Subadventures Digest #4
feat. Hanging Garden
& Leith Torles's Tower

Our final set of subadventures before going to the end of the game. Yeah, we're gonna clear every last one!

Escata Palace

We go to find Minister Hogg's secret stash of money. I tried wandering around a bit more to try for better panels, even fighting the demons in the well, but I still only got L4. The turn limit is only 100 so it's kind of hard to get a lot of actions in. Despite Marie getting Artiste L4, nothing good appeared in the shops afterward. But I have pretty much all of the items I really want at this point, so the only things I'm really looking out for are super rare things.

Warmth of the Throne

Another venture into the ruins of Escata, this time we're investigating the rumors that the "throne is still warm."

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I noticed that the Greed that you fight at the end of the subadventure is named "Nergal." I wonder if this has any kind of meaning behind it...? Like is it the name of someone in Henri's family or something? Or someone related to Dagul Bos?

Oh, I looked it up and apparently Nergal is a thing ... weird.

Monsters of the Ruined Castle

Despite fighting lots of high-rank monsters, I got a bunch of L4 and L3 panels. Fun! But the monster rank is definitely going up. Also, I managed to fully explore all the rooms and stuff in Escata Palace over the course of the three adventures.

Dagul Bos's Castle

This can be a tough adventure because of the tight turn limit. It's actually quite easy to get to the end well before 100 turns. You could probably finish in like 30-40 turns. The problem is that the castle has a lot of areas you don't need to go to for this adventure (though they're relevant in other adventures). I still managed to go out of my way to get two hidden chests I knew the location of, though. And there's another shortly before the boss, but I only had 10 turns left and didn't want to risk it (I finished the adventure with only a couple turns left, so I'm glad I didn't go for it). I probably could have done it if Tiffon didn't fail her lockpicking like eight times on another chest... (I got over 30,000kr in that one, though!)

The boss of three Minotons would normally be rough, but we're running into those as regular enemies at this point in the game, so I was able to wipe them out in a single turn. Tiffon instakilled one with Bloody Mary (just decided to chance it; the instakill rate is pretty good against beasts and wildlings!) and then Grace did two Arrow Rains which took out one of the others and left the last one with just one HP. I had queued two of Michelle's multipokes for cleanup, and it only took one Acupuncture to defeat the last one. Easy sweep!

The boss battle music here is pretty awesome though. It's the jazzy "secret agent"-sounding one:

Because most of the adventure was spent hunting treasures, I guess at the end, it decide to award only Tiffon with L5 panels. I'm not complaining, though -- she scored a L5 Defuse. Not only does this make her only one L5 key panel away from a L5 triangle combo boost to her Skill level, but it also means defusing treasure chests will be much easier. Which is good because we're encountering chests hovering around Lv 80 right now, which is a little difficult for L4 Defuse.

At this point, my equipment is pretty good, so I'm just checking the big cities (Iskandaria, Vaftom, and Gadeira) for items. I guess I could check Longshank, too, but I didn't even think to bother. I don't think I'm going to find much, but another Obsidian Mail or something like that wouldn't be that bad.

And with that, I've cleared all the "small fry" adventures. Only four remain -- three of which are wonders. So let's get the most obnoxious one out of the way first...

Deities' Table

Something is reflecting!

As much as I complained that this adventure was tedious during Ruby's scenario, I'm actually finding it pretty fun this time around. If you don't recall, this is the one where everything is a mirror and you can try to use all skills on all objects, and have to puzzle out what everything is since it all looks the same.

As I was moving onto a space, I noticed it was yellow. When I landed there, there were two somethings reflecting, so I figured there were two enemies on the space. Since different monster classes have different wait periods before they decide to make a movement, I tried hopping to the next space, hoping to split them up, since fighting individual monsters is easier than fighting groups.

It seemed to work, because the next space had a bird follow and aggress. After the battle, I went back to the space but... there wasn't an enemy there? And then I triggered a trap X_X; So that surprised me, and other than the annoying maze-but-you-can't-tell-where-the-walls-are layout, it's fun so far (I'm like... writing this in the middle of playing lol)

Also, while fighting the bird, surprisingly, Pharr glimmered Fuji View! This is the strongest Axe art in the Hammer line, and one of the ones I was hoping to pick up.

