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  • Locked thread
Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

So I've been playing along with the LP and I just had Bernard counter another archer. I don't think in any of my shining force playthroughs I've seen that before. I'm not sure how your Bernard is turning out but mine is making Hayward look like Hans. He single handily took out half a map in the last chapter.

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inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 48: More filler, more yawning



Well, it seems to be night already. What should we do?

Have a look over there, Prince Medion.



It's been a long day. After all this, I don't think anyone wants to sleep outside. That village would be most welcome.

Agreed. Let's spend the night there.




Very fortunate considering how many Republican soldiers are concentrated in this village.

We were able to make it into this village, but now we're stuck here. Aw, what a waste of time!

Well, Syntesis, you'll just have to be patient until Uryudo has returned from assessing the situation. Until he returns, we can't afford to risk moving.

I hear the sound of marching. Perhaps the Republican army is already moving.



The Republican army has started to move to the front, but something isn't quite right...

What do you mean?

The Republican army has been preparing to move out all morning, as if they were waiting for something. They appear to have been waiting for... an Imperial soldier.

What do you mean they were waiting for an Imperial soldier?

An Imperial orderly was seen entering the Republican officers' hotel, only to emerge later with a Republican officer. The two of them departed for the battlefield together!

What does it mean, Prince Medion? An Imperial orderly and a Republican officer, heading to the front... It's an unlikely combination.

I wish I knew. The only scenario that makes sense is if there were treachery afoot...

Speaking of which... Oh yes... That's right. They said since the Synbios army was on its way, they had to depart quickly.

The Synbios army? Then... Then they plan on amushing Lord Synbios and capturing King Benetram!

So that's it... an ambush. Considering the political instability within the Republic, it's not out of the question.

An assassination plot against King Benetram, it would appear...

So they want to live under Imperial rule?

No, no. It's more likely the Imperials plot to remove King Benetram.

Even if we are still uncertain about King Benetram's innocence, I can't let him and the Synbios army be defeated in such an ignoble manner.

That's right! We can't just abandon our friends in the Synbios army!



We know what we must do, Zero.

That's right, just immediately follow the suggestion of the soldier on loan who belongs to the other side. Sometimes, it's hard to process just how dumb Medion and company are.

As soon as we've finished gathering information and replenishing our supplies, let us follow in the tracks of the Republican army.




The only two items in town that are remotely important.




We also pick up a new weapon for Campbell and pop another Goddess Tear in the item shop.



Aw, crap. You all know what this means.




Sigh. Yes, there's another penguin in this scenario. Luckily, this one isn't nearly as useless, for reasons we'll see later. After we take care of all that business, we just need to leave town to start the next bit.





They have to use that many soldiers just to get rid of one vampire bat? Ludonarrative dissonance, indeed.

The beasts have turned vicious! They attack us in broad daylight! What do you think possessed them?

Maybe it's just my imagination... but I think they've gotten stronger. As soon as we cross the bridge we should be safe. We probably won't face any more attacks...



I think it's safe to assume something strange is happening.

What is it?

I'd like to know myself. However this puzzle is coming together, piece by piece.






These are all enemies we dealt with last fight, but since the difficulty is turned back down, everything has 3 – 4 less points in both ATT and DEF. Observe:



Remember how Campbell only did 11 damage to that commander two fights ago? What a difference difficulty level makes.



Much to nobody's surprise, the instant I get a second support that boosts magic, I beeline towards building as many support ranks as possible between them.



There's also this. Most of the enemies on the map barely move, so I have all the time in the world to grab the treasure in those ruins. Not that it takes long.





Two thieves, three chests, as shown. I tried to unequip Campbell's weapon so I wouldn't be at risk of accidentally killing that thief in one go. He carries two items, the first of which is a large mithril (nice but not necessary), and the second of which is a protect ring (+5 DEF, Heal 2 on use, extremely good this early in the game). Unfortunately, in Shining Force 3, unarmed characters actually aren't allowed to attack.




However, we have Zero who gets to ignore terrain penalties with 6 MOV and Hazuki who barely has terrain penalties and 7 MOV. Having Hazuki this early makes bonus dungeons significantly easier than having to rely on Dantares and Cybel for nearly everything in scenario 1.



We have what we came here for.




This is the third treasure which is just about useless, but I had some extra turns, so why not?



Hazuki has a shuriken lying around, which is the ninja ranged weapon. It has less attack power than her katana, which is actually a good thing. See, building support ranks actually has nothing to do with how much damage you do. So, if I keep the amount of damage Syntesis and Hazuki do to their beatdown targets, it's easier to build their support.



Doesn't take long for them to get their first rank. Turns out that when two characters hit the same target, they gain 1 point. This is doubled if it's a killing hit. It only takes 10 points to get a rank, until you hit trust (rank 3). To jump from trusted to soulmate, it's apparently randomly assigned every time the characters in question reach 15 points, which explains why it took so long for Masqurin and Noon to actually get it last go around.

Once again, if you want a much better dissection of the mechanics, you can find it on the Shining Force Central forums here.



Another neat thing is that you can actually stack the points with area effect spells. After Syntesis hit these two goblins with Blaze 2, Hazuki could have also nailed them with Tornado 2 to get 2 friendship points, or even 4 if they both died. Of course, Hazuki doesn't have Tornado 2 yet, so it's academic, but it's also something to keep in mind.



Hazuki's level up animation, which is identical to her casting animation. Somebody should get this girl a pair of pants.



Last particularly notable thing is that shurikens also count as arrows against flying enemies. Yes, we already have three archers. We're still getting more later.



Once somebody gets close to the pair of bridges towards the back, a few worms spawn.




Rock and Medion have zero trouble taking care of them while I focus on more important things.



Like this.



And then we enter the last few enemies, which are no problem to mop up. Unfortunately, they're too tightly packed together to wipe out with merely Syntesis and Hazuki, so I have to call in everyone else. I didn't keep exact track, but I'm fairly sure Syntesis and Hazuki are on path to get trusted early in the next fight.



It's almost as if there's some kind of sinister presence here.

Have you gotten the same feeling, Prince? I too feel the weakening of Elbesem's protection here.

What could possibly weaken Elbesem's power, Grantack?

It's difficult to explain, but Elbesem's influence has definitely been weakened.

Do you not feel it, Sir Campbell? It's like pinpricks on my skin.

Maybe I'm just thick skinned, but I can't feel anything. If Elbesem's influence is waning, does this mean something has happened in Elbesem Village?

Oh, that may be it. Something may have happened in Elbesem and we're feeling it.

That's right, this fight exists solely to let us know exactly where we are in Synbios' timeline.

If something is happening in Elbesem, it would have to be far greater than a regional problem like the struggle between the Empire and the Republic.

Well, there is little time to talk of this matter now. We must focus on supporting the Synbios army.

NEXT TIME: A traitor exposed

inthesto fucked around with this message at May 22, 2014 around 17:18

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


I know Syntesis is basically Masqurin reskinned, but do you mean to keep calling one the other?

Also you weren't kidding about this fighting being boring filler. By the time I reached the end of the update I'd already forgotten what you were fighting.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Nope, I'm just dumb as hell.

It's fixed now, thanks for the catch.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 49: The most fight yet!






And General Edmund as well! I can't believe a general so respected and trusted by all the citizens of the Republic would take part in this.

That birdman was their scout. Without a doubt, the Synbios army has arrived.

Over there! It's Lord Synbios and his army!



Listen up, Edmund army!



Go to your assigned positions so that we can aid General Edmund. This historical battle has now begun. King Benetram will move his army to the middle of the suspension bridge and fall right into our trap. That is the plan! When the Synbios army gets out onto the bridge, our collective attack will begin and their fates will be sealed.



The soldiers shuffle off into a patch of forest.

I'm afraid we'll have to stop your little scheme!

W-what? The Imperial army! What are you doing here?

We have been trailing your battalion since last night! We know all about your plan!

-fuming- So you were in Rhineside... If you know about our plans, then we can't let you live. We'll have to deal with them before the Synbios army! Don't allow a single one to live!



