The Return of Talking Time

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  #451  
Old 09-29-2017, 11:12 AM
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Eleni is surrounded by a pair of independently rotating circles that expand and contract. I mean, it doesn't look like evil blood magic...





Then the stars that make up those circles peel off one at a time to move towards the sword.



Did it... did it work?





I'm not sure that I want to anymore...





Ash doesn't hesitate, though. I'm sure it's fine.



I'm sure it's fine...





And that's the end of the penultimate chapter! The little girl that we were supposed to take care of got swallowed up by a hole in time and space, but she gets better, I guess, so we're not sweating it? Now that we have our magical macguffin, it's finally time to head back home drive it into Dolf's big, stupid, obviously evil face.

Next Time: SHOPPING TRIP!!!
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  #452  
Old 09-29-2017, 12:30 PM
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"Hey guys I just remembered that I'm that person who just got sucked up and lost forever. Also I just remembered that I already knew how to open this thing."

As plot twists go, that's right up there with orphanage.
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  #453  
Old 09-29-2017, 03:57 PM
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I totally did not see that one coming.
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  #454  
Old 09-29-2017, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
"Hey guys I just remembered that I'm that person who just got sucked up and lost forever. Also I just remembered that I already knew how to open this thing."

As plot twists go, that's right up there with orphanage.
I dunno, maybe (definitely) I'm too close to it, but I find this much less egregious. The timing is admittedly way too convenient, but I thought it was a totally cool twist as a kid, and I kind of still do now. There are little hints peppered throughout the game beyond just their similar appearance/names, like Eleni remembering the village burning down when you first show up (because she was there as a child and saw it happen) or Magnus' account of how he found her. Also, there's this weird little exchange:

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Eleni continues to look way too cheerful as she gives Leena a pep talk.



It's kind of amazing that, in a game that plays so ridiculously fast and loose with punctuation, I'm still incredibly bothered by the absence of an oxford comma.



Apparently we're going to take a little girl with us to battle from now out. How could that ever go wrong?



There's a cute little animation here as Eleni kneels down to give Leena this pendant, which shines briefly as she's examining it.



"I was an orphan baby with only this pendant to show who I really was. I'm giving this to you because now I know who I am. I'm me! Someday you'll know what I mean... Let's go back to the others, okay?"

WHERE DID THE PENDANT COME FROM!? GAH, TIME TRAVEL PARADOX. This is the kind of shit that keeps me up at night.
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  #455  
Old 09-29-2017, 06:21 PM
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*Is drawn like a moth to a flame when pretentious Latin appears in an RPG.*

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Another magic square, more questionably appropriate Latin. This one loosely translates to "All that's fair must fade." I guess that's slightly more applicable?
A more literal translation of that phrase is "Thus passes the glory of the world."

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More Latin masquerading as Biruni, this time meaning "now or never". At least this phrase seems reasonably appropriate to the situation.
That first word should be nunc.

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Uh... I don't so much like the sounds of that, though. And what's the Latin mean this time?

*JBear does a quick Google search*

"We who are about to die salute you."
Supposedly this was said by gladiators before they entered combat. But they prefaced it with Ave Imperator (Hail Emperor!)
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  #456  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:11 PM
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Hello there everyone, and welcome back to Let's Play Vandal Hearts!

When last we saw our heroes-- Actually, we're at an act break, so why don't I let the narrator do this bit for me?



"Having acquired the great sword, Vandal Heart, the only power which can resist the Flames of Judgment, Ash and his friends set off for the city of Shumeria to take their part in the Liberation Army's final assault."

(Check out Ash's cool reflection in his rad new sword!)



"At the same time, Dolf, who had been secretly hiding his true ambition for years, saw the chaos after the death of Emperor Hel as his great chance to grasp the reigns of power."

"Secretly"? Did no one look at this asshole's face?

Anyway, I think that about sums it up! Oh, and also we found out that Leena and Eleni are the same person, because something something time travel. Don't worry about it.



Here we go! The final Act! Get hype!



And just like that, we're dumped into a town interface. Where the hell are we?



"Glascow City". Okay, sure, why not?

(Also, check out that cool sword laying across the map now!)



Maybe the locals can fill us in on what Glascow City has to offer.



