The Let's Play Archive

Vampires Dawn

by TheMcD

Part 16: Twilight ∞ nighT

So, last time we did a bunch of side-questy fucking-aroundy things, but this time, we're actually getting back to the story, because we're dealing with Aysha.

But before that, I collected a lot of souls while grinding, and we're going to use those to boost Valnar's Intelligence a bit more.

And between grinding to level 35 and shoving a lot of souls down Valnar's throat, we managed to get him above 160 Intelligence, which means we're going to be paying a visit to a certain temple we've been at before. But before that, we're at level 35, which means more spells!

A: "Life Drain" - "Base damage: 70; one enemy is hit; absorbs HP". Blood cost: 50
B: "Death Vortex" - "Base damage: 150; one enemy is hit; chance to Curse: 30%". Blood cost: 54

Same deal as usual with Valnar. The shadow magic looks intriguing again, but absorption is also a very nice perk. Keeping somebody alive is always a nice thing.

Valnar's eighth spell: Life Drain

A: "Ice Storm" - "Base damage: 110; all enemies are hit; chance to Paralyze: 30%". Blood cost: 60
B: "Death Vortex" - "Base damage: 150; one enemy is hit; chance to Curse: 30%". Blood cost: 54
C: "Healing Aura" - "Base healing: 100; entire group is healed". Blood cost: 55

We're going to need some all-party healing eventually, and this seems as good a time as any to get it. Probably should've checked Alaine's spells first, though, maybe there was only crap there apart from the healing spell and I could have gotten something better for Asgar. D'oh well.

Asgar's eighth spell: Healing Aura

A: "Ocean of Flames" - "Base damage: 130; all enemies are hit". Blood cost: 60
B: "Clear Thinking" - "Heals Confusion; entire group is healed". Blood cost: 40
C: "Healing Aura" - "Base healing: 100; entire group is healed". Blood cost: 55

I had to think about this one a lot. I was really considering all three options here. However, Clear Thinking went because Confusion isn't THAT much of a problem, and Ocean of Flames was just another attacking spell, and at this point I figured that I had enough for now. That, and having only one guy with healing spells might be asking for something terrible to happen. So let's cover our bases a bit more.

Alaine's eighth spell: Healing Aura

So now, we're heading back to the water temple to grab that red chest we couldn't open earlier, because what's in it is very much worth it.

"Vampire Armor" - "The true armor of vampires (+200 DEFENSE)". The "Vampire" set of equipment is the ultimate equipment, and depending on if you know where it is and if you rush to increase Valnar's Intelligence to open the red chests that hold it, these things can be a massive boost. So right now, nothing much is touching Valnar physically. He'll still get his face bashed in by magic, but hey, it's progress.

Next stop, Melsan, because we've got new equipment to buy.

Sword: "Ridak Sword" - "A new kind of sword (+142 ATTACK, can cause Bleeding)".
Claws: "Ridak Claws" - "Unique claws (+124 ATTACK)".
Sabre: "Mystic Sabre" - "An enchanted sabre (+135 ATTACK, light)".

What it doesn't say for the Mystic Sabre is that it can also inflict Blind, Mute, Berserk and Confusion. Also, that "light" means that it has the light attribute (as opposed to shadow), not that it's light (as opposed to heavy).

And of course, we also get new armor.

Armor: "Gargasch's Armor" - "Mystical armor (+128 DEFENSE, +20 AGILITY)".
Helmet: "Esper Helmet" - "Helm with magical protection (+79 DEFENSE, protection against light)".
Shield: "Wizard's Shield" - "Shield with magical properties (+98 DEFENSE)".

The magical properties in this case being 70% resistance against all status effects. That might actually be worth keeping around, because that's good.

Our party's defense is just going up, up, and up!

And with that done, and our party as stocked up as they'll ever be, it's time to return to the shadow forest.

The shadow forest is big. Big, and annoying. There's a whole bunch of ground to cover, some annoying places where you can get stuck and not know where the fuck you're going, and of course the constant high encounter rate. Let's just say it's not fun. The loot isn't worth mentioning either, nor are the enemies, who are one-or-two-shottable at this point.

Eventually, we make it to the entrance of the cave we're looking for.

Now, we've made it to the second part of the dungeon, the actual cave.

The enemies here - "earth elementals" and "large worms" - look impressive, but really aren't. Those guys in that area I said I would grind for normal souls in were more impressive than these ones. Not complaining.

This'll work!

