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



Lipstick Apathy

I don't think I've ever used the secondary weapons except the spears for the Centaurs.

Wait, no, I lied, I sometimes use the Wing weapons for the fliers you get later instead of the swords because they offer defensive bonuses, but I definitely never bothered using KNIVES.

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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!


I find that the attack boost from investing in a single weapon is more important than versatility, especially since hybrid weapons (knives, spears, tomahawks) kind of suck anyway.

This might end up biting me in the rear end in scenario 3, but we'll find out!

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



Lipstick Apathy

I only used spears for the ruins anyway!

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Maybe I just over value things like the assassin knife's instant kill proc or the arrow axe giving the dwarves the ability to hit things three squares away. (Also, hilariously counts as a bow weapon.)

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!


Nephrite posted:

I only used spears for the ruins anyway!

This is actually pretty clever, and I'm probably going to copy this idea for the LP.

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 9: More AI bullshit














I missed the screencap, but Irene punches the gently caress out of this guy.


If she's going to be trouble, since she's seen us and the crime scene, finish her off!







And welcome to our first rescue mission. It's going to be far from our last.






A few new enemies that are a bit punchier than the last bunch, but overall easier. Birdmen fly and wield swords, so they're easy prey for both Dantares and Hayward. Goblins are the new big boys, but maces are axes in the weapon triangle, meaning Synbios will finally have weapon advantage.




While Irene looks like she starts out close to us, we can't climb that giant stack of crates. The team will have to take a detour to the east and meet her at the north-east end of the map. While Irene does walk towards us, her AI is programmed to never heal herself, so we have a time limit of three or four turns to get her. Luckily, the enemy AI is just as weird, and no one enemy will be dedicated to hitting her every round.



Irene could die in three turns if the AI so willed, but it doesn't.




The first turn is spent moving. On the second turn, Masqurin dives headfirst into that sniper, who's never gonna get to move. With +4 DEF, I'm not too afraid of Masqurin getting hit once or twice.







It's good to have weapon advantage back.





Really good.



Meanwhile, Irene keeps trying to hike down towards us while stubbornly refusing to do anything about the damage she's eating.




And this is what happens if you don't send Dantares at full movement every turn to fetch her. This was really bad, because two turns in a row, I thought to myself “Oh right, I need to get Dantares over there” without actually doing it.



Irene's dying message. Luckily, Synbios can revive her.



Not directly, though. If you happen to fail any bonus objectives, you can simply Egress (actually called Return, but the fan translation patch reverted the name to the older version). This will take you to the last priest you saved at, and walk back to the battle, resetting all the fight conditions from the start. The exceptions are the bonus dungeons, such as the one we saw in the last fight. If you egress after a bonus dungeon has been started, then the game will count it as destroyed when you return. Make sure you do the bonus dungeon right the first time!

Anyways, let's try this again.





Dammit Dantares, Hayward killed the birdman in a single critical. Start pulling your weight.



Look at that, Synbios does almost as much damage without a critical! For shame.



For reference, if you wander Synbios too close to the crates at the beginning, a birdman will jump down on him. With Hayward, he's very easy to take care of.



Oh, and what's this? Did Grace learn a new spell? Well, kind of. Let's look.



See how the weapon description says “Tornado L3” at the bottom? That means anyone who's equipping it will have Tornado in their fourth spell slot. That's right, casters never actually learn a fourth spell through leveling up; the last slot is instead determined by what item they have equipped. Now, the reason why only Tornado 1 is accessible is because the spell level must equal the weapon rank, i.e. Grace won't get Tornado 2 until she gains rank 2 in ankhs, etc. This means that mages and priests get much more flexibility in their toolboxes, and that priests get a very distinct advantage over monks, as monk weapons will never have spells attached to them.




Meanwhile, Dantares presses forward and takes a beating for it. Synbios finally gaining weapon advantage also means that Dantares will suffer from weapon disadvantage.



After a few turns, one of the birdmen will fly up to this area, where you can't touch him.



So close, yet so far Masqurin.



Almost there!



Cutting it close.



Another risky move. Irene has 9 AGI, which is tied with both the scaven and the archer, either one of whom could finish her off right now. I'm pretty sure that if you recruit a character and they die in the same battle, they still count as dead. Here, I'm hoping that Irene gets to move first so she can heal herself.




The broken speech is going to get old real fast. Thankfully, she doesn't really have any lines.





Notice how Grace and Hayward took different amounts of damage? That's not just the RNG at work. It's time for more mechanics talk!




Mostly new to Shining Force 3 is elemental resistances. Along the bottom row, they're fire, ice, lightning, wind, holy, and dark. Spellcasting classes will generally get much higher magic resists than non-casters. This is actually a cool feature, since it means mages can actually act as damage sponges against other mages, and won't instagib when they get hit by Spark 3.




Did I remember to mention that Irene is a monk? While she'll never have as much MP as Grace, she has a decent attack and gains a spell that will be invaluable later in the game. It's nice of scenario 1 to give us a secondary healer early on, a courtesy that Shining Force 2 didn't have.




I wish I had managed to cap this, but Irene's counter animation is a big roundhouse kick. Her stats may suck at the moment, but Irene is still a badass.



This is one hell of a clusterfuck, with Dantares off to the side and three enemies mobbing me in the middle.



But hey, we finally get to exercise Synbios' weapon advantage!



You're lucky Dantares didn't see that, Synbios.



At least this will clean out one guy.



And apparently ankhs get weapon advantage against these guys, just because they have “dark” in their name. I won't argue, though how effective could her attack possi-





Holy poo poo, Grace can shoot lasers out of her eyes.



With the birdman and the dark mage getting punted into another dimenion in one hit and Masqurin getting an easy cast of Blaze 2, that just about wraps up this fight. There's really only cleaning up left, and I don't mean the enemies.



Despite recruiting Irene a while ago, Dantares is gonna keep on climbing up.




So he can grab this. It's a full HP restore to everyone on the map. I'm not going to use it until the very end, naturally.




And Synbios and Obright are gonna check out this hole in the wall. This isn't a real bonus dungeon, but some battles with have two separate maps to them.



Inside the cargo is just a scaven and a dark mage, but that's experience and gold that I want.



One of the barrels on the inside map also contains a goodie.



Freeze 1 at work. Not pretty stuff, but not terrible when it's just a solo mage.


General Dantares will watch the rest of the battle from above and evaluate.




Grace has been learning well.



: Did you say Synbios? I see. No wonder you beat us, you're the remnants of the Rrepublican army. I see Benetram next to you. I bet you were planning to escape by hidingin the cargo like rats. Forget the cargo, you are worth a lot more! There is a bounty on your heads. I must inform boss Shiraf! Just you wait! I'll gather my friends from Dusty Village, and return to collect Benetram's head.

