The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy II

by Camel Pimp

Part 16: Family Ties

Welcome back! Last time, there was drama!

This always gets me. Vivian has no reason to believe this, other than wishful thinking. Since the emperor is fucking dead, wouldn't the spell be broken and he'd be all righteous again? Hell, we've never seen any evidence that the emperor can do this. I always think that maybe mind control was supposed to be a plot point since it's one in FF4, and FF4 might have borrowed a bit from this game, but later dialogue makes fairly it clear there is no mind control. Why even bring it up, game?

I know, murderous magic cyclone, and this is what annoys me.

Anyway, so we've got a destination. But no idea how to get there; we've seen this castle, but couldn't enter. Hm.

If we talk around, the game points us towards Paul's house. But we don't actually talk to him...

Look everyone, it's Cid!

You can tell he's injured, because he hobbles over to the bed. Rather than... just being in the bed.

Like in true FF2 tradition, we can't get anything without someone dying horribly for it. Anyway, we have the airship!

It's in Poft. We have to travel over there to get it.

If I had to guess why the creators make you so this, it's to force you to fight at least some of the changed over world enemies; we're not going to be doing that for much longer. But it's really stupid, especially when you think about how the hell Cid got to Phin. Think about it. He wasn't there when we returned from Mysidia, so he wasn't in Phin when the tornado hit. Since he left his airship behind, that can only mean he fucking walked to Phin.

All that nonsense aside, we've now finally got an airship... and there's only one new location this opens up. Woo. At least going back to Phin or Mysidia is a lot easier.

Actually, if we were to head back to Dist, Richard would have a conversation with the mom and kid, giving the game one of the only moments where there's anything resembling characterization. Okay, I say that, but mostly it's Richard macking on the mom. But it's something.

Since this isn't a story-oriented LP, we're just gonna run to the next dungeon.

And here we are. In order to enter, we just need to land on the very top of the castle.

And we're thrown right into it!

Oh, you thought I was kidding when I said Generals were random encounters? Fortunately one is easy enough to deal with. Like with the general fight in the whirlwind, we just need to land curse and we'll be okay. However, the issue will be surviving long enough to inflict the curse.

Oh, and wearing a full set of armor will be necessary. While I've been trying in vain to wear as little as possible to keep my evasion as high as I can, I simply need the defense. Besides, 61 defense for -10% evasion is pretty damn good anyway.

Oh and there was a trap door there for... some reason. That was a dead end, you know. If there was no trap I don't know how we could access anything else in the castle.

And right from where we started, there's a new piece of armor. This is the cuirass, so it's actually useful! It has the highest defense of any light armor of the game, with 43 defense. If I hadn't forbid agility increasing armor, this wouldn't be worth much, as the Black Garb has a defense of 40 and a host of awesome properties. All the Diamond Cuirass has going for it is three extra defense. But with the restriction, the second best piece of light armor I can use is the Black Robe, with 35 defense. Still, for the moment there's no way in hell I'm taking off the White Robe.

Stone Golem
Rank 7, HP 1,800, MP 240, Attack Power 120, Attacks 7, Accuracy 95%, Defense 150, Evasion 1-50%, Magic Resistance 14-100%

Stone Golems are infinitely more annoying than their little brothers, due to the fact that their weakness is poison. I have level 2 Aero. Yeah. Holy is actually my best bet for taking it down, and even then Holy does between 200 and 300. Also, it can attempt to cast stop on you, to no avail.

Oh, I made an erroneous statement earlier, and I'd like to clear it up. I stated that magic defense does not defend against damage spells whatsoever, but that's wrong. It does, but in a less obvious way. Damage spells have a base attack power and a number of "hits", both of which are based on the intelligence or soul of the caster and the spell's level. I can't find a specific calculation, and I'm a little fuzzy on the exact mechanics going on here. Basically a damage spell cannot fail entirely, it will always do some damage unless the enemy absorbs the element, but magic defense can mitigate the damage done.

I mention this because 14-100% magic defense are you fucking kidding me?

