The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: Advance and DS

by Leavemywife and Silver Falcon

Part 60: DS Mount Hobs

DS Update 5: Mount Hobs

Hi, folks! We had a hurricane blowing in up here (and a nor'easter, but who's counting?), but it looks like we dodged the bullet! That means, it's update time!

When last we left our motley band of heroes, they had just cured Rosa of her desert fever and were getting ready to set off for Mount Hobs. So, let's do that!

But first, I'm going to take care of something quick-like.

There was some moderate clamoring for me to cheat the everliving fuck out of our buddy What.

The reason for this is, training him involves a bunch of bullshit. Bullshit mini-games, to be precise.

Each character has a mini-game/training course for What. Each one will improve one of What.'s stats by an incremental amount.

Rosa's mini-game trains What.'s Spirit stat; Rydia's improves his Intellect. These will increase the potency of his healing spells, and give his offensive spells more punch, respectively.

This is the first mini-game that unlocks, Rydia's Mathemagic Minute. It is by far my least favorite of the lot.

It involves math. I hate math, especially timed math. That is absolutely the worst.

For those who aren't cheating their fool heads off, here's how it works: you use the numbers given to you, and the operators (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), and arrange them so that the result is 10. Order of operations applies (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally). You have one minute to score as many points as you can.

If you want to moderately cheese this, close the DS. The game will pause, and you can take as much time as you need to figure it out. If you want to cheese it even further, there are online calculators that will crunch the numbers for you. I'd suggest availing yourself of one of these, unless you really like math...

Personally, I'll be cheesing the hell out of it. With Action Replay Codes. Eat that, elementary school math teachers!

9999 is the maximum score, of course. However, the effect this has on What.'s stats isn't immediately obvious. The game takes the average of your 3 highscores and divides them by 100. This means, if you want to max out What.'s stats, you'll have to score 9999 three times.

Aside: I have no idea who "yopyop" is. Normally, the game shows whatever your DS profile name is set to. Just pretend it says "AgFalcon."

For doing so awesomely well CHEATING, we get some prizes, and What.'s stats improve. You can see there, since I've only scored 9999 once, What.'s Intellect is now 33.

Next up, Rosa's Measured Meditations. Remember the Heart Piece you had to get from the Postman in Majora's Mask?

This is kind of like that. You're given a target time. You have to try to get as close as you can to that time without going over.

Hold the stylus to the bottom screen.

The background turns black and Rosa rotates around.

Count out the appropriate number of seconds, and when you think enough time has passed...


If you're close enough to the target time, you'll get your Bunny Hood points.

And, boom, there's our maximum score!

We got another prize, and What.'s Spirt stat now matches his Intellect.

Before I bust this thing wide open, let's see what those two outfits we got do.

They're not equipment for our crew, as you might think!

Rather, they show up here.

The White Mage outfit

And the Summoner.

Neither goes particularly well with that face...

In fact, that's rather horrifying. Let's move on.

Several rounds of blatant cheating later...

There, maxed Spirit and Intellect!

I got four Dry Ethers in total out of that. I can always use more of those!

We'll get to what all these numbers mean for out little Eidolon buddy in a minute. First:

Here's Rosa's stats. A kickass Spirit stat and not a whole hell of a lot else. She's born to be a heal-bot, which is what she'll be doing, and she does it extremely well.

See? I told you I'd find a use for that extra Feathered Cap!

Weapon-wise, Rosa can use Staves, and more interestingly, Bows. Bows give her a better offensive option, not that she'll be spending much time attacking shit anyway. Any turn she spends shooting something is a turn she could have spent healing you. Still, the option exists.

Note: Rosa's starting equipment loadout is different than in the GBA version. That Sage's Surplice she has is a nice piece of armor. It gives a +5 bonus to her spirit stat, which is her main stat. In the GBA version, you don't get one of these puppies until waaaay later in the game. The DS version may hate your guts, but at least it gives you nice stuff!

A Silver Armlet rounds out her ensemble.

Meanwhile, Rydia gets Tellah's old Gaia Gear.

Now, in order for Rosa to actually use that bow I just gave her, she'll need some ammunition.

I can't buy Holy Arrows yet, so these will have to do. Again, I don't anticipate Rosa doing much attacking anyway.

