7th Dragon - Of Course I Know Who Santa Claus Is, You Moron

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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7th Dragon is an JRPG made in 2009 by Imageepoch (the company proceeded to go bankrupt in 2015). It was produced by Rieko Kodama, one of the leading artists and later director for the Phantasy Star series, and it was directed by Kazuya Niinou, who also directed the first Etrian Odyssey game. It's pretty easy to see the influences from Etrian Odyssey here, as it has a lot in common, to the point where it feels almost derivative and doesn't really have its own identity. The later games would be much better about differentiating themselves. However, unlike Etrian Odyssey, it's not a dungeon crawler, just a regular JRPG, where you create your own band of characters and go around slaying dragons. Sounds like fun, huh? Anyways, as mentioned before, it is part of a series, which only consists of 4 games. Unfortunately, only the 4th game, 7th Dragon III Code: VFD got an official English release, where the others never left Japan.

That is, until a goon by the name of Pokeytax completed a fan translation of the game in 2014. (And the 2nd and 3rd games later on.) You can find the fan translations for those here.

If you're wondering why there are 2 patches for the game, well... I won't lie, the game has some problems. It's very rough around the edges, but the two biggest problems the game has are the ridiculously high encounter rates, and the damage tiles. There are damage tiles everywhere, which take off a decent chunk of your party's HP and dealing with them is very tedious. One of the patches just translates the text, and leaves the rest of the game alone. The USA patch translates the game, but also halves the encounter rate, and heavily lowers the amount of damage the party takes from damage tiles, eliminating the two biggest problems with the game. If you plan on playing this game, please play the humane patch. The game is rough enough around the edges as it is. With that said, I did enjoy my time with the game, and hope to show if off to all of you.

I'll be playing with said humane patch, and this will be a narrative LP, where I take submissions for characters and write in some lines for them and such.

Spoiler Policy

Considering that the only game that was released outside of Japan was the 4th game, I'd appreciate it if spoilerific discussion of the first 3 games didn't happen at all. You can discuss the 4th game, but please do tag and label your spoilers in that case.

Game Mechanics:

Basic Mechanics and Formulae
Aggro

Class Showcases:

Fighter
Rogue
Samurai
Knight
Mage
Healer
Princess

Updates:

Update 1: The Road Ahead
Update 2: Touring Kazan
Update 3: Questing
Update 4: Raging Beast
Update 5: The Case of the Fried Shrimp
Update 6: The First Dragon
Update 7: DRAGON! DRAGON!
-Update 7.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 8: King
-Update 8.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 9: Mountain Climbing
-Update 9.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 10: Mantis Dragon
-Update 10.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 11: Deathscissor
-Update 11.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 12: Eclipse
-Update 12.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 13: Pleroma
-Update 13.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 14: Love Hunting
Update 15: Not So EXcellent After All
-Update 15.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 16: Armanos
-Update 16.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 17: "What were they thinking?" "They weren’t."
Update 18: Love Hunting II
Update 19: Mantlion
Update 20: Flame Eater
Update 21: Arietta
-Update 21.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 22: Sleeping Lion
-Update 22.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 23: Tyrannosaurus
Update 24: Party in Kazan!
Update 25: Ancient Technology
Update 26: Invisible
Update 27: An Earthshaking Revelation
Update 28: Breaking the Hippocratic Oath
Update 29: Mountain Slayer
Update 30: Tasty Rainbows
-Update 30.5: NPC Dialogue
Update 31: Innocence Glitched
-Update 31.5: NPC Dialogue

Other:

April Fools

Special Thanks to:
  • Can Of Worms for ripping all the enemy sprites for me.
Last edited by Araxxor on Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:02 am, edited 15 times in total.

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Character List

Blaze Dragon's character: Stella the Fighter

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A loud, clearly eccentric woman with a passion for her job. Her absolute inspirations are the latest anime she watched the heroes of old, and she has no goal but to become one as good or even better than those. As such, she's constantly boisterous, ready to charge at any problem head-on, and with a giant grin on her face when she gets to show off. She likes showing off. In fact, she likes showing off so much that she'll loudly exclaim just how much she's doing so, so people can realize she is, indeed, showing off. This is usually done by long chants and complex attack names that are undeniably chuuni as fuck very heroic! She also likes having other people follow her in her heroic exploits, thus her wish to join said people in a guild so they can be very heroic together!

