Brickman's Full-Game Walkthrough*
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
More guide! Also, I'll be going back to correct the previous post as I learn more about chapter 7; I know I at least forgot one enemy and may've made more mistakes. I'm really confused about how the Muegin works, and I'm not going to be able to give any better details without intervention from Mark.

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Flittertop Canopy is next, and is probably one of the easier areas in this chapter. The global effect here, Hungry Earth, is again not harmful and if anything gives you an advantage against the area's new enemies; it makes anyone on either side take longer to revive when KO'd. It is painful if you die, so defense is a high priority, but aside from the Candessas any enemies you take down are staying down. In addition to the Opal Swarms and Muegins from before the area has two new enemies: Candessas and Burning Blossoms. Candessa's aren't very tough. They start with practically no armor and no resistances, but after giving you enough time for one round of attacks (possibly more on lower difficulties) he'll retreat into a cocoon, giving him some (but still not very much). They'll remain that way for a few rounds, after which they charge forward for a devastating attack. This deals damage in the thousands to the first person and half to the person behind them; it deals less the more wounded the Candessa is. For perspective, on absurd mode a Candessa with about 700 health did about 1700 damage before armor adjustments to the guy in front, a Candessa with about 1000 health dealt about 2600 damage before armor adjustments, and a Candessa at its full 1700 health did over 4000 damage. Obviously, damage is FAR lower in the lower difficulty levels. This sounds bad, but all it takes to thwart it is a single application of powder imps; failing that (either by having Grace as your sharpshooter or if the battle drags on long enough that the Candessa revives and your imps are far in the negative), brace and/or smokescreen will help; using mostly smokescreen in a party with no access to imps I had far less trouble in Flittertop Canopy than in Misty Marshes or Thorley's Thickey. Interestingly, trick seems to reduce the splash damage as well as the main impact (because it is delivered by a melee attack) and is NOT consumed because the user doesn't ever strike the foe; however, 75% of a Candessa's attack is still crippling. In a pinch, remember that just like the explosive shell used by the shamblers before, there is a maximum range on the splash effect; if he hits someone who is executing a melee attack or if the person in the middle party slot is unconscious only one person gets hurt. After attacking it'll take about 17 seconds to revive including the special level effect, and unlike most enemies it will revive with full health.

Burning Blossoms are worse. They start closed and with enough armor to be practically invincible. They attack very slowly, by opening up and launching a fireball which will hit the entire party for strong concussive damage. After that, they'll briefly remain open (long enough for one rounds of attacks from you, at least on absurd), a state in which they have almost no protection against piercing or concussive damage and only moderate protection from magic and ethereal damage. This is a good time to attack them, especially with moves like empowdered hack, so try to keep an action ready for both your sharpshooter and your knight when you think he's about to attack. Before attacking they'll briefly emit smoke as a warning. Don't use black bullet on him; poison damage applied while he's closed uses his closed resistance rather than his open resistance, which is just enough to cancel out natural enemy regeneration.

From the left (Maw side), the first battle is against a Burning Blossom in front of a Candessa, then there's a fight with one of each and one other random creature. After that you'll be rewarded with some money, a decent light armor and good handy priest talisman. There's two more fights before the end of the area.

The last area you'll have to traverse, in a sense, is the Beaten Path, which has no terrain effect and is slightly shorter than the other areas. This is also my favorite area in the whole chapter by far, and also the easiest. The main attraction here is Forest Mimics, who are simply a blast to fight. They will start out aligned with one of the tree damage types (ethereal they're always immune to for simplicity's sake) which defines their attack and gives them immunity to attacks of that damage type. Piercing-aligned mimics will use a melee attack (probably the nicest attack; it's easiest on brace and lets you use trick), concussive mimics will throw two rocks at the person in front (which is probably the most damaging attack overall, unless you use fortify or dedicated your knight to having high armor, and thwarts brace; it's relatively tame if your armor's high enough though) and magic types will hit someone at random with lightning (note that if you have Ferwin this attack is capable of one-shotting the guest party member, at least on absurd difficulty; however, even though the icon won't appear over her Aurora will affect her too, and a single application will let her survive this attack). That means that there's at least some use for every type of defense but none will keep you completely safe; since nothing except for magic-type mimics deal magic damage, however, aurora is ill-advised unless you're sure there will be several lightning attacks (such as if you have one or possibly two magic mimics in the back of the enemy ranks).

