So, Vivi and Steiner? They're both alright, of coures.
Some of the monsters in this forest reproduce by planting seeds in other animals. And when the seeds sprout, it's hasta la vista: you become beef jerky.
Um... A-Am I gonna die?
No. You're gonna be fine. Here, drink this. It'll remove all the seeds from your body.
The princess...is in grave danger! Do you intend to ABANDON HER!?
You're in no condition.
Don't worry about the princess. The boss'll think of something.
Get some rest.
Yeah, and take that medicine I gave you.
The princess's life rests in my hands. What can their boss possibly accomplish!?
God help me!
Monsters born out of the Mist are crawlin' everywhere.
So what? There's nothing out there we can't handle.
Yeah, but what are we gonna do about the wounded?
We can take 'em with us.
How are we gonna carry all of them? Trust me. We go out now, and we'll all get wasted.
We're gonna stay put 'til everyone recovers. You better not set one foot outside this ship. You got that!?
I can't believe you're abandoning her! You're nothing but a big coward!
And with that, we've got control of Zidane. If we talk to Baku again...
Bronze Gloves are heavy armor, which Steiner can use. They teach Antibody, which gives Poison immunity.
Now that I've explained the ability system, I'll cover what each new piece of equipment will teach certain characters. Note this does not include characters we haven't met yet.
We've got several more ATE events to go through.
First, let's check in on Steiner.
The structure is in poor condition. Perhaps I can break out by ramming into the wall.
I'm still not feeling well...
H-How dare they write the princess's name on such a ragged doll!? Besides, the princess is not 15! She's 16!
The next one's pretty short.
Looks like Ruby was forgotten in that whole escape plan mess.
This one unlocks after viewing Steiner's ATE.
Huh...? Damn! Where is it!?
Man. How am I supposed to sleep now...?
Poor little doll... The fire probably caught it.
That's all the ATEs for now. Let's continue exploring the ruined ship.
Another Wrist. The only thing it teaches is Flee-Gil, which only Zidane and one future character can learn.
Why don't you go see him? I think he wants to thank you.
Not before we loot an Ether and some gil first.
Th-Thank you for helping me.
Ah, don't mention it. Besides, it was your black magic that saved the day. You know, you've got some major power for such a little guy.
What's wrong...? Are you peeved at me because I called you little? Hey, you're a great mage with great powers, alright?
I'm sorry. When that monster caught her, I couldn't do anything...
Hey, don't worry about the princess. I'll get her back. I promise.
Thank you, Mr. Zidane.
Whoa, that's the first time anyone's called me "Mr." Just call me Zidane, alright?
So Vivi's a bit unsure of himself. Hell, Zidane might be the first guy to ever say something encouraging to him.
Maybe I shouldn't have made that promise. I don't even know if I'll be able to find her...
I never felt so strange...
I can't explain it...
This is Zidane. He pretty much sees himself a rogueish hero who wants to save the day. Plus, this quest is to rescue a beautiful woman.
I don't think much changes if Zidane decides not to go, but that's not an option because that's not what Zidane would do. Zidane would play the hero.
I'm gonna take that knight and the black mage to find the princess.
You're crazy! Man, you don't even know what's out there. Besides, there's no way the boss'll allow that.
Sheez... Why do you always gotta play hero? The boss is gonna kill you.
Our quest now is to hand in our two-week notice now that've we got a new job in rescuing princesses. Beats our current job of pretending to rescue princesses.
He fusses a little from time to time, but he hasn't been all that bad.
There's another Ether in this room. The game throws them at you at this point.
The Rubber Helm is a helmet for Steiner that obviously halves lightning damage and boosts magic defense. It can teach Steiner Minus Strike, a classic FF staple move which deals (Max HP - Current HP) damage. It's not that great considering Steiner can usually beat that with other attacks even at critical health.
We've already got a Leather Hat. It teaches Fire, which would be nice if Vivi's default weapon didn't already teach it. On the other hand, if you've got two different items with the same ability equipped, you learn that ability twice as fast. So it'd be nice if Vivi would get a new staff or helmet anytime soon. Otherwise, it's a nice defense bonus for light-armor wearers.
Anyway, let's get this over with.
Took you long enough... I fell asleep, darn it.
Gwahaha! I didn't ask you why! I can't blame you, though. She's damn beautiful. I guess that's reason enough!
Okay, get your butt over to the cargo room. We got more room there.
In order to quit our job, we have to kill our boss.
