Part 5: Ho-ho-ho!
Oh my goodness, we're in the Underworld!
Are you crazy!? Get out of here before someone sees you!
If you try to enter the Tower of Bab-il from the bottom, Kain calls you a moron and tells you to crawl away. What a fool.
Instead Cecil and company are going to moonwalk the original Bab-il march back to the dwarves.
The Definitive Final Fantasy IV Experience.
These boost your Max HP, I'm going to guess. I don't know how much since my intent is to hoard them and never use them due to my extensive experience in playing jRPGs and knowing I might need them later, like after I'm dead.
Those Angel Wings we heard about in Agart are on sale here, though they're pretty damn expensive considering they only work one floor at a time and, as I'll find out later, only work in battle. Not worth buying them honestly, at least this early on. Stock up on Hi-Potions like mad, though.
If anything the dwarves are even more chill in this version. We haven't even talked to Giott yet and the dwarves are all, "Go ahead, take all our shit, we don't give a fuck, Lali-Ho!"
Yeah I love the dwarves in this game.
Don't forget Rosa's white magic is all about de/buffs, not curing crap, so in this version Rosa definitely wants the light armor that buffs Strength and Vitality over that stupid mage crap.
If you guessed Cid is going to ditch us here like he did in the original, then I am personally congratulating you on your brilliant insight. Seriously, good job with your brain power here! Unfortunately that means this piece of shit is worthless for our future party.
This glitchy piece of shit is gauntlets, or heavy gloves that apply to only Cecil, Cid, and Kain, and I literally just spoiled Cid's ditching us in a few minutes. Guess what, the Power Gauntlets boost Power! +5 Strength, I may be a bit dickish here but I ain't complainin' about more damn Strength! Plus it blocks a whole bunch of random status effects that would be bad for physical characters, so trust me, I'm definitely not complaining about getting these!
We can't access the secret room with the drunken dwarf dancer and the developers anymore. I am truly sorry, but not really because screw those guys (except the drunken dwarf dancer, that guy rules).
Nothing really new here, but right now this is our only source for this stuff, so...
Oh, hey, actual new stuff here! The Sleep Sword is stronger than Cecil's current weaponry and, spoilers, it'll inflict Sleep, so why not splurge on it? The Posion Rod inflicts, uhhhhhh, Poison (which isn't actually Poison, thanks to Dr Pepper, but damage that inflicts Sap), while the Aura Staff casts Shell (which I'll eventually have access to in the next dungeon anyway so let's save 2000GP I guess). Also we can buy a Flame Spear for fucking nobody, and Fire Arrows if we somehow meet something weak to Fire.
Also I should mention that the basic Wooden Arrows boost Rosa's attack by 10. No other arrow boosts attack besides the end-game Yoichi Arrows (or Samurai for you FF2 purists), but the other arrows add elemental attacks to make up for it (they are Fire, Ice, Bolt, Dark, and Holy. Dark inflict Blind as well, but otherwise the elementals literally do as they say and I'll trust your intelligence for once).
With all that nonsense done let's talk to King Giott.
Pleasedd to meet you, Cecil. I am Giott, King of the dwarves.
I come to warn you of an imminent threat. A man named Golbez is after the crystals.
Fear not, we dwarves are mighty warriors! Our soldiers and tanks will protect our Bolt crystal!
I don't doubt your soldiers' abilities, but they can't be everywhere at once... we must protect the other crystals too.
It wouldn't hurt to have more help! You and your friends investigate the other crystals and keep them from Golbez.
Where exactly are the other crystals?
We can actually do these in any order from appearances, but of course the enemies within kinda dictate the order for us. The Ice Crystal in particular will be our first destination.
How can we get to these places?
The tanks can't go over the magma, but we did find a flying ship that crashed nearby... If you can make it work, it's yours!
Cid's a badass when it comes to airships so that garbage dreck is as good as ours.
They may be useful to you in your quest.
who the fuck wants kids following them around with their snot and stuff
Actually nevermind these motherfuckers are pretty god damn cool.
Forgive my brother and his arrogance. My name is Porom. Pleased to meet you, sir.
Yes. My brother and I were aboard a ship on its way to Baron on a diplomatic mission when a giant sea monster attacked us!
Then my bungling sister miscast a Warp spell...
I love Cecil's thinking here. "If I take these brats along with me, maybe the town whose people I ruthlessly murdered to steal their most precious treasure will forgive me!"
I mainly love it because I finally have a person who can do a full-party heal for more than 30HP a person.
Obligatory "Cid fixes an airship" montage, except this time with bonus child labor.
Those tanks could use an upgrade as well... I think I'm gonna stay here and help out.
I'm sure the dwarves will appreciate the help.
Wait, we haven't named the airship!
Eh, I can appreciate doing something different from the "Falcon" here. Though I've only ever seen the pilot...
We got a freaking airship!
Palom and Porom start off with some really basic gear. The weaponry is no big deal since you'll have plenty of extra rods and staves, plus buyable ones if you need them (though I do miss the Healing Staff Rydia took with her to the grave), but armor is another thing considering how expensive it'll be to deck the twins out.
But enough about that, let's explore!
This is pretty much the same.
So are the Sylph Cave and Summoned Monsters Cave, though what was the Sealed Cave is completely new, thank God. Anyway let's go to the only other place that won't actively try to kill us, Tomra.
TAKE A WILD FUCKING GUESS WHAT THIS IS A REFERENCE TO
Also note how dwarves extract the water needed to survive in such a magma-filled place.
Actually don't, the king of backwater hicksville dwarf town Tomra is fucking Santa Claus.
