Tag Archives: bosses

Toughest Video Game Bosses #2: RIOVANES CASTLE

Some games teach you to have alternating save games. Save in slot 1, then save in slot 2 next time. Rinse, repeat. This next game, and their series of bosses, serve to teach you this in the most brutal manner possible:

Final Fantasy Tactics

Riovanes Castle Fights

Roof_of_Riovanes_Castle_2

I’m lumping a series of 4 battles into 1 post purely because once you’ve gone into Riovanes Castle and completed the first fight, you’re unable to leave unless you load from an earlier save, or complete the series of battles.

The first one is easy enough. KO a load of generic enemies, and one rather weak non-generic guy called Marach. He loses, he runs away, you go through Riovanes Castle Gate, and run into…

hbvg2Wiegraf Folles, the White Knight! This is a duel boss, meaning your main character, Ramza, must fight him ALONE.

inside

Alone, in a relatively small arena, where he has height advantage over you. Here’s where you learn whether your decision to level Ramza as particular classes was wise. There are ways of making this fight easy. You can have Ramza as a Squire, spam Tailwind to increase your speed until you get 2 turns for every 1 turn of Wiegraf, then wail on him one turn, and then outrange him the next.

You can be a Knight, and break his weapons and armor, or be a Thief and steal them. This reduces his attack, defense and health!

You can be a Dragoon and Leap at him. Leap makes you untargetable by Wiegraf, and then you crash down onto him for MASSIVE DAMAGE.

Each of these strategies are improved with the Chemist ability Auto Potion, which makes you quaff a potion when you get hurt, increasing your survivability without spending an action on it.

Trouble is, if you don’t know this fight is coming, you may well have levelled Ramza in a non-optimal way. Maybe you are the aforementioned classes, without the aforementioned abilities. Maybe you decided to level Ramza as your White Mage, Orator, or other low-damage, low defense class. Wiegraf could easily kill you in one or two hits! His White Knight abilities hit like a TRUCK, even on Knights wearing heavy armor. Squishier classes may well fall in one go. You have to get his health to 20% or below, so you can’t run away forever, you have to eventually stand and fight.

Perhaps you’ve not even levelled Ramza at all. Though he is present in damn near every story battle, maybe you’ve levelled other characters more in random ones. An underlevelled Ramza is a sitting duck against Wiegraf. Indeed, many people have memories of having to start the whole game again, simply because the way they levelled Ramza made the battle completely unwinnable.

veliussummon

Once you get Wiegraf to 20% health, it’s immediately followed by fight #3, against Velius/Belias. Immediately, as in you don’t get a chance to recover Ramza, so you go into this fight with the same buffed stats (if you went with the Squire Tailwind strategy), but also with the same health as you finished Wiegraf with. Woe betide you if you’re at a critical level and Velius or one of his minions goes first!

Yes, he notices your allies joined this fight, and he summons allies of his own.

velius

Powerful Archaeodaemons, with attacks that can decimate you! Of note is their Gigaflare, which has no charge time, and thus comes out instantly. Most attacks have a small delay between when you select them, and when they come out (spells requiring incantations, that sorta thing), but Gigaflare has a charge time of 0!

Belias himself uses incredibly powerful attacks, and can inflict Silence, Confusion and Stone with his spells. Got some units clumped together? He’s gonna nuke them with a Summon ability (usually Cyclops), and if you hit him with melee attacks, he responds with a powerful Counterattack, capable of killing some lower defense units in one hit!

Beat him? Not out of the woods yet. You then move to the roof of Riovanes Castle for battle #4. At least you get to save before this one!

riovanes

That character in the middle is named Rapha, and has just watched her brother die. She’s AI-controlled, and the level fails if she dies.

Those characters on the top are your enemies. The two girls are of the Assassin class, and are extremely fast. Not only that, but they have an attack called Stop Breath (or Stop Bracelet in the PS1 version) that instantly KO’s an enemy with a horribly high frequency. The bloke is also really speedy, and is of the Samurai class, which has really powerful AoE attacks. Your objective is to get one of the three enemies to a critical health level, whereupon the fight ends.

Trouble is, as mentioned, Rapha has just watched her brother die. She’s grief-stricken, and thus has slightly suicidal tendencies. She’ll make a beeline for Celia or Lettie, attack them with one of her ineffective attacks, who will then respond in turn by using Stop Breath, or one of their other powerful abilities. It’s kinda explained as her wanting to be reunited with her brother in death, her brother who has always been there for her, even in dire circumstances. Doesn’t make her running over to the assassins any less annoying!

