Click on water to feed fish

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Finally! Managed to complete those horrible, horrible Palace of the Dead floors + rescue Warren this morning and just changed the fate of Lanselot is well. Phew! All post-game missions (bar two, one major, another optional) are now completed. I have also received the "palace guidebooks", which I can use in the future to skip chunks of floors in the PotD ~ something, ahem, I am not in a big hurry to do ...

Holy Knight of the New Kingdom of New Xenobia
Lanselot Hamilton 

I quite like the way they give us a chance to alter the outcome for one character. In the main game storyline, Lanselot the Holy Knight was captured by the enemies and then tortured to madness ... but in the Coda side quest (Episode 3), the one I just finished tonight, the Resistance, led by Denam (me!), time-travels back to the battle in which Lanselot was originally captured and helps him defeat the enemies (boy, it was a tough battle and I had to reset, like, four times). In fact, in the episode closing scene, Lanselot tells Denam that, years ago, a mysterious man also came to his aid, suggesting that might be the future Denam (time travels again).

All this time travelling is all very well but I ain't gonna do that for Episode 4, which involves me going back to an earlier chapter and embark on a different story option (the Law Route, I took the Chaos Route) in order to recruit Vyce (who dies in the Chaos Route because of the choices I made). For this last quest, Denam, Catiua and Vyce have to be "alive" in my Warren Report. I read in forums that this time-travelling may overwrite my process ~ and I simply cannot risk losing my PotD progress! I will NOT re-do those 115 floors ever again! Besides, I am not that obsessed in getting lots and lots and lots of exclusive weapons ~ the only reason why anyone wants to complete Coda Episode 4.

So, I think I'm going to put down the game for a(little)while ... before I tackle the remaining major side quest, The San Bronsa Ruins, where I can transform a phantom/skeleton into a super rare unlockable character ~ a Divine Knight.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Grinding (5)

So my quest for the unique character The Star Seer Warren Omon continues but am getting very close now. I've finally completed 99 per cent of Palace of the Dead (thank god) and now am on the "extra floors" for the save Warren quest. The battles are extremely challenging (takes at least an hour each!) but that is what makes Tactics Ogre so addictive (as well as all these exclusive characters to unlock ... I even recruited a Lich despite intentionally ignoring the "undead" classes/storylines). After rescuing Warren I will go onto Episode Three of Coda to get Lanselot (who has gone mad after being tortured ~ so sad). And then I will have to time travel to get Vyce join my team then I will be (finally) done with the game. OR, since I read after the Warren battle I will be granted three guides (by the boss/pantom King Roderick) that help me skip massive numbers of floors (25 each) in the PotD, I might even go back there, this time just to farm exclusive drops/weapons ... but I will do that later ... the pain of truding through floor after floor of posionous mold tiles is still fresh in the mind ...

Yesterday, in between trudging through those mold tiles I gave another yin yoga class and the slow, long, deep breathing really helped clear the mind. Everyone should try it ~ it's completely free!  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Island Atlas

Here is, in my opinion, the best soundtrack from the Tactics Ogre (PSP) game ...


Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Grinding (4)

This post in one of the games forums about PotD is Hilarious ... but SO TRUE:

Posted 6/28/2011 11:04:31 PM

Here's what you have to look forward to;

Around floor 50-60 you will start to get tired of the drudgery. You might glance out your window, my it's a nice day isn't? Sun and all! I think I'll go enjoy it.

Sadly the sun goes down, night is falling, and you have naught else to do. Guess I'll play some Tactics Ogre, you say, even if it's starting to get a little tedious. The rewards and nice and hey! I've already made it at least halfway through. It's all downhill from here!

By floor 70-75 your patience has more or less hit its limit. How can they make one dungeon so long, you ask yourself. Why would all the best equips be so difficult to just chance upon? Why do I have to read a spreadsheet just to know how to get them? You'll glance out your window, and hey, it's a nice day again! You now hate the sun. Go away sun! No one asked for you! You'll sit down and play Tactics Ogre, knowing now why people caught in abusive relationships tend to stay in them.