? What pun? Am I just being daft here? If someone knows what the pun here is, then please point it out to me, because I am at a loss. Was Hel secretly a vampire?



Speaking as one of said foes, I can say that this just isn't true, friend.



Too real.



"Werid man", eh? Harsh.



Admittedly, that interaction was a little weird. Free swag, though!

(This fellow does a check to see if you're been keeping up with your side-questing to this point. This is the cut-off for doing the five trials, so you need to wrap those up now if you want to try the sixth and final trial. If this is a casual play-through, you've probably already missed one or more of the keys and don't need to worry about it, and if you've been diligently key-collecting then you're probably the sort of person who has already completed all five trails anyway. What I'm getting at here is that I doubt many people got tripped up at this particular requirement.)



I would love to know this guy's deal, but Ash is apparently not interested now that's he's gotten what he needs from him. Sorry, weird guy!



A quick inventory juggle later and it's in Ash's pocket. Before we tackle this final trial, though...



We have one last big shopping trip!
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  #457  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:17 PM
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There's all-new gear for everyone, so it's time to spend that giant mountain of cash. In addition to the five keys, I guess we also must have picked up three pendants along the way, because we're about to obtain the Master Sword!



It's, um, a significant down-grade for Ash?



Oh yeah. So we have this now. It's a pretty good sword! Just... just ignore that bit about souls.



The Master Sword is a solid upgrade for our other sword-wielders, though.




Almost everyone picks up a new weapon, save for a couple of folks who were already rocking better from chests or drops.



Sara is also rocking such a weapon, having Kurtz' hand-me-down claws, but these Death Claws are still an upgrade.



New head-gear across the board too, although I couldn't bring myself to replace Clint's Grimhelm, as it's just too appropriate. It's only 3 points of DF worse, so I'm not too worried about it. Feel free to quote this at me later when Clint leaves the battlefield in a shower of blood.

Oh, and note that Diego's new head-gear there is a Rune Crown, not a Royal Crown, although he'll always be king of my heart.



Kevlar is apparently the ultimate in body protection, granting a pretty massive defensive upgrade.



It's even better than Plate Mail, apparently, so Dolan reluctantly trades in his while giving me the stink-eye.



Finally, our casters all pick up some good mojo.



So, we just bought the last set of gear in the game and are still lousy with cash. What's an independently wealthy freedom fighter to do?



Spend spend spend! We're unlikely to need any of these stupidly good healing items (Holy water heals full HP for every friendly unit on the battlefield, while Life Orbs restore a single unit's HP/MP entirely), but a little insurance never hurt anyone, so I buy a couple of each and spread them around the squad.



That still leaves us with a stupid amount of gold, but I can't bring myself to spend it all, so I guess it'll all go towards retirement savings for whichever members of the squad come out the other end of this revolution in one piece.
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  #458  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:20 PM
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Alright, let's go see a man about a legend.



It's... a line. You know what, at least it's not a damned pyramid. I'll take it!



So what we have here is kind of a boss rush/gauntlet. A bunch of our named foes from the past, including all of the dead Crimson Generals, have been raised from the dead with their original gear and are out for our blood. Oh, and I guess they've been cloned several times each as well?




They've all got a muted colour palette and new delightful zombie portraits, which is an entirely unnecessary little detail that I just adore. Kurtz and Sabina both have disgusting strands of spittle leaking from the mouths, and Dallas has the greatest doofy look on his face.



We've never really fought a caster boss, so there's four of these undead Dark Mages thrown in as well to mix things up. To my never-ending delight, not only does the undead Dark Mage trade his purple robe for a dirty brown one, but his portrait now also has his staff's head in it for some reason, so it looks like there's a tiny angry dog perched on his shoulder.



Capping things off at the far end are a couple of stationary statues from waaaay back in the mind-controlled village. They died in one hit back then, and even at level 25, they're no different now.



Just behind them is our objective, the chest containing the 6th and final prism said to hold part of Toroah's soul.



Annoyingly, the enemy front line starts just outside the range of our front-line. I have Ash and Clint stop one space back-- no reason to give the enemy a height advantage damage bonus for the sake of advancing a single space.



Everyone else files in behind them and waits for the enemy assault.
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  #459  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:23 PM
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Um.

Ash, I've missed you!

