Beating Vainqueur

I did this quite a long time ago, but a few people over at Talking Time expressed trepidation with the idea of doing it themselves, so I decided to help them out with a brief guide to killing Vainqueur, the secret super-difficult bonus boss of Radiant Historia. Obviously, this post contains unmarked spoilers for the latter portions of the game.

Unlocking the Vainqueur fight: To challenge Vainqueur, you must first learn all of Stocke, Aht, and Eruca’s secret bonus skills. To do this, activate the side node “The Living Legend” on the Standard History. Go to the “Waiting at Skalla” node and go to the Western Itolia Wastelands. Go up one screen, then left two screens to find a well. Go down it and introduce yourself to a soldier who identifies himself as Sword. He’ll tell you to seek out Master Vainqueur’s disciples at various points in the timeline and receive special Pacts from them. If you’ve been talking to everyone you likely already know where they are, but just in case: One is near the flowers in the southern part of Celestia, one is in the weapon shop in Alistel, and one is in the bar in Granorg. (That last one will make you run an errand for his Pact, but it’s not too difficult to figure out.)

Take these pacts back to the well and Sword will introduce you to Vainqueur, who will teach Stocke, Eruca, and Aht one skill each from the Pacts. He will offer to teach you additional skills if you find more Pacts. Here’s where the other nine are located:

Stocke:

  1. In an invisible chest behind Alistel’s item shop.
  2. During Alternate History Chapter 3, speak to a boy outside the weapons shop in Alistel to receive a letter. Go to the “The Valkyrie” node and give the letter to the boy’s father, who is sitting on a bench on the first floor behind one of the doors, then return to the boy to get the Pact.
  3. On the “The Road Perilous” node, after completing the first block puzzle, you should find some invisible barrels near the end of the area. Drag one of them back to the start and blow up the upper right stone to reach an invisible chest containing the Pact.

Aht:

  1. In the deepest area of the Imperial Ruins, right before the boss. It’s extremely easy to miss; check closely for a hidden doorway between a large pile of rocks to the northeast.
  2. In an invisible chest south of the weapons shop in Skalla.
  3. In Standard History Chapter 2, talk to an NPC in the Granorg inn. Go to the node “The Closed Mine” and talk to an NPC in the small house inside the mine. Go to the node “The Beginning” and talk to an NPC in Alistel’s inn. Return to the NPC in Granorg, then to the one in Alistel, then to the one in Granorg the final time to get the Pact.

Eruca:

  1. Inside an invisible chest in the Holff Ruins Interior, near an etching on the ground.
  2. Left of the bar in Cygnus. Somewhat difficult to see.
  3. Go to the “Aht’s Prayer” node and talk to a guy dressed in green near the market. To get the meat, go to Lazhi Hills at the very first node, find the boar, and kill it. To get the vegetables, go to Cornet and look for a sparkle in the left field of cabbages. Return to the NPC to receive the Pact.

Once you’ve got all the Pacts (and thus all the skills), Vainqueur will accept your challenge. (Ignore his offer to let you back out of it.) First, though, you’ll need to prepare yourself.

Preparations: The best party for taking out Vainqueur is Stocke, Eruca, and Aht. (Gafka and Rosch are not available to you in the node you have to face Vainqueur in, but that’s okay, because they’d be nigh-useless anyway.) I did it with my lowest character at level 62, but that was before I discovered the proper strategy, so you may not need to go that high. Using this strategy, I bet I could have held out for months even at lower levels. As far as equipment goes, make sure your team is tricked out with as much status and magic resistance as they can manage, even at the cost of physical defense. Your physical attack matters not at all in this fight, so if you’ve been focusing on equipment that raises that stat, you may want to remove it. Sky Drops from Forgia are great at blocking the status effects Vainqueur likes to hammer you with. Make sure that you’ve got plenty of restoratives in your bag, then accept Vainqueur’s challenge.

Master’s House: First, you’ll have to kill Vainqueur’s house, which is another of those giant spiders. It’s not very difficult — but it doesn’t have to be, because its main purpose is to soften you up for the real fight right afterwards. (In fact, you may want to restart if the Master’s House begins the fight with anything other than his speed debuff — you’ll want to be more or less at full strength when the battle ends.) If you’re willing to Turn Break him a couple times, you can kill him in a single combo… but his physical attacks are devastating, like all giant spiders, so don’t tarry.

Fighting Vainqueur: Next, you’ll have to fight Vainqueur himself. He’ll split himself into four identical enemies, all of which must be destroyed to win the fight. He’s extremely fast, and it’s not uncommon to see him take eight or ten turns in a row… especially if you let him hit you with speed debuffs.

The key to beating Vainqueur is to raise your resistances to the point that his debuffs no longer work. Vainqueur is powerful, but he’s not smart, so he’ll keep wasting his turns throwing debuffs at you even when their chances of working are miniscule. If he ever starts actually attacking, it’s nearly impossible to actually keep up with the damage he can deal, even at very high levels… so the proper strategy is to keep him from ever getting to that point. Vainqueur will attack you here and there while he’s setting up his debuffs, but he won’t begin attacking in earnest until you’ve suffered numerous stat downs and maybe a sleeping character to top it off. Have Aht use Polaris and Eruca use Resist Boost, and have both of them re-apply it the instant it wears off.

As far as attacking goes, you’ll want to use a combination of Aht’s Dancing Death (to build up the combo meter) and Eruca’s Burst Light for damage. Vainqueur’s physical defense is ludicrously high even before he starts tossing around power down debuffs, so it’s unlikely that any of your physical attacks will be able to do more than a single solitary point of damage to him. It’s for this reason that Stocke is nearly useless in this fight — it’s the only battle in the game where I’d switch him out of the party if I could. Even his Dead Fencer will only scratch Vainqueur, and his movement abilities are more trouble than they’re worth given that the Vainqueur clones begin on the corners. Stocke’s “jack of all trades, master of none” deal works against him here, as his healing and attack magic isn’t potent enough to be of much use. Stocke’s best option in this fight is to use his high HP and beefy defenses to serve as a durable item-chucker, keeping the ladies on their feet while they do their thing.

That’s basically the mechanics of this fight. As a rule, always prioritize defense. If there’s anything you can do to keep your characters from going down, do it. This is not a fight where you can say “Oh, it doesn’t matter if Aht goes down, I’ve got like fifty resurrection items!” Revival is extremely inconvenient in this fight, as Vainqueur will get a double-digit number of turns before the revived can get back in the battle again, and he may well have killed them again before then. It’s better to simply avoid the necessity for it entirely by making sure that Vainqueur spends as much time as possible whiffing with his stat-downs and doesn’t get an opportunity to deal real damage. Always keep your buffs up, and don’t leave anything to chance.

Try to resist the temptation to pull weird tricks. Mana Bursts are nearly useless here, so you may as well just Turn Break. Burst Light hits everything, so don’t bother trying to move the Vainqueurs into a specific formation. Unlike most bosses, Vainqueur seems to be completely immune to poison and sleep, so don’t waste time with them, and situational techniques like Trans-Turn and Divine Light are almost never worth the effort. It’s a poorly-designed boss that requires doing the same actions over and over, but that’s the kind of boss Vainqueur is — he’s too tough for experiments.

The Reward: The True Historica, the most powerful sword in the game. You have no use for it, given that the final boss is a joke compared to Vainqueur, but it’s fun to play with and completion’s always a good feeling.

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