Sudeki | Chapter 8 | Aklorian Stronghold
Through the tunnel, you emerge into a snow-covered mountainous region. Travel the path to find a new save point and portal ring. Continue onward to the stronghold.
Once you cross the drawbridge, it collapses behind you. Also, the main gate ahead is locked. You must go up the stairs on the side of the entrance tunnel in the hopes of finding a way to get inside.
After the battle, have Alexine dispel an object. Have Tal push the 2 blocks into the wall in front of them. They will fit in. After they're in place, have Nico climb the wall from the side. Run all the way and pull that switch on the far side. Go down. Enter the gate that just opened. Now have Tal move around those blocks to make way for Nico. Climb up, pull the switch, and go down all the way to the door that just opened. After the chat, pull the switch there and go down to the big gate that just opened.
Outer Bailey Courtyard
You'll see a guard ringing a bell, which calls out more guards on either side of the courtyard. Every time you kill a few, any guard can ring the bell again and call more out. So if you don't want to fight indefinitely, you must defend the square in the middle of the courtyard where the bell-ringing rope is. Stand your ground there, and no guards will be able to reach it, allowing you to finally finish the fight, which opens the gate ahead. Go inside and open the next door.
BATTLE TIP: Don't let the enemies ring the bell because it will only summon more enemies. Stand on the square and hold your ground.
Inner Bailey Courtyard
CHEST ITEM: Faustian Blade weapon for Tal
After the battle, enter the just opened gate. This triggers another FMV. Go to the only open door (the left one). You'll meet Carlos. Loot the chest in the room and examine the bed beside it to find a hidden Woluf Pelt. Head for the back garden (the other door from the room). Then go through another door. Open the little gate.
Garden & Training Yard
Examine the fountain to be fully healed, then go through the S set of doors. Watch a funny little scene, then fight the 2 Ogres. Go to the small gate and Kazel will take on the task of holding up one of the counterbalances. He still needs to get to it, though. He has 2 things to do: lower the ladder, then get to the ladder and climb up it.
To lower the main ladder, you need to get to the ladder by the stairs. Pull the block blocking them back several spaces, then go up the ladder and down the next one at the other end of the platform. Pull the switch there then return to the starting position. Push the block beside the other ladder, across from the stairs, forward until you reach the corner. Now push the Northernmost of the 2 blocks beside you forward once, then push the other block beside it to the wall. Push the next block beside you forward, then pull the first block that you pushed in front of the ladder back, then go around it and push it to the wall, then down to the corner near the entrance to this puzzle.
Now go back to the other side and pull the block nearest the ladder back to reveal yet another ladder. Climb up this one and down the other side of the platform. Push the block in the tunnel back, then go back up the ladder and down the other side again. Push the block you just moved further back to the wall. Now you can go through the tunnel to the final block blocking the main ladder, pull it out, then pull it back toward the tunnel. Go around and climb the ladders to get to the other side of the last block and climb to the end of the puzzle. Pull the block up top back once to raise the counterweight. The rest of the team can heal themselves at the fountain again before heading back out to the courtyard. Head through the door on the opposite side of the Inner Bailey Courtyard now that you have the key.
Kennels & Grotesque Experimental Lab
Use the save point if you like and head through the next door. A Woluf will emerge from each doghouse around the room. After the fight, you can examine the Woluf crap and step in it to experience the sound effects they put in just for that. Head through the door on the opposite side to enter the laboratory.
In here, you must fight a pair of Horrors that were generated by the machines. Each time you finish one off, another will be generated. This will continue indefinitely until you destroy the machines. To do this, your lead character must attack the 3 cylinders on either side of the room. Once you destroy all 3 on one side, the machine on that side will collapse. You also get 1XP for destroying each cylinder.
BATTLE TIP: Your first priority is to destroy the 6 blue cylinders around you [3 on either side]. Enemies will keep re-spawning if you don't. Use Gaze of the Wind rightaway and Path of the Warrior.
After the fight, have Tal enter the small gate beside the climbable wall. Nico will automatically climb it and wait for you to create a path for her. You must move the blue towers around to make the path. Pay attention to the bars on the sides to build it properly. Also note that you can pass underneath the permanent platforms to get around.