Rank 6, HP 640, MP 300, Attack Power 50, Attacks 6, Accuracy 75%, Defense 40, Evasion 1-65%, Magic Resistance 4-40%

Skulls are another enemy type that would be scarier if I didn't have status protection, as they also get Stone 16. Apparently it gets drain touch, and with 6 attacks that would be nasty, but it doesn't have attacking in its ability list. It'd have to run out of MP to attack, and with 300 MP (and being undead, so you can't drain it) that's unlikely.

Just as an aside, I've done solo runs of this game before, and I've done them both in the original game and the GBA remake. Now you'd think it's easier in the remake, and for the most part I'd say it is. However, sometimes multi-targeted spells will be single-targeted if you've only got one character left. This doesn't happen in the original at all; if the monster is programmed to use a multi-targeted version of a spell it will, regardless of how many characters are left. In the remake, it will change to a single-target spell... sometimes. Not all the time. It seems totally random and I haven't found rhyme or reason to it. In any case, the skull's ice 12 becomes single-target, and a hell of a lot more threatening. The skulls become one of the deadliest enemies in the dungeon because of it. Weird.

Dark Knight
Rank 6, HP 1,140, Attack Power 85, Attacks 7, Accuracy 80%, Defense 85, Evasion 1-70%, Magic Resistance 5-40%

Hm, wait a second. Haven't we seen these Dark Knights before?

Why, yes, we have. They're a hell of a lot more managable now. They're not complete chumps, they get a fair number of attacks, but they can be cursed and blinded easily enough.

They can drop a bunch of pretty good stuff, including Yoichi bows, the best bow in the game. The Yoichi bow also casts multi-target Berserk 3 when used. Multi-target Berserk 3 is pretty flipping weak, though, and if you have any brains you definitely have a someone with a decent level of berserk by this point, unless you're deliberately restricting it. (In case you're wondering, I'm not using berserk procured from items, either.)

Anyway, the first floor has two staircases leading. The first one you see leads to an hourglass, who cares, and the next leads onward. There's also a chest with garlic on the first floor, and I'm betting you forgot what garlic even did. Eh, that's okay, it's fucking useless even early on.

And there's even more worthless treasure on the second floor! So the second floor is a bust, but on the third floor...

The Bolt spear is a good spear and casts a spell (whichever spell could it be) when used, but what's more interesting is the monster guarding it.

Rank 7, HP 3,000, MP 240, Attack Power 120, Attacks 8, Accuracy 100%, Defense 120, Evasion 1-80%, Magic Resistance 8-30%

It's a gh-gh-ghost! The shade is at least a credible threat, unlike the living emperor. For a regular party, the nastiest thing it does is cast Death 8 on your whole party. Unless you got lucky with the lamia queen (phrasing!), you've only got one source of protection from death: the white robe. At least death is a generally inaccurate spell. The shade can also curse you.

For me, the biggest threat from the shade is their attack. It's at least not a draining attack, but it does get 8 very accurate hits with high attack power, and it resists all status ailments. However, the shade only has a 40% chance to attack you, otherwise it'll cast death or curse. So in practice Vivian wins a damage race quite readily.

The stupid shadow doesn't drop a goddamn thing.

Agility up! In this game, it seems to either vomit agility at me or give me scraps. Sadly, for the moment, I'm getting scraps. Considering that we're coming up to the final dungeon, I'm a little concerned.

Anyway, the spear is the only thing of note on the third floor. On the fourth, there's another pointless heart and valium.

In bottom left corner, there's a door that actually leads somewhere.

Treasure, and it's all staffs! There's another magic staff and evil stick, but also a new one! It's... greed? whatever it's the heal staff. However, the heal staff here works differently from FF1; when you hit someone with it, it restores HP rather than damage them. Apparently it's bugged; it's supposed to harm undead but actually heals them. I don't actually know, I never use it.

Okay, I have to admit an egregious failing on my part. This screenshot is from the fifth floor, and if I were to go left here there's a bit of treasure I would find. First off is the Sun Blade, third most powerful sword in the game and strong against undead, protected by a new monster. There's also a room with three elixirs. Now I don't need any of this, although I wouldn't mind the elixirs, but still I feel bad that I didn't grab it. I did realize later on that I missed something, but I elected not to go back. Honestly I was keen to get out of this dungeon.