I don't know this for certain of course, but I'm going to guess the Levistone is in the ice dungeon, perhaps after we beat the boss. Obviously I could be wrong here, though.
First off, I need to point out that Porom can equip Hammers. There's actually a reason to do this beyond her physical attacks. Otherwise, the Sledge is merely a direct upgrade from the Mythril Hammer, likewise the Killer Bow from the Great Bow, and who cares about the Blizzard Spear.
The Kotetsu is a small upgrade over the Ashura katana, but the Kotetsu is also Dark-elemental as opposed to the Ashura's Holy elemental, and considering the amount of undead in the next dungeon it's better to hold off on these.
The Diamond Rings resist Lightning attacks and give decent boosts to Physical Defense and Magical Evasion. I end up splurging my money for two for the twins. Otherwise, Ice Armor resists Ice (shocking), and the Opal Shield resists Lightning and attacks from Mages. Nothing exciting here.
Anyway I love the dwarves because they're more than happy to let you loot their shit.
Also I loot the Big Chocobo to sell crap since now I know what I should and shouldn't keep. This gives me just enough money to get the twins outfitted enough to not die as easily.
For a quick test, I trek into the Sylph Cave to see how it goes.
It goes poorly, the enemies here way outclass my current party.
So I just loot the first floor of its two underwhelming treasures and check right out.
This was the site of the Sealed Cave in the original game, but thankfully it's much different now. It's also where we're supposed to go, so there I go.
Aesthetically, it's not that interesting and pretty linear. I mean, it's a completely unique dungeon so I can see it not being as strong as dungeons designed by the actual game designers. Still, I'll forgive it because it doesn't actively piss me off. It's functional, I'm happy enough with that.
Screamers aren't too exciting other than being able to inflict Charm with their physical attacks.
The second floor is one massive rectangle. Simply travel to the opposite corner, nothing interesting here.
Mind Flayers can cast Blaster to stun (or possibly instant kill, though I never saw that) a character. Otherwise they're easy EXP.
The Wizard seems to have a set pattern similar to the Dark Elf boss from the original.
First, the Fire2/Bolt2/Ice2 trifecta.
Then a casting of Death which never lands.
Then Bio, which obviously sucks.
Then finally Slow before starting the pattern all over again.
Also, holy crap, actual healing, it's so nice to have that for once.
The pattern isn't that bad, so the Wizard goes down quickly enough to grant a new Dark Sword. It's Cecil's strongest sword yet, with a nice ten point Wisdom bonus, and can inflict Charm as a status. Solid upgrade!
Also free Ice Armor, hell yeah.
See that odd-looking square?
Yeah, we're not entering that space so easily.
At this point, loads of undead may show up in battles. Edge makes short work of them.
This is also the only floor in this dungeon that has damage floor spaces.
...which makes me really wish I healed up first before opening this chest, the only one on this floor with monsters within.
The Frost Dragon isn't that bad otherwise, just semi-nasty physicals and a decently strong Blizzard attack.
I probably should have healed but oh well. It's not that long a trek back, at least.
Also letz me encounter more annoying enemies! The Crawlers counter physicals with multi-target Slow, oh joy!
They also can steal MP but it's pathetically small amounts so who cares.
I did get a free Angel Wings drop, at least.
Also more fucking bats.
Anyway Edge's Fire2 and Cecil's Chaos Sword make short work of the Ice Dragon here.
The Icebrand is the best regular sword in the game, and surprisingly it's ice-elemental. It's still a few points weaker thean the Chaos Blade, but it'll do against fire enemies.
Literally swimming in these damn things. Keep in mind of our current party, only Cecil can wear these.
These chests all contain money. Between these and the rather generous enemies here, our money problems quickly go away, hooray.
Palom and Porom both pick up some nifty new spells.
And soon after so does Edge.
The next floor gives a free Opal Shield.
There's two exits on this floor. This one leads back to the OverUnderworld, which isn't bad since we can save and not lose our treasures and heal/restock before the inevitable boss battle.
Final Dungeon Dive. I use the Angel Wings in-battle since you can't actually use them out-of-battle.
The other exit is this pit...
...and that leads us to our ultimate destination.
And look at that, it's King Santos!
This is pretty old hat at this point so...
Cagnazzo pallete-swap! This guy's pretty similar, except Ice elemental. He follow a pretty rigid script.
First, a couple rounds of Ice3 spam. This will instantly kill whoever it hits at this stage of the game.
Anyway the Ice Fiend is weak against Fire.
After a couple rounds, Alichino will put up an ice wall and then add Reflect. So good luck nullifying it, if even possible.
After that, he'll release a powerful Blizzard attack.
Then finally Chakra to restore HP before restoring the pattern again.
Of course, the key here is Chakra restores (Current HP/2) HP, so the further you reduce his HP, the less it heals.
My strategy was to Haste and Berserk Edge. He'd end up doing ~1k HP an attack, and of course he's pretty fast. Rosa would buff a bit, Porom would heal, and Cecil and Palom pretty much threw items.
Eventually, I got him to where Chakra didn't heal enough to be relevant.
Focus boosts Palom's Wisdom stat. Bonk! requires a Hammer and pretty much cures any battle status like Berserk and Sleep.
Twin...isn't as impressive here, though this might have been a bad spot to try it. Not like they had anything else to do, though!
Eventually, Berserk Edge got the job done.
And so we get our first new crystal we'll probably give up to Golbez due to incompetence.
Then the twins go off screen for a bit and make random noises until...
The real King Santos is free! Good, I guess...?
One crystal down!
Next time, more crystals to go, I guess.