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The SaGa Thread

spines

cyber true color
(she/her, or something)
in terms of "preparing for the final battle", i haven't used a healer either time i went, nor a mage at all the first time. i had a lot more trouble the second time, partly because whatever i did in the story made the boss harder, but also because the first time urpina sparked some kind of ultimate attack that pretty much blew out one of his entire lifebars in a single turn. the second time i was reliant (for one form) on receiving a healing benison at a certain point, but it would always happen since my party would dip below a certain amount without fail on the same turn every time. except then i ground for a while and got a different benison as the likely one, so then i had to go back and get the healing one again. which was easier than i thought it would be.

i will say there are a lot of systems in SGA and you won't be forced to maximize across all of them to win. (that is to say, to the extent i used the benison to win last time...it represents other things i didn't worry about. because i knew it would happen.) there's a certain element of trial-and-error in difficult boss fights, for all of the post-gb saga games i've played, since you'll learn things you can and can't count on happening, and i feel the games have always encouraged it (RS2's final boss maybe less so because kitting out the party with so many passives is relatively important) because the spark system often represents that final trump card that pushes you to a victory. the combination of experimenting for a while and then receiving that final piece often represents the win and it's something i really love about the games, and since in this game the spark is also just a bonus turn, it's very powerful.

but also yes stuns are ridiculous and attack and defense debuffs are also quite effective against the final boss, particularly if you already have an axe user you've raised all game. which might not be true this time, but will probably eventually be true.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yeah, my axe user has pretty much been in my party since I got her, and I use her attack and defense lowering abilities pretty liberally haha.

Good to know about the healer, as she joins the party fairly underpowered and her only attack command is that Focus Strike or whatever mages always have, so I won't really bother raising her. Elysed just got a heal spell, so if I absolutely need it, I'll have that available.

And thank you for highlighting that the final boss only has two different kind of interrupts - it felt like he had one for every damage type lol. I may give that fight another shot tonight, though I do still feel like I was underpowered, since if one of his interrupts/counters went off, he'd pretty much one shot one of my characters (and then one of those stupid adds would copycat his move, killing someone else lol). Probably just need to gain more HP and get some better equipment. I think I just got to the fight a bit too early.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
To be fair, the interrupts he uses are very on the high-end when it comes to damage. They're pretty dang strong too when you use them yourself. Interrupts are also pretty effective against the final boss' 2nd phase imo, especially if you can trigger Thousand Blades to hit his shades too, but also because of what estragon said about how manipulating turn order in that battle is pretty huge.

I'm glad you got the "easy" version of the final boss' 1st phase though, because man is the hardest version of that fight potentially a huge morale killer on your very first playthrough! (not exactly for me, because I was more than happy to keep doing sidequests, but still)
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I hope I haven't triggered a harder version of that fight now, since I did go on to do some sidequesting last night, most of which involved chasing that guy around lol. Is there a specific scene/outcome of a sidequest that powers him up, or is it just that mechanic where if you fight too much, he gets tougher?
 
For everyone but Leonard, how many phases the final boss fight has and its strength are determined by which of the main quests you complete and sometimes choices you make during the story, so it's set in stone already for you on this run.

To pull back the curtain a bit, basically every character but Leonard does their own main quest and a mini-version of two of the three other main quests, activated somewhat arbitrarily based on what free exploration you do. Leonard does his own main quest, which is the most expansive version of that quest (although he can actually just ignore most of it and go directly to the final boss), and starts with a rather chaotic worldmap where all 3 other main quests are also already activated, and his final boss type is determined by how thoroughly you do you his main quest. If you do all of it, you get an option that lets you fight the hard version.

In all cases, fighting more will make the final boss easier because you'll have more HP (until you hit the cap, at least), better skills, more Ranked Up versions of your frequently used skills, and be able to craft better weapons and armor, and the final boss' minor relative adjustments don't really compensate for that. In runs where I explored extremely thoroughly, the final boss was a pushover. (And so the Ambitions versions added optional super bosses and an extra form of the final boss that is only available if you defeat all of super bosses, which is only even possible after multiple New Game+ runs and that you would never run into by accident.)

