Part 25: Reina vs. The Game's Challenge
So I'll be splitting the update a bit, covering the upcoming dungeon here while dealing with the boss and other stuff in the next one.
At any rate, I decide now's a good time to do some grinding since the next dungeon can be kind of a pain, so...
Well, first, here's this. Kelga has unique dialogue after Zeza dies, but it's not that interesting.
Right, so back to Bal/Val's basement to grind off statues. First off:
New L5 magic, so it's a good opportunity to get Galuf and Faris in the position to cast it. Then I swap everyone to jobs I won't use much with lengthy grinds.
Faris picks up Mug, which is "Steal + Attack." Alright, I guess, though another command that rarely merits an ability slot.
After HP +10%, there's HP +20%. Meh.
The Thief's final ability is Footwork, which gives a job the same speed as a Thief. It's not bad, since Thieves have the highest speed in the game, but generally that extra bit of speed isn't worth more versatility.
And since that's the final ability...
...that means we've mastered our first job! This means we've learned everything possible from the job, so there's no point in spending any more time in it. More importantly, it means that the default class, Bare, gets all the passives of the mastered class (with the main exception being the Berserker's "Berserk" passive, for obvious reasons) and the stat boosts of that class. Thus if Faris turns into a Bare, she'll be as fast as a Thief, along with the Bare's perks of being able to equip all weapons and armor.
Of course, I'd rather get all her jobs mastered before I mess with all that, so I stick her in Samurai which needs a ton of AP to be mastered.
Meanwhile, Galuf gets HP +30% and masters Monk. Since the Monk has the highest Vigor and Stamina in the game, Galuf will be a physical powerhouse once he switches to Bare, though still not nearly as great as Reina will eventually be with her commands.
Galuf now becomes a Trainer since that's another AP sinkhole I won't be using much anymore.
OH FUCK YES
Reina has mastered Hunter here, giving her the ability Sshot. This wonderful ability lets her hit four times per weapon, thus letting her hit eight times, albeit at half damage for each hit, and with each target being random.
Honestly, it's not useful right now since it doesn't trigger the Double Lance's two-hit attack, so it ends up just doing the same amount of damage right now as her single attack. However, once better weapons pop up, then hitting eight times will become more useful compared to two normal hits. Dual-Wield/Sshot is one of the easiest combos to think up, and it's pretty damn amazing for good reason. Just not that useful right now with Double Lances available.
Anyway, Reina goes to Berserker because I'm never going to use Berserker again. I'd like to, but all her other jobs are just too awesome.
And here she learns one of the Berserker's two whole abilities. Berserk lets the attacker be auto-Berserk each battle, which is meaningless because I'd rather give her a more useful command and just let Bartz cast Berserk on her.
Meanwhile, Faris learns Equip Katana. Neat, I guess.
Galuf learns Catch, the Trainer's default ability that captures/releases monsters, and thus masters his second job. Might as well take him back to Lancer.
This. This is why I spent so much time grinding. I grinded until I learned this fucking command, which I'll remind you costs 999AP in addition to all the AP you need to learn the Red Mage's other commands. Red Mage is the most expensive job to master, yet this command is worth it.
You see, it lets you cast two Red Mage spells at once. Of course, Red Magic is just L3 Black and White magic, so in general it's pretty useful besides being able to cast Protect twice in one round. The beauty is that you can combine it with other magic. So White Mage Bartz can cast two of any White Magic spells in one round, in addition to L3 Black Magic. This even works with Time and Summon magic, so Bartz could dual-cast two Summons and just devastate everything. At this point, he's the magical equivalent of Reina, albeit with a lot more support options. Faris is all about versatility with Time and Blue Magic, while Galuf can adapt in various ways to deal damage between physical attacks and Black Magic, or serve as Support as a Bard.
You guys really picked a great team.
Alright, enough grinding for now. Here's what I'm going to roll for now:
Bartz is White Mage with Redx2. Casting two White Magic spells is very useful, and the HairOrnament will give me two spells for the price of one.
Reina is Ninja with Sshot. As I said, right now Sshot isn't useful, but then again nothing Reina has is, besides maybe Berserk, hilariously enough.
Galuf is Lancer with Black Magic. Versatility in how to kill things, but really he doesn't have anything better to put in that slot.
Faris is Samurai with Blue Magic. Samurai is a beefy class with nice evasion boosts, and Blue Magic is great for any class.
A quick trip back to Moore to get updated armor from the oodles of cash I got grinding statues...
I'll spare you a GIF of Reina attacking eight times, but it hits randomly and halves damage.
So I can cast all my available White Magic and L3 Black Magic. I can choose to cast the same spell twice, or two different spells. Handy stuff.
And here's Redx2 in action.
Also, here's Mini since I was messing around and I haven't shown it off yet.
Alright, now let's get to the dungeon proper.
...is letting us in?
So the branch lets us into this place. Quite a few enemies around here.
These guys are the simplest. They have high evasion but are incredibly fragile. Even Faris and Galuf can take them down in a hit.
As for the dungeon itself, it's damn frustrating. First of all, you can't really see what you've explored since there's overlays of trees everywhere. The game gives you a circle of transparency around your character so you can see what's around you, but it makes finding treasures a chore since you have to walk everywhere rather than just eyeball things.
More importantly, the random encounter rate is high as hell and most of the enemies take forever to kill.
I'm sure you can figure out which is which.
The Mamons like to cast Berserk to boost their offense, though they'll also cast on the MiniMages. As for the MiniMages, they like to cast Asper to steal MP from our characters. They also cast Little Song to inflict Mini.
Little Song is a Blue Magic spell, of course. After that, we're only missing seven spells.
To progress, you have to interact with trees with holes, which opens up the path to the next area. These paths look neat, at least.
Eventually I get bored of lengthy battles combined with high encounter rates and long loading times and just spam Dustbomb to flee everything.
There's more enemies, including Imps that like to spam Muddle. Pesky. The Succubus (what) can use Air Wing to deal good damage to everyone.
This thing is actually a save point. Weird-looking one, but ah well.
Neat, a new offensive weapon for the White Mage.
Anyway, get far enough in and...
So at this point, we're trapped with nowhere to go.
Though there's an Aegis Shield to grab.
After a certain amount of time passes, a moogle pops out and bids us to jump into his hole.
So let's instead play Pong with Bartz as the ball.
Or we could just fall like normal and end up in this save haven with a couple of moogles.
Again, this requires waiting a bit until the game lets you exit, as a moogle blocks the way.
I switch Faris to Blue Mage since the upcoming boss has a Blue Magic spell I want to learn, and because it lets me cast both Blue and Time magic.
These guys aren't great conversationalists.
Though they're wonderful moonwalkers.
Once we get out, we see the forest has been scorched.
That chest we got the Aegis Shield from would've had a Flame Shield instead, a nifty shield that absorbs fire attacks. I went with the Aegis Shield since it boosts magic evasion, but either one is a nice get.
The branch opens us a path to the Elder Tree. Next time, we'll go in there and encounter one of the most infamous bosses of the game.