Part 6: Yes, I Suplex the Train.Chapter 5 - Yes, I Suplex the Train.
Today we'll do the first half of Sabin's scenario, since it's so long.
Does anyone ever actually skip Shadow here? There's no reason not to get him unless you really want to wait as long as possible to name him (which I had to here since I forgot to talk to him in South Figaro in my second run, not that it actually matters).
Shadow himself is Locke with better stats, though Locke has better equipment and magic selection to make up for it. Shadow is all about speed and evasion, and though I didn't take a pic of it, I managed to use relics to boost Shadow's evasion to 74% (though the Tanto, exclusive to Shadow, also gives an evasion/magic block bonus as well as 2 to speed).
Shadow may not be a powerhouse (though not being able to use shields, he's pretty much forced to dual-wield and thus is decent at attacking), but he's fantastic as a speedy evasion tank, so I make him even more ridiculous with the Sprint Shoes and Knight Code.
Old man's still the same, so moving on.
I restock on Dried Meat at the soldier, and pick up a Bandana to further make Shadow insane, as it boosts speed by 2 and evasion by 10.
I'm literally starting Sabin's scenario, and Shadow already has 84 evasion. And yes, evasion works in this hack.
Anyway, nothing exciting happens on the trek to the Imperial Base Camp, so let's jump there.
Kefka is nuts.
Then begins the most ineffectual attack I've ever seen.
Why don't we just kill the leader?
Yeah, Cyan still talks with his accent.
The hack also names the NPCs after colors, which is a pretty clever touch considering we're playing as a man named Cyan.
So yeah, these are the people who threatening Doma.
I don't know if I ever used regular attacks on the leader outside the hack, since Dispatch is usually so much better. I just tried it here to see how Cyan's regular attack is, until it did 1 damage and gave me this message.
So, those of you who played the original probably know that Cyan, well, kinda sucked. His SwordTechs/Bushidos were slow as hell, and he kinda sucked at magic, which wrecked physical's shit in that game.
This hack still keeps Cyan as a physical powerhouse, but this time it actually matters since physical attacks are no longer as significantly outclassed by magic. Cyan's Bushido techs have been overhauled to be different, with Dispatch doing double damage to human enemies. Being L9, he also has access to the new Mindblow, which deals MP damage. It's nice against mages, of course, but it's also great against undead since they die if their MP hits 0. And, of course, his Bushido meter runs much faster than the original, so you don't have to wait forever to hit his higher-level techniques.
Also, all of Cyan's katanas have the two-hand damage bonus from the Gauntlet, and considering he can't equip shields, this means Cyan is pretty much the physical powerhouse of the game.
I decide to fight the Dobermen because why not.
Interceptor's still around, and he's still awesome.
Stamina boosted by 3, evasion and magic block boosted by 10, and increases both HP and MP by 1/8. Pretty awesome.
I'm willing to die for the Empire!
Don't be so stupid, dude.
I kinda like the idea of having a good, noble guy on the opposition. Gotta have that other side of the story, right? Even though he and Celes end up being the only good people to come from the Empire.
I like how sing-songy Kefka is at this part. He was like this in 1.20 when I played this part as well.
Now Kefka, don't you go poisoning Doma while I'm gone!
What, little old me? What makes you think I'd do something as silly as that?
I had my fingers crossed! Now to go kill an entire kingdom!
Why, I oughta Suplex you over and over and over!
And so he does.
Fun detail: In my first run, for the second Kefka battle, I had Sabin attack Kefka with a regular attack. Since Sabin dual-wields claws, after the first attack, which knocked Kefka down to critical, Shadow blocked the second attack with Interceptor thanks to the Knight Code equipped on him. This is of course due to the game's coding, where Kefka is technically part of your party during these cutscenes and thus treats him like a regular party member. I just thought it was humorous, especially since it'll rarely come up anyway in a normal game (you'd need a Genji Glove and True Knight equipped on separate characters and the first attack to knock Kefka to critical).
Anyway, let's go the Telstar battle.
Pummel to inflict Seizure of course. The guards are fortunately weak enough that even an attack from Shadow will take them out.
Of course, the Telstar can also inflict seizure through its Megavolt attack.
After a lengthy battle that involved chewing on a lot of meat, I eventually get a weapon upgrade for Sabin. Vigor +3, Speed +2, can cast Imp randomly. Most importantly, though, is that it's Holy-elemental, which will come in handy for certain encounters in the next area.
The Safety Glove still casts Safe when the wearer is at critical HP. The only difference is the hefty 20 Defense it also gives.
I like how theatrical Kefka is now. He's literally singing in glee over poisoning an entire nation.
Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Somebody poisoned the waterhole!
Oh yeah, I better watch the king die.
OK, that's done with. Let's check to see if Sir Grey and I were literally the only two people not to drink the water in the last five seconds.
I read this somewhere else, but I like how that dead guy was crawling to get that Remedy before dying at the worst possible moment. You wonder who puts valuable items in pots and clocks? It's people like this guy, always preparing for a worst-case scenario, only to die before they can actually use said items.
Also, Cyan's family is dead, which is pretty sad and stuff.
The next fights are pretty simple. Shadow cuts up a couple Soldiers with his crazy speed while Cyan and Sabin are content doing massive damage to one each.
