Aurealis Academy (formerly Mage's Tower prior to v1.7) is the third main Mission. It introduces the combat mechanic of magic, albeit unusable by Suki herself.
Version 1.6 Edit
Version 1.7 Edit
Back in the Lair, in a privately maintained cell, Suki interrogates Nataleigh, a maid captured during the previous mission, about Cherisa. She reveals the Queen's current task of mobilizing her troops, though for what reason is unknown to her personally. She then makes an apparent connection between Suki and her inquiry, that she intends to kidnap the Queen, through which she also reveals Cherisa's alleged kindness and benevolence as Queen of the Kingdom, by which, she says, her first action as monarch was to eradicate the bandit gang that had "killed" Princess Suki. Returning Nataleigh to her cell, the novice reconvenes with Leroy, where he once again states his desire to restrain and lock Carol up, once again eliciting protest from Suki, as she claims the Guildmaster gave her permission to bring the thief along on her next mission. He simply shrugs it off and states this next task will be different, as it came from a source outside the Guild. Suki and Carol are going to an academy for mages, full of magic users that are just starting out learning the arcane. Convening with Carol, the novice explains that she's allowed to stay with the Guild, but must first help with their task. While showing her inexperience with the art of magic, Carol agrees to help regardless, and Leroy directs them to the location of Aurealis Academy, in the Lost Forest. He highlights the school's strict male prohibition, making the party's presence absolutely necessary, and claims that their contact is one of the higher-up teachers who was evicted by the academy's headmistress, Master Hyranda, and who hired the Guild to deal with a growing problem there, specifically hiring a girl who can complete the task without the use of magic. Leroy then introduces Suki to the Guild's personal carriage and its driver, Simon, saying that, as she travels around the Kingdom, they'll be able to take her to the places she has to go, or has already gone. But he stresses that this does not mean she can just go anywhere, only to the places she needs to be. After a somewhat clever holiday pun and more instruction, Leroy returns to the Lair to gather things, while Suki and company head out north to the Lost Forest.
Upon arrival, they are brought to a secluded grove, where the exiled teachers greet them, their speaker flaunting her foreknowledge of Suki's activities. Getting straight to the point, she declares the Aurealis Academy is in danger, and that the job for which the Guild was hired for, is to stop Hyranda, revealed now to be the most powerful mage in the school itself, before terrible things happen. After a minor interruption by Leroy, the teacher continues to say that Hyranda recently came to possess a powerful artifact, the Maunak Eye, said to grant incredible power to the one who controls it, and supposedly stolen from the Kingdom's magic guild. However, in the process of attaining this power, the Eye will gradually usurp control of the person's body and mind, as the teacher believes is happening to Hyranda. When the teachers tried to warn her, she maliciously cast them out of the Academy for their 'defiance' and placed a powerful ward across the area, created to ensnare enemy magic-users who attempt to infiltrate the school. The duo is provided Sealing Amulets that will nullify any magic within their bodies to allow them to pass through the ward, but render their magic unusable once inside, thus, the reason why she asked for a fighter who's more melee-oriented. Accepting this task, the two girls continue ahead, past the sealing ward.