Rocking a bad-ass new magic sword, Ash is a murder machine in a way that he hasn't been since back at the start of the game. And now that the trials are about to be behind us, I no longer have any reason to keep him in check!



Ash is just chewing through these guys, and this one wasn't even able to get past the shield. I'm actually a bit worried, in that I thought Ash would only take one hit this turn, but he might take a bunch in succession if this keeps up. I've never had that concern outside of a Fire Emblem game before!



Fortunately, Dumas is made of sturdier stuff, and this exchange goes more in line with what I was expecting, finally leaving the space in front of Ash occupied. Clint then has a similar exchange with the other Dumas.



With my front line now unreachable, these guys further back decide that there's no point in advancing any further and instead choose to remain in place.



Let's see how these jerks like my line of Sky Lords flying up over their heads to stab them in the back of the skull.



I'm going to say that they didn't care for it.



With the way cleared, Ash and Clint are able to advance forward and take out another line of Zoots.

("Zoots" is very fun to say. Go ahead, say it with me: "Zoots".)



These last four units in the first group are fairly clustered, so Eleni steps forward to soften them up with a Roman Fire.




She apparently did not soften them sufficiently, however, as my line of Archers leaves both Zoots with fewer than 10 HP each.



Everyone else calmly files forward, and Huxley drops a quick heal to recover the damage suffered by my front line last turn.



Dolan patiently plods his away along in the rear. The trials maps really aren't kind to Dragoons.
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  #460  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:28 PM
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Most of this game's bosses have healing spells, which means that almost every enemy on this map does as well. With only a sliver of health remaining, both Zoots decide to retreat and apply some Self Healing. It will not be nearly enough.



Otherwise, this turn goes identically to the last one, with Client and Ash exchanging blows with a fresh set of Dumasses. (Oh shit, I found something more fun to say than "Zoots".)



Just like we handled the previous set, the flyers float up over their heads and prepare to clear the way.




And when JBear saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more Zoots or Dumasses to conquer.



A single cast from Huxley and the entire squad is back to full health. We're a third of the way through and no one has even broken a sweat. Many of them haven't even gotten the chance to hit anyone yet!



With the first group defeated, the second group begins to advance during the enemy turn. Kurtz' monk movement speed leaves him well out in front of the rest of the pack.



We have two Archers firing down from an elevated platform along a narrow corridor. This is pretty much the perfect Archer scenario. I'd take a whole squad of them for this map if I could. As things stand, Darius and Kira are just going to have to take all of the fun for themselves.



This map really doesn't feel balanced around the new gear that we just purchased.



I have no intention of forcing this next fight when we can make them assault our position instead.



Yes, that's right: come to me.




What a difference a few elevation levels makes. I've had just about enough of single-digit HP totals.
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  #461  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:38 PM
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Well, I certainly can't stand for that. Eleni, clean 'em up.






The new weapons may be over-performing, but we've reached the point where magic starts to feel as if it's under-performing, and it's just going to get worse from here thanks to the lack of scaling. Dallas is an Armor unit, but still only took 60 damage from our strongest area attack. Still, it's enough to finish off the front line; Dallas & Dallas (coming this Fall to NBC) were just a bonus.



I was initially tempted to rush forward and close ranks around Eleni to protect her at this point, but a quick check of movement range shows that she's in no danger from either Dallas, and the mages don't pose much risk to her either (she's resistant to magic damage, and she may not even be in range of them anyway), so she's perfectly safe taking a couple of Sabina-fired crossbow bolts.



Still, I have everyone tighten up behind her in anticipation of rushing forward to close next turn.



Eleni and Clint each take a bolt to the face during the enemy turn, but that's it. I have Huxley wipe that damage away immediately at the start of our next turn.




The volley from our Archers, on the other hand, is far more effective, taking out this pair of Mages handily before they can cast a single spell.





Our Mages have plenty of time to cast spells, though, and a pair of Roman Fires takes a large chunk out of this group's remaining four units.



Grog and Ash have a quick staggered dance forward to clear both Sabinas out of the way.



I love that portrait.



Our fliers have no problem cleaning up what's left, and that's it for the second enemy group.
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  #462  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:42 PM
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So, here's the deal: this rear guard consists largely of ranged units, and if we assault this position then they'll be raining arrows and spells while we're trying to climb, just like we did to the previous group. So we're not going to do that.



