This document provides additional information on the enemies in Retro Pastiche. It will not contain actual enemy stats, because that would be cumbersome and highly changeable. Instead, I'll be using it to list the skills that only enemies use, as well as to describe the various specialized mechanics that some enemies and battles use.
Whereas the other files should be nearly complete soon, this one will likely languish unfinished until such time as I actually make the game. Enemy stuff is completely ad hoc, so I'll end up making up a lot of it as I go along. What you see now is just what I've anticipated using at this point.
The rule is that all enemies have two distinct elemental types, and these determine how their Weakness is calculated. However, there is an exception to this rule. Certain boss enemies are "mirror enemies" and have no elemental types at all. Mirror enemies function very differently from all other kinds.
The following rules changes apply when fighting mirror enemies:
None of this is even hinted at to the players, so in practice a lot of them will probably brute force their way through the fights without actually realizing how they work.
This is the one situation where the elements of your attacks matter, where a positive affinity is not always good and a negative affinity is not always bad. A mirror enemy gets the same damage bonus as you for a skill of the same element, and gets the opposite of that bonus if they use the opposite element. Thus, the best strategy is to try to use the opposite elements from those of the mirror enemies. Of course, in practice that kind of prediction is nearly impossible, but you can give it a shot!
The plan is that a battle will either be all mirror enemies or none, so effects that raise all affinities by the same amount, which are normally fantastic, have no effect at all in a mirror battle. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the elemental craziness goes completely unnoticed by players and they just assume that they're doing unmodified damage. It's a lot less noticeable than the attribute sharing.
Enemies can use most skills available to main characters and secondary characters. This section only lists the skills that no playable character can use. This will probably be most skills, since enemies tend to have a hundred little variations on the same basic things, rather than a core multipurpose skillset. Many enemy skills also break the "rules" of PC skills (for instance, "no Air attacks").
Some boss abilities are essentially triggers for elaborate scripted functions -- these are more like side-effects of the battle, so I won't be in any hurry to list them here. I hope you like vanilla attack skills, because you'll be seeing a lot of them if you keep reading!
For the purposes of skill descriptions, "allies" and "enemies" are relative to the person using the skill, so a monster's allies are other monsters, and so on.
|BASH||130||70||Attack.||Hits all enemies.|
|BITE||110||80||Attack.||Pot 220, Acc 90.|
|REND||130||60||Attack. On hit, adds Wound at Acc 50.||Pot 160, Acc 95.|
|FRENZY||60||90||Attack four times.||Pot 80; Attack six times.|
|BOLT||90||X||Attack.||Act first. Pot 180.|
|NAPALM||100||80||Attack. Adds Wound at Acc 33.||Pot 150, Acc 90. Adds Wound at Acc 75.|
|FLAME||60||X||Attack all enemies.||Pot 120.|
|ACID||70||X||Attack. Adds Poison at Acc 33.||Hits all enemies.|
|LASH||50||85||Attack all enemies.||8 attacks at Acc 80, each on a random enemy.|
|STING||50||95||Attack. On hit, adds Poison at Acc 25.||Acc 100; Poison Acc 80.|
|SHEAR||75||100||Act first. Attack.||Pot 90; Hits all enemies.|
|RAY||75||90||Attack. Triple the usual critical chance.||Act first. Pot 125, Acc 100.|
|CRASH||2000||X||Attack. Adds Seal at Pot 50. There are actually four skills named Crash, all having different elements but otherwise identical.||Pot 3000; Seal Acc X.|
|BURST||300||80||Attack all enemies, but also set the user's HP to 0.||Acc 100; critical hit chance tripled.|
|QUAKE||125||X||Act last. Attack all enemies.||Pot 375.|
|PLASMA||125||X||Act last. Attack all enemies.||Pot 375.|
|DELUGE||125||X||Act last. Attack all enemies.||Pot 375.|
|VACUUM||125||X||Act last. Attack all enemies.||Pot 375.|
|PURIFY||250||X||Attack. Reduces MP by 1 with Acc 50.||Pot 325, MP reduction Acc X; Hits all enemies.|
|7 SINS||400||X||Group Action (requires 7). Attack all enemies 7 times.||(no supermove form)|
|ESCHAT||X||X||Four hits; each hit automatically targets the enemy with the most HP at the time. One hit reduces the target's HP by 100% (minimum 1) and adds Wound at Pot 80. Weakness and other damage modifers apply.||(no supermove form)|
|VORTEX||325||X||Attack. Hits all enemies and all allies.||Hits enemies only.|
|FLUSH||X||X||Act firster. Fire affinity -3. Cure all combatants' impairments.||Fire affinity -6.|