It's funny how this guy recognized Synbios' name before Benetram's looks. Also, there's that Shiraf guy again. We better meet him soon, or I'm going to be really confused.



: More importantly, take a look around.

: They destroyed everything in sight.

: Once they see the mess around the cargo, they're bound to inspect everything on this train.

: I guess we must give up the idea of smuggling ourselves among the cargo.

: Not only that, once this is discovered, the whole town will be searched from stem to stern... We must leave immediately, Synbios. We must get as far away from the town as we can, and as quickly as possible.

So that's that. No train ride for us. It probably wasn't going to live up to the hype and be nothing more than an ambush plot anyway, right?

NEXT TIME: Wait, I can have two characters with Egress?

Shadow gamer
Jul 24, 2008

I PASSED UP A BARGAIN

If I remember correctly the next mission is awful... just awful.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

^^ next mission is just a basic fight, it's the one after that is the switch point fight which is a pain

I'm surprised you didn't send anyone through the boxes, I usually split my team up that way. Irene is one of my favorite characters in the first scenario because when does a monk not rock in a shining force game? And Irene is especially useful since you don't get a true second healer, not that grace really needs help.

Losem fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2013 around 15:15

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 tried crawling through the boxes the first time I played this game, without realizing the turn penalties it incurs. It's really faster to lock down the main map and then clean out the secondary when that's all settled.

Also Sheela and Knuckles were both fairly crappy characters, with Gong being mediocre at best.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Interesting to see the map cleared without sending people through on the way to Irine.

I had managed to repress the memory of Knuckles existence, you bastard. Playing that game first convinced me that monks were a lovely class and it wasn't until a few years later on my second playthrough of 2 that I discovered what happens if you let a Master Monk gain levels. Got Gaiden 2 & 3 mixed up, Luke's the one the convinced me they were useless.

Ardeem fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2013 around 16:14

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

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


If I recall correctly, Irene starts off unimpressive but becomes an A+ never-ever-leave-the-force character with levels. I really liked her. Her animations were cool too, that roundhouse.

Gimmicky levels like this (with the dual areas) were part of why I liked this game too.

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

quote:

Now, the reason why only Tornado 1 is accessible is because the spell level must equal the weapon rank, i.e. Grace won't get Tornado 2 until she gains rank 2 in ankhs, etc. This means that mages and priests get much more flexibility in their toolboxes, and that priests get a very distinct advantage over monks, as monk weapons will never have spells attached to them.

That's not entirely accurate, given there are plenty of weapons with 2-level spells-you simply don't get the second level till Weapon 3.

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:

That's not entirely accurate, given there are plenty of weapons with 2-level spells-you simply don't get the second level till Weapon 3.

I take it that these are the weapons with summons spells attached?

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

Summons, also things like the Confuse line, Support, Attack, and so on.

Rascyc
Jan 23, 2008

Dissatisfied Puppy

The 4th spell slot thing is so good. You can't really take too much of an advantage of it in SF1 without spoiling the item rewards, but you can use the knowledge you gain in SF1 to decide what weapons your priests/mages should specialize in SF2/SF3 to take full advantage to completely cripple an already easy game.

I never used the aux weapons except in ruins as well. It's not really so much a question of what's better than what, but that it does take awhile to get weapon levels unless you egress grind, so I would just stick with the same weapon types from the start.


geri_khan posted:

If I recall correctly, Irene starts off unimpressive but becomes an A+ never-ever-leave-the-force character with levels. I really liked her. Her animations were cool too, that roundhouse.

Gimmicky levels like this (with the dual areas) were part of why I liked this game too.
This is pretty much every character in SF3. The character balance is much better in SF3.

Zaodai
May 23, 2009

Death before dishonor?
Your terms are accepted.




quote:


Grace isn't just your healer, she's a doctor! Too bad it was Dr. Wily.

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



Lipstick Apathy

I seem to remember something I did really early on with Irene was to replace her glove with a claw since they did a bit more damage. I might be crazy and thinking of the monk you get later that starts off with the Cestus weapon type which is just awful.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

I generally leave the characters with the weapons they start with and gave the handaxe/spear/dagger to those who could use them for the extra range even if they only did ~5 damage because they didn't have levels with the weapon, it would still be 5 more damage then not attacking.

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!


The Shining Force: Part 2


”Mercenary searching for a leader worthy of his loyalty. While in the Saraband Guard, he learns the truth during the events at Saraband Pier and joins the Synbios Army."
Pros: High attack, ranged attack, destroys fliers
Cons: Low defense
Support: Critical Up
Thoughts: Hayward might be the first good non-centaur archer in any Shining Force game ever. He hits like a truck, has awesome and frequent criticals, and has a nice support skill to boot. There's not much else to say about Hayward, other than celebrating the fact that he's the polar opposite of Hans in every possible way.


" A dwarf warrior who was separated from the Produn Army. He rescued Toby, the son of Balsamo's village chief from an attacking beast. Later joines the Synbios Army."
Pros: High attack and defense, good movement in mountains, good weapon type, decent support
Cons: Low agility, vulnerability to magic, incredibly boring
Support: Defense Up
Thoughts: As per usual with Shining Force dwarfs, there's not much interesting about Obright. He moves and he hits, with emphasis on the latter. Due to Shining Force 3's new mechanics, he's a bit more interesting than previous warriors, due to having a valuable support skill and wielding axes. Since lances are extremely common on enemies and axe wielding allies are fairly rare, Obright is a good character to keep around.


"Monk from the Far East. After deserting her temple, bandits discover her hiding in Railhead. The Synbios army saved her and she joined them."
Pros: Well rounded stats, early secondary healer, gains the most useful endgame spell
Cons: No particularly good stats, limited mana pool
Spells: Heal, Tornado, Resist
Support: Magic Defense Up, Counter Up
Thoughts: Out of the two monks, Irene is the less punchy one, but she's overall better. Resist is the most valuable spell at the end of the game by a mile. While none of Irene's stats will be outstanding, they're all good enough to do whatever she needs to do at any given time. A rare example of a support character designed correctly.

inthesto fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2013 around 01:44

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

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



So with all of the Fire Emblem staples now present does this mean that with Shining Force 3 Camelot just went "oh poo poo we've gotta make our game more interesting or no one will play it"?

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

This was the Saturn's swan song(Or one of them at least), so they pulled out all the stops.

Shining Force 3 did FE9/10's plot well before it, and did it BETTER.

But I'm biased, of course.

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 worth keeping in mind that in 1997, Fire Emblem was only up #4 (Genealogy of the Holy War), which was the game that introduced a lot of the modern FE mechanics. I have no idea what the strategy RPG market looked like back then, but I doubt it was so fierce as to inspire terror in Camelot.

