Part 14: Mysidia TowerAll right you guys. No foolin', no bullshit, we're going to go to Mysidia Tower and get Ultima! We already passed the tower on the way to Mysidia; it's on an island surrounded by a mountain ring. Fairly easy to find. So let's-
But first, pointless ship wreck sequence out of nowhere.
Okay, it does have a point, mainly to shuffle a party member out.
This is a mini-dungeon with really nothing to it. Damage floors return from FF1, and they work the same way; you lose 1 HP per step, and you can't get into a random encounter while on a damage tile.
Rank 5, HP 870, Attack Power 70, Attacks 5, Accuracy 80%, Defense 60, Evasion 1-60%, Magic Resistance 4-40%
Rank 5, HP 540, MP 80, Attack Power 60, Attacks 4, Accuracy 80%, Defense 50, Evasion 1-50%, Magic Resistance 4-40%
Also, new enemies! All the enemies here are new, and fresh faces are appreciated! The manta ray is kinda tough, and the electric fish absorbs bolt. That's all there is to say about these two.
Rank 5, HP 870, MP 80, Attack Power 70, Attacks 5, Accuracy 80%, Defense 60, Evasion 1-60%, Magic Resistance 4-40%
Sea Dragons are a little more interesting. They're pretty buff, as their stats are pretty much the same as the manta ray.
Also, their wave attack is a damage spells that's actually kind of scary, at least for a characters with lower HP. At this point, you start seeing more damage magic that actually is worth a damn.
While this area's pretty short and uninteresting as a whole, at least there's some pretty great treasure. Both the power sash and the spiral headband are very lightweight, with the power sash having a -5% penalty and the headband having a -2% penalty, increase strength by 10, have very low magic penalties, and provide a resistance. The sash protects against body, and the headband against mind. Yeah, it's at this point that the game decides to vomit all the good equipment on you. Still, not the best we'll find this update.
You know how I said this area was short? It's three floors long, and the middle floor doesn't even have encounters; it's just where the people are.
And the game doesn't tell you this until now, but what happened is Leviathan swallowed us. Yeah, try not to think about any of this too hard. So I guess next time we see Layla she'll be mysteriously older and forgotten her white magic.
Oh, and another lightweight strength boosting armor to round out the set. This piece protects against poison, which is less awesome than body or mind protection, but still decent. For the first time, we have a full set of armor.
While the total magic penalty comes out to about -5% or so, hardly worth worrying about, the total evasion penalty is -10%. Hm. I can live with that, but it's not... great. Eh, there's gonna be even more equipment down the line very shortly, so we're not wearing it for long.
Oh and hello important character blocking the way.
You can throw some key words at him, but in order to progress we have to flash our crystal rod.
Meet our next party member/murder victim.
Uh, I'm right here...
Hey, for once I don't have to write in Vivian being hideously insensitive.
Honestly, Richard's probably my favorite fourth slot party member outside of Minwu. Yeah, he suffers from being a front-liner when you really don't need another front-liner stealing previous evade experience from your permanent characters, and his own evasion is poor. But he's at least a decent front-liner with good weapon levels.
Oh, and this fan translation is the only one I've ever seen get his name 100% correct. Character limitations make his name "Ricard" in the recent translation, which is perfectly fine. The Origins translation named him Gareth, and the NES prototype translation named him Edward. I do wonder if the prototype FF2 was polished up and released if FF4's Edward would have had a different name change. Huh.
Anyway, moving onto the next and final floor of... Leviathan's stomach. (He has a tiered stomach? Yeah, again, try not to think about it too hard.)
I'm at the point where I really don't need to kill the new meat myself anymore, but...
It feels dishonest if I don't.
And the game really, really starts throwing a ton of awesome new swords at you all at once. There's also a diamond shield on this floor, and it's trapped with red souls for some reason.
Just for your information, I started really throwing around spells willy-nilly at this point. Mostly due to the fact that MP is meaningless to me now, and also because I wanna train my spells, mostly aspil. You may see a pretty marked increase in spell levels, and that would be why.
Anyway, here's the ship, and the boss we gotta fight.
Rank 7, HP 2,000, Attack Power 120, Attacks 6, Accuracy 95%, Defense 100, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 4-50%
The worm has no gimmick; it's just a beefy monster that hits hard. It gets a decent number of accurate attacks, so it will land a few goodly hits, at least before Curse and Blind. It's not really worth discussing otherwise.