This is usually before you can even act, too. This stage can be lost before you make a single action.

Before the fight, you need to optimize Ramza (or any of your team) for speed. You NEED to outspeed Celia and/or Lettie, and you NEED to KO them in one go, lest they go off and kill Rapha. Hello Ninja class, which is fast and can wield two weapons. It is possible that Celia and Lettie ignore Rapha to attack one of your characters; maybe a White Mage, or by using one of your other characters to block a direct path to Rapha. Consider this a 1 in 10 (15? 20? 100?) occurence!

Typical turn of events?

  1. Rapha runs towards the enemies and hits nobody with her attacks.
  2. You try and run over near her.
  3. Elmdore uses a powerful AoE attack that hits Rapha and probably Ramza.
  4. Celia and/or Lettie finish her off, or inflict Stop/Stone/Charm from range, and the OTHER one finishes Rapha off

Reload. Hope things go differently.

Screw you, Rapha (art by Akira_H on DeviantArt)

Screw you, Rapha
(art by Akira_H on DeviantArt)

So there you have it. Riovanes Castle, one of the most frustrating series of battles in gaming! Alternating between save slots is always a good idea; being able to load up a save from before you pass the Point of No Return and buy stuff/proper abilities is just so helpful if things end up going terribly wrong.

NEXT TIME:

theend

He who can snipe you through loading screens.

Toughest Video Game Bosses #1: MATADOR

I intend this to be a series on the bosses I consider to be the most difficult, frustrating bosses in all of video games! Naturally, this is merely my opinion, maybe you have bosses you find more difficult? Or you consider the bosses I list easy? Let me know!

For now, we kick off with…

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

MATADOR

matador2

To understand what makes this boss so potentially devastating to you, you need to understand the battle system of Nocturne. It uses something called the Press Turn Battle system, whereby you take turns, and how many actions you can perform are indicated by how many icons appear in the top right.

smt_nocturne_95

There are 4 icons, therefore 4 actions, generally 1 per unit. You have 4 units? 4 actions! If you’re lucky enough to get a critical hit, or you hit an enemy’s weakness, one of those turn icons, instead of disappearing, turns into a “half turn” icon, meaning you can take more actions! If your attacks miss, or the enemy nullifies/drains/reflects the type of damage you tried to do, however, it consumes TWO turn icons, effectively REDUCING the actions you can take in your turn.

This applies to the enemy too. They hit a weakness, they take more actions. They miss you, they lose turns.

And so we get to the Matador.

smt3-matador

In a lot of RPG games, you get various magical abilities. Nocturne is no different. They fall into several categories here:

  • Attack magic: The most commonly used magic!
  • Healing magic: 2nd most used, probably most useful.
  • Status magic: Inflict status effects!
  • Support magic: Buff stats, debuff stats, and remove stat buffs from your enemy/stat debuffs from you.

A lot of people tend to neglect support and status magic in most RPG’s. It doesn’t do direct damage or heal, so what’s the point? They may keep attack-boosting spells (in this game, Tarukaja boosts physical damage, Makakaja boosts magical damage), but other than that? Useless!

Not here. Not now.

Around 1/3 of the way through the game, in the Great Underpass of Ginza, you run into this bullfighting monstrosity. The first action he takes (and he WILL take the first action) is to use the ability Red Capote. This buffs his evasion to maximum levels.

Now, remember what I said about what happens if you miss attacks? You lose turns. This means you potentially lose precious healing turns!

He may be a speedy little bugger, but he also packs a massive punch, thanks to his powerful Force spell Mazan, which hits all of your party, and the physical ability Andalucia, which hits random targets several times. And yes, it is possible for ALL the hits to be on one character.

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The trick with him (and many bosses in the game, and even random encounters!) is to use the spells that other games treat as useless. The debuffers. Dekaja will nullify his evasion boost (until he casts it again of course), and Dekunda will restore your defense to normal (his ability Taunt buffs your physical attack, but reduces your defence, which will make his Andalucia hurt even MORE).

He tends to get a bit nasty when you’ve knocked off half his health. He starts combining his Andalucia attack with an ability called Focus, which causes his next physical ability to do 2.5x the normal damage. Ouch. It’s tempting beforehand to equip your main character with a Magatama (the essence of a demon that confers elemental strengths and weaknesses and level-up abilities, usable only by your main character, the Demi-Fiend) that nullifies Force abilities, this way he loses turns every time he uses Mazan.

