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  • Locked thread
Stanfield
Feb 2, 2008

...Can we have the radio?


Oh man, Hayward was one of the stars of TotalBiscuit's LP. Garrosh can die because we know he's not Hayward but we don't know if he's replacement is or isn't.

Really excited for this LP; Shining Force 2 is my favourite game of all time but I've never been able to play this, and I was devestated when TB abandoned his LP. You better fininsh this!

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Tempest_56
Mar 14, 2009



Cooler sprites always win. Goodbye, Garosh.

booksnake
May 4, 2009

we who are crowned with the crest of wisdom

Just to be sure, saving this guy locks you out of the other guy? Doesn't look very interesting now, so I doubt my opinion would change whenever he pops back up later. Let him die.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

I'm glad someone is picking this up it's a great game, though the altered ending for the US market was just terrible. I never did get around to finishing scenario 3 due to issues with the translation.

From what I remember of scenario 2 I vote for Save Garosh I seem to remember him blowing away every other archer, or maybe I just got a lucky growth with him.

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

booksnake posted:

Just to be sure, saving this guy locks you out of the other guy? Doesn't look very interesting now, so I doubt my opinion would change whenever he pops back up later. Let him die.

Yes. The choice is Garosh(Archer) and Jade(Metal Gunner). You'll get a look at the NPC version of Metal Gunner in a little bit. The problem is Garosh is bugged in Scenario 3-he gets negative HP growth during Tier 3, and it's not correctable save by stat boost items-which would mean abusing Scenario 3's New Game+ repeatedly and extensively as well as using up the Hp stat ups of the other forces.

Bloodly fucked around with this message at May 9, 2013 around 15:43

Digital Jello
Nov 2, 2012

Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!


Garosh will have to die.

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 4: This is why sexual harassment claims exist



Last we left off, I had intentionally saved this barrel off to the side because I knew I'd have to replay this fight. I certainly didn't forget about it and the nice treasure it was hiding. Honest.




If you break it during combat, afterward you'll be able to board this ship and grab this treasure chest. The game will do this quite a few times, where there are small areas with items accessible only if you break some barrels during the fight. Luckily, these barrels will never be too far out of the way.

We pick up a battle bracer, which we will immediately throw onto Synbios, because he's going to need it to stay out of the shadows of Dantares and Hayward. And Masqurin too.

Anyways, at a reader's request, let's check in with how Garosh's buddies are doing. I mean, this is still a 90s JRPG, so the faceless NPCs probably won't even have different lines, right?





You goons are a heartless bunch.












Another thing I like about this game is that while it does play the “horrors of war” angle often, rarely does it force it down your throat. It's there if you look for it by talking to nameless NPCs, but you always have the option of skipping it.

Also, we get a pretty nice item out of it, which I'll be showing in a bit.

Once we're outside of Saraband:



: That's because General Tybalt and General Edmund are keeping the Imperials busy for a while.

: This isn't the only place that's quiet, Saraband is like a graveyard. Somehow... it makes me uneasy.

: In any case, we should leave now... It's risky to travel in such a small band, and we have to return all the way back to the Republic.

: As traveling to the Republic could be too dangerous, let us make for Railhead. That should be safer.

: That's a long detour, Benetram.

: Have you prepared something for this circumstance, my lord?

: I ordered General Produn to await us there. It would have been reckless coming to Saraband otherwise.

I'm sure the Produn guy is an organized and professional chap, who would never gently caress around with his subordinates.

: Saraband is neutral, but floating in the middle of Imperial waters, it could be very dangerous.

: We must head for Balsamo first. If we can rescue Emperor Domaric, we might get the peace process moving again.




Kind of looks like they're doing that thing where you roll a guy up in a carpet and throw him down a hill.

: Domaric is just unconscious. With Imperial and Republican armies nearby, we can't risk having him causing a ruckus. We thought the battle had moved north, and that you were all dead. Our party must have been defeated. You seem dead set on coming after us. If that's the case, I shall help you achieve at least the 'dead' part.

: While we dally with these monks, my impostor is escaping with Domaric! Stop them! Hurry, Synbios!




This fight looks really easy already. Nothing new, just monks, bats, and a priest as the boss again. They were easy enough to clean out last time, and we don't have the task of saving anyone who's out of position this time. Sounds about as easy as it'll get.



So easy, I'm not afraid of letting Masqurin punch them.



However, when you move roughly halfway across the map, and horn blares:




: A pursuit party from Saraband! Synbios, we must make for Balsamo! Try to stay ahead of them and stick to terrain that is unsuitable for horsemen!

That translates to “any terrain that isn't plains”, but really?




These guys are barely any better than the monks we're fighting. The only real difference is that they're wielding spear-type weapons, meaning Dantares no longer gets weapon advantage over them and Synbios now has disadvantage. None of this matters because we can still kill the mooks in two hits, and the commander isn't all that dangerous either.



Saraband soldiers really are second-rate! They still die in two hits from everyone but Grace, so no worries at all.




Even Synbios doesn't give a gently caress about the weapon triangle right now.



They still give lovely experience, though. Strangely, Shining Force 3 just gives you crappy experience until you hit chapter 4.





Since Benetram brought it up (and because there's not much of interest in this fight), let's talk about terrain now. The window with “LE” next to Grace's status window represents the Land Effect. Back in the day, Shining Force players thought this meant how much the terrain inhibited your movement, but that was incorrect. What Land Effect actually does is give you a bonus to defense: 0% means you're using your base defense, whereas 30% means you getting an extra 30% to your score if you get hit. The confusion stems from the fact that movement inhibition is correlated with higher LE, but different classes all have their movement affected differently by different types of terrain. For example, archers tend to move freely inside forest terrain, while anything with hooves gets tripped up by anything that's not plains. This will all become extremely obvious when we find sand terrain, which offers 0% LE but still slows everyone down to a crawl.



The game is nice and merciful when this ambush happens. The commander and the knights in the back don't use their full movement range for two or three turns, which allows you to mop them up in waves. If they all charged you at once, it'd be pretty easy to get overwhelmed.




You want to tilt with Dantares? Just try it, rear end in a top hat.



: If you want Emperor Domaric back, you'll have to follow me here!

This happens on the third or fourth turn, and is completely inevitable. We were going to follow him anyway.



Yawn.



Pretty much the only thing I have to worry about. However the AI is programmed to prioritize Synbios first. He only takes 2 damage per hit and has 13 HP, so it's not a problem even if four guys leash onto him.



This little trinket that we got from Garosh's little buddy is pretty nice. While the defense boost isn't much, it does give us a rare boost to luck. Luck is a new stat in Shining Force 3 that influences the rate of your criticals and counters, along with a few other things I probably don't know about. The thing is, it doesn't go up when you level up, being static for each character. Therefore, items that boost it are pretty valuable. I throw it onto Hayward since archer criticals are a good thing.



