The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy III

by Mega64

Part 13: Hell is the Cave of Darkness

Well, no putting it off any longer. We have to do the Cave of Darkness now.

First part of the bullshit is even getting to the cave in the first place. Plenty of random enemies, and a lot of mountain hopping with some dead ends. Wonderful.

Let's begin, shall we?

Even trying to cheese with a Dragoon ends up being long and not worth the effort. Let's do it how the game wants us to do it.

Fuck yeah.

As the game has drilled into us by this point, a M.Knight won't have trouble taking this dungeon on, as their blades prevent enemies from splitting. A Black Mage could also theoretically handle this, but this place is long and they'll probably run out of MP long before then. Other physical classes will take forever to clear random battles, and the enemies have shitty rewards anyway. You're pretty much forced to take two or three M.Knights, a White Mage, and maybe some other class (a Bard could actually be useful here with Cheer spamming).

Or we can just have one overpowered character rip the shit out of everything. That's right, Stalin just dealt over 4000 damage.

Of course, double-wielding or even front-row shielding isn't the way to go here. Encounters won't kill you, but this place is long enough that you may actually run out of HiPotions before reaching the end. Thus, back-row plinking it is.

At least this man's death scored us a free sword. What a wimp to not even finish the first floor.

M.Knights have the best sprites.

This dungeon is eight floors. Encounters are a slog even when properly prepared. So of course this game decides that isn't enough bullshit, and throws in a ton of secret paths that lead nowhere. And of course even if you find the exit, you have to go back and explore every path just to find the treasure. A lot of these paths loop around each other, so you'll end up wasting a lot of time just trying to navigate this place.

Here's a more generous example of what to expect in this dungeon. Eight floors of this. While fighting splitting enemies. They don't even give you enough experience to make the grind worth it.

Whoever designed this dungeon hates you.

That said, we can gather Genji equipment here. This dungeon has the only set in the game, and M.Knights happen to be able to equip it. It's certainly an upgrade from the flimsy Demon items they have, and there's actually a gauntlet and helmet. If you have a second M.Knight, well, he's screwed.

This would be nice if dual-wielding were a good idea here.

Hell Ponies are the only enemy that don't split, and they actually give decent EXP. I still treat them like I do the other enemies.

At this point, shields start giving stat boosts to keep up with dual-wielding. The Genji Shield boosts strength and agility by 5.

Final floor!

Of course, we can't actually get the Fang this way. This path mainly lets us know that, yes, there is indeed an end to this nightmare.

Of course this dungeon has a boss. However, you're actually shown some mercy here, as Hekaton's pretty tame.

He goes down pretty easily.

I hope you brought Exit or a Warp Stone! Else you'll have to walk all the way back out!

Of course, we still have to actually get out of this area first. But we're done!

Now, the next thing you're supposed to do is go to Doga's Place, but let's sequence break a bit.

With the Earth Fang, we can finally reach the final area of the game.

Behold, Shilx Tower. We could go to the tower itself, but there's no reason to since we can't get there anyway.

This is the first of four dungeons in the end game gauntlet. More on that later, as the only thing we're here to do is check out the Earth Crystal right next to the entrance.

They don't waste any time giving Hekaton a palate-swap. Who happens to be the name of a summon.

Unlike Hekaton, Titan doesn't fuck around. He flings Flares like nobody's business. My strategy, like all M.Knight boss strategies, is to beat this guy in a damage race before he kills me.

So much for that. Time for Plan A+.

The best plan.

So we've got more jobs now!

Only three, though, all upgrades to our current magic jobs. Priest is the upgraded WhiteMage, Sorcerer is the upgraded BlackMage (and happens to have the second-highest Vitality score of all jobs, which is pretty crazy), and Summoner is the upgraded Conjurer. All have much more MP, the two mages can cast L8 magic, and the Summoner skips the random effect bullshit in favor of a third attack that's much more effective against groups of enemies and much more in line with what you expect from a summoner.

So of course, I'm going to try it out.

So I stock up on summons, having one on each level. The Summoner's magic is actually pretty solid considering it can one-shot most encounters.

The wind will push back even the Invincible, so we need the Nautilus to get back to Doga's.

Summons are awesome. While Shiva's a bit weaker than the others, Stalin can one-shot most encounters with Ramuh, Ifrit, or Titan. This lets him save Leviathan and Bahamut for boss battles.

...Why couldn't you just teleport us to where you are at, you dick?

When I said Stalin can one shot most encounters, this includes this dungeon, where Stalin can kill any encounter, and with MP to burn.

Why does Doga have a room full of skulls?

The flying bull is called Phunbaba. Neat.

It's a short, rather uneventful dungeon.

Doga: Listen. A long time ago, weapons were made which were too powerful to be used. Those weapons were sealed away in Eureka. We need them now, to defeat Zande. To enter Eureka, you need a key. But in order to create it, the energy of a powerful battle is needed.
Stalin: No!
Bukhrn: You can't expect us to fight you!

What the Christ, Doga?

Don't take whatever the fuck this thing is lightly.

Leviathan actually kind of sucks for bosses. You might as well stick to Bahamut.

Doga always starts off with Quake.

Bahamut's awesome.

Doga then uses Break for his second turn.

Give me four of the fucking things in this dungeon yet they don't do a damn thing.

Fortunately, two Megaflares will wipe Doga out before he uses Break again. Just a shame it took me three attempts to learn that.

why did you have to disrobe to fight me why do your arms have so many flabs of loose skin

you know what nevermind you can tell Bahamut all about it

Une starts the battle off casting Weak, which knocks you to single-digit HP. Fuck. It actually causes me to waste an Elixir.

Silly Une, reflecting Megaflare only works for the protagonist!

Stalin: Doga!
Doga: Don't worry about us. Even if our bodies die, we will live on... Now get going to Shilx Tower.

Yay, Doga's dead! Boo, two more fucking items taking up spots in our inventory!

Well, we've now got the two keys we need to enter the final dungeon, so...

Next time, we begin one of the longest final dungeon runs in FF history (though not quite as long as The After Years').