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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!


Khisanth Magus posted:

Have some broken portraits in there.

Also, are you using the retranslation of scenario 1? You probably mentioned somewhere whether you were or not, but I'm feeling lazy. Dunno if it changed anything in this particular conversation, but it did strive to get rid of most of the bad localization, particularly that which contradicts the later games.

Also, I may just be lucky, but basically every time I've played scenario 1 Synbios has ended up a complete beast who can tank and give no fucks doing so while also dealing good damage.

I am indeed using the retranslation, but comparing to SFC, the script doesn't change a whole lot. It really only changes in the scenes where it crosses over with Scenario 2.

I've only played the game once before, and Synbios turned out to be terrible in it. Maybe I'm just the one with really bad luck that one run.

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Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

and then we'll have pancakes to celebrate and I'll be like EURGNOMEHREUGN.



you sure like to draw out these threads to their breaking point (necro-wise) but it is great to see this back nonetheless

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 17: If we could skip this fight, Scenario 2 wouldn't have to exist



:theratch: Yes, outdoor fresh air feels great! This thing is in top condition, too! Alright then. Guess I'll be moving along now. Maybe we'll meet again somewhere.



Ratchet doesn't join us yet, but this is still a pretty obvious callback to Shining Force 1's Guntz.



I just had breakfast, and I'm on a diet anyway.



I'd phone up Ron Paul to get a gold to dollar conversion going on, but we've got a war to take care of. Just hand over the egg so I can...



Chickens have something to do with eggs, right?









I don't know what the gently caress that thing is, but it's not going in our army yet. Why does Camelot make us jump through so many hoops for the most useless characters?



They suffered huge losses, but won and proceeded through Barrand province. The wounded are resting in the tent.

It's not obvious who's fighting who right here. We just wiped out Franz's army and Spiriel doesn't have much manpower following her. We'll just have to assume whichever Republican commander came through was fighting a unit without a general, which doesn't exactly reflect well on him.

Anyways, let's pay our buddies on the inside a visit.



If we answer yes:

Still, that is not an excuse to leave the injured behind and hurry along to pursue one's objectives. Republic ideology stresses fairness, but the actions of its army are no different from those of the Empire.

If we answer no:

If a soldier becomes a burden, the army leaves him behind. Can we really say that is merciful? You disagree because you're an army man, but many people are suffering because of such insensitivities.

Yeah, the common people are never going to stop giving us poo poo over being military.




Oh, so that's the general in charge of this operation? I'm sure Benetram is very disappointed right now.



My Liege King Benetram, and Sir Dantares also from Flagard.

So you are the soldier who was left behind by the Republican army, Justin.

You know him?

He's from Edmund's army unit that guarded the capital. When Lord Conrad would visit, they always got along.

Yes. Your father, Lord Conrad, always took very good care of us and of our leader, General Edmund.

I can't believe Edmund left you. You are injured, but it's minor. I don't see why you can't do your job.

I had an argument with the General. I made him extremely angry, and so I was... forced to leave the army.

A loyal subordinate like you in an argument? It doesn't make sense. Tell us more.

I beg you Sir Dantares. Please don't ask any more of me. I still swear loyalty to General Edmund.

You can't even tell King Benetram about it?

I don't want to talk anymore. Please leave me be.

And that's the end of that. Dissent in the Republican ranks? Why I never!

Before we book it to the next fight, let's take care of some inventory.









Bunch of goodies lying around. The swift boots will go on Obright who desperately needs some extra agility. Eldar picks up a new weapon, we pop a healing rain (full HP restore to everyone) in the shop, and we pick up a wand for Noon that gives him Sleep. Not a great spell, but we'll need it down the line.



Also we screw around with Julian's inventory because of reasons.



Yeah, you didn't think we were done with this guy, did you?

Justin, you...

Make it fast. We're in a hurry.

Please, allow me to join your army. I will try to talk some sense into General Edmund.

Would you like to tell us what is going on with General Edmund?

No need to explain, Justin. The Synbios Army accepts you gladly. We are very close to Aspia, Synbios. Even if death aways us, there's no turning back.



Unfortunately, Justin does not follow in the hoofsteps of his ancestors Lyle, May, and Stock by being the best archer in the game. He's fairly mediocre and generally isn't as good as Hayward, though Hayward is building up to be sub-par this time, so I'm going to keep Justin around for now. For a side by side comparison:




Normally, Hayward should be outdoing Justin in attack by a few points, but that's just how games shake out sometimes.



Quit crying. Dantares is only sitting out one fight and he'll catch up on experience without any trouble.



To the south, Dantares. I spot the Spiriel Army.



The speed of the Spiriel Army is moving unexpectedly fast.

They're already near the statue!

If Spiriel is after the Elbesem Statue, we must not waste any time, Synbios. Let's move!




The fight is a solid core of Spiriel's units at the end, and a bunch of scattered chumps along the way. There's absolutely zero new enemies here: We've seen the white knights in action last map, and everything else is mega loaders, vampire bats, and succubi. There's a single lich and a single master mage, but neither of those are terribly dangerous. Spiriel's stats remain unchanged from the last fight.





The statue also has stats and Spark 2 to go with it! None of that is going to matter, though.




Why the game is still throwing vampire bats at us is a mystery.



Because this thing protects them, the Innovator's descendants in Elbesem have been able to live in peace. The Vandals have slept for a thousand years. As prophesied, a war which splits the world in two has begun. The magical barrier which protects Elbesem will fall and it will be destroyed by the ones who should be protecting it!

Not that Basanda is going to do anything of consequence, but let's take a peek at her stats while we can.



The low HP is a mystery, but yikes. Good thing we're not dealing with her.




