Part 23: Phoenix Cave is still horribleChapter 22 - Phoenix Cave is still horrible
Today, we're going to clean up a couple of bosses before tackling the lengthy Phoenix Cave. First up is Doom Gaze.
So, Gogo. He's still got access to everybody's abilities and has rather crazy equipment options. I decide to go with a wacky attack-focused Gogo because he's the only person besides Setzer who can do X-Fight (which only hits twice now instead of four times), even though his weapon choices are rods, dirks, and brushes. Of course, his stats are pretty crap and he doesn't get access to espers, but his versatility is supposed to make up for it.
Also, the other characters' equipment isn't finalized, just so you know.
This game helpfully lets us choose to have it track down Doom Gaze for us, saving lots of aimless wandering.
Doom Gaze will start things off by, of course, casting Doom.
Relm's on Rerise duty when not healing while the others attack.
For the record, this is how much Cure 3 heals. Yeah, it's pretty powerful in Relm's hands.
While the rods are supposed to critical hit by using MP, it doesn't seem to work like that for Gogo, maybe because of X-Fight. His regular attacks aren't anything to write home about, with even his four attacks being slightly weaker than Cyan and Gau, but Holy procs even things out.
Anyway, Doom Gaze can use his self-named technique to inflict Condemned while also throwing stuff like Wind Slash and Bolt 2.
And of course, it wouldn't be Doom Gaze if he couldn't flee as well. Hey, free breaks to heal though!
Thanks to my high offensive options, everything works out rather easily.
Our reward is still Bahamut.
Stat Boosts: MP +45
Spells: Meteor (4), Flare (2)
You know how Starlet turns Relm into possibly the best healer in the game? Bahamut gives a really nice boost to her offenses, with a powerful MT and ST spell each. Meteor's stronger, but Flare ignores defense.
I grind Shadow to learn HasteX since he's close anyway before tackling the next boss.
Brown Dragon is weak to water and, of course, absorbs earth.
Obviously, Float is advised.
Brown D can counter with Dispel, has a powerful physical counter like the other dragons, and can nullify Float. He also casts Demi.
Oh, did I mention he can cast Quasar and Meteor and ruin your fucking day? You kinda have to get lucky and hope he doesn't cast those.
Next idea. Have Sabin and Gau wail on it while Relm heals. Strago gets Sage Stone and casts X-Magic to layer Shells/Floats at first before spamming Ice2.
Also, here's Bahamut because why not.
Quake heals him, of course. He'll also use Avalanche on himself to heal.
And Polarity can mess with my heavy hitters.
But even that isn't enough since I get into problems where I end up too busy reviving to kill it.
So let's throw a sasquatch into the mix and see how we go.
Poorly the first attempt.
At this point, I'm finally kinda-sorta remembering to use my espers. Fenrir grants the entire party Image and Regen.
This time, Relm throws Rerise constantly while Gau and Umaro go offense.
He goes down surprisingly quickly this time!
Our reward for this dragon is the Force Shield, which gives Auto-Shell on top of its 20 Magic Block and 60 Magic Defense. Hell yes.
I'd care more if I weren't rooting for the dragon to kill everybody here. Oh well, those toilets aren't going to clean themselves.
Now for the meat of this update, the crazy-long Phoenix Cave. Ugh.
I just put a mish-mash of characters together because why not. Well, I put my two main healers (Relm and Setzer) on different teams, but that's kinda it as far as planning. Gau and Strago are too broken, Umaro's too dull to make use of, Shadow's on the weakish side, and Sabin's offense is actually starting to pale next to Cyan, Edgar, and Gau.
Same two-party mechanic as before.
Mus use Blowfish occasionally. Witches use Reflect both on themselves and, weirdly enough, on specific party members. They can also cast Quasar, though it only does around 250 damage.
Cyan cuts through them like butter.
All sorts of traps and empty chests in this wonderful dungeon!
Weedulas are nasty creatures with crazy-high defenses and a nasty trick up their sleeve I'll show later.
Sea Flowers are also nasty, inflicting zombie on a character.