Well, that was pointless. Even though that was a barely a dungeon, I went back to town if only to unload all the useless crap. I would really recommend doing that before Mysidia Tower.
After all that, all you have to do is walk up and you automatically use the rod to enter the tower. Now, you can freely enter and leave the tower, but the game does make you sit through that little animation every time you re-enter. A slight annoyance, but oh well.
Mysidia tower is a pretty memorable dungeon, at least it was for my first playthrough of this game. At about 9 floors it's the longest one in the game so far. It's also full of treasure and nasty ene-
Wait, the Power Sash gives body resistance.
Hm. He he. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha. AH HA HA HA!!!!!
Anyway, for whatever reason the first floor has three chests with worthless canes. But in upper middle of the floor, behind a secret passage, there lies a true catch.
The White Robe may end up being endgame equipment. How awesome is the white robe? While it only has a defense of 30, which is good but not great, it's one of the few pieces that doesn't penalize magic at all; as a matter of fact, it gives a +10 spirit bonus. Most importantly, it protects from body, matter, mind, and death. The only status ailment it doesn't protect against is poison, but the power armlet does so I'm covered there. I'm now completely immune to status ailments. (Well, actually, I think there might be one exception.)
Now, some people have been saying that with 16 dodges (and the game's random generosity with agility bonuses) that I'm unkillable. That's... not quite true, but not entirely false. Enemies start getting a lot more hits from here on out, and with low evasion percentage Vivian simply won't dodge every single hit that comes her way. But she'll dodge a great many, and even with high attack power most enemies shouldn't overwhelm her. Although, honestly, I may be surprised; even after all this time the game will sometimes still do that. That being said, draining attacks are still a major problem, and there are some nasty enemies with drain touch down the line. (Mainly Death Riders, but they're not the only ones.)
Moving on, the second floor introduces us to the gimmick of this tower: "themed floors." For the next two floors, the background is red, all the treasure is fire-related, and there are pools of lava. It feels like I shouldn't insult you by stating the obvious, but we all know what the theme is: the loss of innocence.
And speaking of the treasure, there's three pieces on the second floors; the other two being the flame lance and the flame shield in the northwest corner of the floor. We've seen all these pieces before.
I wasn't kidding about the pools of lava, and apparently neither were the creators. Well, hey, no random encounters. And as you can guess, another round of guess the door.
This is the door.
And it just teleports you across the room. Okay.
You know how I mentioned how the game loves to dump a bunch of swords on you at this point? Well, here you go, second new sword within twenty minutes of gameplay. There's also a flame armor across directly right of the helmet. Like the shield, the helmet provides ice resistance, not fire. But the flame armor provides fire, remember, and oh who cares you shouldn't use any of that crap.
After each set of themed floors, there's a miniboss.
Rank 7, HP 1,800, MP 240, Attack Power 100, Attacks 6, Accuracy 95%, Defense 100, Evasion 1-40%, Magic Resistance 4-50%
All of these mini-bosses are gigases, and they all follow the same template. In addition to a healthy attack score, they've got more up their sleeve.
Their fire spell is pretty damn nasty for a magic attack. They also get a spell called "Rock 9" but choose not to do it in this battle.
One nice thing is that all of the elemental gigases are weak to the opposite element, in case you're having a hard time scratching them with attacks. But I only had level 4 ice to work with, so curse + punching was the faster combo. Regardless, I took the gigas down pretty easily.
And now we move onto the next themed set.
Guess the theme, children.
The staircase below just leads to some more treasure.
On these floors, our damage tiles are just... water. Well, considering the whole ice thing it's probably really, really cold water.
Rank 6, HP 750, MP 140, Attack Power 70, Attacks 6, Accuracy 80%, Defense 50, Evasion 1-65%, Magic Resistance 6-30%
As the name suggests, the notable feature of these monsters is their ability to petrify you.
White robe, bitches.
Hey, finally a spear we couldn't have bought in Mysidia!
And now all the flame stuff you got from the previous floor is obsolete.
Well, actually, it's not a bad idea to keep the flame sword for the ice gigas.
