Part 37: And YouYou know, I've come to a realization.
When you're just looking for excuses to postpone saving the world...
...it's probably about time to man up (or woman up, as the case may be) and go stomp the evil clown's face into the dirt.
Fortunately, we have just about gathered enough people to make the process as painless as possible!
For us, I mean.
It's going to be very painful for anything dumb enough to get in our way.
The gods of the Warring Triad control the magic of the esper world...
If we destroy them...
...You're worried about what might happen?
I'm not sure, but...
...espers and magic might vanish from the world entirely.
And if that happens...
...what'll happen to Aeris?
No one cares. Onward!
Galuf: badass enough to cast a shadow even in empty air!
Introducing the return of Team Moogle and Minion, these two will fight... one whole battle in this entire tower.
Batman checks his utility belt.
Team Batman and Robin is about to wreck shit.
Gogo prepares to mimic the youngest person in the group, because all the rest aren't up to scratch.
Team Gogo and the Rejects is going to try very hard to keep up with the other two.
AUDIO: Kefka's Tower
Let's do this.
This dungeon is full of treasure, some of which is actually useful! The Fixed Dice allows Gambit to roll 3d6, multiply the three numbers together with his level, and inflict that much damage on the enemy. This, of course, causes extremely variable damage, but it ignores enemy defence and allows him to cause full damage (such as it is) with all four hits if he's using the Master's Scroll.
And he will be.
Unfortunately, Galuf can't make it very far inside; that ledge is like two tiles away and worse yet, he'd have to move diagonally to get there!
So we'll have to switch things up a bit.
"I am the night."
We may have missed Robin's eleventh birthday while Meryl was off in a coma, but she still hasn't grown enough to wear this.
And Batman wouldn't let her even if she had.
"I am vengeance!"
"I'm setting them on fire. That's what you're supposed to do with marlboros, right?"
This is... suspicious. It looks like Kefka's tower gobbled up part of the imperial palace, specifically the cells...
...and there's something even stranger in the cell where Kefka used to be held.
"I am Batman!"
"Give it a rest already."
Forgotten in the mists of time...
Long have I pondered what I should do...
Long, long have I pondered...
But now it seems I have an answer...
"Oh, have you finished? Sorry, but my ATB bar filled up."
What's-his-face leaves a save spot behind when killed. That's a... somewhat unfortunate image, and moreover, we don't need to save.
As the tower progresses, you visit areas with several familiar tilesets. This is either a clever design decision or a really lazy one.
Loot! Not bad, but I already had one. Another chest nearby has a Force Armor, and I already had that, too.
Here, left to right, we see Galuf, a switch, the goddamn Batman and a chest with a Ribbon in it. All of these things are pretty cool in their own way, and combining the second and third allows the first to move on.
Hey, what's this, now?
Dragon number two that Flood makes an utter joke.
The Thundara is his counterattack.
Robin absorbs lightning damage. You know where this is going.
(What kind of a loser uses second-level spells at this point, anyway?)
He's worth 10 AP, and drops a Crystal Orb, a relic that boosts MP by 50%. This is shit seeing as the Gold Hairpin effectively doubles it, and I don't even care to use that.
Finally, Batman and Robin reach a dead end. I'm not sure i like that four ton weight... but I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Neither of them sings opera, and I don't think that goddamn octopus would have the balls to follow us here.
Besides, it'd take him like five minutes to drop it anyway, and we're not going to be here for five minutes.
Galuf finds the magicite research lab.
And a blocked path. Lovely.
(I've missed that move.)
Are you ready for another palette swap boss?
Wait, don't die before I have a chance to screencap you! That's just rude.
Gogo opens the path for Galuf, because they couldn't just climb over the rubble or anything. That would make sense and we don't want that in our jrpgs.
He also picks up this.
It's Robin's "best" weapon.
There is no reason to use this over the Magus Rod (which you may well have picked up before she even joins).
Wait, shit, not again!
...I blame this guy for dying when his MP is depleted despite him barely having any.
Ten AP, and a Muscle Belt, which is the Crystal Orb except for HP instead. Marginally more useful, under very specific circumstances, but... no.
The Eightfold Seal is broken!
Obtained Crusader magicite!
On its face is a short inscription...
"The seal is broken and I am free..."
"You who defeated the legendary eight... I shall await you at the Dragon's Horn..."
I don't remember this! Who could have written it? They wish to thank us by throwing unnecessary punctuation at us, no doubt, in proud tradition.
Crusader is... uh. Well, Meteor at x10 makes Odin look pretty shitty, and the MP bonus is nice... if you care about your MP gains, which you probably shouldn't. Meltdown, like the esper itself, damages both allies and enemies, and is great if you can null or absorb fire with your entire party.
But using it would require grinding, and fuck grinding at this point.
Click! And there the central door opens.
Galuf arrives shortly thereafter to take advantage of the fact.