At the foot of the stories-high tower that serves as Aurealis Academy, Carol voices her indifference about the archaic look of the place, but Suki convinces her to continue on. Inside, however, they are blown away by the drastic change in scenery, with everything inside looking as prime and proper as a boarding school should. Questioning the possibility that it was all the result of magic, they quickly find their path to the next floor blocked by a magical barrier that does not respond to them, where Carol suggests Hyranda couldn't be anywhere but on the top floor of the tower. In an unobstructed doorway to the right, they come upon the dungeon, and its sole bound and gagged occupant. While the thief expresses interest in freeing the girl, the kidnapper warns that, by her look, she is a mage and therefore possibly an enemy of their mission. After some humorous back and forth, Carol makes the suggestion that the girl was put in the dungeon for a reason, likely because she made enemies with someone in the academy, thus having no reason to turn on them. Suki can make the decision to either free the captive or leave her there, but a magic-user is needed to proceed forward anyways, so the girl has to be untied regardless. When ungagged, she calls herself Evelyn and claims that she is a student at the Academy, going on to say that she had overheard Hyranda fighting with a teacher over the artifact, then was captured by the headmistress' assistant, Maka, and thrown into her cell. Upon being freed, she offers her assistance in reaching the top floor where Hyranda is meddling with the Eye. She states that the barriers can only be dispelled with the correct password, with the first floor's only being known by second-year students and the teachers, the former of which are very few in number on the first floor. While Carol points out the lack of classrooms, Evelyn explains that each floor had a series of crystals infused with powerful teleportation magic that each connect to one of the various rooms in the tower. This begins the long task of reaching the top floor by clearing out each floor below it, serving as the objective:
- The first floor has four crystals in front of the main entrance, each one leading to a different room: purple for the first-year teachers' lounge (inaccessible without a unique teachers' password), cyan for the potions classroom, yellow for the library, and indigo for the first-year classroom. The former three cannot be entered right now. Enter the first-year classroom, before which Evelyn explains how the students are organized: first-years wear red (she hasn't gotten hers yet), second-years wear blue, third-years (the strongest in the Academy, beneath the teachers) wear purple. She asks if Suki understands all that (saying no just makes her repeat it). Agree, and she'll teleport the party into the classroom. Immediately, a group of first-year students, lead by one Scarlet Knight, identified by Evelyn as one of the best fire mages in the Academy despite only being a second-year. Scarlet will firmly ask who her companions are, which then quickly spirals into a series of accusations that culminates in a battle with Scarlet and two first-year students (look to Strategy and Tips to get the rundown on this Mission's fights). Managing to defeat and capture all three, the fire mage continues throwing insults at the party, including a posturing of her family, which if asked about, can provide some background. With Scarlet steadfast in not giving up the password, and pressed for time, they locked the students in a supply closet and try to find another way. During this, Evelyn begins to question who Suki and Carol really are, citing their deftness in restraining the students, where the Princess reveals their nature as kidnappers, but promises their intentions are to save the Academy. Conceding to her circumstances, the mage continues following them. With this, the two other crystals are unlocked for use, with the teachers' area remaining inaccessible. The Library provides the way forward, with the potions simply a distraction. In the hall of books, they came across the librarian, a second-year student by the name of Miranda, whom immediately pleads with Evelyn to put a stop to the nearby group of students, as they're rifling through the spell tomes, unrestricted by the teachers. Agreeing in exchange for her password to the second floor, they confront the students, which after another round of insults devolves into a battle (see Strategy and Tips). Defeating the students and leaving them restrained under Miranda's care, the party acquires the password and returns to pass through the barrier.
