We've got our final character now, and boy, does he have a lot of catching up to do!
Unlike Eiko, who has an entire dungeon to catch up on, Amarant's not going to have a lot of time to shine. This is the final update for Disc 2, and Disc 3 is gonna shake things around a bit. Plus Amarant has a lot more abilities available to him than Eiko because the game dumps a lot of passives early-on while holding off on spells.
I keep the Cat's Claws to learn his first move. I believe it's also available on early-game armor, but he need the Brigandine because it teaches Ability Up, which Amarant desperately needs. He can also learn Return Magic from the Brigandine, which counters a spell cast on him with that same spell cast on the enemy.
You can go back to Morrison to buy stuff (like Poison Knuckles if you didn't buy/steal them earlier) and to switch party members if you really want.
Amarant's main command is Flair. It's probably most similar to Freya's commands, a sorta-random hodge-podge of various abilities, a lot of which are commands from other FF games that don't really fit with any other character. His first one is Chakra, a rather handy move that restores 20% of a person's HP and MP. Useful for mages and essentially free healing for Amarant himself since Chakra's pretty cheap MP-wise. It originates from FF5's Monk class, and FF6's Sabin (also a monk) has a similar move. It's suiting since Amarant could be considered half-Monk due to his weapon choice of claws.
The big thing is all of Amarant's Flair commands are single-target, but his Trance simply makes these commands multi-target. Thus I'm going to be bold and say Amarant's Trance is the most useful in the game because multi-target Chakra in whatever garbage random you'll get it in is much more useful than what anyone else can do with their Trance.
His other ability is Throw, the Ninja staple command that lets you throw weapons and throwing items like Pinwheels and Rising Suns. This will double the attack value of the weapon thrown, plus gets bonuses for hitting flying enemies. It's kinda dumb to throw old weapons though because half the time you'll need them for synthesis anyway, but the throwing weapons aren't bad to use.
His damage is like half of Zidane's, but Amarant is also behind on weapons and hasn't built up the necessary passives quite yet.
Anyway, after a bit of light grinding so Amarant can learn some abilities, we make our way to the Iifa Tree.
What happened to the Mist?
We beat the beast that breathes it. So much for the Mist Continent!
No more Mist...?
It's him! He flew from the ruins of Burmecia riding a silver dragon!
Now it no longer matters if the Iifa Tree is liberated! It means nothing to me!
Silver Dragon, let us watch the drama unfold from the trunk of Iifa. No one shall interrupt us there.
Kuja is...still hammy as ever, if not even moreso.
Nah I'm not switching shit. Besides, it doesn't matter.
Still gotta cross these few branches first. There's still randoms here, which are just as vulnerable to Soft/Life as before and thus aren't a bad way to grind up Amarant some more.
FADE TO SILENCE
Say, Zidane... How are we gonna get up there?
Can't we climb there?
I don't think I can, either.
What's the problem?
We gotta go face Kuja together.
Amarant's main role right now is to be a foil to Zidane's "GO TEAM" jRPG standard approach. Amarant's all about serving one's self-interests and being self-reliant. That may be why all his abilities are single-target?
The problem is this is kind of a bad time plot-wise to actually have this stuff since this is the climax of Disc 2 and there's so much more important stuff going on. Amarant's relevance to the plot, little that it is, ends up being overshadowed by what's about to happen. His self-reliance shtick ends up being irrelevant and not as interesting as everyone else's emotions and reactions. He's just...there, and it's part of why nobody ever bothers with him. He probably would've been better off taking Lani's place in Fossil Roo and joining there, though then we would've lost out on Vivi marrying Quina and Quina threatening to eat a chocobo egg, and losing either of those would be unforgivable.
You almost knocked me down!
Whatever. Like you actually have a plan.
Oh yeah, smarty-pants!? Don't forget you're the one that lost to Zidane.
A plan...huh? That's right, Amarant! You owe me one, remember? It's payback time!
