Part 21: Bartz vs. The Werewolf Mayor
Here's my party after some grinding. This isn't what I'm going to roll with, nor am I quite done grinding yet. Let's go through the highlights.
Galuf gets HP +10%, which does what you think it does. The final two Monk abilities increase this to 20% and 30%. Meh. A Chemist with Drink can boost it to 100%.
Caution prevents back/surprise attacks. Meh.
Throw, the Ninja's standard ability, lets you throw weapons and special items for damage. Magic types can get good damage from throwing elemental scrolls, but Reina has little magic going for her and will do more than enough damage just from dual-wielding.
Anyway, I missed one thing, so let's get to that.
You can open this door if you notice the little handle on the other side. Not very intuitive, but whatever.
Anyway, we get a free harp. Harps generally suck, doing only a set portion of the monster's current HP. They can inflict status effects, but so can fifty other commands. Of course, there is a nice exception, but more on that later.
At any rate, it's a moot point since I'm not using a Bard right now. So let's fix that!
Here is our current party make-up. Reina's still awesome as a Ninja, as you'll soon see, so she gets to stay. Faris doesn't really have any jobs that need to be leveled, so might as well stay offensive with Samurai. As for Galuf, this is around the point where Bards really start shining, so we'll go with Bard for now. Finally, Bartz's other abilities are pretty set for this point of the game, so now's as good a time as any to embrace his true calling, DANCE.
But sire... X-Death's monsters will...
Close the gate after us and seal her up tight!
Once you leave Val, you can't come back until you get the Dragon Grass. This means you won't get your awesome grinding space.
But an update where I grind everyone to max job levels would be boring, so let's continue the plot.
Be careful, Majesty!
This guy's pretty much the same guy who Bartz fought when we first got on this world. Don't know if he has different stats, or what.
He starts off with Hurricane, lowering Bartz to single-digits.
So, uh...keep in mind she's got two Double Lances equipped. So keep in mind that she's dealing around ~550 four times.
It's so beautiful. It doesn't outright kill him, but it leaves him a hit away from death.
Anyway, I'm having Bartz use the Dance command here. But first, check out that awesome pose. Of all the "I'm about to attack" poses, Dancer Bartz clearly has the best one.
Anyway, using Dance means one of four things will happen at random.
Jitterbug's generally useful since it drains the enemy's HP. Not the best one, but generally you won't complain if you get it.
At any rate, Bartz's awesome moves are enough to scare off the Abductor, making him reevaluate his life after being struck to tears by the beauty of the art of dance.
Anyway, we're now on a new continent. The continent to the right is where X-Death's castle is, though the map doesn't show the Big Bridge. Not that we can cross it anyway right now due to the barrier.
Most of the enemies around here are dull, though that Kornago's interesting enough that we want to Catch it.
Wonderwaltz is another Dance move, and this one drains MP. Generally not very useful, though since Bartz has a heavy magic build it's still decent MP healing, as unreliable as it is.
Our current song selection sucks. Love Song temporarily stops enemies, and isn't very useful.
Temptation Song confuses enemies, which is nice if your Bard has nothing better to do. Nothing wonderful, though.
Also, all song animations are the same, just with different-colored musical notes, so don't expect GIFs of the other ones.
I feel sorry for Faris, since while normally she'd be doing decent damage, there's no comparing to Reina's 2000 damage a round.
Strength Song is misleading, as all it does is give everyone Regen. Nifty way to start out against bosses, but still, eh.
Anyway, I switch Galuf to a Trainer to catch a Kornago, and try to reduce its HP with Demi.
Also, if you like your party on the right side, here's an alternate take. I don't know why I did this, don't question why I do these things.
Anyway, a nice Drain means this guy's primed to be caught.
OH FUCK YOU
There's also Ridicules walking around. The fuck.
The third, and most useful Dance, is Sword Dance, which does a ton of damage (like 4x your attack or something, I'll let someone correct me later). It's the best part of Dancing, though it's too unreliable to make the Dancer that useful, at least for the time being.
Try running away now, asshole.
Finally, the generally worst dance is Temptango, which confuses an enemy. Meh.
Anyway, to get to the mountain, we have to pass the town of Kelb, so let's do that.
The Valley of Dragons should be just past the north gate of this village...
Valley of the Hiryuu in RPGe, Drakenvale in GBA.
Anyway, the town is deserted.
We can't progress until we enter the big center house. So let's.
Steady Bartz! They're on our side!
Kelgar/Kelger in the other versions.
Been a while, hasn't it?
He's one of the four Dawn Warriors.
He fought X-Death with you 30 years ago...?
Who are they?
They came from the world we sealed X-Death in.
Busted all the crystals and then brought X-Death back...
Let's see what you're made of!
Or more accurately, werewolf to dancer.
Lupine Attack in the other versions. Pine Attack's just...yeah.
Bartz!! Don't hurt him!
Yeah, but he blocked my Pine Attack, that's really something!
Learned it from my father.
What?! What was his name?
You're kidding again, right?
Did you know my father?
Drogan, Kelga, myself and Zeza all fought X-Death 30 years ago.
