Part 32: The Greatest Treasure
Where we left off, we had just gained control of the flyboat mk 2 and the game had done everything in its power to tell us where it thinks we should go next.
But we have much more important things to take care of before we start chasing down carrier pigeons, and no, they don't involve picking up Robin first. I'm not that predictable.
No, we are heading over here to pick up the greatest of treasures.
If you remember the guy in Kohlingen who said Narshe was full of monsters, he was actually telling the truth. These things are somewhat tough - they survived both a Fira from Gambit and Tim flashing them before Meryl had to get involved. We're not really interested in fighting them, so prepare to run away a lot.
The newbie school is still here, and now they've hired the guy (well, ghost) who explains how espers work as well. It's cool that they acknowledge that the world has goddamn ended, but if you made it this far, you shouldn't need their help. They do, however, still offer free healing in the bucket over to the right, so abuse that as you will.
Nothing left in this town anyway, 'cept for that one lousy moogle...
Doors are all locked, and you'd have to be some kinda treasure hunter to get 'em open...
Trying to enter Narshe, we're stopped by... damn it, didn't I see you fall to your death? Seriously, no one in this game ever dies unless you actually see them stabbed and jumped on by an evil clown.
Anyway, Lone Wolf hops over Meryl's head and runs off into the sunset and this time I'm pretty sure we've seen him for the last time.
Like the man says, it's all locked here, and we don't know any "treasure hunters" so we're not getting very far.
"DAMMIT YOU GUYS WAIT FOR ME not the face"
Arvis left his door open, though! And the back door, too. Either he expected to be back soon, or he didn't expect to be back at all and didn't think it would matter. But no one cares about Arvis, we're going to explore some caves!
Remember these chests we ignored back when Aeris was a level 3 nobody and had to run from the guards? They've matured over the past year and reached their full potential.
The Guard Bracelet casts Shell (magic defence up) and Protect (physical defence up) on the wearer - not when they're near death, this time, but honest-to-god perma-buffs! It's still shit, but at least it's less smelly shit.
There's also an Elixir in the other chest, which, again, we'll probably never use, but it's still better than a sleeping bag I'd also never use.
The moogle caves are empty, but for this "one lousy moogle"...
...but it's okay because he is the BEST moogle.
I'll help you fight, kupo!
If we had decided to abandon the small furry creature in favour of the gold hairpin way back, this is where he'd finally have joined up.
But if you do this, you should probably be ashamed of yourself.
I bet the yeti'll come along, too! He'll be a big help, kupo!
He can be a little... wild... though, kupo. He should be here in the mines somewhere!
He'll help us if I order him to! Let's look for him... kupo!
And so Galuf joins the party and because we only have three people, he comes right along with us.
Honestly, Galuf is only important because he is a prerequisite for something else.
Examine the wall where Galuf was standing, and...
Look at this thing.
LOOK AT IT AND BEHOLD ITS GLORY.
Molulu is actually one of the moogles who help you in the first multi-party battle.
way back in part 3, vilkacis posted:
I'll let you draw you own conclusions about what this implies about moogle relationships, but I'm going to state one thing straight out: Galuf is the only one who can use this relic.
Welcome to the party, Galuf. You are never leaving it again for the rest of the game.
On the left side of this room, there's another chest, which used to contain a sword that I'd never have used. That chest now contains a ribbon, which may actually see some use! Maybe.
With the moogle charm, it's easy to search the mines, but I couldn't find a yeti anywhere. Maybe he's mythical. The party heads up on the snowfield for a breather, but...
Look at this guy! He's tiny! Surely something so small is entirely harmless and
OH GOD WHAT
So after reloading the game and avoiding that little bastard like the plague, the party reaches the summit, where an old "friend" awaits...
...and attacks as soon as they get close. The World of Ruin is full of douchebags.
Valigarmanda, the artist formerly known as Tritoch, is a pretty scary dude so I'm going to have Tim try out his new toy in hopes of making him less of a pain. Debilitator, go!
...thanks a lot, Tim.
Okay, so here's the deal. Val... Tritoch is immune to six out of eight elements, absorbs one (ice) and is weak to the last (fire). Come here unprepared, and you're pretty much fucked.
