Part 66: The Art of the BladeUpdate 66: The Art of the Blade
In This Update:
- We spend too much time around lava.
- We aid the cause of "True" "Love"!
- Generally, we handle some filler quests.
Welcome back! In case you skipped the last couple updates, here's the important parts:
Samuel learned the last Blue Mage ability he was missing.
The clan reached level 56!
We obtained the Armlet of Whispers, an extremely powerful scion.
The thread also voted to do some more filler before tackling the last few long quest lines.
And we do have a fair few quests left! With 262 completed, we're rapidly reaching the end of the game.
Like, the actual end, not just the end of the plot. We reached that almost 30 updates ago.
I sorted the list of quests by "Newest First," so this should be the oldest quest in the list.
It takes us back to the Neslowe Passage to pursue a Blade Biter, the toughest Toughskin.
Easy law, nothing special here.
Here's our main foe. It's not bringing much in the way of abilities -- it really is just a Great Tortoise but more.
The team is mostly focused on range, due to the difficult terrain in the middle of the battlefield.
: Kupo-po! What kind of sword can stick through that, kupo!? Well, let's do our best, kupo!
I recommend taking out this Hoppy Bunny first, because it can Haste several monsters at once.
Oh, wait, there are traps here? Should have been expecting that, I swear Neslowe Passage always has traps.
Imino gives Jalia a free second try, but still no luck.
Fortunately, it decides to attack us instead of using Haste! I'll take it.
You're going to want a lot of Wind damage, since the Hoppy Bunny is the only thing here not weak to that element.
Tsing reveals the cluster of traps near our starting position.
The Pit Beasts have some new stuff, like this Subsidence attack. It looks like just an AoE earth attack, making it basically a worse version of their other abilities.
Resonate is still one of my favorite monster abilities, and in this case it actually disables Vaan!
Jalia brought a wind-element bow today, and it's really paying off.
Over on the side, Imino takes out the Hoppy Bunny, ridding us of a great threat.
Adelle follows that by killing the one Pit Beast.
As usual, the enemies will heal each other if they can.
It doesn't help them much.
With a smile from Imino, Lian turns his attention to the second pair of enemies.
The Blade Biter has Magick Counter and gives Lian a taste of his own windy medicine.
A little gift for the Lennart fans out there.
Adelle gets a sweet double with that one.
And then Tsing shoots the other Adamantitan. Which just leaves the Blade Biter itself.
How about we try our new scion?
A weird pink-purple horse woman flies up and shoots pink bullets onto the battlefield, which then explode.
Shemhazai (from FFXII) posted:
Scion that is both horse and woman, wielding utter control over the souls that wander the underworld, in opposition to the Martyr Igeyorhm, scion of light. Though she once served the gods as a guardian, when Ultima announced her rebellion, Shemhazai went to her, whispering of the gods' hidden weaknesses. She then descended upon the land without leave of the gods, and taught men of destruction and evil. For this was she stricken down and bound.
This is my new favorite scion.
: Now I wonder just how you're supposed to sharpen something so hard, kupo.
Back at the pub...
The Blade Biter's Blade posted:
They've done it! No one has ever managed to liberate one of those ancient swords lodged in the preternaturally hard shell of a blade biter...until now!
The sword was immediately offered to renowned metallurgist Mr. Steeling, yet the strength of the metal was such that nothing could be done to it.
It had been hoped that other weapons and armor could make benefit of that incredible strength, yet these proved to be nothing but empty dreams.
The sword in question now inhabits a place of honor on the wall in Mr. Steeling's manor.
So, there you have it: shellings and their ilk are so old that ancient, indestructible swords are regularly found in their backs.
We find ourselves back in the Neslowe Passage to aid a painter in his quest for inspiration.
Which, of course, means protecting him from monsters.
The other arts are forbidden here! No music, no poetry.
There's a good selection of enemies: two Fire Drakes, three Bombs and a Marshmallow.
You'll want some ranged attacks here, due to the terrain. It's hard to get melee characters in range with that lava river in the way.
