The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: Advance and DS

by Leavemywife and Silver Falcon

Part 71: DS Dark Elves have Magnetic Personalities part 2

DS Update 15: Dark Elves have Magnetic Personalities part 2

Welcome back! Last time, we left off right outside our next dungeon, the Lodestone Cavern.

And of course, it's a gimmick dungeon, so I'll need to change everyone's equipment. Let's do that before we dive in.

As has been mentioned several times, just to make sure you get it, we can't wear any metals in this place. If you try it, the unfortunate character will be constantly paralyzed. If that happens to the whole party, you'll get an automatic game over as soon as you enter a battle. Obviously, you don't want that.

To that end, Cid gets his Wooden Hammer back (hope you hung onto it!) and loses his shield. He also gets a Feathered Cap,

one of these- which will somewhat mitigate the damage hit he takes from equipping an inferior weapon,

and our old friend the Ruby Ring. Remember the game tossed us a few freebies last update. We have plenty for everyone!

Tellah doesn't use much metallic equipment anyway, so his equipment changes won't be that drastic. He gets Palom's old Fire Rod, since fire is a common elemental weakness in the Lodestone Cavern (as is holy, but don't have many ways to exploit that...)

Red numbers. Red numbers make me sad.

Get used to seeing those, because next we have to equip:

Cecil. Cecil relies on metal equipment the most, by far. First, he gets that Fireshard I bought last time, and a hefty 50-point drop in his attack power. It hurts. Oh, it hurts. He can't equip bows in this version, so this is his only offensive option. If you can call it that...

He also gets to wear a stylin' pointy hat. This amuses me more than it should. Oddly, Tellah can't equip one of these puppies.

That paltry +3 to strength isn't even going to come close to making up for the loss of that sweet Sleep Blade.

Hey, some green numbers here. That's something, right?

Like Tellah, Yang doesn't rely much on metallic equipment. He gets his Fire Claws back so he can hit elemental weaknesses. There is exactly one enemy in the dungeon that's weak to ice, so he keeps the Ice Claws too.

Bah. At least Yang doesn't rely on defense too much. He's just a big ball of HP and huge damage numbers. My kinda guy!

But yeah. Three guesses as to who is going to be the big damage dealer in this dungeon, and the first two don't count.

In we go, I guess!

Better remove all our metal armor and weapons if we want to be able to move in here.

Yes, we fucking get it, game. Thanks!

This is helpful information, though. I don't think anyone mentions it before now, but Yang's claws are non-metallic, apparently. Just what are they made of, then?!

And we have my magic as well. There's nothing to fear!

Oh, yes. Great. What a perfect time to lose two kickass magic users, huh? And what about Rydia? She would have been incredibly helpful here!

Guess who else is going to be useless in this place?

Yesss. That's the right attitude to have, Yang!

Cid is (mostly) fine, too.

With your pathetic MP pool, that's a valid worry, Tellah. Good thing he has other options!

Let's get this over with, shall we?

The Lodestone Cavern isn't that bad, as far as gimmick dungeons go. It's not that long, and pretty straightforward. I just wish Cecil had some better attacking options. As we'll soon see, he's dead weight in this dungeon.

Remember: enemies will do more damage to you than usual. Keep an eye on your HP!

And Cecil, well...

Don't expect him to contribute much. Goddamn that's pathetic!

Oh, and no, you can't use the Fireshard as an item to attack that way instead. I tried. It doesn't do anything. Debatable whether it would make much of a difference even if you could, though. Cecil ain't much of a magic-user.

Cid's damage, on the other hand, is fine.

While Yang is well... Yang. Between him and Cid, your offensive needs are covered. Tellah can fling that Fire Rod around and drop a Cura if the party's hurting for healing. And Cecil... Eh. Keep him on support/heal-bot duty. Pathetic, I know, but that's pretty much all he'll be good for.

Oh, and something I didn't pick up on earlier: the Blaster attack that Cait Sith and Coeurls can do can also cause Paralysis. It isn't always straight-up instant death. Still incapacitates whoever it hits, though!

