The Spider Goes Down!
From Megdasse to Kei

When we last left off, I was ready to fight the BIG METAL SPIDER thing at the end of the Megdasse subquest thing (At least, I think it's a subquest? Maybe I actually needed to do this, idk LOL I have no direction other than 'go to the library' so...)

But the spider was kinda hard because I pretty much rushed straight to this point in the game. I could beat it, but I couldn't clear the bonus objective of having no one die in the battle, and I felt really determined to do that, so I kept reloading... always someone died. Just one person each time, but someone died every time.

So, I decided to go run around and do other stuff to try to power up the party a bit.

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The first thing I did was take the weird purple apples that I had found in the east side of the area over to these sheep in the west side of the area. When you have the apples, you can now interact with the sheep and you have the option of feeding them.

Feeding them is pretty funny. Leo is just like "Oh, look, they ate it." And then the shepherd comes out and scolds you, telling you not to feed his sheep random shit. And then the sheep suddenly grow HUGE. I guess you can't tell from the screenshot, but they're like twice the size they were before. The guy kinda freaks out. And then it gets even worse because...

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Because they turn into monsters XD Liz seems casually annoyed by it all, and then you have to fight them. It's an easy fight, and defeating them busts down the watchtower thing nearby, which turns it into a monster haven where you can repeatedly fight somewhat harder battles for better materials. I don't know if there's any other point to doing this little event, and there are plenty of other places to fight for materials, so... it just seems really random. But it was fun.

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After that I went back to that... Yax-whatever place (the marchiam where Leo is from with the farm and everything) and wandered around there. I had completely ignored everything here and ran straight for the mountain road before, so there are many things here I just... didn't do. One thing that I probably should have done from the start was visit all the towns. Towns are nothing more than blacksmith menus or event triggers, though certain towns will give you a welcoming present the first time you visit. I had already gotten a Power Obi from the Nyu tribe (the people near the three caves with the droplets), and one of the towns around here (called like... Towai or something) gave me a Faerie Ring.

The obi gives +2 Strength but -2 Skill; I gave it to Leo who is the main 'powerhouse' of the team. And the ring gives +1 to Speed and Vitality and -1 to ... Concentration? (IDK what this stat does lol I need to read more of the Tips section XD) which I gave to Cecilia because I want her to be as fast as possible so she can inflict paralysis earlier on the timeline. Though I hope "Concentration" doesn't affect her ability to actually inflict it...

OK, I went and read the TIPS Menu which had a description of what each stat does... and the Concentration thing does indeed affect status infliction rate oops. It also affects bow abilities and stuff, too, so, uh, OOPS. I switched the ring over to Gabriel.

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I also upgraded Guinevere's staff into one that is capable of teaching her new Magic Arts. I had mentioned on the GameFAQs forum that I hadn't figured out how to get new magic arts, even though I knew you were supposed to get them from Flux, and someone told me I needed to get a staff that was capable of teaching them. But it seems people don't really know how to get them exactly yet? Anyway, the description of the staff says it can learn new Metal arts, so this is at least one step.

It also increased Guin's Speed and Intelligence a bit! but her Guard dropped greatly (from 14 to 5...), but I guess it's a worthy price to pay for increased power and the ability to learn magic arts. Even if I can't figure out how to do it... At the end of battles when you use someone wielding a staff, sometimes a "Flux" will occur where the elemental field can be absorbed into a staff. This is supposed to lead to new magic arts but exactly how it works is still a mystery to me.

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Wandering around also let me run into this pink mustache cutie again ;)

I looked through the available upgrades to my current equipment and decided the next thing I'd focus on is getting a new spear for Caspar because he's my favorite, and he can get a pretty big upgrade. He also is able to change to a different type of spear, which has a different glimmer set than his current one (though most of it seems the same?)

There are a lot of shrines and various places around the marchiam, but going to most of them, Liz just says "Aren't you looking for Ai Hanumu?" and you can't do anything there. But I did find an abandoned mine and she was just like "Hey, wanna go inside?" LOL. I guess she doesn't want to go around visiting temples but is perfectly cool with plundering a mine. She seems to like adventure lol. Maybe the real reason she decided to tag along with Leo was because she just wanted an excuse to go on her own adventures.

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Deep in the mine, we cleared out some monsters and were able to go mining. I got a hunk of iron ore, but I'm not sure what to do with it. It doesn't appear in my inventory, so I assume it's something like the purple apples, and related to an event. But I don't know. Maybe I should try going back to some of the places around the area later.

