Part 17: Moore Than You Can HandlePart 17 Moore Than You Can Handle
The Land Unknown (Pixel Remaster)
Last time Seymour and friends blew up one of the barrier towers. Now that its the Barrier Trio they do one last spectacular pose and
Wait, no they just stop working.
The Four Dawn Warriors
Last time we were told that maybe the sub could be used to find Sage Ghido, whose island fell into the sea. Buuuuut we're right here at our archnemesis's newly vulnerable castle.
Maybe Sage Ghido knows something...
That door is locked, and we haven't found any way to get through! Exdeath, you cad!
We'll avenge King Xezat! We swear it!
That cad, that neerdowell, that guy who locks doors!
Well I guess Seymour has no choice, stay here Surgate Redshirt Division while we find a sage.
The Castle of Dawn (Pixel Remaster)
Well, let's find a sage later, we should see what's changed in the world when 1/3 of the planet's non-evil leadership is gone.
Despite no longer needing to engage in the door switches in this version, this guy will open the door for you if you ask.
You may have noticed the fleet has left Exdeath's shores in the first picture of the update. They dumped a half dozen guys at his door and returned home to bring the bad news.
Apparently when Xezat died his Chief Guard got demoted to regular guard.
Not even worthy of unique dialog, how the mighty has fallen. Maybe that's why Tycoon's Chancellor was so protective.
The king is... dead? *sob*
Oww... I hurt all over...
Was the attack on barrier tower successful? Dang it! I should have been there! If only I hadn't been wounded...
He went out like a true king... valiant to the end.
And back at Bal only one soldier is up to date on things.
Harvest (Pixel Remaster)
May as well head to Quelb to see if anything else changed.
A few villagers changed their speech after completing Drakenvale apparently.
And Kelger knows he's lost another friend.
While flying around I noticed this on the minimap. It wasn't that they didn't bother to program a map with Ghido's island on it since it only mattered for 20 seconds. The misprogrammed it to show up after it sank.
But I still don't want to go there, there's better things to do right now.
So we're on the western side of the continent Surgate is on, we can surface in this little cove and access that town we flew by last update.
Tenderness in the Air (Pixel Remaster)
This is Moore village. This old guy really undersells the town's value.
This guy should be promoted to town greeter ASAP. Talking about beautiful things nearby would help tourism.
From desire ofttimes comes evil...
The trees in the forest are alive. They can understand human speech and can read minds!
They say that in the deepest part of the Forest of Moore is the Guardian Tree, which protects the seals.
When I got lost in the forest, a little strange critter came and helped me out... Kept calling "kopu kopu" or something.
Wood sprites hide along the road leading into the forest.
We're in the tavern for the piano of course.
One more piano remains for ultimate power.
Only one treasure to get here.
As an aside, in the PSX version the Main Gauche was named the Hunting Knife. I feel that name makes thematic sense for a town in the middle of the forest. Because its the only thing holding back the disappointment for getting one this late in the game.
There is a door on this shed, but it doesn't tell us its there. It also doesn't tell us its locked.
The sentient Forest of Moore protects the seals.
No one can enter the great forest to the east.
Who wants to enter the forest? I want to enter the stores. The Air Knife not only is pretty strong as a weapon, but it boosts Air elemental attacks like a rod. Everyone gets one.
Hastega is the main focus for Time Magic here. Old seems to be a little too late.
The black magic shop is a must have for any mage. There's one more level of spells but Level 5 is a black mage's bread and butter for damage.
Like the black magic shop all the white magic is good.
The armor shop is great too. The Diamond Shield is a real solid upgrade from the gold one, but I don't buy one. Part because I'm low on money, mostly because it will get in the way of equipping another shield later when optimize is in effect.
The Sage's Miter and Luminous Robe are the main attractions, providing defense upgrades from the Gaia Gear and boosts to magic stats.
To the north is this cave.
Its a long enough path that it's bound to lead to 2 fights before reaching the other exit.
Battle (Pixel Remaster)
Ironbacks are big masses of defense and HP. They are vulnerable to the main status effects so they can be locked down easily.
