Part 39: The gang's all hereI'd like to say that school was to blame for this one arriving late, but I've actually just been playing Paper Mario.
Chapter 39: The gang's all here
First off, we've got a new character and a new Esper, so let's check 'em out!
Terrato hits everything on the enemy side for earth-based damage. Given that the only primary earth-based spell hits your own side when you use it, this Esper might actually be worth using once in a while.
W Wind: x1
Level Up Bonus: HP +30%
Quake and W Wind are both dangerous spells to use, as they'll hit your side as well as the enemy side. However, if you're wearing stuff that absorbs Earth or Wind-based damage, that might actually work in your favor, as it means that you'll be simultaneously gaining health and hurting your enemies.
Now let's talk about Umaro. He's a unique case in a number of ways, the first of which being that you can't control him in battle. By default, he'll just attack over and over again, unless he's wearing his unique Relics. Moreover, you can't equip Espers, weapons or armor onto him, so he can't increase his power by wearing better equipment or raising his stats, just by levels.
At present, the only Relic we have for him is the Rage Ring, which allows him to throw himself or comrades at enemies for higher damage. As shown here, the lucky person chosen to be his baseball doesn't get damaged by it, and if they're asleep or confused, they actually get knocked out of their condition. His AI prioritizes sleeping or confused teammates, so there's no need to leave it up to luck.
The Rage Ring also absorbs fire and blocks lightning. Always nice.
Anyway, let's start out today by investigating a place we haven't checked out yet. Of all places to still be running after a global disaster, the Opera House is still in business.
Music: Spinach Rag
However, they've got a problem that they need us to deal with. Since our mission in general is to clean up the world, there's no reason why we should say no.
Fortunately, there just so happens to be a button for dropping people unceremoniously onto the stage.
The Dirt Dragon, as the name implies, uses Earth-based spells primarily. You'd think that Float would be the obvious answer for this fight, but if you've got Gaia Gear and armor with natural immunities, why even bother using Float at all? Besides, if you're not wearing Cherub Down, the Dirt Dragon will just use a technique that brings you down to the ground anyway.
Not much to say about this fight. The Dirt Dragon's only attack besides his Earth spells is Honed Tusk, yet another one of those powerful physical attacks, and Water and Wind will take him down quickly enough. For beating him, we get the Magus Rod, a magic-boosting staff with decent stats. Four dragons left...
You remember Triangle Island, right? The place with the invisible behemoths? Well, it's taken on a different form of life now.
These Zone Eaters will spend most of the fight eating party members. Your natural instinct in this situation would be to kill it before everyone gets eaten, but you're actually supposed to let it do it.
Funny, I don't know what a giant worm's intestines would look like, but I'm pretty sure it isn't a cave.
Music: Gogo's Theme
The Zone Eater is full of bizarre and sometimes-dangerous enemies. The fellow with many swords, for instance (called Ogor), has the potential to turn three party members into zombies in one turn.
The first room in the Zone Eater's belly has a number of suspended platforms patrolled by men wearing green. You can leap between the platforms, of course, but if the dapper gentlemen get you, they'll knock you down to a lower floor.
Of course, if you want all the stuff in this dungeon, you'll want to get knocked down at least once, as the way out of this lower area can only be opened from this side.
On the plus side, this place has a number of excellent treasures, including a Fake Mustache, a Magical Brush and Genji Armor. These are decent pieces of equipment, and I'll be using the Control skill later on.
In the next room, the ceiling is constantly rising up and crashing down again, and so you have to run from open spot to open spot, as the ceiling will kill you instantly. If you haven't bought Sprint Shoes at this point, you're a lunatic and you've been wasting hours walking when you should be running. More importantly though, this section will prove quite the challenge. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it's impossible without them.
Compared to the last section, this room will prove to be relatively low-key, as you're simply hopping across springy treasure chests. Just don't forget that you can simply hop over to that platform with the button without needing the assistance of a treasure chest, otherwise you'll miss out on reaching a platform with another Wing Edge for Locke. Not that you'd need that, but it's a shame to miss out on treasures in any form.
And who in the world is this?
: I am Gogo, master of the simulacrum...my miming skills will astonish you!