To me knowledge, there are no SaGa games where fighting more actually makes the final boss harder or even where grinding could realistically get you into trouble if you really wanted to grind, despite the series' reputation. I haven't played Unlimited Saga or the PS2 Romancing Saga remake though, so maybe it could be there.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, really? That's lovely! So these are the major quests I did:

1. The Earth Serpent storyline, wherein I let Urpina's brother die after fighting him once, and killing the serpent itself
2. The Phoenix storyline, wherein I chased that damn thing all over the continent until it hatched in southern Azhuacan where I also happened to rescue Urpina's father
3. Everything I've done since then has been chasing Siegfried around. I went to Azhuacan very early after beating the Phoenix storyline, hence my last few posts trying to determine if I'm good to go sidequesting.


So, given all that, am I in the clear to basically do whatever I want for the rest of the game, up to and including doing as many sidequests as I can find/grinding any weaker characters up if I want to, without worrying about the final boss becoming brutally difficult (moreso than his second phase already was)?
 
So, given all that, am I in the clear to basically do whatever I want for the rest of the game, up to and including doing as many sidequests as I can find/grinding any weaker characters up if I want to, without worrying about the final boss becoming brutally difficult (moreso than his second phase already was)?

Yes!
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Yeah, that's true even in his offshoot games like Last Remnant though how you beat The Conqueror without doing most if not all of the optional stuff I have no idea.
 
Yeah, honestly to the extent that final bosses in these do have a balance problem, for me it's always been in the other direction: you'll start to get into trouble if you make an effort to and succeed at avoiding battles and also don't do very much side content, especially on a first playthrough if you're going in without prior knowledge. But these games also full of strategies that let you break the game if you know what you're doing, so you can often avoid a lot of encounters and optional material once you've figured out some of those.

You're basically always rewarded for playing the game more, whether it's by levelling or equipment or something else. As spines notes above about Scarlet Grace, these games tend to have a lot of different systems and you're unlikely to be required to pay close attention to all of them. You tend to never really hit a point where there stops being a reward of some sort, because there's usually something or other you've neglected.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
That's good, because for example I have no idea how the product development system works, and have only received some wheat like, hours and hours and hours ago lol.
 
That's good, because for example I have no idea how the product development system works, and have only received some wheat like, hours and hours and hours ago lol.

In the original version of the game, the trading game used to have literally no reward. It was a totally self-contained mini-game. In Ambitions it has rewards, but it's still extremely optional. You can absolutely ignore it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Beat Urpina's story!

This was my final party:

saga.jpg


(well, besides Kawazu, that's just when I took the screenshot lol)

Lewis Darling glimmered Rising Sun in the second phase of the final battle, and that allowed me to beat that phase, thankfully - I didn't do as much sidequesting or grinding as I thought I would, but I was able to clear the fight. The second phase was by far the hardest. Rising Sun is attributeless, so I was able to just keep using it against Sigfried because he kept trying to use Thousand Blades or whatever on me and could never pull it off. This, of course, was after two retries lol. The third phase wasn't too bad, though it helped that I got a United Attack by killing one of the swords on the first turn, then I kept pounding away at him, and in that phase Urpina and Orgiana were just doing a ton of damage to him, I would have been fine if he filled his health again four more times (so long as he didn't summon any adds, which he may have, so I didn't mess about and just killed him as fast as I could lol).


Fantastic game. I'm going to mess around with another character, I think, but I may take a break before I rush through the other scenarios. This feels like a game to come back to and savor.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention that I enjoyed the little postscripts and battle summaries all your characters get at the end. What is the Great War that's mentioned? I assume that may be a topic explored in the playthroughs of one or more of the other main characters? If so, just ignore this question lol
 
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I assume that may be a topic explored in the playthroughs of one or more of the other main characters?

