Belbasa is the ninth main Mission. It was introduced in version 1.8.
On the carriage riding towards the Dark Hills after the partly successful reunion with Cherisa in Florian Town, Carol openly flouts her boredom, wondering how much longer it will take, with Evelyn responding that they have at least another day before reaching the Dar Hills, despite taking the shortest route possible. Suki passes out the idea to make camp for the evening, with Athena agreeing, though the thief counters with the possibility of both danger and insectoid nuisances. Just then, Aster calls back to say that they're approaching a town, of which the map lists as Belbasa Harbor. With most of the party agreeing, the carriage brings them into town, where they immediately seek out the nearest inn. Suki briefly reminisces about the Harbor being the location she was bound for during her previous ill-fated voyage. Checking in, the mercenary starts off a little high-price, so the driver counters with their using the Guild's budget, so the innkeeper offers a set of two-person bedrooms, and obviously Aster gets left standing. Carol immediately throws her lot in with Suki, but Evelyn meekly makes a counter-offer, hoping to catch up on events with her friend. Initially, the thief protests before Athena forcibly makes her accept, dragging her off to their own room. With some warm-hearted sighs, the party and their driver retire for the evening. If only it would end up as a peaceful one...
Late into the evening, in Carol and Athena's room, a series of powerful pulses awaken the thief, who promptly stirs her armored companion from slumber, and both girls realize something is amiss in the town. They rush over to Suki and Evelyn's room, only to discover that they've disappeared somehow. Getting outside, they still don't see their companions, until spotting a lone civilian mulling around in the street. Upon approach, however, the man pays them not a cent of heed, and simply walks off. If exploring the town, many more Belbasa citizens will appear in the streets, with every one of them unresponsive and walk to the west. Save at the blue chest and follow them. On the edge of town, the duo discovers the majority of the townsfolk absentmindedly walking away into the dense forest surrounding the Harbor. Agreeing that answers won't come from just standing around, they begin pursuing the shambling horde into the darkness. Meanwhile, in a decrepit dungeon, somewhere, Suki and Evelyn awaken to find themselves tightly bound and gagged, and with no clue how they got there. Managing to escape, they both note the last thing they remember was falling asleep, and decide to explore and see exactly what is going on around here. In the next room, they come across a pair of women from Belbasa, where Evelyn attempts to signal to them before being muffled and pulled back by Suki, the kidnapper warning that the two might be the ones who captured them, as well as the fact that they're acting strangely. Evelyn then confirms that she can sense a powerful magic affecting them somehow. Subduing them, the duo continues through the rest of the underground tunnels, whether by absolute stealth or fighting off a horde of entranced townsmen. They soon reach the next section of the tunnels, where the answers indeed lay...
Shifting back to the wandering pair, Carol and Athena find themselves looking at an immobile group of townsfolk. The mercenary attempts to incite them to answer, despite the thief's pleas, and so leads the entranced folk to initiate battle. Managing to defeat them, however, the duo soon finds themselves surrounded on all sides, when suddenly, from behind the bushes, a woman with blue-with-red-streaks hair lunges out and beats down one of the townsmen, then turns to her rescuees, and directs them to face the next wave. At the end of that, most of the townsmen have been repelled, and the few captured townswomen put on standby. The fighter then introduces herself as Alyssa, but falsely identifies herself as a merchant. When asked about the current situation, she professes no further knowledge other than that a large number of the townsfolk are gathered in the woods. She does, however, offer some good news: she caught a glimpse of Evelyn and Suki, though thankfully didn't see the latter's face, being dragged towards the heart of the forest, and agrees to show them the way, joining the party. Enter the cave up ahead, where Carol will store the captive townswomen, and save at the blue chest. Going on ahead, the trio work their way, either by stealth or force, past several entranced townsfolk and a host of wandering seeker vines, to reach a more secluded area of the forest. There, Alyssa states their destination is much further, while Athena resolves to go as far as needed to rescue her friends, leading the party onward. Shifting scenes back to the prison escapees, Suki and Evelyn come to the apparent top floor of the underground dungeon, the magus stating that where they are, the magical energy affecting the people is getting stronger, though she still has her suspicions about its source, while the Princess wonders about an exit. Before either of them can do anything, however, a pair of entranced townswomen ambush them from a alcove, trussing and muffling them up as firmly as before. Suki internally curses herself for not being more alert, as they are carried to a new cell. After a moment of self-regret, however, strutting into the cell is the true mastermind of the magical phenomenon, as the rogue mage Elda stands humbly before two of her greatest nuisances. She sarcastically greets her former student, and coldly states to her enemy that she was surprised to see them enter Belbasa, of which she claims is her "town," and firmly decided to seize the opportunity to add them to her "collection." Suki grunts in response, as the former Academy teacher settles down to offer them some insight into her plans for the captive townsfolk, and them...
