Part 61: Part the One-ThreethLet's Low-Level Run Final Fantasy 6: Part the One-Threeth
Set up two teams. I made one lopsided to fight the dragon inside. There aren't any mandatory bosses, so it's fine.
These assholes are the only problem in the cave. Everything else you can run from, but these guys are inescapable and it's possible to get them in a group alone, which means reloading because you can't do anything about it.
Otherwise it's business as usual.
Sometimes Phases show up in a group and you can in theory kill them and escape. In practice... not so easy.
So hey here's a fun glitch. While one group is passing through this gap, jam the button to switch groups...
...and then walk down to where the other group is going and block their path, then switch again. Congratulations! You just fucked up the game and have to reset because you can't move or enter the menu until the group reaches the other side, which it will never do because of the stuff in its way.
Do a little swapping before the Red Dragon. Nothing major, just make sure Sabin's immune to fire.
The Red/Fire Dragon is easy enough with the gear to absorb his Fire spells, but you can take it one step further and confuse him too. For reasons unknown to me, he won't cast Fire spells to heal himself, and will just do damage to help you finish him off. Thanks!
One way to avoid Phases, where possible, is to trigger battles downstairs by switching groups. nothing down here is inescapable, or even particularly threatening.
Yeah yeah shut up and pick some locks asshole.
Curse That Shield!
And then we went to Narshe and the asshole picked some locks.
Locke kinda needs the best sword in the game to max out his MBlock%, but it's very possible with the Ragnarok (or its counterpart) and Force Armor.
I'd like to bet the Ragnarok for an even better sword, but Celes doesn't quite have perfect MBlock% and elemental resistance right now and alas, Didalos will not be going down so easily without both. Let's fix that.
But there's an easy solution to this problem, and it involves the Paladin Shield.
Yoink, lest we forget.
Right, so these guys on the Solitary Island. Relatively unthreatening, kill themselves if you don't kill them, and...
...give only 1 experience point to a full party of four. While we need 256 battles to uncurse the Cursed Shield, earning just 1 experience per battle means nobody would level up from even fighting that many.
You could also use the Veldt but that's way harder.
Now Celes is right where she needs to be at exactly 129 MBlock%, plus elemental absorption from the Paladin Shield. You're next, Didalos!
So here's a little math problem. Celes will physically attack 1/3 of the time instead of doing a useless Runic or trying to cast a spell she has no MP for. She hits for about 56 damage per physical attack. Didalos has 12280 HP. How many rounds will Celes take to kill Didalos?
If you answered correctly, the Illumina is your reward. Thank God for that.
Okay, Relm is another lv6 character so we'll get her next, which means we're going...
...that's not Jidoor!
Oh, right. Hey Gau. How was the apocalypse from your end?
The reason we're recruiting Gau is that I was mistaken and lied a little; there is one more forced experience gain segment in the game, and it's in Owser's House. Therefore, our Owser's House party shall be...
...Gau. Just Gau. Don't worry, he'll be fine.
He's gonna gain two more levels, so make sure to slap Zoneseek on.
First thing to do is check the still life for the Nightshade encounter. This is a fun Rage. You don't need to win the fight, so just run away.
The Dahlings aren't something you can run from, but they're not too strong. Hit them with Bio a couple times and the rolling damage does the rest.
That's one level.
Sneak around the crazy cat lady portrait by shuffling along the bottom. I'm pretty sure you can run from it though.
So a fun fact about Throw: It ignores all defenses and isn't blockable. This is true whether it's Shadow or an enemy doing it. Guess what the dancer enemies in Owser's House love doing?
In the floating chests room, you can open all the chests if you like; just run from the fights. You'll even get the treasure.
That's two. Still Life is no big deal. He'll waste turns casting Condemned on Gau, just use double-Earrings Fire2. Don't use a Rage, it's a waste of time.
His work done, Gau leaves the house and we Leap him off on the Veldt again. Bye Gau! Bye Gau's level albatross around our neck!
And thus we come to Chadarnook. Chadarnook is a prime example of how bad offense in a LLG makes fights tedious even when they aren't actually hard. Short of Seizure, which is a joke, nothing will hurt you, it's just gonna take an eternity with the bullshit going on. This is one of the more annoying fights and I don't recommend watching the whole thing.
Assorted Loose Ends
Over at the Opera House we've got another dragon to deal with. I went with an Earth-absorbing setup, which might have been wasteful. Still, it worked.
The Dirt Dragon's weaknesses are Water and Wind, neither of which are really easy to do without Gau or Strago around. Unfortunate, but thanks to Edgar we can just set a different weakness and exploit it. He manages Poison, which proves more awesome a weakness than I expected since Dirt Dragon isn't immune to the Poison status.
Our reward for the Dirt Dragon's demise is a Magus Rod. The main thing about the Magus Rod is it provides a whopping 30 MBlock%, which helps Relm get invincible despite lacking access to a Minerva or Force Armor.
