Here we go...
I achieved S rank twice with a party at the level of the enemies (lvl 35-36 and under) and also with a much higher level party (Kyril lvl 40, Lazlo lvl 44). I discovered the key to doing it with a higher level party.
Final Battle: Secret Patriarchal Facility Part 1. You have to go for all the marbles here. (Hard to get S rank for Part 2 since there are infinite enemy re-spawns and leaving too enemies on the battlefield will count against your rankings).
Important character setup notes:
First off, you will need to remove the skill Counterattack from ALL the characters that you want to use for the battle. Your counterattack will likely miss against the enemies here (if your characters are not at a much higher level) especially against Iskas and will count against the average damage dealt requirement.
Replace Counterattack skill with the skill Jump. You will only need to use skill points once to get Jump to S. It's also the end of the game and skill points do not carry over for New Game+. (Use them all up! on the characters being used for this battle.)
You will need to have at least 2 properly trained archers with lvl 7/8 weapons and S at the important archer skills like Sniper and Critical hit that can ALSO ride a Giant Owl to go after the treasure chests right off the bat (Federica and Flare and/or the Mercenary Archer if you recruited him, Seneca cannot ride the Owls).
Load Kyril with everything that can boost his ATK like Berserker Belt, Ogre Breath, some S rank prizes, etc... (Needless to say, all his combat skills like parry, dodge, critical hit, etc.. should be at S.) and best armor available.
Also have Lazlo equipped with one Wizard Rune (it doesn't stack btw) and Tome of Black Arts and best armor available after Kyril. (Needless to say, all his combat skills like parry, dodge, critical hit, etc.. should be at S.)
Also, try to equip everyone with a Godspeed Anklet, which is only 4000 potch each, especially Rene, Lazlo and Kyril. Potch does carry over to New Game+ but the Godspeed Anklet will help give your characters an little edge on turn counts and phases.
You will need two mages with Earth or more preferrably Mother Earth Runes with Earth Magic at S. The Vengeful Child spell is crucial. You will also need a character (preferrably with good defensive skills) with the Firefly Rune.The Key
to the battle is, you will need to get around 5000 to 6000 minimum experience for this battle. Just load up a low level untrained character (under lvl 20 is preferable) with beads and/or a sword rune of his/her element (preferable character elements are Earth if not then Wind). With a higher lvl party, you will probably need 2 low level untrained characters.
I received around 300-400 damage total.
Total Experience was 5000+ with a lvl 10 Dario laying down terrain for himself throughout the battle.
Used up the lvl 3 attack Falcon Rune and Swallow Rune attacks whenever possible for high damage dealt.
Against Iskas, you basically will have to surround and trap Iskas and then put earth terrain on him. You need to also force him to focus his heavy magic attacks on a character using the Firefly Rune and have that character protected with Vengeful Child/Canopy Defense on every turn. Then use a strong and accurate physical attacker like Kyril to attack Iskas' back side for the victory.
With a higher level party, you will probably need 2 low level characters putting down elemental terrain to supply the experience earned.
Formation: All characters are with their orginal element type and roughly around lvl 35-36 and below.
Your party will start off in a short trench. This is where the Jump Skill comes in handy. (Otherwise, the character needs to go around the trench through the back.)
Top to Bottom
Left to Right
Row 1: Federica (Mounted-Giant Owl), Flare (Mounted-Giant Owl)
Row 2: Lazlo (RoP, Wizard Rune, Tome of Black Arts), Andarc (S Rank equipment that boosts Magic Atk, Lightning Rune, Fire Rune)
Row 3: Roget (Cyclone Rune, Earth Rune), Kyril (top armor, Rage Sword Rune, Swallow Rune, (additional Warrior Rune if Head Rune slot is opened), a bunch of S Rank Accessories boosting Atk)
Row 4: Kika (Cyclone Sword Rune, Falcon Rune), Pablo (Mother Earth Rune, Rage/Fire rune)
Row 5: Maxine/Jeane (Fire,Rage or Lightning,Thunder), Dario (Mother Earth sword Rune, all Earth beads in accessories to full) (lvl 10 or your lowest level character that can lay down elemental beads).
