Part 16: Shinia14. Shinia
So, before we do anything else we're going all the way to the far left wall of the Underworld. There, we can find this small innocuous area. It's only three tiles tall but it's important because it's where all the rarer dudes down here hang out.
The most relevant of these is the Gloomwing. The Gloomwing is quite special, not for what it is or what it does.
No, we're interested in what it drops. The Stardust is interesting, in that it lets us cast Comet as anyone we want. Comet is basically Meteor but weaker, as per usual, but without this item (or something we'll get later) it would be completely unique to Palom and Porom.
As nice as that is, though, we want the Lunar Curtain. The Lunar Curtain is weird in that it's the advanced version of an item we cannot get until the Sealed Cave at the earliest. It's use is what we're after, and this is the best place to get it. We also only need the one, since by the time they become relevant again later we'll have another.
We'll worry about that later, though. For now, we have a Leviathan to go and beat up.
[Music: Fighting of the Spirit X ~ Narikiri Dungeon X]
Leviathan is quite tricky, to say he basically only has one attack. He has two really, but one of them is Blizzara.
Being a giant snake who's water elemental, he's naturally weak to Lightning so our course of action is obvious. It's just survival that's the tricky part here.
At the start of the fight, Levi will always go first and will turn around to face you and blast you with Tidal Wave. It's water elemental, of course, but we don't have any real ways to mitigate it.
His next turn afterwards is to turn back around to his usual sprite, then he spends 2 turns on Blizzaras before Tidal Waving again.
So, since we can't really reduce the damage directly we'll do it indirectly. Being able to Slow things is a godsend and it works on just about everything.
When Slowed, Levi's turns come just frequently enough to be managable and not overwhelming. It also gives us enough time to heal without having to resort to Elixirs. Hermes' Sandals takes it further and makes the fight a complete joke.
We don't really need that, since Rydia's Thundagas are enough to take care of his 50,000 HP in a few turns.
Levi's even kind enough to push Rydia up to level 51 so she finally learns Tornado. This'd be nice if we got it a lot earlier, but it could still come in handy at some point.
I haven't pointed out the DS/iOS spell level differences before, but in this instance I will. You get Tornado in the DS port at level 58.
Much more important, though, is that we also pick up Leviathan. He costs 50 MP (...so does Asura for that matter), but is arguably worth it. Less cost-effective than the -aga spells in the long term, but he has his uses.
That done, we can now leave the Land of Summons and never, ever come back.
...Oh, you see those chests under this area. A lot of people seem to think you can't get them. You can, of course, but even that is confusing apparently. Let's go grab 'em now, shall we?
On the floor just above the town area, there's a chest at the bottom that contains 6,000 gil. There's a tile just above it that stands out and looks different to the rest. It's easy to miss this, apparently.
Stepping on it teleports you to those 4 chests. Yoichi's Bow can only be found here and it's the best bow until the final dungeon. So, it's effectively the best bow. The chest below it contains 10 Yoichi Arrows.
Nasu no Yoichi is the man for whom these are named. He was a 12th century samurai in the Genpei War and was really good at archery according to the Heike Monogatori. Like, he shot something that was moving and lauded as unshootable with just a single arrow.
The in-game version of his bow is not that good but it's relatively good. Sadly, it suffers from "being a bow" so we won't be using it much, if ever.
We've put it off long enough, let's finally just head on back down to near Tomra and into the Sealed Cave.
We need Luca's Necklace to get in, and the dungeon's gimmick is up there with the Magnetic Cave for memorability and lack of people who like it.
You see, there are lots and lots of doors in this dungeon. Enough doors to make the original Final Fantasy II look sensible at times.
Unlike II which had doors that waste your time, this has doors that hate you and every single one of them is sentient.
Like II, most of them also exist exclusively to waste your time.
[Music: Battle 1 ~ Battle Theme]
Trap Doors have one attack. It is an instant death attack. This is less problematic than it sounds, though.
The Lunar Curtain we can pick up on the Underworld's overworld gives us Reflect. This item (and its weaker counterpart) is the only way we can get Reflect, but it helps.
It helps a lot more than it probably should. This then raises the obvious question of why I don't just hit it with an instant death attack of my own. Like, say, the Couerl's Whisker we got a while back.
Despite all appearances, The Trap Door is actually immune to instant death. Ninth Dimension only kills it because it bypasses that immunity somehow.
