The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: Advance and DS

by Leavemywife and Silver Falcon

Part 83: DS Sylph Co. Cave

DS Update 26: Sylph Co. Cave

Hello, everyone! I'm back! Where were we?

Ah, yes. I remember now! It's that time again. We could go on to the Sealed Cave, our next objective.

Or, we could faff around and do some sidequests. I'm going with faffing. Just like when we got the Enterprise, at this point, some optional areas are open to us. It'll be well worth our while to check them out, perhaps even moreso than last time!

As a side note, here's the entrance to the Underworld.

It's still sealed, so we couldn't go back to the surface even if we wanted to.

Fortunately, there's lots to do down here! Today's destination is this unassuming cave in the far northwest corner of the Underworld.

I hope you like optional dungeons, because that's where we're going!

Why, whatever do you mean, Cecil?

That would be the Sylphs, I imagine.

Eh, par for the course. We can handle it.

How does it feel to be so wrong?

Oh? I don't like where this is going...

Oh mother of fuck! The ground, it burns!

So, yeah. As we saw in the GBA version, Slyph cave is not just a side dungeon, but a gimmick side dungeon. Oh whoop-de-fuckin'-do.

The gimmick is, certain parts of the floor will hurt you when you walk on them, unless you cast Float.

Like so. Plus side: Float is dirt cheap, at 8 MP, and you can cast it on your whole party at once by pushing left/right on the control pad. Downside (and it's a big fucking downside): you have to re-cast it every time you pass through a doorway. Pain in the ass...

Now, on the one hand, I really dislike this dungeon. It's annoying as hell and the encounter rate is stupid high. And the battles take for-fucking-ever to boot, as we'll see.

On the other hand, there's a lot of loot to be had here. Pretty good loot, in fact! I like loot more than I dislike this place, so I'm going to clean it out.

Our first plunder today is a new arrow for Rosa. Angel Arrows can inflict confusion on strike. I equip them, because confusion is pretty useful!

See that chest over there? Well, we can't get to it from here. Just keep it in mind for later.

If there's one thing this place has in spades, it's enemies. There are a ton of monsters here, and all of them are new!

The giant centipede things are Tunnelers. They're really fast, and really stupid.

They only have 1,114 HP. I'm pretty sure even Rosa could one-shot them.

These guys should look familiar if you've played uh... pretty much any other Final Fantasy! Malboros are a series mainstay. This particular iteration has 7,140 HP and a handy fire weakness. It's a plant. Plants don't tend to like fire very much.

Best way to deal with them?

Cast Ifrit and be done with it. Next!

Level-ups, apparently.

Mm hmm.

Good, Kain, good. Keep it up!

Here's another new enemy!

These are Bog Toads. They have 1,600 HP and they're weak to ice.

Bog Toads are the constant companions (and "pretties") of the lady in the back, the Bog Witch. She has 5,211 HP and no elemental affinity.

The Bog Toads have one attack, and this is it. When the Bog Witch tells them to sing, they do this.

All of them.

Usually before you can move! It's pretty obnoxious, in the same way that the Blood Bats and their ilk are. You have to sit there twiddling your thumbs while all the little bastards do their casting animation.

But, thanks to Draw Attacks,

All they accomplish is Toading and un-Toading Cecil over and over. And annoying me. That too.

And then they do it again, just for fun!

Seriously, fuck these things!

(I love Summons so much.)

One other thing about the Slyph Cave, it's rather labyrinthine. You'll be bouncing around between floors a lot, so it's rather easy to get lost.

It's hard to keep track of where you've been. Or at least I find it hard. I admit I have a terrible sense of direction, so it might be just me, though!

Anyway, new floor means I have to cast Float again.

Also, I slaughtered those Malboros a little too quickly earlier. They didn't get to show off any of their attacks! Let's remedy that.

Bile inflicts damage and Sap, much like Bio. Not a problem for a tanky guy like Cecil.

Bad Breath is the Malboro's signature move. It ranges from "barely threatening" to "instant game over" depending on the game.

Here, it's somewhere in the middle. It inflicts Silence and Toad. Possibly some other stuff, too, but that's what it did to Cecil.

