Part 13: With a little help from my friendsChapter 13: With a little help from my friends
Music: The Mines of Narshe
Arvis: I never said that!
Elder: Something like it.
Evidently, discussions with Narshe are going south pretty quickly.
: Ha! He's right, you know.
: Our blood will spill because of you.
: The increased use of Magitek will lead to global destruction.
Elder: The War of the Magi...The mythical battle that set mankind back a thousand years... Can this really be happening? People will never learn...
Sounds to me like they're making some sort of metaphor about the atomic bomb. Suddenly...
: Who's with you?
: I'm Cyan, retainer to the Lord of Doma.
: The people of Doma were wiped out by the Empire.
Elder: Barbaric! But...that was only because Doma was collaborating with the Returners. If we make that mistake...
: That's nonsense!
Wait, how did Locke get here after Sabin and Co.? Celes mentioned that Kefka was GOING to poison Doma, which means that the events of Locke's chapter and Sabin's chapter were happening fairly close together. Maybe Locke was just waiting for the right dramatic moment to make his entrance or something.
: Locke, where did you hear that?
: Celes here was one of the Empire's generals-
: Grrr! I knew she looked familiar! Out of the way, Gau!
: Wait, Celes has joined the Returners! She's with us now!
: I promised I'd protect her, and I WILL NOT back down from my word!
: Locke, are you still thinking about...that?
We'll be seeing what Edgar's referring to very shortly, and then you'll see why there's cause for concern about Locke's behavior.
Thank goodness! The way it was going, everyone was just going to be arguing all day.
Music: Troops March On
Soldier: Lord Kefka, there are civilians here!
: Exterminate everyone!
Soldier: But Narshe is neutral!
: IDIOT! Read my lips! Dispose of any who oppose us! March!
: Where is the esper?
Elder: We moved it up into the hills.
As the group heads up the mountain, we get a number of scenes between them, mostly revolving around Celes.
: I'm a general, not some love-starved twit!
: Cold as ice...
: You...can use magic, too?
: When I was a baby I was artificially infused with Magic, and raised as a Magitek Knight.
Ah, Terra, you and your insecurities. I was so sure that we'd be able to go a scene without you getting all introspective.
It's time for some final preparations before the Empire arrives. We're controlling Terra for now, but if we talk to another character, we can equip them and set up their Relics.
While I was in Nikeah, I picked up some gear for everybody. This Magus Hat is something that only Celes and Terra can wear. A real shame, because Sabin's best Blitzes use his magic power in their damage calculations.
This battle's going to be another one of them three-party battles, only in this case, we get the fun of setting up our own teams.
There are some general rules I like to look at when setting up teams normally:
Celes and Terra always go on different teams. You don't need two sources of healing on the same team, and Celes' gimmick messes up Terra's casting anyway.
Generally, Cyan and Locke don't need to be stuck together, because they're both good at picking off individual units.
Gau and Edgar go on separate teams, because their respective gimmicks allow them to completely pulverize groups of enemies by themselves.
Whatever team finally confronts Kefka needs to have Locke on it, so I can have nice things.
The Tintinabar is actually pretty useful for this fight, because you're going to be doing a lot of walking. I'm not hurting for potions and tonics right now, but I don't like ducking into the menu every time Gau gets hurt slightly either.
Pose as a team, because shit just got real.
Music: Save Them!
: How delightful! This'll be fun!
*insert laugh here*
Looks like Kefka brought the entire baseball team. This might be a little more complicated than five groups of mammoths.
: Go! Get these vile insects!
The conventional strategy for this fight is just to put everyone in the major choke points and let them come to you, but I get bored of waiting, so I take the fight to them instead. This comes back to bite me later.
By the way, every character has a unique quote if you talk to them during this battle. Here they are, one by one:
: Kefka...he stuck that crown on me?
: Bloody Empire...we are your worst enemy!
: Kefka...grr...what's he up to?
: Master Duncan's techniques mustn't fail me!