|WELL||240||X||Act last. Heals all living allies as per its Potency, and revives KOd allies with full HP. Fully restores all allies' MP and cures all impairments.||(no supermove form)|
|REGROW||X||X||Revive an ally with full HP and cure their impairments. Doesn't heal living allies, though.||Also restore ally's MP. Again, no effect on living allies.|
|RITUAL||X||X||Act firster. User regains all MP and all their impairments are cured.||(no supermove form)|
|MANTRA||X||X||Act last. User regains 3 MP.||(no supermove form)|
|SUGAR||800||X||Heals target and cures impairments, but sets user's HP to 0.||(no supermove form)|
|BRACE||X||X||Act firster. Reduce damage to self by 25% this turn.||Reduce damage by 50%.|
|MUSTER||X||X||Next action deals 3x the usual damage (Mustered status).||(no supermove form)|
|ACCEL||X||X||Combo action. Enhanced action is Act first.||(no supermove form)|
|DARKEN||X||X||Act firster. Light affinity -1.||Light affinity -2.|
|FLASH||X||50||Adds Blind to all enemies.||Act first. Acc 75.|
|PARCH||X||50||Adds Wound to all enemies.||Acc 80.|
|FOG||X||75||Adds Blind to all enemies.||Hits all enemies.|
|DELUDE||X||70||Adds Blind.||Acc 100.|
|VENOM||X||70||Adds Poison.||Acc 100.|
|SPOIL||X||50||Adds every impairment plus Instant Death. Roll each separately.||Acc 85.|
|SEAL||X||70||Adds Seal.||Hits all enemies.|
|SEAR||X||67||Reduces target's maximum HP and MP to their current values. Lasts the whole battle.||Acc 80; hits all enemies.|
|BREAK||X||X||(no regular version)||Permanently locks Earth affinity at 0. There is a version for each affinity, with the same name but a different element.|
|RAVISH||X||X||Drain 1 MP from target.||Hits all enemies.|
|EQUIP||X||X||Summons a new armenent ally (one of several types), overwriting the old one. (Not the same as the true Equip action, but shares its name.)||(no supermove version)|
|WISP||X||X||Act laster. Summons 6 Ignis Fatuus allies.||(no supermove version)|
This section has notes on battles that are important or unusual.
Guardian of the Greater Crystal of Water. Fought in Frigid Bastion with Kyle, Ezra, Alf, and Beth.
Water Guardian (W/L)
The least interesting Guardian, since you don't have a lot of options this early in the game. The main gimmick is that it regenerates really fast, so you need to rely on Wound and Poison. Luckily, Alf has both!
Guardian of the Greater Crystal of Fire. Fought in Blazing Bastion with Kyle, Ezra, Loa, and Ruth.
Fire Guardian (F/E) LEADER
Ignis Fatuus (F/L) x0 (none to begin with)
If you're going to have Loa's Blend, I might as well force you to use it. Stats will be set under the assumption that they'll be Blended; otherwise the Power is so high that the fight is nearly unwinnable even with the lower ratings in DEF/MOR/RFL. Even blended, the FG should be able to one-shot the entire party with a Mustered supermove Plasma. You are meant to defend against this by pumping affinities (Focus is ideal, but with Defend/Rubedo/Burn and the +1 Default you can get 80% reduction). Initially the Ignis Fatui don't appear; he summons them later.
The dragon that guards the Well of Life. Fought in the Forest of Despair with Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, and Lily.
Vritra (D/F) LEADER
Left Bit (D/A)
Right Bit (D/A)
Vritra is fairly powerful, but should not be as difficult as the Air Guardian or the Dark Lord, who are the two that follow it. It has an extremely powerful Dark attack, but because it's fought in Dark World, the party only takes 40% damage from Dark skills under the default affinities. Unfortunately this also gives Vritra a default Weakness of -3, so it's hard to hurt. The two "bits" are annoying but are better off left alone in most cases.
The two bits have an extremely simple pattern:
Guardian of the Greater Crystal of Fire. Fought in Soaring Bastion with Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, Finn, Lily and Seth. These 6 characters are split into two parties to do the Bastion, and stay in those parties for the fight.
Air Guardian (A/E) LEADER
This is the first two-party fight. You begin the fight with whichever group entered the boss room, and can switch from during the declaration phase (in the Run menu). All three enemies appear at once, but only one of the wings (Raincloud and Thunderhead) is fully onscreen and capable of acting and being targeted (except by Regrow). Switching between parties changes which wing is active. The fight ends when the Air Guardian is defeated.
The guardian revives its wings, so it's tempting to leave them. However, the guardian's stats are reduced when the wings are missing: With one wing missing, the AG's Reflexes are at 60% and its Morale is at 75%. With both wings missing, it falls to 20% Reflexes and 50% Morale.
