The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 62: Brightmoon Tor: Second Watch

Update 62: Brightmoon Tor: Second Watch


Welcome back! It is once more time to climb Brightmoon Tor. How much worse can it be the second time?

There's something of a theme in this game: locations that have multiple entrances and exits. We're heading to a different continent, but it's the same tower.

Somewhere, beyond the sea, in Aisenfield, we find the second tower. Unlike the first tower, it's just in the middle of the area instead of in a hidden location.

I'm not scared! Let's do this!

Things start much the same as last time: mysterious nu mou, enemies sharing the same dark palette, and so on.

: Ah, you've returned. Welcome to the second ascent of Brightmoon Tor. There are but two ways to leave the tower: reach its top, or die in the attempt. The moonstones will guide you. Touch them and your way shall open. Now if you'll excuse me...

Shwoop! He's gone.

Are you ready for another 5 rounds of the worst battles possible?

Same as last time: reach the top, don't use scions. Easy enough, though some Scions would be quite useful here. This appears before every battle but I won't bother showing it.

The enemies are stronger, of course. We'll be seeing level 60 ones soon. We're also seeing a new Turning ability, Gold Hourglass. It's just as annoying as it sounds.

Here's our team. From left to right:

Zoe is running Ravager/Geomancer for this fight. Her main purpose is heavy physical hits with Sneak Attack, with Geomancy for range just in case. Definitely bring a unit that can fly!

Henri is stealing Cid's high-evasion Master Monk build. 60 Evasion is massive, and his attack power is only 20 points below Zoe's. He'll be joining her on the front lines, with the White Monk's Discipline abilities as backup.

Lenolia, as always, is our major magick attacker-slash-healbot. Evade Magick is possibly the most useful R-Ability for the tower, because it no-sells Gold Hourglass.

Leed is also doing his usual Magick Frenzy shenanigans. Not much to say here, honestly. Double Zanmato might actually be higher overall damage, because so many enemies are weak to Holy here.

Penelo brings Dancer/Green Mage, which basically means utility abilities. This was a slight misstep on my part, and we would have been better off with White Mage. But it pays off in the end.

Lian hasn't changed much in the last, oh, twenty or so updates. Still Trickster/Bishop, still turning things to stone.

I made two small mistakes. First, I have limited condition cleansing; Esuna doesn't do anything against Slow, for example. This is why Penelo would have been better as a White Mage, because we could have really used Refresh.
Second, I didn't do much to defend against Golden Hourglass. More defenses against Slow, or any sources of Haste, would have been very useful.

Still, we'll be fine!

To help with our survivability, we'll be taking Regenga pretty much always.

Let's begin!

And by that I mean let's watch the enemies take some turns. Yes, we're already slower than the opponent -- or the AI is cheating and giving them free turns.

The level difference is the biggest threat in this tower. We'll be taking a lot more damage, and the speed difference means fewer turns overall. I'm not too worried about our damage output though.

As always, condition prevention is key! Fortunately, the Orb of Minwu blocks Stone, so your male units should all be safe. The women, of course, are wearing Ribbons.

Fortunately, only the two Blackwinds and the Jormungand were able to attack us before we got a turn.

I really want to get rid of these birds, they're very annoying but not too strong.

The Blackwind has a P-Ability called Vigilance, which makes it take normal damage no matter which direction it's attacked from. Vaan can also get it as a Piracy P-Ability, I believe. It makes Sneak Attack ineffective.

Now that's some bad luck. I'm usually happy with an 80% hit rate.

Here's Evade Magick in action! Penelo will dodge any offensive spell, so Lenolia can safely cast around her. Lenolia also has this R-Ability, but since Maduin heals her, she doesn't dodge it.

She gets the first kill of this battle.

Poor Lian, backed into a corner and Addled. That condition prevents the unit from using abilities, but not from attacking. It's a worse version of Disable.

There's two of these Varigarmanda here. This one is weak to Fire and absorbs Ice, while the other is the opposite. It's tricky if you aren't paying attention. Thanks to that crit, Leed gets the kill.

In this corner we have the three remaining enemies, Lenolia, Penelo and Henri. Penelo is safe with Evade Magick, but can Henri dodge both spells?

He can indeed. That kills the second Blackwind and weakens the Varigarmanda and Jormungand.

Lian is addled, not useless. He gets the fourth kill.

The Jormungand does not have Vigilance and suffers the full damage of Sneak Attack. It's very satisfying to see numbers like that.

With all the monsters dead, a second moonstone appears! Obviously, you must take this one if you want the treasure.