: I'm free! The Empire can't control me!
: I will avenge the people of Doma!
: Gau hit hard!
The green soldiers will either be this formation or a group of four of the red guys, known as Troopers. If left alone, they have the potential to do a fairly damaging physical attack, which is why I don't plan on ever giving them the chance.
Even with Gau not wearing Earrings, Wind Slash still does over 500 damage to each enemy, more than enough to kill them. Gau hit hard indeed. You know what else kills Troopers instantly?
Poison generally is quite effective against humanoid enemies, and the Troopers are no exception. Besides, you're killing them with bug spray, and you can't go wrong with that.
After the first guys come up, things start to get a little hectic. You might not see it in this shot, but there's a path around the side that I'm leaving completely unprotected. After a battle or two, I really had to scramble to stop the enemies coming up that end.
These Fidors can be quite nasty, as they have a fairly high defense and their special attack does more than 100 damage. Best part? If you take out their Trooper escort, they'll do it 100% of the time.
They do have a weakness to flame-based attacks though, so I roast them with the Templar's Fire 2.
By the way, I should mention that Wind Slash hits both sides even when most other techniques can't.
At some point in the fight, Sabin hit Level 15, thereby earning him his next Blitz: Fire Dance. What's Fire Dance, you ask?
It's wonderful, that's what it is. Fire Dance is one of those techniques that involves doing a roll, but instead of just a quarter-circle, it's a half-circle along the bottom. For the less dexterous among us, that can be translated to left-left-down-down-right.
Damage-wise, it's worse than Aurabolt, but it hits all enemies and does fire-based damage, which a number of enemies are weak to. We'll be using it for groups from now on.
Once all the soldiers have been taken out, there's just the matter of this one here, running quickly back and forth in front of Kefka. It's possible to fight Kefka without fighting him, but I don't bother, because he's got something I want.
The Rider is actually quite the annoying little sub-boss, capable of poisoning all party members, taking off over 250 health with its special attack or, if attacked, reversing the row position of party members.
We'll be picking up this Mithril Vest as a regular shop item in a town or two, but for the moment, it's definitely worth picking up. Alternatively, he's got an Elixir on him as his rare item, which is generally worth trying to get.
Also, his script makes him automatically counter any attempt to steal from him, so Locke is barely able to appreciate his new acquisition before he's smashed to the ground.
Note For People Who Love Free Armor: If you lose a fight in this battle, it's not the end of the game. Instead, the party just gets kicked back next to Banon with 1 HP each member. With this in mind, you can rob the Rider every time you fight him, and so long as you lose the fight each time, before long, you'll have Mithril Vests for everyone. And maybe an elixir or two if you get lucky.
After that, it's just a straight line from the party to Kefka.
Music: The Decisive Battle
What is wrong with your face...
Kefka's repertoire mostly consists of low-level magic, though if you're unlucky, he could drop an Ice 2 on your head. For most characters, that's pretty much an instant kill. Ideally, we'd be doing Runic with Celes in this battle to render him almost completely impotent, but that'd be too easy.
Despite his immense magical power, he is quite squishy, possibly to make up for the fact that he's got 3000 HP.
Ethers are pretty valuable things, even if you don't use them. We die and retry this battle quite a few times so we can stock up on these glorious items. He's also got elixirs, by the way, but good luck getting one of those from him.
: Don't think you've won! I'll be back!
After he's taken enough of a beating, Kefka retreats, leaving us with a Peace Ring.
Peace Ring: Protects against Confusion and Berserk. Kind of useful, but far too specialized.
: How's the esper?
: Is it okay?
: Can it still be alive?
: That's impossible...right?
Oh, not this nonsense again. I tell you, Espers are just trouble.
: Terra and the Esper...
: There's some kind of reaction!
: An Esper... I can actually feel its mind...
: Terra, step away from the Esper!
There! See? Now she's going to blow up and wake up unharmed in a bed all over aga-
Next Time: We follow our furry pink member.