Part 27: Fly the Unfriendly SkiesNormally I'd be taking a break due to the 4th of July, but this is a pretty quick one, so I'll just knock it out here.
Chapter 27: Fly the Unfriendly Skies
For our quest of preparation, we'll be taking along these four weirdos. The latter three are mainly there to learn new Lore, but as for Celes, it's been a long time since she last had magic training, so I need to work her up a little.
For a town that was supposedly burned to the ground, Thamasa sure looks untouched. I'm mostly in here to purchase some items, but I couldn't help but notice this fellow in red. Old men generally don't wear red unless they're Strago, so he must be important.
Gungho: First time I've been back in a while, and the village looks trashed. What on earth happened?
Is this planet also called Earth? This expression wouldn't really make sense otherwise.
Gungho: Is that you, Strago? Have you come back to hunt Hidon? When you were younger, you fought Hidon, the legendary monster, but you quit before you found it.
: I didn't really quit! It's just that, well, the monster lives only on Ebot's Rock, which has been submerged for quite some time.
Gungho: You never could give me an honest answer. What a buffoon!
Why did they even have this conversation if the two of them already know what they were talking about? It's like if someone said to a friend, "Hey, you know that your sister is named Evelyn, right?" To which the correct answer would be, "No shit!"
You know, it occurs to me that the game would make a more convincing argument for Shadow being dead if his sprite wasn't still hopping up and down in the shop screen. Just saying. Anyway, I pick up a bunch of throwing weapons for him, on the off-chance that he is, in fact, completely alive. You never know...
I also buy a couple Hawk Eyes for Locke, because we're about to be fighting flying enemies, and these things tear right through those.
Weapons Scholar: One changed a person's power into a sword, the other was a monster, bred for mass destruction.
Well, we've got one of those. I just hope we don't run into the other one.
The next few stops are mostly just sightseeing in nature. Vector, for instance, is completely empty. No citizens, no shopkeepers, no soldiers, no Returners, no Arvis, no Banon. We will never see those people ever again.
As promised, South Figaro is empty, though there's nothing to do here, and the shops are still selling the stuff they were selling at the start of the game.
Doma is also empty, and they've taken the time to remove the bodies, so we can get to loot that was blocked off before.
Not that they're worth much.
Beads: Does nothing. Absolutely nothing. They are 100% useless. Okay, they give you 20% Evasion, but that's basically nothing.
Albrook doesn't have anything of worth in it other than this hint about a guy that we already bought an Esper from. Still, I just wanted to show off the fact that they did take into account the big floating hunk of rock in the sky.
Finally, I do some Veldting to get Strago and Gau up to speed. Sketching this Pipsqueak here caused the ability Roulette to occur. Though a lot of patience and frustration, helped somewhat by the fact that he can learn Lore from watching Gau do Rages, Strago also learned Step Mine, Dischord, Pep Up, Condemned, L.3 Muddle, L.4 Flare, and L.5 Doom.
Lore-Roulette: Picks a random target and kills it, him or her instantly. This includes your own guys.
Lore-Step Mine: Deals damage equal to the number of steps taken divided by 32. Given that I've been traipsing around everywhere, this is some decent damage, with the problem being that its MP cost is equal to the number of minutes of game time divided by 30.
Lore-Dischord: Halves a target's level. Given how much stuff uses levels for a multiplier, this could actually be useful if it worked more often.
Lore-Pep Up: Removes the caster from the field to heal a single target to full. Not kills, removes. As in, for the entirety of the fight. Utter trash.
Lore-Condemned: Starts a timer above an enemy's head and, when the timer expires, casts Doom on the target. This can be used to set up a hilarious glitch when used in conjunction with Jump, but I'll show that later.
Lore-L.4 Flare: Does heavy fire damage to anyone whose level is a multiple of four. Not bad, but kind of situational.
Lore-L.5 Doom: Instant death on anything divisible by five. Pretty nice, but just as bad as L.4 Flare if the enemy isn't the right level.
Right, let's do this thing!
For reasons that will soon be explained, the game forces us into a party of three. It probably doesn't matter who is in the party, given that they're all fairly good, but it's highly recommended to leave Celes behind. You'll see why.
Music: Save Them!
Suddenly, a bunch of ships appear off the port side.
"It's the Imperial Air Force (IAF)! Let's give them a bloody lip!"
You remember that whole thing about how Setzer's ship was the only airship around? The game sure doesn't.
Stuck in the sky against a fleet of flying ships that are weak to wind? There's a Dance for that.
The Spitfire ships have a unique ice-based ability called Absolute 0, while the Sky Armor can fire missiles and lasers. They're actually quite mean abilities, but the ships themselves can't take a shot of lightning.
As the fight rages on, a weird pink thing can be seen slowly flying around the ship.
Eventually, it comes to a stop on the right side and a familiar face leaps off of it.
I'd hope so. You're getting to be a bit of a pest.
Ultros has actually lost some moves since the last fight, now just using tentacles and ink completely. In fact, he's even got 5000 less HP than his last encounter. So what's so special about this fight?
Ultros: I lose AGAIN! Well, today I've brought a pal! Mr. Chupon, come on down!
What is wrong with your...EVERYTHING?!
Ultros: Mr. Chupon's taciturn, but terribly powerful! Better not irritate him! He gets hungry when he's irritated...I was drowsing the other day when Mr. Chupon gnawed on my head! He needed something to polish his teeth on!
Chupon is actually not even as tough as Ultros, and that's saying something. Moreover, he's weak to Ice. It makes you wonder why they'd stick such a weak pair right before the final dungeon.
That's because they're actually the precursor to a much tougher fight. Once you defeat Chupon, he Sneezes the entire party off the ship and then you battle...
Music: The Decisive Battle
Air Force is another one of those bosses that comes in multiple parts. So far as I could tell, until you took down its compatriots, the thing itself couldn't be harmed.
The three parts are relatively weak by themselves, but their combination of lasers and rockets can really do a number on the party, especially since you're a guy down for this fight.
After a while, Air Force will fire a Speck, which acts somewhat like Celes' Runic, redirecting all magic into it and absorbing it.
That's because the thing itself is charging up Wave Cannon, an extremely powerful lightning technique, so the Speck is buying it time.
I'm considerably overleveled at this point so the attack only does about 600-700 damage, but I've had party members die instantly from Wave Cannon in prior runs through this game.
If you thought to bring Atma Weapon, now's the best time to use it, because the Speck has absurd amounts of defense but not a lot of health. Alternatively, I suppose Dispatch, the Chainsaw, Pummel, and all the other unblockable techniques would have worked.
Other than that, the thing itself only has 8000 HP, so once you take down its component parts, it goes down relatively quickly.
And with that, we are here.
Next Time: the Floating Continent