So last time, Zidane and company finally reached Cleyra, where Freya found the King of Burmecia still alive. After saving a prince from a once-docile antlion because that was a thing that happened in a previous Final Fantasy game, Freya then riverdanced to strengthen the sandstorm protecting Cleyra from harm. Then said sandstorm stopped, exposing Cleyra to potential harm. Also Dagger lost all her summons, notably Odin.
Tell me. Why do you think the sandstorm disappeared?
I don't know. I was surprised that there even was a sandstorm.
Did you know the sandstorm was here for a thousand years...? And in all that time, it never disappeared, not even once.
Brahne is the logical choice, of course, but...she was a good and noble ruler before. Dagger was kidnapped in the first place because Cid noticed something was off about the old Brahne. Perhaps, as Dagger herself figured out independently, that man accompanying Brahne is the true mastermind here...
That man... I wonder who he was...
Zidane, I'm going to head down to find out why the sandstorm disappeared.
Hey, I was thinking the same thing! Let's go together.
And with that, we have control of Freya. For now, let's catch up with the town.
So a thousand years of protection gone to an end... This certainly does not bode well, as you've probably guessed.
This is no ordinary force we're dealing with. This is someone with powerful magic. Of course, we've seen Brahne have all of Dagger's eidolons extracted from her, but are summons really that powerful?
Actually that's a good question. Just dance it back up again or whatever.
I don't think the game actually outright tells you what causes the sandstorm to stop in the first place, though I may have overlooked that somewhere.
I hereby bestow it upon you, in hopes that you may learn to use it.
The Emerald is a rare gem, of which I believe you can only obtain three of. It teaches Haste (which no one can actually learn yet), MP +10%, and White Draw, a move for Freya that steals enemy MP and gives that MP to the entire party. It's a random number between 0 and twice the enemy's level minus one, so not that great, plus the move itself is rather expensive, but I guess if your entire party is low on MP I guess it might be worth using? Ethers seem plentiful enough to me anyway, especially if you have Zidane constantly stealing like I do.
You can also loot a few items in this room, though nothing exciting.
Hospitable until the end.
Don't fucking say that you know what will fucking happen when you fucking say that.
Also despite being no Biggs and Wedge in this game this is far from the most explicit Star Wars reference in a game built around calling back other games that all have callbacks to Star Wars.
It's funny because the view must be gorgeous now but if you live your entire life wrapped around a sandstorm and suddenly you're exposed and stuff it's kinda hard to appreciate the new view when you could get shanked in a moment's notice.
At least it's a lot quieter...
I'm worried! I'm so worried!
The only major change in town is Stiltzkin! He's here with more items to buy.
Again, you want to buy from him anyway to get the final reward, and because this is a great deal regardless.
Makes me wonder if he was supposed to be talking to Zidane here, but I guess Freya is still pretty young herself.
This place is so dusty, you know! I can't stand it!
That sounds awful! Kupo!! I'm gonna pack and leave with Stiltzkin!
Trouble follows us everywhere.
Alright, let's get going.
I couldn't find Puck... I wonder if he went down the trunk?
This city have very yummy sand! This city delicious.
I failed Burmecia... but I won't fail Cleyra, no matter what.
The sand whirlpools have stopped along with the sandstorm, so we can get these chests without incident.
On the way down, we'll be ambushed by pairs of soldiers. Looks like Alexandria's already striking.
They're pretty weak compared to my crazy-overleveled-and-overgeared party though. Once I have Freya equip Man Eater she starts one-shotting these guys. They can cast -ra spells and only have measly Potions as their common steal.
Then another pair...
...and another. Yawn.
Those Alexandrian villains back there... Weren't they too few in number to constitute a determined attack?
While I do appreciate Zidane going gung-ho about killing, he's a pretty tactical guy being a thief and all so I'd imagine he'd have noticed this as well.
Yeah, I thought so, too.
Ya gotta come back, please!
No! My fears were true!
You heard him! Let's go!
Ha! They fell for it.
NOT BURMECIAN SOLDIER DAN! He sold me some neat equipment upgrades! Why couldn't he have gone home and be a family man!?
Also these guys die but who cares about them, Burmecian Soldier Dan is dead.
Are there really that many!?
They just keep coming!
Right above that second sand waterfall is a blue orb slowly descending. Inside...
Yep, a black mage.
These are Type B's. They have Hi-Potions to steal but are otherwise unremarkable.
Also with Man Eater Freya can one-shot them no problem. Freya's a freaking beast.
Mopli ran to the antlion's den, you may have noticed, so we can save, regroup, and get our mail priorities straightened out.
Three more soldiers. Yawnfest.
Oh I guess Vivi does waste a trance on these wimps.
Then a fight with two more Type B's. Not even worth covering.
But the town's in trouble!
The Burmecians are fighting back, but the demons keep coming...
We fled, unable to resist any longer...
There's a small thing here where you have to tell the civilians the correct way to go so they don't die. I don't think there's really any way to know the right answers ahead of time, but the correct answer here is right.
So we go to the inn area.
No, I sure haven't...
r.i.p. Burmecian Soldier Dan. Now the only father figure they'll have is, I don't know, maybe Quina?
