Friday, 21 February 2014

Six Bases are Down! (The Last Remnant)

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The rematch against Hinnah and Hannah went very smoothly. ^_^
It looks like doing all of those side quests and unlocking extra characters helped quite a bit. Returning to base four to lock horns with Hinnah and Hannah, I didn't know what to expect, but we wound up stomping them quite soundly. The same fate laid in store for the remaining two base bosses, Young and Milton. Then the hits just kept coming, as we smacked around Duke Hermeien, and stomped through Darken Forest in order to once again try (and fail) to thwart the Conqueror's plans. It would seem actually being around the same level as the enemies you're fighting, and not grossly under leveled, makes the game a lot easier.

I was actually surprised by how easy Hinnah and Hannah were this time. On my first attempt to fight them my army's battle rank was in the low 40s but this time we were about 60. They still used Twin Snowpetal at the beginning of the fight, so I gritted my teeth, waiting to see most of my unions die. However, the attack only hit for about 25-50% damage on them, and usually it was more on the lower end of the scale with that. It was a very easy attack to deal with now, and their remaining attacks were quite manageable as well. Even when Hannah was unloading Overdrive after Hinnah was defeated, the attack wasn't overwhelming. The strategy I took this time was to send all my unions after their support unions first. This went fairly well with only one of my groups getting intercepted by a boss. Once the trash was taken care of I focused my unions on Hinnah and Hannah, dividing them equally between the two. We also had a Cyclops up, so it just went and did as it pleased. After a couple of minutes of this, Hinnah and Hannah were dead.

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Young was a pushover.
The whole thing felt a bit anti-climatic given how easy the encounter wound up being. It looks like my army was about on par with Hinnah and Hannah. From what I've read they're average battle rank is around 57 or 58 and we engaged them around 59 or 60 this go around. If we'd been 62 or so, then we'd have triggered their next bit of level scaling and they'd be stronger, but as it stood we were on a fairly even footing strength-wise, and this just made the fight too easy for my tastes.

Attacking bases five and six were equally easy. The fights against their outside forces were cakewalks, and David seemed to be getting a lot of Gae Bolg chances while Pagus was able to unload Megalore quite often as well. So, regular units melted before us and it was a quick trip to both Young and Milton. These bosses were quite easy. I did my usual tactic of taking down the support unions first, then focusing down the boss. Young was an absolute pushover, though Milton put up a bit more of a fight toward the end. He had an attack that would insta-kill the leader of a union, leading it to be botched (basically an uncontrollable union that is suddenly very unreliable). Often times he'd repeat the move and wipe out the union. This started more so when his health was flashing red and he brought me down to one active union and my Cyclops. When this happened, I got a little bit worried as Pagus' group was the only ones left and for some reason I wasn't being given an option to save the others, which seemed a bit strange. So, I sent them in to fight as hard as they could. Luckily, Milton went down in the next round so things turned out alright.

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Milton was also easy, but at least he put up a bit of a fight
towards the end.
After this, I was greeted with a cut scene for having cleared the six bases, and somehow David and Rush were afflicted with a black mist. This was causing the Gae Bolg and Cyclops to go crazy, and attack everyone so we had to fight the things to make them stop. It was a simple fight, but it got me thinking how much of a piss off it might be were someone to be trying hard for a low battle rank clear, struggling through their last base boss only to be plunged into this. There's no option to save between defeating the last base boss, then fighting these two, so dying to this fight would suck seeing as not only would one have to re-fight these Remnants, but also whatever tough base boss they'd just been up against. *shudder*

With all of that base-related shenanigans out of the way, it was time to march on Koenigsdorf. I was expecting a big ol' dungeon crawl here, but all it wound up being was a big ol' brawl just outside of the place. The Duke of Ghor was there trying to fight Hermeien, and having no luck whatsoever. Just as it looked like he was done for, Rush et al intervened, fighting against Hermeien and his forces. Again, it was a very easy fight, and for some reason David and Pagus were getting a ton of opportunities to use their Unique Arts again. Regular unions were wiped out quickly, then we just had to deal with the fallen duke. He wasn't very difficult either, but he had this weird Remnant that he wore like a suit of armor. He looked like he was piloting an elaborate, medieval Gundam. So, while he was easy to beat, at least he had a really nice design.

