It was also a pretty easy fight, thanks to the Exorcist job. The third skill it gives will restore 30MP each turn, which is amazing for mages, and totally worth the equip cost (which is a paltry 1 slot). This meant I could spam the most powerful bishop heal on everyone each turn for free (and actually get 6 MP back!) Needless to say, a lot of fights got easier after that, especially the following boss.
I got the airship too. It was pretty obvious, but somehow stranger than the airship from the first game. Speaking of which, where is that? Anyway, getting the ship and airship felt really close together and a little odd. You have to stick with the stupid canoe for way longer than you get a ship.
-Spoilers-I fought another boss that may be more annoying than Geist. Coincidentally, it is his son Revenant. True to his name he is a ghost (although not a zombie that Hawk has to put into a soul orb). He's annoying and an asterisk holder. Basically, he can possess one of your party members so he has access to their abilities and you can't damage him. He really liked to possess my fighters, and use steal breath. This would of course heal him, and not the body he was in. However, damaging him while he was in a body would only damage the body and not him...which is pretty broken in his favor.
Actually, many of the gimmicky asterisk boss fights are like that. The battle is really skewed in favor of whatever dumb gimmick the job has to show it in a better light. Often, when you then get these jobs, they are nowhere near as good as advertised. For example, the swordmaster. The reason that fight can be hard is he is very counter-heavy. If you attack him, even with splitting your moves between magic and physical, he has 2-4 chances to counter you for big damage. If you guess correctly (unlikely), they you are fine. However, reversing the roles, you have a 1 in 4 chance of him hitting your one person. The odds are not in your favor and set up an unrealistic scenario for the job's effectiveness. I feel like Revenant's asterisk is going to be similar.
I also finished chapter 4, which results in you getting the bad ending. Anyone who played the first game will understand that you have to get this "ending" to further the story. They kind of hit you over the head with what to do, but I foolishly thought it would all be automatic. It wasn't, and that meant I would have to basically do the whole game over again, because I missed the tiny window where I was actually supposed to do something I don't normally do. During the Kaiser fight at the beginning of the game, you have one action, where you can only really attack. Hence, why I thought it was going to be automatic, since I couldn't do anything else.
Except, I could use the hourglass. Considering how often I used it before now (maybe twice), I totally forgot it was an option. It's what I was supposed to do. Thankfully I didn't get to far in repeating the whole damn game because of a slight mistake before looking it up and shaking my head. A better idea than the first game for sure, but still annoying.
I like that in the new world/run, you still fight the asterisk holders again, but they tend to team up, so the fight is different. You still know how to deal with them, but there is at least a small twist to keep them more interesting. However, they do team up Geist and Revenant, which could potentially be a horrible combination. So, I abused the SP (hey they wanted me to use it...) to break the damage limit and hit them with specials to drop them fast. I figure why not, since I don't want to put up with their crap again, especially not together.
Returning to the world map shows several side quests. This is the chance to redo them and pick the other side. So, that was how I spent the next few hours, since I did want to pick up all of them, but a few were a top priority. First stop, the red mage. After that my intention was to get the monk.
However, I got a little mixed up and did the performer fight instead. You see, some of the side quest have you do the whole thing again, and some you can skip to the end. I didn't know this and talked to the person for the performer v pirate side quest, which is just the conversation and then the fight. While it is something I would have done eventually, I was going to put that one off till last. I then went and got the monk, so I was a happy camper.
One cool thing besides being able to skip chunks of some of the quests is that the dialogue changes. Edea remembers the arguments, so she just sums it up for the people, which usually confuses them a bit. Bravo to the developers for making it more player friendly!
I cleaned up the rest of the jobs before continuing the story. I did mess up one other time, returning to the wrong dungeon and did the knight job fight instead of the ranger one. Oops...again. While doing this, I came to the realization that many of the jobs from the previous game have been toned down, or outright outdone by the new jobs. Dual wielding doesn't seem as good, and neither does the dragoon. White and black magic are terrible compared to the bishop and sorcerer. It's sad to see the classics treated this way, but it does make the new jobs at least appear very useful. And I suppose that means you can skip the side quests, although I don't know why you would want to. At least some of the passive skills are still awesome.
During this whole time, I managed to fine tune my boss setup and make it even better. I'm a big fan of spellcraft, but had not even begun to understand how great it could be. I would have my healer set up a benediction mist to heal a lot of HP at the end of the turn for a few turns, and could have them default while it was down to recover the BP it takes to keep a continuous chain of it. The other mage would do any other healing that was needed, or attack with elemental weaknesses. Tiz and Yew, who I had as physical damage dealers (one as a bow thief and the other a hunter), would default to build up to max BP, then unleashed it all in a turn. Barrage made this a little more effective than just attacking each turn. It wasn't foolproof, but it was very safe, effective and I loved it.
-Spoilers (again)-The final boss of chapter 5 was really annoying. It was a Ba'al that had a mirror coat that reflected all damaging attacks. It starts with 100%, and each reflected attack will take 20% off of this. So 5 attacks and it's down, right? Sort of. At the end of each turn, it will automatically restore 20%, so each turn you have to suffer at least one reflected attack.
So how best to beat this? I tried being clever, and reflecting non-damaging spells like Antidote and stuff, but that didn't seem to lower the percent. Fine, so I try to reflect a heal spell. No dice. I eventually figured out to hit it with my mage(s), so the reflected damage was negligible, but they go at the end of the turn, so I still have to eat one attack before damaging it. I got he bright idea to knock down the shield, then blow an SP point to use a special and break the damage limit. Ha! Smashed him down good...and then he just gets to full heal because plot. So, rinse repeat and then...the fight ends, but 'story wise' he wouldn't die. It was resolved, but the fight was really stupid in my opinion. However, it was just a portent of things to come...
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