Neoquest II - Haunted Woods Tips for InSaNe!
I’ve told a lot of my Neofriends I had this crazy goal to finish NeoQuest II on InSaNe difficulty (or more lovingly known to me as NQ2 Insane) in less than two weeks, right before summer break began. I’m a week and a half in and I’m on my way to King Terask while my heart beats like crazy during every monster encounter.
Today, I’m going to share some of my tips that I’ve been using, mainly because many people are most afraid to fight the Four Faeries while they only took me probably fifteen minutes on Insane. And since then it’s gotten easier or harder, depending on the situation.
My happiest thing to share with you is honest and true; the most frustrating part of Insane is the first half of Meridell before you get Mipsy, Talinia and Velm. If Rohane died, it was back to Trestin and hunting Plains Lupes. Zombom almost won against me... it was a scary moment.
Everything here in this article covers the second to last chapter, Chapter 4 (Haunted Woods)! If you made it this far on InSaNe, congratulations!
Training Recommendations (Differences from Normal and Evil)
Truthfully, the only character whose skill sets changed for me on Insane are Mipsy and Talinia. If you’ve made it on Evil, use what you did then for Rohane and Velm.
The only thing I did completely differently is I didn’t max out anyone’s skills yet. It helped in Normal and Evil for me since I was very uncertain about what to do. Blame noobishness. This time for Insane, I chose to wait for final equipment and am hoarding skill points until the end. The highest level you should train anything to is between 10 and 12. I usually go with 10 or 11 to play it safe, so assume that unless I recommend you to go to 12, or tell you I only spent 2 or 3.
For Rohane, spend points in Critical Attacks, Damage Increase, Stunning Strikes, Innate Melee Haste. I also put two or three points into Magic Resistance before I fought Zombom in Meridell. It just helped prevent more damage and helped me survive. If you have leftover points, dump a few more in here as well as Critical Attacks and Damage Increase.
For Mipsy, the one thing I did completely differently is I trained her in Direct Damage instead of doing both Direct Damage and Group Direct Damage. On Insane the goal is to survive and be best prepared for the boss fights. From my experience on Normal and Evil, Direct Damage worked on King Terask’s first form and did more damage (same with other boss fights), so I trained that. Yes, random monster encounters take longer without Astral Maelstrom (Group Direct Damage 15, which can do a maximum of 64 damage per monster), but I’m not complaining since my boss fights were substantially easier (with the equipment I was using up until the end, I was using Eradicate (Direct Damage 12), which could do a maximum of 85 damage per bad guy). I also trained Mipsy in Group Haste, Innate Melee Defense (very important on Insane – use excess skill points here!), Innate Casting Haste, and plan on using my extra points on Damage Shields in order to save a bit of face for each time my slow potions don’t work on King Terask or he heals for 150 health.
For Talinia, the one skill I changed was I use Ranged Attacks instead of Shockwave as my main other-skill to train. I chose Ranged because my biggest pet peeve is it seemed like every random monster went to attack Talinia and more often than not, she was the first one in my party who was defeated on Normal and Evil. Ranged makes monsters take longer to strike her, and usually the setback becomes obvious enough that Talinia can brace herself. I also trained Increased Bow Damage, Multiple Targets, Innate Melee Haste, and dumped about 2 or 3 points into Magic Resistance. Against other advice out there, I recommend training Talinia’s Multiple Targets to Quad Shot (Multiple Targets 12) so you can hit four enemies at a time since on Insane, Talinia is my only group attacker. Might as well make her count.
Velm is your saving grace for almost all of the Lost Desert and beyond. Without him, you go through Healing Potions at an exponential rate and he’s an excellent gold-saver. Train him in Group Healing (This is the one skill if you’re going to max out, go for it. It is a literal lifesaver), Group Shielding (Another awesome skill I used to max out), 11-12 on Innate Melee Defense (this is so important on Insane. Velm gets targeted an awful lot, unfortunately) and 10-11 points on Innate Casting Haste. A lot of guides and other people recommend training minimally in Mesmerization or Celestial Hammer, but I think both of those moves are incredible wastes of points, especially at this point in the game. Do not even bother wasting Velm’s turns attacking! It’s a silly mistake and can often cost you many hit points on all your characters (or even Velm getting defeated) as well as your opportunities to put up shields or heal your party!
