Valkyrie Profile, Iseria Queen Guide
Written by Aaditya Rangan
Contact at rangan@math.berkeley.edu
Version 1 (9-16-00)

Contents:

0.  Overview
1.  Who is this iseria queen?
2.  Preparation within the Gate
3.  What to expect (from iseria)
4.  Which characters to use
5.  How to set them up
6.  How to fight iseria
7.  Final comments
8.  Credits

0.  Overview:  

This is just a short guide to help people who may be stuck on the Iseria
Queen.  Included are most of her tactics, as well as some pretty stable,
yet inexpensive strategies that will work with most parties.  For a
detailed guide to the seraphic gate, check out one of the walkthroughs
at www.gamefaqs.com.

1.  Who is this iseria queen?

After you reach the end of the game, you are allowed to enter the
Seraphic Gate.  Iseria is hanging around at the bottom of the dungeon.
Fighting her is completely optional.  (actually, the whole Seraphic Gate
is optional).

2.  Preparation within the Gate:

There is only one save point in the Gate, and it's at the very
beginning.  It is rather irritating to work your way through the entire
dungeon.  And it is extremely vexing to die at the hands of Iseria.  So,
to make your journey less taxing, there are a few things you should do
beforehand.

Don't worry about leveling up, or getting any of the special characters
(unless you want to, of course).  Your levels are pretty irrelevant, and
the special characters don't really help very much.

The first thing you SHOULD do, is get a hold of a dimension slip.  This
item allows valkyrie to pass through all (nonboss) enemies.  This makes
it much easier to run around and get all the good treasure.  You can get
a dimension slip from the Unholy Terror.  This fellow is busy running
laps on the second (orange-reddish) floor of the Gate.  He looks (and
acts) much like the wraith-lord you encountered earlier.  He has less
than 70,000 DME, and no gargantuan attacks.  He's pretty wimpy as far as
Gate baddies go.

After you nab a dimension slip, you are free to roam the dungeon in
peace.  You will only have to fight when you get sucked into boss
battles.  If you have the flame jewels, you can grab some great
treasure.  If you are using archers, be sure to get the razor shaft on
the first (yellowish) floor.  You can get another razor shaft by
pummeling Brahms.  If you are using spearmen, pick up the ethereal
divide on the third (greenish) floor.  You can get more ethereal divides
by defeating the loki shade right right in front of Iseria's room.  If
you are using swordsman, you will definitely want to pick up the demon
sword 'nefarious', glance reviver and dainslaif.  The demon sword
'nefarious' is on the third (greenish) floor.  You can yank more demon
sword nefarii (or demon swords nefarious?)  from the carnage beasts on
the fourth (bluish) floor.  The dainslaif is also on the fourth (bluish)
floor.  The glance reviver is dropped by the dark valkyrie right in
front of Iseria's room.  If you are using mages, be sure to grab the
wand 'mystic sage' (second floor) and the holy wand of telos (third
floor).

If you are using Freya, grab the ether laser from the fourth floor.  If
you are using Brahms, get the bloody-duster from the third floor.

That's pretty much it.  There isn't much else to do to prepare for
Iseria.  Be sure to buy 100 elixirs, 100 union plumes, and 3 or 4 noble
elixirs.  If you aren't using mages, you may also want to purchase a few
charge-breaks.

3.  What to expect (from iseria):

Iseria has a bunch of different attacks.  Each attack carries with it an
interesting animation, and an array of bells and whistles.  But they all
fall into one of two categories.  During her turn she either kills
everyone in your party, or she kills just one person.  When she has has
more than 50% of her health bar, she tends to perform the
one-person-kill more often than the four-person-kill.  When she gets
knocked down to less than 50% of her health bar, she 'transforms'.  In
theory, this transformation makes her more powerful, but all it really
does is cause her to use the four-person-kill more often than the
one-person-kill.  Once you knock her down past 25% of her health bar,
she calms down again, and tends to alternate her four-person-kills with
one-person-kills.

One thing to watch for is her extension force attack (a
four-person-kill).  Sometimes she gets 'stuck' and performs this
extension force thing ad infinitum.  The only way to get her 'unstuck'
is to deal a large chunk of damage to her.  (Which, given the
circumstances, is rather difficult).  This happened to me twice over the
stretch of 10 battles.  I actually ran out of elixirs the first time.

Iseria also has a pretty terrific defense.  If your characters don't
have an 'attack' (or 'magic attack') value of over 5000, their regular
attacks won't even make red marks on Iseria's health gauge.  This is
because she has over 2,000,000 DME, and a rather high RDM.