Of course, thanks to Draw Attacks,

Cecil doesn't stay a Toad for long! Now he's just Silenced. A quick Esuna or Remedy will fix him right up.

Much less threatening than Bad Breath in, say, Final Fantasy 8, which hit your whole damn party for every damn status effect in the game. Considering how easy it was to miss the status "Junctioning" abilities, that was pretty much instant game over. Or maybe I just sucked at that game? Definitely a possibility!

Anyway, burning Malboros is good experience!

Now, here's an example of how this place can get really annoying. I accidently went through this doorway.

I quickly corrected my mistake, but Float still wore off, and I fucking forgot.

And so I had to re-cast it!

That's any time you go to a new area. Fucking annoying, is what it is!

Oh, here's another iteration of the Bog Witch encounter. They can also spawn with 5 Bog Toads.

Meaning you have to sit through 5 castings of Toad at the start of the battle instead of 3! Joy.

One nice thing about the Bog Witches, though:

they're mage-type enemies (naturally), so you can leech the maximum amount of MP from them with Osmose.

The other nice(?) thing: they're by far the most common encounter in this place. Seriously, I fought so damn many of these things...

Between that, and Pray, there's absolutely no reason to be stingy with Rydia's MP.

Fling those Summons like there's no tomorrow! It makes this place go a hell of a lot faster!

And Rosa reaches level 50! 'Grats, kid.

All right, and now I'm leaving this floor for reals. This doorway leads us...

back to the first floor, interestingly enough! Maybe we'll be able to complete it now? Spoiler: you wish.

New floor, cast Float, etc.

I managed to scan a Tunneler before it suicided on Cecil this time! Not that it particularly matters. I just like having my Bestiary as complete as possible.

Other notable thing about the Tunnelers is they drop the Siren item. I can't remember if I mentioned Sirens before, so forgive me if I repeat myself. Sirens automatically get you into a random battle when used in the field. The thing is, which encounter you get is set depending on which room/area you're in. If you're so inclined, you can take advantage of that to farm for rare drops. You know, if you hate yourself.

There's also a save point here. I use it, because why not?

Appropriately enough, Malboros can drop Remedies. I found that funny, for some reason.

Anyway, Cecil's getting more powerful all the time.

Now, there are rather a lot of secret passages in the Sylph Cave, which just makes it even easier to get lost here.

This particular secret passage leads to that chest we saw at the very beginning of the dungeon!

Ooh, a new bow for Rosa! She hasn't had an upgrade in awhile.

And what a nice upgrade it is, too! A full 10-point boost to her attack, and a point of speed to boot!

And because I often forget to do this, let's see what it does if you use it as an item!

Huh. Cast Shell, apparently. Well, that's disappointing. Shell can be multi-targeted! I can't think of any situation where you'd just want to cast it on Rosa instead of on the whole party!

Speaking of enemies dropping appropriate items, Bog Witches and their friends drop Maiden's Kisses. Cecil could use one of those right about now...

Or I can have Rydia take care of it. She doesn't do healing duty very often. Rosa could use a break once in awhile!

And now it's treasure time! My favorite time!

Free Cottages are always appreciated!

As is money! That's two Cottages, right there!

Done with this floor for now. Again. We haven't completed any floors in this place yet, have we? Don't worry, we will soon!

B2 again. See what I mean about bouncing back and forth a lot?

Guess who forgot to cast Float again? Son of a bitch!

I really dislike this gimmick. I really do.

Know what else I dislike, a lot? These fuckers! They're called Evil Dreamers. They have 4,721 HP, no elemental weaknesses, and they absorb fire.

Absorbing fire is annoying enough when they're paired with monsters weak to fire, but this makes them especially annoying.

They looooove to cast status spells, mainly Sleep and Silence. And they will do so on your whole party. And they're fast enough that they'll move before you can. Think the Bog Toads are annoying? Well, imagine if you had to sit through the casting animation on each individual member of the party? Yep. That's what these guys do.

Fuck these guys. They're not even threatening. At all. Sleep has piss-poor accuracy, and the girls are immune to Silence, thanks to their Gold Hairpins.

They just waste my precious time. They're aggravating and I don't like 'em.

