Part 54: BF49 - Heaven's Gate - Stone Lattice
With the blade Gran Centurio in hand, Yggdra answered the words of the gods passed on to her by the guardian angel Marietta.
Believing the Holy Sword was absolute justice, Yggdra decided to judge the gods for allowing Nessiah to run amok in the human world.
Her sights set on Asgard, Yggdra moved beyond Heaven's Gate, to a place where floating boulders formed the Stone Lattice.
Once she passed there, Asgard would be in reach...
As the Royal Army marched forward, a new force stood before them.
I wondered what kinda place the gods lived in... But... this place's weird. Rocks chained together...? What's up with all this!
I believe this is the path to the gods. We must get through here.
It would seem those are the intruders.
But... that means theyve defeated the guardian angel. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seem them here.
Still... shouldn't we get the Magi's permission? The weapon's only a prototype, and the tests aren't complete...
Even if it's an emergency, she isn't ready...
It cannot be helped; we have our orders. And it's possible we may obtain useful test data. After all, perfecting this diviner is our main concern. There is no time to waste. You will agree, yes?
Hey, you! You guys from Asgard...
H-He's saying something...!
Worry not. They will be disposed of soon enough.
...If you're not gonna say anything, then I will. You'll pay for letting Nessiah loose on the world!
Nessiah...? What are you talking about?
If you stand aside, no harm will come to you. We only have business with the gods.
Are you referring to the Seven Magi?
That's not a name I'm familiar with. However, we need you to take us to them at once.
What!? Even we can't raise our heads to them...
You lowly humans stand no chance of meeting them. Such arrogance!
Lowly humans ? I don't think I like your attitude. What makes you so different from us?
Either way, if you won't help us, we have no choice. We have come to express our discontent to the gods, for they brought harm to the land below and abandoned it. We cannot allow our world to be disturbed anymore. Do not interfere, or I swear on the Holy Sword, we will strike you down!
That power... That's not of the world below...! How does she have it...!?
Is this the work of the Fallen One? Alright! No. 367!
The time has come for you to use your Diviner. You must eliminate these intruders at once.
Everyone, provide backup for No. 367! Do not underestimate them. They beat the guardian angel.
Ok, finally, the final battle of the game. It's really here to throw some Dept. Heaven references out, referring a lot to stuff from Riviera, the Promised Land. It's also not a very fun level, but let's get to it anyways.
Interesting thing about these conditions... both Yggdra and Milanor can lose. Just like normal characters, when they reach 0 morale they'll retreat. The mission doesn't end until you either win, or lose everyone.
Winning specific clashes can be extremely rare, so I want this to take advantage of the morale damage bonus. I may need to capitalize on absolutely any damage I can deal.
Same plan from Milanor.
No. 367 uses Axes, so Durant is at a disadvantage against her. However, all those clowns in the big hats count as Archers, so Durant will have Servant killing duty.
With Night , Elena fares pretty well against No. 367. I just boost her Archer slaying powers as well, because the Servants are pests.
With no other real options, Mistel takes Nessiah's old Etherion. It fills her gauge in a couple of seconds, so it can have multiple uses.
Everyone's also brought to full morale. No point hoarding any items now...
Heh, that the welcome party? Well, there's plenty of 'em!
We have no chance against the gods if we're stopped here. Everyone, let's get ready!
At first glance, No. 367 doesn't seem very threatening, and at this point, she really isn't. Her first three abilities are common enough. D. PROTECTION is similar to Marietta's S. Shield, and blocks damn near everything, with Crusade as an exception. Hvy Counter, as usual, will never activate.
Similar again to Marietta, she's a unique character and fights solo, making it difficult to estimate her strength..
The Servants are big puds with stupid hats. They attack with blunt swords that shoot lightning, and count as archers. This is the High Servant, who's significantly stronger than the regular clowns. They're also large characters, so Durant can Mind Change them and ride them around like a horse.
Turn 1, we simply funnel up the middle channel. It's a huge map, but there's not a lot of reason to explore it. The enemies are straight up, just off screen. No. 367 is to slightly to the right, and generally attacks down the right path.
This formation will allow easy spreading, to focus on either Servants, or No. 367 as appropriate.
