Without Hope, Without Warmth
(Time to scrutinize my fellow prisoners and see who will prove worthy.)
Last time, Osvald obtained information about the escape route he planned to use, as well as the clothing necessary to survive the elements. All that's left is to find someone to assist him in his escape.
All that's left to explore is the mess hall, so we'll head there.
(Now is my chance to find an accomplice.)
Gotta agree with Osvald on this one.
No one like a narc.
Now this guy, he has a name and a unique sprite and everything. He might do.
What are you playing at, skulking around and sizing up all the prisoners?
Ah right, you can't speak on account of the muzzle.
And all that time you've been feigning indifference while you surveil the place, right?
The other prisoners, the guards... Everyone and everything.
Far as I'm concerned, only two types of prisoners watch silently for five years. Hungry beasts...
If it's the former, I know someone who can help. But if it's the latter...
Shake your head if you're the former, or nod if you're the latter.
This man is observant, and arguably our best chance at escape. No reason to lie to him.
So my eyes didn't deceive me after all. You're quite clever, I'll say that.
I can be of use to you. You'll see. I've got lots of valuable information I'll only share with a close confidant. I've collected it over my long years in this place. That's why they call me "Emerald the Informant."
(Further, he is correct that I have need of his "wares." I can certainly use him to my advantage.)
So, what would you have me do?
(Even if our escape proves successful, we'll need a ship capable of making the journey to the mainland.)
(Thus I need to know when it is due to arrive next. The ledger containing that information is fiercely guarded. I stand no chance of laying eyes on it.)
Understood. That won't come easily. Not impossible, though. I'll contact you once I have it.
"Get me the key to this muzzle."
Heh... Let's just pray luck is on our side, eh, confidant?
Nothing left to do but turn in for the day.
I've explored every possible avenue, but it's nowhere to be found.
You've done enough, Osvald. Well done, truly. Now allow me, the great Harvey...
It took a while, but the goods came in.
You misunderstand, Warden! This isn't what it--!
Right as Davids lays into Emerald and Osvald, the shift bell rings.
Speak another word and I will bury you in the very pit in which you toil! Do I make myself clear!?
At least that's the last I'll ever feel of that club... Right?
Looks like things are in motion, so...
Time to see what's going on.
It sure wasn't easy, but I nicked it. The inspection ledger.
All we need to do is follow your plan to the letter.
Aye, the gods are in a foul mood yet again. Sure to be another horrible day in hell.
(Prison patrols will be shorthanded while they ready a welcome party for the ship. That leaves a small window in which to begin executing our plan.)
(First, we need to make our way to the underground passage.)
Without Hope, Without Warmth (Night)
Emerald's now part of the party.
He has a basic healing skill, a P.Atk debuff, and a dagger attack that hits a random number of times to random targets. For a basic companion, he's one of the better ones.
It's night, so we can Mug people here now, but Osvald still can't cast magic and everyone is decently strong, plus the loot is underwhelming, so it's not worth the hassle.
At any rate, time to say our goodbyes, so to speak.
...or die trying.
Alright, time to escape.
But first, I have a little something for you.
Hehe... I'm locked up now, sure, but I was quite the thief outside these walls.
Now I finally get to hear your voice.
Now I see why they needed to muzzle you. You're quite the talker.
There's no time. Keep moving.
You're real warm and fuzzy, aren't you... Save the thanks for when we make our escape.
Gotta say, it'll be nice not having to transcribe entire passages of ellipses anymore, at least for this chapter.
Alright, time to escape.
Osvald's talent is to reveal enemy weaknesses at battle. He'll reveal one per type of enemy, but in future encounters with those enemies, he'll reveal two more at the start of battle instead. Very convenient!
Now that Osvald is unmuzzled, he can cast spells and thus play to his strengths as a Scholar, i.e. throwing out powerful elemental attacks.
That said, the foes aren't necessarily ones to be taken lightly.
The P.Atk increase is marginal, but it is a good boost to Osvald's E.Atk, which naturally is what fuels his spells.
This gives a slight boost to both Max HP and SP.
Just exploring the passage is enough to unlock Osvald's first skill, which means it's time to go over his skillset!
Fireball/Icewind/Lightning Bolt - Deal fire/ice/lightning damage to all enemies. They do the same damage, it's just a matter of which element you want to hit with. A scholar's bread and butter, they're pretty effective in what they do and are great for groups of enemies.
Analyze - Reveal a foe's HP and weaknesses (BP spent increases weaknesses revealed). Not really necessary, especially with Osvald's talent, but can come in handy early in a boss battle.
Stroke of Genius - Grant 2+BP spent random buffs to self. Kind of a weird one, mainly useful if you don't have much else to do, but nothing really worth planning around when better buff options exist.
Elemental Barrage - Hit random foes 3-5+BP times (i.e. at max BP it hits 6-8 times), with each hit randomly being one of fire, ice, or lightning. While the other elemental spells are great for groups, this really excels against single enemies, as it can do a ton of damage and even shred shields in the right circumstances if you're lucky. One of the scholar's better moves for sure.
Advancd Magic - Boost the intensity of an ally's spells 2+BP times. "Intensity" means that certain spells will be buffed to hit twice instead of once. This only applies to the scholar's Fireball/Icewind/Lightning Bolt, the cleric's Heal Wounds/Luminescence/Revive, a couple spells to one of the secret jobs, and a couple of EX Skills. This is a pretty nice skill to have, even if it's really only useful for scholars and clerics. Its main issue is that it's outclassed by...