Because of these fuckers. My strategy for dealing with these guys was casting curse on them one at a time. Why that? Mainly because it was reliable; blind, blink, or the Slow 9 from the thread would have helped, but I couldn't be 100% sure of the results. At the very least, single target Curse 7 pretty much always hits, and I know exactly what it'll do. A turn wasted could be deadly. Unfortunately, no matter what I did, I was still reliant on luck. Considering that they can kill me within two or three rounds, the last thing I needed was an ambush. (Although thankfully they only did around 500 damage on their surprise round.)

I actually end up popping an elixir to stop a damage spiral, something I'm not sure I've ever done for a random encounter in this game. It gave me enough time to slap curse on the other general, blind them both for good measure, and then I was home free.

Otherwise... Yeah, these generals are not fucking around you guys. I ended up having to drink an elixir to get past three different general fights.

It certainly got down to the wire sometimes.

Other than the generals, since I accidentally skipped the sun blade it's a straight shot to the end. The last bit of treasure is on the top floor, at the far left.

The other is a hellfire. Not worth risking getting into more general fights.

You can see what looks like a throne room off to the right. It might be time to confront Stalin.

No matter, I am th- wait, Solo?

Vivian what the hell are you doing? Is- is he dead? Are they all- holy shit Vivian.

Ha ha! I am the emperor, back from hell itself an- oh, I'm sorry, was this a bad time? Eh, well, whatever, I'm killing everything now. Evil and all that.

Well crap.
Look I'll throw something at him and we'll escape on the wyvern, ok?

Vivian don't do a voice for him fucking hell.

Thus the castle exploded and a bigger castle emerged in its place. HGTV's shows are really getting out there, I have to say.

Again, the game is nice enough to teleport us back here.

Well the emperor's back from hell and he's got a new-
Okay Queen Bee I've got a question of my own. You're not blind, right? You're seeing what Vivian's doing, right? And you're okay with that? What is wrong with you-
Vivian please explain why the dark knight is in my throne room.
Well I was kind of hoping he could be turned to good and work with us.
You want him to join you? ...yeah, sure. Go ahead.
... ... ...fuck.

And so, for the final dungeon, we've got Stalin!

Stalin has much the same problem as Richard, that is you don't really need another front-liner, and his evasion for this point of the game is poor. You could use Stalin as a spellcaster, and he has some okay stats for it, but no spells. At least Richard was around for a few dungeons and you had a chance to build him how you wanted. We've only got one more dungeon to go, although it is a doozy. Most people tend not to try very hard with Stalin, since your main team can definitely carry itself by now.

Now that we're ready to go to the final dungeon, how do we get there?

We can't just land on the castle; we have to find this jade and get in through there. You can talk to a bunch of people for some hints, but Layla straight up tells you where it is.

So we have an idea for our destination. Before we leave, some housekeeping.

After selling off the rest of the crap and buying as many elixirs as I can with the money left over, this is the inventory I have. 10 inventory slots are permanently lost to key items; it would have been 12, but I didn't get the pass and Richard had the wyvern in his inventory when he died. Not that I need much inventory space anyway. I've got 11 elixirs in the main bag and the party is carrying 4 elixirs total. 15 elixirs should be plenty.

Also, since Richard is dead, there's something we can do in Dist.

You don't have to had brought Richard here earlier to talk to them, although the game assumes you did. Use the Dragoon keyword on her and...

She gives you the Excalibur and leaves. Now, I was initially planning on skipping this, since I can't use this weapon, but I thought maybe it'd be worth some cash?

It mostly certainly is. The Excalibur gave me enough to get two extra elixirs, bringing the total up to 17. Sweet!

With all of that out of the way, we're ready to take on the jade passage. Yeah, the portal to hell is just a puddle; it's slightly more impressive looking in the remakes.

Next time, hell!

Power +3, Agility +1, Vitality +9, Intelligence +5, Soul +5, Magic Defense +1, Cure +1, Ice +1, Bolt +1, Aero +1, Curse +1, Blind +1, Aura +1, Aspil +1, Drain +2, HP +380