Part 42: Dragon's LairWe're getting dangerously close to the end of the original game's content!
...fortunately, there's still stuff to do in the GBA version.
For a given definition of "fortunately".
First, I'm going to make sure Robin knows this spell.
Then, we're going to take on this giant prickly asshole.
The reason he's a giant prickly asshole (as opposed to just a prickly giant) is that 1000 Needles is unblockable and unevadable and he'll spit out several castings of it each round and finish with fucking ten of them when he dies.
Even with Reraise on the entire group, that was dangerously close.
He's worth 1111 gil, but the real reason we want him dead...
...lies right here.
The Cactuar esper is patently worthless. +2 speed makes Odin even more obsolete, but no one cares about speed and we can already get all those spells from other sources - and in most cases, we already have.
The summon deals 1000 damage.
Well, except that sometimes it uses 10000 needles instead and deals 9999 but I can already do 9999 for 1 MP every round and aaargh.
There's also this.
To uncurse the cursed shield, you have to fight 256 battles with it on.
Two fucking hundred and fifty-fucking-six.
The best place to do this is on Cid's island, where the enemies have like 1 HP and are more likely to kill themselves because they're so pathetic than to actually deal damage to your characters. Even then, and even with the speed cranked up to something like 500%, it took 10-20 minutes of grinding.
The Paladin's Shield makes the Minerva Bustier look pathetic, and unlike the bustier, it does not require an actual bust.
In addition to the holy shit look at those stats, it also teaches Ultima. This is the only way to obtain the spell if you're dumb and pick the sword in Narshe instead of the esper you can't get anywhere else.
(Well, you could also grind Aeris up to level 99 and hahahahahaha no.)
But now for something completely different.
On this island, just north of the Coliseum, lies the Dragon's Den, which did not exist in the original version of FFVI.
Like the final dungeon, it requires three parties. Problem is, I basically have one small team of people who matter and a huge group of "those other guys I never use", and I can't be arsed to train the rest of them. So I'll just have to see how far I can get with just Robin's group and the other idiots as button-pressing support. If it works, I'll get to laugh at the dungeon, and if it doesn't, you get to laugh at me. Win-win situation!
From left to right you can see Team "Godslayer", Team "We're helping! ...really, we are! ... ", team "Random encounters? What random encounters?" and also, unofficially, team "Just guard the airship while I'm out doing adult things and pray to whatever gods Robin hasn't killed already that I don't find any scratches on it when I return".
It looks almost exactly like the phoenix cave. We're off to a good start!
It's a shitty labyrinth where new sections open up as you wander around killing bosses. I have a distinct feeling I'm going to hate this before I'm done.
Like, long before I'm done.
I'm kind of hating it already. That FUCKING cave tile set!
I had a request for more random battles, so here's something I encountered inside the cave!
Robin dealt with it in the usual way. It countered with Reflect. Reflect does nothing against Ultima, so it promptly ate another and some loaded dice and died horribly, next!
Oh, look, it's another palette swap!
And now it's gone, leaving only a shitty XP reward behind!
Here's where it gets interesting.
For a given definition of interesting.
Apparently I failed to screenshot it, but some more ice dragons zip in from the left and position themselves under the one you can see here. So basically we have four targets in this fight.
Robin gives no fucks.
Still need a few more points of magic so we can max out damage even against multiple targets...
So here's the thing. Ice Dragon Two, Electric Boogaloo has 30000 HP. It's nowhere near enough to deal with the kind of fuckery we're capable of, and indeed it goes down in one turn. This is a death counter, which is a rather unimpressive ice attack.
We get the Final Trump for winning, and nothing else.
The Seal of Ice is broken!
That's good, I suppose?
It shows us the sparkly things disappearing from some other places.
Here's... another goddamn lava cave.
And another goddamn random encounter.
The devs knew that you're going to come here prepared and everything in here actually survives a shot of Ultima to the face. This creature is level 77 and has 28000 HP. It gets rather silly with the constant 9999s everywhere.
It's also an asshole who counters with Quake when it's killed, because eating three Ultimas before dying wasn't enough.
So just like the phoenix cave, the most annoying feature of this cave is that you have to juggle characters between switches in order to proceed. I need to find an outlet for my aggression-
Revenge of the Storm Dragon actually has enough HP to survive the five-Ultima death combo, but it doesn't have enough to survive the three other characters' turns afterwards.
Same message, sparkles disappear, yak yak we know how this goes by now.
The Longinus is a Tim-exclusive weapon which... isn't really all that impressive, really.
I guess it's nice if you attack physically with it, but why would you attack physically?
Oh, and while spears normally get a damage bonus when used with the Jump command, this one doesn't, because Squeenix cannot make games.
Speaking of special weapons, here's the Final Trump. It's not bad, as such, but Gambit is still likely going to get more mileage out of the Fixed Dice since it ignores evade and defence.
Look what we have here!
He has... less HP than the storm dragon.
And still has a crippling weakness to water and wind damage.
Earth Dragon Strikes Back will mix earth-based and physical attacks, and if you hit him for a bit and then stop, he'll become "enraged" and start using nothing but physicals. If you drop Vanish on someone at this point, it's pretty much a guaranteed win.
But so is nuking him fast and hard with as many Ultimas as you can fit in a round and killing him before he starts chewing on your dudes, and that would be the smart way to handle this.
He drops the Godhand when he goes down.
Looks impressive until you remember what stat Phantom Rush works off and realize that you haven't let Matt use the Attack command since he fell off the damn raft, if ever.
Also: shitty attack power. Just five points over the Tigerfang? FIVE? Come on.
More dragons, but... the door is locked.
Okay, new plans. Before I take another step in that lizard-infested shithole, I'm going to need something to drink.
I'll... be right back, I guess.
(For a given definition of "right b..." all right fine I'll stop that)