The witch and the maid's underhanded tea party
In case you were wondering, the quest descriptions for the character quests are completely generic. Just take the one from Byakuren's and replace all the names.
First of all, recall that I lost an item while fighting Remilia and Flandre for the third time, and that I never went back and got it. Honestly, I just forgot about it because I didn't expect to find them next to the heal point. Anyway, I went back and got it after the quest was complete, thus proving that these things are not lost forever. That's a load off my mind. Although it'll be annoying to actually go back and collect them.
Next up is Sakuya and Patchouli◊
. This is actually a two-for-one deal where I get both
of the bosses I have to fight. This is quite a timesaver because wow there are a lot of characters. Presumably we have to get on with the plot someday. Or maybe not. It is an expansion after all, not a true sequel. Every available character is currently on my quest list though, all at 4 stars except Yuugi who's 5 stars (and therefore will be last, for better or worse). So 6 stars will have to surprise me at least.
The witch and the maid are apparently having their underhanded tea party in the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, which isn't surprising at all. They seem to have abandoned the sub-area thing because the area is listed as "everywhere". To be fair, this is the first stage and it's really very small. With that in mind, I decide to explore it thoroughly. I really need more crafting materials anyway. I should probably be doing this everywhere; it's getting tiresome to have everyone with generic weapons. This save file never seemed to buy weapons for anyone, yet has no crafting materials anyway.
This is Remilia's first level◊
. Or 15 levels. At really low levels my characters get 4 times the experience, in addition to simply requiring less in the first place, so it's really not too bad letting them catch up. Note that her stats are much more skewed than Reisen's were. She has really low DEX and VIT, but high STR, AGI and POT (which is potential, by the way, and seems to have a negligible effect on status ailment resistance but does nothing else).
The enemies are steadily getting dangerous, including some bug that kills half my party if it gets an action (the weak half, that I don't need) and Elder Salamanders that take quite a long time to kill and actually forced me to run away once. On the plus side, taking massive damage triggered Reisen's Last Word◊
, "Lunatic Banquet of the True Red Eyes". It does damage and berserk, exactly like I had hoped it wouldn't. And maybe it's just me because I've been spamming her Last Spell (which does the exact same thing), but that portrait is growing on me. What are those little black dots flying around her though?
In other news, the library has a pool◊
for some reason. Somehow I can't imagine Patchouli choosing to take a relaxing dip to take a break from reading, so I can only assume it's for magical research or something. I feel sorry for the books though.
After clearing the entire library I engage the bosses◊
. This happens to be the same paring that was the first boss, so I'm interested in seeing how they've been made interesting and/or difficult. I put Remilia in my party because I haven't seen her in action yet and I'm not expecting to win anyway. I suppose there's also some drama in having her fight her own servant and her best friend, but I didn't think of that at the time.
The basic flow of the fight is that each of them will charge bombs on opposite turns and unleash them when the other is charging. It's not quite that regular, but they're very often charging bombs yet I've never seen them do it at the same time. Sakuya's normal attacks are pretty weak, and her bombs are also weak but hit more often. Mokou can pretty much tank her entirely using only her Regeneration spellcard. Patchouli does pretty weak single targeting magic of various elements, but when she charges her bomb she does "Philosopher's Stone" on the next turn, doing about 500 non-elemental damage to the entire party and killing Remilia and Sanae.
Patchouli is the real danger here, so I decide to kill her first. She also happens to have less defense, for obvious reasons. There's really not much I can do about "Philosopher's Stone" other than raise my max HP with Sanae and heal a lot, but that's no consolation to Remilia. Who actually runs out of lives from me reviving her over and over again. Oops.
Because both Lithos and Reimu have absurd tank-like HP values (which I suppose is probably the point of Reimu as a healer), finishing off Patchouli is actually quite simple even though Remilia and Sanae are constantly dying and being revived by Mokou. It certainly helps that she can't cast "Philosopher's Stone" twice in a row.
This just leaves Sakuya who as mentioned hasn't been contributing much to this fight. She seems to have a lot of evasion for some reason, so she takes a lot longer to hurt. In fact, it takes so long that Lithos and Mokou are both completely out of MP by the time she reaches half HP, and Reimu is also running low. Sanae is fine though, because she was dead half the time anyway. And then the fight gets sort of interesting.
At half health Sakuya unlocks a new ability: Quick Time. As you might expect, this stops time
. And gives her 4 free actions. She can spend one of those actions casting Quick Time. Yes, the boss has an infinite time stop effect, giving her effectively infinite actions, subject to the random factor of her AI Roulette
. So that's
why she's been so weak. Even small amounts of damage add up when the boss gets 13 actions in a row.
This would seem quite cheesy and unfair if I hadn't accidentally discovered the correct countermeasure before she even did it in the first place. As has been previously pointed out, time stops in this game are just stuns and don't actually prevent the turn counter from ticking over. So whenever Sakuya gets thirteen attacks in a row I also get thirteen turns of regeneration. Mokou has her regen spell, but Lithos and Reimu also regenerate, from power allocation (I need a better name for that, as a World Of Warcraft
player I always want to call them "talents"), and Excalibur respectively. Not enough to survive a full salvo, but Mokou takes most of the hits anyway.
So Sakuya still cannot kill me despite her broken ability. I'm also completely out of MP, except for Sanae who does
die during the time stop. So at this point I just set it on auto-battle and win eventually. Luckily for my patience, Quick Time is a field effect, which means it can be overwritten by another field effect. And Sakuya conveniently also uses another field effect every so often. She has something called Suction World which causes all attacks from both sides to drain 10% of the damage they do. Because of the HP-damage disparity that is common in JRPGs, this is much
more helpful to me than it is to her.
Sadly Remilia gets no experience◊
because she ran out of lives. While she is the one who needed experience the most, this isn't really a huge deal because boss experience is never multiplied by level differences. Nor is yukkuri experience, and indeed the presence of a single yukkuri lowers Remilia's experience gain for that battle, even if it runs away. Somewhat odd.
Back to the plot, such as it is, Sakuya and Patchouli also attribute their madness to a dark presence, this time describing it as a black emotion. I guess we're supposed to be getting a full description of this thing one rescue at a time? When asked if they want to join us in resolving this incident, they quickly agree but not quite for the same reasons Reimu expected. Sakuya claims that whoever is behind this needs to learn that you just don't mess with the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Followed by a sinister chuckle. Is... is that so? ◊
Anyway, welcome to the team.
Sakuya is, as predicted, the same level as Aya, and my inventory contains an Infinity Plus One Sword
ready and waiting for her. Someone
showed favoritism. Patchouli is pretty low level, really. Cirno has already caught up with her.
Bocaj brings it to my attention that the pool is a reference to the ending of SSiB. So Remilia made her put it there. Still feel sorry for the books though, although I suppose it's likely that they're magically protected from humidity.
She mentions that they're protected against pretty much everything in either IaMP or SWR. Don't remember which
... Remilia? Remi-chan, where did you go? *pokes bonnet*