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Let's Play a random Touhou fan RPG!
Clarste

[table of contents]
Stage 22 it is stage 22 now
Wait up, Yuugi-neesan!

It's both a stage, and a quest! What do I do now? I have no policy to deal with such an eventuality. I suppose I could have put the quest title as the stage subtitle, but that feels like demoting it. For now, I'm doing what I did here. Also, the Japanese wiki doesn't go this far for some reason, so I can no longer refer to it for information about the bosses or Yuugi's stats (as a character). Oh yeah, spoiler, Yuugi joins my party. I guess I haven't told you guys yet, but it was all over the trailers before the game was released. Also, the quest says that the reward is Yuugi.

Yuugi is someone I haven't met in game before, so I suppose I should link her Touhouwiki profile. She's an oni. She's super strong and she drinks a lot. Her listed ability (manipulation of supernatural phenomena) is kind of vague, so we're just going to ignore it and call her super strong. She's one of the Four Devas of the Mountain, yet she lives underground. Go figure.

You may recall that the whole reason we had to go through Hell to recruit Satori was because Yuugi went on a drunken rampage and blocked off the normal route to the underground. Well, she's still doing that, only this time we care enough to stop her. So it's time to finally take the normal entrance to the underground, which is notably less fiery.

This dungeon is... bland. It's a cave with no notable features. There are no puzzles or gimmicks, other than a weak upper and lower level thing which is a rip-off of Muenzuka (stage 7) and not used as well. The bright spots of my time spent here are those patches of grass that are a slightly different color from the rest of the place. The enemy field sprites are crows, recycled from the Palace of the Earth Spirits (stage 5). At least there's a new tileset, even if it's a boring one.

Yet I love it anyway. A new dungeon, finally! Exploring! Treasure! Danger! Especially danger. There are no heal points here, at least until I get deeper. While I could just go back to the world map and heal anywhere I can reach from there (which is everywhere), this seems to have a higher time value in terms of respawning enemies. If that made any sense. While I don't know the precise mechanics of how enemies respawn (I think it's probably counting the number of rooms entered), going to the world map makes it happen faster.

Shortly into the dungeon, I encounter a switch and a gate. This is almost certainly a shortcut back, which is always nice. That feeling of "opening up" a dungeon is also something I've really missed. That sounds sort of like some kind of innuendo now that I've said it, but really the feeling is very close to leveling up or opening item boxes. I've done something that cannot be undone. I've made progress. This tangible sense of reward is missing when you're just running around in old dungeons that already have their teleporters on.

As for the enemies, it's pretty much the "best of" collection from everything I've fought in the expansion so far. To look at it the other way though, it's more like all the upgraded enemies I fought in various areas were leaked out of this dungeon. Out of Stage 22. So, Scarlet Caps, death plants, elementals, angelic robots, the works. If I've mentioned it, you fight it here.

In addition to that, there are some new guys, like these and these. I don't really know much about them, other than the fact that they hurt a lot and have a lot of HP. Now that I can't abuse heal points to only use my most powerful spells, I realize that I've kind of forgotten how to fight normal enemies. How do I construct parties? What kind of balance do I need? It's really quite perplexing.

I decide to go with a "chaperone" strategy. In addition to the weaker characters who need levels, I include one strong character to tip the battles in my favor until they run out of MP or bombs, at which point they're rotated out. Lithos can do her 6666 damage thing, Sakuya can abuse private Square, etc. I never got any further than that actually, because I quickly discovered the other side of the shortcut, prompting me to leave and heal (who cares if the enemies in the beginning respawn? I've got a shortcut).

This part was actually kind of funny. I hit the switch on the other side of the door and nothing happened. The first switch could not be unswitched (I had tested that beforehand). So... I ran through the wall, around the gate. I know for a fact that this wasn't possible before I hit the switch, because Stage 5 gave me terrible habits for the entirety of the game. I guess the switch opened up another gate inside the wall, and the other one is a decoy? Well, whatever, it worked. I laughed. Mission accomplished.

Remilia is actually turning out to be quite useful, now that she's higher level. She's super fast and has defense-piercing physical attacks and really high attack power bonuses from power allocation (the menu calls this section "growth" so I'm gonna call it that from now on, although I suppose it's a bit late to start now). Using her bombs, she can actually do more damage than Lithos for cheaper (7000 damage for 1 bomb instead of 6666 for 2). Unfortunately, she has a rather low bomb count and few ways to raise it. Fortunately, she cannot get hit by physical attacks ever, and is quite a survivor.

Within the dungeon, I gather enough materials to craft a new weapon for Remilia, putting her attack power at the second highest in my party, about 50 points below Sakuya. It also makes her drain 10% of the damage she does (doesn't stack with her spells that also drain) and has 50% Exorcism for those pesky angel robots. It's also called Ragnarok and looks pretty cool when she's preparing to throw it.

Anyway, eventually I reach the ominous heal point (how I've missed those) which signals the boss. Having missed a branching path in the previous room, I discover that it leads to a huge labyrinth filled with larger than average groups of enemies and no end in sight. I die in there and wonder what the point of it is. It was getting late when I was playing, so I decide to beat the boss before exploring it.

