If you don’t know what my Diaries are, please go here. Spoilers ahoy!
Otherwise, let’s go!
Not as much free stuff from the Clones. Boo!
Added fight in front of Shinra Mansion. One of those things that makes sense. Why would Shinra allow people to freely go in and out of one of their properties? They could always use the excuse that they never know when the president is going to stop by, so they always keep soldiers on guard.
Not much to say but Bio2 wrecks them.
OK, Shinra Mansion. Definitely one of the creepiest parts of the whole game. The Basement Key, as the note says, is in a chest, not the safe. I guess that’s if you want to recruit Vinnie without fighting the Boss. (Which, as you’ll see why, is a good thing.) I imagine in Remake there will either a) be a scene where one character discovers Hojo’s notes and they all decide to check it out, b) someone like Yuffie will be curious (or just hear something) and open the sealed coffin as they look for more information about Sephiroth in the basement, or c) Vincent wakes up to say, “SHUT UP, I’M TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!” (Just kidding about the last one.) Although, who would be crazy enough to open up a coffin? “Hey, there’s all these skeletons around, let’s look at another one!!”
Vincent innate: passive HP recovery
Otherwise, the safe combination is the same, but you’re still under the timer. With my setup, the occasional slow-downs and random speed-ups means this is a HUGE pain-in-the-butt.
I wanted to face the Boss’ magic side, so I chose a party that I thought would be really good for this: Cloud and Red XIII have good MAG and ATK, and Aerith could chip in on magic damage while also healing. Seal Evil is usually recommended for Lost Number, but I didn’t know if that strategy would still work here. Plus, I figured Fury Brand would be nice.
OK, was NOT expecting that.
As I found out during my escapades, this guy is one lucky SOB.
Main attacks (first form):
Ruin/Ruinra/Ruinga – magical damage to all
Level Downer – Damage + Mini
Damage all for about 1/2 of health
Heals himself (Aura of Two)
However, once they separate, you have to act fast. The physical side can heal himself for a whopping 3000 HP, and the magical side 2000 HP. The damage done by attacks are mostly flat damage, so Barrier and MBarrier are of minimal use here. The magical side can use an attack to knock a character to 1 HP. That may be scary, but that’s nothing to Lost Blow. I’ve seen this attack do 8000+ damage to a character, and one time I swear I remember it doing max damage (9999). That would be a 1HKO at any point in the game, let alone on Nibelheim visit 1. Even without Lost Blow, the physical side can regularly hit for 1000, and his grudge attack can easily go toward the 2000 mark. Healing will also put up a Wall, and you still need to watch for Poison and Paralyze. The magical side can also do Escape Factor, and unless you ran away from every battle (why would you when you can turn random battles off in this mod?), this is the attack you want to see.
So you need to have a balanced party after all. But the decision in this fight is hard. The magic side is much less of a threat, so do you attack and try to bring him down first, or do you go after the deadly physical side? For me, I had to get rid of the physical half. Lost Blow is too much of a threat, and although it’s very possible to deal heavy damage and also Stop him thanks to Added Effect-Time, this is too luck-heavy.
In fact, let’s relive some of the “worst of” moments across my many, many, many attempts.
As I mentioned, Lamda Calcule is one lucky SOB. Twice I got the Physical side down to where a single Quake2 would have finished him off. Nope, manages to do his 3000 heal, and that stalled enough where I just couldn’t recover. Another round or two, neither his first form or his second were getting Stopped by Cross-Slash or Added Effect-Time. The RNG just hated my guts.
I also noticed before I charged up my Level 1 Limits that my Cover Materia was only like 70 AP away from leveling up from 30% chance to Cover to 40%. That meant not only Aerith had a better chance of being protected, but Cloud could possibly get another free attack from Counterattack with a chance of Stopping Lambda.