Potions and Inventory
Once you get to Chapter 4 (Haunted Woods) make sure you stop at every single potion stop (even though I believe there’s two – Shadow Gulch, the starting town, and Faunt, whose next to the Brain Tree once you navigate through the Happy Fun Non-Haunted House) and buy 20 of every slowing, damage, and healing potion. Only buy Healing if you can’t get them from monster encounters. I don’t buy haste potions because I rely on Mipsy for that and Slow Potions usually do the job I want done anyways. HOLD ONTO ALL OF THESE POTIONS! If you use them by accident or because you’re in a tight situation, trek back and replace them (if you use them – use the ones from your most recent stop so you can head back and restock).
I don’t buy armor/weapons, and if I did, it was very early into the game. I always use equipment that doesn’t harm what I trained in or increases what I trained. You can get armor and weapons from boss fights and even random monster encounters (one of the few benefits of Evil and Insane difficulties) and all of them can add bonuses or decrease your skills. I’m hoping it’s common sense to you by now, but do not even bother buying weapons for Mipsy and Velm. Mipsy’s magic attacks do the same amount of damage regardless of wands and Velm has no business attacking bad guys since all I use him for is healing and shielding.
I also ended up having 10 revive potions from White River back in Meridell, since they were cheapest, and we all know money comes slowly on Insane. I did buy another 10 in Terror Mountain since I was paranoid anyway. There is a chance that if you’re underleveled, or not paying attention, that you will lose at least one of your characters. Do not waste your potions if you are close to an inn, especially revive potions! Revives are expensive and it is much, much cheaper to spend the night at an inn than to buy a revive potion.
Meuka honestly isn’t very difficult, especially since you’re fortunate enough to have Velm! Try to be between levels 42 and 43. Velm puts up shields, Mipsy uses haste if it’s high enough, Talinia and Rohane hammer him hard, Velm heals, Mipsy uses Direct Damage, rinse and repeat. If you want to slow him, use potions from the previous chapters unless you don’t mind trekking back to Shadow Gulch. The only boss fights I even bother using Slow/Damage Potions on are the Four Faeries and King Terask (both times). And for those of you who don’t know, Meuka is optional.
Spider Grundo – he can heal, but so can you! Not a bad battle at all. Shield, haste, attack, heal, rinse and repeat. He has a lot of HP, it feels like, and it might seem tedious, but it really isn’t bad. Just wait until you hit the Four Faeries.
Four Faeries (Dark, Fire, Water, Earth) – First off, if you’re very confused from the last two times you fought the Faeries, or are a newbie to NQ2 reading this in hopes of attempting Insane someday, here’s the breakdown of each Faerie in relations to your characters! We’re going to act like we’re pretending to fight our own party, since the Faeries can pretty much do a combination of everyone on your team’s attacks, except for Talinia.
Dark Faerie – sort of like Velm and Mipsy. She can mesmerize, slow and haste.
Fire Faerie – sort of like Mipsy, actually. She has Direct Damage (Obliterate, which can do 100 damage to any party member) and Group Direct Damage (Anarchic Wind, 56 damage per group member if no one resists).
Water Faerie – acts like Velm will for you. She can heal the entire group or just one faerie.
Earth Faerie – equivalent of Rohane. She is the only one who can land Critical Hits and has Stunning Strikes.
Do not even attempt this if you are under level 48. You will surely die. Before you fight them, make sure you buy 20 Corrode Potions and 20 Sloth’s Slow Potions from Augur Faunt!
On your first turn, Velm should be shielding, Mipsy should be hasting, and Talinia’s first move should be to throw a Sloth’s Slow Potion at the Water Faerie since she is the healer and if she isn’t slowed, she can be constantly keeping her entire party in the green zone. If you’re really that nervous for these faeries, throw potions at all of them.
