It's time for Levia to do her best with the limited time we have until Trillion wakes up. Faust has created a wooden practice dummy called Mokujin from the battle data of Zerbolos' fight with Trillion and we have Levia battle it to see how the situation looks. It looks bad, I lost this fight handily. Faust is not surprised, and she muses about how things are probably going to be hopeless 'this time'. What do you mean 'this time?' everyone wants to know - and Faust explains that there's almost no chance that Levia can win, but that her power will be passed on through the ring after she dies to the next Demon Lord like Zerbolos' power was passed on to her, and she can at least deal some damage to Trillion and slow him down in the meantime. Zerbolos is not happy about this, he's not into the idea of sending his demon lords on suicide missions, but there's no choice but to train hard and hope for the best.
Zerbolos' ancestor (she really hates when he calls her grandma, even if she is) shows up and talks about how the fight went the first time Trillion showed up. She's dead but it doesn't seem to be that big a deal, she's just got some will-o-wisp ghost things circling her, but being dead doesn't seem too bad. Anyway, she recounts how last time, everyone got obliterated and Trillion devoured the magical core of the netherworld and then left, and her husband, the Great Demon Lord at the time, made a new core out of his own heart. So Trillion just stops by worlds to devour their tasty creamy centers and then leaves, it seems. Well we're not about to let Trillion eat our core a second time, are we? Back to training.
A variety of events can randomly trigger each day, with random good or bad effects on training. For example, Cerberus might dig something up and it could be a good item or a bad curse. One of the trainers may offer a special training course and it could teach the demon lord a new skill, or it could just make her fatigued. There are probably a dozen or so of these events, and I can't really tell when it's best to go along with them (accept the training, dig up the item, etc.) and take a chance, and when to decline them (nothing good or bad happens). It's entirely possible for a patient person to just save and reload constantly whenever anything bad happens, but that's no fun. Once a week, we have a practice fight against Mokujin to prepare ourselves for the battle with Trillion. If you win (which is easy after the first fight, at least so far), you can get some nice experience out of it.
Faust eventually comes up with another invention - a piglike suit of armor that can withstand Trillion's demon-killing aura. The catch? An actual soul needs to be placed inside the suit for it to move, and these things are almost guaranteed to die in the actual fight against Trillion, although they can assist by engaging the summoned smaller enemies and letting the Demon Lord focus on Trillion. So again, it's a suicide mission - Zerbolos is not happy about this either, but countless denizens of the netherworld are actually clamoring to volunteer for the job despite knowing the consequences because they want to protect their home, so he reluctantly gives his okay to produce more suits for the volunteers. We can equip these on our demon lords according to their Capacity (CAP) stat, higher CAP means more followers that can be taken into battle against Trillion.
There is also an affection meter for the demon lord - this can be raised by spending time with them (instead of training) and by giving presents. You can give 3 presents per day, but you only get at most one present per day from the game. Damn, I really messed up by picking a character that I like first, not only will Levia die a horrible death, I decided that I probably wouldn't be able to max her affection so I decided to save presents and time for later demon lords and just focus on training. We get some story events with Levia as her training progresses, she's the jealous type as her 'envy' trait suggests, but she's always been a good childhood friend of Zerbolos and does her best for him in whatever way she can. She's one of the few options that would be a perfectly fine candidate for Zerbolos to have a romantic ending with, considering her age and the fact that some of the other Demon Lords are Zerbolos' nieces or sisters. Bah. I'm sure this game has a New Game+ element to it, I'll max her affection next run, sorry Levia. It's almost time for our first fight against Trillion, we have a big dinner together with all the demon lords, probably the last time everyone will be able to eat together.
It's time, and Levia heads out to fight Trillion. There are actually three possible outcomes to a fight against Trillion - death of the Demon Lord, retreat, or Trillion breaking through the defense line. Trillion jumps forward every now and then on the map, and if he gets past a certain point it's treated as a loss and the fight ends. If you retreat or if Trillion breaks though the line, Trillion devours some of the netherworld and you get some more time to raise the same Demon Lord while Trillion takes a short break. It's Game Over (as in, bad ending I guess) if Trillion devours his way all the way to the netherworld's core. This is a really dizzying array of choices - I guess I lose if all my Demon Lords die, but I also lose if I keep retreating (and each time you retreat, the time until he re-awakens gets shorter and shorter) and he eats the core. I wasn't really sure what to do, but Levia survived her first battle with Trillion and he broke through the line and ended the fight that way. He ate some chunks of the netherworld and I got another 3 weeks to train Levia. I only did about 1% damage to Trillion in this first fight, and also learned that breaking Trillion's parts (I broke his tail and right hand) are not permanent, they grow back each fight. Wailing on his tail after beaking it seems to be good for damage, so I decided to focus on that next time, since dodging his attacks wasn't too hard.
