The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: Advance and DS

by Leavemywife and Silver Falcon

Part 94: DS The Final Dungeon part 1

DS Update 36: The Final Dungeon part 1

All right, folks! It's finally time. We're heading into the Final Dungeon. We're almost done with the game!

Of course, the dungeon itself is an ordeal of epic proportions. We'll be at this for awhile yet...

Anyway, we can now explore further into the Crystal Palace. The entirety of the endgame takes place within this structure.

The second floor contains something interesting.

There are Crystals here! Eight of them, in fact.

We can even talk to them, and they all have something semi-unique to say!

You should now be able to reach him within the core.

The party's thought bubbles change after talking to a couple of the Crystals.

All right. I'll stop ragging on Rydia for being so quick to forgive Golbez. After all, she suffered, directly at least, far more at Cecil's hands, and she was able to forgive him!

Oh, I don't know, Edge. We're only about to confront an ancient terror, the power of which is beyond mortal comprehension. But other than that there's totally nothing to be afraid of!

And my suffering has just begun.

The hours pass, but still they do not return.

This is the last time the thought bubbles change in this room.

They're not the player characters, of course they're not strong enough!

I guess Kain would know how it feels to be somebody else's puppet, forced to commit terrible atrocities.

Then, what? We have Augments coming out of our ears! Not to mention Rydia and all her Summons! I think we'll be fine.

This is a lie. We can take as long as we damn well want.

What are these things doing here, anyway? Are these the Crystals from the surface, or some kind of funky moon Crystals? This version never mentions it.

And if they're moon Crystals, what the heck happened to the other Crystals we were chasing after for most of the game? Are they still in the Tower of Babil?

The bottom four definitely look like the old Earth/Fire/Wind/Water Crystals. The top four look more like the Dark Crystals from the underworld. (This one just parrots what the third one said.)

This one helpfully informs us of our objective.

And this is definitely a Dark Crystal. Looks pretty badass, too! He/she/it tells us there be treasure to collect down there. Say no more!

Well, that's helpful! Let's see what they're talking about.

(Also I think this is the first hint we get that the Crystals are sentient?)

Only thing left to check out in this room is this funky tile in the middle.

Holy blue filter, Batman!

The Crystals do whatever their weird Crystal-y magic is and,

we have arrived in The Final Dungeon: the Lunar Subterrane.

I have been dreading coming here since I started this LP. I hate this place.

But I'll get into that later. First, we have some new thought bubbles:

I believe there was some mention of darkness already existing in Golbez's heart, and Zemus was able to capitalize on that? (Darkness, hearts, darkness. What is this? A Kingdom Hearts game?)

Yeah. Rydia came around eventually.

All I can feel is my own creeping dread at having to go through this place. Ugh.

I'm more worried about the enemies here, quite frankly!

Yeah, this game is rather dark, now that I think about it!

Enough of that. Let's get this over with.

Today is going to be a quick blitz trip. We're going to go in, grab some stuff, and get the hell out of Dodge!

That's really the best way to tackle this place: do it in pieces. Don't be afraid to Teleport out if you're struggling! The levels you gain will make it easier the next go round. This place is not meant to be done in a single sitting. Heck, probably not in two or three, either.

Anyway, while going through that semi-secret passage,

I got jumped, of course. And it couldn't be worse! This is the encounter that I dread the most, and with good reason!

These are the same Dark Sages we first encountered in the Lair of the Father.

They still have 8,670 HP and no elemental weaknesses.

They're still annoyingly fast,

and they still hit as hard as ever.

Your only hope is to come in swinging. Otherwise, they will wipe the floor with you.

Best bet for Kain is to keep him the hell away from them!

Yep. This is going about as well as I expected.

And just as Rosa was about to fire off a full-party Curaga too! I hate, hate when that happens!

At least I also had this queued up. It'll help. Of course, if these things annoy me enough, I'll just start dropping Bronze Hourglasses on them again!

In the meantime, I wanted to try out some different methods for dealing with them.

Kicking them in the face, of course, works fine.

Bah. But hey, he survived that one! All those Apples I crammed down his throat helped!

And thank you, Kain! Perfect timing.

Two of these things are a lot easier to deal with than three. It really makes a difference if you can drop even one of them!

Uh oh...

Ffffff- oh not a-fucking-gain I fucking hate these things!

Oh wait that's right.

My ass, status: saved! Kain is the hero of the hour, folks!

And with a little help from Rosa,

I can get Kain back on his feet too!

