The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: Advance and DS

by Leavemywife and Silver Falcon

Part 63: DS Mount Ordeals part 1

DS Update 8: Mount Ordeals part 1

Hello again! When we left off last time, Cecil was having the worst day of his life: he lost Rosa (again), and Yang and Rydia were swept out to sea! To boot, he washed up in Mysidia, the very last place he ever wanted to be! But things are starting to look up! He's not alone anymore: we got two new adorable and destructive party members, and he has a chance to shed his dark armor for good!

Today, we're going to climb Mount Ordeals and see if we can make Cecil's life a bit less shitty.

Mount Ordeals is a barren, desolate place. Definitely not somewhere you'd want to go for a Sunday picnic!

And there's fire here, despite there not being much vegetation to speak of. Hmm. Suspicious!

Our heroes ponder the inexplicable wall of fire.

I believe this is your area of expertise, Palom.

As if you needed to tell me that!

Palom approaches the blaze and charges up for a few seconds.

He invokes the incantation,

the screen flashes white and,

the fire is gone!

Yep, you did good, kid. It's nice to have you along, but don't get too cocky!

Porom *thwacks* him down a peg.

How many times has our elder said you mustn't be so arrogant?

Um, sure, let's. Just don't kill me!

Get ready for a lot of

Scarmiglione materializes right in front of him.

Random aside, but doesn't scarmiglione sound like it should be some sort of delicious pasta?

This... Cecil. I fear we can ignore him no longer. Let us clip his wings, before he flies beyond our reach. The young man is a dark knight. His blade will be all but useless against your legion of the undead- at least for now. He ascends Mount Ordeals even as we speak.

Again with the "dark sword is useless against undead" thing. Cecil's killed plenty of skeletons with no problem and I doubt zombies would be any different! What's with the game harping on something that is patently not true?

Yes, and I mean to see that he does not. The manner of his passing I leave to you.

Worry not. It shall be as you wish.

Then go!

My lord.

Scarmiglione vanishes, off to do... whatever it is he does.

Poor Rosa. Everyone's just ignoring her.

Yes, my lord. But you had best not underestimate Cecil's strength.

And that is precisely why I sent Scarmiglione instead of you. He is one of the four elemental archfiends. Such a match should provide more than ample entertainment. Would you not agree, Rosa?

Never mind. I think she'd prefer to be ignored!

As you so skillfully did before? No, your place is here, guarding her.

Ouch. That's gotta sting!

Cecil, be careful!

Poor Rosa. It must be hell to hear everyone talk about murdering your boyfriend so casually while you just hang there...

Hmm? Oh, right. We were in the middle of climbing a mountain, weren't we?

Let's get looting!

Pictured: Cecil murdering the shit out of some undead. Yeah. Everyone is full of shit!

Also pictured: a new enemy! The Soul is the Spirit's big brother. They have 250 HP and the same weakness to holy shared by all undead.

Oh, yeah, Souls and Spirits both absorb fire. It's something to keep in mind if you're just spamming Palom's Flame Rod...

Continuing to make our way up the mountain. The game sure loves throwing these things at me, doesn't it? Eh, at least Palom can make fairly good use of them with Item Lore...

More new enemies! The reddish zombie in the back is a Revenant (530 HP); his bluish counterpart is a Ghoul (444 HP). Both are weak to fire and holy.

This means that Palom's Flame Rod just rips them to shreds!

Level up for Cecil!

And we've completed the first part of Mount Ordeals!

Obtained 5 Antidotes

Sure... whatever. I'll just throw those in the pile, I guess.

Oh yes. Remember what you should always bear in mind, no matter what?

Yeah. Hold that thought for a second. Bloodbones are another new enemy: 210 HP, weak to fire and holy, like usual.

The enemies here are assholes. Souls can cast Sleep, and Bloodbones hit like a sledgehammer, a sledgehammer fueled by malice and despair.

For, as you should remember:

this game hates you.

Never forget this!


Let's try that again...

The twins are getting more and more murderlicious. I like it.

Learned Break

Petrifies foes. Why petrify what you can just outright murder? I rest my case.

Learned Silence

Another spell I'll probably never use!

Now, you may have noticed the Bloodbones dropped one of these puppies. The Cursed Ring is a weird item. It hits you with a nasty -15 to all stats, but it converts any elemental resistance into an absorb. You could try pairing this with an elemental armor, if you were so inclined. Just something to keep in mind for later!

Up this hill, we find an old friend!


You know about Meteor? Then you must be-

You just keep being adorable, Polom.

Tellah doesn't know quite what to make of our young mage.

Palom! Show some respect!

You can barely see it behind the text box, but Porom does a little curtsey here.

We've come here at the request of the elder of Mysidia.

As I was just saying, we've come to guide Cecil to the top of the mountain. My name is Porom.

So, you really are that old wizard! You're famous around Mysidia, you know. Never thought I'd meet you in a place like this.

Tellah turns first to Palom,

and then back to Porom, seemingly bemused.

Oh yeah... that's right.

Tellah bows his head, too. This is sad news, indeed.

