Part 28: Bartz vs. Gilgamesh
Here's our current party. After Krile learned Lance from Lancer, I switched her back to Black Mage because a decent attack with MP absorption works pretty damn well with a Black Mage.
Huh, just noticed the Tindeck URL for that song is "abcy." Neat.
Anyway, those healing pools are now lava pools. Unfortunately, we can't drink them to scald our throats.
So, moving on in the castle. Here's Lance in action. TwinLizard has no MP, but normally Krile would be sapping 10% of the HP she drains, so usually around 40MP, enough for close to two L5 spells.
In this rather unfortunately-named ability, Faris can use a passive to find pitfalls, which come up a whole two or three times this whole game. In a game full of useless passive abilities, it's on the upper echelon of suck.
So, monsters. There's the MagicDrgn, which... I don't know what it does, because it always died before being able to attack.
Here's a shot of Krile absorbing some sweet, delicious MP to fuel her annihilation spells.
Pull a switch to open access to a chest five tiles from you. I don't get why they did this. Ah well, the Ice Shield would be nice ice-absorption if I were using any classes that used shields. And yes, there's actually enemies in this lava-infested dungeon that uses ice attaacks.
BlakWarloks, merely victims of name-shortening, are all about the instant-death attacks, as you'd expect from the dungeon of the big bad.
Of course, they tend to use weaker spells like Drain and then die before using their instant-death spells. But that's what Control is for!
There's also an Adamngolem hanging out with a bunch of rabbits. If you control it, it literally has four Fight commands, which should sum up its capabilities.
And here's why Faris is an Geomancer. Normally, lava inflicts decent damage on your party per step, making it a pain to navigate in it. Geomancer has a passive ability that nullifies all damage to it, though, so this lava does nothing to me since Geomancers can use their elemental magic to part the lava, or something. It's all Biblical in here.
Something else I was wrong about! The Gale Bow has an alright chance of doing Sshot, which would be nice if I didn't grind it out already. Ah well.
Here, enjoy some Hypnots. You may know them better as Bandersnatches or Coeurls, you know, those enemies that like to ruin your day with Blaster. These are much less scary since I have a Berserked Ninja shredding through everything like paper.
Next up is this room, with a neat little gimmick.
It'll move back and forth until you press the "activate" button to stop it. If you stop it on a path, it's all good!
If stopped on a dead-end, you fight from a few different palette-swaps.
Here's a Red Harpy, the more pathetic cousin of the Harpies lurking in Walse or whatever it's called in this version.
I don't know what it does because Reina kills it in one attack.
This treasure is a Blizzard sword, another nifty sword upgrade for the Knight.
We can also run into our old friend the Harpy, who's still a pain in the ass to hit.
He still casts Moon Flute, which sucks because I have a bunch of mages and my only attacker is already Berserk. Still, Reina makes short work of it.
There's also Imps. You can tell I suck at the whole timing part of this thing.
At least my sucking got Bartz to learn L5 Summons! Now I can use all summons as any other class, though Summoner still has one more useless ability to go. But that's better off as grinding fodder, so back to the useful White Mage for Bartz.
The other chest is a katana upgrade, one Faris would enjoy if Geomancer weren't so useful in this dungeon.
Two dragons, huh? Sounds like a good time to get a Blue Mage spell that's kind of a pain in the ass to get!
So here's a neat thing. In order to learn L3 Flare from the Red Dragon, you have to cast Reflect on it and then control it, bouncing the spell off it. You see, L3 Flare auto-targets the enemy, so it targets the enemy's side when RD is controlled. Thus the need to have Reflect, which I didn't have back in the Barrier Tower (well, there's probably some mix that gives it, but if I were using Mix there'd be nothing to talk about because the entire game would be even more trivial).
So Faris gets hit, takes ~2000 damage and dies, and everything's hunky-dory.
...Except I kinda overestimate how awesome my party is and end up getting close to death against two dragons.
But joke's on them, Bartz is a dual-casting White Mage with a HairOrnament. With Shell and Blink, he's indestructable.
Of course, they have area attacks to wipe out anybody I revive, but that doesn't mean Bartz is useless.
The Red Dragon is weak to healing magic, so I slowly chip away at it until it dies. Dunno if the Blue Dragon works the same way, but whatever.
Still, it's kind of embarrassing that I need to use an Elixir for a random encounter.
Eventually, I get a nice hefty 13AP reward as well as that damn spell. Actually, it's pretty nice against monsters with a multiple of L3, but I'm too lazy to look up FAQs for those.
Oh yeah, and then there's MotorDrives.
I don't get it.
This dungeon's so big, it gives you a save point right in the middle of it. Oh, we're far from done.
We've still got a few floors to go.
YellowDrgns aren't as scary. Reds use fire attacks, Blues use ice, and Yellows use lightning. Yeah.
This next section involves pit traps and walking through lava. If Earth weren't such an awesome command, these two floors would account for 90% of a Geomancer's usefulness. Seriously, does anyone actually attack with Bells when Earth is usually a much better command to use?
Anyway, this next room is gimmicky.
Once you hit the skull here, you deactivate the walkway to the next destination. Your goal is to find the switch to deactivate it.
Without a Geomancer, you'll just walk in here and have to backtrack in lava. With a Geomancer, you'll have a 50% chance of realizing you hit a trap and managing to stop holding right before walking into it anyway.
