The Final Battle!
Time to Say Goodbye

Well, after a lot of running around, we're finally here.

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The only thing in the dark chamber is this ball of light. When we approach it, it is called "The Final Battle" and asks if we are ready.

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We say we are, and Leo and Liz recognize that we've reached Ai Hanumu.

Liz starts to worry, asking Leo if he's really going to throw the Scarlet Shards in. Leo confirms that that is what he came here to do, so that is what he will do. Liz says she has a bad feeling about it and suggests maybe throwing only the shard he got from the girl in Yaxart first. Since that was his original mission anyway.

We're given four options: Throw the one from the girl, throw the one Leo was born with, throw all the others in, or to chuck the whole lot at once. It's pretty much the options we had at spirit lake, but the "throw all of them" option has a kind of 'How annoying!' comment in it, like it's too troublesome to throw them one by one or something.

I choose to throw only the one from the girl, as per Liz's suggestion. Liz tends to be right about things.

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But before Leo can pitch the shard, Liz stops him and says that when you do stuff like this, you're supposed to make a wish. Leo says he doesn't have anything to wish for, so Liz can do it.

Liz gets pretty steamed at how ridiculous Leo can be, saying he has nothing at all that he could possibly wish for...

Then we're given two options for Liz's wish.

The first, default option is "I hope we don't have to face a strong enemy." Which is... kinda stupid, because, well, we're going to fight the final boss, so... we're going to have to do that anyway.

But the second option is "I want to be with Leo forever."

Which... OKAY. I really want them to be together forever but I'm still cheering for this game NOT to end in a Liz/Leo romance. Not that I'm opposed to them getting together, really, because that's fine, too, but the idea of them staying friends forever is so wonderful and good and this option just... sounds too 'shippy' to me and like... UGGGGGHHHHH.

I really didn't know what to pick, but again, I plan to play again, so I just picked the first one. Sorry guys, no romance wish.

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After the wish, we're sent to a battle. The preview has pretty much nothing, and there are no rewards for any bonus conditions or anything. Just one little silhouette.

I'll go ahead and say here that I died many times attempting this, but I'm not going to actually describe every attempt.

Here we go!

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So, here's our enemy that appeared when we tossed the shards. It's Firebringer. Maybe the shards helped him revive or something...? Since they are like... fragments of his destroyed body or something. I don't really know. We don't really get an explanation of why this happens. My guess is that it will be explained better in other scenarios, since Leonard is the "low story" scenario.

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Firebringer descends and we enter a normal battle like any other. I was really curious how they were going to create a final boss since battles seem to be these sort of fast-paced, neck-and-neck things... it didn't really seem suitable for a final boss.

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Starting right away, I already fell behind.

Firebringer was first on the timeline, and he could call on the power of all the gods we've heard about throughout the game -- essentially using evil versions of the Graces as his arts.

The one he liked to spam at the beginning of the battle was one that hit everyone in the party, and stunned them all. I don't know if it had a chance to stun or just automatically stunned, but I always had everyone get stunned. That means all their actions were canceled for the turn.

So I already had to come up with interesting ways to get past this.

I ended up having Julia spam Life Rain over and over, while Lewis or Liz would attack. Rico and Lamar had to use Protect Arts, which even protect against hit-everyone attacks. Basically, it means the people they were protecting simply wouldn't get hit. I don't even think it did increased damage to the protectors.

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And that was pretty much it. Firebringer's life was gone.

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OK, we all knew it wasn't. He revives with full HP and new and stronger attacks!

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Now he has the ability to raise his own BP. I guess this is good for him if you're using BP-lowering abilities on him, but... I'm not, so he pretty much is wasting turns with this. Which is nice because it turns his ability into an advantage for me...

Other than that, this form is pretty similar to the last. If you debuffed him before he revived, the debuffs stay, so it's not too hard to get through.

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After defeating that form, we're taken to a loading screen that just has the game's title on it. Normally, loading screens have some kind of hint or tips or a battle preview, so this is new.

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Between the battles you're able to restructure your party and stuff. Everyone still loses LP if they die or whatever, and you can have party members knocked out between these fights. So if someone dies, you can swap them out at this point. You can also rematch to start at the fight you died in instead of having to start over from the beginning by loading your save. But once your main characters lose their LP you're pretty much not going to recover...

