The Let's Play Archive

Vampires Dawn II

by TheMcD

Part 73: Update LVI - This Is About Four Hours Of Footage

Update LVI - This Is About Four Hours Of Footage

♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid

Alright, so, last time, we fought a dragon in a volcano, murdered the crap out of it, and then I played for like an hour before losing all that progress due to a game over I stupidly stumbled into. Instead, let's take a second shot at all that stuff I did.

First of all, we have a beetle to catch.

♪ BGM: Shrine Of Earth - memories.mid

This place has an entrance to a cave in the top right, but fuck that.

Why "fuck that"? Because the enemies here suck. They can inflict the sick status on everybody in one clean shot, and I hate that. It makes us lose a whole bunch of BP, which is particularly annoying. So we're not going to be spending more time here than necessary. You'll also note we're bringing the female vampire mage out for a spin for additional healing, since she gets the best set of HP healing spells.

Anyway, in the top left corner of the map, we find a brown bug that is the one we're looking for.

I think so, too. At least it doesn't have a sting.
Okay, let's take this bug with us.
Bugus Beetle obtained!

Alright, let's bring this sucker to where we need him.

♪ BGM: Mirana - Stadt11.mid

Yes, here it is.
What a specimen! Terrific!
Eeeeek, what is that thing!?
Don't worry, honey, this is the perfect playing partner for our son.
Pfff, if you say so...
I thank you, here is your reward.
Power Ring received! 57816 Experience Points gained!
1) Thanks. - 2) This is a queen. (Lie)

A lie here would get us an extra 6000 Filar and a status rune, but alas, we'd need level 3 in the skill for that.

♪ BGM: Syrahs - field4.mid

Now, after grinding a bit to get to level 75, we get ourselves some more upgraded gear, because we're going to need it.

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

We also need to grab some of these rings from the equipment store in Asgar's castle, because we're going to need this very much as well. Where we're going, I've had some, er, issues with status effects.

♪ BGM: Faryn Dungeon - hall3.mid

Anyway, it's time to get ready for some real fun. Time to head into the dungeons of Faryn and quickly regret it.

This dungeon can go fuck itself. Why? Well, there's two particular things that make this fall squarely into "go fuck yourself" territory.

One - the dungeon layout. This dungeon is another one of the variety where there's a bunch of locked doors, and you need to go up and down between levels constantly, finding switches that open doors that lead to more switches that lead to more doors. I could mark the map, showing you where those switches are, but let's be honest, you're not going to be playing this game. It's annoying, that's all you really need to know. Anyway, this switching between levels means that enemies constantly respawn. And that's a problem, because...

Two - the enemies.

This guy can either inflict Sleep on the entire party or Confused on a single party member. This guy is why we're packing the rings that make us immune to Confused. The last thing we need is to be attacking ourselves.

And this guy can inflict Petrified on a single party member. You'll note he already petrified Valnar. He will stay petrified for more than twenty minutes. This fucking status does not go away. In fact, for those reading from the archive, let's bring up something that came up in response to the last update.

TheMcD posted:

SSNeoman posted:

How are we level 75 and still not have reliable status effect curing abilities?

Because we're constantly short on runes, which we would need to get those spells.

At level 10, two runes could get us a spell that cures poison on one party member.
At level 10, two runes could get us a spell that cures paralysis on one party member.
At level 20, three runes could get us a spell that cures sleep on all party members.
At level 20, three runes could get us a spell that cures blind and blinded on all party members.
At level 30, four runes could get us a spell that cures paralysis on all party members.
At level 50, six runes could get us a spell that cures the curse status on one party member.
At level 80, nine runes could get us a spell that cures every negative status effect on one party member.
At level 90, ten runes could get us a spell that cures every negative status effect on all party members.

Finally, the vampire lady gets a spell that cures petrified and paralyzed at level 60.

So as far as I can tell, the only way I have to deal with the petrified status at this level is by using the vampire lady or by retreating back to the castle and using the shiny super coffins we have. And even if I get to level 80 to get the super status healing spell, it burns 150 BP per use. Right now, Alaine has about 600 BP, so I guess when she hits level 80, she could use that spell on all four party members to cure them all at the cost of her entire blood stock.

Basically, here's my problem - I burned all my runes on shit like HP healing spells, which I found to have a bit more utility. On other difficulties, this might not be as much of an issue - runes are cheaper to make with the generators and therefore more plentiful. However, in my game, they're rare and expensive, so I need to make hard decisions. I mean, I don't even have the best HP healing spell available to me because I'm fresh out of blood runes and need the souls for shit like skill points and skills.

EDIT: I mean, I'm not helping by blazing through some of the dungeons without checking most chests and not exploring the world map to check out all the different areas spread around there that also have some loot for me to find. So this is partially self-inflicted.

So, basically, I do have some options available to get rid of this status - bringing out the vampire lady or retreating back to the castle. Well, the latter isn't really an option, since that respawns the enemies and just restarts the whole clusterfuck, but the former definitely is an option. I don't take that option. Because I'm TheMcD, and I'm a fucking idiot sometimes. Most of the times. Not all of the times, but definitely most of the times.