Divine Skill: Alephan's Wisdom - Greatly boosts the intensity of an ally's spells three times. This means most spells hit three times (much like the Sorcerer's spells in OT1, and in fact the new names of these spells are the same as those, for example "Fireball" becomes "Fire Storm" with Advanced Magic and "Ignis Ardere" with Alephan's Wisdom), with the healing spells recovering more HP. Of course, the tricky part is a scholar will likely want to cast it on themselves, burning a turn (edit: it affects the next three spells, like I said earlier, ignore my idiocy), but there's ways to plan around that, plus fortunately our main character Temenos will love this buff no matter what. Takes a bit of planning to make work, but get it off and you'll do some serious damage to the enemies.
Evasive Maneuvers - Reduces the random encounter rate (not affected by multiple instances being equipped). Like in OT1, this is a huge QoL feature and will make my life a lot easier when exploring and moving through dungeons and such, especially as once again the accessory to disable random encounters isn't available until you're essentially finished with the game.
Elemental Augmentation - Raises character's E.Atk by 50. More damage is always good, and it'll work well as a good passive until more powerful ones pop up that'll better increase damage.
Extra Experience - Boosts EXP gained from combat by 10% (not affected by multiple instances being equipped). Minor but handy, though usually I'll try to limit what EXP gains I can so I don't trivialize things so bad. Good for end-game level grinds if necessary, though.
Advanced Magic Master - If equipped character gets a buff that boosts spell intensity, that buff is extended by one turn. Since buffs are rather hard to extend to begin with, this isn't too bad a skill to have. Probably not essential, but can be a solid option for a filler passive for Osvald or Temenos.
For now, I go Lightning Bolt for a bit of added diversity, though also because I fear Elemental Barrage would make things too easy for this stretch.
While OT2 changed the Chapter 1's in general to make more sense, you still get these random merchants before the first boss for no reason other than so you're not screwed. Hey, the convenience is worth the bit of narrative dissonance.
We escape the bulk of the tunnel and seem to be home free, except...
Damn! We were so close...
I fear I've underestimated our opponent.
I commend you for making it this far. You even managed to remove the muzzle!
I suspected you two would work together.
Save your breath. The fault is mine.
In Pursuit of Revenge
So many have tried, and every last one died a tragic death.
Video: Boss - Warden Davids
Critical Clash II
Even someone as brilliant as Osvald can't forsee every possibility. No matter, this can still be solved through bloodshed.
Crowd control is important, and if you opted to grab Lightning Bolt, you'll be rewarded. Fireball only hits Davids, and Icewind only hits the guards, but Lightning Bolt hits both. Took me a bit to discover this, though, so I focus on Icewind since I want to take out the guards first.
Especially since these jerks can hit relatively hard.
Emerald is no slouch in this fight, since if you're lucky his dagger attack can break the lesser guards.
If a foe is broken, the element you hit them with does not matter, so it makes sense to go with Fireball to shred a shield off Davids.
Davids is mostly a physical attacker, and despite being out of breath at times while beating prisoners, he can actually hold his own in a proper fight. Never judge someone's capabilities solely on appearances.
Since the actual spells being used aren't too important, I opt for some variety. What's the point of all these fancy spell effects if you can't enjoy the spectacle?
That said, the elemental spells are somewhat expensive, and we don't have good ways to manage SP yet besides scarfing down plums. The occasional turn spent throwing a plum to Osvald is easily worth the damage he's dealing to his foes, though.
Davids can also deal some nasty debuffs, like this speed-reducing one.
Eventually I take down the adds and can focus solely on Davids.
Emerald's First Aid skill is also no slouch, being very cheap at only 2SP and healing around half our HP.
Davids has a nasty attack that stuns a character unconscious for a couple turns. Luckily we have one herb that can heal this, but it's bad if it hits again.
I'd rather not spend the BP to break him, so better to mitigate it with a handy debuff.
Which, good thing I did, as he hits quite a few times with this move!
Finally, Davids isn't all brawn, as he has a decently strong ice move as well.
Finally, an opening.
Time to unload what we can on him.
Of course, this is far from over...
I see now that no punishment is too great for you!
I underestimated him. He's a better fighter than I expected.
Perhaps Davids could stand to learn a bit of math himself...
...as now he's unlocked Osvald's latent, which focuses multi-target spells onto a single-target and thus does more damage, though I'm not entirely sure how much more. Definitely one of the more situational latents, but no reason not to use it against solitary foes.
So once I wipe out the second wave of soldiers...
...I unleash a rather powerful spell. Despite only using 2BP, this does almost twice as much damage as the max-boosted one I used earlier, so it's a solid damage boost!
Hilariously, that wasn't quite enough, and he knocked Emerald unconscious again, so I opted to chip away at his shields with staff strikes, and...that was enough to finish him off. Not all final blows can be so climatic, I guess!
Video: The Answer to Escaping
Don't think...you can escape...this place...
Looks like there's more rats where these came from!
We managed to take down Davids, but we're still cornered. If only there was a way to escape...
We have to keep moving.
Where, exactly!? This is the end of the road!
Flames, reduce this wall to ash!
We have to go. Now.
Osvald and Emerald escape the guards, but they still have a tough path ahead of them as they now have to figure out how to escape this island with everyone aware of their escape. How is Professor Jailbreak going to get out of this mess?
Find out next time when we start Osvald's Chapter 2!