We spend a few turns healing, Lian recovers from Addle, and we hop through the stone to the next floor.

We're going to be getting a good amount of experience here. You gain 50 EXP for every turn on which you kill a monster. (Not +50 EXP per monster.) You're better off spreading out kills if you want more XP.


Second floor! As usual, I have no time to inspect the enemies.

But I have a good feeling, so we're taking MP Channeling.

Boy I can't wait to take a turn! In like 10 minutes!

We finally get to see the new Turning ability. It's actually quite pretty.

Penelo and Lenolia dodge it, because it counts as magick. But everyone else gets hit and Lian is slowed.

With our already lower speed, Slow is debilitating. To compensate, we're going to move as little as possible. Not moving helps our turns come a bit faster, and the enemies will come to us anyway.

Lenolia dodges the magick component of Magick Frenzy, and Leed is holding a Holy-damage katana. Is it enough to heal the damage from the first attack?

Eh, good enough. I'll try not to do it too often, but it was worth it for the damage.

Oddly, both Varigarmanda are weak to Fire here. I'm not sure if it's an oversight or what, but we don't see another Ice-weak one for the rest of the tower.

Jitterbug steals HP, making it almost useful but not match for a proper Cura.

You know, with the XP formula in mind, Lenolia really doesn't need these kills. But I can never resist a double KO.

That just leaves the Jormungand and a Blackwind. See Dragonheart? That's a neat R-Ability that Dragoons can get.

Once per battle, it'll grant the unit Reraise after they're hit with an attack.

Obviously that's really annoying when the unit is a brick house like this guy.

But that's what Dispel is for! Just strip those annoying buffs away.

Down the stairs, Leed gets a nice kill on the Blackwind.

Up top, Henri finishes off the Jormungand.

That's it for this floor. Staying grouped up really helped: Lenolia was able to easy keep everyone healed as the enemies rushed up to attack us.

There's no tricks on this floor, just take the regular moonstone.


Alright, level 3! There's a couple Evil Eyes and a Baknamy here instead of any Varigarmanda.

Back on Regenga, because I like not having to worry about healing.

Oh, great, there's a Nemeshis here too. So much for all the MP we had stored up, Veil of Darkness rips it all away.

The Evil Eyes aren't particularly scary on their own.

So to compensate, we get this. Yes, we're dealing with the bullshit that made the last battle of the first tower so fun. And we're only on the third floor.

On top of that, Evil Eyes have Binding Circle, which inflicts Slow and Speed Down, which is barely a step above inflicting Stop.

And if that's not enough for you, the Opion (he's here too!) has Otherworldly Wind, which hits everyone for high damage.

And just to top it all off... Love Song. Hi, Brightmoon Tor, I was wondering when you'd show up!

We aren't defenseless, of course. Maybe moderately threatened. I think this ended up being the worst floor, until the watch itself.

I'm really not sure how much defense this grants us, but it can't hurt, right? I forgot that Penelo doesn't have much in the way offenses as a Dancer/Green Mage.

An experiment: What happens if you kill an enemy, then cast Phoenix?

The enemy comes back to life at full health, but the healing animation didn't play. It should have come back at low health -- actually, you shouldn't be able to revive enemies at all.

(My guess: the Evil Eye was still "present" and could be targeted, despite being technically dead. The game doesn't fully remove corpses until the end of the turn.)

The strategy is the same as the previous floor: Stay grouped up, don't move in order to maximize turns, punish the enemy with AoE attacks. It's effective, and this group is well built for it. A fast Time Mage would enable us to be a bit more aggressive, but I don't have one of those.

It seems the enemies burned all their MP on those first few turns. We haven't been hit by Veil of Darkness since.

Oof, should have killed this guy when I had the chance. Leed is barely going to get any turns after this.

This screenshot is a bit hard to parse. There's 3 enemies right in front of us: an Evil Eye, the Nemeshis behind that, and the Blackwind to the right.

Lenolia kills the Evil Eye and Nemeshis.

That leaves just these three.

Of them, I'm least worried about the Blackwind, who is about to keel over anyway.

The Opion is a big, thick target, but Zoe can handle it.

I should probably be letting Penelo and the other units get more KOs, since they could use the XP.

Leed spends his last turn killing the Evil Eye that stole his speed.

That just leaves the Opion.

He really doesn't want to die.

But Henri doesn't give him a choice. Third floor cleared!

A new moonstone appears over here. You may have noticed that this quadrant is not connected to the others. You absolutely must have a unit that can fly or teleport, or you won't get the treasure!