We must protect King Benetram and thwart their plans!

From as far as I can see from the topography, we should divide our battle force into two, rather than trying to head through the center.

I believe we can surprise them. Your orders, Prince Medion?











All new stuff, none of it dangerous. The map consists of two high rises on each side and a valley down the middle. Grantack suggests splitting up the army in two and going through the side paths so we don't get swarmed in the middle.



gently caress what Grantack says. He's stupid.





Medion gets jumped, but with the gale ring providing him 5 DEF, he survives to tell the story.



And Urydo fixes all problems in a jiffy with Heal 2, which we picked up last map.






Let's clean up that first wave of enemies. Note that in the combat screen, you can see the covered wagons and supply crates. If nothing else, scenario 2 went the extra mile with the visual details.

Also, look at that damage from Hazuki. 12 damage for a single cast of Tornado 1, and she's not even a full time mage! I love magic supports.




Bernard and Rock one-shot things.



Moving forward, a pair of soldiers spawn, but we've seen how dangerous they are. That is, not at all.



As usual, the mages are the only real threat, but they tend to have low defenses, so it's usually easy to kill them before they move.



Zero finishes off the mage while Syntesis and Hazuki take care of the spawned soldiers, and this scene triggers:



The way things are going... Not only will we be unable to defeat the Synbios army, but we are in danger of being wiped out...

The Edmund army appears to be folding under our offensive!

I can't believe you fell for it, Synbios army!



Surrender now Synbios! Let us have Benetram and you can be on your way.

That voice... General Edmund!

This should all sound familiar, but the script actually has been retranslated here. Why they didn't put this part in the scenario 1 patch is beyond me.



Hand over Benetram, Synbios. I don't want to have to defeat you.

How could you betray your country, General Edmund?

Betray is such a harsh word. The general is only following his ideals. Now what is your decision, Synbios?

What would drive a man of your caliber to do such a thing? Are you so dissatisfied with the Republic that you would join forces with the Imperial army?

Although the Republic was founded based on our ideals, ultimately we have not established true equality in Aspinia. All we've done is establish a new Empire. We will start again and build a new peace!

Our efforts to create equality have not run their course. So why have you borrowed the Empire's strength to demand such a hasty conclusion?

I can no longer be swayed by your words, King Benetram. The people of the Republic live in poverty! In our current state, we are no better than the Empire! We believed your words and waited, but nothing has changed!

Don't allow them to trick you, General Edmund. Enough stalling, Synbios. Put down your sword, surrender, and give us Benetram!



I see. It seems you plan to be uncooperative to the end.

On the other hand, if I had answered yes in scenario 1:

We agree to hand over King Benetram, but only after you've severed ties with Garzel and rededicated yourself to the prosperity of the Republic.

Hmph, you certainly are obedient... I won't play into your hands. You've prepared a scheme of some sort, haven't you?!

If you are determined to waste your one chance at survival, then there's no avoiding battle. My army! Begin your advance!



W-what, there's no way... What's wrong...? Edmund army, cut off the Synbios army's retreat!




I believe I'm to blame for that! The rest of them are being kept busy by my troops, Edmund!

Th-that voice... It's... It's Prince Medion!

You'd sacrifice innocents for your new order. That hardly sounds ideal to me. Time to wake up, Edmund!

I have lost respect for you, Garzel. You conspired with the Republic rebel army and secretly plotted to kill King Benetram!

Shut up, Grantack. What does one of no birthright like you know?

While I don't claim to understand a general's heart, if this is what's considered Imperial chivalry these days, I certainly don't want to take it as an example!

Hmph, be quiet Campbell. Just you wait. After defeating the Synbios army, I'll have your bones set in the foundations of our ideal nation!

You there, attack Synbios, the rest of you, go after Medion.

Leave Edmund's main forces to me. Go after Garzel and those other traitors, Lord Synbios!

Prince Medion, we thank you for taking a large portion of work off our hands. Their forces have been whittled down, Synbios. Let's take advantage and end this at once!

It's also a nice touch that they completely remodeled the landscape for this scene.



You've embarrassed us, Prince Medion. We'll use all this humiliation to fuel our victory in this, your final battle!

It looks like we've managed to put a halt to their plans, but there are enemies remaining. Let's launch an all out attack, Prince Medion!



Hazuki has a slightly different level up animation if she does it with an attack than with a spell. Man, she needs pants and a shirt.



At level 8, Hazuki also picks up Tornado 2.



Remember what I said about stacking area effect spells to build support ranks faster?



Syntesis picks up rank 3 with Hazuki and a new spell! It's just beautiful.



The pain train continues with one-hit kills.



Once you start to approach the boss, a wing knight and another soldier spawn. The soldiers at the end of the map use axes instead of halberds, and therefore pose no threat to us since we have 3 sword users now.



Zero decides that he'd rather inspect barrels than kill fellow Republican soldiers.



We're facing annihilation. General, please, we need reinforcements!



Don't get ahead of yourself, General Edmund. If you do that, my soldiers will fall to their death. You're certainly bold to make such a selfish order. If I should lose my army and end up abandoned in the Republic, how do you expect me to help found a new nation? Surely you're joking. I won't let you cut the rope.

If that's how it is... there's no need for further discussion.

I will not have it, Edmund.



You fool. I was going to dispose of you at some point. It will just have to be sooner than expected.

So this is it... My life ends with my greatest mistake.

And Edmund has a long drop off the bridge again.

Now that that nuisance is out of the way, next is the Synbios army. I will have to turn the tide of battle myself.



Surrender, Edmund army. Your general has been defeated. You have no reason to fight to the death.

-grunt- After joining forces to defeat our common foe... I suppose when we're no longer of any use you'll just throw us into the valley!

Of course not. Prince Medion would never do such a thing.

We've seen the Empire's treachery, yet now we are expected to trust you? Fight on! Even if we're defeated in battle, we'll take the enemy with us in memory of our general!

Wow, that's a kick to the balls. You give the enemy a chance to walk away with their lives, but because your supposed ally is such a dick, they don't trust you one bit.



I wanted to stack more area damage with Syntesis and Hazuki, but Syntesis ended up blowing up the wing knight in one hit. Oops.




Meanwhile, the ordinary rabble can't scratch us.




I'm going to get that rank 4 support, dammit.



With everything else taken care of, it's time to run in and smash the last of the fight.



Medion runs in and nails the mage with the rank 1 critical, effectively ending the fight.




Clean up the other mooks, and...




It's party time! Once again, the AI is set to attack Medion and nobody else. However, Medion is parked next to Rock (+5 DEF) and Campbell (some critical reduction, whatever it is). There's also a metric ton of medical herbs to go around, so Syntesis and Hazuki are free to beat on the Edmund Commander all day. Syntesis only does 1 damage per hit and Hazuki only 6, so this will be a lot of friendship points.




Until this happens and unnecessarily speeds things up.



And then Syntesis hits a critical doing another 13 damage.



So they didn't get that much out of it, but it was something. Here's hoping we can get that last support rank in the next fight.



And a useless treasure.

Before we move onto the next scene, I'll take this time to make a few plot notes now. The whole Edmund/Garzel sub-plot seems to exist in a bubble and isn't terribly thought out. The biggest question is whether or not Garzel is knowingly allied with Bulzome, but the beginning of the chapter indicates that he isn't. Just like Spiriel did to Franz, she also crashed the fight between Garzel and Produn changing what would be a decisive victory for Garzel into a draw where both armies had to retreat. Sometime between now and the next time we meet Garzel, he also runs into Edmund. There's a pretty good chance that Edmund was at a massive advantage (Remember, his army is hurting from Spiriel/Produn, and he also left a good chunk of it behind to fight us in the second battle of this chapter. It's explicitly stated that Garzel himself has zero brains for strategy and relies on overwhelming numbers to win battles.), but instead of seizing a victory, Edmund negotiated a plot to capture or assassinate Benetram.