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Hermeien sporting the new spring line, a giant, mech-like Remnant.
With Hermeien taken down, the Conqueror appeared, knocked everyone about, and proceeded to smack around the duke a bit before finally killing him. I was happy to see this, as Hermeien was hugely annoying. However, like so much in the game, it would have been nice if things were fleshed out more. Why was Hermeien even working for the Conqueror? He was a self-serving twit bent on world domination, and I'm not entirely sure what sort of skill set he was bringing to the table. At least the Seven (the base bosses) were good fighters, and seemed to be fanatics willing to do anything for the Conqueror. Hermeien was a sniveling, petty wimp with nothing to offer. Surely, he would have been better off dying in Nagapur. It just seems like he was kept alive so that the game could have a villain players totally dislike. While the Conqueror is the main enemy, he hasn't really made himself unlikable. He's just shrouded in mystery.

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Sniveling turd Hermeien finally gets
his comeuppance.
Hermeien dead, it looked like the Conqueror was losing patience with Rush awakening. I'm guessing this has to do with when Rush started glowing green in Nagapur. There's obviously something up with that, but the game is taking its sweet time in getting around to addressing it. Just as the Conqueror was about to kill Rush, Irina stepped in using Marion's Blessing to stop him. After this, the Conqueror just leaves, and everyone heads back to Athlum to figure out their next move.

It's not long before Irina decides to run off on her own, heading to Darken Forest where it's believed that the Conqueror may be up to something. This caused a new section of the forest to open up with ruins laying about everywhere. I liked the layout here with fallen pillars and structures slowly being consumed by the forest as vines, moss, and the like gradually grow across these remains of a lost civilization. I'm not crazy enough to think the game will make any attempt to explain the history of this place, but it did get my imagination running a bit. Maybe there was a much more advanced civilization here long ago, maybe the ones who originally made the Remnants.

For this trip, since Irina had ran off on her own, that meant that she was no longer in my army, so I needed to find a replacement. I opted to recruit Sheryl from Nagapur. She has some interesting magic abilities, and as a character is pretty fun. I unlocked her from a series of side quests in Nagapur where they were having a festival, and she was the maiden at the center of it all. At first glance, she can come across as a bit ditsy, but Sheryl is actually quite a good character. She's not a permanent fixture in my army just yet, but I'm thinking about changing that.

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Facing off against our rampaging Remnants.  Ooooo, scary! =p
After finally making it through the forest, we found Irina and the Conqueror. She was being suspended in the air telepathically by the Conqueror with mists swooshing all around her.  When Rush came running up, the Conqueror transformed Irina into a strange monster similar to the creatures we fought in the aqueducts of Nagapur when first trying to rescue her from Hermeien and Wagrum earlier on in the game. This time the monsters just had a color swap and new abilities, but on the whole were quite easy to beat.

The excursion to Darken Forest ultimately felt like filler, though. There was no real reason to go there outside of the Conqueror once again saying how Rush needs to awaken. I wish the game would just explain it more, rather than drawing it out as it has been. This is getting tedious.  Moreover, it got me wondering why the Conqueror didn't just do this outside of Koenigsdorf. Then, it suggested that Irina can be problematic for him due to Marion's Blessing, but in the forest she was no match for him. I have to assume she is only able to tap into that ability instinctually when Rush is in danger, otherwise it lays dormant. So if the Blessing comes out, the Conqueror has to back off a bit, but if Irina is normal he can do as he pleases. Well, that's how I look at it, at least. Whether or not I'm giving the game too much credit for having a perfectly logical explanation for all this is another debate entirely.

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Irina, transformed into a monster...again.
Upon returning to Athlum once again, David is visited by Duke Qubine of Celapaleis, and given some very good news. With the Duke of Ghor still out of commission after his fight with Hermeien, David has been chosen as the acting chairman of the Congress. So, basically, David is the head hancho of all the city states and whatnot now. Moreover, Athlum has been granted its independence and is no longer a vassal of Celapalais. That means it's goodbye Marquis David, and hello Duke David. Happy times are here again.

The next order of business is setting off to Undewalt, where the God Emperor lives. Before the Congress existed, he was ruler of the world, but now he's more a figure head, though he possesses a fair bit of power himself, albeit waning. David needs to talk to him and find out just what the Conqueror is up to, as the God Emperor actually granted the Conqueror much of his powers and authority in the first place.

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I'm not even sure our most recent trip to Darken Forest was
necessary.
So, that's what I'll be getting up to in the not so distant future. Before that, I want to take care of a few more side quests. At the moment, I'm helping Jager get back his Remnant, Lob Omen. This should make him even more formidable than he already is. After that, I may do a few more. There are a few areas I still need to unlock, like some of the Sacred Paths and such, so I may get on that as well. All in all, though, I get the feeling that this adventure may be coming to a close soon. There can't be that much left to do other than work toward the big final showdown with the Conqueror. The game can only draw out this awakening stuff for so long.