Logicblade's character: Ark the Rogue

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Ark is an exile from her home village with an urge to take anything that isn't tied down to the ground. Her goals in life are simple; to get rich, make friends and to eat sweets, and she'll do whatever it takes to achieve those goals. She's cunning, but is about as emotionally sensitive as a rock and doesn't really get social etiquette, which often finds herself with far more enemies than friends, despite her best intentions. She took to adventuring because it was the fastest way to achieve her dream (and maybe come back to her home village when she's rich and famous).

blizzardvizard's character: Haru the Samurai

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Life as a gardener was simple for Haru. Sure, the old mistress is harsh and rude, and her mansion is a chore to weed out, but he gets a roof to sleep under, regular meals and a decent allowance. So he keeps wearing a smile and cheery demeanor even though the mistress chews on him daily, because he's one to see silver linings. All things considered, he's lucked out.

One day, though, these ominous-looking flowers started appearing everywhere in the mansion, and when Haru peeked out the walls, he could see the fields outside swarming with them too. As luck would have it, the mistress returned from her vacation on that same day, and she was furious. She screamed at Haru to get rid of them. Not just the ones inside the mansion - she doesn't want to see them when on her way to town, when she looks out the window, or when she takes a walk anywhere. "And don't come back until every single one of those flowers out there is gone!"

Well, he's known better by now than to question her unreasonable demands, Haru sighed inwardly. And hey, on the bright side, that'sa a couple of days, maybe, without the mistress shouting in his ears. It's obvious there's no way he could do this on his own, though. So he packed up some essentials, crafted a makeshift weapon out of his gardening shears for self-protection, and made his way to Kazan. It's a big city, someone there's probably crazy enough to help him weed out a continent.

cdyoung's character: Buront the Knight

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A paladinknight from an unknown kingdom called San d'Oria. Who fell out of the sky and through the roof of the Kazan Guild hall one day. He didn't know where he was, or who anyone was when he came too, apparently blaming his predicament on "Filthy Backstabbing Ninjas" which the guild receptionists assumed he meant Rogues. Since his arrival he has kept himself busy by helping the townsfolks with odd jobs, always spouting off about how a true knight always helps people in need, and also several weird terms or saying that surprisingly fit the situation at hand but is generally completely alien in context.

CommissarMega's character: Nila the Mage

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Nila Converse is an up-and-coming mage who dreams of fame, fortune, and FIREBALLS. She has been driven to a life of adventure as it provides her with an excuse to blast people nobody would miss at maximum power and rob them into the bargain an opportunity to safely practice her skills, thus avoiding the prospect of a long sentence in a maximum security prison allowing her the prospect of accelerated study at the acclaimed magical university of her choice working as a 'trained consultant' in the private mercanacy company of her choice.

TeeQueue's character: Edward the Healer

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Edward had been a part of multiple different guilds before, none of whom made it past their first outing without suffering multiple deaths. As these things always go, the remaining guild members all blamed the healer. Over time this made a once stereotypical warm and friendly healer slowly become jaded and cynical. His teammates overextending themselves or taking crazy risks drives him wild, and in times of extreme duress he frequently starts muttering to himself about how utterly screwed they are.

oB2Ko Mario's character: Dia the Princess

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Over a thousand years ago, an evil demon ruled the planet with an iron fist. A Dark One whose name may never be uttered, it unleashed evils so horrific that ancient accounts of its wrath barely scratched the surface of the pure agony and destruction it caused. But, despite how much terror it bestowed into the hearts of all living beings who have come to know it, a clan of warriors stepped forth to challenge the demon and set the world free of its wrath. Against the staggering odds, the clan fought a bloody, merciless battle until, miraculously, it finally prevailed over the demon. In an effort to prevent such evil from escaping into the world again, the clan sealed the demon into the planet's core, never to see the light of day ever again. However, the demon proclaimed it would have the final laugh, as it cursed the remaining clan members with an evil that will haunt them for generations: an eventuality that, one day, the clan will cause the reawakening of the demon once again.

