Vagrant Story [8] – This Game is Ruthless!

Last time, I wrote about how the pacing of difficulty has evened out, how Vagrant Story got slow and methodical. I guess the game reads this blog, because it decided to kick my ass for saying that.

But let’s go back to the beginning.

It’s Not Ashley’s Story

This is something I’ve been noticing lately. Sure, Ashley is the protagonist you play as, but the way it’s unfolding right now, Ashley is far from being the center of the events in Vagrant Story. He’s an important part, but not the most important part.

Vagrant Story - Callo

Callo keeps doing her own thing and Ashley knows nothing about it.

In the same way Sidney has a major role as a villain, but he isn’t the only villain, nor does he even stand out as a villain. The only way he stands out is by the amount of information he has, and hides from everyone else.

Romeo has his own agenda and his own role to play. Each faction has its own set of intrigues and goals, etc.

Vagrant Story - Romeo

I still can’t decide who’s the biggest villain.

I’m not a great storyteller or writer in general, and this blog should be evidence of that. It’s hard for me to find the proper words to describe what I’m trying to say, but basically, even though it’s a fantasy world, the story in Vagrant Story feels real and down to earth, which makes it so much more interesting and intriguing than your average game story, even though it lacks in scope and epicness. It’s minimal, and yet it manages to say so much.

But let’s get back to the playing part of Vagrant Story.

Progression

I think I’ve already mentioned I have a notebook now, so I’m taking notes. They aren’t detailed enough, though, so some information will still be missing. Let’s see…

I fought an Ogre Lord and won. It’s a reused model of the regular ogre, with changed coloring and a different mask. It was also just as easy and had the same trick – for some reason, ogres are able to dodge most chain attacks, so the best approach is to not chain against them at all. One exception seems to be the MP recovery chain art, the name of which I also forgot.

Vagrant Story - Ogre Lord

Model reuse somehow works better than sprite reuse in my opinion.

One thing I did is that I finally used grimoire Salamandra against the ogre, and I also started using other unused grimoires, though I have yet to use all of them. I also got an Agility bonus of 2 from that boss fight. I’d be happier with a Strength bonus, but I guess agility isn’t bad either.

I also inspected the Ogre Lord and saw the items he was carrying. This made me realize you actually get those items as drops from bosses, which is a pretty cool feature. It adds realism, though it doesn’t completely work that way against regular enemies.

On a quick side note, I both love and hate elementals. On the one hand, they are annoying to fight due to all the flying around. On the other hand, the fact that they carry their resistance (and thus, their weakness) in their name, makes it a whole lot easier to fight them and saves me a cast of the Analyze spell.

Vagrant Story - Water Elemental

Gee, I wonder what I should use against a water elemental.

Around this time, I got the Elephant hilt. Based on the description, it’s supposed to be the most powerful haft, made of Damascus. It was definitely the best heavy mace haft I got up to now, but I’m not sure if the description is just flavor, or if it really means I got the best one in Vagrant Story.

Vagrant Story - Water Elemental

Gee, I wonder what I should use against a water elemental.

In the story department, I got through Limestone Quarry and got to the Temple of Kiltia, if that’s the name. Ashley didn’t really experience anything, but there were some major happenings around Callo and Harden.

I also fought a Minotaur Lord, though it wasn’t categorized as a boss battle. It was definitely worth it, though. It got me the Silver Key, which I then started using to open up treasure rooms throughout Lea Monde.

This is a repeating pattern in Vagrant Story. Most key’s you find open up one or two locations critical to your progression, as well as a bunch of short optional locations where you can fight more unique enemies and find treasure chests.

While exploring, I came to a conclusion. Casting paralysis on flying enemies is bad. Sure, they stop attacking you, but the AI also makes them run away from you, and it’s really, really difficult to catch a flying enemy when they don’t want to be caught. It’s funny at first, but it becomes annoying quickly.

In any case, I used the silver key to get a bunch of treasure, including a Damascus polearm, which promptly replaced my Dragonslayer, and then I got killed by a Lich in a room in Undercity. As I said, Vagrant Story reads my blog and decided to kick my ass.

Gear

As for gear, as I said last time, I’ve been planning ahead. Because of that, I can say several things now.

  • I already have the strongest class of great axe – the Halberd. It’s only a Hagane halberd right now, so I might make a class downgrade for a Damascus great axe soon, but for now, it’s pretty cool to have one.
  • I managed to make a Bastard Sword. This was a huge pain. I had a Schiavona. In fact, I had two, but I also needed a claymore to make one. As it turns out, it can be really complicated to make a claymore, but I was sure I had everything I needed, so I went through my combination notes until I found a path to a claymore.

Sabre Mace + Target Bow = Norse Sword

Norse Sword + Gastraph Bow = Broad Sword

Broad Sword + Schiavona = Katana

Katana + Executioner = Claymore

Claymore + Schiavona = BASTARD SWORD

The bastard sword is basically the best sword I can have at this point, without getting lucky while opening a chest or from a monster drop.

  • I did a lot more research and now have a list of all weapons (and shields) I should aim for to get to the strongest ones the fastest. I haven’t done the armor yet, but I’m working my way up in that department to.
  • I switched from the crossbow to a one-handed axe for fighting phantom enemies. I can’t figure out how I came to the conclusion that crossbows are a good choice for phantoms in the first place. Most phantoms are casters and you definitely need a shield against a caster.
  • I also got a high level one-handed mace, but I can’t find it in my notes and I don’t have the game on me right now. I think it’s a War Hammer, but it might be a Bec de Corbin.
  • As for the one-handed Exorcist axe, it’s a Bullova right now, but I’m only one item away from turning it into a Crescent, which is the strongest one-handed axe.

Next Time…

…I’ll go kill that Lich and see what he’s guarding.

 

 

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