Thing is, Mazan is NOT his most dangerous ability, it’s Andalucia (and Focus/Andalucia especially), so equipping a Magatama that halves Physical damage is more helpful here. He won’t lose turns, but he won’t KO your main character so damn easily.

Oh, by the way, your main character’s HP reducing to zero means game over, even if you have other party members at full health, so watch out for that (Focused Andalucia’s hits all hitting the Demi-Fiend will probably result in a game over!). Having the Fog Breath ability on one of your demons will also be a big boost, as this reduces his evasion AND accuracy, and if he misses an attack? He loses turns!

spec

Matador is a very rude awakening. While the rest of the game up to this point isn’t exactly a cakewalk, Matador is a massive spike in difficulty compared to what came previously, and usually requires special preperations to actually defeat (having a physical-resisting main character, a demon that nulls Force, a way to counter Red Capote, and a healer that can heal everyone at once), but also teaches you that this game is not like other RPGs. It teaches that buffing your stats and (more importantly) debuffing your opponents,or even simply dispelling them, is an incredibly important tactic, and that it’s in your best interests to have party members capable of using at LEAST Dekaja (nullify enemy stat boosts) and Dekunda (nullify ally stat debuffs), especially later in the game when enemies will start throwing Degenerate (lowers ALL your stats) at you.

NEXT TIME:

hbvg2

Oh yes. The one that, if unprepared, causes you to have to RESTART THE WHOLE GAME.

Killing in the Name of: Mount Drops

I did a guide like this a while ago, but it was rather badly made and I wanted to make a do-over. Not only that, but there’s MORE MOUNTS!

shawujingselfie

Vanilla WoW

Dungeons

Stratholme
  • Deathcharger’s Reins

This drops from Lord Aurius Rivendare. Go in, kill everything, kill him, loot him, swear when you don’t get the mount, reset. You’ll kill everything in 1 hit, there’s no strategy.

raids

Temple of Ahn’Qiraj
  • Blue Qiraji Resonating Crystal
  • Yellow Qiraji Resonating Crystal
  • Green Qiraji Resonating Crystal
  • Red Qiraji Resonating Crystal

All of these drop from trash. The red one is rarer than the others, but honestly one run of the place should see all of them drop. The red one awards a Feat of Strength.

lunkick

The Burning Crusade

dungeons

Sethekk Halls
  • Reins of the Raven Lord

Drops from Anzu on Heroic difficulty only. No strategy needed.

Magisters’ Terrace
  • Swift White Hawkstrider

Drops from Heroic Kael’thas Sunstrider. No strategy needed here either.

raids

Karazhan
  • Fiery Warhorse’s Reins

First boss of Karazhan, literally around the first corner, and hideously easy to kill. Awards a Feat of Strength.

Tempest Keep
  • Ashes of Al’ar

This drops from the final boss here, Kael’thas Sunstrider. At 100 it’s an easy fight, though the part where he summons all of his advisors can be tricky if you’re unlucky with getting chain CC’d and flung all over the place. Awards a Feat of Strength.

rudepanda

Wrath of the Lich King

dungeons

The Culling of Stratholme
  • Reins of the Bronze Drake

This one’s a guaranteed drop from the Infinite Corruptor boss on Heroic difficulty. You’re on a time limit that begins once you talk to Arthas in Stratholme itself, but you have 25 minutes and you can easily blitz through with time to spare.

Utgarde Pinnacle
  • Reins of the Blue Proto-Drake

Drops from Skadi the Ruthless on Heroic mode. I doubt you need a strategy here.

raids

Vault of Archavon
  • Reins of the Grand Black War Mammoth

Can drop from any of the 4 bosses in here. Most annoying thing about this place is you can’t get in if Wintergrasp is in the hands of the other faction. Other than that, tank & spank those bosses.

Onyxia’s Lair
  • Reins of the Onyxian Drake

Drops from Onyxia on any difficulty. Easy for ranged, slightly less so for melee due to her flight phase. Heroic Throw forever!

The Eye of Eternity
  • Reins of the Azure Drake
  • Reins of the Blue Drake

Both drop from Malygos, an easy boss fight. Drops on either 10 man or 25, and if you’re really lucky you can get both at once!