Exactly one thousand years later, about fifteen years from the present day, the last descendant of the clan had been born. A young princess, claiming her royalty thanks to the ancestors who defeated the Dark One, had received the full brunt of the curse. Her parents had witnessed the awakening of the demon once again, through the eyes of the girl that they had carefully raised in peace. But alas, though the demon had awoken as this young girl, its power was still hopelessly sealed away in the core of the planet, never to be wielded by this once all-powerful ruler ever again. Now stuck as a young girl, Dia joins the Hunters in Kazan, hopelessly defeated by the prospect of never regaining her dark glory ever again. But hey, maybe she can eventually find a group strong enough to undo her power's seal, and restore her to her true self? Who knows.

Fan Art:

werbear shows that detective Stella will get the job done.

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Artist's depiction of Stella with one of her weapons during the great dragon war. Courtesy of LightningSquid.

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Soundtrack for your Listening Pleasure

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Last edited by Araxxor on Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:28 am, edited 5 times in total.

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For those of you that kept up with this on SA, I'm sad to say that, no. I don't have an update ready. I was still working on cleaning up the Etrian Odyssey 3 LP, but I've done a lot of work on that end already, so it's going back on the backburner for now. Was hoping to come back with a minor update at least, but oh well.

The good news is that work on this LP is now resuming, so updates will hopefully resume shortly.

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I missed our crew of misfits so much. Glad to know this is continuing.

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thank god I actually would've died if you put the alternate ending through

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I'm glad to see the crew of misfits are back.

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Echoing above and I'm glad to hear that this is gonna be back soon. This LP has already caused me to pick up and go through both of the PSP 2020 games (...twice for the first one, even).

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And more mechanics discoveries as I did more game mechanics research. Will probably stuff this into a mechanics update somewhere I guess.

Purge not being able to kill Dragons until they fall under 10% life is not unique to it. Turns out that Dragons will straight up block any instant kill attempts period until they fall under that threshold.

The party's preemptive strike rate starts out at 3%. This rate increases for every 2 levels your party's average level is above the encounter's average level, up to +5% for 10 levels or beyond, for a total of 8%.

For how blindsides operate, it works considerably differently. Like preemptives, they start out at 3%. However, if you are in a Bloom infested area (It's whenever the screen is tinted purple. In the world map, it's only if you're near the Bloom. In Bloom infested dungeons this is... all the time until the Bloom is entirely eradicated.) The blindside rate jumps immediately up to 13%! Preemptives are checked for first, so that can indirectly reduce the blindside rate.

Running away for 5 turns in a battle will guarantee escape on the 5th turn. Turns, not attempts. Doesn't care who does it, or if it was done consecutively, just cares that there were 5 turns in total in the battle there were escape attempts.

If a boss can summon minions, and you kill the boss before killing the minions, the battle is no longer flagged as inescapable. Escaping forfeits all exp and item drops. Whoops! On the plus side, the game acts like you killed the boss, so that's all that breaks.

If your party dies in battle, but you kill the last enemy in battle through a counterattack (Mage Veils), the person who counterattacked is immediately revived at 1 HP, allowing you to win the battle. There is even unique text for this scenario: "X somehow survived the attack!" But be warned, this also applies to the enemies! If an enemy kills you through a counterattack under the same circumstances, they'll also be revived on the spot, causing you to get a game over.

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Boy I had to resist making comparisons to Etrian Odyssey Nexus' Ronin since that's out of the scope of this LP. (Some of the mechanics resemblances are kind of uncanny.)

Anyways, if you read some fan sites for info, there's a bit of misinformation that's provided about the Samurai. For some reason, there's this misconception that both Guardbreak and Musou Arts do more than they actually do. It's claimed that Guardbreak can ignore damage multipliers, and Musou provides an additional effect that does that as well. And that Musou Arts also provides a status resistance buff. As far as I can tell, this isn't the case. I checked the data and hacked the game to test this, and found they did absolutely nothing of the sort. So if you were wondering why those aspects weren't mentioned in this showcase, that's why.

Some other mechanics stuff I'll probably put in an earlier update since I don't think I talked about these much.

Sleep disables evasion, and provides a 30% damage boost for physical damage. (Nerfed down from a 50% damage boost from Etrian Odyssey 1.)

Any entity in battle can have up to 5 buffs and debuffs total. They share the same slots unlike in EO where you can have 3 buffs and 3 debuffs. Buff and debuffs cannot be extended, their durations can only be refreshed. There's also a special type of buff known as Switch buffs. You can only have one of these active at a time, but they are permanent, and cannot be forcibly dispelled under any means, though they still eat up a buff slot. These can only be overwritten by other Switch buffs. React buffs also have these same properties, however they have a set duration and can wear off that way.