Dark Deva, the game's main villain. Fought in Soaring Bastion with any four of Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, Finn, and Lily.
Dark Lord (D/L)
You have five people for this fight, but must choose four to participate while the fifth does plot crap. You have to survive for a certain number of turns, where the exact number varies based on who does the plot crap but will probably be in the 6-10 area (testing required). The fight doesn't end then, but at that point you can lose without a game over. It should be possible to win without massive grinding, though -- just hard.
The Dark Lord is only Light-type for the first turn. At the end of every turn, just before affinities reset, his non-Dark type changes to whichever of the four main elements (E/F/W/A) currently has the highest affinity. If there's a tie, he selects randomly from the tied elements, not counting the one he's currently shifted to. That is to say, he only stays in the same element if it's the absolute highest. Shifting doesn't require an action; it's really more a property of the fight.
A chemist who manufactures weapons for the empire. Fought somewhere with Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, and Finn.
Elite Guard (E/W) x6
Oh man, this fight. Handled correctly it can be over very quickly, but it also has the potential to be the most annoying battle in the game. The goal for these guys is to tread water while a few of them pick away at you each turn. Their attacks aren't very exciting, but all of them have good Power and Lucretia can use partywide attacks if you don't keep her busy. I'm not sure what the "right" strategy here is, but I suspect it involves softening up the guards with impairments and weak attacks, then dogpiling Lucretia all of a sudden. Note that she is not the leader, so you have to defeat all enemies simultaneously to win.
The six guards' behaviour is easiest to describe, so I'll talk about them first. They behave according to the following rules:
Lucretia, on the other hand, has a rather complicated ruleset:
Guardian of the Greater Crystal of Earth. Fought in Deep Bastion with Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, and Finn. Note that Earth world is calibrated to Darkness at this point, so the default affinities are +2 D, +1 E, -1 A, -2 L.
Earth Guardian (E/D) LEADER
Elemental Lantern (L/F)
Various Armaments (one weapon appears at a time; starts with Spear)
The Earth Guardian does most of the work in this fight, but it has two allies: the Elemental Lantern, and some armament. Only one armament can be in play at a time, but the guardian can summon a new armement, overwriting the old ones. Mostly it does this if the old oe got killed. While in play, an armament uses its only skill every turn.
The Lantern never acts, but it has a passive support effect. It starts out "off," and each time it's struck (successfully) by an enemy's hostile skill, it changes colour to match that element. During the declaration phase, PCs can't use skills whose element matches the colour of the lantern. These skills resolve fine if they've already been declared -- you just can't choose them in the menu. The Lantern has a lot more HP than the Armaments, but it can be killed normally and won't respawn.
As for the guardian, it works like this (with actions at the top of the list chosen preferentially, as always):
Impairment Points: When deciding whether to do something about its impairments the guardian assigns "points" to each impairment and sums up the value for all the impairments it currently has. Seal and Poison are 3 points, Blind is 2 points, and Wound and Curse are 1 point.
"Logical Targets" for Switch: The EG uses super-mode Switch to deal with impairments. It Switches to the PC with the fewest points of impairments (calculated as for the EG), choosing the one who acts first to break ties. If the guardian wants to Switch but there are no PCs with fewer points of impairments, it Switches with its armament.
The final consideration is what to summon when the guardian replaces a destroyed armament. It will never resummon the thing it had last, and it will never summon the Lollipop more than once in a fight. Aside from these rules, the decision process (evaluated from top to bottom) is:
Guardian of the Greater Crystal of Darkness. Fought in Accursed Bastion with the Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, and Finn. Dark World's affinities are +3 D, -3 L, so the guardian takes and inflicts much less damage than the default.
Dark Guardian (D/A) LEADER
Five Spirits (none appear initially)
The complicated thing about this fight is the five spirits. The Guardian itself is among of the simplest of the main bosses -- at least, in terms of AI. Spoil and Frenzy ensure that it's still difficult to beat.
Supermove Attack Pattern
Once the DG falls below 50% of its HP it will enter the Supermove attack pattern if it's gone 4+ turns without using Vortex. This commandeers the normal actions of the spirits, if any are present.
Regular Attack Pattern
The Dark Lord and the Dark Guardian merged. The Dark Chimera is the final boss of the "regular" game. Fought in Accursed Bastion with Kyle, Ezra, Ruth, and Finn.
Dark Chimera (D/L)
Even though I expect everyone to eventually go on to a "true" ending, this is still the final boss in a sense, so it should be quite hard. There are two other boss fights between this one and the last save point, but you can retry a boss fight you've lost or use a Memento Mori in between, so I don't feel the need to be too generous.