By floor 80 you cry yourself to bed at night. Your parents, or roommate, or significant other, notice this and try to calm you down. What you mutter is incomprehensible. Just one more cursed weapon, really, then I can end this battle and almost be done with the place!

You're on floor 90 now. By god, you might actually do this! I applaud you for getting this far. Your party is rockin' some pretty awesome gear too! You've also stopped crying yourself to sleep at night. In fact, you don't sleep at all anymore. Or bathe. You rock yourself back and forth hoping no one has the courage to commit you to a hospital.

By 95 you're starting to feel kind of happy again. Life seems worth living! You're almost there now champ, don't give up!

By 96 you feel as if you are in a desert, on your knees, without water, at high noon, crawling to the nearest oasis. But you've come this far, you can do it!

On 97 you discover there's no notable gear to obtain. You can actually fight a battle for fun again! You remember when you fought battles in Tactics Ogre for fun, don't you? It was so long ago... Before the days when everything became about chariot-ing and hoping for some luck to end a floor quickly.

On floor 99 you to yourself, man, I don't know what the big deal about this Palace of the Dead thing is. It's not so bad. I made it all this way. Just one more floor, and I can go back to everything I love about this game.

Congrats, you've cleared floor 100! You did it! You conquered the Palace of the Dead! You stuck to it, things feel great. Your crew has some of the best gear available. You are an unstoppable force of destruction. Ogres? Pfft, let them come back. The war wouldn't even last a minute. You decide to flock to your favorite message board to declare your success!

The responses are pretty encouraging! Yay! They all went through this too, they know what it's like. What a swell board. On a whim someone (I'll let you guys decide who) mentions that they hope you did it in Law, or else you'll have to do the entire thing over again. They also add in that in order to complete the CODA, you'll need to recruit Warren, whom is 15 levels further than the other 100 levels.

Detroit Red Wings: 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008
Posted 6/28/2011 11:01:43 PM
And the exciting conclusion...

Your eye begins to twitch. What! You declare, that's impossible. I suffered blood, sweat, and tears grinding my way through that place. And I have to go back into it?

Yeah, but you should also have guide books that you can craft (from rare hard to find materials), that let you skip some floors! Really, you'll only have to do 30-40 more floors! Oh, also, did you want a puffed up Divine Knight with skills it normally can't learn? You'll have to fight back to the 22nd floor, and use a specific item you get earliest on the 37th floor, on one of your zombified units (done so by use of a Necromancy spell that you get on the 25th floor) to turn them into a skeleton. Then leave the place, and go to San Bronsa, itself a multi-floored dungeon!

By the way, did you get a Lich on 41st floor?

Your eye begins to twitch. You stare at the screen in disbelief. That seems like an awful lot of work for one game. But you can't deny it. It's a part of you now. You turn your head back to your PSP screen. Your sanity may be gone, but you love Tactics Ogre. It's all you have left.
Detroit Red Wings: 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008
Posted 6/29/2011 1:17:22 AM
I'm doing it now on floor 50... on chaos. *stabs self*
Posted 6/29/2011 1:52:51 AM
Chirotera, that is a hyperbole free recount of what every person who does the Palace of the Dead goes through.

Here's something great Amazingwilly, when you hit floor 50, the floor format resets. Floor 51 has the exact same format as floor 1, and you have 48 more floors to go, all repeated, until you reach B100.

