Part 16: High Seas HavokPart 16 High Seas Havok
The Castle of Dawn
We're back to Bal to save the wind drake.
Unfortunately Galuf gave very clear orders not to open the door for anyone.
Plan B requires a moogle costume, 15 gold needles and a wind dr- at.
Or just going and using that secret passage we already went through last update.
Seymour's still a little skittish about heights, dismiss thoughts about him walking down the stairs and dipping in at ground level, the map transition kicks in before reaching the ground.
No worries! Better safe than sorry!
Next time, I'll check to make certain it's the king, then open the gate!
We've just learned that King Xezat of Surgate is sending his fleet to attack Exdeath's castle!
There are four towers that maintain the barrier day and night.
I forgot to mention this last update, but Art has this as a rare steal. The twin lance deals damage twice per attack.
Now for plot. If I try and walk up the stairs to deal with saving the wind drake a plot trigger drags Seymour in here anyway.
Gr... Grand... pa...
I'm here, my dear!
Shh, don't try to talk.
Calling... Ghido is calling...
Hurry... go find Ghido... Please...
But who's Ghido?
A sage who's lived for overseven hundred years... Ghido's the one who prophesied that the crystals in your world would break.
Hang in there, Krile. We're gonna go see Ghido, so just hold on a little longer.
Okay... But... have to... use the wind drake...
Don't worry. We've got the dragon grass in spades.
Really!? The drake's resting... at the top of this tower...
Like you needed to ask.
Where do we find this Ghido, anyway?
He lives on a small island in the ocean northeast of Drakenvale.
Lady Krile collapsed!
That grass killed off all the wind drakes. No wonder he doesn't want to eat it.
It doesn't matter if he wants to... he has to! With woulds like these, if he doesn't hurry and eat that stuff, he'll die!
It's all right. Look, its good to eat, see? I'll have some too.
Lenna! Did you forget? Dragon grass is poisonous to humans!
Here, now you try...
That's a good boy...
Lenna! Hold on!
Lenna! Are you all right?
Yes... Thank you, Krile.
Naive Krile. For you, the day Lenna willingly ingested poison to save a dragon was the craziest day in your life. For her it was Tuesday.
Cripes, Lenna, if something had happened to you-
Krile! You sure you should be up and about?
I'm... I'm okay...
Don't... don't worry about me...
You stay here and get some rest, young lady!
Krile... Thank you. I am in your debt.
Earlier in the thread someone mentioned how strange it was that the game didn't translate hiryu as dragon, but it was also pointed out it was a proper name capital H Hiryu. What's I'm getting at is how its incredibly strange that Krile hasn't named the wind drake that her parents fucking died to save.
You rest up now, got it?
I will! You guys be careful too!
Let's go find Sage Ghido!
Spreading Grand Wings
So here's Ghido's cave, but we just got free to travel the world for the first time. I'm sure Ghido can wait.
Its not like this island is going anywh- obviously Sage Ghido being 700 years old he's taken his island off the map to keep upstart heroes from just wandering in asking for help. This island definitely isn't going anywhere.
Due west of the island is a castle.
The Castle of Dawn
Is Manse too mainstream for you? Try new Demesne, worth at least 5 more points in scrabble!
Only after trying to fiddle with their door do they actually decide to do their jobs.
Stand down! This is King Galuf of Bal and his retainers! Let them in, you cretins! King Xezat is off leading the fleet to Exdeath's castle.
Xezat... He's one of the Dawn Warriors, right?
He fought alongside Dad...
This guy is basically Surgate's chancellor, but doesn't freak out about every little thing like heir to the throne leaving on a perilous journey.
The throne room has 3 exits, the north west exit leads to this path to the back of the castle.
We've found a book that's over one thousand years old. However, one half of it is missing, so much about it remains unknown. It's entitled the "Sealed Tome."
This is the library's oldest tome. However, half of its pages have been lost, so we don't really know what it's about.
We can't find the remaining half of that book anywhere! We've looked over every book on the planet!
Like that imprisoned scholar in Walse, this jerk just talks about a book but doesn't tell us what Exdeath has done. I guess he's tried to hijack a weather satellite to make it rain constantly over Bal or maybe invented rail roads to tie damsels to.
Below the scholars is a whole other library.