The other big question is Edmund's motives in doing so. The idea of him being a straight up traitor who wanted to return Aspinia to the empire is right out. There's a high chance that he was one of the commanders in the original Aspinian revolt. Additionally, if you talk to all the NPCs in scenario 1, everyone who mentions him speaks of him positively and his soldiers are still loyal to him when his death is all but confirmed. Even Justin, who deserted upon learning the conspiracy, refuses to speak ill of Edmund. Chances are, Edmund wasn't full of hot air when he spoke of his principles for the republic, and really did believe that delivering Benetram for capture would quickly end the war and allow for a rebuilding of the republic. The real problem was that he chose the second-worst Imperial general (after Crewart) to conspire with.



The feeling is mutual. Because of the message from Lord Synbios, we were able to properly choose our course of action.

Speaking of which, I almost forgot. We must return your ally to you. He traveled with us as our guest.

Must you go, Zero?

Zero is the only one of us who can fly. Once he is gone, our battles will be more difficult.

Zero, it is nice to know that people rely on you.

My dear sister...

But you have your own duty, starting with the restoration of order in the Republic.

It isn't vital that you go with us, Zero. If you can be of assistance to Prince Medion, we would be happy to let you go.



Still, the idea that Synbios sends Zero to spy on Medion makes much more sense.

Thank you, Lord Synbios, but with the hard road I see ahead of you, I cannot accept any more such gestures.

And guess what! That means we'll be losing Zero for a few fights! This happens constantly – in fact, it already happened during the Hazuki recruitment fight. The reason why Zero starts with 2 ranks in swords is because he involuntarily sits out a bunch of fights, which cripples his ability to level up very badly. Combined with stat growths comparable to Eldar, Zero is a serious contender for the worst character in scenario 2.

Prince Medion, will you be traveling south, towards the city of Barrand? If so, then would you extend your trip and head to Elbesem?

To the Holy Land, Elbesem. What is going on there?

It is not widely known, but the Bulzome Sect has proven to be an evil power that opposes Elbesem. They have destroyed the guardian of the demon gate. The Elbesem Statue is no more.

The evil Bulzome followers have done such a thing. I understand. We will make a point to go and investigate.

Really? Just like that? Remember, Medion is going to Barrand so he can join General Rogan, get on Rogan's boat, and chase down General Crewart and Fiale who have abducted the emperor. This is exactly the kind of thing that can't be stalled by a detour, especially one that's going to take as long as this.

What will you do, Kahn? Do you intend to join Prince Medion and head to Elbesem?



I'm not sure this duty ever gets explained, actually.

I regret not being able to spend more time, but we must go now.

We pray for your success in battle, Prince Medion. You're the one chance for peace between our countries. Please take care of yourself.

Prince Medion and the rest of us will hurry south, over the mountains, and head into the capital of Barrand.



I... always dreamed of traveling and going on adventures, but I would've been happy with just a little bit, you know? Oh, I'm so jealous of Zero. He's heading to his home country.

But if General Edmund has turned, then the situation back in the capital must be...

That's quite true. Even after they arrive in Aspinia, I doubt they'll have time to enjoy it.

To think we might be the more fortunate ones. Why must their hardships continue?

The Republic's economy is on the verge of total collapse. While the war with the Empire obviously plays a part, the economic strife within the country is horrendous.

It's a battle many times fiercer and with greater hardship than facing powerful enemies on the battlefield.

-sigh- Until now I thought the Republic's ideal of equality was very appealing, but there is also suffering that comes with it.

It's about time we started to move out.

To Barrand, on the other side of that steep mountain range, and to General Rogan.

Imperial General Garzel and Republican General Edmund allied to capture King Benetram, but the Medion and Synbios forces thwarted them. The Medion army heads toward Barrand where General Rogan awaits, but they must pass through the Elven Forest.



NEXT TIME: YOU'RE WORSE THAN PENN GET OUT

inthesto fucked around with this message at May 22, 2014 around 17:17

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


That's a whole lot of boxes. The constant switching from the actual battlefields to just that nondescript forest doesn't help either.

I'm curious if Zero is one of those characters that pays off if you put work into him like Eldar, or whether he just flat out sucks.

vibratingsheep
Nov 2, 2013

Fudou, Gunzou. The Face of the Franchise Killer. 2004.


Man, Scenario 2 sucks so far at explaining the motivations of all these generals that were kind of muddy and confused in Scenario 1.

I'm feeling a little sad right now.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


I think this time you called Rock Obright.

e: Really if you aren't already you really should just keep calling all of Medion's people by their Synbios equivalents to emphasize how much he just a redux of episode 1.

marshmallow creep fucked around with this message at May 22, 2014 around 16:52

ChrisAsmadi
Apr 19, 2007
:D

inthesto posted:

Nope, I'm just dumb as hell.

It's fixed now, thanks for the catch.

You said you were buying a Lance for Dantares instead of Campbell in Part 48, too.

vibratingsheep
Nov 2, 2013

Fudou, Gunzou. The Face of the Franchise Killer. 2004.


Lotish posted:

e: Really if you aren't already you really should just keep calling all of Medion's people by their Synbios equivalents to emphasize how much he just a redux of episode 1.

Might as well just call them Dorf, Knight, Archer1 Archer2 Archer3, etc. at this point!

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Lotish posted:

I think this time you called Rock Obright.

e: Really if you aren't already you really should just keep calling all of Medion's people by their Synbios equivalents to emphasize how much he just a redux of episode 1.

ChrisAsmadi posted:

You said you were buying a Lance for Dantares instead of Campbell in Part 48, too.

God drat, I swear none of this is intentional, and I generally write this updates when I'm wide awake in the morning. I'll go back and fix these, but if I do it again, I'm just giving them my own stupid nicknames because I agree that the fact that these characters are carbon copies is stupid. But don't worry, we'll be getting our own unique scenario 2 characters soon!

AND THEY ALL SUCK

vibratingsheep posted:

Man, Scenario 2 sucks so far at explaining the motivations of all these generals that were kind of muddy and confused in Scenario 1.

I'm feeling a little sad right now.

Honestly, I agree. Edmund is really the only character who gets just enough context in scenario 2 to reveal his motivations, and that's mostly the retranslation. Varlant is as shallow as going crazy, Spiriel got mind-controlled, and Garzel is dumb as a post.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

inthesto posted:


AND THEY ALL SUCK


I think Hedoba counts as more than just Noon 2.0, but I'll conceed her husband being a terrible character. Uhm... Pappats isn't actually worthless?

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Zero Report: Index B


Imperial bowknight at the HQ in Balsamo incapacitated due to poison. After being cured by Medion, she gratefully joins his army.
Strengths: Bow knight who excels in sharpshooting, capable of increasing the accuracy of her allies
Weaknesses: Lacks defensive fighting skills
Support: Critical Up
Notes & Advice: Unlike you, Prince Medion appears to prefer fielding units with great ranged capabilities. Waltz is among them, and her crossbow appears to fire more powerfully than the ranged options of her allies. Her ability to increase the chances for a critical strike by her allies is also to be feared.


Imperial gladiator found tending his wounded companions at the Imperial HQ in Balsamo. Prince Medion aided them and became his ally.
Strengths: Physically strong, the sole axe fighter in Medion's army
Weaknesses: Aggressive fighting style leaves him with weak defenses against both weapons and magic
Support: DEF Up
Notes & Advice: Like Obright, Rock is an excellent soldier with an axe. However, I've noticed he neglects his defense and is also the only soldier capable of wielding an axe in Medion's army. Perhaps if we can neutralize Rock quickly, then Dantares and Cybel will have very little to fear from the Medion army.


Sniper on a mission for General Rogan. Captured by the Bulzome Sect but saved by Synbios. Joins the Medion army in Dusty village.
Strengths: Aim as sharp as his tongue, powerful shooting abilities
Weaknesses: Lightly armored
Support: Critical Up
Notes & Advice: Another archer in the employ of Medion's army. His skills are on par with Waltz's, and he shares her ability to steady the aim of his allies. While neither of them are individually as capable an archer as Hayward, I worry that the two of them together under Medion's command may be greater than the sum of their parts.


