Esta’s Tartarus region is a no-go area at the moment. So, there’s nothing for it but to head back to Grand Noah.
But before then, Alice mentions Undine’s Spring is not far from here and it would be a good idea to take a detour and go and contract Undine. I think Toro Toro Resistance is a pretty good writer, but this is one section where the plot gets a little sloppy.
If you try to contract Undine before Esta, she isn’t there. Her appearance only triggers after Alice tells you about her after the events in Esta. Thing is, this is inconsistent with what’s happened previously. In part 1 the Tartarus regions were big scary unknowns and the advice was to contract with the nearest elemental spirit before descending into the depths. It would have made more sense for Alice to suggest contracting Undine before investigating Esta’s Tartarus region.
There is better rationale for it, should you go straight back to Grand Noah first. The preparations for invading Grangold’s territory are not ready, which does give an excuse for a side trip to Undine’s Spring.
Overall, the sequencing feels a little clumsy here.
I suspect it’s also because I’m a little tetchy at Undine’s Spring turning out to be one of the most disappointing locations so far.
|Sexy slimy fun times ahead (warning: risk of absorption and digestion)|
Slime Girls are up there with succubi when it comes to my favourite monster girls, so I was looking forward to seeing what new gooey goodness awaited us at Undine’s Shrine and there’s... nothing.
No new content anyway. We have various combinations of UN_DO’s slimies.
And the blob and jelly girls.
|Jelly and Blob. Avoid Blob.|
Nothing new on the Bad Ends or requests either. Blob girl’s Bad End was never that sexy to begin with – Luka sort of gets sucked up in a weird little opening in her side. It’s disappointing because Setouchi* has done a pretty sweet piece showing blob girl getting her sexy gloop on, but you’d have to go digging through Tokinokogiri’s Monmusu Delicious Nom-Noms series to find it. Then again, it probably would have been a wee bit naughty to swipe the art from someone else’s release.
*It’s possible I’ve got the wrong artist here, although it does seem pretty close to Setouchi’s style.
|A "better" Bad End with Blob Girl|
Overall, the lack of originality shouldn’t be that surprising. MQ:P part 2 has been fairly consistent so far – new locations get new gals, old ones get returnees from the original series. It’s unfortunate that this particular segment of the game has been a long stretch of old content (Yamatai, Plansect Village and now Undine’s Spring*).
*I forgot Mephisto’s School of Magic. And intend to go right back to forgetting about it. *shiver*
Anyway, enuff bitchin’ ‘n’ whinin’. We got a world to save and a water spirit to get all wet and squelchy with.
Undine’s Spring is the first place where I felt the game was catching up to my over-levelled characters in terms of difficulty. Up to now I’d been levelling up various characters and switching them out at level 40. I might have to raise that cap. My first excursion into the spring saw the whole party taken out by an exploding blob girl and Undine became the first story (rather than optional) boss to wipe me without any dirty temptation shenanigans.
|Undine does not hold back. Bring waterproofs.|
The boss fight felt like a legit difficulty spike. She even took me out a couple of times when I tried coming back with a moderate ‘serious-business’ party. Those AOE splosh attacks of hers do a ton of damage and she also has an annoying habit of raising her magic-reflecting aqua shield right before the party mage tries to zap her with lightning.
The best way to deal with Undine is probably a bit of Luka-bait cheese. Have him in the party. At some point Undine will absorb him and start doing all kinds of naughty naughty. Don’t select the struggle option for Luka. Instead have him lie back and think of England while your party healer casts Mega Heal on him every turn. Eventually Undine’s pleasure damage will outstrip your healer’s healing, but this will give 5 or 6 turns of complete freedom to hit Undine with the other two party members. And time Undine spends doing various creative wet and squelchy things to Luka’s nether regions is time she’s not unloading that ridiculous AOE water attack on the rest of the party.
The worst of it is that it isn’t even the worst of it.
|Uh oh. We have to fight Erubetie as well?|
The relief of finally overcoming Undine is short-lived as Erubetie arrives on the scene before we can properly contract with Undine. There isn’t even an option to save before we’re thrown right into a second boss battle.
Erubetie is kind of like a more powerful and pissed off Undine. She also has silly AOE water attacks. Her dubious (don’t ask) Neverland Frontier attack also makes a return. In game terms it’s a party-wide debuff that drives the whole party’s stats into the floor. I’m not even sure there is a way to remove debuffs short of having the character die and be raised again.
So yep, this fight is going to suck.
Ah, but she’s a proper heavenly knight, like Alma Elma. Which means she’s probably around level 60. There’s no way they’d sic a heavenly knight on us, going all out, right after that difficult boss fight against Undine. So yeah, it’s probably one of those unwinnable story fight things. It won’t matter if we lose.
|Luka found out too late that Erubetie wasn't kidding around|
Um, Erebutie. This was just a test, wasn’t it? I mean you’re not really going to go all out on our pitiful level 40 party. Um, what are you... GLOOP.
Yup, it’s a proper boss fight. Lose and Luka will get absorbed and probably dissolved right down to his pearly-white bones.
Fair play. It’s been fairly easy to coast through MG:P so far. The double difficulty spike right to the cranium does change things up a little. Erubetie is – as you’d expect – vulnerable to lightning, so it’s not completely hopeless. That Neverland Frontier mass debuff is still a bitch though.
After we (finally!) beat Erubetie, Undine points out that her heart wasn’t in it and that meant she wasn’t fighting at full strength (Dissolved-to-mush Luka from half an hour ago might disagree here). Erubetie isn’t happy with what Alice’s mother is doing either. So, of the heavenly knights, Alma Elma’s doing her own thing, Tamamo is sulking in her hut and now Erubetie is having doubts.
Can we recruit her? Can we recruit her?
Nope, sadly. She’s off to think things through.
We do get Undine though, so that’s quest complete. I’d also recommend recruiting some of the other slime girls as well. By this point in the game I was finding the enemies get a little bullet-spongy. They don’t really pose a threat to the party, but they have so much HP it can take a while to kill them, especially if you’re trying to level a character up through one of the squishier support classes. Slimes get around this. Level them up in Carnivorous Slime and they gain the ability Blob Boa at some point (think it might be level 3 or 4). This is an instant KO on any enemy with the “Digested” state. Most slimes also pick up the “Melty Shot” Throwing skill, which has a good chance of giving the “Digested” state to all enemies (Carnivorous Alraune also have an attack that does the same thing). That combo will wipe out most mobs in one or two turns regardless of HP and make grinding for XP/items a lot less painful.
Anyway, that’s it for Undine’s Spring. By now the preparations should be ready back at Grand Noah. It’s time to join the war against Grangold!
-> Next: The Ruins of Lima