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Let's Play a random Touhou fan RPG!
Clarste

[table of contents]
Stage 12 faith is for the transient gods
Stage 12 faith is for the transient gods

We pick up right where we left off, having defeated Cirno and Momiji by the shores of... what's apparently a large body of water. I could have sworn it was just a narrow creek last screen. I'm not exactly familiar with mountain topography and fluid dynamics, but I'll just assume that this makes sense.

We cross over the lake-thing on a maze of lily pads, which conveniently enough form a complete if scattered path rather than just drifting around randomly. They also take us to various small outcroppings with treasure boxes on them! Unfortunately the lily pads are also infested with sparkling puffballs, in what's the first reuse of enemy field sprites ever. I feel ripped off, but I suppose the previous stage didn't really count as a stage, when you think about it.

The enemies are a combination of enemies from the previous stage and some new guys. Notable newcomers include yetis that I'm afraid of without remembering why, armored Lady Of War types armed with naginatas, and Veteran Powers. The yetis are vulnerable to fire and because I target them first out of a primal fear they never really get a chance to prove themselves a threat. The armored warriors are strong against everything and fairly powerful with their normal attacks, but they turn out to be dragons, which makes me glad that Sakuya has her new Dragonslayer. The Powers are angels, and part of that "big strong single enemy" archetype, which makes me unglad that Sakuya has her new Dragonslayer. They're vulnerable to Darkness, but Moon Sign "Silent Selene" can only take you so far. So they're basically minibosses, and the first one I encounter actually kills me.

Oh, and there are also crow tengus, who fight like Aya (fast, weak attacks with chance of stun) but because they fight like Aya they're a non-issue.

After wiping several times in this small lily pad area, which makes it feel bigger than it is, I get back to shore and continue onwards. There's actually a mid-dungeon cutscene here, where we encounter more mysterious craters on a path that suspiciously resembles the previous time we encountered craters. Eh, there's only so much crater budget. This time though, we see someone lying face down inside one of the craters.

It's Chen! Chen is Yukari's familiar's familiar, as well as your standard catgirl. In case you forgot who Yukari is, she's the Trickster Mentor who sent us on this quest way back in the first post, and hasn't been seen since. I suppose Chen's presence here implies that Yukari's doing her own thing while we're questing. Or maybe not: cats are known for wandering around without their master knowing. Chen certainly won't answer the question because she's unconscious in a crater. The party comments on this, and then moves on. Without even making a move towards helping her. Poor Chen.

The second half of this dungeon is the actual mountain part of the Youkai Mountain. So, goodbye trees, goodbye water, hello rocks. And little rock stairs for some reason. This section is characterized by steadily climbing upwards, as you might expect. There are also a ridiculous amount of enemies and its getting kind of annoying. I run past many more than I usually do.

The enemies here are the new enemies from the previous section plus some more new things. Notable enemies include wheels of fire that can stun my entire party, but rarely do, and "giants" that get two actions per turn, one of which will kill Patchouli, guaranteed. They seem to ignore taunting and party formation for their attacks. I say "giants" because it's really just a guy sitting on another guy's shoulders. They look pretty inhuman though.

This place is notable for causing me to run out of Lives for the first time ever. I was quite confused when I started a battle with a four party formation, minus Patchouli, but after running away I figured it out and switched Alice in. Approaching the top of the mountain, there's quite a scenic view that's unlike anything I've seen with this graphics engine. There's also another long shortcut back to the beginning of the previous stage, which I question the value of given how close I am to the end, but I'm not gonna turn down a chance to heal and save.

A screen or two later, I approach the ominous heal point and the first teleporter of the area which is a direct line back to the entrance of the forest. See? Stage 11 didn't count. I get into my boss set-up and move forward, triggering the cutscene.

As predicted, we're at the shrine on the top of the mountain, watching Kanako and Suwako. These are Sanae's patron deities, and the source of her snake and frog theme as well as her dual elements of sky and earth. They seem to be somewhat relaxed, but also filled with anticipation, like experienced performers getting ready for a show. Shortly before the party arrives, they step down to the entrance of the shrine and get ready to greet their guests.

Putting on a show seems to have been correct, because while they're clearly trying to project an air of authority and, you know, godliness, that breaks down quite quickly. The party seems to ask them a question they don't know the answer to, prompting panicked whispering between them as they necessarily begin to deviate from the script. Suwako goes into "hey hey, this isn't what you said would happen!" mode while Kanako falls into "it's okay, we can deal with this, we just gotta improvise."

So... uh... we cannot answer that yet! Because... um... you're not worthy! We must test you! Suwako starts hitting Kanako in an exaggerated anime "baka baka baka" way. But it's been said, and so it must be done. Enter battle stance, time to fight them for no particular reason! And they kill us.