Knowing how incestuous (no pun intended) the industry could be back then, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some overlap in talent.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



inthesto posted:

It's worth keeping in mind that in 1997, Fire Emblem was only up #4 (Genealogy of the Holy War), which was the game that introduced a lot of the modern FE mechanics. I have no idea what the strategy RPG market looked like back then, but I doubt it was so fierce as to inspire terror in Camelot.

Knowing how incestuous (no pun intended) the industry could be back then, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some overlap in talent.

Biggest case is Tactics Ogre and FFT.

But SRPGs were Nintendo's field mostly, FE, Front Mission, Super Robot Wars...

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 10: The calm before the storm



Just as soon as we met Railhead...



...we have to say farewell.



: We came all the way to Railhead, and miss the train because of those stupid bandits. I can't believe our luck.




: If I remember correctly, we met at the tavern in Railhead.

I like this little catch here. It's completely optional for Synbios to talk to Julian while wandering around in Railhead, but we don't have tabs on where Grace was during her excursion, so it's entirely possible that Grace met him regardless of what we did personally.

: I thought you had to get on a train at the station.

: I guess you Republicans aren't very familiar with trains.

: Wait! There must be a switching point nearby!

: Ha ha, pardon me, wise King Benetram. I spoke too soon.

It seems you are not from this country.

: Why do you say that?

: You look like a mercenary. Any local soldier would be turning us in, not helping us escape.

: King Benetram... you are not, by chance, thinking about trusting this stranger?

: I would say it's better than trusting those guys over there. Take a look for yourself.



: Well, it's up to you, King Benetram. It seems the Imperial army is here.

: I see you Benetram. You won't escape. I'll be knighted for your capture.

Sorry, you're a pair of legs too short for anything like that.

: So what do you have in mind?

: I'll guide you to the switching point. In return, I would like to travel with you.

: King Benetram, if we wait any longer, the Imperial army will get organized, and come after us.

: Yes, you are correct. Oh, I almost forgot to ask. What is your name?



Oh come on, an ellipse right after a question mark? This just makes me angry.







The new mooks aren't anything too exciting. We'll want to watch out for the mage casting Blaze 2, but there's only one of him. The miniboss is a bit intimidating, packing pretty high ATT, but as long as we don't let ourselves get mobbed by him and his flunkies, everything should be fine. Tactics are going to be a bit light in this update because the fight is just so easy and straightforward. Trust me, that'll all change for next time.



First order of business is to charge up and clean out these three guys right here.





Dantares, I thought you were better than this.



A familiar color swap, but they hurt when they have weapon advantage. Stop giving me sword users, Camelot!




Julian retaliates and quickly gets rank 1 in blades. I forgot to cap his stats, but suffice to say that he's not much different from Synbios, though slightly better all around. He also specializes in blades rather than swords, not that I know what that really means.




Once the initial three enemies are taken down, it's just the two guys to the north and everyone else to the east. If you go east, the sniper/soldier pair are actually entirely optional. I'll take care of them with a lone character while everyone else heads east, because you may have noticed something nice in that direction.



While we make our approach, half of the boss's flying V breaks off for us.




And wouldn't you know it, that little structure is the next bonus dungeon. By now, Masqurin actually has the highest agility, so she can trigger the map at the very beginning of a turn. Convenient!





It's basically one long corridor. As usual, Dantares will be on point since he has the highest movement, and I send Julian along since he's the only other character to have 6 MOV other than Synbios, who can't participate. As you can see, there's some extra monsters who exist solely to get in the way – they'll harass us, but leave the thieves be. Thankfully, since the map is so straightforward and there's only two thieves, this is really easy to take care of.



Take special note of this shot, though. The door is the exit, and if both thieves slip out through there, the bonus map is over. With an enemy in front of it, it's not easy to block off. Dantares could kill the goblin and block the exit himself, but that futzes with the AI and changes their scripting from gathering treasure to trying to escape. It's easiest to just secure the items and let the thieves escape with their precious experience.







Meanwhile, we get some fun criticals outside. Julian's blade critical is the After Burner, Synbios' sword throws the Sonic Wave, and Irene's glove has the Brutal Shock. It's hard to catch these things when the Saturn emulator already chugs most of my processing power, but they're not terribly interesting animations anyway.



Julian's going to pre-emptively backstab one of the thieves. These guys take two hits to kill, so using the second hit to take the treasure and grab kill experience is a good idea. I can't chance the same thing with Dantares, since with weapon advantage and the loincloth, there's a really high chance of him proccing a critical and instagibbing his thief.




I'll take that.



And that too.



But there's just not enough time to kill everyone before Dantares' thief makes a break for it. It's only losing out on kill gold and experience, so I won't worry about it. I grabbed the important item anyway:



Woo, not bad! Nobody on the force has Heal 2 just yet, and +5 to defense is equal to Obright's rank 1 support. I like it.



With the bonus map completed, a few more total non-threats join in on the fun. It would be target practice for Hayward, but he's ahead on levels while Irene and Julian are behind.





It always amuses me how badly the enemies always end up losing these trades.



And then we have to crawl through some forest. Masqurin and Hayward have an easy time getting through here, but everyone else is slowed down.



Oh well, nothing wrong with letting Masqurin get in on the fun first.




11 damage to the mage, 14 damage to the soldier. Yep, enemies have built in magic resistance too, even the mooks.



I don't like feeding kills from new enemies to guys who are ahead of level, but we've seen how dangerous mages can be. The last thing we need is an area effect doing 10 – 12 damage on multiple targets.



While the captain hits hard, he gets hit hard back. A couple of whacks will do him in good. Remember, Julian has weapon disadvantage against this guy.



If I didn't throw that life ring onto Masqurin, that could have easily been some lost support ranks right there. It's kind of funny how much easier this game becomes once you're aware of all the accessories you can find early on.



And let's just give the experience to the new guy, because why not?



: I'm wondering. Why are you helping us?

: I have my own reasons. I need to get on that train at all costs.



Julian: Badass anime loner.



Benetram: Saying things that don't really need to be said.

NEXT TIME: AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAaaa

Bloodly
Nov 3, 2008

Not as strong as you'd expect.

Blades are heavier than swords(AGL penalty), but more raw ATK. Even the normal specials have special effects(Only After Burner doesn't), and most of the special Blades have specials with added effects. The compensates for few of them having any resistances or spells.

Although 'specialisation' means little-training is only a matter of time.

You've not been putting up music. This is understandable, but the music is one of the better parts.

Julian gets his own battle music(If you forgot you named him earlier, this should remind you He Is Important):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EQE...uO4ug&index=453

I only note it because it's bombastic as hell in my eyes.

Currently, we're using this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Sq...Go9O1u4vlUuO4ug

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

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

inthesto posted:


NEXT TIME: AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAaaa

A thousand times this. Tried to play that map a couple of days ago, have forgotten the trick to keeping them from getting killed by the dudes waiting for them. Maybe my main force is just wandering too far south.