Note: It turns out I did a stupid thing here. In the DS version, arrows are not consumed when you attack, despite it being the opposite in literally every other version of the game. Therefore, you only ever need one of any type of arrow. Rosa will be getting some Holy Arrows first chance I get!

There. Now she's all set.

I also buy some Potions, because they're cheap. Edward should be able to make use of them, at least.

All right, now on to how you actually use What.

You can assign him abilities here.

He has access to any ability known by your party.

Sadly, you cannot simply assign him "Black Magic" or "White Magic;" you have to cherry pick what spells you want.

He has a limited capacity, too, so you have to choose carefully.

While this may look like a good spread of abilities... with the way What. works, I think it's better to pick either offensive or defensive/support abilities and stick with it. I'll demonstrate why.

To call up What., just select him from Rydia's Summon menu.

Rydia does her thing.

But, instead of coming in to do an attack and leaving, like other summons do, What. actually replaces Rydia for the duration of the battle (or until he gets knocked out; I'm not sure).

Annoyingly, you cannot control him. He'll pick abilities on his own to use.

And this is what a maxed out Spirit stat will do for you. Yikes!

From my limited experimentation, he seems to prioritize healing to the exclusion of everything else.

That's why you should pick whether you want him to be offensive or defensive. There's no way to change his priorities, that I could see. I also never saw him multi-target, which is annoying.

Like I said, he has access to everybody's abilities.

So, let's see him with a more offensive loadout.

Eh, not bad, I guess.

And Blizzard, too.

So, yeah, that's What. Annoying to train, and not so useful once you do get him trained up. You can also pit your What. against someone else's in local wireless and have them duke it out. Eh.

He'd be a lot more useful if you could actually, ya know, choose what abilities he uses. As it is, he's gimmicky at best. I'll still train the rest of his stats to ludicrous levels when I'm able to, of course. Not like it takes that much effort!

We heal up on the top floor of Damcyan Castle. Like in the GBA version, there are two pots there. The one on the left restores HP and status, and the one on the right restores MP. Fully restored, the party is ready to head out!

Our destination: Mount Hobs.

We mosey on up.

But we don't get far without getting jumped.

Skeletons have 135 HP and are weak to fire and holy. I can't do much about either of those, so I'll just have to beat them to death.

While Edward does his thing, I'll talk about Rosa a bit. Aim is one of her unique commands. It ensures a hit with her equipped weapon. Not too useful, since her time is better spent healing than attacking.

Speaking of that, she comes with a nice variety of White Magic spells, including Libra. I'll talk more about Libra later.

Then, there's Pray. Pray is an interesting ability.

It charges up like a spell, when it's done charging, Rosa kneels down,

and the party mysteriously recovers a small amount of HP

and, handily, MP!

MP restoration without the aid of Ethers is very rare in this game. Thus, Pray is pretty cool!

Here's Aim. It's pretty flashy and nifty looking.

The damage isn't too impressive, but not bad, coming from a dedicated healer. I'd like to see Eddie do even half that much damage. Edward kind of sucks, is what I'm saying

Enough of that. We have some ice to contend with!

Yep, that sure is a giant block of ice. How did this thing even get here?!

Rosa walks over to Rydia and kneels down in front of her.


You can do it. I know you can!

You don't want to?

Her village was burned to the ground by that ring we delivered.

You're the only one among us with the power to melt that ice.

Eh, I dunno, Rosa. We could try using some of those Fire Fangs or Bomb Fragments we've been picking up...


We can't make you do it.
But unless we make it through here to Fabul, a lot of other people will be hurt. I know it's not easy, Rydia, but please... you must be brave!

We all must.

Please, Rydia!


Cecil is wise to keep his mouth shut, considering this whole mess is his fault.

Anyway, the next sequence I felt really had to be seen in motion. So, here:


Hee hee.

Ladies and gentlemen, the cutest little murderess.

Thank you, Rydia!


Everyone is very impressed with Rydia. Good job, kid!

Aww, I'm sure your mum's proud of ya, Rydia, wherever she is.

Well, anyway, let's get exploring!

Oh look, some helpless victims come to play!

Burn, burn them all!

YES! (Actually the damage isn't that impressive due to being spread out over 6 enemies, but still, FIRE!)

Slightly better spread out over 5 targets.