Characters waiting to be subbed in: Rene (Extra Move, some Earth beads), Cedric (everything S), Eugene (Firefly Rune).
Send Federica left as far as possible and open the left treasure chest for Hero Armor.
Send Flare right as far as possbile and open the right treasure chest for Guardian Vestment.
Send Lazlo as far up as possible outside of the trench and on the left side and cast Double-Edge Sword on the 3 Pat. men in front of him. You must knock out at least 2 of them which includes the Pat. staff-user. Face Left.
Send Kyril as far up as possible outside of the trench and on the right side and cast Rage Force on himself. Face Right.
Send Roget outside of the trench and on the left side and go up just far enough so that Lazlo is at the edge of a Vengeful Child spell from Roget and cast Vengeful Child on Lazlo.
Send Kika outside of the trench and on the left side between Lazlo and Roget and cast Cyclone Force so it lands on all 3 of them with Roget on the back edge of the cyclone force.
Send Andarc as right as possible outside the trench and just enough to be able to hit a Thunder Runner spell on the Pat. swordsman from the Pat. group on the right side. The Pat. swordsmen should be dead.
Send Pablo as far up as possible outside of the trench and on the right side and cast Vengeful Child on Kyril.
Send Maxine/Jeane up 2 squares in the trench and cast her element terrain on herself or cast a magic attack on an enemy if they are in range.
Send Dario outside the trench on the right side behind Pablo and cast Earth terrain for himself and Pablo.
During the enemy turn phase, 2 Pat. men on Owls along with a Pat. Archer and Pat. Staff-user will move into view but cannot reach for an attack. The Pat. spearmen/swordsmen will attack Kyril and/or Lazlo and end up doing very little damage or miss. The Pat staff-user on the right side group might cast magic on Kyril, but Kyril will be protected by Vengeful Child.
The small Rune cannons will turn any Pat. men that was injured into fishmen. The Main Ruin Cannon will change specific squares to a certain terrain. Do not worry if it is a weak terrain that one of your characters is standing on. You will not get penalized for weak terrain until the character has finished his/her turn phase.
Send Fredrica straight up as far as possible and attack the left Rune Cannon.
Send Flare straight up as far as possible and attack the right Rune Cannon.
Send Lazlo up but keep him on wind terrain. If the Main Rune Cannon created wind terrain, you can move Lazlo further up.
Cast Double-Edge sword on the Pat. Archer and Pat Staff-user that just moved into view from the middle bridge (2 squares wide). Both should be knocked out.
Have Kyril back-attack and kill the Pat. Spearman that was attacking him and move forward.
Have Andarc move into the Lightning terrain that was created from killing the Pat. swordsman on the first turn and cast
Thunder Runner on the Pat. Staff-user. You must be able to move Andarc as far up as possible so he can hit the Pat. Staff-user with that spell. The Pat. staff-user should be dead or unconscious (stars).
Have Kika use the Falcon Rune on whoever was attacking Lazlo. If there aren't any, then just keep moving forward as far up as possible.
Have Roget sit and cast more wind terrain or the shredding/shining wind on the Pat. men on Owls if it can reach, but don't move forward if the Pat. men on Owls are alive.
Have Maxine/Jeane also sit and cast more terrain or the fire/lightning magic attacks on the Pat. men on Owls if it can reach, but don't move forward if the Pat. men on Owls are alive.
Have Pablo sit back and cast earth terrain or Vengeful Child/Canopy Defense on Roget or Dario without hitting Jeane since earth is her weak terrain.
Have Dario sit back and cast earth terrain. Keep racking up the experience.
The Pat. men on Owls may try to attack the mages if they can since the mages are weaker physical opponents (this is where sitting the mages back helps), but they are also weaker for sitting on Owls. If they manage to kill one of the mages, you'll need to Retry. Character withdrawl/death will not get you an S rank.
Have Federica keep attacking her assigned rune cannon. It might take another turn unless you were able to land a critical hit.
Have Flare keep attacking her assigned rune cannon. It might take another turn unless you were able to land a critical hit.