Jumping back over to the rescue party, plus one, they arrive at a secluded vantage point, where they are able to discern that the vast majority of the entranced townsfolk are gathering up ahead. Alyssa confirms the area they're in as the same place she saw Suki and Evelyn being carried to, though she notes the atmosphere wasn't so strange then. When questioned about why she was here in the first place, she claims she was there gathering flora for mixing to create items valuable to her trade. Diverting their attention back to the situation, the fighter points out their options: either forcing their way through the sentries ahead, or try and see if a nearby cave system will get them any closer.
- If the party goes on ahead, they will have to fight through more townsfolk and seeker vines to reach the graveyard, gathering more XP but losing the opportunity to acquire an Outfit.
- If the party goes through the cave, they will encounter an elaborate puzzle involving moving several boulders to get through. See Strategies and Tips for a rundown of the solution.
Either by force or sneaking, the trio manage to get past their foes and reach the assembled townsfolk. Back in the underground dungeon, Elda confirms that, through an ancient magic spell, she has been able to enthrall the entire town of Belbasa, though muses that Suki was fortunate to have arrived so late, otherwise she too would have been overtaken, causing the Princess to internally give thanks to the various distractions along the way. Evelyn vainly moans in protest, eliciting a soft taunt from the rogue mage, before she turns back to Suki and coldly scolds her for interfering in her original attempt to energize the Maunak Eye, her dark master, and forcing her to resort to her current solution of absorbing the Belbasa citizens' lifeforce and giving it to the artifact as energy, with the intent of breaking the sealing spell placed upon the Eye during the Academy's liberation, ideally with Suki and her friends' lives added in. As the ritual begins to take effect once more, the former academic calls to her thralls to bring the captives for the ritual. Shifting back to the party, they finally manage to reach the ruins where the townsfolk have gathered under Elda's spell, and where Suki and Evelyn have been brought. While Alyssa is wholly disgusted to learn that she was helping friends of the kidnapper all along, Athena attempts to incite another fight, but the enthralled people do not respond, whereupon Elda appears and states that they no longer have the need to attack, as the magical spell begins to reach completion. Though both thief and mercenary express their doubts about fighting such a powerful enemy, the fighter takes the initiative and outright assaults the mage. Unfortunately, Elda was careful enough to enchant a powerful barrier on herself, as Alyssa's blows leave no marks, and result in her being immediately Subdued. The mage then turns to her captives, only to discover that the fighter's distraction allowed Suki's companions to free her and Evelyn. After some careful taunting from Carol, Evelyn explains that, because the gathered townsfolk's proximity to the spell's epicenter has rendered them nearly catatonic, they will be of no use in a fight, though she claims they can be saved if the ritual is dissolved in time. Elda eventually tires of their stalling, as does the party, and initiates a battle to end almost all battles...
Despite her impressive magical capability and increasing power, the rogue Academy teacher is eventually Weakened and Subdued by her hated foes. However, a sudden burst of magic from the ritual frees her, surprising Suki, as the mage continues to preach about her master's inevitable rise to power, until Athena walks right up and smacks her across, flooring Elda and dispelling the ritual, additionally having the advent of severing her connection to the Eye, unable to use its power anymore. Before the former teacher can escape again, Carol and Suki rush forward and Capture her again, now more permanently. In a momentary cutaway from the preceding battle, we see Hyranda and Maka gazing at the Maunak Eye in Aurealis, its power growing by leaps as the sealing spell starts to crack. Suddenly, everything grinds to a halt, surprising them both, just before the Eye itself dissolves into ash, its power broken forever. Though they do not know who is responsible, they express gratitude nevertheless. A save moment then comes up, and should be taken. The scene then shifts back to the newly freed Belbasa Harbor, where Suki confronts Alyssa at the docks. Both girls express their relief that the town is returning to normal, before the kidnapper gives her thanks for the assistance, though the fighter is much less warming, stating if she'd known of her involvement, she wouldn't have done so. She then coldly claims that, after her capture, regardless of whether Suki actually did Capture her, Dariana was locked away in the maximum prison in Velis Town, and expresses her bitterness at not being able to save her captain and friend, so instead she opts for taking revenge on the Princess right here and now, despite Suki's plea, and initiates battle. After the right, Alyssa is either Subdued for the approaching party to gawk over, whereupon she is taken by Aster back to the Lair, and imprisoned as a Trophy Hall damsel, or she manages to Subdue Suki, but is forced to leave her captive when the party approaches, and escapes. In either case, the party agrees that their journey is not yet over, still head-bound for the Dark Hills, as the Mission ends.
Strategy and Tips Edit
- Nighttime Spree - Once you exit the inn with Carol and Athena, instead of going after the first citizen, instead explore the town. Scattered around the area are a number of loot chests containing potion (high and low), perfume (high, low and full), and HP items that will come in handy for the coming battles, or selling for Gold afterward. As a plus, there is also a healthy supply of Spare Rope lying around as well, so grab it up as well.
- Tied without Reason - Finding yourself tied up in a cell should be nothing new, except this one came out of nowhere. In this Escape sequence, you have both Suki and Evelyn as options for the escapee. It is recommended to use Evelyn, as her Perk affords her easier leg and arm struggle if she's ungagged, which shouldn't be very much trouble to do if your Escape Level is high enough.