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Setting out to confirm the Flame Eater's location, and taking a look at some other locales.

Also when I said earlier that updates are gonna be shorter due to how the game gets structured, this is what I meant. There's a lot to cover in this game now that it's basically opened up like this, and shorter updates are easier to pump out. Even though by normal SSLP standards, these wouldn't be considered short.

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Also something I'm gonna put back in the King update, his concept art.

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Concept art of King. The first version looks a lot like Wyrm/The Great Dragon from Etrian Odyssey.

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Official artwork of King uninjured and what he looked like after his battle with Doris.

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The monster designer also made a version where he was just bleeding out. According to them, this is what King looked like right after his battle with Doris. The stated reason for why you don't see all that blood when you fight him is that he stopped bleeding by that point.

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And now we know dragon blood is green. Or at least King's is. Does it have any connection to the plants they're associated with, I wonder...
Last edited by Angel on Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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So here we see the site of a former inn. Unfortunately, it burned down in a dragon attack.

Please ignore any rumors that Nila just tossed a fireball at it, they are completely unfounded.

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Due to stupidly designed UI causing me to lose a large amount of work relating to this LP due to a fucking misclick, this LP is now cancelled.

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After thinking it over and being in a better mood now, I'll get back to rebuilding my back end and then resuming the LP. Next update will probably take a while to come out as a result (not like that part is anything new.)

It just wouldn't be an Araxxor/Dr. Fetus LP without something/multiple things exploding.

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I'm happy to hear you're picking it back up, but I'm still gonna say that the setback is horrible bullshit and I wish it never happened to you.

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We deal with Aizhen and finish our first sub-event at last!

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Due to a massive storm that hit my area tonight, several electronics in my house basically no longer function, and my computer lost quite a few files in the process. Needless to say, next update is massively delayed. Yet again.

I’m really getting tired of this.

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I have decided to change up the party whenever side ventures happen from here on out to add more variety to the party compositions.

Oh yeah, getting a decently hefty side quest done with some hefty rewards. It's nice. One more update after this covering some side quests that have been on the back burner way too long and we should be good to go for dealing with the Invisible mission.

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On the next installment of 7th Dragon surprises, there was a pretty big one I found regarding magic damage when I noticed some weird damage numbers on Nila's rampages. The Mage's damage output is soft capped.

What this means is that if their damage exceeds 900 points of damage, the game will forcibly lower any excess damage past that point by a whopping 75%. Their damage can still be boosted, you'll just start seeing heavy diminishing returns past that point.

The softcap formula is:

Final Damage = [(Damage - 900) / 4] + 900

This means that an attack that would have dealt say, 10,000 damage, only ends up dealing 3,175 damage in the end. This actually means that using Concentrate in some cases can end up being a DPS loss. And it may be better to just toss out EX boosted normal spells instead. Hitting weaknesses does count towards triggering the soft cap, so by late-game you may just be better off forgoing Concentrate or EX just to smack a weakness with a normal spell.

This doesn't set a Mage back that much, they're still incredibly strong beatsticks by end and post-game. But it definitely stops them from destroying the game harder than they already did. This does add more value to the Mage's Veil skills, especially if you have a Knight or a Princess in the party to Provoke enemies and trigger veils, as a veil counter + a Mage spell technically counts as a multihit, bypassing the soft cap entirely. :v:

The only documentation I found of this was fan sites noting that "EX + Concentrate seems to have some sort of complex equation causing them to not fully stack." and "A glitch from a lategame EX skill causes the damage boost to not apply to the Mage at all under certain circumstances." Which isn't true. Everything fully stacks, it's just by lategame the Mage is super susceptible to ramming headfirst into the soft cap.

Just in case you're wondering, physical attacks are not subject to this at all.

Oh and while researching how enemy magic damage worked to see if soft caps applied to them as well, they don't, but I did discover yet another oddity. It turns out if for some reason, an enemy's INT is much lower than the base damage of the spell they're trying to cast, the game uses an entirely different damage formula in that case, one that weirdly stops the damage from tapering off entirely.