Spiriel and company get to work. The statue has incredibly low defense, so it's not even going to last three turns.



And the only threatening enemy on the map decides to be dumb as a brick.



That takes care of most of our worries.



Yeah, fight back, you MacGuffin!









Okay, so maybe Basanda does one tiny thing that matters. Good too, because that's more HP for us to burn through, and therefore more experience to gain. Useful note for the future: Basanda's weapon casts Aura 2 on use.



This happens at the end of turn 2.



However, that Republican army is irksome. Finish them off, Spiriel. Bathe the Synbios army in its own blood.



What is this dark power? Strong and terrifying!

It is useless to search for me.

I sense another powerful presence. I must leave to investigate. In the meantime, kill the Synbios army.
Some random voice out of nowhere saves us from having to deal with Basanda killing everyone in one hit. Hooray?








I may have spoken too soon about knocking down the master mage.



And then this happens. God drat Muddle 2 Charm!



Sadly enough, Grace has to heal Obright to keep him alive, since he needs the experience to hit level 10 and promote.




Post-promotion levels also tend to get bigger gains. Enemies will jump in stats at the beginning of chapter 4, so delaying promotion too long creates a giant difficulty spike.



Oh yeah, there's one of these things here too. The bonus dungeon this time is a little more complicated, but not terribly so. I send in Cybel and Eldar to take care of it, since Dantares is absent.



In the meantime, Obright just can resist hugging his new teammate.



Oh come on, Synbios got full experience when he killed Masqurin!



Naturally.



And a white knight bops Obright on the head for a decent amount of damage, due to weapon advantage.





The only proper response is by abusing Hayward's awesome support.




Hah, doesn't the AI wish.




The stat boosts from promotion is making this fight a little easier than it should be.



The inside of the ruins map. There's an easily disposed skeleton in the center, and two thieves on the left. The total loot for this dungeon is a large mithril, a potion, an angel wing, two healing drops, and a light of hope. That last item is the only thing I actually care about, though grabbing the mithril would be nice.



Masqurin knocks down both mega loaders to critical HP levels with a single cast of Spark. God drat, mages are so good in this game.



For icing one of the white knights. Finally, everyone has hit level 10. Well, everyone who matters at least.



All that's left is a bit of Spiriel's posse. Not too hard to clean up, so I'll continue to press forward while Eldar and Cybel keep grabbing loot.



The less-reddish chest on the far end is a chest I can open myself. All the others have to be unlocked by the thieves.





Whoops, that wasn't anything I really wanted!



And that thief books it out of there. I think he's supposed to unlock another chest which contains the large mithril, but oh well. Vov



Cybel just makes a break for that chest with the potion in it while the thief loots the light of hope. Notice the tiles shaded blue? That indicated the limit of his movement range. A nice addition that was absent in previous Shining Force games.





The thief gets cut off by Eldar, and then is swatted from behind by Cybel, and we pick up the only really important treasure in this dungeon!



Uninteresting things continue to happen outside.



Finish off the thief and the dungeon collapses. Not a perfect haul, but we got what we wanted.




The real fight begins. Or something. I dunno, bruiser type bosses who have no multi-target attacks tend not to be very threatening in Shining Force games.





Well, guess who didn't win that exchange.





Surround and pound is the most popular item on the menu these days.



Oops, weapon advantage is about to kick me in the groin.



Kind of cool because it has a vastly different animation from a centaur doing the same attack. While Cybel summons a tornado and throws it at the enemy, Spiriel summons one around herself before charging into the enemy and doing a million hits.



Ouch.



Easy enough to fix, though.





Still, no real threat.



And hey, Spiriel dropped a real amount of experience! That's what I'm talking about!



There's no time to sulk, Kahn, what's our next move?

Oh, Spiriel! Ugh, no!






Why do you stand in my way? Do you oppose Bulzome's intentions?

Bulzome's awakening is near. Or perhaps has already begun? I came here to see for myself.

If... if that's the case... Galm... please... do not interfere.




So, you wish to challenge me? Drop this foolish notion and cease your rash action. You have no chance.

Guess Julian should make his time.








None of us honestly thought that was going to work out for him, did we?



Priest of Bulzome, this interruption has delayed your impending date with destiny. I suggest you rest and prepare for my coming when we meet again. Your end rapidly approaches.

Galm... what a terrifying being. You poor thing. If only Galm had not appeared, I could have protected you. I will heal you, Spiriel. I promise.

Basanda showing something that looks like emotion. Huh. Must be a motherly instinct or something.



Galm has saved you all. I let you live today, but next time we meet, nothing will save you.



And Basanda floats away with Spiriel's body.



You are right Masqurin! We must act quickly, or it will be too late!

I fear his odds of survival are just too slim. We must let him go.



Kahn, how dare you talk to King Benetram that way!

Do all soldiers take matters of life and death lightly? Life is precious. Besides, he was our friend!

A friend, but not a soldier. Benetram is right.

Forgive me, what you say is true, Kahn. Let's go to the bridge up ahead that crosses over the rapids and see what we can do. Edmund, who lost his right hand man, and Elbesem, which has lost its guardian. So many problems...

You didn't really think the game was going to let us have two Egress casting characters for too long, did you? But before we close this one out:







Finally!




Oh hey look, all that junk I stuffed into Julian's inventory is back in our stash. This couldn't possibly be an item duplication trick where he'll have all the same stuff in Scenario 2, could it? Nah, Julian's definitely dead.



And just in case everyone was wondering what the light of hope actually does and why I wanted it so badly.

NEXT TIME: Yes, another god drat boss.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Man, the title for this map should have just been foreshadowing.update. At least Obrite finally got his promotion.