She takes her axe...

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... and creates a massive fire vortex that explodes from the ground! I have no idea how, but it's pretty fun to watch, and it's a pretty powerful move.

It's especially nice because this is the first really nice weapon art that Pharr has glimmered the whole game. Tiffon has Bloody Mary and Michelle has DHS and Acupuncture, so this is the fourth L4 weapon art the party has acquired. And even though they're only L3 arts, Grace's Arrow Rain and Shadow Arrow are very powerful and useful. Mythe mostly just buffs, debuffs, and heals, and Marie has many powerful magic arts. This left only Pharr and Faedaljen without any great arts. Fae was at least performing the role of stunning enemies with throws, but Pharr was kind of stagnant in the party. Now she can dish out tons of HP damage easily.

It came in particularly useful against the Birds of Heaven, with their high HP and Life Protection. Having Pharr and Michelle tag-team alternating Fuji View and Acupuncture helped make quick work of them, taking them out in only a couple turns instead of what normally would drag on forever.

After exploring the whole place (that secret enemy was on the last floor, too, but again, I couldn't capture it) and defeating the boss, I was very disheartened to find that I got almost exclusively L4 panels. Fae did get a L5 Kick, though, and now just needs L5 Throw to have a triangle of all L5 martial panels.

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More importantly, though, a treasure slime dropped a L4 magic tablet! And it's a Fire one. Marie is going to have pretty much all the Fire arts in the game I think? And with this, she's getting a L4 joint panel bonus with the two tablets (which gives +5 to every element). That makes up for the drop of 5 points in Fire level for replacing Foruneteller with the tablet. But once she completely deciphers the tablet, she'll get a bonus in the element of the tablet with magnitude equal to the level of the tablet -- in other words, she'll get +4 Fire. So in the end, the tablet is actually boosting her Fire level by 4 points, while boosting all other elemental levels by 5. And she's going to learn new magic arts from it. So this was a really nice score.

Let's just hope there's enough time left in the game for her to study the tablet... I think she knows most of the arts on it from the overlap with the other tablets she's studied over the course of the game, though. But I know there's two new forbidden arts on this tablet she'll have to study, as well as some other stuff like Firewall. I've heard rumors that you can trap that special enemy with Firewall, but I have a feeling it's going to work just like the other 'wall' spells where you can't walk through the barriers you create, which will not help at all.

But the chance of the party encountering one after Marie has finally deciphered Firewall is pretty slim. I'm not really planning on running into that enemy this game, I guess.

Hanging Garden

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When we visited here with Ruby, it was a huge disappointment because everything that made the adventure what it is was gone. But now we get to experience it the proper way!

As you walk around the gardens, you will run into these masses of rose vines that attack you.

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A reel will appear, and if you miss, you'll take a small amount of damage, and then some statues will appear and yell at you:

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When this happens, the seasons change in the garden!

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Not only does every single painting have four different versions for each season, but the battle scene changes as well:

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This also changes the starting elemental field in battle.

This change is mostly cosmetic, but now and then, you'll encounter these gates that are accompanied by a bigger statue. The gates can only be passed through when the garden is in winter (I guess otherwise, the garden would attack you like the rose vines do? Or maybe there are just plants in the way that are gone in the winter... the game doesn't really explain it.)

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You can also offer gifts to the statue to change the season to whatever you'd like, but only if the statue likes that type of wing. Each wing corresponds to a season, and offering a wing to the statue will change the season of the Garden to the season of the wing. But you have to do them in order -- if you give the statue a wing to a season that wouldn't normally come next, it will refuse the offering and say it's not to its liking.

Like before, it's a twisty mage of passages through the garden, but with the added changing seasons, statues, and gates, it becomes a lot more interesting and fun to traverse.

At the end is the big bug, rather than Jeanne:

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Over the course of the adventure, I found three magic tablets. None of them ended up being useful, though one was L3.

