Last time we reached Burmecia and progressed all the way to the castle itself. Ahead lies the King of Burmecia, likely in danger with his life and the future of his people in the balance. It's completely possible our being here could change the fate of an entire war.
So naturally I'm going to leave to do some last-minute side questing.
First, we got a Kupo Nut for delivering a letter about Stiltzkin to a moogle that was already standing in the same room as Stiltzkin.
Each time you deliver a Kupo Nut, you randomly get a Tent, Ether, or Phoenix Pinion. The exception is the first time you deliver one during certain points, mainly during different discs (though disc 2's reward isn't available for awhile, which is why I go ahead and spend it now). You can only hold one Kupo Nut at a time, so might as well spend them when you get a chance to grab more.
Also as mentioned in the thread, you can loot this guy for bells. I forgot to unlock the central door my last trip here, which made the return a bit longer than necessary. At least the way back will be quick.
Next up, Qu's Marsh. The frogs have had a chance to repopulate.
It's a good idea to do so if you left frogs to breed because if you do, you'll likely get the next reward from Quale. It requires eight frogs to hit.
The Silk Robe is a nice boost up defense-wise for the mages, but it also teaches Loudmouth, which prevents Silence (obviously very useful for a mage) and Ability Up, which doubles all AP gained, which is great for obvious reasons. I give this to Quina since the creature that makes it a fucking pain in the ass to use pronouns for has more expensive abilities, though Vivi is definitely not a bad option either.
The other big thing is Chocobo Hot and Cold, as the Reef ability gives us two more treasures we can reach in the Lindblum area. This one is on an island close to the Chocobo Forest.
4 Remedies, 2 Elixirs, 8 Rising Sun, and the Oak Staff. The other items are great as-is (the Rising Suns being a throw-only weapon, and also we'll be getting a character with Throw sorry spoilers), but the Oak Staff...
Bio is stronger than the -ra spells (42 spell strength to their 29), being non-elemental with a 20% chance of inflicting poison status. Drain is just barely stronger than a -ra spell at 32 strength, but of course has the whole "absorb HP" aspect to it. Stop is a straight-up 40% chance of inflicting the Stop status. This seems pretty lame until you realize Stop doesn't wear off in this game, making Stop essentially an instant death spell (albeit one that doesn't give rewards other than AP). Definitely wielding this after I learn Blizzara (Thundara will have to wait).
This one is near the Lindblum City/Qu's Marsh area on the west side.
8 Potions, 4 Phoenix Downs, 3 Ethers, and a Magician Robe.
This robe gives some nice stat boosts and a couple abilities. Auto-Potion has a character automaticlly use a Potion (or Hi-Potion if you have none) whenever you take damage. Pretty wasteful at this point of the game, though it's probably not too bad for bosses right now since we don't have a White Mage. MP +10% boosts a character's MP by 10%, though oddly Vivi can't learn it.
Oh yeah and I'm over 100k gil. I'm also probably overleveled as hell and have spent ten hours alone doing various sidequest stuff and various other dickery. Oh well.
Alright, we're all caught up. Let's finish things off.
Freya, I'm sorry, but from the looks of this, I don't think the king made it.
Might as well exhaust all the options. Talk to her:
I don't know what to tell you... We can only hope that the king and the others escaped.
No luck. Hey, it's been over ten seconds since Zidane thought about girls, let's wonder about Dagger:
I don't think Dagger came here... I wonder where she went...
Alright let's leave her alone.
Vivi, let's go see what's over there.
You make it sound so easy...
I'm gonna go on ahead. Try to find a way up here. I'll meet you up top.
Quina has other priorities.
I knew she was behind all this.
What do you mean, you knew?
I decided to return to Burmecia because I heard rumors that Brahne had set her sights on our kingdom.
Then that girl standing next to her must be Beatrix, Alexandria's general.
...Beatrix of Alexandria, in particular. They say her swordsmanship is the best in the land.
Yes... Please understand, Freya. Right now, Burmecia is at peace, while other nations are slowly but surely gaining power. I don't know if my spear alone is enough to protect Burmecia...which is precisely why I must go out into the world.
Sir Fratley...I don't think I can live on my own-not without you.