Druids are far more problematic. They have an attack called Encircle that will eject the target from battle. Not dead, gone.
The cave leads to this small forest.
The Fierce Battle (Pixel Remaster)
This is the reason to come out here. You have a limited time to get Catoblepas on your bestiary.
Catoblepas can also use Demon Eye, which petrifies the target. He can do this when he wants to, but more worryingly, he can do it as a counter.
Stop keeps him from doing the counter attacks. Catoblepas is faster than Bard Faris so with just Faris singing its not enough to stop a wild punch.
So instead of a fight where you're carefully balancing dealing damage while recovering from petrify.
So just dealing damage while its stopped and you're golden.
The Twin Lance apparently is like Zidane's Thief Swords in FFIX, or Serge's Swallow in Chrono Cross.
To me however it just looks like a deadly fidget spinner.
Catoblepas is a summon, its a multi target petrify.
This little circular forest is critical for those who are going for the achievement for going to all map locations.
It's been awhile since we've had a chocobo forest.
However it doesn't have a black chocobo, just a regular yellow. So congrats to the party for being able to travel a whole 50 yards between here and the cave without encounters.
Since its a chocobo from Galuf's world it just uses this strange moon speak.
So we can't even ride her anyway for some reason.
Beyond the Deep Blue Sea (Pixel Remaster)
(This plays for a lot longer than you'd expect)
There's nothing else left to do, gotta do one of the lousiest dungeons in the game.
Ghido's Cave isn't really long, but the high encounter rate and only 2 enemies to pad it with makes it seem so much longer.
In the GBA version these guys are the worst. They spam Vampire so in that release any damage done to them was immediately and completely healed back if they got a turn. In other versions they're just annoying, but not FFVI Ing level annoying.
As with so many other enemies they can be completely locked down with a bard.
The dungeon is almost entirely linear, and no treasures so all there is to do is find the exits.
Here's a puzzle for some reason.
Strangely despite other instances of the game overwriting the lead characters sprite when they're talking, this time it doesn't.
Once the center chest is emptied the door we came from closes. We have to open the right door to proceed. This upper left chest opens the right door.
We need to throw the switch.
Which opens the real path to progress.
Now the lower left chest gets the rock. The other 2 chests lead to dead ends.
Here's the second and last enemy of the cave. Well, technically last.
As the name hints, metamorph will switch to a new form and use that to attack. Y Burn here would Breath Wing us. I don't care so I ran.
Through the path we made with the skull switch and onto the next level.
There are 5 different metamorphs. You really only care about one of them though. If you want the next blue magic you want to see him turn into Ifrit, Y Burn or...
The Enchanted Fan. I forgot to mention during the Ronkan Raid that those "teeth" and "eyes" on the "face" are a "belt" and "boobs". The real face is up high, pulled back into the fan.
Can you believe that Nomura's designs got saner when he went all in with belts and zippers?
But that's not what we're here for, we want this.
The other metamorph encounters go to less useful fights. A few of them give a chance to learn older blue magics that you may have missed but this is the prize.
Now that I've got that I don't ever want to see metamorph morph again. Confuse breaks the combat script and he'll just cast magic now.
The thing is that when he's morphed and killed in that form, he doesn't get a good drop.
Dying as an old man gives a chance of rarely dropping a Staff of Light. It's like the elemental rods, but instead would allow a stave user to break it for a holy cast.
Since I have Galuf as a thief you can see the path I need to take down south here.
The power of Air Knives boosting Aeroga.
More switches, more busywork.
More hidden passages.
No more dungeon
All of that was because Exdeath sank the island. If we were an hour sooner we would just walk straight from the mouth of the cave down this path and be done with it.
If we were an hour sooner Sage Ghido wouldn't have been eaten by a tortoise.
...Seriously, turtles are omnivores. It's just that their prey usually flees so all they can catch is rooted to the ground. A 700 year old nerd never stood a chance.
Galuf knows what's up.
Well now everyone's gonna get eaten.
Well looks like we get to see if Lenna's love of animals is enough to keep her alive.
