Part 30: Part 5-4
A thief who works alone, having refused to enter the Thieves' Guild. His power is unquestionable, but his unique ability to make enemies makes him unpopular. He has a notorious weakness for women and drink.
Badrach is our last Archer. He is, for better or worse, a very unique unit - Badrach utilizes a gun (despite it looking like a crossbow in his artwork), making use of bullet sprays and fan-shaped blasts. His damage is poor, only breaking even compared to most characters if most of his hits land, and his PWS is weak. The flipside is that Badrach is one of the best units for generating hits, crystals and gems if used right, and parties that can juggle well will find good use out of Badrach's attacks. While Janus and Lenneth are far better on damage, Badrach can greatly increase your party's experience and PWS returns, if you don't mind making up for his lackluster attributes elsewhere.
To join the knighthood, she disguised herself as a man. But what terrible secret would drive a gentle woman to such an action? Perhaps she seeks revenge against some knight...
We haven't had a Swordsman since Belenus, and we get the two other members of the class in one chapter. Jayle is, sadly, decidedly average. Her attacks are okay if a little low, deal few hits, and her PWS is likewise. Her attacks are very fast in execution (she might have the fastest attacks in the game), but at the end of the day, she's arguably the worst Swordsman because she has nothing to offer in any practical way. Points for style at the very least.
A young man from a poor village in the Villnore Region. Haunted for years by the tragic death of his childhood girlfriend, Platina, he sees the vestiges of her in Valkyrie. Strong in battle, but lacking the true spirit of a hero.
The other Swordsman, Lucian is very much worth using compared to Jayle, or almost any other warrior. This is due to one attack - Shining Bolt. By itself, it already deals 12 hits in rapid succession, making it a brilliant attack for both gems and crystals as well as guard breaking purposes. It's also the second most powerful attack in the game, and Lucian overall has the second strongest multipliers for his attacks, only behind Lenneth with a bow (units like Lawfer will beat him overall considering PWS, though). What makes Lucian even better is a glitch with Shining Bolt - if his attack button is spammed, Shining Bolt will do 24 hits instead of 12, and add a full 100 to the gauge instead of 36. In short, Lucian is a beast, with only his mediocre PWS letting him down.
You might also notice the large gap in DME between Lucian and Jayle - this is because characters get a DME boost at levels 13, and Lucian is level 12 while Jayle is level 15.
We haven't used swords in ages, not counting those like the Slayers, so I pick up a pair of Radiance Swords. Aside from boasting decent power and three attacks, they also allow their wielder to absorb Holy-elemental spells, which is a nice boon, even if Holy is relatively uncommon. It doesn't work against their respective PWS, however.
Lenneth already has one from a couple chapters ago, but I pick up a Crescent Arrow for Badrach.
Jun also gets a new, very cheap weapon in the Shisen-To, and it's got three attacks to boot with good power. The Kongou-To has triple that power, but only has one attack. Not a terrible idea if you have a unit like Lucian and Badrach to fill the gauge easily and regenerate lots of gems.
Finally, we have the last two attack spells, both Holy elemental. Mystic Cross is the best offensive spell in the game - it ties with Poison Blow for the strongest power, it hits all enemies as a menu spell, and Holy is a great element. Sacred Javelin, which we got from the Inferior Eye in the Cave of Oblivion, isn't terrible, but it pales easily compared to Mystic Cross.
We only have a single new dungeon this chapter.
We actually have a single screen before we enter the dungeon proper. This isn't completely useless, as we'll see later.
The Arkdain Ruins aren't extremely long or varied, but I think it's a pretty good dungeon with puzzles that aren't too annoying.
There are just three enemies in the dungeon. Rib Foragers are the next re-colour of knight enemies and have their standard party-hitting attack. Nothing too new.
In an annoying aspect, almost all of the treasure chests in the ruins are booby trapped, with the majority of them being unavoidable monster fights.
Said fights are against a Brackish Muck. They're annoying because they tend to inflict Faint fairly often with their attacks.
Last on the list are... Necrophiliacs. They're bog standard spellcasters. They're weak to Poison, so Poison Blow will take out a good chunk of their life (it might not kill them without a Magic Bangle, however).