It won't let you drop four tons of iron on your partners' heads. At this point, I think they'd probably survive that. Well, Robin would, not so sure about Batman.
Having pressed all the switches, some stairs appear so Batman and Gogo can climb up as well. It seems the path splits here again, with Galuf heading west, Batman east, and Gogo pressing on to the north...
Oh, guess what? Guardian is no longer plot invincible.
Holy hell, Gogo's magic isn't even that good!
Guardian will switch between "battle programs" in this fight and ends up emulating certain bosses we've fought before, including, well, you can probably guess what he's doing now.
It dies before it can make a second switch, and drops 7 AP... and a save spot.
I am unimpressed.
This guy is... probably even worse. He's called "Demon", and he's one third of the Warring Triad.
AUDIO: The Fierce Battle
Spoiler: the music still lies.
Why? Because Demon is vulnerable to Stop.
I don't even know what they were thinking. But at least he gives out the maximum of 10 AP, and drops a Radiant Lance, a rather impressive weapon for Galuf or Tim, which... they're not going to use because the boss Galuf faces is weak against holy, which his currently equipped spear just happens to have a chance to cast every time he hits something with it.
Gogo arrives at the destination.
Galuf casually strolls through the dungeon, giving no fucks, until the second third of the Warring Triad gets in his face.
Fiend likes ice magic.
Like, really likes it.
Both these guys are wearing snow scarves, which absorb ice.
Still, Fiend somehow manages to freeze my goddamn yeti solid. I'd say something like how I don't believe this shit, except I totally do.
Jump is an interesting command. It removes the user from battle for a while, then drops them on the enemy. Used with a spear, it deals... I forget if it's 1.5x or 2x the usual damage. The Dragon Horn relic makes Jump randomly trigger up to four times. And, there's the occasional Holy from the spear.
Honestly, I remembered Fiend as rather more harmless than this; last time I think Galuf was barely taking damage in the double digits, but maybe I just gave him a shitty shield and headgear this time.
10 AP once more, and a Mutsunokami. I don't know what that is and I don't really care either.
All that's left...
...is the last member of the Warring Triad, most fittingly facing a tiny goddess of destruction.
(Oh, and Batman too, I guess.)
It goes about as well as you'd expect, and Robin collects 10 AP and the Excalibur. Eh, throw it in the pile with all the other legendary artefacts.
...Could Kefka have extracted the very source of magic from them?
I certainly hope so, because if that was the Warring Triad at full strength, the ancients were all a bunch of wimps.
We step on the three switches...
...and are whisked off to the final battleground.
I like how Galuf is leading this group.
I'm not your friend
Charming as always!
I*ve acquired the ultimate power! Observe...
He just... cast Float on Tim? I've known that spell since disc 1! What kind of demonic overlord are you?!
Oh, he can multitarget it. That's okay, then.
Anyway, he can't even keep it up for very long and drops them back down on the platform.
As opposed to the bottomless pits surrounding it. I guess he hasn't completely forgotten his manners.
And time will destroy all those as well.
Why do people insist on creating things that will inevitably be destroyed?
Why do people cling to life, knowing that they must someday die?
...Knowing that none of it will have meant anything once they do?
Someone wake me when Philosophy for Beginners ends and we get some good old fashioned violence.
Something you've worked for... Something that's worth protecting!
As long as you have that... that's enough!
The party seriously decides that what Kefka needs is not to have all his parts separated from his other parts, but education. Can't see anything wrong with that plan...
And did you all find your "somethings" in this broken world that just won't die?
Kefka, naturally, isn't having any of it.
A peaceful kingdom.
Someone willing to accept me for who I am.
An obnoxious grandpa... who I couldn't live without!
Wings from a dear old friend!
New pals, kupo!
All right, are you ready? Because here it comes.
Kefka may be a hilariously overrated villain, but this is one of the best burns I've ever seen in response to the "power of friendship" speech.
If that's how it's going to be... I'll snuff them all out!
Every last one of your sickening, happy little reasons for living!
...if only he hadn't been impossible to take seriously for most of the damn game, this would have been more awesome.
Think he'll listen?
You may as well be the dirt on the bottom of my boots! Or the dirt stuck to the bottom of that dirt!
And, yeah, I like this line as well.
I'll create my own empire... of death!
It's just that he kills it with the next one.
People will always have dreams!
No! I'll destroy the entire world!
There won't be anything left to dream about!
But what fun is destruction if no "precious" lives are lost?
He fires some more plot lasers.
They don't hit anything anyone cares about.
...does that mean we can stop talking and punch him in the face before he starts blowing up more shit?
Any time now.
Aeris powers up and flies off way too late to do anything useful whatsoever.
Your lives can be the first!
The way this works is that the last battle (spoiler) happens in multiple stages and any character who's dead at the end of one stage gets kicked out and replaced with the next guy down the line for the next one.