Then we can all get on and ride it to the top.
Zidane's pretty on top of things, as usual. Comes up with a pretty solid plan that should work pretty well. Amarant has other plans.
(How'd I ever let this dimwit beat me?)
For all the shit I've said about Amarant, this is one of the best GIFs I've made yet for this game.
Such is the way of the strong. And it is the providence of nature that only the strong survive.
Such a long time... Now my forces are ready to strike! Ahh... The suspense is terrible!
Him? Who is Kuja referring to, I wonder? I mean, I know, but I'm not supposed to know. Who knows?
Perfect. I'll warm up on them until the elephant-lady shows up.
Now we're even. Show me what you guys can do.
We're not changing shit.
Any enemy of Zidane is an enemy of mine!
Alright, finally gonna face Kuja.
My name is...
Oh, dear... The princess has such a bloodthirsty little puppet.
Begin with broth of Mist, add fermented souls, and boil... Then, pour genuine black magic into a mixing bowl and heat to-
I'm not done telling how to make soulless toys out of the dregs of souls!
Dregs of souls? You mean Mist!?
First, you don't want to listen, now you start asking questions?
Why, you- don't you feel anything!? Taking the lives of so many...
Spare me the lecture. Lives come and go all the time. What's the big deal?
She said she won't feel alive until she has everything! It breaks my heart to see such greed! The war was my fault? No, no! Your mother wanted it! All I did was give her a little push!
Mwahaha... So the curtain rises! Perfect, my canary. Let me show you the truth about your mother!
And right on cue, Alexandria's naval fleet is at the ready.
You're all that stands between me and total domination! Gehehe! But I haven't forgotten all you've done for me! In return, I will show you the ultimate power!
And Brahne is turning on the hand that feeds, it seems. Seems like a large mistake for her, but whatever.
Your mother isn't satisfied with just one continent! Her ugliness and stupidity are truly impressive.
What're you talking about!?
You're just the opening number. Time for the real show.
The Mist may be created no more, but it still lurks in caves and forests, right?
Then we fight two of these Mistodons.
They can use Mist to render the entire party to Sleep. And that's pretty much it.
Oh, they're also undead and thus vulnerable to Life.
And Chakra in action.
They do give good AP, though.
My money's on Kuja.
Mwahaha... But even a fool like you knows that there is only one path you can take, right?
Very well... I'll make the first move. I'll give you a clean target. You can't miss!
Amarant has a point. Let the two duke it out. Maybe they'll kill each other or weaken the victor enough that we can get the jump on them. It's not like any of the party has an attachment to one side or the other, right?
Uhh, Dagger? She extracted eidolons from you and started a war!
I still don't want her to die!
But she didn't care one bit whether you lived or died!
Brahne may have done horrible things to Dagger, but unlike the rest of the party, Dagger knows this other side of Brahne, the side that was a kind and loving mother, the one who raised her despite Dagger not being her actual daughter. Dagger believes her mother can still be saved, so of course she's gonna fight her hardest to save her.
Please! Tell me where!
There. I see it.
Then a fight with this guy. Dagger's gone and Vivi's in. Yeah, the game kinda misleads you for choosing your own party as after the initial Mistodon fight you're stuck with this party for the rest of the event.
Zidane, let's go. Dagger's in danger all by herself.
Yeah... Let's go after her.
FUCK THAT I'M A MAILMAN
Kupo. I don't understand... Can't we all be happy now that the Mist is gone?
If this was Disc 4, yeah, but we've still got a lot of game to go so things are probably gonna get worse?
Anyway, it's a long run down this root.
Occasionally Mistodons will chase us and catch up. Grinding on them isn't a bad idea since they give good AP and it'll help Amarant catch up.
FADE TO SILENCE
(Please help me...)
Looks like it worked. Dagger successfully gathered the eidolon's powers.
I can't save my mother with this eidolon!