- The second floor has four crystals: pink for the second-year teachers' lounge, yellow for the second-year classroom, cyan for the garden, and purple for the alternative classroom. The greenhouse is initially blocked off by a group of four students standing on every side of the crystal, preventing access. The classroom yields information as a student near the blackboard explains that while most would jump at the chance to visit the third-year floor, she doesn't know anyone personally that has the password. But she does know of a second-year student with a sister in the third-year, and who has passed through the barrier before, though all she can tell you is her name: Aurora. The group is still hogging the greenhouse crystal, so enter the alternative classroom. Here, the party discovers a trio of students planning to make mischief in the alchemy classroom, but Evelyn halts them. Depending on dialogue, the party can either antagonize them, resulting in a battle, acquire small bits of information, or simply let them go without a fight and/or XP gain. Back in the floor lobby, the obstructing group has disappeared, freeing up the greenhouse. Here, the party encounters another hazard, as Evelyn explains that the area is populated by enchanted flora called seeker vines, that, while not deadly, are driven by nature to ensnare hapless victims, feeding off the warmth of the body. It would be best to avoid them for the time being. Work the party's way to the north end, where a student is tending to more docile plants. She inquires whether any of them know about the garden's plants, which even Evelyn only has the basics on. The girl says she's trying to find a specific plant to bring to her sister, a third-year student. If Suki guesses her name right, she will be more friendly; guess wrong and she'll be confused, to which the other party members will correct the Princess. The student's name is Aurora Midnight. While she does have the password, she also knows enough not to just hand it over. Despite the girls' offering to find the plant she needs, Aurora won't budge. By this point, locate the sunpetal. It's to the right of Aurora's area, next to a stone tablet, having yellow flowers. Talk to the girl once again, where the party decides there's only one way forward and attacks her. Managing to defeat the second-year student, they once more request the password, with Carol threatening to up the ante of her restraints if she does not cooperate, which she does. Returning to the lobby, after a quick dosage of morality from Evelyn, they cast the password and break through the second barrier. It is highly recommended to save via the blue chest behind the yellow crystal before continuing on, as the battles ahead may prove too hard for low-level characters.
- The third floor has four crystals: indigo for the third-year classroom , pink for the third-year teachers' lounge, yellow for the artifacts classroom, cyan for the runes classroom. The first and third rooms provide nothing except background. Activating the pink crystal will lead to Carol complaining about the advent of having to find another password, before a student suddenly teleports in, blurts out the password to the teachers' area, and disappears. If wanting a bit of XP, use the cyan crystal before going ahead. In the runes classroom, most of the students are there for ambivalence. Look in the top right corner of the room for a student wearing a witch's hat. Interacting with her will gradually lead her to become enraged from Carol's taunts, igniting a battle. Defeat her and return to the lobby. Use the pink crystal to reach the teachers' area, where the previous student will guard the way into the private quarter. She will state her name as Esper Midnight, head of the third-year students. Suki will mention Aurora as her sister, eliciting a good reaction from Esper, and some barbing at her hapless sister. If the sunpetal was retrieved before arriving, she will be in enough good spirits to allow them through. Search the bottom half of the room, and activate the paper on the center of the desk against the wall. The party will note the password for the final barrier to the top floor, and discuss their plan to stop Master Hyranda, though unfortunately, Esper was within earshot, and confronts them for their supposed treachery, initiating a battle. Soundly defeating the prefect, the party returns to the lobby and dispels the barrier to the teachers' floor.
Finally reaching the top floors of the Academy, the three girls, however, immediately run afoul of the headmistress' assistant, Maka, the one who originally imprisoned Evelyn, as she so clearly recounts it. The assistant plainly tells them they'd have no chance in facing Hyranda, and to turn back. Not to be dissuaded, she prepares to fight them back. However, the party manages to overwhelm and Capture her, leaving her tied up in the lobby as they ascend to the top floor. Arriving in the headmistress' private study, they confront the magus, only to realize that her mind has been completely subverted by the power of the Maunak Eye, and it needs only a little more time before its power becomes absolute. Despite putting up a galiant effort, the party is overwhelmed, and bound and gagged through Hyranda's increased power. As the Eye begins to complete its ritual, Maka suddenly appears, frees Suki and company from their bonds, and casts a sealing spell on the artifact, albeit is rendered unconscious from the effort. Incensed at its plans being constantly interfered with, Hyranda's possessed body attempts to restart the ritual, only to find its power and control over the magus has been significantly reduced because of the seal. The party engages in battle once again, now with a fighting chance. With all their effort, they manage to Weaken Hyranda's body enough to Capture her, effectively Capturing the Eye as well. The possessed body once more tries to reassert its control, and fails, then sheepishly attempts to convince the others to let it possess them, with a swift rebuttal that forces the Eye to relinquish its control over the magus and return to its vessel. The party then gathers around Maka, rousing her from her slumber, after which she checks on Hyranda, to ensure the spell has been broken.