I think the first time I did this, in my first playthrough, I had a Flintlock with Teleport Cannon.

Most of your units can just take the regular moonstone, as long as the last unit to leave takes the hidden one!

I should probably stop feeding Lenolia kills.


Time for... floor 23 again?

No, seriously, look, we were just here!

Looks like a different enemies and slightly different layout this time.

Sure hope you aren't tired of Opion and Nemeshis.

This time, we're assaulted by Evil Eyes right from the start. But the enemy positions should give us time to deal with these two before the rest can reach us.

Not that they need to necessarily reach us to cause trouble, of course.

A few minutes later, Leed finally gets a chance to attack one of the Eyes.

Lian also gets a turn, which he spends removing some of those really annoying buffs.

Yeah, yeah, keep it up. We'll just heal it off.

Haste wears off after 3 turns. We've been locked out of turns for so long that buffs are wearing out!

But it's finally our go.

This is perfect! Penelo's in the best possible position to use this Opportunity Command, granting Haste to Lenolia, Leed and herself.

This is a huge bonus, we'll definitely win this!

One down! I'd like to get the Blackwind taken care of too. Light Curtain is way too strong.

Leed manages to overwhelm it with Magick Frenzy.

Lian isn't going to abide those buffs. Dispell is a godsend here, but I would love an ability that did more damage for each buff on the target.

There goes Leed, getting slowed down again. That's it for Magick Frenzy on this floor, then.

But wait!!

Another Opportunity Command lets Penelo grant Haste to Leed, which overrides the Slow condition. He's still suffering from Speed Down, but Haste almost makes up for that.

I don't want Lenolia to kill everything, but we definitely need to soften up these guys.

And then Penelo, bless her, lands a beautiful triple sleep.

Another Opportunity Command?! Three in one battle! Henri and Zoe partake in the gift of Haste.

Zoe and Leed finish off the Evil Eye, leaving just our three sleeping beauties.

Better make that two sleeping beauties.

I'm not sure if Petrification would count as a KO for this tower -- despite it counting everywhere else in the game -- so let's spend some turns killing the helpless Opion.

Zoe works on the sleeping Nemeshis. Who obviously isn't sleeping anymore. But it's almost dead, so no worries.

Oh right, this treasure chest. Here's the Snowy Tear, the treasure of the Second Watch. It grants +20 Magick Power, and I hope it is not bugged.

Penelo dances her way to victory. One left!

Nice. (He got the kill.)

Zoe kills this guy just in case.

Only one moonstone on this floor. Which makes sense, since we already have the treasure.


Floor 4 starts with more bravado from the Keeper. Well, presumably that's him. You could fit a lot of spooky, disembodied voices in a tower like this.

This is the last normal floor -- we're almost done!

I could probably have taken MP Channeling, since I'm not letting Lenolia kill as often.

Here There Be Dragons, indeed. Two Varigarmanda to the left, two Tiamat on the right, a Jormungand and an Opion in the middle. Over 4,000 total HP, I think.

We've also hit the point where there's just not much to say. Gold Hourglass, Veil of Darkness, and so on and on and on...

The Tiamat are new additions to the tower, at least, though we've definitely fought them before. They're weak to Holy.

Do you see the easiest way for us to defend against this?

First, get an Opportunity Command and use it in this corner. Haste is always great.

Then grab Lenolia and stick her in this corner. Now she can heal everyone on the team with a single spell. The facings are a bit of a mess though.

But facings don't matter when you're getting hit by battlefield-wide AoE attacks.

The two Varigarmanda are both weak to fire, plus Leed has a Holy blade for the Tiamat.

The Tiamat, however, has Magick Counter. This is kind of a good thing: Magick Counter still consumes MP, so Tiamat won't be casting too many spells.

On the other hand, it seriously weakens Leed. Soul Spring is one of the special Brightmoon abilities, it steals HP.

Penelo lands a useful Sleep on the weakened Varigarmanda, and Lian gets really lucky with Break. That was a 40% chance to hit!

Zoe's been sitting here spamming Shining Flares all battle. I think she's done most of the damage against the Varigarmanda, thanks to Henri's Haste.

That's the second Tiamat down. They're pretty hardy monsters, with lots of health and resistance to Fire, Ice and Lightning.

A few turns later, Henri finishes off the Varigarmanda.

Well, I'm glad I don't have to heal that, I guess, but it's still rude.

Zoe undoes it quickly.

