The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

by Mega64

Part 99: Interlude - Part 2

The Interlude Interlude: Part 2

Upon leaving the Crystal chamber, somebody immediately crashes the party in the most polite way possible!

oh jeez

What was that!?

Tell us everything.

Soldier: Our lookout on Mount Hobs sent a message, sir.

Oh come on! First The After Years, and now Interlude too? You don't need to rip off the same scenario twice!

You do anyway, though.

Edward, forgive me. I must go at once.

A moment of pause. Is Edward stepping up to help out his neighbor, his comrade in arms, perhaps setting the stage for how much better he becomes in The After Years?

I shall go with him.

Of course not. This is still Original FF4 Edward we're talking about, here. Plus, dude just rebuilt his castle, he's going to enjoy it, goddammit.

Cecil, you don't have to...

I do. I have a bad feeling about this.

Clearly Cecil's dream about Crystals spawning ghost-Rydias meant that something was to go down on Mount Hobs! This is the best explanation.

At least we won't lack for healing throughout our Attack-Attack-Victory grind.

Woo, awesome. Go Team Gameplay! Let's go chat up the remaining partygoers before we leave, just on a whim.

What could have happened at Mount Hobs? I hope this is not a new threat brewing...

You old guys are gonna need us, too!

I'm sure Cecil and the others can handle everything, Palom!


Troian priest: Mount Hobs marks the border between Fabul and this kingdom of Damcyan, doesn't it?

Be careful out there. We shall pray for the safety of you all.

Edward it's not like there's going to be anything that's actually a threat, hell you went through Mount Hobs and came out hunky dory.

Best line of the entire update, right here. Cid is also the best character.

The Chancellor also reminds us to go check out the equipment on the first floor, but as I stated last time, there's zero need for this; Yang comes pre-equipped with Faerie and Hell Claws, and if you've been plundering correctly you already have better arrows for Rosa than what's available here. Giving Cecil a Flame Sword right now will also become an active detriment to his effectiveness in the party, come time for the one challenge that Mount Hobs provides.

Speaking of Yang, though:

Delicious 9x Attack multiplier. Yang is far and away going to be our most consistently powerful damage dealer through this.

Unfortunately, we're actively funneled towards Mount Hobs, as the Underground Waterway and Antlion Cave have guards posted at the entrance who are all too happy to inform Cecil's party that everything's just peachy on their end. We don't even get the hovercraft, as within the scope of Damcyan's reconstruction they also built a bridge connecting the desert and the path to Fabul.

Soldier: Oh! King Cecil! It seems the number of monster attacks is increasing again. Please be careful in the field!

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Time to commence excessive wildlife hunting.

This is about the meat of Mount Hobs's encounters, right here. Fledgling Rukhs, for having migrated all the way from Eblan to largely replace the Cockatrices that were so prevalent in the first game, actually present less of a challenge to our party than the birds present in the first game, for a lack of petrification (if these things even can, I've never seen it). Mount Ordeals-y groups of Skeletons, Souls and Spirits also show up on occasion, but they're a fair bit rarer.

Notice the big AUTO sign just above everybody's ATB bar. Complete Collection thankfully had the foresight to allow you to just press a button and speed up the entire battle with your entire party spamming the last input you gave them over and over (or, if you're like me and don't play with Cursor Memory enabled, constant Attack) until one side is completely demolished, which basically guaranteed at this point will be every enemy encounter, without the monsters even getting a turn more often than not.

Incidentally, auto-battle makes Yang's Tale in The After Years incredibly hilarious, since all the Monks need to really do is punch dudes in the face until they're dead; you can almost cruise control through the entire chapter without having to go through a single battle menu.

Speaking of The After Years, Mount Hobs in Interlude is the same version taken from Yang's Tale, complete with unnecessary spiral ripped virtually wholesale from Mount Kolts.

While this is not by a long shot the highest damage we'll see here, Cecil and Rosa don't do nearly this amount of damage with such consistency. Yang, on the other hand, turns enemies inside-out like this for the entire trip.