What ensues is a little puzzle.
So we put them away one by one. D-F is the top center bank of shelves. You can see Seymour's head poking out if you squint.
R-S go on the 2 shelves right by these stairs. I now remember I missed something.
How do you know about Ronka why do you have a half book like we did back home?
And here you can see Seymour clearly.
She opens a secret passage that leads to treasure.
And another book.
Mentioning that the only good thing that Dragoon does is give useful class an ability to top off their MP.
Thanks for the help back there. ...Oh, now that I think of it, I heard there's some strange magic that allows you to levitate... and it's hidden somewhere in the castle.
I just got back from the lake up north, and boy do I have a tale to tell... You know it's surrounded by mountains, right? Well, I was up there,andthis huge eye started glaring at me! It's a miracle I made it back alive!
Like Bal, there's chests strewn about that were already opened, this is one of the few that isn't.
We can cross under the bridge we used to get to the library to access another bit of the courtyard.
Eventually leading to Float. Time Mage gets a lot of love in Galuf's world.
Returning to the throne room the south west door leads to Xezat's room.
In other versions this is the first stat boosting song you'll get, and its the best one (for those versions, YMMV on if its worth it here). Swift Song boosts the parties agility stat, one point per "turn" the singer has. In older releases where agility directly impacts ATB that means everyone is constantly getting faster and faster. Here with ATB randomized it still improves things, but not as consistently.
Last and least is this final stairway in the throne room.
I don't mean to insult these soldiers, its more what follows after that's such a let down.
King Xezat is away, leading the fleet to Exdeath's castle.
If only we could destroy that barrier around Exdeath's castle...
You should be able to land that drake of yours on the king's ship.
Exdeath's castle is well fortified on the Big Bridge side, but the eastern side is relatively unprotected.
Here's the letdown, Surgate has new armor and weapons...
But it's all trash. I guess maybe the Osafune might be worth it if you don't want to deal with the Kazekiri's wind element. But the sword is just bigger than the sleep blade without the useful status. Hell its weaker than the dancing dagger.
The armor shop is mostly the same, aside from including Gauntlets. If you haven't gotten sick of fighting optimize unequipping your capes enough.
Spreading Grand Wings
That's all Surgate has so let's check out the rest of the world. To the north is the forest that old man mentioned. All we can do is remember it for later since we can't fly over mountains.
To the west of Surgate is a large forest surrounted by mountains. There's a theme starting to form here.
We can get a brief glimpse of a town here, but again a fat lot of good that does us.
On the other side of the map we have something that failed to load. But it too is surrounded by mountains so it can just stay unloaded.
One last "here's a thing, its blocked by mountains." At least half of the land on Galuf's world is just mountains it looks like. Seymour and friends have honestly probably walked 2/3 of the remaining flat land on the map. There isn't much to Galuf's world.
Here's Ghido's island again. It isn't surrounded by mountains.
Yup, Sage Ghido's place.
The island's breaking apart!
We gotta get back to the wind drake- hurry!
Thankfully the wind drake is able to scoop everyone out of the water.
I've taken a brief detour to the island we were dumped on.
Everyone but Galuf needs to be at critical HP.
There's one more optional place to go, this is east of Bal.
Fate In Haze (Pixel Remaster)
Gil Cave has 2 enemies, has a limited shelf life, and is completely optional.
There's 2 exits, one leading to the marsh where Bal and Quelb are, and the other to the Big Bridge. FYI while you can cross the Big Bridge, including the kick ass music, the encounter tiles are removed.
Then there's this little dead end to the south.
Undergrounders can do earth elemental attacks which Float negates.
I switched Faris to Black Mage because I needed someone with !Black4 for the cheese strat.
Once you reach this section of the dead end of the cave, you start getting prizes.
Every step gets double the cash.
But there is no reward without risk.
I'll talk at length of the Gil Turtle shortly. But for now the Pixel Remaster has one glitch that allows Gil Turtle to be completely trivialized. Gil is undead and has a boatload of health. Apparently something in the math behind the scenes causes it to freak out when he's healed. I assume since he has 32768 HP (the maximum value of a 16 bit signed integer) an overflow slams his health back down to 0.
