No visual representation for buffs and cripples unfortunately. Strange omission given how polished the rest of the interface is. Also, you can keep stacking buffs to a certain ‘max limit’ as well, and then waste extra casting turns at the peak because the game doesn’t clue you in when you are full until after the fact. I do believe they stick until dispelled though, it is possible that a certain amount of turns will expire them, not positive. Never really had the need to use them outside of serious boss fights, to which they are usually dispelled after a few turns anyway.
Only 1 void/repel/null at a time. If you ‘void Ice’, then ‘void Fire’ directly after, the ice is replaced.
Put a few more days into this, and still having fun with it. The boss fights are turning into chess matches. I have to play them once knowing I’ll lose to figure out the vulnerabilites and what defensive magics I need, then I go in and clean house easily on the second try.
To answer my own questions from up thread a bit, I highly recommend every character masters the Karma/Twlight Mantras for HP thief and MP thief. MP thief in particular means the ability to heal up completely after every fight and unleash the big magics in every fight without worrying too much about the MP.
SPOILERISH QUESTION WARNING
I just got to the second run through of the EGG levels and I’ve discovered the joys of wandering an unlit dungeon and getting ambushed for every single fight. This is pissing me off mightily. I recall in SMT:Nocturne that there were ways to light up dark dungeons. Anything like that in this game or do I really have to slog through an unlit dungeon?
It’s the “light ball” object available from shops as soon as the EGG mk 2 is unlocked in the story. Also get some “core shields” as for some reason the need for those items (that protect against “environment damage”) goes hand in hand with dark dungeons. I think 10 of each would be reasonable.
Somewhere in the top side of the tree is a status skill that reduces ambushes (think it’s called “first strike”) and you can also try keeping that apparently not terribly useful luck stat on the high side.
I changed my mind about Mana thief. While I still don’t think it’s actually needed at all if you are reasonably careful with your use of “data” treasures, it does indeed become convenient from time to time. HP thief on the other hand still seems to me to be a complete waste of time because the ratio of dia’s mp cost to hp value is so good.
I think (not sure) that the way it works is a -unda debuff will cancel 2 levels of -kaja and vice versa, so long as the opposite type of effect is present. I.e. if you are increasing a debuf or a buff, you go one step, but if you decreasing an enemy buff or debuff, it goes 2 steps at a time down to nil.
Note also that buffs and debuffs only affect the currently deployed party members, so swapped in replacements will not have the old effects. This is fine if you get kunda-ed and bring someone new in, but not so nice when you cast void fire to evade the boss’s coming mega-fire attack, and then swap in a new character who is instantly fried by it.
Note additionally that though dekaja and dekunda are costly advanced character skills, they are easy to get as combo skills. I don’t actually know what individual skills enable them, but if you have two characters in the party with some kind of -kunda or -kaja skills, odds are you have the dekaja and dekunda combo skills, which are incredibly useful when one of the bosses gets on a buffing or debuffing jag. If you are max-sukunda-ed and don’t have dekunda, it’s pretty much game-over, and even a single sukunda is bad news.
Yeah, I figured that out right after I posted. That usually happens to me when I post a game question on QT3. I search high and low across the net, can’t find an answer, post on QT3, then sit down to play the game and the answer to my question appears in the first 4 minutes of play. In this case I wandered over to the shopkeeper to sell some extra stuff and he told me to buy light balls.
I bought 6 and it was overkill, unless there are more dark areas later in the game. I didn’t buy any core shields, and the environment damage was frankly too little to worry about it. I’d just pop open the menu and whack on “recover” if I thought I was getting low on HP.
I don’t think that skill would have helped. If you are actually dumb enough (as I was) to wander around in the dark without light items for an extended period you will notice that ALL fights are ambushes when in the dark. The ambushing stops when the area gets lit up.
I have no idea how people would play this game without MP Thief or Leech. Especially in conjunction with Silent Howl, MP thief is huge. Here’s my typical sequence for a fight in EGG2. (Chars are Cielo, Sera, and Gale)
Cielo: Either Mazionga, Mediarama, or Pass (Usually Pass)
Sera: Silent Howl
Gale: Consume on anything that isn’t muted (Gale has Atma Bonus, AP split, etc)
Cielo: Situational. Maybe MP thief if low, maybe a void spell, maybe just an attack to soften something a bit.
Cielo: MP thief (against muted foe for double effect!)
Sera: MP thief (against muted foe for double effect!)
Gale: Conume on someone else
Round 3: (rarely necessary)
Sera: Attack (or another Silent Howl)
That pretty much beats EVERYTHING in EGG2 and I exit almost every fight with max MP/HP.
Hehe, that ending was straight out of some kind of 70s sci-fi film inspired by a mix of 2001 and The Computer Connection. In the end, we will all become psychedelic hermaphroditic star children if only we understand the one thing that makes the universe go round…
Killing your enemies and eating their souls.
No wait, I mean, LOVE. LOVE is the answer, people! Don’t forget it!
Still, I thought it was a satisfying boss fight and a fun ending, even though I mock it here. I enjoyed the game somewhat more than DDS 1, which I nevertheless enjoyed, and not quite as much as SMT3: Nocturne. As far as I’m concerned at this point, if Kazuma Kaneko makes a game, I’m buying it.