I mean, I like that they tried to make the Geomancer useful outside of combat like Thief, but it just feels more like they couldn't come up with anything to add to Earth, so they just threw in a couple of gimmick things for the job and called it a day. It's little wonder it's tied for fastest job to master with Bard.
Anyway, here's a free Double Lance I don't have to steal from statues.
The bottom-most skull lets us move forward. We want the top-most one first.
This leads us to an optional-yet-recommended boss battle.
This is Carbuncle. He has auto-reflect and is tough to hit.
He does that whole "bounce spells off himself" thing.
Reina can get the occasional hit in, but right now his evasion is pretty damn high.
Can you believe I forgot Carbuncle's gimmick and cast L3 Flare on him? How horrible of me.
But eventually both Reflect and his physical defenses drop, giving you an opportunity to rip into his green flesh.
I was ill-prepared but got bailed out because Reina's just so fucking awesome at murder.
Our reward is our first L4 summon, Carbuncle, who inflicts Reflect on the party. Useful against magic-heavy bosses, not-as-useful with a powerhouse White Mage like Bartz casting lots of reflectable buffs. Ah well.
Krile picks up L6 Black Magic, the final level she needs. There's still one more ability costing a nice chunk of AP. Meanwhile, Faris gets "Antitrap," which is an odd name since it lets the user walk through lava floors undamaged, though it may also nullify damage from one specific minor trap later on.
At any rate, Faris has mastered Geomancer now, yet I still need her passive abilities.
So let's swap her to Bare, so she can exploit both her Geomancer passives and her Thief ones, all the while having access to both Time and Blue magic and being able to equip whatever the fuck she wants, including the Ribbon! All this, and with the speed of a Thief! Once you've mastered a few classes, Bare becomes phenomenal. This is only temporary, though, as I still have three more classes for Faris to master.
Right, bring passage to the next area, and all that.
Another save point. We're nearing the end of the dungeon.
The next room is a large, empty one, save for one chest in the middle, an empty one.
Whatever, let's just go up here and kill X-Death.
Or Gilgamesh is here. Alright, then.
Muh, huh, huh! Looking for something?!
A shame I had to chop so much, but it's still worth it.
CLASH ON THE BIG BRIDGE TIME, CLICK THE FUCKING LINK ABOVE
Gilgamesh likes to start things off with Dischord. The Aegis Shield actually absorbs it, as it has a 1/3 chance of absorbing a spell. What an awesome shield.
Then he casts it again and changes Krile into a Bard!
Right, so let's go into some LP technical stuff for a bit (feel free to skip this). The emulator plug-in I use to record video is pretty weird, as if the video I record is over 2GB I have to load it into VirtualDub and re-encode the damn thing to load it into AvsPmod. This is my first video over 4GB, so it turns out after 4GB, the recorder flips out and stops recording after that point. Thus the majority of my video's fine, but around this point the recording stopped. Since I organize my saves by update, I had to reload to the beginning of the dungeon and ended up spamming Flee/Dustbomb until I made it back to Gilgamesh.
The playthrough I've been showing so far is the one I saved, but this particular set-up is dedicated so you all can experience the joy of this Gilgamesh battle. There's no freaking way I'd deprive you guys of it.
Anyway, the battle itself isn't that stellar, as Reina is still a fucking monster and rips apart everything in her path. Poor Gilgamesh doesn't have a chance. But that's OK because this is a gimmicky battle anyway.
Now I fight you, for the fourth time...
...it feels good!
The other versions more emphasize how much he enjoys fighting us, more for the joy of having worthy opponents rather than being a huge dick reveling in evil like X-Death. Gilgamesh has slowly grown from our enemy into a friendly rival of sorts, and I feel this more than anything (other than the awesome music, of course) is why Gilgamesh is so loved even today. He's not evil, he just loves a good fight.
He'll cast lots of status-inflicting magic in this fight. It's a good way to pick up some missing Blue Magic.
where's the old man, now?
It was X-Death...
Now, we fight in earnest!
And now we see Gilgamesh in his most awesome form. While he's well-known in other games for having four arms, here he has quite a few more, many of which wielding impressive-looking weapons.
More importantly, though, is that this is the form we can steal the Genji Helmet, another reason I have Faris as Bare since Thief was mastered. Don't worry, I stole it in the good file as well.
..Excalibur really is!!
The effect is kinda lost here because I cast Blink on everyone...
...but he's intentionally attacking for crappy damage.
For, you see, this isn't actually Excalibur at all.
Everything that eventually triggers Gilgamesh's morph to the end of the fight is automatic, so I just Stop Reina so she stops slowing things down with her bloodlust.
No! Anything but that!
...Welp. Our semi-friendly rival just got sent to another dimension by the villain for no good reason.
So yeah, the usual for Final Fantasy.
Anyway, we've got a reward. Oh, we've got quite the reward, alright (and not "all right" like how this game likes to say it).
The Excalipur boasts high attack power, the highest we have so far, but it's a replica. It does shit damage, so despite the Battle Power, it's not worth using.
That said, the Battle Power of the sword still makes it useful. Throw doesn't give a shit that the sword itself is shit, and more importantly, neither does the Blue Magic Goblin Punch, which basically does similar damage as a physical attack with that Battle Power. Thus, we can use this shitty replica sword as an actual powerful weapon by holding it while punching enemies like a Goblin. As a bonus, Blue Mages can actually use it.
So next time, we face off against X-Death once and for all.