Another nice thing, any time you give a character a new piece of equipment, they have the option to immediately equip it, regardless of where you are.




3 damage to Dantares, which would mean 4 – 6 on other characters. This would be problematic if he had any buddies around.




On the other hand, Masqurin and Dantares can knock him to half HP instantly.





Yep, so long as I have Grace around, this isn't any trouble at all.





Another nice piece of fluff is that the animation and descriptive text changes on a successful evasion, depending on who's doing it. If it's a melee character, it's usually a “block”, but flying characters will “dodge”. If it's a ranged attack who gets evaded, they will “miss.” No functional difference, but it's little things that count.



Hayward gives his former CO the bridge treatment and we can all move on, because the rest of this fight is really boring.



After cleaning out the other two knights behind the commander, all that's left is a bat and the boss priest. If the screenshot looks confusing, don't fret. Everything to do with the camera in Shining Force 3 kind of sucks.



And while we're still on this boring fight, it's a perfect time to go over supports. There's two ways to build support level in the game: Either have two characters attack the same target, or have them heal each other. Do it enough, and this will happen:



Now that Synbios and Hayward have a support level, we'll see this icon:



This means that any time Hayward sits in a tile adjacent to Synbios, he will enjoy Synbios' support bonus.





That is an absolutely incredible boost this early in the game, and will be the only good thing about Synbios for most of the game.

A few other things to note about supports. There are five support levels, but jumping from 0 (Ally) to 1 (Partner) is always the biggest jump. If you can get the support level to 4 (Soulmate), then the support takes effect if you're one tile away. The support type is always based on class, so Dantares will have the same support as all other knights, Synbios will have the same as all other swordsmen, etc. If the support grants a defensive bonus (i.e. Dantares' lowering of criticals or Grace's magic defense bost) it will appear as a shield instead of a sword.

Finally, if a character dies, all of their support levels go down by one. This is a pretty drat good reason to keep characters alive without the “reset if somebody dies” style of Fire Emblem.

Anyways, the priest goes down without much of a fight.




So there's that Varlant guy they've mentioned a few times now.

: The fierce fighting against the Empire continues, and they are moving north as we speak. Lord Tybalt ordered me to come here and assist King Benetram in his escape. However, it seems that my help isn't needed.

: Not so. There is an Imperial ship near Saraband with an army aboard. Sooner or later they will come ashore.

: I see. Yes, just as you say, they could come ashore anytime.



With the arrival of the ships, an Imperial general makes her way out of Saraband.



: You! I see you are a Republican general. Be a man and identify yourself instead of cowering in anonymity!

drat, she don't gently caress around either.

: How dare you say that! I am General Varlant of Barrand! Tremble in fear before me!

: Ah, so you're Varlant... I had hoped to someday meed you on the field of battle, and find out if the rumors are true. White Knights, form up for battle!



Please skip all jokes about how the one female general's army is titled the White Knights. Thank you.




Crewart is just as much a creep as he looks, but Spiriel is having none of that poo poo. Unlike in Fire Emblem where the one good-looking female antagonist would be nicer than the rest and probably change sides, Spiriel is Queen rear end in a top hat.



: Prince Arrawnt! I didn't know you were...



: How can you speak that way about your dear little brother, Mageron?

: I thought your troops were already departed, Spiriel.

: We have a small problem in the form of a force from the Republic, Prince Mageron.

: Hmm, yes indeed. I see. Spiriel, you'd prefer to crush the Republic over searching for my father, eh? I suppose that is acceptable. I assume they will not delay you for very long.

: Prince Arrawnt, I too wish to leave some of my soldiers here.

: What? How dare you, Crewart! Are you implying that you don't trust me?

: N-No! You misunderstand me, Spiriel! If you dispatch your men to the north, I shall send mine west, just in case they surprise us.

: Very well, I understand. I shall leave that to you.



Welp. You have fun with that, Varlant.

: All right then. Brother, Spiriel, I'll go ahead and depart first.

: Spiriel, I shall leave as well. No matter what happens, don't let your guard down.

: Here we are, General Varlant. We are on even turf now. Now we shall both get our wish.



: While General Varlant is fighting, let us rescue Emperor Domaric.

: Crewart's soldiers must be heading this way as we speak. We must find the Emperor before they get here.

So we just had a grand old meeting with a bunch of the Imperial higher ups. Spiriel is a supreme badass who has to deal with assholes hitting on her, Crewart is an easily cowed creep, Arrawnt is cocky as hell, and Mageron is kind of old and doesn't really do anything.

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned in-game yet, but Arrawnt and Mageron are half-brothers to Medion, who was born to a commoner mother. Does this sound familiar yet?

Since the game is about to go all on us again, I'll end the update with non-plot stuff.



Shops always have four options. Buy is at the top, Sell on the left, Repair on the right, and Deals at the bottom. The first two are obvious enough. Repair is for when items get cracked – items with abilities that can be used in combat have a chance to crack, and if you use them when they're cracked, they break entirely. Repair will restore them to normal status for a bit of a fee. Deals allows you to buy randomly generated unique equipment, along with repurchasing any rare items that you sell or drop.



Right now, the item shop only sells Medical Herbs (restores 10 HP), Antidotes (cures poison and paralysis), and Angel Wings (immediately escapes from battle). None of this stuff is interesting, though it's worth keeping an antidote around plus a few medical herbs so Grace can keep healing when she runs out of MP.




This can also happen at random every time you talk to a shopkeep. I have no idea how it determines what item is offered, but if you decline, it goes to the deals section anyway. All a potion does is restore a character to full HP, which can be done in a single cast of Heal anyway. This'll just be left in Deals, since it'll only clutter up my inventory at this point.






As you can see, there's multiple types of weapons for every class. Right now, we could “upgrade' Synbios to a rapier and Hayward to a quarrel, but I'm going to hold off from that. I'll explain my reasons for this later, as this update has had a lot of mechanics talk in it already. Finally, let's head into headquarters, which is an identical building we can find in every town.



Here, we can see the members of the Shining Force hanging out, and they'll all have little things to say depending on where we are in the plot.








Additionally, Benetram is acting as our advisor, which gives us this menu:



Here we have Advice at the top, Give on the left, Take on the Right, and Transfer on the bottom. Advice doesn't actually give us any advice, and really serves to remind us of the plot in case we forgot. Give and Take are our item storage functions, and Transfer allows us to manage who's in our active battle party once we hit our maximum capacity of twelve.



Thanks, because we were totally going to forget with all these search parties on our asses!

