We're finally done with sidequests, at least for now. The plot has led us to Black Mage Village, so that's where we're gonna start on the hunt for Kuja.
Where did they go?
I'm gonna go look around.
Black Mage Village is indeed deserted. The chocobo hut is locked, but all the other stores are deserted. There's only one sign of life (besides the moogle) over to the west end...
They went away with Kuja... Two other guys stayed behind. They're probably at the chocobo shack.
Why!? Why did they go with him!?
They learned about our lifespan... We can live only for a given amount of time.
He's lying! I bet he's lying! Look what he's done to us. He's been using us, treating us like puppets.
Come on. That's nonsense.
...Where did they go?
...I can't tell you that. I can't betray them.
You said the two other guys are in the chocobo shack, right?
No. 288 isn't talkative anymore. Now our only hope lies with the two mages in the chocobo hut.
Please! Open the door!
SOUND OF A CHOCOBO'S CRY
I still can't believe it...
I don't understand. Why are you here?
We're here to look after the chocobo.
At first, we were gonna go with everyone, but someone had to stay behind to look after the chocobo egg, so we stayed.
We kept the egg nice and warm by putting a lot of hay over it.
I can't wait to show him to everyone.
They're gonna be so happy.
We have to come up with a name.
At least we know why these two stayed. As for No. 288...
...I don't know. I wanted to follow Kuja because I was so scared of dying. But I couldn't... I felt like I was leaving something important behind.
What is it?
A-Am I gonna stop pretty soon, too?
I don't know... Kuja said the prototype built before us would last longer.
...I was really confused when my grandpa died. He told me, 'Vivi, no need be sad.' So I told myself, I can't be sad. That's why I felt confused again when I heard that everyone was stopping around here. I didn't know what to do or what to feel... But when I saw Dagger crying when her mom died, I wasn't confused anymore. I was sad...
Mr. 288... we aren't puppets. I know we aren't.
I hate Kuja!!! He's turning everyone into puppets just to kill people!!! If it weren't for him, I know everyone would understand someday.
Vivi has grown well beyond his years in his short journey. Remember the unsure kid who was kinda along for the ride because he had no choice? Now he's taking initiative, trying to stand up for his people, ending up a person of inspiration, possibly even a leader. He's accepted who he is and what his fate will be, but has also realized he's just as human as anyone else, even if his brothers haven't learned that quite yet. They're still grappling with basic emotions like love and fear, but eventually they'll learn to understand their emotions much like Vivi, as long as they have the right guidance. And it's pretty damn clear such guidance won't be coming from Kuja.
It's buried under quicksand. You'll need a ship to get there.
(Unlike me, he's fighting so hard...)
(...Once I acceded to the throne, I knew I had to change.)
Dagger, were you listening, too? That crybaby sure has come a long way, don't you think?
Dagger? Are you alright?
Come on, cheer up! We'll beat up Kuja, and you'll get your voice back in no time.
Is something wrong?
Eiko's the only person Dagger can really be honest with right now. Ever since Dagger uncovered her past, they've been very close and fast friends. They're the last two of their people, how can you have a closer bond than that? Dagger can't even be honest about her feelings with her husband.
Mr. 288 said Kuja's palace is buried under quicksand, right?
Yeah. We're taking the ship to the eastern side of the continent to get there.
Our next destination is here. It's on the east side of the Outer Continent, inaccessible without the Blue Narciss or a mountain chocobo.
There are four quicksand pits. One is our destination, three are antlion traps much like the one we fought in Cleyra. The trick is to watch which ones have sand erupting. The one that doesn't is our destination.
And here we are!
Good question <ribbit>! I wish I knew!
After I fell into the quicksand, everything went dark... That's all I can remember.
Me, too <ribbit>! When I woke up, <ribbit> I was in this room.
Oh yeah! Where is everyone!
I don' know <ribbit>. I hope they're alright.
That voice... it's Kuja!
You rat bastard! Where're my friends?
No need to worry about them. They're in rooms not unlike yours.
Oh, dear. Was it something I said?
I'll let your friends live if you say yes.
Zidane may despise Kuja, but we know he'd never put his friends in danger.
There are eight such rooms here. As you may have guessed, one for each person.
Fine <ribbit>! I won't let you down! And you <ribbit>! You come back safe!
Yeah, I will. See ya.
