The Return of Talking Time

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  #421  
Old 03-15-2017, 09:32 AM
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Out of respect for the recently deceased, I'll decline to make the requisite Mega Man X4 reference.





With the villagers all dead, the fate of Sostegaria rests in the hands of Leena. Let's see how she's doing.



Not great, as it turns out.



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?"



Eleni ends the scene by smiling even harder.
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  #422  
Old 03-15-2017, 09:33 AM
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And with that, we're finally to the end of the longest update so far in this LP. Which means that it's time to take a look at two battles worth of loot!



The Wyrmfang that the dragon dropped is another attack spell item, and this one looks to have an area of effect squarely between Phase Shift and Salamander. I think that I gave it to Dolan to replace his spent spell item, so perhaps we'll see it later.



We know how the keys works by now...



...and we know how item descriptions tend to work, too.



I give Sabina's dropped Rune bow to the Sniper that's actually wielding a bow at present, and it's a pretty substantial upgrade.

(To be clear, Kira is also technically equipped with a bow and could absolutely use this, but a quick look at the sprite will confirm that that ain't no bow.)



Keeping with my theme of style over substance, I give the D. speak to the Sky Lord that's wielding a spear, as opposed to... whatever the hell abomination Amon is swinging around.



With a new key to the latest Trial of Toroah in hand, we have options for where to head next. So what'll it be, Talking Time?

Next Time: The Trial or The Trial. Wait, what?
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  #423  
Old 03-15-2017, 11:35 AM
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*bump*
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  #424  
Old 03-15-2017, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
[

!!!

That's... that's the name of the game!
Metal Gear???
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  #425  
Old 03-15-2017, 02:26 PM
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Do the trial! Of Taroah!
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  #426  
Old 03-16-2017, 06:50 AM
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Do the trial! Of Taroah!
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  #427  
Old 03-16-2017, 07:48 PM
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It turns out that dropping big rocks is a surprisingly effective way of dealing with rock monsters. Who knew?
Well there is that old adage which says to fight fire with fire. So maybe the same thing works with rocks?

or...

Rocks fall, everyone rocks die.
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  #428  
Old 03-17-2017, 02:05 AM
Bunk Moreland Bunk Moreland is offline
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Damn, I can't believe you hit them with AVALANCHE. There ain't no gettin' offa this Vandal Hearts pain train!

Also, yes, go for the Trial of the Torah.
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  #429  
Old 06-01-2017, 06:57 PM
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on hiatus
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  #430  
Old Yesterday, 02:04 PM
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Sorry about the delay everyone! I was busy for a while, and then I just sort of... couldn't climb back on the wagon! But I'm back now! On the wagon! And we're taking that wagon on a metaphysical journey! It's a rich metaphor.

When last we joined our heroes, they had just returned from killing a dragon to prove themselves to a village of reclusive guardians of ancient knowledge, only to find that the Crimson Guard had burned the entire village to the ground in their absence. Ash and co. avenged them, taking out another Crimson General in the process, although that jerk Kane fled for his life yet again. In the aftermath, the village elder, with his dying breath, instructed his granddaughter Leena to guide Ash to the only power capable of resisting the terrifying Flames of Judgment: the Sword of Destruction, Vandal Heart, said to be a sentient blade that has the power to curse the wielder if there is any doubt in their heart.

It's been many moons since we last checked in with our plucky band of rebels, and they've been very patiently waiting to go collect their magic sword and kick this rebellion back in gear...



...and they're going to have to just keep on waiting, because you lot voted to go collect a sacred macguffin instead! To the dojo!



My body is ready.



Welcome to the 5th Trial of Toroah! It kind of sucks!



We'll be fighting a bunch these weird yellow Golems called Guardians. They wield lightsabers for some reason, but they're not why this map sucks.



No, that blame lies squarely at the feet of these jerks, their presumably mistranslated allies with bazooka arms. We have to climb a giant-ass pyramid, and if I take a single misstep and end a turn with someone out from behind cover, these guys will converge on them like... wagons at a wagon feast? Look, it's been a few months; I'm rusty. LIKE A WAGON-WHEEL! Oh shit, we got there.

Anyway, yeah, a single wrong move can and will leave me with a corpse. So... I'm going to try not to do that.



So, just two battles ago, a fire-breathing dragon was a big deal, but now this pyramid is crawling with the darn things.



We've fought these before, haven't we? I dunno why I screen-shotted this guy. Maybe I wanted to look at his gear? Apparently these mages are royalty.

Anyway, there's a couple of them hanging out near the top of the pyramid, and their magic is going to add a wrinkle to what is otherwise a pretty repetitive battle.



So here's reason #1 that this battle sucks: my usual ace in the hole, giant AoE attacks from my two sorcerers, is blunted by the spread out enemy forces and big rises in elevation. Zohar would only be able to catch a few enemies with this blast, and as only one of them is Armor-type (and thus particularly vulnerable to magic), that's really not worth the MP expenditure. It certainly wouldn't be sustainable, at any rate, as there are way more than three jerks on this pyramid.