Obsidian Sanctum
  • Reins of the Black Drake
  • Reins of the Twilight Drake

The Black Drake drops from Sartharion on 10 man, and the Twilight Drake from him on 25 man. Both require you to leave the 3 sub-bosses (Shadron, Tenebron, Vesperon) alive when you engage Sartharion himself, so carefully go around and clear the trash first. At 100 (even 90!) you can easily beat the DPS requirement to stop Shadron making the fight unwinnable.

Ulduar
  • Mimiron’s Head

This wonderful little mount drops from Yogg-Saron on 25 man difficulty with no keepers active, so basically fulfilling the requirement for the “Alone in the Darkness” achievement. At 100 it’s easy to do, though make sure you keep an eye on your sanity. Don’t stare into the chattering skulls in the brain room, and don’t stare into Yoggy’s maw when he’s cackling at you.

Icecrown Citadel
  • Invincible’s Reins

Drops from 25 man Heroic Lich King, and awards a Feat of Strength. Easy to faceroll at level 100 by damn near every class, so go wild.

exercise

Cataclysm

dungeons

Vortex Pinnacle
  • Reins of the Drake of the North Wind

Drops from Altairus on any difficulty, meaning you can go in, blitz the place, curse when you don’t get the mount, reset and try again until you go INSANE.

Stonecore
  • Reins of the Vitreous Stone Drake

Drops from Slabhide on any difficulty, meaning the advice above applies here too. Good luck.

Zul’Gurub
  • Armored Razzashi Raptor
  • Swift Zulian Panther

The first one drops from Bloodlord Mandokir. If you don’t go solo on this guy, you need to kill him before his first Decapitate, else lolwipe. Grimoire of Sacrifice, Lone Wolf, leave the elemental at home and don’t go Unholy.

The second one drops from High Priestess Kilnara and she goes down very easily.

Zul’Aman
  • Amani Battle Bear

Once you and Vol’jin open the gates, a 20 minute timer will start. This timer increases by 5 minutes once you defeat the first boss. You need to smash Akil’zon, Nalorakk, Jan’alai and Halazzi within this timer, releasing the prisoners after each boss. The fourth prisoner is a troll called Kasha. She’ll run around the room smashing pots like she’s in a Zelda game, and the last one will contain a bag with this mount inside!

raids

Throne of Four Winds
  • Reins of the Drake of the South Wind

Al’akir drops this little beauty on any difficulty/raid size. He’s a simple case of tank & spank. Getting to him is actually slightly more complicated due to the boss before him, the Conclave of Wind, though at 100 you can handily nuke them as melee. As a caster, you need to find a way of tricking Nezir into thinking there’s someone on his platform. As a warlock, summon a Doomguard on his platform, then go and kill Anshal. Finish off Nezir after, then duff up Rohash.

Firelands
  • Flametalon of Alysrazor
  • Smouldering Egg of Millagazor

The first mount drops from Alysrazor on normal or heroic. Simple fight, as she appears, DPS her and collect 3 feathers. Collect the third one as she’s about to ascend, then follow her around. Attack her as you fly through the hoops to sustain your flight. Warlocks, you can CAST WHILE MOVING for this part! Rejoice! Then cry when it wears off and you become a turret again.

The second mount drops from Ragnaros himself on any difficulty, and it’s an easy fight. When he smashes his hammer and descends into the lava, kill the Sons of Flame to avoid large damage. Don’t stand on magma traps, the fall will kill you. Heroic adds an extra phase featuring the hottest legs around, and it’s a DPS race.

Dragon Soul
  • Experiment 12-B
  • Reins of the Blazing Drake
  • Life-Binder’s Handmaiden

Experiment 12-B drops from Ultraxion on any difficulty,¬†and the fight is a massive DPS race. If you’re doing Heroic, you need to kill him before his first Hour of Twilight attack, else he’ll do Twilight Eruption straight after, insta-wiping you. This gives you 56 seconds. Easy enough.

The Blazing Drake and Life-Binder’s Handmaiden both drop from Deathwing, though the latter is on Heroic only. Frankly at 100 you should have no issues. Hop to each platform, kill tentacles and junk, then punch Deathwing in the face. Job done.

Others

  • Reins of the Phosphorescent Stone Drake

Aeonaxx, an extremely rare and much-camped rare spawn in Deepholm, drops this. He flies around the big temple in the middle. Have fun.