Shown: the beauty of Omnicasting! Turned out not to be necessary, thanks to Phoenix, but it never hurts to be prepared. To boot, a multi-targeted spell doesn't even cost any more MP than a single target! There's no reason not to multi-target anything and everything. Just in case.

And Dualcast is just gravy, too. Dualcast and Omnicasting go together really well.

While Kain gets out of these things' range,

I'll try out some different strategies. Reflect of course will trivialize these things (assuming you have a chance to get it off), especially with Omnicasting.

But Odin, disappointingly, does not work. That's really too bad. That would be a great way to kill them quickly!

That takes care of another one. Jump is still quite powerful!

Now that there's only one left,

it's time to start repairing the damage.

Single Dark Sages are a joke, especially if you slow them. It's only in groups that they're so dangerous. If facing a single one, take the opportunity to refill your MP!

That includes Kain. He needs to have at least some MP for Phoenix to work!

Rydia, of course, has no need of puny Ethers!

You can easily keep her MP topped off if you drain it from the Dark Sages at every opportunity. Feel free to go crazy with those Summons!

Edge finishes it off. Phew! That was intense...

I'm now free to continue on in search of fabulous treasures!

Oh, but first, gotta heal everybody up. Like in any tough dungeon, make sure to keep your party's HP full at all times! Trust me on this.

The Moonmaidens are here too.

They're still packing 6,800 HP and no elemental weaknesses.

And being physically inclined (and with less HP than the Dark Sages for some strange reason), they're still not remotely a threat!

Case in point. Bah!


just before Rosa heals everyone!

Eh, this will help, at least.

Do you love Omnicasting yet? Because I sure do!

Yep, it's a beautiful thing.

Know what else is beautiful?

Finding a use for spells you thought were useless!

For some reason, the Dark Sages resist instant Death, but not Tornado. Therefore, a one-two punch of Tornado, followed by a normal attack from Edge (because of how goddamn fast he is) will drop them pretty quickly!

Unfortunately, Tornado cannot be multitargeted. Sad.

Rosa gets Cecil back on his feet, and we're ready for a bit more experimentation.

Odin doesn't effect the Moonmaidens either.

I'm starting to think Odin is the most useless Summon...

Know what's not useless?

Flare, that's what! For single targets, it's probably your best damage-dealing option (barring elemental weaknesses, of course).

Yay, our first bit of treasure!

And it's trapped, of course. Word of advice: assume every chest down here is trapped. You'll save yourself a lot of headache that way!

This chest is guarded by... one of our friends from the Giant of Babil! Not even an Armored Fiend, huh?

I don't remember if we saw this attack before.

It does middling damage to a single target.

So yeah. Usual rules apply. Set up your buffs,

and Slow him, just to be on the safe side.

Also, I haven't unequipped Steal from Edge yet. This is because there are a few things you can get here, and Ninjitsu isn't all that great. In this case, you can gank Cottages.

Armored Constructs are still weak to lightning, so let Rydia go to town on 'em.

Oh... forgot about that.

Yeah, that hurts a little.

Thank you, Kain! Now let's see...

That's better!

From there, it's a simple matter of pounding it to a pulp.

Here's our first prize! New armor for Edge. The Strength penalty is minimal and I think it's worth it for the truly massive boost to everything else. This is a fine piece of armor!

This branch is a dead end, so I'll have to backtrack.


Single Dark Sage means opportunity to refill my MP.

Happy day!

Also it's a chance to try out a new strategy.

How's it feel to taste your own medicine, you horrible witch!

Yes, that is satisfying.

Oh. I have a sinking feeling the game is about to make me pay for my arrogance...

Yep, yep. Consider me knocked down a peg, Game, thanks.

Oh, were you trying to make me lose? Terribly sorry!

Cecil is the buffmaster!

Tornado looks pretty cool, doesn't it? I dig the lightning bolts.

Slowing Dark Sages is helpful, but I think Reflect is more fun. Bronze Hourglasses shut them down even faster!

The Tornado thing is slower,

but it works! It really does. Thank you, Edge, for being so unnaturally fast.

Did you think I forgot to refill Kain's MP? Well, I didn't!

The ladies were kind enough to drop an extra Dry Ether for me. They can also drop Soma Drops, if you recall. It's the most reliable way to get more of those, if that's your thing.

To facilitate future stalling, I change Cecil and Kain's Auto-Battle command. Why not, I say!

Ah, finally I made it back to the entrance!

The way forward is down this staircase. You can see that I went in a big circle around the room.