Oh, and they can also cast Fira. Makes sense for a monster with a fire affinity.

See? Not threatening in the least. Just a goddamn waste of time.

They're not weak to Holy, unlike their ghostly cousins. Pity. Dragon still puts the hurt on 'em just fine, though!

Screw those things. Let's move on. I'm getting sick of this place already.

I mean, I don't hate this dungeon. It looks pretty cool, and there's a lot of nice treasure to find.

It's just annoying. The Float gimmick is annoying, and so are the enemies. I just felt vagely... angry the whole time I was recording this. Does that make sense?

Ah! At last, we completed a floor!

Obtained Silver Apple

Yeah, one thing I will say about this place: the rewards are pretty nice! Since it's harder to complete floors than usual, the rewards for doing so are above average.

And that's not all! There are a ton of treasure chests here, ripe for plundering. From them, we nabbed:

A Golden Apple and a Soma Drop (very nice!), an Ether, and a Hi-Potion.

See? All good stuff! The Gold/Silver Apple and the Soma Drop especially. They're super rare. I think I've picked up a few of them already. I'll have to hand them out soon. They're not doing me any good sitting in my inventory!

Back to B2- aww cripes, hang on.

Have I mentioned how annoying this is?

One nice thing about fighting so many Bog Witches: they can drop Dry Ethers. Seriously, it's like the game is begging you to go nuts with Rydia's spells!

Good job, Edge, you'll catch up to the rest of the crew yet!

Now, from here, we could go south to the next floor, or

slip through this not-so-secret passage to the east!

I regret nothing!

Pffft. Sure, game, sure. This is supposed to be a challenge?

Man, I love doing that!

Victory for the party, and froggy Cecil.

And a level for Rydia. Good job, kid, you're definitely the MVP of this dungeon!

This is our prize from that chest, and it's a good one! The Mage Masher, like it says on the tin, does extra damage to mage-type enemies (like Bog Witches).

With that detour over, we can now go in the south door I ignored earlier.

B3!? A whole new floor? Gasp!

*grumble* fucking gimmick dungeons *grumble*

Hmm. Once again, we have the option of continuing down the main path, or popping into a "secret" passage.

Or, we can do neither and get ambushed by some enemies (one of them new).

One thing I really like about Edge is how fast he is. It's really handy for when you get back-attacked. You can swap the rows back fairly quickly that way.

Now, the new guy back there is an Elder Treant. Rocking 6,715 HP and the usual fire weakness of all plant-looking things. Makes that Evil Dreamer right there extra annoying. Because of him, I can't just nuke the other two with Ifrit!

Elder Treants like to cast Berserk... on themselves, for some reason. Makes them hit harder, I suppose. They're still not much of a threat.

That thing I said about not casting Ifrit? I lied.

Down goes the Treant.

And the Evil Dreamer.

And Cecil.

... Not sure if it was worth it, to be honest.

Eh, whatever. We still won.

Yep, you raise that axe, Kain. You raise it high and proud!

After Rosa revives her boyfriend, he heals his damn self. Cecil has Cura for a reason!

Oh, son of a bitch you've got to be kidding me!

Yeah. Since Cecil got knocked out, he also lost his Float status. Ain't that fun?

No. No it isn't.

This only slightly makes up for it.

Here's where that "secret" passage leads. For once, you'll want to take the long way 'round. You get map completion pionts that way.

Yay, Rosa!

And to the southeast, in the deepest reaches of the Sylph Cave, we come across something highly curious: a little cottage!

Are those... Sylphs? They must be!

Yang? Holy shit, they're right! It's Yang!

We found this man collapsed without and carried him within. His eyelids flutter like our wings, but still he does not wake. We've cared for him with all our skills, but to no avail. Perhaps our love alone is not enough to make him well.

'Zat so? Lemme see.

Yep, he's out cold, all right.

Damn right! I want our badass monk back.

I guess so! He is a pretty swell guy.

I know. I wonder who's more badass? Yang, or Cid?

Damn right, kid. You should take notes!

Yeah! We need to get up to the surface and- oh... right. Later, I guess.

There's treasure here, too!

I'm faced with a tough(ish) decision here. On the one hand, the Aura Staff boosts Rosa's Spirit stat by 5 whole points!