Level up for Yang! But check out Cecil's Fireshard. It even looks pathetic. And he'll still wave it around, as if he's holding a real sword.

These guys are running around here, too. They're a new enemy, but we already met their big brother, the Mad Ogre, in Eblan Castle. They have a hefty 1,065 HP, and one elemental weakness: holy. Cecil's swords are holy elemental. The game is just straight up trolling us now!

These guys hit really hard! Cecil takes almost as much damage as Tellah in this place!

And of course, Counter doesn't do shit, either.

Leave the asskicking to the real men, Cecil.

Oh, yes. Remember how I said to keep a close eye on your HP?

Yeah. Get used to this happening. A lot.

Damn it, Cecil! You are seriously not helping. Luckily, Yang's got this.

Get your ass up, old man!

At least Cover still works! Cecil's a helpful guy. Handy to have around, even here.

Yeah... we're leaving the damage to the real men, though!

Single-target healing? Cecil's on the case!

See? He's got this! All right, Cecil, you can be Tellah's personal heal-bot. How's that sound?

If I must...

That frees Tellah up to roast things with his Fire Rod. His damage output isn't as impressive as Cid's or Yang's, but still worlds better than Cecil's!

Look at him. He thinks he's holding a real sword.

There's treasure here, of course. It gets better. Don't worry!

Good job, Cecil! You'll be breaking triple digits in no time! (No he won't.)


Oh yay. I'll just add this to the pile.

On that note, 1st floor complete!

Obtained Ether

Again with the single Ethers! That's just not cutting it anymore, game!

Onwards to the second level!

And it's here that my luck with Blaster finally runs out.

Poor Cid. Murdered by a cat.

More Blaster shenanigans.

Oh goddamn it!

In other news, Ogres still fucking hurt!

Not helping, Cecil!

I miss my murder twins.

At least we're getting level ups.

Yep, good job, fellas. Keep it up!

Good thing the game is pretty generous with these things. I've been rather conservative with Tellah's MP, letting Yang and Cid do most of the murdering, but you can go crazy with Tellah's spells if you want to!

Oh fuck, not again!

Whew! Good job, Cecil!

We're getting there!

Up here is a little side room.

It's well worth your time to come in here!

Yesss. I'll be able afford the Mythril Armor in no time!

But before I could get to the other chest,

surprise! I got jumped.

These guys are a barrel of fun.

A real laugh-riot.

Yep. Thanks a lot, jerks!

Oh, I get to attack now? Thanks, guys! These jerkfaces have 600 HP and no no easily exploitable weaknesses.

On the one hand, they're not nearly as threatening as their counterparts in, say, Final Fantasy Tactics.

On the other hand, having half your party paralyzed before you can even move is no fun. Especially when Cecil is in the other half...

Oh, and they can do this too.

These jerks can take a long time to kill, is what I'm saying.

Cecil. Not. Helping.

Cid's got this, at least.

Oh you have got to be-

Ffffff. Well, at least they Paralyzed the useless one!

Cid finally bashes this one's skull in. That's one down!

Of course, his buddy still isn't going to make things easy for us.

Fuck off, jerk!

Yeah, so that was a pain in the ass. Let's not to it again.

Soon, Cecil's level ups will start to matter again! Here, not so much...

Oh, but this is nifty! Now Cecil can get us out of dungeons in a hurry, too!

Finally, I can grab that other chest! Not as exciting, but more Ethers are always welcome.

So is this. We're another step closer to being done with this place!

Obtained 3 Vampire Fangs

Ah! An interesting reward, for once!

Vampire Fangs are kind of cool. They cast Drain. I still probably won't remember to use them...

And in this door-

Oh goddammit. Hang on.

That's better! Where was I?

Level ups? Oh, right. Level ups are good.

No, as I was saying. In here:

a welcome sight.

Party refreshed, game saved, we're ready to take on-

Giant bats? Sure, why not?

These guys are annoying.

All three of them did this.

Sure, the damage isn't bad.

But all this happened before I even had a chance to move.


Anyway, Cave Bat. 334 HP, wicked fast, wicked annoying, weak to holy.