NEXT TIME: Faceless NPCs still get names that we're going to forget!

inthesto fucked around with this message at May 9, 2013 around 20:48

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

quote:

Strangely, Shining Force 3 just gives you crappy experience until you hit chapter 4.

It's 100 EXP for a level at all times. Your perception is flawed as hell. You are getting a quarter of a level off them.

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

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


I'm conflicted. On one hand those scenes about Garosh were pretty sad, on the other I'd never seen them before, so I'm kinda glad I voted for him to die. Guess I'm just kinda an rear end in a top hat?

That Saraband ambush kinda freaked me the first time though the game, seemed like a lot to deal with in just the third battle. Of course the difficulty is actually pretty well pitched.

quote:

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned in-game yet, but Arrawnt and Mageron are half-brothers to Medion, who was born to a commoner mother. Does this sound familiar yet?

Never noticed that similarity to FFT before! But then I never found anyone except Spiriel in that scene very memorable. Probably because none of them show up again in the whole of Scenario 1. The perils of doing a trilogy of episodic games...

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!


Bloodly posted:

It's 100 EXP for a level at all times. Your perception is flawed as hell. You are getting a quarter of a level off them.

Compared to previous Shining Force games where you typically get 48 or 49 experience from killing a new enemy, yes getting 25 - 30 is pretty low.


geri_khan posted:

I'm conflicted. On one hand those scenes about Garosh were pretty sad, on the other I'd never seen them before, so I'm kinda glad I voted for him to die. Guess I'm just kinda an rear end in a top hat?

Never noticed that similarity to FFT before! But then I never found anyone except Spiriel in that scene very memorable. Probably because none of them show up again in the whole of Scenario 1. The perils of doing a trilogy of episodic games...

The scenes you get for Garosh dying are pretty well done. They sure as hell beat the "dramatic" scenes you get in scenario 2 for rescuing him.

And the plots of Shining Force 3 and Final Fantasy Tactics share a bizarre number of parallels. If they didn't come out at roughly the same time, I'd be more suspicious.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009



quote:

Unlike in Fire Emblem where the one good-looking female antagonist would be nicer than the rest and probably change sides
I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, actually. I can only think of two characters that fit that description in the entire FE series. Maybe three.

Endorph fucked around with this message at May 9, 2013 around 18:49

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Are you going to show off bothering the storekeepers until they put things in the deals section?

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012


Endorph posted:

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, actually. I can only think of two characters that fit that description in the entire FE series. Maybe three.

And WAY more counterexamples.

Remember Sonia?

One of the nastiest pieces of work in the series.

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:

Are you going to show off bothering the storekeepers until they put things in the deals section?

gently caress me sideways, I even have a screenshot of this and meant to put it in the last update. I'll edit it in shortly.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

inthesto posted:

gently caress me sideways, I even have a screenshot of this and meant to put it in the last update. I'll edit it in shortly.

There's actually a guide on gamefaqs that lists which shop keepers can be bugged for which items.

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 5: Leave your religion at the doorstep

When we enter Balsamo, a monk will pass in front of us.



Dantares does not take kindly to hubris.

: Well, that will happen, Dantares. Many of them are here in Balsamo, praying for the conference's success.

: Or so they say.

: They've caused us so much trouble and they're praying for peace?

: Go, Synbios. I'm relying on you. Find Domaric before they escape from here.

Luckily, Balsamo is a small town and there's not too many places to wander in order to get the plot moving. But first, we need ton consult GameFAQs to fill in some info I didn't have last time.



As I pointed out last time, if you bug certain shopkeepers enough, they'll randomly offer you special items. Apparently what items they offer are set depending on the specific merchant in specific towns. Only the item merchant in Balsamo will give you deals, and the two items she will offer are a Potion and a Goddess Tear. Now here's the fun part:



If we decline to buy the special item, the item will stay in the Deals section of every shop permanently. Thus, it's worth turning on the frameskip and doing this with every merchant who will cough up items, assuming it's an item we'll need later. Goddess Tears are invaluable items, being the only MP restoration consumable. While we don't need it now, I get it to spawn in the Deals section so I can go and buy it when we'll want it later in the game.



Uh, maybe we have a problem with the fact that you blew up a bunch of poo poo, abducted a monarch, and are constantly trying to murder us. Maybe.

: In this country, Emperor Domaric has guaranteed us the freedom of religion. You can't force us to leave!

Yeah, don't expect the whole first amendment thing to ever crop up again.



Republican lands were once Imperial lands, and Domaric wants them back!

A bit of history and a bit of foreshadowing. Apparently Domaric is a proud guy and still holds a grudge over the secessionists, even two decades later.



And here's our hint on the entirely new bonus dungeon feature in Shining Force 3. More on that when we get to it in the near future.




Balsamo also has an Imperial headquarters in addition to the Republican one. As usual, Imperial soldiers have no spine. Also, that blue one (who would be shivering if I could expend the effort to make a gif of it) might be the first confirmed lesbian in Shining Force history.




Picking up the relevant items hanging around town. Bright Honey, for those of you unfamiliar with Shining Force legacy, will increase maximum MP by 2 – 4. Like any other RPG player, I will be hoarding all stat boosting items until the very end.







The interior of the church contains a little bit more religion talk. Also, if you talk to the priest behind the counter, they'll always have something to say, though it's not always interesting. The fact that nobody actually knows who or what Bulzome is is pretty indicative of the fact that nobody cares about history.



And we finally get to our first priest of the game. There was one in Saraband, but you probably won't need to use him, so I skipped it. The options are Revive on the top, Cure on the left, Promote on the right, and Save on bottom. These should be pretty self-explanatory: Revive will bring characters back from the dead if they die in battle, though we have to pay for it. Cure will remove status effects if we don't do it in battle and also remove curses if we're stupid enough to equip a cursed item. Promote will change classes, though that won't be relevant until halfway through the game, so more on that later.



Save will save the game. Duh.



If we head to the inn on the northern end of town, there's a ton of monks hanging around.




They also can't seem to agree on anything. But to get the plot moving, we're going to need to hit up the second floor anyway.



I don't remember what happens if we say no, but this is likely a false choice anyway.

: Then enter the middle room. Be honored our high priests wish to meet with you, and don't be rude! All other rooms are off limits! You must only enter the middle room. Don't go anywhere else, got that?



Of course, we can enter the other rooms at our leisure anyway. On entering this room, we're greeting by a weird sound and we can't really do anything about it yet.



Why is he guarding a dead end?



We still pick this up in another room we're not supposed to enter. This will boost its recipient's attack by 2 – 4 points, which I will naturally never use.



The middle room contains a colorful cast of characters.


: Welcome us? Strange, we got the sense that our presence was irritating you.