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:

Blades are heavier than swords(AGL penalty), but more raw ATK. Even the normal specials have special effects(Only After Burner doesn't), and most of the special Blades have specials with added effects. The compensates for few of them having any resistances or spells.

Although 'specialisation' means little-training is only a matter of time.

You've not been putting up music. This is understandable, but the music is one of the better parts.

Julian gets his own battle music(If you forgot you named him earlier, this should remind you He Is Important):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EQE...uO4ug&index=453

I only note it because it's bombastic as hell in my eyes.

Currently, we're using this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Sq...Go9O1u4vlUuO4ug

I just wanted to say thanks for all the information you've been filling in through the thread. I'll probably go back and edit in your bits in a day or so.

Also, my omission of music is most definitely intentional. Out of the most prolific video game composers, Motoi Sakuraba is the front runner for my least favorite.


Ardeem posted:

A thousand times this. Tried to play that map a couple of days ago, have forgotten the trick to keeping them from getting killed by the dudes waiting for them. Maybe my main force is just wandering too far south.

There's a few tricks, but they require a lot of trial and error, along with a few rubs of luck from AI habits. It'll take me a few tries to get it right when I record it, guaranteed.

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 11: You have no idea how sick I got of replaying the first few turns

A bit of forewarning: This update is a doozy. I've been playing this up a lot because, well, a lot happens, and there's no real good point for splitting it up. And to think, we'll be doing it again in a disc from now!




: The Imperial Border Guards have been sent all over looking for us..They're trying to cover north of the track.

: There are so many of them. We'd better take them out now. Before they get even more reinforcements.

Dantares' first solution to everything is “Kill them all.” I'm never going to disagree.

: Dantares makes a good point, but things could change any time. Take a look at the west side of the track.





: Refugees headed for the Republic. Without help, they'll be butchered. What do we do, Lord Synbios?

: They're caught in the crossfire. I don't care if they're Imperial or Republican. They need our help.


: Everyone try to catch your breath.




: We wish to seek refuge in the Republic. Please, take us with you!



: Seek refuge if you must, but our country is at war, and sacrifices must be made if she is to survive.

: What... What are you talking about?

: The Republic needs able bodied soldiers. You will either join a militia or be stripped of everything you own!




: What? How dare you!



: So you are the infamous border guards.

: Leave those Imperial citizens alone. By Imperial law, they shall be punished for attempting to defect. I was after Benetram, but a general will have to do. With your capture, I'll reap great rewards.

: We're trapped!

: You selfish peasants only think about yourselves! I'll kill you all, along with the border guards!

: Varlant! What the hell do you think you're doing?




: You've failed me, Varlant. Punishing people that seek asylum within Aspinia is against the very principles upon which the Republic was founded.




Now here's a funny little point. Whether we choose yes or no, we're going to get the same faux-silence from Synbios. What this does is change his dialogue in scenario 2, where he'll talk just like a normal character. Unfortunately, I don't have a script for scenario 2 handy (though I will try to get one by the time I start it), so I can't transcribe anything for you here. Suffice it to say, whatever Synbios says, the rest of the scene plays along exactly the same.

: Shut up, you snot nosed whelp! What do you know? Peace is kept because of soldiers. No country can survive without a military!

: You've been through many fierce battles, and your anger is understandable. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be better if we could return to the Republic peacefully?

: How many have died due to Imperial plots? I've lost so many soldiers! I'll kill every last Imperial soldier and burn the Empire to the ground!

: Have you lost your mind, General Varlant? You don't appear willing to listen to reason. If so, we must fight the both of you.

If only Benetram had been written more strongly right here. How much better would it have been if Benetram had simply declared Varlant guilty of treason and ordered Synbios General Dantares to execute him right there?




: Medion, what are you doing here?

: We will discuss the details later. I came here to speak with you, but we must take care of this threat first!

: People can't choose where they're born but they should have the right to choose where they live. Although, it's a little discouraging to see people leave their homeland.

: The military should protect the people, not oppress them, otherwise the nation will not survive!

: Mark my words, you who threaten civilians seeking asylum are on thin ice! We, the Medion army, will not allow your sins to go unpunished!



Another silent choice that affects a few lines of dialogue in scenario 2 and not much else.

: We will handle General Varlant's forces. We'll make sure they don't lay a finger on those refugees!




And like that, the most frustrating fight of scenario 1 starts.





Hey, the enemies look a little sparse, not too tough, and there appears to be a bunch of friends towards the bottom! This should be ea-







So here's the thing about Switching Point: There's five civilians at the bottom of the map, and the cluster of five Destonian Soldiers behind them are programmed to kill those civilians. Now, we could just let them all die. However, for each one that survives, everyone in the force gets 10 experience, meaning a whopping 50 experience to everyone for all five survivors. At this point in the game, where a high experience yield is 35 for a kill, that's just too much to pass up. There's another bonus associated with saving everyone, but that won't be relevant for a long time.

All that said, saving everyone is going to be excruciatingly painful. As far as I know, there's a baseline requirement that Synbios has to pass, and a bit of luck involved.




So here's the thing about Switching Point. At the beginning of every turn, a pair of trains move along the railroad tracks, highlighted in the light brown.



As you can see, the refugees start south of the tracks. They need to be able to cross into the area between the two rails tracks, or the border guards behind them are going to slaughter them. It may sound simple enough for now, but do remember that the soldiers have 6 MOV to the refugees' 5. And there's quite a few more caveats going on.



One of the very nice things is that Camelot actually gave us control of the refugees. Although most of them die in one hit, we won't be losing anyone due to horrendous AI bullshit, just moderate AI bullshit.




Step 1 is to get Dantares moving at full speed towards the south. The refugees need immediate help, and we're about to see why. Synbios and Julian will follow, for reasons beyond having 6 MOV.



Everybody else just goes west and beats up on the mostly non-threatening enemies.




Unfortunately, I forgot that my master plan doesn't actually work right now. See, the thing is that Dantares has an objective to reach, and he needs to be able to move 100% unhindered in order to reach it on time. If he gets blocked off in any way, then he's just too late to reach it. This soldier right here is in the way. Normally, my plan is to distract the soldier with Synbios – due to Synbios being the leader, the AI will always prioritize him, giving Dantares free passage. However I forgot that Synbios is only sporting 9 AGI right now while the soldier has 10 AGI. This means that the soldier gets to move first, and Synbios can't get in position to distract the enemy first.

Oh well, I needed to show at least one failure run anyway.



Next turn, which is the third, Dantares is just one tile short of being able to reach the lever right there. If Dantares can't hit the switch on the third turn (and he is the only character who has enough movement to do it), then this happens on turn 4:




Yep. You can more or less guess what follows in the next few turns. Oh but hey, if we rewind a bit, one guy did manage to make it through!



