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Playthrough Topic (Hades)

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ganonfloyd
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« Reply #1530 on: 11 May, 2020, 07:20:08 pm »

doitdoitdoit nocturne is good
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I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
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« Reply #1531 on: 13 May, 2020, 11:49:35 pm »

Been playing some Nocturne. I started over from the beginning, because I don't want my experience with the game to be fragmented. It didn't take long to catch up though, and now I'm in the Ikebukoro tunnels.

It's definitely one of the more stressful turn-based games I've played, and that stress can honestly be attributed mainly to the Labyrinth of Amala. The second Kalpa was a nightmare to traverse especially. Estoma makes the experience much less worrying, and I think this spell is pretty much mandatory for Amala. Otherwise I think I'd lose my hair in fearing for my save file.

Game is awesome though. The slow leveling of the demons coupled with the actual bosses themselves dictate making new parties, so the game constantly encourages you to fuse demons and check out new options. It keeps things very fresh, and I always look forward to scouting new areas to find new demons. Fusing is really fun, although it sucks that you can't choose what skills you want your fused demon to inherit. It's a bit annoying having to reset everything.

Otherwise the game is very surreal and I love the atmosphere. Music is great, cutscenes are minimal, but impactful when they do appear. Overall this game has aged very well. Interesting to play this after Shadow Hearts, a game that, although I enjoyed it enough, clearly did not age well.

On the topic of Shadow Hearts, I briefly played maybe like 2 or 3 hours of Covenant, and it's actually a significant improvement over the first game. Will probably play it after I beat Nocturne though.
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« Reply #1532 on: 14 May, 2020, 12:26:44 pm »

it's really cool how one of the only generic mobs in the game with no weaknesses (aeros) appears in one of the first dungeons of the game, isn't it
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« Reply #1533 on: 18 May, 2020, 02:13:44 am »

whatís even cooler is when youíre exploring a dungeon minding your own business and a random battle happens and a demon kills you on the first turn with mamudoon
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« Reply #1534 on: 19 May, 2020, 12:24:36 am »

nocturne:

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« Reply #1535 on: 19 May, 2020, 11:50:54 pm »

I think I'm reasonably close to finishing Nocturne.

There is a lot to say about this game. As of now, Chiaki and Isamu have summoned their gods, and my next destination is the Diet Building. I finally finished the fourth Kalpa, which was a total nightmare. I defeated Beelzebub as well. I'm going to be honest, this was probably the least enjoyable fight in the game for me. I like his design, but the dude is a health sponge, and his use of dekunda and dekaja slowed down the fight tremendously. I love buffing the hell out of my party in this game, and he just took that away from me. The fight itself ended up being a bit repetitive, and there were some serious close calls. I dunno, maybe my party also wasn't set up well for him.

I've seen how much health some of the later bosses, including Lucifer, have, and I'm hoping they won't be like this. It just wears me out, and if I lose once, then my motivation just goes out the window. It reminds me of Nyx from Persona 3, and I just abhorred that fight, as cool as that boss looked.

That's my only concern though. I love the game otherwise. Every other boss, especially the fiends, has been so fun. Fusing is and satisfying. I have a really neat support Amaterasu that knows debilitate, prominence, prayer, mediarahan, and dekunda. The rest of my party is basically just a harem with Parvati and Atropos. I would like to fuse Thor soon, and hopefully I can get the tyrants at some point.

Going back to the topic of the fourth Kalpa, seriously fuck that place. I ended up using a guide to get through the cursed hall towards Beelzebub. I can't even imagine what monster at Atlus decided to take away my map. I was actually more worried about the third Kalpa and Dante chasing you, but he turned out to be more of a nuisance in the chase than a legitimate threat. I genuinely feel exhausted after going through the fourth Kalpa. 
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ganonfloyd
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« Reply #1536 on: 20 May, 2020, 08:17:28 am »

I personally loved the Beelzebub fight but at that point I had directed most of my energies on the Demi-fiend becoming a big damage machine. You'll almost definitely get to the point where you have the right skills to do tons of damage to the late game bosses, and there's only really one that I would say is on the same level of tedium as Nyx Avatar (and even then its not quite as bad because the game doesn't feel the need to have the boss recite a poem every time it changes attributes.)
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I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
*no gold, just us*
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« Reply #1537 on: 20 May, 2020, 09:36:17 am »

beelzebub on hard mode loves using focus and then hitting the main character with like, a 700 damage autoattack. really cool guy

by this point, magic damage has completely leveled off while physical damage is king, so if you haven't made that conversion, the bosses from here will start to drag on.
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« Reply #1538 on: 20 May, 2020, 05:53:18 pm »

Yeah Iíve barely leveled up magic during this playthrough tbh. Might take a short break so I donít get burned out, but knowing me Iíll probably end up playing it again tomorrow  Į\_(ツ)_/Į
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« Reply #1539 on: 21 May, 2020, 11:20:11 pm »

Metatron was so much more manageable than Beelzebub.
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« Reply #1540 on: 22 May, 2020, 07:18:16 am »

his laugh when he does fires of sinai is one of my favorite things in the game
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Floyd is the devil.
I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
*no gold, just us*
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« Reply #1541 on: 22 May, 2020, 12:42:21 pm »

he looked like a kaiju, great design
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« Reply #1542 on: 23 May, 2020, 01:01:58 am »

Alright, made a lot of progress today. Getting very close to the end now.

Yesterday I finished the fifth kalpa, which proved to be less taxing than the fourth kalpa. I neglected to ingest a Magatama with anti-expel properties, so I clenched every time he casted Mahamaon, but I managed to get lucky each time. I don't remember what strategy I employed, but I believe he took down a few of my demons. Still managed to get him nonetheless with my backups.

