Part 22: Fork StokerPart 22 Fork Stoker
Sealed Away (Pixel Remaster)
We've put it off long enough, let's get some of those weapons that are even legendary and twelve in number.
NO If you ask again I'm throwing you in the Rift how did you even escape you don't have a dragon.
Huh, never noticed that Kuza was in the same physical location of that forest Exdeath was sealed in.
Is it true that the Rift between dimensions opened up directly above Castle Tycoon?
These two scholars mean you never need to ever talk to anyone about reading books. Well... there is one more tablet that they don't suggest a location to but the book never gets more detailed.
Now that Exdeath was... not killed but I guess pruned some of the demons he's made of shed off and are here. Exdeath's Soul is weaker than Exdeath proper, but-
He frequently spams Reaper's Sword which is an instant kill. He's not worth fighting honestly unless you have a crippling Dark Matter addiction.
Three seals... I guess that means we can only pick three out of the twelve weapons.
This one is a no brainer for if you're using offensive magic.
It looks like trash, but consider that a mage shouldn't be bonking anyone with it.
The Assassin's Dagger has a chance to proc Death like the Death Sickle.
The Masamune has three things of note: Most important is the user always starts battle with a full ATB bar. Second is its high crit rate. Third is it can be used as an item to cast haste but we have Hermes' Sandals so meh.
Prelude to the Void
Say hello to our Foxhound Winds of Destruction equivalent.
The warriors of light, guided by the crystals, seek the ancient tablets... Find these cretins and kill them! They must not be allowed to obtain the legendary weapons that destroyed Enuo...
Very well. Go now, my monsters! Destroy them while I obtain the full power of the Void! Mwa-hahahaha!
We're now strong enough to fight Shield Dragons legit.
That's a poor showing for Syldra, but that's because Shield Dragons are jerks with high magic defense and innate shell.
So while you can fight these guys fairly, you shouldn't. Remember they'll run when their HP is low so !Control locking them in place is still recommended.
There's nothing left but to go to the Island Shrine, not to be confused with the Wind Shrine despite the fact that its also a shrine affiliated with the wind.
We'll be fighting Gargoyles for all of the tablet dungeons.
Needless to say between Lenna returning for additional pressure...
And boosted Syldra...
They don't stand a chance.
The Island Shrine is incredibly short, so short it really doesn't warrant the full map treatment.
This big rectangular room is where most of the dungeon takes place it seems.
But first treasure.
And these guys. Executors love casting Level X Spells and Lenna is currently level 30 and everyone else is approaching level 34 so things can go bad fast if you spend too much time grinding.
We can now begin healing the hemorrhaging of the wallet after Mirage.
As long as you're not at a critical level Executors aren't bad to fight, but I'm still trying to get the chicken knives up to full power and actively trying to avoid leveling too much.
The next room introduces the gimmick of the Island Shrine: HVAC ducts without proper grating or guards to prevent work place accidents.
I mentioned most of the dungeon takes place in this room, but its all on autopilot.
This room serves to redirect the flow so we can progress further in.
But first the most obnoxious chests in the game to pick up. There's another one on the left side of the room.
If you want to get all the treasures in here, flip this switch first. Otherwise if you want to get this over with you want to flip the left switch.
Step back in front of the duct and you get spit out here.
Flipping both switches down leads to the next treasure.
And a new enemy. The PSX calls them the infinitely better name Slownin.
Finally, flip the right switch back up and we can continue on.
There's a save point straight through that door on the right. I mention this because your eyes are probably on the big chest ahead.
You may regret that focus.
This chest is somewhat unusual. There's 2 possible encounters in this chest and there's no other place to fight the enemies within. Since normally you have to kill an enemy to get it added to the bestiary you'd think this would cause some issue with completionists, but neither fight is in the bestiary.
The other fight is from the cat Pantera.
Covert tries to throw up an image to stave off death after you beat him up a bit.
But that doesn't last too long if you're hitting with multi target attacks.
This contains the Rising Sun, another Thief or Ninja chakram that isn't an assassins dagger or chicken knife.
We finally begin seeing more enemies beyond Executors now. The Oiseaurare is apparently French for Rare Bird so I just call them that rather than butcher a language that hasn't done anything to deserve me butchering it.