It's actually more annoying than helpful because I'd rather toss a phoenix down at one of my good characters than replace them with, say, Gandhi. I mean, hell, what else am I going to use them on? It's the final fucking boss!
AUDIO: Dancing Mad
Batman somehow manages to die.
Because he's also bottom tier
He's replaced by Galuf, who is honestly much more useful, but it just didn't feel right to let Robin go into battle without Batman.
Shitty damage because I was dumb enough to replace her remaining earring with a ribbon she doesn't need.
MOOGLE TO THE FACE
This tier is annoying because it counters with "Repose", a physical instant death attack, when killed. It also has a 33% chance to repeat it, potentially killing two people... and forcing you into the next fight without a chance to resurrect them.
Poor Gambit doesn't make it through this, but he was probably suffering anyway. Look at those green bubbles, that can't feel good.
Where do they come from? And where do they go...?
Such meaningless things... I'll destroy them all!
So, Kefka. Early adopter of the vaguely angelic jrpg final boss form that is so beloved.
And he starts the battle by reducing everybody to 1 HP. Hope you didn't input any commands for all your healers before you realized what was going on! This move is called Heartless Angel, but I have on good authority that the original Japanese name was Dickmove Alpha.
Fortunately, Meryl and Galuf, and thus also Gogo, know Curaga, so eh.
Beat on him for a bit and he'll say something about how "The end draws near..."
...and this head pops up.
The problem with Kefka is that he'll eventually start countering things with Ultima. This is a guaranteed party wipe at these levels, so... try to avoid that? Jump lets you avoid it, but it's still going to be pretty tough for Galuf alone to get the entire group back on their feet.
It's actually a pretty boring fight. It's mostly just Robin casting Flare, Quick and Osmose over and over again, Meryl healing occasionally, Gogo standing around looking awesome and Galuf spending most of his time off screen.
Naturally, he's a load-bearing boss.
Oh, hey, a little late there, we only just killed the final boss already.
Come on, everybody! We can make it if we work together!
Aeris collapses because she is useless.
Aeris! What's wrong?
Several pieces of magicite fly up and disintegrate.
Magic is disappearing...
If espers are fading from the world now...
What'll happen to Aeris...?
We've been over this already and I care even less now than I did before.
Anyway, Aeris decides to at least try not to suck, and they all head off to the south.
AUDIO: Ending Theme
The ending sequence involves a lot of sprite movement and it's hard to do it justice in screenshots alone. I suggest watching the video for the full experience. It's pretty long, but you can probably stop after the escape from the tower; the rest isn't all that impressive.
Gambit throws a coin to decide which way to take, and it rolls left. But just as Meryl and Tim are about to head in that direction...
...there's an explosion from the left door.
Whenever you think you're right, you're wrong.
And that's a big mistake.
That was what you always used to say, wasn't it, Darill?
Tim is almost crushed by a huge chunk of metal.
They have to work together to get it out of the way.
Tim and Galuf almost fall in a pit...
...but Tim uses a crane to pull Galuf up.
They escape through a door on the other side instead.
Gogo! Mimic Meryl!
So they get the platform across, but Gogo mimics Meryl a little too long and walks into a pit...
Meryl drops something...
...and goes back to get it like an idiot...
Risking your life for a bandana... What a woman!
I believe you meant "What a moron".
It's my good luck charm... It saved me when nothing else could have...
Indy... You're watching over me from somewhere... aren't you?
Yes, but only when you sleep.
More flying magicite.
Maduin: Aeris... we must part now. We espers will disappear from this world. You may fade away as well...
But, perhaps if the human part of you feels something strong enough, then maybe...
...just maybe you will be able to remain here has a human...
And he's gone.
Yeah, that's right: the espers may be dead, but all this time we've been carrying their corpses around, they've been watching us in silence.
Fucking espers, they deserve whatever they get.
Having short legs must be a bother when you're trying to run the wrong way on a conveyor belt.
Meryl runs off without helping the ten-year-old.
That's it! Portraits for all of you!!!
Take care of yourself, boy...
Batman's talk about friends and family? Just for show. He's actually going to commit suicide by collapsing tower.
Pretty metal way to go, but still. And who the fuck is Baram? I guess we'll never know.
Because Batman will be dead and unable to tell us.
All the characters' names roll by during these sequences, but you already know who they are, so I didn't bother showing them off since this update is already huge. This one, however...
...was worth including.
Then they finally reach the flyboat and Aeris takes off flying... for no good reason.
Aeris! You've done enough! Your power's getting weaker...
They make it out, and Aeris is still being dumb about it!
Naturally it ends with her falling. Splat.
(sadly, there is no splat)
I won't either...
I told you, didn't I? She's the fastest ship in the world!
And that's it! I hope you've enjoyed Final Fantasy VI Adv...
What's this about all of a sudden?