You claim the books, you get out and experience the world map for the first time in 10+ or 20+ hours, ahh yes! =D

Then you must delve into the deeps again...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More Grinding (3)

Actually, I'm just stuck in Hell, quite literally. I've now reached Level 40 in the Palace of the Dead and am not having much luck/fun with the item drops (and I could not be bothered to keep doing different moves to just get one little stupid piece of item ~ though having said that, I did spend a couple of hours trying to get those Sidhe Shoes but they are kinda cool as they enable my archer to teleport...) Anyway, I'm truly thankful I've been playing Tactics Ogre in the right order. Apparently I've read in forums that if you did the side quests in the wrong order, then you'd lock yourself out of battles that unlock the unique characters. Hence, I saw this one entry in GameFaqs website from a certain Col_Mobius:

"GAH. Really? On my current playthrough, Catiua is "dead" and I'm about 2/3 through PotD. I am not - not! - going back through this thing, so does that mean I'm going to have to go get Warren, then World back, make Catiua alive, and go all the way through everything again to get Lanselot?

I. Will. Kill. Everyone."

I'd kill everyone too if I had to go through PotD TWICE. Luckily, I'd kept Catiua alive in my (Chaos Route) playthrough so I'll be able to unlock both Warren (the Wizard) and Lanselot (the Holy Knight), the final two unique characters. Though I'd probably have to World back to recruit Vyce at some point to unlock the final (fantasy) episode of Coda (in post end game) ... but that is no hassle. The thing is, not being a completionist, I don't wanna unlock everything anyway; hence I've completely left out the Cressida/Nybeth story line (I am SO NOT slaughtering my own troupe just to get my "Chaos Frame"/loyalty up in order to recruit her!) That means, I won't get those Palace Guides that enable me to skip floors in the 115-level PotD. Actually, I don't wanna go back in there again once I am done with the Warren mission. It also means I won't get the Crest of Fire cos I don't have all four of the Wind God weapons in my current run to unlock Blackmore who drops this exclusive item (see, this game is so totally complicated!) 

So, the plan is to complete PotD within the next fortnight, unlock Warren, unlock Lanselot before entering the San Bronsa Ruins. Then I am done and ready to move onto a new game. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No Game Breaks

Seriously, even though I'd completed the main story, the real game of Tactics Ogre seems to have just begun (in the so-called Coda section). Only now are my characters reasonably well-equipped (of course, they can do better with more upgraded equipment, but that's why I'm now trudging through the dreaded floors of Palace of the Dead ~ to farm for more special items). In fact, this morning I decided to re-do three floors cos I missed an important armor that'd help my characters teleport (those elusive Sidhe Shoes on Level 25) ~ the terrains of the battlefields are getting more and more tricky as I descend deeper and deeper into Hell and I will need as much special items as I can get to get around.

Found this on a discussion forum,
rather dark sense of humour ....
In the meantime, have been reading various discussion forums on this game and it's quite funny how the endgame (including a feature that allows "time travel") is confusing everyone. In fact, I'm still not sure how I'm going to unlock one final unique character but I think I'll give that one a miss since meeting a certain condition (of unlocking) means I might risk losing a good chunk of my game and I sure don't want to do that (not after spending 200+ hours on playing it!) Anyway, now I have a mainly mage team (magical powers appear to be more potent than melee attacks ... even the archers are no match for my powerful Shaman Sherri whose special summon power simply destroys -- okay, it was worth going through all that hassle to recruit her). And the Golem and Faerie just, as they say on games forums, "own".

I still find time to yoga, of course, and yesterday was a particular good day as, in the morning, I took a class with Anri, one of my favourite yoga instructors (a former professional ballet dancer), and she came over and adjusted me in this quite challenging pose (see below as illustrated by Anusara Guru Patrick Creelman). 

Very intense pose but one that really
opens up the hips

I was feeling quite stiff especially in the right leg (just very tight around the hip/knee areas) so when I did the pose on the right hand side, I could not bring my body down and my left hand barely touched my right foot. Over on the left hand side it was a completely different story; as my left hip has always been more "open" (something to do with the shape of my left hip socket perhaps), I was able to reach my right hand over, grabbing onto my left foot with ease. Anri then came over and helped me turn my torso more skywards and when she did that, I could REALLY FEEL the effects of this pose (all the stretching and twisting). I didn't turn as far up as the full pose (above) but certainly far enough for me to look up (albeit a little!) and I would never have done that by myself. 