  • Reins of Poseidus

Drops from the rare spawn Poseidus in the Shimmering Expanse in that horrible zone, Vash’jir. It’s Bind on Equip, meaning you can flog it on the auction house if you so desire. For this reason, it tends to be camped a lot by people.

  • Reins of the Grey Riding Camel

In Uldum, you can find Mysterious Camel Figurines. Once you pick the correct one (yes, in addition to being rare spawns, there are also WRONG figurines), you get whisked to Feralas with a debuff called Dormus’ Rage. There’s a giant called Dormus the Camel-Hoarder. Kill him, loot the camel.

oracle

Mists of Pandaria

dungeons

None! Gasp!

raids

Mogu’shan Vaults
  • Reins of the Astral Cloud Serpent

This awesome-looking mount drops from Elegon on normal or heroic. MSV can be soloed in its entirety, but Gara’jal is a bit of a stumbling block for those without high DPS and/or a tank spec. Probably best to do this raid with a few people to ensure success.

Throne of Thunder
  • Spawn of Horridon
  • Clutch of Ji-Kun

These drop from Horridon and Ji-Kun respectively on any difficulty. Though they (and the preceding bosses) can be soloed, it’s probably best to bring a few people to ensure success.

Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Kor’kron Juggernaut

This drops from Garrosh Hellscream on Mythic difficulty only. Though normal mode can and has been soloed, Mythic is something else entirely, and would probably require a large number of people for now!

Others

  • Reins of the Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent

This one drops from the Sha of Anger, a world boss in the Kun-Lai Summit. While it’s possible to solo, for ease of killing I’d recommend dragging a few people along. People LOVE mount runs.

  • Son of Galleon’s Saddle

Another drop from a world boss, this time Galleon in the Valley of Four Winds.

  • Reins of the Thundering Cobalt Cloud Serpent

Nalak in the Isle of Thunder is your target for this one.

  • Reins of the Cobalt Primordial Direhorn

Oondasta, that nasty dinosaur on the Isle of Giants, is the pinata you need to crack open for this beauty. I’d be warned, this is a pinata that will probably kill you.

  • Reins of the Amber Primordial Direhorn
  • Reins of the Jade Primordial Direhorn
  • Reins of the Slate Primordial Direhorn

These drop from Zandalari Warbringers, easily killable enemies that spawn in Townlong Steppes, Dread Wastes, Krasarang Wilds, Kun-Lai Summit and The Jade Forest. Hunt, kill, loot.

midget

Warlords of Draenor

Dungeons

None so far!

Raids

Blackrock Foundry
  • Ironhoof Destroyer

Drops from Mythic Blackhand, and no, I doubt you can solo him just yet.

other

  • Solar Spirehawk

Drops from one of the new world bosses, Rukhmar, in the Spires of Arak.

  • Garn Nighthowl

Drops from Nok-Karosh in Frostfire Ridge. Soloable if you’re REALLY good at kiting. So, Frost Mages then. Sellable, much like Poseidus, and only 1 drops per kill, even if you’re grouped.

  • Swift Breezestrider

Pathrunner in Shadowmoon Valley drops this one. This one and the following 5 are received by every player that participates in the kill, and are on long spawn times.

  • Great Greytusk

Gorok in Frostfire Ridge drops this snuffly pig.

  • Sunhide Gronnling

Poundfist in Gorgrond drops this awesome mount.

  • Sapphire Riverbeast

Talador is your location, Silthide is your target. Good luck, Bond.

  • Bloodhoof Bull

Nakk the Thunderer in Nagrand drops this. It’s rather big.

  • Mottled Meadowstomper

Also in Nagrand, look out for Luk’hok.

pandaaaaaaaaaahhhh

Black Market Auction House

A number of the above mounts can be purchased from the Black Market Auction House in Nagrand. These are:

  • Ashes of Al’ar
  • Mimiron’s Head
  • Reins of the Drake of the South Wind
  • Reins of the Onyxian Drake
  • Smouldering Egg of Millagazor
  • Deathcharger’s Reins
  • Flametalon of Alysrazor
  • Invincible’s Reins
  • Son of Galleon’s Saddle
  • Clutch of Ji-Kun
  • Reins of the Astral Cloud Serpent
  • Kor’kron Juggernaut
  • Reins of the Thundering Cobalt Cloud Serpent
  • Reins of the Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent

Not only that, but you can purchase Unclaimed Black Market Containers, which MAY contain more mounts, but this is a very random chance.