30 years ago we warped into your world in hot pursuit of X-Death...
Drogan talks about "knocking him down" in the GBA version, though it's hard to tell whether it's an intentional reference to the infamous line from FF1's Garland. You be the judge:
How much punishment can he take? Even when we knock him down, he won't STAY down...
Back to the scene at hand...
We'll just have to seal him up here.
Here? We can't just seal up a criminal from our world here in another! I, for one, am against it!
We have no choice!
He's coming around!
Now we've got no choice, we must seal him up here!
Drogan, we all must unite our hearts to use the power of the four crystals!
How is old Drogan?
Oh...I'm sorry. Listen, I'll do anything you ask of me!
Anyway, the gate is now unlocked, and the village proper is available. Which is great, because there's some nice stuff here.
Heh, heh...snicker... Now I'll get some dinner.
Kornago's Gourd is a neat little accessory that raises the HP needed to catch a monster from 1/8 it's max HP to 1/4. Of course, it's usually cumbersome to catch monsters and use their abilities, but it doesn't hurt having it.
NPC stuff. Let's get to the good stuff.
Zombies and monsters.
That's a bit misleading, as Requiem only works on the undead. But god damn does it work, though more on that later.
There's a few more items available now.
Mostly power-boosting stuff. Speaking of equipment...
The Dancer's major perk is that it's the only job that can equip Ribbons, your standard status-blocking helmet. Of course, one of their abilities lets other jobs equip Ribbons, and of course Freelancers can equip whatever the fuck they want, but hey.
The other weapons aren't as good. Poison Rod will boost Bio, but Bard Galuf can't use a Poison Rod.
Dessert's on the house!
In the inn is a guy who will heal you for free and give you some extra Tonics. I think you can do this three times, though Tonics are pretty crap at this stage of the game.
And that's everything interesting about Kelb, so let's move on.
The Lamia Harp has a chance to confuse an enemy, but why not use the song that confuses all enemies instead?
Anyway, a short walk from Kelb brings us to our next destination.
One of the themes of this world is that there's a ton of secrets and awesome loot hiding all over the place, and this mountain is no exception.
Sometimes this guy shows up in groups of five, in which case it's still unremarkable.
There's a lot of these guys, though they're not so scary with Reina around.
Or with Galuf, as Requiem has no problem ripping apart the undead. It's the Bard's only real offensive option, but it's pretty damn awesome at what it does.
There's also the DrgnZombie, who's so beefy that it can survive both Reina's four hits and Galuf's Requiem. Not much more than that, though.
The great thing about them is that they always drop Dragon Fangs, which are very useful with certain mixes.
Look at that scenery.
Drippies have Magic Hammer, which halves a person's MP. It's a Blue Mage spell, but I couldn't be assed to learn it.
So in this area is a couple of interesting things.
The first being this encounter, where Golem teams up with undead dinosaurs to
Actually, we want to save Golem from the dinosaurs.
Requiem and cure spells make things easy. Still, you want to be quick, as they do attack Golem and can kill him.
Golem: Hey, take me with you!
In the GBA version, he says "It'd rock if I could roll along with you!" That version really loves its fucking puns.
Our reward is the Golem summon, which will block a set amount of physical damage. Very handy summon.
Another thing is the Bonemail, which gives a huge defensive boost, but at the cost of making the wearer undead. This can be inconvenient since you can't really heal the wearer by conventional means (though you can still heal the wearer with something like White Wind). Not to mention because it has a high defense, Optimum will always put it on you. It still has its uses.
The first Dancer ability is Flirt, which stops an enemy's next attack on the rare opportunity that it works.
It's a crap ability, yet I feel compelled to use it.
This section's a bit weird, you have to go through a hole and find your way to this switch, opening the passageway to the next area.
Inside this area are two interesting items. The Coronet increases the chances of Control working, which is nice, while the Wind Sword is a slightly stronger Katana which I'll show off in a bit, as Faris will appreciate it.
But first, here's Bartz seducing an eagle.
Bards learn Hide, which is a fucking piece of shit ability as once Bards get their good songs you never want them going away.
Closing in on the boss.
And here's the wonderful thing about the Wind Sword. It has a random chance of inflicting a boosted Wind Slash on all enemies, doing around 1000 a monster. All of a sudden, Faris is competitive with everyone else again, especially against large groups.
I love that line for some reason.
That's no grass, that's a beast! A foul, leafy demon!
That translator must've had a blast.
Anyway, boss time.
This fight's pretty gimmicky, in that...
...it will randomly summon up to five Dragon Bulbs, each of which has an attack that deals a certain status effect like Darkness, Paralysis, or Confusion.
That said, it doesn't really affect my strategy of "WRECK THE SHIT OUTTA IT"
Though it gets scary at parts, mainly when Reina got confused for a second.
Once the Grass is destroyed, you still have to destroy the Bulbs manually, but they're just nuisances at this point.
Let's take it and go!
Sweet. Unfortunately, we have to backtrack out.
Or just Teleport out of here. Sorry if you don't have Time Magic!
Next time, we return to Val and do stuff.