Part 50: Part the TwothLet's Low-Level Run Final Fantasy 6: Part the Twoth
On to the scenarios. You might figure none of them are too crazy except Sabin's. You'd be right.
The only thing to note here is that you need to trip the security system to see a particular critter here for the Veldt. Not that you really need this Rage or anything. Also, despite being the security alarm response you tripped, nothing says you cannot run away. Nice.
Oh and remember to unequip Terra and Edgar.
A funny thing about a LLG is that there's really no chance of taking on a Heavy Armor with just Locke. But if you want to trip this encounter for the Veldt, don't bother killing it! Let it kill you. Dying to certain enemies in Locke's scenario just returns you to the start point rather than giving you a game over. Whenever this sort of thing happens, encounters remain flagged for the Veldt. Killer.
Oh wait Heavy Armor kind of sucks as a Rage too. In fact pretty much all the missable Rages aren't worth it anyway. Whoops!
Anyhow, go get Celes and all the treasures, loot that Thunder Rod, and it's off to Tunnel Armor!
Random fun thing: I intentionally ignored Shadow in South Figaro. It's not necessary to do this or anything, I just did it to show off that his naming prompt will appear the first time you talk to him. If you ignore him the three times he's optional to speak to (South Figaro, the old man's house, and Kohlingen), I think he's forced on you later and you must name him then. He'll remain "MAN" until that point.
And then we head to the Imperial Camp.
Telstar is a very important Monster-In-A-Box, but very dangerous. Note that most MIBs do not give any experience, so they're safe to fight. But most aren't easy and Telstar is a good example. Give Sabin the Ribbon from Locke's scenario (you got that, right?) so he doesn't fall prey to Megazerk, use Throw and Aurabolt, and kill the Soldiers if they get called. The reward is a Green Beret, a great piece of headgear. It would be greater if the HP it gave you wasn't proportionate to your current HP, but a little bit more HP beats no more.
You can't miss this formation while chasing Kefka, and you wouldn't want to. Keep it in mind.
Blah blah Doma genocide blah blah recruit Cyan blah blah.
Make sure not to miss at least one formation with Stray Cats before the Phantom Forest. You might have an additional chance after the Phantom Train, but don't pass Baren Falls without fighting at least one (preferably more) arrangements. Of course, run from all of them.
In case you ever wondered what a Ghost was wearing. Nothing except the Relic Ring, a relic which gives zombie-like properties to the user, explaining some of the Ghost's undead-like traits.
I may have messed up a little here when the ghost traps you in the car. It's mandatory that it does so, and thus I assumed the experience from fighting it was also mandatory. I'm not sure if that's true or if you can run from this fight as well. Mercifully 12 Exp is something our group can absorb without incident and a quarter of that just goes to a temp.
The loot in the train is nice, notably a second Earrings which are big damage for Sabin and (later) Gau. The MIB is dangerous and can wipe the party out easily with magic attacks, which is nasty, but your Ghost buddy can kill him with Possess. The reward is a Hyper Wrist. Meh.
Haha, yeah, we're not doing this one the right way.
Strip Shadow, and then it's over the Baren Falls. The Piranhas are no big deal. Rizopas, on the other hand...
Oh and you are not healed after the Rizopas fight when you arrive on the Veldt. It's a long walk to Mobliz at level 6-7, so break out the Sleeping Bags.
Good advice for me, as the first enemy I encounter on the Veldt is this asshole. Telstar can reappear on the Veldt and he's tough, but a great source of Green Berets. Unfortunately he retains his unescapable properties so he has to be defeated every time his formation pops up. Since no other options for his slot have been cleared, Telstar will always show up during every Veldt cycle at this stage of the game. Ouch. Let's find us a friend to make the bad robot go away.
You know the drill. We now have Gau. To understand the impact of Gau on a LLG, imagine you are the Cleveland Cavaliers and you have just drafted Lebron James. Incidentally, not unlike James, Gau can Leap out of the party at any time taking his talents (and accumulated levels) to the Veldt. This is actually really important and useful. That's right, Gau is critical to a LLG even when he isn't in it.
Oh, and the nice part about the Veldt? You gain everything you normally would from the battle (money, drops, magic points) except experience. The Veldt is safe to grind on, and it's pretty much the best money source there is for right now. You might be tempted to overgrind for cash on the presumption you won't be back here soon. Don't do that. Get 30-50k, buy some stuff, and you should be fine. You'll nab that much just accumulating Rages for Gau.