The second fight starts with Firebringer summoning a bunch of clones into the battle. The clones only had three arts available to them that I noticed: Master Copy, Echo, and a Protect Art.

Master Copy would let them use whatever art Firebringer used last, whatever it was. Even if it was Firebringer having used a Counter after the party attacked him, they'd use the Counter without having to be attacked, or the same with an Interrupt without having to have it triggered.

Echo would copy whatever the last character to act on the timeline did (good or bad). So this was a bit more easy to manipulate, as you could make sure that you had a party member act just before them, and use the weakest art you can.

Firebringer has a ton of arts, including Interrupts and Counters that could hit the whole party, and it was devastating when everyone wanted to use Master Copy after that.

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Once I learned how easy the clones were to take out, the fight got a lot easier. Targeting the clones first and especially trying to get rengeki by defeating them really made everything go a lot smoother.

And sometimes they'd all use Reserve Arts, so it'd be a free casting turn for Julia.

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Once the clones were down, I just had to focus on Firebringer, which wasn't too bad, since he'd use Reserve Arts sometimes and every time he did, Julia got another free casting turn, so she was able to keep up the HP of hers and Lamar's, who were the only two people left at this point.

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It got down to just Lamar, though, sadly. But thankfully, I found a way to tell which Reserve Art Firebringer was using.

When you hover over an Interrupt art, it will show on the timeline which enemies are available targets. Lamar's Gale Strike interrupts piercing arts. And Firebringer's Counter was piercing, while his Interrupt was not. And his Interrupt wouldn't work on bludgeoning attacks, so I could free hit him with a hammer art whenever I noticed that Gale Strike didn't classify him as a target. If it did, I just did nothing for the turn.

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And with that, I was able to slowly chip away Firebringer's HP! I got lucky enough that he kept alternating between his two Reserve Arts and didn't try any of his direct attacks.

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And Lamar was able to finish off Firebringer all on his own!

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Just kidding, he completely revived himself into a second form for this battle, too, and killed Lamar immediately.

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But I had become pretty good at this fight, and got a bit lucky with a nice Grace, too. Though he does get one very scary new attack at this phase -- an attack that hits a single target, but depletes 3 or 4 of their LP in addition to whatever HP it damages. Even if they don't die! So it can instakill if LP drops below 0, or just get your characters way closer to death and minimize the amount of rematches you're able to try.

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I even defeated him with almost full health across the party. Lamar had to sit out, though.

When he fell this time, he started making some fire pillars and stuff. I was worried this battle would have a third form or something, but he just encased himself in a rock and we got a loading screen. Did we seal him up and win?

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No, there's another fight...

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He breaks out of his rock ball thing and it becomes like a chariot that he rides around on.

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He also has two floaty blade things near him, too, which seem to have their own minds or something and count as separate actors on the timeline. They can do some nasty attacks, as well as protect Firebringer from harm.

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Firebringer is the real threat, though. All of his arts at this point are completely devastating, so you have to win this battle quickly. Healing will only help a little, because it's not likely you'll be able to heal faster than you take damage.

His worst attack sends everyone into some kind of parallel dimension or something and then pelts them all with meteors... Not only does this do massive damage, but it takes 3 BP away from the party, too.

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I tried to focus on defeating Firebringer first since his attacks were wild and I figured the blades would just die if Firebringer did.

It seemed to have worked!

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Just kidding, he revives himself again...

He won't heal the blades, though, so doing this fight again, I would take out the blades first, which actually helps a lot more than just trying to get rid of Firebringer. But I tried not to trigger rengeki so I wouldn't reset my BP to 5 (using the Stray Sheep formation).

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During this second form, it came down to just Rico and Firebringer. There are a lot of close calls like this in this battle...

Firebringer tried using a Counter or something a few times, so I just did nothing, and defending allows you to move slightly ahead on the Timeline.

When Firebringer finally decided to use a regular Art, Rico was actually faster! It definitely helped that Lewis was able to drop Firebringer's speed early in the fight, though.

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I didn't have enough BP for the ground-scraping art, so I used Vandalize, which thankfully was Rank II, so Rico had enough BP to use it. I wasn't sure if it was going to be able to take him out, though, since I hadn't used Vandalize yet in this fight, so I didn't have a good idea of how much damage it would do...

