The Let's Play Archive

Breath of Fire II

by Scintilla

Part 25: Sidequest Update – Dragon Sage and the Wildcat Cafe

This is kind of a special update. We are now at the point where the game opens up just a little and gives us the opportunity to go on a number of sidequests. This update will cover two of them – the Dragon Sage and the Wildcat Café.

Music: 06 – We’re Rangers

Last time we recruited Tapeta after freeing him from the witch’s curse. How does he hold up compared to everyone else? Well, he joins at level 10, so it wouldn’t be fair to make a comparison without bringing him up to everyone else’s level.

Several minutes of fast-forwarded grinding later and Tapeta is now level 15, only one or two levels below the other party members. During the grinding session Ryu and Rand learn Rejuvenate, and Nina learns Leech Power, an ability that lets her steal AP from foes. I even brought out Lin for a bit, and she learned Valhalla, the top-tier lightning spell of the game and the final entry in the trio of spells she simply can’t use.

Tapeta is a bit like Sten in that he’s a middle of the road sort of character. He has middling Strength and Defence and although he’ll never be as strong as Rand or Lin he can hold his own in a physical battle. He also has a smattering of spells at his disposal, most of which are either buffs or inflict status ailments on the enemy. Most importantly he also knows the Warp spell, which allows the party to instantly travel to any previously visited town. That alone often justifies his presence in the party.

Tapeta’s Unique Ability is Pierce. Pierce allows Tapeta to unleash a flurry of jabs at the opposition, hitting all enemies on the field for middling damage. It can be useful for dealing with low level enemy groups, and once Tapeta gets some more Strength its usefulness will increase still further, but for now it’s probably better to have him attack or cast spells.

As well as this, Tapeta also has a field ability.

Going out onto the World Map with him in the lead and pressing ‘Y’…

…will result in Tapeta transforming into a giant frog that can then hop around the world map. During this form random encounters are greatly reduced in number and the party travels slightly faster. In addition, the frog can also swim through shallow water such as lakes and rivers and can jump up and down ledges on the World Map. It’s quite a useful ability. In fact, we can use it right away to discover a secret.

Behind the waterfall lies a hidden cave.

The chests contain a Circlet, a piece of head armour that also provides a boost to Wisdom, and a Void Sphere, a battle item. As for the old man…

Don’t worry Wiseoldman McStrangeperson, after this you’ll be free to go home!

What did the old man do, you ask? Well…let’s check Ryu’s ‘Special’ menu and find out.

Oh. Oh my. We’ve barely even acquired the first set of Dragons and now the game lets us get the second tier of them barely an hour down the line. Compared to Breath of Fire I, where it took around a quarter of the game in terms of time to get the second set of transformations, this short amount of time is mind boggling. Not that I’m complaining, mind you…

Like the first set the second tier consist of one-shot attacks. However, unlike the Whelps the adult dragons deal 512 damage to the entire enemy group. Yep, definitely not complaining here.

That was the first sidequest. The second sidequest will take us to a small cave to the west. Deep within lies the Wildcat Café.

Music: Find the Truth

The Wildcat Café has a number of rules the party must obey before they can enter.

This section takes place over a series of rooms, each of which containing a sign and a box for the party to deposit their various bits of gear in.

You can’t proceed forwards until you’ve done as the signs say. Well you can, but then a big burly man will appear at the doorway and we really don’t want that now do we?

Like any classy establishment, the Wildcat Café frowns on those who try to eat their meals with swords.

Salt and pepper are good for the skin. I know I personally sprinkle myself with various condiments before heading out each morning.

It is very important to choose ‘Rare’ at this point. Oh boy, is it important. Select the others at your peril.

We’re nearly done with this section, but before we go any further why don’t we check our Equipment screen?

Those signs and boxes weren’t just for flavour – we really have given up all our equipment in exchange for culinary alternatives.

Music: Hide and Seek

Suddenly, a giant goddamn grill is turned on and roasts everyone in the party.

After hopping around in pain for a bit…

: Well, no use in crying over spilt milk!


Music: 10 – I’ll Do It!

Our opponent for today is Mr. Wildcat himself. This is a gimmick fight for two reasons. Firstly, we don’t have any of our proper equipment – all we’re equipped with are flimsy forks, plates and napkins. Our defence and damage output has been essentially halved for this fight. Secondly, we don’t start the fight with max HP due to the effects of the grill. The amount you begin with depends on how you answer the question of how you want your meat done. Choosing ‘Rare’ means you start with a relatively high amount, whereas ‘Well Done’ starts you off with less than 30 HP for pretty much everyone.

Overall this battle’s outcome is usually decided in the first few turns. The difficulty of this fight depends on how high the party’s level is and on whether or not you managed to find the second tier of Dragon Transformations. If you did manage to find them this fight is essentially impossible to lose – 512 damage right off the bat will kill him outright. On the other hand his normal attacks deal 40+ damage and his special Slicer attack can take off around 60 damage, so if you don’t have them then you could be in for a world of hurt.


: All right then! Time to use my special desperation move!

Wildcat proceeds to run the hell away. Naturally we have to follow him.

If you’re wondering why Rand has suddenly replaced Lin in the active party it’s because I goofed and went through some of the dialogue without screenshotting it and had to reload a state from back at the campsite.

Anyway, the Wildcat on the right is the one we want.

: Hold on! Hold on! I give, I give! I’m sorry I tried to make you guys into today’s main course!

At this point, it’s vital to choose “Yeah, it’s Okay”.

Now choose “Absolutely”.

: Since you guys could probably use the help, I’ll teach you the secret power of the master chef!

Okay, Wildcat’s deal is to teach one of our party members his signature “Slice” attack. At first glance Slice is relatively weak – it will consistently deal anywhere from 50 – 70 points of damage without much variation. Slice’s real utility is that it totally bypasses enemy defence. This is incredibly useful since certain enemies are extremely resistant to physical attacks – as in, you will literally be doing single digit damage.

If you answer the questions above incorrectly, Wildcat will raise every active party member's Max HP by 16 instead. But honestly, it's not worth passing up such an extremely useful skill.

So, who’s the best candidate for this? There is no right answer – it costs no AP, so that’s not a limiting factor. The best advice is to just give it to whoever you plan to use the most.

I choose to give it to Nina since I’ll be using her for most of the rest of the game and she could really use a good physical attack.

It’s important to get this skill now since an event that happens later on will lock you out of it for good.

Anyway, that’s all for this special update. Next time we’ll be furthering the plot and visiting Fort Nageur. Expect frogs. Lots and lots of frogs.