- Dazed and not Confused - This sequence plays out almost exactly like the prison break, but with Zone elements. You only have yourself and Evelyn in the party at the moment, so mind what fights you get into. The first area has two pairs of Strange Townswomen and Strange Townsmen, with the former standing with their back to you, able to be Captured, Ambushed, or Subdued. If the latter two, it's possible to Capture one and fight the other, or Capture both and avoid the fight. If battle begins, the Townswomen wield incredibly strong basic attacks and the Townsmen wield even stronger basic attacks, so be wary and put those recovered potions and items from the top section to good use if detected.
- Answered with a Fist - After you return to Carol and Athena, they will goad some townsfolk into battle. You will be facing off against two Townswomen and one Townsman. Remember that their attacks are greatly enhanced in terms of damage, so it is recommended that Carol have her "Greater Masochist" ability, so that when she is, and she will be, Captured, her HP can regen on its own while you help Athena with potion and HP items. It is also wise for, by this point, at least one of them, or both, to have learned the "Secure Bindings" Skill, to ensure that the captives don't get back in at a critical moment.
- Backed Up - While it may seem that with Alyssa's arrival, she'd join in the fun, for this battle, you still have only have Carol and Athena, and now you face one Townswoman and a pair of Townsmen. Use whatever strategy you have, and retool it to work with one Captive and two Knock Outs. Never forget the usefulness of the potion or the perfume.
- Woodland Wandering - While this may seem like another prison-esque traversal, alas it's much more difficult. In this sequence, in addition to the entranced townsfolk patrolling the area, there are also several seeker vines roaming the place. If you recall the garden area from the third mission, these things will attempt to ensnare you should you get close, and initiate a battle that will likely have one to five of them doing battle. With a thief, mercenary, and fighter in your party, your odds will not look good at all should this happen. You do have access to your stealth items, so plan to make good use of them here to avoid the vines as best as possible, in addition to the townsfolk.
- Boulders and Rocks - Once you come to the fork in the path, take the cave entrance; while it won't afford you XP, it will reward an Outfit for Esther in the Private Cell, so it is greatly recommended. Since this sequence always seems to get the best of anyone, one solution that has turned out many good things:
- A key game mechanic to remember with this puzzle is to use the "D" key to turn the character in any direction without moving in that direction; it will help trying to avoid pushing the wrong boulders.
- Starting at the entrance, move the first boulder up into the corner pocket. Then go to the leftmost boulder and push that forward into a corner pocket. Go right and knock the boulder into a corner pocket to the right. Now, push the boulder to your north ONLY once, between the grass and rock, then turn right and push the two boulders all the way against the wall, optionally pushing the other one downward. Then circle around back to the grass-rock and shove that one down against the southern wall. Now approach the boulders on the left side (two between rocks) and shove the leftmost one north ONLY once. Circle around to the north of that one and push it as far south as possible. Reach the northwesternmost boulder and shove it into its corner pocket. Shove the boulder on the right ONLY once, then circle around to its right and push it back to the left. Now, stand to the left of the boulders stacked in a curve. Push the boulder second from the bottom of the left leg to the right ONLY once, then shove the bottom one south. Then shove the bottom boulder of the right leg against the wall, then the boulder north of you into its corner pocket. Grab that chest and Outfit for all your effort and pleasure. Now reset and follow the same route, but instead move the boulder at the top of the curve against the rock. Go up and across to the leftmost boulder, and move it up ONLY once. Go to the right and push the boulder north into the corner pocket. Avoid the two boulders between rocks and walk west. Once you get to the rock spire, STOP. There is a partially hidden boulder here that WILL block the exit and force you to reset if you're not careful. Circle around it and exit the cave.
- Witch's Draw - The semi-final battle of the Mission, and by far one of the toughest in the game. You will be facing Elda on her own at first, though later, or occasionally even on the first turn, she will use a "Summon Seeker Vines" spell to bring a pair of Enchanted Seeker Vines to her side, so be ready for their "Constrict" move to evoke a quick Rescue of Captured members. Additionally, even if your female enemy is Weakened and Captured, the vines must also be defeated to end the battle, so consider when to destroy them as well. The rogue mage herself wields a moderately strong basic attack, "Greater Water" for downsizing your party's ability to use their Skills and spells, "Greater Earth" to inflict Injured status plus damage, and "Greater Darkness" for heavy damage and a chance to inflict Muted on your party, especially your mage. If you were wise and stocked up on potion and perfume from Belbasa, this fight should turn out just fine, but be wary if a low-level or medium-level kidnapper is stepping in; that might be a bit harder to handle.
- Fists of Fury - Compared to everything you just went through, this shouldn't be too much trouble. You are facing Alyssa without your party, but her tactics remain largely the same as when you had to fight her during the ambush in Mission 6. Use whatever strategy worked then, scaled down to a single enemy, and work that kidnapping magic for a lofty reward.
- Alyssa (at conclusion)
- Strange Townswoman
- Strange Townsman
- Seeker Vine
- Alyssa as a Trophy Hall damsel (if Captured during her fight)