Over the next several turns, I cluster the main body of the squad back atop the same position we occupied previously, while Diego inches forward one space per turn, feeling out the enemy position and hoping to bait out an attack.






Hook, line, and sinker.

(Ow.)



Brave Sir Diego ran away. I make sure to move so that I am precisely as far away from the foremost Mage as I was at the start of the previous enemy turn, so that this little song and dance will go the same way the second time around.



Given that the previous shot took off almost half of Diego's health, that means that "going the same way" leaves Diego at death's door, but there's not enough variance in damage that he was in any real danger here.



Still, I'm certainly not going to leave him that way, so Ash rushes forward and does some rare healing. Note that Faerie Star is a pretty potent heal in its own right, and cheap too!



Now that's he's hale enough to survive a possible block and counter-attack, Diego rushes forward to jam his spear in between this Mage's eyes.



Well that certainly got their attention. Now that Diego has drawn blood, the rest of the enemy force charges forward to join the fray.



Diego rushes back up the stairs to assume his position in our formation and prepares to drop the hammer.



This "let them comes to us" tactic has made at least one squaddie very happy.



Dolan remains very good at hitting things with his axe when he's able to get close enough to do so.



Kira is the only Archer close enough to hit anyone else, and she's not able to finish off this Sabina, which presents a problem, as Dolan is presently way out in front and in range of two arrows and, much more notably, a Mage, who will gleefully nuke him for massive damage.
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  #463  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:45 PM
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So, we need to give them a better target. Sara slaps a Perfect Guard on to Diego, which, to remind everyone, guarantees that he'll be able to block the next physical attack that comes his way.



He then rushes out to finish off Sabina, and everyone else files along behind him.



Sabina obediently backs up and fires at Diego, since type advantage makes him the most appealing target here and the enemy AI ignores Perfect Guard. He, of course, blocks it with his shield.



An exchange with Dallas follows, and Diego gets the better end of it. Hey, remember when this guy used to be able to one-shot us?



Finally, the Mage drops a Dark Hurricane right in the middle of our formation, which was honestly half of the reason for clustering this tightly, as I'd rather the diffuse damage of the Hurricane over an Evil Stream on our most injured teammate.



Amon, Clint, Ash, and Grog all go for a fun ride.




Unfortunately, they totally fail to stick the landing.



This battle is coming to a close, and Supreme Healing is so prohibitively expensive that I'll probably never want to cast it, so I'll take this opportunity to demonstrate it.



It blankets the entire field in yellow to show the effective range, but rest assured that it only heals allied units.




That's about it. The... the sparkles are green?



Diego and Amon waste no time in dispatching both Sabina and the Mage by floating on over their heads and striking them from behind.



Dallas doesn't fall quite so easily, but that's why I have two Archers.
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  #464  
Old 11-08-2017, 01:48 PM
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We're essentially done at this point, but one final "trap" remains. Can you see it?



I don't feel like tediously advancing the whole squad forward, so here we are a few turns later with a pair of Archers, Ash, and Huxley for some added insurance in case I'm underestimating these statues.



The reason that I brought the Archers is that they are able to safely take out these statues from outside their attack range. There is zero risk here.



You'll notice that I didn't have Darius finish off the other statue, though, because if he had, then the battle would have ended immediately without giving us a chance to loot that chest! Yes, the final trap on this map is two very squishy statues that stand between you and your goal just begging for you sneeze on them and forget that doing so will end the battle prematurely. That's a dick move, game! Take a guess what young JBear did his first time here? I was pretty steamed!





Speaking of sneezes, Ash just shrugs off this final attack, no Huxley required.



And there it is, the final prism. I'm getting excited, you guys.



Kira decides to get up close and personal for this final shattering.



Huzzah!



Advance me, bro!



Alright folks, you've got a very important decision to make! All of the pixel hunting and side-questing thus far has been leading to this: the Vandalier, the holy warrior of story and legend! There's no going back once I click this button, and it will have a marked impact on how the last several battles of this Let's Play go. First of all, Ash will get a cosmetic make-over that, in my opinion, really detracts from the rest of the story, since it hides his face. Much more importantly, he will also become a ridiculously unstoppable juggernaut. Like, when I say that this class breaks the game, I am not being hyperbolic. You've never seen a player class this broken in an SRPG before, I guarantee it. Vandaliers eat FFT Calculators for breakfast.

