Part 4: Girlish CharmsBefore we start, forums user Dr Pepper was great enough to share spreadsheet he made listing the stats of the weapons and armor in this hack! So now I can actually tell you guys what gear does.
Anyway, Eblan Basement now leads straight to the underground hideout.
I think this is the first area where we can buy HiPotions. At any rate, it's definitely not a bad idea to buy some!
The Flame Armor is a nice upgrade for Cecil and Cid that reduces fire magic. No clue if it still has the ice weakness. The Gold Shield is old news but now I know it blocks petrification and reduces damage from Zombie enemies.
Light Armor like Judo have significant lower defense but have some magic defense and also give a bit of physical and magical evasion. The Judo clothing in particular also gives five-point boosts to Strength and Vitality, very handy stats for people like Edge and Yang.
Edge starts with an Ashura, the base katana which is still much better than any regular knife we can get right now, and since it's Holy-elemental it'll wreck the undead we'll face in the path to the Tower of Babil. Shurikens are also available for very reasonable prices. The Flame Sword is pretty simple and a nice upgrade, though I end up skipping it because I'm cheap.
Knives in general are much weaker than non-mage weapons. Other than the obvious properties (Blind Dagger inflicts Blind, Air Dagger is air-elemental), they have much higher hit rates than other weapons and all knives give stat boosts. These three only boost Agility by 3, but later ones give significantly larger boosts and add Wisdom and Will boosts as well.
And since I have this information, I'll summarize the characters' equipment. Feel free to skip this stuff if it doesn't interest you.
Edge: Gaia Gear has no stat boosts but reduces damage against...air? Sure, OK. The Bracer boosts strength by 5 and reduces damage from Giant enemies. The Headband is a simple 3 point STR boost.
Yang: I mostly left him in boring starting gear so it doesn't really matter. It's good to note though that claws are not in this game at all, so Yang will always be barehanded.
Rydia: Suffice to say Rods and Staves have garbage attack stats and hit rates and you'll probably never use them for actually attacking. Mage Armor of course generally has higher magic defense and evasion, with the Hairpin, Magic Gloves, and Wizard Robe all each boosting Wisdom and Will by 3. The Rings don't boost evasion like shields, but they do have a variety of other boosts. The Rune Ring is geared towards magic defense, with five-point Wisdom/Will boosts and protects against Mage enemies.
Cecil: His Shadow armor all protects against Holy damage and Spirit enemies, plus each gives a 3 point Wisdom boost. Right now he swaps between the regular Coral Sword (obviously lightning elemental) and the Ancient Sword (Dark elemental, can inflict Curse).
Cid: Axes and Hammers are inaccurate, with Hammers being slightly moreso and requiring two hands but of course being stronger. All hammers do extra damage to Robot enemies, and his Gaia Hammer can cast Quake like in the original. Nothing special about his Mythril armor. His Giant Gauntlets reduce damage from Giants, give 5 Vitality, and blocks Pig, Mini, and Frog. The Viking Helmet is mainly useful for blocking a variety of status effects, including the three form changes plus Charm, Sleep, and Curse.
OK now I'll shut up about numbers. Let's get back into the game proper.
The tunnel is complete! We now have a back door into the enemy's head-quarters!
The soldiers will create a distraction outside while we sneak in through the back, rescue your friend, and take out Golbez once and for all.
Your highness, with all due respect, with your parents gone and you leading the task force, your soldiers lack a leader.
You're right... but this mission will require the skills of a Ninja...
...by your leave of course.
Agreed! Thank you, Yang!
And with that, Yang leaves. Good thing I didn't just immediately buy him new armor! Actually, good thing there's a save point right below where we're standing and I can just reload.
Next up, the path to Babil!
It's basically the same.
Just a lot more useful consumables.
This chest guards two Stalemen, a bit threatening but nothing too bad. The Power Staff gives a 5 point Will boost and can inflict Berserk as an item. With how wonky the ATB is in this game, Berserk is very useful for physical hitters, so it's a nice get.
Anyway, after that uneventful trek we're finally at the Tower of
Seriously, though, this is the Tower of Zot in all but name. The layout and enemies are the same as the original.
Slightly different loot, of course. The Mythril Hammer is actually stronger than the Gaia Hammer in this version, though otherwise there's nothing special about it.
The Silence Staff wrecks mages damage-wise (you know, if you used your staff to attack) and of course inflicts and can cast Mute. Mostly it's nice for the 10 point Will bonus.
Hell, even the Magus Sisters are the same. Same gimmick of Reflecting spells off Cindy, too. She's still the primary target since I'm sure she'll still cast Raise.
