Part 25: Like a house on fireSo the thread hath spoken...
...and the old man shall henceforth be known as Alfred, and the little girl as Robin.
Like any child, Robin pays only as much attention to what adults tell her as she absolutely has to. She has spotted a puppy and by God she's going to pet it if it's the last thing she does.
Back off. He bites.
But no. Interceptor does not bite.
I'm not so sure about the old man, however...
Why do I have to go to my room? You never let me have any fun!
Because I said so! Now shoo!
She's taking the dog, though.
She reappears just long enough to slam the door behind her.
It's fine. He usually doesn't like other people, though...
I, uh... I see...
We're just your ordinary, quiet little village...
You're not going to find anyone who knows about any of those esper things here, I'm afraid!
Not in Thamasa!
If you have played any of the later Final Fantasies, you may recognize the name Thamasa; references to it pop up occasionally in the shape of equipment. It actually makes an appearance here as well, but we won't be seeing it for a good while yet.
There's no comment I can make about this.
Let's have a look around the village.
This is a hint to go catch the villagers using magic around the place, but we've already done that so we can proceed to the next scene immediately.
Thanks for your time!
Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!
And so we leave. We can come right back inside again, however, and talk to the residents again...
Interceptor, come back to play again sometime!
Ah, what a beautiful day!
We're not getting anything out of him.
- for this, hidden in a corner on the second floor of the house.
But that's all there is to it, so let's take a rest. Now that we've talked to Alfred and Robin, we're suddenly considered cool and the inn gives us a 1499 gil discount...
...but in the middle of the night, Alfred comes running in and kicks Indy out of bed.
I can already tell this guy's a keeper.
He's also somewhat upset about something.
He's not going to stop!
It makes the scene rather more comedic than probably intended.
Oh, I can't even think straight anymore, but...!
Please! You have to help her!
Well, we're heroes. It's what we do.
So the gang follows Alfred out... all but one. Batman is a heavy sleeper and all he does is roll over, and Indy decides that saving the little girl is more important than getting a bucket of water, and probably better for his health as well, so he gives up.
Only moments later, Batman gets up on his own...
We find Alfred panicking outside.
Robin's in there!
Oh, nothing much.
Just using a little magic, that's all.
christ on a cracker she's just as dense as indy
I don't care! Robin's inside!
you could let the little girl burn to death
but that would be bad
and I would have to kill you all
So the villagers all pitch in, but...
...it doesn't go well.
It's no use! The fire's too strong!
There is no big enough.
I'm going in!
Like I said.
It's what we do.
Count me in, too. I'm not gonna let an old geezer go in there on his own!
"Geezer," he says...
A crash interrupts the conversation.
I fucking love generic dialogue.
Looks like this house could collapse at any second...
We have to hurry and find Robin!
...but there's no timer inside or anything meaning we can fuck around on the menu as much as we want. I'm putting Alfred in the back row where he belongs. I put goddamn Matt in the back row, so what makes this guy think he's cut out for the front?
He comes with a stick that boosts magic a bit, which is nice, but otherwise nothing of much interest. I give him some earrings and a new hat.
This is another of those scenes where enemies aren't random, but visible on the map.
Touching one of the little floating fireballs starts a battle with holy shit that's a lot of balloons!
Fortunately, Alfred is the most competent damn butler in the world. He comes with the Lore command, also known as "Blue Magic", which allows him to use enemies' skills after witnessing them used in battle.
He could actually learn the Exploder skill right here from the balloons, but since Exploder deals damage equal to the user's HP to the target and user you'll have to forgive me if I don't give a fuck.
Balloons are sort of hilariously weak against water.
Aeris can also one-shot everything on screen with Blizzara.
Indy can sit in a corner and cry because that's all he's good for.
This door is a trap and you have to deal with four balloons surrounding the party.
So it takes two moves to kill them all.
...it's nice when the story and mechanics mesh... I guess.
This doesn't make quite as much sense, but it is effective against the enemies inside... if you're dumb enough to hit them with it.
As opposed to Aqua Breathing them all to death in a single move.
You know. Stuff like that.
Anyway it doesn't offer a Magic boost, so fuck the ice rod.
