Part 16: Jidoor's Got TalentPardon the length of this update, but I assure you, it's worth it.
Loose Ends, Part 4
I really didn't want to do this one, but there's apparently a huge amount of demand that I investigate a part of Zozo with absolutely no plot relevance or good loot. So, without further ado...
Gentlemen...Behold! The northwestern part of Zozo! It looks like a weapon and armor shop! But those signs are lies! They don't sell weapons and armor at all! In fact, they do not sell anything!
In the weapon shop that doesn't sell weapons, the proprietor will claim that this clock has no minute hand and is inaccurate, but since this is Zozo, the land of perpetual Opposites Day, he obviously means that the clock only has a minute hand, and that it's currently 10 minutes past the hour.
The armor shop that doesn't sell armor has nobody in it, and there's only a box with a Tonic, which you might recall only heals you 50 HP.
This has been your tour of Zozo's northwestern side. Please visit the gift shop where they don't sell gifts on your way out.
Chapter 16: Jidoor's Got Talent
There are actual genuine treasures to be had in a pair of alcoves on either side of Terra's chamber. The other chest has an X-Potion, which heals a party member to full. Naturally, these sorts of things are rare and valuable, and should only be saved for special occasions. Which is to say that I'll be hoarding them forever, just like my two dozen elixirs.
: Let's talk along the way.
: This can't be true...Celes?
: I don't remember because I was asleep when they...augmented me, but I've heard rumors to that effect.
: Then we're going in...
: I'll go to the Empire. I know it well.
: But alone...?
: Do you need a hand?
No offense to Cyan or Gau, but taking either of them along would either handicap me a little or make the rest of the game too easy. Notice that we have no choice but to take along Locke and Celes, not that it would have mattered much.
: The people of Jidoor can probably help us.
: Why are you coming with us?
: Well...there's bound to be a lot of treasures there, and I've always wanted to see the Empire.
Run away, Celes! While you still can!
Anyway, now that we have Magicite in our possession, it's time to teach everybody the ways of magic.
Some things to note here: first off, the text at the bottom that says Stamina +1. While some Espers won't give stat boosts upon level up, most of them will. In this case, Ramuh will give Locke an extra point of Stamina every level. Not really the most important of all the stats, but it's a start.
Second thing to note: the numbers next to the spells. In this game, magic isn't just handed to you. You have to earn it by
From now on, in addition to money, loot and experience, battles will also hand out these Magic Point things, no relation to MP. The points earned are multiplied by the growth rate, and when a spell reaches 100%, it's ready to use.
In addition, equipped Espers can be summoned once in battle to perform special attacks. Ramuh here hits everything with electricity, but since Locke has the magic power of a dried mushroom right now, it doesn't do much.
Siren's special trick is to Mute all enemies, making them unable to cast spells. Pretty handy in the right places. She's also one of the more obvious examples of Nintendo's censorship policies during the SNES era, wearing a painted-on outfit over what was once an exposed derriere. Scandalous.
Level Up Bonus: +10% HP
Status ailments aren't especially useful in this game, given how many enemies are just outright immune to them, but Fire is always handy.
Kirin gives everyone in the party the Regen status, slowly recovering their HP over time. Pretty handy, since Regen is only a single-target spell in this game, and summoning him only costs 18 MP as opposed to Regen's 10 MP cost.
Cure 2: x1
No level up bonus
Kirin's main strike against him is that he teaches healing spells at such a slow rate. We'll be meeting Espers down the line that teach these spells at a much faster rate, but for the moment, he's all we have. Scan is going to be very useful against a boss down the line.
The last Esper is fairly useless, because he...
NO! NO! GO BACK TO THE FUTURE, YOU ABOMINATION!
Level Up Bonus: +1 Magic Power
Muddle and Imp have their uses, but Float is what's really handy about this disgusting cat, as it completely neutralizes earth-based attacks. Bonuses to magic never hurt either.
Jidoor's main claim to fame is an auction house that isn't open, so let's just go straight to our destination.
Once inside, we find this fellow, pacing back and forth.
It probably would have made more sense for the party to jump out of Locke AFTER this line, but c'est la vie.
: Are you talking to me?
Impresario: Sorry, my mistake. You could pass for Maria in a heartbeat! Boy, now I really am in trouble!
Then he leaves, dropping this letter behind him.
Master: He's been in a tizzy ever since that letter arrived.
: Who's this wandering...what's-his-name?
Master: You born on a farm, son?
Music: Setzer's Theme
Master: He's Setzer, owner of the world's only airship.
: If we could get on that airship, we could make it to the Empire in no time.
: Let's set up a meeting...with Setzer.
I have no clue as to why Locke needed that dramatic pause, but now we have an objective.