That's about all there is to them, really.

Your services are no longer required. Now, GO AWAY!

Up here, there's a very nice treasure.

A new weapon for Yang! I'll equip those later. I still need his elemental claws for now.

Now, to continue with the dungeon, you take the path west of that chest. However,

There's a side path down here.

Obtained 3 Silent Bells

More interesting stuff! Silent Bells cast Silence, as you might figure.

But that's not all! That side path leads to:

Treasure! Treasure is always appreciated.

We snag a Hi Potion, a Spider Silk, and a Bronze Hourglass. Pretty nice stuff!

I got into another fight on the way back, and Tellah leveled up.

And we also ran into a new enemy! Wait, fire weakness? Finally an enemy with a fire weakness! That means Cecil-

can actually break triple digits!

Being vampires, Succubus can also do this.

It's still not very threatening. (But it does inflict Sap, so be careful!)

They drop an interesting item, too.

Osmose! Osmose is dead useful. These might actually come in handy, assuming I can find some more!

Anyway, onwards to the next (and last) floor!

Oh, and what's this? Ooh, this just screams out "here be the boss" to me!

So, I'll go this way first.

My intuition is rewarded! Another save point. I avail myself of it.

At least this dungeon is very generous with save points. So, if you want to have Tellah just sling spells everywhere, you can do so!

Double level up! I like those.

Our two best (normally) fighters get even stronger!

Yep, the boss is definitely in there.

But we're not quite done here!

Obtained Dry Ether

Yes, that's more like it game! More of those, please!

Ah, good. This'll help us get out of here as quickly as possible when we're finally done with this place!

Speaking of that, it's time to face the boss!

Yep, this is definitely the right place.

Here we go!

But the Earth Crystal is mine, and I will not surrender it. Your journey ends here.

Cecil and Cid go into their fighting stance.

Do you truly think those pitiful weapons of yours a match for my spells?

Er, he's got a point, actually...

Will do!

Right. At last, here's our boss!

He has um, hang on...

Oh goddammit guys! This is not the kind of performance I need right now.

Good job, Cid, at least you hit the bastard!

Tellah's Flame Rod does little better.

Ok Cecil that was... that was beyond pathetic. That was just sad.

Hit the asshole. You guys are killing me here!

Yang, I expected better from you.

Wait a minute. Why isn't he attacking us?

Um... I think we may be in trouble here.

Yep. Definitely in trouble! Incoming!

Well... fuck.

Damn right, you cheating bastard! If we could just get rid of this damn magnetic field, Cecil could ram his sword straight up your fairy ass!

So, yeah. Just like other versions, the first part is a scripted fight. You absolutely cannot win. Don't bother using any items or burning your MP. Save it for the real fight.

Not now, Eddie! We have a crisis on our hands.

Whoa, Eddie!

Damn right you're not, Eddie! Get your ass back in bed.

No. I am the only one... the only one who can save them!

I don't know what Edward put in that harp, but it looks like it's fucking up the dark elf but good!

Cid doesn't say anything when he stands up. He's too cool for that, I guess.

No! Nooooo!

He will not be able to maintain the strength of the magnetic field while I am playing. Take up your sword! You will be able to wield it now.

You don't have to tell me twice, Eddie!


And, indeed, the game helpfully gives you a chance to re-equip yourself. Which you should definitely do! But first, our party's reactions to this development:

Prepare for aforementioned ass shoving, you jerk!

Yeah, how about that?

Yes, Cid. We got that, thanks.

Hard to believe, isn't it? There's more to Edward than we thought, it seems.

Good stuff, back on everyone!

Oh yesss.

Now, that's more like it!

Green numbers. I like my green numbers!

Here are Yang's new claws.

I put the Fire Claws on his other slot. They'll come in handy soon.

And now we're ready!

OK. Welcome to the boss, for real this time.

Edward's harp music continues to play all through this fight. Nice touch.

Right, so boss. Dark Elf is weak to fire and holy. His HP is... rather irrelevant because after you do a certain amount of damage, he changes forms.