Just showing off that Interlude does indeed get its ammo rules from the original game. No "have one arrow, get infinite arrows" for another sixteen years here!

oh boy bet you guys can't guess what's gonna happen, hohoho

Well, first I get into about five encounters within seven steps, because what the fuck, game?

This does remind me to give Rosa those Yoichi Arrows I jacked from the Feymarch though, because it's not like they'll be doing anything else in this chapter after about ten minutes.

Reaching the bottom of the summit's stairs, Yang breaks off from the party to run up to two trainees scattered across the ground, with Cecil and Rosa following shortly after.

Are you all right!?

They're still breathing! We need healing here!

"what, you're a paladin, you have cura, god"

R-right away!

Magical glitter! Cures what ails ya!

Thank goodness their wounds were not serious...

I would expect no less from any monk of Fabul.

Cecil these guys have less HP than you. Hell, Rosa is catching up with them. Paragons of tankiness they ain't.

I mean, god, at least sub Dancer or something if you're going to solo

Master...! Your wife, Queen Sheila, has...


Nice to know that all the "WHAT"in' isn't exclusive to The After Years, huh?

We were on our way to Damcyan to inform you when we were ambushed...

And right then, an ambush occurs! Bet you can't guess what's going to happen next!

Can you still fight?

Of course!

go on, guess

you'll never get it

Oh no! It's--


you were all wrong

In lieu of Rydia and Edward, we'll be helped by this generation's holders of the prestigious Fabulian Monk titles Ass and Butt.

Ass, for what it's worth, has a pair of Ice Claws equipped, so he actually manages to outdamage Yang here. Butt's got Fire Claws and is in the back row, so he will be functionally useless throughout this entire battle.

This is also why you don't want to give Cecil a Flame Sword, because it will fuck up his damage output, and you really want the third leg of the fight to be over as quickly as possible.

All it takes is physical hits from Yang, Cecil and Ass for Dad Bomb to hulk out, and he'll immediately bust out Blue Flame for your troubles, hitting everybody for only mildly worrying damage. Rosa slaps him with a Slow in response.

Yang Focuses because I really just don't care what he does, it all results in ridiculous damage.

Dad Bomb is unfazed by this display of taunting and continues showing that he tends not to fuck around. Slow is again the key to this fight just like all boss battles in this subseries; if Dad Bomb had his regular Speed then he'd actually be a moderate threat, if only because his physicals hurt like hell.

On the other hand, so do ours.

Rosa's access to Curaga and enough MP to wield it liberally also puts a major dent in the boss's damage output.

Of course, this being a carbon copy of the Mom Bomb fight, Pappy 'Splosion here goes through the same threat of blowing the hell up once you deal enough damage to him. Having nothing better to do until the inevitable I have Yang use Brace because why the hell not. Monk Barrier GO!

it doesn't help


Yeah, Cecil wearing Flame Mail is an incredible liability in this fight, and a major dick move on Interlude's part for making it his default armor. Fortunately, a Curaga patches him up for very nearly twice his max HP so this is simply a minor panic-button setback. The real trouble here is when the Bomb/Balloon ring starts acting, as they will gleefully Self-Destruct in your face for substantial amounts of damage. The first time I played through Interlude, Cecil spent nearly this entire portion of the fight dead.

As insultingly easy as Mount Hobs's regular encounters are, Dad Bomb can hand you your ass if you let him. Never underestimate the importance of Slow.

With not much else to do during final cleanup, Rosa shows off just how powerful Yoichi Arrows really are. Yang punches the final Gray Bomb to death.

I will return to Fabul. Cecil, Rosa, you should head back to Damcyan...

We're also worried about Sheila, Yang.

And I may be able to help with my white magic.

Why would you be worried about Sheila of all the people in Fabul? She took care of a full-scale invasion with kitchen implements. It's all the non-Yang Monks that need constant babying.