Lucky me, this formation is also fixed to happen at this point. The way the Veldt works is that there's a bunch of "groups" with a handful of formations in them. The Veldt cycles through these groups one at a time, picking a random formation from each as it goes. Since the Telstar and Templar/Soldier groups only have those two formations in them right now, every time we cycle past their group we'll get those fights.
Naturally, Gau should Leap the Templar ASAP.
Templar gives auto-Safe and has Fire2 as a special ability. For reference, Blastinus just got magic period at Zozo. Of course he's had Gau too. The difference is Gau doesn't have to level up to get all this stuff going, whereas you kind of have to grind a bit to get magic points when you get Espers if you want to use magic right away.
Leap the Marshal too. Wind Slash is very nice.
Leap the Pterodons. Auto-Float and Fireball, an ability kinda like Fire2.
Gau's versatility requires lots of foreknowledge of enemy weaknesses and what you can get out of the Rages available. With Earrings and Templar Rage, Gau can slap around Telstar for about 300 damage, same as Aurabolt. That's handy.
But by raging Hazer instead, he'll Bolt2 and hit Telstar's weakness.
This is the only time we'll really see extensive use of Hazer as a Rage, though. Believe it or not, Gau has a vastly better source of Lightning damage available to him in a little while. Yes, Bolt2 is the best Lightning spell anyone else can get for the first half of the game. Yes, this means for the first half of the game Gau is just plain better than everyone else. Deal with it.
It can take a while to get the formation you want to show up unless you know the tricks. Remember how I said the Veldt cycles through "groups" of formations? You can speed the process with a manual reload (not a save state), which jumps you 13 formations ahead of wherever you were. There's also a way to force the Veldt to recalculate the formation the upcoming group will give you, but unfortunately the method for doing it - fighting a battle somewhere other than the Veldt - is impossible in Sabin's scenario. When we return it will be possible though, making the good Rages far easier to get.
Like these Stray Cats.
Or these guys. Oh, but do I have plans for this Rage.
But I'm not telling just yet. Once you have Templar, Marshal, Stray Cat, and a couple others, you're pretty much good to go. These things alone make Gau better than anyone else for a good long while, but he can only get better and in fact will get vastly so not very much further into the story.
For now though we'll just have to hop the Serpent Trench.
It's very hard to miss this formation while going through the Trench, but make damn sure you see this particular one.
And here we are in Nikeah. We could finish the scenario right away, but let's not.
Instead let's use that Veldt lucre and pick up some MBlock%. That'll do nicely.
Don't worry about being bankrupt. I have a plan. Probably should've gotten more items though.
I said you could leave Nikeah. I was mistaken. The rock slide does not disappear until Sabin's scenario is over. So unfortunately we'll just have to head to Narshe now. Not to worry though. We'll be back.
Celes: She's really, really good. Runic has situational uses, and like Terra, Celes has access to all of the best equipment which makes turning her near-invincible quite easy.
Shadow: He's okay. The main things in his favor are Interceptor and the ability to stay in the back row and Throw stuff for full damage. Throw is nice because it scales somewhat independent of his level if you buy better stuff to huck at things. Shadow's poor availability is a problem though.
Cyan: Normally fairly bad, Cyan at least has a few things going for him. Dispatch ignores row, comes out instantly, and ignores Defense. It's a good move to spam, which is good because at lv7 all Cyan knows is Dispatch and Retort. The good news is he will eventually learn all his SwdTechs regardless of level. At level 7, Cyan also has slightly more of an experience buffer than most characters to avoid gaining a level.
Gau: Already an underrated and overpowered character, Gau only becomes more starkly superior to everybody else with his insane versatility and access to incredible moves in a LLG. It would be no exaggeration to say Gau is the MVP of a LLG because of all the things he can do. Best of all, when Gau Leaps on the Veldt he is technically "out of the party," and his levels no longer count toward the party average. This makes Gau the single best choice for absorbing mandatory experience gains. Coincidentally this means he'll actually gain some levels, and he'll actually do it with Esper support, which means he'll be gaining Magic Power where no one else is. That's right: Gau gets to get better.