But we're not done with the side paths, yet! No, sir.

This is one of the things I find so frustrating about this dungeon. It'll become even more apparent later, but the place is a maze. Lots of side paths and backtracking. Add in frequent, very nasty random battles and you have a place designed to confuse you and make you forget where you're going! I get lost easily as it is. Plus, it's long. Even if you ignore all the treasures (and why would you do that?), you still have to fight through twelve floors of labyrinthine dungeon. Ugh.

Oh, this is why I set all my Auto-Battle commands to something non-damaging. MP stalling!

This semi-secret passage leads to a funky looking thing.

It's a teleporter, of course! Where does it lead?

Over to the opposite side of the floor, that's where! And from here,

we can take another, rather long, side path. You end up bouncing back and forth between floors a lot in this place. It only adds to the confusion and makes it difficult to complete floors.

See that treasure chest, there on the lower screen? We won't be getting it for awhile. Put it out of your mind for now.

Instead, we're going to pick up this one, just to the north.

Remember, assume every treasure chest is booby trapped!

What'd I tell ya?

Fortunately, this encounter is a piece of cake.

I slaughtered them. The end.

Here's our prize! It's the best staff in the game. Raises spirit? Sold! I equip it immediately.

And we're not done with this side path! There's another weird teleporter to the southwest.

It leads to another chunk of this floor.

Oh? What's this? A new enemy! Actually new, and not just another one we fought in the Lair of the Father?

Indeed it is! Excitement! Blue Dragons have a whopping 30,000 HP with no elemental weaknesses to speed that along. However, be aware that they absorb ice.

They hit pretty hard, but really they're middling threat level as far as monsters down here go. Keep up with your healing and you should be OK.

I say "should," because they do have this attack,

and it hurts. A lot.

As usual, keep Kain in the air as much as possible,

and have Rosa heal. Constantly.

For some reason, I decided Ifrit was the best use of Rydia's time? I dunno. You're better off with something more powerful- like Leviathan, Bahamut, or even Dragon!

Jump is as effective against them as it is against everything else.

Keeping everyone healed,

and I finally remembered to Slow them. Oh, if these things give you trouble, they are vulnerable to Stop. Don't be afraid to break out the Bronze Hourglasses!

However, these things may be "middling threat level," but that doesn't mean you should take them lightly, by any stretch!

And don't rely on Phoenix too much! Sure, it's very helpful, but here's a problem with it.

If, somehow, Kain goes down first, it doesn't do shit.

And if these dragons get trigger happy with Icestorm,

you can end up in a very bad situation!

Fortunately, they're Slowed, and Rosa survived. Barely.

This is especially fortunate, because I actually did something smart, for once!

I had the foresight to target that Raise spell in the whole party, and not just on Kain!

And she's not done yet!

Why cast one spell on the whole party when you can cast two?

Bam! Rosa saves the day! (In a big way. That was way too close. )

Edge finally takes one out! These things do not go down quickly or easily, thanks to how much HP they have.

Annoyingly, their normal attack can inflict Silence. Did I mention that yet? I don't think I did.

I don't like to put up with that for very long. I might need Cecil for stop-gap healing!

Oh, come on, Kain! You were doing so well!

I got slightly smarter about Rydia's spell choice.

Although, honestly it didn't do that much more damage than Ifrit did... I think I'll just drop Bahamut on them next time!

Oh goddammit Cecil! I just cured that!

Whatever. Cecil Kung-fu kicks it in the face and it dies. Good riddance!

A couple important things about this screenshot. First, triple level ups! Second, take a look at that drop! That sounds interesting. I'll check that out momentarily.

Cecil's getting up there!

So is Rydia!

And Kain's keeping up.

Anyway, take a look at this thing. That's... actually a very nice lance! And it's effective against dragons? There are quite a few dragons down here! I'll take it.

This is the first time I've ever found one of these things. It's the Blue Dragon's rare drop (as in 0.04% drop chance, or 1/250). Yep.

Looks pretty cool, too.

Let's get everybody healed up. We've got a ways to go yet.

Time to head deeper!

Welcome to the third floor! (Briefly.)

This floor is our last stop for today, but first!

Let's try out Kain's spiffy new spear!

Oohoohoo. Yes. I like that damage. I like it a lot!

And Edge regains his level advantage over Kain.

Ah, here we are! This is the last thing on the agenda for today.

Looks suspicious? That's because it is!

Make sure everyone is in tip-top shape before examining it.