For this one, left is the correct choice because
Let's go left!
This is for Burmecian Sol-oh they're already dead nevermind.
Which way now!?
Cross the bridge!
More soldiers, more deaths.
No more monsters?
It'd be nice to tell the kids we're done but we're obviously not. Zidane can be kind and comforting, but he can also be brutally honest.
Of course, it doesn't really reassure the kids with the dead dad.
Huh? What are you guys doing here?
We like this place very much.
Yeah, I think it's pretty, too. This whole town is pretty. And everyone here is so nice.
C'mon, let's head to the cathedral. We can make our stand there!
Where is the high priest?
Where is the king?
Alright, everyone inside!
Black Mages to the front...
Black Mages to the side...
Black Mages to the back...
FADE TO SILENCE
You shall fall like leaves in the wind under the forces of my blade!
Dunno who you are, but I owe you one!
The person who saved us was none other than Sir Fratley, Freya's long-lost love. The one person she's dedicated her entire life to finding, at least until her homeland fell.
I have missed you so much...
Where have you been all these years...? To what corners of the world have you traveled?
I climbed the highest mountains only to hear rumors of your victories... I searched the deepest valleys only to find your footsteps. But I never found you. And in the end, I heard something...
Freya, you say?
I'm sorry, but I cannot remember you for the life of me...
Y-You jest! You cannot have forgotten me!
You can't be serious! It's Freya, your lost love! How could you forget her!?
That is enough, Zidane...
You've been searching for this guy for years, and now he's right here!
Do you remember me, the King of Burmecia?
Not at all, I'm afraid.
Impossible! Have you forgotten everything that has passed!?
Is it not because you learned of the crisis here in Cleyra, whose people are our brothers?
As a matter of fact...
I found Fratley during my travels around the world! And you guessed it, he didn't know who I was! Or even who he was!
His faint memories as a dragon knight called him back here!
Yes, I was once called that... But now, that is all I can remember...
I am happy simply knowing that Sir Fratley still lives.
I knew you weren't ready to see him, but with Cleyra under attack and all...
I need no such courtesy, Highness.
Wh-What? That was Puck?
To find the man about whom I have dreamt endlessly...
To recap, turns out the man Freya's helplessly in love with, the man she sacrificed everything to find and be with...has amnesia and can no longer remember her, nor anything else besides his calling. Freya's...taking this as best as a person could take their beloved forgetting them completely. It freaking sucks, after all, but she also has a surprising amount of strength in her that have gotten her this far. Cleyra's still in danger, and she's not ready to give up on her people just because she lost the one man that gave her drive.
We must regroup!
Speaking of danger...
Eeeeek! Have mercy!
You fail to grasp the true power of this jewel!
Now that I have this jewel, I am through with your city!
Anyway, all the people we saved will give us random items. Nothing too exciting, the biggest thing is an Elixir, but free stuff is never bad. There's also a moogle to save at before we approach Beatrix, which is good because it's fucking Beatrix.
Get away? Hahaha.
Have you forgotten how badly I beat you back in Burmecia?
Round 2 with Beatrix. Trust me, she's not any easier.
First thing's first, Reis's Wind on the party and Slow on Beatrix.
She has a couple nice steals, namely the Ice Brand for Steiner, but I can't even steal the Thunder Gloves from her since like the previous fight this one will expire after a certain amount of time and I'm not save scumming for it.
Beatrix is as scary as ever. Shock will flat-out one-shot someone unless you're really overleveled.
She has Thunder Slash as well, which isn't too bad. She can also cure herself, but I only saw Shock and Thunder Slash since I was on the defensive while trying in vain to get her rarer steals.
Once again, she lets loose an attack (Stock Break) that renders everyone to 1HP.
Freya goes to Trance but the battle's over so good job?
And so Beatrix jumps into that weird teleport orb and transports away.
What now, Freya?
There! I'm gonna follow 'em!
Zidane decides to follow and also jumps into the orb.
Besides, this may be your last chance to find the truth about who you are...
Oh no... Freya's gone, too!
Quina fails to follow, and thus our journey with Quina comes at an end. Goodbye, Quina. Hope you don't have to say hello to Burmecian Soldier Dan anytime soon!
Without her summoning powers, Garnet is helpless.
Now, I'll find out if Kuja's claims are true.
Brahne decides to class change to Summoner (I assume her past job was Blue Mage since she's gotta be part Qu).
And wouldn't you know it, the job change took!
This is Odin. He's been one of the series staple summons since FF3 and has appeared in every FF since. His signature attack is Zantetsuken, which usually instantly kills enemies.
He rides on his steed, Sleipnir (the same name as Odin's steed in Norse mythology, wouldn't you know) in pretty much every iteration he's in. There's usually some story about him being petrified and/or being a long-lost king.
Most importantly, Odin usually gives no fucks. He certainly doesn't in this game.
So, Cleyra? Utterly destroyed. It's gone. Brahne has just destroyed an entire civilization in under a minute.
And just as soon as he appeared, Odin has vanished. As we leave off for this update, just remember this one thing...
This is the face of genocide.