This dungeon is just a couple of rooms long and has nothing but Balloons in it, so it's really not worth all that much screen space.
This thing, on the other hand, is kind of a bitch. It starts out by summoning more balloons to help it, and has a Flametongue to steal if you feel like it, although at this point there should be more than enough elemental swords in your inventory.
It hits kind of hard (as Alfred can attest) so Aeris decides to power up and speed things up.
Trance doubles her magic damage output and halves magic damage taken. It sounds like an awesome way to spend a turn, and it would be if the transformation weren't limited.
Fire and ice: not a good mix.
Trance is "charged" by gaining AP. While transformed, Aeris' ATB bar is replaced by a green bar that steadily decreases - faster the less AP she has collected. When it runs out, she revert automatically, or you can use the Revert command manually. If reverted before running out of juice, you keep the remaining charge; apparently the highest it can go is 255, with anything below 16 meaning Trance can't be used.
Flame Eater has 8400 HP, but it only has 480 MP. It will die when either of these scores is depleted.
If you've been swapping Zona Seeker around properly, you could quite possibly have three people casting Rasp at the same time. This is probably the quickest way to end the battle.
It baffles me how he manages to miss her just one screen ahead, but I suppose it's a bit too much to ask for his eyesight to be perfect at 70.
Anyway, all's well that ends well...
...but this isn't ending well at all.
Boom. Fade to black.
When we fade back in, the entire party is out and Interceptor is trying to keep the balloons off them, but not having much luck because it's a cutscene.
Fortunately, Batman falls from the sky and goes all anime on their asses and that's the end of that.
And then he use a smoke bomb.
To escape from the house on fire.
I'm still not sure if this is dumb as fuck or utterly brilliant.
Kind of like bat-anti-house-on-fire spray.
Anyway, we cut to Robin getting out of bed looking no worse for wear because it's hard to show third degree burns on a 16 pixel sprite.
Yeah. Thanks, Grandpa...
These folks are the ones you should be thanking!
She's so polite.
Everyone in this village can use magic, can't they? What is this place...?
...the village of the magi.
A long, long time ago,
"in a galaxy far, far away..."
"We already made that reference."
humans used magicite to acquire magical powers...
Those who gained the ability to use magic were the people known as the magi.
I didn't think there were any magi left in the world...
Alfred begins to pace.
After the War of the Magi, the espers fled to a new world beyond the Sealed Gate.
They wished to live in peace, without fear of their powers being used by others.
That left only humans in this world, and the ordinary ones feared the magi's power.
The horrors of the war was still fresh in their minds...
Oh, there were trials, of course... but they were merely for show.
SNES line: "They sent people to hunt us down like animals. There weren't even any trials..."
Even though the only difference was that they could use magic...
The few who managed to escape took up shelter here. They were our ancestors.
Our powers have weakened as our magi blood has thinned, but they remain... in some form or another.
Some of those forms are pretty awesome.
If you're up to it... do you think you'd be willing to help us?
You said you were looking for some espers, right?
Well, I do owe you one for saving Robin... I'll help you find your espers.
We didn't even have to remind him or anything!
Robin is excited, but...
I think not, young lady!
...Alfred is determined to ruin her fun.
So she says.
But... where do we start?
Hmm... If they came this way, they may be hiding in the mountains to the west.
Those mountains are teeming with magical energy.
According to legend, they're a sacred place to the espers.
Perhaps the magic of that place drew them there after they went berserk...
Batman has heard enough and gets out. No one comments.
It's worth a look.
And so we're back in charge.
Outside, Alfred wants to thank Batman, but he's not having any of it.
I'll search for the espers my own way.
Translation: he's leaving the party to make place for a different, much more awesome party member.
And I know he's the goddamn Batman and all. I'm not saying that lightly.
Robin wants to say goodbye to the puppy, but Batman is in a hurry to be off.
Interceptor is feeling somewhat conflicted, but in the end he goes with Batman.
You realize that this could have been averted if you had just stepped aside and allowed me to go inside and loot the damn fire rods before this happened, don't you?
Serves you right.
Well, anyway. With Alfred in the group, we find this cave on the western side of the continent.
Next time, we may even explore it!