Thursday, November 12, 2020

Trials of Mana, Finale - Strange Sunset

I've got the normal game finished, but now we have new remake additions to do. That's right, this version of the game has a "postgame", but really it's more of a new endgame. You have to go through this to get to New Game Plus. Let's get to it. Also: Dark tights, oh yeah.



After the end credits roll, a mysterious lady awakens from a slumber. Who is this? Could it be CULEX?

Kevin looks at a book. Come on, we know Kevin can't read.

Alright, it looks like the new villain's name is Anise. She's from Dawn of Mana (aka Seiken Densetsu 4). Not sure what she's doing in this game aside from playing the Culex role. Except she actually IS from another game, unlike that tease Culex.

I'm not really a fan of this remake adding a new final boss that's the same across all characters. The fact that the original game had multiple final bosses was one of its most interesting points for me. Now they've essentially just made it a situation where you do some things differently depending on character, but end up at the same place regardless.

Meanwhile, Kevin just went through puberty for the fourth time all game, cursing whatever cruel god put him in this group.

At this point each character has a side-quest they have to do to get their fourth class, which we'll need for the new final area/boss. These side-quests generally consist of some tough one-on-one fights. Kevin, for instance, needs to fight this random beastman guy who is challenging his authoritah.

Looks like this isn't one of the one-on-ones. It's also insanely easy. That's because...

...the real side-boss is actually the King of Ferolia. This is a great use of new content, actually. It always felt like this guy was supposed to be a boss in the original game, and he just never was. Maybe he was cut content. Either way, here he is, and we finally get to fight him.

This is a Kevin solo fight, and it's TOUGH. Both guys go into their Oozaru forms and hash it out.

I unleash Seiryu Strike, and eventually eke out a win.

This battle was absolutely nutso though. One of the few TRULY challenging points in this remake.

Win these optional fights, get Class 4 powerups. There are two final classes for every character, one light and one dark. What you get depends on what you chose for your second class. Generally, the fourth class combines the two third classes for that particular half of the tree in terms of abilities.

For Angela's test, she has to go out into the snow and defeat her mirror image, Link-style.

Dark Angela is another very difficult fight, moreso even than the King of Ferolia. She can bomb you with highly-damaging attacks from a distance.

Angela's black tights don't lie.

...neither does Dark Angela's everything. How do we defeat something so...shapely?

This might be the toughest fight in the game overall. Dark Angela completely BOMBS you with spell damage. Even at level 99 the fight wasn't what I'd call easy. When I did this at the typical level 70 or so for this point, it was by far the most difficult fight I had all game.

After gaining one of the fourth-class items, you still have to return them to the specific character's homeland to "activate" them.

I'm glad the True Queen returned to normal, and didn't go full-evil like her counterpart Queen Zeal. In a way, that's the cool thing about this "postgame": You can see characters in action after the normal game ends and they've gone back to their regular lives.

"MOM, you're embarrassing me in front of my friends!"

Man, Kevin looks like a goober here.

Riesz's fourth-class challenge...is a gigantic bee. Weird.

I didn't record this fight, because it wasn't much of one. Having your entire party instead of just one character makes a world of difference. The boss summons a lot of adds, and definitely would have been a huge challenge if it were a solo fight like the others.

It's fitting that this battle takes place in the giant flower field where everyone got put to sleep earlier.

Riesz's parents appear in ghost form. Because this game's story is wildly depressing.

Riesz gains the power she needs for CLASS FOUR. That's everybody, let's goooo.

CLASS CHANGE TIME (again)

No choices this time. It just puts you in whichever category you started in whether it's light or dark. Kevin's dark class is Annihilator, the ultimate damage class. Probably the one class in the game that can out-DPS Fatal Fist with melee. It also looks insanely badass.

Each character going to their ultimate class gets you a trophy, so all six characters need to get to this point in order to 100% the game. Also need to defeat all three final bosses. In theory you only need to beat the postgame on one file, but why not do it 3x?

Riesz's fourth class is her light variant, Meteorite. This is the ultimate evolution of her paladin-like light-side classes.

While Kevin is a Fighter, Riesz is a...Guard. Well, that works I suppose.

I like how these characters do these cute ballet-like dances as they class change.

For Angela my only choice was her dark class, but it's worth looking at her light class because it's gorgeous.

Annnnnd here's her dark class. Mein Gott on a cracker.

YE GOD.

Well, we've got a new "#1 waifu" in video games, folks. They knew what they were doing when they made this game. The Japanese body pillows will FLY off the shelves.

And there it is, my party is complete. Final classes on everybody. Now they just need some levels for the big postgame fight with Black Rabite. But first...the new final boss, that Anise person. Let's get 'em.

Kevin's Annihilator form is so bad-ass, and sports Vega-like claws as his new ultimate weapon.

Ultimate weapon, you ask? That's right, seeds can get you an entirely new set of equipment now. Only Rainbow Seeds, though, which is why it's imperative to save all of those and only use Gold Seeds for your tier-3 class equipment.

A new portal has appeared in the sky, Dragon Quest 11 style.

Our heroes soar towards the new sky-portal.

Here's a previous playthrough. Not sure why the sky is different. There's Angela in her also-gorgeous light form, though.