Also Wave Cannon, which does a ton of damage and hurts quite a god damn bit.
I end up leaving since I had like five Revivifies to stock up.
Aquila casts Aero and uses strong physical attacks, but otherwise is a big bucket of HP to deplete.
Also, Dragoon Edgar's freaking awesome now. Now remember he has a chance to land twice. Go figure that Edgar would become one of my best physical attackers without using broken swords and Offering/Genji Glove shenanigans.
I give Gogo the Thief Glove and have him Mug because why not?
As for the Joker, it likes using Fire3 and Fireball.
A lot of chests are still empty because this dungeon isn't painful enough.
Also, Weedulas are difficult to kill unless you ignore defense using stuff like Edgar's Drill or Cyan's Dispatch.
Then there's this dick move that made me wipe. Yes, Weedulas will willingly kill themselves with Quake just to spite you.
Once I can actually reach this chest, I get the Wind Edge, the ultimate boomerang. No stat boosts, just solid damage and able to be equipped as a secondary weapon. I give it to Celes to bolster her offense.
Thanks, game! Those spikes do 500 damage to everyone, by the way.
Don't really know what Revenants do since I try to kill them first usually.
Now we've got the Ice/Water-weak Red Dragon.
Luckily Terra just learned Ice 3 before fighting this guy, making things a lot easier.
Also a good thing I brought Gogo, who can Mimic Terra's spells and Edgar's jumps, even though his damage isn't as great as theirs. Also, he's a back-up healer since, unlike Setzer, he can actually cast Life thanks to Terra.
S. Cross would be nasty if my party weren't so awesome. Edgar's Royal Jacket blocks fire and water damage.
Red also casts Bserk, which isn't a big deal since he hits Edgar with it. He also counters with row-switching Polarity.
And a nasty Flare spell, of course.
He even has Blowfish!
Despite all that, my offenses and defenses hold strong enough that I kill him first try.
Our reward is the ultimate hide, Dragon. Halves Fire and Wind, boosts Stamina and Magic by 7, and has a huge 70 Magic Defense. Nice for Gogo right now.
We also get this Relm-exclusive armor that boosts MP by 50% and blocks Fire/Ice/Bolt damage while also boosting Magic by 7 and giving large Magic Defense bonuses. Nice.
Also, Relm just learned Meteor, and she's looking pretty damn scary right about now.
Second set of Genji Armor! Since it gives the highest physical defense in the game, it's definitely a nice find.
Well, gee, it's nice to see you again too.
I'd be more excited, but, you know, I just discovered the secret to resurrection.
So the secret to resurrecting the dead is using a dead bird? That's messed up, kupo.
...What the hell is wrong with you people? Why are you all so messed in the head?
Says the little girl whose dad doesn't even acknowledge her, kupo.
I'm not afraid to skin a moogle, "kupo."
Not that I mind preserving corpses, of course, but still.
Wait, how did you know about that?
I'm dead, not blind.
And by be reborn, I mean be reborn and immediately die again so my ex can use you to learn magic. I'd really appreciate that.
Behold, a bunch of decent consumables and a Flameguard! No Valiant Edge here, sadly.
Well, we still need to find Terra's pendant first. Also, we've got to save Cyan's soul from dream comedians, help Strago upstage a rival, reunite Gau with his estranged father, and explore some castle because why not.
As long as there's more free stuff to take, I'm game.
Characters: Terra, Locke
Stat Boosts: HP +30, MP +15
Spells: Fire 3 (5), Cure 3 (4), Life 2 (2)
Nice HP boost option for Terra, and solid healing options for both characters, as if Terra wasn't versatile enough. Locke ends up being more of a straight-up healer, getting better reviving options at the cost of stuff like Rerise and RegenX that Setzer and Relm get. That said, he can use X-Magic, is pretty fast, and has physical options to help him stand out, so Locke's definitely a servicable healer.
Next time, I'll do Cyan's Soul since that's been the most popular option. I'll probably do either Hidon's Rock or Ancient Castle next, I'll decide that one myself.