So when I transform into a bat to reduce the encounter rate, turns out that I already solved the puzzle of the dungeon - there's a big chasm, and we can't normally get over it. How do you cross? Either by turning into a bat, or by turning into a wolf (which then makes a big leap over it). I think this could stick some people that miss the obvious and think they need to hit a switch or something.

After making our way through that level, we cross an invisible line and suddenly the boss indicator springs up!

I'm going to expect that these guys have something to do with that. Now, you know what? I think it's time to bust out a summoning spell. We're going to be summoning a skeleton mage.

Creatures of death, rise from your graves!
"Summoned Skeleton Mage!"

Alright, now we're ready. Let's do this.

Knight: What are you doing here? You're interrupting a royal investigation... get lost!
Well, we're also looking for something...
Knight: I don't care about that in the slightest! Get lost, or we'll execute you in the name of the king!
In the name of the king? We don't care about the king!
It'd be better if YOU got lost right now!
Knight: That's it! In the name of King Gerald, I hereby sentence you to death!

Knight: Messing with us was a terrible mistake!
Tsk, tsk... why can't you knights ever think of more original last words...

Alright, time to fight.

...why does the skeleton have 40 HP? Why?

It gets a shot in...

...and it's about as impressive as you'd think. Well, turns out that I missed something. You actually need to upgrade your summoning spells by finding ghosts. If you can't find those ghosts, those summoning spells are going to be useless rather quickly, as the skeleton proves by dropping from an all-party attacking spell from the leader of the knights.

However, it doesn't matter, as this group is hardly capable of resisting our overpowered group.

Now it sadly looks like King Gerald has a few knights less!

That really was just a miniboss. Even if you were around the recommended level, this shouldn't have been a problem, because the actual boss is severely worse.

Let's see if the key we found in Tradan fits in here...

Then let's see what awaits us down there!

So this door would have been the thing that locked us off from advancing down the plot if we had found this without having been to Tradan.

Damn hot here!
And it really stinks of sulphur!
We should be very cautious!

Welcome to the second level of the dungeon.

This is a whole bunch of different, small areas, stuck together on one map. I approve because it means less pictures or editing.

So we're on our way through, and I know there's a secret passage here, and I just can't get to it! Why, I just can't figure out. Then again, I'm not entirely sure how these secret passages exactly work, or to be more precise, what's different from this one compared to the other ones that work just fine. I even went through the effort of downloading RPG Maker 2000 to make damn sure that it wasn't some sort of weird thing I couldn't see with RPG Maker 2003, which I thought was compatible enough with RPGM2K games that it could read them just fine, but there's nothing there either. Oh well, there's only three ice dust in there, which are largely useless, so fuck it.

The enemies here - "dragons" and "dragon zombies" are more impressive, though not by much, and these only show up in singles, which means you can really gang up on them. The loot on this level is also rather unimpressive, so let's move on to the final level.

This smoky cavern here is basically just a boss chamber - a straight line to the boss, so no need to give a map for this one. Let's just get to it.

There she is! Also, that thing over there looks familiar...

Now we've got her!
Finally, you're here...
What do you mean, "finally you're here"?
Oh, how tragic... does somebody not have a clue what's going on?


Do you really believe I just happened to forget that key back in Tradan?
So you did destroy Tradan?
Of course... who else could have done that?
Well I could have done that too!
Not the time, Asgar!
I knew that you would find the key!
But why all this? Why are you suddenly evil? Why this game of hide-and-seek?
I'm suddenly evil? I can't recall ever being different!
You were most definitely different! We loved each other!
I loved YOU? HARHAR!
And why did you run away, if you're just going to bait us to you anyway?
You're asking a bit too many questions for my tastes, but I won't let you die dumb.

*insert another joke about Valnar being dumb here*

Do you feel this tingling in the air? And these strange crystals? This cave is filled with pure energy! Directly from the heart of Earth... and just as you feed on blood from the heart of humans, I fed from here! Oh, how I enjoyed this energy! And how strong it made me! I fled because I was weak... but now, the time is right. I destroyed Tradan and left the key in the crypt there to ensure that you would find it. And at the same time I bought myself some more time to fill even my last cell with pure energy! However, you've taken a bit longer than I thought, and I've started getting bored...
Your boredom will be over soon... prepare yourself for your existence as a Blood Ghost!
Let's take care of this nutbar!
It will be a pleasure to see your blood seeping into the lava...

It's time. Time to hopefully take out Valnar's angst once and for all.

