Part 9Chapter 9
Before we go to the Mist Cave, we prepare by adding some extra challenge. Of course, Full Moon decreases Attacks, so this could be a slog.
Our current stats, by the way. We'll be gaining a few levels in this place.
I stock up on more Hi-Potions and Spider Silk. The rather I don't really need as I have plenty, but Hi-Potions are definitely useful at this point of the game. I mean, Cura is nice, but Hi-Potion restores 500HP, which will outdo Cura, and Hooded Man can make use of them, which will be important.
Anyway, the old Chocobo forest still exists, so we hitch a ride.
Here is the port to sail to Kaipo. We can't use it because then we wouldn't have to go through a bunch of filler bullshit, and that would go against everything this game stands for.
So instead, we go to the Mist Cave.
Why not!? There's no way my father would give a decree like that...
Brace yourself, Ceodore!
The soldier becomes a monster!
Luckily he's an easy monster that goes down in two hits.
I figured as much.
The monster...he's got that soldier!
The curse of being a jRPG protagonist.
Here's the Mist Cave. The first dungeon of the original game, it was a one-screen deal with weak-ass enemies that really served as an introduction to ease you into the game.
This ain't your daddy's Mist Cave.
This is Thunder Dragon, the rare battle that appears in a Full Moon. He will wreck your shit. I obviously stand no chance at all against him.
I didn't actually know about this guy the first time I played through, and I was doing it on a Full Moon. So imagine my surprise when the first enemy I run into is one that destroys me easily.
Anyway, this is why you always save.
Ah, much better. These guys are easy, albeit incredibly annoying.
You see, they counter every attack with Mini.
Mini'd characters lose all their attack and defense. They can still cast magic, but Hooded Man has none.
Hilariously, I learn Esuna right after beating them.
I'll be using a lot of Hi-Potions this dungeon. Most of these enemies hit hard. Some can do 100+ damage a hit, and this is with Attack down.
The screen shakes here. It's kind of like the original where you have things happening as you progress through the dungeon.
Ettin Snakes can paralyze you if you take long enough, but are extremely fragile. Even Ceodore can kill them in one hit.
Cave Nagas, well, I don't remember anything interesting about them at all.
This dungeon contains some new armor which would be nice for Ceodore if Dad's armor weren't already so good. It's a slight upgrade for Hooded Man, though, so he takes good use of this stuff.
The ground starts shaking violently again...
Ever wondered just what's under those pits? Now you get to find out!
This game answers all the questions you never had!
Good, then start climbing.
They have a good relationship. Hooded Man's a complete asshole to him, and Ceodore's dumb enough to take it with glee.
Anyway, this is how they extended the Mist Cave into a longer dungeon. You have to climb your way back to the first screen. All things considered, I think it does a serviceable job and kind of adds a new dimension to the original dungeon, showing there's a lot more behind the scenes than just what we saw in the original game.
Needlehogs are the same as their weaker cousins, except they don't die in one hit.
Ettin Snakes are assholes.
Oh fuck no. Fucking Cave Bats.
Cave Bats are perhaps my most hated random encounter. It's not that they're particularly dangerous.
It's that they only attack with Bloodfeast. Bloodfeast itself isn't that bad an attack, as it does light damage, and though it inflicts Sap, which steadily decreases your HP, overall it's not too bad.
The problem with Cave Bats is that it takes forever to defeat them. Instead of a quick attack, they spam this three second-long animation every time they attack, over and over, which makes battles with them take forever. And they're always in groups of threes.
I really, really, really hate Cave Bats.
This dungeon also has Ogres. They have a lot of HP and hit hard.
Sometimes a Succubus pops up with Cave Bats. but they don't do anything besides attack and occasionally casting Feast, a spell that heals them a bit.
There are Liliths, which I always run away from because fuck Silence.
Almost didn't bother with these considering Hooded Man has Power Gloves, which boost his Strength and Ceodore has Gauntlets, which boost his Spirit. I ended up giving these to Ceodore since I have no use for Cura anyway.
Meet Namingway. He doesn't rename your characters anymore, so we can't give Ceodore a less-humiliating name like Dongs. Sorry. Mainly, his purpose is usually to transport you to a character's Challenge Dungeon at the end of his chapter. Due to how the WiiWare version was ported, though, Ceodore doesn't have a Challenge Dungeon. Even if he did, it'd be too early to play it since we have to finish the chapter first.
Also, was Namingway always a rabbit? He's portrayed as such in the DS version and in this game, but if you look at the original sprite, well...
What the hell is this thing supposed to be?
Anyway, he tells you you can't return to Baron from here and sells you items. Pretty convenient.
Now we're starting to get to the higher-level consumables.
Cait Siths are annoying. They hit as hard as Ogres and can use Blaster to paralyze or outright kill you. Luckily, I don't see Blaster this dungeon.
These things cast Death upon use, which is neat I guess.
Mindflayers... Well, I don't really remember what they do since these guys died so quickly. I think they use Blaster or something similar, and they rarely drop the Mindflayer summon, which we obviously can't use right now.
Anyway, we're nearing the boss.
Where's it coming from?
Meet the first real boss of The After Years: Tunneler.
I like this boss, as he's kind of fun. He has no gimmicks. He sticks with attacks.
He hits pretty hard and has a ton of HP.
