I keep getting destroyed in the Dark Ruins. I don't think I am even close to killing "the big guy" and he wipes out my entire party everytime. Are there any tricks to beating him or is my party just too low? My guys are all 26, 25, and I think the chick is 24.
Well, ideally you want everyone to be AT LEAST 27 with the best gear you can get at the time (be a man, use an Alchemy FAQ). This is
the hardest fight in the game, bar none -- mostly because your characters are still low-level and lack the skill point distribution to have high utility and/or the devastating combos/abilities.
The Hero and Yangus unequivocably need
the best weapons you can get for them at this point. They are:
Sword: Zombieslayer (upgraded Zombiesbane)
Spear: Demon Spear
Boomerang: don't bring a Boomerang to a sword fight.
Axe: Moon Axe (technically you could get a King Axe, but that costs you a Slime King Crown to alchemize, which is royally not worth it.)
Scythe: Steel Scythe
Hammer: dunno, Hammers suck.
I'd recommend using whatever weapon you're specialized in, but there are some caveats:
-The Demon Spear is the third best spear in the game, with 86 Attack. The Zombieslayer is only a mid-range sword with 65 Attack. If you've dumped into swords, by all means use the ZS, as you'll get the +Attack bonuses and make up for the attack difference and a slew of skills. But the Demon Spear is by far the superior weapon.
-The Moon Axe (60 Attack) beats the Steel Scythe (42 Attack), but again, if you've specced into Scythes, the skill +Attack bonuses will make up the difference.
Alchemy Spoilers on how to make these weapons:
Steel Scythe: You buy it in Baccarat.
Now properly equipped, (god have mercy on your soul if you went Boomerangs, and you'll need to ask someone else about Hammers), it's time to talk tactics for the big guy.
**BANK AS MUCH MONEY AS YOU CAN BEFORE SETTING OFF**General Tactics (Form 1)
Big guy's first form is freakin' hard, because at the onset, he triples himself, getting three turns while your party gets one. Fortunately, these two new doppelgangers have about 1/3 the HP of the center guy. Even better, once one of the side clones is down, it's down for the rest of the fight -- the central, 'real' copy will not revive or re-summon them.
So, the goal is pretty straightforward in this fight. Knock out those doppelgangers, then go to town on the center.
This is the first fight where you'll encounter the 'ice wave' ability. This extremely obnoxious attack strips your party of all buffs and resets their tension to zero. What this means is pretty simple: when you're fighting three copies of the guy, it's really not worth buffing beyond the bare necessities, and it's definitely not worth psyching up. Once you've knocked out the side copies, it's safer to buff and psych up, as the potential to get hit with an ice wave is lower.Hero
: Use the best attack abilities for your weapon and be ready with a spot heal (get level 27 for Fullheal) if things get ugly. Sword-users should rely on Falcon Slash, which delivers about 150% attack damage if both hits connect. Spear users should just attack until the center form is left, then spam Multithrust til the cows come home.Yangus
: Like it or not, by this point in the game, Yangus has fallen behind the Hero in terms of melee damage, and will remain there for the rest of the game. To up the number of options Yangus has in combat, fill his inventory with Armor Seco essences and use them to spot-heal if needed. Otherwise, Yangus should be attacking every round. At this point, he doesn't have any effective combat abilities, so vanilla Attack is fine.Jessica
: Jess is your Oomph-bitch. Even if you've specced hard into Staves with Angelo and have Oomph for him as well, Jessica's sole responsibility in this fight is to keep Oomph up at all times on Hero and Yangus. If by some chance Jessica gets a turn and Oomph is already up on both the Hero and Yangus, have her cast Accelerate (3pts into Staff), or spot heal with Caduceus (57pts into Staff) or Armor Seco Essences.Angelo
: Healbitch, pure and simple. Consider leveling him to 30, because he gets Multiheal at that level, which is 100hp+ to every party member. The only time he shouldn't be healing is when he's dead.
The question you need to ask every round is, could one or more of my party members die in the next round of attacks? If so, you need to break from these strategies and re-calibrate for a healing round as appropriate. If a low-defense target is in danger, (Jessica, Angelo), you may want to order the low-Def target to "Defend" while you queue up a heal. This way if you get unlucky with turn order, there's a better chance of the target surviving the round of attacks so the heal can land.General Tactics (Form 2)
Pretty much a straightforward brawl. You don't get to rest or recover between Form 1 and Form 2, though, so a wipe is definitely possible. This is why you banked your money -- if you die, you can rest, re-supply, and go back to restart the fight from Form 2, which is quite nice of Square-Enix.Hero
: Same song, second verse. Spam Falcon Slash / Multithrust. Spotheal if things get nasty.Yangus
: Helm Splitter every attack, because you can lower this Form's defense. You DID put at least 6 points into Axes, didn't you?Jessica
: Oomph-bitch as normal, but note that the Ice Wave seems to occur less frequently than the last fight, so you'll often find Jessica not needing to Oomph. Instead Accelerate, cast Insulate to lower the elemental damage this form flings at you, along with Magic Barrier, (31pts into Staff) if you have it, to further lower magic damage you sustain. Finally, if you have Bounce (21pts into Staff) consider casting it. This renders Jessica immune to the boss's party-wide magic attacks like Kacrackle and Kasizz, and also bounces them back at the boss. However, you will be unable to heal Jessica with spells -- you'll have to rely on item-based healing or Jessica's own Caduceus ability (57pts into Staff). Note that Bounce does NOT protect her from the ice wave dispel.Angelo
: Heal. Alot. You'll really wish you had Multiheal on this form, if you don't have it already.
Pound away and, more importantly, survive, and Form 2 will finally go down.
If you use these strategies and still can't beat this encounter, level up! As forestated, Angelo gets Multiheal at 30, which is great for these fights. If you've dumped into Swords with the Hero, he's probably very close to learning Miracle Slash (82pts into Sword). You should be able to grab it around 30-32 if you've put the majority of your points into Swords. If not, there are always Seeds of Skill and, of course, grinding. Miracle Slash is great because it does good damage and simultaneously heals the Hero for about 40-50% of the damage inflicted. Quite a nice way to stay alive in these fights while continuing to do damage.