Sage, I'm so sorry. Please forgive my brainless companion.
Wait- this turtle...
...is the sage?
And you finally catch a clue! Tarnation, I can't take you anywhere!
It's all right, it's all right, no lasting damage... Physically, anywhow.
Oh, man, I'm awfully sorry...
You should be, boy, picking on defenseless turtles... However, we have more important things to discuss.
You mean Exdeath?
Originally Ghido was just a boring generic sage whose only interesting trait is "not human." The GBA localization turned him into this.
And it's wonderful.
This isn't his first time interacting with RPG protagonists so he's a little impatient with repeating the last few words he just said in the form of a question.
That sentient forest is Exdeath's birthplace.
A certain tree in that forest had been used to seal away evil sprits for years... But five hundred years ago, the sheer concentration of malevolence turned that tree into a dark being with a mind of its own. That being is Exdeath. I maintained the seal upon him for five centuries... However, thirty years ago, the seal was broken.
Thirty years ago... That was when he fought the Dawn Warriors...
Dorgann and the others fought hard... Finally, they were able to seal the warlock with the crystals. However, somehow, he escaped.
That was our fault...
Seals are meant to be broken. It only means that this time, Exdeath must be destroyed!
Where is he!?
I'm surprised Ghido didn't get snarky here, as he already said where he was going.
But he quickly recovers.
The Forest of Moore...
This is my chance to avenge Xezat!
We'll defeat Exdeath!
Let's do it!
Take this with you.
With that branch, you may enter the forest. Now hurry! Exdeath is already on his way to Moore! He may even be there already!
Want to do that whole dungeon in reverse? Without any savepoint so that if you somehow died you'd have to watch that ALL. OVER. AGAIN? No? This is why teleport exists.
We once again return to Moore. Obviously the first trip could be postponed but the shopping was worth it.
This tile serves as the entrance to the next dungeon.
Legend of the Deep Forest (original)
And its a doozy. It doesn't look like much from the map, but the encounter rate will make up for that.
The welcoming committee wastes no time in introducing themselves.
This is overkill, if you are low on resources you can easily kill them with less. Their physical evasion is high however so magic is the way to go.
Goodbye, see you again in 8 steps.
It's letting us in...
Now that the dungeon has really started, you can notice the forest canopy is an additional layer on the screen, so sight is limited while walking around, making it harder to navigate and leading to more encounters.
Mini Magicians usually start the fight by casting Osmose, which drains the targets MP. Other than that they can cast Liliputian Lyric, which is a Blue Magic that casts mini.
Mammon's occasionally cast Berserk so they can hit harder.
Romeo's Ballad still sees use, but it isn't a complete lockdown anymore.
Could have casted Firaga to exploit the Mammon's weakness, but
One of the Moore residents mentioned wood sprites hiding in trees. After grabbing the chests (including the one hiding just to the right), there's nothing else to do but look in the tree here.
Personally I prefer the original releases just making the hole appear, I really don't care for the animation that plays for this.
Imps are also here, but are considerably less problematic than Jackanapes.
They still are a nuisance however.
If the fact it was White Magic wasn't enough, the fact that Mammon's when confused cast Berserk on the party shows the game considers Berserk a buff. Also why Esuna won't "cure" it.
This chest is really out of the way but the cash prize is worth it.
Mini Magicians when confused can cast Return so stick with Romeo's Ballad for singing.
The save point is pretty deep in when you consider what's about to happen.
Still, I have a few tents to use and Bartz and Lenna are burning through MP like mad, so may as well get a few more spells out of them.
This picture serves 2 purposes. First, the long
Wyrm (Rare encounters on this screen)
If you see this its too late.
What was that!?
The Evil Lord Exdeath (Original)
Oh no... Exdeath has set the forest on fire!
A word of warning for the Pixel Remasters, the next event happens extremely fast compared to older versions. Fast enough that you might auto run onto an event trigger you Probably don't want to touch. Walk close to the hedges like Lenna is doing right now, rather than dashing around over towards the left.
That hole in the ground is the way forward, but there's still something to do here.
