The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

by Mega64

Part 82

Chapter 68

We've got ourselves a new team. Edge and Edward have ranged weapons to deal damage, while the other guys stay up front. Edge gets the Brave Suit and Giant's Glove, Yang gets the Power Scarf, Edward the Red Jacket and Economical Ring, Kain wields the Wyvern Lance, and Cecil gets decked out with his Excalibur and Crystal gear.

The two side rooms are a secret passage loop.

Did you know that Ninjutsu can actually be useful outside of Mirage and Smoke? Neither did I!

Ninja-only equipment whose main feature is its high evasion. I like the Brave Suit's stat buffs better.

Right now, Edward's the lowest in dealing damage. That won't last for long.

A few battles later, and he's averaging around 2k damage. Edward eventually reaches Edge-level damage, which is pretty damn impressive.

Edge himself makes great use of his boosted strength, attacking hard and very, very often. Edge is pretty broken in this game, as is Edward.

Seriously, showing Edge and Edward wrecking things' shit never gets old.

These flans are a pain without Black Magic. Cecil's Excalibur cuts right through them. It also gives me an excuse to use two skills I rarely use, Edge's Throw and Yang's Focus, as both deal decent damage to them.

The next floor reveals the Crystal Mail, our latest piece of our Crystal ensemble.

Edge can make use of that extra Ribbon.

Oh crap, the Deathmask is here.

The Deathmask's gimmick is abusing Reflect. He'll bounce powerful spells like Holy and Flare off himself to wreck your party's shit. It's also annoyingly fast, and will also Haste itself to further piss you off.

Unfortunately for it, we don't need any damn black magic to kill its ass.

Cutscene time!

If this were a better game, they'd nail this scene.

This is the first time Cecil and Kain have met in seventeen years. Since then, Kain has mentored Cecil's son, saved the lives of his wife and child, became a Paladin himself, and rescued Cecil from being brainwashed. Their roles have reversed in this game, and if this game had better writers this would be an excellent chance for them to relate to each others' experiences and grow closer as friends.

To be honest, I was really looking forward to watching these two interact alone.

It has been a while since we talked like this...just you and I.
It certainly has.

About what?
I lost control of myself...and look what it has caused.
If you hadn't come down from that mountain, I would have been lost.
Quit it.
In fact...without you, Ceodore and Rosa would have both been beyond rescue by this point.
I wasn't doing it just for you, you understand.

True enough.
I have been away from it for far too long.
But now you are back.

He has talent...and he's every bit as earnest as you are.
Is he?
I suppose that stubborn streak of his comes from Rosa, though.

I'll be counting on you, Kain.
Thank you!

Out of all the crazy shit still to come, this moment is still probably one of the most disappointing moments in the game for me.

The main thing is just how unnatural and stilted the dialogue is. Every other line is a curt half-assed response to what somebody just said. Poor Kain has had both Golbez and Cecil just kind of nod along to whatever he's saying without them really paying attention. It really takes a special kind of talent to unintentionally make characters seem bored in a fucking sprite-based RPG, but god damn have the fucking writers done it here.

It's also annoying how they just jump from topic to topic without any segue. The first one makes sense, since Cecil caves in to his guilt for what he's done to Kain, but then they jump from that to Ceodore to stopping the moon. They've done it a lot of times before, but it's still jarring even now.

It makes me wonder if the writers just stopped giving a shit at this point, assuming they ever even gave one in the first place. It's not like they never gave any effort, as The Gathering had some genuinely great dialogue at times. Edge got hotheaded, everybody laughed at domestic abuse, and overall we got actual motivations and development. Here, it's just one-sided conversations where everybody involved would rather be somewhere else.

What the fuck is the point of these?

This floor has a bunch of new enemies. Chimera Geists don't cast Frost Blast like their asshole Brain brethren, but they do attack three times in a row. They're best avoided.

Fiend Dragons can be a pain with Thunderbolt and Maelstrom, though they're still kind of fragile and don't counter with paralysis like their gold relatives.

Another floor, another batch of bosses from a much better game. We'll be fighting the four bosses of the Dark World from the last stage of FF3, perhaps my favorite game of the series.

Yeah, my taste is kind of weird like that.

No...this is not among the Dark Crystals we know of.
This force... It is not one to be trifled with!
This darkness... I can hardly breathe in it!
My heartbeat's accelerating! What is happening to me!?

Our first boss in this gauntlet is Cerberus.

Cerberus's gimmick is that it attacks in threes. It's attacks could be any combination of physicals and -aga spells. Luckily, it has weak magic, so even three spells in a row won't kill anybody.

It's still a good idea to use Blink, as its physicals can hurt.

Fuck yeah, Hastemarch.

With Edward on healing duty, Cerberus is a piece of cake.

A flood of darkness?
We can't let ourselves die yet...!
We somehow emerged victorious...
(Where did these creatures come from? If these are resurrections, where were the originals?)

Our reward is the Thor Hammer. Nobody on our team can use it, so let's move on.

Catoblepas is a pain in the ass who likes to start the battle off with Glare, confusing everybody. Well, everybody but my Ribbon wearers, but it's still bad enough to ruin my day.

I fucking love Edward. Yeah, it's an Attack Up moon, and probably a critical hit, but Edward's really damn amazing.

Next up is the Twinhead Dragon.

He uses -aga spells and physicals. Nothing special.

Yang should have that Dragon Claw equipped so he can join in on the 3k damage fun.

The only gimmick Twinhead has is countering attacks with Constrict. He does it often, though not always, and it's really more of a nuisance than a liability, considering I have 99 Remedies and all.

And down he goes!

A twin-headed dragon...
What a fight!
A fearsome foe, indeed...
We made it through alive?

We got a nice upgrade for Kain, which is always welcome.

Crystal Dragons counter attacks with Stop, which is pretty scary. Good thing it's floating, which means it's weak against throwing weapons like what Edge has equipped.

Duke Malboros can be a pain. The first one only used Poison Gas as a counter. This guy starts off with mass Constrict, then uses it again right when it wears off, and spams Bad Breath to mess up Kain and Yang. Lovely.

Meet Ahriman. This guy is without a doubt the biggest joke boss in the dungeon, if not the entire game, for the same reasons as Ahriman in FF4.

He starts off casting Doom on everyone.

Aw yeah.

Then he casts Haste on you, which is idiotic as hell. Yeah, the character dies faster, but that also means they don't all die simultaneously. So say Cecil dies first. Then I revive him, and he revives everyone else. If Ahriman didn't do anything else, at least then I'd have to rely on time manipulation myself to figure this out.

Of course, I just have Edward revive everyone in one turn anyway.

Ahriman has no actual attacks. Just Doom and Haste.

I hate him because of how pathetic he is. What a joke.

(Ahriman? That one was different from the one we've beaten before...)
Whatever. Like we're going to let you decide how things go.
(Light and darkness, yin and yang... Without one or the other, the world is thrown out of balance.)
(That may be a Dark Crystal, yes, but since when did those Crystals want to engineer the end of the world?)

Weapon upgrade for Edge, and as a bonus it casts Haste. Sweet!

The final boss for today is Echidna.

Luckily, this was the only time he cast Quake.

He has Tornado, physicals, and Magic Buster, which wrecks your MP. Good thing Cecil has no reason to use his.

I still need to get around to using bands someday.

He's nothing special.

That's up to us to decide, not you!
(Will stopping the moon even help us fight this threat?)
What is the meaning of this?

Now we've got a new Bow and Arrow. Eh.

Next time, we skip ahead to FF5. I'm really looking forward to getting to something different soon.