Lise + Hawk + Carlie beginner party critique

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User Info: Barnacle_Ed

Barnacle_Ed
2 months ago#1
Hey folks, not sure how many people still read this board but I figured I'd ask a question. I last played this game ages ago but have decided to pick it back up again via a phone SNES emulator. I decided to avoid picking Kevin or Duran this time around - both of whom I used in my last playthrough so I want to try something different - and I don't want to fiddle around with magic so Angela was right out. As such I settled on a party with Lise as the main character, Hawk, and Carlie for funsies.

After doing some reading on the 3 of them and party compositions with them in several FAQs on here, I've decided to take the following approach:

- Hawk as a Nightblade. His strongest attacking class, which is relevant to my interests, plus Deadly Weapon seems incredibly useful on bosses. He'll be the group's primary attacker.

- Lise as a Star Lancer. Everyone seems to be head-over-heels for this class. Marduk seems very strong because of the silence, MTSUs are always great, and (from what I'm reading) she'll still be pretty strong in melee after buff/debuff shenanigans.

- Carlie as a Necromancer. Several guides have stated that dark Carlie with dark Hawk is probably a bad idea, and I've seen a few suggestions to make her a Sage or Bishop instead. My rationale here, however, is that I don't want Hawk wasting his time on casting jutsus or to be fiddling around with worrying if casting swords overrides MTSU buffs; I want to have as simple time as possible without futzing around with elemental weaknesses or game bugs or suchlike. Therefore, I figure I have her cast Black Curse to start boss battles with as Hawk casts Deadly Weapon then he goes in with Lise to smack faces. Carlie then hangs back to spam summons, heals, items, or whatever. Perhaps her melee attack will be slightly more useful after she's buffed and with Black Curse in place too.

Any thoughts on this approach? Also, by the way, does the Ninja's Shuriken ability reduce the hit rate of bosses too, or does it only debuff non-boss targets?

User Info: genestealer

genestealer
2 months ago#2
Well, Nightblade + Starlancer is a pretty brutal combo to begin with, and Carlie gets the same targeting for Heal Light in all classes so you can't really go wrong. Anyway...

You're spending a very small part of the game in third classes, maybe about 10%, so it's worth considering what the second classes do. Light Carlie gets sabers and Holy Ball, dark Carlie gets the 1MP Unicorn summon. The latter can be useful for sniping/finishing off weakened targets, but if they survive you may run into counters. Overall, sabers are very powerful in this game so the selection is heavily skewed in favor of light.

If waiting to buff bothers you, there are still two options for running light Carlie:
-Saber buff only Hawk. It's still going to make a significant difference against a target weak to that element.
-Go Sage, which has MT sabers (also MT Holy Ball and a rather powerful Saint Beam)

When debuffing bosses, the priority is usually the Mind Down effect, sometimes Power Down, occasionally both. Defense down makes a minor difference after Power Up (even less with an effective saber) but still makes you do extra damage, and Hit/Evade down doesn't actually do anything. Also consider that Evil Shaman can apply Mind Down and can use Anti-Magic to guarantee Hawk's debuffs can't be nulled by elemental resistances, while also having the highest STR + strongest weapon of Carlie's classes. For these reasons, I think there are few situations where Necromancer would be the preferred class for Carlie, especially if your other characters can debuff (it's generally only done once per battle).

Personally I would go with Bishop, Hawk/Lise's exclusive bosses have elemental weaknesses and Saint Saber + Turn Undead are both really good. But again, just having Carlie at all will be useful regardless of class.

As for Shuriken against bosses, the hit rate down effect will be applied, but... as previously stated, it doesn't actually reduce their hit rate, the game just uses fixed values for hit/evade and the stats are ignored.

