Sunday, 23 February 2014

And That's That! The Last Remnant: Finished

last remnant part 11 - 1
It's time to fight the Conqueror's main army.
It was a fun ride but the adventure is finally over. I've defeated the Conqueror and finished The Last Remnant. I didn't waste much time since my last post, not bothering with anymore side quests, or to build up anyone's weapons. It was just a steady march going where the game told me to in order to complete the remaining objectives for ensuring victory. A lot of the questions I had were answered, there were some nice cut scenes, and a fair few enjoyable battles, so on the whole I was quite satisfied with the last remnants of The Last Remnant.

The first thing we had to do was take on the Conqueror's main forces marching on Elysion. This was very easy and reminded me of the fights outside of the six bases surrounding Koenigsdorf where it was just wave after wave of regular unions and a slightly more powerful one in the last batch. We didn't have any problems thanks in no small part to David and Pagus being able to use Gae Bolg and Megalore quite frequently. As a result, everyone just melted before us, even the army's commander.

last remnant part 11 - 2
A dragon parked in front of where I need to get to.  Great!
This gave us access to Elysion again where we tried to use the Ark in order to teleport to the Sacred Land so we could confront the Conqueror. Unfortunately, Irina couldn't get it to work, so we'd need to find another way there. After a brief trip back to Athlum to regroup, I had Rush talk with everyone so I could figure out what to do next. Chatting with his mother revealed that talking with Oswald in Nagapur might set us on the right path. He'd already established himself as being surprisingly in the know from other quests I'd done there, so it made sense. However, Rush's mother let slip that he was her father, so maybe there was a whole lot more to it. Again, it was something the game just dropped on the player without bothering to flesh out, but whatever, just tell me how to get to the Conqueror.

After meeting up with Oswald, he told me to try going down the Sixth Path, as it would have a means to get to the Sacred Lands. I'd been there before exploring and had been to the section of the Final Fortress that it lead to. In that area there was a massive door that, at the time, I couldn't open. So, now I assumed it would open. Why else would I be sent there?

last remnant part 11 - 3
Wagram trying to stop us again.
When I did arrive at the doors in the Final Fortress, the game seemed to want to have some fun with me, as it planted a great big rare dragon in front of them. If I wanted to get to the Sacred Lands I'd need to fight my way through the thing. It wasn't too difficult of a fight, but the beast had some strong attacks that I needed to be careful of.

After beating the dragon, we headed through the doors and found a chamber that looked exactly the same as the Ark in Elysion. Just as Irina was about to bind with it, Wagram appeared, intent on stopping everyone. He summoned a very powerful creature and the fight was on. This guy took a couple of tries before I was able to beat it. The first go around it got pretty trigger happy with it's one shot kills, so that was a no-go. On the second try, things were a lot better, as the monster didn't seem quite so inclined to use those attacks. It was another case of the random behavior that can worm its way into the fights in this game. We won, though, and with that not only was the creature defeated, but it looked like Wagram died as well, once again implying that Rush was a Remnant as he faded into dust.

last remnant part 11 - 4
Smacking around homunculi.
One more obstacle out of the way, it was off to the Sacred Lands. This trip was a lot more challenging than the first time Rush visited it, mostly because monsters were there. Making it even tougher was that not only were there regular ones to deal with but quite a few rares. I had to fight through about four of them on my way to the last room. Navigating the place, I got a lay of the land, and toughed it out against these more difficult enemies. The problem with this was that some of them hit really hard, and I had unions dying a lot. As such, they were burning through potion reagents and by the time we'd gotten through the gauntlet our inventory was looking pretty sparse. Thankfully there was a teleporter near the door to the final room that could be used to exit to the main map. It was a useful tool for those looking to skip back to town restock, or perhaps have a save file on standby where players can teleport out and meet all of the necessary prerequisites to make tougher versions of the Conqueror available for the final fight.

