Summary: Shulk takes the Monado into his own hands to repel the Mechon attack but comes up short.
Location: Colony 9
I could use Dunban as my party leader but as I figure he can take care of himself I'm switching back to Shulk. Reyn has enough AP to pick up War Swing II (Attack All). I didn't mention in the last part but some debris fell from above and blocked the path to the Residential District, which is why we have to go around to the Outlook Park entrance to get to Fiora.
My problem with this is she's gone off to get the Mobile Artillery to clear the obstruction in-front of the lab (which we now may no longer need as Dunban and the Monado have shown up), but it can't remove the obstruction to to the district itself?
I also didn't mention that the Mechon (is Mechon the plural of Mechon?) I was defeating last time weren't giving me much in the way of EXP/AP/SP which I find a little odd. At the very least with Dunban the battles are a lot quicker now. This is doubly good as they are now auto-engaging me. Is it because of their proximity to the Monado?
I try to be sneaky and take the upper walkways to avoid battle but there are Mechon up here too.
Dunban's front door is shut... though I don't recall that Fiora closed it on her way out earlier. I wanted to see if I could do that H2H with Dunban in the party.
We encounter a large amount of Mechon on the bridge out of the Commercial District and worryingly for us, Dunban's exertions become to much for him. The Monado slips his grasp and he doubles up violently coughing blood. Shulk's staring at the Monado... is this it? I'm getting goosebumps. YES!!! (Actual transcription of my notes there). I'm just gonna guess Djinn's rot13 from the last part was laughing at me trying to figure out when exactly Shulk would get the Monado... right before it happens.
Shulk shouts out in pain and then? And then I don't know what.
I hadn't intended to include a gif here (though something later gave me the idea in general) but it was difficult on a screen shot alone to get across the distortion effect in play here and Shulk runs forward in slow motion. We see Shulk get hit by an attack from the Mechon, but when the same scene plays in real time he dodges it with exceptional reflexes.
This happens for a second time, also changing events to his favour. Shulk thinks it's the future he's seeing, which I can't deny especially based on his earlier visions, but this all seems more immediate. It puts me more in mind of a Jedi's ability to see slightly into the future, giving them excellent reflexes and combat capability. Whatever truly happened, Dunban is shocked both that Shulk is okay and at what he is describing.
Dunban pulls a katana-esque Homs Sabre from... somewhere to keep himself in the fight.
As much as Dunban was recognised as being able to wield the Monado, I don't think he ever experienced anything like this. Of course, I expected that Shulk would be the true wielder of the Monado from the very beginning, but in-universe it looks like Dunban really didn't tap into most of the Monado's capabilities, he just could tolerate the least of them better than anyone else.
I've lost my old Talent Gauge Art and it's been replaced with an option to switch the Battle Palette to Monado arts (the same two from the beginning of the game). I still get access to my normal arts too, so this might become a lot to juggle in battle. After I mindlessly let rip with Monado Buster (High Damage) I can't re-enter the Monado arts menu. It needs to charge up like any other Talent Gauge Art (via auto-attacks) but I didn't comprehend this at the time. Luckily Reyn and Dunban can topple the Mechon as I wait to get off a Monado Enchant so they can damage Mechon regardless.
The Monado's stats are decent but it only has two slots for Ether Gems. I've got to presume that's the maximum number of slots regardless. Also, while the Monado is good now, will it improve to keep pace with the better equipment purchases/drops I'll be getting later in the game for everyone else? My old Junk Sword has completely disappeared, which worried me as I thought the Ether Gems in there were lost too, but the game is smart enough to have de-equipped them and left them in my inventory (so I put them back in the Monado).
What is the in-universe reasoning behind whoever sells the books letting me upgrade the Monado arts further exactly?
Yay, I can upgrade the Monado arts... or I could if I had more AP. My best guess for learning new ones would be to coincide with story events, as opposed to at level up like normal arts. Dunban also now has an arts menu. He seems like a mix of Reyn (Auras and Toppling) and Fiora (Bleed Damage and Breaks) with an added twist. Gale Strike, for all purposes his default art, needs to be used prior to several others in a combo. His Talent Gauge Art is similar, in that it is a combo of several hits that deals respectable damage. That's a lot to fit on one guy. Presumably I can tailor people how I like later when they have far more arts than Battle Palette options.
Side Note: Actually, watching the video back, I think I can use his arts when I like, but if I start with Gale Strike and move into a combo art it gives an extra effect (Break, Strength Down, etc.).
The Mechon with a face (honestly what he is generally referred to as) descends on us just as we re-enter the Colony. I get a face on a Mechon must be new for the Homs, but it's a little jarring that people are making so much of it. At least it's time for a proper boss fight. Or it would be, but even the Monado can't damage it?! Do I need to topple it too? Before I get the chance the battle ends.
Shulk theorises that the light
Mechon Face brings down his now glowing claws though Dunban is quick enough to pull Shulk out of the way. I mentioned before that I thought Vangarre's death wasn't very clear and compared it to Mumkhar's, who we didn't actually see die. And that thought has burrowed itself into my head. Mumkhar had claw(ed weapon)s, this Mechon has claws.... Surely not, right?
Whatever causes the Monado to have no effect on Mechon Face, its attacks leave a similar purple sparking around our protagonists. It confirms in my mind it's powered by the same thing as the Monado, but how? Only the Bionis had the power in the game's opening, and despite wanting to possess the Monado the Mechons never got hold of it a year ago.
Last thoughts for this part: after my attacks fail does Mechon Face mock me by shaking his finger/claw or am I imagining it?
Next Time: Defeating Mechon Face.