Birdman originally of the Synbios army. Instructed to help the Medion army in their time of need. Younger brother of Eldar.
Strengths: Excellent scout and spy with unquestionable loyalty!
Weaknesses: Actually, all this time writing these reports doesn't leave me much time to work on my fencing...
Support: Evade Up
Notes & Advice: Come on, Lord Synbios, do I really have to fill this out? You know my loyalty will always be with the Republic.


Ninja who came from the Far East with her father to defeat the rogue ninja Yasha, but her father was killed. Joins the Medion army to fulfill her father's dying wish.
Strengths: Multi-talented ninja who has many offensive and supportive tools at her disposal
Weaknesses: Lacks powerhouse capabilities in any metric
Spells: Tornado, Charm, Attack
Support: Magic & Counter Up
Notes & Advice: With swords, shurikens, and magic, Hazuki has an option for nearly any situation. Especially with that wind magic, I'm personally afraid of her. Have you seen what that does to wings? Also, I'm worried that she an Syntesis have been studying a lot of magic together in their personal time...

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me


You know, when you first said Waltz was a woman, I wasn't sure I believed you because the portrait is kind of androgynous, Waltz sounds like it could be a masculine name, and the character model didn't really sell her gender. But that full piece art kind of puts that to rest.

Also, is Rock supposed to be a dwarf? He kind of looks like a Sasquatch more than anything.

vibratingsheep
Nov 2, 2013

Fudou, Gunzou. The Face of the Franchise Killer. 2004.


Speaking of full piece art, I've spent 15 years thinking that Zero had chubby baby cheeks because of how his portrait makes his helmet look too big and his wing tip looks like a shoulder. It turns out that he's svelte and fit. I don't know what to think about this.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


vibratingsheep posted:

Speaking of full piece art, I've spent 15 years thinking that Zero had chubby baby cheeks because of how his portrait makes his helmet look too big and his wing tip looks like a shoulder. It turns out that he's svelte and fit. I don't know what to think about this.

This jarred me too, but I still pretend that Zero is a chubby, puffy parakeet because it's so much cuter thay way.

Shitenshi posted:

That's a whole lot of boxes. The constant switching from the actual battlefields to just that nondescript forest doesn't help either.

I'm curious if Zero is one of those characters that pays off if you put work into him like Eldar, or whether he just flat out sucks.

As far as I can tell, Zero's stat growths are pretty identical to Eldar. The problem is that we lose him frequently, and we do it for a long time (I believe he's gone for the equivalent of a chapter and a half), so he's constantly behind on levels regardless of what we do. And given how experience gain in Shining Force works, it's a Herculean task to get him back up to speed.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

Lotish posted:

You know, when you first said Waltz was a woman, I wasn't sure I believed you because the portrait is kind of androgynous, Waltz sounds like it could be a masculine name, and the character model didn't really sell her gender. But that full piece art kind of puts that to rest.

Also, is Rock supposed to be a dwarf? He kind of looks like a Sasquatch more than anything.

Rock's a beastman, probably an ape type, but I'd totally buy Sasquatch.

Hoss Corncave
Feb 13, 2012


Ardeem posted:

I think Hedoba counts as more than just Noon 2.0, but I'll conceed her husband being a terrible character.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that about her husband. He just had nothing going for him in my game. Her on the other hand when soulmated with Syntesis...

Besides, we meet Donhort soon, and sweet merciful crap...

KataraniSword
Apr 22, 2008

but at least I don't have
a MLP or MSPA avatar.
I am my own man.

Shitenshi posted:

I'm curious if Zero is one of those characters that pays off if you put work into him like Eldar, or whether he just flat out sucks.

The Shining Force games have a really huge problem balancing characters that can ignore terrain. Either they're godlike shitwreckers (Bleu, Peter, arguably Domingo, Claude in SFCD, Kiddo in Final Conflict) or they're utter trash whose only saving grace is the fact that they can fly (pretty much every birdman in the series not named Kiddo or Claude, Kokichi, Kiwi post-promotion).

Eldar was actually a surprising case in that she ended up either par or slightly-below-par on average, instead of gravitating to either extreme, and as inthesto said, Zero is basically "Eldar -1", which brings him closer to the suck pile than she is for no other reason than less screen time.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 50: Maybe we should stick to professional soldiers





The numbers of undead around here have dramatically increased. Why have they invaded the territory around Barrand?

Anyway, we're lucky to finally come across a village. It's such a relief to have a break from battle for a while!

I agree Syntesis. I'm relieved as well.

Perhaps we can make our camp there for the night.

Prince Medion, there is no light at all and absolutely no sign of life in this village.





Grantack, what do you make of this?

This place seems to have become a ghost town. Something might be...

Grantack, please no more. You're giving me the creeps already.

You're frightened, Syntesis? I guess you have a feminine side after all.

No, it's MASQURIN whose Japanese name is Masculine. Yeesh.

-laugh- Syntesis may not like it, but going any farther tonight would be impossible. Let's rest here.



The game gives us control at this point, for no reason because the game snaps back to a scene as soon as we see this suspicious character who promptly teleports away.

Bulzome monks?! What are they doing here?



Why are you wandering around in a lifeless village in the middle of the night? Suspicious one, identify yourself!



poo poo like this makes me want to pull my hair out.

I am one of the four high priests of Bulzome, known as Goriate of the wind.



How dare you disrespect our priest! Since your prince is lower class by birth, I guess we should expect as much from his minions. Shall we teach you some manners?




Campbell and one of the monks start to go at it, but Goriate stops them by spreading out his arms. I'm trying to think if there's sprite animations like this anywhere in scenario 1, and I'm coming up blank. Remember, Hazuki had the backflip a few fights ago too.

We are priests. Our role is to guide people. What makes you think we would harm these villagers?

You bombed Saraband, and took advantage of the commotion to abduct the emperor! Aren’t these all the Bulzome Sect’s doings?

Who has seen such a thing?

We didn't see the abduction, but when we witnessed masked monks planting gunpowder before the explosion, we were attacked!

I’m sorry to hear about what happened. However, how do you conclude that these were acts of the Bulzome Sect?

We heard from King Benetram that the four Bulzome high priests abducted the emperor and escaped by ship.

Ho ho! Don’t tell me that a prince of the Empire believes a story told by the king of your enemy.

You deny this... So King Benetram’s story is a lie?

It’s nice of you to be so understanding.

Then may I ask why you are here, High Priest Goriate?

I’ve come to Stump Village looking for someone, but as you can see, there’s nobody here. I am quite puzzled myself.

What makes you think the person you are looking for is in this small village? Who is this person you seek?

That reminds me. It wouldn't hurt to ask. I’m looking for a boy with silver hair, about 12 years old. By any chance, did you see him on your way here?

No choice here, Medion just shakes his head.

I see. Well then, we shouldn’t linger here.

Wait! Who is this boy anyway? And why are you looking for him?

His name is Gracia... He's a descendant of the Innovators.



After that, Goriate and his posse teleport away. All this drat teleportation.

Gracia? Who’s that?

No idea. Besides, who are these Innovators?

Hmmm... So the clan of the Innovators really exists. Innovators are not as well known as Vandals, but they are both legendary races.

What is their relation to each other?

They are opposites. So, while Vandals are supreme evil beings, Innovators are supreme holy beings.

The opposite of Vandals... Like two sides of the same coin. Do you believe they really exist?

I'm not sure we can believe what Goriate told us. If it's true, why are they looking for him?

The Bulzome Sect looks evil to me.

The terrorist bombings, the abductions, and the multiple assassination attempts haven't tipped you off yet?

Wouldn’t a supreme holy being be a danger for them?

Are they searching for this Gracia boy to annihilate the Innovators?

It seems that, besides the search for the emperor's whereabouts, we now have another mission...

And it means that sooner or later, we will have to battle the priests of Bulzome, including that eerie Goriate. We should be prepared.