He can do good damage, as high as 40 on a lucky hit. He can also waste turns face-planting.
Of course, he also has good items to steal.
This isn't what we want, though it doesn't hurt.
You'll want to use Potions for this fight unless you're ignoring his steals and have the Mage Masher. The regular daggers won't let you take him out fast enough. As long as you don't have hoarder instincts though you should be fine.
Eventually we get what we're after, the Iron Sword. This weapon for Steiner also can teach him Minus Strike.
After that, it's a matter of wearing him down.
Damn, that hurt! He pulled his punches 'til that last one.
I unlocked the door to storage, so you're free to go talk to that knight.
Now that we've successfully been fired, let's go recruit our team for our new business venture.
Silence! A scoundrel like you could never understand! I'm just overwhelmed with concern for the princess! If only you rogues hadn't kidnapped her... This is all your fault! If anything should happen to the princess, I will have your head!
I'm gonna go look for her now. I'll let you come with me if you promise to be good.
Captain? I figured you were a private, what with that cheap, rusty armor...
I just wanna save Garnet.
Hmph...! You had better not be lying! Because if you are, I won't hesitate to kill you!
Yeah, yeah. I'm counting on you, Rusty.
Make no mistake. I'm only going with you to rescue the princess! I will deal with you personally when this is over!
I really love the dynamic between Zidane and Steiner, where Steiner is sternly lecturing and berating Zidane for his rogueish ways while Zidane barely bothers to even acknowledge his rantings while poking fun at him all the while. It really adds an air of lightheartedness to the proceedings.
The game wouldn't have half its charm this early on if Steiner wasn't around for the other characters to play off of.
Why are you calling him "Master"?
You fool. That black mage has uinimaginable powers... I don't want to get him involved, but alas, it can't be helped. We need Master Vivi's powers to rescue the princess.
Alright, let's go talk to Vivi.
I also really love Steiner's admiration for Vivi. I pretty much love everything involving Steiner, honestly. He's goofy and kinda dense but is also actually competent and loyal to a fault.
Seriously why does this ship have so many Ethers.
I don't know why the boss was laughing afterwards... Maybe you hit him too hard.
Next up is Vivi.
Really!? That's great! Be careful, okay?
Actually, we want you to come with us, too.
Huh!? B-But I can't do anything.
Hardly, Master Vivi. Your magic was highly effective against that monster.
B-But...I'm scared. I couldn't even move last time.
Please, Master Vivi. For the sake of Princess Garnet and all of Alexandria, I humbly request your assistance!
Come on! You're a black mage, for crying out loud! Show us what you've got!
...Okay. I'll...try my best.
Thank you, Master Vivi.
After Zidane leaves...
It's about your black magic. I wish to try an experiment.
Each character has two special abilities, like Zidane with Steal and then his thief skills, or Vivi with Black Magic and Focus. Steiner has Sword Arts to do stuff like Minus Strike, and his secondary is Magic Sword, which only shows up if Vivi is in the same party. It's similar to FF5's Mystic Knight, where Vivi casts a spell on Steiner's sword and it does boosted damage if the enemy is weak to that element, in addition to a slight offense boost depending on the spell. It's a straight-up attack though instead of an effect that lasts the entire battle, but combined with Steiner's already-impressive offense and it becomes pretty powerful.
I go ahead and give Steiner his Iron Sword, which gives him a nice offense boost. His base sword teaches Beast Killer, so I have him learn it from the Moonstone instead. Steiner is all about the passives, with his gear teaching the likes of Beast Killer, Bird Killer, Bug Killer, and Antibody.
The Leather Wrist we got earlier teaches Ice, and the Silk Shirt teaches Thunder. Thus we've already got the three base elements covered, though they aren't too necessary right now since Fire will take us a long way considering we're fighting forest enemies and all.
Better keep yer eyes peeled. I'm countin' on you to find the princess!
Now to head out!
I can't sit around knowing a girl's in trouble. Goes against my nature.
Whatever. You're full of crap.
You're jealous that I'm gonna get me a sweetie pie.
Pshhh... She's not even my type.
You're always thinking about me...but I won't need a love potion to reel this one in.
Why don't you get your mind off girls for a second?
Cool. This'll really come in handy.
Why am I always helping you...?
Oh yeah. Here's a little tip from the boss.
Hey, Blank, how do you set abilities again?
Man, how can you forget? It's so basic.
Thanks, Blank. I'll see you when I see you.