There's a second gauge in combat, the feelings gauge, which increases from the various training and character events you do. It gets used up first in fights instead of HP and MP - for example, if you have feelings gauge above 0, spellcasting will use feelings instead of MP. If you get hit, it comes out of the feelings gauge before it comes out of HP. Also, when this gauge is depleted, the option to 'retreat' becomes unselectable. I don't know what's best to do when it comes to retreating, but with Trillion's sleep period getting shorter each time and the feelings gauge resetting to 0, trying to prolong the inevitable seemed like a bad idea, so I pumped everything into Levia's attack, speed, and her main damage ability for the next fight.
Round 2 against Trillion - this time I got the hang of things better and broke his tail quickly, and immediately started wailing on him with everything I had, emptying the feelings gauge and not even thinking about retreating or letting Trillion break through this time. It was a good fight - I took out 7.5% of his total HP before Levia finally fell. Of course 100%/6 Demon Lords = 16.7%, but since each Demon Lord should inherit some stats from the last one, each should do more damage than the last did, so I think 7.5% was a fine result.
Levia realizes she's about to die and throws everything into one last attack - the game gives you a choice of how to use this final dying attack. You can use it to do huge damage, to seal off one of Trillion's parts permanently, to increase the time available for the next Demon Lord, and a few other choices. Once again I have no idea what's best to do here, so I chose to seal off Trillion's right hand part. As everyone else watches on the monitor from the throne room, Levia's final attack destroys Trillion's right hand and Trillion kills her. She says she's happy that she got to spend a few weeks with Zerbolos and wishes that she could see him cry for her too, which he's doing quite a bit in the throne room as everyone looks on in horror at her death.
After we're done grieving, it's time to move onward - the ring returns to Faust's hand with Levia's power in it, ready to be passed on to the next Demon Lord. Before that though, someone shows up who introduces himself as a messenger for Trillion - he says that if Zerbolos gives him the lives of all the Demon Lords, he'll leave their world in peace without devouring its core. Zerbolos refuses, and Ruche realizes that he's lying anyway, he would have just taken both their lives and the core. Ah, but how could she know his quirks so well to tell that he was lying? Come on game, we all know that's Astraroth there that Trillion brought back to life as a mind slave or something, don't expect anyone to be surprised later. He leaves and we get back to planning.
Okay, so the choices are still just the original 3 who volunteered - with Levia dead, that means it's between Perpell and Mammon. This time I'm going with one that I'm not too interested in, I won't make the same mistake as last time. Mammon seems okay, so I'll save her for third so that I can max her affection, so this time it's Perpell's turn. Perpell is actually also Astaroth's daughter, and she's a lot more childish than Ruche. I'm not just talking about appearance since 'they're actually thousands of years old' is par the course for these games, but personality. Her attribute is gluttony, and all she's really done so far is talk about wanting to eat sweets. She should probably be practicing her multiplication tables, not being sent on a suicide mission against Trillion, but she is a proper Demon Lord and it's a desperate fight, so I guess we're doing this. This is your niece Zerbolos, and Astraroth's last wish was to watch after his daughters, so it would have been nice for you to tell her no, but that's hoping for too much.
So it's time to continue the fight against Trillion, this time with Perpell training for the next battle. She inherits a portion of Levia's stats from last time, and I decide to build her into a magic-user since I had Levia be physical attack-based and Mammon also seems like a physical character. Worst case is that it doesn't work out but she passes that magic on to other Demon Lords who are clearly magic-users, so let's give it a try. Faust runs a shop with gear and the gear she offers gets stronger (and more expensive) as time goes on too. So again I'll be forgetting about raising affection and focusing on combat - 3 presents per day / getting 1 present per day = 2 out of the 6 demon lords you can give max presents to. I'll see about maxing Mammon out, and then I'm not sure who. I would have chosen Levia, but she's kind of dead now, again kicking myself there for choosing her first. Maybe the other one will be Ruche, I'd like to see if we can wipe that smug grin off her face at some point. I expect that not all the paths are romantic considering that Fegor is Zerbolos' older sister and Ruche and Perpell are his nieces, let's try and not make Astraroth's ghost angry, okay Zerbolos?
Random JRPG blogging about the games I'm currently playing.