Tomorrow, we will leave these woods and head to Barrand. We must reach it by tomorrow! Now, let’s rest in this makeshift headquarters.



After all this, we're allowed to wander around the village, but almost everything is locked. The only buildings we're allowed to go into are the church and headquarters.



Well poo poo, that's not ominous at all.



Going into HQ doesn't do anything special, and the game automatically cuts to the next morning.




Whoa! I can't believe this! Real live people!



Look at all those animations for Syntesis! These little things almost make me willing to forgive all of scenario 2's flaws.

But how come there were no villagers when we arrived last night? And now... I should tell Medion.



Grantack, how long do you estimate it will take before we reach our destination?

If we hurry, we can make it to Barrand before nightfall. I hope we'll be able to meet General Rogan again.



Don't worry. Even if we didn't know where you were, we wouldn't leave without you. Just hurry up and get prepared.

No, it's not that. It's the people... The village... is not a ghost town anymore!

Are you sure? But where could they have hidden in such a small town? Where in the world did they come from?

I believe there's a need to investigate a bit, Prince Medion.

Well, I think we have a little time available to us. Let's take a look around, and see what we can find!





Guess we can leave now.

A village on the trees just before us... I'd never heard of it before... We should visit it before we leave.

Or our loving advisor could stop us as we try to leave. God drat railroaded plots.

This is an amusing setup, though. Recall that Quonus was deserted and it lead to Synbios meeting the vandal Abdark and having to save everybody. This, on the other hand, is a totally innocent “they were sleeping, you doofus.” Hell, if you look at the last screenshot, there's even a rope ladder on the left that wasn't there at night. As for more nice touches, Syntesis bugs Medion every time he tries to check one of the houses at night, and it's a different line for each building:

-yawn- Can we call it a day? I want to go back to headquarters and rest.

I'm starving! Can we PLEASE just go back to headquarters and rest?

It's pitch-dark. Let's call it a day and go rest at headquarters.

Ooowwwwwww. My feet are killing me! Let's go back to headquarters soon.

Let's not sneak around in the dead of night, we will be refreshed in the morning! Let's return to headquarters.

A real range of emotions there. Anyways, enough of this sidetrack, let's move on.



The shopkeepers have slightly different portraits too! It's a nice touch. Also, while we're here, we pick up an ankh for Uryudo so he can cast Tornado, a new axe for Rock, and a new quarrel for Waltz.



Same goes for the item merchant. The power undies will go on Waltz, as Syntesis and Hazuki have very little reason to equip an item that raises criticals. There's also a goddess tear in here to pop, which we leave at the store as usual.




More cute touches in this village. The design in scenario 2 has all these flourishes that make the experience less unpleasant.




We can also climb up the rope ladder to explore more of the village.



One of the seven of us isn't here. He only left a little while ago, though, so you may be able to find him!

I have no idea where the seventh dwarf is, but this is a cute reference. Also, it's fun to note that forest dwarves and forest elves are completely different from the kind we're used to seeing. These guys are tiny compared to the likes of Obright, and Syntesis has no knowledge of the habits of the elves here.




One of the rooms has this little decoration that can be pushed aside. Jump down the hole, and there's a ladder for us to climb down.



Which leads to this closed off area that you can see from the rest of town. And now we have our fully party MP refill which we will use to completely and unnecessarily overkill the final boss. The rest of the town had stuff to haul, including two large mithrils, a fairy powder, a healing drop, a cheerful bread, a goddess tear, and 500 gold.




When we get to the top of the trees, we're greeted by a big symmetrical hallway, which is a great indicator that this is where we need to go to progress the plot.



Umm, yeah. Let's just move on from that.




That voice... Hedoba!



No, no, it wasn't us. Her voice sounded as if it came from just above us.

Ah, you must be the ones from the force of the Imperial prince who came to the village last night. I'm afraid that I don't have time to talk at the moment. It sounds as if Hedoba is in trouble!

Wait a second! Do you intend to march up there by yourself?

While it's rather gallant of you to rush to her aid, it's important to carefully assess the situation before acting. Enemies likely await you above. Knowing that, do you intend to go alone?



If there are enemies waiting there, as you say, what am I to do?

I will not stand by as innocent villagers are attacked. I, and my army, shall help you!

You're volunteering to help me? But you don't even know me... Are you serious? It certainly seems as if you are. I see. Please aid me in the rescue. However, I cannot accept your help for nothing. So from now on, we are allies.



And so starts the train of stupid JRPG bullshit where the plot throws all logic to the wind and our protagonist has to help every person around because he's the protagonist.

Nonetheless, with so few of us, we can't hope to defeat all those enemies. Please try and stand your ground while I go fetch the others.



Yeah, those are odds not in our favor. So we just wait here for Gra-



wait david what the hell are you doing



david you just stripped naked and are running at a pair of zombies





And this is why you do not accept random schlubs onto a professional army.







We've got a new set of enemies now. Zombies are 100% new and can poison but are otherwise chump change. Everything else is from scenario 1, and the succubus is the most dangerous of the bunch. Completely new boss we'll never see again, but it's cool to see new assets.



David's stats. I'll just get this out of the way now: David is pure, unadulterated poo poo. His weapons are spears, tomahawks, and daggers – That is, all the ranged variants of the main three weapons. While it means he can always maintain weapon advantage, it means he has to juggle ranks between three different weapons, and all of them have inferior stats to their pure melee counterparts. David doesn't have the base stats to support having weaker weapons, and has crap defense to boot. The guy doesn't even have 7 MOV like Frank. His sole upside is that his support is attack boost, but gently caress it. There's going to be so much god drat magic in this playthrough that I don't need it.



Medion and Campbell move up to the zombies that devoured David's brain, picking off a pair of vampire bats on the way.



Yawn.



Taking them out is no problem, as they only do 1 damage to Medion with his defense boost from the gale ring. The real issue is the poison, which is ticking 3 damage per round. I forgot to bring any antidotes or fairy powders, so we need to rendezvous with the rest of the army as soon as possible. Contrary to what Grantack implies, we're not supposed to wait.



We need to get to this door past the zombies.




Oh great! Undead enemies! Fine. If we can't run from them, I'll wipe them all out!

Yes. Yes, you will, Syntesis.



Annoyingly enough, we're still split with Medion and Campbell (and the corpse of some idiot with his skull cracked open) on the left and everyone else on the right. We need to to get each side to the end of their path to get back inside, to clash with that lump of enemies we saw at the top of the rise. Why the elves designed their drat houses like this is beyond me.



The dead stare on Campbell's face here is great. The rank 2 critical also instantly wiped the skeleton.



When the main army moves forward, two more zombies spawn from behind. With Uryudo on this side and most of the army loaded up on defense items, it's no big deal.



A lot of this is Syntesis and Hazuki beating on zombies while everyone else just sits around waiting for them to finish. Uryudo gets in quite a few counterattacks due to having weapon advantage because of his new ankh.



Time to stack those area effect support points!




Or both enemies could just die in one hit. I'm pretty sure the game just does not expect you to have a rank 3 support in magic at this point.



Just around the corner from those enemies, everyone ducks inside.



The archer and zombie jump on top of Rock and beat in his surprisingly frail face.




On the other hand, Bernard erases the sniper with a laser beam. One hit kills are kind of annoying since they do make it hard to build supports.



Medion and Campbell have very little to fight, just a zombie and an archer. Double easy since Campbell can get +5 ATT from Medion.



The main force goes up to to meet the wolf baron and his crew. Waltz wastes no time in shooting down the one real threat.



Bernard has to finish the job, though.




For characters with innately low defense and no defense items equipped (so, Rock and Waltz), these enemies are capable of putting down some pain. Even Syntesis has the life ring (+4 DEF, 2 HP regen) and she eats some pain.





Wipe out one skeleton, try to get that coveted fourth support rank on the other.



The setup. The boss will keep beating on Medion, which only does 5 or so damage with Rock's support. Perfect for giving time to Syntesis and Hazuki to slap the wolf baron's snout.



Literally.