Come on, try to hurt me!
All these years, I loved you! And now you're a MONSTER!
If only you had just listened to me...
This isn't the time for this! We'll just destroy her, and that's that!
Well, come on then, you WHORE!
WHORE? Why does that seem so familiar?

Mark it in your calendar, Valnar actually managed to rub some of his brain cells together and make a connection, even if he can't get all the dots together just yet.

Valnar, less thinking, more fighting!

Alright, so, fighting Aysha. I would say that this is the first boss fight where things get really rough. I guess, to start with, let's check out the stat block.

HP: 9999
Attack: 190
Defense: 150
Intelligence: 100
Agility: 100

Attacks: Regular attack (50%), heal herself (25%), inflict Sleep on all party members (25%).

Now, this doesn't look too impressive, but remember: We're 10 levels above the FAQ recommended level because I spent all this time fucking about, doing sidequests. Also, you'll note the 9999 HP. That's because this is a multi-phase battle, and this is how Marlex did it in this case - the next phase triggers either after 12 turns, or if Aysha lost 50% of her health (which is still above any enemy except the final boss). But that's not so important right now. What is important is something I've been neglecting for all this time (well, except if you've read the thread, in which case you've seen a post mentioning this topic already): Resistances, and attributes.

First, attributes. Every spell, every weapon, every skill and the like can have an attribute. Valnar's and Asgar's weapons all have the "sword" attribute, Alaine's has "claw", the spells have "fire", "ice", "light", "shadow" and so on. Some spells are attributeless, like healing spells and some attack spells as well. This sounds obvious, but I just want to reiterate that they exist, and also point out that weapons have generic weapon type attributes.

Now, resistances. In RPG Maker 2K, resistances work like this: All attributes have a set of resistance levels, graded from A to E, with effectiveness going down the lower the grade is. In the case of attributes, the resistance affects the rate of effect, whereas with conditions, it affects the effect chance. Lots of "effect" in there. Let's do an example instead.

OK, let's try this. Let's just say that Valnar and Asgar are fighting. Valnar has straight Cs for resistances, Asgar has straight Ds (not actually that way in game, every party member has straight Cs for resistances). Valnar attacks Asgar with his sword, and Asgar casts a spell that inflicts Sleep.

Now, we check for the chance modifications for Sleep, and that tells us that a D means that the effect chance is multiplied with 30%. So if Asgar's spell had a base chance of 100%, that means that it only has a 30% chance of affecting Valnar. Note: Most status spells have a 100% chance to affect, the actual modification is done through resistances. Meanwhile, we check the rate for the sword attribute, and a C means that the rate of effect is multiplied by 100%, so the damage Asgar takes does not get modified. I hope that makes it a bit easier to understand.

So, why do I bring this up now? Well, remember how I said that this is when boss fights start getting really tough? Let's check out Aysha's attribute resistances:

Sword: C (100%)
Claw: C (100%)
Fire: D (50%)
Ice: C (100%)
Poison: D (50%)
Light: C (100%)
Shadow: D (50%)
Death: C (100%)

Well, that's not so bad! How about the status ones?

Stasis: E (0%)
Curse: E (0%)
Blind: D (30%)
Mute: E (0%)
Berserk: E (0%)
Confusion: E (0%)
Sleep: E (0%)
Paralysis: E (0%)
Sickness: E (0%)
Bleeding: E (0%)
Poison: E (0%)

Ah. I see. Also, see that D in Blind? That's apparently a mistake, because the next two forms have an E there. So yeah. Remember how I said that this game actually allows you to do some fun stuff with status effects? Yeah, not with bosses from now on.

Oh, and just for fun, here's the resistances for the final boss.

Sword: C (100%)
Claw: C (100%)
Fire: E (0%)
Ice: E (0%)
Poison: D (50%)
Light: E (0%)
Shadow: E (0%)
Death: E (0%)

Stasis: E (0%)
Curse: E (0%)
Blind: E (0%)
Mute: E (0%)
Berserk: E (0%)
Confusion: E (0%)
Sleep: E (0%)
Paralysis: E (0%)
Sickness: E (0%)
Bleeding: E (0%)
Poison: E (0%)

Yeesh. This is why you grind, friends. Because when you get into situations like this, and your Attack isn't up to snuff, you're capital F fucked.

Anyway, back to Aysha. Thanks to our great level, we just wail on her and she doesn't do much of anything until...

HARHAR! Now, it's time to REALLY bring some pain!
You haven't managed to do it so far...
It doesn't look that way to me...

No, really, you haven't done shit. All our party members have like 400 Defense. You can't touch this.

