Part 25: Eternia22. Eternia
After Yang's trial, things get a bit more interesting. We start seeing floors that do things beyond more generic dungeon crawling.
In this instance, we got a floor that's like a Chocobo Forest but filled exclusively with White Chocobos. There's also a Gysahl Whistle here instead of a Green, because there's no Fat Chocobo spawn point.
We can also pick up a new sword for Cecil, and I'm pointing this one out for one important reason. That it is based on a weapon invented for the SNES IIus is a bonus.
See, the Lunar Ruins has some new weapons we can pick up that do bonus things. They inflict ailments, deal bonus damage to certain monster types or deal elemental damage.
Except, they don't. Not in the US (and so JP1.0) release anyway. All the Lunar gear is glitched but thankfully it still does something.
...Despite being equipped as a weapon and used as a weapon, it's counted as armor. This means the Lunar Ruins equipment conveys resistances instead. If I were to hypothetically give this to Cecil, he would become immune to being turned into a Pig.
Of course this is another weird bug that was fixed in the European release.
The next floor the game gives us is... the Antlion's chamber? Weird.
At least it's nice enough to demonstrate how weird the fights here can get. An enemy from the dungeon this floor represents and a Behemoth all at once. Swell.
Oh, and you'd probably never think to check, but there's an Elixir hiding at the far back of the room. Why? Why not. Since you can leave in like 15 seconds normally, they had to add something I guess.
The Lamia Queen is the top-tier Lamia enemy and only appears in the ruins. She's going to survive this Mega Flare. But she's still a Lamia, so she's weak to Fire. Will almost definitely not get a turn, for obvious reasons.
The last floor before the trial is based on the first inside area of the Lunar Path (the moon bit before the giant palace). It's yet another small, simple area and gives us some treasure hidden where there was treasure before this time.
Neither is trapped this time, thankfully, but the other is just a Phoenix Down so it doesn't matter anyway.
I'm surprised Echidna took this long to turn up, honestly.
She can use... Vampire, of course. This is still not at all threatening, and is in fact less threatening with it than the Gigas Worm was. Kinda impressive, really.
Oh and she casts Thundaga too. It doesn't exactly make a difference, but it's something different so it gets points for variety.
Because the trials are every fourth floor for some reason, we get to Edward's a lot faster than we probably should have.
It's also the only time so far we absolutely must use someone that isn't Rydia.
That it takes place in Damcyan Castle's ruins but with a blue filter over it is just silly though. Still, remember this detail.
See, we must use Edward because we can't do a damn thing otherwise. He needs to use this harp in fights with the only enemies here.
I also dragged Cecil along for the scripted fight, just to make sure everything is triggered properly and I don't get trapped in here.
Thankfully the Specters are the only things here other than the boss, and they all grant 0 EXP. They're just busy work, honestly.
We have to use Edward because no one else can kill a Specter. They can "kill" it, but it just revives again so he has to use Sing. With the Requiem Harp equipped this triggers a bonus effect that basically inflicts Instant Death but is a bit more fancy with it.
Also in a fit of irony, the Specters can drop Phoenix Downs. And only Phoenix Downs.
Since we're currently in blue Damcyan Castle, the pots on the top floor are still there. And they both still work. The Specters attack a fair bit so this is pretty useful and means we're in no danger at all ever.
Once all the Specters in the castle are pacified, a new one spawns back on the bottom floor. It's just more of the same.
Taking care of it lets you go into a secret passage that did not exist until now.
It leads to a waterway with a blue filter on it. This place is, uh...
Not very interesting. It's just a mess of winding paths and invisible passages with more Specters to deal with.
And so long as at least 1 Specter is still around the area we cannot progress further down.
Once we CAN, though, Edward's useless and can be kicked out. We won't be using him again from this point on.
And not because the Requiem Harp breaks here. No, it's for something much simpler than that.
The boss finally decides to show herself, after all this tedious busy work.
[Music: Fighting of the Spirit (Arrange) ~ Phantasia]
I'm not entirely sure if I like the Lunar Shiva fight or not. She's a lot less exciting than Titan (fittingly I guess), but that sort of works to her advantage too.
She's at least theoretically faster if nothing else, because she has less HP. Except, that's not entirely true in practice. She's also a lot harder than Titan.
Her regular physical attack is nothing to write home about, but I don't think that's going to surprise anyone. That stance, however, is the precursor the real problem.
That being Ice Storm. Considering what else we've seen use this before, you might expect it to be no big deal.
...At which point you take over 2,000 damage and suddenly it's a very big deal. But like all good things, there's a caveat.
Its damage goes down as she loses HP. I'm pretty sure this effect is unique to Lunar Shiva, since the only stuff that use Ice Storm (Coldbeasts and Blue Dragons) were rather consist with its damage.
Since we want to wittle her down quickly, you might think taking advantage of that Fire weakness is going to be a good idea. Its a good way of dealing 9999 at least, right?
Well, no. Shiva counters all single target spells aimed at her by hitting herself with Blizzaga. She's still down 7719 from before, sure, but this slows it down a fair bit no matter how you slice it.
That's a bit more problematic than it sounds, because at first Sylph is not able to keep pace with the Ice Storms. It becomes easier to manage eventually, at least.
Of course, Shiva can also aim her Blizzagas at you but that's a bit less impressive than it might be intended to be. After a point, this does become the best she can do though so there's that I guess.
Now, remember when I said that healing Blizzaga is all single target spells? Yeah, I meant it. It's just spells and it's everything that is by default single target. Whether it be Fire, Flare, using a Bestiary... it doesn't matter.
Summons are all completely fair game though, and Meteor probably is too but never actually tried that one because of its problem being horribly slow.
Oh, and Shiva can also use Blaze but since that deals fixed damage (10% of your max HP!) it's only worth mentioning in the "it exists" sense.
All in all, a tricky start but a relatively quick fight that just gets easier over time. It's never too overwhelming either.
As usual, we get the Lunar Shiva grimoire and so long as we have it can never return to this trial.
And nothing of value was lost.
The Harmonious Ring lets Edward give the full party Protect and Shell, which is actually pretty good if you remember to use it.
We don't even have a good incentive to come back, since the repeat reward is a Gold Hourglass. Lame.
Next time: the thread title comes full circle.
Optional Bosses Fought: 16
Optional Bosses Killed: 16
Success Rate: 100%