Sadly, there is no pre-battle cutscene other than this. That is the entirety of the cutscene. No dialog, just action poses and all the new characters in one shot. I hadn't been paying attention at the time, but after this I'm pretty sure that Yuugi's quest was unlocked by recruiting all the new characters in this expansion. Does this mean that the rest of them were optional and won't participate in cutscenes? I hope not. I'll miss Byakuren's wordy explanations if that's the case. Anyway, the fight starts and she kills me.

Yuugi, shown here in her natural state of partially killing the party, is a simple boss. She has a lot of life, a lot of defense, and she punches you until you die. She gets two actions per turn and hits for large amounts of damage, around 400 per hit. Sometimes she throws rocks which hit small areas for the same. Everything she does is physical, and there are no status ailments or charging bombs or other tricks. However, she can use up both her turns to do her Last Spell, "Knockout in Three Steps". Which does 4000 damage. That's a lot. Basically instant death. Defensively, she has a whole ton of physical defense (but not physical element resistance) and is weak against light. And possibly other elements, but you can only see one weakness on a Satori scan.

At half HP she does a buff on herself called "Berserker Soul". This causes each of her attacks to happen 8 times. So if she punches you she'll punch you again 7 more times. If she throws a rock she'll throw 7 more rocks. Sometimes she gets two actions per turn and hits 16 times. For 400 each. There are two problems with this: A) everyone dies, and B) it takes a really long time to watch.

As always, there are two elements, survive and kill. To survive I'll need to be able to take up to 16 big hits in a row and to kill I'll need to do magic damage, preferably light elemental. There are two characters capable of surviving her full onslaught: Alice or Remilia. Alice with her 90% guard ability and Remilia with her evasion. However, Alice can taunt which is kind of important if I want anyone else to survive. I keep Remilia around anyway though, because it's always nice to have people who are less likely to die to accidents. Taunt isn't a guarantee.

As for light elemental damage, my choices are limited. Reimu, Byakuren, and Patchouli, but Patchouli's has a cooldown. Ultimately my set-up is Alice, Remilia, Sanae, Reimu and Byakuren. Byakuren enchants Remilia's weapon with light, and since she can ignore some amount of defense she does pretty good damage. Not Sakuya cheesy level, but around 5000 with spellcards and 2500 with non-spellcards. Sakuya did about 7500 per turn to Youmu, so that's not so bad. Well, there's also Private Square...

Reimu and Byakuren spam light spells, for about 1000 at first and 2000 once the land gauge shifts, and Sanae buffs and tops everyone off (including reviving when Byakuren gets hit by stray rocks). Alice guards every turn. Berserker Soul is cleared without trouble, and I pull of a marginally less cheesy win. Well, it was a pretty simple fight. I feel like throughout this whole expansion I've dealing with primarily area of effect damage from bosses, when last time it felt like most things could be tanked by Alice. I wonder if the design philosophy changed?

"Ugh". Is it just me or does she have a Slasher Smile while knocked on her ass? Also, her sake not even drop. "To think you could overpower an oni," she says. "How splendid." Reimu thinks Yuugi lost the right to be so arrogant when she got mind controlled. "Ahahaha, you got me there! To think I was dancing in the palm of someone's hand." She stole Bio's laugh. Anyway, apparently Yuugi is familiar with this incident, because she also met, and presumably beat up, Yamame and Parsee while they were being controlled. She doesn't know who's behind it, but she did feel something sinister return to the surface from underground, matching up with Utsuho's story I guess.

When invited to lend a hand, she says she doesn't care what happens on the surface, but when the influence started spreading underground, that's her turf, so we shall have the Yuugi the Strong, one of the Four Devas of the Mountain, on our side. That's reassuring. It might make more sense if she weren't level 1 though.

No wiki makes this summary more annoying, but I'm curious too so I'll work this out.

Yuugi
27th Jan '11 11:00:16 PM flag for mods
comments
A Deva of the Mountain living underground... well... maybe it's like with an iceberg and what you see above the ground is only a fraction of the actual mountain!

Also, for a bunch of "these and these" "new guys", those are some serious badasses. Random though the enemies may be, they sure look impressive.

Remilia is quite a survivor, eh?

I'm a survivor (what), I'm not gonna give up (what), I'm not gon' stop (what), I'm gonna work harder (what)
... a song by the appropriately named "Destiny's Child". Hah!

Also Cirno's action pose is hilariously adorable.

This was a really entertaining chapter. I really enjoy your humor that is mostly very dry and then only makes it funnier when you show traces of silliness.

And of course, we finally learned the truth about Yuugi's ability.

Supernatural Phenomena = Rocks
Fawriel 10th Jan 11
Oh yeah, I just realized. The fact that only the new characters appeared in that cutscene doesn't mean that the others will never be in any. Maybe it's just that you need all of them to unlock Yuugi, but you'll need all characters to advance further in the plot...

Though I guess by the time you read this, you'll know how it goes on.
Fawriel 10th Jan 11
Sadly, as much as I would prefer it, I do not have infinite free time, so your prediction was false.
Clarste 10th Jan 11
Reisen's eyes crashed the game ;_;
Clarste 11th Jan 11
Nooooooooooooo!
Fawriel 11th Jan 11
The next boss is proving rather difficult by the way, so this might take a while.
Clarste 11th Jan 11
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