One bone that this battle throws us is putting the chest with the prism that we're here for right beside our starting location. I have Huxley swing by and pick it up before I forget, because if I got to the other end of this gauntlet and found that I'd forgotten to grab it, this would be the last update of this LP.



He might not be particularly vulnerable to magic, but dropping a big ol' rock on this jerk's head still stings.



Darius chases it with a long bomb, and the rest of the squad quietly shuffles along behind in an orderly line.

Wait, you didn't think I was going to be able to just climb upwards, did you? No no, you see, we've just found reason #2 that this battle sucks: it is a long, tedious climb to the top. Every change in elevation is just high enough that even my flyers can't ascend, so the only way to the top of this pyramid is to slowly circle it, traversing it clockwise one painful square at a time, taking care to remain in single file, because if anyone steps away from the cover offered by the inside wall of their current level, they'll immediately get shot in the face a half-dozen times from above.
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  #431  
Old Yesterday, 02:08 PM
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The nearest Guardian obediently shuffles forward during the enemy turn, so Eleni drops a rock on his head and then Diego stabs him in the back to turn him into yet more rocks.



And then we file forward again. You'll notice that I've got a few people standing side-by-side near the corner, but that's safe because they're far enough from the centre of mass of the pyramid that none of the Basilisks have a straight line to them. This doesn't actually gain me much, though, since they'll still have to bottleneck back down to a single file as they traverse the next edge of the map.



Zohar cheekily stands with his back to this Salamander to give Darius the support bonus he needs to one-shot it with an arrow between the eyes. The support bonus may well have not been necessary, but better safe than sorry. I think this might be the highest single-target damage total that we've seen thus far in this LP?



Eleni's getting bored, so she decides to demonstrate a toy that I've yet to play with in this LP. Back when I first described Poison Cloud, I think I may have said that I'll never use it, and if I wasn't playing for an audience then I probably wouldn't be doing so here either, but this is a pretty good use case for it. Technically this is no better than the single-target Envenom, but I need the extra range provided by Poison Cloud's AoE to reach this guy at all, thanks to the height difference.



Anyway, once this jerk gets poisoned (how a golem can be poisoned in the first place is left as an exercise for the reader), he starts taking 52 damage per turn, and will continue to do so until he dies, which will be long before he's able to make his way around this pyramid to reach me, as this long walk bullshit cuts both ways.



The downside here, however, is that the enemies on this map are largely content to only activate as I approach, but this wakes up every enemy on the line around the pyramid between me and him. Granted, given how tedious this map can be, adding some extra excitement isn't much of a downside.



Diego decides to just stab this next jerk in the face because A) Bored, and B) It gives me a chance to show off their attack animation.



The lightsaber gives off a mechanical thrum as he hypnotically waves it back and forth...



...and then he smacks Diego with it like it's a stick.



The same Guardian and Clint* exchange blows before Darius finishes it off with a bolt.

* - If I had a dollar for every time that I misspelled Clint as Client while I was writing these updates...

...I'd probably have like twenty-five bucks. That's a lot, though! I literally have an editing run for each of these posts devoted to fixing every instance of this error.



The poisoned Guardian continues to have a bad day, which unfortunately does nothing to make my bad day any better. Remember, kids: spreading misery does nothing to help you find happiness!



This Basilisk had wandered into range of the squad, which means that we'll get to see its attack animation.



Its... its arm cannon glows, and then it shoots.



It looks like it probably hurts.



It's nothing that a quick Healing Circle from Sara can't patch up, though.
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  #432  
Old Yesterday, 02:30 PM
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Zohar is just so angry that he can't Phase Shift his way to victory.



This Roman Fire wasn't particularly effective, or efficient, but it made him feel good. Remember, kids: spreading fire does everything to help you find happiness!



Smashing golems in the face works pretty well too, though.



Everyone continues to file along as the Poisoned golem and my squad compete to see who is hating this more (hint: it's me).



Oh shit, looks like I wandered too close to one of the Mages.



This... this seems bad.








Lovely. Needless to say, I don't want anyone getting tagged by that in addition to any other attacks, but it's pretty manageable in isolation, and Huxley is able to immediately undo this particular laughing skull visitation. Mind you, this Mage is now just going to start nuking away with impunity until I can take care of him, which is going to be a Problem.





Salamanders, however, are less of a problem. Kira and Diego are thankful for the target practice.

...

Look, I hate to stoop to this, but if I don't say it, someone else is going to, so please just indulge me and let me get it out of my system.

*AHEM*

"Nice."
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  #433  
Old Yesterday, 02:32 PM
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This poor jerk finally finishes melting from the poison applied 4 turns earlier. Would that my misery only lasted 4 turns.



The Mage continues to advance (good), and decides to break out another new toy (bad).






You might have to squint to see them, but Zohar and Eleni are being taken for a magic tornado ride (excuse me, "hurricane"), and they don't seem to be enjoying it.



