This page contains a list of strategies that can be used to defeat various bosses in the MARDEK series.
It is suggested to use Vehrn rather than Zach, as Bernard is Dark. Mardek's primary role in this boss battle should be healing and restoring statuses; make sure to give him plenty of status restorers, and only if no one needs any healing should he actually attack. Should anyone be KO'd, he should revive them with a Phoenix Down.
First off, KO Aalia. She has the least HP, and she's a healer, which means that KOing anyone else will be significantly more difficult while she's around, especially if she's given everyone shields. If Emela uses Stonesplosion (you may want to have the Earth Rod equipped), Deugan uses Earth Slash, and Mardek and Vehrn just attack, then she shouldn't last more than around, maybe two. If she puts up a shield at any point, Barrier Break should do the trick, and deal some heavy damage as well.
After you've taken care of Aalia, start attacking Bernard. He's a mage who can deal some damage, but has poor defence and won't last long with everyone attacking him at once. Have Emela use Bubble, Deugan Power Attack, Vehrn Smite Evil, and then have Mardek attack, if no one needs major healing.
After Bernard, it's time to take on Vennie. By now, it should be four on two (On the off chance anyone on your side faints, revive them with Phoenix Down), which makes an already weak character easier. He shouldn't take long at all. Have Emela use Flame, Deugan Power Attack, and Vehrn attack. If no one needs healing or status restoration, then you can have Mardek attack.
You've now saved Bartholio for last. Since he's on his own, he'll be quite easy to take down. Once you take down his teammates, he'll enter a Berserker Rage similar to Zach's, however, this will take a turn, which should give you enough time to KO him before he attacks. Have Emela use any spell (except Stonesplosion), Deugan uses Power Attack and Mardek and Vehrn attack. He also shouldn't take long at all. To avoid his berserker rage, you can defeat him before Vennie, though he will take a turn or two more to defeat than Vennie. Vennie on his own should be simple to defeat, even with his status-inflicting attacks.
The World's Saviours, if you're still using Vehrn, are a cakewalk. Just repeat the above strategy and you're fine. Just remember to heal and restore MP and status during round 19.
Heal your party before leaving the Crystal Room via items or magic. If you have Legion in your party, immediately use Fairy Dust (learned from Rogue Fairies) on the Saviours so most of them will be asleep (Meraeador's Sleep-O-Matic makes a perfect substitute if you don't have Fairy Dust). Repeat Fairy Dust or Sleep-O-Matic when any of them wakes up. Pound Aalia with magic attacks while Legion (if you brought him) uses Acid on Bartholio and Vennie until they're numbed. After Aalia is KO'd, attack Bernard but don't use physical attacks - he'll use a reaction called "Heh." that heals himself to full and inflicts massive Dark-elemental damage against the attacker - so have the physical attackers focus on Bartholio instead (unless if they absorb Dark, then Heh. will damage Bernard instead). When Bernard is KO'd, the numbed Bartholio and Vennie shouldn't be of any trouble, but be sure Bartholio is KO'd when Vennie is since when Bartholio enrages, the numbness will wear off.
Bringing Gloria can also work, as she can nullify the three elemental attacks that Bernard uses against the entire party and can lower their stats with her elemental attacks. Donovan is of some use by being able to nullify Immolate and can use Burn against Bartholio and Vennie until they get numbed. Confusing Bartholio and Vennie are also very effective since they might attack Bernard and get hit by Heh.
Another strategy requires Sharla and Donovan. Use Thunderbolt and Blaze to smash Aalia in 1-2 rounds. Generally, if she is hit with both she heals and does not cast the shields. Once Aalia is down go for Bernard. Same tactics for Bernard. If you killed Aalia without her casting M.Shield he goes down easily too. Once these two are down you can finish Bartholio by attacking with all 4 people. Vennie is just a formality now. If you heal when required it is easy.
A clever strategy is using Morality Block on the Saviours to nullify the Light spells used by Aalia, which will null any spell she does - including all Shield spells. Of course, you'll want to not use Light or Dark attacks on any of the team whilst Morality Blocked - Light attacks will not only get nulled but will let Aalia heal and/or put up shields.
This fight is long, but not hard. Moric will attack with Mass Stone, an Earth-elemental spell that damages the party, and Drain, a Dark-elemental spell that drains HP from one party member, as well as a physical attack that can deal around 100 damage. Having Geojacket is recommended. Use Deugan's Barrier Break at the start of the battle to dispel Moric's Shield (however, since Moric absorbs Dark, do not use reactions). Emela's Lightning Bolt can deal ~350 damage to him, and if you have Zach, have him use Crescendo Slash constantly. Deugan's Spiritblade is also useful since Moric is weak to Aether. Mardek should heal the party constantly.