This fight's pretty long, but you have both sides delivering pretty large numbers, so it feels like a slugfest. It's just two sides beating the shit out of each other, and you can't ask for more than that.
Hell, he manages to knock poor Ceodore out.
Several times, in fact. You'll notice I forgot to buy Phoenix Downs.
After the third time or so, I remembered I bought all that Spider Silk for a reason, and then plan my next resurrection attempt for right after his next attack.
This time, I get Ceodore back up, use Awaken to restore his HP and stats...
And go to fucking town on his ass.
Of course, since this guy has a ton of HP, that still doesn't kill him, and I'm out of MP for Cross Slash.
Cura's weaker than a Hi-Potion, and Protect does jack shit.
Tunneler also has Earthquake, which hurts a bit, but isn't deadly.
After a few minutes, Tunneler finally goes down.
For all the complaints I've had and will have about this game, it still has moments where I genuinely enjoy it. I may be alone here, but I really enjoyed this boss fight.
I'm fine! Was that thing the inhabitant of this cave?
I'd say so...this time, at least.
So Hooded Man is familiar with this cave enough to remember a previous foe this location had. He's left-handed, blonde, was found close to Mt. Ordeals, is very familiar with Cecil and Baron in general, and now has a history with the Mist Cave.
Ceodore, of course, never played the original and just spouts off his catchphrase.
Hilariously, I gain Float a couple of battles after beating the boss that casts Earthquake.
Anyway, going up the stairs returns you to the original dungeon.
Hey, an actual excuse to use battle items!
Aw, shit. Enough time has passed for the moon to automatically change.
So I blow through three Tents just to circle back over to a Full Moon.
That's right. I'm going to get revenge on that Thunder Dragon.
Hooded Man has enough HP now to survive Lightning.
Obvious first move is to inflict Slow so I have enough time to spam Hi-Potions on Hooded Man to survive Lightning.
Thunder Dragon has a set pattern: Attack, Lightning. He alternates between the two every time.
I try throwing multiple Spider Silks because I recalled hearing Slow stacks. From what I experienced here, it's bullshit and I want to punch the person who told me that in the face.
So instead I cast Haste on Hooded Man to get as many turns off as possible.
I also fall back to take less damage from the TD's physicals.
Recall I'm low on Phoenix Downs. Like Tunneler, the TD really enjoys killing Ceodore in one hit. Regardless, Lightning would OHKO anyway, so spamming Cross Slash isn't feasible.
So I get desperate.
Yep, Stop worked. Good thing, too. I've got just one Phoenix Down left.
TIME TO SPAM THE SHIT OUTTA THIS THING.
Thankfully, I Cross Slash him to death before he gets another turn.
I didn't get any items from him. Not even a Silver Hourglass to replace the one I just used. His rare drop is a Blue Tail, which I could trade in later in the game for Blue Armor, which is strong end-game armor.
Yeah, I'm not dealing with that bullshit. I just wanted to kick that dragon's ass. And kick it I did.
Oh yeah, gotta finish the story up.
They must not escape... Orders from the king...
Personable as ever!
There they are.
!? Over there, too!
What should we do!? There's no way out.
Uh, I don't know, fight them? They're monsters. They're not very strong. I'm sure you guys could take five of them.
The mist is thickening!
But of course, then that wouldn't mean the excuse of not getting to use a deus ex machina.
When you're making your characters retarded because you want an excuse to implement a deus ex machine, you may not be a good writer.
They weren't in Mist, either...
So that means...
They must be somewhere close to Baron.
This mist...it saved us.
What is it?
Nothing. Let's move before they come back again.
Anyway, we're finally done with this dungeon.
I thought the mountain east of the village had caved in.
We'll take advantage of that.
If you aren't saying "HUH?" along with Ceodore everytime he says it, the writers have failed in their goal to write a jRPG protagonist as a stock sitcom character.
They wouldn't expect a couple of fugitives to head that way, I would imagine.
We're walking right into a collapsed mountain!?
To his credit, Ceodore actually questioned the entire statement this time rather than just mutter a single syllable in bewilderment.
That's exactly right.
Tell me, why are you doing all this for me?
You know, Kain said something similar when Mist was ablaze and Cecil decided to defect from Baron. Kain decided he would join Cecil, and when Cecil thanked him, Kain said it wasn't for him.
I don't know, for some reason Hooded Man just reminds me of Kain.
There's a man I'm after... Someone that I have to defeat, even if it costs me my own life.
A man? Who is he?
Weren't expecting that, were you?
And now, to close out the chapter...
And this is the end of Ceodore's Tale.
Now to explain something. In the original cell phone release, the chapter ended here. There's a Challenge Dungeon and everything for this part. You could later take the data from this chapter and import it for a later tale.
The WiiWare release instead took that later tale, which happens to be focused on Kain, and bundled it with this one. So in this version, the game continues right into Kain's Tale, using the same data as before.
The problem with this is that in the cell phone release, Kain's Tale came after most of the other chapters, and it actually spoils a couple of the other upcoming chapters. Thus, instead of continuing into it, I'm going to wait and save Kain's Tale until after I do the other ones first.
It's for the best, as Kain's Tale, well... It's kind of stupid.
Anyway, next time we start Rydia's Tale. I'm excited, as these next three tales are actually pretty decent.