The mimics will switch types as they are damaged to try to match the attacks you use. Each mimic counts the damage dealt to itself from each damage type, and when that number gets high enough it'll switch types and reset all the counters. So hitting one with a single attack won't change it, but several attacks or one sufficiently powerful charged attack will. In order to kill mimics you need to vary your attacks greatly; ideally every party member should be able to deal good damage of two different types. Keep in mind which type you would prefer to deal with and try to convert them to that type; even a weak and unleveled attack can be useful if it changes them to a more useful type. The mimics have moderate armor (enough that charged attacks and damn are effective but not necessary) which is slightly weaker against magic.

The first battle is two mimics. Then there's one more battle that throws in a plated Garr before you reach a group of treasure chests containing gold, a magic-resistance ring and a good priest staff (though it won't do you much good until chapter Cool, then one more before the end.

Once you reach the end of the Beaten Path, you can finally enter Mama Saga's home and speak with her. NOT. Instead you are given a fetch quest which requires you to find and collect five blue flowers. To be fair to Mark, unless you count digging the key out of the crypt this is the only genuine fetch quest in the entire game. The first flower you'll encounter as you leave to make sure you know what they look like. The others are in the areas you just completed. I believe there's two per area, so you will need to reconquer two of those areas, more-or-less. Of course, you could go partway in, grab a flower, and retreat to a savepoint rather than traverse the entire area. There are more flowers than you need, so you can choose which areas you want to reconquer.


Last edited by Brickman on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
After finding five seeds and bringing them to Mama Saga (or more specifically, after the ensuing cutscene), you will be rewarded with about 2 levels' worth of experience and sent to the Maw. Stop by town first to sell any items you've got left to sell and buy any items you still want, and go there.

The Maw consists of one battle, which I'd say is only not considered a boss fight because there's nothing to hang a unique name on. There's three spiders, and while they're each rather standard enemies on their own, they hide a dark secret: Each one of them is actually three spiders. Whenever you kill one, it'll be gone for a second or so and immediately be replaced by a spider with marginally better stats and somewhat stronger attacks (going blue->green->red); after killing it three times, it'll stay down and a longer-than-usual-but-not-nearly-long-enough respawn countdown timer will appear. The trick, though, is that if you kill one but can't kill the others before its timer reaches zero, it'll respawn as a fresh blue spider with full health, starting you all over. The ONLY way to win this battle is to finish them off all in succession, and with three health bars each they've got about the health of a weak boss between them. Luckily they have extremely poor armor (but a good resistance to magic and ethereal; don't let that stop you from using poison though), so area attacks work great. A combination of empowdered thunderstrikes and black bullets (they attack extremely frequently so poisoning the one in back is easy) is probably the best offense, with other attacks being effective but mostly unnecessary. Just make sure to try to damage them roughly equally, or failing that when one gets to red try to play catchup on the other two.

Offensively the spiders attack very frequently but don't hit especially hard. Fortify and smokescreen are extremely effective, the latter especially if you're dealing most of your damage with poison. Brace is junk. The green spiders do some poison damage as well as their piercing and the red ones do a considerable amount of extra piercing damage; it's probably not worth renewing fortify once you get to the red ones. A combination of fortify, smokescreen and priest's heal, along with good armor, made the battle pretty easy on absurd, and much shorter than I remembered it.

Once you've killed them, save for the hell of it (or not) and proceed left for the end of the chapter.

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Chapter 8:

Welcome to what is, in my opinion, the hardest chapter in the game! Enemies here are extremely tough, every last one of them, and you're operating under the enclosed space effect (no swordfaith or aimed shot) for most of it. Near the end you'll even get that nasty depressed status effect from back in chapter 5. Have fun with this.