Sheila really should've been a party member in The After Years. Yang's Tale would've been like a family picnic except with more screaming, and punching.

Well, like a normal family picnic, except with "OUR SAILS RAN OUT OF FUEL"

Then let's be going!

oh right, game now

For the rest of the trip, Ass and Butt tag along, being precisely as useful as you would imagine.

While moderately uncommon, Belphegor is probably the most dangerous regular encounter on Mount Hobs, since he can hit about as hard as Dad Bomb could.

He still lasts about as long as any other tumble we find here, though.

Rosa, playing the part of Queen Supreme with those Holy Arrows. Of course, damage like this is wholly unnecessary, but really funny.

Marauding our way down the eastern end of the mountain, Rosa retires the silver for Hanzo steel, giving the Yoichi arrows one last hurrah.

It, too, was an indulge of excess. There's really just nothing at this point that's worthy of the power the party has, so combat is even more of a chore and annoyance than usual. Come on, Interlude, at least step up the encounters a little.

Stripping everybody but Cecil of their everything, and giving Cecil that Power Armlet as well as Yang's body armor for the Strength boost. Defense isn't nearly as important, where we're going next.

Welcome to beautiful Fabul castle!

Before we can get our kleptomania on, we get a short scene upon entering the courtyard.

Yes, Master!

Ass and Butt retire from the party's service, shuffling backwards ten feet to their old lives as otherwise unimportant guards, while the duke consort enters shortly after.

Also, yes, the duke consort in The After Years is the previous king, as Interlude is all too glad to show you by using his first-game sprite with his sequel title.

Duke Consort: Your heir should be born at any moment, Master Yang.

You mean... I am still in time!?

Yang, go to her!

I can't... There's nothing I can do for her now...


Yang, having missed his chance to tell his wife to push, resigns himself to punching Ass and Butt in the face until either they toughen up or his kid is born.

Cecil and Rosa head off into the castle proper, but immediately we regain control and can totally go back to talk to everyone, so let's do that!

Duke Consort: Forgive him, King Cecil... Queen Sheila is sequestered at the top of the western tower. Please, won't you go and support her through her labor?


but first looting

Yep, this is the same exchange as in one of the flashbacks in Yang's Tale. This means that while Sheila was busy having her kid and Yang was trying to keep himself busy by caving in his trainees' skulls, Cecil and Rosa were running amok in the castle, robbing Fabul blind.

Aren't you glad this chapter was made?

That Flame Sword from Damcyan followed us all the way here, and now I can finally buy it and increase Cecil's attack power to even more ridiculous levels!







With nothing else to steal or vandalize, however, eventually we just head upstairs to Yang and Sheila's room, where the planet's most fearsome woman is midway through having her kid.

Where the planet's most fearsome woman just had her kid.


The baby is out!

"son of a bitch we took too long raiding the castle now look what happened we totally missed watching childbirth"


Is it...?

Midwife: It is a very healthy little girl.

A girl... My... daughter... She's so small and light... But... Feel how warm she is.


Why didn't you even tell us you were expecting?

--wait, what

So Yang purposely kept secret the fact that he was going to have a child for nine months because, somehow, he knew that she would be born on the exact day that Damcyan was having its grand reopening party??

What the hell...?


no, seriously, what the fuck

Cecil. I have something I'd like to ask of you...

Hold up. This is actually a choice?

...Screw it, let's be a complete dick.

What? You want me... to name her?

If you would agree, we would be honored. Sheila and I already discussed it.

Sheila: Please, Cecil. Won't you do it?

Right after Sheila's line, another Yes/No prompt comes up.


Well, then...

Oh, that is a fine name!

A very strong name, Cecil.

Ursula... I think she likes it! You have named her well, Cecil!

Sheila: Thank you, Cecil.

Aw, right back to . I really just can't help but imagine Yang going into baby-talk, here.

But then, the tender moment of post-birth jubilation is broken up by the sounds of airship rotors!


Gasp and surprise! What are the dwarves doing here?!

Find out next time!