Part 17: Mrs Blue SkyUpdate 17: Mrs. Blue Sky
In This Update:
- Hurdy has an adventure for us.
- But instead we unlock Lanista and Geomancer.
- Clan Sawyer's Statuary Garden.
Last time, we held the line against the demon Neukhia. Lezaford informed us of the true nature of Samuel's journal --the eponymous the Grimoire of the Rift -- and Illua's master plan to take over the world.
Where does that leave us? To quote EponymousMrYar from the thread:
: To take over the world she's gotta deal with you. Only we have just established that she can't deal with you. So y'know. Do whatever. She'll keep.
So let's head off to Camoa and see just what the game has in store!
What it has is Hurdy. Great.
: Samuel! Erm, nothing, I... Kupo-po... Actually, there was this quest I found a bit intriguing, kupo.
: What kind of quest?
: A salvage run in the town of Goug!
: A salvage run?
: I should explain, kupo. This sort of salvaging's got nothing to do with ships. They're looking for old machineries in the depths of the Goug undertown. Really old!
: Goug's a moogle town. Mooglecraft's quite popular there, kupo! Moogle machinists as far as the eye can see! Lots of quirky old machineries, too.
: And the weirdest ones, they've been dumped beneath the town for centuries! Some of them use technology long since lost, kupo! That's why, every so often, they do a survey, kupo. See what they can dig up.
: Huh, sounds like fun!
: Of course, I'd be going to look for instruments, kupo. Something I could use in a song for you, Samuel! Just think, maybe I'll find an old instrument no one's ever seen before!
: Well, what are we waiting for? I'm sure a moogle town's got lots to see you can't find anywhere else. That's not something I'm likely to pass up! I'll go run it by Cid. If there's nothing else that needs doing, let's go salvaging!
Samuel runs off to find Cid.
There's no cutscene with Cid, we're just dumped back to the main map.
The next story mission is The Dig. At rank 37, it's only a few points higher than the quest we just finished.
However, our clan is starting to fall a little bit behind. Lian and Leed are only level 23, and our highest is level 27. Our clan can dish out plenty of damage -- Tsing and Lenolia are still horrendously overpowered -- but enemies can take us out with a few focused attacks. Of course, permadeath isn't an issue like it would be in Final Fantasy Tactics, but being underleveled turns the battles into a bit of a slog. Also, if we encounter bosses like Lord of the Flowsand, we'll be utterly squashed.
That said, later in this update we'll see why being under-leveled isn't really a problem.
Because of all that, we're going to take Lezaford's advice and go adventuring! We have a huge backlog of side quests to go through, and we're going to tackle a few of them before the next story quest.
Here's a screen I haven't really shown off yet: the Clan Info menu.
Clan Territory shows us which auction houses we've won. It's a very satisfying map.
The Clan Primer lists all the notices and rumors we've read. The Notices list includes the information we've picked up from Lezaford, for example.
Clan Loot is self explanatory.
Clan Privileges and Laws are also self explanatory. I think the Laws menu lists all of the ones you've encountered, not every law in the game.
Of particular interest is the Quest Report. This grid shows every quest in the game.
The circles are one-time quests, which turn golden once they've been completed. Squares represent repeatable quests; light green ones haven't been completed yet, and a gold border means the quest is currently available for another go. The lines between cells indicate one quest is the prerequisite for the other.
Running down the major diagonal is the story quest line. There's only 4 of them left!
Today's update will focus on unlocking a couple more jobs. There's only three left to unlock: Geomancer and Ravager for gria, and Lanista for seeq.
I guess this mission unlocked a while ago and I missed it? We're right at the perfect level for it so it should be a walk in the park.
Let's hop to it then.
A pretty easy law, thankfully.
I'm taking these four. Lian (Master Monk) and Leed (Seer) are our lowest-level units, and Jalia (Assassin) and Imino (Fusilier) could use some XP themselves.
Our two enemies are the Head Editor and the Owner of the Bonga Bugle. We haven't seen these two characters yet; they're involved in a rather fun side quest series that will have its own dedicated updates. They usually aren't the bad guys, I promise!
The premise: The Bonga Bugle posted some libellous material about the Lanista's family. We're here to help convince the newspaper to retract those statements.
The editor and the owner are narcissistic, self-aggrandizing idiots who happened to hire some bodyguards.
The Assassin, Ninja and Parivir are the real threats here. The editor is level 10, and the owner is level 1.
The three bodyguards are around level 30 and are significantly faster than us.
We have some tricks up our sleeve though!
