every round based on their maximum health. It also remains after battle, so you'll have to cure it eventually. Cure Condition can remove it, but it won't do so reliably til you've sunk a few points into the skill.
Yumei turns into a Mermaid when she casts a spell. It's a nice touch.
Once you get past the opponents have the initial jump on you, the battle's pretty easy. Use archery and spells to knock out the Thaumaturge, and don't hesitate to bust out an Elixir to heal from the Zombies' attacks if it comes down to it.
Also, Yumei's animations are rockin'.
But if possible, please return to where you came from. It would be in both our best interests.
I cannot do so.
I thought not. Well, let's just see if we can exhaust you a bit before you reach me. These fellows are necromancers, turning demon-embracing corpses into the undead. I'm sure you'll see them. If you don't move quickly, the mounds of corpses in the building, the dead and the tormented, may have more company.
Before we leave the room, there's a Mithril Ore we can get to by building a wall of crystals along the right edge of the wall.
Monsters are now found throughout the ruins. Our goal is to kill around 7-10 of them, which will make a bell ring and the boss to appear in a room later on.
Aside from Lesser Vampires and Thaumaturgists, the enemy list also includes Necromancers, which cast spells, and Knight Fiends, which are otherwise uninteresting.
We have a bunch of new spells. Stone Torch, Yumei's beginner spell, is our weakest spell yet, doing only one hit as well. It does have a chance of inflicting Petrify, but otherwise it isn't worth touching. Shadow Servant and Dark Savior are the Dark attack spells - Shadow Servant is the better of the two due to a good hitbox and better meter gain, even if it costs 5 CT instead of Dark Savior's 3.
Icicle Edge and Lightning Bolt also have the ability to hit all enemies on the screen as a menu spell, boasting double the power compared to Fire Storm in exchange for more CT. Of the two, Icicle Edge is simply better - it costs 5 CT compared to Lightning Bolt's absurd 9 CT, and has a 1 in 8 chance of Freeze. The 5 CT hurts a bit, but Wait Reaction exists so it's only worth going back to Fire Storm if you're bad at gems/need to cast Heal often.
Frigid Damsel is slightly better than Icicle Edge as a main attack spell due to slightly more meter gain, but they're both about on par otherwise. Shadow Servant does exist, which is similar to Icicle Edge but Dark, so it's also a good option, but Icicle Edge can Freeze.
Incidentally, we have quite a few PWS to go through.
Purify Weird Souls (Set 4)
Carnage Anthem, like its parent spell, Poison Blow, is fairly boring. For all of Lightning Bolt's flaws, Dragon Bolt isn't bad for damage... except it still retains that terrible 9 CT. Using Icicle Edge and its PWS, Absolute Zero, is still better, as Absolute Zero is just as strong as Lightning Bolt.
Cosmic Spear (Dark Savior) is pretty crap and not worth talking about. Meteor Swarm (Shadow Servant), aside from having a rocking animation, has the strongest multiplier of the Great Magics and is the strongest PWS accessible in the main game. Shadow Servant is a great spell.
Kashell's Flashing Blade is just like Kashell - like Arngrim, but worse. Flashing Blade is the third weakest PWS in the game, and still has Arngrim's 5 CT with no benefit over Final Blast. It does add a good amount of meter, but plenty of characters can do that.
One of them being Janus. Guilty Break has got solid power, a low CT of 2, and adds a generous amount of meter. For what it's worth, I like the simple but effective animation too.
Necromancer type enemies will float above the ground. To reach them, you can either jump and slash, or jump and shoot them with a crystal beam - this will cause them to drop to the ground while frozen, and you can quickly slash them once they recover.
Janus and Kashell in combat. I like Janus, and Kashell is alright since his knockdown's not bad.
Not bad, I guess. Of course, it was all thanks to me!
His voice clips, on the other hand, not that fond of. He does have a somewhat nice one if you fight enemies weaker than you are:
C'mon, Celia... uh... oh, my mistake!
At one point, there's a Necromancer that floats high above Lenneth. There's no danger in it getting the drop on you, but the only way to attack it is to jump and shoot a crystal upwards at it to make it fall to the ground.
