The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV

by Dragonatrix

Part 3: Bomberdia

03. Bomberdia

[Music: Damcyan Castle]

So, yeah. Damcyan's kinda, sorta, been carpet-bombed. That's not very good.

Before we go and see just how bad it really is, we can circle around to the righthand side and get to this small area.

There's nothing to the left, unfortunately.

Inside, we can press this switch from the side. That's kind of a good thing, really. Out of the treasure we can now get, 2/3 of it is new and/or interesting.

The Crossbow is the bow I alluded to before. We could buy a regular bow back at Kaipo but this is better than it, so why bother? We'll use it maybe once before giving up on bows though.

Because bows suck. Like, a lot.

The chest next to it has another Feathered Cap. We got one at the Waterfall Cave so this one's getting sold.

The Ruby Ring, though, is an interesting trade-off. It's -2 physical defense compared to the Iron Ring, but it's also +1 magic defense and has an immunity to Pig. The latter is basically irrelevant save for on maybe two occasions and neither of them is anytime soon. So, we'll keep hold of this but use the Iron Ring for now.

Down the stairs past the soldier, we can find quite a fair bit of free treasure. Most of it is crap we either already have or don't need though. There's two sets of Holy Arrows...

One set of Iron Arrows...

And a whole bunch of various restoratives. Other than the Ether, the only thing here interesting is a Phoenix Down. Sounds about right.

Back in the castle proper, everyone there is also dead.

Baron's forces either stole everything else, on top of the obvious crystal, or every other chest was empty already since this is the only thing in here.

On the top floor, Tellah finds his daughter dead while Edward Chris von Muir walks in. I like Edward. I am well aware that makes me odd.

I just find it hard to dislike anyone who is voiced by Viral Sam Riegel.

Tellah then proceeds to beat the shit out of him with his bare hands.

Afterwards, Edward talks about the villain and Tellah walks off vowing revenge.

Rydia shows that she's kinda awesome by telling Edward to stop being a giant baby, and he does for now.

Emphasis on the "for now."

And now we know exactly where to look for the Sand Ruby. Edward joins the party and Rydia steals his things immediately.

Also we get a flying car. This is in no way anachronistic, why would you think that?

But seriously, it lets us reach the next two dungeons, backtrack to Kaipo if we want and avoid random encounters. It's pretty useful.

From the gear we got from Edward, this is the only one worth using. The Silence immunity it carries won't help right now, but it's a wonderful bonus all the same.

For now, let's just wander around Damcyan and see what new things are here. The Sand Worm is one of them, and it's the most important one since it's easy as all hell to kill and drops Silver Apples. It's basically the best place to grind those if you really want to (I don't).

Of course, there's also this fight. It's a pain. Sword Rats still don't die in one hit, and Tiny Mages are bastards. They resist magic really well, counter with Osmose and if you hit them physically instead they counter with this:

Paralysis is kind of a pain when you get hit with it. It wears off over time, but you don't get turns, can't dodge and can't escape. Normally whenever this happens and you have a single character, a game over isn't too far behind but in this case it wore off in time (thankfully).

With the hovercraft from Damcyan, we can cross these shoals to the north-east and reach a new area.

The Antlion Cave is just south of there, but if we go to the east instead...

We find a mountain path.

A mountain path we can't get past the start of yet. Normally we wouldn't bother coming here, but I forgot to pick up something at Baron. Something we can currently only get here, since there's no way to reach Baron with the hovercraft.

To make this easier, I opted to equip the Crossbow and Iron Arrows. I'm saving the Holy ones for later. Appropriately, you deal more damage with a bow if you put the arrows in a character's dominant hand.

I have 99 Iron Arrows because in this game they are finite. This was changed in the DS and iOS releases, but that's not the case here. You have 1 arrow, you get 1 attack. You have 198 arrows, you get 99 attacks because they count as seperate stacks. Have to remember to re-equip if you want 198!

Finite arrows is really, really dumb and I'm glad it was removed eventually.

[Music: Battle 1 ~ Battle Theme]

This is the only fight here we want to do. Anything else is too dangerous for too little reward right now. Even this one is absurdly difficult...

