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Chapter 20 - Hell Gate SG1

Yeah I'm back and I want YOU. Thought I was gone for good, didn't you? Well TOO BAD; we're doing this, we're making this happen. Sorry for the wait, but I got caught up in the vacation vortex.

Welcome back to the Tactics Ogre campaign, where I just traversed through the entirety of Hell Gate. We're nearly finished with this game, just a couple more chapters and it's all over.

Quick Summary
The Valeria Liberation Army, lead by Denim and Kachua, have curb stomped the opposition at every turn. Their only obstacle is the Bishop, Branta. Before they did that, they took a wide detour and got the forbidden power, then set their gaze on Hell Gate. 100 Levels of tedium and save-scumming. In the beginning they recruited the warlock, Radlum, who gladly gave his Wipeout spell to Logan. On the way we encountered many sorcerors, undead, and evil jackasses. At the 100th level, Nybass was finally slain.

The Army
Hell Gate's battles do not give experience, but we saw a major power increase overall. We got most of the unique equipment that drops here as well as some powerful spells and special attacks. On top of that, many of us got attribute-up cards, so even if we didn't gain levels, we have the stats for it. I'm going to list the equipment at the bottom of this section so you can take your pick if you want, otherwise I equipped what I thought was appropriate on your dude. Check out your individual description for details.

Hell Gate
For the majority of hell gate, I split most of us into certain configurations. Most of our casters were in every battle, because we needed the spell support. Denim and Kachua did all of the healing and reviving. Many of us died multiple times, but were brought back. As we fought, we encountered strange and unique foes which were just powerful reskins of existing creatures. Certain encounters gave a special piece of equipment, but I had to do a lot of save-scumming to get the most optimal results, because you can get unlucky and only see undead or whatever. The biggest threats to us were any AOE spellcasters, summon casters, and anyone with a powerful ranged attack. So business as usual.

Jay - Tiamat - Wind
Kills: 53
Deaths: 0
Achievements: Charming, Quite Charming, Late Bloomer, Undying
You and Rob traded places intermittently as the L-size tank unit. Out of all of the guys, you managed not to die at all and tanked very well. Your charm was of little use in Hell Gate, but the breath was still useful for its ability to not incur counter-attacks. On the way down to floor 100, you picked up a few stat-up cards. Thanks to your bark and bite, you sit comfortably at 53 kills. Unfortunately, there's not much else to report since you can't equip gear. The squad configuration I kept you in was still a mix of Dragon Squad and the new Knight Squad. Your 0 deaths give you the Undying achievement.

Peter - Earth - Terror Knight

Kills: 75
Deaths: 4
Achievements: Boss Blocks, Murderer, Stoner, 3 Quarter Hundo
You'll notice not much has changed in your loadout, but like I told you earlier, you did get the Relic attack. Like all of the other specials, you exchange some HP for a 2-square range attack. This one is about as strong as your melee attack, but also petrifies the target. I don't think I've seen it NOT petrify something. On top of that, your warping capabilities were useful everywhere and you killed enough enemies to have 75 kills. 3 quarter hundo, not a bad run. If you want anything from the gear list below, let me know. The downside to this high-level content is that avoidance stats become fairly meaningless, so you ended up dying 4 times, though I made sure to revive you in a timely fashion. The common squad layout you were in was the Knight Squad, consisting of Terror Knights, Knights, and Dragoons. 

Velika - Witch - Earth
Kills: 15
Deaths: 4
Achievements: Dragon Charmer, Stone Cold, Close Call, Squishy

I deployed you almost as much as Denim, Kachua, and Logan. Out of all of your spells, I used Petrify the most, not so much as an offensive spell, but more of a utility. It was the most useful tool I had in managing my pace throughout Hell Gate, as it allowed me some breathing room to heal everyone up and to get to a point in battles to save right before I could get to the following level. The purpose of that was to see what the next enemy configuration was; if it wasn't what I was looking for, I'd just load a different save and go back. Nothing in your equipment loadout changed, except I did get a Paragun, but its stun on-hit effect wasn't very reliable, so I swapped it back for the harder hitting Gemini. Paradigm was also a common spell during the run, as it allowed me to get an extra heal or let Logan cast Wipeout right after charging up. You even got some kills, which puts you at 15, just above Rob. Unfortunately, you died 4 times over the course of the journey, but most of the time it was due to a round of enemy spell casting or arrows, you're squishy though. Good thing I had Kachua around to revive you.

