Part 3: Better Dead Than Red Mage
Welcome to Kazusu.
Apparently there's a ghost problem. Fortunately, by this point Stalin's gotten used to being haunted by the ghosts of his former comrades, so he should be prepared for anything.
Looks like our next mission is to visit the kingdom of Sasoon and find Princess Sara.
This is where we first meet Cid, and he immediately gives us an airship. Awesome!
There's this random passage here, though I couldn't find anything.
I'll be switching classes a lot in this update. I opt with Fighter here because there's an area I want to explore with some tough monsters, and I figure a Fighter with a shield would handle hits better than a Monk.
I forgot that you can't get the loot here until later. Oops.
You'll find some tough enemies here. Shades like to inflict Blind, which reduces your hit accuracy. Which is already pretty poor in the back row.
Deaths This Update: 1
Total Deaths: 3
Trust me, this number's only going to go up from here.
There's a few items in the grass, the most notable being a Mithril helmet.
That's right. After thirty minutes of game time, you get your first airship. Fuck yeah!
Except for one little problem: airships in this game cannot fly over mountains. So we're stuck in this tiny area. Still, we now have access to the cave in the north, and we get to skip random encounters. So let's check out Sasoon.
Sasoon's also been hit by Djinn's curse.
Might as well loot these guys blind while they can't do anything! Ice is our first offensive spell, which would be nice if black magic weren't so underwhelming in this game. It'll still have its moments, though.
There's a unique weapon that only a Red Mage can equip, which in this version is called the White Slayer. It's a holy-elemental weapon that can wreck the undead's shit.
The major flaw with this weapon is that it requires a Red Mage to use it.
Stalin: Where is this Djinn?
King: In the Cave of the Seal, north of the castle. But without the Mithril Ring, it's impossible to defeat the Djinn.
Bukhrn: Doesn't Princess Sara have such a ring?
King: Ah, of course! She was given one by the people of Kazusu a long time ago. But I haven't seen her around... she couldn't have gone after the Djinn herself?!
Stalin: We'll head for the Cave of the Seal.
King: Ah, excellent. If I remember correctly, there is a hidden door in the cave triggered by a skull. Please! Defeat the Djinn and restore us to normal!
So the Princess is in another...let's say location.
This tower houses the White Slayer.
It also houses some annoying enemies. Dark Eyes, like many monsters at this stage of the game, absolutely love inflicting Blind.
It takes a couple tries just to scale this small tower.
Along the way, there's some arrows to collect.
Zombies don't inflict statuses. They just hit hard.
Very hard. That's the third death this update, right?
On my fourth attempt, I finally open the god damn chest.
Fortunately, the Griffin doesn't hit too hard, and it whiffs a lot of attacks. I do burn through a couple Potions, but overall it's a pretty easy, if lengthy fight. Three minutes later, it's dead.
Red Mages actually have the best equipment options right now, with access to the Mithril Helmet, Bronze Armlet, and White Slayer. They also get to use both Black and White magic.
In the other tower, we find a Bow to use those arrows with.
You're so dangerous, Stalin.
Back in the first town, we pick up Antdt, which cures Poison. It saves on Antidotes, at least.
We also stock up on Eyedrops, because fuck Blind.
This is the first real dungeon, and it can really wreck your shit if you're not prepared. Hell, it can wreck you shit even if you are prepared.
Mummies hit hard and can inflict Poison. They're a huge pain to fight.
There's no point healing status effects when the enemies can just re-inflict it the next round, so I wait until post-battle to heal.
No, wait, I simply die instead.
Potions actually heal a pretty solid amount considering. They're a bit pricey, but they're worth the money.
I try to grind another level as a Monk before switching to Red Mage and doing the cave proper. It doesn't always go well, of course. Eventually I go outside to grind Capacity
Boom, I'm a pathetic Red Mage, ready to take on the world!
There's nothing really useful for a solo run, though a second Cure spell helps when you have a full party that's alive.
Even in the front row, Stalin sometimes misses with the White Slayer, which means it's hard to deliver a hit in the back row.
It may be hard to see, but Stalin did 39 damage to the front Mummy. Stalin can two-shot any monster, which is alright but still makes surviving encounters a nightmare.
For instance, this is Stalin at the end of that fight. At least he's alive. For now.
Running's usually a bad idea, but Stalin was fucked anyway. Might as well gamble.
As the king said, this skull lets you move further into the cave.
And there's Princess Sara, who somehow managed to make more progress in probably less attempts than me.
Sara: I was protected from the Djinn's curse by this mithril ring. I came here because I wanted to help the others. But with all these monsters, I can't go any farther...
Stalin: This place is dangerous, Princess. Please return to the castle and wait there.
Sara: Absolutely not! I will continue. I'll even go by myself!
So we've gained our first ally. These characters don't actually participate in battles. All they do is talk to you and fuck up dashing.
Now instead of running with B, I end up talking to Sara. Fuck that.
To drive the point home further, here's another S Wind.
This is actually the final room, and thus the game starts throwing bullshit like this at you.
At least I killed one of them!
HOW THE FUCK DID CURE NOT WORK FUCK YOU RED MAGE YOU'RE THE FUCKING WORST
I leave, grind as a Fighter since switching to Monk is expensive, and switch back, hoping the Red Mage would gain a second hit. He doesn't.
OK, this one was intentional because I didn't want to soft reset.
New plan. Red Mage is fucking horrible, but a Fighter is usually pretty solid. Let's try that!
We make it to the final floor easily enough. Blue Eyes are the 62nd enemy in this area that inflicts Blind, while Evil Coin goes one step further and inflicts sleep.
Alright, enough fucking around.
Tried and true. Screw defense, I'm going to play the same way everyone plays FF3: Dual-wielding.
With two blades, Stalin can now one-shot most enemies. I've discovered you take less damage when there are less enemies alive to hit you.
Not that it doesn't get dicey. You can also get a better look at the current ally in the lower-right.
Death number... wait, I actually made it?
After that pain in the ass jaunt through the dungeon, we finally reach the asshole responsible for this mess.
Fortunately, now that we have 250HP, Djinn is pretty weak. Rather than having to fight a bunch of enemies that can combined do over 75 damage a turn, we have this guy who barely scratches us.
I need a Potion or two, but overall he's a breeze.
Sara: Thank you very much. With your help, the Djinn has been sealed away. Now we can remove his curse if we drop this ring into the holy fountain in Sasoon Castle. I'll warp us there with the ring's power.
GOOD, because FUCK backtracking that place.
Sara: We must part here... I must return to my father. He will be anxious to see me. But I would like to stay with you as well...
Sara's gone, which is great because I can dash again.
Our reward for saving the kingdom is a canoe.
Well, that and having a princess fawn over Stalin. Once the old man croaks, maybe we can convince her to abolish this outdated government and adopt a new one that helps the people rather than a privileged few.
We can use our canoe to get our much-superior airship back, so there's that, I guess.
Oh, and Cid joined.
If we let Cid yammer on long enough, he'll tell us what to do next.
Sweet. Just one thing I need to do first.
So yeah, looks like I did need to kill the Djinn first to access the treasure here.
My reward is two free Mithril swords. Hell yes.
Guess I should've talked to this kid first!
The weapon shop doesn't really have much to offer, but there's some good Mithril armor for whatever class I end up being.
I also pick up the Fire spell in case I need to burn things in the future.
Goodbye, airship. It was nice knowing you.
Next time, I suffer some more.