(Fun fact: I know how to read "iron ore" thanks to playing UNLIMITED:Saga in Japanese XD)

Though one cool thing happened while fighting in the mine...

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Leo's Swing Down broadsword art ranked up! This is a new mechanic for the series. Basically, your weapon and magic arts can 'rank up' which makes them less costly, and I think they basically rank up by you using them a ton, and you might get a rank up when you use it, similar to getting a glimmer.

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Now the weapon art has a nifty emblem behind it in the menu, and it costs 3BP instead of 4BP. This is really a huge deal.

And while I'm here, I'll show you some weird stuff. Caspar's model is definitely a different shape than everyone else because he's big and round, but they just... used a bunch of the same animations for him, so sometimes he does this crouch thing, and when he's kneeling after recovering from KO at the end of battle...

It makes his other body parts like clip into his belly and stuff and it just looks super awkward.

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The delinquent crouch thing (EVERYONE DOES THIS sometimes, it's so weird... they like do this animation of slicking their hair back too?! Even if they don't have hair or it doesn't make sense with their hair style...)

It looks so weird because his belly and legs just become like one convoluted mass of shapes and he looks like some kind of egg character.

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The kneeling is weird because his leg clips through his belly and it just looks so messed up. I didn't capture the best angle but it looks even worse from other angles.

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Everyone at least has a unique 'victory pose' that is shown when their HP rises at the end of battle. Gabriel's is pretty boring but I just wanted to show him because I like him. Liz clasps her hands together and hops around. Leo does the most generic toughguy thing. Caspar loosens up his shoulder like a pitcher lol. I feel like Cecilia actually does the same thing as Liz, and I can't remember what Guin does because I don't use her as much as everyone else and she hardly ever seems to get HP ups even when I do.

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Also, Caspar glimmered the Serpent Wave thing, which is a spear art that sometimes poisons the enemy. This is ... the most useful thing in the whole world :) It also has a really cool animation with art of a water dragon flying around behind him.

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Caspar's new spear is going to cost 30 Fire Crystal things, so I need to get a few more. This cave just north of the abandoned mine had enough as a reward as long as I got the bonus objectives, so I went there to take out the bandits. When you examine a spot on the map that offers a battle, you get to preview the fight there. If it's a series of fights, you don't know what will be in each fight, so I don't know if all three of the enemies here will be in each of the three fights or what. (You can see at the bottom left that this is a series of two fights).

Also, if you haven't encountered the enemy before, it will just be a silhouette. You also get to preview the battle spoils and the objectives with their rewards. The objectives here are not to get caught in an enemy Rengeki even once, to deal damage on every turn, and to inflict paralysis, poison, sleep, or confusion onto an enemy already suffering from one of those.

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If you accept the battle, you'll be taken to a preparation screen. You go to this before every battle, even in a series. From here you can set up your party and read the manual/tips. You have the option of switching out members, re-equipping, whatever.

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You can also change battle formation, which is something I think I forgot to mention in the last post. Formations were a big deal in the Romancing SaGa trilogy, and I'm glad to see them return in a similar fashion. Formations change not only the way that your party is positioned on the field (for example, in my formation "Double Combine" above, two people stand in front, one in the middle, and two in back), but each formation gives various bonuses to the party and sometimes to specific positions.

For this formation, the front two members get increased action speed. The maximum BP is 8, and each turn you start with one more BP than the last (so the first turn you have 4BP, the second turn you have 5BP, etc.) The speed boost helps with things like inflicting stun.

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Between battles, you can check the bonus objectives, and ones you've already completed will be marked with a check (and ones you've failed will probably be marked with an X). This is an example from a different battle series in another location, but you get it :P

I wasn't able to inflict damage every turn so I didn't get all three bonus objectives, but I still got plenty of fire crystals and was able to get the new spear!

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A nearby town offered a fire discount, so I was able to get it for 27 instead of 30. I had exactly 30, so I saved 3 fire crystals this way. It raised Caspar's spear's Power by 2 and his Guard by 6! His Speed is lowered, but it's fine because his Speed is abysmal anyway.

By the way, in the image, those are the stats of the previous spear compared to the new spear, not Caspar's stats in general. He doesn't just have a bunch of 0s :P

I decided to try a "HARD" fight next (well, a series of EASY=>HARD). In the HARD battle at the end, a lot of really great things happened. Cecilia glimmered Random Arrow, which hits all enemies (the first all-hit weapon art I've found in this game!), and Caspar glimmered Spiral Charge, which is a very powerful spear art that wasn't available on his old spear. Gerome glimmered Air Throw, which allows him to toss an enemy and damage it, but it also has the ability to stun the enemy, cancelling their action for the turn if they haven't acted yet. This is extremely useful. I had gotten a Dress Sword (a foil) from one of the towns and gave it to Gabriel and forgot about it, so he was wielding that instead of his normal broadsword. So he had no weapon arts for it, but he glimmered the... mind... thing that puts enemies to sleep (I forget the name but it's in the Romancing SaGa games, too). (EDIT: it's Mind Stare lol)

But then everyone died and I lost the battle.