Back to the dungeon proper. There is surprisingly little treasure til we get to the boss, but the layout of the dungeon can be confusing. The way to the boss isn't too hard - in the main hallway, take the second path up, then keep heading right and up when possible.
There's some nice spells to be dropped by the multiple mages in the party. Notably, Stone Torch, Icicle Edge, and Shadow Servant. Stone Torch is bleh but we can transmute it to the much better Poison Blow at the very least (which will get shown off in the future).
My skills will be dulled by opponents like this!
The enemies give pretty good experience, so Kashell and Yumei are doing alright catching up. By the end of the dungeon Janus is tied with the other Einherjar in terms of levels.
Before we go on, we still have one Holy Crystal from the Nethov Swamp. I transmute it into a Shadow Crystal.
When we reach the courtyard, we also get a little CG of the bell ringing once we've killed enough enemies.
Eh? You seem somewhat tired. Why don't you take a rest?
Playtime is over. Now fight me!!
OST: Confidence in the Domination
Time for our boss fight of the day: the Noble Vampire and three Will-o'the-Wisps. We've seen the Vampire's like before, but the Wisps are a new enemy - while not too threatening at first, if we knock them to low health without killing them, they'll self destruct and inflict major damage. Lenneth hints that a PWS chain will do well in bringing them down.
However, they are weak to Dark, and a Shadow Crystal works brilliantly in chopping them down to size in one round. Alternatively, an Element Scepter-fueled Meteor Swarm will also demolish them in short order (though you might want to bring Jelanda instead to guarantee it, if she's higher levelled).
The Noble Vampire himself isn't too threatening in its own. He does a one-two combo of Dreaded Dance and Lightning Bolt, which shouldn't be too bad on anyone with a decent DME score. I bring Lawfer here since he resists Lightning, but anyone will be fine for the fight. One good tactic we've used in a previous fight is to have Lenneth, Janus and a Sorcerer snipe down the Vampire from behind before dealing with the Wisps, as well.
I also like the little flourish they do whenever they do an attack.
In the end, he's not too difficult by himself, once you figure out how to take out the Wisps.
I'm proud to fight by your side!
And a nice chunk of experience for that relatively quick fight.
The Wisps can also drop copies of Lightning Bolt. We'll be transmuting them to a much better spell further down the road.
Our artifacts today, as well as the 30,000 event experience for the dungeon. The Gargoyle Statue transmutes into an Angel Curio. The Incense Burner can be used to increase the party's DME, but we can also transmute it to a very handy Mirror or Pleiades, which has a chance of reflecting enemy spells.
Before we leave, there are a few treasures left. The ones in this room must be reached by making a stack and jumping to reach the chain. There are a few combinations, but here's the one I managed to get to work - use a large crystal, the two treasure boxes from the boss, and a crystal chunk to create a stack tall enough to reach the chain.
There are some good treasures at the top. Aside from a Poison Check, two very nice treasures in a Fairy Ring (which reduces CT by 2, perfect for Sorcerers), and an Ether Scepter.
And thus, Yumei realizes her true calling as a mermaid of death. The Ether Scepter has a 30% chance of breaking, but only with a Great Magic anyway.
There is also a copy of Sap Power and Adept Illusion in the room beyond the courtyard, which we'll grab before heading out.
Next time, more dungeons!
Sacred Phase Picks
We have a few ways of doing the request this time around. Here's Freya's request:
Hero Value 65, Archer, Find Trap, Survival.
The first option is also the most obvious. Janus fits all the requirements to a tee, and he'll do very well. However, Janus is one of two Archers remaining, aside from Lenneth, and he's a better fighter than the one remaining one. So we have some options if we want to keep him.
The Archer requirement is the only tricky bit; Find Trap and Survival can be learnt by anyone. Jelanda or Yumei won't score as well, but they can still attack from a distance (what Freya mentions in her request), and since they're basically identical we won't lose anything by sending up either of them.
Our third option is to make up for quantity with quality, by sending two Einherjar at once. Sending both Lawfer and Kashell would do nicely - Kashell won't really be missed in battle, and while Lawfer is one of two Lancers in the game, unlike Janus, the other Lancer can fill his spot without a drastic difference.
Here are their traits:
So we have a few options, you guys get to pick which one.