Bahamut has arrived at Alexandria.
That's Bahamut, isn't it...?
Dagger hasn't even become Queen yet, and already she's got to make some major decisions that will determine the destiny of her nation.
Yes, Your Highness! Our soldiers have already assembled and await your orders.
This is an emergency! Get your act together before the princess arrives!
Please give your orders.
So this little thing is kinda dumb. You want to give orders to the Pluto knights that best correspond to their personalities. However, you'll only actually know about these if you actually talked to all eight as Steiner way back at the beginning of Disc 1. And even if you did this, you certainly won't remember it at this point. Good thing I compiled this info earlier.
I'll summarize them here since all of them start with the same text up to "given orders to":
* The double super-sleuths, Blutzen and Kohel.
* Our most inspirational writer, Laudo.
* The most famous artillerist in the realm, Dojebon.
* The only man who can name all the girls in town, Weimar.
* The knight with the knack for navigating the neighborhood, Haagen.
* The winner of last year's cannonball race, Mullenkedheim.
And this is Breireicht who knows all this stuff and spends his time running up stairs.
This is the only time you'll get this information and it's important to know to succeed in a sidequest in Disc 3.
Blutzen and Kohel are the the super-sleuths, so this job is right up their alley.
Haagan knows the neighborhood and Weimar knows the women, so they are best-suited for protecting the townspeople.
Laudo's a gifted writer and thus best-suited for writing the request from Lindblum. Breireicht spends his time memorizing information and running fast, so he's best-suited for delivering the request.
Dojebon and Mullenkedheim are both gifted at shooting things, so we make them shoot things.
Our reward depends on how well we pick. The soldiers will be less confident doing things they're not assigned to do. Two correct teams nets an Elixir, one a Hi-Potion. The female-exclusive Angel Earrings you get from all four boosts Holy damage and Strength, and teaches Auto-Regen (very useful support ability due to how FF9's ATB works), Reis's Wind if Freya somehow doesn't have it yet, and MP +20% for Dagger and Eiko.
I don't know what to do...
(SERIOUSLY LISTEN TO THIS)
Mistodons are wrecking havoc upon the town.
I will give my all for Alexandria!
Well said! Let us march on to victory!
However, Alexandria's two greatest knights are here to save the kingdom from this threat.
Beatrix comes with her signature sword, Save the Queen. The rest of her equipment you can strip off at your leisure, though you'll be fighting with her a bit, including a four-battle gauntlet at the end.
Rusty's a bit, well, rusty since it's been awhile. We'll be fighting nothing but Mistodons, so remove the Blood Sword and go with Undead Killer. Level Up is also much recommended (unless you're low-leveling it) since this is a great opportunity to catch Steiner back up to speed.
Let's get to saving Alexandria!
Even without criticals and with being as underleveled as he is, Steiner still has no issue one-shotting these guys. Beatrix is better off as support while Steiner does his usual "wreck shit" thing.
Steiner starts at L14. He'll be L21 by the end of this.
Beatrix's damage output isn't as great, probably due to Save the Queen having a weird formula or whatever.
The third fight has two Mistodons.
Beatrix knows Life, and it's still as effective here as it was end of Disc 2.
At this point, we'll fight four in a row. I strip Beatrix down to just her weapon for the free loot.
I'm fine. What about you? You're wounded!
It's just a scratch.
No! I cannot face the princess until we destroy all these beasts. On my honor, I vow to protect the princess, the citizens of Alexandria, and...
I have no regrets!
What is it?
Our last battle once again brings us two of these guys.
Steiner's intense desire to protect triggers his Trance automatically.
You do not stop someone trying to protect the one they love.
And that goes both ways.
I hear music... Where is it coming from...? Is it coming from upstairs...?
We've got control of Dagger now.
We're kinda railroaded at this point, though.
The only place we can go is through this left door, into the only part of Alexandria Castle we haven't seen before.
As Dagger passes these statues, they magically lower and cross their swords.
Something bizarre is going on here.
But it's not like Dagger has any better option, right?
I can still hear the music. Where is it coming from...?
Mother... Zidane... No... I can't depend on them anymore!
Dagger's been through a lot, and is still going through even more now, but she still has to be strong for her people, even if she must do it with only her own power.
It can't be helped. I designed this ship as an oglop, after all. So, I have no <gwok> idea what could happen.
