The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV

by Dragonatrix

Part 7: Dowdia

06. Dowdia

Okay, so before we continue onwards there's something here we want. This is one of two places to get it, and it will come in very, very handy for the next while.

[Music: Battle 1 ~ Battle Theme]

None of these things drop it, but it is all the Zombie variants in one fight. Oddly, I would say that Ghouls and Revenants are tougher than the Skullnants that Scarmiglione had around if only because they take 2 Fires to kill instead of 1. On the other hand, these can be Petrified so it's kind of a toss up.

Ah, here we go. Liliths drop what we want... sometimes. Of course, it's a 1/64 drop so this could take a while. What doesn't help is that Liliths are also the rarest enemy in the dungeon and we don't have Sirens yet to help expediate the process.

Though, they are in 3 formations at least so they're not that hard to find. Bloodbones are just Skeletons but with more everything. They hit harder, have more HP etc. etc. Usual Petrification abuse still applies, or just burn them.

Kiss of Lilith is sort of like the Rod, but also not. It does cast Osmose when used, but it's finite and I don't want to have to stock up on these. Which is a shame, because more than half the time this is what drops.

That sentence probably doesn't make sense, because nothing in this game drops that often. "Half the time" amounts to about 4% because the drop rate of everything is terrible. Saying the Rod of Lilith, or even the Pink Tail, has a 1/64 drop rate is underselling it. That makes it sounds like it's going to drop more often than it does.

See, there's two dice rolls to determine what drops from something. The first is to determine if something does drop or not (and this is rolled for every monster in the fight of course); most enemies have a 5/98 chance of dropping something. A rare handful have a 25/98 but those are few and far between.

If you luck out and get that 5/98 chance, then there's a second roll to determine what does drop. Let's look at something that can drop four possible items.

This'll do. Like most things, the Alligator has a 5/98 chance in dropping one of these four items. Each of these items has their own possibility of being dropped, with the Leather Cap being the most common and the Silver Apple being absurdly rare.

The way it works is this: Item Slot 1, in this case the Leather Cap, has a 128/256 chance of being dropped so if something does drop this will be what you get half the time. Slot 4, on the other hand, has a 4/256 (or 1/64) chance of dropping. So, functionally, if you want that Silver Apple you have a 0.07% chance of it.

This is why getting any enemies rarest drops is awful. You have to hope something does drop in the first place, and then that the item you want is the one that drops. But it gets worse: the Alligator has 4 item drops. Lilith does not.

She just has the three. This means the Kiss of Lilith occupies slots 1 and 2. It's still gonna drop eventually, but you'll get a lot of everything else first. Especially Kisses.

...Geez, that was a lot of words to say "the drop rates are even more awful than you thought."

Now that we've finally got the Rod, though, we can use that Osmose effect from before against literally nothing on the mountain. We can't use this weapon at all for that matter.

Equipping it is nice since it has a passive +5 Intellect boost, but... it completely tanks anyone's accuracy. Which is understandable, since it is the rod equivalent to the Blood Sword. Be lucky if it hits the broad side of a barn, but when it does it drains HP. So, naturally, getting it in a dungeon that consists of nothing but undead enemies is the game basically trolling you.

Oh and it has a nasty bonus in that it deals extra damage to anything that's undead. So it heals them for even more.

We're not gonna use the Lilith Rod just yet, but it's going to be very useful in at least one upcoming fight. Not KluYa's mini-trial, though. That accuracy penalty makes it unrealistic and also the Dark Knight doesn't have that much MP.

Also despite everything the game makes you think about this fight?

[Music: The Red Wings ~ Cecil's Theme]

Cecil doesn't have to do shit. Ordinarily, this'd be pretty ho hum but the Dark Knight's gimmick is a bit unique in that you normally win by doing nothing. Of course, there's a few things Rydia can do that Paladin Cecil can't.

Summoning, for example. If we do nothing but summon Chocobo...

We still win the fight as if we did nothing.

So, what about Black Magic?

Same thing. This raises an interesting question; since spells don't reset the turn counter for what constitutes pacifism, can Rydia kill the Dark Knight? It's more than possible, since he only has 4,520 HP but there's a very strict two turn count to do so. Normally, this isn't doable. We'd need to grind to a much higher level than was necessary to bypass Mom Bomb's gimmick.

So, instead, what we do is equip the Heal Staff. Out of all of Rydia's available weapons right now, it has the highest accuracy.

A physical attack that doesn't miss is the only thing that adds to the turn counter.

During the "A true paladin... sheathes his sword" turns, we can spam magic to our heart's content but afterwards we need to attack physically again. Rydia's quick enough to get a few tries at it but she still only has a little over 50% chance to hit with the Heal Staff. We'd also need to heal, and take a turn or two to restore MP either via the Lilith Rod or an Ether, so there's not really that much room for error.

All in all, though, not too difficult. Just a bit more time consuming than you might like, and need to hope you don't miss an awful lot in rapid succession.