Lenna is now safe from Level 5 Death at least. And Krile now has one of the abilities that in this version allows you to bypass the Chicken Knife !Scram effect.
This is at the end of a long hallway. Nothing important between the door and this chest, just a lot of empty space to ensure a random encounter.
This is the same thing we fought in the Pyramid, it could also randomy be a Prototype.
You are already dead.
But while Seymour waits for his turn let's do some further explanations. First I mentioned the Magus Rod was great despite the lackluster attack number. It boosts most elements you'd care to use, only Water element is skipped.
While we're waiting let's show one of the ways you can use the Excalipoor to its full potential.
You can also throw it, which is probably the best idea honestly.
Faris has mastered !Blue and !Summon5, so they're all set for basically anything right now.
Faris already had some intitial dabbling into Ninja so may as well try and master it.
To the right of that chest (It had a Protect Ring so another 15000 gil towards buying consumables for the endgame) is this passage.
Only worth it for the treasure achievement honestly.
At least this has utility beyond "just big number"
This is a whip that does extra damage to beasts.
This room is the second to last room in the dungeon.
Its got a somewhat rude trick.
A quick detour into Geomancer shows that we can't open the chests head on.
The stairs on either side are just paths back out of the hole you'd fall into.
And with how Geomancer now shows the pits rather than having you jump back before falling in I see how rude that hole in the upper left corner is for anyone who fell in and then immmediately fall back in again.
I hate the boss that's coming up and am just going to cause it a slow and agonizing death.
The last room in the dungeon is a big one, there's chests on either side of the room and walls preventing a nice quick walk between them so there will be fights.
Surprisingly I didn't get into one of the worst fights that usually seems to be guaranteed to show up in here. I'll stick around a bit longer than usual after the boss to show it.
Sealed Book (Original)
So let's pick up the slab and be done with it.
Alas, its not going to be
Original versions were a bit ruder with his insult.
But that's not the reason I hate this boss.
There's much better reasons to hate this jerk beyond text that you skip past without reading sometime between the second and thirtieth time you play the game. Like the Garula in the room right now...
The Fierce Battle (Pixel Remaster)
CW for any North American First Nations readers, just ignore the spoilers below, everything else should be okay.
I'm going to call this jerk Stoker not just because its the PSX name but because this name is offensive to some with a First Nations heritage.
So I'm editing all the screenshots below to read Stoker right now aside from this one that I'm spoilering above.
The issue with this thing is a bit more complicated than cultural appropriation, because if it was just that then we'd have a very long and complicated path ahead when we're dealing with Shiva and Ifrit and everything else.
I mean that's some of it of course but the main issue is that years ago when people started using that name for random monsters or bosses was a time where people probably just had a book or two of reference materials (I had such a book in high school) and it was full of names of things; plants, animals, mythological or historical names and a few sentences about them. And that's the problem: A few sentences about a complicated topic and it misses the most important aspect of that topic, what it actually meant to that culture.
So now I'm going to spoiler the rest of this tangent because this is a Rokos Basilisk situation. So Stoker here if you'd look him up in such a book is a spirit that possesses people and makes them cannibals.
But that's not my background, I'm just calling attention to it because I have an audience and want to help spread the word so that maybe it stops showing up in games. So that's not the reason I hate this fight.
Nor is the fact it usually opens the fight with Mind Blast, which is a Blue magic that inflicts leak and paralysis.
Which is especially less worrying since leak does pitiful damage in this version and Hermes' Sandals negates paralysis.
No, what sucks is this is a game of whack-a-mole in boss form. And since the game just has static sprites in battle there's no "tell" which is the real one. No Poe Sister spin or anything.
In older releases Hurricane showing up after Mind Blast would be a death sentence, it still could if Hurricane rolls really low numbers but it isn't a sure thing any more.
Stoker here will change to a different target when hit... if he wasn't put to sleep. There's also a global timer that shuffles him around too but will always move when hit and conscious.
The other Stokers on the field still attack for now but now that the main one is asleep they mostly mellow out.
So if I was so inclined I could just smack the real Stoker in the face with spells and call it a day (The upper right one is the first target always, you know, until it decides to shuffle just because)
But no, I'm going to draw this out. Slow and painful.