That said, Edge-for-Yang isn't really as bad a trade as the original, plus more importantly Rydia's Summons avoid Reflect completely, so if anything this version of the fight is easier.
The big difference here is Sandy starts throwing some nasty spells once Cindy goes down.
But otherwise this isn't that bad a fight once you get a hang of things.
As a bonus, Cecil picks up Drain.
Only thing to do now is rescue Rosa.
Never mind how we got in!
Those three girls were the only ones who saw us, but we defeated them.
The Magus Sisters...then Barbariccia will soon find out.
Barbariccia, the Fiend of Air. She's guarding Rosa as we speak. Look... Cecil...
So today's big plot twist is Kain is not actually brainwashed, but simply pretending to betray us to gain intel on Golbez. Alright, then.
There's no time for talk. Rosa is in the next room. If Barbariccia finds you here she'll probably kill her...and you!
That locked door on the first floor? Yeah, this opens that.
Well, he did just give us the master key to the tower...
What other choice do we have? Come on, let's hurry!
Well, there's Rosa.
Good eyes, Romeo... your lady friend tricked me and trapped me here. But thanks to you I'm free again! Oh-hohohoho... Come on Kain, let's trash these losers.
Fucking brutal, Kain.
Barbariccia is floating and thus immune to Earth attacks, which nullifies...Cid's Gaia Hammer spell I guess? Maybe if Rydia had more levels she'd have learned Titan by now, but eh.
I got this! My Jump will stop her Spin!
All physicals during Barbariccia's tornado form ends up triggering this line. That said, I don't think she'll actually counter attacks, and the characters will still do some damage, so the primary reason to Jump is to shut Kain up, and also because he's in the back row anyway so might as well.
Otherwise, she can cast Tornado for decent damage and do physicals I guess...?
Drain also does surprisingly solid damage. That Shadow gear does give Cecil an extra 12 Wisdom...
Anyway Barbariccia is a joke compared to the other fiends and goes down pretty easily.
Anyway, Kain's cover is pretty much blown now, but whatever.
Yes. They open the way to the moon.
The moon. As in, the one in the sky. Apparently, it contains the secret to such great power as has never been imagined. This tower can generate a portal to the moon, but it requires the power of the crystals.
Now that we have them all, we can use it ourselves to beat him there and keep him from getting all that power!
I don't know how she got out, but she couldn't have gone far.
Well then what are we waiting for? Let's go!
Kain's now with us for this part. All Spears are Air-elemental, but some like the Thunder Spear also have a second element. I'll let you figure out what that element is.
I skipped this chest on the first floor on my way up. That's a shame, because it gives five point boosts to Vitality, Wisdom, and Will, plus blocks Mute, Pig, and Frog.
Also you can leave Bab-il though no clue how far you can go and what all really changes, if anything, should you do so.
Besides we gotta find Rosa. Surely she's in this locked room?
Rosa! There you are!
Rosa, please...call me Grandpa.
I still think the only way we're going to beat Golbez is from the inside...but in order to work, it has to look convincing. I promise, no matter how bad it looks, I'm on your side.
At least Kain's not a sad sack here. It's almost like he actually has his shit together in this version.
I'm not afraid anymore! And I'm gonna use my summons to put Golbez back in his place!
Eblan's prince Edge at your service, my lady!
Eblan... Your soldiers are attacking outside. They're putting up a good fight but I'm afraid they may not be a match for Golbez's army...
They understand the risks. Besides, Yang is an outstanding commander.
That he is!
In any case, the battle is a distraction to allow us to sneak in!
And now that we have, and we know you're safe, the plan is to use the crystals to activate the portal to the moon, get there ahead of Golbez, and keep him away from the power there.
So we've got all four crystals, and places to put them.
As you wish. Til we meet again...
Alright! We're all set and ready to go to the moon!
...any day now...
Why isn't anything happening?...
Earth, fire, air, water... They're all in place. What could we be missing?
oh hey Golbez
I see you brought me some gifts. How thoughtful! All this time I thought I would have to fight you for them, but no, you've simply handed them over...
So while this hack changes many story beats, at least it and the original are consistent about one thing: Cecil is really terrible at being a hero.
On the contrary, my loyal lieutenant. The four to which you refer are only the crystals of light. There are four more crystals...those of the darkness, found in the underworld.
Indeed...there is more to this tower, and indeed the world itself, then you seem to realize. There is an entire world underground, hidden from view...this tower connects the two. Here, allow me to demonstrate!
OH GEE WHO DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING
She must not have made it...
Poor thing...if anyone had to go it should have been me...
Rydia...wherever you are...I won't rest until I find you!
I'm going to, though.
Next time, we explore the Underworld! And maybe try to find Rydia or something, it doesn't really matter does it.