I guess I could have not mentioned there was an ice gigas and it could have been a surprise. Perhaps there might have been a... flamingo gigas instead.
Rank 7, HP 2,000, MP 140, Attack Power 120, Attacks 7, Accuracy 95%, Defense 120, Evasion 1-50%, Magic Resistance 4-50%
Yeap, this sure is a gigas.
Actually, it's a little different. For one, it actually used the rock attack! Also, the ice gigas's ice spell is lower leveled and multi-targetted, so it doesn't do shit for damage.
Although its attack isn't quite as crap. This is what I mean when I say Vivian isn't quite untouchable, but is unlikely to die. Now, the gigas has 7 hits, but not all of them are going to hit. Even three connecting is a bit rare, since usually one or two connect. If there were more enemies in this fight, and they all has similar strength and number of attacks, I could be up shit creek if I had some unlucky rolls. But with one the damage output is quite manageable. Also, I hadn't cursed and blinded it yet.
And Curse really helps; that would have been nasty otherwise.
Basically, as long as I'm always careful, the battle should never kill this character. Since your fire spell is usually your highest level spell, and that holds true in this play through, fire is probably the best bet for dispatching this gigas.
After fire and ice comes... purple. It's supposed to be thunder themed, I guess, but at this point they seemed to be getting tired of their own gimmick. Which is appropriate, as this is the point the player is getting tired of this dungeon. Yet there's still a fair bit to go. This dungeon is really fucking long you guys.
Yes, even around two-thirds of the way through this long-ass dungeon, they felt the need to put in a gag chest.
Rank 6, HP 1,140, Attack Power 70, Attacks 6, Accuracy 85%, Defense 70, Evasion 1-65%, Magic Resistance 5-70%
These guys can confuse you, have high HP, and are weak to fire. That's all there is to 'em. For some reason I keep thinking they're undead, but I think I'm confusing them with an enemy from FF6.
The Evil Stick here is an odd weapon. If used as an item, it casts single target Aero 16 on a random target. And I do mean random: enemy, ally, dead, doesn't matter. Not worth using.
Wait, no gigas here? Weird.
Now we've just given up on themed floored entirely.
Rank 6, HP 1,000, Attack Power 60, Attacks 7, Accuracy 80%, Defense 60, Evasion 1-65%, Magic Resistance 6-30%
I have no idea what the "l" stands for, so I'll just call 'em what they're called in the newer translation. Anyway, like their cousins these malboros would be scary because their attack inflicts stun, and like their cousins, having resistance to status ailments neuters the threat.
These floor mostly has a bunch of strange odds and ends. The Shoes (or Hermes Shoes, which is the name you're more likely to know) casts haste on the user. I don't know if I've talked about haste yet. Haste increases your number of attacks. It can be useful, but the reason why you do so little damage to bosses in this game is because your attack doesn't exceed (or barely exceeds) the boss's defense. Since the formula is (random value between attack and attack x2 - defense) x number of hits, having more hits often doesn't really help. We all know what happens when you multiply by 0. It's nice in conjunction with berserk, curse, or the blood sword, though. Considering it's not the best spell there's probably no point with putting on the restriction list, but it doesn't matter either way I guess.
There's also a unicorn horn a thread on this floor, the latter of which I forgot to pick up. Not that it matters. I've still got two threads I never use.
Oh and now the gigas attacks you. Uh, okay.
Rank 7, HP 2,500, MP 370, Attack Power 150, Attacks 8, Accuracy 95%, Defense 150, Evasion 1-60%, Magic Resistance 4-50%
Third verse same as the first... and second.
Although its thunder attack is nasty. Ouch. This is one point where the gold pin's bolt resistance would actually come in handy. And you know, I didn't think of it, but Vivian has barrier level 4, and at level 4 it grants lightning resistance. Eh, Vivian can keep up with this damage.
Really, what's annoying is that this gigas's weakness is poison, and there's no goddamn way any sane player has a decently leveled aero at this point. Curse and then beatdown is the best choice.
And for the last two floors, again, there is no theme. Each of those pathways leads down to a door, and there six of them on this floor. And of course, only one leads anywhere.
At the very top of this whole mess, there's a chest with a spell I should be excited to get but I'm not.
And it's trapped. Hi Gotus!
