The Let's Play Archive

Breath of Fire II

by Scintilla

Part 3: Chapter Three: Cursed Mountain

There’s nothing left to do in Newhaven, so let’s leave town.

Music: 06 – We’re Rangers

We find ourselves on the world map. Unlike the prologue, the world map here has its full functionality unlocked. That means random battles, so let’s go over the battle system mechanics a bit.

Music: 07 – Cross Counter

It doesn’t take long before Bosch and Ryu encounter their first ever random battle against a Gunhead. Once again, unlike the prologue we can win this fight legitimately, but before then, let’s take a look at the battle menu:

Attack: Basic physical attack. Everyone has this option.
Unique Skill: A special skill that differs between characters. Ryu has Guts, whilst Bosch has Snipe. I’ll discuss these further in just a moment.
Special: Magic, basically.
Items: Opens the inventory and allows the use of consumable items.

Down the side we have two other options:

Auto: Puts the battle on autopilot. Characters will spam physical attacks without player input until the enemy is a bloody smear on the ground. Useful against weaker enemies.
Flee: Party attempts to run from the battle.

In addition pressing ‘L’ brings up the ‘Defend’ option, allowing a character to take reduced damage for a turn in exchange for not attacking. Pressing ‘R’ brings up the ‘Switch’ option, which lets the player switch the party's Formation.

As the party attacks, the Gunhead’s HP bar is displayed. It’s covered by a question mark now, but defeating an enemy once will reveal the HP of future enemies of that type.

A short while later the Gunhead goes down and leaves behind some meager spoils. The GBA version of the game tripled the money and experience dropped by enemies, so grinding takes a lot longer in the SNES version.

Returning to the world map we find a strange sight – a fish leaping out of the water to the left. Since we lack the money to afford much bait we can’t do anything with it yet, but later on it will be possible to partake in a fishing minigame wherever these fish appear.

A few steps later and the party is thrust into another fight against a Green Goo. Green Goos and Gunheads are pretty weak enemies who only have basic physical attacks, so it quickly goes down.

I walk around until another Gunhead appears. With Ryu’s health lowered, this is an excellent opportunity to show off both his and Bosch’s unique skills. First, Ryu’s unique skill is Guts. What does it do? Well…

It causes him to power up, DBZ style, healing his wounds in the process. Ryu is only level 1 right now, so it barely heals anything, but it can prove useful later on if a healer isn’t handy. The lower Ryu's health, the more HP it will heal, and it has a 1/8 chance of failing. What about Bosch, though? What does Snipe do?

It’s a luck-based technique where Bosch performs a physical attack against the target. The attack will either deal critical damage to a single enemy or hit for only 1 damage. Unfortunately that makes it pretty much useless.

Ryu levels up after the battle. Not only that, he also learns Rest, a special skill that advances time. Now we can change day to night and back again pretty much on demand.

Walking around a bit more triggers yet another battle, this time with multiple enemies. Two Green Goos are accompanied by a Bubbleback. Bubblebacks are probably the toughest enemy around Newhaven – they hit relatively hard and are smart enough to Defend occasionally.

It doesn’t help it, though, and Bosch gains his first level up. He learns Heal, which restores 40 HP to a single target. Naturally it’s a very useful ability.

Back on the world map another strange sight is revealed – a patch of shaking grass. Pressing ‘A’ whilst next to it will draw the party into a new area, but first it’s a good idea to make Bosch the party leader by pressing ‘L’ or ‘R’.

Music: Hide and Seek

Doing so brings the party to a hunting zone with many wild animals. Bosch can use his crossbow to hunt them for their meat. Killing them drops a ‘Roast’, which acts as a health-restoring item and can be sold for 200 zenny, which is amazing compared to the pitiful amounts dropped by enemies. It’s a similar mechanic to Breath of Fire I’s hunting system, just on a smaller scale.