User Info: Barnacle_Ed

Barnacle_Ed
2 months ago#3
Thanks for the reply, genestealer. And yeah if Starlancer with Nightblade is half as good as people make it out to be, I have faith it'll be hard to mess up the choice of Carlie's final class :)

I didn't realize how late in the game the final class change arrives, so that then makes sense as to why Light Carlie seems a stronger choice here; I am probably under-valuing how useful sabers can be in this game tbh - especially if Lise's final boss is weak to specific elements. To clarify my earlier remark on not wanting to waiting to wait to buff: I know that there's apparently some bug where if you cast MTSUs followed by sabers (or is it the other way around?) then they won't stack with each other. If that can be resolved by casting them in the "correct" order, however, it's a non-issue for me personally.

It's interesting to me that Mind Down winds up being the most important debuff for bosses. Is this because it reduces boss magical damage? Also, given how gaga everyone seems to be for Black Curse, I'm a little surprised that you seem pretty lukewarm on Necromancer even with your reasoning behind this. Evil Shaman does seem like a fun class to play in the future though; I think if I was going for a caster-focused party with Hawk as a Rogue I would definitely pick it up instead of going the Light route for Carlie.

Finally, thanks for clarifying about Shuriken and hit rates. Sounds like there are a few oddities going on in the stats of this game if hit, evade, and crit rates are all apparently borked!

Sounds like I'll definitely be going for Light Carlie. I actually just hit lv18 last night so I'll be making the first class selections quite soon. A lot of people seem to be underwhelmed by Sage so I'll likely take your advice and go with Bishop; Turn Undead and Saint Saber seem to outweigh MT sabers and Saint Beam (though I'm sure with stat abuse the latter skill will do relatively decent damage).

User Info: genestealer

genestealer
2 months ago#4
Lise's final boss does not have any elemental weakness, only the Kevin/Carlie path boss does (and that boss will switch between them). Her other endgame bosses do have weaknesses, although they may not be obvious.

You're correct about the saber buffs, they have a small attack modifier which will overwrite the one from Power Up if they're cast after it. Simply casting the sabers before Power Up solves it. If you accidentally cast the saber second, I'm not sure if you can fix it by casting Power Up again (I don't think you can). Stat erasure (stardust herb or death) definitely lets you reapply them in the more beneficial order though.

Mind Up/Down are a bit unique among the buffs in that they apply a multiplier to the final damage in addition to altering stats, which is a good thing since otherwise their effect would be pretty minor. It affects all spell-type attacks, which includes some of the Nightblade's and Rogue's skills that target defense rather than magic defense (only way to buff those skills). But yes, big bosses, as opposed to the ones the size of your characters, typically have magic attacks as their main source of damage. Some of them have attack based skills though.

To be fair about the Necromancer, if you have no other form of stat down and no MT magic (Angela, sometimes Lise), it's likely the preferred option. The thing about Black Curse is that it works (and is hardly ever countered, which is also nice), but it does more than it needs to - regular enemies only need one type of stat down to be nerfed (or Blow Needles for silence), and in boss battles you only have to apply the debuffs once. Another thing is that the Necromancer's class change item, jar of black ash I think, casts Black Curse. The seeds that turn into CC items drop very commonly in the final dungeon, so it's perfectly viable to simply get one for each boss.

As for Sage... it's among the weakest (I think THE weakest) physical hitter in the game, so my guess is people feel it's a waste to have saber buffs on her, when the other saber-capable character is also a good attacker. Still, it's the only class to combine MT sabers, MT healing and efficient MT magic - just don't pair Sage with any form of Angela, or the game will be very slow. Saint Beam is actually not particularly notable outside of sniping regular enemies; in boss battles it's comparable to the summons on the dark classes since it will usually hit for neutral damage.

User Info: Barnacle_Ed

Barnacle_Ed
2 months ago#5
Cool, thanks again for the help. Sabers -> MTSUs in that order it is then. And I think I understand your position on the Necromancer a little better now.