I like how this hack actually gives Sabin more of a personality. You'll see what I mean later, but he's pretty goofy in his dialogue more often than not.
Magitek escape is still a cakewalk.
Then the guys formulate a plan to jump off a waterfall because why not?
Trying to Dispatch a Stray Cat causes it to fire seizure-inducing snowballs at us because Final Fantasy.
Anyway, before we can jump off a waterfall, we have to cross a haunted forest with an undead train ferrying people to the afterlife because Final Fantasy.
To start with, I run off trying to get to the spring that restores everyone to full because damn if I waste my precious meats.
Also, in a nice touch, there's no battle music in the Phantom Forest. Rather, the forest theme plays during battles. I like it as a nice change of pace.
OK, now that I'm recovered, I can talk about the enemies. Ghosts and Ectoplasms are both weak to fire, so if Sabin were L12 here and knew Fire Dance, he'd make short work of these encounters. Of course, his Spirit Claw will wreck apart the Holy-weak ghosts, as he can tear through their 300 HP in one hit. Though I didn't really try to have Cyan use Mindblow in this area, he probably could've ruined the Ghosts' day by draining their MP to 0 to instantly kill them, but considering their 500 MP, I was probably better off having him help Shadow finish off enemies.
Also, both these enemies absolutely love spamming sleep-inflicting attacks because they're dicks.
Well jeez, you could've told me this was a haunted death train before I made an ass of myself. Oh well, guess I'll have to suplex it into stopping.
Like the forest, every battle here continues the Phantom Train theme, so that's nice.
There are a few nasty encounters on the train, but Bombs are probably the nastiest. A mere 150 HP, weak to ice and water, and even have inherit Seizure.
But their Self-Destruct affects the entire party. That's why you want to kill these fuckers as quickly as possible.
I'm going to post the following conversation verbatim because I like it so much. All the dialogue is from the actual hack.
I... um... seem to have misplaced my coin pouch. How about you tell me how to stop this thing, and I won't suplex you into next week?
You would threaten Death's guide with physical violence? You're either very brave or very stupid.
A little from column "A", a little from column "B".
Very well. If you are so determined, I suppose you could just use the controls in the conductor's compartment. Good luck, mortal...
Also, Cyan still sucks with machines.
The ghost is still incredibly fragile thanks to being undead, though it has an actual weapon to make it slightly more useful when not Possessing enemies.
I still have to burn through several of them throughout the dungeon, though.
Mythril Dirks seem like a weird buying choice, but don't forget they can serve as throwing fodder for Shadow. Speaking of which, Shadow can now only throw knives, shurikens, and scrolls.
I just buy more meat.
Spirits are undead, but Conjurers aren't. This encounter isn't generally very threatening.
In case you were wondering, this is Sabin talking to the pursuing ghosts, not to Cyan and Shadow.
Anyway, we fuck over all the people waiting to go to the afterlife by detaching half the train. Then again, they were dicks, so they deserve it.
Demons will use Elf Fire, which hurts horribly. Best to take care of these undead pests as quickly as possible.
Free recovery. Didn't bother trying for all the different character combinations for this one since I assume they aren't much different than the original.
The conversation was exactly this crazy in the original. Talk about oxes and manicurists and all sorts of crazy nonsense.
Ziegfried is a bit different, though.
Instead of starting the battle off with a few strikes, he attacks like thirty times, each time doing one damage.
You know, when he doesn't miss Shadow.
Then he automatically dies. Considering it's a joke fight in the original, I appreciate the hack treating it even more like a joke. This isn't even an actual fight, you watch the guy over-exert himself and die before you even have to do anything. I love it.
But he still takes whatever treasure that is just because.
Zombie: 500 HP, undead. They drop Mythril Dirks occasionally.
The chest-guarding Phantom has 3000 HP, so it takes awhile to whittle it down. Pummel and its Seizure-inflicting status helps, of course.
Actually, even though this guy has 1000 MP, this is probably one fight that Cyan and his Mindblow bushido could've trivialized, had I thought of it.
But hey, I got a Black Belt, which does its usual counter-attack thing while also serving as a Sniper's Eye, i.e. guaranteed hit rate for physicals. Plus, +5 Speed, which is nifty.
Alright, the moment you've all been waiting for.
Evil Toot is nasty, causing all sorts of horrible status effects. Luckily, Sabin isn't Berserk, which is important because
I want to Pummel it to inflict Seizure damage.
Oh yes, and because
SO WE CAN SUPLEX THE TRAIN.
Sabin jumps awkwardly so the background moves at a steady pace. Also, a berserk Cyan is dragging a sleeping Shadow along as Sabin suplexes the train.
Anyway, the Soul Train, as it's so cleverly named here, is full of nasty status effects from its Evil Toot. Confusion is the nastiest, though luckily I'm too stupid to remember to move my characters to the back row to counter the back attack.
It'll also deal damaging shock waves that can also inflict darkness.
And the multi-target Acid Rain, which is always painful.
In the end, I just have Shadow throw a dagger onto the rail and have the train derail itself.
So hooray, we beat death by suplexing it.
Also, Cyan's family is moving on to the afterlife. Of all the characters in this game, Cyan's got probably the worst problems after "Empire property and probably mind-controlled my entire life" Terra.
Next time, Cyan deals with the death of his family by jumping off a waterfall, but in the good way.