Sounds like it might crash any minute.
Perhaps... But I think we can at least make it to Alexandria.
Oh, man... I guess we'd better cross our fingers.
Zidane...I'm starting to feel sick...
It's probably from the flight. Go inside and get some rest. Try to stay in the middle of the ship. You'll feel less movement.
Go on, Vivi.
I mean, Vivi may have other reasons to dislike airships considering the last time he was on one. Also, go figure Amarant actually being helpful to someone. I guess not even Amarant can be a dick to Vivi.
I saw something sparkle.
Dagger!? Eiko, what's going on?
I thought I just heard Dagger's voice.
What? Geez, something's wrong with this ship...
The summoner is being called...
Eiko, you forgot you can't actually fly, didn't you.
That's OK, at least you'll get a good burial since you're gonna land right at Alexandria.
Yeah, like the six-year-old wouldn't jump off an airship without knowing that would happen.
The summoners are reunited. But what is Eiko's plan?
I heard your voice on the airship.
No wonder... I felt your presence, too, and all of a sudden, I was covered in light.
It's happening again!
Dagger, this is the light of destiny.
The light of destiny?
This light appears when a holy eidolon calls for its summoner.
The crystal must've been divided to prevent any wicked powers from taking control of this holy eidolon. Now that the four crystal shards are together again and there is peril here, the eidolon enshrined here is calling for the two summoners who possess these jewels. The time has come to realize the full might of Alexandria.
But... I don't know what to do.
It's okay. I'll show you.
Uh-huh. Now, pray in your heart.
So the summoners successfully summon the eidolon of Alexandria, none other than Alexander.
Alexander is a staple summon in the series, beginning with FF6 and showing up in most games since (though arguably the Giant of Babil in FF4 may be considered a version of Alexander). It's essentially a giant holy robot that shoots holy rays upon its enemies. It's portrayed as one of the more powerful eidolons in the series.
This version's the only major one to have wings, but it's also by far the most iconic interpretation of Alexander.
The summoners have brought forth Alexander after 500 years of dormancy, so let's hope it can save the kingdom from the wrath of Bahamut.
Indeed, Bahamut's Megaflare effortlessly bounces off Alexander's wings (because it has Auto-Reflect equipped).
And here is Alexander in all his winged holy robot glory.
This is one of the longest and easily coolest FMVs in the game, so if you haven't watched it yet I highly suggest doing so.
Alexander's signature attack is Holy Judgment, which rains massive rays of holy light upon its foes.
It's potent enough to easily dispatch Bahamut.
Alexandria is saved.
So, you wish to defend the castle with your brilliant wings...? How admirable... Your powers even transcent Bahamut's... Alexander, I've been waiting for you.
Kuja's plan wasn't to destroy Alexandria for revenge or anything like that. He was using Brahne to get the four gems together himself so he could capture Alexander for his own purposes. Bahamut was the bait in this case, used as a lure to bring out Alexander.
Kuja's plan this entire time was to obtain Alexander and use its power for his own purposes.
The eyeball has a name. The Invincible is a name that stems from FF3's ultimate airship. This thing had cannons, had a fat chocobo, had shops, and could even fly over mountains when no other airship could do so. It also had a kicking theme.
So it may not surprise you to learn that this bizarre eyeball Kuja has control over is not some weird mystical being, but rather a massive ship.
I granted you the freedom to do as you wish in Gaia for one purpose alone. Now that you have lost sight of your mission, I will no longer tolerate your actions.
Looks like someone above has decided to end Kuja's game here.
Wait WHAT THE FUCK!?
Enslave Alexander, as you have enslaved Bahamut!
That mysterious man is none other than Garland. Garland is best known as the first boss of FF1, who eventually becomes warped into the final boss Chaos due to FF1's insane time travel shenanigans.
This is also very likely the man that Kuja is collecting the eidolons to defeat, as he alludes to several times back in the final chapter of Disc 2.
If it is indeed Garland, he must know my plan! But why has he assumed control of the Invincible...?
At any rate, Kuja's plans are getting derailed, but all this shit's getting above my head so let's switch gears.
Well, we had to get here somehow.
<Gwok-gwok!> That's right!
Where is Her Highness!?
I don't know. We're looking for her, too.