I don't even remember how they kill us. As we'll see, that isn't really important because this is a bizarre fight. I notice a few things from my fairly quick death though. First of all, Kanako's sprite is really huge compared to Suwako's, and because Suwako is sitting behind Kanako it kinda looks like she's sitting on one of those poles. The first thing I do is confirm that they are indeed separate enemies.

Second of all, and as you probably can't glean from those enemy status pages, Kanako has a ridiculous amount of defense and is strong against physical attacks while Suwako has fairly low defense and is acutally weak against physical attacks (but is strong against magic). I didn't realize this at the time, but apparently she also has less HP. As my heavy hitters are Sakuya and Youmu, this makes killing Suwako first an obvious thing to do.

Lastly, and most importantly, these goddesses are, well, gods. And you know what they say about gods, and the slaying thereof? I'd hope that this liveblog has made the correct choice here ridiculously obvious, but I have this sword in my inventory which specializes in killing gods. So that's a thought.

Still unclear as to what I'm going to do defensively or against Kanako, I decide that blitzing down Suwako can't hurt and set up to do that. At the end of Sakuya's 2H sword tree, she gets an ability that hits three times and has no cooldown. It's basically her reliable special attack. Each hit does normal attack damage, but can crit. So on the first turn, after buffing attack power with Sanae, Sakuya hits Suwako for 8000 damage. 8000. It hits twice for 2000 and then crit for 4000. That's more than half her life. That's what happens when you're weak against slashing, weak against godslaying and Sakuya has an attack buff.

On the second turn, Youmu is now in her Asura stance and unleashes her spellcard which is both her strongest attack in this stance and all targeting, because why not hit Kanako if I can? It only does about 1500 to Suwako, which is still a lot, but Kanako dies. Instantly. Not from damage, but from death. Which as you may recall is a property of Youmu's katanas. And I tend to keep my induction accessories on her for random battles. So, Kanako is vulnerable to instant death. Huh. I suppose Kaguya set a precedent for status ailment bosses, but I think this is just a bit absurd.

Suwako, perhaps sensing her imminent doom, manages to kill Sakuya before she gets another action, but that just delays the inevitable. After repeatedly reviving Sakuya and having her die again, Youmu manages to finish Suwako off, and thus we end the easiest boss fight ever. Who would have thought that gods were especially mortal compared to everything else? I can't really say I'm satisfied with this. I hope they cut down on these strange gimmick bosses.

So the goddesses, now a bit ashamed, are forced to admit that they can't really help us per se, but they tell us where to go next. Which is about what I'd expect at this point. It's really just a excuse to go run around beating up people we know, but in the end isn't that what counts in a fan game? No complaints. Sadly, that era will shortly come to an end, as the next goal actually helps us deal with the mist, astonishingly enough. Remember the mist? Cause I've kind of forgotten by now.

Anyway, next stop, Heaven. Now for some pictures.

This is what the lily pad bridge looks like, and these are what you fight there. The person in the back row (which is the left) is a dragon. Also, tengu with a bonus of Sakuya right in the middle of her slash animation.

This is a veteran Power, and I hate them. The little starry face thing on the right of its selection data is the "god" symbol for some reason. Or I guess more accurately it's "divine" or something. You can also see its health bar, so the enemy's percentage of health is never mysterious, even on bosses. Checking the enemy list, it seems we've also fought Virtues and Principalities and such, so I guess this game likes its mythology. Reminds me of Shin Megami Tensei.

This is the edge of the lake right before it transitions into mountains. I already linked this picture earlier, but I'd like to point out the running theme of me getting attacked by monsters while taking pictures. There's only a split second before the battle transition starts, and I was pretty relieved when the picture came out okay.

These are the giants that kill Patchouli. Patchouli actually procced her Last Word in nearly every battle, but she always dies before she gets her next turn, so no picture. I guess history repeats itself. This is a picture of the land gauge leaning towards water, in case you were curious for some reason.

For some reason I've never thought of reentering the boss room until now, so here's a previously unheard of picture of me talking to Suwako. My translation of the text is "something is happening, isn't it? But, only when it's impossible should you something. Sanae." Yeah, I suck at kanji. As you may note, I can read everything except the important parts that provide context. Now you know exactly how many tons of salt you should take my interpretations of the cutscenes with. For the record, I would in the liveblog translate this as "You're here for help, right? But you shouldn't come see us unless you really need it. Sanae." So that's the Ass Pull ratio.

Curious, I revisit Eientei and talk to Kaguya. She teases Mokou for a while and uses that as an excuse to give us a formation. A four person formation. I have no idea why you would ever be in a four person formation at this point in the game, but maybe the bonuses are really powerful? You still lose out on experience though.
27th Jan '11 10:53:38 PM flag for mods
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