Ladies and gentlemen, we're finally at the end game. We've still got another three tales to go, though.
Once again, the WiiWare version consolidates the last three into one large tale, which actually works well. The Crystals is a catch-all name, as this tale is the Gathering's Tale, and the latter two are Final Tale Parts 1 and 2. The Planet Eater is the subtitle for the very last tale.
So for each tale, you're given a choice whether to load data for it. If you don't import data, you just get default levels and equipment. Considering all that god damn grinding I did, there's no reason for me not to import everything.
As you can see, I still have data from my first playthrough a year ago. Weird that it's been exactly one year since I've done this.
So let's begin the insanity.
Last time, Edge and his followers landed on the airship with Luca, Rydia, and the Man in Black.
That's weird. None of my characters can cast Meteor yet.
Of course, every single chancellor around the world takes the opportunity to do what they do best: Panic.
You thought I was kidding about the game ripping off Majora's Mask, weren't you?
The overworld has changed greatly, as it's now darker and full of craters. If this were a better-written game, this would actually be terrifying and a well-done change of atmosphere. It'd let you know shit just got real.
So our gang decides to just pop back up.
What's going on here!?
We do not have the luxury of time.
How about starting by telling us who you are, for one?
Wh-whoa! What are you doing?
...What are you turning the ship for?
We're headed towards Baron Castle!
Sweet, now we'll get to see what happens!
Hello, Ceodore...Rosa, Cid... And most of all, Kain!
I think Golbez secretly is enjoying being the mysterious badass who's running everything. He's learned well from Fusoya.
Oh yeah, Calca and Brina stay behind. Glad I spent so much time grinding to save their asses if they're just going to stay at the ship!
First of all, the overworld music is the airship theme. It doesn't matter if you're walking on the overworld, the airship theme still plays. It's a bit weird.
Second of all, this is our team for this tale. For some reason, Edge's disciples and Luca's dolls are too busy doing jack shit to help out, so it's only these four.
There's a couple of issues here. One, due to the Jackass Four hogging all the experience, Edge is pretty underleveled. I was planning to give him the Giant's Glove and make him be a badass, but he's just too low a level to really do much for now. On the other side of the spectrum, Golbez is a beast and will destroy most enemies easily while taking minimal damage.
The other important detail I want to point out is that this team has no White Magic. Edge has his stupid Heal Pill spell that heals jack shit, and Golbez still has his Master's Staff, but other than that, we have to rely on items. But considering all items, equipment, and gil from all tales are pooled together, including the Economical Ring, we're pretty set in that front. Plus, as low as our healing potential is, we've got a wonderfully offensive party. Golbez is a beast, Luca's not bad herself, and if we can level Edge up he will also kick ass offensively. That, plus two people with Black Magic, and we've got ourselves one damn solid offensive front.
One last detail is that Golbez is still calling himself Man in Black, though he's not hiding that he's a Lunarian.
So I give Golbez the Obelisk and Giant's Glove, Luca gets Cid's Ogrekiller, and I throw the Gil Band and Palom's Intellect-boosting Polymorph Rod on Rydia just because. I later give Edge the Economical Ring, as even at his underleveled state he's still great for speed.
It's the same glow as the one coming from the Tower of Babil!
Is there no way for us to break through?
We must find another way inside.
The good news is that we're not taking the Underground Waterway.
The Town of Baron's in bad shape. All the buildings are locked, and guards are wandering the area. Luckily Namingway is here to sell us good shit.
First of all, after combining everyone's items, I have 54 Ethers. Where the hell did all of those come from? But also, now we can stock up on X-Potions, which heal 2000HP each, 4000HP with an Economical Ring. That latter combination is enough to full-heal anyone for a very long time, and you can see how Edward can suddenly become a beast with such a set-up.
So talking to this guard forces a fight with a random number of Zombie Infantry, which are easy.
Battle-wise, Golbez is a beast, and Luca's levels let her outdamage Edge. Despite being 20 levels lower, Edge still outspeeds Luca and Rydia and hangs close to Golbez. Rydia's Bio helps Luca and Edge kill faster.
I try killing everybody but Edge and having him solo, but these guys hit too hard and accurately to really do that. It's much better to do it outside Baron.
No, it's all right! It's me, Luca!
It's such a relief to see all of you safe.
Do you know of my father, or of King Cecil?
We are in the midst of searching for them, but you know that stubborn old man better than I do. I'm sure he's doing just fine.
Yes... You're right!
Well, of course! But it'll have to wait a little while, all right? We need to wait for the sun to come back up in the sky, to shine on us.
Okay! You promise?
You don't actually get anything for coming here, but it's pretty neat to check in on old NPC friends.
Oh, thank goodness! You're still alive!
It's Rydia, madam!
And what of Ceodore!? Is Ceodore with you!?
I see... I hope nothing's happened to him and Rosa...
There's no need to worry. He is Cecil's son, you realize.
He's right. I'm sure the son of Cecil and Rosa will make it through this...and I promise we won't rest until we find him!
Don't worry, because I'm sure your grandson, WHO IS CECIL'S SON BY THE WAY, will be alright because HE IS THE SON OF CECIL DID YOU KNOW THAT. Ceodore can take care of himself because HE IS CECIL'S SON ARE YOU HEARING THIS NOT-GOLBEZ.
Oh yeah, this tale also has a collection gimmick. There are ~21 Small Tails scattered around the world. You need 14 to trade for a Rainbow Tail, which you then trade for something else. Unlike the Gold Tale, the end reward for this is very much worth it.
I let Edge grind around Baron for a bit. Edge can OHKO everything out here, and he dodges most of their attacks. He manages to catch up to L30 or so.
There's several tails just hiding in the overworld.
You actually get to use the airship this time. No simple marching through the Mist Cave. Not that you can, as the entrance to it is blocked.
That's three. Eighteen to go!
Might as well check out Mist.
It must be the Mist Dragon's work...
The mist itself is protecting the village...
Rydia? Do you hear something?
Free the Eidolons?
It will be done.
So the objective of this Tale is to reclaim most of Rydia's Eidolons. You see, a few of them are all over the world being assholes for no reason. Titan's still stomping around Agart, Ifrit's found his way to Eblan Castle, and so on. Of course, while we're doing this, we'll also be running into a lot of future party members. So this tale is where we both reclaim some of Rydia's Eidolons and recruit everybody for the end game.
This tale is probably my favorite tale in the game, if only because it reminds me of one of my fonder FF4 memories: When you first get the airship and have the freedom to explore the world. The world of FF4 was much larger to me as a kid, and exploring the likes of Eblan, Troia, and Mythril with four swinging badass dudes was just fun as hell, even though it took me forever to figure out what to do next.
Here, you've got a weird forced party, requiring you to actually think sometimes in battle, and you're tasked with going all over the world. This is the only time you actually get such freedom in this game, and it's really nice to check in everywhere and see how everybody's doing, even know you know how everybody's doing since a fucking moon is about to crash into the planet and Eidolons are fucking shit up. I just like this part.
So, hey, now that we're at the only nonlinear part of this game, this is your chance to actually vote for something! Pick my next destination! I'll probably cover two an update, but vote for one to make my life easier and I'll choose the top two vote-getters.
Off the top of my head, pick one of these:
Kaipo, Troia, Eblan, Mysidia.
The other places require low effort or need to be saved for later, or I've simply forgotten them. I'll do two next update, the other two after, and then the rest in two or so more updates.
So yeah, enjoy this one whole choice!