This game is nice enough to give us 30 save slots to use. This may seem excessive, but each separate story requires its own save slot for loading into the final chapters. If you, say, finish Ceodore's chapter and the one immediately following it with Rydia's chapter, then you've fucked yourself out of that data and have to replay it. And of course the game doesn't actually tell you not to do this.
So of course I did it the first time I played. I got to experience Ceodore's Tale and the one right after all over again! Fun!
Here's the Select Story mode. As a preview of things to come, you can see six of the chapters we'll be doing, as well as two more I'm leaving unseen. After Edward's Tale, we'll finish the second part of the Ceodore game, which apparently involves Kain. There's another side chapter after that I'm not going to spoil, and after that is the end game.
Since we're going in chronological order, I'm starting off with Rydia's Tale.
We have taken up the goals you strove for in life. I only hope that we will receive your blessing.
What's the matter, Rydia? I thought you were supposed to be in the Feymarch.
What brings you here today?
Just trying to do what I can to revive the fortune of this village.
But doesn't Damcyan have it hard enough right now?
Don't worry. There are thousands of citizens in Damcyan, and they have all the resources they need.
Just for a little training session.
I have heard that many of Eblan's great treasures are being sold for profit.
And why not? What's wrong with using Eblan's treasures to help with Eblan's recovery?
I can only hope that proves to be the case, Your Young Highness.
I have word that Fabul is providing vast shipments of vital resources, too.
Yang came through for us!
It was all thanks to your contributions, Rydia.
Oh, don't be silly. Everyone's pitching in for each other!
Calm down already, Cid.
I can't believe you're taking this so lightly, Cecil! She's been at it for half a day now!
Here for the big day, huh?
Has the baby been born!?
You did us proud, Rosa!
Thank you, Rosa.
So, do you have a name?
Yes. We've already picked one.
Oh? What'd you decide on?
Hmm! I like it.
Nice to meet you, Ceodore!
What I really like about this intro, and the flashbacks in general, is how they incorporate the old sprites to really drive home that all these events happen shortly after the old game. Considering all the recycling they do in this game, it's still pretty cool that they choose to reuse the old sprites here.
Also, it seems strange that everyone's so concerned about a small town like Mist, but to be fair it really is in a bad position. Cecil pretty much destroyed the town, then the cave-in shut it off from Kaipo, meaning its only real connection to the outside world is through the monster-infested Mist Cave. And considering Rydia was part of the final team that saved the world and all, it's not too surprising that everyone chips in to help her old town out.
But fuck Cid for suggesting that Ceodore was a good name for one's kid.
Anyway, let's rejoin to the present day.
Hey, where's Rydia?
Rydia's a celebrity, so it makes sense that everyone adores her.
However, while the fact that she hangs out with kids sounds cute, it becomes much more disturbing once you see the outfit they've given her for this game.
Her other homeland?
Yes. The Feymarch.
The Feymarch, where all the summoned monsters reside.
Why are you here?
Have I not made it clear enough? You are not welcome here in the Feymarch anymore.
Asura's kind of a bitch.
17 years later, and Rydia still talks and acts like a child at times. Still, she was pretty mature to begin with.
In case you have forgotten, you are not a citizen of the Feymarch, Rydia.
Rydia is like a child to us. Surely it wouldn't hurt to let her come by...
Something suddenly startles Leviathan.
What is it?
What? Why all of a sudden!?
We'll see about that.
Bahamut is already under our control.
The Hallowed Father of the Eidolons! Who are you?
Too bad the main tales don't get these title cards.
Somehow, Mysterious Girl used her Mary Sue powers to turn all the eidolons to stone. Rydia was able to avoid this fate.
Oh, no... He's been completely petrified!
Somebody cosplaying as you, apparently.
Rydia still has the Black Magic and Summons commands, though oddly her Summons command is blank.
Don't forget to readjust Battle Speed each time you start a new tale, or else you'll bang your head against the desk a lot.
Despite being petrified, you can still talk to the monsters.
Being stone, you can't buy items from them.
REMEMBER TO SAVE IN A DIFFERENT SLOT
Mysterious Girl has gone too far.
What bad timing.
If you check out the bookcases in this building, it gives you short bios on all the summons Rydia gets. I'm not going to bother going into all of these.
Though I will post this tidbit.
I came back here despite your warnings, and now look at what I've caused!
Oh yeah, we got this fucking rock or something.
This tale starts off on a New Moon, which doesn't affect Rydia's abilities at all.
So Rydia heads off to warn everybody of this.
The good news is you don't need Float to walk over the lava floors.
The bad news is I forgot to get that chest in the bottom right corner. I'm deeply sorry for this mistake and hope you can forgive me.
No... They aren't even answering me.
Yep, we have no summons. Rydia's a Summoner who can't even summon. This isn't good.
That's right, this means that you'll actually have to use her Black Magic. Fortunately, she's already got the -ara spells at her disposal.
Yeah, random encounters won't be a problem here.
Now it's time to escape the dungeon.
The things you learn from LPing a game. If you don't kill Larva with magic, they counter with Osmose, a MP-draining spell. Joy.
Honestly, the dungeon's pretty short, the enemies are all incredibly weak, and the treasure's lame. Let's skip to the end.
The Falcon's gone, too. Where did they go?
Hilariously, the Zu misses both times it attacks. Rydia also recovers all her HP and MP upon walking outside.
You just evaded two attacks, you have Sleep, Stop, and -Ara level spells, and you've got a couple of Potions if needed.
Zus are a pain, but I bet I could solo this one if I needed.
But you don't have to. Plot magic!
Falcon? Still has that phallic drill.
Luca actually jumps right off the airship. I didn't know dwarves had that kind of jumping ability.
As most of you may remember, Luca is the daughter of King Giott, the guy who rules the dwarves. Thus she's the dwarven princess.
This game manages to give her a personality, and for the most part it's actually a good one. She's also playable now, and will be in our party for the rest of this tale.
I was so bored that I went to make a few engine improvements, and I'm just testing them out right now!
You see, they've made Luca into Cid's apprentice, which just makes natural sense for some reason. Yeah, it sounds odd if you really start to think about it, but I can see Luca and Cid having a great master/apprentice relationship. It works for me.
The Crystal? What's that about all of a sudden?
We have problems, Luca...
I said that I was out on a test flight...but that's not the only reason I'm here. Something's definitely up. You can tell from how the number of monsters suddenly multiplied out of nowhere.
I'm impressed your father allowed you to do that.
He doesn't really know about it, haha! Getting him to let me be an engineer's apprentice was painful enough.
That sounds more like the King Giott I know, I'll say that much.
Something catches the two's interest.
Was that...the Red Wings!?
Luca actually jumps back on the airship and lowers the bridge for Rydia.
Next time, everyone is dead! Or are they?
They're not. Give the dwarves some credit, people!