I'm afraid so, and Rosa has fallen into Golbez's hands.

Ever the observant one, that Palom.


I've been searching for the legendary magic of Meteor. It has long lain sealed away, and I know not where. But I feel a powerful aura radiating from this place. I believe the spell I seek may well rest within this mountain.

But I would gladly lay aside my own life, if it meant the end of his. I will defeat Golbez!


Cecil knows that Tellah is a desperate, driven man. He can sympathize as well. What wouldn't he do to save Rosa?

Grownups... Always have to be so pigheaded.

Um... Palom?

Well, you're certainly not in danger of growing up any time soon, so why don't you just keep quiet?

Damn. That's cold, Porom! I was thinking something along those same lines, but that's sill cold!

To become a Paladin. A dark sword cannot slay Golbez, and I've no love of the loathsome thing as it is. I'll be glad to be rid of it.

Cecil has a point. Things have not been going well in his life sense he was inducted as a dark knight. As nice as Deathbringer is, he'll be better off without it.

Oh, Palom, haven't you been paying any attention?

You really don't know anything, do you? He's the one manipulating Baron!

Thank you, Porom, for setting him straight.

It seems my hunch was not mistaken. There is more to this mountain than appearances betray. Why don't we continue on together?

Hell yes! Welcome back to Team Asskicker, Tellah!

Here's the crew's thoughts on this latest development:

Well, we already knew this places was special, Cecil. Otherwise, why would that old geezer bother to send us here?

These are both valid questions, but I like Tellah's better!

A wise and insightful observation, Palom.

So, here's Tellah... still as naked as the day he left our party. What the hell, Tellah? You couldn't be bothered to pick up some gear for yourself?!

Fine, fine. Here's your old stuff back! Plus an Ice Rod, because I'm nice that way!

And here's where I start wishing I'd bought another Flame Rod. A lot of the enemies here are weak to fire, and having a free Fire spell handy would help Tellah conserve MP. Because, well... let's compare him to our junior mages.

Like in the GBA version, Tellah isn't looking nearly as impressive as he was back when he first joined the party. Palom's intellect score is rapidly catching up, and all his other stats are significantly higher. To boot,

Porom's spirit stat actually matches Tellah's. Granted, part of that is the boost she gets from the Rosa's old Sage Surplice, but also keep in mind both Palom and Porom are still three levels behind Tellah! They'll soon surpass him.

And to boot, both of the twins have a much larger MP pool than Tellah does. He's still stuck with his same old 90 MP, and he will never gain a single point more.

(There are reasons for that, of course, but it's sill annoying!)

When he first joined, Tellah was a crutch character, no question. He was overpowered for that point in the game, meant to help players get through a tough dungeon and tide them over until they have some real firepower at their disposal.

Now, the rest of the characters have caught up to Tellah, and even surpassed him. Stick him in the back row and put him on heal-bot duty. He's still good for that much!

He still has the same spells he had when we last saw him. Here they are in case you forgot:

Yep. He still doesn't have access to any mid-level magic other than Cura.

We'll just have to leave the ass-kicking to Palom!

Time for some comparison:

Thanks to his Item Lore-boosted Flame Rod, Palom outdamages Tellah! He would probably benefit from a Flame Rod of his own, but not by much. Keep that in mind if you're playing along at home, and you have the extra cash!

Eh, enough of that. Moving on!

Obtained 3 Hi Potions

Ah! That's more like it. These will come in very handy, very soon!

Next area!

As usual, there's treasure to collect.

These are good for keeping Tellah's pitiful MP filled. The enemies here don't give you much MP when you Osmose them, I found.

Oh, yeah. Ghouls and Revenants can poison you on attack. Watch out for that, and keep your Antidotes/Esuna handy! (Both Porom and Tellah have access to it.)

Triple level up?! Well, I'm certainly not going to complain!

Yep, Palom's intellect will catch up to Tellah's before too long if I'm any judge!

Porom's not doing too bad either!

Oh yeah. One other thing about Tellah: his stat gains suck. In Fire Emblem terms, he's a Jiegan: good bases, sucky growths! Classic early game crutch character, albeit with a magnificent beard!

Continuing to loot/murder out way up the mountainside.

We're making good progress!

Obtained Ether

One Ether?! Hmph. The game's getting stingy!

Hey, would you look at that? We've reached the summit! We're almost done with this place!

Well, sort of. Not quite. Not really.

Palom! Stop making noises!

There is something sinister afoot!

Across this neat-looking bridge,

there's a save point! Now I know we're getting close to the end!

I heal the party up with a Cottage. Doesn't it look cozy?

Heading farther on...

I told you to stop that!

Oh well. Another level up for the twins!

Their intellect/spirit stats are coming along nicely, yes indeed!

And finally, we've reached this bridge. This bridge is important!

Everyone turns to look at Palom this time, whereas previously, only Porom reacted to the hissing noises.

Uh oh!

Such pleasure I will take in delivering you to the gatesss of hell!

The screen turns a sickly purple color.

and Scarmiglione appears!

My undead children hunger to feassst upon your flesh!

Oh yeah? Well, bring it on!