Badrach and Lucian combine to make a vicious crystal generating machine. Once you've gotten all the crystals you want you can tune your combos to make the enemy hemorrhage gems instead. If you have to give one up for a more damaging character, like Arngrim, I'd give up Badrach - Lucian is a lot easier to use and provides better damage, unless you really need archery.
This power... if only I gained it earlier, I could have...
40 crystals is the maximum you can earn, for a 300% experience boost. A character wearing a Coin of Fortune can earn a lot of experience with these two around.
The other nice bit is that they also almost guarantee treasure chests. Necrophiliacs drop Mystic Cross, which is nice.
Also have a Badrach machine gun gif.
Badrach, Lucian, Jayle, Mystic Cross, Sacred Javelin PWS
Eternal Raid is decent enough, but like the rest of Jayle, ultimately doesn't stand out. It also hits fairly low, so it might miss on flying enemies. Damage wise, it sits just below Jun's.
Badrach's PWS is just bad. Single hit, bad damage, low meter gain... I can't really think of anything positive about it.
Lucian's isn't great either. It hits about as hard as Badrach's (which is to say, not very hard). At least it does more than one hit.
Celestial Star is Mystic Cross' PWS, and it ties with Meteor Swarm for the most powerful Great Magic, as if Mystic Cross wasn't great enough. Seraphic Law, Sacred Javelin's PWS, isn't absolutely terrible either, but just like its parent spell, it just pales compared to Celestial Star.
There are a quite a few decent treasure chests in the Ruins, even if you have go through a Brackish Muck each time (it's more annoying than hard). Ranseur is a powerful spear, but you don't really need it if you have a Heart Piercer (unless you want to use both Lawfer and Aelia).
I really do not like this room. See those blocks? They will move left and right, and you can use them as platforms if need be. They're scattered throughout the dungeon. This room however, has a treasure at the bottom. Afterwards, you have to climb up a ladder to get back to the top. If you collide with a block, they'll do a minor bit of damage and knock you back down to the bottom.
That wouldn't be so bad if the blocks in this room didn't cheat - if they're coming back towards you, they'll suddenly speed up and ram towards you, which just screws up your timing. Since there are two blocks, one just above the other, you might time past the first one... only to collide with the second one or to have it zoom into you.
Luckily, it's the worst bit, and I get back to the top after (far too) many attempts.
I wish I could say more about Jayle but there's just... not a lot compared to Badrach or Lucian. I like her idle animation if nothing else.
That yellow exclamation mark is the Dark skill (which we pick up in the dungeon). If you press left as the character's attack starts they will attack from the target's other side. It can be useful if your combo would otherwise push the opponent too far away to get all the attacks to land reliably.
Racking up the experience here.
I will never get tired of this.
There are more floating blocks ahead, but luckily none of them are as annoying as the one room earlier on.
One of the treasure chests (enemy trapped, of course) holds a Stun Check, which blocks Faint. This is going to be very helpful later on.
There are a couple rooms where an enemy is almost right on top of you as soon as you enter, so you have to be quick to react.
Those three treasure chests just contain a breakable spear and some transmutable items.
Towards the end, as soon as you enter one of the rooms, the door shuts behind you and you have to kill all the enemies to get out. Easy enough (there are only two or three), and you get 10,000 exp for your troubles.
The room with the Memory Camp might stump a few players - there doesn't seem to be a way to get to the upper ledge. There are a couple solutions, but this is the one I find easiest.
Jump up and shoot a crystal on the edge of the left ledge, then shoot it again to make it larger. Ideally there should be a bit sticking out over the ledge.
One can then just jump off the ladder onto the top of the crystal, then onto the ledge.
There are two treasure chests above the ledges as well. To get there, we can shoot a crystal on the floor and just it as a foothold to jump up and shoot a crystal onto the wall. We can then hop onto the wall crystal and start building a ladder upwards.
The two chests aren't enemy trapped, but they do contain a new kind of trap - confusion gas. While confused, our directions are reversed, though we still pick up treasures with down+X.