I did get many L5 panels, but sadly only one was useful -- A Throw panel for Fae, so she now has her whole triangle completed. And with that, I don't need any more panels for her, so she's pretty much a 'finished' character.

Marie got a L5 Fortuneteller, but since she has the L4 magic tablet, the space where I could put it is gone, so it went in her dump space instead. It would have given her a big boost to her Fire level (bringing it up to 50), but it would have dropped all the other elemental levels down by 5 again, and she wouldn't be able to continue studying her tablet.

Grace for some reason only got L4 panels across the board. I guess the game is trying to balance out her otherwise massive power.

At this point, I have a choice to make. There are only two subadventures left in the game: Leith Torles's Tower, and Nakle Lines. The tower will give me access to the highest glimmer rate boss in the game (gold elder dragon), while Nakle Lines is incredibly difficult and will most likely drop a slew of L5 panels at the end.

If I tackle the Nakle first (teehee), I can chance getting L5 weapon panels for Grace and Pharr, making it easier for them to glimmer the weapon arts I want while fighting the gold dragon.

But if I go to the tower first, I can try to get Thousand Needles, Poker's Wild, Puree, and other powerful weapon arts that will help in the difficult fights in Nakle Lines.

I had originally planned to go to the tower last, but I was thinking -- what is the point of having great weapon arts if I can only use them at the very end? I probably should have gone to the tower even earlier and tried for the arts, so I could have been enjoying them this whole time.

Plus, Nakle Lines is really tough. If you don't remember, it took me several retries with a fully-healed Ruby party to beat the boss (and then Grace got that epic final blow with the knife just before everyone died), and just getting through to the end was scary enough. Mythe's party has an unsettling lack of LP to start with, and there's not going to be a Tetra Force for us to heal up at the end. I'm going to need all the power I can manage to make it through.

Leith Torles's Tower

You may remember from Ruby's scenario, but Leith Torles is a famous historical wizard that Iskandar used to know. Leith seems to have unmatched magical strength, and was one of the people who took on the Seven Wonders with Iskandar. Ruby briefly saw him in one of her flashbacks, and the town of Torle where we kept regrouping with with Iskandar and the old woman is said to be his birthplace.

However, we don't have to travel as far north as Torle to visit the tower that he built. Though, we're close, because we still went as far as Nivacolina, and will set out from there.

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The music that plays in the tower is a bit somber.

When we first arrive, We're in a large, round chamber with a spiraling staircase around the outside. The room is protected by a magic seal, and only the staircase and the exit are accessible. Leith has sealed away five powerful guardian beasts in the tower, and the power of those beasts keeps the magic in the tower running. If we want to deactivate his barrier, we'll have to find and defeat the guardian beasts.

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The tower is what you would expect from a wizard hiding his secrets -- weird puzzle-like corridors and teleporting magic seals to step on. Stuff like that.

It's also loaded with treasure chests. You'll never find more chests on any other map. I feel like 3/4 of the spaces have chests on them (probably not really that many thought). There's a 400 turn limit, which seems like a lot, but the tower is pretty big and there's lots to do inside. So there's not enough turns to search every single space thoroughly. But whenever someone noticed a treasure, Tiffon was sure to open it.

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She's so spoiled that she says "only" for over 30,000 kr!

Strangely, most of the enemies in the tower were rank 1 weaklings. Later I ran into a Satanachia. I don't really know why it was like this. But I think there may be a bunch of pre-determined Rank 1 monsters in here.

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Now and then, some guardian assassins would appear, usually before a major progression through the tower. They're pretty easy to wipe out, though. They never did much damage and the party was able to defeat them in a single turn each time.

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At the top of the tower, you find five bridges connecting to a floating platform in the center. When you approach the center, you'll find a magic seal. Which direction you approached from will determine which seal you find. Each seal holds the power of a different guardian beast, and you'll be teleported to an arena-like area of the tower to fight them..

We took the red seal first, which is the first bridge you come across. The monster sealed here was Anku, that giant red bird. These are easy to fight by now. The party even managed to defeat it in one turn.