Lian is our lowest-level character but he is not at all weak.
Here's why I'm a little scared of the enemy Parivir! He takes care of the owner for us, but we'll have to deal with him sooner or later.
Lanista is an interesting job that offers sustainability via buffs and stealing HP. Sword of Darkness deals dark damage and heals equal to the damage done.
Skipping forward a few turns. Imino and the Assassin have been plinking away at each other. The editor is weakened and invisible, so we have to wait for him to attack. The Parivir is a threat again.
A rather large threat, at that.
That's the editor down. Imino re-charms the Parivir.
The battle continues apace, we reapply Charm, the Parivir does our dirty work for us.
Lian resolves the Parivir issue quite handily.
And that's that!
Our next job quest unlocks Geomancer. There's actually 4 quests to complete, because they just had to show off all the weather conditions. Way of the Sun is the first one.
All of the Geomancer's Way quests give really high-tier loot, like these Cockatrice Skins.
Appropriately, it takes place in the desert.
So I completely forgot to unequip my R-Abilities! It somehow ends up not being an issue.
Similar crew as last time. Lenolia's fairly high level, but she really needs the Speed growths from Green Mage. Cid's also along for that Master Monk XP.
Each trial has the same layout: three Geomancers and a couple monsters.
This quest is 10 rank higher than Lanista's Pride, so we should have a bit more difficulty.
Fortunately, I have an eight-step plan!
Step 1: Charm the wolf.
Step 2: Dodge an 80% accurate Fire Breath...
...then put the dragon to doomed sleep.
Step 3: Weaken the Geomancers and heal Lenolia with Holy.
Step 4: Throw the book at 'em.
Geomancers have two kinds of attacks.
The first depends on the current weather. When the sun is shining, they can use Shining Flare, which deals fire damage in a small area. There are spells for rain, snow and Mist.
The second depends on the tile the Geomancer is standing in. Nature's Embrace can be used when the Geomancer is standing on a "natural" tile, such as sand. The other terrain types are plant, artificial (like metal plates) and dirt.
Step 5: Tranq.
Step 6: More Nightmares.
The wolf is no longer charmed, and we lose Leed.
Step 7: Remember that I really need to take the Ninja Tabi away from Cid, and also kill the wolf.
The dragon dies.
Lenolia uses Phoenix to bring back Leed. I always forget that half the Summoner's abilities are support spells.
Step 8: Stone the last Geomancer.
Once the sleeping Geomancer dies, the trial is finished!
Next: Trial of Envenomed Rain.
Good loot! Rainbow Threads are rather rare.
Again, three Geomancers and two monsters. (There's a golem off to the left.)
This law is misleading. You can walk through water tiles, but you'll be punished if you end your turn there. Or perhaps start your turn there? I didn't bother finding out.
Same core as before. Hurdy and Henri are joining us for extra buffs and damage.
This quest is a master class in why being underleveled isn't hurting us too badly.
You see, conditions don't care about your level.
Neither do buffs. That's Tranq from Lenolia and Haste from Hurdy.
Also that Nagaraja has its own Nightmare ability. Be very careful.
We picked up the Outsider, which teaches Stopshot. Stopshot inflicts Stop. Stop prevents the target from having any turns and makes all attacks against it 100% accurate.
Like Stone, Stopped units don't appear in the turn order. Unlike Stone, Stop doesn't count as a KO and it will wear off eventually.
Even Hurdy gets in on the Stop action!
When the Grim Reaper appears, it says something that sounds a lot like, "I think that I'll be... taking this!"
It's creepy and I'm hearing it a lot.
Bob Dylan would be proud.
I took pity on this one and just punched her.
And that's that!
This is what I meant when I said that level does not really matter.
I barely did any damage the entire battle. A combination of Stop, Break, Haste Charm and Tranq was all we needed to utterly humiliate the enemy. These spells are cheap, and Stopshot is free! Of course, we would be done for if the enemy resisted these, as most bosses do.
We also saw two Geomancer spells during the battle:
Deals water damage and has a chance to poison. It's not a bad spell.
Life's Embrace is the plant-tile spell.
Geomancer's Way - Snow is more of the same.
Hey, remember that quest we did for Hurdy? Here's the wood again. We already own everything it will unlock in the Bazaar.
All of our important spells cost 12 MP or less. Except for the Summons, but those cost HP instead thanks to Blood Price.
These guys again. Tsing is a Lanista now. I want him to have options besides Mirror Item and traps.