Fortunately, they're both mages themselves, so this doesn't actually hurt very much. But where's Eleni?



Look at the top of the frame.



I don't think she needed that neck anyway.



I'm desperate to start hurting this Dark Mage, so Huxley joins in the fun, even though it'll be of limited effectiveness.



That barely scratched the mage, but I'll take what I can get.



Zohar addresses the more immediate threat, and in doing so makes it clear that we've finally reached the point that Dark Star is just no longer cutting it.



Pointy sticks are never out of fashion, though.
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  #434  
Old Yesterday, 02:33 PM
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Because sometimes Support bonuses don't make much sense, Grog parks himself "next" to this Dark Mage as Darius prepares to do something very stupid.



Ah, that's the good stuff. But if that just took care of a real big problem, why was it stupid?



Oh. Right. That's why.



In anticipation of this, I had a couple more brave souls join Darius in stepping away from the safety of the wall, in hopes that the enemy would split their attacks, and apparently the opportunity to shoot a squishy caster was tempting enough to draw this attack away.





And it's a good thing, too, because even with only two attacks Darius is barely clinging to life. I honestly wasn't sure that he was going to survive this turn, but I decided that it was worth the risk to take out that Mage. I also had Sara toss him a Mystic Shield before the end of the turn, and that may well have saved his life, even after having Sara successfully lure away one of the attackers. Anyway, let's not do that again.



Darius decides to share his pain with this absolutely devastating point-black shot to the Salamander's rear-end.




The damage has really been starting to add up, but it's nothing that Huxley can't largely wipe out with a single cast of Ultra Healing.



Kira sees the opportunity to take a pot-shot at this golem and can't resist taking it. Now that I've largely cleared out that layer, she's just far enough to the side that she can safely step away from the wall here without reprisal.



Grog and this Guardian just had this very "nice" exchange of blows and-- Oh God, I just can't. Sorry, I need a minute.
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  #435  
Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM
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Alright, alright, deep breaths. Seriously, though, what are the odds of that? I think my Vandal Hearts CD might be haunted by the ghost of a pervert.



Darius advances around the corner and turns back to shoot this guy, but the jerk blocks the bolt with his forearm. That's not how you Jedi!



I know that I just said that Dark Star is bad now, but I only need to soften this guy up enough for Clint to finish him off, so this should be fine.



It... it wasn't fine.



Did someone order a dose of overkill? That's Ash's specialty. Hey, remember Ash, the main character? He is also here.



Speaking of people who are also here, poor Dolan just cannot keep up with his terrible movement. This is a map with one long, endless march, and Dragoons are uniquely bad at marching. The only reason he hasn't fallen ridiculously far behind is that I've had to keep stopping to kill things or wait for them to come to me, but as the opposition thins out we'll be leaving him further and further behind.

I've played this game with three Dragoons before, and this battle was torturous with that squad.



Yup, definitely haunted.



Darius' campaign of dragon genocide continues apace.



In my continued effort to make my own fun, I have Ash show off his newest spell. As a "hit the thing next to you really hard" spell, Delta Mirage completely replaces Ice Storm.



The spell starts off by drawing a triangle around the target.



...and then starts the concert.



The disco hall is... shrinking?



Shocking.
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  #436  
Old Yesterday, 02:37 PM
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Eleni poisons another chump because she can. I wonder if this one will be able to reach us before he dies?



SPOILERS: He doesn't make it.



Darius finally found an opportunity to burn 5 targets at once and he's taking it. (The 5th is hiding underneath the compass rose.)



This Salamander looks as pissed as I am. It must be all of his cousins that Darius has been killing. All 5 targets get satisfyingly roasted.



Eleni likes her golems well done. Neither blast manages to kill anything, but all five of these poor saps are very, very hurt.





Make that three saps.



AN EXCITING DOLAN UPDATE: Dragoons are still slow.



Finishing off that one Basilisk put Kira in range of another, but a single attack is nothing to worry about, and they're running out of Basilisks.



Sara does some spot patching, and the death march continues. We're still only on the second level of this thing, although obviously the distance gets shorter with each level.
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  #437  
Old Yesterday, 02:39 PM
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Alright, I'm making an executive decision at this point. Nothing new or interesting happens from here forward, and I've run out of ways to make it interesting, and I'd like to push this update out today, so I'm going to toss a bunch of these screenshots in the bin and fast-forward through the next couple dozen turns or so, stopping for the highlights:



"Nice"? Guys, I'm legit starting to get scared.



ANOTHER EXCITING DOLAN UPDATE: We're about to lap him.



Dark Mages are scurry.



A 68!? Did... did I just break the curse?



I think our long national nightmare is finally over.



o god



ANOTHER EXCITING DOLAN UPDATE: We've lapped him.



That only took an hour or two, but it felt like an eternity.



But at what cost? Also, can you point me towards a good exorcist?



One more magicalal macguffin for the pile. Just two more left to go before ???

Next time: Another trial? More Guardian Golems and Basilisks? Shit.
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