It's not really. It's just part of how the game largely presents its story as a kind of one transitional moment in history, and those postscripts are what you get to speculate about that next event. There are a lot of suggestions of unresolved political instability and mounting border tensions, but I think no one is explicitly anticipating that, in particular.

I think the most similar thing structurally is like how in the endings to Suikoden or Fire Emblem games you get a reference to how someone dies or finds great success in a future war.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, okay, that's kind of neat, then. It was interesting to see what the characters went on to do - some lived a long time, some... didn't. I felt kind of bad for them!

Started a NG+ with Taria, and am pretty excited because I've already run into Lewis Darling again, the MVP of my Urpina playthrough. The game carried over a bunch of stuff, just basically not the blacksmith level (which I'd gotten at XV with Urpina, which appeared to be the max?), so that's nice. I'm curious to see if I can get him to join Taria and what skills he'll have unlocked, and what his HP is and all that. Even if that doesn't work out, I know how useful my martial artist was in my first playthrough, so I'll be leveling this one for sure.
 
I think there should have been a checklist at the start, with the option to carry over skills or not.

HP and skill levels don't ever carry over, if I'm remembering correctly. But, even without that, having all of his sparked skills, including the pretty OP one you got during the final battle, will definitely make NG+ runs much easier!

Lewis can very easily join everyone but Balmaint, who can get him in a kind of obscure scenario, but it's not very likely. Not hard to engineer if you want to look it up, but you are more likely to not get him than to get him, playing blind. This makes Lewis a pretty good character to have used in your first run, because he is likely to make at least 2 of your subsequent runs much easier.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
There was a checklist, yeah, and I checked everything lol. I think the one they recommended not checking was the Rank level of skills? I checked it anyway. Tumble costing one star at all times was crucial to my playthrough, dangit lol
 
There was a checklist, yeah, and I checked everything lol. I think the one they recommended not checking was the Rank level of skills? I checked it anyway. Tumble costing one star at all times was crucial to my playthrough, dangit lol

Oh yeah I also always checked everything. Rank level of skills carrying over obviously breaks the game and that's exactly why I wanted it to carry over. If there's someone you use for 3 or 4 runs it gets pretty absurd.
 

spines

cyber true color
(she/her, or something)
the rank is still per character as i recall but reaching skill 2 of something you use forever is pretty guaranteeable, if not 3. IMO absolutely the most breakable in terms of letting you coast on similar strategies for most of the game is formation carryover

to me the skill levels are still strong, but they bring a lot more appeal to raising a character in multiple weapons across different playthroughs. i like that it's open-ended about it though
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ooh, that's a good point - I could unlock some roles for Lewis by giving him a weapon this time around (and if I need it, martial arts are always there to fall back on).
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I LOVE carrying over skill ranks. It's so much more fun than yet again not being able to do anything cool for a while.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I just recruited Orgiana haha yesssss

Was unable to recruit Urpina, but who knows, maybe I can later.

SaGa games have great New Game + modes
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I am restarting a playthrough of FF Legend via the SaGa Collection. I'm curious how much or if the RNG changed between this release and the original, because one of my Mutants has some pretty absurd stats and I'm only at 5F. Like, she's got 46 Agility, 25 Strength, and around 180 HP. My next best Mutant only has Agi/Str in the teens but a comparable HP level (I'm running 3 Mutants + Human).

Amusingly, I inadvertently ended up doing this exploit and only found out because of reading a walk-through on Gamefaqs and wondering why I never fought Genbu before entering the tower.

 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
FAQs recommend using two humans, but my experience was that mutants get great stats for free. Humans are better in the long run, but the game doesn't last that long, and buying then using all the boosters takes forever.

Heads up that the final room in the game has no encounters and no way to exit. I was worried I'd soft-locked myself when I went in there underprepared for the last boss.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Of course, by the end game, you can be swimming in chainsaws.

