Hello again. Today, we're going to be entering Lacrima Castle proper. I hope you're excited!
...Actually, I just hope that someone's actually reading this. But now's not the time to think about stuff like that; there's demons to kill!
At any rate, we're heading into stage 2-3: Moonlit Garden. The very first thing that comes up is a chance for Ein to either be awed by the beauty of the place or state that he senses demons. I choose the former option, and Fia is promptly disappointed that Ein would let his guard down. A guard then shows up, and another easy command minigame lets me avoid him.
On the next screen, a hound-type enemy (called a Viper Ratchet for some stupid reason) attacks. These guys don't actually give you anything extra for S-ranking them, so I just bring stuff the team hasn't mastered yet. Fia also stops me to explain how to switch formations in battle, but as I said before, this command is only useful in exactly one situation that might not even come up, so I ignore it.
I A-ranked the oversized poodle, obtaining 10 Canine Fangs. Ein can use these to do an inaccurate attack that gains power as he takes damage, Lina can use them for an unstoppable attack that does more damage to Beast-type enemies, and absolutely nobody can learn Over Skills from them. As such, they get tossed. Fia also mastered her Rapier during that fight, which got her our first level 3 Over Skill: Risoluto. I'll explain what it does in a moment.
Fia suggests that we're not strong enough to fight the demons yet, and re-explains the game's experience system. However, she also opens up a new option: practice battles. During practice battles, items don't lose durability, allowing you to learn Over Skills without fear of wasting the items (this is why you'd want the Rosier over Longinus, by the way). You only get a small selection of enemies to fight, all chosen from the last chapter (or, in this case, the fights we've done so far). Ein also notices a path in the trees, but I've got...*checks item list*...13 Over Skills to learn first, so I'll see you when I'm done with that.
The full list of Over Skills I learned is as follows:
- Longbow: Berserk Arrow: Level 1, 1-hit physical non-elemental attack, power of 70
- Coral Staff: Force Impact: Level 1, 2-hit magic non-elemental attack, power of 43
- Fire Orb: Katon-no-Jutsu: Level 1, magic fire-elemental attack for 15% of the target's current HP (...which is about what normal attacks do. Oh well.), can inflict Heat status
- Rapier: Un Deux: Level 2, 3-hit physical non-elemental attack, power of 40
- Armor: Armored: Level 2, raises everyone's Vitality
- Iron Sword: Sword Blitz: Level 3, 3-hit physical non-elemental attack, power of 72
- Iron Sword: Critical Edge: Level 1 2-hit magic non-elemental attack, power of 44, can't hit flying enemies
- Longbow: Cleave Arrow: Level 2, 2-hit physical non-elemental combo, power of 54, effective against flying enemies
- Coral Staff: White Wave: Level 2, 2-hit magic non-elemental attack, power of 59, can't hit flying enemies
- Healing Herb: Mix Potion: Level 2, turns a stack of Healing Herbs into Potions
- Rapier: Risoluto: Level 3, 3-hit physical non-elemental combo, power of 61, has the mysterious "Mot-Vit" effect (anybody know what this does?)
- Rose Whip: Rosy Roll: Level 1, 3-hit physical non-elemental attack, damages Lina when used, does more damage as Lina takes damage
- Cape: Cape Magic: Level 2, raises everyone's Agility
- Ribbon: Pretty Dance: Level 2, makes all allies immune to status effects
- Longbow: Arrow Rain: Level 3, 3-hit physical non-elemental attack, power of 63, effective against flying enemies
The Armor dropped off a Gladiator during training, and promptly replaced my Bread. I also turned all my Healing Herbs into Potions, just for the heck of it.
Incidentally, you can say goodbye to any semblance of balance this game had right about now. Training leaves the party ridiculously overpowered, but not
training leaves them too weak to do anything (and unable to use their Over Skills). It is not the most balanced system in the world.
Anyway, back to that path Ein noticed. It heads off to the south and is pretty much the only thing separating this stage from all the other 3-area straight-line stages I've done so far. It also contains a fruit-bearing tree. Naturally, the correct response to this is to shake the tree in a command minigame that really shouldn't be as hard as it is. This gives me 2500 points and dislodges the fruit. Now, I could keep it as an item (which I can get later anyway, so no), give it to Lina (who eats it for 10 extra HP after an affection boost), eat it myself (dropping Lina's affection and giving Ein 10 HP), say I don't want it (which makes Lina eat it), or give it to Fia, who splits it between everyone for a 5-HP increase to everyone. Naturally, I go for that last one, as it gives the best rewards (outside of a Lina playthrough, anyway).
Returning to the rails, we encounter another guard. This prompts another command minigame to hide (the same one as before), then Lina very nearly sneezes. After another command minigame to stop her (which gives an affection boost for Fia), I get 4000 points (I forgot to mention it, but the last hiding segment gave me 3000 points). This screen also has another random chest, which holds nothing of interest.
On the next screen there's another random treasure chest I'm not opening. Entering Look mode causes Fia to hear something in a nearby tree, which is immediately examined. I'm given the choice to either shake it or wait for a bit. Choosing the latter option reveals that there's a soldier taking an unauthorized break. Now, I could just sneak past, but Ein has a brilliant plan, and he needs a decoy to pull it off. I choose Lina, because this plan grants an affection boost for the girl you choose if it works.
Lina distracts the soldier with the unstoppable power of cute, and Ein throws the chest at the guy
. This requires a timing minigame, but it kills the soldier instantly and gives Lina an affection boost. Fia also gets a lesser affection boost, and I get 6000 points and the satisfaction of having used a treasure chest as a weapon of war. I then move on, leaving the stage for the first time.
Anyway, I'm wondering what people are thinking of this so far. It is my first liveblog, after all. I'd also like clarification on the mysterious Mot-Vit effect if at all possible.
Next time: Notice I said I was leaving stage 2-3 for the first