This is like one step away from the big prize. I've personally never done this before, the last time I played Gil showed up on step one and I was only looking for the bestiary I didn't care. Money might be tight at times but not enough to ever need to do this.
If you're doing this in earnest, you can always cast teleport to get out when you've had your fill. Gil will attack going forward or back.
As mentioned before when I chumped him, Gil is undead. He also has obscenely high defenses. Also note that Galuf has Blink applied.
When attacked he counters twice with Turtle. Galuf evaded both of these and still got stuck with a boat load of statuses. Confuse is the worst of them for this setup.
I just don't have enough numbers to go toe to toe in a "fair" fight right now. In other versions it'd probably be fine since the status effects wouldn't proc and !Guard doesn't wear off when the characters turn arrives instead of when a new command is issued. Also the GBA release lets you cheat and quicksave your way to the end without risk.
In summary, in the Pixel remaster if you really want to fill out the bestiary drain the jerk. Otherwise to fight fair you'd need one white mage casting blink on a knight, the knight !Guarding, a bard casting requiem, and another white mage waiting with Esuna to mop up confuse. And be floating. And have more HP. And don't do it.
Now let's proceed with things. The fleet we've heard about is over in this bay, but let's ignore that and try to attack Exdeath's castle (I continue to be annoyed that it is not "Castle" but will transcribe it accurately).
We're stopped by a little tiny purple blip. In older versions trying to pass the barrier would cause the whole thing to flash. As an aside if have photo-sensitivity to flashing lights the Pixel Remasters remove the most flashes.
As one of the Surgate guards mentioned, we can land on the flagship.
The Castle of Dawn
Good thing we've run out of Dawn Warriors to meet, it's getting tiring having their minions trying to Seymour viscera.
If it isn't Galuf! Aren't you a sight for sore eyes!
Xezat! How the devil have you been?
Managing, barely. These friends of yours?
This is Dorgann's son, Seymour Butz!
You're Dorgann's boy, eh?
These ladies are nobility from the other world.
Well met. I'm the swordsman Xezat.
Oho? Not "King" Xezat?
Ehh, I don't think the title suits me all that well.
Sure doesn't! Har har har! I'm the same way.
Just Galuf and Just Xezat laugh.
So, have you found a way into Exdeath's castle?
Ha, we're halfway in already! For now, head below deck and rest up. The fireworks'll start soon enough.
The fleet's just a decoy. I hope it'll buy us enough time...
Once the barrier's down, there'll be nothing to stop us from storming Exdeath's castle.
In a refreshing change we don't need to disable all the towers to access Skull Castle, just one is enough to break the system.
This guy doesn't do the context smart dialog of the little girl or anything, when he says a direction he means relative to the screen.
Its been awhile since we've had a free heal.
Battle on the Big Bridge
No plot this time though, this is a trigger for battle
It's Exdeath... He's gotten the jump on us somehow!
Some monsters teleport up on the stern.
And some on the bow. There's a familiar face among the generic Goblin and Abductor sprites.
Leave this trash to me.
Don't blow it this time!
I think that's my line!
Xezat squares up with an Abductor looking fellow.
His troops just stand around while goblins just wander around.
There's a few of them on deck, but only the one blocking off the bowsprit needs to be fought.
After fighting that one Xezat does some cutscene gymnastics.
He calls himself a swordsman, but he can cast just as well. And apparently was a bard too.
He's not completely untouchable though and gets checked into the rails.
The cutscene refreshes the gobbledygooks on the deck, but none of them need to be fought this time.
It's days like this that get you high on life! But you, sirs, are harshing my buzz! Who do you think you are!?
Don't know about who I am, but I know all I need to know about you.
Despite him getting Heavy on the Big Bridge, Greg here's lightened up. He could be instantly dispatched with a Killer Bow or Death Sickle.
But doing so wouldn't do. He now starts carrying rare equipment to steal.
A single bio spell is enough to take off nearly 1/5 of his health.
While things like gravity or other fractional spells round their damage down, Dark Spark rounds its "damage" up. Meaning instead of being level 16, he's level 15.
Once Gilgamesh takes enough damage his friend shows up.
I see you're leisurely as ever, my faithful sidekick!
The old man gave me some trouble.
Oh? Well let's return the trouble...