You know, at least the switches show you which doors they unlock. Anyway, it takes me quite some time (about 40 minutes) to get through this dungeon, and that's with having the map and knowing which order to go for the switches. It wasn't particularly fun.

And after all that, we almost make it to the stone fragment, but Valnar needs to have his episode again.

Another one of those...

♪ BGM: Shrine of Fire - rotten.mid

Is there anything more beautiful than this? Was there anything more powerful than this? Years of research are finally paying off! Oh yes, this will allow me to never age again!
I hope we haven't made any mistakes. Otherwise, it could lead to uncontrolled results, Ghadar!
There is only one way to find out, Morlon! Our time is now!

Some fire happens.

It's working!

Some more fire happens, then a green flash, and then...


♪ BGM: Faryn Dungeon - hall3.mid

What is that all? I don't understand!
Everytime we're getting closer to one of the stone fragments...

You know, I noticed a thing. There's actually one consistency between every one of Valnar's episodes that could tip you off to a particular twist if you think particularly hard about it. Of course, you either already have figured out this twist, or haven't thought hard enough about it yet, which means you won't be able to think hard enough about it to figure out the twist from Valnar's episodes.

Anyway, we grab the stone fragment. Only two to go!

♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid

With that done, it's time to grind again.

We get to fight these guys for a while because we're trying to get to level 80 for the next dungeon.

And since level 80 unlocks the last level of skills, we also grind some souls.

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

Of course, our primary choices for skills are the ones that get us more money. We know which side our bread is buttered on.

♪ BGM: Horan Dungeon - Dungeon11.mid

And in one quick jump, we make it to our next target - Castle Horan's dungeon.

Horan's dungeon is remarkably simple. There's exactly one puzzle, and it's not really hard. Apart from that, the path is remarkably straightforward.

The enemies aren't really that much of a problem either. They can heal each other, which makes them more sturdy, sure, but sturdy doesn't bring with it the risk of a game over due to status effects. So, since the loot isn't that notable, there's no real mazes here and the enemies aren't that much of a big deal, let's just skip to the puzzle.

Hm, what could that mean?

Well, it's remarkably simple. You'll note the path of sorts that is snaking around those torches there. Well, you just start on one end and walk all the way to the other end.

And that then opens the gate! We're getting close to the stone fragment...

...and that means Valnar gets to have another one of his episodes! This is actually the last one - the last dungeon doesn't have one.

♪ BGM: Elras Mines - CRUCIBR.mid

The mineral is so rare, I'm afraid we only have this one chance to make the stone tablet. We can't make any mistakes!
We won't, Ghadar! We won't...

♪ BGM: Horan Dungeon - Dungeon11.mid

We finally have to find an explanation for this!
I don't know what's wrong with me, either!

This answers a question I'm fairly sure nobody asked - "why don't the Elras just make another stone tablet?". The answer being that they blew their load of Kaldrium on this one tablet. They just can't make another one, and as such are stuck getting the pieces of the one they already made.

And there we go, that's another stone fragment! So here's the thing - this bit of the update, from the beginning to here? That's two and a half hours of footage. Grinding and muddling through dungeons takes up a LOT of time.

♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid

Next, more grinding - we need to go from level 84 to 85.

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

We also get enough souls to grab another third level skill. Not sure how much this will actually pay off, since we are currently hurling ourselves towards the endgame at a breakneck pace. But whatever. Anyway, with level 85, we have another place to stop by at. We bought five blood elixirs from Mandrake, and we're going to put it to use.

♪ BGM: Genos - field7.mid

We do have upgrades available at the weapons shops, but we're saving up for something particularly fun that will be coming up soon.

And here we are in the cellar with the blood rose. We still need to shove five elxirs down its gullet.

This is after one elixir.




And fi- ...uh.

What the hell...
That thing's attacking!

♪ BGM: A Rose To Die For - VDBoss2.mid

Unique boss music!

Blood Rose:

Recommended level: 85

HP: 8000
BP: 0
Attack: 900
Defense: 800
Intelligence: 10
Agility: 450

Behavior List:

- Attack
- Blood Sucking (absorbs HP and BP with a base damage of 300, inflicts Bleeding, targets a single party member)
- Toxic Pollen (inflicts Poison on a single party member with a 80% base success rate)
- Attack
- Attack
- Blood Sucking (absorbs HP and BP with a base damage of 300, inflicts Bleeding, targets a single party member)

Well, I sure hope you don't need blood for this fight, because you're not going to be keeping it for a long time. Anyway, we cannot inflict status effects on this guy - basically complete immunity - so we're just damage racing him. We use the Berserker skill on the werewolf, use Gnome's Compensation to reduce the rose's attack power, and just thwomp the hell out of it.

It doesn't last long.

♪ BGM: Genos - field7.mid

It seems the lady didn't exactly have a green thumb...
And no taste as far as plants are concerned!
My poor rose...
33660 Experience Points gained!

With that, we've just solved the last sidequest in the list, and I'm about 98% sure I didn't miss any apart from the one we ditched really early where we had the opportunity to take a quest to steal from the coffin seller. We're really close to the endgame.