No. 367's card, Judgement Zero, does a semi-random amount of damage. You can expect to take 2-4 damage per shot.
As expected, she takes the right path and meets Yggdra. She's not always so aggressive.
...I cannot. I must eliminate all intruders... That is my duty.
I will strike anyone down who interferes, whoever they are!
Round one. In general, it looks like she stands no chance. Even Durant has the superior stats to negate her weapon advantage.
She deals 3 damage on her charge, but takes 0 on Yggdra's counter, due to D. Protection.
Yggdra wails on her, and manages to finish her just after she reaches MAX, but just before she uses Judgement Zero.
Thanks to the End of Ages, Yggdra deals a nice 4935 damage, and one-shots No. 367.
We'll still have to deal with the rest of the union, though. Against Durant, she uses Judgement Zero.
O angel who appears before a false god... Unknown is the essence of her power...
Nothing too special, but it will likely cement her victory against Durant.
Because of her unique class size, she will always deal base 104% damage, minus ability modifiers. It's a decent amount of damage.
Milnaor, Mistel, and Elena all manage to beat her, even with the two women taking a Judgment Zero as well.
Next time, I won't be so lenient on you!
Ugh... Wh-What should I do...? I'm losing control... At this rate, I'll be...
Tch! The Diviner does not have enough power!? It will be a risk, but I am raising Skadi P-2's power. No. 367, I will raise the Diviner synchronization!
98%. 99%. Amazing!
This malice. Do you feel it? What is this!?
If you've finished Riviera, this should be a familiar event.
Incredible! Synchronization has surpassed 100%! Now, No. 367, eliminate them!
Ha... Ahahahaha! I can do it! I can handle them this time! You fools! I shall erase you from this world entirely!
After all that, it's the Servants' turn now. They use the same card as Pamela, Coma Karma, which puts their enemy to sleep. It would be annoying if we weren't sporting max Gen, or if they even have a chance to use it.
They move two units up to support, one on each side of the path.
The new and improved No. 367. Besides a massive stat upgrade, there are two other differences. First, she doesn't have a morale regen ability. In fact, she loses morale each turn. Second, Judgement Zero. Fuck Judgement Zero. Let's check an alternate run, to see what it does.
Non-elemental Overkill damage, right through Shield Barrier.
Well, that's not entirely accurate. It doesn't always deal Overkill damage, but I've had runs where she'd use it in 10 clashes, and Overkill 10 times. There's still a random factor here, so it can still deal non-fatal amounts of damage, but it's rare.
My usual response to bullshit, as usual, is Crusade. Let's try it.
Yggdra charges, No. 367 counters. With 6 Gen vs 6 Tec, and Yggdra with the weapon advantage, No. 367 will generally deal 1 or 2 damage. In this case, she dealt 2, leaving us with 6.
The regular timing then leaves us at this stage. Our last Valkyrie has fallen, enabling Crusade. No. 367 is moments away from reaching Max, as well, letting her use her card as well.
We almost get 2/3rds charge, when No. 367 uses Judgement Zero. It cancels Crusade...
and does that.
I've yet to find a reasonable defense against her card, other than beating her before she can use it. Now, thanks to her new and improved Atk stat, it's hard to brute force through her before she Maxes out, so we pray to the almighty random number generator for mercy. Most of the time, we get Overkill damage.
Sometimes we get a bone thrown to us, and it deals some small amount of damage. Rarer still, we might get this...
Overkill damage, but Yggdra survives, somehow... It still didn't stop No. 367 from dropping Yggdra on her next swing.
Very rarely, the RNG feels mercy, and we get the continuation of the in-progress run...
I'm not even going to mess around. Crusade will be the first card used. If not now, then maybe on No. 367's charge we'll have the chance to use it. Durant and Elena will pick off that Servant, while Milanor and Mistel will attempt to fight No. 367.
As usual, we can deal no charge damage.
But what's this? Her counterattack has dealt slightly more damage than usual, dropping us to 5. This should allow Crusade before she has the chance to use Judgement Zero.
We start off passive. Getting to 100% is step one.
By the time No. 367 reaches RAGE, we only have two Valkyries left. This might work.