Which doesn't help for a balanced experience, but at least its in your favor
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
So I had a pretty quintessential SaGa Experience last night, in Romancing SaGa 2. I picked up a file from a while ago, but I remembered enough about what I recently did to get my bearings back. I had just finished befriending the Saigon Clan, and some NPC told me about some ancient ruins around the tundra region -- the Gelid Ruins -- and that was where I resumed playing.

I slog through this place, a pretty standard dungeon with some trapped chests that swarm you with undead encounters. The boss creature in there though is the Giant, and this thing was hugely difficult. It got 2 actions per round, and almost all of its attacks could kill someone from full HP (a regular hit and sometimes a Flowing Slash from it wouldn't do enough to kill). It also has the lovely chance to use Waterfowl Blade, which hits everyone in a column. I was using the Hunter's Gambit formation as my Emperor was a bow user, and that formation features all 4 of your allies in the front, conveniently lined up to get decimated by Waterfowl Blade.

Anyway the winning attempt of that fight was nuts. The round started off immediately with a Waterfowl Blade, which killed 3 of 4 people, except the 1 person survived by sparking a Dodge skill for Waterfowl Blade. I manage to recover some of my party and begin gaining ground, because the Giant is susceptible to Stun and I had 2 stun users in my frontline. He gets stunlocked for a while, but at one point he gets off another Waterfowl Blade... except this time 2 more people spark the Dodge skill against it! So now I'm sitting pretty good because he can only kill people 1 at a time now, and that eventually leads to a victory. My reward was... a pretty powerful axe, and that's it. Pretty good, but not what I was hoping for.

The next thing I do is return to the Mu settlement, where the people talk about a child and Mu calf that ran away. The leader explicitly states "we know where they are" but they can't help them because they have to migrate now. No one in this village actually tells me directly where they are, so I'm scratching my head a lot, until I leave the village and behold, there's a new location on the map named "Child and Mu Calf." That dungeon was pretty solid, but I was not expecting at the bottom of this cave to find... Dantarg, one the Seven Heroes! He's just wandering around down here because he wants to "absorb monsters" to become more powerful. So I was not ready for this encounter, but I somehow actually beat him on my 1st try with dwindling WP/MP on everyone. He seemed immune to status effects and none of my stuns ever landed, so I switched to pure damage. Luckily one of my soldiers had previously sparked the Slice skill, which has a WP cost of 7 and did like 1300 damage. Oh by the way, he only gets 1 action per turn, unlike the Giant from the ruins, so him being a lot less dangerous than some random Giant is pretty silly.

After that, I save and finish the quest to find the missing child and calf, and then move on to the next generation because it triggers a timeskip. Luckily you can savescum that pretty painlessly, so I do that until I can pick a Saigo clansman as my Emperor, and get to learn the Mu Pasilade formation, which seems... interesting, but completely opposite of the usual SaGa strats -- everyone in the party goes after the enemy does?
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
That formation was my go-to for the rest of the game when I learned it. It's exceedingly effective in almost all situations, which I think I managed to gauge pretty well in fighting everything I could, including the superbosses.
 
My reward was... a pretty powerful axe, and that's it. Pretty good, but not what I was hoping for.

Did you look a the special ability? (Or maybe you have to spark it first? I don't remember.) That's one of the best weapons in the game!

It creates a phantom double of your character who replaces them. When the double dies, the original character takes back over and nothing is lost except the cost to activate the ability. The only real restriction is that it can't be healed, but it's still extremely useful both for keeping that party member alive and for giving them way more JP/WP (because it's only their phantom double using those skills and spells, not them).
 
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YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Did you look a the special ability? (Or maybe you have to spark it first? I don't remember.) That's one of the best weapons in the game!
It indicates it has a special ability, but you do have to spark it first. I mean for sure "Doppelganger" sounds extremely good (I remember SaGa Frontier magic), it's mostly because I haven't been using axes at all so far. Luckily with battle rank, it probably won't take long to spark some more axe stuff.
 
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