Seymour has the Ice Shield, everyone else is getting a cocktail of Phoenix Down and Antidote.
So you might be asking "What if I don't want to play whack-a-mole and just want to solve the puzzle like the Gordion Knot but with multi target attacks rather than a sword?"
Well I'm glad you asked because there's plenty of time to answer that question. This above is a multi-targeted Fira, but only the real Stoker gets the spell animation (as you can see the global timer shuffled him to the back, he's still asleep though.)
All the fake Stokers can counter with Frost.
This would do about 300 HP of damage per counter if I didn't !Mix it up.
And just to ensure that there's enough to hate about this dick for one and all he absorbs water.
This will take awhile since Seymour has !Mix and everyone else has Learning on to pick up Mind Blast, so it's just Faris !Throwing scrolls and Lenna casting Fira for damage.
But they can't do anything but heal me.
Eventually I threw money at the problem because I got bored. The real Stoker dies when killed. The fake ones lurk around a little longer and might give a Parthinian Shot before dying.
And that's the end of Stoker.
If there's anyone here that wish to play the game and have reasons not to see Stokers true name there are options.
If Playing GBA this tool allows you to rename any enemy in the game, however of course it does require you to look at the name in plaintext to find and rename it but it's an option: Final Fantasy V Editor
If doing the Pixel Remaster this mod renames everything to the PSX names, it's a shotgun solution for something that just needed a scalpel. It requires Memoria to apply the mod: PS1 Names zip file
Sealed Away (Pixel Remaster)
We now get a peek of Fork Tower over by Donut.
We had to endure Island Time to unlock most of the end game content.
There's something written on the tablet... "Fork Tower, where the strongest of magics lie. If the two towers are not scaled and both spells removed in unison, both shall be destroyed, and the tower rent asunder..."
Now begins the bafflingly hard quest to get the second worst fight in the Island Shrine behind Stoker. You could steal Mirage Vests from Rare Birds if you wanted. It's a viable strategy for an upcoming fight in older versions.
After way too much time Dr. Tot appears. Its got way too many HP, absorbs wind and is hard to run from.
But I had Teleport to get out of the fight and also to get out of this lousy dungeon.
Fork Tower gates off most of the remaining side quests. While the side quests I could do now are well within my abilities to crush right now I wanted to get something out of Fork Tower to demonstrate something later. If you are playing at home along with me but using the GBA or earlier releases you will want to wait like I am. If you're on the Pixel Remaster you can do Phoenix Tower now without issue.
Guess we'd better split up, then...
Donut Island residents mentioned that the tower on the left is the magic based tower. While Seymour right now is a Mystic Knight this technically doesn't count as magic Mystic Knight has a very important role to play at the end here.
Seymour could solo this honestly.
The game prompts you one by one to walk Lenna, Faris and Krile to where you want them. You could always change jobs after making these changes, but you won't be able to take equipment off your other party easily. Lenna is still trying to get !Dualcast.
Faris and Krile are going up the melee tower.
The towers are completely linear.
There are some unique enemies.
Flaremancers just seem to want to make you croak. FYI if you're fighting enemies in the magic tower do NOT attack. They will counter with a 9999 attack or Encircle to eject from battle.
Here are the remaining unique enemies in the magic path. There are a few random mages from earlier in the game that can show up in the rare encounter formations but nothing worth searching out.
What's incredibly odd about Fork Tower is that it shows 0 chests towards achievements.
You've got one shot at Fork Tower. Not even just "you can walk out just before the boss and retry" One shot. There's 4 chests and all of them are in plain sight. Don't know why they don't count towards achievements when every other temporary dungeon does.
This is the important chest to get. The Wonder Wand is a gimmick weapon that for certain teams is the only way to fight one of the super bosses at reasonable levels.
Before stepping forward on this screen ensure you have your team set up properly. In this case both Lenna and Seymour have reflect rings. Seymour is wearing the Bone Mail. Seymour is unkillable.
Stepping up to the door forces you to change to the next party.
Berserker is here.
So while the magic tower had an ether and a magic stick, this leg has the physical counterparts.
Here are the remaining enemies.