Start by pulling the first blue tower on the left side out once, then back once so Nico can make her first move. Once she does, push the tower you just used down one more space. Next, you need the tower in the far right corner. First, pull the tower with the block on top out to the middle, and push it forward once. Now, get the tower you need from the corner and manoeuvre it to in front of Nico. Now push the first tower you used back into the middle and pull it to the right, then pull the block tower back a couple of times. Go around the whole mess and push it the rest of way down to the entrance. Now move the tower you need into position. Once Nico crosses it, push it down toward the entrance, by the block tower. Now you need to move the tower on the left side all the way to the right, and push it down to get it out of the way for now. Push the other block tower down once, then the tower with the corner guardrails over to the right, then pull the block tower back down and push it to the left corner. Now you want to move the corner-rail tower to the middle of the puzzle. Finally, pull the tower on the right side all the way up to the top right corner, and push the corner-rail block over beside it.
Inner Bailey Courtyard (Tal and Alexine)
Now, have Alexine climb the ladder to the left of the main gate, cross over the top and climb the next ladder, and finally dispel the gears on the side of the upper level. This opens the path for Tal. He rushes inside and confronts Galen in a FMV, and the next boss is revealed.
BOSS: Secret Weapon Behemoth [20000 HP]
This fight with Behemoth can be totally hard or ridiculously easy. Start by casting Iron Warrior, and re-cast it every time it wears off. Behemoth relies heavily on perfect timing of attack execution, so if you know his timing you can beat him easily. Behemoth also has a barrier shield, which can be disabled after we destroy the 2 eye generators on the wall.
There are 4 barriers around Behemoth. We can use them for protection. While we are behind that barrier, Behemoth attacks will be totally useless! You'll start behind one of those barriers. Behemoth will launch a 5 energy bolts Attack. You should be safe. After that, approach the blue eye on the wall near you. One strike will be enough to close it. Go straight away behind another barrier. Behemoth will launch that 5 energy bolts attack, this time twice. Stay where you are until he has finished attacking. Now strike the other eye.
Behemoth's barrier will be disengaged. Don't panic. Go inside Behemoth's cage. Wait for him to strike you (he will lift his axe) and quickly go behind him. His axe will get stuck. Quickly, give him a (1) (2) (1) combo. He will get up and strike you again. Avoid it, and give him another (1) (2) (1) combo from behind. After you complete your combos, get behind a barrier right away. Behemoth will get up (don't wait for him to do that). He will charge and unleash a super powerful Nova attack.
The eyes will open again. Repeat the whole strategy until he's dead.
After the fight, you receive the COMBAT REGEN SCROLL, and Tal recovers the VESSEL OF TRUE SIGHT. Head back to Cyantine Citadel. You can take a shortcut via the ring portal outside the stronghold, or walk and fight your way there. Once you return to the castle, a series of FMVs propel the story along.
Quest Update: Aklorian Stronghold Return to Cyantine by using Devil's Belch portal. Go to the castle right away. You'll end up having to choose for something. Either way your choice won't affect the story. After the event, you'll be controlling Elco. Quest: Return to Illumina Castle. Go straight away to the portal and take the Illumina Countryside portal. Keep going to Illumina Castle. After the major plot spoiler, you'll control Elco again. Quest: Get Tilly to safety.
Escape from Illumina Castle
Your first job is to find Tilly. She's in the gardens. Before you go there, however, this is your last chance to do a couple of things in the castle. This is also a good time to explore the gardens if you think you might have missed some treasure earlier, since it is currently unstaffed. I also suggest stocking up on some SP restoring items for the battles ahead. Approach Tilly to trigger a FMV. Now, Tilly will follow you but you can't control her directly. Leave the castle. You'll have to escort Tilly to Brightwater village. Take her there. This job can be tricky, because you run into multiple rounds of Illumina Guards. Tilly can't fight, and will generally be able to avoid them, but she will take some damage, and she doesn't have an unlimited health bar. In battle, Nano-Enhancement will be quite useful, as will the Ion Fluxinator because it knocks down enemies. Use Skill Strikes liberally, and your Spirit Strike too, but you'll probably only get one chance for that one, so you might want to wait until the situation is getting critical.
After the first round of knights, which appear by the castle gates, it's a good idea to hang back and take out the rest of the knights that appear further up the road from a distance.
Once you reach the Nolan Farm, Tetsu appears to Elco and grants him another SPIRIT STRIKE and some new ARMOUR. There's another fight after that, then another when you reach Parham County. It is also not possible to use the Portal System. So that means another fight on the other side of the river, then one more before the tunnel to New Brightwater, this one with 2 waves of enemies. In the second wave, note the Captain with the red helmet topper. He drops the COMBAT BOOST SCROLL when you defeat him. Be sure to pick it up.
Head through the tunnel and go all the way to the village proper. Go to the front of Densi's house to trigger a goodbye FMV.