But don't worry... I'll spare your heads...
Our heads? Wait a second...

And then she transforms.

HP: 9999
Attack: 200
Defense: 160
Intelligence: 120
Agility: 110

Attacks: Same as before, but with a good shadow spell added.

Nothing all that impressive, but she can actually hurt us now because of how Defense doesn't actually help with spells. Still, we just keep beating up on her until...

You've survived far too long for my tastes! UARRRRRRRR!

And here we go, form #3.

HP: 1500
Attack: 220
Defense: 170
Intelligence: 130
Agility: 130

Attacks: Regular attack (2/6 chance), inflict Confusion on one enemy (1/6 chance), strong all-party spell that can inflict Poison (1/6 chance), strong all-party spell that can inflict Bleeding (1/6 chance), stronger heal than before (1/6 chance).

Now, shit's on. We can deal good damage to her still by just attacking, but on the third turn, she casts Blade Storm, the Bleeding spell, and it procs on all three of us, which is rough.

And it's even more rough when she casts it three times in a row.

However, the level advantage can not be denied, and eventually, she dies.

How... ... tha...t be?
Die, you piece of crap!
Aysha, I'm so sorry!


And down she goes.

Now it's finally over...
Oh, Valnar...

Suddenly, the orb thing over there starts moving!

Hey, this thing here just turned on!

Alright, Molana... I secured the door with the code 42665. When you've dealt with them, just bring me their heads, now that you know the code.


Molana? What's going on, have you already killed them? Hang on, I'm going to look through your eyes...


What's going on, I can't see anything! Molanaaaaa! What's happening? Something isn't right here! Damnit...

And the orb turns off again.

That was Abraxas! What's the meaning of this? Why was he in contact with Aysha, or rather Molana?

Alright, scratch what I said about Valnar being smart for once, I guess.

So that was this Abraxas you were talking about?
Now I know where Aysha got that "whore" from... from Abraxas!
Exactly! We really have to find him! I don't understand a thing!
Well, I've definitely remembered that access code! 42665...
Now all we need to do is find out where Abraxas is hiding!
And once again, we need some kind of lead...
Let's search around that mountain range north of Klennar. He's probably still hiding there, even though we didn't find the entrance last time.
Still, I think that he's now on high alert and will either be barricading himself or will relocate...
We'll see...

And fade to black.

Hey, remember these guys? It's been a while!

So now Aysha has been destroyed for good! Poor Valnar... all the things he's gone through...
Yes, times are tough for him!
So, tell me, grandpa! Why was Abraxas talking with Aysha?
Heh... that will stay a secret for now!

You know, that's not what I'd be asking. Why Abraxas was talking with Molana is obvious - she was working for him. That much is blatantly clear from the "spare your heads" comment. The real questions are "why was Molana working for Abraxas?" (though that could easily be explained by a simple working agreement just like it exists between Abraxas and Mr. X), "why did Abraxas 'kill' Molana when she was working for him?" and "why did Molana continue to work for Abraxas after he 'killed' her?".

Oh, come on, grandpa!
No way! The story has to stay intriguing, after all! Anyway, they finally managed to dispose of Aysha... forever!
So now the three have to find Abraxas...
Indeed... they returned to the castle for now, and rested for a few days. Valnar needed some time to cope with what happened... but after those few days, things kept going for the three...

And fade to black.

I think I'm ready to carry on now...
Very good... now, let's finally get to searching for Abraxas!
Now we'll find out what the deal is with him and Aysha, AKA Molana!

Well, not quite. First, we have some unfinished business that I decided to deal with now. Remember that thief we've been occasionally seeing in cities and chasing off? It's time to actually finish that. First stop, Klennar.

Got you!
Thief: What's your problem? Can't you just leave me alone? Maybe I'll get some peace and quiet in the forest!
We just want to tal...

And he's gone again.

I honestly don't know why he just keeps running away from us!

In the forest. Next stop: Isthar.


He runs out, bumping into us on the way.

What a ruffian!
I'm starting to like this guy!
Store Owner: Damn, he got away!
What did he steal?
Store Owner: Our only point card for Thessa!
Point card... I see...

Next stop: Thessa.

(he's hiding behind a pole)

Heh, your hiding place wasn't good enough!
Thief: I can't believe this! You're really stubborn... but I'll just say one thing: LEAVE ME ALONE! I DON'T WANT ANYTHING FROM YOU! GOT IT?
Now don't get so aggressive!
Thief: Can't somebody just work his trade in peace anywhere in this world? This place is getting way too hot for me, god damnit!