But it did manage to take his HP down. And then he like... reached toward the sky and a big red energy ball thing fell down to him. Is he... really going to completely heal himself after that epic battle?! Well, I guess he already did the same to Lamar :( Let me have my moment, Firebringer.

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Then he exploded.

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And we see Leo in some kind of ... sparkly star dimension thing? I guess this is the core of Ai Hanumu or something, I don't know.

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More sparklies gather round Leo, and he looks up to find the BIG sparkly.

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Big Sparkly falls slowly as Leo watches...

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Then leo catches it and pitches it away. 8) Maybe we're like... sealing away Firebringer again or something? Oh, maybe like... he was separated into shards, but he still remained alive and powerful... so all it would take was gathering the shards to revive him. So we revived him so we could beat him again, so we could like... properly seal him...?

I DON'T KNOW, I'M COMPLETELY GUESSING.

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Leo seems exhausted and collapses to the ground. Even though he didn't fight. I guess big sparkly was REALLY heavy...

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The camera fades and we see the same scene as we did at the beginning of the game, the introduction of Yaxart.

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It seems Leo's harvest is the best this year, even better than Liz's farm, and he thanks Gabriel and Gerome for their help, telling them to take a well-deserved rest.

Then he says, "Well, then," like he has some business to attend to. I guess we're gonna go see Liz now.

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Oh, okay, we're going to see Mystery Girl. I guess that makes sense, since we kinda did all this for her. It seems she's finally woken up and doing well, and Leo is happy to see that. Mystery Girl's name is apparently Sasha.

After Leo and Sasha exchange pleasantries, Doc shows up. Leo and Doc talk about the harvest for a second, and then Leo says he can't believe that Doc married "that person." Like... who?

Doc says of course he did, he's the best, and it's because of Leo anyway.

Wait did... Doc... marry... a mystery girl who he took care of while she was unconscious...????

Apparently so, because Sasha says she wants to thank him, too, and that she has no recollection of the Scarlet Shards or anything about what happened before, and apologizes for that. Leo says that that's in the past. All we need to know is that Doc's wife fell from heaven.

SO YEAH, I wasn't... expecting them to... be married? Maybe she actually woke up not long after Leo left on his journey, or maybe this scene is taking place years after the battle with Firebringer or something. I mean, I kind of think they make a hot couple so I'm not going to complain, but... it sounds like she just woke up and Doc is like, "YOU'RE MY WIFE NOW."

Then Leo excuses himself, not wanting to intrude too much on the two, but Sasha invites him to stay for dinner, and he takes her up on the offer.

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We cut to Leo walking among the fields again. He comments that nothing has changed, but then corrects himself to say that things have changed for the better.

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And finally we get to see Liz. From their conversation, it seems that the scenes we're seeing are actually taking place quite a while after the battle with Firebringer, and for some reason, Liz and Leo haven't talked to each other the whole time.

Leo assumes it's because he caused her to go through so much pain on his account. He apologizes for everything he put her through.

Liz stresses that Leo did nothing of the sort -- it was she that chose to follow him in the first place.

She says it's been hard not being able to see him, and that she'll always remember their journey together. But her father has arranged for her to be married, and she had to accept. She wasn't able to see Leo, so she just said yes...

She says she finally came to see him because she wanted to thank him. He never allowed her to be harmed, and she came away from their journey with not a scar or a scratch.

She had a lifetime's worth of experiences with Leo, and will always remember their time together as long as she lives.

She thanks him again.

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And then says, "Goodbye."

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Leo comments again that nothing's changed at all, and Liz is very... Liz.

And then the credits start to roll.

And I want to say I AM SO MAD OMG. Well, very sad but ALSO MAD. Did I have to pick for them to get together, otherwise get weird depressing ending?! There are actually multiple endings to everyone's stories, so... I'll go look at the guide and see what the conditions are for Leo's endings.

... Yeah, it seems you get this ending for choosing not to fight a strong enemy as Liz's wish. I guess I should have seen this coming, but... wow. The other ending is called the "true ending," too.

Well, I guess that's something to look forward to the next time I play through Leo's scenario...

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One cool thing about the credits roll, though, which is something I really wish UNLIMITED:Saga had, is that it tells you what happened to all your sub-characters. Well, not all of them -- I think it goes by who participated in the most battles.