Today I took care of entire Tower of Kagatsuchi. I first fought Ahriman (Maniac do you know what happened to our Ahriman?). He was a fun fight, and the forbidden mechanics gimmick wasn't too much of a hassle to work around. I accidentally used focus on Futomomi when he forbade spells though, so he died shortly after. The second phase was actually much more straightforward. The buffs and debuffs remained, so it didn't take long for me to take him down, especially without that gimmick he enforced.

Next I took care of Noah. I fought the first phase thinking it was fine, just like any other fight. Then the second phase started and this turned into such a snoozefest. He wasn't hard at all, but it just took so damn long to kill him. Definitely my least favorite fight in the game. I wasn't crazy about the design either, although Isamu's transplanted face was pretty creepy.

I took a short break from Kagatsuchi and decided to get the final magatama: Masakados. I fought the four devas, each of whom were really fun. Bishamon in particular was pretty dangerous, and I'm thankful I had Dekaja on Atropos. They eventually went down with a few close calls.

Then I returned to the Tower and grinded a bit to get Freikugal. During the process, I got Makarakarn on Demifiend, a skill I had been sorely lacking the entire game. This ability single-handedly got me through the Baal fight. I usually delegate Demifiend as the hard hitter, but I opted to use Futomomi, since he also has the focus skill. Actually, Demifiend with the Masakados magatama and Futomomi totally void curse, but my other party members didn't. She barely hit me with Makarakarn + buffing, but she still kept me on my toes. I finished her off with Futomomi, which felt appropriate given what Chiaki did to him and the manikins.

For reference, I'm level 90. My main party consists of Futomomi, Uber Pixie, and Atropos, who are all in the 80s. Back-ups include Amaterasu, Parvati, Dante, and Daisoujou. I originally didn't plan to get Metatron, but I'm strongly considering grinding to 95 just to get a Metatron with Pierce. I imagine it will be quite useful in the final battle against Lucifer, though I'm told I won't necessarily need Pierce on a demon as long as I have it on Demifiend. Metatron looks cool though and I have nothing better to do so maybe I'll go for it.

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ganonfloyd
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« Reply #1543 on: 23 May, 2020, 11:54:12 am »

doit metatron rules he was in my tde party

Noah's such a slog. Truly boring fight, I don't think I ever felt like I was in danger its just like a slow crawl.
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Floyd is the devil.
I SERIOUSLY DREAMT OF FLOYD BEING A KILLER CYBORG WHO RAN 10 TIMES FASTER THAN ANY NORMAL HUMAN, AND THEN KILLED MM, TURNED FEMALE, WENT AFTER ME, AND I DROPPED FROM THE SKYSCRAPER! IT HURTED, BUT I AWAKE CALMLY, THINKING I WOULDN'T SEE YOU AGAIN.
*no gold, just us*
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« Reply #1544 on: 24 May, 2020, 01:33:33 am »

Beat it today.

I grinded to level 95 in an attempt to get Metatron, then saw how much of a pain in the ass it was to get him and just decided to go with my party as it was. I didn't want to have to level up a demon just to evolve him and do a bunch of sacrificial fusion bullshit. So I took on Kagatsuchi, who turned out to be pretty straightforward. Lucifer ended up being more of a challenge. I was doing fine until he got a bunch of crits and brought Demifiend's health down super low. At some point he killed two of my demons in literally one turn with all the crits he was getting. I summoned two more demons after that, but literally on the next turn I took him down with Freikugal.

My main party for those two fights consisted of Pixie, Futomomi, and Atropos. Pixie and Atropos was almost exclusively on support duty. Futomomi actually did good work against Lucifer without Pierce. I needed to use Demifiend for some support in restoring MP with items, so I would occasionally use Futomomi's Focus + Lunge combo. It wasn't much, but it would occasionally do 600-900 damage, which added up a good amount. Demifiend was otherwise doing anywhere between 2000 to 9000 damage depending on if I would get a crit, if the boss used Dekunda or Dekaja, etc. Thankfully I didn't die despite the close calls. I was left with just Demifiend and Pixie and had to summon Amaterasu and Parvati as backups, but they didn't do anything other than steal experience from Futomomi and Atropos, who actually put in work.

Also special shout-out to Pisaca, the unsung hero of this game for me.

I was actually deeply worried I would encounter some more frustrating bosses like Beelzebub, but I'm starting to think I just didn't have the ideal setup for my party with that fight. I enjoyed every other fight in the endgame except for Noah, who was just really boring.

Overall this game was so, so good. I have certain nitpicks with it of course. The inability to select which skills transfer over to a fused demon was very frustrating at times. The encounter rate was also rather high in certain dungeons. This worked out okay in most dungeons, because it helped me level up naturally as I progressed through the game. But there were times when it just became annoying. Estoma only seemed to work well on lower-leveled dungeons. I also hated the entirety of the fourth Kalpa, and I think I was at a low point in that game after I defeated Beelzebub.

Thankfully my opinion totally bounced back shortly after. This game is so surreal and is just dripping with atmosphere. I enjoyed the minimalist storyline, and although I can't say the characters are extremely well-developed, their arcs are pretty interesting to see nonetheless. Music is just so good too. Dante's theme, Lucifer's theme, the town battle, all of it. The game was challenging, but once you discover its mechanics and manipulate your own party, it becomes very doable, minus getting bad RNG at times. It was satisfying to play. Definitely ranks among my favorite JRPGs.

I will miss playing this game, but it's time to move on. I will probably return to it in the future, but it will be several years down the line. Unfortunately physical copies of other SMT games are scarce, so I will have to rely on digital copies for all of the 3DS ones.
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