And then Cecil gets his class change, dropping to level 1 and making the dungeon we just did infinitely easier.

Though Tellah regains all of his spells, learns Meteo(r) which he can never use normally and has the best line.

At least the trip back to Mysidia is just as simple and uneventful as the trip to Mt. Ordeals. Might as well just walk.

[Music: Mystic Mysidia]

Ordinarily, his surprise would be somewhat justified considering he sent two 5 year olds with the guy least suited for the mountain. In this case, eh, we could handle it.

Also Mysidia has lots of prophecies. For the longest time, I interpreted this literally and that it meant Cecil was half-dragon. If only...

Ah well, we do have to go and break into Baron's castle now so we should go and get on that.

That involves the Devil's Road which is just a boring ol' teleporter. It sounds like it could be a really cool dungeon, but then The After Years happened and ruined all hopes for that.

It's still a pretty neat effect, though. Puts us right where we want to be too.

Though before we can get into the castle proper, we need to talk to Yang at the Inn in Baron. But, y'know what? That can wait a bit. This is the first time since the beginning of the game we've been in this area. That means one thing: we can return to a place we have no apparent reason to go to.

So, let's detour to the village of Mist. We're here for three items in particular, but we might as well get everything we can anyway.

The only thing in the main area we can find is three Bomb Fragments. They're nice and all, but they're not why we're here.

No, our first two objectives can be found in this completely unmarked and otherwise unremarkable building.

On the inside, we come across a fireplace that isn't lit. That's clearly inconspicious and not at all a hidden passageway that leads to four chests.

See? The Gold Hairpin is a very nice helmet. It's not quite as good as some of its other incarnations where it halves MP, but it's still pretty cool. The other two are just Clothes and a Ruby Ring. Not very exciting.

The Gold Hairpin has some very nice defence, magic defence and elemental resistances. Not pictured is that it also has a +10 Intelligence increase.

Oh, I said four chests. There's only three there, isn't there? Well...

It's very, very easy to miss that there's an extra hidden passageway here. There's no reason to presume that this second one even exists, since this is a trick that hasn't turned up just yet. Our reward for finding it?

It, uh, it's kind of a bad weapon actually. I prefer the Lilith Rod, but at least this one is a gimme if you know it's there.

It's not that bad, it's just not good. It has the +5 Intelligence that Lilith has, and 2 extra attack and better accuracy but... you generally don't hit things with rods. The Lilith has drain in its physical attack and osmose when used as an item. The Rod of Change... well, I'll use it one fight. And exactly one fight.

For now, though, let's head off to the weapon store. The armour is just the Bard's Tunic we stole from Edward. We'll get a Whip for free later, and it's not that good anyway so we'll skip that until then. The Dancing Dagger, meanwhile, is actually rather good and worth that 5,000 Gil price easily.

Not only does it let Rydia actually hit things if/when she uses her physical attack, but it also casts a special spell when used as an item.

Let's put these new toys to the test back in Baron, shall we?

[Music: Battle 2 ~ Boss Battle]

So, these guys... I'd call them a miniboss, if that, but the game doesn't rate them that highly either. They return as a random encounter mere moments after this fight so, let's just kill them. Could just petrify with Cockatrice, but let's try out that Rod of Change we just got.

It casts Pig when used as an item. That makes these guys as big of a joke as they seem, even if you can't petrify them for one reason or another.

The Dancing Dagger, meanwhile, casts... Dancing Dagger. It's pretty damned handy this early, since it's free, out damages every spell we have so far, is instant and cannot be reflected. It's quite potent for a while, to say the least.

The guards beaten, we now have to fight Yang.

The Monk Yang fight is completely unremarakble save for two details. First off, he has an absurd amount of MP for a guy that never casts spells and ordinarily has none. It's well over 3,000 so we're never running out.

He has a whole one attack, and Rydia gets like 3 turns to his one so we're never in any real danger at all. The only issue is this fight is absurdly long. Yang has 62,000 HP and because we don't have Cecil et al. in our party to cause the fight to end after he loses about 6,000 we have to deplete all of it. This isn't difficult but it takes forever.

Bizarrely enough, Goblin is actually quite effective in this fight instead of Chocobo for once. Dancing Dagger is still ideal, don't get me wrong, but for the 7 MP Chocobo costs you will outdamage it with Goblin.

So, a long, tedious fight that only ends when you deplete an absurd amount of HP even though it's meant to end much sooner. In spite of this, it's not even remotely dangerous and the joke summon is surprisingly effective. This fight is weird.

Though, the scene afterwards is possibly weirder when you realise that Yang is telling Rydia she was eaten by a giant watersnake.

In an amazing stroke of luck, Yang was the one person who had the one item we need to be able to break into the castle and get an airship.

So, next time: the closest thing we have to a sewer dungeon, redundant hidden passages, the boss that somehow consistently stopped my playthroughs when I was like 7 years old.