If the enemy's INT is equal to or less than Base Damage / 10:

Damage = [(User's INT * 8) + (Base Damage / 5) – (Target's DEF / 2) – (Target's INT / 2)] * Damage Multipliers

Else:

Damage = [(User's INT / 2) + Base Damage – (Target's DEF / 2) – (Target's INT / 2)] * Damage Multipliers

I don't really know how much this applies to, as generally the devs were careful enough to not give enemies disproportionately low INT compared to the spells that they can cast, but I'm listing it out just in case. (Or if someone who reads this has an interest in modding the DS game or something and is wondering why the heck enemy spell damage went all crazy.)

That's... something, alright. Guess that's one way to reign in charge nonsense but mostly makes me glad the later games are simpler affairs.

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It's a sidequest and puzzle bonanza! Featuring a 7th Dragon trivia show! Just how well do you know the world of 7th Dragon? Test your knowledge and find out!

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Okay apparently this site had a hiccup and ate some posts when the rollback happened, so reposting this mechanics post that got deleted before.

Are you all ready for another surprise mechanic?

Turns out there's a way to make dragons easier to kill, and players may have engaged in this without knowing it. What this mechanic is, is that there's a 0.95x to 1.3x multiplier applied to the dragons' damage and ailment multipliers, in increments of 0.05. (So 0.95, 1, 1.05, 1,1, etc.) What this depends on is how much of the overworld Bloom is gone in an area relative to the dungeon the dragon resides in. Basically, it's the shop price mechanic, only applied in such a way it makes killing dragons easier if you engage in it. The more of the Bloom around the dungeon that's gone, the easier it is to kill all the dragons in it. Bloom in the dungeons doesn't matter for this. Though that being said, the dungeon does check a really large portion of the continent around it, and sometimes the ocean as well, so you can't always get that 30% damage and infliction rate boost even if you do your best to destroy the Bloom, especially in the earlygame where your transportation methods are limited.

The short version is, lawnmow the continents and the ocean, and the dragons get easier to kill.

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Image It's a good idea to clean up the Bloom too.

Turns out this was indeed hinted at in the game. I just didn't pick up on the hints until I realized how the mechanics worked.

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Addendum to the soft cap mechanic!

Yeah, so I was wrong in my previous post. I found out how it actually worked when I looked into things more. And it's not so much a soft cap so much as the game switching over to a different damage formula in certain circumstances.

Damage = [(User's INT / 2) * Spell Power + (Base Damage * Mastery Power) – (Target's DEF / 2) – (Target's INT / 2)] * Damage Multipliers * Concentrate Factor * EX Factor

It's a little more complex than the more straightforward physical damage formula, but everything works as you would expect. Concentrate and EX stack fully here.

However, if at any point the result from this formula is equal to or greater than INT * 10, the game swaps over to this formula instead:

Damage = (User's INT * 8) + [(Spell Power * (INT / 10)) + (Base Damage * Mastery Power / 5) – (Target's DEF / 10) – (Target's INT / 10) * Damage Multipliers * Concentrate Factor * EX Factor]

This is where things get weird. So Spell Power gets multiplied by a value of the Mage's INT divided by 10. And this is where all the damage multipliers, weaknesses, boosts from Concentrate and EX get applied. And then the Mage's INT gets multiplied by 8 and gets added onto the previously calculated damage. However this will always result in less damage than the first formula.

So, what is this formula for? Well it serves as a bit of a countermeasure to using EX and Concentrate together. But it also serves to namely hurt the Mage's earlygame, not really their lategame though it still has an effect there. To put things into perspective, here's how much a Mage with 20 INT and a level 5 spell with Concentrate and EX would perform. Under the alternative damage formula, they would deal 229 to 254 points of damage. Under the normal damage formula? A whopping 391 to 432 points. Which would be enough to straight up annihilate several things by that point.

In order to avoid ramming into this alternative damage formula, INT increases are valuable. Not only do they increase base damage, they increase the soft cap as well, and even if you do ram into the soft cap, their INT stat will prevent the damage from being decreased too much. Basically if the Mage doesn't have enough intellect, they can't utilize the full power of their magic. As the game goes on, the soft cap actually hurts less and less. By mid and late-game, the damage decrease will still be noticeable, but not nearly enough to hurt them compared to earlygame (and it's not like they needed help there anyways.)

Also another addendum!