Have Lazlo move forward on the 2-lane bridge as far as possible but stay on the 2 land bridge. A new set of Pat. men will spawn around the second set of rune cannons, cast Double-edge Sword on the left side. You should be able to target the Pat. Staff-user, Pat. Swordsmen, and the second left rune cannon, but you can leave the rune cannon out if you're not confident that all 3 can be destroyed-it ain't going anywhere. Be sure to knock out the staff-user. Face forward.
Have Kyril move up next to Lazlo so they are next to each other so no enemies can pass them and cast Flame Force on himself without hitting Lazlo. Face forward.
Have Andarc move as far up as possible behind Kyril and cast thunder terrain or cast thunder runner/furious blow on any enemies in range.
Have Kika move up as far as possible and cast cyclone force in front of Lazlo with Lazlo on the back end.
Have Roget move up as far as possible and cast cyclone force on himself and/or Kika.
Have Maxine/Jeane cast a magic attack to target 1 or both Pat. men on Owls and sure a lot of damage is done or one is killed.
Have Pablo move up and cast a fire area magic attack (Explosion/Final Flame-whatever gets the job done) on both Pat. men on Owls. Both Pat. men on Owls should be dead after the spells have been casted.
Have Dario move forward as far as possible and lay down more Earth terrain.
After Fredrica is done with her rune cannon, move her 2 squares south of the where the rune cannon use to be. There is a Guardian Bracelet dig treasure here. Be ready to sub-in Rene on the next turn.
After Flare is done with her rune cannon, keep moving her as far straight up as possible.
Have Lazlo kill the Pat. spearman/archer that is blocking your path
or move up just before of the bridge steps (2 squares wide) and cast double-edge sword or eternal ordeal on the left rune cannon.
Have Kyril backattack the other Pat. spearman/archer and move up along side with Lazlo.
Move Roget up as far as possible and cast vengeful child on Lazlo or Kyril if they lost their spell protection. If it's both of them, cast it on Kyril first. If you don't need to cast vengeful child, cast more wind terrain for Lazlo.
Move Kika as far up as possible behind Lazlo and cast wind/cyclone terrain.
Move Andarc as far up as possible and to the right so he can target the second right rune cannon for a thunder runner.
Switch Maxine/Jeane for Cedric and move him up as far as possible, you should be able to reach a couple of squares behind Lazlo and Kyril. Start "Vision"ing them and other party members.
Move Pablo up as far as possible and cast earth terrain.
Move Dario up as far as possible and cast earth terrain.
Switch in Rene for Frederica and dig right on that spot to get the treasure and then move toward Iskas' direction. The second treasure (Hero Armor) is on the left edge right after the bridge steps.
Flare move up and so she can attack/kill the second right rune cannon.
Move Lazlo up to the end of the bridge steps and cast double-edge sword on the new batch of Pat. men. Be sure to target a staff-user.
Move Kyril up to the end of the bridge steps and use swallow slash on a Pat. men.
Lazlo and Kyril should be blocking off the bridge steps so no enemies can get past them.
Move Roget up as far as possible and cast Vengeful Child on Lazlo/Kyril- whoever doesn't have the protection or cast wind terrain.
Move Kika up as far as possible and cast wind/cyclone terrain for Lazlo.
Move Andarc up as far as possible and cast a thunder/fire spell on a Pat. man.
Move Pablo up and cast vengeful child on an ally that isn't a thunder element or cast earth terrain.
Move Dario up and cast more earth terrain.
Iskas is immune to sleep,stun, silence, all rune magic attacks, special rune attacks and cooperative attacks.
Iskas prefers to cast magic attacks on Kyril over the other allies, but he can cast magic attack on other characters.
Have Rene keep moving toward the bridge steps and lay down earth beads.
Have Flare finish off the rune cannon or move up and attack/kill a Pat. staff-user. She should be able to knock them down to critical or kill them. Don't go after Iskas.
Have Lazlo cast double-edge sword/eternal ordeal on any Pat. men on the left side move up and stay put.
Move Kika to attack any remaining Pat. men on the left side with the Flacon Rune.
Move Kyril up to attack/kill remaining Pat. men on the right side.
