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Old 06-01-2014, 11:52 PM
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JBear JBear is offline
Phantastic Oil
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 12,792

Welcome to what essentially amounts to tutorial battle #2. I actually prefer the previous battle, as this one is even easier, and has a very flimsy narrative justification. It's mercifully quick though, and the battles only get better from here. As you can see, the win condition is not the defeat of all enemies, but it may as well be, because it would be far harder to satisfy the win condition without killing all of the monsters (the church in question is at the south-east corner of the map, past all of the enemies), and it's pretty trivial to collect all of the loot before dealing the final blow, unlike last week's thief battle. Keen-eyed observers might notice that there's a river between us and our objective, which is this encounter's gimmick/tutorial focus. For bonus points, see if you can guess where the hidden loot is on the map above.

But who cares about hidden loot when there's a shiny treasure chest that's been taunting us through the entire previous cut-scene. Clint can't reach any enemies on his first turn anyway, so let's crack that sucker open!

Or not. Looks like Diego didn't get the memo, as he goes charging out front and takes aim. If you knew what's coming, you wouldn't blame him.

Well, that happened. That's a lot of blood for a ghost. I guess he stole it from someone else?

Anyway, the more pressing question is: how did Diego defeat him with a single blow? Did he get a level up in badass since the previous battle? I opted not to buy him that new bow, so it's not that. No, what you're seeing here folks is an honest-to-goodness weapon triangle. Notice the little wing icon next to the War Ghost's name when Diego attacked it? That means it's a flyer, which means that it lives in fear of bows. Let's see what the instruction booklet has to say about this:

Well, that's a whole lotta directional arrows, isn't it? Fortunately, the weapon triangle takes a slightly less prominent role here than Fire Emblem fans might be anticipating, so no need to commit that chart to memory. Rather than defining explicit bonuses, this is, in most cases, more of an indication of general effectiveness. For instance, Knights are effective against casters because Knights hit things hard and casters have poor physical defense. Really, the only relationships on there that you need to specifically note are Archers versus fliers and casters versus Armor, as those pairings typically result in massive damage that can often kill in a single blow. Using the American spelling of "Armor" there causes me physical pain.

Given that 2/3 of the enemies that we face on this map are fliers, Diego is the star of this particular battle. He could roll up that chart and hit enemies with it and still trivially solo the first half of this fight.

Alright, now that Diego's had his moment in the sun, it's finally time to find out what's in that chest. Clint walks over and Examines it.

Hrm. Well that didn't work. Is it locked, maybe?

Oh, I can... attack it?

BAM. Clint found the key, and it's pointy and wielded 2-handed. Yes, characters in Vandal Hearts smash chests open. You might think that that sounds pretty satisfying, and you would be correct. The sound effect used here makes me grin every time. Unfortunately, the loot was less satisfying: that's an Herb, and it gets promptly sent to the Depot since Clint's inventory is already full.

Ash is the only one left to act, but it doesn't look like there's much that he can do this turn. Or is there? Notice any suspicious squares within his movement range? Like say, for instance, to the south-east?

Ash moves over to Examine the suspicious-looking circle on the ground.

Are... are you sure, game? I'm no weapons expert, but I'm pretty sure that's an arrow, not a bow. In any case, not only did Diego not need the bow from the shop to one-shot most of the enemies on this map, but he can get one for free here anyway. Score one for the frugal adventurer!
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