Part 5: Chapter 5This portion of the game tends to be a popular quitting point, since the plot rapidly devolves into a convoluted multi-stage fetch quest that requires you to talk to obscure NPCs in a certain order to progress through. Thanks to the keyword system, this is largely mandatory even if you know exactly where to go and what to do.
: "But that flame can't be removed by any normal means..."
: "If we had the Sun Flame, we might be able to destroy the Warship."
: "So it's true! Please find a way to harness of the Sun Flame, at any cost!"
Hmm. Maybe turban guy will know more about the Sun Flame, he seems pretty smart.
: "The Sun Flame is transferred onto the Egil Torch for purification. So, if you could find the Egil Torch, the Sun Flame could be yours."
Good to know, but still no leads on where to go.
So to get the Sun Flame we need the Egil Torch, and to get the Egil Torch we need the Goddess Bell. It would be helpful if any of you jerks told us where the hell to find these things.
But no. I guess at best all you can do is tell us who might be able to tell us where we find these things.
Time to make yet another trip back up to Salmando. By now Guido's Bolt spell is basically wiping out overworld enemies in one shot, so Fry has nothing better to do but practice. The best part is, Guido has dual shields and crazy high evasion and Fry has a bow and very little evasion; since all speed-based mechanics are keyed off your evasion%, Guido almost always goes first and kills everything before Fry moves so he gets to practice his magic without actually spending MP.
Remember, holding shields makes you go faster. I can only assume the shields must have racing stripes painted on them. Vroom vroom!
: "However, you can't enter the snow field without my Ice Sled. I hid it in the Semite Cave. A secret chamber exists on the ground floor... I've marked the spot. I'll show you the way."
Josef joins the party. He doesn't have any magic, let alone all the ridiculous broken stuff turban guy had. He's not a terrible fighter, but not all that impressive either. His only skill is unarmed fighting, which is not very impressive unless it's leveled up very heavily. (Barehanded attacks do have the advantage of having absolutely ridiculous accuracy, though.)
However, Marty doesn't need some random dork cramping her style, so he gets stuck in the back with Fry's old Longbow.
FFII's remakes might have superior graphics that are more faithful to the original concept art, but when it comes to Josef's battle sprite they just can't compare. In the remakes his battle sprite is a fat bald nerd wearing a poncho. In this version, Josef's battle sprite is motherfucking ninja Shakespeare.
Finally starting to see some more agility ups. I was starting to get concerned.
Back at Semite Falls. I command you to yield unto me your secrets, mysterious blue rock!
The snow fields are accessed to the northwest of Salmando. You can't walk on them, but with the Ice Sled... wheeeeeee! I'm pretty sure the overriding imperative of Final Fantasy I-III was to add as many new vehicles as possible with each release.
In the remakes, there's a minigame added you can play by pressing A+B (or the equivalent buttons) together 55 times, just like FF1's sliding tile game. It's a memory game and you can get some decent prizes for winning--very useful if you don't feel like grinding for all the spells and mithril gear that are for sale in this area. It doesn't exist in the original, though.
As might be expected, ice-themed palette swaps start showing up when on the Ice Sled. Thanks to the Fire Bow, Fry is finally useful.
Just kidding; Fry is never useful. He goes back to practicing his spells while everyone else kills all the monsters without him. Marty gets a level up with her secondary weapon, too.
The snow fields make a decently long trip to the cave where the Goddess Bell lies, but thankfully the encounter rate on the ice sled seems pretty low.
Oh good, an entire dungeon made out of ice. This is not a very auspicious sign if you've played Final Fantasy I, but thankfully it's not particularly difficult. Just kind of long, especially if you're grabbing all the loot.
Some new enemies show up in here. Grenades are tougher versions of Balloons; they've got more HP and are therefore harder to kill safely, but Guy's Bolt spell is still up to the task. The DeadHead is an unremarkable undead enemy; the Shadow is slightly more interesting, with lots of resistances and physical attacks that inflict blindness, but none of these guys are very tough.
Guido gets a timely Fire level up. It's still kind of underleveled; if you get an earlier start on Fire it can make this dungeon a little bit easier, but if it's leveled too high then you may end up going through MP too quickly.
There's a good bit of treasure in this place. Some of it is awesome, some of it is not. This is not.
Next to the staircase there's an unopenable door set in the south wall.
And near the next floor's stairs down there's an openable door that leads to another pointless room.
More monsters! Icicles have pretty strong attack and defense, but like almost everything else in this dungeon they're weak against Fire. Ghouls are a bit tougher than the other undead so far--they hit more often, have more health, and paralyze with their physical attacks. They're still pretty squishy, though.
Floor 3. Heading west from the stairs, we pick up a one-shot battle item. This one actually isn't that terrible; it casts Ice 16 (!) in battle. It's definitely worth holding on to, at least for now.
These guys mostly only show up on the lower floors, and they're the toughest random monsters you'll find in this dungeon. They're about as strong as Icicles, except they have more health, lack the easily exploitable weakness to fire, and hit two times. Guido can still one-shot them with Bolt 4, though.