An interesting choice occurs when you lose a battle -- you have the option of rematching the fight -- you'll continue battling, but everyone will continue with their lost LP. But you won't lose your progress! So all of my glimmers got to stay, and I got to try the fight again. It was still pretty hard, and Cecilia died again, bringing her LP to 0.

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With her knocked out, she has to wait through 6 recovery periods (not every battle recovers LP it seems, so I don't want to say '6 battles') before she can fight again.

But once you have a knocked out character, a new option appears in towns to spend your materials to revive characters. But you can only do it with characters who have less than 100 Max HP.

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So I was able to revive her for... a single wood crystal O_o Seems kind of cheap, but I guess when you have less than 100 HP you're going to get knocked out a lot anyway. So now I don't have to wait for her to recover!

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Also the blacksmith girl in this town is like... a recolor of the reviver girl >_> You think they'd at least put the recolor characters in different towns so you wouldn't notice it so easily...

Anyway, with all my new weapon arts, a few new good equips, and a hunk of iron ore that does nothing, it's time to go try to fight the metal spider again!

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One really obnoxious thing about this battle is that there are two minions alongside the spider, and the spider has an ability called "Eat." When it uses it, it will devour one of the minions, regain all of its HP, and increase its defense. It's... very bad.

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I thought I could use Gerome to stun it, but it seems immune to stun (though he still picked up that huge thing and flung it spiraling through the air lol). I tried many times but it never got stunned, whereas other enemies seem to get stunned at a pretty high rate?

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So the thing did get to eat its snack after all...

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I also got lucky and got a Grace that restored a lot of HP to everyone. Though I think I would have done okay without it. But someone may have died?

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In the end, only Leo's Swing Down and Caspar's Spiral Charge were able to do much damage. Everyone else just defended. The bonus objective changed (I didn't realize it could do this) since the last time I was here, and now it was "Don't get paralyzed by the opponent" or something.

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It took a long time, but no one died, and I got the bonus objective, too!

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:)

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Afterward, Liz finds a shiny thing. On further inspection, it seems to be yet another Scarlet Shard thing. So now we have three -- the one Leo was just... born with... the one from Magical Mystery Girl, and now this one. One thing I didn't think to try was "using" the Scarlet Shard in the Yax-whatever area. Maybe it will trigger something like it did here. The game didn't even tell me I could do that until I got to Megdasse, so... I guess I should go back and try that. And maybe see if I can find a place to use that iron ore.

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While Liz seemed to be enjoying the adventure in the beginning when we were damming away a town's water supply to look at pretty pictures and stuff, by the end she was actually getting creeped out by everything (especially when the pictures started turning red). After getting the Scarlet Shard, she really seems like she wants to get the hell out of Megdasse for good, urging Leo to get a move on and letting him know she has a bad feeling.

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And so we go cross into the Kei province. I should mention there was a block here, too, and no one could pass without permission, but the king/marquis/whatever guy gave us permission apparently. I don't remember him doing that, but our conversation there seemed to imply we did. If you go to the gate before talking to that guy, you can't get through. You don't have to run around and do all the pictures and fighting and stuff though.

In my first file, I played a bit past this part, but I'm going to stop here for now.

I also want to mention that this game has trophies and they seem pretty tough.

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I got my first one, for doing a full-party Rengeki (having all 5 characters chain together in one). There is a trophy called "Fever Time" that wants you to trigger five Rengeki in one round of combat. Mabye this is something that will happen later in the game or something, but that means at least five actors will have to die in one round, and none of them at the same time... seems pretty ridiculous.

But yeah, that's the only trophy I've obtained so far.

I also noticed in the little "rarity" things that tell you the percentage of players that have gotten that trophy, that 0.1% of players have cleared the game with all four protagonists, but 0.0% of players have recruited all the possible party members available in the game. So even playing through all 4 characters, it seems you might not recruit everyone. I like that -- it means that there are probably secret or powerful characters hidden in the game somewhere.

I haven't even managed to find one party member to recruit beyond the ones you're given from the start though.

Have a good 2017~