Our main reward for this quest is sparkling on the ground here.

Looks like these are seeds...
Blood Rose Seeds obtained!

Now, this item is listed as a trading good, and it sells for about 3000 Filar, but we have something much better to do with this. And for that, we need to go back home.

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

And what's that supposed to do? Do you want to grow such a crazy plant for yourself?
That's a terrific idea! I heard you can make all sorts of useful things from such a blood rose.
Oh yeah? Like what?
Okay, I have no idea, but let's just give it a try.
Oh, just do whatever you guys want.
Put them in!
The plant will now need Blood Elixirs to grow...

By the way, don't think that this shit is cheap. I don't know if you remember the price from back when we unlocked Mandrake's full assortment, but these motherfucking elixirs run me 5000 Filar a pop. So we're going to need another five elixirs to do this, meaning we just spent 50000 Filar on this stuff. That could have bought me... 29 mercenaries. Jesus Christ, that cost went up fast. So for those that forgot, mercenary costs are Valnar's level times twenty, meaning we're now at 1700 Filar a mercenary, a 1600% markup compared to what we did in the beginning of the game. Fucking inflation.

Anyway, we stuff the elixirs into the plant, and eventually...

All right, all right. Let's see what this plant is going to bestow upon us...

Now, the way the blood rose works is that there's a variable that is incremented by a common event parallel process. Every six seconds, the counter goes up by one, and if it's at twenty, we can pick up an item from the rose - a blood nectar which heals 300 BP for every party member. That's pretty nice, but it doesn't build up in the rose, you can only get one at the most. So you basically need to show up about every two minutes to get another one if you want to get a good amount of them.

♪ BGM: Shrine Of Earth - memories.mid

We also make a trip to the earth shrine to pick up ten points in Defense (I had two stones laying around) and our status rune generator to complete our set.

♪ BGM: A Truth Revealed - WraithTouch.mid

Next stop, a bunch more grinding. The quest didn't get us a lot of XP, and we need to get to level 90 for the next dungeon. See you in a few.

About half an hour later, we've made it to level 90, and that unlocks something particularly fun back at the castle.

of the Apocalypse, we were able to make some great things...

Surprise! When you hit level 90, broke the people from Melsan out of the prison, and have all of the Children of the Apocalypse in your castle, the vampire equipment is unlocked for purchase! This is the best equipment in the game bar maybe one or two special artifacts that we're not going to be getting anyway. For now, with our meager funds, we grab a set of weapons. We'll be getting the other stuff eventually, budget permitting.

Oh, right, speaking of budget - at some point, I sold all of the maps. Because fuck it, I'm not going after them anyway. Just thought you should know.

Our accessory salesman also has something very nice for sale - but also very expensive. We'll be getting those haste rings eventually, because +50 Agility is big.

Also, since we're now at level 90, we get to do the final rune recipes for the most powerful spells. We're going to be bringing out this particular one - Ultima 2, The Revenge Of The Enchantress.

This is basically our carpet bombing nuke option - as opposed to the spell "Comet", which would cost us three light, shadow and ice runes plus one fire rune for a 2000 base damage spell that hits one enemy, which is more of a tactical nuke. However, I'm more into carpet bombing, so this is what we're getting.

♪ BGM: Castle Johlar - daggerf10.mid

Now, we have one more tablet piece to get, and it's in Castle Johlar. We save here. This will be relevant later.

♪ BGM: Johlar Dungeon - CastleNight.mid

Let's hustle into these dungeons and get ourselves that final piece. Here's the thing about this dungeon. It's simple. There is no gimmick here.

No gimmicks. No puzzles. Not even Valnar having an episode! The only thing it has is traps that do like 300 HP a pop...

...and dragons that can inflict Burning on the entire party, which, uh, kinda sucks the big one, because fuck that's a lot of damage potential.

In fact, because of this, I actually had to use an eternity potion to revive the werewolf, lest I lose him. That shit does a ton of damage.

Apart from that, however, there's nothing there. So let's just skip ahead to the fragment.

HARHARHAR... now the time has finally come! So long, you fools!

And he teleports away with the piece.

That didn't sound very good!
Quick, we need to get to the stone fragments!

Welp, let's head back and see the damage.

♪ BGM: Asgar's Castle - blood009.mid

The stone fragments are gone!
I knew it! You couldn't trust that Jinnai!
That devious traitor!
All right, that's the way our current situation is. Let's find out where he went with the stone fragments as quickly as possible!

So now, all we have is one quest. Clearly, the situation is urgent...

...which means grinding for more souls, obviously. So now grinding happens for a while. Quite a while, in fact. And then, disaster strikes.

We get a castle attack while grinding. It's been ages since I last saved.

Before we can get teleported to the castle attack map, the combat starts because we were rubbing straight up on an enemy.

The combat goes normally.

Then, when we return to the map, the screen fades out as if to teleport us to the castle battle map.

And then, the crash. So, uh, yeah. That just happened.

Next time, I deal with the issues that come from this crash, and then we head right into the endgame. Get ready for the fucking mother of all plot dumps, because it's coming.