Lord of the Primordial Darkness
- Dark Claw: Uses the arms. Deals 80% melee STR-based cut damage to all party members. Attempts to inflict blind on hit party members, with a 30% base chance. Has a 50% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 70%.
- Panic Rush: Uses the legs. Deals 160% melee STR-based stab damage to one party member, with line-piercing effect. Attempts to inflict panic on hit targets, with a 50% base chance. Has an 80% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99%.
- Hemostatic Forceps: Uses the arms. Deals 130% melee STR-based bash damage to one row of party members. Attempts to bind the legs of hit targets, with a 30% base chance. Has an 80% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99%.
- Freeze Breath: Uses the head. Deals 70% ranged INT-based ice damage to all party members. Attempts to bind the arms of hit targets, with a 30% base chance. Has a 50% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 99%.
- Thunder Howl: Uses the head. Deals 4-6 instances of 80% ranged INT-based volt damage to random party members. Can hit the same target multiple times. Has a 90% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 150%.
- Ruinous Howl: Uses the head. Increases all party members' and the Lord of the Primordial Darkness's attack by 50% for 4 turns. Has a 120% speed modifier.
- Resentment Miasma: Applies the Resentment Miasma field effect. For three turns, 25% of the damage dealt to any party members and to the Lord of the Primordial Darkness is re-dealt at the end of the turn, as untyped damage. The Lord of the Primordial Darkness takes the full amount of damage, while the damage is spread equally throughout the party. If 1000 damage was dealt over a turn, for example, the Lord of the Primordial Darkness will take 250 damage, while a full player party would take 50 damage each.
- Absorb Miasma: Cancels the Resentment Miasma effect. The Lord of the Primordial Darkness will use Blackened Blaze two turns after use.
- Blackened Blaze: Uses the head. Deals 230% ranged INT-based fire damage to all party members. Reduces hit targets' defense by 30% for 4 turns. Has a 50% speed modifier and a base accuracy of 150%.
- Normal: Wicked Dorsal Fin. 100% chance. Sells for 25000 en.
- 1 needed to make Thought Crown (+37 DEF, +30 MDEF, +30 TP). Costs 24000 en, sells for 9600 en.
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I need to preface this writeup by saying: like fuck am I gonna refer to the Lord of the Primordial Darkness by that title every time. Instead, I am going to refer to it by the name we first observed for it: "Jaryuu," from "ai_scr_5_jaryuu.bf" the name of its AI script. Jaryuu translates to "evil dragon," which it's referred to elsewhere in the game files. The internals seem to alternate between referring to Jaryuu as "evil dragon" ("se_ex_evt_evildragon_1.ssnd" and "Evil Dragon" for a debug enemy that uses the ai_scr_5_jaryuu script) and "dark dragon" ("se_foe_attack_ddrgn.ssnd", "en_d_dragon" for its model animations).
Remember how most of the bosses beyond Golem have ranged from "potentially challenging" to "pretty easy?" Yeah uh Jaryuu doesn't fall anywhere there. Jaryuu's a tough fucker and going against it blindly or anything less than well-prepared will result in a swift game over. None of its skills are just "this deals some damage," they all have side effects that range from irritating to run-ending.
Dark Claw's the least threatening of Jaryuu's skills--it's 80% STR damage, inflicts the lowest ailment on the hierarchy (blind), is slow as hell, and only has a 70% base accuracy. Line Guard can protect your front row while your back should be able to eat it.
Panic Rush is dangerous for two reasons: 160% STR damage is a shitload, and, if it doesn't kill its targets outright, can leave them afflicted with panic, one of the worst ailments that can be inflicted on player characters.
Hemostatic Forceps doesn't hurt quite as much as Panic Rush, and leg binds aren't nearly as threatening as panic, but a) it still hurts, and b) leg binds almost certainly mean the afflicted target will go later in the turn order than Jaryuu, which is...bad.
Freeze Breath's damage is fairly negligible with Material Guard or Prayer: Cold Rain, but arm binds are extremely nasty to get hit by in EO5--it disables Dragoon shield skills, pretty much all physical damage dealers' entire repertoires, and Herbalist healing skills.