So what say you, Talking Time? Shall we break the game? Do things the hard way? Split the difference and click this button later? Let me know!



Next time: We either have a hard-fought battle to storm Fort Gareth, or we roll over it like the walls are made of tissue.
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  #465  
Old 11-08-2017, 02:14 PM
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Break it over your knee
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  #466  
Old 11-08-2017, 02:25 PM
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JBear SMASH
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  #467  
Old 11-08-2017, 02:58 PM
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DESTROY ALL THE THINGS

I SUSPECT YOU ARE BEING HYPERBOLIC SO I HAVE TO BE SURE

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? What pun? Am I just being daft here? If someone knows what the pun here is, then please point it out to me, because I am at a loss. Was Hel secretly a vampire?
The Emperor's death was the final nail in the Empire's coffin. It's not particularly deep -- you're thinking too hard about it.
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  #468  
Old 11-08-2017, 03:35 PM
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The sheer ridiculousness of the Vandalier must be shown.
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  #469  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:31 PM
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So what say you, Talking Time? Shall we break the game? Do things the hard way? Split the difference and click this button later?
Can you do both? If not then I want to see the reward you earned from all of the trials you have endured.

Last edited by Torzelbaum; 11-09-2017 at 08:25 PM.
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  #470  
Old 11-09-2017, 08:35 AM
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Can you do both?
I mean, if I had a reasonable update schedule and could actually stick to a new update every week, then maybe, but I'd like for this to finish before I'm old and grey. I have other things that I'd like to LP, and I expected to be finished this two years ago!
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  #471  
Old 11-09-2017, 12:38 PM
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Promote him!
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  #472  
Old 11-16-2017, 10:35 PM
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Promote him!
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  #473  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:05 PM
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Hey there everyone, and welcome back to Let's Play Vandal Hearts!



In our last update, I left you all with an important decision to make, and that decision was unanimous, so let's not waste any more time! One Vandalier, coming right up!



Ash, where did your shield go? Fuck that; where did your eyes go?

Alright, so it's a bit doofy to look at, but how is it mechanically?



Here's our new status screen, and a few things jump out straight away. First of all, that little starburst above Ash's name is the class icon. He was formally a Sword, but now he exists outside the weapon triangle. We're off the map, people! Secondly, to go with his fancy magic sword, Ash is now also rocking fancy magic armour and a fancy magic helmet. And finally, those numbers are all super big! Let's take a look at Clint for comparison:



Those numbers are a lot lower! Clint is quite literally half the fighter that Ash is. Get your act together, Clint!

That's just the start, though. If we really want to demonstrate why the Vandalier is so broken, we need to see it in action.



So let's go storm a fort!



Oh good, look who's back.



We join him in an uncharacteristic quiet, sentimental moment.



Ash, I respectfully disagree!



I'm pretty sure that it's the asshole in front of you. You did watch him order the murder of a church full of unarmed men, not to mention burning a village to the ground and killing everyone that lived there. You can sort the other crap out later.



Oh shit, Kane agrees with me. Stopped clock, etc.



Spoiler: He can't.
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  #474  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:09 PM
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Fittingly, Kane and Ash are our victory and failure conditions here.



So this is the fort that we're storming. It has quite a lot of red dots in it!



Letís take a look at Ash's new spell list and see if we can't do something about that.



Huh, thatís odd; it just seems to be his old spell list plus the first half of the Sorcerer spell list. Phase Shift is nice, but that's not all that impressive. But wait, whatís thisÖ?



Oh, huh, thereís a second page. Is this some kind of hybrid class?



Oh, and a 3rd, andÖ




Oh my.

Wait, are those monster spells? I see Dark Hurricane and Evil Stream!

Wait, are those items?

So, you know how some games have a debug console, to help facilitate testing? Vandal Hearts has one of those, and itís called the Vandelier. Ash can now replicate literally every spell and spell/item effect in the game, in a big ugly unsorted list. Itís almost like they forgot to finish implementing it, but Iím not complaining. Want to inflict status ailments? Ash can do that. Want big splashy AoE damage? No problem. Need some healing? Supreme Healing can heal the entire squad to full, but itís not even the best option, because he can just use one of his free infinite Holy Waters instead! Oh, and did I mention he also hits harder and takes less damage than any other character by a wide margin?