A short while later, the newly freed magus thanks the party for their efforts to save her from herself, lamenting on the power of the Eye, and how so dangerous an artifact the Eye is. Maka in turn apologizes to the party for her attempts at stopping them, revealing she'd been suspicious of Hyranda's efforts to take the Eye's power, and formulated the plan to seal it during the climax of the ritual. The Master then comments that, as she's learned her lesson in gaining power, so she hopes that Elda did too, from which she explains that the artifacts teacher had been the one who stole the Eye from the magic guild in the first place. Everyone soon caught onto the implications, and Hyranda decided to find Elda and hear an explanation. Maka confirms that her sealing spell should keep the Eye's power in check for an extended time until proper actions could be taken Later, with all the teachers returned from hiding in the Lost Forest, the headmistress has explained the entire situation, and begs their forgiveness. While accepting her apology, Evelyn still voices her concern that Elda may also be under the Eye's power, until the evil woman herself appears, immediately confirming that she exposed Hyranda to the Eye on purpose. After deriding Maka for her interference, Hyranda confronts the corrupt teacher, where Elda simply muses that she is not able to host the Eye, so instead planned to provide it with a more powerful vessel, in the hopes it would overrun the Kingdom and rule the world. Though Evelyn still shows concern that the instructor is enthralled, Elda instead states that her mind is her own, but merely holds an altered world-view courtesy of her ethereal master. With her last words, the witch claims revenge against the headmistress, her assistant, and the kidnapper who made it all go to ruin, before teleporting out of sight.
With the crisis over, Carol voices her intent to return to the much more easy-going business of kidnapping, with support from Leroy. Evelyn thanks her new allies for their assistance, but is then reminded by the thief of the scores of tied up students that she'll have to free. Leaving it in the hands of the Academy, Leroy makes a sly attempt to convince Hyranda to allow them to take some of the students with them to the Guild, but is sternly refuted. Suki and her company then make their way back to the Lair, after a soft goodbye to Evelyn with the hope of meeting again under better circumstances.
Strategy and Tips Edit
First-Year Floor Edit
- Classroom - The first fight in the Mission will be against Scarlet Knight and two first-year students. Knight will more often than not use an especially strong "Fire" spell, while the two first-years will alternatively bombard with "Ice" and "Earth", mixed in with weak, basic attacks. Weakening Scarlet will not help, as the students will defend her from Capture. Instead, focus on First-Year 2, as her HP ranks the lowest of the three, with Carol, then use Suki to attack First-Year 1, while Evelyn can use her spells on Scarlet. Capturing both students first will pave the way for Scarlet to be Captured as well.
- Library - Likely the second fight you'll encounter, this one is against the maximum four enemies, though their skill set is relatively close to the first-years of the first battle, blending "Ice", "Earth", and the occasional "Absorb SP", "Wind" and "Light" with basic attacks that do modest to slim damage. Trade targets with your party members, as any one of the enemy can be Weakened and Captured during the fight, though this presents an opportunity for two enemies to attack while a third frees the captive, so be mindful.
- Potions - This fight is entirely optional, as the library fight will end with receiving the password. If you're looking for some extra XP, then it will be a simple rinse and repeat of the previous battle.
Second-Year Floor Edit
- Garden - If Suki passes too close to any of the wandering seeker vines, it attempts to entangle her and starts a battle. The number of enemies is randomized, from a single vine to three. Their basic attacks do modest damage, but they have a special trick. Occasionally during their turns, they will activate a "Constrict" ability which will damage the targeted party member, with a chance to Capture them regardless of HP. Meanwhile, though it's not obvious, Evelyn's "Fire" spell works out very well against them, but care must be taken to ensure that she remains un-Captured, i.e. prioritizing Rescuing her if necessary, if you're looking to end these fights quickly.