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Image So you may have a recurrence of it. And that may renew the Dragon population. It's an ugly story.
Wrong Araxxor wrote:This is also thankfully false! If you’ve completely eradicated the Bloom from a dungeon, it cannot regrow unless you deliberately use a Bloom Seed there. While Bloom can regrow on the world map, dungeons cannot get reinfected. I’m wondering if this game originally had different Bloom mechanics and they forgot to clean up some help text relating to it.
I was also wrong about this. How do I know this you may ask? As it turns out, some poor unfortunate souls rested at an Inn during a crucial part of the game, and their Inn rest caused one dungeon to get reinfected and revive all the dragons there. This caused them to be unable to progress until the reinfected dungeon was cleared out.

Fortunately such an occurrence seems to be rare, as the 8x8 patch of Bloom has to spawn on top of a dungeon entrance to do so. But it can happen.

Well it's hardly intuitive but I guess makes some sort of sense considering how early you can get Concentrate, and I guess technically the game doesn't actually *lie* about what it does. Still, mostly makes me glad that the later games just decided to make those skills available late instead.

Huh, that makes a lot more sense then just slapping mages with an arbitrary soft cap, and tying max damage as well as base damage to int is something. of course this whole thing just seems like an attempt to keep concentrate from being busted like Etrian Odyssey 3 etheric charge, but if they didn't want the player to abuse the charge skill then why did they include it in the first place? just by their nature charge skills will almost always be either too strong or garbage so why go to the effort of soft-capping the mages damage when you could just not implement the skill?

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We go on an archeological dig.

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Time to take down Invisible!

Of course, as this mission has been completed, it's time for a party vote!

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Stella, Edward, Buront

I really like Invisible's design. I mean I like the designs of most things in this game. Just like Etrian Odyssey, you can have all sorts of magnificent or terrifying creatures, but still stylised and 'cute' enough that it doesn't look out of place to have chibi-proportion adventurers fighting them.

Really missed opportunity that the cloud background is not constantly scrolling upwards to give the sense that you're all falling.

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Party votes so far:

Stella: 5
Dia: 4
Buront: 2
Edward: 2
Haru: 1
Ark: 1
Nila: 0

:stonk: Well, that'll make things bloody for the upcoming mission if things keep going the way they are now. Not insurmountable, but bloody.

Also have an unused set of lines from that last update. I sadly had to scrap these as the respective characters did not show up there, and I couldn't refit them for the current cast since everyone's personalities were too different to make use of the lines:

Image We're plummeting. We're actually plummeting at terminal velocity. Out of all the ways to perish, you had to choose one of the more terrifying methods.
Image Oh? I didn't think a big bad demon would be that scared of crash landings.
Image Of course you would have no need to worry.
Image We'll be alright! They said they would catch us if we got too close to the ground. Now, sing us a song, Dia!

[Screenshot of a Heated Words cast]

Image AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!
Image What beautiful music! ♪
Image I could listen to it all day! ♪

Bloody you say.

Stella, Dia, and Edward.

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Doesn't look like anymore votes are coming in so voting is closed! Final results:

Stella: 8
Dia: 6
Edward: 4
Ark: 3

Buront: 2
Haru: 1
Nila: 0

Well um. Looks like Stella, Edward, Ark, and Dia are the ones coming along for the next mission. :stonk: On the plus side, it has my favorite Imperial Dragon in the entire series, so look forward to that I guess.

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WELCOME TO 7TH DRAGON! :black101:

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This game may be a janky, player-unfriendly mess but when it wants to be memorable, it really wants to be memorable, which is something VFD lacked for the most part.

Granted there's such a thing as being too much of a janky, player-unfriendly mess, but I guess that's why the translation includes a humane patch.

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Slight change of plans. I intended for this dungeon to be a 2-parter, but I underestimated how long this dungeon was, and this part was getting so long it turned into a 3-parter. And I might as well start breaking up dungeons into multiparts cause some of the later dungeons in this game get looooooong.

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Also as it turns out completing 3 missions is what progresses the game to late-game, not all 4. So there won't be a vote right away for a party swap after Earthshaker dies, so I'll be doing a bit more sidequesting after this.

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While researching some things for the next update, I've discovered some things. Yet again. Why the fuck are there so many hidden surprise mechanics in this game? :psyduck:

So Sand Kick Blind is coded as a different ailment than Blind, but it only lasts one turn. As it turns out there's an additional benefit. While normal Blind causes attacks to miss 50% of the time, Sand Kick Blind causes attacks to miss 100% of the time. If the attack is capable of missing anyways.