But yes, Flare is, like in most Final Fantasies, a powerful non-elemental attack. It has a base power of 20, five more than holy and one of the best base powers in the game. But it has the same problem holy has; magic, by this point, tends to do crap damage unless it's hitting a weakness. Holy, at least, you can get much earlier and you have a lot more time to level it up. The problem with all the spells you get at this point is that you're not going to want to level a whole new spell. There's not much of the game left, and flare just isn't a good enough spell to devote time to. Also it's black magic. Soul is a lot easier to level than intelligence, at least in versions with stat decreases, so white magic is generally better for Viv than black. Well, I do end up learning it, just to have a full spell list.
The door right below the flare is the door we want. And from there, we move onto the last floor.
Well that's one way to translate that. Yeah, this is just an hourglass. Stop is a temporary status ailment, so this goes to be sold.
Rank 7, HP 2,500, MP 140, Attack Power 150, Attacks 6, Accuracy 95%, Defense 120, Evasion 1-75%, Magic Resistance 5-50%
And finally, we have one last mini-boss to send us off. Actually, the game plays boss music for this, so it's supposed to be a boss fight, but it is completely optional.
This ice attack hits the whole party, but this is a case of a monster being scarier to a whole party than a solo character. Also it's weak to fire, so killing isn't too tricky. Another "boss" that's a complete chump, but at least it's scarier than the behemoth.
And there's one last door roulette before we're basically done with the tower. Honestly, it seems so weird that this was such a quick and easy run, relatively speaking. Mysidia tower is well know for being an absolute slog. But it's mostly difficult because it's such a drain on your resources; you do have aspil by this point, but unless you tried to grind drop the wizards, and the only place you can do that is in the coliseum, then you've only got one. And all the new armor with status resistances are great, but you only have so many. For a solo game none of that is a problem.
I never said a solo run of FF2 didn't have some perks.
Oh there you are. Everyone's been looking for you. Have you been here this whole time?
Maybe. Anyway so I'm gonna sacrifice my life to open this door so you can get Ultima.
...even I think that's a little excessive. I mean, do we really need to-
Well, uh, thanks for that. Sorry about your... life.
Well that sure was a death of some description.
Oh look, shiny orbs! Now, this is kind of weird. Each of those four orbs surrounding the center give a random character +10 to a certain stat.
+10 strength to... Vivian! All right!
+10 soul to Richard. Ah well, I'm not really heartbroken over that. Vivian's got plenty of soul.
+10 intelligence to... Vivian! Well, that's nice.
And finally, the most important one, is agility. It goes to...
You're shitting me. It went to Vivian. Vivian got almost all of the stat gains, with the exception of the one she was already pretty solid for to begin with. That is... wow.
By the way, I am not abusing save-states for this game. I did not save-scum for this result. I... really have nothing to save about this. I'm just stunned.
And finally, we get the sealed spell, Ultima.
Ultima is a piece of shit.
This spell is famously bugged in this version of the game. It has a base power of 100, which is flipping insane, but it doesn't actually gain power as it levels. Now, in the remake, the spell's power is based on the levels of all your spells and weapons, which is probably how the spell is supposed to work. But it doesn't, and Ultima is worthless.
Even in versions where it works, Ultima is still a waste of time. A decently leveled toad in capable hands can devastate a whole mess of enemies in a single turn, and when that doesn't work, a berserked fighter chews through single enemies effortlessly. Both of which are methods you are likely to already have at your disposal. Ultima requires grinding a new spell. Also, I don't know what the formula is for Ultima, but even in the remakes Ultima's power doesn't seem to grow that much. Again, it's based on weapon and magic levels, so maybe I never had high enough levels for it. Still, if you had Berserk 16 why would you need Ultima 16?
The game very nicely warps you out once you get the spell. By the way, make sure to get the other orbs before Ultima, because if you don't they're gone. Anyway, now that we've got Ultima, we... hm, what is next? Could it be something stupid?
Of course it is, it's FF2.
Power +2 (+10 from equipment, +10 from sphere), Agility +0 (+10 from sphere), Vitality +5, Intelligence +3 (+10 from sphere), Soul +12 (+10 from equipment), Unarmed +1, Magic Defense +1, Cure +1, Fire +1, Blink +1, Curse +1, Holy +1, Blind +1, Aspil +3, Drain +1, HP +386