Part 76Chapter 63
Meet our new team. Palom may be the core of the team, but the fact that he doesn't know -aga spells really hurts his usefulness for now, even though I don't really use any -aga spells in this update. He and Rydia have comparable Intellect due to Rydia's stronger equipment options, since female-exclusive equipment has nice buffs.
Porom gets the Master Staff, and Leonora gets the Recovery Rod. Porom gets the Ribbon, Leonora gets the Protect Ring. I initially start off with Luca getting the Giant's Glove and I think Palom having the Economical Ring.
Here's the next stage of the final dungeon, reminiscent of the Giant of Babil. Guess who our next boss will be?
These guys aren't a problem. Just kill them like you us-
Porom and Leonora are severely underleveled, which limits their ability to heal. Guess it's time to grind.
Grinding wasn't a pleasant experience.
But I got Porom and Leonora slightly up to speed. I'm still going to die a lot in this update, but now Leonora and Porom aren't completely useless.
Beam Cannons don't hit as hard as the other enemies, though they'll hit the back row equally hard.
Fun Fact: If you hit the Beam Cannon and Clockwork Soldier with electricity, they "malfunction" for a couple of turns. The Clockword Soldier may attack enemies, while the Beam Cannon's cannon is greatly weakened. It wears off quickly, though. Still, a neat little quirk that I'm pretty sure is carried over from the original, so I can't credit this game with it.
My new strategy for random encounters is having Palom and Rydia casting Bio constantly. Two Bios kills most enemies. Sometimes I go for Break, but it doesn't work as often as I'd like.
Leonora uses the Recovery Rod back from The Gathering Tale, and it's still as useful here as it was before. Free ~300HP for all characters is still nice.
Also, I decided to ditch an offensive Luca, since she doesn't hit as hard as I'd like her to, and instead I give her the Economical Ring and make her a healer to cover Porom and Leonora's slack. Yeah, three healers seems a bit excessive, but trust me, I really fucking needed three healers to get through this part.
Don't worry, they get better from here.
Here, we get a much-overdue upgrade from the Ogrekiller. The problem? The Poison Axe requires two hands, and since Luca's high HP and Defense are much more valuable to me than her attack, I really don't want to lose that Dragon Shield she has equipped. Thus, I skip it for now.
Rydia picks up Thundaga, thus completing her elemental set.
Keep in mind that I have to relearn these spells two or three times because of my constant dying.
Porom with a Master's Staff heals a solid amount to one character. If one character's taking a beating, Porom can take care of it. Eventually, I don't even need Luca to pick up the slack, but I definitely do for this dungeon.
Seriously, I end up using a ton of Hi-Potions for this area.
There's this small room in the middle of this section reminiscent of the Tower of Babil cannon room where Yang blew himself up in.
I hope Cid and Yang have a band where they both cast self-destruct.
This is your worst nightmare.
Thank god the Dragon equipment resists fire. If I tried to run away immediately, I could've survived.
Instead, I panic and try to use an Emergency Exit, only to find out you can't use them in battle. What the fuck? I use an X-Potion and die to two more Blazes. Shit.
Armor Constructs are awesome, since they're the same strength as other enemies but give a ton of EXP. They have a lot of health, but that's not a big deal.
Thunder Dragons can pop up. Lightning hurts a bit, though not nearly as much as Blaze. I'd have two or three characters survive, which makes running away rather easy.
I think I still managed to die to this guy.
Porom and Leonora both manage to learn Mini after the same battle. I thought that was amusing. Of course, I'd rather they have learned Curaga instead, but oh well.
Hilariously, I decide not to rest here since I wanted to explore more first.
What's really funny is that I actually manage to run away from the first battle, rush to the save point, and get destroyed before reaching it. So that's another restart!
My next run, I don't bullshit around and go straight here. Having a save point here is very useful for grinding and not having to backtrack so damn much.
Anyway, it's time for another cutscene.
You need something?
You know, before I continue, I kind of have to rant about how much they're overusing this music. In the original, when this music played, you knew some serious plot bombs were going off. They played this when you first met Fusoya and he told Cecil about his father, when you found out Golbez was Cecil's brother, and I think their last goodbye. It may have been used as background music somewhere, but for desolate moon places to instill dread and desolation. Basically, it was a setpiece not used often in the original, but which really enhanced the mood when it did pop up.
