Part 14: Shadow's a horrible fatherChapter 13 - Shadow's a horrible father
It's a short walk to Thamasa. It's weird that you have Shadow all for the walk between where you land and here. Barely any time to spend with espers!
Everyone still hates strangers.
Rods are changed in this version. You can still use them with Item (and I assume it still breaks them, I haven't tried yet), but now they auto-crit for MP and have a chance to cast a spell, the L2 spells and Bio for these rods. Also, Mog can now use them (as can Gogo and our upcoming party members).
The Rising Sun is the next upgrade in the Boomerang family, which is pretty much the only way Terra, Celes, and Mog can dual-wield.
We can now buy Gold equipment, which is handy since they all halve water damage and give large defense bonuses. Gaia Gear halves earth damage for the four characters that can wear it (Locke, Sabin, Gau, and Shadow). The Mystery Veil is an interesting item that increases random spellcast rate. A bit vague, but if I had to guess, it's referring to spellcasts from weapons, like the aforementioned rods and the elemental sabres. Only Terra and Celes can use it, though. Sorry, Relm (and Gogo?).
We can buy Guard and Wall Rings here (auto Safe/Shell respectively). This is also the first time you can actually buy Sprint Shoes.
I eventually buy one of each relic I don't have because I'm swimming with money at this point. I also get an Ice Rod for Strago, Gaia Gear for Locke, and a Rising Sun and Mystery Veil for Terra.
We can also finally buy Warp Whistles, which cast Warp. These are handy since we don't learn Warp until the World of Ruin (and even then, only Gau and Shadow can learn it).
(His acting's so poor, he should be working at the opera house.)
(You've heard about that horrible performance too, huh?)
(I may have been in a coma, but I still read The Jidoor Review.)
(Everyone's a critic...)
Why do you have to kick me in the shins every time we have company?
Our guests need entertainment!
Hey! Whoa, now!
Whatever. HEY, is that a dog!?
(Oh, my pitiful master. You continue to fail seeing the bigger picture of the world. Only invested in your own selfish lot in life. I shall teach you a lesson by playing with your estranged daughter.)
Wow! He likes me!
Maybe she's met that dog before?
...Uh, don't be silly.
No luck from our future playable characters here.
Though at least we get free bread.
Also, these cutscenes still exist.
The stench of Strago overwhelming us, the innkeeper becomes much more inclined to giving us a nice discount.
Hey! What are you-
Wait, she...was on fire?
Yes, she does it all the time. But that's not important right now! We need to save her!
If you expect me to get out of this warm, cozy bed in order to help save some random girl from a house fire, you're crazy.
Wow, you're really a major asshole. And I thought we were friends!
Screw this! I'm taking matters to my own hands!
That's...actually kinda pathetic.
I don't care! Relm's inside that house! Now shut up and help put this fire out!
This isn't working! I'm going in myself!
Hold on! Crazy death-filled missions are my specialty. Let me join you.
Even though I've forgotten almost all of my spells and am as strong as a wet piece of paper, I'll still show you guys what's what!
Strago joins us. Lore-wise, it's been trimmed down significantly much like Gau's Rages into a small-yet-versatile skillset. He only starts with Aqua Rake, though I get him started on Zoneseek since it teaches him the always-handy Osmose.
Of course, he can't really do anything but cast Aqua Rake right now. Thus the Ice Rod, so he can be at least somewhat useful here.
This is another dungeon where the background music doesn't change in battles. However, since the background is just fire sounds in this case, let's do the regular battle theme this time.
The only enemies are Greandes. They have inherent Seizure and will Self-Destuct given long enough.
Strago's damage output, even with a guaranteed critical, flat-out sucks.
But any spells cast with the critical hit also get the critical bonus damage. Thus, when the spell triggers, it means major damage coming from Strago. Terra has the Icebrand equipped, and she only gets half that damage from an Ice2 spell trigger.
There's two Fire Rods in the dungeon, and otherwise Balloons are literally the only enemy.
This makes no logical sense! Whatever, let's kill it!
Heartfire's not that bad.
It summons Grenades and starts off casting Safe and Shell on itself.
Strago's job is to Aqua Rake whenever the Grenades appear, while the other two attack the core and heal as necessary.
Not much to write home about.
(It took you miserable twits long enough to get here. Meanwhile, I was getting things done. Or at least I would be if your race wasn't so gigantic.)
Relm! Thank goodness you're alright!
(Yeah. You're welcome, by the way.)
(Pfft. You think you guys can take me? I'm the legendary dog, Interceptor. I've taken down foes much deadlier than...oh crap, they're floating. I'm screwed.)
Interceptor! What are you doing here?
(Looks like you're useful for something after all. Just don't forget who the real master is.)
Yeah. That'll be the last time I set myself on fire this month.
Is that really a thing that happens in this village?
Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it.
I didn't realize there were still humans who could cast magic. You know, besides being infused with it, being born as a half-esper, or learning it from rock corpses.
Long story short, sorcerors were humans that used magic. After the War of the Magi, everyone wanted them dead, so most died. Thamasa got lucky, though they forbid magic to save our asses.