Luckily for us, I am not unprepared.
Burn, baby, burn.
Gambit continues to be unpredictable.
I never really got into explaining the Slot command, but it's your typical spinning slot machine kind of thing and has different effects depending on whether you manage to line up things or not. Any non-winning combination is a tiny healing effect, but some of them can summon chocobos to trample down your enemies, summon a random esper or even kill everything on screen... including the party.
Slots can be manipulated to have beneficial effects every time, but it's a pain in the ass and it's too unpredictable to be worth using otherwise. Stick to casting spells and throwing cards at stuff.
ValgarghTRITOCH is worth 7 AP, and after fighting in the snowfields, Galuf masters his last dance.
7/16 - Snowball (Reduces enemy's HP to 50% of current HP; causes Sap)
6/16 - Avalanche (MT Ice-Elemental attack)
2/16 - Snare (Kills one enemy)
1/16 - Arctic Hare (MT Healing; damages if target is undead)
I suppose that's of little consequence.
But what of this devastation that fills the air? Could the War of the Magi have lasted a thousand years?
That foolish, unending war...
Hmm...? You would seek to put an end to it...? Then I shall put my trust in you...
He turns into magicite.
Lesson learned: espers are fucking lazy and would rather kill themselves and leave all the heavy lifting to humans.
Suddenly, the cliff collapses!
We'll investigate that shortly, but first...
An acquisition rate of x1 is sloooow, but three -aga spells and +2 Magic on level up? Holy shit, Vally, you are the best fucking esper. I'm even prepared to forgive you for Rasping all my MP away!
And now, brimming with confidence and sweet, creamy Magitek filling, we're going to take this thing to the cleaners. It's all good as long as we follow my guide to killing dragons in three easy steps!
Step one is pictured above.
Steps two and three should be clear from this image:
...but what's this about?
The Ice Dragon is worth 10 AP, making him one of the most magilicious bosses in the game. He also drops the Force Shield.
In the SNES version, where M-EV is used for both physical and magic evade, this shield is fucking awesome. As we're playing the GBA version, where the Evade stat actually works as intended, it is merely "pretty damn good".
It goes on Galuf for now.
Hop into it?
Well then, time to head deeper into the rabbit hole.
I've seen enough of this tileset to last a lifetime, but at least the music is new.
...it's going to be one of those days, isn't it.
Definitely one of those days.
Oh, for fuck's sake!
Now, "tonberries" (not to be confused with "tonberry" which is a different beast entirely) are weak against fire, so we should be capable of dealing with them, but-
-they counter magic with Holy.
All the time.
...the solution to this problem?
They're vulnerable to Imp.
Imps cannot cast spells other than "Imp".
No matter how much they try to counter, it's not going to work.
Of course, that won't do anything about their brutal physical attacks, but hey, that's what Vanish is for.
Tonberries are scary, but with the patented "ha-ha-ha-fuck-you" strategy outlined above, it's just a matter of time.
The battle is worth 5 AP, which is pretty insulting for a fight that requires this kind of cheesing. So why even bother?
Because they may drop Minerva Bustiers!
(And if they don't, reload the game until they fucking well do.)
So, Meryl, how does it feel to be virtually immortal?
(Don't worry, she fell in a pit before hubris could begin to set in.)
This item was just known as "Minerva" on the SNES. I actually prefer that because... well, argh. I'd say this item is the most important part of this section of the caves (though nowhere near as important as the charm we picked up before!) but for the sake of completion, we should get the rest as well...
Is that thing stuck in the eye socket... magicite!?
Remove the magicite from the eye of the bone carving?
Who the hell do you think I am?
I don't think the previous owner is going to just let us walk away with it!
It's a real yeti!
He has 17200 HP, making him rather less of a problem than a trio of tonberries. He even falls to much the same strategy, except in his case you should cast Berserk instead of Imp. It's not really needed, though; just pound on him until he falls over, which shouldn't take long.
The yeti nods.
And joins the party.
Unfortunately, six letters isn't enough to name him Fridge Largemeat, but I'm sure you can come up with something.