Here, they're just using it every other cutscene. I do think it'd work well here, except it's been milked so much that it loses a bit of its awesomeness. Ceodore meeting his Moon Uncle is fine, but they've used it with freaking Luca/Cid of all places. They should've used it sparingly instead of shoving it into every single scene that involved the moon.
So the music falls a bit flat for me here.
I had no idea he had a son at all, much less one your age.
I, er... They say you are my father's elder brother.
Since then, I've hidden myself away from the universe.
So what made you come back now, then?
Why did you return to us during this time of crisis?
Did you...come to help us, then? To help my father?
Um... Do you mind if I ask you one more thing?
What is it?
Are you curious?
Well, of course. Part of my lineage is Lunarian, after all...
While I don't like how some of the other scenes end abruptly (the Edward/Harley one, for instance), I think it works well here. Leaving what, if anything, that Golbez tells Ceodore as a mystery makes sense, as it's up to the player's imagination as to what Golbez would share and what Ceodore would take away from this.
Really, this cutscene wasn't that bad. It makes sense Ceodore would harbor interest in the Moon Uncle nobody ever talked about because he's weird and tried to destroy the world and stuff as well as his unique lineage of being one-fourth Moon Man. It's a rather nice family moment and a good way to infer character development between two characters without actually going into it. You know, since directly writing character development for the characters hasn't been this game's strong suit, a couple of exceptions aside.
Alright, time for the boss.
This force... I've felt this before.
I hear the sound of an engine! It's soft, but unmistakable!
A monster!? No! This is something else!
A giant creature!? Wait, no!
I love how the twins' dialogue is pretty much identical.
What is this!? I've never felt anything like it!
So apparently the Crystals can not only revive the dead, it can revive dead machines. We're fighting the resurrected corpse of a robot's heart. So the standard Final Fantasy fare.
The Defense Node must have the highest speed in the game or something, as it will fucking cast Heal constantly, like 3-4 times to your turn. There's no way you can outdamage the Defense Node unless you really optimize your party for it.
It really doesn't help that the CPU will constantly cast Reflect on itself. Summons would work, though I don't know if Quake would since they may be floating.
The Strike Module will use the same attack over and over, which deals manageable damage to the party. The fact that it constantly uses this attack is what will take you out unless you're prepared. I did die my first attempt in this battle.
Thundaga is great for one-shotting the nodes.
The fuck? Dispel doesn't nullify Reflect? Then why the fuck would I ever want to use this piece-of-shit spell? Protect and Shell suck, and I can cancel Haste with Slow anyway! Fuck Dispel.
So you never want to destroy both nodes, as the CPU will instant-kill somebody and revive both anyway.
There are brief moments where the CPU is vulnerable before recasting Reflect. That's why I used a Spider's Silk instead of the Slow spell, since Slow has a charge time and I don't want to take any chances.
That Thundaga did over 3000 damage to Luca. Keep in mind her Dragon Armor resists it. Rydia's a beast.
More importantly, this is why I do not suggest using Thundaga on the CPU, as it'll put up Reflect before it goes off.
Since you cannot outpace the Defense Node's healing, even with it Slowed, it should go down.
The Strike Module will still be attacking, but Leonora's Recovery Rod + Porom's Cura is enough to cancel out the damage. I really wish I had Curaga at this point.
Luca's Big Throw will help out a bit, but the big damage comes at the split second Reflect isn't up. You see, Bio casts instantly, and is still sufficiently strong, so Rydia and Palom unload Bio in the brief moment they can, as Thunder spells wouldn't go off before Reflect goes up.
It's not a bad idea for Palom to Bluff each turn to boost his damage. It's not like he can do anything else.
Remember, they have essentially the same Intellect. This is the power of a Bluff-boosted Palom.
This was a long battle for me, but I finally pulled off the victory.
After the CPU dies, the Strike Module's attack is hilariously weakened. It goes down quickly, and I finally win the battle.
Was that...the heart of that giant we fought!?
This place... Are we even on the moon anymore?
It wasn't alive, but yet, it had a will of its own.
How could they create something so enormous and so intricate?
Our reward are the Yoichi Bow and Arrows. They don't fit into my plans at all, so nobody takes them.
After that long-ass battle, I'm so paranoid that instead of walking the few steps to the save point, I actually cast Teleport just to make sure I don't die and have to redo the damn thing over again. Those Clockwork Dragons could still ruin my day if I'm unlucky.
And here's our party's current levels. Palom's a level away from learning his first -aga spell, and Porom and Leonora are starting to be more useful.
Next time, we finally finish up on the old boss battles and get ready to finish this section.