Rob - Golem - Wind
Kills: 14
Deaths: 5
Achievements: Wall of Heal, Lazarus
You and Jay traded places as the L-size tank unit on each floor. The most common squad configuration you went with was the Bruiser type, mostly with Berserkers and non-knight characters. The strangest thing that happened was enemies targeting you with hard hitting ranged attacks instead of the softer guys, making you a great tank. You even got 10 more kills, putting you at 14, the lowest kill count. Still, you got some good strikes in even when they weren't killing blows. As we went through, I tried prioritizing the Life and Dex attribute cards so that you could improve your tanking and hitting skills. The downside to you being a great tank were the 5 deaths you incurred, but Kachua was there to pick you up where you fell (except you stand up near her) and you get the Lazarus achievement. 

Logan - Warlock - Fire
Kills: 33
Deaths: 0
Achievements: Here Comes The Stun, Undying, Wipeout, Battery
Well lookie there, your loadout is different! During our run, some of the casters dropped some Dragon magic, which you can cast. The warlock, Radlum, joined our team and was carrying the Wipe Out spell. There are several of these types of spells, but Wipe Out is a flame spell, so I chose that one. It hits every enemy for moderate damage, very good. In fact, you shot up from 4 kills to 33 kills. The next spell, Dominion, is a niche spell, but still very useful. It places the rare Stop effect on enemies caught in the AOE. I only used it a couple of times, because you were mostly using Charge and Wipe Out the whole time - and it is redundant next to Petrify, which lasts forever. I also gave you the Evil robe, because why not? A common combination I used was to cast charge on yourself, then have Velika use paradigm on you so you could cast Wipe Out. It helped immensely. For your usefulness, you gain 3 achievements: Wipeout, for your sudden climb up the kills ladder, Battery, for the hundreds of times you gave out MP, and Undying for having 0 deaths.

Kills: 111
Deaths: 4
Achievements: Bitchin, Gnome Sayin, Psychopath, Wicked Sick, Squishy
Starting off, I gave you the Charge and Ripple staves because it benefits you the most, because all of your attacks are powered by INT. Aside from that, you typically swapped places with Ashley when I wanted to change things up. That didn't stop you from rising up to a whopping 111 kills. Holy shit, that was 63 kills the whole run, the most anyone had - WICKED SICK, yo. However, that did not stop the enemies from capitalizing on your squishiness and fucking killing you 4 times. I did expect this to happen, so I'm not surprised in the least. Enjoy your status as the army's #1 murderer. 

Jon - Berserker - Water
Kills: 40
Deaths: 2
Achievements: Boss Blocks, Axe Assassin, GrimDarkness
I'm always very confused about your new axe and if not for the internet, I'd have kept thinking it was a hammer. Your Blood axe is very powerful and I think it may or may not give you a terror aura. This is a direct upgrade from the Rune axe, which for some reason did pitiful damage. Grim armor is just an improvement on your armor, but I think it also gives some stats on level up. The Evil necklaces is the same deal. You'll notice you have a new attack called SoulWave, which I'm not sure what it does, but it's basically a longer ranged melee attack that hurts you. Sometimes a little self-damage is better than a beefy counter-attack, so it's an option. Out of everyone, you have the most GrimDarkness gear. Let me know if you want some other gear, I will be getting an Ice axe next chapter, so keep that in mind. You jumped up to 40 kills from 18, not bad! Being a melee dude, you were always in danger and the powerful monsters did kill you 2 times. You were part of the Bruiser squad loadout, which paired you with Berserker, Lizard Man, and Dragon Tamer.

Josh - Dragoon - Earth
Kills: 71
Deaths: 3
Achievements: Early Riser, One Hit Wonder, Full Set, Geared and Confused, Indian Giver Sacrifice
When I got all of the Ogre gear, I didn't know who to give it to and then decided you were a good candidate because you were still using outdated equipment. So I was having you use that for a while, but the slowness combined with poor hit success convinced me to change your stuff again. Now you wield a combination of a dragon slaying sword, angelic armor, and an earth shield, giving you no great cumulative bonuses; you're a bit Geared and Confused. During our dungeon crawl, you also were given one of the best sword-techniques out of all of them: Fudo. Fudo is a 2-square range special attack that which does decent damage in exchange for some HP. The best part of this attack is that it ignores all enemy defense, allowing you to do full damage. Many of the enemies in Hell Gate are dragon types, so you had no problem slaying enough to put you at 71 kills from 21. The downside was you dying 3 times. One of those deaths was due to a Fudo attack you selflessly performed to kill an enemy that may or may not have been an immediate threat to others. I don't know, Kachua revived you anyway and I could probably have taken care of it in some other way. Still, it was an Indian Giver sacrifice. Anyway, I've got plenty of swords and other things to choose from so tell me if there is a particular loadout you'd prefer.