Are you planning to effort post Julian's beef with Galm here or wait until sen 3 when it become relevant again?

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!


I honestly don't know much about it beyond Julian being a throwaway NPC in Shining the Holy Ark with an allusion to the fact that Galm killed his father. If somebody more knowledgeable than myself is willing to do a write-up, I'll gladly stick it in the OP.

Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

inthesto posted:

I honestly don't know much about it beyond Julian being a throwaway NPC in Shining the Holy Ark with an allusion to the fact that Galm killed his father. If somebody more knowledgeable than myself is willing to do a write-up, I'll gladly stick it in the OP.

I don't think there is really much more to it than that, Galm killed Julian's father 10 years ago, Julian swore revenge and became a mercenary to find Galm and get revenge.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Khisanth Magus posted:

I don't think there is really much more to it than that, Galm killed Julian's father 10 years ago, Julian swore revenge and became a mercenary to find Galm and get revenge.

Well, mostly about Galm being A serial rapist trying to find the empirical limits on free will as granted by Ebelsem to the Vandals and Innovators.

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!


Ardeem posted:

Well, mostly about Galm being A serial rapist trying to find the empirical limits on free will as granted by Ebelsem to the Vandals and Innovators.



Yeah, I don't know anything about that. Again, if somebody else does a write-up, I'll stick a link in the OP.

Next update coming soon!

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 18: Don't go chasing




Peak FFT vibe has been reached.



I don't see any sign of Julian. I wonder if perhaps he was swallowed by the rapids.

Double time! We can still catch him!

The area around the waterfall basin is the fasterst of the rapids. We have no chance of catching up.

Heh heh heh! Are you searching for something, Republican rabble!



You Imperial types are far more tenacious than I expected. Won't you let us return home in peace?

You have caused a good deal of trouble for the Empire. Why should we let you pass?

Two of your peers have fallen before us. Do you want to risk your life too?

You have abducted our Emperor and declared war against the Empire. We shall not allow such an outrage! Forward, men! We are the most elite force in the Empire! We shall eradicate Synbios and his treacherous compatriots! Don't let even one escape our wrath!

We are only searching for Julian. What an infernal time to be ambushed by the Empire! However, we have no choice but to fight.

drat! Julian is slipping away from us while we waste our time with Garzel!

I fear for Julian, but we can't risk our cause for him alone. Be careful against General Garzel. He is strong and has defeated many. He will be well prepared for us.





The map is a linear, winding path. What's to note about this fight is that there's only one new enemy, and there's only three of them. Everyone else has 11 or lower AGI, whereas everyone on the force has 12 or higher AGI. That means I can basically move my pieces however the hell I want without fear of interruption, making this fight pretty trivial.

Garzel himself is another stack of HP with good stats, but nothing scarier than Franz or Spiriel. Arguably, he's easier since the stat boosts from promotion is quite a spike at this point in the game.







First things first, we whip around the corner, waste some chump, and get a support out of it. These enemies are all old hat and die in three hits, tops.



There's a funny little passageway where you can attack from the high ground. I don't think height difference matters at all in this game.



A few turns later, we pick up an item and begin milling around. There's an important reason for this. One that I forgot to properly screecap, but oh well.



The next part is kind of bottlenecked with three mega loaders, but they don't do real damage. But once you cross those bridges:



What do you mean?



Welp, guess this is what Justin was talking about.

That voice! General Edmund!

Had the Imperial army defeated you, we would not be meeting like this. Hand over King Benetram, Synbios. I have no quarrel with you... but I will kill you if I must.

So you've betrayed us, General Edmund!?

Betrayal is such a harsh word. The General is simply following his instincts. So, what is your answer, Synbios?

Why, Edmund? Benetram and I trusted you!

We tried to build Aspinia on the ideal of true equality, but failed in the attempt. We intend to start over again, and bring a new order to Aspinia!

By allying with the Empire, Edmund? Our work in Aspinia is only half done. Any change worth making takes time.

Enough with your speeches, Benetram. Our people suffer in poverty, while we ourselves have become another Empire! I trusted your words and waited, but where are the results? What has changed for us?

General Edmund, don't listen to their lies! Your time has run out, Synbios. Put down your weapons, surrender, and hand over Benetram!



Another choice that results in silent Synbios that we won't see until Scenario 2. I really need to pick up a script for the Scenario 2 and 3 translations.

You intend to fight to the very end. I guess I always knew you would.

If you won't listen to reason, you leave me no choice. To arms, my men! Advance upon the enemy!

The gods! We've been flanked!



:welp:

Wait... This can't be! What's wrong? Men! 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!

That voice? Prince Medion!

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

That's...not at all what Edmund said, but okay Medion. That's hardly the stupidest thing you'll say or do before this trilogy is over.

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

Shut it, Grantack! What does a peon like you know about anything!?

If this is an example of the fine standards of the Imperial knights you prate about, I want to learn nothing from them!

How dare you, Campbell. Once I crush Synbios and his foolish friends, you'll pay for your impudence!

You there, by the Synbios battalion, attack them! The rest of my army will handle Medion's forces!

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

I appreciate your help, Prince Medion. They've lost their momentum, Synbios. Seize this opportunity!

I don't think that's losing momentum, since they still have more soldiers on the field than previously.



Time to kill our fellow Republicans! These guys sport slightly better stats than the rest and use spears when we have a shortage on axes, but they're still not bad.



They start completely clumped up, which would make them easy pickings for Masqurin, but she's busy doing other things.



Normal attack and Obright does half their HP. Sounds about right.









Yep, not too scared. If I overextended, then this could be a problem, but I knew this was coming.



Meanwhile, Maqurin shrugs off getting shot in the face.





General Dantares will not suffer treason.