Exploring the third floor some more, we find some stairs... up?
There's a small cache of treasure up here, but this stuff is kind of meh. The Battle Axe is a useful upgrade for Marty, although it's not especially valuable by this point.
A mithril mace is definitely a bit better, although I'm really not sure I see why it warrants a monster-in-a-box.
Fortunately, it's a complete joke if you have a decent Fire or Bolt spell.
Marty rotates weapons again. The main advantage of the staff/mace weapons is that you can equip them without hurting your spellcasting too badly; obviously Marty doesn't care about that (and daggers are probably a better choice if you want weapons for your casters), but there are some advantages to having a bit of mace skill early on.
Aw. Fry and Josef are bow buddies!
The group makes its way back down to Floor 3, and then down to Floor 4.
Lots of treasure chests on this floor. Two of them are just Potions, but these two chests are great. The free Ice spell is extremely well-timed here. The mithril spear... well, it sells for a nice amount. I guess if you had a spear user it would be pretty nice, but it's awfully hard to think of reasons to use spears in this game. They're slightly weaker and slightly more accurate than swords; the spellcasting penalty for using spears isn't as stiff as it is for most other serious weapons, but it's still way too big to be able to cast anything reliably without ridiculous amounts of skill grinding.
Floor 5. This is a long damn dungeon like Semite Falls, so if you're going to have one guy carrying the party with spells, make sure you work heavily on raising MP or grab an Ether.
Free mithril shield, and another Fire level for Guido. Yes, that's two level ups in this one dungeon (although granted he was close to the first one to begin with.)
In the southwest corner of the dungeon, there's another monster-in-a-box. It's an even bigger joke than the grenade party, so I didn't even bother taking a shot of it.
The ancient sword is very strong (well, compared to the weapons you're supposed to get--it can't compare with the flame bow from the captains), but it has some... minor accuracy problems. It does have a very useful property, but it's probably not very good for general use when you first get it.
No stairs on this floor, just a door. Inside we find...
Brown moogles? No. Beavers.
: "A bell is hidden beyond the right wall, he says."
Pretty sure Guido is just making it up as he goes along.
Free silver armor. It's pretty handy, but so inexpensive that you'll probably have as much of this stuff as you want.
We've reached the boss, so some equipment shuffling is in order.
Yes, it's another goddamned turtle. As might be expected it has absolutely ridiculous defense. The flame bow could probably do a little bit of damage, but again, you probably don't want to try to take this guy down with physical attacks under normal circumstances.
Fortunately, the dungeon gave you the specific spell that this guy's weak against, so even if your weapons don't do any damage it should be easy to win.
There is a way to get some weapon damage in against the Adamantoise, though, thanks to the Ancient Sword. If you do manage to land any hits it can cause the Curse status, cutting defense in half. Even Josef's crappy Longbow is able to do some damage due to the curse effect, so if you have decent weapons it may actually be feasible to beat the Adamantoise to death.
Curse also halves attack power. Since this is the damage after the curse, you can see why this is handy.
Fry could probably actually do some appreciable damage with the flame bow now, but I've got him on dedicated defensive duty. Level 1 Blink is not tremendously useful, but Marty has high evasion and it doesn't take a lot to shut this guy down.
Of course, if for some reason you just can't manage to survive the five or so turns it takes to kill the Adamantoise with the Ice spell... I hope you picked up that IceWind earlier in the dungeon.
After killing the Adamantoise, search the wall behind it to pick up the Goddess Bell. (Yes, in previous playthroughs I've actually managed to forget this step and ended up having to do the dungeon twice. Worse, that was on the PSX version so no savestates.)
Now that we've got what we came for, time to Exit out and... huh. That's odd.
Luckily, there's a convenient one-way shortcut back to the start of the dungeon.
This is what happens when you get careless with handling Grenades. It pays to make sure that you can take them out in one clean shot, otherwise it gets painful in a hurry.
Hey, what's this loser doing here?
: "Muahahahaha... you'll never leave here alive!"
Final Fantasy II has a lot of underwhelming bosses, but even by those standards Borgan is a joke boss. He's not really any more dangerous than any of the random enemies in the dungeon; he does have a couple hundred HP, and can cast Cure on himself, but there's no threat whatsoever. He's basically the FFII equivalent of Garland.
(In terms of difficulty, that is; he doesn't turn out to be the end boss or anything. Although that would be awesome, especially in the GBA version because he has the best portrait ever.)
His treasure is garbage, too.
Welp, time to leave the dungeon now that the boss is dead and nothing bad could possibly go wrong.
: "Ninja Shakespeare! Nooooo!"
: "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done..."
: "That's Dickens, you twit."
Josef proceeds to explode. Maybe he was Robot Ninja Shakespeare.
The boulder rolls harmlessly away, having failed to accomplish anything worthwhile.
(Note that if you're playing the portable remakes this is not actually the end of Josef, so again... giving him training and equipment actually isn't a terrible idea. But he really is just around for this one dungeon in the original.)
The people in Salmando take it hard for some reason.
All things considered, crazy stalker lady, I think Josef would probably appreciate it more if you stayed away from his daughter.