Tales of SideQuest: Mr. Fighter vs. Mania Dhaos

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Tales of SideQuest: Mr. Fighter vs. Mania Dhaos

“Tales of SideQuest” entries cover various misadventures at White Giant RPG Studios’ “SideQuest” tournaments. These posts provide a look int our company culture, and typically do not have any content related to Last Dream development.

Well, we’re back from SideQuest 2023, and gearing up for some hefty Last Dream 2 development. In the meantime, you may recall that this year’s tournament featured the game Tales of Phantasia for the PSX, and our patented (not really) “Penalty Card” system. Here’s a snapshot of some of those cards.

In fact, some of these cards were applied during the tournament –and some were more devastating than others! We actually created a few cards during the tournament itself, and one of them (“Mr. Fighter”) is the subject of this post.

In order to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes, we’ve re-recorded the 3 final boss fights at the end of Scenario 7, on “Mania” mode, with the “Mr. Fighter” penalty. So how hard are these fights exactly?

● On “Mania” mode, every boss in Tales of Phantasia has 3x the HP as in “Normal” mode.

● “Mania” mode bosses are also extremely aggressive; they will rarely sit still and love spamming dangerous skills. Dhaos is particularly bad in this regard.

● The “Mr. Fighter” penalty card bans Cless from equipping weapons. His basic attack becomes… a kick that effectively does 0 damage. The only viable option at this point is to take him out of your party.

● Dhaos final forms 1 and 3 are not too difficult. Chester can lock him down with his archery skills. But form 2 is extremely difficult, as Dhaos spams projectiles and can easily interrupt and kill anyone he chooses. You also can’t push him back.

Only two WGRPG staff members were playing on Mania mode, and Mandrew finished the fight first. He generously offered Seth (who had the “Mr. Fighter” penalty) the following advice: “use Suzu” (the ninja). With that hint, the strategy shown in the video was devised.

The amazing thing about that strategy is that (1) it is balanced on a knife’s edge, but (2) it works extremely well. In fact, it’s one of the safest strategies for killing Dhaos on Mania mode, if a bit slow. Some highlights:

● Chester’s “Gale Shot” destroys the boss’s projectiles. This alone makes the fight significantly safer.

● Suzu’s “Omega Storm” does short range melee damage. But if you use Right+X to force her to spam it, you’ll stray too far into the boss’s hit box and get annihilated. So you actually want her to run back to the Home position before casting it again.

● The Mahjong tile is essential; it gives you 1 free instant interrupt, and that gets the fight off the ground in the first place.

● Panacea Bottles cure the “stun” status, and down time is deadly in this fight.

The linked video is part of a playlist with Dhaos forms 1 and 3, but those fights are just about foolproof.

Tales of Phantasia is an iconic game, and turned out to be a perfect tournament game as well! There’s a lot of depth to the combat system, which allowed situations like the one just described to happen. Do you have a Mania mode strategy for Dhaos that performs better than ours? Share it here, or in the video comments!