Regarding Sage-vs-Bishop I guess I have a while before I need to make that decision. Bishop does sound nicer overall tbh, but getting sabers on the whole party in a single cast definitely fits my "lazy" playstyle - MT holy ball and saint beam for sniping non-bosses are icing on the cake I guess.

User Info: Hozu

Hozu
2 months ago#6
genestealer posted...
Lise's final boss does not have any elemental weakness

In addition to this, the second phase of that boss absorbs Earth/Water/Wind/Fire. Remains neutral to Light, and I have no idea about the remaining elements. So if one went with Sage Carlie (IMO Hawk/Lise path is the only one I would ever consider that choice, and even then it's not that great), you'll have to toss a Specter Eye and reapply the stat downs if everyone is buffed with a saber.
Its commonly known on GameFAQs that if anything is more evident than proven facts, its personal opinions.

User Info: genestealer

genestealer
2 months ago#7
Hozu posted...
if everyone is buffed with a saber.
But why would you do that?

Not sure what you mean about the sage, all paths have a bunch of elementally weak enemies/bosses around endgame.

User Info: Hozu

Hozu
2 months ago#8
genestealer posted...
Hozu posted...
if everyone is buffed with a saber.
But why would you do that?

Not sure what you mean about the sage, all paths have a bunch of elementally weak enemies/bosses around endgame.

Sabers add a bit of attack, so even when using an element the enemy is neutral to, it deals some extra damage.

As for why I would consider Sage on Lise/Hawk path, it has the least amount of bosses/enemies that are exclusively weak to light (IIRC just Zable Fahr for bosses, and I believe Carmilla for normal enemies?). The other paths have more, like those pesky Dragon Zombies.
Its commonly known on GameFAQs that if anything is more evident than proven facts, its personal opinions.

User Info: DragonScholar

DragonScholar
2 months ago#9
Hozu posted...
genestealer posted...
Lise's final boss does not have any elemental weakness

In addition to this, the second phase of that boss absorbs Earth/Water/Wind/Fire. Remains neutral to Light, and I have no idea about the remaining elements.

Archdemon in phase 2 absorbs Fire, Air, Earth, and Dark; and is neutral towards the remaining four. He also gains reflection of whatever element corresponds to his final phase 1 color, but since the only possibilities are one of the elements he's absorbing anyway or Moon, it's not really an issue.

Hozu posted...
As for why I would consider Sage on Lise/Hawk path, it has the least amount of bosses/enemies that are exclusively weak to light (IIRC just Zable Fahr for bosses, and I believe Carmilla for normal enemies?). The other paths have more, like those pesky Dragon Zombies.

Duran and Angela's path is actually where Light's the least useful. Just for a quick breakdown of everything weak only to Light (i.e. Lesser and Great Demons need not apply, since you can use Water)...

Glass Desert: Nightblade
Dragon's Hole: Dark Lord, Petit Drazombie (Turnable)
Bosses: Zebre Fur

Bewitching Jungle: Evil Shaman, Wolf Devil
Mirage Palace: Carmilla Queen (Turnable), Ghost, Petit Drazombie (Turnable)
Bosses: Zebre Fur, Gorva, Dark Lich* (Turnable)

* Dark Lich's only weakness is Light when the battlefield is dark space. He's neutral against it underwater and will actually absorb it on sandy soil.

Cave of Darkness: Ghost, Nightblade, Wolf Devil
Dark Castle: Carmilla Queen (Turnable), Dark Lord, Evil Shaman
Bosses: Zebre Fur
~Everybody's Favorite Neighborhood Dragon Scholar~
http://www.angelfire.com/realm/dragonscholar/files/Seiken3.txt

User Info: Hozu

Hozu
2 months ago#10
Oh, interesting. I didn't keep track of the list of regular enemies. Wolf Devil in particular is fairly threatening. Though there is the Black Rabite, even if it's entirely optional...

Thanks for correcting me.
Its commonly known on GameFAQs that if anything is more evident than proven facts, its personal opinions.
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