Humorously enough, it turns out I had an accessory on that boosted my EXP but halved my health. Without it, I defeated the bosses easily, albeit tediously. Afterwards I encountered the Big Bad.
Time: ~3:24 AM to ~4:24 AM
Finished Chapters 6 & 7
The intro describes all that I had left to do in Stage 6. In Stage 7, Hundun (the Big Bad) described a little bit about himself & sent me into a series of illusions, which fluctuated between cliche, tedious, awesome, & surprisingly humorous. I don't even know how to describe this part. They took advantage of this "illusion" thing to make some of the strangest stuff happen.
After sort of a hackneyed speech from Jinora, I was allowed to finish the stage in the Avatar State, which I guarantee is way more powerful than you're expecting, so you need an item to trigger it during normal gameplay. It's actually surprisingly cheap, barely more than the reviving water. But I doubt you can have many at once.
Then Hundun announced that it was time for the final battle. At this point, I'm really not expecting much from the plot. The excuses for how he got his army were pretty weak, & so far, he hasn't told me more than I knew from the previews. They'd have to REALLY blow me away with this final stage to salvage the story at this point. But you'll have to find out some other time, because it's getting late.
Summary & Next Time: If you want a summary, just read the bold. Within a week, I should be clearing the story mode, which I will be putting on this part. After that, I'm not exactly sure where I'll stop--I plan to do some blogs on the bonus stuff like Probending & Extreme Mode, but I likely won't even complete another playthrough right now, let alone blog about it.
Miscellaneous: I'm not exactly sure what the Tarrlok Shield can & cannot block. It was ineffective against the Mecha Tanks' charge attack, but jumping into the air & using it made me untouchable by Dark Spirit Bosses.
As promised, here is the update with the finale stage, "Heart of Chaos":
Venue: Dining Room
Time: ~10:50 to ~11:40 AM
Cleared Story Mode
You start out fighting a bunch of Dark Spirits, which is typical "defeat the horde to advance to the boss" stuff. Then Hundun explains more about his history, which I didn't really understand, & apparently nobody else did either. Yes, he has a Wiki page, but if you go into the Talk section, nobody is quite sure how much of it is accurate. Anyway, it's actually a pretty good boss. It's a bit repetitive, but I think the boss's varied attacks make up for it, & there's a nice bit with the Avatar State at the end. It's tricky, but if you've gotten this far, you should be able to figure out how to beat him. I didn't even need to heal, mostly because of the regeneration talisman.
I don't know if this is common to the company, but they let you play Probending during the credits, which I thought was smart. Though if you're actually good at Probending, the whole purpose is defeated, because you end up waiting most of the credits out anyway. There are a few more nostalgic things at the end, Pro-Bending is unlocked along with a new costume & some items, & if you continue the game, you can freely switch between difficulty modes, another smart decision.
Summary: Not much to talk about, & what there is, I don't really want to spoil. The final battle was pretty fun, albeit a bit repetitive, there's some cool stuff at the end, & most importantly, you unlock Probending & the ability to freely switch between difficulty modes. The end doesn't really change my mind about anything. The plot was mediocre at best. Especially annoying was how self-aware the game is that most of the characters weren't even involved, & it's really strange that Tim, Mike, & Bryan would flop on this. But I still thought it was pretty fun.
Next Time: I'm either going to try Probending or level up some more/try my new items. Possibly both. Whether that goes on here or I make a Part 10 depends on how much there is to talk about. I do eventually plan on trying at least a few stages on Extreme, but only once I get the hang of the new stuff. This may be a bit premature, but I doubt there's much replay value here. I will make it clear when I'm done posting blog entries.
Miscellaneous: Maxed out air & waterbending & bought the talismans related to chi charges. Still have about 99,000 Spirit Energy left. I also switched to Korra's Book 1 outfit.
Venue: Dining Room
Time: ~6:08 AM to ~7:00 AM
Probending: Rookie, Stage 3 (Experimenting)
Even though I did it 2nd, I'll say it first: Not much to say about my experiments. Having fast-charging Chi is awesome. Having permanently charged Chi is even better, maybe even worth halving health. It should be noted that the buffs AND debuffs from the talismans stack.
Rookie mode of Probending consists of 5 individual games, which I won with 4 first round knock-outs, 4 platinum medals, & a bronze. As mentioned before, they faithfully recreated the rules, with one annoying exception: When a round is won, instead of everyone staying where they are, everyone gets to play on the same Zone. Even if you, for instance, knocked the waterbender back to Zone 3, he or she will get to start on Zone 2 along with the others.
I have a few other problems with how they handled this. First, there's only a little commentary, which is repeated ad nauseum, & even fewer lines from the Probenders. Only Tahno seems to have said anything so far. Second, they make you play the whole league at once, which I can see being annoying when the matches get tougher. And I hope that Bolin & Mako gain ability along with the computer, because their support is mediocre.
Finally, the storyline reason for not letting you do this until you beat the game is that she's continuing the charity tournament from the beginning, but this really hurts gameplay. It would have been GREAT to have this minigame available from the beginning, because it gives you Spirit Energy & leveling up in the game makes you stronger in Pro-Bending. But now that I'm way overpowered, it's kind of a chore trying to get to the "good part." So this COULD have been a nice symbiotic relationship between gameplay modes, but no.
Summary & Next Time: Not much to summarize, beyond the bolded points. Next time, I'll continue Probending &/or play some Extreme Stages. That will be Part 10.