On the other, she'll have to give up that cool bow I just found. Hmm...

No question about equipping this thing, though! After some deliberation, the Mage Masher goes in Edge's off hand.

Up the stairs we find... more stairs!

Up those stairs...

we find the way out!

I save and heal up real quick,

and go right back in! We're not done with this place, yet. We haven't completed all the floors, remember? We'll start with this as-yet unexplored exit from B2.

It leads to another section of B3. What a shocker!

And treasure. I'm certainly not going to knock treasure!

From these chests, we plundered: Hi-Potion, Maiden's Kiss, and

a new weapon for Rydia!

It gives a small boost to her Intellect, so why not equip it, I say?

Now, in order to decide whether to keep the Aura Staff, I decided to test what it does in battle.

It casts Dispel, apparently. Ehhh... not so much.

And just for fun, let's see what the Faerie Rod does.

Confusion! That's... not bad, actually! I think I'll keep it.

More level ups for the boys.

Harder, Better,

Faster, Stronger!

I decided to put the Elven Bow back on Rosa. For the moment, I like having the option attack things with her. We'll see what happens when we get her some more Augments!

Guess what time it is?

Secret passage time, naturally! (This is just east of the entrance to B3, for reference.)

It leads...

Over here. Huh. A bunch of opened chests, blocking off... something. How mysterious!

Well, nothing for it but to go through that doorway to the north, for now.

Getting sick of seeing this yet? Because I sure as hell was!

We wrap around to the northeast, and find another fork in the path.

This way leads to sweet, sweet loot. My choice is clear!

Said loot turned out to be a Bomb Core, a Remedy, and 5,000 gil! Sweet!

More levels for our murderess.

And casting Float on Cecil again because he got Frog'd and KO'd.

And what's this? Yet more loot!



Obtained Silver Aplle

Sweet! Another nice reward.

The chests to the west contained 2x Maiden's Kiss and an Ether.

But we're not done with this floor! See this hole here?

Yeah. That took me hours to figure out my first playthrough.

Doo dee doo...

Screw you and your fire absorb shenanigans! Eat a Blitz!

Ehhh... not the result I was hoping for.

That's more like it! Thanks, Rydia.

Aww well. At least Kain got a level out of it.

Rydia too.

Now, that super secret passage leads to... a dead end?! What the fuck, game!

Just kidding! There's another secret passage in the western wall!

Completing a floor from within the void. That's a first...

Obtained Silver Apple

Not bad, not bad at all!

Ah hah! So, this is what's on the other side of those weird chests!

*Teleportation noise*

The Sylph's Cache is the last room of the dungeon, and it's a doozy. See all those chests? Oh, just wait. Just wait.

First, wouldn't do to forget this, now would it?

Aww, hell.

Mm hmm. As a final "fuck you, player!", all these chests are booby trapped. (Not with Evil Dreamers, thank fuck!)

At this point, I was thorougly sick of dealing with these little bastards.

Turns out, they're vulnerable to Stop.

Suck it!

That's better!

In in chest #2...

Easy peasy!


This thing is a long-distance weapon for Edge. He doesn't need it, becuase he has the Reach Augment. (Not to mention Shurikens.) I'll pass.

Huh, that sounds interesting...


Next chest!

Oh, more of you assholes, huh?

And that's how you do it.

Now, here's what we got from that other chest. The Avenger is an odd sword.

Sure looks badass as all hell, though!

Here, I'll demonstrate it.

Have a look at Kain. The Avenger puts you under permanent Berserk.

Hurts pretty bad, too!

Feel free to stick it on Kain. It's not like he has anything better to do than attack things!

Yep. That is one badass-looking sword!

Last chest!


The Avenger takes a chunk out of them...

And Rydia takes us home!


So, yeah. Only half of those chests contained Evil Dreamers. Still a dick move.

Nothing to do now but take this staircase,

which leads us back outside!

We're done! We're done with the Sylph Cave for now!

Just let me rest up real quick...

and replenish my supply of Bronze Hourglasses.

Perfect! We're done for today!

Hope you had fun, because next time, we're going to another optional dungeon. Goody!