The first area has a variety of nasty enemies and, yes, enclosed space. Thunderstrike and black bullet are the key to victory (hope you bought Juggernaut!), and you may want to break out the explosive shells as well, because everything here crumbles against concussive damage. The Martyr Fish is one to be careful about; you can think of him as a preview of things to come. He has very low armor against physical damage he reflects a percentage of all damage he's dealt back at the party member in front. Fortunately he does so in the form of magic damage; it can be dodged and is affected by armor and resistance. Also, as far as I can tell, he does not reflect the ethereal damage from black bullet, despite taking quite a bit of it; that attack is thus highly recommended. He'll always hit the guy in front so be careful about melee attackers and their health. He's also extremely resistant to magic (enough that you should, and has moderate protection from ethereal. In addition to reflecting, he'll also occasionally zap you with lightning of his own accord. This guy deals a relatively high ammount of damage on your timetable and it's all magic, so abusing aurora is a very good idea.

The Jester Fish is another enemy who's a pain to damage--he has crappy armor as well, but immunity to magic and a whopping 70% dodge. The only attacks which gets around this dodging defense are black bullet (against which he has a moderately good resistance--but with his low health total, that's not nearly enough) and the life-draining effect of the soul couple. With his cruddy armor, though, hack and thunderstrike aren't bad moves and if they all have the same chance of failure all other attacks are in a way equally effective (though trick at least ensures you don't waste the turn). Consider just throwing up smokescreen to let the poison do its work. The Jester uses a melee attack which chooses its damage type at random (from all four of the normal ones and absolute); the attack might be caught by a chi shield but might not. Note that since the guide says somewhere that absolute damage is undodgable 1/5 of his attacks may be as well, depending on when the type is chosen.

Sunken slaves are melee enemies (who walk VERY slowly when attacking for some reason). They have extremely high resistance to piercing and near-immunity to ethereal. Their magical resistance is moderate as well, but they've got neither resistance nor soak protecting them against concussive and the undead tag; the pirest's strike and the knight's thunderstrike will put a serious hurt on him, and the priest's wrath does bonus damage to counteract the resistance and is effective too. Like the vampires from chapter 6 his health is slowly but constantly draining, but he doesn't gain any back from hitting you. They do hit pretty hard though; brace isn't a bad idea when you see one coming. Like the shamblers from way back in chapter 5 they take only ten seconds to revive; put them down again with a solid attack before they have a chance to attack. Uncharged thunderstrike won't do it.

Misguiding Light is another magic attacker, so yes, keep going with aurora. He also has a chi shield. He's extremely resistant to piercing (again) but has low resistance to concussive (again) once you beat down the shield. His magic resistance is too high for attacking directly but low enough that if not for the fact that attacking magically here is impractical (with swordfaith gone) damn plus magic damage would be a good option; if you've got two priests or your magic bullet somehow does a lot of damage, you may want to go for it anyways. He's also immune to poison. His attack is to shoot three magic projectiles; they move slow but eventually hit whoever's in front. When low on health, he'll turn red and try to do a suicide attack; powder imps seem like a good match for this attack, or you could just finish him off quickly. Unlike Candessas, this attack inexplicably is not affected by trick; if you're keeping score at home that's Inconsistency: 3, Munchkining: 78. It also only hurts one person.

Note that unlike the previous chapter, where everyone had rapid natural regeneration, nobody in this chapter except the boss has regeneration or any form of self-healing (chi excluded), and one of them has natural degeneration.

After fighting two battles you'll find some treasure. Priest's hand is pretty good and quite timely with its bonus to aurora; ambassador's ring is great for a priest and decent for certain builds of tanking fighter, robes of state is good for sharpshooters or priests (though priests still wearing the preacher's vestments from Porto Vale may want to hold off switching until at least the end of this area for the aurora bonus) and redemption verse is good for anyone who uses their priest for offense (and in this concussive-weak area, you might want to consider that temporarily). There's two more battles until the end of the area. Somehow despite expectations I found this area pretty easy on my absurd run; I guess I just had my focus on the right skills.

