As I thought, the Grand Cathedral is the final area of Vagrant Story. Today, I fought a few more bosses and finally reached the end credits. What an amazing game. I can’t wait to play it again in the New Game+ mode.
The Last Few Bosses
The first boss I fought in my final play was actually an upgraded elemental I missed on the first floor. This one was an upgraded water elemental, called Marid. There wasn’t anything remarkable about the fight, but it did make me realize there’s a typo, or probably a translation error in the game. The higher-level water gems are called Malid Aquamarine, instead of Mari Aquamarine. Since all of the other gems fit with the names of the higher elementals, this was probably a mistake.
Also, since a Marid is part of Arabic folklore, like the rest of the elementals are, I’m assuming that is the proper word and Malid is the mistake.
At this point, I decided I was going the wrong way, so I spent about twenty minutes wandering aimlessly through the Cathedral, before I went back in this exact same area and moved to fight another boss – the Arch Dragon.
The Arch Dragon
The Arch Dragon had a weakness to the dark element, so combined with its high dodge rate, I ended up using mostly break arts to defeat it, in order to keep my risk low. Again, there wasn’t anything remarkable about the fight.
Past the Arch Dragon, there was one final puzzle room. The room was actually short and quick to solve, but the solution wasn’t as obvious to me as the previous rooms, so I spent slightly more time than average solving it. Once I did, there was the next boss – Nightmare.
Nightmare is an upgraded version of a Dark Elemental. Since there are no light fusion or armor spells, I used Magic Ward after buffing Ashley with Heracles and Prostasia, fearing the boss might use an instant kill spells like some of the liches do. It didn’t, but on the plus side, I didn’t take a single point of damage.
Before the final room, I was stuck again. Defeating Nightmare got me to the large room with lots of platforms in the lower area and a single platform leading to a closed door in above them. The door wouldn’t open, so I spent some more time wandering aimlessly.
I wasn’t very patient, so I used google and found that I missed a lever in the room labeled as Light and Dark Wage War on level 2 of the Cathedral. I pulled the lever and that was it. All that was left was the final boss.
The Final Fight
I can’t stress this enough. The narrative of Vagrant Story is pretty awesome. It only answers the questions that need to be answered and keeps a lot for the player to figure out, instead of explaining absolutely everything.
Because of that, I’d hate to reveal too much here, so I won’t name or closely describe the final boss, even though most players would probably expect to fight this boss by this point.
In any case, I fully expected the boss to have two forms and I was absolutely right. The first form was extremely easy and went down fast, but it did love to cast Dispel and Paralysis on me, which carried over to the second form.
Between the two forms, there was a lengthy story sequence which further focuses on Ashley, who isn’t really focused on during most of the game.
The second form actually killed me on my first attempt. It kept moving in circles around the arena and I wasn’t able to catch it. Then it cast a spell called Apocalypse, which does multiple hits of about 60-70 damage, so Ashley was dead with a single shot. As usual, I was careless and I was punished for it.
On my second attempt, I was careful to be fully buffed between forms and kept casting Magic Ward during the second form. I figured I might as well use all of my items, so I generously used health and MP restoratives, allowing me to be completely protected and use break arts until the fight was over.
Near the end, the camera shifted to a top-down perspective and the boss was obviously about to cast something extremely powerful. I used an item to completely fill up my health and then used one final break art on the boss, killing it before it could cast the spell.
I’m not sure if this was scripted, but it felt awesome.
New Game+. What carries over?
I waited for the credits to roll through and saved a clear file. I was extremely interested into what New Game+ actually is in Vagrant Story, so I played through all the way to the first storage container. Here’s what carries over in Vagrant Story New Game +.
- HP, MP and the other Stats
- Known magic, battle abilities and probably break arts, though those are disabled until the point in the story where they become enabled.
- Equipment, but not the consumables. Also everything in the storage, sans consumables.
- In-game statistics, obviously.
Basically, by playing over and over again, thanks to stats crossing over, you can make Ashley extremely powerful, which is an awesome feature. By this point, I’ve beaten the game anyway, so if I like grinding (and I do), I could play for as long as I want.
Playing through to the first storage container made me realize Ashley is already insanely powerful, even after only the first playthrough. Most enemies drop in one hit and the first few bosses can be chained to death before they are able to act.
It’s an awesome feeling.
I fully intend to play through Vagrant Story at least one more time, but not immediately. I’d like to play another game first and then return to it, or I’m risking burning myself out.