Switch in Eugene (mounted with Firefly Rune) for Andarc and cast water terrain for himself. Stay put unless Eugene has vengeful child magic protection on him.
Move Roget up and cast vengeful child on Eugene. If that spell ran out, cast wind terrain on Lazlo or himself.
Have Cedric "Vision" Rene and other allies.
Move Pablo up and cast Vengeful child on Eugene, if Eugene already has the protection, cast it on someone else.
Move Dario before the bridge steps and cast/drop down more earth terrain for himself.
Iskas will be forced to target Eugene with his Firefly rune from now on. But as long as you keep casting Vengeful Child on Eugene, there will be 0 damage from Iskas' attacks.
Keep sending Rene toward the bridge steps for the second treasure and lay down earth terrain.
Have Flare fly around to attack/kill any remaining Pat. men.
Move Lazlo up to move next to Iskas and cast Eternal Ordeal/Double Edge Sword on any remaining Pat. men. Don't attak Iskas. You will have a very low percentage of hitting him if not from the back.
Move Kyril up and move next to Iskas (try to go behind Iskas) and put down fire terrain for himself. Do not attempt to attack Iskas unless you have dug up the second treasure chest.
Move Eugene up and move to opposite side of Kyril to surround Iskas. (if Kyril is behind Iskas then move Eugene in front of Iskas, if Kyril is to the left of Iskas then move Eugene to the right side of Iskas).
Move Kika up to completely surround Iskas if possible, or else just cast wind terrain for herself or Lazlo.
Move Roget up and cast Vengeful Child on Eugene, if not then cast earth force on Iskas.
Move Cedric to make sure Iskas is completely surround/trap Iskas so Iskas will not be able to run aorund around.
Move Pablo up and cast Vengeful Child on Eugene or cast Canopy Defense on the characters surrounding Iskas or put Earth terrain on Iskas.
Have Dario stay put and cast more earth terrain on himself.
Iskas will be forced to cast magic attacks on Eugene again, but Eugene has vengeful child protection. Iskas will most likely face Eugene also after the attack, leaving his back side open for Kyril to attack.
Once Rene digs up the second treasure, Kyril should have a decent perecentage of landing a killer hit on Iskas since Kyril should be doing at least 340 damage if properly set up.
At lvl 36-38, Kyril should have around a 75% chance of landing a hit on Iskas's back side on earth terrain.
Just keep at it if you miss.
But only attack Iskas from the back.
If you steal from Iskas in Part 1 with Noah, you will get a Thunder Orb and then potch on further attempts.
Secret Patriarchal Facility- Part 2
Iskas is now open to rune attacks. There's also a dig treasure (Hand of God) one square behind the Main Rune Cannon inside the giant yellow glowing ball. Yes, you can go inside that ball, but you will probably need to use a character on a Giant Owl to get there and then switch in Rene.
If you steal from Iskas in Part 2 with Noah, you will get a Goddess Robe and then potch on further attempts.
There's the fast way to win this by just sending Lazlo up and cast Double Edge sword on Iskas (fish form) as shown
in this youtube video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpON1taCj0k
Then there's the glorious way of winning this with style, which involves the Heavenly Thunder Spell. First plug the 2-square wide bridge steps with warriors that can parry, dodge, etc. Then have characters on Giant Owls infiltrate the enemy terrorities and lay down Thunder Force all over the enemies. Wait until the Main Rune Cannon changes the terrain to Lightning. Make sure your characters are a different elemental terrain. Then, you can have Andarc/Jeane with a ton of magic boost items cast Heavenly Thunder. Make sure Jeane is protected by Vengeful Child/Canopy Defense as she may die.
You will wipe out the entire enemy force.
I call this Lightning Armagedon.
And to finish the game...
A World Apart
Duel with the Evil Eye.
Just move Kyril up as far as possible and cast a Rage Force in front of him with him standing on the back end of the Rage Force. Face the Evil Eye.
After the Evil Eye's turn, have Kyril move to the back side of the Evil Eye and use Swallow Slash to put an exclamation point to the game.
Enjoy the ending...
This completes my walkthrough.