Maze: Hell Frontier
Purpose: Gotta get that 100F Boss Prize, just to prove it can be done.
Mainball: Sculptor — We’re going to be doing a lot of Thinking.
Linkball 1: Skeleton Lord — Thinking about eeeviill.
Linkball 2: Satan’s Son — And it all comes together. Satan’s Son is the opposite of Apollo — he turns every spell you get into a Dark spell, meaning you have a very limited toolbox, but if you can make those tools work, you can focus on them to Hell and back and walk away with massive success. Satan’s Son gives a clean 50% boost to Dark, and we’re going to get another 60% from Dark Master, and then another 75% to Implosion and Death Ripple from Dark Priest for nice big bonuses.
Venture Title: Farplane Ranger (lantern) — Getting FPR(l) on the 1st floor doubles your initial stock of Elemental Crystals, which means instead of 1 level of Light of Corruption off the bat, you get 3. Light of Corruption is going to be our primary method of clearing floors all the way down, so every little bit counts. Getting the Fused Ebony and Ivory from Dante’s Corpse is a pretty good benefit as well, though in general I think FPR(l) is probably a little underpowered for this Maze.
Magic Title: Dark Priest (wizard) — Dark Priest is the heart and soul of this build, giving you titanic Implosions and Death Ripples. Going through Wizard instead of Conjurer gives you six extra Laske’s Energy Drains, and when you’re nuking with the kind of power we’re nuking with, every Laske’s is one dead enemy plus a full heal.
Melee Title: Light Paladin (Faith) — Going through Knight of Faith means more Power for our nukes, and taking all three stars of Heavy Armor Knight is clutch for getting through F80-100 — without it, any time you get 3 Angels on one floor would be the end of you.
Artifact: Codex of Dark Priest — Gotta squeeze in every last point of Power we can find, and more Death Ripples is never a bad thing.
Potion: Lich’s Enhancement Liquid — I really wanted the reduction in enemy Spell Resistance for this, as it’s imperative to kill the Boss fast, and that F100 Boss has a cubic metric sh!t-tonne of HP, so every advantage I could work into my spells was clutch.
The Rundown: Essentially, this is like playing with Legendary Hunter, but on a 3-turn timer — if you keep up with Light of Corruption, it nukes hard enough to OHK everything except Angels until about F60. By F80, you’re only using it to wear down three of five/six enemies, and you have to deal with the other three yourself, but that’s still insanely useful. Also, if you get Light of Corruption above lvl 10, it wipes one level of the Boss’ Demon Mark every hit, which means you get 12 turns to kill him instead of 9. Bonus!
There are two crucial side-task to which you must attend:
- Opening up Light-side shops strictly for the purpose of finding and buying an extra 10 Light crystals above your normal stores. This is so that, when you find Azazel’s Statue, you can spend those extra 10 Light Crystals into it. This will give you the special ability to keep your enemies from Reviving, which is 100% vital — those Angels are fokking nasty below F80, and even with Heavy Armor Knight, you can’t afford to have them sitting around.
- Opening up Dark-side shops strictly for the purpose of finding and buying ALL the extra Dark crystals you can. Every time you activate a level of Light of Corruption and you have 5 extra Dark Crystals, immediately put them into a level of Dark Crystal Core. The idea is that by the time you hit F90+, you need to have that Spell Forbidden at -50% or better, or being unable to cast will definitely kill you.
So one-star up to Farplane Ranger (lantern) on F1 before you collect the first Corpse. Then fill out Magic Bandit, then Magic Apprentice. One-star Black Mage and Wizard, then fill in Dark Master and take one level of Dark Priest. Get three stars in Novice Warrior.
Then, around F20, instead of taking Titles, dump your EP first into sculpting Thinkers. Every floor, 100 EP goes into Thinkers, and when you finish a Thinker, start another one on the same floor and put a second 100 EP into it. You will be building Thinkers until around F70. Any spare EP you build up, put into backfilling Black Mage and Wizard, then into taking one star of Knight and Knight of the Faith, then getting all three stars of Heavy Armor Knight. Either way, do those things once you’re done with your Thinkers. (If you’re not aware, every Thinker you sculpt gives you +5~10 Power and +5%~10% bonus to all damage spells. Sculpting 10 of them basically turns you into walking nuclear event.)
After that, take the +MP stars of Dark Priest so that your Implosions are extra-lethal by the time you reach the F80 boss. From about F75 on, things are going to get rough. Your Floor Strategy in the later floors is “Kill Angels with your fists if they’re alone, or Dark Ripples if they’re in pairs or more. Reveal an enemy. If it’s not a Demon of the Abyss (which are immune to Dark spells), Curse it and punch it carefully, watching your HP and the monster’s Attack and re-Cursing as necessary. If it is a Demon of the Abyss, dink around opening tiles and picking stuff up, and let the Crystal Core wear it down as much as possible before punching it out. If your HP is low, don’t let the Demon die, as it keeps you from casting for 15 turns. Instead, reveal some other enemy and hit it with Laske’s Energy Drain to heal yourself up, then let the Demon of the Abyss die.”
Even with all of this strategizing, plus a Full heal from Istantine, I still had to key-hunt my way from F91 to F99, taking advantage of a couple of Magic Lantern procs, a Lighthouse, and some dumb luck getting the key off of an Angel. I even (wounded pride) had to s/l twice (same floor) when I ended the floor facing two Demon of the Abyss in a row — the first one leaves you unable to cast, which means the second one kills your ass and you can’t heal or use any tricks to avoid it.
Contrariwise to the complexity of your Floor Strategy, your Boss Strategy is simple: Implosion once, then Laske’s until he’s about to attack, then Hex, then more Laske’s. On F90, Implosion twice. On F100, Implosion until you have no more Implosion, pausing only to Hex, then Laskes until one of you dies.
I went in to F100 with a secret treasure: a Holy Rebirth I managed to snag from a Phoenix Signet from my third level of Knight of the Faith. I was determined to not use it — and I didn’t! The fight went like this:
Implosion. Implosion. Hex. Implosion. Implosion. Laske’s. Laske’s. Activate Lightless Shield Scroll (obtained from giving zero crystals to Abaddon’s Statue) to absorb the only attack the sonofabitch was ever going to get. Laske’s. Laske’s. Laske’s. Collect prizes.
That’s the power of a maxed-out Dark Priest with six Thinkers and a Ring of Ash on his side. If I had ever found a Great Druid’s Cloak, it would have been even nastier, as my Death Ripples would have out-damaged my Laske’s at that point.
So, to all y’all out there wondering just how you’re supposed to beat the Boss of Hell Frontier, here’s one way: nuke his face so hard it comes out his ass, and laugh your way to Hell and back. 😀