And, just a suggestion,

it's a rather good idea to cast Float on everybody.

Now, let's see what all the fuss is about!

Uh oh. That sounds ominous!

Oh no, it's my worst nightmare! Uh... sparkles? Really? What's so threatening about that?

Oh. A boss fight. That's more like it! (In case that music didn't tip you off.)

Welcome to the first mini-boss of the Lunar Subterrane! There are several of these throughout the dungeon, and they're all guarding the dungeon's best treasures. They represent some of the toughest battles in the game thus far!

This guy hits like a truck, and he's really fast, so watch out!

Oh fuck fuck fuck! That's not good! I'd better fix that!

Yeah, White Dragon has 32,700 HP and absorbs every fucking element in the book, except Earth (which he resists).

That means, Excalibur is not your friend here!

While Edge gets started undoing the damage, Cecil fixes the whole "healing the boss on every counterattack" problem.

And while he's doing that, the boss demonstrates one of his most annoying features.

He counters physical attacks by casting Slow in your whole damn party. Bah.

Anyway, luckily you can switch weapons mid-battle. Cecil brings out the Defender again.

Meanwhile, Kain's going to show off his new skills.

Thanks to the defense boost the Defender provides, Cecil takes less damage too!

And now he won't heal the boss anymore! Good times all around.

Ow! Poor Cecil.

What is it with this game and taking out Cecil right before Rosa's healing spell goes off?!

And I had a nice buff queued up too.

Now the White Dragon's normal attacks won't do shit!

Edge keeps doing what he does best. That is some nice damage!

Yes, thank you, asshole. I get it!

I'm not messing around this time! For Rydia, it's all Bahamut, all the time!

Ah, and this is why you want to cast Float on everyone beforehand! White Dragon does this attack in response to Summons.

Thanks to Float,

it just passes harmlessly beneath us.

I love Blink.

All right, that's two rounds of Focus, and Kain is ready to unleash hell!

Which Edge has been doing all along, of course.

Argh. I hate being Slowed! Everything takes so fucking long! (Except Edge. Edge is still really fast.)


Finally! Some progress.

And now, we kick this battle into high gear!

Oh... that could be a problem!

Same attack the Behemoths use. Same purple cyclone things,

same single-digit health. Except on Rosa and Rydia, because I guessed they dodged it like a couple a bosses!

Pointless buffs? Yeah, sure.

Ooh, Here comes Kain! All right, buddy, here's your chance. Impress me!

Uh... consider me duly impressed.

And... he's dead! I didn't even have to drop another Bahamut on him!

And so ends the reign of White Dragon.

The experience only makes Rosa a better healer!

And at last, I can claim my prize!

In case you couldn't tell from the name, the Murasame is a new katana for Edge. And it's a nice one! That's a 3-point boost to his strength, which helps mitigate the hit he took for equipping the Black Garb.

Murasame is a recurring blade in the Final Fantasy series. The name means "autumn rain," and probably comes from the 19th century Japanese novel, "Nanso Satomi Hakkenden," which features a katana named Murasame that could summon rain.

And with that, we are done with this awful place, for now. Let's get outta here!

I make use of these highly convenient healing tiles.

And give Cecil his sword back.

By the way, a couple people corrected my from last time concerning the Excalibur.

GrimRevenant posted:

This is a common mistake, but the Sword in the Stone and Excalibur are actually completely separate swords. The former was the proof of Arthur's kingship, as only the true king could draw it from the stone, and was otherwise unremarkable. Excalibur was gained later, from the Lady of the Lake, and was supposed to be the finest sword in existence, able to slice through iron as if through wood. Its scabbard was arguably of ever greater power, as wounds received while holding it could not kill the holder.

Of course, popular fiction (such as the movies Excalibur and Disney's The Sword in the Stone) frequently conflates the two, so it's an understandable mistake – although if the novel could get it right, why couldn't the film? Personally, I blame sloppy storytelling. After all, “why would King Arthur have more than one magical sword”, they wonder? Except that the tales attribute several other magical weapons to him, as well…

Hymirvetr posted:

Depending on what version of the Arthurian Myth you read, the Sword in the Stone is actually an entirely different Blade from Excalibur, which came from the Lady of the Lake and was given back to her, after the Battle of Camlann.

I apologize for the mix-up! I've even read The Once and Future King, so I have no excuse!

And with that, we're done for today! I hope you've enjoyed this small taste of what the Lunar Subterrane has in store for us. Next time, we'll take a nice big bite! See you then.