That means, this initial battle is your chance to buff yourself to hell and back.

Yeah, the damage on that Fira spell isn't nearly as impressive now, is it.

Eat a Silence, bastard. It's so nice when a boss has an easily exploitable status vulnerability.

Cecil casts Protect on everyone.

And Yang starts doing his Focus thing.

Now, you can manually tell Cecil to Cover party members, even when they're not critical. In this case, Cecil is going to Cover for Tellah.

Cid can do a nifty thing here. I haven't shown off this "Upgrade" trick of his yet. That's because it's situational, but this is the situation for it!

When you select it, it brings up your stock of spell-casting items. I select the Bomb Fragment and,

Cid does his engineering magic, and now his hammer attacks are fire based! It consumes the item, and only lasts for one battle, so it's only useful in boss battles. It is something to keep in mind if you want to buff Cid's damage output!

Next, Tellah buffs up our defenses with a Shell.

Let's see some damage comparisons!


And Cid, with his Upgraded hammer. Not bad, eh?

Tellah's next act is to Haste himself. Because why not? Sadly, Haste cannot be multi-targeted, else I would dose the whole party with it.

After we whale on him a bit more, Dark Elf busts out a Hex. Hex isn't too threatening.

It just turns the victim into a pig. Sadly, I did not do this whole fight with Pig-Cid. Maybe I should have...

Instead, I had Tellah cure him.

Next, Tellah Blinks himself. Can't remember if I've mentioned what Blink does yet. It let's your avoid a few physical attacks. Very handy for squishy spellcasters!

It looks pretty neat too!

Cid continues to pound on the jerk with his fiery hammer. Man, that's a great image. I love Cid.

Lastly, Tellah taps the boss's MP. He won't be needing it!

Osmose is a great spell. It really is.

I actually didn't mean to have Yang unload on him yet. But whatever! I was finished with this form anyway!

Once Dark Elf changes form, the standard boss music cuts in. Now we know that shit has gotten real.

He's still weak to fire, though!

Meet the really real boss: Dark Dragon. He has 7,854 HP and has the same elemental weaknesses as Dark Elf.

Tellah's Flame Rod is quite effective.

But Cecil can match it with just his normal attack! Welcome back to Team Asskicker, Cecil. We missed you.

Since I blew Yang's Focus load early, he has to build it back up.

This is Dark Dragon's most threatening attack, and it's a nasty one.

Ow! Could've been worse, but seriously ow! And keep in mind I had both Shell and Protect up!

No matter, Tellah's still standing, and still Hasted, so he can get the party back on their feat in no time!

That takes care of Yang and Cecil.

And Cecil tosses Cid a Phoenix Down.

Dark Dragon's physicals are nothing to sneeze at either! Good thing I had Cecil Covering for Tellah, or he'd have been proper fucked!

One other nice thing about Cover,

It pairs very nicely with Counter. I suppose if you wanted, you could keep the whole party in critical state and just have Cecil Cover/Counter everything to oblivion. You'd just have to make sure to keep him healthy!

And with that, Cid's back on his feat. Welcome back, Cid. As you can see, he didn't lose the Upgrade on his hammer, either. That's nice.

Of course then Yang just up and goes the fuck to town on the Dark Dragon. Jesus tittyfucking Christ Yang!

So, yeah. It's dead. Very dead. Yeesh.

Only one level up out of that one.

Good job, Cid. Glad you could join us for the end.

With the Crystal... I was to have life... eternal. Urgh...

And then he fades away. Good riddance, asshole.

Yeah, I gotta admit, Eddie really pulled through on that one.

We are now free to collect our prize!

And that's it. The Crystal is ours.

See? Cecil just shoves it in his pocket, I guess.

Well, he was able to carry three people down a mountain, while fighting zombies. I'm sure a little hunk of rock is no problem at all!

That's right, Cecil, eyes on the prize. Let's just hope Golbez keeps his word...

Tellah wondered the same thing last update. Eddie was a bard. Bards know things. Why is that so surprising?

Cid keeps his eyes on the prize too.

Why, Tellah, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were worried about the guy.