- Garden - Proceeding forward requires that you obtain the password from Aurora Midnight, and the only way for that to happen is to fight her. Aurora fights almost exactly like the other students, though she starts out by casting "Enchanted Barrier" on herself, reducing the effectiveness of Evelyn's offensive magic on her, as well as making more frequent usage of the "Darkness" spell than most others, which will quickly reduce HP and Weaken an unwary fighter.
- Alt. Classroom - This fight is entirely optional, as the right dialogue choice can convince the students to leave the room. If XP is what you seek, then these students fight just the same as the first floor's denizens. See Classroom on the First Floor for details.
Third-Year Floor Edit
- Runes - If you're looking for XP, then find the student with the witch's hat in the top right corner. When starting the battle with her, she begins her turn usually by casting "Mass Poison" which can either afflict the entire party or some of them with the Poisoned status effect. Afterwards, she will tend to alternate between "Darkness" and "Mass Darkness" for hitting either one or all of the party. If Evelyn's "Water" spell can be used right away, it may limit her ability to cast these spells, after which she has to rely on her basic attacks until her SP recovers. Be mindful of this when going in.
- Teachers' Area - Being confronted by Esper Midnight is required to reach the top floor. For her first turn, she typically casts "Mass Dismay" on the whole party, with a good chance some members will be avoided. Esper will follow this up on her next turn with "Mass Mute", which will prove especially hazardous if Evelyn is afflicted, forcing her to use her basic attack until it wears off. For her last turns, depending on how powerful the party is (around level 7-10 at best), she begins to use "Absorb SP" more frequently until finally Weakened and Captured.
Staff Floor Edit
- The Assistant - Maka is a powerful foe, making strong use of a "Lightning" spell that will afflict its target with the Confused status effect, rendering them unusable until it wears off. However, this is where the usual method becomes a little strange. For some turns, she will simply idle, letting the turn pass by. In between these space-out moments, she will then cast a powerful "Mass Darkness" spell that more often than not will reduce at least one party member to 0 HP. Do the best to prepare for this surprise attack, and keep attacking until she Weakens and then Capture her.
- The Master (First) - Do not even try to throw your most powerful attacks at Hyranda; she is absolutely invincible. Every offensive move will either miss or be reduced to 0 damage. For her first turn, she will cast a "Mass Darkness" spell that will always affect the entire party, and reduce everyone's HP to 0. Simply defend for your next turn, as she will immediately cast an "Enchanted Ropes" spell that will automatically Capture the entire party.
- The Master (Second) - Now that Hyranda's gotten a significant demotion of power, the fight will be more balanced, though she still remains a powerful foe. From the start, she goes off with strong "Darkness" and "Lightning" spells, which will severely hamper their targets, especially the latter as a Confused party member may strike their allies during their turn. If any member is reduced to their Weakened state, whether one, two, or all three, Hyranda will cast a "Conjure Ropes" spell that will sweep over the party, modestly damaging the healthy and Capturing the Weakened. Counter her repertoire of spells with a healthy round of Evelyn's "Water" spell, which, although not much, will help to keep Hyranda's damage output in check, forcing her to rely on her basic attack, albeit dealing an equal amount of damage as "Conjure Ropes" on a healthy member.
- Fire Mage
- Water Mage
- Witch (if interacted with)
- Magic Teacher (pre-1.7)
- Assistant Maka
- Master Hyranda
Other Enemies Edit
- Seeker Vine (if caught)
Version 1.7 Edit
- Capturing Zone: Lost Forest
Game Over SceneEdit
Version 1.7 Edit
Suki, Carol, and Evelyn are tied up and silenced in the dungeon. If this is the second time they've been Captured, the Escape sequence will not occur, and instead, they will feel the power of the Eye begin to envelop them, as the mission fails.
- This is the first mission that does not reward a Personal Captive.
- Assistant Maka, tied with Marcia, has undergone the most redesigns in DiDnapper's development.
- The Magic Teacher female enemy had a younger design in the early betas.