And so, it is on.

Time to fight our first elemental archfiend, and he brought friends!

As far as bosses go, Scarmiglione isn't too tough. He has 1200 HP and a weakness to the usual undead stuff: fire and holy (including curative magic). His buddies are called Skullnants, but they are nothing even approaching a threat. Ignore them.

Scarmie counters any action taken against him with Thunder. Make sure whoever attacks him can take a hit!

So, here's how this thing is going to play out:

Palom is going to be doing the lion's share of the damage. Bluff + Fira really puts the hurt on this boss!

Porom and Tellah will be on support duty. I recommend setting up both Protect and Shell. Porom hadn't learned Shell yet when I fought this guy, and Tellah doesn't have it. I highly recommend levelling Porom until she learns it. It takes the sting off Scarmiglione's counter attacks!

Before Palom can rain the pain, Scarmiglione commands his minions to attack.

They all cast Drain on me for piddling damage. This was their only action for the fight.

For, as soon as they were done...

Hell yeah, Palom! That's what I'm talking about.

Scarmie is displeased with this development.

He swiftly makes his displeasure known. Owie! Shell would have been helpful there. Oh well!

Oh yeah. Here's another reason to get Tellah his own Flame Rod: Scarmiglione absorbs ice.

A couple counterattacks from Scarmie later and... this could be going a bit better.

I can fix it!

Palom Bluffs himself again, while Tellah revives Cecil,

and Porom heals everyone up. Yay teamwork!

All right, this had better be good!

Holy shit, Palom! Holy shit!

Yeah, he just did more than the boss' max HP in a single shot!

And that is why Palom is the MVP of this fight!

Scarmiglione sinks into the ground. So long, sucker!

Level ups for Cecil and Tellah!

Cecil's level ups are almost completely pointless now, but I still like to see numbers going up!

Eh, at least he increased his two key stats.

I pop back here to save and heal up my party before the next boss fight.

Let's see what's on everyone's mind before we move on:

I think that's a fair conclusion, Cecil!

I think you're right...

Yeah, well, so do we, buddy!

This... is 100% accurate.

Back to this bridge again.

I need to do a couple of things before we cross it. First,

I unequip Counter from Cecil. It's more of a hinderence than a help in the next fight.

And, I invert the rows. This will save me some time and a lot of headache in a minute!

Once we cross the bridge, we're within sight of our goal! But, we have one last obstacle to overcome.

There's that sickly purple fog again. You know what this means!

And now, you shall join me in it!

Oh, god, watch out Porom!

Jesus that thing is hideous!

And here's why you swap your rows before crossing the bridge! This way, when Scarmie back-attacks you, your rows are where they should be. You don't have to waste a turn fixing them, handy!

Those who see this face must die! I'll sssmite your ruin on the mountainside!

Hmm... why does that line seem so familiar...

Oh shit!

Ow! Yeah, in his second form, Scarmiglione hits like an undead freight train. Pretty scary!

Now, the theme of this fight is Opposite Day.

You see, Scarmiglione has a variety of nasty counter attacks. If you hit him with Black Magic, he'll counter with a silencing Gas. Hit him with a physical attack, and he'll Slow your entire party! To boot, his regular attack can Blind you. Lastly, he's much tougher this time around, with a whopping 7046 HP to burn through. His weaknesses remain the same.

So, here's the plan.

Cecil is on healing duty.

Tellah and Porom will spam Cura on him. Being undead, curative magic will hurt him, remember.

You can also have one of them cast Slow on him, if you're so inclined. I didn't bother.

But Palom. I have a special job for Palom.

Remember when I said Item Lore makes Hi Potions recover 1,000 HP? Well, undead are hurt by healing items, too. That means Palom can do 1,000 points of damage to Scarmie every turn. We don't have that many Hi Potions, but we have enough!

Porom is no slouch in this fight either, as you can see!

And Tellah does even better!

Neither of them are a match for Palom's wonder-potions, but that's to be expected!

And that's basically how this fight goes. Cecil tosses a Potion every turn, leaving the Hi Potions for Palom.

Eventually, the Item Lore and Cura fueled onslaught proves too much for Scarmiglione, and he sinks the the ground and fades away.

And that's it. If you know what to do, that fight is actually easier than the first one! No one even got knocked out!

And level ups for everyone!

In fact, the twins got two level ups a piece!

Learned Bio

Bio is an excellent spell! I look forward to showing it off.

And Cecil's level ups are officially completely useless!

Oh, hey, that's where Shell went! That would have come in handy in the first fight... oh well! Keep that in mind if you're playing along: get Porom to level 18 before fighting Scarmiglione!

Good job, Tellah. Just keep on... keeping on.

Hey, you might want to watch that ledge-

Oh. Never mind!

That's it for Scarmiglione, and this update! I'll leave you with our party's reactions to the recent events:

Pfft. He wasn't so tough!

Sure didn't look like it!

When you put it that way, it is pretty horrifying!

Yes, yes there are. Thanks for reminding me...

That's it for today, folks! Next time, we'll finish up Mount Ordeals and see about getting back into Baron. See you then!