Part 2: Cue the Rocky Theme
Welcome back. Last time we got a new method of transportation, and a new party member we've gotta kill off. Let's get to it.
...okay, magic it is, then.
Even with magic, this is gonna take a while. Unfortunately, a bizarre quirk of the game is that characters in the middle two slots (namely Vivian and Loq) get targeted way more than any of the other characters. Also, you can't change what slot your character is in. So the enemies don't really help.
It takes five attack spells, and having to heal Viv twice, before Minwu got into single digits. Thankfully, Minwu saves me the trouble and finishes himself off.
It takes a few more rounds and another Cure spell to end the battle, but at least it was lucrative. She gets some vitality, loses that vitality when she gets intelligence, more soul, more MP, and more HP.
After we top off at the inn, we head east.
Here's the lake I mentioned was blocking us off. Of course, I say that, but that's not strictly true.
FF2's world map is designed to make geography enthusiasts weep blood. You see that long stretch of the land in the top left corner and the one in the bottom right corner? Yeah, they connect. If you absolutely wanted to, you could get around that lake by going up into that corner, wrapping around, traveling all the way through the desert, and going west. You'd have no sane reason to do this, mind you, but you could. Rivers only block off three locations, two of which are in a way higher level area, and the other is the first dungeon.
I'd like to reiterate that the design of this game is really weird.
But speaking of rivers, here's the canoe. Unlike FF1, you don't get into encounters while traveling the rivers.
Hey look, another town. And a boat. No, we're not actually getting a boat this early on.
It's a ferry. 32 gil is pretty cheap, even this early in the game, but Poft is pretty close by and we need to buff up anyway.
This is Palm (or Paloom). It's got some new stuff for sale, but again the only one we care about is the magic shop.
We've seen Cure, but the other spells are new. Blink increases evasion, Safe is more properly called Protect and it increases defense, and Shell increases Magic Defense. Safe is glitched in this game, as it only effects the caster. Which is just fine for us, but while some extra defense that doesn't cost evasion would be nice, I'm not sure if it's worth the time leveling it up. Shell is much the same way; it could be useful, but it'd take too much effort to get there. Blink, however, is really useful, so we're buying it. Selling off the IceSycth gives me just enough to get it.
After buying Blink and inning up, it's off to Poft. You just follow the shore line east.
Rank 1, HP 10, MP 6, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 1-50%
With a new area of the world map, we get some new enemies. Goblin Guard, or Guard Goblin, or Green Goblin, or Willam Defoe... whatever you want to call them, are a bit of a step up from Goblins. Also, we see that enemies, too, have a front row and back row. Like with your characters, front row enemies can attack and be targeted by attacks, while back row enemies cannot do either. Once enemies in the front row are killed, the enemies in the back can attack and be attacked.
However, magic doesn't care about row. Anything in this game that isn't a normal attack is classified as magic. Yes, using a bow is magic in this game. (When an enemy does it. Not you.) The bow attack can be a bit dangerous, as it ignores defense and evasion. If I had lower HP I might be in some trouble.
As long as there is another monster two rows ahead, an enemy is classified as being in the back row. You can use that to keep from being bombarded by too many enemies at once, although what's actually dangerous in this fight is the bow attack, so it doesn't actually help me here.
I cut that close, didn't I?
Rank 1, HP 30, Attack Power 9, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-40%, Magic Resistance 1-50%
Sprinters are bastards.
They hit hard.
They evade a lot. And they have a lot of HP. Admittedly, I should have just broken out a Fire or something, but Vivian needs to train her unarmed skill. So Vivian spent way more time than I'd care to admit trying to punch out a damn bird.
Oh, but that's not the worst of 'em.
Rank 1, HP 45, MP 10, Attack Power 17, Attacks 1, Accuracy 60%, Defense 9, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 2-50%
...magic again, I see.
