We've still got a few more things to check out before we continue the plot. The biggest one is to the south of the Forgotten Continent.
On one of the islands there's a large mountain that we're unable to access by boat. But now that we can fly, we can check out this mysterious remote cavern. What sort of dungeon may be inside?
Why, it's no dungeon at all! This is Daguerreo, the final city of Gaia. This place is completely optional, and in fact I didn't even know it existed the first time I played.
To get around this place, you'll have to use the lifts, which are powered by water pressure.
Daguerreo is a place of learning and weird science shit.
It's also a good place to catch up with familiar faces. Speaking of which...
Hey! What are you doing here?
After Cleyra was destroyed, I realized how isolated we have all been. So I decided to broaden my horizons and came here. It's wonderful here. I am constantly learning something new from these books. Someday, I hope to contribute to the restoration of Cleyra.
This was the oracle that gave us a tour back in Cleyra, before it got destroyed.
More on that in a bit.
I mean, look at this place. We're surrounded by mountains, in the middle of nowhere, and the water here never runs out. It has to be the work of the dragon god.
There's a couple hints to suggest that this place was originally a shrine to Leviathan, before he got sealed up near the Iifa Tree I'm guessing. Now it's some weird library for scholars and other travelers.
You suck, Capricorn.
Next, let's revisit another old friend.
I can tell from your eyes. I'm a treasure hunter myself, and a famous one, too. Just because I'm famous doesn't mean I'm gonna tell you my name.
Let's see. Your treasure hunter rank is...
What is with that guy?
Yep, we've collected enough treasure to hit max rank. This guy won't really be impressed until you do hit Rank S. Once you do so, then you get into this conversation.
To be honest, I'm not famous or anything. I'm just a loser rank-D treasure hunter. But someday, I'm gonna become a rank-S treasure hunter like yourself.
Our reward for talking to this guy at Rank S is the Key Item Rank S Medal. Woo.
Oh yeah, and we find out the four-armed man is actually named Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is a reoccurring character in the series, and pretty much the only one that is actually the same character game-to-game (as opposed to all the different guys named Cid). You see, he originates in FF5 as a lackey for that game's villain, a comic relief guy who is still pretty tough. Eventually, his incompetence leads to the villain sending him to the Void, and that's where things get weird, as it's implied Gilgamesh actually travels across dimensions to pop up in other FF games. He shows up in 8, 11 (though no clue if it's the same guy or just someone with the same name), 12, 14, and the second Dissdia, plus is bonus content in a lot of other games like the Advance ports of 1 and 6 as well as 13-2's DLC. He's known for having four arms and wielding an assortment of crazy weapons, including another FF staple, the Excalibur knock-off Excalipoor (among other names). Generally in his appearances he's searching for powerful weapons, such as Excalibur (the real one), and though he's kind of a goof and braggart, beneath his villainous facade he does have a big heart, which ultimately leads to him sacrificing himself at the end of FF5 to save Bartz and company from some dude they were about to kill anyway.
FF9's iteration may not really be the same Gilgamesh, as he's a mere rookie in the treasure hunting scene, plus he's pretty knowledgeable about the world of Gaia while in other iterations Gilgamesh is a confused outsider looking for weapons or Bartz. Still, kinda neat that this guy who pops up throughout the game (he taught Vivi Tetra Master in Alexandria and schemed in Treno to kidnap Eiko to blackmail Amarant, at least until Quina unintentionally foiled his plans) is another reference to a beloved recurring series character.
The synth shop has some new stuff. The Sargatanas is the big one since it's Zidane's first weapon upgrade since the Rune Tooth at the beginning of the disc. No new abilities (Annoy is the only one), but when used with Soul Blade it inflicts petrification, which is really handy in some instances considering Soul Blade has a 100% hit rate for statuses from Thief Swords. We can also synth a Glutton's Robe for Quina, though its abilities (Antibody, Auto-Regen, Body Temp) aren't new. Black and White Robes are available, and if you missed the Thief Gloves from the Treno option you can synth them here (though they cost 50k gil and require a Sargatanas and Mythril Armlet, so the auction is still cheaper).
You can also synth gems here. Each one requires Ore and a specific consumable (Potion for Opal, or Remedy for Garnet for example). Great way to boost up Dagger's summons. I end up synthing fifty Garnets to make Bahamut a beast.
As far as I remember the moons themselves aren't relevant, but I could be wrong.
Some of the systems here are rather complicated. The source of all this water is a mystery as well. Maybe it really is the work of the dragon god...
Zebolt's also here now that he's done with the Hilda Garde 3. He deserves a break.
Because it's in our nature to pursue the truth. They wanna know more about the moons. That's all.
No! It's all about aesthetics. People are simply drawn by the beauty of the moons. That's why they're studying them.
You can side with either party and eventually they'll give you cards, though I don't bother with that because fuck cards.