Apparently she also deals Ice damage during RAGE. Hmm, didn't notice before. Makes sense, though, being that she uses Skadi.
Our last Valkyrie falls, and we have a decent amount of time to charge Crusade.
Of course, she immediately cancels it with a Flash attack. We have time for another attempt, though.
No. 367 still reaches MAX before our charge is complete. We have a slight window of opportunity to finish the charge, and use it, before the enemy will use theirs.
The End of Ages has turned our strong 5939 damage attack, into an 8909 monstrosity. However, it will be all for nothing if we can't claim another victory.
In the mean time, Durant deals with this tool.
He shows us the broad side of his sword, and lightning falls. These enemies are stupid, and I hate them. Fuck their big hats.
Elena will have to finish this clown, though.
Milanor is up against No. 367 now. Her bar is already Maxed, so she starts with Judgement Zero.
In another merciful round, her card does not deal Overkill damage, but merely 3 units worth.
She still pummels Milanor into submission. In general, you can survive one loss from her, as she deals roughly 5000 damage per victory...
Elena kills this guy.
Mistel is up against No. 367 now. At 2 damage, it's the counterattack we'd expect.
Mistel dumps the entire skill gauge into aggressive mode, and ends by the time No. 367 reaches max. Thankfully, the Etherion will refill that in a matter of moments.
JZ only deals 2 damage this time an all time record low.
With a brand new skill gauge to dump into aggressive, Mistel comes back swinging. It's close, but she manages to bring No. 367 down.
Final levels for the main party.
I-I can't unleash my power... Am I... no good...? The prototype Diviner... and my potential... aren't enough...? I... I must report this to... ...Master Hector......
Riviera spoilers Hector is one of the Seven Magi, and the antagonist of Riviera. After the fall of the gods in Ragnarok, the Seven Magi took control of Asgard. With the loss of the gods, they could no longer make Grim Angels. Hector was experimenting to create a new versions of these warriors. Malice was a recurring opponent in the game, and was thought to be a real Grim Angel. In truth, she was Hector's most successful experiment. She used the original Skadi, a fake Diviner.
I think that's how it all went. It's been a while.
I-It cannot be...! No. 367 was defeated...!? The Fallen One... He should not have given the humans that power.
We beat 'em... But it wasn't easy.
And their words... I feel that something is amiss.
Yeah... They're planning something shady alright. I'm sure it'll affect our world, too.
You're right. It doesn't matter who the enemy is. We must press on for the sake of our world. The battle won't end until we sever the root of all evil. Let us march onward. To the gods!
Video The Advent of Ragnarok
The Royal Army marched forth to judge the gods.
The gods, known as the Seven Magi, sent troops to suppress the intruders, but Yggdra could not be stopped. Their last chance was to unleash Asgard's ultimate weapon... the Grim Angels.
The great battle came to be known as The Trial...
Skadi P-2: Just like the Scepter of Wisdom, this isn't an equippable item. We can look at it in our inventory, though, so here it is.
So there's that level... Besides the Riviera references, it really doesn't add much, unfortunately. The D ending is pretty much the same, as well, with the Royal Army starting the war known as the Trial.
I usually have enormous difficulty defeating this level. In general, the Servants are all punks, and can be dealt with as they arrive. Powered-up No. 367, though, can be an issue.
My little aside there should have shown the difficulty in using Crusade on her, since it requires you take at least 3 damage on her charge/counter. It's actually easier if you equip an item that will lower Yggdra's Gen, so she takes more damage. A dual Crusade should then lead to an easy victory.
It's possible to brute force her, still, as we saw with Mistel. When Judgement Zero does a weak attack which is usually rare, any 6-star Attacker, especially with a weapon or terrain advantage, fares a good chance. The fact that two people survived it is a first for me.
Now assuming Judgement Zero isn't going to obliterate you, cards like Ace Guard or items that block charge/counters should give you an advantage. Kiss of Death can be used to buy a few seconds, and that's the entire reason I leveled it up. Unfortunately, since you blew all your Rep on Marietta, Kiss of Death won't power you up very much. Void Ice will also let you ignore her Rage attacks, but not Judgement Zero.
