Part 47: Part H4-2
Last time, after recruiting Lorenta, we found ourselves in this place.
Welcome to the Tower of Lezard Valeth. This is a very long and arguably the hardest dungeon in Chapter 4.
Head Mistress of the Flenceburg Sorcery Academy. She is as intelligent and refined as she is popular, but for some reason had trouble with her pupils, as is clear from the fact one of them killed her for reasons unknown.
Easily trumping Lightning in the category of 'Worst. Birthday. Ever.', Not-Reinhilde is a Sorceress. Even starting at level 1 on Hard Mode, she should immediately trump and replace any other Sorceress you've been using so far. Aside from having better base stats (Jelanda has better Agility, which is a fairly moot point) than the other three so far, Lorenta also comes packed with a great starting spell list - Fire Lance, Sap Guard, Heal, Invoke Feather and Mystic Cross, the last of which you can't even get til the Sacred Phase this chapter unless you get lucky enough to find an enemy that drops it in the Cave of Oblivion. Give her Poison Blow, Icicle Edge, and possibly Shadow Servant, and she's good to go.
As a reference for how long this dungeon is, we start it with Lorenta at level 1. By the time we're done, she's level 14.
While we can leave the dungeon after recruiting Lorenta, it's not really recommended, as viewing any other cutscene after her recruitment will remove the boss from the tower, which is an important cutscene necessary for the A Ending.
To start off, we'll head left and up into one of many, many elevators in this dungeon.
Most of the enemies in the Tower are tough. Fortunately, Blood Suckers are not, and are pretty easy. Wise Sorcerers pack a bit of a nasty punch with spells, and Silencing them leads to them using Fiendish Shape every round, which is very bad. They're weak to Poison, so Poison Blow away.
Fatal Glimmers are very dangerous and will be the most likely thing to wipe you on this tower. If you're playing on Hard Mode for your first playthrough, you probably won't even have run into Will-o'-the-Wisps in other dungeon to clue you in on their exploding mechanic when they get below half life.
Still, they're weak to Dark and have flimsy defenses, so concentrated efforts will usually be enough to take them out without risking any damage. Regardless, Fire protection is nice just in case.
When the elevator stops, following it leads us to a Manticore guarding a Book of Everlasting Life. The Beast Slayer will make short work of him, but otherwise he's not much different from the Chimaera.
Dragon-Tooth Warriors have high health and do decent enough damage. They're weak to Lightning, so Grimrist is a good way to take them out swiftly, or by using the Dragon Slayer (I never bothered with either, however). They also have the Possess mechanic, so kill them last. Since they're weak to Lightning, the Grand Sting from the Oddrock Caves also does some extra damage if Arngrim or Kashell is tagging along.
If you manage to get a full PWS chain with characters with good PWSes, like Belenus or Arngrim, you can take them down in a single round.
After backtracking to the elevator, we have to leave and then immediately enter the elevator again, as we can only move a single floor with each stop and the first level down has nothing. From the second stop, we can make our way to a second elevator, stopping by our starting point and the save point on the way.
With double Dragon-Tooth Warriors, Possession is inevitable unless you kill them both in the same round. As a reminder, Possess heals the targeted creature to full while doubling its health and increasing its STR and INT by 50%.
They hit harder, of course.
As well as being much more tougher to break down. Sap Guard really helps, and the Poison status is extra effective when they have doubled health (much love, Janus).
But hey, experience.
Through the second elevator, some treasures to pick up before heading towards Elevator #3.
Guts saved Janus, Lenneth survived, but Lorenta and Arngrim die. This is also why using hit-all spells on enemy formations with multiple Fatal Glimmers is a very bad idea unless you can guarantee the one-shot (you're unlikely to even with Shadow Servant right now).
And because the only way to see them is out of battle, here's their dead poses.
So much trekking. There are a pair of Dragon Zombies guarding a Teachings of Asa. They're tough customers to deal with, so Dragon Slayer them, please. (If you somehow broke them, then Grimrist.)
The key to surviving fights like these are to take them out one by one - they're not nearly as dangerous when they're not Exploding.