A picture's worth a thousand words, so why talk about how broken this class is when I can show you?



We now have an overwhelming number of options at our disposal, so a person might well miss this at first, but the real star of the show here is one little unassuming spell just nestled in the middle of the list here called Plasma Wave. Note the targeting numbers.



Yes, this attack spell targets literally the entire battlefield. Surely it can't be that good, though, can it?
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  #475  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:10 PM
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*mic drop*

Those empty screens with the giant numbers are where the enemy heavies used to be. Even Kane is almost half dead, all of the way at the other end of the map. Yes, Plasma Wave is just broken. Full stop. We just promoted ourselves into a giant win button.
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  #476  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:12 PM
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Ash also gained four experience levels for his trouble. Our days of keeping Ash in check so he doesn't get overlevelled are officially behind us.



The non-heavy units are still kicking, so we still have a bit of clean-up to do before we're done with this first wave. Mages, if you would be so kind?




A quick couple of Salamanders takes out everything save the casters...





...and a quick couple of bolts takes care of them as well.



The rest of squad files forward, as my oncoming wave parts around this first wall.



Because Kane wasn't mustache-twirlingly evil enough already, let's also make him classist.



Spoiler: He won't.



There are a couple of Priests in the back half of the map, and they quickly set to work trying to undo the damage that Ash has done. That's all that happens during the enemy turn, since everything near the squad is already dead.



After that, it's a new turn, so let's toss out another Plasma Wave and continue our reign of terror. But wait, what's this? We can't afford to cast it again! Yes, pretty much the only downside here is that the only Vandalier stat which is not ridiculously inflated is the MP pool. I guess we wonít be leaning on Plasma Wave too hard after all?





Oh, right, lol. Ash can completely restore his MP for free whenever he wants. Never mind.
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  #477  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:15 PM
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Everyone advances as far forward as they're able, as I charitably give the enemy something to do on their next turn.



They open the assault with a Mage's Rolling Thunder. You'll have to do a lot better than than, guys!



Now we get to see if Ash is as impressive up-close as he is at a distance.



Ash's sky-high AGI stat means that he blocks ridiculously often with this weird rounded emerald shield that just magically pops up out of nowhere. I think that Ash might be a Crystal Gem, guys.



He attacks with some shiny sparkles and a humming noise, and easily has enough oomph to kill this solider from full HP.



Grog is no doubt struggling with some feelings of inadequacy at this point, but he still gets the job done on his side.

The enemy priests also take the opportunity to do some more healing before their second turn comes to a close.



This is every battle now. Please don't misconstrue that as a complaint. I'll spare everyone the collage this time, but rest assured that the enemy team gets hammered again, killing a couple of more soliders that the Priests couldn't get to in time.



Kane is almost dead and we haven't even passed the half-way point of this battle map.



A quick wave of Huxley's staff and the enemy's only success so far is entirely erased.





Kira takes care of our Mage problems, and the rest of the squad continues their headlong rush, leaving the slower characters falling further behind.



This Priest has no one else left to heal, so he runs as far from us as he can and heals himself.



Kane has lots of targets to heal, though, so he rushes forward and fully heals himself and the adjacent units with this AoE healing ability that I absolutely remembered that he had. >_>
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  #478  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:18 PM
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Ash pops another orb in his... mouth? Let's hope. Everyone else continues to advance as quickly as they can.



Some of them are better at this than others.

Not much happens during the enemy turn, although the two remaining Priests have yet another opportunity to desperately bail water out of this sinking ship.



Diego hovers in front of this boulder for a moment to let the Priest with his back to the wall drink it all in and know regret.






Oh, hey, that happened. Yes, not only did we injure this poor defenseless Priest, but we also apparently somehow knocked down the wall behind him as well!



Diego has just enough movement left to continue forward and end this poor man's suffering.



If you don't know what Ash is going to do next, then you haven't been paying attention. Nothing dies this time, but that's because we've finally killed enough of them that the healers are now able to keep up.