The Defender is a knight sword that acts like the Main Gauche. It also casts protect when used as an item. The problem here is that if you're using Knight Swords you could already have grabbed the Legendary Weapon Excalibur... But then again I guess this is a courtesy in case you did get it and don't know what's coming.
Here's the spell we came to get.
Of course there is a catch.
The Fierce Battle (Pixel Remaster)
Minotaur here hits like a truck and frequently counters.
Minotaur absorbs holy element, which is probably why the Defender was put in a chest so you have a useful alternative to Excalibur.
Minotaur also has an incredibly strange interaction with having an Assassin Dagger !Thrown at him.
Note that he has much more than 4000 HP.
But !Throwing the Assassin Dagger just kills him immediately. I guess this may have been the source of the rumor of Kefka dying if you throw the Atma Weapon?
It's a good thing that Holy is single target. So as long as you have 2 people standing at the end of the fight you will survive through the death counter.
For casual play I honestly think this is a valid option for dealing with Minotaur, as you'll have access to Death, or Break Blade or many other means of instant killing if you're looking for a death proc. For Fiesta this is probably a Bad Idea.
Note that this and the next fight are technically happening simultaneously, so while we have Holy we don't technically have it yet.
The game isn't kidding. You get a 9 second timer (that would be counting down right now in other versions)
What happens if you let it reach 0?
Nothing good! I was hoping the autosave would put me back with Minotaur but I think the fact I ran around like an idiot triggering the autosaves on door transitions broke that plan. Oh well I'll just reclimb the tower. While I don't NEED the dagger I don't want to waste it.
On the refight I wanted to see if !Sing counts as magic or not, as someone casting silence on a Bard prevents it from being used. Turns out it doesn't count as magic.
On this fight I gave Faris !Focus and both chicken knives. So the result is double damage.
The Chicken Knife doesn't use the RNG to determine damage, the calculations are done and that's your damage.
In older versions the best strategy for Minotaur is to get the mirage vest. While it only gives a single Image it could be refreshed by exploiting a programming oversight.
You could change your equipment while in battle, and even if you didn't actually change your load out it would also refresh your Image. It would also negate any !Spell Blade applied to your weapon.
The other option would be to bring a Knight and !Guard the second person in critical health.
Almost 200 more damage after a couple turns of Krile boosting character levels. !Sing is terrifying.
This time with feeling.
Rug Wizard here is a complicated fight.
But first for the simple parts of it. He's weak to wind.
He can also be silenced. This is why a Mystic Knight is a death sentence for him.
He has Heavy status so silence wears off fast... when Silence is cast. If it's applied via !Spellblade it apparently bypasses the Heavy check and sticks around for a long time.
For now though I'm not using Silence Blade, I'm using Osmose Blade
Osmose Blade absorbs 1/4 of the target's current MP and restores the user. When I first played the Pixel Remaster I used this to perform a Very Important Test.
Omniscient counters damage that isn't from a magic ability with Return. He's silenced now so it doesn't reset the fight.
Note that I specified "counters damage." In older versions he would counter anything done against him that wasn't magic. What does that mean? Why would you do something to him that wasn't an attack?
Well note how much MP Seymour leeched off. He has a 30,000 MP. Some Fiesta teams don't have access to magic. Return costs 1MP to use. You need him to use 30,000 MP worth of spells before you can punch him to death... or in older versions you could wait til he's silenced and toss an ether at him and force his MP to 9,999, as for some reason they did program fuckery to give him more MP than the normal enemy cap.
This is why I was surprised that Gil Turtle dies from HP overflowing from having drain casted on him, because they fixed Omniscients MP deal in this version. So even though I can give him an ether without him being silenced, it doesn't reduce his MP.
As an aside, I've done a lot to avoid being vitriolic about the old Matrix version. In that one this fight is impossible for non magic using teams. He can cast Return no matter what.
So I was just faffing about here, giving some time to make screenshots to talk under. The first time I played the Pixel Remaster I had one Mystic Knight using Silence Blade while I had a second one using Osmose because I wanted to see if Return costed 0MP or not.
By virtue of its damage being 1/4 of the current MP diminishing returns kicks in hard, and can never actually set his MP to 0 as it rounds down in the damage calculations.