Freya, you're going to be fine. Trust your strength...and have faith in your destiny. Once I complete my journey around the world, I will return to Burmecia.
Then promise me, one more time, that you will return.
You never came back... You've left me with nothing except rumors of your death. I couldn't believe it! I still won't believe it! Never. Not until I witness proof of your death with my own eyes.
...You still can't get over him, huh?
Freya's driving motivations, and the reason she abandoned Burmecia in the first place, was to find her missing love. Even all these years later the memories still eat up at her, and after abandoning her home to find him she felt too ashamed to come back, at least until now. Freya's issues are pretty clear-cut but still deep enough to give her some substance.
It feels as though the raindrops are blessing our victory...
This guy has the hair of Sephiroth, the theatricality of Kefka, the androgyny of Emperor Mateus, and the utter glee from being evil of Exdeath.
Meet Kuja, the man behind the black mages and very likely the main villain of this game.
My only concern now is finding the king of Burmecia. We must take care of him once and for all, and prevent these rats from ever rising up again.
I don't know, Your Majesty. I've ordered Zorn and Thorn to search the perimeter, but there's been no word so far. I will join them and lead the search right away.
Rats often look for new homes when they sense an earthquake. They probably moved to the sandy tree house by now... So, you, see, it's too late. The king has already turned tail and fled.
It'll be quite difficult if they escaped to Cleyra.
Cleyra... Unless we can get through that sandstorm, it will be impossible to attack them.
Kuja, what do you think? Surely, with your powers, there must be something you can do.
I'm certain those filthy rats will retaliate in full force, and my black mages may not be enough.
That sinister man... Who is he?
Beats me... I've never seen him before.
I don't know, either. Cleyra has remained in isolation for a hundred years. If my people escaped to there, they'll be safe, at least for a while.
What's this place like?
The people of Cleyra are originally from Burmecia. Long ago, they severed ties with Burmecia over a trivial conflict. Now the kingdom is at peace, shielded by a large sandstorm.
You wish to fight me, Beatrix of Alexandria?
You can almost hear the guy shitting his pants when he finds out this is fucking Beatrix.
You'll have to deal with us, first!
...Thank you, Freya.
For the final battle of Disc 1, we're going up against Beatrix herself.
Now, the game's been hyping up how fucking powerful and scary Beatrix is. Like, everyone so far has said she's essentially Death Incarnate.
AND THEY AREN'T FUCKING KIDDING. Beatrix can easily one-shot a person if she feels like it. And just to make her seem even more badass, that move is Shock, i.e. that totally badass move General Leo uses in the one battle you get to play as him in FF6 (though suddenly nobody gives a shit about the move once you can have Gau use it, go figure).
Beatrix is a monster. Luckily, you don't have to actually bring Beatrix down to 0HP, but simply survive for a set amount of time. That said, she has 3360HP you can burn through to trigger the end of battle.
She has steals, of course. The Chain Plate is an armor upgrade for Zidane that teaches Devil Killer, which boosts damage against demon enemies. She also has a Mythril Sword upgrade for Steiner but that's in the absurd Rare slot, which means a 1/256 chance of actually getting it so fuck that.
The one saving grace is that Beatrix is vulnerable to Slow, so definitely take advantage of that.
She can also use Thunder Slash, which is nice if she hits the person wearing the Coral Ring.
Regen's actually not that useful here since Beatrix one-shots people anyway but what the hell.
Once I get the Chain Plate I decide to kick Beatrix's ass because why not.
Quina's best offense is Pumpkin Head since it's Max - Current HP and Quina has nothing better to do anyway.
Vivi, well, yeah.
And though Freya's Lancer isn't as impressive, it's still a good damage option since I put everyone in the back row for this fight.
With my busted offense, Beatrix is taken care of easily.
Wait, no, Beatrix instead gets tired of playing with us and decides to end this shit.
Sorry for the janky frame rate, had to do it for file size reasons.
Isn't there anyone who is worthy of facing me?
Yes, Your Majesty.
So after all that...
Things went poorly.
Kuja manages to simulatenously gloat and look so handsome.
Oh and he has a dragon steed conveniently off-screen.
Until we meet again, Thong-Man.