Except without Dantares hitting the switch and moving forward fast enough, we get this:



This refugee is the beefy one, who's actually able to survive two hits for some reason. He also comes with a medical herb, so he has a little bit of room for mistakes, but it doesn't matter.



: drat you Border Guard swine! They'll kill those innocent people. Protect those refugees, Synbios!

Easier said than done, really.



Right, so in addition to the soldiers chasing from behind, there's two snipers and another soldier waiting between the two railroad tracks. If I can't get Dantares, Synbios, and Julian over towards that group of enemies fast enough, then they'll start attacking the refugees too. It really sucks, because sometimes the AI on those enemies just won't attack your characters no matter how hard you try.



Why don't we take a look at the switch after turn 4 anyway?







Anyways, as you'll recall from the Irene fight, any fight conditions other than a bonus dungeon get reset if we just egress out. As you'll also recall from the intro, Julian is strongly hinted at being the protagonist for scenario 3. This means he gets the spell Egress too, without the burden of ending the fight if he gets killed. There's a bit of bonus to this factoid, but I'll cover that later.

Now that we have a second shot, let's actually set this up proper.




As long as Synbios moves before that soldier, this will work. If you don't want to burn up the Quick Chicken found in Railhead, you can alternatively buy a rapier for Synbios, which will boost his agility by just enough.




Second try. This is the tile I generally use to lure over the soldier, just because the rock makes it easy to remember.



Perfect! Now Dantares can get to the switch in time.



It's a little annoying, because this soldier is going to be constantly beating down on Synbios with weapon advantage. Because Synbios needs to keep running forward towards the refugees, he'll be taking free damage for two or three turns. It's worth tossing a medical herb or two on him, so he doesn't enter danger zone HP.



I forgot a detail beyond getting Dantares to the switch. If you don't see anything wrong in this screenshot, don't worry. The mistake is so innocuous, you won't realize it until it's way too late.



Dantares hits the switch, which causes the following:



The train on the southern track now deviates to the broken rail. Since it's all rusted and crap, the train moves much slower and takes several extra turns to cut off the entry point for the refugees. Again, the snipers and soldier in the middle can still aggress on the refugees, so we're not in the clear yet, but this is the first hurdle to clear.




And this is where I realize my mistake. I stopped Synbios right where the train also stops, and the soldier cut off his path. Synbios needs to waste movement walking around all those obstacles, not leaving him with enough to clear the tracks. Why is that a big deal?



Oh right, because you're not allowed to stop on a rail tile. Thanks, Camelot. So now that Synbios can't cross the rail on that turn, he won't be able to run up to the middle group of enemies and draw their fire away from the refugees. While the refugees are safe from the pursuers, they'll only get killed by the snipers now.

I know what's coming, so I just egress at this point, making note that the one rock is exactly the row I need to be in to walk past the train.



My third attempt at Switching Point ends pretty quickly. I messed up Dantares' first move by letting him sit one tile too far to the left, and as a result he can't hit the switch on the third turn.

See what I mean when this fight sucks? I know how to beat this fight, and I still had three failures. This fight took me something close to fifteen tries the first time I played this game. When combined with how god drat long the train movement animation takes, this fight will drive you insane.



Anyways, this is the exact tile Dantares needs to be on his first turn.



Synbios in position.



Leapfrog the rock correctly.




Secure an escape route for the refugees.



It sure looks safe for them now, but...







While Dantares charges in to distract the mid enemies, here's where we all realize that Camelot actually did throw us a bone. On turn 4, where the civilians have to huddle up in front of the railroad tracks because they're just short on movement to cross over, the soldiers behind them don't actually use their full movement. If you check their movement range, they could easily move in and kill everyone. The thing is, the AI just chooses not to, and it will do this every time. Why Camelot programmed the fight this way is anyone's guess, but at least once you realize this, saving everyone becomes much more feasible.



With Dantares and Synbios out in front, it's now fairly unlikely that the middle enemies will try to attack the refugees. Remember, the AI is programmed to prioritize heroes over almost everything else. Dragging Synbios along is really for the sake of distracting the enemies from the refugees.



The beefcake refugee is going to sit in this little spot, which is 100% safe from all aggression. That's at least one guy saved.



And everyone else gets across the tracks shortly after.



Dantares and Synbios shuffle around to cut off an easy path to the refugees.



And Julian demonstrates his ability to play the part of Synbios' understudy. Remember how the enemy AI will prioritize heroes? This applies to Julian too, even though he doesn't have the “game over if dead” status!



Yeah, not taking any chances with this one.



Mostly because at this point, one or two of the soldiers can cross the tracks and actually hit a refugee in range. It's a matter of the RNG if it wants to screw me over or hit Synbios. It chooses Synbios.



And on turn six or seven, the train pulls back into place, cutting off both the soldiers and Mister Beefcake Refugee. This fight is now officially under control.



Apparently the border guards get discouraged easily.




The first axe critical, Full Swing. Obright sets his axe horizontally and spins like a top.



And would you look at that. After the trains have pulled through, there's a clear opening for everyone in the middle to meet up with the northern group and take out the boss.




I mean, I guess these guys have been doing things, but the enemies in that section are so spread out, it's trivial to pick them off one by one.




Some items to be fetched while we're here.



Mister Beefcake is going to be chilling here for a while.



Now it's just a matter of cleaning up the boss and his flunkies.




Looks like dwarves have negative resistance to fire too!



: Prince Medion, the Synbios battalion is... Please aid us and reinforce our unit...

: My brother has ordered me to crush the rampaging Republican dogs, not innocent, unarmed civilians!

Wow, harsh words from Medion. Too bad we'll forget them in no time.

: Prince Medion? You would turn away while your countrymen are cut down? You call yourself a prince?

: I have no obligation to border guards who would slaughter innocent imperial citizens, sir!

: You will regret this, Prince Medion! If we survive, people shall hear of this black deed.

“Imperial citizens, your prince stopped cold, heartless soldiers from executing harmless laymen just like yourselves! What a villain!”

Yeah, that'll work out just the way you want it to.



I got just a tad too aggressive with Masqurin. Even with a +4 DEF item, that boss hits her like a truck.



Aw nuts. Well, I had to show this off eventually.



So, every time a character dies, their support rank with every other character drops by 1. Die a lot, and you won't have any support ranks in the long term. Supports are nice and clear the game faster but they're not strictly necessary. Thankfully, Masqurin's best support partner hasn't been recruited yet, so I'm not going to weep the loss of magic up on Dantares and Hayward.



Meanwhile, Grace proves that she's an acceptable substitute in a pinch.





Oops. That's not pretty, but with two healers around, it's not too dangerous. Strangely, Irene took 10 damage from the spell.