My recommendation to you is to begin with the Fire Faerie – as a rule of thumb for every monster encounter in this game from this point on, always get rid of the enemy who has Obliterate onboard. “Obliterator” enemies usually target Mipsy because she can’t handle more than one or two of those attacks and she doesn’t have the option to be trained in Magic Resistance. If they’re not aiming for Mipsy, they aim for Velm. Letting Obliterators survive in battle will cost you at least one party member. Velm can only heal so much.
Mipsy should Direct Damage like it’s her last moment, while Rohane and Talinia should just keep attacking normally. If on Talinia’s turn you get the option to use Multiple Targets, go for it! She is your only group attacker if you were like me and chose not to do Group Direct Damage for Mipsy. Every single turn Velm should be group healing unless everyone is at full health! If everyone is at full health on Velm’s turn, renew your shields since you’ll have to do that anyways. Make sure to keep throwing slow potions at the Water Faerie as needed, preferably on Talinia’s turn, or if you’re impatient, on Rohane’s.
Once you get rid of the Fire Faerie, go for either the Water Faerie or the Dark Faerie (I recommend going for the Dark Faerie). Pummel her with attacks until she dies as well, THEN it’s party time and get rid of the Water Faerie, or the Dark Faerie, depending on who you got rid of first. Keep the Water Faerie slowed, keep attacking, keep healing, keep putting up shields and hasting as needed.
No matter whom you choose to fight first, make sure the Earth Faerie is ALWAYS last. She is pretty much a constant attacker with a boatload of HP, but not as good as Rohane. Just do what you’ve been doing. She’s sort of lost without the Water Faerie to keep healing her large amount of HP, so she shouldn’t pose too much of a threat by herself.
...if you listened to me, and were not underleveled, congratulations on beating what might just be the scariest and worst part of NeoQuest II. This strategy works on Normal and Evil modes as well, but if you’re using it for one of those two difficulties, be levels 46 and 47 respectively.
Hubrid Nox – do yourself a huge favor and skip him. I never fought him on any mode, and on Insane I highly recommend not fighting him because on the nine floors of torture, there’s an enemy called the Hand of Nox. He casts Obliterate, and almost always targets Mipsy (see Four Faeries section for more on “Obliterators”). With her lack of health she will die after one or two strikes from a Hand of Nox (usually there’s more than one), and you don’t have the constant flow of gold to keep buying revive potions for her. Just do your leveling up in the Goo Bog before Esophagor instead of in Nox’s mountains or his tower.
Esophagor – I was underleveled when I fought the Esophagor at a whopping level 49 and level 48 on Velm since he takes forever to level up for me. Learn from my mistakes: be between levels 50 and 51! I’m embarrassed to say that this is the only boss fight I’ve done so far where Velm actually died since I was ignoring his health and was over-shielding and got bored and started attacking or using Celestial Hammer since he had a boost in that skill from his equipment. If you’re going to slow him down, use potions from Chapter 3 (Lost Desert) because you won’t get to replace your better ones from Haunted Woods, unfortunately. My best advice for you is the shields/haste/attack/ direct damage strategy I’ve been repeating over and over, and most importantly, watch your characters’ HP, especially Velm’s!
Hunting, Walking, and Level-Ups
1) Your main goal in every single monster encounter is to make sure Velm and Mipsy stay alive. Velm needs to live because he’s your healer and you don’t want to start using all of your Healing Potions, since you are saving those for the emergency situations while fighting King Terask or later bosses. Mipsy needs to live so she can haste your group, and she has the least amount of HP and relies on Velm. Her turns are too valuable for me to waste by healing her.
2) Stay in hunting mode the entire time. You will need all the monster encounters and level ups possible. The only time you should switch to normal mode is when you’re walking through the mountains after Balthazar’s Grove/The Four Faeries. This is where those “Hands of Nox” I mentioned are, and they are a recipe for disaster at this point in the game.
3) When free (or not free) rest is offered to you, use it for all it is worth! Hunt around areas that are close to an inn or resting spot in case you get into a bind and don’t want to use your precious Resurrecting/Revive Potions. I know I told you to stay in hunting mode throughout, but pay closer attention to areas close to resting spots.