The left chest contains a Daemon Slayer, while the right has a Combo Jewel. While equipped, the Combo Jewel increases the gauge gain by a character's attacks by 2 for each hit. Perfect for Lucian, and it can also serve well on Lenneth and Badrach. We can also buy on at the shop, but it costs 3000 MP.
The room to the left of the memory camp has another chest with a bunch of chains that we have to hop up to claim our prize, a Beast Slayer.
Now let's head to the right of the memory camp and fight our boss.
I will not hand over the soul of the woman sealed in the crystal!
You are nothing but a scared child making empty boasts!
Say what you like. My power may be meager compared with the Rulers of the Gods, but still they are enough to deal with the likes of thee!
Here's our boss fight: three Raver Lords. They can be more annoying than they seem at first glance: their physical attacks deal around 1.5-3k (which isn't too bad), while Forbidden Act lops off around three times that. Their most annoying aspect, however, is their incredible tendency to inflict Faint, and with three of them the damage and Faints can pile up quickly.
The easiest way to get around this are with Stun Checks. We got one in the dungeon, and they're purchasable in the shop for 1500 MP. We just need three (our back row character won't get hit unless everyone else is dead).
This is also when getting good armour can stat having a notable effect. Badrach had better armour and he took 2k less damage compared to Lucian.
That's it, give up those crystals.
As with most of these fights, once you get one down things become steadily easier.
Once you take out two of them, it becomes a cakewalk. They can be a bit frustrating if you don't have Stun Checks, but you should at the very least have one, and there's no point being that stingy with MP.
Hah... I'm ready for Valhalla already!
Oh man, look at that beautiful, beautiful experience.
Each of the Lords can also drop a Tome of Alchemy. They'll likely be handy for some nasty enemies down the road.
A mix of prizes here. The Star Guard reduces holy damage by 50% and can counterattack on blocks. The Holy Wand Adventia (I missed getting a screenshot of getting it) is the upgrade to the Dragonbane, with 750 Magic Power but no Great Magic abilities. The Robe of Bryttain is the best prize here - with 1400 RDM and 90% Holy reduction, it's the third best armour for Sorceresses and makes them highly survivable. For some perspective, most other units have armour of around 320 RDM.
We can't do anything about the crystal girl, but we can use her as a wall to build a crystal ladder and hop around to open a confusion gas trapped chest with a Mighty Check. This reduces Holy damage by 90% and provides immunity to status ailments. Very nice.
Now normally, when we clear out a dungeon, we have to exit and re-enter to re-spawn the enemies. The Arkdain Ruins is special - remember how I mentioned we have to go through a screen to enter the dungeon proper? If we head back out to that screen, and re-enter the ruins...
...All the regular enemies re-spawn! This means one could effectively grind here without burning up periods.
But we won't do that unless we have to.
We don't actually have that much else to do this chapter, so let's jump to who we need to hand over to Freya.
Freya's grocery list:
Hero Value 90, Nimble, Swimmer, March, Attack Pow, Resist Damage, Defend.
Here's our first tricky request - there are no Einherjar that can fulfill all the requirements, but we can come close and help to fill the gap with possessions. The three traits that are the roadblock here are Nimble, Swimmer and Attack Pow. There are a few ways to solve this, but you get three options:
Yumei is the only Einherjar with Swimmer, and she gets Nimble to boot. Since she's a Sorceress, she can't learn Attack Pow. Otherwise, she will still fulfill all the other requirements and do pretty well.
Jun is another good choice - he also has Nimble, and can learn Attack Pow, but can't pick up Swimmer. Otherwise, he's just as valid a choice as Yumei.
Badrach would technically be the same as Jun - Nimble, Attack Pow, no Swimmer - but he has one additional problem; his Hero Value. Badrach has the lowest starting Hero value in the game, and even if we max out all his traits we'll still need to feed him experience from the Exp. Orb or grind him to level 25 at the minimum to meet Freya's request. It's not an insurmountable roadblock since we have the Arkdain Ruins now, and he'll find it harder to meet any future requirements, but it's just an additional amount of work we'll have to do.