Welcome back to the world of Erion as we start the third part of the Odin Sphere Leifthrasir character guides, this time featuring Mercedes the Fairy Queen.
Mercedes' story marks the halfway point in the game, and interestingly, she's the only character who meets the rest of the cast (in her own story or in someone else's) before the end of the game. From a gameplay perspective, the game has nothing new to offer us now, with the only new mechanics introduced being ones that concern Mercedes herself.
Things start off a little rough, but with some effort — and help — everything will work out. Here are the essential things to know about Mercedes the Fairy Queen.
HP: 105 PP: 18
STR: 15 DEX: 13 ATK: 12
CON: 14 LUC: 15 DEF: 0
Up to this point, the game has done players a service by giving them two playable characters who play fairly similarly to each other back-to-back. However, the introduction of Mercedes changes things in a big way, as she has an assortment of traits/mechanics that make playing as her a unique — and sometimes frustrating — experience.
The first of these traits is her ranged attacks and the effects they have on her POW meter. Every other character uses melee attacks, and their skills use up a certain percentage of their POW meter. Mercedes, however, has ranged attacks, meaning that she can attack and defeat enemies before they can even come close to her. However, those ranged attacks come at a cost: each attack takes up some of the POW meter, meaning that Mercedes has a limited amount of attacks she can make before she's required to stop and reload. Furthermore, she has skills that require POW just like everyone else, so between those and her ranged attacks, it's easy to run out of POW often if you're not paying attention.
The last of these traits is her flight. Mercedes can straight-up fly and stay aloft, which doubles down on her ability to stay out of range of various enemies — an important trait since she has the lowest HP growth. Unfortunately, her actions are severely limited in flight, as she only has the ability to dodge, move and attack. Other actions, such as blocking and reloading, need to be done on the ground, so don't expect to stay in the air for too long.
Between her skills and spells, Mercedes' strong suit is the latter. The majority of them don't have any special effects, such as freezing or stunning enemies, but they complement her regular attacks and cover her weaknesses nicely, ranging from summoning an ally to aid in her attacks to knocking enemies away from her if they become too numerous.
Even though Mercedes has the ability to fly, resist the urge to do so while on the attack. Aside from receiving a passive ability that boosts her damage on the ground, as mentioned before, she can't reload while in flight. There are times to do so, though, such as when trying to hit an enemy who is on an elevation that angled attacks can't reach or juggling a staggered boss — though her ability to do so will never match that of other characters.
Lastly, there's Brionac, Mercedes' ultimate attack. It excels against multiple targets but loses effectiveness against a single smaller foe. It doesn't have any fancy attributes, but it ends with her in the air (if you let it), so there's no real risk of a counterattack, should anything survive.
In the end, players will need to level up all of Mercedes' abilities — both active and passive — in order to maximize her stats, but some of them are better than others and should be prioritized. Here's what they are:
Round Shot (Active): Mercedes continues the trend of having her first skill/spell be one of her most useful. The spell is essentially a giant bullet that not only pierces multiple enemies, but covers a large area (thus hitting enemies usually out of her reach) and interrupts attacks.
Phozon Burst (Active): This is Mercedes' panic spell. Whenever you find yourself getting swarmed by enemies, regardless of whether they're at the front or back, use this spell to knock them back and to the floor. At that point, you can use the newly-gained breathing room to reload, reposition or heal yourself. As an added bonus, the spell also deals damage — making it multipurpose.
Hunter Shot (Active): This spell creates three magic orbs that track enemies around the screen. While the damage — as well as its ability to pierce enemies — is nice, its true value lies in its ability to remain active while Mercedes is repositioning herself or reloading. One of Mercedes' greatest weaknesses is the trouble she has with building and maintaining a high combo count. This spell eliminates that weakness.
Unlimited Ammo (Active): This spell does exactly what it sounds like it does: gives Mercedes infinite ammo for a small period of time, effectively eliminating her greatest weakness.
Spirit Call (Active): Mercedes summons a small number of fairies that fire forward whenever she attacks. In all instances, this is a DPS increase, but when combined with the "Unlimited Ammo" spell, it turns Mercedes into an absolute beast capable of tearing through a boss' health by only mashing square. The only weakness with this combo is that the PP cost is rather high.
Banshee Call (Active): This move functions like Spirit Call, except the shots from the summoned fairies bounce along the ground instead of flying straight forward. At first glance, this might make it seem inferior to Spirit Call, but it can actually surpass the aforementioned skill in DPS if used appropriately. Specifically, the bullets have a piercing effect, allowing them to hit multiple smaller enemies or a large one multiple times, so long as they stay on the ground. Just like with Spirit Call, this spell can be used in conjunction with Unlimited Ammo to greatly boost Mercedes' damage output.
Assault High (Passive): Allows Mercedes to deal more damage the higher her combo count. This is somewhat hard to take advantage of, which is why Hunter Shot — and Unlimited Ammo plus Spirit Call, to a lesser extent — are vital skills for her to use.
First Shot (Passive): Allows the special shot Mercedes makes after not firing for a while to charge faster, allowing for quicker use. Self-explanatory.
Skill Link (Passive): Lets Mercedes deal more damage to enemies based on how many skills she uses in a combo. Again, Hunter Shot is key to taking full advantage of this passive.
Now that you have an idea of what skills you should be using, here's a set of maps (found on wikisp, edited thereafter) to help you find them. As an added bonus, the locations of alchemy and food recipes have also been listed.
Key: S = Starting Point, B = Battle Stage, R = Rest Area, H = Hidden Room, Boss = Boss Room
Round Shot – B2
Phozon Burst – H, go to the room below B7 and move right on the platform obscured by foliage on the middle level
First Shot – Clear Chapter 1
Drain – B1
Slip Slide – B3
Power Recovery – H, go inside the room where you need to be mini, then head right
Spread Shot – Clear Chapter 2
Assault High – B3
Mulberry Tart – Chest in leftmost room past B3
Salad – Vendor (eat three times to unlock Mandra Salad)
Whirlwind – B2
Inventory Expansion – B7
Pixie Call – B5
Hunter Shot – Clear Chapter 3
Energy Shot – B2
Turny Mousse – Locked chest in room left of B3
Quiche Lorraine – Vendor
Mandragora March – H, Behind locked gate in R1
Inventory Expansion – Behind locked door in R2
Yogurt – B8
Flash Shot – Clear Chapter 4
Shrimp Doria – Vendor
Salmon Escabeche – Chest in room right of B3 (eat three times to unlock Muggle Escabeche)
Banshee Call – B3
Unseeable – B5
Skill Link – H, enter the room below B8 and head right
Inventory Expansion – B9
Unlimited Ammo – Clear Chapter 5
Praline – Vendor
Burst Rain – B3
Overload – B6
Inventory Expansion – B9
Critical Heal – Use blue flame from B5 to open door in R2
Lunarside Shot – Clear Chapter 6
Elixir – B1
Brionac – B4
Consommé – Chest in the bottom-most room
Fruit and Nut Strudel – Open locked door between B8 and B9
Earth Roar – Look above the giant pot in the room above the one between B8 and B9
Spirit Call – Clear Epilogue
There it is — everything you need to say with 100 percent certainty that you've obtained all the skills and food/alchemy recipes with Mercedes. Next up is Oswald, the Shadow Knight, who exchanges the finesse, speed and other attributes of the other three characters for raw power.