Syntesis has her second critical, stun palm. It paralyzes the enemy and does damage. Too much damage.



Also, we're doing this to make sure Medion can't counterattack like last time.



Dammit, Syntesis! We're trying to do as little damage as possible!



Also, for some reason the wolf baron has a bowtie. He may be an evil undead demon, but at least he dresses in style.



He drops quite a bit of experience upon being killed.



:Guess what it's time for!



Heh heh... Are you really that happy to have defeated us?

Eh? What's that supposed to mean?

Heh... That's something you should ask David.

So, the one who attacked Hedoba was... High Priest Goriate?!

How did David even figure that out? Also, it's worth noting that people who are effectively dead in combat still get lines in cutscenes.

No, Goriate has already departed for Destonia. High Priests Dessheren and Fiale stayed behind and are in charge of this mission.

Dessheren and Fiale... More enemies...

High Priestess Dessheren has no patience for those who do not cooperate with the Bulzome Sect. So she has come to twist your arm a bit. I'm sure the two high priests are waiting for you. You should think long and hard before you confront them!

And then the wolf baron blows up. And a camera change because why not? Scenario 2 really takes things up a notch with cinematography.



They wish to... take the life of Gracia, the Godchild of Elbesem.

What is somebody of that importance doing in this village?

Despite much opposition from everyone there, Gracia recently left the Elbesem Temple to tend to a matter of great importance. I knew I should have stopped him from leaving.

So Gracia left the temple. Why make such a big fuss about it?

You obviously don’t understand the responsibilities Gracia and his clan carry, or you wouldn't speak of this so casually.

Let me guess. You're going to tell us Gracia is a descendent of the Innovators.

So you already know? I misjudged you. That saves me an explanation. Our barrier works in resonance with the protection of Elbesem, and forms an unbreakable shield. However, since yesterday, Elbesem's power has been dramatically weakening. The high priests of Bulzome were able to penetrate the barrier, and enter the Elven Forest. They demanded I tell them the whereabouts of Gracia.

You didn't tell them, then?

I can't believe they expected me to tell them. Ha! I told them I didn't know and sent them away.

And they just left?

Unfortunately, their retreat was only temporary, and they returned with undead minions as something of a demonstration.

So wait, Fiale and Dessheren brought an army here, and David was just going to run into them by himself? Is everyone in this scenario jut an idiot?

So they were basically telling you if you wouldn't do as they said, they wouldn't let up.

If Gracia would have been in Elbesem radiating holy energy with the Staff of Besem, this probably wouldn't have happened. But Gracia was here in Stump Village yesterday. They probably just missed him.

If that's the case, then is Gracia still hiding here somewhere?

No, they arrived just after he departed from the village. However, I know where he is heading, and Hedoba does too.

That is probably why the Bulzome Sect is interested in Hedoba...

Perhaps. Or maybe they simply know that she's my girlfriend, and wish to blackmail me...

We must hurry, Prince Medion!

The Bulzome Sect seem to employ more foul tactics each time we run into them. We mustn't let them have their way any longer. Let's go, Prince Medion!

So uh, that part where you're supposed to meet General Rogan so you can go find the emperor? No, that's not important at all? Just gotta chase down these random people making trouble in a random village?

Okay then. Good luck getting anything done, folks.

NEXT TIME:

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

Spoiler rant:


The Innovator is WAY too damm important to allow the Bulzome anywhere NEAR him, or allow any information on where he is to get to them. Innovator is the biggest threat any Vandal has. In most cases, the ONLY threat. And Innovators and Vandals are a rare breed thanks to the method of their creation.

Humans are imbued with holy spirits. The spirits come down from a special ship. Once they have the spirit, they'll change and grow more powerful based on actions and thoughts. Evil goes Vandal, good goes Innovator. Not that Vandals have to be 100% BWAHAHA, but most do. A big thing is the Thousand-Year Kingdom. The Vandals ran roughshod over most of the world, till God took offence at how things were going and burned the whole thing to the ground. God hasn't sent any ships since, apart from an incident a few years back game-time. This is covered in the game Shining The Holy Ark. There are a LOT of call-backs and links to that game in this.

I'm being fairly brief on it.

Bloodly fucked around with this message at May 23, 2014 around 14:49

Serifina
Oct 30, 2011

So... dizzy...


inthesto posted:


:Guess what it's time for!

Time to complain more about how Hazuki needs more clothing?

(Yeah, I know, time for people to start jumping in power ludicrously.)

Also, yes, everyone in this scenario is an idiot. This isn't an uncommon trait across all the Shining games, though.

KataraniSword
Apr 22, 2008

but at least I don't have
a MLP or MSPA avatar.
I am my own man.

Bloodly posted:

Humans are imbued with holy spirits. The spirits come down from a special ship.

Oh god, is this where that stupid "Max can call down an orbital laser strike at will" thing in the GBA remake of the first Shining Force came from?

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


The only thing that came to mind when Goriate said he was looking for Gracia is that he's a pedo priest. Would give Sega US's execs a great excuse to tell fans why they didn't release this one.

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

KataraniSword posted:

Oh god, is this where that stupid "Max can call down an orbital laser strike at will" thing in the GBA remake of the first Shining Force came from?

I don't know. Does it outright mention the Innovators? I've played the original Shining Force 1 and I don't remember anything like an 'orbital strike at will'. So you'll have to explain.

Shadow Ninja 64
May 21, 2007

"I stood there, wondering why the puck was getting bigger...

and then it hit me."




Bloodly posted:

I don't know. Does it outright mention the Innovators? I've played the original Shining Force 1 and I don't remember anything like an 'orbital strike at will'. So you'll have to explain.

The GBA remake of the first game retconned some stuff, mostly concerning the origins of Max, Kane, and Darksol, part of which does explain why Max had a new magic spell in that game. It's not really tied to Innovators, though, as far as I recall.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


RotDD rewrote some of the later sections of the game so that Max and Kane were actually the last ancients stuffed into time capsules so they could go beat down sark dragon again. It explains why Max can call down space lasers: it's part of the ancients' technology.

It almost certainly has nothing to do with this game since ShF3 is confirmed to take place on a different continent several centuries later.

This reminds me that I should resurrect my RotDD LP when this is done.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

inthesto posted:

It almost certainly has nothing to do with this game since ShF3 is confirmed to take place on a different continent several centuries later.

I don't think your time frame is right considering one of the characters you get in scenario 2.

Shadow Ninja 64
May 21, 2007

"I stood there, wondering why the puck was getting bigger...

and then it hit me."




Losem posted:

I don't think your time frame is right considering one of the characters you get in scenario 2.

As overly nerdy as this is, there are actually a few theories as to how that character fits into all the timelines (assuming I'm thinking of the one you're thinking of), and one of them has to do with Creed's Mansion from Shining Force 2 and halted or slowed aging.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Losem posted:

I don't think your time frame is right considering one of the characters you get in scenario 2.

Minor spoilers for later in this scenario, but there's actually a developer interview where he confirms they're not the same character: http://shiningforcecentral.com/?p=studies&c=taguchi (It's the question with Max and Gort next to it). As Shadow Ninja 64 said, it is possible due to Creed's Mansion, but it's more or less rejected by the writer of this game.

e: That said, I personally think it's much more interesting if they're separate characters anyway. Who's to say he wasn't named after the legend and worked hard to be like him?

inthesto fucked around with this message at May 24, 2014 around 00:53

inthesto
May 12, 2010

There is a point where we needed to stop, and we have clearly passed it.

BUT LET'S KEEP GOING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!


Part 51: something something relationship joke




There's two important pieces of loot we need out of David's room. Also, we need to head back to the church to take care of some important business.



No, not that. David's going to stay dead if I can help it.



That's more like it! That boost in stats is gonna be awesome! Plus the boost in elemental affinities and the jump in stat growths after promotion. And hey, the badass portrait.





This is one of the more obvious indicators that Shining Force 3's budget ran into trouble halfway through. Promotion portraits are simple recolors rather than being entirely new. It's a small price to pay for all the new stuff we got in scenario 2, but it's a pretty bright signal no less.