Fatal Glimmers can inflict Paraylze with Electro Touch - this acts like Freeze and prevent a character from acting, but unlike Freeze, they won't recover even when hit and carries over even after a battle ends. Normalize affected characters soon after affected.
(Poison Blow wipes out all three Wise Sorcerers in one hit, by the way. Priority usually goes to the Wise Sorcerers, then Fatal Glimmers, Blood Suckers, before leaving Dragon-Tooth Warriors for last.)
Some interesting architecture as we go deeper into the Tower.
Eventually we have to attack a crystal in one of the rooms to activate something further in. There's another room later with a second crystal to strike.
At least I've played the game before and know enough that this only happens to me twice in the dungeon. Imagine the poor guy who gets hit by four Explosions in a single round.
Bless you, Guts.
Dragon-Tooth Warriors have fairly low RST, so Dragonbane Mystic Cross/Lightning Bolt is a good way to wear them down even after Possession. Most characters aside from Arngrim/Kashell won't be able to make much of a dent in them when Possessed. without Grimrist or the Dragon Slayer.
I can't complain too much though. Arngrim/Janus/Lorenta is really the best party for the dungeon right now - Arngrim provides firepower, Janus Poison and archery, and Lorenta is the best mage so far. I'm not even sure if Lawfer would be able to do as much as Janus' Poison here.
Further in, one of the crystals we struck has activated a teleporting circle. This isn't necessary to complete the dungeon, but very, very helpful for the rest of the game.
There are three great treasures here. The Ether Scepter (first one so far on Hard), Timer Ring, and most importantly, the Creation Gem. When Lenneth equips it, it allows for more powerful transmutations of items. We'll be making very good use of this soon enough (next update, in fact).
By the way, this is how the map of the Tower looks like. Yeah.
More architecture. There's actually a lot of backtracking even with knowledge on where to go that I'm not really showing off.
Finally, there's a save point with a second magic circle.
Two treasures to collect (with exploding traps, so take care not to get blown into the boss room prematurely), before our boss.
I've transcribed the scene and put in audio links as always, but if you so wish it, the rest of the dungeon, including the boss fight, I've uploaded here.
Listen: Lezard and Lenneth
How long I've waited for this moment. My heart now throbs with the same exaltation as when I first laid eyes on you many months ago...
Valkryie, my lady love!!!
A teleportation spell! How is it you command the lost magicks?!
I have been thinking on this since I first beheld you...
Gods, who exist on the same plane as the restless souls of dead humans. What manner of being are they?
I have concluded that gods are very much like souls. And so, I have created this vessel!!
There are no other souls worthy of such an exquisite construct...
Fair Valkyrie. I have crafted it for you!!
Listen: Lezard and Lenneth 2
And you sacrificed countless lives, both elf and human, in order to create a vessel for a single being?!
Why, yes, actually.
You are insane... how can such trivial thoughts consume you so!? Humans who seek to cross beyond their imagined boundaries deserve more than death. They deserve total annihilation!
Open the gates of Niflheim! More souls await!
Boss fight time! Lezard is backed by two recoloured Dragon-Tooth Warriors with no weaknesses (but are still vulnerable to Dragon Slayering). As one should already be aware, they know Possess and will make Lezard very dangerous if allowed to. As such, our priority is take down Lezard first. While he knows some nasty magic, including casting Great Magic every three turns (Dragon Bolt, Meteor Swarm and Celestial Star, all very dangerous to be on the receiving end of), he is also extremely squishy.
Among his list of regular magic includes Prismatic Missile, Fire Lance, and Frigid Damsel. Archery and magic will quickly fell him.
I feel this is only fitting.
No... I will not accept this!
With Lezard taken out, all that's left is finish off his lackeys.
No rewards screen pop up for the fight, in any case.
Listen: Lezard and Lenneth 3
So now you run!? You cannot possibly believe that love can exist between humans and gods!
What did you just say? Between human and god?
You really don't have any idea what you are, do you?
Believe whatever you like.
That human... what has he wrought here?!
Trivia: in the VP manga, Lezard was the one who supplied the Ghoul Powder to Lombert to transform Jelanda - which makes sense, as that was what he also used on Lorenta's husband. This was also when he first saw Lenneth. How much of that is actually canon isn't established.
Lezard Valeth character art.