Here's our client, the painter Kismunt. He's a bit, ah, eccentric, shall we say.
: Heat is one thing, but do us all a favor and stay away from those monsters.
: Yes... A-ha! ...Hmm. No no no... Then again...perhaps a little...? ...And what about...? Yes! It is all but finished in my mind! I can see it quite clearly now! And what a splendid piece it will be!
Wait is he done already, can we go home?
: I don't think he's listening. We'd better take care of these monsters before they take care of Kismunt.
The main annoyance of this battle is the battlefield itself. Even flying characters can't really help you here.
I mean, they aren't bad, but they're just as stymied by the lack of useful land as everyone else.
The enemies will be scaled up to your level, so this battle will be a little more fun!
On the other hand, Kismunt is actually suicidal and will just walk right towards the enemy.
Unlike the enemies, he does not scale up.
Also, there are rounds for this match. There's no win condition tied to the timer, you don't need to defeat all enemies within three rounds or something. But if you don't, the volcano will erupt.
You should consider slapping some protective spells on Kismunt, since even the ground is trying to kill him.
My plan is to throw Curas at him and kill everything else. It's highly effective!
Had I known half the enemies would come after Kismunt up here, I would have sent more than just Cid.
But I guess that's what we have ranged attacks for.
Fortunately, Kismunt doesn't stay up there forever.
Down in the lava, the Bombs are doing Bomb things, i.e. healing each other and themselves with Fire spells.
As always, exploit elemental weaknesses! Every enemy here is weak to Ice, and you should have plenty of tools to take advantage of that.
Or just use your normal overpowered abilities.
Round two, things start heating up. Possibly literally.
Not a lot of interesting stuff is going on here, honestly. We're slowly wearing them down, they're slowly wearing us down, the usual.
It's been long enough that our damage is starting to accumulate and the kills are trickling in.
But will we finish the battle before the volcano erupts?
Probably not, if they keep healing themselves.
I took Agility +5 for our clan privilege, so there's been a lot of misses this battle.
Leed gets another kill, because Magick Frenzy lets him ignore petty things like terrain.
Cid and Al-Cid have been wearing this one down for a few turns. Only a one enemy left now!
But it's too late, we've hit the end of round 3.
The ground trembles and shakes...
The last enemy is down to critical HP, but Kismunt isn't looking too hot either. (Heh.)
But we get a turn before the Bomb can react.
: That's the last one! Now he should be able to listen to his muse in peace.
: This is even greater than I dared hope! I thought I would conceive my image and leave. But watching you do battle among the leaping flames captivated me!
: I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
: I must commit the passion of the moment to canvas! It will be my greatest work yet!
True love! Romance! Daring duels for the heart of a woman!
Though one wonders how Preme feels about this.
The fiend! He brought allies! This is hardly a fair fight.
Gladly will we undertake this task, and indeed prove our own honor by not buffing ourselves.
: You are Balfonne? We've come to fight in Hseaunon's place.
: What's this? We've been hired by Balfonne to fight in -his- place. I care little whether we fight you or Hseaunon himself. The pay's the same.
: I am not sure whose honor would be upheld by such a battle. But if they're determined to fight, why disappoint them?
Yeah, I chuckled. "Well they're both cowards, let's fight anyway."
First, as always, take out the White Mage.
Second, I don't like Defenders. They're way too tanky.
So we gang up on him a bit.
And I guess I don't like the look of this Parivir. He was pretty rude before.
They take a few weak passes at us, it doesn't really amount to much.
Montblanc is more than happy to knock the Parivir down a couple pegs. The Defender is also critically weak now.
He takes it upon himself to finish things.
And that was all before Jalia's second turn, which she spends dooming the White Mage.
Then we turn our attentions to the Hunter and the Cannoneer.
They don't last very long.
The White Mage wakes up, but she has only a single turn of Doom left--
Vaan spends his Opportunity Command sounding very, very bloodthirsty.