No, I have it. I sense it's a great eidolon. But...but...
Leviathan, another series staple, this one dating back to FF2 when it eats your party because why not. Then it eats a party member again in FF4, then a random boss monster in FF5. Leviathan has a voracious appetite. Anyway, it's one of the first summons starting in FF3 and exists in every game since except, oddly enough, FF6 (though the GBA remake added it as a new Esper). Also it attacks using Tidal Wave, which...isn't the best move when you're trying to save the side that's on the ocean.
All remaining ammunition was spent on that last wave of monsters! The next wave will chew us up unless we pull out now!
That insolent whelp! Now I can finish him off!
FADE TO SILENCE
Looks like Brahne has obtained the ultimate summon.
And Kuja is fucking stoked.
Meet Bahamut, King of Dragons. Generally (but not always) one of the most powerful summons in the games he's in. He's in FF1 as the character who can upgrade your party's jobs. In FF3 on he's a summon, the highest-tiered one in 3, 4, and 5 (even if technically Air Knife Syldra is better). Then he starts getting showed up in later games by more powerful fuck-off summons but he's still badass enough to get three freaking forms in FF7 because just one Bahamut isn't enough for that game.
His special attack is Megaflare. Flare's generally the ultimate Black Magic spell (it or Meteor usually), and Bahamut does a version that annihilates all enemies (though your party usually doesn't give a shit if someone knows Reflect).
Suffice to say, normally you do not fuck around with Bahamut in this series. He will fucking smoke your shit up.
I say generally, but Kuja was looking forward to this after all. He definitely has a trick up his sleeve.
He doesn't escape completely unscathed, though. Apparently Megaflare made a tiny little cut on his forehead? Still, pretty amazing he straight-up tanked that. Guy must have a load of HP.
(If Zidane is after their power, I'd better watch out...)
Eiko, don't you think... What's wrong?
Mog... She's terrified!
Power, mobility... You truly are the best! You even hurt me...a little.
I'm sure you'll enjoy the second act from your soul's hellish prison, since the stage will be your former home!
Away from...Gaia? The freaking planet? And who is this mysterious nemesis? What the fuck is your deal?
We're not gonna find out about that stuff anytime soon, though. Instead, time for more shit to go down.
Kuja's feeling pretty god damn smug about now. Let's find out why.
So uh...remember that eye that was involved in the destruction of Madain Sari?
It's apparently powerful enough to affect even Bahamut.
It's like watching a fucking child in just how gleeful he is. He knows what's about to happen, and I'm guessing you might now as well.
...and so does Brahne.
...Yep. Bahamut's got a new master.
Yeah, this isn't even a fight.
And just like that, Bahamut's job is finished and off he goes.
As Amarant guessed, Kuja is the victor.
I hate Kuja a lot. But I hate Brahne a lot, too...so much that I wanted this to happen to her.
I kind of wanted to cry, too...
Yes, Mother! I'm here! Right here...
I led...Alexandria...down...the path...of ruin...
We also brought...
How horrible that her life had to end this way. I still can't believe all that has happened...
Thank you, both of you...
Will both of you please help me during this, my time of need?
The townspeople sent it as an offering for the queen's grave. True, Queen Brahne had been acting quite erratic before her death...
The rule of Queen Brahne Raza Alexandros XVI has ended. Today marks the era of a new leader, Queen Garnet Til Alexandros XVII.
Dagger's been through a lot during the course of this game. Enduring many hardships, and now including the loss of her mother.
But those hardships have also made her stronger. She's much less ignorant of the world now and has become a harder, wiser person who still has the kindness and will to lead her nation's people.
It's probably not how she envisioned stepping into her eventual role as Queen of Alexandria, but that's irrelevant. Alexandria needs a leader more than ever.
And dammit, Queen Garnet's going to lead her nation and do her best to right the many wrongs that Kuja has caused in this world.