Meanwhile, Eldar peaces out.







Kahn's level 2 cestus critical, the Thunder Drop. He punts them into the air and them slams them back into the ground. In other words, he does every single ultra in Street Fighter 4 rolled into one.



Two turns is all it takes to push back Edmund's reinforcements, and Garzel's army doesn't push the advantage during that time anyway. Not the scariest of ambushes.





The wing knights hanging out in the middle of the map get aggressive on Synbios and Eldar. Synbios turns out fine, but Eldar's low defense, lack of terrain effect, and weapon disadvantage mean that she's actually at risk of dying.




I could have sworn that flying enemies have weakness to wind magic, but that might be Shining Force 2 Challenge Mode talking.



As I was alluding to earlier, the reason I took this map so slow and methodically had little to do with Edmund's ambush and everything to do with this. Masqurin and Noon have the same class and therefore the same support: MAGIC UP. This means if I spend time sitting around and having them hit the same enemies, they'll support each other and send each other's damage ratings through the roof.



Noon gets a good 3 or 4 point boost to his Ice 1, which is nice. Let's check in with Masqurin though.











Everyone else is doing other things too. Good job other people, keep doing those things.



So we're on a bridge with a bunch of enemies that don't matter. Other than the plot twist, this fight is really not much to write home about.





In case you were wondering what Blaze 2 looked like on steroids. I'm going to be spending the rest of the game farming up the Masqurin/Noon support, so this is only going to get more out of control.



This is why Eldar is required to be in the party at all times. A lot of maps have isolated chests that only fliers can reach, and Eldar is the only one we get.



Good haul, too.



You say that so easily, Edmund. My men would plummet to their deaths if your selfish order were followed! Then I'd be left alone in Republican territory. Don't be ridiculous. I won't allow the ropes to be cut.

If that is the case... There is no further need for words!






Fool! I was going to eliminate you sooner or later. Your death just came... a little earlier than planned.

I see... that was your plan.... How could I be so blind....




Goodbye, Edmund. Frankly, you were the best antagonist we've had up to this point. Shame we won't be seeing you again. Maybe.








This is the most dangerous thing that happens all fight.



Problem solved.



This never gets old.





When it's just Garzel left, all he does it try to hit your weakest character. There's no boss double turns in this game, so if it's less that 50% HP dealt in one attack, there's not much to worry about.







Remember, all you need to do is hit the same enemy to build support levels. Since bosses are generally mountains of hit points, they're great for building supports, even if you don't reach a threshold during it.



+3 attack accessory. Going on Justin as soon as possible.







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

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

drat guests characters soaking up experience and job points!

Must you go, Zero?

Zero is the only one of us who can fly. Once he is gone, it will be harder for us to fight.

Uryudo is correct, but not in the way he intends. Zero is by far the worst character in Scenario 2, for reasons alluded to here.

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.

If he is critical to your operation, then I grant you permission to keep Zero as a personal bodyguard.

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

Prince Medion, are you heading south to the town of Barrand after this? If so, then would you extend your trip and head to Elbesem?

To the holy land, Elbesem? Is there anything 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 protector of the Demon Gate. The Guardian Statue is no more.

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

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

I worry about Elbesem, and I wish very much to return, but I have a duty which takes me elsewhere.

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

Thank you for agreeing to investigate Barrand in our stead.

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



And just like that, an Imperial prince goes off to run an errand because a near-stranger from the enemy army asked him to.



I know his death must be hard on you Synbios. But, let's remember Edmund as an exceptional and brave general. In many ways, Edmund was fortunate. He died fighting for his principles. Just as Conrad, I, and all the rest risk our lives for what we believe in, Edmund just chose a different path.

King Benetram and Lord Conrad were targets of many plots because of their attempt to abolish the aristocracy.

When ideologies come into conflict, bloodshed is almost inevitable. Humans... how ignorant we all are. That is why we must restore the Republic and end this war. I feel your grief, Synbios, but don't give up. We need you. Well, we should be on our way.

That's right. Everyone must be waiting to see the safe return of King Benetram.

If we pass through that narrow valley before dark, we should be through the danger zone.



...good job, Kahn

The Vandal was a strong opponent, but Synbios brought Quonus Village back to life by defeating it. They then defeated General Franz and finally escaped Imperial territory. They defeated the Spiriel army who destroyed the Elbesem Statue, and were close to Republican territory, but two powerful generals, Edmund and Garzel, stood in their way. With the aid of Medion at the railroad switch, a newfound trust was born, and that alliance helped defeat the two powerful generals. The two armies part, oblivious to the hardship ahead.



NEXT TIME: Civil war!

inthesto fucked around with this message at Jan 13, 2014 around 01:58

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


So...how badly did Kahn just mess up?

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


I like how Edmund just has that rose hanging out his mouth even when he's in the middle of a battle. Sucks that if you actually go out of your way to approach him with Eldar and try to attack, the game doesn't let you engage him, it just registers like he's not there and then the next turn, skips to the cutscene where Garzel pushes him off.

KataraniSword
Apr 22, 2008

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

Lotish posted:

So...how badly did Kahn just mess up?

Using the previous Shining Force games as a baseline for how badly-punished character stupidity is, I think it's safe to say that the entire plot from here on out is probably going to end up stemming from that one blatant fuckup.

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!


It's going to be the engine that drives a good the worst third of scenario 2, I'll say that much.

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

Fucking blocks... I'm gonna climb the shit outta you!


Oops, I just noticed this was back.

Love that waterfall battle, it's one of my defining memories of playing Scenario 1. Really pretty map, for it's day, and lots of interesting twists.