All right. Let's blow this Popsicle stand. Because fuck if I'm walking all the way back.

That's better. And here's our chocobo, waiting patiently for us to return!

In fact, as soon as we hop on his back,

he flies us all the way back to the Chocobo Village, no guidance needed!

I pop in to top off everyone's MP, just in case.

And from here, it's just a short walk back to Troia!

Oh, did I mention the chocobo does all the walking?

Here we are!

We're almost done for today! Let's hear the party's thoughts on the proceedings:

We'll get right on that in just a second.

Yep. And we're trading it away...

These are both valid points. I guess he's waiting for us to talk to the Epopts, first?

Well, he can wait a little longer. Let's check on Eddie!

Cecil nods.

Thanks to you, Edward.

You needn't thank me. It was the only thing I could do.

How did you know that song would break his spell?

The million-dollar question!

I learned the tune some years ago, while traveling as a bard. It is a melody used to ward off evil fey. I thought perhaps it might serve to disrupt his concentration.

Hah! I thought so.

We owe you our lives.

Me? No, I... I only- *cough cough*

Shut up, Eddie! When the head monk of Fabul gives you props, you fucking take the props!


Dwell on it no more. Anna was happy to be loved by a man as brave as you.



All you need concern yourself with now is your health. Rest, and grow strong again. I will see the debt for Anna's death repaid- with Meteor. And I shall do it for both of us, Edward.

Thank you.

Aww, that's better. I'm glad you two had this talk.

I believe I understand now what Anna was trying to tell me. Cecil... take this with you. And please... save Rosa.

Oh, that's nice of ya Eddie. I know just what to do with this!

Will do, Eddie, will do!

Let's hand out some Augments, shall we?

Tellah can get this one...

Now he can serenade our foes to death.

And I'll toss him this one too, because why not?

I'll see about showing both those off at a later date. First, we have some important business to take care of.

I put Bardsong on Tellah, replacing his useless Recall ability. I'm going to have fun with this!

All right. Let's have a chat with the Epopts again.

Oh, before I forget, I got some information on what an Epopt is!

Red Metal posted:

An epopt is someone who had gone through the final initiation rites of the cult of Demeter and Persephone in ancient Greece or, more generally, someone instructed in the mysteries of a secret system.

idonotlikepeas posted:

Specifically, the Eleusinian Mysteries. Nobody knows exactly what those are anymore, since the actual rites haven't survived, but it is widely suspected that they involved lots of . Which might explain how a dark elf managed to sneak by all these people and steal that crystal.

So, there you go. Not just a stupid name Squeenix made up. This time.

The Epopts' dialog hasn't changed since we last spoke to them, but if you stroll right into their midst,

You truly managed to reclaim it!

At last!

Of course, this joyous occasion is rudely interrupted.

Exit the castle and board your airship. I will take you to the tower where Rosa is held.

So, like he says. As soon as we get on the airship, we'll be on the express plot train to the next dungeon. But first, let's see what the Epopts have to say:

Yeah... we might be going with a loose definition of "lend," I hope you realize this.

Loose definition of "guard" too.

Hell yeah! I've been waiting for this! We sure will do that, lady.

It would take waaaay too long to explain, and I'm afraid we haven't the time!

Yeah, it kind of sucks for these folks, now that I think of it.

That doesn't sound good at all!

Well, enough of that. Let's go collect our reward!

Back to the east tower, down the westernmost stairs...

Did you forget about this? I sure didn't!

Oh I will, believe me!

Hell yeah. Let's get ourselves some loot!

I... it's so beautiful!

So. Much. Loot!

Our total haul from these chests:

2x Hi Potion
2x Remedy
2x Ether
2x Dry Ether
One Elixir
One Silver Apple
2x Echo Herbs
One Great Bow
One Ice Arrow
One Fire Arrow
One Lightning Arrow


Holy shit, yes! I am going shopping!

Once I finish the next dungeon. Goddammit!

We're done for today. Once again, I'll leave you with the party's thoughts:

And with that, we are done! Next time, a dungeon, and maybe we'll get Rosa back too!

See you then!