: Please pardon us, visitors from Aspinia. Let me introduce myself. I am Basanda, one of the four high priests of Bulzome.



: I hope you weren't mistreated by the other Bulzome monks, King Benetram?

You mean other than the part where they've been trying to murder us in cold blood? Yeah, no problems.

: Thank you for your kindness, High Priest Goriate. The Bulzome Sect has been very considerate.

: We heard that the peace conference ended in chaos due to the kidnapping. I don't know what to think or say.

: We've had no luck finding Emperor Domaric. We must find him. and waste no time in doing so.

: What are your reasons in deciding to come to the lodge of Bulzome?

: We entrusted something to you. We would like to have it back now. That's why we're here, High Priest Fiale.

I don't know if this is a bad translation or a bad script, but boy was that a terrible choice of words from Benetram.

: Entrusted to us?

: Tour reason is intriguing. What do we of Bulzome have that belongs to King Benetram?

: Don't pretend you don't know! The truth is, the conference's failure was plotted by the Bulzome Sect!

: A plot, us? That is a bold statement, but we have no idea what you're talking about

: Enough playing dumb! You know what you've done!

: We have no memory of anything lent to us by the Republic. Sorry, but you must forego your quest.

At this point, Dantares loses his patient and tries to run up to the monk in the chair in the middle of the room that everyone's been ignoring until now.



: Oh, nothing... he looked a bit uncomfortable, so I thought I'd help him by taking off his mask for him.

: That's none of your business.

: Hmm. Outside of you four, it would seem that all the other monks wear masks like that. Is there any meaning behind it?

: There isn't a "deep meaning" in wearing the mask, King Benetram. Once one becomes a High Priest, many things are allowed, but until them we seek to serve by suppressing our individuality. And thus, the mask is a symbol of this.

Naturally, the Bulzome sect is nothing but hypocrites at the top. Organized religion!

: So as long as they wear the mask, the high priests determine even the fate of their lives, like gods?

: Fiale, we've spoken for too long. Now would be a good time to ask them to leave.

: It is my mistake, King Benetram. If I knew it'd be like this, I would have brought the rest of our people.

Actually, wouldn't that be the call of the commanding officer? Just more evidence that it's Dantares who's in charge, not Synbios.

: Then we'll regroup and come back in full force.



At this point the monk shakes his mask off, revealing a familiar face that surprises no one.




Basanda then proceeds to cast a magic spell which teleports us all outside the room.



: Just take a look around. It would not be wise to start a fight. Every Bulzome monk will attack us simultaneously if we provoke them. It would be better for us to leave now.

Give me a break, Dantares could run all these chumps down by himself.



Not that we really have a choice in the matter.



: Let's hurry back to headquarters. We'll come back with everyone!

: By “everyone”, do you mean us?

; Masqurin wouldn't stop making a fuss, so we came out here.

: All right, now it's time to fight. We will rescue Emperor Domaric!

: Synbios, you will be the leader. Everyone, follow Synbios' lead!

NEXT TIME: Hope you weren't itching for a bar brawl

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

quote:

Cure will remove status effects if we don't do it in battle and also remove curses if we're stupid enough to equip a cursed item.

There ARE items that can allow Cursed WEAPONS to be used safely....but not in Scenario 1.

And some Cursed items can be useful, worn or not.

Something that is lost in text transcriptions is there's lots of pauses and playing with text sizing.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

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


Dinosaur Gum

I was going to snark about how Masquirin and Grace would make so much of a difference, but really, this early on, they really would.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Glazius posted:

I was going to snark about how Masquirin and Grace would make so much of a difference, but really, this early on, they really would.

Dantares can only hit so many people per turn.

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:

Dantares can only hit so many people per turn.

To be fair, this early on, Masqurin is probably better than Dantares.

Also, quick update: I just found out that I messed up taking screenshots and overwrote my save file, so I'm going to have to restart the game to catch the stuff. Good thing I screwed up this early in the game, but it's still going to delay the next update by a few days.

Garbonix
Oct 9, 2012


inthesto posted:

To be fair, this early on, Masqurin is probably better than Dantares.

Also, quick update: I just found out that I messed up taking screenshots and overwrote my save file, so I'm going to have to restart the game to catch the stuff. Good thing I screwed up this early in the game, but it's still going to delay the next update by a few days.

This does let you see what happens if you say no to the question at the inn. So that is a small plus I guess.

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!


Short update: LP's still not dead, but as I was replaying the game to catch the stuff I forgot to cap, Irfanview overwrote all my old screenshots. As a result, I have to start the game over again and replay battle #4. I promise there will be a real update in the next day or two!

In the mean time, let's just check out some of the minor changes we get if we rescue Garosh:




Not nearly as heartfelt as the scene where he's dead.




This game likes to put in spinny text once in a while for some reason.




Well, fat lot of good saving him did us.




Thankfully, we have a 50% chance of answering this question right, and we get infinite attempts at it.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Good thing you're getting all this out of the way early...

...

...

After you beat disk one, put the backup of your save file on another continent.

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 6: Named NPCs get biographies too

When we last left off, we gathered the rest of our army and charged back into the inn to ruin some Bulzome poo poo and put an end to this game.



Or everyone's gone.



: Synbios, let's go up to the second floor and inspect the rooms of those High Priests.



: The Bulzome Sect tricked us. They took advantage of our situation, and decided to set us up.

: Situation... took advantage?? Set us up... I'm afraid I don't understand.

Dantares did not achieve his rank through his brains.

: They knew the Empire is after us, and that we wouldn't risk our lives to fight them to save Emperor Domaric.

: Of course. If we challenged them, we'd barely survive their onslaught, with no chance of saving the Emperor.

: Instead, we retreated, giving them the time to escape. We did exactly what they wanted us to do.

: But what was their objective?

: In order to move the Emperor, the Empire's attention had to be diverted. We would have been their decoy.



No, the four goons don't actually show up. They have the power of telepathy or something.

: No use searching for us. Our main forces are already on the move. We have no reason to stay here!

: You would chase after us? Give it up. Soon, the Imperial army will arrive. All of you are trapped like rats!

Actually, if we could crawl through a rat hole, we could get the attention of the guy in charge and get him to change us back to normal size. Wait poo poo, wrong game again.

: Tell me just one thing! Who was impersonating me and for what purpose?

The brilliant Benetram can't even figure out things that he's already announced.

: It was I, Fiale. It was part of our plot to ruin the peace conference between the Republic and the Empire!

Fun fact: When we stomp him into the dirt, Fiale will have the same stats that we saw on the impostor. Nice attention to detail, and it tells us we won't be fighting Fiale for a while.

: As we take the Emperor overseas, put up a good fight, my little decoys! If you live, I'm sure we'll meet again.