We have to find Eiko, too.
They're probably together.
Now we've got our team ready to find Dagger and Eiko.
And also escort idiots too preoccupied to realize the entire nation is blowing up around them.
Oh hey fuck Dagger let's fight a book.
This is Tantarian, an optional side-boss you can only fight now and back at Disc 2 when you're rescuing Dagger then.
There's two forms to this book, and this is by far the more dangerous one.
Doom, of course, sets up an instant-death countdown.
Paper Storm can hurt a good chunk. It also has a painful single-target attack as well.
In this form, it has sky-high defenses. Each time you damage it, it flips forward that many pages.
It has an Ether, Elixir, Silver Fork, and for its rare steal a Demon's Mail, a really nice armor upgrade for Freya and Steiner. I have Zidane steal all battle but never grab it. Not a big deal either way.
The trick is to get the book between page 150 and 200.
Then its defenses drop and all it'll cast is Poison. Big deal, especially if the entire party has Antibody. Devil Killer is also handy since this is the first Demon enemy in the game.
It's vulnerable to Darkness and Slow, so go with those as usual.
When open, it's vulnerable to Fire. It has a huge chunk of HP though, close to 22k. If hit with a physical attack or if enough time passes, Tantarian will close again and you'll have to damage it back to its vulnerable form.
It's pretty tricky and painful, especially if you do this in Disc 2, but it's not too bad thanks to Vivi.
The rewards are two-fold. First, 30AP is nothing at all to sneeze at.
Second, the reward is Running Shoes. These boost Speed a bit and teach Haste, Auto-Potion, and Auto-Haste. The latter, as you may expect, is one of the best passives in the game since it doesn't wear off like normal Haste. These guys are also limited quantity so might as well grab them here.
Zidane's definitely getting these to make stealing much easier to do. Gotta level up Thievery some more, after all!
Damn straight I am.
Oh yeah, more people to save.
Otherwise it's a straightforward trip up the same path Dagger took.
<Gwok!> So, this is the secret of Alexandria Castle...
Are Dagger and Eiko up there?
Maybe. Let's go see.
Wh-Why? I wanna go with you. I wanna help Dagger and Eiko, too.
Kuja might destroy this castle at any minute. Get out of here while you can. Go on, Vivi. Don't worry about me. Someday, you'll probably do the same thing for someone who's really important to you.
Next time you wanna play hero, don't even bother calling me.
But remember, this is not just your war, so don't even think about fighting Kuja now. As soon as you find Dagger, leave.
Come on, Vivi. Let's go.
But I have to go with my instincts on this one. I don't know what else to say...
Zidane's willing to risk his life for Dagger, but not his friends'. He cares about them too much to get them involved in something so reckless. Zidane is loyal to his friends to the end.
What the heck was that!?
Invincible is making its move on Alexander...
...but it certainly doesn't seem to be trying to capture it. Garland seems more determined to simply kill it instead.
Things are going bad for both Dagger and Alexander.
Even Eiko is helpless to save Dagger now.
The castle's crumbling apart, and Dagger's going along with it.
But as usual, Zidane is here to the rescue.
And despite all the bullshit they keep telling themselves, they couldn't be any happier to be together again.
It's a happy ending.
...except for Eiko.
...and Dagger once reality sinks in for her.
I don't know why I wasn't honest with you...
Dagger is speechless.
We're still not out of the woods, yet, though.
So the Invincible's about to work its magic...
...and proceeds to destroy Alexandria.
In microscopic proportions, the process still continues after thousands of years. Eventually, these circulating souls will no longer belong to Gaia. They must never be circulated back...
I would never imagine he would choose to end his remaining days on Gaia... Perhaps, this was his fate, set in ages past.
So at the end, Dagger and Eiko fail to protect Alexandria. The holy summon Alexander, who was supposed to protect Alexandria, was nothing more than a pawn between some mysterious power struggle between Kuja and Garland. Garland won out and destroyed Alexander rather than capture it, destroying much of Alexandria in the process. Garland assumes Kuja dead now, and resolves himself to facing his counterpart, which is apparently Zidane? What the hell is Zidane's role in all this, anyway?
It doesn't matter as Zidane, Dagger, and Eiko are very likely dead now. So next time we continue with our end-game party of Vivi, Freya, Amarant, and Steiner.