I eventually switch to Silence Blade... despite having !Blue on Seymour so I could have just killed him faster.
But anyway, long story short, Return does still cost 1 MP, even for him to cast. In GBA or earlier versions you'd have to sit and wait for him to use all his MP, the only way to know he used it all is for him to cast Libra and fail. As Libra also only costs 1 MP.
For some reason, they removed Libra from his attack script in the Pixel Remaster. This means that if you play this version for Fiesta with a physical party you must keep count of his MP consumption to ensure he doesn't have a single drop of mana left in him before going on the offensive. In the event he gets stuck at 1MP you can toss an ether at him and hope for better luck.
Note that I have reflect rings on. The best way to kill Rug Wizard with a physical party is to let him kill himself with magic, or get lucky jabs in when he's silenced. The problem with this is that he has innate Regen and early on he uses lousy spells for trivial damage.
Eventually at lower health he casts bigger spells that WILL tip him over the edge to killing himself, but normally it takes a lot of luck for him to do enough damage to reach that point past regen.
Eagle eyed readers may have noticed I mentioned Seymour is wearing Bone Mail. Omniscient has access to Drain, the only spell in his pool that can pierce reflect. This means that unless Omniscient starts bouncing Curas off onto Seymour constantly he's unkillable.
Just showing that healing items don't trigger a counter in this version.
After dropping below 4,000 of his 16,999 HP of damage he'll begin casting real spells.
But even then his innate shell means it doesn't do much.
Finally when killed he casts Flare as a counter.
Without reflect this would likely be lethal.
There is one more strategy that I didn't mention if you can't do the fight as intended. He can be Berserked but this not advised as he will come out swinging hard. He'd destroy Earthen Wall from Golem in a single punch, but then again if you have Golem you have Summoner in a fair fight. White Mage spamming blink would be a necessity to avoid getting stuck in a death spiral.
Flare is non elemental, with one exception it is worse than a rod boosted -aga spell.
Despite succeeding the tower still crumbles, but this time non lethally.
Sealed Book (Original)
I skipped cashing in the tablet until now, as getting the Sage's Staff until now was mostly pointless. This boosts Holy which we just got access to. It also casts Raise when used as an item in case things have gone wrong.
The Rune Axe uses MP to deal """critical""" damage. It isn't a real crit despite the screen flash, it just does extra damage.
This is a Ninja exclusive knife, not a katana. The PSX actually calls it a knife, which now as I'm proofreading this I'm chalking that up to all the other times games localized "Katana" as "Knife" and only being right completely by accident. I'm looking at you SaGa Frontier. It also behaves like the main gauche with parrying attacks.
After clearing Fork Tower the airship catapult is unlocked.
Musica Machina (Pixel Remaster)
Mid told us Cid was trapped in here and he's been stuck getting crushed by gears since.
Mid apparently swam here... and opened up the water tight bay doors.
I think I'm going to be sick... Bur first, the good news! We discovered some long-lost engineering techniques in an old book. Means we can upgrade the airship with submarine functionality.
For some reason the sub just vanishes despite being docked near Moore so here's the replacement.
Of course! Nothing's impossible for me! Come on, Mid!
And so they did.
The Day Will Come (Pixel Remaster)
Shouldn't take much longer.
Wow, you two really work hard.
... Grandpa blames himself for the world having ended up like this...
But... it's not like there's anything he could've done...
I know that... I think deep down, he knows it too. From now on, he's determined to see his inventions used for peace.
Once you're in the water, press the confirm button and then the down arrow. The undersea world is yours to explore!
Thanks for everything, guys.
Seymour Butz... I can't fight for beans. In fact, about all I'm good at is modifying machinery. Even so, I've tried to do everything I can to help you out. THe rest is in your hands...
The Dawn Warriors
Come on, guys!
We can travel underwater now, right?
Technically tablets but we might not technically know we need the sub to access the other.
Mid... Take good care of your grandpa.
You guys take care, too!
And that's basically it for dialog. Cid will just tell you how to submarine and Mid talks about books like he did 6 hours ago. So for now on updates will either be incredibly short... or more likely will be as large text wise but breakneck pace content wise towards the end.