As for Galm... I'm not gonna do a writeup or anything, not played StHA in ages, but that guy gives me the chills big-time. You NEVER get to fight him in StHA! I have no idea what he's capable of, and that makes him one of the few RPG antagonists who actually worries me...

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

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


Dinosaur Gum

Julian getting one-shot by Galm was just kind of hilarious. It's odd that even the Bulzome people are frightened of him and what he might do.

That sudden yet inevitable betrayal at the bridge was just kind of sad. I mean, why can't we get knockback attacks that push people into bottomless chasms and kill them?

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Kinda sorta working on that STHA/Galm effortpost. There's more Thousand Year Kingdom refrences in there than I thought there were.

Hoss Corncave
Feb 13, 2012


geri_khan posted:

As for Galm... I'm not gonna do a writeup or anything, not played StHA in ages, but that guy gives me the chills big-time.[/spoiler]

It also helps that his theme has always been one of "Okay, this guy isn't someone I want to mess with."

Shining Force 3 has several characters like that where you just think that they could effortlessly destroy your party if they felt like it.

Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


Glazius posted:

Julian getting one-shot by Galm was just kind of hilarious. It's odd that even the Bulzome people are frightened of him and what he might do.

The FINAL BOSSES of Shining The Holy Ark were afraid of Galm, and rightfully so.

One of the cool things about SF3 is the escalating level of badassness the game acclimates.

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 19: Now it gets confusing



That's right, we're roughly halfway through the game. Watch out Total Biscuit, your legacy is going to get dunked.



It would seem so, but if you think about it, there's been some major national incidents occurring, such as the defection of the once trusted General Edmund.

And the beasts invading from the northern region must also be a topic of discussion.

The nation's economy is worse than we thought. The Baresol army in Aspia is supposedly demanding more aid.

That's Brutus' territory, and he's second in power only to King Benetram himself! I can't believe he would use force to demand an increase in aid!

In any case, I don't see how we can ignore the Baersol army. I wonder what they are going to do?

We came back risking life and limb and the capital is a mess like this! That's quite sad.

I guess a lot had happened since I left the Synbios army.

That is certainly true, Zero. We've been through some truly horrible things. We even fought against a Vandal!

A Vandal? You mean, a Vandal from the myths and legends?

He possessed terrifying powers. Thinking back, I wonder how we were able to come out victorious.

Kahn, you look like something is bothering you. What is going on? What's the matter?

Just thinking... If we had to fight another Vandal, we wouldn't be able to win. It makes me worry.




I'm taking a brief break while the girls look baffled to say that I've edited out fifteen ellipses at this point. Ten plus five. Christ.

What do you mean that we wouldn't be able to win? We seem stronger than ever!

When we fought the Vandal, the Elbesem Statue still regulated and contained the terrifying dark force.

So you're saying now that the Elbesem Statue has been destroyed, we can't defeat a Vandal?

I also believe the problem with the monsters in the north is due to the destruction of the Elbesem Statue.

Regarding the dark power, I'm sure I've heard about it before.

It's called dark or evil power. It's the force opposing Elbesem.

I swear, if Shining Force 3 ends up copying its theology from Phantasy Star 4 or Grandia 2, I'm going to kill somebody.

If that's true, then those Bulzome monks will become more powerful by the loss of the Elbesem Statue. Um, so now they are going to be able to use their full power? That's not good.

Okay, I'm lost. What are you talking about? What is this Elbesem Statue?

Please pay attention, Zero. The Medion Army could very well be heading right into danger!

What? What do you mean? You're saying Prince Medion is heading into danger?

Zero is neither bright nor a good fighter. It's a good thing he's an adorable little bird, or nobody would like him.



Especially the story about Edmund. I can't believe such a brave and honest man would....

Well, I believe that Edmund, in his own way thought he was helping the Republic. I should have seen it.

The Republic lost many warriors trying to return the king. At least Aspinia kept the peace through it all.

Is the current state of Aspinia worth saving? We maintained the status quo, but do we prosper?

More dissent among the top ranking officers! Could this be foreshadowing?

From the beginning, Aspinia was never a fertile land, and with this weather we can't afford to give aid. Brutus' land Baersol, though, demands tribute from their neighbors. We pay for their misfortunes.

It doesn't help that Brutus is the Vice Chairman of the Assembly. Baersol has the power to take what they want!

Aspinia has never been rich. Can the kingdom afford to continue giving in to these demands?

I'm a soldier, not a politician, but what resources Aspinia does have should be shared among the Republic's people.

Fafhard, you and Edmund are both military men, yet your ideals differ greatly.

Umm, isn't Fafhard repeating exactly what Edmund said just one fight previous?

Fafhard, I ask you, with the Baersol army camped at our southern gate, what choice do we have?

They have penetrated the outer wall, but the inner wall is secure. We can afford to wait them out.

Fafhard, have your wits dulled since i saw you last? Your advice almost borders on...

Tybalt's insult is cut short by a soldier running in.



Did the Baersol army break camp? Tell us, quickly!

It appears one unit from the Baersol army has broken the siege and is heading for Storich!

Fafhard, does this change your opinion? Should we still ignore the Baersol army?

If they'll force our hands, then I volunteer mine.

Storich holds Aspinia's provisions, and our railway. Synbios, I'd be grateful if you send an army, but...

You hesitate, Benetram? It would be catastrophic if Storich were taken! The Synbios army must be sent to protect it!

I don't like this. Synbios must go to Flagard to rebuild his army, however...

It shouldn't be difficult to stop one unit. A brief show of force should send them running.

The size of my army will give us mobility. My name with Dantares' will send them running. We can win through intimidation instead of force.

Very well, Synbios, I thank you. However, do not chase them too far. Return to Flagard as soon as you can.