Also, this is the heavy breathing we heard outside of David's room. While we're in HQ, David will always be doing one-handed push-ups. Which is kind of cool, except it has zero payoff because his stats are still trash.

Let's get back upstairs and go save David's girlfriend.



Is that... Priestess Dessheren?

Fun fact: Dessheren's name was supposed to be “Death Helen”.



Hedoba...

Oh, so you must be the Medion army. I'd already heard about you from Goriate, but from the looks of things it seems you want to make us your enemies.

You fiends! What have you done to her?

No need to worry. The girl isn’t dead yet. But, when we no longer have a use for her, maybe things will be different.

When you no longer have a use for her? Do you really think so little of human life?

We took her hostage to obtain information regarding Gracia's whereabouts, but... we no longer need her for that.

If you no longer need her... then you know where Gracia...?

On the chance she might be David's lover, we used our secret herb of confession on her. She told us everything.

Like the fact that David uses illegal performance-enhancing drugs. They'll strip him of all his medals!

We decided not to kill her so we could punish David for refusing to cooperate!



Quiet, Hedoba. The less you say, the sooner this will be over and we'll have you high-fiving your new BFFs.

High Priest... As for David's punishment... How should we use this woman to punish him?

I'm sure you have something sinister planned. Interesting, but what will you do?

Mwa, ha, ha! Punish him using his lover. I leave it to you. Do as you please!

Yep, they're going to make Hedoba put David in time out. Or they would, if I hadn't already done that permanently. I guess they'll have to settle for plan B.

Stand woman!

drat Bulzome monks! What are you planning to do with Hedoba?!

You'll see soon enough!!!





No, Hedoba. He's already dead. You can leave the rest of us alone, and we'll be nice to you too. Promise.

There! If you want to save your lover, you'll have to battle us, but she will stand with us against you!

Let us go, Desshern. If we don't find Gracia...

I'm coming, but I hate to miss this little show.

Do you not fear Lord Bulzome and the other high priests? Our activities are easily seen. Come along.

I guess this time, I'll have to miss the show.

It is as you have heard, Prince Medion. We are going to search for Gracia. If we are fated to, let us meet again.



There's no time for moaning. We have to help her. Why don't you try to think of some way to help her instead!

Yeah Uryudo, why don't you cast Antidote 2? Haven't learned it yet? Why not pull out a fairy powder? I didn't buy any? Oh, well. Guess we'll just have to stab Hedoba to death.

Prince Medion, the only way to free her from the spell is to defeat the one who cast it. That means we have to kill this masked monk.

Completely incorrect, Grantack. But since this is plot-confuse and not actual Confuse, I guess we'll have to oblige.

Hedoba is a talented spell caster who commands powerful magic. Please, we must help her!

I knew I didn't like the Bulzome Sect, but they certainly have stooped to a new low. Let's show them who's to be feared!







Lots of returning enemies, and the masked monks are now upgraded, in line with the plot point of the Elbesem Statue being toast. It's also a nice touch that the boss monk does indeed have Confuse on his spell list, even if he'll never use it. This would be an easy fight, except for one little unit standing in the middle of everything.



In case you haven't guessed, we're going to want to finish up this fight without killing Hedoba. If I had been smart, I would have bought the weapon that casts Dispel and left it at that. But I'm not, so I'm going to have to suffer a bit.




Campbell starts things off and proves that cool guys don't look at dying zombies.



Hedoba wastes no time in trying to kill us. Normally, she'd be incredibly easy to deal with, but as I've mentioned many times before, the AI for mages is incredibly unpredictable. Here, she's wasting a turn smacking Rock in the face for 1 damage. That's not dangerous at all, but it means she's not casting spells. If I could just drain Hedoba of all her MP early on, then she'd be very easy to manage. However, while she still has MP stocked, I have to be wary of any time she'll try to drop Freeze 2 on my head.



And remember what I kept saying about enemy mages lacking base affinities? Hedoba has them, and she starts with a rank in wands. Her version of Freeze 2 hits much harder than an ordinary mook's, and it can easily kill somebody whose HP isn't topped off. Hedoba can cast Freeze 2 three times and Freeze 1 once, so the idea is to manage HP until that's dried up.



I brought along a bunch of medical herbs for exactly this reason.




Not that it always matters. Masked monks now have the poison critical, which makes life much harder for Rock's already shaky defense.




It's tempting to dick around in this fight to get that last support rank for Hazuki and Syntesis, but we'll have plenty of time to do it later in the game. We're not even halfway through, after all.




Bad screenshot, but this illustrates how Hedoba is perfectly fine wasting her action one turn, and then blasting Medion in the face the next. If she didn't have something I desperately needed, I'd just send her back with her boyfriend. Speaking of which, there actually is a special dialogue if you're stupid enough to kill Hedoba:

I... What's wrong with me... My strength is slipping away...

Hedoba...

David... tell me... what will... happen to me...?

I'm sorry, Hedoba... I was unable to protect you... Please, somehow... forgive me...

So is this it, David... Am I going to die...?

Oh, my beloved Hedoba... When I think of life without you, my chest feels as though it will burst...

Oh, my poor David... It's alright... Don't worry about me... Please... You must live on for the both of us...

Hedoba!!

How merciless these wretches are... We can't forgive Goriate and his band. Let us fight, Prince Medion!

Well, if that isn't full Fire Emblem death, I don't know what is.



Area magic is surprisingly more useful in this game than it ever has been before.



Hazuki picks up her first rank in shurikens as a result, and we get to see a touched up model.

Somewhere on TV Tropes, there's a page that demands to be updated.



Stacking those support points.



Oh, hell yes! Syntesis already has all three of her spells! It's nice that scenario 2 forks them over early, rather than making you wait until the endgame to get Attack on Masqurin.



God dammit Hedoba, will you just use all your MP already.




As usual, rapiers get advantage over dark element because reasons. Medion's rank 2 critical with rapiers, pentagram, nearly kills the succubus. But more importantly:



Oh hell yes! That's a 30% boost to attack this early.



And now Hedoba has one cast of Freeze 2 left. Nobody's dead yet and we're not really running low on resources, due to Syntesis and Hazuki ripping the faces off of everything in sight.



And then I make my last mistake, sticking Medion next to Campbell. The AI is a bit predictable, in that if Hedoba has the chance to cast Freeze 2 on more than one person at a time, she'll probably do it.



And guess who forgot to heal Campbell? Well, back to support rank 2 for him and Medion.




Whatever, it's time for payback. Just look at that loving damage! And that's without supports! Believe it or not, both katanas and shurikens provide magic power boosts, making them distinct from other swords and arrows.









And with that, Hedoba is out of gas. A little too late, honestly, but we don't have to worry about her anymore. Unless whoever she's beating on happens to get a counter. That is a giant bitch when it happens.



The boss monk is not shy about casting Spark, which hurts roughly as much as Freeze 2. Thankfully, the monk can only cast it twice.





The succubus then tries to burn Medion. Lots of magic this update, for some reason. Also, the succubus did not get a new model in scenario 2. For shame.




Some band-aids to go around for everyone.




The monk keeps trying to battle back with Spark, but the fight is over at this point. The only reason the last group of enemies is lingering around for this long is... Well, I think you all know the reason.




Was there really any doubt?

No, they don't become soulmates just yet.




Rank 1 critical for shurikens is nothing visually impressive. It does paralyze the enemy, however, which can be useful.



drat it, stop criticaling Syntesis! I want you to hit lighter!



In the end, I hand over the kill to Medion, so he can hit level 10 at the end of the fight. In fact, most of my characters should be level 10 after this battle, but I keep forking over kills to Syntesis and Hazuki in the interest of getting them that last support rank. In scenario 2, we will want to promote ASAP, for reasons we'll see in chapter 4.



You certainly were strong and you would have had a chance to defeat us if we weren't fighting as a team.

But... I don't understand... We had superior numbers... yet we were defeated?

Even if we were to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand. Not people like you, who rely on force alone.