It is not as powerful as you think. It can stun your characters, so bring some MotionPotions. If you are having trouble with it, use a PhoenixDown on it and it will inflict a large amount of damage on it as it is undead; similarly, using Mardek's Heal and Vehrn's Disrupt Undead on it is very effective as well, though it is technically resistant to Light. It is weak to Air, so both Emela's Lightning Bolt and Zach's normal attacks, in conjunction with Soulstrike, will be rather potent too. Zach's normal attacks are especially devastating against it if you combine Soulstrike with Quarry Undead and the Boneslicers effectiveness against undead enemies, and use berserk at the start of the battle.
Another option is to use the Geojacket; this blocks all damage from the Dracelon. Just make sure you have enough MP and/or BalloonJuices (to prevent Numbness) to keep attacking it.
Use Deugan's Barrier Break at the start of the battle to dispel Moric's Shield (however, since Moric absorbs Dark, do not use reactions). Moric has extremely powerful attacks that can take out someone (especially Emela) in one hit, so equipping the Geojacket is recommended since it absorbs Earth. However, if someone is KO'd, he will revive him/her as a zombie first before attacking again. You can take advantage of this by equipping characters with a Bonestone or the Vim passive skill, so Zombify will effectively become a free PhoenixPinion. Using Vehrn's Disrupt Undead along with the Silver Sword is recommended since it deals significant damage to Moric.
If you are going for a No-KO playthrough, the strategy required is quite different, obviously. At this point in the game, there are only two elements you really have to care about: Earth and Dark. There are many items in the game that can help you resist these elements, and they include the Geojacket, Bonemail, OnyxRings, and GreenBeads. Using various combinations of these items, you should be able to get quite sufficient elemental resistance for your entire party. For example, the Geojacket and two Onyx Rings will give the wearer complete invincibility in this battle save for non-elemental attacks and Poison. The next best setup is Bonemail and two GreenBeads, which gives 50% resistance to Dark and 40% resistance to Earth (UNLESS the character took the time to learn Resist EARTH as a passive). Also, if you choose to buy one, the Green Robe gives 50% Earth resistance, so equip it with two Onyx Rings to give a good setup for Emela if you want somebody else to have the Geojacket.
As for battle strategy, Mardek should get shields up as soon as possible to guard against physical attacks. Apart from that, use standard battle strategy to take him down, and now that you've significantly hampered his damage potential, it should be an extremely easy battle.
It is possible to defeat the dragon with only Mardek if proper preparations are made. The most important measure to take is having Mardek master Vim since if he's zombified, being your only party member, you lose. Your equipment should consist of two Onyx Rings from the nearby abominations and Bonemail so that Mardek is immune to all of the dragons physical attacks and the most common/dangerous status effects. It is recommended to master M DMG-10% and M-FIRE-50% to reduce the effectiveness of the remaining attacks, although it's not necessary.
To open the battle the first thing you should do is cast M. Shield to minimize the amount of damage the dragon can deal. From here it's pretty straight forward. Heal when you need to, attack when you don't, repeat until you win.
A jumping cactus? It may look ridiculous, but ridiculous never meant easy. King Cuthbert and his twin Happy Johnnies can deal quite a lot of damage if you don't take them seriously. All three have high evasion, so it's recommended to have Mardek heal instead of Sharla, so she and Donovan can attack with magic. Sslen'ck should attack with Fire Breath if he has the MP.
The Happy Johnnies will frequently hit you with a high-power single target spell called Needleflare. This move deals over 100 damage regularly, so heal accordingly. They also use an attack called 1000 Needles (if their HP is low enough) that will easily kill your party members unless it misses, which is rare. Keep healing and the King will fall rather easily, as long as you are properly prepared.
The Mystery Man has a Yellow Fairy equipped which gives him Auto-Haste, and on his first turn uses a Mirilixir on himself, granting Shield and M. Shield on himself. You don't have Deugan any more, so Barrier Break is not an option. Anyway, The recommended party besides the mandatory Mardek and Solaar are Sharla, because the Mystery Man is vulnerable to Air, and Sslen'ck due to Donovan not having much to contribute to this battle.