At this point we get control of Synbios. There's not a whole lot to do here, but snooping around really gives us some context tot he situation.



Now that Edmund is out of the picture, Fafhard more or less exists to be a more sympathetic version.



And Tybalt is the more practical-minded one.



Nope, Synbios doesn't have daddy issues, and thank god for it.







Basically, the republic is one lovely year after another, rife with political instability because it's a newly founded nation. It's nothing new, but things start to take a new light as we learn more about the Republican leadership. Brutus is so corrupt he can't control his own army, Tybalt is so cynical he doesn't trust his peers, Edmund is so jaded he's willing to betray his own friends, Fafhard is so spineless he's unwilling to put down rebels, Conrad is so ill he has to send his teenage son in his place, and Benetram can't command respect from any of his generals.

Wow, this is coming dangerously close to being a D&D post. Let's move on.



The one treasure we find in this area.





Oh, you don't loving say?







I'm not shellshocked from previous LPs, why do you ask?



Yes:


No:


Basically, the game is making it pretty drat clear that Edmund isn't gone for good and we'll be seeing him again. In what context is completely dependent on the readers of this thread.



The fact that he is a prince sounds good, but on top of that he's cool and handsome! I wish I could meet him!

Sorry, but he's also wuss who does anything his dad tells him to do, no matter how stupid.



Yes:
I think so too. She is strange. I saw her in town for just a moment, and right away she seemed odd to me. Of course, she can be quite charming, and she seems to be a likeable girl.

No:
No? Well, you're a man, so you're probably not thinking clearly. As an attractive woman, she could probably paint herself blue and you wouldn't bat an eye. Men...

Okay, I get that the writing is trying to push the “IRENE IS FOREIGN HURR DURR “thing, but do they really have to keep pushing the idea that she's attractive? Her art doesn't even make her look like she's hit teenage years.


He's always polite, but for some reason, he just seems so distant. Well, maybe he's just shy.

So, in a word, Braff is creepy. I didn't really need to include this, because we're going to see how creepy Braff is soon enough.







Yep, the food situation is pretty bad. Outside of Baersol, it's not even a problem of corruption; there just isn't enough to go around.

And just as we're about the leave the castle...

Hold on, aren't you General Synbios?



You're getting quite a reputation. They say you possess a rare talent as a commander.

If that's the reputation of Lord Synbios, then I am more honored to serve under his command.

I wish Sir Dantares, the hero of all Aspinia, would say the same to me. Is it true you're moving to counter attack the Baersol army, Lord Synbios?

The answer here isn't terribly consequential. Let's just go with the truth and say yes.

You just returned from one battle with the Empire, and now you're off again. In any case, I wish you luck. By the way, my name is Braff. I'm Fafhard's son. I'm sure we'll see each other again.

I would make a snarky comment here, but it would imply spoilers. But yes, we're seeing Braff again. He has a portrait, and he's showing up far too late to be an antagonist in Scenario 2.

When we exit the castle, we're stopped on the bridge.



Kahn has reason to believe the Medion army is in danger.

Brief me. We need to rout the Baersol army as quickly as possible.

It's the Elbesem statue. We weren't fully aware of the effects of its power.

The Elbesem Statue? I don't think I understand. Please explain.

The statue, besides guarding Elbesem village, kept evil beasts away and dark forces in check.

And what does this have to do with Medion?

The Great Wall is said to have amplified the divine protection. That's why more creatures are appearing now.

The Great Wall held such power over beasts. If this is true, what are these dark forces it held in check?

Take for example the Vandal you fought. You were victorious because the statue protected you by abating its powers.

Also, the power of Bulzome priests! Now that the protection is no more, they will exercise their true power.

If Prince Medion's forces head for Barrand, they might intercept the Bulzome priests. In fact, I'm quite sure they would.

If they engage the Bulzome, with their heightened powers, that would be disastrous! Someone must warn them!

Kahn is an expert in these matters. What did he have to say?

The Orb that Kahn carries is apparently an effective weapon against the Bulzome. Could I take it to them?

Go, Zero. They need you more than we do.

I was certain you would agree. I will leave for Barrand right away!

Are we going to intercept the Baersol army to protect Storich? I shall return to the headquarters and tell everyone to be ready to mobilize for the attack.

And we finally get to walk around Aspia. Something I was confused about up until now: The nation is Aspinia, whose capital city is Aspia. This could have been made more clear earlier on, so I didn't think the editing team for this game was a bunch of morons.







Let's get the important stuff out of the way first.



Because the Republic doesn't have an absolute monarch and therefore a weaker power structure, which means that internal conflict is far more likely. This isn't even polisci 101, here.





We might be directly responsible for the death of a few family members. Oops.





Yeah, there's a weird not-quite-easter egg in this town.



This NPC with a unique sprite just sits in the middle of Aspia and you can push her around. As far as I know, it doesn't do anything except pop up funny dialogue once in a while.





At most, this is foreshadowing for recruiting another character later on. One who sucks.




This is not that character.

I thought so! Why not sign me up!? Your army looks like a tough outfit, and that suits me just fine. So sir, wont' you let me join you? Good. I'd be glad to transfer to the Synbios army. Empire beware, the mighty power of Horst is coming for you!

And like that, we get another leftover from Edmund's battalion.



Heading into the shops, it's time to pick up some new gear. Grace gets a new ankh, which will provide her with Support instead of Tornado. Support was known as Quick in Shining Force 1 and Boost in Shining Force 2. It boosts agility and defense, making it a somewhat useful though largely unnecessary spell. Because it's percent-based, it goes best on the characters with the highest relevant stats, meaning the characters who need it least. It's not a terrible spell, but there's a much better buff spell that we'll be getting later.



