Part 72: The Feud of the FoothillsUpdate 72: The Feud of the Foothills
We have seen a lot of trials and turmoil in Ivalice: giant chickens, assassination attempts, Duelhorn, and everything that Illua was doing.
In the background of all that, there has been a feud raging in the Rupie Mountains. We saw parts of it before: in Update 9, we met Madreth of the Nu Mou Nobles, who warned us about the Bangaa Brotherhood. And in Update 10, we met Mocedad, the leader of the Bangaa Brotherhood, who had a similarly negative opinion about Madreth and his crew.
What's between them is more than just words.
Open Rivalry posted:
Word is that the Bangaa Brotherhood and Nu Mou Nobles are at it again up in the Rupie Mountains!
Perhaps rumors of a growing desire to end the conflict once and for all are true, for both sides have been openly recruiting mercenaries in the pubs of late.
Not only are the clans fighting, but they're bringing in outside help to tip the battle in their favor.
Today we're diving straight into the Rivalry of the Rupies. Madreth wants our help in delivering a decisive blow to the Brotherhood.
Get used to this battlefield, because we will be seeing it a lot today.
Straightforward law, at least.
I'm pretty sure the enemies scale up with us. I always put this quest off until the end because it's rank 50, so I have no idea if it's doable earlier.
Beautiful alliteration, solid effort on the insults. Easy 8/10.
: The time has come to put an end to these years of struggle...with one final victory!
Mocedad's rejoinder is less fiery. Hardly any insults at all. 3/10.
: What say we crack a few open and see if there's aught else in there but dreams and hot air?
We're here too! As impartial judges of snark and extremely partial combatants.
That's a lot of battles.
: Yet this time, we have brought powerful allies to aid us! Don't you dare think this will go as it has in the past!
: Bwa ha ha! Perhaps your precious allies can help prop up that big head of yours! We don't need a list of your accomplishments...accomplishments--you can show us!
: The battle begins... Look sharp!
I don't know why he repeats "accomplishments" like that.
Alright, the straightforward part: the battle itself.
Our bangaa enemies have quite the variety of units -- compare their mix of ranged and physical attacks to our bevy of mages.
Mocedad is probably the most threatening, since he has great damage over a huge range. The Master Monk is a little scary, too.
Meanwhile, our team is constrained by the MP system. Madreth and the Illusionist are particularly useless, since their spells take at least 3 turns worth of MP.
On the other hand, the Bishop does nothing but cast Barrier. He's slow enough that he'll rarely get more than two turns.
I messed up slightly going into this battle.
Bangaa and nu mou are basically at the extremes: the former are very physically tanky and the latter have strong magick defenses. Both are on the slower side, excepting a couple bangaa jobs.
When fighting a team of each race, like we are here, your best bet is to bring the opposite.
So this battle takes much longer than necessary because I stacked my team with fighters instead of mages.
Mind you, we have a few spells that make a big difference, and we can still make great use of facings.
And it's not like physical attacks are useless!
But you'll see later how much faster this is if you come prepared.
Anyway, we've reached the tipping point where all the damage is adding up and the enemies are falling.
Note that our allies have done nothing this whole time. The White Mage cast Cura once before dying.
The Illusionist, on the brink of death, is finally able to cast his first spell.
I somehow managed to avoid attacking Mocedad this entire time.
He's a Cannoneer and has a couple buffs: Barrage, which increases basic attacks from one hit to two, and Targeting, which lets him get a free attack on a target next turn. But since those are buffs, Frimelda can dispell them, and Magick Frenzy lets her attack him!
And then Al-Cid kills him.
: I only hope those bangaa meatheads have learned their lesson! ...Yet I know they have not. As soon as their wounds mend, they will return.
: Wherein lies your rivalry? You both live here in the Rupie Mountains. Would cooperation not be preferable to combat?
: Us, cooperate with those boneheaded barbarians? Preposterous! Though...I do not recall what exactly began our rivalry. Not that it matters! We will put an end to this! With you by our side!
You may be wondering: How does the rivalry look from the Brotherhood's perspective? We have the perfect opportunity to see exactly that: Mocedad wants us to help him defeat the Nobles.
Same map, like I said.
The law has changed to something arbitrary and odd, but no more troublesome.
Mocedad still can't muster up the acerbic poetry that Madreth could.
: Let's settle this once and for all! Hrah!
You'll notice that the Nobles have an additional Black Mage and Time Mage, while we've replaced the Brotherhood's Master Monk and White Monk with our own crew.
: The Bangaa Brotherhood will rue the day it presumed to confront us in open battle!
: They're both itching for a fight.
Yes, it tracks how many times we've done these battles. I appreciate this little detail.
: Only this time, we've brought powerful allies to aid us! Don't think for a moment this will go as it has in the past!
: Bwah ha ha! Perhaps your precious allies can lend some brain to that brawn of yours! We don't need a list of your accomplishments -- you can show us what you're made of in battle!
: I think we're going to witness the Rivalry of the Rupies first hand...
The dialogue reads slightly better if you take this quest before the Nobles one, though it doesn't truly matter. Normally I would reorder these, but the "102 times..." dialogue would make that confusing.
