We’ve made it all the way up to Mission 9: Apathetic And Well-Dressed Soldiers, Lots And Lots Of Staircase Murders, Random Betrayal That Means Nothing, And Crushing Dudes On Spikes While Giggling Incessantly About It.
Apart from the massive bits of slowdown, this was probably my favorite side mission yet. It references things happening in the main story, gives me lots of squishy soldiers to murder, and ends with Allura walking off in a cool way rather than continuing to embrace the irritating damsel-who-just-happens-to-be-a-serial-killer thing she’s embodied thus far. But seriously, that slowdown is annoying.
It’s slightly embarrassing, but I set the springboard to launch in the wrong direction at first. That was really confusing me for awhile. Also, I’ve started to notice that the flare rock is amazing because it does fire damage over time in addition to the initial crushing damage, so if someone survives it and tries to flee, they’ll often burn to death before reaching the door. Incredibly handy for dealing with cowards.
I bought upgrades for both the push wall and springboard, but they both suck. In return for doing slightly more damage (which isn’t necessary at the moment given how it’s the flare rock doing the bulk of it), they also come with pretty significant cooldowns. They might come in handy at some point, though, so I have them equipped as possible traps alongside the more usable push wall and springboard so that I have options. There are also two keys that I bought while in this menu.
Mission 9 begins with Jais telling Allura to go to the dungeon to look for survivors while he looks for Catalina. That doesn’t seem like a very good plan, but we’re playing as a character too dumb to realize that. To the dungeons!
I admire this guy’s honesty. “Really, I’d rather be back home writing poetry, but poetry doesn’t pay the bills. Murdering princesses does, though, so I’m afraid that I’m going to have to hack you to pieces with this axe. Die and whatnot, I guess.”
Seriously, I’m loving this first mob before they even start attacking. Not only is Celena a cool name, but I think she might actually be better dressed than Allura is. Nothing at all like those dorky ice mages. Fire mages have fashion sense.
Basically, I set things up like in the video of the side mission and wreck this first mob. The only damage I take is from that sword statue to the left, which is trapped so that it brings the sword down on top of you when you’re nearby. We really need to fire the guy who keeps filling our castles with unnecessary room-themed death traps.
The final enemy of the first mob is kind of annoying, though that’s my fault for leaving the first room. I don’t know if this new room came with the level by default or if I bought a key to it, but it sucks and is designed in a really awkward way. I try to use a springboard to launch the last enemy into some spikes, but she turns out to be one of those sneaky types who’s immune to springboards. Exploring stops being fun when the other rooms are so much less conducive to chaining traps together, so I run to yet another new room and set up my normal staircase of death. Meh; at least it works. I don’t even care about the Dark Illusions anymore. Too much trouble.
Catalina gets frustrated that Allura’s in the building, and Hertzog orders his men to assemble (and stop being less incompetent, I’d imagine). Both of them seem way more worried about Allura than Jais, and I don’t blame them. I mean, have you seen how easily that guy passes out? Absolutely pathetic.
Hey, you know that awful room I was just complaining about? The next mission starts off in it! Hurray! There’s also a lightning mage who can use lightning as a whip in addition to shooting orbs, and she gets me with her whip (which has a ridiculously wide angle of attack) enough times to bring my health way down. The second I turn for the door to look for something to heal all of that damage, she hits me in the back with an orb and kills me. This is my first death, and it’s really only because I had no idea about that stupid lightning whip. Luckily, the game let me restart from the beginning of this mob rather than making me fight the first one all over again, so I didn’t lose much progress. What sucks is that I did lose all of the Warl I made from getting two enemies in my staircase of death trap at once, though.
Allura finds a single prisoner left, and he says that he’ll take her to Catalina while begging her to avenge his fallen allies. Then he leads her to a room with a bunch of guards and betrays her, only to be betrayed likewise and killed by the people he sold Allura out to. Kind of pointless, but I suppose that’s to be expected; characters with normal, non-exotic names in Deception games are basically redshirts.
I drop a flare rock on Allura on accident again, but in my defense, Trapt is really generous with its hit boxes. That’s not necessarily a problem since it makes chaining traps together a much easier process, but it’s definitely annoying to get damaged by a boulder that didn’t visibly touch you. I also want to point out that one of the guys in this mob is named “Damninda,” which is hilarious. His parents must hate him.
You know, when I came in here to kill the last enemy in the first mob, she got damaged by something I didn’t notice. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, but now I can see that there are some spikes that my preferred spot for the push wall drops enemies into. That means I can hit enemies with a springboard, flare rock, push wall, flare rock again, drop them onto spikes, then have the flare rock hit them in the back while they’re on the spikes. The game called that an 8-hit combo, too, so they might be getting hit by something else that I’m not seeing.
The mission ends with Hertzog coming out to face Allura. I don’t expect that to turn out well for him now that she’s the god-empress of murderous staircases.
We killed so many people in this mission that the game can’t even fit them all on one screen. You’d think that Catalina and Hertzog would surrender given the fact that we’ve personally killed everyone they’ve sent out, but I suppose hope dies last.
Is that too subtle? Maybe I should have gone with hope springboards eternal. It’s actually called a spring floor in-game, but I rarely pay attention to things like words.