This chest is special. For one thing if you look at the map it says there's 13 treasures on the map, yet only 12 chests. I think this one serves double duty.
The other more pressing issue is that this chest can be accessed later, but its contents changes. The Aegis Shield is arguably the better choice if you use shields. The replacement is the Flame Shield. It has higher stats but lacks some of the special features of the Aegis. If you aren't using shields the Flame Shield sells for more.
Legend of the Deep Forest (original)
So if you want the Aegis avoid that hole until you get it. Otherwise get it in a couple seconds.
Let's hide out here and hope the flames die down!
This is why I was somewhat dismissive of that savepoint, this free heal is close behind.
Again the game changes how it behaves. Previously there was a timer forcing you to wait for the flames to die down. Here just talk to the moogle and he steps aside.
Everything to the right of that hole is gone, aside from the chest which would not contain the Flame Shield.
Whatever this chest contained before the fire is a mystery. All Ash (or Soot) is good for is for a ninja to !Throw. It's half the power of a shuriken so no reason to actually use it, but that's what it does.
Flametongue is another Knight Sword. Now we have a choice, we can head north to finish the dungeon. Or we can walk a little further south to reach the world map.
You'll really want to have a save after the long cutscene. Trust me.
Despite the scene with the whole forest on fire, only a small path was torched, most of the forest remains, as do their flying bunnies. The forest on the overworld has a completely different encounter table than the official Forest of Moore.
Not only did I leave the forest to save, but I needed to do some prepwork to show off methods to deal with the next boss.
So I'm returning to the desert near the Moogle Forest. I need a Beastmaster, I also want to master Bard.
I need a Sandcrawler.
He doesn't want to come.
It doesn't matter.
Get in the gourd, Shinji.
Next, I need someone to level up Chemist a little.
It didn't take that long. !Mix is such a cheap ability.
Here's how everyone is coming to the next boss. Seymour has !Mix, Lenna has !Blue Magic, !Galuf has Time Magic, Faris has !Sing to boost agility.
The Guardian Tree... That's what protects the seal...
Look, the branch!
This is basically the last moment you can turn back. What follows is... it's a lot. In more ways than one. So prepare yourself with whatever levels or job setups you need... also brace yourself personally.
I said there's no turning back. You don't have the luxury to stop. No one stops. It is way too late to stop.
They must be whatever was sealed in here! Here they come!
Fierce Battle (Pixel Remaster)
This is probably the biggest spike in difficulty the game has to offer. Not just for a fiesta team, but for casual players because its that damn punishing.
If you come into this blind, you see how much damage they do by just !Attacking unrelentingly and how you really need to stop them doing that as quickly as possible. You'd probably throw out a multi target -aga spell, or perhaps a summon. Just to do something to ???, ???, ??? and ???.
That won't work. Even if you were to throw Aeroga or Firaga, they'd still leave one unhurt. And besides, if you DID do damage to 3...
Well let me just show that off with Samurai Seymour here. If elements aren't reliable just throw money at the problem.
But then you make one or more of them extremely wrothful rather than very angry. If I didn't do the initial attacks this would have been perfect, I could have just waited til Seymour's next turn and finished it, but that wouldn't be fun.
So let's not do that... well let's do that again, but moreso. Do That, not just that.
The little detour to Bal basement was to finish up Faris's Bard training and to get Seymour !Mix. An ability that if you just looked at its ABP cost or how early you get it would write off. Or if you didn't have a guide saying what to do would write it off.
Don't write it off, there's some duds here but with proper use and enough time in a fight to set up !Mix will destroy what little is left of the difficulty curve. (For those reading in the archives this is not my table Kyrosiris is the original author)
???s aren't heavy so they are susceptible to things like death claw, or maelstrom. So I have 2 VERY dangerous enemies but they thankfully won't be very dangerous for long.
Faris is getting some clutch evasion out of the Aegis shield. Despite being slightly weaker than the Diamond Shield defense or evasion wise, the magic evasion more than makes up for it.
Faris also gets some lucky death procs. If Lenna wasn't dead most of the fight she'd also contribute, and probably better since the Killer Bow has a flat chance to kill rather than factoring in levels and magic evasion.