Attacks that trigger multiple conditions roll for each one individually. Lian is doomed, but still awake.
Nothing of interest really happens -- we don't even get to see Avalanche, the Geomancer's snow spell.
That's a stone dragon and a stone Geomancer there.
Clan Sawyer's statue collection is going to make the White Witch of Narnia jealous.
Last one: the Trial of Seething Mist.
Mahbeny is one of the rarest woods in the game. It's used to unlock things like the Nirvana staff, which we won in an auction about ten updates ago.
We've seen Mist only a handful of times. It doesn't come up much.
Another easy-ish law, as long as we don't get hit too hard.
You know the drill by now. Talf is joining us as a Black Mage this time.
Mist Storm is the Geomancer's Mist spell, obviously. It steals MP from the affected units. You'll basically never get to use it.
Toad should be familiar to anyone who has played Final Fantasy games before. In FFTA2, the unit's attack is reduced to 1 and they can't cast any spells.
She's stuck like that until we kill her.
And four. I cut out the middle of the battle, where we actually attacked with regular abilities! Because all of our fun statuses kept missing so I had to try another strategy.
Then we squash the toad and bring the whole thing to a close.
Of all the jobs to unlock, Geomancer is one of the most annoying. Is it worth it? Maybe -- the job has some solid spells, but it's not an S-tier one like Summoner. I'll give it bonus points for being interesting, at least.
Zoe mastered Ultima Shot, so I'm switching her to Geomancer.
The last job to unlock is Ravager, the fourth gria job. We are really not ready for that quest.
Remember Lord of the Flowsand? The Ravager quest is a fight against the lord's mother. (No, really.)
Imagine the Lord at around level 40, with over 1000 HP and the same high-damage, self-healing move set. And you can only bring 4 units.
Also it's a speed battle against a Ravager, so you have to make sure you're the one who delivers the final blow against the boss.
I could possible cheese it with Lenolia and Tsing, if they had a Juggler and a Time Mage to drop Hastes and Quickens on them. Even then, I don't feel good about my chances.
We'll come back to that quest later.
As for how we know it's the lord's mother, here's a notice from the pub:
The Mother-Lord posted:
Honor to the brave adventurer who vanquished the monster known as the Lord of the Flowsand that long plagued the Galerria Deep.
That came to pass but recently, yet now we hear whisperings that the beast has returned... How can this be?
The reports say that the beast is bigger this time, no less. What if, they say, what if it is the lord's mother?
While we were doing the Geomancer's Way quests, I picked up a luck stick. This is basically a lottery. You can buy a luck stick every Blackfrost (the first month of the year) and trade it in during Goldsun. Each one is 1,000 gold, and you can get some nice prizes.
Let's wrap up this update with another Lezaford Exposition Quest.
The loot is worth it. Lightwing Crystals are the highest-tier holy material loot, used in weapons like the Nirvana staff and Seventh Heaven greatbow.
Espers are what Summoners summon. The quest asks about Scions, being yet more powerful than Espers. They come from another plane of existence, and they can be summoned using certain magickal items.
Some day, we'll be able to summon them ourselves.
The Lightwing Crystal is one of the components I need for a great katana for Samuel. This quest rewards us with Strange Liquid, the other missing component.
This law is harder than it looks, actually. Or, well, not harder per se, but more annoying.
Same crew as before. Leed is now a Thief -- he spent time off-screen as a Soldier -- so he can work back towards Ninja.
I fail it almost immediately.
Zoe immediately puts her new spells to good use. Geomancers start with Shining Flare and Nature's Embrace, which honestly covers most scenarios. This airship is all artificial terrain, so I grabbed Artificer's Embrace for her.
Even though it's indoors, we can still use Shining Flare. At 12 MP, it's not particularly spammable.
This time, we actually used our weapons instead of conditions! Well, except for that one Soldier.
It's been a while since I showed you what's going on at the Bazaar.
I've cleared out a lot of it. We're missing a few pieces of armor, a bunch of katanas, and a handful of very useful rods, but pretty much everything else has come to us through the auction houses.
For example, remember the Cheer Staff we got from the auction? Now we can finally buy it legitimately!
We put the Lightwing Crystal and Strange Liquid to good use, along with some Gemsteel, to unlock another katana. Hoarfrost Blade deals ice damage and inflicts Slow, making it one of the best Parivir abilities.
We also unlocked the highest-defense heavy armor in the game, and a few other odds and ends.
Thanks for reading! Next update will feature some more side quests, and I think we'll be ready for that story quest relatively soon.