I should have had a beastmaster so Greg could try and steal my "pikachu"
Immediately after the dialogue ends Enkidu casts White Wind. Nothing to be done about it. Greg is going to be nearly back to full health.
Unless you laid the groundwork for Level 5 Death earlier this might be a problem.
Enkidu just has 4000 HP, so it won't take long to take him down either.
Things play out a bit different if you take Enkidu down first (or if you immediately kill Gilgamesh before he appears).
Enkidu! Faithful sidekick! I trust you to take care of the rest! Faithful sidekick? ...Enkidu? Hey! Sidekicks are NOT to ditch the hero!
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
Hey! I call foul! That's playing dirty! I'm not supposed to be the only one in the drink! Don't think I'll forget hthis! You'll- *glub glub glub*
I'm coming! Hang in there!
That pun is so bad, I'm gonna fall on purpose...
The Castle of Dawn
The wind drake!
Good timing! Now it's our turn to strike! Quit hanging around and get over here!
We'll take care of things up here. You get below!
The monsters will think twice before attacking us again!
Why are you even saying right and left, you're the worst seaman Butz has ever seen.
Beyond the Deep Blue Sea (Pixel Remaster)
We talk to Xezat to proceed, but first...
These seats are beds. Previous versions would immediately prompt you if you wanted to rest from the stairs.
Here you have to walk up to one.
What's going on?
The fleet was only a decoy- a ploy to buy us enough time to reach one of the barrier towers by submarine!
Well, huh. That's kind of brilliant, actually.
You expected any less? Anyway, the tunnel that leads to the barrier tower's been completed. Let's go! Come on!
We all live here now.
Indeed. All that's left is to take it out, and the barrier will fall! I'll take care of the generator downstairs. You hit the top floor and find the antenna.
Find it and destroy it, I assume?
You got it. I'll cut the power, and once that happens, you blow up the antenna! Here, you'll need this.
Veterans of the series may remember this from Final Fantasy 4, AKA the Twin Harp.
What's this do?
We can use it to keep in contact. All right, let's move! I'm counting on you! Good luck!
It wouldn't be a dungeon without random fights. Neons do the same thing as Crew Dusts before. Travelers have a chance of using a blue magic that inflicts Old and Sleep on the target.
Next floor up is a save point.
Say hello to probably the most infamous resident of Barrier Tower. In fiesta you may become very familiar with the Reflect Knight.
For many parties you will fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and fight and hope they for that 1/16 chance they drop a reflect ring.
Then God save you, you're probably doing that more than once for additional rings.
For those who aren't inflicting challenges on yourselves, all you need to know about Reflect Knights is in their name. They have innate reflect and are knights.
I won't be doing a map of the Barrier Tower, aside from one single fork it's linear. This chest is free.
When recording this I was pretty zoned out, so was happy to find that Romeo's Ballad locks down almost every fight for mindless autobattling. All I ever did was focus at the rewards screen to see if I got a ring.
If an easy 9000 gil payday was waiting in the chest right on the way leading up to the next floor, what's waiting here?
Red Dragons will show up eventually as a random encounter but not for awhile.
They're undead so this goes a long way towards wearing out his 7500 HP.
For some reason I think these jerks also have innate reflect so instead of tearing into it with Blizzara I merely go for a flat 1000 HP from Lenna.
If I was so inclined, I could have fled (or cast Return) until I got his rare steal: the Flame Ring that cost 50,000 gil in Istory.
Can you identify the mistake? I mean beyond just refusing to think I can cast magic on him directly.
I had to pause for a minute or two to let the assorted expletives run out.
Jitterbug didn't kill Seymour directly, but was immediately followed up by getting gored by the Red Dragon.
100% not worth it. The Blood Sword is our first Knight Sword, meaning only Knights and Freelancers can use it. Like its appearances in other games the blood sword drains HP from the target and has a penalty to accuracy. If I were to use it against that Red Dragon I would have a Bad Time. Strangely it gives a bonus +5 to magic. There are rare times where that bonus would be better than the elemental boost, but if you've got a Knight with a magic secondary they can't equip rods anyway.
I drag Seymour back to the sub to heal up.
We alternate between climbing outside and inside the tower.
This would be one of the better encounters to look for if you need to farm Reflect Rings. Magnetites just pull you to the front row and poke you for minor damage.