Thunder Howl is run-ending. A minimum of four hits of 80% INT damage, with no limit on how many times one target can be hit, can take out multiple party members with little recourse beyond "hope you got lucky with casting Material Guard" or "keep Prayer: Purple Lightning up at all times." 150% base accuracy also means that Illusionary Fencers are gonna have a hell of a time trying to dodge it.
Ruinous Howl's a lesser version of Juggernaut's Berserk Cry from EO2U. It might not make a lot of sense on its own, but look to the next skill for some reasoning why it exists.
Resentment Miasma is Jaryuu's central gimmick. For my money, what it effectively means is that, for three turns, you can't do anything to Jaryuu. At all. If you deal any damage to it during Resentment Miasma, that damage on top of what Jaryuu deals can easily result in a total party wipe. Remember that, because it's untyped, you can't do anything to reduce its damage beyond just not contributing to it at all. Or buffing your max HP I guess.
Lastly, Blackened Blaze. Depending on your party composition, this skill is either a strict time limit or a free three turns to do whatever. If you have a Dragoon with a maxed out Material Guard or a Shaman with a maxed out Prayer: Blaze (preferably both, really), you can probably eat the damage with a sufficiently durable party. If you have access to sleep (either Mist Slice or Hypno Cannon), Jaryuu is weak to sleep, and you've got three turns to put it to sleep after Resentment Miasma ends and before Blackened Blaze happens. Head binds are also an option, although I wouldn't necessarily gamble on a 50% chance plus Jaryuu's stats. Without any of those, Blackened Blaze is basically a countdown to a total party kill--no character, no matter their WIS or defensive equipment, is going to survive 230% INT damage with Jaryuu's INT.
Got all that? Good. Let's get onto characters.
Alexis: Not gonna mince words: all Alexis can really do against Jaryuu is dodge his hit of multi-target attacks and probably die to Thunder Howl.
Iseria: You know Iseria's deal by this point, surely. For Jaryuu, she's as good a damage dealer as any, given proper stab and elemental support.
- General: As always, Line Guard and Material Guard are extremely important for keeping the party alive in the face of danger. A few Bunkers can also help with Thunder Howl and possibly Hemostatic Forceps.
- Adamantine Dragoon: Soul Guard and Full Guard are useful as as panic buttons.
- Gunpowder Dragoon: Hypno Cannon's basically our best way of taking advantage of Jaryuu's weakness to sleep to stop Blackened Blaze. Pillboxes are always nice, too.
- General: Cecil's going to have an absolute bear (har-har) of a time trying to inflict head binds, to say nothing of arm and leg binds, but he can still try! Black Mist (which Alexis, Sasha, Raven, and Cecil himself all have access to) helps, of course. One-Two with three follow-ups still isn't bad damage. Also, I feel like I should reiterate: Giving it Everything exists, and gives a double damage buff at rank 10.
- Combo Boxer: Combo Boxer is weird here mostly because of Jaryuu's aforementioned heavy resistances to binds. Lead Blow still deals fantastic burst damage, as always...if I can land binds. Cecil'll have pretty big difficulty with that on his own--I'd frankly recommend either Raven (for Feeble Miasma) or, more preferably, Kaelin, Lanzon, or Magda (for Chain Blast).
- Devastating Fistfighter: Fistfighter is still a pretty dicey specialization, as far as I'm concerned. I can't really think of any specific for it in the Jaryuu fight.
- General: I would actually somewhat advocate for attack debuffs against Jaryuu, since not only do they block his Ruinous Howl self-buff, but they can actually pretty often be the difference between a character dying and just barely living.
- Death-Bringing Reaper: Unfortunately, every ailment Raven can inflict (paralysis, curse, poison, panic) are all resisted by Jaryuu, which means no Black Blade stacks. Raven's usefulness is mostly just up to random chance, to be honest--either him or someone else inflicts an ailment and he gets to do something with Great Scythe of Cold Ash, or...he just tries to hit 25% ailment resistances. Scythe of Death can deal big burst if we decide to go with that whole sleep thing.
- Death-Warding Reaper: Frail Miasma, Brittle Miasma, and Dim Miasma actually weaken Jaryuu pretty significantly when stacked, and I can maybe use Scythe of Transience if I feel like it. Combine with Cecil for extra fun!