Finally caught a good shot of a person exploding!



That voice... David?!

No heartfelt hug like at the end of scenario 1.

Hedoba! Are you alright? I'm so happy!

Alright... So happy? Something... happened...

You know, you...

To see a man like David cry so openly...

It's alright now, David... It's over. Everything ended well.



That's the voice of Dessheren!



I thought you left things to your subordinates. Why have you returned?

Me? I can't stand to see feeble people like you rebel against a greater power. I've decided to crush you myself. I will let you personally taste the truth. No matter how many weaklings may join forces, they stand no chance against true power!



Wha... who's there?!!!

You've certainly earned your title as a priest with your skill in giving sermons, but even you are powerless before true power.

How dare you call me powerless! Whoever you are, show your face! Reveal yourself!

I have no need to hide from you.



Didn't really see that deus ex machina coming.

Galm: A battle between High Priestess Dessheren of Bulzome and the army of Prince Medion should be entertaining.

Oooohh, what a terrible... aura he radiates... It's almost exactly like... Lord Bulzome's... No... could it possibly be...

What's wrong, Dessheren? You were so confident just a moment ago. You should try standing up to me with that same confidence.






That was some powerful ice, Dessheren. You did manage some bits of ice on my robe, but they were easily shaken off.

Bits of ice on his robe?! How can this be? He... managed to... counter my secret ice attack... Who ARE you?

I am Galm. I am sure you already know. You and your sect know me well...

If you're Galm, then... No, it can't be...

It's fine if you choose not to believe me. I suppose you won't until you feel the extent of my power.

I-I believe you... but why...? You tread the path of solitude. Why do you interfere with Bulzome's will?

So, this is Bulzome's will? Attacking this elven village that offers so little resistance?




Minor detail, but Galm steps forward and Dessheren promptly backs the gently caress up.

Nevertheless, we are not working for personal gain alone. We are preparing for the establishment of Lord Bulzome's Kingdom.

That may be. However, you anger far too easily over small matters. I would expect you to demonstrate more control over your emotions.

I shall take your words to heart, Lord Galm.

If you understand, then go before you provoke me into showing you my power!



Just to make it clear she's not giving lip to Galm, but threatening our force.

I won't forget this. Someday, absolutely, with Lord Bulzome as my witness...



You saved us. I would like to express my sincere thanks.

What do you intend to do now?

If the High Priests of Bulzome are hunting Gracia in order to assassinate him, then it is our duty to protect that child.

Search for Gracia with this small force? If you attempt to battle the high priests, who control powerful beasts, your chances of success are not good.

But, if we don't find Gracia, they may capture him. Are you saying there's another way?

If I were them, I would head for Elbesem...

To Elbesem? But that doesn't make any sense. Why would they go there?

The Staff of Besem...

The Staff of... Besem? What's that?

So, you know of the Staff of Besem...

The Staff of Besem.... Could it be? Legend has it that it can repel and banish demons and evil spirits, and you say this staff actually exists?

The holy Staff of Besem is safeguarded in Elbesem. Only an Innovator can wield it.

That staff is the only thing Bulzome fears. And thus, the owner of the staff, Gracia, is a target of the Bulzome Sect.

Gracia left the staff behind. If those bastards are looking for the staff, they're sure to head to Elbesem!

Then Elbesem must be our next destination!




He inspired such fear in a priest of Bulzome, but is he an enemy or an ally? I wonder if we would have any hope of defeating him if we had to battle him in the future.

If everyone is alright, I think we should get going.

Syntesis has tasted fiery murder, and she can't get enough.

Yes, you're right. We should head to Barrand then towards Elbesem.

We've certainly lost a great deal of time being sidetracked by all of this.

Yeah, you did. I think there was something kind of important you were doing other than this. Something about somebody's dad... I just can't put my finger on it.

Will Hedoba be safe without you, David?

Hedoba is a very powerful shaman who controls the spirits of nature. She would be a great asset in the fight against the Bulzome Sect. Is that okay with you, Hedoba?

Even if it weren't, I'd conscript her in a heartbeat anyway.

I will fight at your side, David. Even if our enemies are frightening... If my powers can be useful, take me with you!



THE TRINITY IS COMPLETE.

We welcome another member to the force. The Medion army is shaping up to be quite strong.

We can't allow that sect to aquire the Staff of Besem! Let's get going, to Elbesem!

Quite strong? That's all you can say about it Grantack?

I mean, just look at her stats. Or not her stats, but that little box just below her portrait.



That's right, scenario 2 is stupid enough to give you three characters with that support. All who oppose me are doomed.

NEXT TIME: Trash mobs! Familiar faces!

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Dinosaur Gum

Aw yeah magic support. You are going to have the best artillery.

...kind of weird about David, though. A dude with no primary weapons.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

Glazius posted:

Aw yeah magic support. You are going to have the best artillery.

...kind of weird about David, though. A dude with no primary weapons.

The only thing close to a saving grace for Davis is he can get a mithril weapon before anyone which keeps his attack high enough for a chapter or two.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


Galm wanted the Bulzome priests to piss off but never helped Spiriel in Sc 1, or Hedoba here. The enemy of my enemy trope is always fun to work with, but you can tell he has no love for humanity either. I was surprised when he saved Lisa in StHA, which is pretty much the one completely good thing he did, yet considering who he was up against, seems like he has ulterior motives.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

Shitenshi posted:

Galm wanted the Bulzome priests to piss off but never helped Spiriel in Sc 1, or Hedoba here. The enemy of my enemy trope is always fun to work with, but you can tell he has no love for humanity either. I was surprised when he saved Lisa in StHA, which is pretty much the one completely good thing he did, yet considering who he was up against, seems like he has ulterior motives.

He did the same thing to her that he did to Panzer's mom.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


Ardeem posted:

He did the same thing to her that he did to Panzer's mom.
It's been a long time since I played it and I probably missed it since I was 11 at the time, so what did he do? If he really did what I think you mean, and he got her preggers...then WOW. Source, because I definitely missed that. Ditto on him being Panzer's old man.

Shadow Ninja 64
May 21, 2007

"I stood there, wondering why the puck was getting bigger...

and then it hit me."




Honestly, since you have a trio of Magic Support characters now, I think you should have to suffer with David in the active party, at least until a cooler penguin person comes along and joins the force.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

Shitenshi posted:

It's been a long time since I played it and I probably missed it since I was 11 at the time, so what did he do? If he really did what I think you mean, and he got her preggers...then WOW. Source, because I definitely missed that. Ditto on him being Panzer's old man.

Source on him being Panzer's old man is talking to the people in the Far East Village and the family of historians in Enrich. Source on Lisa is the notes on her profile page in the SF3 artbook. They were translated when I asked somebody on Shining Force Central to scan her full body shot for a commission I never actually got made. I should be able to find that thread.

Damnit, I can't find the thread but her profile in Rune's STHA guide mentions it and several later threads in the STHA section of the SFC forums mention the plot point.

Ardeem fucked around with this message at May 25, 2014 around 02:59

AsInCoolAsA
Feb 25, 2011


Shadow Ninja 64 posted:

Honestly, since you have a trio of Magic Support characters now, I think you should have to suffer with David in the active party, at least until a cooler penguin person comes along and joins the force.

Honestly I like David. He has an attack support I believe and since he is always ranged he can stand at a corner and boost two characters, or boost Medion and Medion boosts him back. That and I think he has one of the highest base attacks of anyone in the force, but I could be making that up....

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Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

AsInCoolAsA posted:

Honestly I like David. He has an attack support I believe and since he is always ranged he can stand at a corner and boost two characters, or boost Medion and Medion boosts him back. That and I think he has one of the highest base attacks of anyone in the force, but I could be making that up....

David isn't the worst character it just that he is outclassed in everything he does and the equipment that makes him useful is better served on others.

Though his movement and speed makes him nice for a few ruins and with his ability to use all of the range weapons you don't have to worry about killing the thieves.

Losem fucked around with this message at May 25, 2014 around 03:07

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