After that I shared another yin practice with some friends and that was fun. One, in particular, has really stiff shoulders so will have to read up on asanas that might help her loosen them up a little ...  


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A New Beginning

Don't know what I did right (or wrong) but the final boss battle of Tactics Ogre Let Us Cling Together was VERY EASY. When I finally reached the Hanging Gardens, the enemies were all at Levels 21-22 while my team was already edging Levels 30-31; and I thought they scale to the same level as my team (according to the game forums) ... maybe because I have members that were still in their Level 20s? Anyway, I took out the final boss in taxi ride!!! (When Kliana cast the Charm/Bewitched spell, it was awesome as the enemies just started killing themselves *chortle*) Only Deneb was knocked out briefly in the final battle ...

Anyway, I'm now in post-game mode and, apparently, I can time travel back and re-do some of the missions that will lead to different outcomes ... BUT there is this risk that I might ERASE some of the (more challenging) battle victories I already had so I'm approaching this part of the game ~ also know as CODA ~ with caution. Wow, what a game though!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Post on Tactics Ogre

Oh yes, my obsession with this game continues today ... after yesterday's revelation that I'd have to save Cressida if I was to complete the 100-level Palace of the Dead side quest, I basically had three choices: a) to complete PotD with Cressida saved, b) to complete PotD without Cressida, and c) to skip PotD altogether.

So today I've been weighing out my options. Option a) means I will have to grind MORE (yikes) but have the quest completed 100 per cent and get more exclusive items; b) means I take the gamble of grinding up to Level 22 or so, THEN to see whether at least I could have at least 80 per cent of PotD completed and c) just end the game without the risk of over-levelling but forgoing the Cressida quest forever. I actually would have gone for option a) (being a slight completionist) had it not been the fact this HORRIBLE grinding process actually involves massacring my own army again and again (yes, one of the conditions of recruiting Cressida ... how perverted! How Japanese!). Option b) is neither here nor there. What happens if I reach Level 22 only to realise it's the wrong thing to do? So I've now settled for the last option, which is basically finishing the game. Besides, the PotD side quest is for those who want to recruit a Necromancer character, which doesn't appeal to me At All. And I already have Deneb the Wicce (yeah!!) and Sherri the Shaman (yeah, yeah!!). Not to mention Azelstan too. They are good enough for me. AND I spare the nasty process of slaughtering my own army.

SO, just completed the first floor of the Hanging Gardens (there are around 20) and am having fun ~ so far. Hope things don't go too crazy as I get closer to the garden roof ....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Realisation ...

... that I might have over-levelled my Tactics Ogre team *screamm* Some of the members are already at Level 30 so by the time I'm done with the Palace of the Dead side quest, they might well be edging towards the mid-30s, which is bad news cos while my equipment/skills will remain more or less the same, the enemies -- which scale up with the player's team -- will be much better equipped/skilled. Oh well, I cannot scale back down and will have to take my chances. Also, the end game "World" system (in which players can go back in time to re-do quests in order to obtain certain unique characters, in my case, Vyce) looks really confusing. This game apparently has several endings: a) all the three protagonists, Denam, Catiua and Vyce, die, b) Denam and Catiua live, Vyce dies, c) Denam and Vyce live, Catiua dies and d) all of them live. At the moment, I am going for ending b) (frankly Vyce deserves to die) but at some point I might wanna try for the "all live" ending; but that may involve seriously-confusing time travelling and I don't wanna mess up the game ... so will see how that goes...

Meanwhile, just came out of a hot flow yoga class that was very challenging, esp when my body is (feeling) very stiff after yesterday's class ... will take a couple of days off.


Nth Hours later ...