: What are we to do, King Benetram? If the priests' words are true, our lives are in grave danger.

: There's no reason for them to like now, but we are not out of options. There has to be more that we can do. We can't make a strategy until we know what's going on outside the castle. Let's get to higher ground. Don't worry Synbios and Dantares. Balsamo is enclosed by a high wall. There must be a secret path somewhere.

Yes, secret paths. Let's go find one.



Like so!




Hey more weird sounds. What could it be?



A secret character!



Oh wait, he's imperial.

: Why did you decide to rescue me now? You were the ones who captured me because I knew of the conspiracy between Bulzome and Benetram, weren't you? Does Benetram's plan scare you? Is that why you've decided to let me go? From what I saw, you used the peace conference as your chance to take the Emperor. I can't condone such an act! I would thank you for helping me, but next time we meet, we will be enemies. The Republican army will be destroyed!

And with that, he storms off. We need to trigger this event in order to recruit Bernard in scenario 2 – something useless for people who actually played the game on a non-Japanese Saturn. In the end, it's all fine, since Bernard isn't as good as Hayward anyway.



And we pick up Bernard's secret stash before leaving. Again, not an item we'll need right away, but it'll be useful later on.



If we try to walk out the front, we find out that the Crewart army has caught up to us and is now walling us in. Thankfully, nobody recognizes Synbios or Dantares by sight.



Poking around the buildings, there's also a Republican HQ. The sight is not very pretty.



If we wander into another house, this old guy rambles on about some character named Toby. There's also two other guys named Duncan and Shiraf but the game doesn't do a great job of explaining it and two of the three characters don't get portraits, so I can never keep any of it straight. None of it gets fully explained until scenario 2, which we probably won't see for at least a year now, so I'm just going to assume it's all unimportant.



Upstairs in the same house, we find a dwarf staring off into the horizon.

: There, another one just got killed. The Spiriel army is as powerful as they're said to be, King Benetram.

Obright's got same drat good eyes.

: So we've finally found you. You're Obright from the Produn army! Why are you here?

: As my senses cleared, Toby told me of the town's closure and your plight. I rushed here hoping to spot you.

: How did you know to look here, exactly?

: I knew once you heard of the closure, you'd try to assess the situation. No better place to do that than here.

: So you've decided to help us take the escape route leading to Dwarf's Hill? I commend your decision, Obright.

: I wasn't aware of a secret pathway to Dwarf's Hill. You're called the wisest general for a reason, King Benetram.



Something tells me that Dantares not being a bright bulb is going to be a running theme here.

: I've been separated from the Produn army, but I'm still loyal to the Republic. Please allow me to join your forces. Let's go to Duncan's house now. Toby should be there already.

And just like that, we've recruited our token dwarf.

Now we hike on over to Duncan/Toby/???'s house.



: I did a whole lot of thinking, Toby. I can't go there all alone. That's why I spoke to these people.




Okay, so Toby is a little kid, Duncan is a former bandit, and both of them are obscured by a text box. There's also Shiraf who was trained by Duncan and is now a giant rear end in a top hat. We're going to promptly forget all this because none of it matters.

: Listen carefully Toby. They're being hunted by the Empire. If they don't escape, they're dead. The secret tunnel I have been digging for years, opens at the well ahead. No one in Balsamo knows about it. I, however, owe a lot to Obright, and you don't look like bad people. You know, I'm glad the pathway I built for fun is being used to save lives, especially if it saves the King's life.

Funny, this is imperial territory, thus Duncan is an imperial citizen. I guess it makes sense that he wants to stick it to the man, being a former bandit and all.

: Duncan, thank you for your help. I'll find out whose behind this war and I promise to return your favor.

: Please proceed carefully. I hope you remain safe. Elbesem's speed to you.



Before we scoot, we need to pick this up. It'll be relevant in the battle after the next.



And then we jump out Duncan's backdoor and check out the well. Really, the only well in town has a secret passage that nobody knows about?



Wait, wasn't this Dwarf Hill a second ago?

: A savage land few dare to enter. There is no telling what danger awaits. Be careful, Synbios.






Since I overwrote some saves like a dumbass, I've had to replay through this game twice just to redo this battle. I've decided to keep the new save because Synbios got some really ridiculous levels (don't worry, he's still wearing the battle bracer, so his base attack is still lower than Dantares'), but more importantly I scored this support along the way:



While Grace's support of raising magic defense is useless this early, Masqurin's ability to pump up magic power is awesome. While it's far better when paired with another mage, it will bring a welcome boost to Grace's healing power.






This map is another straight corridor down, with two detours to the side. Since it is a valley, each side has an archer with the high ground on us. I don't think high ground actually does anything, but it does mean that only Hayward and Masqurin can fire back from below. The strategy for this fight is simple: Send a few characters to the east rise to clean out the one clump of enemies (including an archer), and then let Masqurin or Hayward go 1v1 with the other archer while everyone else pushes straight through.



Despite the enemy set being almost entirely new, they still don't hit our frontliners very hard.



The only old enemy to stick around is the bat, solely to piss me off with poison.



Though it's still the same enemy, the bat's poison now does 2 damage per turn to Dantares. This makes me think that poison in fact scales off max HP.





Ah, it's good to have weapon advantage back.



Having forced ranged combat works both ways. While the enemy sniper is too busy leashing onto Dantares with Grace behind his back, Hayward can deal free damage to this worm up here.

More interesting to note is the formation I've set up top with Obright and Dantares. While forming a wall like that is very effective at forcing the AI to bash its skull against characters it will never realistically kill, it's also suboptimal because it forces a bunch of 1v1s, meaning I won't be able to build support levels. Now, Shining Force 3 is an easy enough game that supports are just garnish to finish the game faster, but it's something to keep in mind.



With 18 HP, worms are a little bit beefy. Thankfully, they're slow monsters with MOV 4, so it's hard to get swarmed by them.



Grace also picked this up at level 4, but since enemies frequently drop antidotes, we won't be using the spell too often.



Here's the gimmick for this battle: The scaven and worm on the east bank and the worm on the west bank will respawn after they're killed. While enemies do give low amounts of experience, you can use this for support grinding if you really want to. Naturally, we have better things to do than that.




Even worms can stand up to Dantares. Early on, Shining Force 3 is just a low impact game in general. That will change soon enough.




Masqurin is still squishy. The way this map is laid out, though, there's not too many chances for her to get killed.



On the other hand, worms apparently have a weakness to fire. This will mark them as the first physical-resistant, magic-vulnerable enemy in the game.



And Masqurin gets this little gem as a result of her level up.




Might as well show it off since this fight isn't too difficult or interesting either way.