And even better on a single target! Much better, in fact!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to revive Rosa before the battle ended. Remember how I mentioned it's much better to keep your allies healthy than try to revive them? How many times has this happened to you?

"Oh fuck, he got KO'd! Revive him! Shit, now he's at critical, POTION POTION POTION!" You watch as the gauge sloooooowly fills up, then the enemy takes a swipe, and down they go again. Even worse when you have two people down, and one of them is your dedicated healer. Shit sucks man. It sucks hard.

Rydia learned Pig

Oh well, level ups are good. I like level ups!

Oh, you can rearrange the order of your spells. I arrange Rydia's like so. I don't like having to hunt around for the spell I need.

Her new spell, Pig, does what you think it does. Her time is much better spent nuking everything from orbit, therefore I will likely never use it.

I arrange Rosa's spells like so. Nice and organized. All her spells are incredibly useful, and I'll use them all for sure! (Except Sight. Sight is completely useless in this version.) Hold (inflicts Paralysis) and Silence are more situational, but who knows? I might find a use for them!

Rosa is a really good party member, is what I'm saying.

First area complete! What fabulous prize do we get?

Obtained 3 Hi Potions

Aha! Better Potions! They restore 500 HP instead of 100, and in this version, Edward can use them with his Salve ability! Having extras is definitely a good thing!

The eastern cave leads to the next area, so we're going through the western one first.

Here's a new enemy, new to us anyway. The Bomb is a staple enemy of the Final Fantasy series. Played a Final Fantasy game before? Chances are you've seen one of these. They have a puny 55 HP and they're weak to ice. Strangely, some iterations of the Bomb are not weak to ice, which always messes me up bad.

They don't do very much damage. Really, the biggest problem is they always seem to pop up in large groups, making it hard to drop them all before, well... you'll see.

Rydia can slaughter them effortlessly of course. She still has her Ice Rod equipped. A Blizzard spell would work just as well.

But really, with only 55 HP, anybody can murder them. Except Edward, of course.

No one needs healing yet, so let's test out Libra!

The casting animation for White Magic looks pretty nifty, I think.

Cross-hairs appear above the enemy and a text box pops up:

Libra posted:

Analyzed Target Status

What does that do? Well...

Now, when you select an enemy, its vital statistics are shown on the bottom screen! This information is also added to the Bestiary (which is now in Fat Chocobo's keeping).

It's handy, if a bit tedious, to scan every enemy this way, in case you forget what they're weak to and/or don't have an FAQ handy.

With Bombs, there is one thing you have to look out for. They may only have 55 HP but...

I'm pretty sure all iterations of the Bomb enemy can do this. Usually, it hurts, real bad!

Here it... doesn't. Their normal attacks do about that much to Cecil. I have no idea what's going on.

Anyway, you'll notice that the Bomb that 'sploded itself is now gone. Saves me the trouble of having to kill it, I guess!

One more to go, and I've just been having Rosa spam Prayer over and over. Unless I have something better for Rosa to do, I just have her do that. It's pretty good for keeping everyone's HP topped off, plus it restores some MP, and it's completely free to cast!

A warning, however, don't rely on it if you're really hurting, because

it sometimes fails. Oh well, the only thing it wastes is your time. Who cares?

I save and Tent up real quick. Can't hurt, right?

Plus, there's a replacement right here!

The other two chests contain a Potion and a Gold Needle. Eh, I'll just add them to a the pile, I guess.

This is better, though! I always appreciate extra money! I can use it to buy my own stuff, useful stuff.

There's these guys too. These are palette swaps of the Helldiver from the beginning of the game.

They have the same bag of tricks. Beak inflicts gradual petrification, remember. Not much of a threat anymore.

And here are their vital statistics, courtesy of Libra! At 241 HP, they're the most durable enemies you'll encounter here, and their wind weakness is hard to exploit.

Still, they fall easily enough. Conveniently, they drop the remedy to their own attacks. How nice of them!

Cecil is coming along nicely, but that's to be expected.

Hey, we're at the summit already! That was quick.

We have these guys to deal with before we're done with this place, though.

The creatively-named Gray Bomb is a bigger, badder Bomb. Much beefier, with 222 HP, but the same crippling ice weakness. Rydia tears through them just as easily as their lesser brethren.

See? Child's play.

Oh, good, some ammo for Rosa's bow!