Meanwhile, the weapon store's regular fare has a few new things. There's a new blade in there that looks :metal101: as hell, but Julian's gone. However, there's a new glove, halberd, and arrow, meaning Irene, Cybel, and Hayward get weapon upgrades.



And this is our special deal in the item shop for Aspia. This is the ring that gives a defense boost and HP regen, making a decent item. I don't remember who got it – Noon got the 10 DEF ring from last battle and Justin picked up a battle bracer, so this probably went on Grace.




And now that Benetram is out of the party, Dantares takes over the role of HQ commander. This is a definite downgrade, as we've previously seen that Dantares is not too bright in the head.

Now that we have Horst, it's time for a side-by-side comparison with Obright.




...and they're almost exactly the same. While it looks like Obright has higher attack, Horst actually can buy a new mace in town which will boost his attack by 4. However, since Obright is one level behind, their stats are almost equivalent (the difference in agility is accounted for with the gale boots that Obright is wearing). Even their choice in weapons isn't much of a difference – we'll be getting a good axe and a good mace for free eventually.



However, since the battle party is full, that means it's time for a thread vote!

Vote on which character you want to bench, where they will stay for the rest of the game

For reference, the most expendable characters are Justin, Horst, Obright, and Kahn, in that order.

NEXT TIME: Filler battles!

inthesto fucked around with this message at Jan 26, 2014 around 00:59

Nephrite
Aug 18, 2006
[img]https://forumimages.somethingawful.com/images/newbie.gif[/img]



Lipstick Apathy

Get rid of Justin. I never had any luck with him.

Joey McChrist
Aug 8, 2005

I'M VINCENT KENNEDY MCMAHONDROID DAMMIT


Drop Justin

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Try pushing the woman into the doorway of your base.

Also, dump Horst We're a one dorf army.

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!


Ardeem posted:

Try pushing the woman into the doorway of your base.

I actually did this and it doesn't seem to do anything.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

inthesto posted:

I actually did this and it doesn't seem to do anything.

Huh, is there another building around with an open door?
I distinctly remember her turning into Pen

Nephrite
Aug 18, 2006
[img]https://forumimages.somethingawful.com/images/newbie.gif[/img]



Lipstick Apathy

No, you do something else for him. You're thinking of Frank.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Nephrite posted:

No, you do something else for him. You're thinking of Frank.

No she turns into Pen, he clucks a few times, runs around, and then disapears.

Serifina
Oct 30, 2011

So... dizzy...


Ditch Horst. I never cared for Gladiators.

Scrublord Prime
Nov 26, 2007



I'm with ditching Horst. We need Obright to meet our minimum beard quota and ol' Horst just has a fancy helmet to his name.

Hoss Corncave
Feb 13, 2012


Drop Justin. I always liked Horst, Obright's been there since pretty much the beginning, and Kahn should be getting Conquer King soon which is an awesome move.

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

Fucking blocks... I'm gonna climb the shit outta you!


You know, I've never seen Justin be useful, but you seemed to have implied that it's possible.

So if you think you can make something of Justin, ditch Horst. If not, ditch Justin.

Khisanth Magus
Mar 30, 2011

Vae Victus

geri_khan posted:

You know, I've never seen Justin be useful, but you seemed to have implied that it's possible.

So if you think you can make something of Justin, ditch Horst. If not, ditch Justin.

I've never seen Justin be particularly useful per say, but another archer is never a bad thing in my opinion, and is frankly more useful than another slow dwarf. Ditch Horst.

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


Ditch Justin. More dorf!

Shadow Ninja 64
May 21, 2007

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

and then it hit me."




Justin has sucked for me the few times I've played Scenario 1, but since you have also decided to not train your other characters in their alternate ranged weapons (Spear special attacks are the best, by the way), I think it'd be good for you to give him a chance. Ditch Obright because Horst has the cooler hat.

MonotoneMorgan
Nov 20, 2013

The saddest day in Octavian's life was the day he was asked to shave his mustache.


Give Horst a fair go! Ditch Justin.

Mordecai
May 18, 2003

Known throughout the world! Chop people's head off to the ground! Angry eyes that frighten people! Dragon among humans, king of dragons... Manchurian Derp Deity, Ha Che'er.


I don't even remember who Justin is.

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 20: Just call me Zeus

Well, the votes are in and Justin just barely lost.



Don't worry, he's far from the worst character in this scenario. There will be quite a few others to join him on the bench, and it's not even a permanent position!



As I said, Horst has a bit of an attack advantage on Obright. That's after I also scavenged Justin's battle bracer, so it puts Horst at the top of the attacking heap, though his agility is pretty much the pits. Not that agility matters much as a stat.



We've seen about all there is to Aspia, so we head out the west gate where we've been sent.



On the overworld map, we get a small glimpse of the type of fortress Aspia is. It has two sets of walls, and the game makes us actually walk out the second set before things get rolling.



We should head for Storich as quickly as possible. The main Baersol army must not make it to the town.




And the inevitable happens.








Enemy attack and defense values have jumped by 2 – 3 points on average. This is the game telling you “promote now, you dummy”. I was staving off promotion my first run of the game, and this fight consequently kicked my rear end. Having promoted early, it's just a filler fight that doesn't pose much threat.





This is the primary reason why. Getting second rank in support between Masqurin and Noon means the wizard death train is gaining more power. For context, the hell hounds are indeed weak to ice magic, but that's still Noon doing 100% of its health in a single Freeze 1 with Masqurin support. This is going to get progressively more nuts, and I'm going to love every second of it.



Also, now that Benetram is back home and doing kingly things, Dantares is our substitute advisor. This can only go well.