If you were attentive, you may think that you can use No. 367's morale loss every turn to your advantage. Yes, she does lose some morale every turn, but there's a problem. You only have like 8 cards for this mission, and they don't refresh when No. 367 powers up. That leaves you with 6 or 7 turns to run away from her, and she doesn't take a huge amount of damage in that time. It can buy you some damage if you need it, but I don't think you can rely on it.
The mission is really tied into the mythos established in Riviera, the Promised Land. If you haven't played it, I'd really recommend it. Failing that, there's an awesome LP of it here that was done by Didja Redo.
Well, that's the game. While definitely not perfect, I think Yggdra Union was a pretty interesting game. The battle system stands well on its own, even if it should have some tweaks. The story, while not gold, is pretty solid for the most part, and the characterization rises above, giving the game a pretty interesting cast.
There are some issues, though, in my opinion. Anything that takes digging through FAQs, like some of the item hunting, or item trading, can be pretty stupid. Add that to the fact that collecting some items can be harder than the actual level, and it takes away some enjoyment.
As well, the balance of the battles can use some work. I don't just mean the game throwing in Gulcasa at a moment's notice, who simply hunts you down and feeds you the dick. It feels to me like the game balance has three acts getting your ass kicked, Milanor killing everything, and finally, winning.
The first third of the is probably the most strategic. Your cards are mostly ineffective, due to either not having the Tec to use them, or the cards just being not that good. Hell, you can't even use them for seven missions. You need to scavenge any advantage possible, using terrain and unions to their fullest, and almost never ignoring the weapon triangle. It's at this point you're at a huge disadvantage against Witches/Necros, like Eudy in Battle 3, or Rosary/Roswell in Battle 10, and Gulcasa is at his hardest, when you retake Paltina.
By the second third of the game, you have both a good repertoire of cards, like Shield Barrier and Gravity Chaos, and Milanor is probably an unstoppable tank. This part of the game generally revolves around Milanor, and how you can use him to crack certain situations, with your card power backing you up.
The final portion of the game is always easy, even on less optimized runs than mine. From the time Yggdra is coronated Queen, the game is out of challenges. Part of the fact is due to Yggdra being incredibly powerful, with excellent abilities. By this time, though, everyone is damn strong, and you have all the best cards. You can basically pick a card at random, and a character at random, and win fights. Terrain is hardly useful, and you don't need to worry about avoiding cannons, or using catapults, etc. True, you have a few gimmicks to deal with, like the Ankh Cannon, or Baldus's invincible army of Knights, but it's barely enough to slow you down.
I think part of this is due to stat growth, and that it accelerates. It's hard to gain a stat lead early on, because it takes 8-10 stars per level. It seems to take forever to gain any progress. It's at this point you'd want to rely on early cards like Flame or Banish, but you don't have the Tec to push that advantage. Dumping a bar into Aggressive works better, and that shouldn't be the case.
During your last few stats, though, you need 2-4 stars. One MVP bonus can give you a full stat, so you just fly through your stat growth, and quickly overpower all but the toughest foes.
MVPs really don't help matters, either, especially if you Quick Clear most of it. They seem to interfere with the stat growth balance, which lets your brute force your way through things that much quicker.
Ultimately, I still think it's a really good game. Forming the perfect union with limited resources, and toppling the enemy force like dominoes as your plan comes together can be really satisfying.
PSP Normal mode also helps one of my issues, by making item hunting that much less important. In general, you need every item you can get your hands on just for the morale restoration. On normal mode, however, that is lifted. You recover morale every level up, as well as whenever a unit sits out for a battle. It lets you concentrate on the battles themselves, and not FAQing where an otherwise useless item is. Battle turbo mode is also a godsend.
The presentation of the game is excellent as well, with solid voice-acting and music, as well as nice transitions during the events. The battles look frantic, and the sprite work is detailed, well animated, and varied.
Anyways, might as well wrap this up. This is a game I like talking about, and apparently I can ramble on and on when I have an audience. I'd like to thank everyone that followed this thread, especially through some of the shitty update schedules I've had. Hopefully, if you're new to the game, you had a good look at it. Otherwise, if you've played it already, hopefully you've either learned something about the mechanics, or just saw a different way of doing things.