As you can see, bringing physical attackers is a very good idea against the Nobles.
I haven't shown any details of anyone on the battlefield. Frankly, there's no point. None of the units have anything particularly interesting, not even Mocedad or Madreth.
Seriously, this Bishop only casts Barrier.
And just like last time, the most the Nobles can do is use basic attacks until their MP charges. It does not go well for them.
I should also note there's nothing important about the leaders. The battle does not hinge on them.
Though, obviously, you will be removing the most competent enemies if you take them out early.
I really was not kidding about how effective physical attacks can be.
I'm impressed the NPCs actually get kills. Not often we see that.
Of course, if you do take too long, the Nobles will have enough MP to cast some spells.
As opposed to our mage, who, well... Barrier.
I barely cut out any turns this time, while last battle I didn't show maybe half of them. It's already over.
: I only hope those nu mou know-it-alls have learned their lesson! ...But I rather doubt they have. As soon as their wounds mend, they'll be back.
: Why the rivalry? Wouldn't it be better for everyone if you all just got along?
: Hrah! Cooperate with them!? You'd get more cooperation out of a rock, so ya would! We've been at it like this so long, y'know, I can't even remember how it all got started. Ha! However it started, we'll put an end to it! With you by our side!
Now comes the fun part of this update: these two battles are repeatable. Twice per year, the feud between the Bangaa Brotherhood and the Nu Mou Nobles erupts into open confrontation. And we get to be on both sides of it!
Yes, Samuel is spending several more years in Ivalice just to fight some idiots in the mountains.
Nothing changes between each fight.
The dialogue is completely the same.
Except for this line, obviously. The rivalry had been raging for 50 years before we showed up: 100 biannual battles.
As you can see, I actually brought mages this time!
Lenolia is super effective, as always.
The Bishop is still... well he's very good at what he does, OK?
Anyway, Mocedad dies pretty quickly. (Do note that's Talf, not the Nobles' Illusionist.)
And Lenolia finishes off the rest right after.
Madreth still doesn't want to live in peace with the bangaa.
Yes, nothing really changes. (Though we do get 10,000 gil.)
Because we totally need 10,000 gil.
Twice. A. Year.
The breech, once more, and so on.
I'll keep this one short.
Mocedad, you're lugging around a literal hand cannon, how do you have such noodley arms?
Seriously dude do you skip leg and arm day?
At this point it feels obligatory.
The Gladiator is hardly better. For some awful reason, the job's signature elemental attacks scale off the Magick stats, so they're terrible for this battle. Yet he uses them almost every time.
Mocedad manages to wrangle his cannon into a useful position, struggling under the weight of those buffs. And, somehow, his arms straining, he lands two solid shots that destroy the Black Mage.
Also Madreth dies.
We win, Mocedad still won't cooperate with the Nobles, life goes on.
A few months later, here we are again, fighting for the Nobles.
105 times! And yet nothing changes.
I'll cut to the chase.
The important part.
Kidding, kidding, I know you all want to see Mocedad get iced again.
Also a rare shot of an Arcanist being useful!
Sweet Maduin I just realized that's his arm, what the hell is wrong with his arm?
Oh scions, all nu mou arms are that freaky!
Nope, I am out of here, goodbye.
Alright, last one. I promise!
You have to do each battle three times. Three. Times. (Not necessarily in a row.)
It takes all the joy out of war, it really does.
Six battles of just this, over and over.
I have become very good at killing these people.
Our reward for clearing those battles three times each is... a notice.
Big Plans in the Rupies posted:
A word in your ear: that trade magnate over in Moorabella, Lord Parkay, is planning something big up in the Rupie Mountains.
Now, the Rupie Mountains are known for their natural beauty...but the terrain can be harsh on the traveler. That's what Parkay wants to fix. He wants to turn the place into some kind of family resort!
The lord is already in negotiations with local residents, buying up parcels of land...and word is he plans to send in clans to deal with them what don't want to sell...
But you didn't hear -that- from me.
-- Domis Streetears
After reading the notice, a new quest is waiting for us. Finally, we're fighting someone besides the Nu Mou Nobles!
But of course we're stilling seeing familiar faces.
Mocedad stands alone against House Bowen. We know how formidable those mercenaries can be.
It's up to us -- Samuel, Zoe and Penelo -- to aid him!
: It's nothing personal, you understand. We've been contracted by someone far more persuasive than you to take care of the locals...which means you.
I guess we're supposed to have completed this one before the whole quest line that humanized Bowen.
Or the quests were written by several different writers who didn't try to develop any kind of continuity. Whatever.
Yes, technically, no one asked us to come here.
: Hnnrh... I am sorry you had to see me this way. Please! Aid me in driving off these interlopers!
: Asking for help won't change your fate, bangaa. It will merely add to the number of casualties.
: Let's help Mocedad!
Except I haven't shown you the law yet, have I?
Enter Madreth and his Time Mage.
: That muscle-brained oaf, running headlong into danger with nary a thought... Oi, Mocedad! Do you live?
: Why...if it isn't old man Madreth! Hrah!
