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Clarste

[table of contents]
The Lady's gone mad!
First off, why exactly are these things so long? I was thinking: "Oh hey, this'll be a short one. All I did was fight a boss, and I beat her on the first try." And the next thing I know it's three hours later and I have a 6 page paper (Times New Roman, 12 point, double spaced) in front of me. I asked my brother why everything I write turns into a monster, and he says that college must have ruined me. I suppose that seems pretty reasonable. It does amuse me that I spend more time writing these things than playing the game.

...and I still have this whole rant about CAS saved up for a proper moment. Oh well.

Next up are the Scarlet Sisters, who are running around in the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Conveniently for me, they turn out to be in the very first room, and are the second enemies I fight. They kill me. Magnificently. Ah yes, this wonderful feeling, exactly what I had been waiting for. That positively joyous experience of the bosses doing several times my max HP and getting multiple actions per turn. This is what I've been waiting for. This is why I'm playing this game.

Remilia and Flandre are paired in this fight, obviously, and both of them are absolutely wonderful at killing me. Flandre does "Starbow Break" which hits my entire party for around 600, killing anyone who's not named Mokou, Reimu or Lithos. Remilia does some sort of flying body slam + red energy attack that does 2200 damage. That'll kill anyone. Remilia can also charm the entire party with her Last Spell "Red Magic". Oh, and they get two actions per turn each. I'm loving this.

Anyway, I died pretty quickly without getting a chance to run, so they've changed rooms and I have to find them again. Which narratively means I got a teaser of the boss before doing the dungeon, so I can spend it wondering how the hell I'm going to deal with that.

First I explore the east wing of the house, clearing all the enemies on the way for experience. Notable among the new enemies are the Scarlet Caps. I'm sorry, that just made me laugh. Anyway, the enemies are now outpacing my ability to kill them in one turn by spamming final words, which means I actually need to do things now. Yay! Or maybe that's bad. I dunno. Only some of the enemies have this honor, for now it belongs to some elementals.

During this process, Reisen finally reaches level 50, which isn't really important but I take this opportunity to switch her in, mostly so I can see her Last Word someday. "Lunatic Red Eyes" turned out to be her Last Spell instead. Unfortunately her status afflicting attacks seem to have long cooldowns so my dream has been shattered. We'll see if she's still useful otherwise though. Her stats are really really average. I mean, all those numbers are about the same. That's completely bizarre. My people at least have high strength and low int, or vice versa.

Anyway, I find the sisters again, and this time I decide to switch in my A Team of high level characters instead of Nitori and Cirno. This means Aya and Byakuren. Aya is sort of specialized in agility and dodge right now to help her survive while doing steady damage and Byakuren is here to lower their attack power, which has been a staple of my strategies for a while now. They kill me easily. It seems the designers forgot to write new hints upon death so its just blank. Frankly that appearance of amateurishness bugs me a lot. Maybe I'll just turn off the tips so they don't remind me.

Back to the death, this is actually somewhat unsettling. Difficult bosses are one thing. Impossible bosses are another. If I can't lower their attack power, how can I survive? Especially when they get so many actions per turn? I suppose if all else fails I can try another quest first, but this isn't the kind of damage that can be overcome by a few levels. I really really hope this doesn't turn into another final boss situation.

As expected, the bosses moved again and I finish exploring the east wing without finding them. To the west wing! For some reason I'm loving these buckets of experiences that call themselves enemies. Somehow I missed their presence I guess?

Soon enough I encounter the sisters for the third time, and this fight I notice something strange. I decide that getting attack down onto Flandre is the absolute top priority. So to ensure that this happens before Byakuren dies or something I have Aya use her ability that makes my party go first. Sure enough, Byakuren goes before either of the enemies and casts attack down. Which misses. But more importantly, Flandre immediately does Starbow Break (killing Byakuren and Aya). This is before anyone else on my team got their actions. That's... that's... that's cheating! I'm supposed to go first! That's what the spell does! Flandre's attacking out of turn order!

Wait? Out of turn order? What does this imply...?

Anyway, I lose the fight as well as an item I picked up. Fourth time's the charm, right? Or was it Four Is Death? Either way, the sisters have now spawned directly next to the heal point, which is perfect.

Sure enough, the entire trick to this fight was their extra actions. They don't get two actions per turn. It's a counterattack. Flandre was casting Starbow Break on me because I was trying to lower her attack. She only does it as a counter to spells. Remilia's 2000 damage attack was also a counterattack and is not done normally. So as long as I avoid using magic on them they won't do their big attacks and will limit themselves to other things. Given this particular party set-up, that's pretty much only Byakuren's stat downs. Once again hoisted by my own petard.

Sans counterattacks, the only remaining issues are Remilia's charm and one of Flandre's attacks that hits for about 600 damage to one target (Flan can also use the Lævateinn as a melee attack, but it hits Mokou for nothing). Both vampires are vulnerable to light so I enchant Lithos and Aya's weapons and wail away. My characters seem to be remarkably bad at killing each other so I decide to ignore Remilia and focus on Flandre who can hurt me.

Bad idea. When in critical she starts using better moves. Starbow Break is added to her normal repertoire and she also gains Meteor, which hits everyone for fire damage (I think?). Which wouldn't be so bad if Mokou hadn't maxed out the fire gauge. Needless to say this kills most of my party, but I manage to run away.

Aya is replaced by Sanae, and now I have three healer-buffers in my party. As I've said before, the best offense is a good defense. Sanae has the ability to raise everyone's max HP, which works wonders. I also decide to kill Remilia first so I won't have to deal with charm and meteor at the same time. Unfortunately Remilia seems to have a lot more evasion and I have to run away and equip DEX buffing spells to hit her.

Overall, it's slow, steady and involves lots of death. Luckily Mokou procs her Last Word pretty often and can revive Sanae and Byakuren who repeatedly die despite the HP buff. Victory is mine today, and while it wasn't exactly complicated it did require me to think again, which is always nice.

Post-battle, we have the standard "what did it feel like?" conversation. I'm noticing that Lithos is both very polite and kind of condescending. -ish. It's like, she's entirely too proud of herself whenever anyone thanks her. She hasn't gone into "childish mode" since Yukari teased her in the beginning. Anyway, Remilia thinks it felt like her heart was being enveloped by another heart, sort of a nauseating feeling. Remilia finds the whole incident thing very interesting and volunteers to help. Um... couldn't she not leave the house before? What changed between then and now? Isn't it still supposed to be excessively sunny outside? This is the Lingering Summer Heat expansion after all. These questions are not answered.

Flandre is confused though. What incident? You mean this anxious feeling in my chest is an incident? I've never felt better! This is awesome! Remilia just tells her that there are things Flan was not meant to know, but somehow I get the impression that Flandre was never possessed and was just playing along with her sister.

Remilia
27th Jan '11 10:59:01 PM flag for mods
comments
Congratulations :).
totoro 7th Jan 11
Thank you. But, for what?
Clarste 7th Jan 11
If it makes you feel better: They also take a while to read! But they're very enjoyable!

Also, Scarlet Caps and Reisen contemplating her ears. I love this game. Though, that empty speech bubble is quite a bother indeed...

Reading about that battle, it seems like that game is pretty much made for you, though. I've never played an RPG that really expected you to experiment in order to beat bosses.

And the idea that Flandre was just playing along just warms up my heart.
Fawriel 8th Jan 11
I know they take a while to read because I have to edit them. :(
Clarste 8th Jan 11
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