I used the teleporter so I could restock on potion ingredients. Unfortunately, this meant having to travel all the way through the Sixth Path, Final Fortress, and Sacred Lands once more in order to get back to where I was. The run actually wasn't too bad. I managed to avoid most of the groups of enemies. Some harpy-like ones were unavoidable as they could cast slows on Rush as he ran by. Other than that it was pretty uneventful. If anything, I found it kind of exciting trying to avoid all of the enemies, especially when Time Warp was on cool down and I had to be extra careful while juking around charging enemies. Some of those homunculi in the Sacred Lands run fast! The trip also got me wondering if the rare monsters I fought the first time through the Sacred Lands were even rare because they were back again. Maybe they aren't rare, but more like elite monsters that just got tossed into the same category?

last remnant part 11 - 5
The doors to the Conqueror.
After reaching the doors at the end of the Sacred Lands, we entered and there was the Conqueror along side his two most trusted generals, Castanea and Roeas. It was time for the big confrontation complete with slow motion walking scene of Rush, David, et al as they approached. For a moment I wondered if they were going to board a space shuttle to stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth. =p Cheesy scene out of the way, the Conqueror finally explained his goals. He wanted to set the Remnants free because he didn't like everyone using them for selfish reasons, potentially leading to them being destroyed. To do this he was activating a massive machine that would release the Remnants. However, if the Remnants were to be freed they would actually consume all life on the planet. So, it wasn't really in anyone's best interest to let that happen. Cue big fight against all the baddies.

last remnant part 11 - 6
The Conqueror finally explains everything.
First up were Castanea and Roeas. In order to beat these two, you need to treat them similarly to the fight against Hinnah and Hannah. Either split your unions between the two and bring their health down at about the same speed or focus one down, and once that person is flashing red switch to the other. I learned this the hard way because focusing down Roeas first and killing her causes Castanea to enrage, using Overdrive II every turn. This will wipe out your party. Taking Castanea into the red, switching to Roeas, killing her, then finishing off Castanea worked a lot better.

last remnant part 11 - 7
The Conqueror has a lot of scary attacks.
After Castanea went down, the Conqueror stepped into the fray as reinforcements. I got him as Rank 3, so not super tough by any means, but still a fun challenge given my army was only around battle rank 78 or 79. He has a lot of one shot attacks and troublesome status ailment afflictions he can unload, so this fight took careful thought, with plenty of strategic retreats to tend to the wounded. Luckily, Jager was able to summon Lob Omen early in the fight which helped a ton, as the Remnant tanked quite a lot of the damage that the Conqueror was dishing out. We weren't getting lucky with Omnistrike, Gae Bolg, or Beowolf procs, though, so we had to make do with more traditional attacks. Nonetheless, we toughed it out and before long the Conqueror was defeated.

last remnant part 11 - 8
Rush sacrifices himself to save the
world.
He wasn't going to go down quietly, though. With his last strength he teleported back to the machine in an effort to release the Remnants. Irina tried to stop him using Marshall's Blessing, but the Conqueror was able to resist, knocking her to the ground. This caused Rush to lose it, glowing all green again, and run up and plunge his fist into the Conqueror's chest. Rush finally figured out that he was a Remnant as well and that stopping the Conqueror this way would also lead to his demise, but he was okay with that if it meant, Irina, David, and everyone else would be safe.

So with a teary goodbye, the Conqueror and Rush were destroyed in a massive explosion, but everyone else was saved. They would be returning to a world without Remnants, making a new future.

last remnant part 11 - 9
Tidus! Nooooooo! I mean...Rush! Nooooooo!
And with that, the game was done. All in all, I enjoyed it. The story could have explained itself better, as it didn't flesh out plenty of aspects. I'm still wondering how Rush's parents got a hold of him and how much they knew about him and the Conqueror. The battle system in the game was quite interesting, and dealing with flanking and the like, being mindful of battlefield position was fun. I would have liked a bit more control of my unions. There's only so much you can do through thoughtful leader and unit selection, and turning off abilities in the options menu. The AI can still make some pretty terrible decisions whenever it reassesses a situation, and sometimes all of the options at the start of a new round of battle can be awful. Nonetheless, it was innovative enough to keep me hooked for over 60 hours. It's also worth noting that the game has a great soundtrack and very nice art direction. The Last Remnant is a game worth spending some time with for those who like JRPGs and go in with the understanding that it's a bit rough around the edges. It can be had for super cheap at Steam sales, so it may be a game to consider if you're okay with the shortcomings.

last remnant part 11 - 10
I love it when a game hints there'll be a sequel and you just know it
isn't going to happen. =p