Keep in mind that's an area effect too.



And for some reason, Masqurin gets weapon advantage over worms. I really couldn't tell you why.



Southern end of the west bank contains this goody. It's an accessory that grants +2 DEF. I'm probably going to toss it onto Masqurin so I don't have to do so much worrying about her getting instagibbed.





Towards the end, all that's left is a bat and a scaven at the front, and the respawning enemies at the back. Since it takes too long to walk around the banks and into the valley, it's easy enough to just waste the last two enemies blocking my way and proceed forward.



But before we go, Dantares picks up this! More on it in the next update, but suffice to say for now that it's going to provide him a boost to attack and a new animation when he lands a critical.



Since the map has infinitely respawning enemies, the way to end it is to move Synbios to the end and use the Map Move command. We're also going to be seeing more of this in the next battle.



: General Crewart's soldiers must be quite irritated by now.

: Still, this is imperial territory, and we're such a small force. The time we gained is very precious. They say treasure is hidden in Dwarf Hill just ahead. Beyond that is the town of Railhead. Hurry, General Produn awaits!

NEXT TIME: Bonus dungeons!

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Huh, I never realized that the mage friendship bonus worked on heals. Also for Dantares picking up rank 1 in lances. It begins.

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

quote:

Masqurin gets weapon advantage over worms. I really couldn't tell you why.

Rods are strong against any Beast. Wands are strong against other Magi. Ankhs beat Undead. Certain exclusions may apply. Manual calls Rods 'Spirit' type weapons. What Spirit has to do with beasts I dunno. Same with Wands and the 'Exorcist' type.

Danger-Pumpkin
Apr 27, 2008

That's the way the bee bumbles.

Spirit... of nature? Whatever, man, she blows things up with magic. She is above our petty questions!

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 7: This one's easy




: Who could predict this outcome? But the chief knew this was gonna happen. He must have contacts everywhere. With the internal security forces busy with the Republican armies, we're free to steal like there's no tomorrow. Still, even though we are part of the Shiraf clan, we're stuck on this stupid watch. I wish we could join a more active unit.



: King Benetram, sitting here is just a waste of precious time.

: Once we meet with General Produn, I must think through all this again. Let us move out. Split them right down the middle.

So we hear Shiraf's name again without a whole lot of clue as to who he is, other than a bandit leader. Surely this will become relevant sooner or later, but for now, Dantares has some killing to do.





Two new enemies, the latter of which is a one-time boss. Dark mages are a bit dangerous. Freeze 1 puts out a lot of damage right now and Tornado 2 does multi-target damage without any multi-target healing as an answer, so it's best to kill them as quickly as possible.



However, this is the real point of interest for this fight. This is our first bonus dungeon, which is only accessible if we picked up the ruins map in Balsamo. It won't trigger until we wander too close to it. Finally, let's take a look at weapon levels:



Notice the left column, where it says “Weapon Level” and “Specials”. Last fight, when Dantares gained Lance Charge at the end of the fight, that means he gained a level in lances. This means he will get a flat attack bonus whenever he has a lance equipped and all of his critical hits will be replaced by a special attack. Special attacks always do more damage and many of them add status effects. Specials are specific to the weapon type, so if Dantares were to get a level in spears, he'd have a completely different special to select from. For an extra layer of fun, the same weapon type equipped to different classes will get you different specials!

As the weapon level goes up, characters gain more specials and the bonus to attack goes up. Each weapon level has a special associated with it, though certain weapons will also grant specials. The way the weapon level attack bonus works is a tiny bit complicated, so I'll just link this page instead.



The fight starts off with a sniper and a worm right next to each other, so let's see what area effect magic can do, terrible camera allowing.



Blaze 2 will hit in a cross shape, but you need to have a target at the center. One nice thing is that it costs 5 MP now, compared to 6 MP in Shining Force 2. A 1 MP difference doesn't sound like much, but hey, it's half of a Blaze 1.




Oh yeah, and Shining Force 3 has magic scaling now. I don't know exactly how it works, but the gist of it is that each character has base affinities for each element, which are then modified by the weapon level of the weapon they're using. How that interacts with base damage, I don't actually know, but hey – scaling mages means Masqurin Is going to stay relevant whether or not she's waiting on her next spell level.




As advertised, the Dark Mages back Tornado 2, which also has an area effect. It hits fairly hard at this point in the game. However, as far as I know, enemy casters tend not to have any base affinities, so their damage output is much lower than our mages.



It's best to take care of these guys as quickly as possible before they can use up all their MP bypassing our defenses.



And pick up this on the way.





As we cut through these enemies who don't pose any threat because Masqurin and Dantares crap damage, we take a looksee at this not-so-supicious pyramid.




Usually just standing close enough to it will trigger the next part, but this time Obright's going to walk right on up and inspect.



An unsavory looking fellow will pop out and yell at us, claiming that the treasure's his. I missed the screencap, but the dialogue's not that interesting and we'll see him soon enough.




Now here's where things can get a little interesting. With the bonus dungeon opened up, there's now a separate map, which characters have to enter individually. The bonus map always takes its turn after the main map has finished up. However...



The turn that a character performs a map move from the main onto the bonus map, they don't get a turn on the bonus map. The thief will always show up and enter the turn you inspect the ruins. The upshot of this is that typically want your highest agility character to trigger the ruins, and then have the other characters subsequently go in, so their turns are on par with thief.

Unfortunately, Dantares and Masqurin – the two characters that absolutely must do this map - are our two fastest characters, so there's not much to be done about it. Obright is one of the slowest, so Dantares and Masqurin end up entering at the start of the next turn, giving the thief a head start. Luckily, the first bonus map is extremely easy, so nothing's really lost.



The way bonus maps work is that there's a bunch of chests and an exit. Most of the chests are locked, and thus only the thieves can open them. You have to allow the thieves, who mostly follow pre-programmed paths, to grab the loot, and then attack them to force them to drop it so you pick it up instead. If you're too aggressive and kill all the thieves, then you can't unlock the chests and the ruins collapse. On the other hand, if you too slow and let the thieves escape, then the ruins will also collapse and you don't get any loot.

More or less, you will always have to send in your highest movement characters (aka Dantares and his future centaur cohort) to chase the thieves around and hopefully not completely murder them.



Because thieves, while packing a decent amount of HP, aren't particularly strong and always have swords. Since most of our 7 MOV characters will be using lance-types, there's a fair chance that they'll get killed accidentally. vv



All that said, this first map is extremely simple. We've already seen the thief unlock that chest with the life ring in the back, and there's only one other chest off to the right like so:



Masqurin can pop open this one to grab a measly Healing Drop, since it's one of the few without a lock on it, and meanwhile Dantares can chase down the thief. Since Dantares has 7 MOV to the thief's 6, it won't be much of a problem.



