Part 2: Cecil Slays a Dragon and Rescues a Damsel in DistressChapter 2 - Cecil Slays a Dragon and Rescues a Damsel in Distress
So we've officially begun our adventure. Let's check out our teammate.
Kain's pretty speedy, and oddly enough his Will (aka the Spirit stat) is his highest stat despite having no access to White Magic. You can't even use plot reasons as an excuse, as we'll see later.
Here's their equipment. Kain's Spear is actually Wind-element, which means it'll do more damage to flying enemies. There's actually quite a few such enemies around, not that it actually matters because both party members can one-shot everything right now.
It's interesting to note how both characters don't start at Level 1. It makes sense they'd be experienced soldiers, considering both are leaders of their respective divisions, but it's something you don't see often in the beginning of games. As I just said, these two have no trouble with the local enemies, each being able to kill them with one blow.
The gameplay bolsters the plot by showing that these two characters are strong and badass enough that the local fauna give them no trouble.
I'll go into battle stuff a bit later. For now, let's go shopping!
Our first stop is the small but bustling Town of Baron.
One of the additions to the US and EasyType versions is the training area, which is two floors of NPCs explaining basic gameplay functions.
For example, without it all of us idiots playing the game wouldn't know up means north.
Meet Namingway. Back before he became a pseudo-mascot for this game and fulfilled a hundred different roles, he changed names.
So if you want to name Cecil "DONGS" or Cecil "Rosa" or everybody after the villain, you could do that.
As fun as it would be, I'm taking a somewhat-serious approach with this LP, so Cecil will keep his name. We wouldn't want to meet Theodongs in the sequel, would we?
So that's where the extra articles went.
This version has a finite number of arrows, so you can run out and have no real means to attack. Granted, most people have better weaponry available anyway.
You will also learn the basics of spell effectiveness. Fire hurts Ice, Ice hurts Fire, Lit hurts Water, Cure and Fire hurt Undead.
The King was so upset at Cecil that he completely removed one of the wings.
This game carries the proud tradition of hiding items in pots and shelves.
Not all of the NPC dialogue is bad, mind you. You'll see plenty of characters that are scared of Cecil just from his appearance. Cecil's actually a pretty honorable guy, but it's easy to forget that when he's dressed like the villain's #2.
Don't drag Rosa into trouble, I beg you.
Rosa's Mother lives in Baron's Town. She doesn't really have anything important to say, though you can steal an Ether from your future mother-in-law.
The King was doing this way before he was acting weird, so I don't know why this is so concerning now.
A big change from the original game are items. In the original, you had stuff like Antidotes and Eyedrops to cure specific status ailments. Here, they just sell Remedies, Heal in this version, for much, much cheaper than what they cost in the original. You can also buy Ethers in most stores, though they're pricey. We could sell our Ether for big gold if we wanted, but there's no need, since we can't buy equipment and don't even need Cure 1's.
I buy a Life just in case, though. I'll explain Carrot shortly.
There used to be a link between Baron and Mysidia. For some reason, Mysidia decided to seal their side of the road. Maybe it has to do with the whole invasion thing.
It makes you wonder why Baron didn't use the Serpent's Road to begin with, but it makes sense if you think about it. Mysidia's out in its own continent, so if the mages sealed the road they'd be stranded. Airships provide a better escape route and allow for a larger force. Plus the road is known to drain the constitution of those using it (because as the sequel reveals, it's an annoying teleporter dungeon that would test anybody's patience), which would hurt a soldier's effectiveness in combat.
My father often quarrels with them for that.
This is Cid's house, where Cid lives with his daughter.
Apparently Cid's working on something big. Since it's a RPG, we'll probably get to make use of it soon enough.
If you want to see what she's talking about, watch the below video.
Video: Baron Dancer
This is of course another thing censored in this game, as she's a rebel sympathizer or something and tries to shake her body for the menacing Dark Knight so he doesn't turn her in. Something like that, anyway. It's not a big plot point or anything, and it's still not that bad in the original, but I can kind of understand the censorship here.
After we clean out the hidden item caches in the water and grass, it's time to move on.
First of all, I really recommend clicking the above song link. The overworld song is one of the best songs in this game, setting up that feeling of exploration that will be driving Cecil and company throughout the game.
Let's show off some battles.
Our first fight is against Eagles.
Kain and Cecil hate freedom and ruthlessly beat these noble birds down. Kain's wind-elemental spear makes short work of these guys.
There's also Floateyes, which Cecil fought earlier.
Kain's special command is Jump. He waits a few seconds before leaping up in the air. During this time he is invincible. He then flies down on the enemy, delivering big damage, more if he has a spear equipped. It's not really that special, though you can do some neat stuff with it, though it shows what a badass dragoon Kain is to jump that high.
Here's the thing with Cecil. In this version, he can only use Attack and Item. In every other version, including even EasyType, he has an attack called Darkness. Excluding the DS version, which works differently, this attack hits all enemies in exchange for reducing Cecil's HP. It's a clever attack in that Cecil uses his own life force to deal damage to enemies, the sort of attack you'd expect for a warrior of darkness who's willing to sacrifice himself to destroy his enemies.