Cool. Anyway, now that you're not hiding stuff from us, can you help us find some espers?
Can I go?
Hahahaha, hell no!
If they came this direction, there's probably in the mountains to the west. That's literally the only other place on this island worth going to.
Hey, where did Shadow go?
That's not what I meant.
I know. Shut up.
Yeah, well, you people are nuts.
I can understand why you'd think that.
(Worry not, little lady. We will meet again in fairer days, and then you can paint stupid faces on me and dress me up in stupid clothes all you like. Until then, I have to protect this idiot too stubborn to accept the good things he still has in his life, for he would be lost without me. Until we meet again.)
So yeah, Shadow didn't give a shit about a girl who'd he clearly recognize as his fucking daughter being in mortal danger, but only when his dog decided to be a better father than him that Shadow decided to actually care.
Adamantites can Sneeze characters away and cast the Quartr-like Cyclonic. Chimeras can cast Aqua Rake.
These Hides are exclusive armor only available to Strago, Relm, Gogo, and Gau. They give huge defense/magic defense bonuses, boost evasion and magic block, and usually reduce at least one source of elemental damage. In this case, it's water.
Slurms secrete a mucus that I hear makes for a delicious beverage.
They also cast Magnitude for large earth damage, and Discord which now inflicts Berserk/Muddle instead of halving your level. It's still a Lore, though, and though I forgot to show it, Strago picks it up at some point.
Kudzus are great for one reason.
They cast Raid, a spell that drains both HP and MP.
This is awesome because Strago can learn it. Of course, it also makes it a bit silly to learn Osmose now, but might as well finish it off.
They're super-powerful goddesses who brought magic to this world. They're kinda responsible for everything that resulted in the War of the Magi and what's going on now.
Oh. What happened to them?
So the espers probably worship these idols. Maybe that brought them here.
So where would they be now?
Maybe further in the same path we've been following?
Where would that be?
Goddesses came down, wrecked shit, turned humans into espers, realized they were fucking shit up, and turned themselves into stone so they wouldn't keep fucking shit up.
And then an octopus falls on us.
Great, not him again.
You know that thing?
Yeah. He likes to follow us around.
...Really? You guys are weird.
Decisive Battle may technically play here, but dammit, this should be Ultros's theme and should play more than once all game, so here it is.
Someone might lose an eye!
Ultros is quite difficult this go-around. He likes countering physical attacks with Ink or a single-target Tentacle.
Behold, the first time I actually use an Esper!
The damage from Tentacle is pretty big. Strago has auto-Safe so he doesn't care.
He also has a distinct quote for each character every time he uses Tentacle single-target.
It freaking hurts, though.
And if that's not enough, he has all sorts of multi-target attacks like Blizzard, Fireball, and El Nino.
Actually wiped once before I spread out the gold armor to reduce El Nino's damage. I also switched weapons on Terra and Locke to exploit his weakness to Fire and Bolt better.
Relm! Get away from here! We're in the middle of a fight against this purple octopus!
Hahaha, how silly!
Why are you even here?
To keep an eye on you, of course! And for inspiration!
An artist? Is she any good?
I'm fantastic! By the way, who's the ugly blob of pathetic over there?
What have I done wrong in my life to end up here?
Let your girlfriend fall off a bridge and suffer amnesia, then abandoned her before she died in an Imperial attack.
I don't want a stinkin' portrait!
Relm! Don't do it!
(Oh... I see!)
If anything happens to her, I'll never forgive you!
Well, since you asked nicely!
What have I done wrong in my life to end up here?
I can't see why we can't bring both of you.
True. With Shadow gone, we'd still be at four people in a group, so it wouldn't look weird or anything.
Relm (and Gogo) can equip brushes, which are a lot different now. In this hack, they heal whoever they hit, much like the Healing Rod. The better brushes can also trigger beneficial spells at random, which is always nice. Of course, Relm can also use rods too.
Relm's a bit more limited right now esper-wise, getting only Zoneseek (and thus Osmose) and Ifrit. Between that and a more-useful Sketch, though, she's still solid with magic.
Her sketches are now based on her stats rather than the enemy's, which is handy. And as you probably expect, it's not glitched anymore.
In this instance, she's using the Slurms' Magnitude against them, rather effectively I might add.
I also run into these things that cast multi-target Rasp, which is just nasty.
The Tabby Hide reduces Earth damage compared to the Gator Hide's water and boosts Magic instead of Stamina (both boost speed), but otherwise has weaker stats. I give Strago this and Relm the Gator Hide.
Hey...they don't look that friendly right now.
Hold on a minute!
Relax. When have I ever done that besides that one time?
Enough exchanging pleasantries.
You could say that.
When we heard our brothers and sisters were being tortured and experimented on, we rushed to your world to rescue them.
Yeah, same thing happened to me at one point.
Trust me, whatever horrible things you guys have done, the Empire's done worse. At any rate, they seem willing to talk peace with you guys.
They would be willing to forgive us? Are you sure they won't still hate us or try to attack us?
Of course not! I ensure you that nothing could possibly go wrong.
Next time... well, you know.