The Mystery Man's punches deal large amounts of damage, and his Cataclysmic Punch deals enough damage to easily KO your more fragile allies. Have Solaar on "Resurrect" at all times. Watch for your magic users, as the Mystery Man counters magic with a powerful punch that can also silence them. He also has a counter for your melee members that inflicts Numb.
On the offensive end, have Sharla use Lightning Bolt as the Mystery Man is weak to Air. Solaar should use Solar Flare while xe's not healing, though watch out for that magic counter. Mardek can use Morality Block if you got it to grant temporary immunity to Cataclysmic Punch. If you are properly strategised and you trained a decent amount, the Mystery Man shouldn't be too difficult, just don't get cocky and go on full offence. That's the worst thing you can do.
This is a solo battle. Qualna has abilities of almost every element. If you have any Speedy Juices, use one immediately to make the battle quicker and easier. Other items like a Healthy Juice or Mirrilixir are also helpful, but take note that Qualna can also break both of Mardek's shields. It's also a good idea to have Aether resistance to reduce the damage of his strongest attack, Arcane Cataclysm. When low on health, he will summon three Aether Clones of Mardek, with all of his equipment and stats, though they can only attack, cast M Shield, Shield, and Heal. A good setup would be to equip Mardek so he is strong against all elements except a single natural element (which must not be the element of Mardek's sword, since if they're both of the same element the clones will be able to deal heavy damage to Mardek). This allows you to take advantage of the clones' weaknesses using elemental slashes while they can't since they don't have elemental slashes, though be careful as you'll also be weak to one of Qualna's spells. By the end of the battle, Qualna will cast Haste on himself, which shouldn't be a problem if Mardek already has Haste. If you've equipped too much resistance on all elements and found it too hard to damage the clones, give each of them a Zombie Juice and Heal them to death.
Another simple strategy is to give Mardek the Cursed Blade (with Soulstrike), Shield of Darkness, Scarab of Health, and Bonemail, and put on DARK-50%. (Resist AETHER helps too.) Then, since the Clones don't have Soulstrike, all their attacks will heal you, and since Mardek does have Soulstrike, all of his normal attacks will be Light-elemental, which will deal large damage to the Clones (since the Bonemail reduces Light resistance by 100%). The only real problem with this strategy is taking down Qualna, but with P+Bleed 20%, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
Or, you could go with Cursed Blade, Cursed Beret, Scarab of Fury, and Scarab of Health (to counteract the bleeding effect from the Cursed Blade with Regen). Equip Soulstrike and Resist AETHER. Now Mardek will absorb attacks from his clones, and have Haste, Berserk, Shield and M Shield - and also a chance to curse Qualna before he even summons any clones (yes, it happens sometimes).
- The best way to defeat the Security Demon is to use poison, and to arm your entire party with equipment that grant Dark, Light and Air resistance. Get Mardek to cast Morality Block on everyone, and Gloria should do the same with Null Air Once.
- This boss is fairly hard, but you should only need somebody who can poison, a couple PhoenixDowns, and a good healer, of course. Poisoning does 5% damage per turn, so if you poison him, he will die in around 20 turns. You can also confuse him and hope that he uses Death on himself, however the chance of that happening is extremely low.
- The Bone Demon can be Berserked, to allow for an "easy" defeat. Make sure everyone is protected by Shield, Astral Form, a Steel Stole, or has high DEF, because the demon will deal double damage (double STR) while Berserked (around 2000 damage per hit).
- If you've already defeated Annihilator:Karnos, you can take this guy down easy by equipping Vehrn with the Scarab of Fury and the Cursed Beret, and letting him wail for about 5k damage per hit.
- Equip Mardek with the Black Hat, Flamemail, FirePendant, and EarthPendant, and put on all of the skills for that equipment. This makes Mardek immune to all Fire, Earth, and Dark attacks, which make up almost all of the demon's attacks. All you need to worry about is his physical attack, which shouldn't deal enough damage to KO Mardek. Heal when he uses it. Equip a Aeropolitan Scimitar or Champion Sword II for the highest damage output.
- Another good strategy is to use Donovan's burn to inflict numb and just wail away at it while wearing enough elemental resistances. Half of the time it won't even attack.
- Zach's Coup de Grace can be used to great effect if Karnos has cast Rainbow Guard on himself. Because it's a physical attack, it won't cause any elemental shifts, and so if you can get Karnos to stick with an element that you have a Null spell for, you can use the rest of the party to maintain health/shield levels while Zach wails away.