The opera house is conveniently just to the south of Jidoor, but first...
In another reality where we didn't recruit Shadow with Gau, we went back and recruited him after the scene with Terra. Why? Because I know just how much you guys love flashbacks.
In this dream, the two guys we saw last time are walking away from a train in the distance.
Clyde: A million GP! What a blast! I love this!
Baram: Guess it's time to change our name.
Clyde: Our name?
Baram: We need something more appropriate!
Clyde: Such as...?
Clyde: Great train robbers of the century...Shadow...?
The plot thickens.
Anyway, back to the show!
Music: Spinach Rag (Opera House Theme)
Impresario: He'll probably appear right at the climax of Act 1. He loves an entrance.
: Right, if we could grab him then...
: Then you're history!
I like the Impresario's little facepalm animation. It gives him character.
Impresario: This is simply horrid! I want the performance to be a success, but I don't Maria to be abducted...
: We'll let him grab her!
Impresario: Are you mad?! If something should happen to Maria...
: You did say SHE looks like Maria, didn't you?
: Now just a minute...
: Celes will be our Maria! She'll lead us right to the airship!
I really ought to get a .GIF of Celes' hilarious freakout here. She basically hops back and forth, runs around the place, and then charges right through the Impresario and Locke to the dressing room.
He is having far too much fun at her expense. Suddenly...
He then proceeds to gracefully toss a letter so that it conveniently lands where nobody can see it. Smooth moves, squid.
: Let's get ready, Celes! It's showtime!
Ultros: D'ghaaaa! Somebody read it already!
You know what it's time for, ladies and gentlemen?
Music: The Dream Oath-Overture
A freakin' 16-bit opera, that's what! The game itself doesn't say what its name is, but if you can judge by the OST, it's supposed to be "The Dream Oath." I'll be providing timing cues so you guys can follow along, because the whole thing is very scripted in terms of music.
(0:44 to 1:17)
Draco, the West's great hero, thinks of his love, Maria.
Is she safe? Is she waiting?
Speak of the devil! Draco was just walking along one day...
When he was suddenly run over by chocobos! This caused him irreparable brain damage, so he started to sing.
(1:44 to 2:25 for Draco's solo)
Please...hear my voice!
How I long to be with you!
How touching. What did you think of it, Shadow?
Son of a...At least the game isn't so cruel as to take one of our precious few Espers away if he happened to have one equipped. That would have just been unbearable.
Anyway, the rest of the song plays during this little intermission portion, so we have a chance to walk around a little. Nothing much to do though other than going to Celes' dressing room and chatting with our mates in the audience. Their quotes aren't really that interesting, except for...
Oh Sabin, you lovable uncultured swine.
When checking on Celes, Locke conducts himself with only the highest social propriety.
: Aye yai yai! Issat you?!
: Locke, why did you help me escape back then?
We've heard this before, so let's skip it.
: Anyway, on with the show! This is the big scene where Maria senses that something has happened with Draco.
: You'd better check the score one more time.
For first-time players, looking at the Score is the only way you'll know what to do next, but you can skip it if you want to. The only consequence for failing this next bit is that you'll have to try it again, though I understand that if you fail enough times, the game does eventually just game you over entirely.
Anyway, it's time for that song. If you know anything about Final Fantasy VI, you've probably heard this one.
Music: Aria Di Mezza Carattere
Prince Ralse, of the East, took her hand by force. But she never stopped yearning for Draco...
(0:25 to 1:45)
Oh my Hero...so far away now...
Will I ever see your smile?
Love goes away, like night into day.
It's just a fading dream...
For eternity, for me there can be,
Only you, my chosen one...
Must I forget you? Our solemn promise?
Will Autumn take the place of Spring?
What shall I do? I'm lost without you.
Speak...to me...once more.
For this next part, Maria has to dance in a circle with the spirit of Draco. It's simultaneously symbolic and dull.
And then he turns into a bouquet of flowers. I really don't get this theater stuff.
Anyway, it's time for part 2 of the song, so we head up the stairs and onto a balcony.
(2:35 to end)
Ere I walk away, let me hear you say,
I meant as much to you...
So gently, you touched my heart.
I will be forever yours!
Come what may, I won't age a day.
I'll wait for you, always...
Chancellor: Leave the past behind! Our kingdom is adopting the spirit of the East!
I don't know why I like this sequence, honestly. It's kind of silly, and gameplay-wise, you're just picking dialogue options. It's probably the novelty of it all. Having a song number in a game, even one that's just a person saying "ooh" in various levels of pitch, was a big thing back then. And the best part? We're only halfway done. But we're getting a little long already.
So...Next Time: Surprise twists, dramatic fight scenes, ham acting!