Here's the thing about magic. You'd think that since this guy seems to have a higher magic defense than the other enemies here, that he'd take less damage. This is not true. Magic defense protects again status spells. There is actually no way to reduce to damage from a damage-dealing spell except to have a resistance to its element. If absolutely nothing scratches its defense, magic will. This might come up a couple times in the game.
Anyway, I take 'em out and move onto-
You are so mean, game.
Money and item drops work very differently in this game. Monsters have up to eight slots for drops, and will always drop one after battle. Both money and items are on the list of drops; a single enemy cannot drop money and an item at the same time. An antidote seems like a bad deal, but it sells for 100, which is better money than anything else drops. Besides, I can't cast anything that removes status ailments yet, so it's a good idea to have some on hand.
Anyway, here's Poft.
The game's a little confused here. We can ride the ferry back to Palm, but only if we rode the ferry to Poft. We can still totally pay for the ferry, but none will be out there. Jerk. In the remakes, at least, they don't let you pay for a ferry that's not there.
Oh, oh, this is an important thing. Here's the very first Cid of Final Fantasy!
This Cid, though, is kind of lame. Right now he just runs an airship taxi service. It'll take you to four different towns on the map. Handy, but too pricey to use right now. Oh, and the airship that we see every now and again is his. Just so you know.
Other than that Poft is pretty much Palm again. It has the same spells anyway. Onward.
If we go east and then south, we'll reach the town of Bofsk (or Bafsk), which has some decent stuff to buy, but we can't afford it. So we go north until we hit the mountains, and then west.
Salamando! It has some new stuff for sale.
Including a bunch of spells I can't afford yet. Believe or not, the Life spell is still useful for a solo game, as it can insta-kill the undead. But we're not using those kind of spells, so that's a no-go. The Anti spell, properly called Sap or Rasp, decreases the target's MP. This would be kind of useful, if it a) was more powerful and b) wasn't bugged. Anti doesn't work correctly against targets with 256 MP or more. There's a spell later on that can take the place of Anti and works much better, although it'll be awhile until we get it. Warp takes you back one level in a dungeon, why would you ever need that, while Exit takes you out of the dungeon entirely. I can't afford Exit, and I'll be getting it for free soon.
Josef is apparently an important enough NPC that he gets a stalker. Good for him.
Hilda sent me. She wants Mythril. Gimme Mythril.
No. There's some in the Semite Cave, though. Incidentally the evil empire keeping some captured townsfolk there. If you could take care of it that'd be great.
And now we've got the location for the first dungeon of the game. It's gonna be a doozy. We're not gonna tackle Semite Falls right now, but let's at least find it.
Rank 1, HP 20, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 1-50%
Around Salamando we have a bunch more snowy themed enemies. Yetis are pretty unremarkable. One important thing does happen at the end of this battle, though.
HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, FUCKERS?!
Getting a level in unarmed does more than give me 8 extra attack power (although that's appreciated). It also raises the number of attacks.
There's one aspect of the battle system I've failed to mention thus far. Each attack, in addition to its power, rolls a number of "hits." For attack, the game chooses a random value between your base attack and twice your attack power, subtracts the target's defense, and multiplies it by how many times it hits. That's why Vivian's attack power more than quadrupled. The whole "hits" thing is actually in every Final Fantasy in some form until 5.
However, not every hit will connect. You may have noticed that there's another number for Evasion, and it rose and I haven't mentioned it.
There are actually two numbers associated with evasion; one is the percentage, and the other the count. The count determines how many hits you can evade. If you have 99% evasion, but one count, you can't evade multiple attacks if the enemy happens to get two or more. Unlike percent, evasion count levels. Every time you're targeted by an attack (you do not have to actually be hit) it adds to your progress. The game doesn't show your progress like with spell or weapon levels, and it doesn't even tell you when you gain a level. The latter, at least, is fixed in remakes.
From Salamondo, you just need to go west until you hit the river. Travel down it and-
Here we are! Next time, Semite Falls.
Power +1, Vitality +4, Intelligence +3, Soul +1, Unarmed + 1 (FINALLY), Evasion +1, Magic Power +1, HP +60, MP +12