Although this battle takes place in Dark World, the Dark Crystal has been recalibrated to Light at this point, so the affinities are only +1 Light, -1 Dark. That means that the boss takes more damage overall, but his Dark attacks are also more powerful.
Like the Dark Lord, the Dark Chimera has a fairly simple, non-reactive action pattern. However, he switches patterns a few times, because he has enough HP to divide the fight into multiple distinct "stages."
STAGE ONE: Elemental Cycling
SKILLS: Quake, Plasma, Deluge, Vacuum
Initially, the DC is surrounded by four spheres whose colours map to the cardinal elements. Air starts out at the top, and going counterclockwise, the order is Fire, Earth, Water, Air. At the start of the battle and at the end of each turn, the spheres rotate clockwise, so that the next sphere is brought into place at the top. For instance: Air starts out at the top, then the spheres immediately rotate clockwise, bringing Fire to the top.
When a sphere rotates to the top, the following things happen: the DC's non-Dark element changes to match the top sphere, and the two affinities that match and oppose the sphere are set to -6. That is to say, they're set to -6, not reduced by 6. This trumps the effect of Focus.
When it's time to rotate the spheres, the game checks how many HP the DC has. For each 8% of his HP he loses, one sphere breaks: whichever was at the top when he first passed that point. Thus, spheres break at 92%, 84%, 76%, and 68% of max HP. Spheres don't come back if he's healed back above the threshold, and if he's knocked across multiple thresholds in a single turn, spheres from previous turns break as well. Broken spheres are still there, but turn black and are skipped during the rotation.
STAGE TWO: Eschat
Once all the spheres are broken, the affinity fuckery stops and the DC's secondary type is locked at whatever it was last. At this point the DC will use Eschat at the earliest opportunity, which usually means the following turn. Thus this "stage" is usually just one turn long. Eschat permanently removes the spheres.
STAGE THREE: Random Blasting
SKILLS: Bane, Quake, Plasma, Deluge, Vacuum, Ravish, Limbo
This phase generally lasts until the DC is at 40% HP or less, but always lasts at least one turn.
STAGE FOUR: How Low Can You Go?
SKILLS: Frenzy, (Quake/Plasma/Deluge/Vacuum), Purge, Spoil, Limbo, Ritual
This phase generally lasts until the DC is at 20% HP or less, but always lasts at least until Ritual is used.
STAGE FIVE: Final Phase
SKILLS: Vortex, Crash, (Quake/Plasma/Deluge/Vacuum), Ravish
As soon as the DC decides to move to this phase (which will be at the end of a turn), the Limbo effect ends. Rather than the regular background, the battle background is now plain black, and on this first turn of the phase, all affinities are set to -1 regardless of Focus. Affinity defaults are all permanently changed to -1; in later turns you can use Focus to keep them high, but if they get a chance to reset, they reset to -1.
At the end of each turn thereafter, the Light affinity default decreases by 1, until it bottoms out at -10. This doesn't decrease the current value if it's being preserved with Focus.
Not too clear on this one, but the basic premise is that there are maybe five identical enemies to start with. At the end of the first two turns another one is automatically summoned, and thereafter one is fully revived at the end of each turn, assuming any are KOd (revived so the XP gain doesn't go nuts). If there there are seven of them during the declaration phase, they all use 7 Sins, which is a guaranteed party wipe unless you Guard, pump Dark affinity to 5, or break the group action by defeating one before they use it.
One of the epilogue endings will likely entail fighting a twinked-out Maya. This is Maya presented as per the World tarot card except there probably won't be boobs and also she is making the Uttarabodhi Mudra, because let's just mix up as much symbolism as possible here. I am thinking of calling this boss "Maya Angelo" but may chicken out.
Anyhow, there are four thingies she fights with that represent the four thingies on the World card. They're not like one-turn kills, but they don't have tons of HP either, and when they are all dead she starts using the World skill, which is a bullshit ridiculous clusterfuck.
There is a skill called "World" in the listing above, but discussion of how it functions is deferred to this section. That is because it has a completely ludicrous effect that will be far more trouble than it is worth to implement. In short, it adds the global status effect World, which removes elemental affinities and causes all combatants to function as a single entity in some ways.
While World is in effect, all combatants disappear and are replaced by a white circle in the middle of the screen, which represents all of them together. For the duration of the effect, this circle -- let's call it the monad -- is the only valid target, and even though characters continue to act independently, the circle is the one who visibly performs all actions.
The problem with the above rules is that they have to interact with almost everything in the game, so there are a lot of weird cases. First, the more common situations: