Part 22: Lord of the Dance
All right, before anything else, I thought I'd take the opportunity to post some more 16-bit nudity. Here is Siren as she appeared in the Japanese version, in the US SNES version, and finally in the GBA version.
Because exposure to 16-bit pixellated arse turns children into serial killers or something.
So anyway, we pull the moogle up.
You can talk!?
No, I'm pretty sure we were just imagining things.
Either that or he imitates sounds, like a parrot.
But not a rare parrot. That's just unsanitary.
He kept showing up in my dreams and telling me to help you, kupo! So... I'm gonna help you, kupo!
So we've picked up our very own moogle. Fantastic!
Lone Wolf, on the other hand, is less amused and jumps off the cliff.
"It's a long way down."
"Do you think he'll make a splat when he hits the ground? Or more of a thump?"
And so he runs off. If we had a spot open, he could join us immediately, but...
...it's nothing a trip to the flyboat can't fix. We were going there anyway.
Galuf's special skill is Dance. He learns new ones by fighting on different backgrounds. At the point where he joins us, we can obtain all but one of them. The last won't be available for some time, though...
I already discussed Dance way back in part three, and all of them work the same way, except with different skills. All of them have their ups and downs and kind of like Rage, you have to keep in mind which ones do what so you don't start healing your enemies with elements they absorb or something.
Dance and Rage share some similarities in that they automatically fire ever round once activated. Unlike Rage, Dance never wastes a turn with physical attacks, but it may well waste them on pointless skills, depending on the dance. And, if you use a dance not "native" to the area you're fighting on, there is a fair chance that it will fail and Galuf stumbles and falls on his face.
Most of the dances are very easy to obtain, but the second to last one requires a bit more fucking around. First we must return to the horrible place we passed earlier...
...and get into a fight in the Serpent Trench.
That takes care of that.
After this, we can get a chocobo and ride all the way to Baren Falls. There used to be an obstacle in the way, so Matt couldn't just walk here and bypass the Veldt all together (more's the pity) but it's been cleared away now so we can get around freely.
The falls are free of fish since Matt and MrThou depleted the population last time, and we're soon reunited with the flyboat again.
There! Galuf is fluffed and ready to go.
FFVIA FAQ posted:
7/16 - Wind Slash (Wind-Elemental attack)
6/16 - Sunbath (MT Healing; damages if target is undead)
2/16 - Plasma (ST Lightning-Elemental attack)
1/16 - Cockatrice (ST Physical attack)
7/16 - Leaf Swirl (MT non-elemental attack)
6/16 - Forest Healing (MT; Removes Confuse, Darkness, Poison, Petrify, Sap, Silence, Sleep, Slow, and Stop)
2/16 - Will o' the Wisp (Fire-Elemental attack)
1/16 - Wombat (ST non-elemental attack; Misses Floating targets)
7/16 - Sandstorm (MT Wind-Elemental attack)
6/16 - Antlion (ST; causes instant Death)
2/16 - Wind Slash (Wind-Elemental attack)
1/16 - Meercat (MT; causes Haste on all allies)
7/16 - Will o' the Wisp (Fire-Elemental attack)
6/16 - Apparition (ST; causes confuse)
2/16 - Snare (Kills one enemy)
1/16 - Tapir (MT; Removes Berserk, Confuse, Darkness, Doom, Imp, Petrify, Poison, Sap, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop, Zombie; If target has Sleep status, restores HP and MP completely)
7/16 - Rock Slide (ST non-elemental attack)
6/16 - Sonic Boom (Reduces target HP to 37.5%; causes Sap)
2/16 - Sunbath (MT Healing; damages if target is undead)
1/16 - Boar Brigade (ST non-elemental attack; Misses Floating targets)
7/16 - El Nino (MT Water-Elemental attack)
6/16 - Plasma (ST Lightning-Elemental attack)
2/16 - Apparition (ST; causes confuse)
1/16 - Raccoon (MT Healing; damages if target is undead; Removes all Status Ailments)
7/16 - Cave In (Reduces enemy's HP to 25% of current HP; causes Sap)
6/16 - Snare (Kills one enemy)
2/16 - Will o' the Wisp (Fire-Elemental attack)
1/16 - Poisonous Frog (Poison-Elemental attack, causes Poison)
He's also several levels higher than the party. New members join at a level calculated by average party level which is then adjusted depending on character. For Galuf, the adjustment is +5. Unfortunately, that means five less levels to esper-boost him, but it does mean he has another five levels' worth of HP and MP on joining.
Let's celebrate our new, almost fully trained companion by buying a thing!
I used the opportunity to sneak in and grab this glowing stone. For 3000 gil, it's yours!
Three thousand gil is pocket change at this point and while he'll sell it at a discount later on, there is no reason not to buy this now...
...because it teaches Cura and Raise at decent rates! No one cares overly about Cure any more, but the advanced version is great. I've never had much use for Regen (HP recovery over time) unless it came attached to some other, better effect, and Esuna (full status recovery) is situationally useful, but never mind that, it teaches Cura at x8.
The summon is frankly quite useless once you actually know Cura. Combined with the lack of a level up bonus, this is something you grab for the good (and possibly the semi-good) skill and toss on someone else as soon as possible.
There are a few other things that we could do now that we have transportation, but they all involve either Rage or Steal, so... let's go advance the plot!
We shouldn't stand around... Let's go.
With all the guards curiously gone (almost as if we're walking into a trap or something!) it's easy to pass the checkpoint and head into the caves beyond. THere's no actual entrance to be seen, but there's nowhere to go but forward.
Enemies in here generally like fire magic. Galuf's Water Harmony and Blizzara in general do quite a number on them.
They're a bunch of palette swaps; not much to look at. Galuf shows off Wind Slash from Wind Rhapsody. Dancing changes the background to match the area where you learned that dance, but this means you can't learn a new dance from it, even if you originally started the encounter on a terrain you don't have the dance for yet.
There's a couple of treasures for people we don't have with us in the first rooms, but I'm sure we'd appreciate them if we had someone to swing them. Getting to them is child's play, but...
...this room can go fuck itself with a rake. The bridges shift and change and if you're not standing in the right place, they'll dump you in the lava and you'll have to start all over again. The chest on the right holds an X-potion, and the other holds Heiji's Jitte, a relic which changes Gambit's "Slot" command into "Gil Toss", which is useless. If I wanted to lose money that badly, I'd just throw it away-
We're halfway there.
Galuf shows off the damage caused by Plasma from Water Harmony. Good damage, but not enough to one-shot the zombie dragon. Use phoenix downs on them; it's an instant kill.
Oh look, a switch!
But that switch is necessary...
...to create a bridge so we can get at this chest. It really isn't too important since we already have one of these, but hey, more treasure is never a bad thing.
More switches, and one of them
causes a ninja to fall from the sky! This guy is tough; he can use Batman's special items and deal a couple of hundred points of damage across the entire party.
And I was just about to claim all the treasure buried in the ground beneath the big stairway for my own...
And he vanishes.
We killed him.
Death and destruction! In a SNES rpg!
The other one opens this door, inside which there's a save spot and a chest with a tent. Almost as if it's trying to tell you something!
...the game is a big liar, because there's nothing even remotely boss-like in this dungeon.
Damn you, I'm not falling for this again!
Like the ninja said, there's "treasure" buried around here, but...
...it's not worth digging for, and most of the chests in here are pretty boring as well. (Gold Needle cures petrification.)
This one has an elixir, though!
This is probably the most important part.
...see, what did I tell you?
Look at that attack power.
Look at that damage.
Ultima Weapon has a weird damage formula, something like base damage/64 multiplied by user level (so you won't deal full damage until you hit lv 64) and it is further modified by HP% (not the actual numbers, but the percentage remaining).
It's quite awesome once you hit the levels where it starts to really hurt.
Unfortunately, that's 20+ levels higher than're likely to be when you kill the final boss, so it pretty much sucks.
Hey, this looks ominous.
From here on out, it's all up to you, Aeris.
Oh, what am I doing in a dreadful place like this...?
Galuf says nothing. He's seen worse and is far too chill to freak out over something like this.
Suddenly, stupid horse laugh!
It's "boss" time.
Just like the emperor said!
"Give them Aeris, and they'll open the gate for us!"
In other words...
You've been playing into our hands all along! Hee-hee-hee...
I have no business with you.
I'm here to open the way to my promised glory!
Oh dear... You want to fight, don't you?
This is just dreadful!
Oh, is that all?
It's over before I can even chainsaw him in the face.
Th-the door is opening!
Aeris puts on a disco lightshow.
Espers... Heed my call...
And so they do! So much for never being able to open the gate again.
It's open! It's open!
I... I... I've got a bad feeling about this!
Everybody hits the deck-
-which turns out to be a good idea-
-because there's a fucking dragon here!
And a bunch of other espers come flying after it.
Kefka gets blown away...
...and Aeris comes flying instead.
Then she falls over.
but no one dies.
We'd better head back to the airship.
there is now an exit here that wasn't there before, and it leads right to the first room in the caves.
Indy meets us at the gates, as if he's afraid we've forgotten he exists.
The espers all flew off together...
The Imperials all ran off, too, as if they were afraid of something...
Which way did the espers go?
Toward the Imperial capital...
This is all generic dialogue, one line per dialogue box. Cut to the flyboat...
We're almost to Vector.
I can feel them...
They're getting closer...
You can feel what?
(Not pictured: a flash.)
What was that!?
It couldn't be...
...I'm sure it's a completely unrelated natural phenomenon.
They're coming this way!
Aeris, watch out!
Indy tackles Aeris just as the dragon completely fails to crash into the airship and kill everybody.
Gambit, get down!
He tackles Gambit next.
Wow, it's Carbunkle. How frightening.
Okay, that's a little scarier.
Where are they going?
They were angry...
They were... angry?
No... You mustn't go...
Please, don't go!
This makes very little sense and I hope you are as confused as I am otherwise I will feel dumb.
Is it because of the espers?
...If the captain asks why the vessel is shaking, nothing good can possibly come out of it.
But yeah, the near collission with MOTHERFUCKING BAHAMUT is probably as good an explanation as anything.
I've lost control of the ship!!!
That's not looking good.
...h... hello, ground, you're... looking uncomfortably close today...