Synbios support and weapon advantage? I'll take two, if you have the supply.




Really, the attack up support is what Synbios is good for.



Just look at all those supports.



Still trying to get a decent shot of the sword rank 1 critical, Sonic Wave. Still failing.



And hey, Mister Beefcake can finally get out.



Or not.




Well, that was a bit painful, but it only took me four tries this time! With frameskip to deal with the annoyingly long train movement animation, it wasn't nearly so bad as the first time I played this game.

However, refugee rescue will be back eventually, and it will be much worse. Be prepared.











: It is we who are indebted. No innocent blood was spilled thanks to your defeating the notorious border guards.

FUN FACT: I'm playing the fan translation. While it left most of the script for scenario 1 intact, they redid this entire scene so it would line up in scenario 2. Campbell's original line was different:

: Oh no... we are the ones to say thank you. Those Border Guards are despicable.

Frankly, I find the original better. It's emphasized many times in scenario 2 that Campbell was born a peasant, so it makes more sense for his speech patterns to be less formal.

Look at me, being critical of video game writing. Switching Point does weird things to my head. Let's move on and pretend this never happened.

Also, as a warning, irfanview screwed up a few of my dialogue screenshots. A bit of the original script is going to be cobbled in with the retranslation, but the general gist of everything is the same.

: Since you pursued us this far, I'm sure there is much you would like to know. I will answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

: The rumor in the Empire is that King Benetram abducted the Emperor. First, tell us if that is true or not.

: I'm sure you can tell by looking at us that we are not responsible. Had we abducted the emperor, he would be with us now.

: However, the rumor isn't complete fabrication. A false Benetram did assist in the abduction of the emperor. We encountered the impostor earlier.



More “this choice only affects a bit of dialogue from scenario 2” stuff.

: I see. But are you sure that's all there is to it? When you defeated the border guard captain, he said 'the die is cast'. I wonder what he meant by that.

Campbell: Already much smarter than Dantares is. But far less badass.

: Abducting the emperor and impersonating King Benetram are both their responsibility.

: In the cargo area on the western edge of Saraband, we fought the monks of Bulzome, right before the abduction.

: In other places, too. Wherever we went, we encountered the Bulzome Sect doing some covert things.

: I'd imagine you'd like to know about the emperor's current whereabouts. We were trapped by the 4 High Priests of Bulzome, who said they'd take the Emperor by ship while we distract the Empire.

: That must have been the ship we saw earlier!

: So we did have a chance to rescue my father, but we let them slip away right under our noses! My brothers are with the fleet, but Rogan's ship is also there.

: The general is one of the few who sympathizes with you, Prince. Let us make haste Barrand!

: I am sorry, we must take our leave. Lord Synbios, and everyone else, I shall pray for your safety.



This demonstration of bro-ship is not going to last.




If I were in charge of retranslating this game, this is the point where Synbios would get demoted and Cybel would immediately take his place.



: Varlant's army is no more, Sir Dantares. He lost his mind, and with it, his ability to fight effectively. Spiriel's army kept us on the run, and the general snapped. I tried to bring him to his senses, but I was separated from the main body and survived, but General Varlant, who thought he was invincible, is gone.

: There is no need to be so hard on yourself. You can die anytime. Now, you must find a way to live, Cybel.

: Your majesty Benetram! I have deserted my commander. I am ashamed to call myself a knight.

: I saw your general's last moments. He clearly lost his mind. There is no fault on your part, Cybel.

: If you are so concerned about your knight's honor, why not prove yourself, and lend us a hand?

: To preserve my honor as an Aspinian knight, I shall join your cause.



All in all, Varlant's ending is really unsatisfying. He was sold to us as a pretty decent, if undiplomatic guy, and then he loses his poo poo at the drop of a hat. There were probably better, more nuanced ways of writing his character so he'd come off better as a bit antagonist, but oh well.




NEXT TIME: I'm getting paid in what?

geri_khan
May 16, 2009

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


Hell yeah, Cybel. Centaur murder squad complete!

... with halberds, Cybel has my favourite special attack in the game. It's just fun to watch!

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

I'm kind of surprised how down you seem to be on Synbios. Everytime I've played this he is usually up there with Danters. It's kind of sad actually

edit: So I started playing through this again and I think my Danters is glitched. He just spent the entire Irene fight either countering or criticaling I'm not sure he did one regular attack.

Losem fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2013 around 00:26

Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


Sounds like a normal Dantares to me

Yeah, everyone has bad memories of this fight, but honestly it would've been much easier to send Julian down the tracks to help Dantares rather than Synbios.
I'm pretty sure than even in Scenario 1 Julian still has a "leader" flag that makes him the highest priority target for all enemies. He also starts in a position much better to rush in than Synbios, as well.

Garbonix
Oct 9, 2012


I found the script for the second Scenario so we can kind of see what Synbios said based off what we picked.



If Synbios said YES

Synbios:
To prevent civilians from being destroyed by the army, yes.

If Synbios said NO

Synbios:
No, but the issue of new Republic citizens should not be involved in combat. We can cooperate. Let us help.



If Synbios said YES

Synbios:
To your request Prince Medion, we will protect the refugees without failure. We will destroy the border patrol guards if they give us any trouble

If Synbios said NO

Synbios:
Though it is sad that your own countrymen are subjugated... General Varlant must be stopped. Leave the refugees with the border patrol guards.



If Synbios said YES

Synbios:
I believe the failure of the peace conference was also plotted by this imposter. The person who is impersonating King Benetran might be trying to create the war between the two nations.

Campbell:
Do you really think so? It they are they are doing a great job!

If Synbios said NO

Synbios:
We cannot even understand their real intention. But the failure of the peace conference certainly seems like a possible result.

Campbell:
If the purpose is beyond that of the peace conference, what else could there be? We need to understand what the border patrol guard said at his death.

There is also script differences with the Refugees whether you saved them all, lost one, or lost all. I'll post those when we get there if it isn't in the post. If that is alright with you inthesto.

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!


Shining Force Central does have a translation of scenarios 2 and 3 posted, but they're not even close to the translation used in the patch, which is why I didn't want to draw on it.

You can probably do the exact same thing with Julian as I did with Synbios, but it just never occurred to me to feed him the quick chicken instead. You really need to bring both, though, otherwise you don't have enough firepower to kill the snipers and soldier that are waiting for the refugees in the middle.

And I've mentioned before that this is only my second time playing the game (third, if you count the fact that I had to restart at the end of chapter 1). For some reason, Synbios is turning out amazing this time - he's gotten three +2 ATT levels, whereas he never got any of those until promotion before.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

Maybe you just got a lame duck one on your first play through. The only thing Dantres had on Symbios on any of mine was his movement. If I recall right it is possible to get Dantres, Julian, Symbios, and Obright to the middle tracks. Honestly the switching point isn't even the hardest gimmick fight in this scenario imo but it stands out the most because it's the first and maybe the most annoying for completionist.