In New Brightwater, talk to Galex in the inn. Ask him what's going on, then buy him some champagne (50 Florins). He'll give you the key to his house, which is the one nearest the lighthouse. Open the 2 chests inside to get 250 and 750 Florins.
After you reach Brightwater, you may want to engrave Elco's armour with Anti Evil, Anti Venom, and Combat Boost Scroll (be sure to engrave this setting to everyone). Quest: Return to Cyantine.
Go to the lighthouse and warp to the Realm of Shadows, then to Devil's Belch Canyon. Go back to Cyantine Citadel and meet everyone. Caprine tells you that you must merge and defeat Heigou. Quest: Defeat Heigou. After you meet everyone, upgrade their armour. You can either finish the game straightaway, or you can do a bit of exploring.
If you decide to explore a bit, then warp to Crystal Reef. Go into the Siren's Lair. Go to the big shell room (Singing Siren Chamber). Go climb the stairs to the statue. Go to the save point. Look for an opening in the wall (the one Elco and Tal used to escape earlier). Enter and continue all the way through The Maze and to the Depths of the Grotto.After your first battle in the Depths of the Grotto, search around. You'll find a wall that can be dispelled by Ailish. Dispel it and you'll find 2 chests. One has an ORB in it. For your sake, give that to Tal.
Now go out to Crystal Reef. Have Ailish enter the warehouse in Crystal Reef. Dispel a door inside and open the chest. Don't forget to return to Farex's Lair in the Realm of Shadows to take the skull back to its resting place (remember the entrance with the flying ghost heads). As a reward, you will receive Pathosis: a weapon for Buki. Go back to Cyantine Citadel.
All that's left is to beat the final boss. Make sure you have done everything you want to do, tidied up every quest, and stocked up on items. As a last preparation, put a Hex Proof rune onto Tal's armour, so that he has 3 Anti runes on his armour and therefore becomes immune to every bad status effects. You can level up Tal a bit if you want. When you're ready, talk to Caprine.
The lady said there would be no going back, so make sure that you're ready. You have unlimited access to both worlds, with the exception of Illumina Castle, which is closed to you now and forever more. Any quest that originated anywhere else can be completed if you haven't done so already, and you can still start any that you missed.
Also to do before you take on the final conflict:
Use up any orbs you might still be carrying around (ideally on Tal);
Put your best HP/SP healing items onto the Quick shot buttons. I suggest using Apotheosis Drink, Miracle Potion, Luster Brew, and Healing Elixir.
Beef up Tal's armour and weapons at a blacksmith's. Sell any valuables you're still carrying to finance this;
Fill up your SSP meter by fighting;
Rest at Antoine's inn just before you go into the fray;
Use the save point behind Caprine;
FINAL BOSS: Tal vs. Talos [30000 HP]
Talk to Caprine, who will be standing outside of her keep waiting for you to make up your mind, and choose to enter the void. After a moving FMV, the final fight begins. Okay, start by casting Iron Warrior and re-cast it every time it wears off. Don't be afraid to use every healing item in your possession. Don't be stingy with your skills. And be sure to hit him hard! Talos' primary attack will be a 3 combo attack. It's hard to dodge, so don't. Instead, BLOCK! Right after he finishes his 3rd move give him a (2) (2) (1) counter attack right away. Be sure to push (1) a few times. Repeat. After he loses some HP, he will use this skill similar to Buki's Path of the Warrior. In short, he becomes faster than you are. You can dodge his attacks easily by blocking, and then rolling (press movement button while blocking). He will use this attack a few times, each adding one more strike as he loses his HP. After he loses more HP, Talos will summon 2 copies of himself. These clones are not as strong as him. You can avoid them altogether by moving around till the clones disappear. Or you can take on the offensive by casting Blade Dance skill and approach them. Either way will work fine. After he lose some more HP, Talos will summon a giant skeleton, which will grant him every (EVERY) good status effects. The skeleton will also fly around and strike you, causing every bad status effects (which we're immune to) and dispelling your good status effects if he hits you. Make sure you re-cast Iron Warrior if this happens. Now, you can strike Talos as usual if you dare (this is very dangerous, as he is in Boost and Haste mode), although I advise against it. My advice is, let him be till his good status effects wears off. Sure, he will regain some of his HP, but we'll take that away again in no time. If you still insist on attacking, just use a skill strike. That's a lot safer. After he loses a lot of HP (on the verge of death), he will use a skill that completely and totally reduces your HP to 1. Use any healing items left in your possession right away. After that, keep attacking him as before. Don't let him get the better of you.