- Another useful tactic is to have Mardek consume three or four Power Drinks, which will increase his STR exponentially. Then, when Karnos switches to one of the Natural Elements, use one of Mardek's corresponding Elemental Slashes to deal extra damage; you should do around 5000 damage each time.
- Alternatively, equip Mardek with the Cursed Beret, Cursed Blade, Yellow Fairy and Scarab of Health, and use other party members (if necessary) to keep Karnos off Dark. Then, Mardek will heal himself to full with every strike, and will be healed by Dark Claw and Blood Claw. You can also have Mardek use a few Power Drinks for maximum damage. The other party members are now irrelevant. You can bring them back in the end for the experience... but they're otherwise useless. Also, it seems that Karnos will preferentially target Mardek with Shatterclaw, taking some of the heat away from the other members... not that you should care about them anyway. Make sure that Mardek's AGL is enough so he will take every second turn.
- A rather simple way of buying you enough time to figure out whatever you want to do is to have Mardek cast his Morality Block on all, and Gloria casting her Null Air/Earth/Fire/Water Once on all as the situation dictates. This will block all damage except for Aether and Fig, which alone shouldn't provide too much difficulty to survive.
- Putting the Yellow Fairy on Mardek is a great way to double the damage he deals or let him put up twice as many buffs. The Blue Fairy and the Purple Fairy will give equipped characters a Shield or M Shield respectively that cannot be removed with Shatterclaw.
- Another strategy, although somewhat time-consuming, is to craft several Magic Drinks at Gloria's Cauldron. At the start of the battle, have Mardek cast Morality Block (or have Light resistance on all characters) to protect against Galaxy Burst. Elwyen should be playing Runic Rhapsody throughout the battle, while the other characters use Magic Drinks to boost her SPR to max. After this, all of Karnos' magic attacks should do negligible damage.
- This strategy requires a specific party setup, but accomplishes the goals of many of the above strategies at the same time. The members required are: Mardek, Donovan, Sharla, and Gloria. At the first available opportunity, have Mardek cast Morality Block, have Sharla cast Null Air, Donovan cast Null Fire, and have Gloria cast either Null Earth or Water. When this is done, the party should have five(!) out of the six nulls up in the first round. After subsequent rounds, Sharla should use Gust Shield to protect against its non-elemental attacks (and heal if ever necessary), have Donovan use Strength Boost on Mardek, have Gloria reinstate Nulls if needed, if not, then use either Wildfire or Whirlpool to lower Karnos' STR or SPR respectively, even if it heals it (Mardek's damage will be astronomically high anyway). Mardek should either 1: Attack Karnos with whatever element needed, 2: Reinstate Morality Block if needed, or 3: Serve any other auxiliary purpose (eg healing items and status curing). Because of the large amount of health Karnos has, Mardek can easily reach 9999 dmg by the time the battle is over.
- If you have a lot of spare time, you can use Legion's fairy dust to lower down STR and SPR to 0. Now, you only have to worry about status effects and bisection, which will rarely be enough to kill you.
- Animus has a STR of 1 and never uses physical attacks, first and foremost. Therefore, don't bother with DEF. However, this does not leave you immune to Ion Storm, so make sure you have a physical attacker in your party, and at least one character who can reduce DEF, like Donovan, Legion, or Sslen'ck, which ensures you will have a viable offence for the entire battle.
- One strategy is to use Gloria's Whirlpool or Legion's Fairy Dust to reduce his SPR down to 0. Then he can't ever kill you with Ion Storm, or the Energy Vortices. If you use this strategy, be careful of Mega Barrier, which is used when he's at low health, as he gains 5 SPR (and 5 MDEF and 5 DEF), as you'll need to Whirlpool or Fairy Dust again. However, you can use Morality Block to nullify Mega Barrier.
- The Soulstorm moves are dependent on your current HP, and are Aether-elemental. If you have at least 20% Aether resistance (or have at least 20% damage reduction via Magical Defence Reactions), you can always survive Soulstorm Omega.
- You can kill him with Mardek by just attacking. If you have Legion, you can have him Berserk Mardek with Rage Chord to make it go faster, and you can lower Animus' DEF with Acid. You can also attack with Fig-elemental Gemsplosion (with a Candriathope equipped), which is the only spell from which Animus takes double damage. Elwyen can use Ballad of Balance when the spells still do damage, and can deal damage with Dolorous Dirge, or support your damage dealer with Spirit Song (for Gloria) or Vigorous March (for Mardek). If you bring Solaar, xyr Spirit Graft can be quite useful to counter Ion Storm's SPR loss. Donovan can support Mardek with Strength Boost, and lower Animus' DEF with Burn. Sslen'ck can function as another attacker and lower Animus' DEF with Perforate. Sharla can support with heals.