Also, Synbios is never allowed to enter bonus dungeons. My guess is that somebody at Camelot was too lazy to deal with programming how to work with Return in a bonus map.



And while Masqurin and Dantares are running circles inside the ruins, everyone else is waiting for the last of the enemies to make their way over.



The thieves will always run towards the exit when they're done pilfering, but they'll never have an advantage over Dantares.



Crime never goes unpunished.



The fact that we get monetary gain out of it is completely incidental.



When the thieves either escape or die, things blow up and everyone evacuates.



Which just leaves this. Remember, one of those is a normal sniper while the other is a boss.




Because I didn't. If I didn't throw the Protect Bracer onto Masqurin, that would have been lethal.




Smack down the guy who can hit more than one person at a time, first.



And then we can just let Masqurin do her thing. Blaze 2 has put her damage output over Dantares' for the time being.





And then, all that's left is to smash the boss.



And Hayward knows how to finish with style with our first special attack!




No special effects, but it looks kind of cool.



Not even a third of a level for a chapter boss? But hey, we picked up all this one the way:





Remember, weapon levels means magic power scaling up too!



: I heard the Synbios force disappeared, but didn't expect... show up here.

: You know the peace conference would fail. How did you know?

In my head, Dantares is using his anthro-equine strength to deadlift this guy and shake the answers out of him like a pinata full of fortune cookies.

:Wouldn't you like to know? Shiraf and.. planned... eliminate... the emperor... Ugh!




Next time Dantares, you break his legs, not his skull.

: Many lives were lost for nothing. If we don't act, more will perish. We must prevent that from happening.

FACT CHECK: We're responsible for most of the murdering that's happened on screen.






Just the excuse the Empire needed to justify an invasion of the Holy Land, bringing both countries to the brink of full-scale war. A peace conference was called in an attempt to avert the coming war, but the abduction of the Emperor by Bulzome fanatics raised tensions on both sides. Both sides left the peace conference planning for war. Synbios managed to escape Balsamo, and is heading to the town of Railhead where General Produn awaits. However, many unexpected events lie in his and his party's path.



And that concludes the first chapter! To recap the more mysterious parts of the plot: There's a gang of thieves operating in the region, lead by Shiraf, and they're somehow in on Domaric's abduction. This implies that they're working with the Bulzome sect, but the full story won't be illustrated for a while.

Come back for chapter 2, where I'm sure we'll meet this Produn guy, who we totally won't forget about for the rest of the disc while we're shoved into one of the most frustrating fights in Shining Force history!

NEXT TIME: It's the fight after this one, you jerks.

inthesto fucked around with this message at Jun 8, 2013 around 02:26

CAPTAIN CAPSLOCK
Sep 11, 2001



edit: Voted for Garrosh to die, but I was dumb and didn't see there was a second page of this LP. Finally caught up and I have so say this game looks pretty fun. Enjoying the LP so far.

CAPTAIN CAPSLOCK fucked around with this message at Jun 8, 2013 around 00:32

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Wait, I thought Switching Point was three battles from now. Also, it's gone down a lot on my list of annoying battles ever since I played scenario 2.
Seriously, gently caress trying to keep Donhort's suicidal rear end alive.

Also, you missed a smilie tag in there.

Garbonix
Oct 9, 2012


Ardeem posted:

Wait, I thought Switching Point was three battles from now. Also, it's gone down a lot on my list of annoying battles ever since I played scenario 2.

Switching Point is in three battles. Just if I remember right the next one is a huge pain because of the map, enemies, and that one thing you have to do for reasons.

ChrisAsmadi
Apr 19, 2007
:D

What was in the second dungeon chest, the one that Masquirin went after?

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!


You're right, I completely blanked on the Chapter 2 Battle 2. Switching Point is just such a black cloud on the entire chapter, it's hard to remember anything else.

And yes, the hostage fight in Scenario 2 is far worse. It's so frustrating, it makes me wonder if Thracia 776's team took some lessons from it.

ChrisAsmadi posted:

What was in the second dungeon chest, the one that Masquirin went after?

Durr, it was a Healing Drop. It's just so inconsequential, I forgot to actually mention it. I'll edit it in now.

inthesto fucked around with this message at Jun 8, 2013 around 02:27

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

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


Dinosaur Gum

The existence of a mage-staff special attack invites a lot of questions. Does it randomly proc instead of a spell, or have you actually got to be insane enough to melee on a mage to see it?

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Glazius posted:

The existence of a mage-staff special attack invites a lot of questions. Does it randomly proc instead of a spell, or have you actually got to be insane enough to melee on a mage to see it?

You have to melee with them. One of the mythril rods gives the attack Change Gold, which is an instant kill when it procs.

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

Glazius posted:

The existence of a mage-staff special attack invites a lot of questions. Does it randomly proc instead of a spell, or have you actually got to be insane enough to melee on a mage to see it?

Mage melee isn't completely foul(Just 'mostly'), especially on the right target. The majority of the specials have some kind of special effect-paralyse, stun, instant-kill, reduced hit rate, confusion, etc. They don't turn entirely useless when MP runs out, which is good because Shining Force has always had MP restoration by consumable be hideously rare.

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

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


Been a while, but I think I really liked Switching Point. It's so tense and I've not seen a similar mission in many other games.

Actually I really like the entire chapter that starts with Railhead. Some really memorable battles here.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

So, I decided to start yet another playthrough of the game to go along with the LP. I often forget how dumb the AI can be.



For people who arn't used to dealing with SF3 trees; that's Masqurin blaze 2ing a Scavin, a Bat, and a Sniper, all at half HP. She gained a level and friendship bonuses with Sny and Hayword out of it.

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 8: Foreshadowing that will almost never come to a head!



A new chapter, a new design team to thoroughly piss me off.




Welcome to Railhead, another town under the governorship of Garvin, and also populated by people who are overly concerned with material wealth.





The scene starts with Grace talking to some official looking guy, and hoofing it back to headquarters.



: I was trying to confirm the arrival time of the train at the station, but it came while I was there...




Everyone is just fascinated by steam technology. Grace probably forgot what she was doing when she saw the iron beast.

: I see. Did you see the locomotive?

: Darn! That's why I told you, Grace! I wanted to go with you too!

: That huge thing actually moves. I saw it with my own eyes, but I still cannot believe it.

: Since we can't find Produn's army, we must find our own way to the Republic. Maybe the train...

: Speaking of the Produn army, do we know where they are now?

: They were ambushed by Imperial General Garzel's army. Right now they are still in battle, so they can't help us.

: General Garzel is a good leader. Even General Produn must be having trouble facing him on the battlefield.