We've reached the summit, and cutscene land!


Oh no, Yang's all by his lonesome against a bunch of Domovoi! Whatever shall we do?

(Unlike in the GBA version, you control Yang for this fight.)

Well, this, for starters! Focus gives Yang's attack a massive boost. It can be used multiple times, but I've never bothered to do it more than once.

Brace increases his defense, but why would he do that when he can just kick ass?

Remember how Yang's Kick ability in the GBA version is a bit... lackluster?

Yeah, well, this ain't the GBA version, now is it?

Yes, thank you, Yang, for providing us with that ass-kicking spectacle!

Yang's SOP is like so. Against a single enemy? Focus, and then attack. Against a group? Focus, then Kick. Simple.

Oh, goodie. That looks like a boss!

All the same, I'm sure Yang could just... ya know, kick it to death!

Oh damn your right! Then we wouldn't get a share of that sweet, delicious EXP! Rydia, you're a genius!


Once again, horrifying. That FACE.

Mom Bomb has a whopping 11,000 HP. She operates in generally the same way she does in the GBA version.

So, here's the plan. Edward will provide us with some constant healing.

Cecil will do his usual. I elected not to Darkness him. I want to keep everyone's HP high.

Rosa has a lot to do in this fight. First, she'll Slow the Mom Bomb, which gives us more time to do our stuff.

Rydia will spam her Ice Rod on the thing.

Yang will do his usual.

This will help, yes. Slow is immensely helpful in the DS version. Many bosses and most tough enemies are vulnerable to it. Considering the DS verion hates you, Slowing things is a very good idea!

Here's another handy spell, Protect!

Protect mitigates physical damage. I believe it reduces the damage by half. In any case, it only costs 15 MP and you can cast it on the whole party at once!

Curious about how much damage Yang's attack does after a Focus?

Well, this much!

After a few more rounds, the screen flashes white and Mom Bomb changes form!

She still has the same weaknesses, and we still have Protect up.

Be very careful though, because as you continue to beat on her, eventually this message will pop up:

We must tighten our defenses!

And, in case you didn't get a the hint, a countdown begins.

At this point, have everyone Defend, for the love of God!

Everyone does so, except Edward, who is still singing. Oh well.

When the countdown runs out, you'd better be ready!

Oh holy shit fuck ow!

So, yeah. Slighty more dangerous than in the GBA version, eh? If we hadn't been Defending, that would have been a full party wipe, no question.

Heal us, Rosa! Heal us!

And I guess we can toss Edward's useless ass a Phoenix Down too.

Shit! That was a close one! Hang on, Rydia, your healing's coming!

So far, so good!

That's better! We're out of the danger zone at least.

Time to resume ass-kicking!

Hee hee he- oh fuck.

Owww! It burns; it burns!

Kick their asses, Yang!


The rest is just cleanup.

And this one decides it wants to do our job for us? Sure... go ahead, buddy.

Pffft. That is just sad. I don't know if the Gray Bombs suck, or if Rydia is just that good.

Turns out, it's neither!

Krumbsthumbs posted:

The Bombs deal their remaining health in damage when they use Self Destruct. So those little bombs don't really hurt when they pop.

One last attack from Cecil, and that's all she wrote!

We get a nice amount of EXP, and a level up for Rosa!

Mm hmm, very nice!

We are on our way to Fabul.

A man named Golbez has taken control of Baron, and is using its forces to seize the world's Crystals.

Yes, and soon. He has already taken the Fire Crystal from Damcyan.

Fabul will be next.

The few who remain in Fabul lack proper training. We would have no hope of fending of a strike from Baron were it to come now.

To eliminate us, and leave Fabul defenseless...

If that is true, he may be moving against your kingdom as we speak.

I am grateful for the offer, but there is no reason for you to be dragged any further into this.

Our stake in this conflict is no less than yours.

Rosa and I are of Baron.


I see. Then I will most humbly accept whatever help you are willing to provide.

Come, then. Time is our enemy!

Fabul lies east beyond the mountains. We'll go at once!

Our party's thoughts on the situation.

Now, let's check out our new friend!

His attack and HP are bonkers. His defenses? Not so much! Respectable speed, too.

We still have a bit more of Mount Hobs to explore, but I'll stop there for now. This thing is getting rather long.

I'll see you next time for Castle Fabul!