Second area gets rid of that enclosed space effect, but it'll be back later. Sadly there's one battle vs two enemies inbetween you and a save point, because this is the endgame and the author's allowed to get mean. First of those enemies is the Void Blinker. He has pretty average armor, good against concussive, in contrast to the enemies from before; you can attack him as normal, though skills like damn and enpowder aren't wasted. He'll occasionally teleport over to your side and hit the person with the least health+chi for a good ammount of damage; this is probably your sharpshooter. Same rules as with the crone: equip her with any health restoring or boosting items and possibly equip the knight with something that lowers his health (cough Early Grave cough), and try if you can to get the knight's health below hers (but still in a range where he can survive the attack), though since this guy's not alone that won't win you the battle outright. Unlike with the crone you might actually be able to get her health above his at the start of the battle, depending on how heavily you've invested in each. As with the crone, be careful with the timing of your attacks, though he attacks rather infrequently so don't be too paranoid. I wouldn't hold on to them too long, though because of:

Avatar Athelloth. He has a chi shield too and deals some magic damage too (though it's not the majority); awful lot of those round here. Unlike the lights, though, he's quite vulnerable to black bullet. Otherwise, his magic resistance is pretty high but if you cast damn and then attack with nothing but magic it'll come out about the same as if you'd used pure physical attacks; pick one or the other. As with most chi-shielders, if you want to attack physically enpowdered hack is objectively better than any alternative. He has two attacks--he'll hit the whole party for what I think is absolute damage (not a lot, but enough to chip away at your priest) or he'll stick a rune on someone which will after a few seconds turn red and explode for magic damage. The more energy the victim has, the more damage he'll take; to some extent there's nothing you can do about this, but if you're holding an action you should execute it now. On absurd mode this did something 970 (before armor) to someone who had one attack's worth of energy almost immediately after it hit and it seems to be linear.


Last edited by Brickman on Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Pay
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's great to see you back writing the guide Brickman!

I'll try and quickly help with some of the technical uncertainties ( not much time tonight, darn overtime )

- You're correct about Mimics - they count the amount of each damage type they receive and when it exceeds a set threshold, they change their resistace and the damage counters all reset to zero.

- The larger spiders do deal more damage. The green spiders inflict poison and the red spiders do more piercing damage. They have slightly more health and armour too.

- The Martyr Fish immediately deals back a percentage of the damage he was last hit with. It should be for all attacks not just melee, unless there's a bug ( though melee is the most dangerous because damage from other character's attacks may rebound onto your melee character )

- The Avatar Athelloth energy burn does indeed scale linearly with energy, with a set base value added on.

Thanks again for the brilliant guide. Very Happy I very much enjoy reading it.
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
There's now two ways to go; the Upper Levels are necessary to progress the plot and has a powerful armor at the end, and the Storage Room contains at its end a shopkeeper with some powerful (if double-edged) equipment that you'll definitely want. At least a little of that equipment would give you an advantage in the Upper Levels, while the main effect of the armor from the Upper Levels is a boost to charge which won't do you a ton of good in Storage Room, so you may want to do the lower path first. Besides, there's new enemies you may have trouble with in Upper Levels but nothing you haven't seen yet in Storage Room. It is possible to do either one first, but for the purpose of the guide I advanced the plot first, mostly because I felt like it.

After finishing Adjanti Heartroom, the next stop is the Upper Level. This level is not fun. That Dense Mist effect is back, meaning all attacks have a 10% chance of missing and single-target ranged attacks have an additional 20% (meaning most of your sharpshooter's fare and swordfaith, and of course none of what the enemies use). If you encounter a group of the earlier enemies that's yet another point in favor of enpowder, hack and thunderstrike. There's two new enemies as well. The Crystal Contagion has natural regeneration (ok, so I lied earlier), good resistances to everything but virtually no armor, and uses magic projectiles. The main thing that makes him interesting is that he has three forms depending on how much health he has; normally he makes two attacks at once, but when he's wounded beyond a certain point he'll curl up and trade one of those attacks for some extra damage resistance, and if you let him regenerate too much health while hiding behind his allies he'll become bloated and make three attacks at once in exchange for some of his resistance. So if you don't kill him first try to keep him about where he started; if he's in front black bullet should do the trick, if not send an occasional area attack or aim high his way.