Well, I had a good time, at least.
We're running out of high-rank missions, so these will go a bit faster.
I mean, still serious stuff here! Abduction is no joke.
No Seeq, which is a little weird. Not a problem for us.
Bringing some ranged damage and high-mobility units, or, even better, bring an Illusionist.
: Return the girl to us at once, or you'll regret it!
: All I'm saying is, I wanted to see just what this lass's fella looked like. Ah well. We'll fight you while we wait for him to show up. How about that?
: You sure are confident. I hope for your sake that the girl's okay!
A good first step: Quicken your Time Mage.
That way he can Hastega half your team. Smile is seriously the best ability, can you believe Time Mages have to spend 12 MP for what Jugglers do for free?
Lian actually got the first turn and weakened this Ninja, letting Henri take him out.
On the other side, Zoe disables the Seer.
Thanks to the MP Efficiency law, Talf's Illusions are ridiculously cheap. And thanks to Imino, we don't have to wait long for his turn to come around.
It's easier than walking in range, right?
A hasted Master Monk is scary strong, especially when he still has the Unscarred bonus increasing his damage.
Zoe ignores the weakened Seer and disables the Hunter.
And then it's Imino's turn again and he casts a smile to Talf.
Another blast of Stardust kills the Hunter and critically weakens the Seer.
Lian finishes him off.
: S-Sorry... We've done nothing to the girl. Please, take her back...
: Ah... I'm glad she's okay.
Well, while we're in the area, let's go treasure hunting!
This is the only map ever used for quests in Kthili Sands, apparently.
No scions, sorry.
Here's our team! I forgot to make sure Lenolia was set up to do her thing, so we really only have 5 combat-ready units.
: I doubt we'll find much, but let's start by looking for anything out of the ordinary. Should we unearth but a single gold coin, I will consider us fortunate.
I believe the treasure will be in the last spot you check. It forces you to fight all the enemies.
There's a fair few traps, too, so watch out for those. A few are placed next to treasure spots.
There's a surprising number of spots for such a small map.
The monsters, well, they'll try their best. They're not particularly interesting and they don't scale with your level.
There is a brown chocobo here, if you're still looking for one, for whatever reason.
I didn't notice any Blue Mage spells, either, but you don't need to hunt for those in regular missions.
I wonder if you could get through this with no violence at all if you used abilities like Vanish?
Some monsters can actually reveal hidden characters, so you can't do it every time.
I'll try to remember that, if another mission like this pops up. I'm actually not sure we'll see any!
Oh hey Jalia did get to cast a spell! Nice.
Finally, we find the treasure.
: This urn -- I think it's the treasure! Best tell Ricard what we've found.
One last quest for today.
: Hm? Is that a note? Let's see...
: "To the clan who accepted my quest. Urgent business has called me away. I travel to an island at the end of the world. I still require the delivery be made on time. - Ezel Berbier"
: An island at the end of the world?
Hi Lezaford! It's been a while.
Ah, here we are.
: You may wish you hadn't. They call it the Forbidden Land with good reason. There's incredible power here, but it's a fell place, nonetheless!
: With power like this, there'll always be some fool or other trying to control it. Fortunately, there's also some sharp enough to keep that from happening.
: Ah, yes. Thank you.
These things don't generally interest me one way or the other. But as
long as I'm here, may as well have a look. So long, Samuel.
This quest would make a lot more sense if you could take it before defeating Illua here in the final story mission. Honestly, I'm not sure if you can get A Small Favor earlier than that.
I find Samuel's silence interesting. Maybe Ezel isn't referring to anyone in particular, or maybe he's specifically calling out Illua. Either way, Ezel's speech reminds Samuel of the weight upon his shoulders.
Back at the pub, there's a letter waiting for us:
I guess this really is the last we'll see of Ezel. He's one of my favorite characters in these games, and I'm glad they brought him back for this one.
Well! Here we are, edging ever closer to finishing the game. 267 down, 33 to go!
Next update: More of these filler quests.