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 12: The apology for Switching Point



: At least they could've given us chairs.

Actually, if you talk to everyone in Railhead, somebody does point out that you have to bring your own chairs onto the train. Considering that Masqurin does accompany Synbios for the Railhead trip, this line is only plausible if we assume Masqurin has ADD. Which she probably does.

God, I hate myself for putting this much thought into a JRPG.

: Oh Masqurin. I was wondering what you were going to say about this.

: Well, don't you agree, Lord Synbios? They're making a lot of money by transporting the cargo, and then they charge us all that money, only to treat us like this. That's quite cruel! And what is this awful odor? They won't put us in the same cart as the commoners but... They didn't have to put us right next to the smelly schickens... I mean, chickens! We're not livestock!!!

: I think that is just about enough, Masqurin. Look at Lord Synbios and King Benetram. They haven't said anything.

: Masqurin is right. This place smells awful and my feet are going numb!

: What? Even you, Lord Synbios and everyone else... and even the King...

: Oh, don't be so harsh, Dantares. This train isn't well ventilated. And the odor IS quite strong.

: I understand, my Liege. We're not supposed to, but... Let's crack open the cart door, just a little bit.



They crack open that door on the right and all the sprites turn back and forth, presumably making small talk.

: That's better, but...

: You want to explore the train? That's a good idea, Synbios. Why don't you go look around?

We now get to control Synbios and explore the train. Sadly, there's not a whole lot to see, but a few things to grab. We can also chat with everyone on the train to get their thoughts:

: Lord Synbios always gets treated different than the rest of us! King Benetram is being unfair! I'm sure he's just worried about me, but I'm not a child anymore... I can tell what's safe and what's not.

Masqurin, childish and bratty as always.

: I... I really envy Masqurin. I wish I had a little bit of her capability to act freely and so casually.

: Most associate Dwarves with caves... Personally, I don't care for narrow, dark places. I don't like this train.

Theirene: In Irene country, not have this. No strange machine say 'choo choo choo'. How it move? Is civilization? Surprising!

: Where is Irene from? I admit she's cute, but she definitely needs help in the language department.

Um, Hayward?





: I'd love to go with you, but if I went, the others might wonder. Please go on ahead.



: I'm just a mercenary, looking for a certain Vandal that has revived. I came across some interesting information which brought me to Destonia. If what I heard is correct, my search may end there.

FUN FACT: Shining The Holy Ark (or is it Shining Wisdom?) has a young child named Julian who asks you if you've seen a vandal who killed his dad. I wonder if these could be related.

: Synbios, this is very curious. All the carts are similar to each other but the engine cart is different.

Well duh, it contains the engine. It might be canon that centaurs aren't known for their brains.



First things first, let's take a gander at the Gale Ring we picked up last battle. It's got some real nice stats to it, and I'm throwing it on Cybel for now, since she and Julian are the only characters without accessories right now. It would probably be better on Julian since the AI is attracted to him, but I like Cybel better.

In the next car over:



I assume these guys only show up if you actually saved them in the previous fight. I wouldn't know for sure, as I always save everyone.

Also hey, there's Quonus again. I wonder if that'll be a plot point that remains relevant for a long time.


: Since the floor is vibrating violently, if I sit, my bum will be really sore when we arrive in Barrand.

If you're assuming that I only included this for the use of because I am twelve years old, you'd be correct.



One of the goodies we need to pick up. This boosts DEF by 2 – 4. I believe it was originally called the Armor Milk, but the folks at Shining Force Central reverted it to the legacy name.



Bonus shopkeeper harassment item. As usual, we're leaving it in the deals section.



Finally, real weapon upgrades! I pick up a new sword for Synbios, a new lance for Dantares, and a new arrow for Hayward. They cost 750, 900, and 1200g respectively. Weapons are not cheap in Shining Force 3, so don't go too crazy with killing Synbios all the time.



I kept this because I was impressed with the translation's ability to avoid dangling prepositions.



At the very rear car, we find the local priest and this useless item. Actually, calling this item useless is being far too generous. It's ultimately going to waste my time, and I'm going to hate it.



Masqurin wasn't lying about the chickens, by the way. And sadly enough, they're necessary for a 100% run.




Because I have to do this.



And yes, that loving chicken is following me around now. gently caress you, chicken. Anyone who's played this game before knows why I hate this bird so much.

Let's just say yes and get the plot moving.



Was anyone stopping her? Anyone at all?

At this point the train starts vibrating, and Masqurin in all her thinly veiled jealous peers out the open door.



The sprite for a new enemy that will be mostly harmless.



: It's the bush bandits!

The what?

: You are right, Julian. But for these bandits to attack the train seems very odd.

: Yes, I had heard that the trains were safe because the local bandits feared retaliation from Saraband.




Give me a break. I have Dantares, Masqurin, and now Cybel. You bring this, and you're calling us bumbling? Boy are you going to regret that.



: Then why are you attacking?

: To get King Benetram's head!

: Are you ready to get through us for it?

: Is that so? The price on my head, you would cross Garvin for that?



Oh, they brought buddies.



: We will take advantage of it while we have the opportunity. This train is bound for the Republic. Its passengers mean nothing to the Empire. We can slaughter them all.

: You vile beasts! Your'e just using us as an excuse!

: I'm done talking. Everyone, tear them apart!

: We must get to the passenger car, Synbios. We must protect those people!

The way Benetram's talking, it sounds like there's a specific objective for this mission. There isn't, and good thing too, because I couldn't tell you which direction the passenger car is in.




The map is just a straight line with a few chokepoints, fewer dangerous enemies, and zero extraneous objectives. In other words, it's incredibly easy.

While irfanview chewed up a screenshot comparing the stats of Cybel and Dantares, suffice it to say that they're nearly identical. Cybel started 1 HP, 5 ATT, and 1 DEF down on Dantares. However, three points of that ATT gap get covered when she ranks up in halberds, leaving her mostly the same. While she is a strictly worse Dantares, that's like saying Bayonetta is a strictly worse God Hand. Cybel is still easily in the top five characters for scenario 1.

Shut up, I know I'm bad at analogies.



On the close end, there's a small maze of boxes. The birdmen will be able to hop over that, but who cares because Hayward can kill them in one hit without a critical. Cybel goes to plug the hole. She needs a weapon rank as soon as possible, and with the Gale Ring, nothing is scratching her.



Meanwhile, there's a buttload of barrels to break. At this point, barrels give more experience than birdmen and comparable experience to dwarves. It's sad. Three of them also contain items: an angel wing (casts Return/Egress), a fairy powder (cures most status effects) and a healing drop. Nothing interesting.