Because these things hurt like hell. And this is in the backrow. Stuff like this is exactly why I put Rydia in slot 2 at the start; 2 and 4 are the only backrow spaces by default. This means you deal and receive less physical damage under most circumstances. Melee weapons are cut by this effect, whereas ranged weapons - like the bow - aren't.

So, that's the one benefit to a bow. Now for all the problems with these damned things.

Bows are completely worthless even with that. They have positive Accuracy (the Crossbow is 35, whereas the Rod Rydia started with is -10)... and you're never going to hit anything with them. There is only one character who can use bows halfway effectively, but even then they shouldn't.

Normally this isn't much of a problem, since Rydia isn't hitting stuff with regular attacks. Here, I want to use a bow because of its element. Bows are all Throw elemental. Both Cockatrices and Gargoyles are weak to Throw.

This doesn't help if you can't hit them, especially since the Gargoyle loves doing this. Tornado is a pain, since it always puts you down to 1-9 HP at random. It can be reflected and the Gargoyle does it to itself if confused, but neither of those options are available so we just gotta kill it quick.

In the end, bows aren't worth the hassle of putting up with finite ammo and awful accuracy just for potentially more damage. Especially when Chocobo is consistent and surprisingly awesome right now.

Of course, if a bow does hit, it does a damned good job.

Now, we're after a 1/64 drop from the Cockatrice. The Gargoyle doesn't drop anything, thankfully, so any drops we get will be skewed towards what we want. We could have got this back at Baron, yeah, but I forgot it was available then... and the enemy there only appeared in pairs with other stuff that dropped things anyway. So, it was less efficient too.

Of course, there's also the extra issue of it not being usable by Rydia at that point since she didn't have enough MP.

Being a rare drop, it took around 20 minutes to get so I had to reset a lot so as to avoid being too overlevelled. In the end though, I picked up...

A new summon. Cockatrice does, well, exactly what you think it does and it only costs 15 MP. I actually quite like it, because it's really effective at taking out random encounters with minimal fuss. The only issue is cost-effectiveness. It costs twice as much as Chocobo, but right now that deals more than enough damage to get the same effect.

We don't talk about Goblin.

So, the Antlion Cave? It's kind of a boring dungeon, in my opinion. It's small, kind of open and doesn't have any really interesting enemies or items.

Well, okay, it has two of these. Spider's Silk inflict Slow on things. Slow and Stop are absurdly good here, so I'll be making good use of this later.

There's a few new enemies here, but none of them are particularly interesting. The Adamantoise?

It's super, super weak to ice. I could've split this between them both to take them out and then some. This is why I don't think Cockatrice is very effective right now; it'd work, but it costs thrice as much for basically the same result.

The Lamia Harp is for Edward, of course, and it's the only weapon upgrade he gets. We don't care about that, so we're selling it.

New 254 defense enemy here, but it matters even less than the ones from the Waterway. We can exploit this weakness very effectively.

By the save point, we can pick up a couple of things including this. There's not many Emergency Exits, but they're usually worth using at times. They allow you to instantly leave most dungeons. There's a few they don't work in, though there's usually a reason for that. We'll keep a hold of this one until much later.

The one thing I dislike about this dungeon: there's plenty of spots that look like they should have treasure or hidden passageways but they... just don't.

Leshy's are the most normal new enemy. No particular weakness, no big attacks, you just hit them and they die. Very ho hum.

Basilisks, however, are a bit different. They can try to petrify you if given the chance. They die pretty easily though, but in a wonderfully ironic twist of fate they're missing a crucial status immunity.

You can petrify the Basilisk. There's no particular reason to do so, but you can if you wanted to. I just think it's kinda funny that this is possible. You can do the same to an actual Cockatrice for that matter.

There's very little to the dungeon itself, so we're already at the boss.

This might make Edward a liar, but he's still kind of right.

So the Antlion... a boss so easy that I'm reticent to call it a boss. But it has the requisite gimmick so I suppose it counts.

Less HP than the Octomammoth, the lowest Magic Defense for a boss fight yet, the goofiest sprite...