Level Trickers just throw out Level 4 Graviga and Level 5 Death if you haven't already snagged them.
What was that? The whisperweed?
*hiss* Repeat, Galuf, do you copy? Over! *hiss*
I hear you, loud and clear!
*hiss* ...Good. I'm outside the generator room. *hiss*
*hiss* Xezat! What was that? *hiss*
Nothing to worry about. You just get to the roof as fast as you can! Over!
That's "Copy" Galuf. Xezat just had a smokey on his tail and still maintains the CB jargon.
Wanna see something you have no reason to ever find?
You don't need to go over here, there isn't anything over here to tempt you into coming over here. Its just a hole of spite. Climb backup the last flight.
I believe this is the last enemy to see here. Speaking of that. Since the whole plan is to destroy this tower, and the fact we don't need to do any of the remaining towers, make sure you get your bestiary and treasures.
This room is special. Its one of the few rooms with a savepoint that has encounters enabled. Or at least has encounters enabled and big enough for them to trigger through normal movement.
The savepoint is in the door on the right. But it's a good idea to save before coming to this door.
Because its a long walk back up from the first one.
This encounter could have appeared in the Blood Sword chest. These guys are vulnerable to instant kills, stop and other fun statuses so despite them having 1000 HP more than the Red Dragon this is the easier fight.
The prize is considerably better than the Blood Sword.
Despite the lower defense and lack of magic boost the Gold Hairpin halves MP consumption. In early builds the Gold Hairpin didn't work correctly. The end result was half MP use, but it would prevent you from casting spells that you didn't have the enough MP to cast the full spell,so under the hood you'd use the full MP, but then get a 50% rebate. It works properly now though.
Just a few more flights of stairs past the save point is our target.
*hiss* Roger that! Over! *hiss*
As the generator spools down the energy rings fade one by one.
Don't think the generator was tied to the sun though.
The Fierce Battle (Pixel Remaster)
Atomos is another iconic boss that sees work in future games, like FFIX off the top of my head.
Atomos will cast comet once or twice a turn until someone is dead.
Once someone is knocked out Atomos mostly stops doing anything directly to the party. Occasionally he'll cast slowga to ruin your action economy but usually he just pulls anyone knocked out towards his side of the field.
Unlike all the fodder leading to him, Romeo's Ballad won't work. Instead I'm going to turn on Swift Song.
With a Mystic Knight (Or just simply the Sleep Blade or the plain sleep spell) Atomos is completely neutered.
If you !Spell Blade Sleep on the Sleep Blade, you might just get the actual weapon proc of sleep to show up as well. This technically doesn't help on the first strike. But if you attack someone with the sleep Spell Blade while sleeping they wake up. The actual Sleep Sword sleep proc following will put them back down though.
With Atomos sleeping you can pick up anyone he knocked down.
A Blue Mage can kill him easily.
Between all the comets raining down and Xezat blowing up the generator the antenna doesn't last long. Badabing
Xezat, come in! Can you hear me? It's done. We destroyed the antenna!
Our victory isn't without cost however.
Galuf! Things are getting hot down here. You need to hurry and make your escape! The energy feed's gone into a recursive loop. It's only a matter of time before it all blows!
Xezat! We're coming to get you!
*hiss* No! Don't come down here! Wait for me in the sub, I'll catch up with you. Just go! *hiss*
Idiot! He's gonna die! But I'm not gonna let him!
Galuf, stop! It's too dangerous!
I don't care!
...Lenna, you and Faris go ahead.
Xezat... This was your plan all along, wasn't it? You knew, and still you sacrificed yourself...
Four new warriors have been chosen by the crystals... They must be the ones to fight Exdeath.
Don't worry... I'll always be with you when you need me...
Galuf... I'm sorry.
Take me to the sub...
Galuf, Xezat is-
We made a promise. Please, let me keep it.
And with that, Exdeath is vulnerable.
But Exdeath isn't the only one vulnerable right now.
In other versions you physically wait for a hidden timer to complete before the scene progresses, sort of like how Final Fantasy VI used to require you to wait while Cyan comes to terms with his family getting on the train. Here you need to talk to him then try and leave.
Sure beats swimming!
How's he holding up?
He'll be all right... He just needs a little rest.
Understood. Well, we'd better get moving!