: The ones you face are veteran headhunters. You don't stand a chance as you are! ...Very well. I shall aid you. Everyone! We fight, and protect Mocedad!
Nothing brings people together like a common enemy.
: "Madreth," did you say? What a stroke of luck. He's on our list too. You've done our legwork for us!
: Okay, let's do this! And make sure Mocedad and Madreth don't get hurt! We can't let them die just when they finally decide to work together!
These actually appear as soon as you enter the battle, but I didn't want to spoil Madreth's appearance.
And now we can really commence.
As usual, Veis has three free turns at the start of the battle. She doesn't do much with them, just tries to silence Penelo.
Madreth's Time Mage went to the same school as the Brotherhood's Bishop, apparently. The School of Pointless Buffs. This makes Madreth much harder to heal, since he now bounces most healing spells.
Go away, Veis!
As usual, Tweigel is a good target because of his Blood Price-powered Illusions.
This Time Mage is now my favorite unit here.
I think Bowen is actually throwing this battle.
He's just jobbing, he doesn't actually want Parkay to get away with his scheme. Right?
Veis ran out of early turns, so Samuel moves in to stop her shenanigans.
If the Nobles were actually this good, how did they keep losing those battles?
Tweigel manages to get a spell off. This costs him 56 HP.
Penelo easily heals up most of the damage.
Casting that spell ultimately costs him his life. Or, well, makes Zoe's job that much easier.
Don't go making melee attacks / Just stick to the Slows and Stops that you're used to
Bowen is all, "how dare you attack my best friend!"
Alright, pay attention: Mocedad is Targeting Bowen, meaning he gets to attack him on Mocedad's next turn. I don't think this does more damage than a regular attack, so normally I wouldn't do this.
Especially when I can just do this.
Bowen charges Mocedad, landing a solid hit.
At the beginning of Mocedad's turn, he kills Bowen with the prepared attack.
He then moves and targets Loa, who Samuel weakened with a Magick Frenzy. Pretty neat way to get two attacks in, though it kind of wastes a turn.
Madreth weakens her further with Graviga, and Zoe lands the finishing blow. We win!
Fade to black, Bowen has something to say.
: I believe our report to client [sic] will be as follows: "The mountain people have friends in high places. For your own sake, leave them well enough alone."
"Again." We've defeated House Bowen again.
: Take this...and perhaps we'll meet again.
He then teleports away, proving that he is actually a villain. Only villains get to teleport away in this game!
: ...Thanks! Well, that should end Parkay's interest in the Rupie Mountains. Which leaves...
: ...Keh! Fie on you, old man Madreth and your meddling...
: Keh keh! I feel sick to my stomach just talking to you!
That's excessive, dude, both of you need to calm down.
: But...Mocedad, I had a thought when we were fighting those headhunters. Perhaps it would be best to put our rivalry behind us?
: Hrah. I thought the same thing. Maybe we could, er, mend our ways... That is... I think we need your magick if we're to survive long up here. Your magick is what we need to grow stronger.
: And...it is the same for us, Mocedad. Fighting alongside you, I found my power to be several times beyond its normal reach. It is as if our differing skills complement the other's strengths and weaknesses. How could we not have noticed this before? Perhaps it took this unwelcome reminder that the world does not end at the mountains' edge.
: So long has our rivalry persisted, I cannot remember how it even began! The time has come to cooperate, and together grow stronger!
: ...You speak truth. And the Rupie Mountains need defenders, brother!
In the end, it brought them together. I'm happy.
: Well, that settles the rest of the mountains' problems. Our work here is done!
: It's all thanks to you, Clan Sawyer! You have our gratitude!
: Allow me to thank you, too, Clan Sawyer! You've shown these mountains the way to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Finally, finally, we get the Shining Lute. This is the instrument that teaches Hurdy the Magick Ballad ability, which restores MP and makes him actually useful as a Bard.
Well, I say "finally," but we picked this up in Update 13 when we recruited Hurdy.
Wait, Update 13?! That was a whole year and a half ago. Please, if you're thinking of playing this game and doing anything at all with Hurdy, make the Shining Lute when you recruit him, for your sake.
Back at the pub, there's one final notice:
The Rivalry is Righted posted:
Just the other day, it finally happened.
The Bangaa Brotherhood and the Nu Mou Nobles agreed on terms of peace, and the Rivalry of the Rupies is finally over!
The two clans plan to devote themselves to the protection of the Rupie Mountains.
Though the events that started the Rivalry of the Rupies are shrouded in mystery, few want to pry too deeply, for fear of reopening old wounds that might prompt a return to hostilities.
It sounds like either people really don't believe in the citizens of the Rupie Mountains, or the peace is extremely fragile. Not our problem, I guess -- until someone posts a bill.
Here we are, edging ever closer to that sweet, sweet 300 Quests Completed.
The real gift was the XP we gained along the way.
The Rivalry of the Rupies is kind of a silly example of it, but developers exploiting nature to build resorts, shopping centers and parking lots is a serious issue. Not all of us can oppose them the way Samuel did, sadly.
Now, with everything that isn't "Lethean Draught" out of the way, I think it's time for the third and final watch of Brightmoon Tor.