And he runs away again.

Welp, I think we just pissed him off.
He wants to work his trade? I just got an idea...
We should definitely keep looking for him and not give up!

Too hot? So somewhere cold next. Next stop: Iranis.

(he's hiding behind a tree)

Here we are again!
Thief: What the hell do you want from me?
We just want to talk with you!
Thief: I don't talk with people like you! All I care about are rich people!

And he's off again.

All he cares about are rich people?
Come on, Valnar, even a blind man can see that that guy's a thief! And he could be useful!

Rich people? Next stop: Asran.

And we found you again!
Hey, just try being friendly to us for once!
Thief: Friendly? Don't make me laugh! Somebody without money CAN'T be friendly!

Exit, stage left!

Hm, an interesting statement.
He seems pretty desperate. That's almost perfect!

I guess we're just supposed to infer from "somebody without money can't be friendly" that he's heading to the poor town, Herlis? Because that's where he is.

(again, hiding behind a tree)

There you are!
Thief: ...I think I'm going to explode!
Calm down, we really just want to talk with you!
I want to make you an offer. You seem to be a pretty desperate man, forced to steal as his means of subsistence...
Thief: And?
I don't know how much money you make from stealing, but I'll make you a good offer. I'll give you a place in Shannar to stay at, and in exchange, you go out and steal some things for us.
Thief: I'm supposed to steal for you? HAHAHAHAHAH! I'm leaving!

And indeed he does.

That offer didn't seem to impress him.
Oh, it will, don't you worry. And even if I have to torture him to make that happen!
Where do you think he ran away to?
No idea. Probably in one of the cities where we haven't found him yet.

Long story short, it's Uruya.

(again, hiding behind a tree)

You really are easy to find!
Thief: ...OK, I give up! Evidently, you're never going to leave me alone!
I'll ask you again: Will you steal for us?
Thief: ...what's in it for me?
Well, a place to stay that's more or less comfy, and quite a bit of money. Definitely more money than you'd get for selling the stolen stuff.
Thief: Hmmm... no.
No? NO?
You miserable human! What a fatal mistake that was! Get ready to burn in hell!
Thief: Wait, what? AHHHHHH! VAMPIRES!
I'll drain you of every last drop of blood and throw your dried corpse to the seagulls!
Thief: OH GOD! PLEASE, DON'T! HAVE MERCY! I... I'll do anything you want!
That sounds better. Why didn't you just say so to start with? Now, go to Shannar. There's an old asylum, you can hide there. And you better not dare not be there when we show up! Remember, we'll FIND you! Wherever and whenever. If you flee, you'll die painfully!
Thief: Alright, alright, I got it... well, guess it's time to check out my new jail, er, I mean home.

And once again, he leaves.

So those are your methods to get other people to do something for you.
Works like a charm...

So that's the end of the thief sidequest. We'll get to what he does when we come bakc to Shannar.

Finally, to cap things off, let's finish one more side quest - the one where we're supposed to deal with a witch that cursed some guy in Uruya.

This unassuming hut hides our witch. Also, chest with a save stone.

Oh, by the way, when I say "hides", I mean it. For some reason, which I assume to be a plain mistake, the witch is invisible.

You just have to notice that you can't walk onto this square.

Witch: How dare you just come in here?
We come because of a curse you put on somebody.
Witch: OK, that's enough! You will pay for what you've done!
HARHAR! What a stupid human! Now, YOU will die!

This witch isn't really worth going into detail over. She gets wailed on for two rounds and dies.

Witch: UUHHHH... I cur-
Shut up! Forever!

That's that dealt with!

And finally, back to Uruya to get our reward.

Blonde Man: Thank you! You released me from the curse!
Hm, then why are you still back here, and not amongst other people?
Blonde Man: Um... well, to be honest, I got so used to being alone that I no longer feel the need to be amongst other people.
What? Well, I'll be...
Blonde Man: But still, please take this as a reward for your efforts.
"Obtained 400 EXP and 1 Life Rune!"
Blonde Man: It's an old rune, I bought it some time ago because I thought I could reverse the curse with it, but it didn't help. You take it. Maybe it'll help you!

Well, it's +5 HP. That's always nice. Anyway, apart from the cult sidequest with the super powerful enemies, I think that's it for side quests! And that's it for this batch of footage, which means that that's it for this update! Next time, we'll decide the fate of Lombar, maybe start grabbing some more ultimate gear, and head back to the next dungeon!