5 Chocobo Kicks and it's dead. Doing so even bypasses his gimmick entirely.

Well, kind of. You see, I'm somewhat convinced that "being completely worthless" is half of its gimmick since it's regular attack will almost never hit anyone (unless their name is Edward Chris von Muir). And if it somehow does, it will deal 1 damage at best.

If you hit it with a physical attack, however, it does this.

The Counter Horn is the closest it can get to hurting anyone. Even then, it won't win a damage race with it. A melee attacker focusing solely on damage output will still kill this thing before it can kill them.

...Yes, even Edward.

The counter is the only time Rydia got damaged, incidentally. You have to actively let it hurt you before it even registers as a threat. Compared to the tedium of the Mist Dragon and the possible real challenge of the Octomammoth, it's a nice change but I think it's a bit too far in the other direction. At least the DS and iOS ports let it counter magic too sometimes.

So long, Antlion. You died as you lived: a complete pushover. It might have attacked, yeah, but it didn't hurt anyone. And that's basically the same thing, right?

This is where I'd normally use that Emergency Exit, but y'know? Nah. Let's just walk. The enemies here are easy and infrequent enough to not be a nuisance.

Y'know, I have never seen that work before. It's usually dead before it gets the chance to try it once, never mind enough times to actually petrify anyone.

Now we just walk all the way back to Kaipo. And by "walk" I mean "take the hovercraft." It's pretty quick, and once we're there we use the Sand Ruby we just got.

Rosa's better, time to rest and then head for Fabul.

You know the drill by now. We're taking her gear, to equip and/or sell then kicking her back out. Shame that Rosa's the most underwhelming yet. Absolutely nothing new except a Bow. The one that's a downgrade to the Crossbow which we could buy at Kaipo.

I wish I was kidding with that, really.

Edward gets jumped by a complete pushover for an enemy. Swell.

Y'know, he makes it really hard to try and defend him sometimes.

This Sahagin's a bit special. We could've met one at the Waterway but those ones are different.

They'd be dead from this, for example. This one isn't even close. There's two ways to handle this thing. One works even if you're not using Edward, the other way is to outright kill it.

Unfortunately, doing so is easier said than done since it has 45,672 HP. Yeaaaah, we're not killing this thing anytime soon.

Instead, we're stuck doing it the old fashioned way:

Hitting it with a regular attack three times. It's surprisingly nice that you don't actually need Edward here, even though you'd think he's mandatory. Definitely not complaining.

I know this is meant to be really sweet and uplifting and all... but it just always reads to me as being incredibly spiteful. Yes, care for your people Edward. Weep for them.

Because they're all dead.

Following that, we head off to Mount Hobs in the hovercraft. We've been here already, when we grabbed the Cockatrice summon. We also now learn the reason why Rydia won't cast Fire.

Though she's able to best her own fears and dislike of it. So as to help save countless lives at Fabul and everywhere else.

She can now also cast Fire in battle, but getting that at this dungeon is... both beneficial and kind of mean.

Oh, and here's the Bow that Rosa brought with her for comparison. It's just worse. At least she brought 50 Iron Arrows which is kind of okay I guess.

Mount Hobs itself is kind of uneventful and very, very short. There's only one small area with a few chests in it and other than the Gold Needle none of them are interesting. And even saying this one's interesting is stretching it a bit.

In terms of new enemies, we've already seen the Gargoyle and Cockatrices. These are half of what's left. Spirits absorb Fire, and that's it for their interesting quirks. They can drop a piece of armour we might want, but it's super rare (1/64 of course) and not worth the hassle really.

Skeletons hit really, really hard and are weak to fire. If they ambush or get a back attack, Rydia's going to die and there's nothing I can do about it.

That happened a few times, but the dungeon as a whole is mostly uneventful. We're already right at the end. It's just two small screens, with one side area where the savepoint and treasure is found.

Up ahead, Yang's kicking ass.

[Music: Battle 2 ~ Boss Battle]

I'm well aware that's somewhat redundant, given how that's basically all he ever does.