Sagar - Berserker - Fire
Kills: 44
Deaths: 1
Achievements: Cock Block, Last Stand, Special Olympics, Fireman
There weren't any immediately preferable replacements for your current gear and you were doing well enough without new shit, so I didn't change anything. Even though Gramrock is on the lower end of the power spectrum for Axes, you still do a ton of damage with it, showing the power of a proper elemental pairing. During our travels, you gained the FireWave attack, which is a 2-square range attack, which does fire damage. It doesn't hit very hard most of the time, so it's really only useful if I don't want to suffer a counter-attack or the enemy's element is water or I feel like seeing you hit someone with a flaming pool noodle. Your element, weapon, and attack make you a real Fireman, which I hear Dr Steve Brule thinks are hunks. You killed 24 more dudes while you were in there, bringing you to a solid 44, good job! You did die once, which is the least amount of deaths overall, but getting the least amount of deaths is like winning the Special Olympics. I'm probably being insensitive! Who cares?!

Brian - Lizard Man - Water
Kills: 56
Deaths: 3
Achievements: Murder Hobo, Stone of Shame, Aquazard, Damage Dumptruck
I decided to swap the Aqua armor onto you after getting some choice pieces of gear, it just makes sense. Putting anything else on you would have made you way too slow, so this is a nice compromise and it's Aqua themed. Even though your Aqua hammer is from about a million years ago, you still do badass damage with it. Another example of the power of elemental pairing. I did not manage to get the Dark hammer from Hell Gate, but I did get the Power hammer. They are both 2handed, so you'd have to get rid of your shield. If you want me to shark in a Dark hammer, I'll do it, because the thought of going all the way through Hell Gate again and trying to get that particular encounter makes me want to jump out of the office window. When King Roderick came along to teach us more special techniques, I gave you the DevilCry ability, which - like every special attack - is a 2-square range attack. Unlike the others, this one uses most of your HP to deal a shit ton of damage, like dumping a whole Dumptruck of damage onto the enemy. This is a very dangerous technique to use when there are a lot of enemies around, so I usually save it for when you're safe. Denim and Kachua can still heal you back to full in one round afterward, but  doing this makes you vulnerable. You killed a total of 25 enemies in there, taking you to 56 kills. However, you died thrice. Oh well. 

Gage - Knight - Fire 
Kills: 49
Deaths: 0
Achievements: Close Call, Damsel In Distress, Stone of Shame, Face Blocker, Undying
Things changed up for you in this dungeon, since most avoidance stats don't have much meaning at this level, you didn't have to worry about taking hits all the time, since everyone does. I thought about giving you some of the special gear from hell gate, but didn't want to disrupt your fire theme. If you want something, let me know, otherwise you're staying the same. Your performance was on par with the rest of the team, which is good. You incurred no deaths, so you get the undying achievement. 25 enemies fell to your blade, netting you a total of 49 kills overall. Pretty good. I decided to dig through the ditches and burn through the witches and slam into giving you the Dracul technique, even though I didn't understand what it does. It actually does damage equal to 2 times the total attack power of your equipped sword, so it is going to do pitiful damage no matter what, since the best sword has something like 45 attack power. I guess it's good for a range option, but if you want it to do better damage, you're going to need a stronger weapon. 

Dylan - Terror Knight - Wind
Kills: 62
Deaths: 1
Achievements: Stone of Shame, Survivor, Special Olympics
For anyone wondering, the wind element weapons are obtained from special enemies in hell gate called Guardians. I managed to snag a Boleas, which is a good axe. I also gave myself the Agony technique, which does damage equal to the difference between maximum HP and current HP, making it only useful when I'm heavily damaged. So it's a risky move. I died once, but like with Sagar, it's only as good as winning some sort of athletic event. Also got 21 kills, which is alright. I was hoping for a more exciting performance, but what can I do? 