Cid's staying behind to protect the others with his mighty frog physique.
My, we're upset, aren't we? Well, this is your errand...
So, tell me what it is already, you demon!
Surely, you haven't forgotten that I hold your friends' lives in my hands.
Oeilvert is south of the Seaways Canyon on the Forgotten Continent. It really isn't my kind of place.
What do you mean by that?
You see, there's an anti-magic barrier around the place.
Once there, I want you to retrieve the Gulug Stone for me.
I'll even send you on my luxury cruise ship, so you won't have to worry about transportation.
Besides, nobody likes to fight against himself.
Heheh, nevermind. Speak their names when you've chosen your partners.
OK, this part is important. We have to choose our team for Oeilvert. A few things.
* As you may expect, the four we don't choose stay here. This means we cannot change our party once we pick it.
* Kuja said there's an anti-magic barrier at Oeilvert. He's not kidding, magic flat-out won't work there. Bringing mages is dumb, though you'll still likely want to bring at least one because...
* ...there's actually a second dungeon that the four left-over characters will tackle. The party leader for that one depends on who's in it, with priority being Eiko, then Vivi, and then Steiner and Freya in some order I forgot. At any rate, it's not a bad idea to have one physical character there with you.
* As for who in particular to take, the key is actually Quina. You see, in the latter dungeon every single enemy encounter has a level that's a multiple of 5. This means you can completely cheese that dungeon with L5 Death. The boss also isn't a big deal if you handle the dungeon well, though more on that later. As for everyone else, Steiner benefits from being with Vivi due to Sword Magic. Dagger's kinda useless no matter which party she's in, but for the Oeilvert party she'll have other hardy characters to take the heat off healing. Amarant's helpful in the healing department also with Chakra, same with Freya and Reis' Wind. Leave Eiko with the second party for reliable healing, and we've got our teams made up.
Neither dungeon is really hard, though, so just as long as you don't bring Vivi, Eiko, and Dagger with Zidane you should be fine.
Fine. I shall summon them.
Step through the door.
Now, go stand with your friends.
Of course. You needn't worry one bit.
Guys, I'm starting to think we probably shouldn't trust Kuja here.
All we have to do now is make our way west.
Of course, there's enemies on the way. These are Ogres, only really notable for their Flame (fire damage for 1/4 of max HP) and Trouble Knife (inflicts Trouble) attacks.
That must be the Hilda Garde 1!
Somehow Kuja obtained this ship from Cid's wife.
Hey, who's ready for a summon?
I've already covered Leviathan's little bio when we got him, so let's see his signature move, Tidal Wave.
We back-attack these guys. They're Grimlocks.
They have two forms, physical and magical. Each form is weak against damage of the opposite, with the magical form casting annoying status magic.
Also, what the hell, let's throw in Atomos while we're at it.
Atomos has its own little pocket dimension hangout.
It vomits out a gravity ball which it then sends to where we're at...
...which then absorbs the enemies and crushes them with gravity damage.
This was around 20% of their max HP. Atomos's formula is different since it does gravity damage. It's 3/10 Max HP + (1/100 Max HP * # of Amethysts). Not sure why Atomos dealt less than the formula suggests, but I don't really care because I'll probably never use Atomos anyway since gravity attacks almost always suck in these games (pun partially intended).
Anyway, we're done with those encounters. Time to head for our destination!
We get another one of those sweet automatic airship rides like we had after Captain Dagger's reckless driving ended up destroying one of the major gates. Unfortunately she's not driving this one.
Hey! Say something!
Why, y-you backstabbing bozos!
Those are slanderous words!
Worse lies, I have never heard.
You needn't concern yourself with such things.
Or an end to your friends' lives, we shall bring.
The black mages were originally designed just to oppress.
But a strong sense of self, the Black Waltzes came to possess.
These mass-produced ones are to break once we're through with their lot.
Other purpose than war they have not!
They have grown attached to life, yet they'll soon disappear!
Hilarious! Nothing but toys are they here!
Games are art.
You say that the black mages have no souls, but you guys are pawns, just like them!
You won't be talking so big once we're done with you!
Regret those words, you will!
Anyway, we've finally arrived at the Forgotten Continent. This is the first time we can actually access the place.
And next time, we'll explore what it has to offer as well as enter Oeilvert, where we'll get quite an interesting chunk of backstory.