- Master of the Six Ways: Earth Spike has an attack debuff, I guess. It also triggers Chains, and can be combined with Icicle Lance so that Kaelin's constantly hitting Jaryuu's weakness. I could also conceivably reskill Kaelin to try and make use of Alter--in that case, having other party members that can hit Jaryuu's ice weakness (Iseria, Raven, Lanzon, and maybe Mio are the big ones) is pretty important.
- Ruler of Fire, Ice, and Lightning: Compressed Ice Streams are basically all Kaelin will be spamming throughout the entire fight. It'll drain his TP quickly, but I can get Amritas. Lanzon or Magda can also, theoretically, help proc Common Magic.
- Spirit-Summoning Necromancer: There's worse things in the world than Ghost Dance and Ice Bomb, really. Ice Bomb hits Jaryuu's weakness, and can help with Alter.
- Spirit-Destryoing Necromancer: No, I will not use Zombie Powder + Echo-Chasing Worm cheese on Jaryuu, firstly. Secondly, the standard Gates of Hell rotation isn't terrible, although it is a bit reliant on ghost-summoning passives and drains TP extremely quickly.
- Falcon-Accompanied Hound: Flying Talon Strike spam will probably bind Jaryuu's head sooner rather than later. Sky Dive's also something I can use during Blackened Blaze windup.
- Dog-Leading Hound: Binding Jaryuu with Hunter Shot or Foot Pierce probably isn't gonna happen, but it's an option. Defense Command and Medical Lick can also probably come in handy during an emergency.
- Four Heavens as One Masurao: Same story as always with this spec: pretty big damage, but Jana will get pasted the instant she gets hit with one attack.
- Single Peerless Blade Masurao: Jaryuu's resistance to leg binds unfortunately means guaranteeing Helm Divide is a pain in the ass, but accuracy buffs (Mio) and evasion debuffs (Alexis, Jana herself) can help compensate for that. Overall, not a bad option for physical damage. Heavy armor means she really has to look out for Freeze Breath, Thunder Howl, and Blackened Blaze, but then again, most everyone does too.
- General: I've already talked about applications of the elemental Prayers, so no need to belabor the point here, but do keep them in mind when considering Mio. In addition, much like how attack debuffs can potentially barely save party members, Prayer: Guardian can do the same.
- Heaven's Wrath Shaman: Oracle: Halo can completely nullify Blackened Blaze, and it certainly helps that it's very heavily telegraphed. Oracle: Three Runs is also pretty significant damage--and, as an added bonus, it can be used as a Chain hit and/or an Alter weakness hit stack.
- Heaven's Love Shaman: All of the Heaven's Love Prayers are useful for Jaryuu--Exorcism for reducing ailment/bind chances, Evasion for just dodging attacks, and Longetivity for increased survivability in addition to elemental Prayers plus Guardian. Don't forget the passive healing, too.
Dosen: Herb Boost has a chance to really shine here, and was in fact a cornerstone of how I beat Jaryuu on my first playthrough last year. Dosen can constantly buff the front row to 1.3x max HP with Line Herb, and that will generally keep them safe in the face of most everything Jaryuu can do besides Blackened Blaze. That extremely hinges on Dosen himself not getting his arms bound by Freeze Breath, though.
Magda: Magda, in all honesty, is almost certainly not going to inflict ailments on her own--relegating her Smoke skills to being support for other ailment inflictors. She can also try to petrify Jaryuu with Smoke Solid (although it's worth noting that I need to be careful with that if I have a phys-heavy party), and can make him explode a bunch with Smoke Bomb if an ailment happens to land. It's not ice damage, unfortunately, but oh well.
With all of that in mind, one more thing. In addition to voting for party members, you need to vote for what version of Jaryuu's music (titled The Planet's Ordeal in the OST) we'll be using--original or FM! We're only going to be hearing this song once, so make your choice wisely! Here's the link image, for your convenience:
Voting rules are:
- Four characters max--remember to specify what specialization you want
- One vote max per party member
- Not specifiying a specific specialization means I'll default to whatever that character currently has
- Vote for the music too! It won't disqualify your votes if you don't, but please still do it
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