Since ??? would likely kill Lenna if I merely used a phoenix down or cast Raise, !Mix has a solution. Combining a Phoenix Down and a Potion (or Hi-Potion) is a full revive.
Since they didn't get to rage mode, the top crystal would be throwing around Firaga (Hence why I was setting up Seymour to absorb it) and the back one would throw Aeroga, which is a better but later method to learn it if you didn't get it from the Metamorphs.
And with that, a huge ABP payout, few fights offer this so let it soak in.
One more thing that veterans of the game might be asking. Why didn't I make Lenna or Faris mini? If I did then I just let them blindly go at the crystals for single digit damage and pratically no risk of doing enough damage to set them into danger mode.
To them I offer 3 words: The Pixel Remaster.
While the game will happily let enemies set status effects on the party without actually hitting, the same is not true for you. Unlike other releases where mini does minimal damage, here it does ZERO, and apparently you need to do damage to proc effects. The issue with status effects and how they are applied to both friend and foe is probably the biggest detraction from this version.
I could have also used a different !Mix, death potion would just kill them immediately too but I don't really use dark matter mixes.
0 ABP for guessing who these unnamed text boxes is going to be attributed to.
The Evil Lord Exdeath (Original)
The seals broken by the four warriors meant to protect them... How ironic!
The crystal looking things were crystals!? Stone was STEIN!?
The crystals that bound me for so long... Now their power is mine!
I don't know why the crystals obey him now, usually things like this take orders from the ones that beat it. Regardless, remember what Exdeath was able to do to the party with crystal shards?
Well now he can summon Force Lightning.
So now we know about the reason for the Deus Ex Moogle saving us from the fire. Its to share it with Krile.
What? They're in the Forest of Moore? Come on, let's go!
I'm not going to gif this, I've got a bigger more important one lined up. But Krile's been working on her Hadoken technique since Ronka, it's now got a nasty hook to it.
Krile... Exdeath is-
Don't worry, he won't be bothering us for a while...
Unfortunately despite being 500 years old, Exdeath's concept of "a while" is shorter than a toddler.
Try to dispel this power, and your precious crystals will shatter!
Forgive me for the rough gif, I tried to cut this down as much as feasible. Imagine lightning and particle effects continue on the bottom. Imagine a few flashes at dramatic moments if you're able and willing and its not unhealthy to do so.
The Decisive Battle (Pixel Remaster)
So my normal workflow for this is "Play game, a day or two later take screencaps, and ????? later write words." You'll be able to say how well this has worked better than I can, but am aware there's been times where I've gone "well this COULD have used an extra screenshot to break into better chunks, but then I have to reopen the video (if I didn't already delete it), find the spot I want, screenshot, edit, etc"
I can't do this here. I need to make sure I have enough footage for this. AND I need to draft this out before hand. There's a lot to unpack here and it all needs to be laid out.
First, and least important because while it needs to be said and its valuable when framed as a speedrun strat or the "I've played this game too much" Previous versions allow you to bypass everything with either !Blue Self Destruct, or equipping bone mail and using a phoenix down. The Pixel Remaster eliminates these glitches.
Now onto more serious matters.
I can't remember the source, but I've heard how the original table top concept of Hit Points was the measurement of a characters ability or focus to avoid lethal damage, not necessarily a mortal blow itself. In many video games this just means a character keels over and for the most part enemies leave them alone. SaGa Frontier and its sequel are an exception off hand, where a character goes prone, but the enemy can still target them and directly attack them and reduce their life points, but that's just me rambling and I don't know why I'm not deleting it right now.
But for Final Fantasy as a whole, your HP are 0, you're out of the battle because you're too beaten to contribute.
Gaulf refuses to go down. Either because some of his oldest friends are dead or dying, his life's work of stopping a demon tree man from doing villany, either because his newest friends are pinned down by crystal beams, or because his granddaughter was being thrown around the room and presumably choked by a magic ring, or hell if this is multiple choice just go d, all of the above.