: The strategy of the Empire has been remarkable! It seems like they know where we're heading next.

Why yes, it's almost as if there's a mole somewhere. How else could Garzel possibly know about all our moves?

: It seems we have some time before the departure time. It might be a good idea to learn about locomotives. Why don't you go take a look, Synbios?

: Oh, you too, Lord Synbios? Only you and Grace get to see the train!?

: All right then, you can go too.

Yes, Masqurin acting like a child is going to be a running theme through the game. Being an elf, she's also much older than everyone else.

Since we're in HQ, let's gab a bit first.








But what? No, this thought never gets finished.



Right outside the door is out welcoming committee. If we answer yes:



On the other hand, an answer of no gets us:



Let's keep going around as see what the town of Railhead is like!


: But thanks to the prosperity, I can come here while skipping out on my job at the station.


: However, the savings never reach the commoners, but only allow the rich to prosper further. Is this the future?



: The Empire has fertile soil, but with the high taxes, it's not much different.



So yeah, people only care about money and nobody gives a poo poo about the war. To the people in the middle, both nations are completely the same to them. Let's check around the bar for some more chat that's more directly related to the plot.






There's that Shiraf guy again! If this guy is a bandit, and he's talking about the cargo hold when no soldiers are around, that can only mean...



This guy kicking back the beers seems to have a unique sprite.



Oh, you look a little familiar. If we answer no, he'll explain the Vandals to us like so.

: They ruled the land about a thousand years ago. Think of them as the supreme supernatural evil entities. A country to the west called Enrich was almost destroyed because of them. Ten years have passed since then.

If we answer no, we get a new prompt:



Answer no, and he'll explain again.

: The Vandals created a kingdom one thousand years ago. Until it suddenly vanished, they govered over humankind with terror and despair. Light blazing from the sky was supposedly the cause of the kingdom's fall. The Vandals then went into hibernation.

If we say yes to that one, the question tree ends with Julian becoming impressed about Republican education.

: I'm impressed. I don't know how you learned it, but the people of Aspinia seem well educated. It's been one thousand years since the Vandals vanished from the face of the Earth. More signs of the Vandal revival are appearing.

None of this matters until scenario 3, but hey, a familiar face we'll get to recruit soon enough.


: How did Garvin, the old governor of Quonus, acquire the steam engine? No one really knows the truth.


: Rumor has it that he exchanged a whole town to a demon for the steam engine technology.

If you guessed that Garvin traded away all of Quonus for a big rear end train, you'd be correct! It's not outright stated anywhere, but this will come together cleanly in the next chapter, and sets up a lot of plot for scenario 2.


Sarabade, aside from transporting food and goods, is also involved in smuggling weapons. I'm sure some of the boxes held weapons.

Garvin is also a war profiteering scumbag. We're not going to feel bad about eventually killing him.



Time to head into this big, important looking building where Grace didn't accomplish anything.


: There is no need to be shy. Please feel free to enter at any time.

Dude doesn't even check our ticket. Homeland Security wouldn't be pleased. Either way, it's not like there's much to see in the railroad station.



Except for fart jokes. Tee hee.



Let's get out of here, since there's nothing to really do.




Ah, poo poo.




: We have received orders to guard Railhead from the potential vicious attacks of the Republican army. That is why we assumed our position here, to protect the station building.

: I understand why you're here, but Railhead is under Saraband rule. You can't take actions on your own accord.

High society customers are aboard the train. This really is not a place for Border Guards like yourselves. Oh, if the Governor General Garvin hears about this! Please get out of here as quickly as you can!

It's not incredibly obvious, but the one doing the double freakout is the guy in the blue suit, whereas the just plain angry guy is the station captain in the white.
: We have direct orders from Prince Arrawnt, himself! Are you questioning his authority?

Captain... did you just say Prince Arrawnt? You, by whose order do you not allow the Border Guard Captain access? Answer me!!!

It was probably your orders, but this guy is the douchebag boss who lays blame to all of his subordinates.

Me...? What...? Station Chief... Are you... I... Me...? Did I... I didn't... do anything...

I promise to have him punished severely. Please guard the station building for us. Excuse me...

How could the Station Chief... punish me... That's so cruel... I should've stayed home today.






Strangely, the town layout is going to stay completely the same, but we won't be able to get back inside the station. Good thing I collected all the goodies before triggering this scene!






Before we consult Benetram, let's get some mechanics chat in here.



For some reason, the majority of weapons for magic users will be showing up in the deals section. I'm going to pick up that power ankh for Grace, since she actually starts at weapon level 1 with them.




Shining Force 3 is nice and gives you the option to immediately equip new weapons and sell old ones. Quality of life in old RPGs is a nice thing.



Now then, remember how the rapier gave Synbios a small boost to attack back in Balsamo?



Not anymore! Thanks to having rank 1 in swords, Synbios will lose that attack bonus if he switches to rapiers or blades. Because of this, it's generally good to stick a character with a single weapon type. This hamstrings the old Shining Force strategy of keeping knights with a spear and a lance, but having awesome criticals outweighs it. I'm going to keep everyone on their initial weapon type, just because I can (and because it fits thematically with Synbios).



Meanwhile, this is one of our merchant bonuses in this shop. It gives +12 critical to whoever equips it, and it's only available to male characters. For the curious, the other random merchant bonus item is a potion. I trigger it, but hold off from buying.



Let's just ignore everything this screenshot implies, okay?



And while I'm micromanaging equipment, let's get this bauble we picked up last fight onto Masqurin. More defense for the squishy mage is good, and the HP regen will make healing her less important. The protect bracer she was wearing goes on Obright. With all the accessories I'm slinging around this early, the team is looking much more powerful than it normally would.

Anyways, back to the plot.



: The Imperial Border Guards appeared at the train station and they're getting ready to catch King Benetram.

: Border guards in the station? We won't be able to get on the train so easily now.

: Blast! Now we will have to abort our plan to get back to the Republic by train.

But I thought Republicans didn't approve of abortion.

: I just remembered something. I heard something very imteresting while I was in town. A railroad worker said sometimes he sees people hiding with the cargo. We could give that a try.

: That's a very good idea, Grace. If we do that, then we won't be found by the Border Guards.

: Hmm, sneaking inside the cargo?

: This seems to be our only option.

: It's not perfect, but considering our situation, it might be worth a try. Let's go to the cargo hold.

: Lead the way, Lord Synbios. We'll be right behind you.



And lead the way Synbios will.



But not before a quick detour.

NEXT TIME: Rescue missions are still annoying!

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Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Huh, I usually grab secondary weapons for everybody who can use them. It's not like there's any shortage of mythril and having a character do less damage is better than having a character doing none.

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