Pursue the truth:
That's right! See!
Heh, heh, heh! I told you!
I think people study the moons to make sure they aren't actually massive spaceships used to destroy entire planets with green-haired women based on data they collect from the crystals. Just a hunch.
This woman sells consumables, including Remedies.
I saw that book over there.
Oh, really? Thank you.
If we inspected the pile of books earlier, we can direct the guy to them.
And then take this ladder to the middle floor.
I appreciate everything about them - the authors, the publishers, the readers...
This is why the Namingway card is the only useful card in the game. Sure.
Oh, YES!!! I'm stoked with imagination! I'm inspired to create! I have just mastered the Namingway Technique!
This lets us rename our characters.
I think we're set.
There's an Elixir on each side of this floor.
Back to this shortly.
This guy runs the "inn" here.
I've asked to be buried with my favorite book.
Last room to the left...
So there's a puzzle here. What we want to do is lower the left lever twice.
This reveals a hole...
...that we can stick the pole into.
Then lower the right one to the floor...
And that fixes the lift for the weaponsmith.
This gives us access to new stuff, some of which is missable. First off, the Rune Blade for Steiner, which can inflict Darkness and teaches Iai Strike, which has a 30% chance of inflicting Instant Death. Next, the Obelisk for Freya, can petrify and teaches Initiative (boosts chances of triggering a pre-emptive battle) and Cherry Blossom, which is basically a regular attack doing 150% damage and, more importantly, counts as a magic attack and thus targets a foe's magic defense rather than physical (though the attack itself is based on Freya's physical attack stat). The Tiger Fangs are nothing new, teaching Revive and Counter.
Armor-wise, the Defense Gloves teach HP +20% and halve Fire/Ice/Lightning damage for Steiner and Freya. They also get Diamond Helm, which teaches Accuracy+ and Insomniac, and Diamond Armor, which teaches Ability Up. The other characters get the Coronet, which teaches Man Eater and Return Magic while nullifying Wind damage.
So, I'm supposed to put a stone here? Stone...? Maybe some Ore might work.
You may not have noticed, but the synth shop upstairs doesn't make Aquamarines to boost Leviathan.
Instead, you use this thing we lowered earlier to convert Ore into Aquamarine (every 4 Ore is 1 Aquamarine).
We're done with Daguerreo. All that's left are a few loose ends. First, we came here earlier for a Chocograph, but there's another important thing about this island called Vile Island.
This is the home of Yans, probably the toughest regular encounter in the game.
It spams plenty of nasty attacks, like Comet, Virus Power, and Aera (right after it casts Float on you first, of course).
Oh yeah, and these attacks hurt.
It can even send someone away from the battle completely.
It is definitely not worth the effort it take to fight them. So why go back here?
Because there is one Yan that is friendly, and happens to be the last friendly monster. We can only interact with it after giving all the other friendly monsters what they want.
Unlike the Gimme Cat, we do want to give this guy a Diamond, rare as they may be.
Isn't that reward enough?
I say no. How about 50AP, a Rosetta Ring, and a nice nerf to the game's superboss? More on that last part once we actually bother with it.
Not too much for the rest of this update. First off, time to catch Quina up on frog hunting. Ideally I want to hit 100 before end game and we're a good bit behind, though now we've got access to all four marshes and can easily travel between them with our airship.
Hit another threshhold and got these. After scouring all four marshes I end up at 57 frogs. Alright, but still awhile to go.
The Black Mages have returned, so we can visit with them to see how they're faring after leaving Kuja.
The sun looks different to me somehow...
But life goes on, even while we try to make sense of it.
They're still trying to deal with their limited lifespan and the actions they've done.
Daguerreo wiped away my funds so time for a couple runs of the Cotton Robe trick. This place sells Steepled Hats, and Dali sells Wrists.
We can actually land our airship in Lindblum.
This is useful because we can access the bridge from here. This changes one thing.
We can steal an Elixir from this otherwise-inaccessible compartment.
Even if the idea falls through, it's never a waste to exercise your mind.
That said, there's not really much different here. A little, but most of the dialogue is the same as before.
You need to keep using rare cards to get better at the card game.
Please! Take me under your wing!
An apprentice, eh? Alright. Always trust your instincts! That's your first lesson.
Poor kid's going to regret getting into cards.
Let's finish this painting!
Finally, we can check in on Tantalus.
But they're too exhausted to hang with.
Next stop, Treno.
Drop off our latest Stellazzio to get another Rosetta Ring.
There's also a new monster now, the Amdusias.
It casts Bio and...maybe other stuff?
I don't know what else because it's vulnerable to petrify and so I make short work of it.
And that's it. Nothing new in any of the other places, and that's pretty much all the sidestuff we can do (besides Ragtime Mouse but I'll do that eventually maybe).
Next time, Ipsen's Castle!