4.  Which characters to use:

The most important thing is to stick with characters you are comfortable
with.  Make sure you are able to chain their attacks together
efficiently, and build up the special attack gauge quickly.  There is no
point to using Freya and Brahms if you can't time their attacks well.
Whatever party you used to defeat Loki should work just fine.  Just be
sure to equip each character with a powerful weapon.  A third swordsman
will be stuck with a glance reviver (or something worse) and a third
mage will be stuck with a wand of apocalypse.

I would encourage you to stay away from bows, spears, and katanas since
they are just too weak to do any real damage.  The best bow (razor
shaft) only has an attack value of 3000.  The best spear (ethereal
divide) only has an attack value of 3300.  The best katana (soul sword
'kusanagi') only has an attack value of 2990.  At best, your characters
will have an attack value of 4000-5000.  This is pretty lousy.  But if
your favorite character happens to be Janus (or somebody equally
worthless), it isn't that much of a problem.

Based on the available equipment, a party of valkyrie (dainslaif), a
two-handed-swordsman (demon sword nefarious) and two mages (wand mystic
sage and holy wand of telos) would be ideal.  But to reiterate, the most
important thing is that you are familiar with your characters' timing.
You should be able to chain together any 2 characters' attacks.  You
should be able to fill the special attack gauge with any 3 characters'
attacks.

5.  How to set them up:

You should expect your entire party to be flattened each round.  That
way, when Iseria kills just one person, it's a bonus.

The most important skills are Guts and Auto-Item.  Try to get both at
level 8.  Set up Auto-Item with union-plume at 100%, banish at 90%, and
elixir at 80%.  The idea is that you want to restore incapacitated party
members immediately.  Curing (via elixirs) isn't really that important,
but helps a little if you are using charge-breaks or the DME-depleting
skills.

Another excellent skill is mental reaction (for mages only).  This
allows your sorcerers to pull off big magic attacks every other round.
Interestingly enough, a mage with CT can still auto-item, even though
they can't normally act.  So be sure to use mental reaction after the
auto-elixirs go off.

Don't bother with angel curios or magic charms.  They tend to break
during the first two or three rounds anyways.  Stick with the damage
boosting accessories.  Magic bangles and power bangles are always a good
choice.  Fairy earrings, haste rings and combo jewels aren't that bad
either.

So basically, you want to have auto-item and guts on every character,
with union plume receiving the highest priority.  You also want to use
charge-breaks and mental reaction as often as possible.

6.  How to fight iseria:

Basically, you have to act like offensive cockroaches.  First off, use
union plumes to resurrect any fallen characters.  If you have to make a
choice about who to revive, be sure to resurrect somebody who can act on
the following turn.  (so don't use your only action reviving a mage that
is clogged with CT).  If everyone in your party is alive, start using
charge-breaks and mental reaction to remove any unwanted CT.  You may
occasionally wish to use a noble elixir in order to fuel these
DME-depleting abilities.  Remember that if a mage starts a turn with CT,
they can still act after somebody else uses a charge-break on them.
That way, you can have valkyrie initiate a 'charge-break chain', and
have your mages charge-break one another in succession.

If everyone in your party is standing, and 2-3 are capable of attacking,
try and pull off a big special attack.  Chain your attacks together, and
purify as many weird souls as you can.  Incidentally, you may wish to
swap mystic cross for shadow servant.  Granted, celestial star is
better, but meteor swarm is shorter.  (and you'll be forced to sit
through your big magic attack A LOT).

The only exception to the above strategy is when iseria gets stuck in
her 'extension force loop'.  If you find her using extension force every
round, just grit your teeth and try and hurt her.  Don't play
defensively under these circumstances, because she won't change her
tactics unless you prompt her to.

7.  Final comments:

If you stick with the plan, it will be very difficult for iseria to wipe
you out.  The only way she can win is if nobody uses guts after a
four-person-kill.  The chances of this happening are pretty slim.  Your
party will double in size after every round, due to the
auto-union-plumes.  You may not be able to attack her often, but if you
sit around reviving for a while, she will eventually bless you with a
one-person-kill.  These one-person-kills don't hurt you at all, since
the rest of your party will immediately resurrect and restore the fallen
character.

Once you kill iseria, you can grab the tri-emblem.  This is a pretty
shabby accessory, since it only boosts RDM and fire resistance.  It
isn't even worth using the next time you fight iseria.

After you beat iseria, run your victory lap back to the beginning and
save your game.  Reload your game, and iseria reappears, ready to be
defeated again.  Keep it up and you can collect the Book of Riddles 1-8.
If you make a habit of killing iseria, you will eventually acquire the
angel slayer (a decent sword).

8.  Credits:

enix -- for making dragon warrior III, and other fun rpgs.

Copyright Aaditya Rangan, 9-16-00.  Feel free to use this guide, just
give me credit for writing it, and don't charge anything for it