Hey, Gogo! When we last saw him/her, s/he was hanging out in the bottom of a sunken ship in Final Fantasy V. For the confrontation with Gogo, the party had to demonstrate that they understood the ways of the Mime, which is to say, they had to imitate Gogo's actions. Given that Gogo was just standing there doing nothing, what that meant was that the group had to stand around motionless while the timer that signified their breath counted down ever further, until the Mime finally proclaimed that they had passed the challenge and gave them the Mime class.
Why Gogo is now in Final Fantasy VI is up to interpretation, and there are a LOT of theories about it. Going over the entire spectrum would take a while, but let's just say that a number of the theories are way out there.
The first thing you might notice about Gogo is that his/her choice of relics includes stuff that normally only shows up for certain characters, such as Setzer's Coin Toss.
That's because Gogo is capable of using every single ability in the game, customizable from the status screen. Since Gogo can't equip Espers, use Gau's Leap ability, gain Blitzes or Swdtechs from leveling, or learn Lores from looking at them, he/she follows some specific limitations:
Magic: Gogo's magic is based on the total spell list of the other members of the current party. Since merely imitating someone else's actions doesn't consume Gogo's MP, this and the Lore skill are the only reasons for Gogo to have MP at all. Speaking of which...
Rage, Blitz, Swdtech, Dance and Lore: These are based on the Rages, Blitzes, etc. of the respective party members, so when they learn new ones, so does Gogo.
For skills, I generally give Gogo Magic, Steal and Blitz, as those are the abilities with the most utility. Having someone besides Locke who can steal things is a blessing, and Blitz techniques are just so good. Magic is self-explanatory, though it's only as good as the people fighting alongside Gogo.
Back in Mobliz, Duane and Katarin are already having their first domestic incident. They grow up so fast!
Oh dear...well, if they were sixteen, they could have theoretically passed their birthdays twice in the course of the story. Otherwise, we've got ourselves a case of underage pregnancy, and seeing as that happens to be the major plot point of this scene, I doubt Nintendo would fail to notice.
There's a dog that walks behind these bookcases when we step in, but after the rich folks' manor in South Figaro, I have a tendency to poke around behind bookcases on principle.
: Katarin's having a baby.
Katarin: I'm so happy to have had a child... but Duane seems miserable...
On cue, Husband of the Year himself comes downstairs.
Duane: I've been an awful husband. But I'm learning. Please, come back with me.
Music: The Unforgiven
It's been suggested in the Xenogears thread, and I fully agree with it as well, that a lot of games would benefit from having random monsters suddenly attack during melodramatic scenes.
Phunbaba hasn't changed much from his previous encounter, still flinging lightning.
Shortly into the fight, however, he'll use BabaBreath to knock the bottom two party members out of the battle, and then the battle will suddenly end.
That's because the game wants us to make room for...
Terra in a permanent Morph form! Heck yeah!
Music: The Black Mages-Decisive Battle
The game automatically equips Terra with one of our Minervas, so she's almost completely invincible against Phunbaba's attacks, and her Esper form makes all her magic absurdly powerful. If it wasn't for his occasional use of Blowfish, she could easily solo this fight without needing to heal. Too bad that she'll only have Fire 2 for this fight, but Bio will certainly suffice.
So long, you green freak. Been nice knowing you.
Naturally, once the creature that's been tormenting them for a year is finally gone, everyone comes out to celebrate.
At least until Terra comes into view.
Much as I'd like to call the townsfolk a bunch of jerks for immediately running in fear, I'd like to point out that they're children, a pregnant woman, and Duane. You can't really blame them for assuming the worst.
Fortunately, before Terra can get into one of her gloomy existential moods, one of the kids suddenly recognizes her...somehow. Maybe it's her posture.
: I... I can fight! Finally... I understand that feeling... Even though I kept it buried for so long. I'm sure it's called..............."Love"!
She couldn't go one scene without mentioning Love, could she? Oh Terra, you are the most lovable broken record. Also, yes, that line really has that many ellipses.
: I now realize we must fight for the future of the children.
Some Kid: Mama.. I'm not gonna cry!
Another Kid, or Maybe Duane: Me either!
: I'll be back! I promise! Till then... you behave!
: Thank you... You helped me to understand a part of myself.
Take a good look, ladies and gentlemen, because this team is all assembled now. All that's left is some sidequests, some extra content, and then we are going to kill us a clown.
Next Time: We uncover an ancient civilization, we clear the skies, and we take down a cult. All in a day's work.