He kept mentioning the piano, so I figured his stats had something to do with the piano, which brings up these options:
There’s a secret clue of melody in the mansion’s notes, but playing Tifa’s Theme didn’t seem to help. I couldn’t find any clue, so I gave up. I finally switched to Level 1 Limits and then charged them up for the battle.
FINALLY THEY WENT DOWN!!!!
Now, let’s relive the moment in all it’s glory–
Wait, where’s my video? Why didn’t it stop recording? What, I didn’t record it?
At least it wasn’t a great video that I lost. I was eating lunch at the time, so it was full of pauses. I had a backup save from just before the battle, and fortunately, I won again on the next attempt. But still, stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid. It wasn’t as clean of a victory as the first time around, but you get the idea. At least it isn’t full of pauses.
So, what did I learn from all these attempts?
- Have Aerith use Seal Evil as the first move, right after Lamda Calcule syncs the party to its level.
- Instead of wasting time casting Haste on each character, use Lunatic High. Unless you have an extra Time Materia, of course. In the future, Sled Fang isn’t that much extra damage though.
- Slow him right afterwards, and reapply as needed throughout the battle with Antipode. You want as much time between attacks as possible.
- Having Cloud’s Limit charged isn’t as important, as either you waste the chance to paralyze Lamda (since he’s already under Seal Evil), or you have to rely on magic/items until he starts attacking again.
- Use Goblin Punch (learned from Boxer enemy outside Gongaga) while he is paralyzed in his first form. If Lamda gets off a Ruin before he is frozen, then this strategy won’t work.
- Added Effect-Time is great to have in a weapon as is Elemental-Earth. However, whether you can actually get Lamda to Stop just all depends on your luck.
- Ideally, use Sense, and cast MBarrier/Barrier just before his first form is defeated. Reapplying them, as I mentioned, isn’t a huge help, but you might as well have it at the start of the second half. Restoring Aerith’s MP should be a much higher priority, as you do not want to end up being just a Quake2 or two short of finishing the physical half off while the other two try to keep everyone alive and healthy.
- Here is the key: Aerith needs to get a Limit Break shortly after Lamda separates. If you are incredibly unlucky and she is KO’d at or near her Limit Break, it can be incredibly hard to recover. Since she has low HP, keep her at max at all times. She may still suffer the occasional 1HKO, but there’s not much you can do if he is doing 2000+ damage on a character with <1500 HP. If you can Seal Evil both sides before they can wreck too much damage together, you will have a much easier time.
- Magic Counter-Earth works well for some free extra hits.
- Titan hits both sides for 2000+ damage. Put him with an Elemental Materia in a weapon (along with Added Effect-Time hopefully).
- Both sides carry some nice equipment (although somewhat random what you get), so Steal if you get a chance.
- Put a Jem Ring on your healer. It’s easy to use Echo Drops to counter Silence or toss Potions until you get a chance to use them, but being frozen for a time is much more devastating.
- Poison only works on the combined form, so Bio2/Dirty Bombs aren’t a must-have.
- Save your All-Cure/Cure2s until the second half. I ended up having All-Restore for everyone, even though Aerith had White Wind and a healing rod. Healing priority should be Quake2 user > Cover user > third character. (For me, of course that’s Aerith > Cloud > Red.) All-Life also makes a good panic button option.
- Otherwise, stay on offense as much as possible. Each heal counters about 2 Quake2 spells, and in a battle of attrition, the party’s going to lose.
- You cannot let Wall (well, MBarrier really) stay up for more than two Quake2 spells; that’s too much potential damage lost.
If you take the magic side down first, always watch out for Lost Blow. Magic side, you can breathe much easier. Even if he gets off a Mod attack, that will almost always full up a character’s Limit Gauge, so you should be able to heal right away. Your physical attacker should be doing hefty damage with a good chance to Stop him, and you should have your mage on full-time healing duty now instead of shifting the responsibility to your other characters.
Also, they each say something upon dying. Putting it together, the piano hides Ozma?!
Thank goodness I can finally leave this town of death!