The hell hound's critical is the ability to paralyze its target. Paralysis isn't quite what it sounds like. You can still move around as normal, but if you try to do any sort of action (attack, magic, possibly item), there's a chance that your character will do nothing instead. It's annoying because you never know what's going to happen.




Thankfully, Antidote 1 cures paralysis, meaning we don't have to keep fairy powders lying around.







The rank 2 critical for halberds. It's two horizontal swings followed by a huge vertical chop. It's nowhere near as badass as the rank 3 critical, though.





The rank 1 mace critical. It more or less looks like an ordinary attack with a flash at the beginning, but it has the added benefit of adding the Slow effect on its target. Not reliable (unless you were to crank up a mace user's support with an archer but that's a ton of unnecessary work), but nice when you get it.



And in Shining Force tradition, the hero gets the lightning spell. Synbios' lightning affinity isn't as strong as Masqurin's, but the base damage on Spark is so good that this is a nice addition. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as easy to cheese magic-up supports for Synbios, since Noon and Masqurin gain almost no benefit from Synbios' attack-up support.



This, on the other hand, is a much more useful support for mages. Not so useful for Obright, though.



I mentioned the Support spell last update, but I think I forgot to mention that Kahn natively learns it.







In previous games, hitting that many targets with Quick/Boost/Support (the spell's gone through a lot of names) would nab you 25 experience and one of the easiest sources of power leveling in Shining Force 2. Camelot clearly caught on and said that if the effect is good enough, you don't need a quarter of a level to go with it.



After clearing out a few Hell Hounds at the beginning, it's Baersol Soldiers, a Wing Knight, and a Sniper Elf. None of these enemies are threatening.



Sniper Elves do have increased archery range. Hayward also has the same range now thanks to the new arrow I picked up last update, not that I remembered to get a screenshot of it.



Once that group of enemies is smashed and you cross the halfway point of the map, this pops up.



I mean, yeah the map was looking a little sparse but this is pretty weaksauce in the history of Shining Force ambushes.




Blaze 3 from the mage is worth watching out for, but




As usual, I don't give the AI time to cast it. Tornado 3 is the only other vague threat. The rest of the reinforcements is two Baersol Soldiers, a Sniper Elf, and two Wing Knights. Nothing worth worrying over.






The hydra is a giant, slow piece of meat that can hit fairly hard but doesn't do much without any support.




They also do this, but without any other enemies to capitalize on it, no big deal.



Shining Force 3 just loves piling Spark on you. Strangely enough, Noon's actually has zero base affinity with lightning, which makes his innately weaker than Synbios'. However, weapons also contribute to base affinity, and Noon's ranks in wands make his Spark almost as strong as Synbios'. Add on Masqurin's support and it's not really a contest anymore.

drat, mages in this game are great.



Irene is pretty drat late to the party on getting rank 2 in her weapon. Probably because I never use her to attack.







Respectable, but not as good as Masqurin. There's also the fact that Synbios can only do it twice per fight.



Time to rush in and go for the endgame.




Ow! That's some legitimate damage, considering this is the first fight of the chapter.





The first time we get to see Aura! It's the area healing spell and completely blows Heal out of the water if you target three or more units with it. The almost never manages to use Aura 1 correctly (Aura 2 has far more leeway since it has a large effect radius), but it's going to be a godsend when we finally get it.



Totally unnecessary, which is why I'm doing it.






And remember, there was no Noon support on that one. Just base affinity and weapon bonus.




Noon's spark doesn't look quite so hot, but he did hit a caster with it. I can't look up enemy magic resistance stats, but I'm willing to bet that's in play and Noon's Spark would do around 20 to most enemies.



And finish off the healer before it can heal itself because this is a chump fight.





That's just embarrassing. This is an odd case, since I threw the Life Ring (+10 DEF) on Noon, which actually makes him reasonably tanky. I would have expected the boss to chase down Masqurin or Synbios instead, but the AI is funny like that.




And now it's time for Noon and Masqurin to beat down on the boss with their weapons because I need that support rank.






Or just feed the kill to Eldar.

Thus always to traitors.



These may be Republican forces, but if they defy the Senate, we must stop them.

To do such a thing when the country is in turmoil... That's the worst part of all of this.

What? Look, Lord Synbios!



Well that's a hell of a way to repay us for crushing the rebels.

The west gate has been closed! We can't get back to Aspia!

Not only that, we can't return to Flagard either!

It's probably... It must be... I wonder if they are trying to stop us from going to Flagard. But why?

If that is their plan, Flagard might be in danger. We must return there no matter the cost.

I have no idea which “they” Dantares is referring to, but as we've established plenty of the times in the past, Dantares isn't here for his brains.

As a reminder, Flagard is the hometown for our core crew of Synbios, Dantares, Grace, and Masqurin.

NEXT TIME: gently caress you, egg!

Cornwind Evil
Dec 14, 2004


inthesto posted:

NEXT TIME: gently caress you, egg!

Ah yes, the egg. Total Biscuit decided it wasn't enough to get the egg: he was going to grind the character up until it was a viable team member. I think we got one or two updates more out of him before his LP died. Coincidence? Maybe...maybe not.

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!


If I recall correctly, Total Biscuit's LP died on literally the last fight of the Scenario 1. We're only barely past the halfway point, so this thread will be running a little while longer.

Also, I'm happy to announce that I secured scripts for Scenario 2 and 3, so LPing those games isn't going to be a horrifying slog.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

I'm pretty sure TB's last map was the fight against Braf I know for sure that he didn't reach the grinding point before the last couple of fights.

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Hoss Corncave
Feb 13, 2012


I once levelled up the egg in the levelling dungeon to usable. It really wasn't worth it.

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