So with four mostly invincible members I got a little cocky and figured I could go back and take on that Storm Dragon in Mt. Zozo.
It did not go well. Rage is an unblockable non-elemental attack and there's precious little to be done to stop it. I say precious little because there is something I can do, but not with this party. I'll be back, dragon!
But not for a while. Let's grab Shadow.
Not even gonna bother, Allo Ver.
I give roughly as many fucks against SrBehemoth's undead form.
Then we bet the Striker to get Shadow. Alas, the bug here that also shows Chupon's name does not mean there is a badass Shadow/Chupon tag-team match.
Also since Shadow is naked and using lv6 stats even Edgar can kill him in one physical attack.
I'd like to bet the Behemoth Suit I got from SrBehemoth for a Snow Muffler for Gau, but Outsider uses thrown attacks... and you can imagine how much fun that is in the coliseum. Again, I may have a way around this but not right now.
Here's something most people never see: Mog's recruitment dialogue in the WoR when you never recruited him before.
"And then I fell off a cliff so you guys could steal a hairpin. Fuck you guys."
Mog makes getting to the Ice Dragon nice and painless, and while he can't contribute to the fight much, he's still pretty handy tossing items. Like the Red Dragon, Ice Dragon has a Confusion vulnerability and he can hit himself rather hard too. I'd say Ice Dragon was the MVP of the fight, which is kind of sad.
Not sure why I even bothered. Be immune to ice, thunder, or just everything. Restore MP when he Rasps. Burn him with Fire2. The end.
Down in Umaro's cave are the Pugs/Tonberries, who are incredibly annoying but not especially threatening with high MBlock%. And then they didn't even drop anything, not that I needed another Minerva.
Unlike pussies like Strago, Mog doesn't have to be conscious to learn how to dance.
Also then we fought a yeti.
Hey, speaking of Strago...
Since Strago is lower-level than Mog, who has a +5 adjustment, you might wonder why I didn't just get him first. Well, the odd thing is that while Strago would throw off Mog's average joining (and thus Umaro's), Mog's doesn't throw off Strago's enough to push him from lv8 to lv9. So this order actually works. Go figure.
Only one guy left!
A fun glitch in the falling ceiling section: Terra can for some reason walk an extra step during the falling ceiling animation and this can, in the right spots, allow you to walk her off the map and into a weird boundary zone. This does nothing, but it's kind of cool. Couldn't get it to work right though. No idea why it works only for Terra as the map character.
Then we get Gogo. And that's everybody! Wait, almost everybody.
Welcome back for good, Gau! Let's never be apart again. You know, except when I need you to Leap stuff to learn new Rages. Then we can be apart, if briefly.
And there you have it, folks! Minimum-level recruitment, minimum level gain. Nobody needs to earn any more experience from here to Kefka. 9 party members are at the minimum of 6, Cyan is 7, Strago and Gogo are 8, Mog's 11, and Gau is 15. That puts our final average at 7.357, rounded down to a modest 7! Note that in a game where you're not trying to gain excessive experience but are still gaining some, you'll be lv7 the first time you meet Ultros. This also means that most everyone has 90 levels available for esper gains. If you wanted to be as powerful as possible, well, this is about the best you could do. How you spend those levels is yours to figure out.
Next up: A training montage where nobody actually gets stronger.
Gau: +2 levels, 13 -> 15. Gained 4 Magic Power from Zoneseek. That's the last of it.
Mog: Well he's technically new. Gets adjusted higher than everyone else, so he's very useful. Can do some great setups and will come with no magic learned, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Can't really do max MBlock%, but he has other options nobody else does.
Umaro: He's not so bad in a LLG, but all he really does is attack. His uncontrollable nature can also be a problem in fights that require precision.
Gogo: A definite LLG MVP. His sole weakness is his inability to get esper bonuses. But who cares? Nobody but Gau gets them anyway. Who doesn't want another Bum Rush user? And with Gogo's better Magic Power options, he'll do it better than Sabin. Who doesn't want another Stealer? Gogo and Locke can tag-team Aquilas in hopes of an Economizer. Gogo does lots of things. He's great.
New Old Characters
Locke: He needs some work to reach 128 MBlock%, but he's yet another guy who can do it and that's pretty rad. Otherwise pretty unspectacular.
Relm: Can reach max MBlock%, has lots of Magic Power. A good choice. Her MP is also one of the highest among the lv6 characters, a big deal pre-Economizers.
Shadow: He's kind of hamstrung by the lack of esper bonuses, but he comes in with a good, coliseum-proof script if he doesn't have any Magic learned (which he shouldn't in a LLG). Otherwise okay, as Throw can compensate for lack of battle power.
Strago: Still a little overleveled (well, two levels), still good. Post-Economizers he's quite nice thanks to his Lore versatility. Decent MBlock% thanks to the Magus Rod.
Gau: He's still Gau. Highest-level character with more than twice everyone's HP and MP, and he got several levels' worth of esper bonuses too. Rage isn't what it once was, but there's still some broken choices. And he can always just cast spells.