You can also just hit it with Stop and hope that sticks. It will eventually, but it's not guaranteed and you only get 1 real chance. If it fails, you die try again.
There's another way to make it easy if you don't want to fight the door though. We'll get to that later.
In the dungeon proper, we have Evil Bats primarily. As you would expect from palette swaps of the Vampire Bats, they always use Vampire and this is a lot more annoying than it is dangerous.
Come level 52, Rydia picks up Death of her own. It does exactly what you would expect from a spell called Death. We aren't really going to get much use out of it in practice, though.
Oh and for reference, in the DS/iOS versions you get this at level... 55. Yes, you get it before Tornado. Why? Umm....
Next up on our "more annoying than difficult" enemy list is the King Naga. That 28 is about as effective as it ever gets before dying in one shot.
So, the other way to neuter a Trap Door is to weaken it without killing it (in this case I used Blizzaga and then smacked it once). After it drops below ~500 HP it transforms into a much weaker, much easier to deal with enemy.
As for the Ninth Dimension missing? Ribbon neuters that too. Not a method to rely on if you don't need to, but if you get one then you cannot ever lose against these things.
The Lunar Curtain is just a way to adapt the usual "have Rosa cast Reflect" method to one that works without Rosa.
As if it were a cruel joke, behind one of the Trap Doors is a room with an Elixir and... this. The Light Curtain casts Reflect when you use it, much like the Lunar Curtain. The difference is that the Light Curtain wears off quicker.
For what we'll eventually need another curtain for, though, the Light one is more than enough.
About halfway through the dungeon, we can find a save point hidden behind yet another Trap Door. The second save point of the dungeon is on the main path, so this is just hiding the midway point.
Other new enemies include the palette swapped Leshy who's just as simple now as she was then. She's also a giant robot according to her besitary page.
The Chimera Brain is what the Trap Door becomes if it drops below 500 HP. Much like it's older incarnation it absorbs all three primary elements and is immune to Death. It is not, however, immune to Petrify.
The Chimera Brain's attacks pretend to hurt but at this point 300 HP is relatively average. It used to be a big deal but it's not anymore.
Near the end of the dungeon, we pick up the Bell of Silence. It inflicts Silence on things. Very ho hum, but it's something new at least
We can also find a second X-Potion too. There's a lot of wooden crates here, so you might think there's something nice hidden in one of them.
So, let's just casually kill some more doors and pick up the Crystal. We didn't even get a boss fight for our troubles. Weird, huh?
Weirder still is that we cannot Warp out of the dungeon.
Once we leave the Crystal's room, and step on the bridge that's when we get our boss fight.
When I was a kid, the Demon Wall here was the bane of my existence. Considering how big of a chump he is, I cannot begin to try and explain why other than "I was dumb and massively underlevelled."
He has less HP than Rubicante, less of each defense than Leviathan had and his Strength is nice but it's basically all he has to rely on unless he gets too close.
He can also try and inflict Gradual Petrification via Stone Gaze, but that's been a non-issue since we got the Gaia Gear at Mt. Ordeals.
His gimmick involves time, so we're slowing him down. It's temporary, yeah, but it's enough to neuter it from the word go.
Every so often, he'll slowly inch closer and closer towards the right side of the screen kinda like a Tonberry. Much like a Tonberry, once he's over there he can start to try and use an instant death attack.
Unlike a Tonberry, the Demon Wall is only visually menacing.
In the time it takes him to get about halfway, you can hit him with Leviathan 5-6 times. This is more than enough to kill the wall dead. You shouldn't even need to stop and heal in that time.
We still can't warp out, so let's just walk out.
This lets us find one last new enemy in the Miss Vamp. Much like the regular bats, she casts Vampire constantly and is more annoying than dangerous.
Gives enough EXP to push Rydia to level 55 and pick up Flare though. Flare is, of course, the go to non-elemental attack; it costs a mere 50 MP to cast, is quite fast and deals a lot of damage. We'll see just how good it is later, but whenever something doesn't have an elemental weakness it's not a bad idea to use it.
Once we leave the dungeon, Golbez uses his psychic mind powers to control Kain again. We lose the Crystal, because drama, and Kain leaves the party.
This also allows Golbez to enact his incredibly weird and dumb plan of "going to the moon." On the plus side, I guess it can't get much worse.
Next time: your drill is the drill that will pierce the heavens?!
Leviathan ~ Amano artwork.