This is it, the new final dungeon. It's similar to new added dungeons in other Square-Enix remakes over the years in that it consists of pieces from other dungeons. For better or worse. It also goes on and on and on.

Looks cool, at least. And they explain it being a combination of existing areas by saying that Anise constructed it from their memories.

The enemies in here are the highest-level in the game, and it's actually a MUCH better place to level-grind than the normal final area (Mana Holyland). You can grind to level 99 here in a couple of hours, especially on a second run of the game with the 3x EXP bonus you get after defeating Anise once.

Angela has a bit of a Harley Quinn thing going on in her latest form. Daddy's Little Monster, indeed. Avert your eyes, Kevin.

One memorable part of the Stockade has you bouncing between these sky-islands via those bouncy things from SoM.

A lot of these islands have enemy squads on them, and I found this particular room to be a good place to level up. Gained almost ten levels pretty quickly here.

This looks like Angela's home-castle, except it's completely frozen.

Gotta say, this is a great idea for a final area as it turns out. The villain showing these characters things that mess with their heads makes for an interesting time.

A lot of this final dungeon is frozen...and our characters aren't wearing anything. Forget the bad guys, the biggest threat to our heroes is hypothermia.

At last, we arrive at a large ominous stairway.

I take some more time to cash in the Rainbow Seeds I've got, and obtain Kevin's ultimate weapon.

REMEMBER, don't use Rainbow Seeds on tier-3 equipment! Gold Seeds are enough for that. I wasted a good amount of Rainbow Seeds on tier-3 and wasn't able to get all of my tier-4 equipment until I farmed more Rainbow Seeds in this final area.

Kevin is now FULLY-POWERED.

Got his full set of tier-4 class equipment, and he's decked out in the best abilities I could muster up for a fighter type. He can't get any stronger than this (aside from gaining a few more levels).

Here's my final decked-out Riesz. A lot of her abilities are geared towards powering up the group, and by herself she's easily my lowest-DPS character. Still, with her reinforcing them, the other two are ludicrous DPS, so we have nothing to worry about.

Full-power Angela, plus level 99. I think Blaze Barrette might be tier-3 equipment but other than that I got tier-4 equipment for everybody. Angela's abilities are, no surprise, geared towards spell damage.

With all of that done, it's time for the new final boss. Anise is a refugee from Dawn of Mana, seen here in the Art of Mana book:

Lower right is Anise. A supple plant-lady, like Poison Ivy.

Speaking of supple, Riesz is ready for battle. Anise is going to destroy the world and whatever, yada yada. Let's get her!

I mean, looking around these days, you don't have to do much.

This battle isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's about on par with the normal final bosses, just a little higher level, and so is your party from going through the dungeon. For a debatably-postgame boss, she's got nothing on the Black Rabite.

Much like Culex, she's got four elemental crystals that you have to defeat. It's kind of funny because Culex had the same postgame placement in Super Mario RPG. These games do all share DNA, after all.

She also teleports a lot. Kevin dishes out INSANE damage during this fight, especially now that he has Moon Energy. That's right, towards the end he finally gets a spell. It boosts critical attack rate, which combined with Riesz's stat buffs, makes Kevin an unstoppable machine.

Kevin dishing out destruction. She's got a second form, though.

Dragon Anise is much stronger than her original form, obviously.

Similar principles at work here with Kevin doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but now Angela can contribute more since the boss is multi-segment and takes a lot of damage from spells as a result.

Victory is won, but you can return here at any time and fight her again for further rewards. There's a "time trial" mode where you're supposed to win the fight in under 6, 4, and 2 minutes. The last one can be a challenge even at level 99.

The weird talking book congratulates us on defeating Anise. It's a good thing it talks because Kevin STILL CAN'T READ. STOP ASKING.

Time trial mode is a lot of fun, since you're basically just going all-out blitzing her with everything you've got.

The main issue for me is that I lose a lot of time on her first form from her teleports, so I wasn't able to quite get it under 2 minutes. Got close a few times.

Angela is frustrated at our inability to get the last time trial done.


Here's my first try at the Anise battle, on a different playthrough. It was a back-and-forth fight.

Here are my attempts at a time trial with the current group, powered-up.

Enough of that, I've got nothing left to prove. Well, wait...there's still the Black Rabite.

Return to your original final dungeon and talk to one of these statues to be warped to the final postgame boss of the game.

...this thing. Yes, this thing is the final postgame boss of Trials of Mana.

It does a GIANT DBZ POWER-UP.

Kevin unleashes his final special attack, a super beam wave. The Black Rabite hops out of the smoke completely unscathed!

This fight is complete insanity. Everyone had to go all-out and the BR's assault is a withering barrage.

SEIRYU STRIKE!

Spamming Cups of Wishes to keep people alive. Only having 9 of these really becomes an issue in this one fight.

"IN HERE, I AM YOUR GOD" he says.

Finally, I barely...BARELY manage a win, on my second try. I mean look at how close this was.

And there's my final trophy to 100% this game. That was one HELL of a fight and a great thing to go out on. I thought I might be making it too easy by leaving it for last, but it turns out that the fight is completely beastly no matter how strong your group is.

Here's the fight. It's SHEER BRUTALITY.


Winning gets you one of the best abilities in the game: Infinite casting for that character. As if Angela wasn't already OP. I'm done with the game though, everything's completed.

Look at that, 100%. We did it.



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