Galuf is beaten, this is a fact.
But he's not out.
While we watch this slobberknocker I want to discuss a parallel with Final Fantasy IV.
In that game an old man has lost everything he loved. He's so old that until recently he'd forgotten most of his abilities and every time he levels up there's a risk that he gets more feeble.
He eventually remembers the spells he'd forgotten but never forgets that he lost everything.
He finally confronts the person he was told caused his loss. Filled with rage he lashes out. Despite hitting him with several of the strongest spells known to man, the enemy wasn't fazed.
As a last ditch effort to do anything to his sworn enemy, he casts a legendary spell he learned from the ghost of a moon man (I can only go so long without being glib I guess, Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor).
That spell was impossible for him to cast, in game this was reinforced due to his limited MP, you could see Meteo on the menu, but it was always 9MP too expensive. He declares that he's drawing on his very life force to cast it.
The spell cripples his enemy, but the old man dies shortly after.
Here, the tables have turned. The fight is similarly framed. We still have an old man on one side, but on the other instead of Golbez, clad in Dark, we get Exdeath decked out in sky blue armor. Without context, you'd be forgiven for thinking this guy might be a paladin or other heroic archetype.
In Final Fantasy IV the old man lets loose spell after spell without his enemy actually doing anything but taunting him. Here Galuf is constantly on the attack, a death by a thousand cuts but Exdeath is hitting him constantly with lethal spells.
Galuf is not doing this in a 100% altruistic place, he's definitely got some anger pushing him on to avenge Xezat and hurt the guy that's almost killed others he loves.
But there is an overarching good here.
Galuf persists. Not because its a job, he's not being paid to do this.
Is it duty or a sense of obligation? There might be something in that. He might be running on fumes to finish the job he set out to do 30 years ago, or feeling he owes it to Dorgann and Xezat.
Still I don't think that's enough. Something deeper, something instinctual that has kept his muscles moving well past the point where he can consciously keep standing. The fight or flight instinct screaming at him that the thing before him is not going to stop when Galuf falls over, it will continue to attack and kill until nothing remains. Escape won't stop that, the only thing left is to fight.
Or worse: He would leave the problem for his friends to deal with without him.
Damn that's heavy for Saturday Morning Cartoons.
Exdeath can't even comprehend what's happening. The laws of the universe are meaningless here. He's looking at this from how he would approach it, the dark side is powerful but not this strong. Even if it is rage it can't overcome the rage of 108 demons sealed for centuries.
Whatever was driving Galuf was stronger than evil.
Both Galuf and Exdeath finally go down.
The crystals get drawn to Exdeath one by one.
For once there is no bluster, no grandiose posturing or taunting. Exdeath just leaves.
One by one Seymour, Lenna, Faris and Krile stand up.
I needed a break from transcribing exclamation points, each one is a knife twisting into my gut.
Hold on, we can-
Sorrows of Parting (Pixel Remaster, yes the link is named wrong)
Galuf! Don't talk like that!
Get up, you old bat! Quit playing around, this isn't funny!
Wake up... Wake up, please!
Grandpa! No! You can't die! You can't!!!
Open your eyes! Phoenix Down! Elixir! Nothing's working!
Of all the fucking things this version does... Old versions had a timer. No amount of talking to Krile in those did a damn thing but reply with "..." while her face is in the dirt. You have to drag Krile up to talk to her to proceed in this version.
Grandpa!? Are you there?
The Day Will Come (Original)
Galuf's iconic* bracelet falls from the sky.
*Not mentioned before or ever again
I don't have long. I want to give you my strength... C'mon, Krile... don't cry... Stand with Seymour Butz and the others, be strong, and fight!
No! I don't want to! Come back! Don't leave me alone!
Last update Xezat mentioned 4 new warriors were going to end this. Here's the last new Light Warrior.
You didn't miss anything, I didn't skip any transcriptions or screen shots.
Seymour Butz, Lenna, Faris... I'll fight along with you!
I guess that's what that strange line was about. But then again, that's what he was doing before, he didn't really seem upset when the one just shattered, so it's not really a surprise.