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You get a pic with a couple of lines about what happened with them, and then they zoom out and become framed next to the credits, and it tells you how many battles they participated in, how many arts they learned, and what their most used art was.

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We don't get one for Leo, since he... actually had an ending, I guess, but we do get one for Liz.

She ended up in a very happy marriage and had six children -- three boys and three girls. Becoming the matriarch of the land magnate Adams family, Yaxart became famous through her. Still to this day, there are few people who can live up to her name.

So... even though we got a crappy sad ending between Liz and Leo, I'm really happy that it didn't end with Liz being a mopey loner in an unhappy marriage. Instead she like... became a famous landowner that everyone loved and respected, which I think is SUPER awesome, and makes me love Liz even more.

Rico returned to Nangoon, but he lost a dispute and was exiled from the city. After that, he traveled the world and gained reputation as a bodyguard.

Julia ran a salon that was popular with everyone from nobles to gangs, but despite her wide influence, she ended up losing the business due to a fight with the Yanyoji family. Or something. I don't really understand the grammar here.

After the death of his parents, Lewis Darling became the last living Lighthouse Guard. But when his divorced wife and daughter showed up at the door of Limerock Lighthouse, he welcomed them with tears in his eyes. His daughter followed in his footsteps, and still today there are Lighthouse Guards keeping the fires burning across the Ilfee Sea.

Caspar went on a restaurant tour and authored a famous food guide. 9_9;

Thiago's plan for Parm to overtake Zegna ended in failure. His relationship with the Julanius family continued to weaken, and he became a retainer of Antonius II. Afterward, he fled Parm Castle and apparently is successful in development work (?) of the area past the northeastern border.

After the relationship with Parm was ruined, Lamar left the Zegna Guard for Ilfee Sea to become a merchant. He established trade routes with the seven towns of Rhea and lived luxuriously after renovating the abandoned castle.

Mayor returned to being the mayor of Nekwa, and with the support of the House of Julianius, his family reigned for a long time. Some of the citizens of Nekwa staged a revolution, but with the assistance of Julianius, they were able to suppress it. His descendants left Nekwa to live in Silmium, though.

Gerome continued to work in service to Liz, becoming a nanny. He grumbled a lot but he never quit the job.

Cecilia went back to being a brat or something (?) and then grew out of it, got married, and had four sons.

The others are not really interesting like Balmaint changed his hair or something, and I'm tired, so let's move on. XD

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After the rest of the credits roll, we get Akitoshi Kawazu's name, and the game decides to gift me with one more image of Rico's backside.

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Afterward, we're able to save Clear Data! There's only a few minor things that carry over between playthroughs, and I'll mention them in the next scenario. And there's one thing that changes right away:

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The character you cleared appears on the title screen now lol.

This is where I should talk about all my feels about this game, but I'm SO tired. But I really enjoyed my first play through, even if I ended it a bit hastily. I was just so anxious to start again, and that materials quest thing really frustrated me.

The battle system is super engaging and exciting, and training characters is a lot of fun. Monster variety could have been better. Characters... there were a ton, including lots of mustache dads, so I'm happy, even if half of the people were recolors of each other.

The overall story was barely anything, but all the little substories were very entertaining -- well, a lot of them were, at least. There's so much to do and so much content for a game that is entirely on a world map. I was very pleasantly surprised.

When I watched previews of the game and learned more about it, I started to get more and more worried that I was going to be disappointed in this game or it wouldn't feel 'SaGa' enough to me. Instead, I got really into it and enjoyed it more than most SaGa games. I wouldn't say it's my favorite, but it definitely leaves me wanting to play over again as soon as I finish. In fact, after finishing Leo's scenario, I started a new game right away, though I was tired then, too, and went to bed shortly after the intro. I'm not sure if I'll continue playing right away or take a break for a bit. I'm kinda itching to get back into it, though.

In the end, Scarlet Grace was a really fun game, and I'm really looking forward to my next play. Someone said that playing Leo is like playing a different game because the experience is so different. So I'm interested to see just how different it is.

Oh, I'm still kinda mad about the ending, though lol.

If you're curious, I got Urpina as my next character (you can now just choose if you want, but I took the personality quiz thing anyway, which is different now).