- One of the simplest strategies is to bring Solaar, Elwyen, and another healer. If Solaar uses Spirit Graft on Elwyen until she has 100 SPR, and she uses Runic Rhapsody, Animus can't damage you at all. Be careful of Ion Storm, as it reduces SPR. At that point, it doesn't matter what you do. The only difficult part of this strategy is surviving until then, but if Mardek and the fourth character both eschew dealing damage to keep your team alive, it becomes trivial.
- Mardek can also solo this boss, as long as he has enough elemental resists, from items like the Rainbow Disc, and passives like Rainbow Aura Lv. 1 and Resist AETHER. With the Scarab of Fury from Annihilator:Karnos, he can deal a lot of damage too. However, a rare Energy Vortex:Thauma can be deadly. Delay Buster can be absorbed with M AIR-50% on top of the Rainbow Disc (40%), LesserRainbowShirt (10%)/Night Jacket (20%) and Rainbow Aura Lv. 1 (20%).
- Another easy way to defeat Animus is to have Mardek, Elwyen, and anyone else who can equip Light Armour in your party. Then, give all 4 characters Astral Wanderer's Garbs (50% Aether Resistance). All of the components to make one are trivial to obtain and abundant, so crafting even 4 of them shouldn't be a problem), and have them equip Resist AETHER, which comes with the Garb (another 50% Aether Resistance, adding to 100%) (Legion or Solaar can substitute the Astral Wanderer's Garb with the Rainbow Disc and a Turquoise, a Wispstone, Rainbow Aura Lv.1 or Resist AETHER). Make sure to get Ballad of Balance skill for Elwyen from Goznor's secret shop, and have her play it for the entire battle. That's it, you're done - most of Animus's attacks are Aether-elemental, and are completely harmless - and the Energy Vortices only target one character at a time, and can't kill you while the Ballad of Balance is playing! Just don't give anyone Haste, Shield or M. Shield, so you don't have to deal with Delay Buster or Shield Breaker: Annihilation, which would damage all characters at once. Remember to bring a lot of Magic Drinks, since Ion Storm's SPR reduction will usually make everyone unable to deal damage to compensate for Animus' Regen.
- A useful skill for Mardek to have in this fight is Quarry: SPIRIT, which will raise the damage Mardek does to Animus by 50%. Also, Degeneration 10% can be very helpful, as it will eventually remove Animus' Regen.
- Interestingly, Animus' Delay Buster, which usually works to prevent the player from using Haste to supercharge the party, can actually make this battle easier. Bring along Gloria or Sharla with Null Air Once, and cast it on the whole party at the start of the battle. Then haste the party using Speedy Juice, either individually or with Meraeador's Potion Spray. This not only allows you to nearly double your party's turns (nearly because you have to refresh Null Air each time Animus uses Delay Buster), it also makes Animus waste about 1/4 of his turns using an attack that doesn't hurt you. However, if you do not have NullAir in place, Delay Buster will remove your Haste.
- A nearly unbeatable tactic to use during this fight, one that is very easy to prepare for, requires using Legion and Meraeador. Before the fight, equip Meraeador with an Astral Wanderer's Garb and the Rainbow Disc and activate the Rainbow Aura skill for him. Give Legion a Candriathope in his first slot and a Turquoise in the second slot, equipping the Resist Aether skill. In battle, attack Animus with Gemsplosion and, every turn, repair Legion with the nearly invincible Meraeador. Make sure to give Legion a couple Phoenix Downs just in case Meraeador is hit by Energy Vortex: Thauma, though most of the attacks should be focused on Legion. By the time Animus uses Mega Barrier, Legion's Strength should be high enough to still be doing over 1,000 damage a hit. A good idea in this strategy is to also bring Solaar. Solaar can use Spirit Graft on Legion to drastically increase his spirit and Mardek should just heal Solaar. This way you could do as much as 4500 damage with Gemsplosion and around 2500 when Animus does Mega Barrier (Remember that you can always cast a Morality Block on Animus to completely prevent Mega Barrier and keep Legion's high damage). Equip Solaar with a Turquoise for Aether Resistance.
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