The new enemy at work. Granted, this is with weapon disadvantage and on a massively steroided Cybel, so maybe it'll be more dangerous in another situation.



The two birdmen instantly go for Julian, which means easy pickings for whoever wants them.



After Burner still looks really cool. This might also be the only fight with this background set.




A vanilla critical hit, because I never managed to cap one before, and they're going to become increasingly rare as the game goes along. The character simply pauses and flashes blue before dealing extra damage. The attack normally would have hit for 9, so that's a 33% increase.





Assassins may be unimpressive, but their attack animations are kind of cool and they do backflips.



Everyone else advances to the other side, and I marvel at just how stupid the AI is sometimes.




dorf.jpg




Dantares and Obright go to work, getting Obright his first support, finally.







When we move up Synbios to be another living wall:



Your compassion for the sheep on this train is spurring you on! If that is the case, let me reduce your burden of responsibility! As we planned! Uncouple the car!




Joke's on you. That birdman is totally thinking “Wow, I dodged a bullet on that one.” Also, they were chickens, not sheep.



: Those loathesome bandits, using underhanded tricks! Keep your head, Synbios. They are trying to make us panic.



I must have panicked, because this was really loving stupid and should not have happened.






It's no surprise that Obright took extra damage, but Irene took an unusually high amount too. Let's investigate!






Well, would you look at that. Irene has total crap for magic resists! Obright's are even worse, but that's to be expected from his character class.



Irene goes to work, but I was a dumbass who had her heal herself. Remember, healing characters gives support levels, and you can't support yourself. It would have been better for Irene to heal somebody else and then Grace healing Irene. Oops.



This is the most “come at me, bro” pose possible.



It's been broughten.



Oh, god dammit.



Dammit, indeed. Something tells me that poison actually scales on both max HP and the enemy that inflicted it.





Heal 2 has extra range, extra healing power, and extra little sparklies in its animation. I might be wrong on the higher healing power though. Too much time playing Shining Force 2 romhacks will do that to you.




Cybel moves to take Synbios' place while Obright starts busting up more barrels past the chokepoints. I'm really only doing this to get Cybel's first rank in halberds, so her ATT will be more comparable to Dantares'.



And it doesn't take long!



Now that I've done everything that I want to do, it's time to kill everybody but one enemy, and then mop of our little treasure troves of experience. I'm talking about the barrels, in case it's not obvious.



It's so anime, yet I love it.









Antidote's casting animation. I'm never using this again, because it's far more efficient to use one of the millions of free antidotes or fairy powders that enemies drop and conserve MP for actual healing.



I'm not entirely sure what's going on here, but it looks like that assassin is thinking twice about loving with Cybel.



This screenshot looks kind of funny. I have nothing of value left to add to this fight.




After Masqurin cleans out all the barrels, she actually picks up rank 2 in rods. Blaze is going to hit even harder than ever, not that we need it.



Yawn.



: We must get to the locomotive engineer and ask him to reverse course.





D'aww, Zero.

: Yes, I see you too, Zero. What brings you two here?

: My brother and I remained in Flagard to guard Lord Conrad. But when we heard of the failure of the peace conference.

Flagard is the hometown of the core crew (Synbios, Dantares, Masqurin, and Grace). I'm not sure if that's made explicit until much later in the game.

: We were told to hurry and give aid to Lord Synbios, but when we entered Empire territory, we saw this train being attacked by bandits.

: We were torn between helping or looking for you, but decided not to ignore the matter and returned here.

: Your sense of justice reunited us. In any case, I appreciate Conrad sending you to us.

: I'm glad to see you safe, my liege. But to be honest, that's not the only reason we came back here.

: Time's wasting. What is it?

: The bridge over the border has been destroyed. If we proceed, the train will go straight into the canal!

: Then, quickly, fly to the engine car and tell the locomotive engineer what you just told us.

: There are many more bandits on the engine car. We must defeat them first, before we can stop the train.

: Hurry onto the roof, Synbios. Take out the bandits clinging to the train, and get us to the engine room.



NEXT TIME: Our first real boss!

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!


The Shining Force: Part 3


”Mercenary from Enrich Kingdom out to avenge his father's death. Pursues the Vandal Galm who killed his father. Despite his young age, he has excellent skill with a sword.”
Pros: Builds out like Synbios but better, attracts the enemy AI
Cons: Doesn't stick around for very long
Spells: Return
Support: Attack Up
Thoughts: Oh, if only we got Julian instead of Synbios as our hero. Unfortunately, as the introduction implies, Synbios is our protagonist, and Julian is just guest starring. He won't be with us much longer, rendering his support mostly moot, but on the plus side that does open some item duplication opportunities for us.


”Female centaur knight who joins the Synbios army to clear her name after being separated from the Varlant army on the battlefield.”
Pros: Is almost Dantares...
Cons: ...but not quite
Support: Succumb Up
Thoughts: In a game without Dantares, Cybel would still be an extremely good character. As it is, she's a carbon copy who will lag a point or two behind him. In spite of all this, she's still the fourth best character in scenario 1, which really says a lot. If you want to bench Dantares on account of being too broken but still need a centaur, Cybel fills in nicely. Also my favorite character for no real reason.


”Dispatched to the Empire by Lord Conrad to rescue King Benetram, whose life is in danger due to the failure of the peace conference. Zero is her younger brother.”
Pros: Flies, specializes in a good weapon, useful support
Cons: Weak base stats, no terrain bonus
Support: Evade Up
Thoughts: Eldar is an interesting case of Camelot almost getting flying units right. While Eldar is initially very weak and swords kind of suck, her lategame weapons are incredible. Also, the designers finally wised up and made maps that actually create advantages for being a flier. Sticking with Eldar is more or less required since she's the only real flier in scenario 1, but it pays off eventually.

Losem
Jun 17, 2003

Practicing shooting fundamentals.

Out of all my playthroughs of scenario 1 Elder has probably varied the most of any character. I've had times when she was about as good as Dantares and then a few where she was easily the worst character. From my experience get her going early and she's flying death but let her lag behind even just a little and she is just slightly above useless.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Man, you're going through this fast, and I take it from commentary you arn't going to be making the same decision that Total Biscuit did with the mascot character.

Rascyc
Jan 23, 2008

Dissatisfied Puppy

Fliers in general are so good for a lot of the maps that it's well worth feeding them stat up items.

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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!


Ardeem posted:

Man, you're going through this fast, and I take it from commentary you arn't going to be making the same decision that Total Biscuit did with the mascot character.

I don't know what he did with the character in question, but training up Penn is ridiculously easy, if tedious, in the bonus dungeon at the end of the game that was mostly likely designed for him. I'll just grind him through that, so he's somewhat prepped for scenario 3.

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