I hold my back line a bit further back this time, because there's a few Archers and Mages coming in to range and I'd prefer that they focus their attention on Ash, who can withstand a focused assault.



Kane finally realizes that he's boned.



Xeno hasn't, though, and he teleports in to give a pep talk?



Haha, yeah, that's how a friend of Dolf's would talk alright.



Well colour me impressed. I was not expecting Kane to have any principles.



That's a pretty fucking quick change of heart, Kane! You didn't really need much convincing!



Victory looks painful. And purple.



I fail to see how this is appreciably different from how he was before.



Xeno's having none of my bullshit, and quickly peaces out.
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  #479  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:21 PM
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Let he who is without a transformation sequence into goofy armour cast the first stone.



Hey, the whole battlefield is lit up. What is he doing?



Oh god.








So, this is bad.

The reason that Plasma Wave is in Ash's spell list is because it's an enemy spell, so it stands to reason that an enemy would have it! That doesn't make this any more pleasant, though!



And that was just the start of the enemy turn! Ash blocks the arrow that immediately follows, as he does with most attacks now.



THIS, HOWEVER, IS LESS IGNORABLE.

Man, we're really in a tight spot here, aren't we?



lol, no; we're fine. Ash continues to be broken, and is able to immediately restore the entire squad to full health with a single action. Now, you might be asking yourself what a more casual play-through that doesn't have the broken class is expected to do at this point?

Well, notably, any Archbishop in your party likely has access to Supreme Healing, which can also heal the entire squad to full health, but is ridiculously expensive, to the point that you're not casting it more than once without an MP restore. Failing that, though, you can also just cluster up tightly and do nearly as well with a couple casts of Ultra Healing.

If you made both of your healers into Monks, though, then I hope you bought lots of Holy H2O!
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  #480  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:23 PM
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That massive burst of healing gives Ash another level-up, which bumps him up to the very important threshold of 30 MP, which means that he can now cast two consecutive Plasma Waves before needing to replenish his MP.



Here's Kane's new stat screen. He's a Black Knight now (despite clearly being purple?), and has the armour to show for it. He's kind of like the Vandalier's evil double, only with much lower stats. He only has one spell, but any other spells on this list would honestly just dilute it.

Also, note his MP total. He can't cast Plasma Wave again! This is actually a big deal, because I'm pretty sure that he usually can! I definitely remember him doing so back in the day! I decided to science this and played through this battle a second time off-camera and was able to confirm a hypothesis: by hammering Kane so early and fast, I prompted him to leave his starting position to toss out that early heal, which broke his intended behaviour for later in the fight. After he transforms, he's supposed to park himself on top of that pentagram, which replenishes MP every turn and serves as a Plasma Wave battery. So it turns out that using the Vandalier breaks this battle even in ways that I was previously unaware of!



Amon begins our counter-offensive by getting his revenge on the Mage that almost ended him.



None of the rest are able to reach anyone, so we resume rushing forward. Ash and Diego are tucked up against the wall, provided cover from arrows.



Like this one!



This just isn't Amon's day.



At least Diego seems to be enjoying himself.

Kane isn't able to reach anyone, so he just runs down the back stairs (which is thankfully away from the MP-restoring space that I worried he might choose to now occupy instead) to end the enemy turn.



Sara and Huxley patch up our injuries to start the next turn.



Diego dispatches the last enemy Priest as Ash rushes forward... in the wrong direction? But Kane went the other way!



See that weird manhole? The hidden keys might be a thing of the past, but I'll be damned if I'm going to stop scouring these maps for buried goodies now, so close to the end! I could of course have Diego go get it instead, but killing Kane ends the battle immediately, and I'm a little worried that Ash might be able to do it in a single strike, so I'm keeping the two of them well apart.

I'd like to think that this enrages Kane even further.



I don't want to rush things (or give Kane extra damage opportunities with his counter-attack), so rather than attack Kane, I just put up a defensive line in front of him while the back line files forward.



That is one upsetting face.



Kane and Grog exchange blows, and it's pretty apparent that no one on our squad save Ash and Dolan can stand up to two such attacks.



This archer is still around to be a pain in our ass too, but fortunately that's now the entire enemy team.



Guys, we got a Ncklace! From the sewer!
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