There is a ton of unique equipment in Hell Gate and I got a lot of it, but not all of it. Go through the list and see if you want any of this stuff. Some of the gear will give an attribute increase on level up, which is noted. Some of the gear is part of a set, the two sets to note are: Ogre and the Grim set. Equipping all 4 pieces of Ogre gear will increase attack and defense to 500, but lower your ability to land hits and dodge. Users are still vulnerable to magic and status effects. It's a great set though and you'll kill most things in one strike, provided you can get to them and hit them. The other set is a combination of the Dark Hammer, Grim Armor, Skull Helmet, and Evil ring, which will give a significant increase to attributes on level up. I don't have all of that, so I'd have to either go back through hell gate or game shark them in.

You can also find descriptions of these weapons on Gamefaqs or here

In order - Name, Type, Element, weapon strength, any flat attribute increases, resistances, notes, and +stats on level up.

Oricon - 1 handed Sword - Holy - ATK+45 - Holy Res -5 - Dark Res 10 - +INT on level up
Ogre - 1 handed Sword - Dark - ATK+36 - Holy Res 10 - Dark Res -5 - Set with other Ogre Gear - +STR on level up
Blood - 2 handed Axe - Dark - ATK+48 - Holy Res 10 - +STR on level up
Rune - 2 handed Axe - Holy - ATK+42 - MEN+8 - Dark Res 5 - +INT on level up
Boleas - 2 handed Axe - Wind - ATK+40 - Earth Res 5
Eros - 2 handed Hammer - Wind - ATK+30 - Earth Res 5 - +DEX on level up
Power - 2 handed Hammer - ATK+44
Ripple - 1 handed Staff - Holy - ATK+10 - INT+30 - Dark Res 5 - +INT on level up
Charge - 1 handed Staff - ATK+10 - INT+25 - MEN+8 - Ability MP+25
Zepyulos - Spear - Wind - ATK+35 - Earth Res 5
Evil - Spear - Dark - ATK+43 - Holy Res 5 - +STR on level up
Holy - Spear - Holy - ATK+45 - Dark Res 5 - +STR on level up
Igunis - Spear - Fire - ATK+45 - Water Res 5
Earth - Spear - Earth - ATK+34 - Wind Res 5
Hero - Spear - Water - ATK+31 - Fire Res 5
Blood - Whip - Dark - ATK+40 - Holy Res 5
Dark - Bow - Dark - ATK+34 - Holy Res 10 - +DEX on level up
Chaos - Bow - Dark - ATK+30 - Holy Res 5 - +DEX on level up
Star - Bow - Holy - ATK+30 - DEX+8 - Dark Res 5
Paragun - CrossBow - ATK+16 - Sometimes Stun - +DEX on level up

Ogre - Shield - Dark - DEF+25 - Holy Res+20 - Set with other Ogre Gear - +VIT on level up
Angel - Shield - Holy - DEF+25 - Dark Res+20 - +VIT on level up

Warrior - Gauntlet - DEF+1 - Set with other Warrior Gear - +LUK on level up

Evil - Ring - Dark - INT+8 - Holy Res 5 - Set with Dark Hammer, Grim Armor, and Skull Helmet
Undead - Dark - INT+8 - Die with the ring equipped and become a lich

Warrior - Helmet - DEF+1 - Set with other Warrior Gear - +LUK on level up
Ogre - Helmet - DEF+10 - Holy Res 10 - Set with other Ogre Gear
Light - Helmet - DEF+10 - Dark Res 10

Angel - Armor - DEF+13 - MEN+10 - Dark Res 15 - +VIT on level up
Warrior - Armor - DEF+1 - +LUK on level up
Grim - Armor - Dark -  DEF+13 - Holy Res 15 - +VIT on level up
Ogre - Armor - Dark - DEF+20 - Holy Res 20 - +STR on level up - set with other ogre gear
Holy - Robe - Holy - DEF+5 - INT+10 - Dark Res 10 - +MEN on level up
Evil - Robe - Dark - DEF+5 - INT+10 - Holy Res 10 - +MEN on level up

Holy - Boots - Holy - DEF+8 - AGI+8 - Dark Res 5
Zombie - Boots - Dark - DEF+8 - AGI+8 - Holy Res 5

The Story So Far
Denim and co spent a lot of time walking through Hell Gate, but that's about it.