Part 4: Reina vs. Creepy Old Man
So the goons have voted. Bartz is a White Mage, and Reina a Knight. Galuf gets both Monk and Black Mage, while Faris gets Blue Mage and Thief.
I'm going to stick with Monk Galuf until he gets a certain ability, likewise with Blue Mage Faris.
I'll explain "Ability" in a bit. See how each job is LV0, with a 0/10 (or 0/15 for Galuf)? Battles will give you AP now, and once you get enough AP you'll gain a job level and thus obtain a new ability.
I said I wouldn't grind, but I decided to do a few battles anyway to show the jobs off a bit.
One of the more common encounters is a group of Nut Eaters. That's...one way to translate that, I guess. They're handy for giving 2AP compared to most other encounters' 1.
White Mage is simple enough. Its main ability lets you cast all White Magic you have, though so far we only have L1 magic. Let's show off Scan.
Scan shows the enemy's level, HP, and elemental weaknesses. Knowing an enemy's level is actually pretty handy in a few situations. If you're worried about the stats going by too fast, it's because I cranked the battle message speed to max and can be lowered.
Reina and Faris are currently hitting for around 30 damage with their Broadswords. Galuf hits for 20 per fist, meaning he's doing more damage, plus he has a good chance of getting at least one critical. Of course, all of this is overkill right now.
Cure is, of course, pretty vital early on, healing a solid amount of HP for a small amount of MP. Even late in the game, it can be useful in topping people off. A White Mage's bread and butter.
There's also Stray Cats strolling around.
Now let's check out the Knight. The Knight's special ability is Guard.
Guard nullifies all physical damage to 0. On its own, it's not that stellar, but when combined with other abilities it can be pretty damn useful.
Anyway, I decide to make a detour to the Pirate Cave. We don't have to do this, and honestly there's nothing major to gain here, but eh.
Boko ditched us, so let's see what he went up to.
Now, I didn't show it off because these guys die easily, but after a few turns, Steel Bats use a move called Red Feast. It's a rather weak draining move, but it interests me.
First, I decide to incapacitate Galuf for reasons I'll explain shortly. Actually, I want everyone to die but Faris to help out a bit, but turns out I don't need to go that far.
You see, the goal was to have Faris get hit with that spell.
A quick slaughter later, and Faris has learned his first Blue Magic spell.
Blue Mages learn enemy magic spells, and while many aren't that wonderful, there are some that are completely broken. Red Feast is situationally useful, as it does crap damage when Faris is at full health. Near-death, though, it can be great both to do big damage and heal up Faris. And if we had any other Blue Mages, they could freely cast this spell without having to be hit by it, too. The only bad thing is that only Blue Mages can learn magic by getting hit by it, so it can be rather inconvenient to actually learn the damn spells sometimes.
Also, everyone alive got to 10AP and thus gained a job level each. This also means new abilities! When we go to the Ability menu...
...we can choose abilities for our party to use. Bartz learned L1 White Magic, which lets him cast L1 White Magic if he had this as an ability outside this job, like as a Knight or Monk or whatever. It also boosts his magic a bit for that class so he can actually heal worth a damn. And this is why the job system in this game is so damn fun, as you can mix-and-match abilities with jobs and come up with all sorts of amazing combinations that can break the game apart.
But right now, Bartz only has White Mage, and having two White commands is redundant. Still equip it because why not?
Reina learned Cover, which lets her automatically take physical damage in place of allies with low HP. This leads to a nice strategy of Reina constantly using Guard with three near-death allies to humiliate physical-attacking bosses, though it does shit against magic. Thing is, Knight already has that as an inherit class ability, so it's useless to us.
Notice how Cover doesn't start with an exclamation mark? Some abilities aren't actually commands, but rather passive abilities that happen automatically. In this case, anyone with Cover wouldn't choose to cover, they'd just do it automatically. Usually, classes you learn these passive abilities from already have them as part of the job. For instance, Reina can cover without the ability as long as she's a Knight. Some are still useful enough to use on other classes, though, depending on your strategies.
Faris learns Check, which is a shittier Scan. Easily one of the worst abilities in the game, but at least it's a L1 one.
Oh, right, Galuf. Speaking of passive abilities, Monk has Counter, which has a chance of dealing an attack immediately after taking physical damage. Of course, there's another natural strategy of using Guard + Counter to defeat enemies without taking any physical damage. Tedious, and of course useless against mages, but still has its uses. Of course, I can't use that with this playthrough.
Here's Check. Be amazed at how worthless it is.
Here's Red Feast in action. It doesn't seem impressive, but that's because Faris is already near full-health. It's not a bad Drain spell for only 2MP, honestly.
That's enough game mechanics for now. Let's go mess with the pirates.
So the pirates have found Boko and are taking care of him.
Why the fuck did they think making Faris and all the pirates talk like this all the time was a good idea.
Broke his leg in th' cave, he did. So, I carried 'em 'ere. Don't ye worry. I'll look after 'em!
Take good care of him.
Leave it to me!
So yeah, that was optional, pointless, and doesn't affect anything. Still, it shows just how much Bartz cares for his traveling companion, which is always nice. The game doesn't spend much time on the bond between Bartz and Boko, strong as it is, so it's nice when the game does give you a glimpse into that.
GBA version only says he was zonked out instead of a broken leg, but details.
Ohhh, that's what that switch is for.
Nothing too exciting, though.
On the way back, Galuf gets his first ability, Store.
Don't get too excited, it's the usual "Don't attack this turn, do double damage next" ability. Useful for high-defense enemies, but so is magic. Not that stellar.
Monk's main ability is Kick, which deals small damage to all enemies. Also not very useful. In general, the Monk's abilities suck, at least for the Monk himself.
I go to Tule and do a bit more grinding, as there's something else I want to get first.
Killer Bees can be annoying, but we want this Goblin.
GobPunch is another Blue Magic spell. One that's situationally useful, but I want to get them all because more spells is always great, even in this slow-ass port where loading battles and menus takes forever AUGH.
Whatever, finally got it. Let's go to town.
This is the point I realized that I could really have some fun with these GIFs.
Since we already covered most of the town last update, let's advance the plot by checking in on Zok.
Oh, Princess Reina!
How have you been?
Somehow, all three translations nail "Torna" yet all have different names for "Walz." More about that later, though.
But with the crystal gone, that canal's a monster's nest. It's too dangerous!
Oh, that's wonderful.
Splendid! This way please!
Bartz wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to go out for a bit.
If something ever happens to me, never tell Bartz about the crystal... I don't want it to burden him...
Before the flashback, Bartz mentions his dad explicitly in the other two versions, as his dad's a more significant figure than his mom, thus only his dad getting a unique sprite.
Anyway, Bartz decides to pour himself a stiff one, I assume. Or maybe he just stares at his feet to make sure he didn't step in any squirrel shit.
Meanwhile, Zok's staring at Reina in her sleep. I had a rather crass GIF I decided to spare you guys from. This is all high-brow humor, you see.
Hm? Oh, nothing... I was just thinking about my parents... They were very dear to me...
What is it?
The key to the canal. Use it to open the gate...to pass through to Walz.
Alright, we've got what we came here for. Now it's time to really set out on our adventure.
Right after Faris rejoins us, of course.
Cap'n!! Why?! We'll follow ye wherever ye go!
Looks to be a long journey... While I'm gone, ye brigands guard th' booty.
Do as yer Cap'n orders!
And so that ties up that loose end. Don't really know why we can't travel with the pirates, but whatever.
Next time, we'll make a trip to the canal and perhaps learn some exciting new things about our party.