This attack is censored exclusively in this version. The EasyType version removes a lot of character abilities, but not Darkness itself. The censors certainly must not have been fans of such a move, and I can kind of see why. Still, it's a pretty important attack to be aware of, and this particular attack actually has future ramifications on the plot. Yes, Cecil's Darkness attack is significant to the plot. We'll see the actual attack and discuss it later, but just keep in mind that Cecil's missing a rather important attack.
Gameplay-wise, I won't miss it. It's nice for large groups, but otherwise I'd rather Cecil attack anyway.
Hidden away over here is the Chocobo's Forest, where Chocobos live.
The White Chocobo will restore your MP. It'd be nice if Cecil or Kain had MP.
You can use your Carrots here to summon the Big Chocobo, who will store excess equipment for you. I don't bother since I have no reason to store stuff. You can find a spare Carrot in the grass if you need it, though.
Interacting with a regular Chocobo lets you ride him.
While riding a Chocobo, you can cross shallow water. You also won't encounter random battles, which is always a plus.
Once you disembark your Chocobo, he will randomly flee over mountains, the ocean, what have you. The Chocobo race remains a mystery to this day.
Before I enter the cave, I wanted to show off Imps. Imps, or Goblins in most other versions, are ugly little creatures with no value in society. Their HP is hilariously low, they're slow, they're weak, and overall their only use is to be laughed at.
Welcome to the first dungeon of Final Fantasy IV. This one's pretty simple, only being one large room with simple enemies.
Imps and SwordRats are abundant here.
If you fail to kill a SwordRat, it will counter with Needle, which can hurt a bit.
Who is it!?
During your jaunt through the cave, a mysterious voice will keep warning the soldiers to turn back. We could turn back and spend the rest of our lives slaying Imps, but I don't think the king would look too kindly to that.
SandMoths and Larva populate the rest of the cave. There's nothing interesting about either.
Is it a monster?
Who are you!
Return now and I will not harm you.
We must deliver this Package to the village of Mist!
Then I must!
Meet the first boss of Final Fantasy IV, the Mist Dragon, or in this case, D.Mist.
Now, if you're interested in how combat works in this game, I have a video of myself fighting the Mist Dragon. Otherwise, don't watch it, as it's boring.
Video: Boss - D. Mist
D.Mist is not hard. Its attacks are weak, and it's not that hard to kill.
It does have one gimmick, however.
Fighting when mist will freeze you with Breath!
This is the first boss in the series (unless I'm forgetting one) to have a state where if you attack it, it will counter with a powerful attack. This gimmick persists with the first bosses of the next three games. Here, the damage is minimal, and Kain's Jump doesn't actually trigger it (in case you used it before it switched form), but there's still no point in attacking since all attacks miss this form.
It'll alternate between both forms during the battle, so keep track of your actions. Fight the first two or three rounds, then hold back a bit. Maybe have Kain jump so if you're too slow, you won't trigger its counter.
A critical hit, and Cecil brings down the dragon. This is a very simple fight.
Not far outside the cave is the town of Mist.
If you haven't played the game before, or even if you have, I'd recommend watching the video. Yeah, the back of the box spoils this section, but it's still a nice scene to watch.
Video: Our Trip to Mist
So it turns out the Package was actually a bomb. I wish the King would've just labeled it a Bomb Ring or something so we knew we were about to blow up an entire town.
We've brought this Package to...
Burn the village?
Up north, there's a little girl standing next to a fallen woman.
My mom's dragon fell so my mom did too...
We defeated the dragon, so her mother is gone also.
You! You've beaten my mother's dragon!
We didn't mean to do this to your mother.
His Majesty wanted to wipe out the Callers of this village and used us to do it.
I'm afraid we must do away with her too.
You dare to renounce your loyalty to His Majesty?
Murdering innocents to steal their Crystal was bad enough, but killing an innocent child is a line Cecil refuses to cross. Cecil's done with Baron, going so far as to push back Kain, worried that Kain may stop him right there.
I owe His Majesty much. Still, I cannot disgrace the Dragoons.
Then will you...
But Baron is the mightiest country in the world. It's impossible for us to challenge his might alone. We must gather other countries. And you know... We must rescue Rosa!
Thank you, Kain.
Not for your sake.
Luckily, Kain is willing to defect from Baron along with Cecil, knowing what these actions mean. Furthermore, Kain states (poorly in this version) that he's doing this for his own reasons, rather than just to follow Cecil. I like that Kain's not just abandoning Baron just for his friendship to Cecil, but because he himself doesn't like the direction Baron is going. I feel some games would have the protagonist's best friend follow along just because, but Kain has his own motivations in this game, which we'll learn more about later.
We can't leave her here alone!
Understandably, the girl doesn't want to come along with the two menacing-looking soldiers that just killed her mother and burned down her town.
Being a Caller, the girl summons a beast that manages to make the battle one-sided.
As a side effect of causing an earthquake along a narrow passage, the area caves in, blocking off the eastern passage of Mist.
I can't stay here any longer. I have to escape from Baron with this girl.
Kain is missing, Mist is sealed off, and Cecil is alone having to carry an unconscious little girl to safety.
Next time, new allies and new problems.