The other enemy (and a great choice of people to hide behind) is the Principle Armor. This guy is, quite simply, the game's strongest tank. On normal he has 750 soak against piercing 700 against anything else; on absurd he makes it up to 832 soak vs piercing and 777 soak against concussive and magic. He also has 18% resistance against piercing (19 on abusrd) and 5/8% vs concussive and magic respectively. He also has about 90% ethereal resistance, so don't bother with poison. When he attacks he hits twice for a lot of melee damage. The only way of damaging Principle armor is with support skills; charge, damn, enpowder and/or bless are vital. His piercing resistance and armor is stronger than his others but since he is a large creature aimed shot and slay come out even anyways; however, since aimed shot has a 20% chance of being eaten by the Dense Mist effect, it still loses. My recommendation is charged slay, but if you can't do that for whatever reason you can try enpowdered trick, along with perhaps some blessing or damning. Don't forget the Early Grave sword you got from the crypt; an extra 25% bonus to charge along with a very high base damage is just what you need for this area. I was able to do, on absurd, At least when you bring one down he stays down for a long time. Also wear any equipment with "drain life" effects; that's absolute damage, so it'll work fine (though you can't rely on it to bring him down by itself).

After three random battles you'll find a powerful knight armor (which you should equip right now because it has a bonus to charge) and the controls to restore power to the ship; one more battle will greet you on the way back. The Engineering Breach will now be open; don't go there until after Storage Level though.
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butt latke



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Brickman, thanks for the excellent walkthrough, but in spite of it I'm stuck at the beginning of Chapter 5 Embarassed
Brickman wrote:
The second battle has, in addition to the two shamblers, a mourmodon. [...] There's probably several "best" ways of handling him, but one I'd recommend is to use area of effect attacks right from the start of the battle. Empowdered thunderstrike is especially effective, as it will also do a better job of finishing off everyone who isn't a mourmodon than two separate attacks (which invoke armor twice) and almost everyone in this area is vulnerable to concussive. Even without points in enpowder this was enough to kill reviving shamblers in one round on absurd, while lucky shot and thunderstrike was not, and you'll be doing just enough damage that you'll have the mourmodon mad by the time you've finished off everyone behind him.

Has this been made obsolete due to a patch or what? On normal, with my dudes at lvl 46 and bless+charge+enpowder+thunderstrike maxed out, shamblers still take at least 2 strikes to take out -- by which time my guys have taken a lot of damage while busy buffing and the mourmodon is pissed. I've only gotten past this first mourmodon fight once, just to be creamed by the next. Sad
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monsoonasiian
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wats ur team all i do is thunder and lucky shot and heal with priest just attack together when the mourmodon about finish attacking, repeat. Thats how i cleared that level. shouldn't be ashamed we all hit these roadblocks i couldn't get pass start of world 3 lol Very Happy .
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butt latke



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks -- you're right, they go down easy with thunderstrike+lucky shot Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Razz gd to hear gd luck with the other lvls, if u hit another roadblock don't hesitate to post.
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DesertDweller
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just wanted to pop in and thank Brickman for an excellent guide. This really helped and offered some great tips for all the enemies and situations I had trouble with.

And a big thanks to Mark Pay for making such a great game. Really, this is a gem, especially the complicated history that each character has. That alone was such a great thing to see in a (now) freeware game.
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DesertDweller
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hate to double post but can I get verification for this?

Quote:
The Jester uses a melee attack which chooses its damage type at random (from all four of the normal ones and absolute); the attack might be caught by a chi shield but might not. Note that since the guide says somewhere that absolute damage is undodgable 1/5 of his attacks may be as well, depending on when the type is chosen.


This makes it seem like the melee attack is chosen randomly each time. I'm playing on Absurd in Ch. 8, and doing quite well normally, but I got stuck on a set where I was met with two Jester Fish and an Avatar Alleloth thingy. I'm used to the Avatar using dealing nothing but Absolute damage, nothing a little healing from my two priests can't fix, but the Jester Fish were both just plain crazy, dealing seemingly nothing but absolute damage. Each time they went in for 700+ damage apiece stealing it directly with no dodging at all even with Grace at 60-something dodge percent (and I heard the dodge effect was weighted to make the first couple attacks follow what the trend should be and not be all hits or misses)

The two Jester Fish made at least 10 attacks total, and I quickly went from black bullet, double wrath attack mode to all out health and smokescreen against these devastating fish, but they still dealt absolute damage. I don't think I dodged once that time and quickly fell. (once the jester fish got onto my priests, they were goners)

So Mark can you explain what type of damage is dealt by the Jester Fish?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi DesertDweller,

It is random, so there's a 1/5 chance of each attack dealing Absolute damage. You must have just been very unlucky!
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