After a few more random battles, Ryu and Bosch level up again. Bosch learns Purify, a skill that removes poison. That’s it for now in terms of gameplay.

: Hey, look! The circus is here!

: Bosch, we really don’t have time for this.

: Come on, Ryu! You only live once! Let’s just take a quick look.

: *Sigh* Just a quick one, then…

Music: 14 – Crazy Dance

: Let’s see what’s on offer…

: Oh! Gimme a ticket!

: Dammit, Bosch. This is why -I- should be the one taking care of our money.

: No time for this crap, I wanna see the Grassman!

: Oh! Oh! This must be it!

: *Sigh* Honestly, you’re like a little kid.

: Feast your eyes upon the one, the only, the Grassman!

The curtain opens, then closes a split second later.

: The Grassman, ladies and gentlemen! The wonder and terror of our time! If you wanna see him again, go back through the line and pay the nice man out front! See you all next time! You’ve been wonderful!

:…Man, that was lame! We barely even saw the thing! I want my 30 zenny back!

: Okay chuckles, I’ll definitely be handling the money from now on. Come on, we’ve got a pet to find.

: There it is; Mt. Futabi.

: Hmm. I’ve heard some strange things about that place…

: Same, but money talks louder than rumors. C’mon buddy, let’s go.

Music: Wanderer

The party now enters Mt. Futabi. In terms of random encounters Mt. Futabi has a high population of Gunheads floating around, as well as a new monster to fight. I’ll be using the same approach as I did in the Breath of Fire I LP and categorizing new enemies as they appear.

These guys are Lil’Goblins. They’re right bastards and it’s really unfortunate that I ran into three of them here. They do around 10 damage with physical attacks and take two hits to kill. In addition, they seem to have frighteningly high critical hit rates. Thankfully they have a tendency to run away after one of their fellows bites the dust. Either way, expect to have to heal a lot of damage after encountering them.

: Eh? Ryu? Did you just say something?

: No. Why?

:…Nah. Must just be my mind playing tricks on me.

Inside the cave lies a healing fountain. In another throwback to the first game, these fountains replenish the HP and AP of the entire active party. And it’s a good thing we found one here, since there are some new enemies that like to hang out inside the mountain.

Mug Spiders, for instance. Their attacks can pack a punch and, worse, they have a special ability that can poison a character. Luckily they tend not to appear in large groups, unlike a certain other enemy in here…

The Spotted Leech. They’re weak and do little damage, but they’re also fast and come in packs. Since they go down in one hit there’s not much else to say about them.

Finally, we have the Corpse, Mt. Futabi’s resident undead enemy. These guys have a gimmick where every one of their attacks either critically hits or misses, which can be a huge pain depending on how much the RNG likes you.

During the next few fights Bosch levels up and learns Protect, a status buff that increases defense.

: Okay, I definitely heard something that time.

: I heard it too. We’re clearly being watched – let’s continue as if we haven’t noticed.

: Bosch, watch out!


Music: 10 – I’ll Do It

The first real boss fight of the game is against the three harpy sisters – Parreaux, Pijo and Putti. Since it’s the first boss battle you’d expect it to not be too hard, and it isn’t – the trio will spend the second turn arguing over who gets to eat Ryu and attack each other, making the player’s job somewhat easier. The three sisters only have physical attacks and will concentrate on Ryu, so it’s a good idea to have Bosch cast protect on him to beef up his defenses. Parreaux is the strongest, so taking one of her sisters out first is a good idea. With the odds evened the remaining enemies should fall before too long.


: Crap…I hope Suzie didn’t find her way onto their menu! We better find her fast!

: Cats and dogs, huh? Come to think of it, we never were told what kind of animal Suzie is. Well, whatever – let’s just press on.

: Hey, this rock is blocking the cave. Alrighty! Let’s push it out the way!

: Uh, Bosch…

(Video – Boulder)

: Uh…

: *Sigh* Let’s just go in the cave, Bosch…