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I've been playing a lot of this game, lately, and I realized I hadn't talked much about the cast or the plot or even some of the funnier mechanics. So, a post about that seems like a good idea.

I'm not actually entirely sure where to begin with La Pucelle. If you have played Disgaea you have a rough understanding of the basic mechanics. Disgaea is actually the sequel to La Pucelle. It's a tile-based strategy-RPG. Unlike Fire Emblem, death is not in any way permanent. In fact, there are various reasons to murder your own characters (more on this later). The level cap is four digits, the damage cap...there is no damage cap, actually, that I know of. Well, that's Disgaea actually. La Pucelle, in theory the limits are the same, but they are much harder to reach. In Disgaea you are kind of expected to reach four-digit levels and do millions of damage. In La Pucelle three digits is enormous.

Leveling is a really quite complex set of power-gaming and individual stat growths controlled by the level of individual stat-growth stats, the growth of which is controlled by how you equip people. Too messy to go into here.

Other major mechanic: You can get multiple units (up to eight) attacking a single target, if you REALLY want it dead. You get these little abilities based on those stat-growth-stats that are things like "mega power" (buffs attack) or "giga critical" (what does it sound like). These show up in little firework effects.

Anyways, your units basically break down into two major groups: "human" characters and monsters. Monsters are recruited by this odd "purification" system, wherein your human characters basically, well, this Penny Arcade describes the process quite well.

There are relatively few human characters, and they are the only actual "characters" as far as the story is concerned. You can use at most eight characters on a level, and there are seven human characters that I have (which is I think all of them). Let me summarize the human characters and then my usual party:

Prier
Backstory: The protagonist. An orphan little girl enrolled in the La Pucelle academy of demon hunters, a part of the Church of the Holy Maiden. Her life goal is to become the Maiden of Light (messiah).
Character: Angry little girl who gets what she wants, usually by force. Would be annoying except that she's astoundingly badass.
In-game use: PROTAGONIST POWERS. Far and away your best front-line brawler. Her raw punching strength is literally second to none, and she can soak most of the maps that aren't way above her level. You need something dead, you send Prier after it (with backup).

Culotte
Backstory: Prier's younger brother. Has a huge crush on Alouette. Mostly wants to be a good little boy, and is also a crybaby.
Character: The narrator and Prier's foil/punching bag. A little annoying, but he's a little boy who goes out killing demons, he's allowed to be a little whimpery.
In-game use: Conduit of divine wrath. Culotte is the ultimate mage. He learns any spell in three casts, has the highest magic stat by about 20%, and is generally the "kill this and everything around it" character. Also, the best at purification by about 30%. Boy can make a hardened demon turn around and take a bullet for him.

Alouette
Backstory: Amnesiac priestess and Culotte and Prier's teacher. The game has not admitted it yet but she's probably the messiah.
Character: Constantly holding people up to high standards and being holier-than-thou, but does hammer-space beatdowns so I forgive it.
In-game use: Just about the only character who can genuinely be both a mage and a brawler. She has solid magic and learns spells quickly, but she can roll up her sleeves and join Prier in killing the shit out of things. However, she is not as good at either as, say, Prier or Culotte. Overall very useful however, and a spectacular healer to boot.

Croix
Backstory: Basically a male version of Alouette and also the antichrist. Works as a demon-killer for hire.
Character: Spike Spiegel except more homicidal maniac (towards demons).
In-game use: When I want something to die, I have him and Prier attack it. Usually alone. He has no magic, his purification is laughable. He shoots things in the head and they die. I have no complaints.

Homard
Backstory: Fabulous sky pirate.
Character: Fabulous sky pirate.
In-game use: Fabulous sky pirate. Ok really he stabs things in the face a lot, but can't purify or do anything else at all really. He's way behind in levels because you get him late, and he's already pretty nasty. I look forward to seeing how he does when he's level not-suck.

Papillion
Backstory: Homard's fairy companion/love interest who is 1/3 his size. Not. Even. Kidding.
Character: OH MY GOD I HATE HER. Petty, jealous, whiny, after four cutscenes even Homard tells her to shut up.
In-game use: When I need to kill one of my own characters to open up portals to hell to level grind (which you do), I USE HER.

Eclair
Backstory: Princess of where Prier and Culotte grew up, also in training as a demon hunter. Nice, but with a very odd dark-side from being repressed and princessly. You at one point face her dark-side as a boss, and it hurts.
Character: Dignified, reserved, periodically breaks down and needs Prier to smack some sense into her. Literally.
In-game use: Also very underleveled because she's the last character you get, but a pretty fucking ace melee attacker in the making with some really amazing special attacks.

My party consists of all of the above EXCEPT PAPILLION and the following two monsters:

"Pumpkin Pie"
Monster: A jack-o-lantern headed mage-type monster I recruited from hell.
In-game use: Phenomenal support mage with pretty decent raw attack strength. Essentially the monster version of Alouette, which is nice to have another of.

GENERAL BEAR
Monster: GENERAL BEAR
In-game use: GENERAL BEEEEAAAAARRRRRRR

I will post more on this game if people are interested. The mechanics are crack on toast and the plot thus far has been kind of entertaining. Also I have some epic stories just from things that happen. Perhaps I will even post them.

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January 2011

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