But, say what you will, he's really quite good at it. For the most part.

Now, though, it's time for him to conspicuously vanish.

The Mom Bomb, of course, has a gimmick. One that can be bypassed, but it's just really, really difficult.

This is our average damage output right now. You might be thinking something along the lines of "use Blizzard, you dummy" but that's not an option.

Bombs aren't actually weak to Ice! To make matters worse, to bypass the gimmick here you need to take out that 11,000 HP. And you're on a very, very strict timer to do so. Realistically, this isn't happening.

Once you deal ~1000-1500 damage, this happens. It's at this point, your timer to take out the remaining 10,000 starts. And you're going to fail.

Since the Mom Bomb stops attacking at this point you take the opportunity to heal. Once it's about two of its turns from finishing this half of the fight, this message pops up. That's your cue to Defend like crazy. It doesn't actually help, but it makes me feel safer at least.

Then, this happens. It splits into 6 enemies; 3 regular Bombs and 3 Gray Bombs. They're both random encounters on the mountain path, but they're quite dangerous here due to the sheer number of them.

They both can do this, but Gray Bombs are more dangerous with it. It always deals the Bomb's remaining HP in damage, so in the Gray Bomb's case it can deal upto 111 a hit. Regular Bombs are only 55 which is much more managable.

The way to deal with this is simple though.

Gray Bombs are the main priority then. We need to focus on them with something that takes them out in 1, or close enough to not matter. Chocobo casts the fastest and has the lowest MP out of everything that fits that criteria.

One'll explode because Gray Bombs are very trigger happy but that's fine. One's managable. Just give it a couple of tries...

And eventually a single Bomb will be left alone. It probably won't be Gray, and if it is it'll explode before you can finish it anyway.

Incidentally, neither regular Bombs nor Gray Bombs are immune to Cockatrice.

So, now we know where Fabul is. Good thing too, since that stops us putzing around like a lost bunch of idiots.

The dungeon still has one short screen left after the boss for some reason. It's not a big deal, but it's here.

And just before the exit, Rydia levels up to 20 and gains the Pig spell. Turns enemies into Pigs or Pigged characters back to normal. That's it. At least it only costs 1 MP.

But with that, we're done with the dungeon and can head off to Fabul.

But first, we have a gimmick to go and ignore. Let's rewind a bit.

We're going to kill the Mom Bomb before she explodes. We need this spell to do it. At level 26, Rydia gets Bio. Bio deals very big damage, especially for this stage. Unfortunately, at level 26 Rydia's not quite competent enough to pull it off on her own. She's not quick enough, smart enough nor does she have enough MP to manage.

...That's the damage Bio deals at level 26. Unfortunately, Rydia's lacking in MP to cast it enough times to finish off the Mom Bomb. Having to stop and use an Ether or two makes her need more turns than she can get.

So, I went to level 31. I could've stopped at level 30, since the only benefit to going to 31 is an extra point of Strength and Spirit both of which are useless here. I thought she got the Intellect at 31, but I was wrong.

Now that it's relevant, this is a good time to explain stats a bit. See, other than HP and MP stat gains are static... to a point. No matter what, at level 31 Rydia will always have the same base stats (17/17/15/31/28), however HP and MP gains are random. This changes at level 70, when each character has random gains or losses based on a table of ~6 possibilities.

I wanted the Intellect boost, because that makes Bio deal more damage giving more leeway. Intellect affects black magic damage (and Summons too), making it Rydia's most important stat. Spirit does White Magic which is sort of relevant in that she might be able to outheal a potion right now.

Strength is physical damage, Agility is how fast you get turns and Evasion, both of them affect number of physical attacks, Stamina affects defence.

...In the unlikely event I end up above level 70 ever, I'll probably reset for optimal gains because I'm weird like that. Also because I like having margins of error and not needing everything to go exactly right.

So, anyway, Mom Bomb.

I hit her with Bio eight times, and she died before exploding.

Next time: an inexplicable level decrease back to 20, simultaneously succeeding and failing to fight back the lowest-effort invasion ever and ending up near Magical Pravoka somehow.