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After defeating a guardian beast, the seal will become broken. When you walk back across the bridge, it will disappear once you're safely on the outside landing.

You only have to break three of the seals to dispel the magic in the tower. So I went around to another which ended up being the white seal, which contained a Sabretiger. Another small fry to us at this point. I got lucky and Grace's Shadow Arrow landed the instakill on the first turn.

Two guardian beasts down, both defeated without even entering a second round of combat.

The seal furthest from the entrance contains the Golden Elder Dragon.

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This is the toughest of the elder dragons, and it has the highest glimmer rate of any enemy in the game. It's honestly not that hard of a fight when you know what you're doing, but you'll need strong arts to defeat it.

The party didn't have any trouble with it. In fact, I was intentionally trying not to kill it in hopes of glimmering some good weapon arts. Sadly, the only glimmer I got was Three Dragons, the strongest Kick martial art, for Fae. Which is one of the arts I wanted, but... there were many more I had hoped for. Particularly sad was Grace never glimmered Thousand Needles.

I could have brought along weak weapons to try to prolong the fight further, but I didn't feel like bothering with that. But a good tip for anyone playing who wants to glimmer arts against an enemy like this, equip a bunch of weak weapons (try making them out of copse, which is easy to find in the shops) and use those in the battle. The glimmer rate is the same, but you will do less damage and won't defeat the boss quickly like I did. Michelle didn't even get a chance to act lol.

You can also repeat the battle by purposely failing the adventure after defeating the dragon. Just spend the rest of your turns inspecting the area around you. You'll have to climb the entire tower again, but you'll still have unlimited chances to fight the dragon as long as you never clear the adventure. You can also do this with Knight's Mausoleum, fighting Giants over and over. It's not available in Mythe's scenario, though, because Knight's Mausoleum is replaced with the story adventures that take place there instead.

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After breaking three of the seals, we're teleported back to the entrance of the tower, and the barrier in the center has now disappeared. We find two L99 chests, one containing almost 50,000kr, and the other containing a magic tablet.

While messing with the chests, another Anku appeared as a regular enemy. In a stroke of luck, Pharr glimmered Phoenix Blow, the strongest axe art of the Woodchopper line.

The end of the adventure gave another big haul of L5 panels, except for Grace who still got a bunch of L4. Mythe made off with a L5 fortuneteller, and Pharr got a L5 Sword panel. Hopefully this means she'll glimmer Doppelgangers against Tagut... As of now she still doesn't have much in the way of LP-damaging arts. Phoenix Blow and Fuji View are nice, though. Phoenix Blow is probably the most HP-damaging art across the whole party right now. And Fuji View is probably the best LP-damaging art she can get for her axe.

Anyway, with that out of the way, we're ready to head to Wanda to embark on our final subadventure!

Nakle Lines

Well, here we are. The final subadventure. And the most terrifying!

It actually went pretty well. At first I was worried about turns because I kept doing really bad with the treasure chests -- I'd miss lockpicking them like 8 times in a row. It doesn't help that the chests are all over level 80 for the most part now, and Tiffon still only has L4 Locksmith for some reason.

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Remember Maane and Malig? They're still here, and just as scary as ever. Their ripper still tears through LP, even with all the Life Protection stacked up. Fortunately, I had a much quicker method of taking them out this time around. I was able to take each one out in a round, so it would only take two rounds for the whole battle. They still did plenty of damage in that short time... And you still have to fight them 5 times.

Michelle only had 2 LP going into the fight with Tagut at the end...

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Yeah, remember this guy?

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Well, he caused a lot of damage, but no one died. Pharr glimmered Doppelgangers! And he even dropped a (useless L1) magic tablet.

Sadly, and surprisingly, I got all L4 panels for this. Despite all my effort :(

But that's the end of the subadventures! I just realized I have no idea... what we're even fighting against. There hasn't been a main antagonist of this story...? I mean, the Knights of the Round Table were mentioned by Iskandar, but...? Is that really our big bad...?