Penelo gets what is technically another triple Sleep! Except the Tiamat is stoned, so it doesn't really count.

That's both Varigarmanda down.

And Lian finishes off the match by petrifying the sleeping enemies.

On our way out, I remember that I could really use that XP.

Lian, Zoe and Penelo are a little lower level than I'd like, and this will help.

Penelo actually got 2 kills, netting her a whole free level.


Finally -- finally! -- we've reached the Second Watch. It looks like a doozy.

I think this battle will show you how utterly broken our clan is.

I don't think we've seen any Orthros before, but its abilities are all things we've seen before.

The four Evil Eyes also aren't very different.

Well, maybe the other ones weren't quite so happy to spam Otherworldly Wind.

As usual, we don't get a chance at a turn for a while. It's not as ludicrous as the first watch, thankfully.

However, the first watch didn't manage to kill half the team. The only reason we aren't all dead is Penelo and Lenolia have Evade Magick.

So what do we do with half the team dead? The only thing Penelo can really do is shore up our defenses.

It's not quite enough to save Henri. His high Evasion just wasn't enough. So again, what can we do?

Double Cast Phoenix, of course.

Just like that, it's like none of those turns happened. Everyone is back at full health -- and even better, dying removed the Slow condition caused by Gold Hourglass.

You may be wondering: but what if Lenolia had died? That's why she's wearing an Angel Ring!

That doesn't mean we're out of danger yet. We're still facing 5 level 99 enemies -- we need a plan.

Especially since they're going to keep up the attacks that killed everyone in the first place.

That's Lenolia's job: keeping everyone topped up. Regenga will help with that, too. It also means I have to be a little careful with positioning so no one is left without healing.

The level difference means our damage is way, way down. Even Sneak Attack can't overcome it.

In situations like these, you need to focus on one target at a time. Finding ways to shut down other enemies isn't a bad idea.

For example, Berserk prevents the target from using spells. While the Orthros' melee attacks are plenty dangerous, they can only hit one target, unlike Gold Hourglass.

It also means the Orthros will dive right into our party, so we should try to get this Evil Eye out of the way.

Lenolia's mostly caught up on healing, and we could use some extra damage. I mostly want to avoid her getting any kills, anyway.

Zoe finally gets our first kill. Which leaves us with 4 level 99 enemies to deal with.

Two of the Evil Eyes have Magick Counter, the other pair has Counter. So I guess I was thinking the Counter ones focus on physical attacks, so Immobilize will keep it from hurting us?

But that's really not helpful when it doesn't care about range. Even worse, it'll get more turns because it won't waste energy by moving.

So much for Berserk. Still, it bought us a turn.

Now that Orthros has joined us on the stairs, we can focus it down. Annoyingly, it also has Evade Magick.

You know, it would be nice if those spells were on our side for once.

Huh. It worked.

That's more damage than Lian could have done in a turn, so I'd say this has paid off.

Henri gets yet another Opportunity Command, but all he can do with it is attack Orthros.

Leed attacks the Orthros again, leaving it just barely alive. Zoe cleans it up.

We've killed the boss, now time to clean up the rest. I think these Evil Eyes are more of a threat than the Orthros was.

Who would've thought Sleep could be so useful!

I wish we did more damage, I am so ready for this to be done.

Yeah, that's more like it. (Zoe actually received an Opportunity Command this turn, but I chose not to use it.)

Lian finishes off the Evil Eye.

The Eyes have one more trick: Bewitching Gaze. As you might guess, it Charms the target. Most of the clan is immune, one way or another.

Zoe is seriously my favorite unit, except for all the other clan members who are also my favorites.

Leed kills the weakened Eye. He didn't need the XP, but oh well.

And Lian finally finishes it all with a bang. Or a cloud of petrifying smoke. Whatever.

I've been waiting for this screen. Completing the Second Watch took nearly 2 hours.

Oh, it looks like only Zoe gets XP because she killed the boss monster.

That's it. We're finally free of Brightmoon Tor, Second Watch.

The Snowy Tear we looted on our way up is the magickal counterpart to the Crimson Tear. It boosts Magick by a solid +20 points. I hope it isn't bugged like the Crimson Tear is.


Thank you, readers, for coming with me through that slog of a dungeon. We still have one more watch to go! But that's for the future. The far, far future.

Hey look, we have 5 statues! We've completed over 250 quests now -- 258, to be exact.

There are so few things left to do, I'm not sure it's even worth voting for. Actually, let's skip the vote today -- I'll do an update or two of filler, and we can pick up the quest lines later.