Now onto the bigger surprises. As it turns out, this game has a bad luck mitigation mechanic when it comes to inflicting ailments. Each time you miss landing an infliction, a hidden counter increases for that ailment on the target. The higher this counter is, the easier it is to land that ailment later. Once you land that specific ailment, its counter will be set back to 0. However unlike its sister game, Etrian Odyssey 1, there's no good luck mitigation mechanic, so you don't have to worry about lucky streaks getting cut down. It's pretty simple. Each stack adds on 20% of the base infliction rate to the final infliction rate. However missed attempts only increases the counter if the infliction itself missed. If an attack that can inflict something missed damaging the target entirely, that doesn't count. And all this applies to all ailments.

Base Infliction Rate + (Base Infliction Rate * 0.2 * Missed Attempts)

Missed Attempts caps out at 200. Once you land the ailment, the Missed Attempts counter for said ailment goes back to 0. You cannot abuse this by landing an ailment higher in the hierarchy, and then spamming a lower tier ailment to increase the counter for that ailment, that doesn't work. The game freezes the counters for any lower tier ailments until the current ailment wears off. However it does not freeze for the same ailment, as you can reapply Poison even if the enemy is Poisoned and such.

Another aspect to note is that the counter will still keep ticking up even if the enemy is outright immune to the ailment. This is because certain mechanics allow bypassing of immunites, that can actually benefit from this. Bizarrely enough, anything that inflicts an ailment increases this counter, even if the infliction is literally impossible because its rate is set to 0%, or it's like Purge, where the infliction is conditional, not RNG based.

And there's a calculation glitch because of course there is. For some reason if the infliction rate reaches a multiple of 100% exactly, the game kind of goes nuts and randomly adds or subtracts 1% or 2% from the final infliction rate. I don't know why this happens. :psyduck:
Perfect Dark: Instantly kills anyone in the party that is under 60% of their maximum life. Otherwise, 0% chance of inflicting Sleep on the entire party. Has a speed modifier of 60%.
As it turns out, this skill Eclipse has technically does something even if you avoid the Instant Death part. Each time it is cast, your entire party gets more susceptible to Sleep. (Remember Eclipse has access to Dream Edge.)

Now what's the downside? Enemies benefit from all this too. Eventually they will land that ailment as the fight goes on, so you can't avoid ailments forever. Which is especially important to keep in mind for the most deadly ones.

And now for the final surprise mechanic. As it turns out I was dead wrong about how EX worked with ailments in DS. It's stronger. Much stronger. What does it do? After all the ailment calculations are run through an enemy's ailment multipliers and all other calculations, as long as the infliction rate never reached 0% or below, using EX adds 10% to the final infliction rate. Yeah. In short when you use EX, you have a guaranteed 10% chance of landing an ailment. And yes this works with all of them.

So for those of you that are familiar with deeper Etrian Odyssey 3/Etrian Odyssey 4/Persona Q mechanics, it's literally Wild Mastery/Ailment Boost/Impure Reach. On demand. And every class has access to it. Yeah. (Okay nowhere near as strong as Impure Reach, but still.)

To illustrate how strong this is for those of you not familiar with that jargon I just spouted out in the previous paragraph, let me show you an example.

Let's take Tidal Wave, a Fighter EX skill that has a 75% base chance to inflict Skill Seal.

A lot of bosses have a 5% multiplier to that, bringing that down to only 3%, meaning it would take an average of 34 attempts to land it. Not good odds. However if you use EX, that 3% jumps up to a whopping 13% chance, meaning the average amount of attempts to inflict Skill Seal becomes a mere 8 attempts. Yeah it's really strong.



In short, this is about how I'm feeling with this game every time I dig into it.

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We kill a goddamn mountain! :black101:

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On the one hand pure ailment skills have a bad tendency to be pretty lame and setups that rely on them are stuck going nowhere until they stick so anything that speeds that along is nice. On the other hand you'd think they'd bother to at least allude to that somewhere. On the gripping hand though I am absolutely here for these weird hidden mechanic posts so.

Good old counterstance BS. At least it's not as bad as it is in some games.

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Goddamn, Edward's not even halfway up the chain of battle healer and he's already bringing a significant contribution to the damage train.

Also, watching Stella decapitate a mountain was just... :allears:

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