OMG! Am on Level 5 of PotD and an event that's supposed to be triggering off has FAILED to happen ... have read I have to finish the Cressida side quest first ... WHAT?!?! ANOTHER Side Quest ... Feel like murdering Japanese game designer right now ~ but at least I discover this @ Level 4 and not Level 100 when Nybeth doesn't show up with those precious Palace Guides ...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Grinding (2)

So according to my Tactics Ogre game meter, I'm now clocking in @ over 200 hours ... which is a bit crazy; even Final Fantasy Dissidia and The 3rd Birthday aren't THIS addictive. I'm now levelling up another six characters whom I want to add to my existing army ... I'm another step closer towards invincibility ... Mmwahahaha

I've now unlocked not only Deneb, the Wicce with a real attitude and fluctuating loyalty, but also the "Shaman", a spectacularly powerful magic class. I've also turned Princess Catiua (one of the game's protagonists) into a Priestess (in order to get the useful Holy Water skill to kill those nasty Undeads) before switching her back to a Princess. Azelstan, the pirate, is now more powerful, more loyal and less grumpy; though his execution-style killing I do find a tad disturbing. Irae (what a name) the Golem is now over Level 25, meaning he has acquired this devastating special skill called Heaven's Tear (after a week's grinding!!) Sherri the Shaman, also levelling above 25, can use one of the "forbidden magic spells" ... Wow, maybe I am finally ready to enter the 100-level Palace of the Dead ... though, realistically, I think I will still have to grind a little more to bring everyone up to Level 30 (where my existing team is at). Actually, I'm grinding as I'm typing this entry as I've set the battles to AI ... why do that tedious task myself while the computer can do it (better) ... haha

Here is my dream team: Denam (Ninja), Arycelle (Archer), Deneb (Wicce), Canopus (Vartan), Olivya (Cleric), Mirdyn (Rune Fencer), Sherri (Shaman), Catiua (Princess), Azelstan (Buccaneer), Irae (Iron Golem), Hobyrim (Swordmaster) and Folcurt (Rogue). Reserves: Sara (Archer), Bayin (Warlock), Donnalto (Cleric) and a generic Kliana (Familiar).

Tynemouth Hill ... Best place to level up and grind ...

Also just read on an online discussion forum that there is a "Coda" after finishing the fourth and "final" chapter (The Hanging Gardens) of TO... meaning there are MORE side quests ... does/will this game ever end? The problem is now even after completing the main story I will probably need to re-do some of the previous missions in order to "resurrect" some characters (Vyce!) to get the "full ending" of the game ... wonder if that means I will have to spend another 200+ hours on this?

Meanwhile, life on the mat (welcome relief away from the PSP) is great ... have signed up for an one-week Iyengar workshop next month... this particular style is all about alignment, which is another yoga topic that really intrigues/fascinates me (the other, of course, being anatomy). More on that later ... 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Deneb Rove

Hours of pathetic, tedious grinding/farming (+ 27 dragons, 405,000 Goth and 30 Glass bloody Pumpkins) later, I've finally unlocked this Wicce ... she better be Good.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More Grinding

In game speak, that means levelling up (nothing sexual about it!!) I've now completed all four chapters of Tactics Ogre LUCT as well as the Phorampa Wildwood side quest (got some nice weapon/ingredient drops and my characters levelled up to 25+); but before I attempt the 100-level Palace of the Dead (and Deneb the Wicce quest), I found out today that there is (yet) another side quest that I must complete: The Ancient Temples. Apparently by the end of this (which I aim to complete this weekend!), I will get the "Shaman" class, which is Even Better than the Wicce class. Which is great news cos I am not sure I want to unlock Deneb ~ yet ... THEN I will attempt the PotD before finishing The Hanging Garden/the main story of this game. As said before, I think I will give the Pirate's Graveyard and the Rescue Cressida quests a miss (for now), as neither yields any great rewards.

So, onward and upwards!