Part 14: Chapter 14
This is a disturbing trend. Not only did Gatea also go all melty, the overworld encounters in the goblins-and-bees region seem... slightly different. Sorcerers do have some interesting drops, though (unfortunately they won't drop Aspil, that's just Wizards.)
: "Oh god, this is terrible. I can't imagine what it would be like victoriously finishing a quest to save your homeland only to come back to find it in ruins."
Phin seems to be more or less intact, though, so everyone we know
Everyone? This guy fails at counting.
This guy fails at meteorology.
Hey, our wench is back! I choose to blame this on her.
: "I'm so glad to have found you."
: "The Emperor is hiding within the eye of the Whirlwind."
: "Even though we now have Ultima, it's still hopeless. We'll be swallowed by the Whirlwind before we can use it! It would be impossible to enter unless we could fly..."
: "In the past, we've used the light of the Pendant when we wanted to call the Dragoon and the Hiryuu."
That's helpful. Let's go see if we can find anyone less useless to explain how to advance the plot.
: "Well, here's a tip. Search the beside [sic] the bed..."
No plot pointers, but we get a fair bit of loot as a consolation prize. Most of it is worthless, but an extra Black Armor and Goldpin are pretty sweet. The blood sword is also handy if you missed the first one (or just want to double up.) If you could get this stuff earlier it would be awesome, but unfortunately the passage doesn't actually open up until now.
Since Hilda doesn't really explain what the hell you need to do here (the remakes are considerably clearer, as I recall), let's just randomly head into this out-of-the-way tower of Castle Phin.
This is a completely logical course of action that is derived by rational processes from the information the game gives to you.
Apparently HiryDRAGONS have a gestation time of about a week.
Also they are capable of supersonic flight from birth and have impeccable homing capabilities.
Now we take our infant HiDRAGON and fly it directly into a world-destroying tornado. I'm beginning to think the Empire didn't really poison the DRAGONS, they just all died to aggravated neglect.
(Sadly you can't actually fly the DRAGON around on the world map; all it does is get you into the Whirlwind.)
I... don't think whirlwinds actually work this way.
A few weapon upgrades for some long-neglected weapon types (which I'm not really using anyhow.) The Poison Axe is a pretty solid weapon; it does poison-elemental damage and also inflicts poison, although I'm not really sure how effective poison actually is vs. monsters (compared to winning entire fights in 1-2 spells, I'm going to go ahead and say "not terribly effective.") The Ripper is a decently powerful dagger with an odd side effect: every hit does an extra 20 damage, regardless of enemy defense. I'm not really sure what the point is, since if you were using a stronger weapon to begin with you'd probably do at least that much extra damage anyhow--I guess if you were fighting slimes it would be relevant (since basically any weapon is going to 0 damage after their defense), but not really enough to be useful. I don't think you're likely to run into many more slimes at this point in the game anyhow.
Poor Gotus. Not even being a named enemy saves him from the ignominy of becoming a generic random monster a couple dungeons after you fight him as a boss.
The "Corpses" ("Bodyguards" in the remake, suggesting a rather interesting translation of "body") are a pretty generic enemy, but golems are among the few things that you can't simply Toad/Mini away. Their high HP/defense makes physical attacks impractical, but thankfully, these ones are made of highly flammable wood.
A few other enemies. The VmpLady is a stronger version of the VmpGirl; both of them are immune to Toad, but being undead they die instantly to Life spells. The Lamia is just a weaker version of the Lamia Queen boss.
Interesting note: when the HDRAGON comes to join you, it appears in your inventory as an actual item that you can equip and use in combat for free fire spells. It's pretty useless, but it's about as good as anything else Richard is going
All the Diamond armors are lightning-resistant, but they're also heavy and not nearly useful as some of the alternatives you've picked up by this point.
That doesn't stop the Diamond Armor itself from being guarded by a monster-in-a-box. I'm pretty sure the Generals have loot that's probably better than the treasure they're guarding--if I remember correctly they can drop an axe that's one of the game's strongest weapons, among other things--but I'm too lazy to bother savescumming. Besides, the only character I'm using for melee is Marty, and there's something better coming up:
Not only is the Defense Sword yet another appreciable sword upgrade, it has an evade rating that's better than most shields.
Although... come to think of it, Marty's almost at maximum evasion anyhow. The spellcasting penalty from swords isn't quite as bad as shields, so I think I'm going to try giving this to Fry to see how he does. He's got a high enough Soul he may be able to afford it, and every little bit of evasion helps his speed.
Another new enemy type comes up. The Amoeba is yet another toadproof enemy, and unlike vampires/golems/slimes it has no conveniently exploitable elemental weaknesses. It is still vulnerable to being pummeled repeatedly by a berserk-enhanced Marty, though.
I haven't really been following it, but this place is almost as bad a maze as the Black Mask cave. Eventually after exhausting all the side paths and their loot it transitions into an actual castle-type area sitting on top of the whirlwind.
But before we head up, there's one more piece of loot to grab, and one more boss monster-in-a-box.
Just for variety's sake I decide to kill it the old-fashioned non-Toad way. I killed the white dragon with berserk, so I kill this one with elemental weaknesses (poison and lightning are elemental opposites I guess?) The WindFlute that it guards is similar to the Earth Drum, except it casts a Tornado spell instead of Quake--basically the same thing (strong non-elemental damage), except it does extra damage vs. fliers instead of earth-type enemies.
dun dun duuuuuuun
Hey, speaking of wasting peoples' time...
At least it doesn't put us through another bullshit cutscene capture sequence.
Oh yes, one more of the guys we just completely wiped out than before. That will show us!
(I notice that I'm running a bit low on resources for the upcoming EPIC FINAL BOSS BATTLE, so I took the liberty of draining MP off these guys for a few turns using Aspil.)
EPIC FINAL BOSS BATTLE! This fight is every bit the dramatic climax you would expect from such a well-crafted game. I recommend stocking no less than 2 Elixirs on everybody and grinding all your utility spells up to level 8 or so. You'll want to toss up a full level Barrier plus a few layers of preferably double-digit-leveled Blink and Shell on everybody before you even start thinking of casting the Berserk spells you'll need to produce the damage output to take this bastard down.
Or, y'know. Toad him and be done with it. He's not actually especially difficult even without it; he does have some annoying spells, but nothing particularly dangerous. Worst case scenario, he'll end up dragging the fight out a few extra rounds with his bullshit.
World saved, we win.
Awesome victory dance! Cue the credits!
: "Oh yeah. Weren't we supposed to be searching for him or something?"
I take back everything bad I've said about the translation, because this line is straight up awesome. I wish other classic JRPGs were this blunt about their inane plots.
: "Yes, that could be true... He should be in Paramekia Castle now. See what you can do..."
: "Isn't Lenny Marty's brother? What'll you do?"
: "Don't worry about it. We'll deal with him."
: "...I had a feeling you'd say that."