Part 24: Dreaming of KnuckleheadsChapter 23 - Dreaming of Knuckleheads
1.31 is out, with the main new addition being new tools for Edgar. I'll be sticking with 1.30 since I'm almost done with the game anyway, but if you haven't checked the hack out for yourself yet, might as well do it now.
Now that we have Locke back, our first order of business is to raid Narshe.
But not before we bet Shadow's first ninja blade for the Striker, which is apparently a thing you can do.
First, the guy who originally had Ragnarok.
Hey, it's what I do.
Instead of having to choose between an awesome sword and an awesome spell, we're choosing between two awesome swords. Both have a solid 180 power and 10 Magic Block, and both boost Magic by 7, same as the buyable Crystal Sword. These blades both use MP for guaranteed criticals though, with the Apocalypse (equippable by Terra) casting Flare and Illumina (equippable by Celes) casting Holy.
I go with Illumina since I kinda see Celes as more the physical fighter of the two, even though there's better weapons for her later on. Thinking about it, maybe I should've done Apocalypse instead. Oh well, no biggie.
Instead of the Cursed Shield, we have the Hero Shield. It's already a fantastic shield, boosting both defenses by 50 and both evasions by 10, plus Vigor and Magic by 5.
It still gives Condemned status, though nothing nasty. The Printme says it gives auto-regen, but that's probably after it's uncursed.
Also, that Harpy will be a nice rage for Gau, since it gives him Gigavolt, a nice bolt spell for him.
Also, I somehow triggered Shadow's limit break, and I didn't even notice it until taking screenshots.
We'll do this one a little later.
I do a bit of Veldt grinding to get Gau some new rages.
With all that out of the way, time for our first dungeon today, Cyan's Soul. Locke's coming along since he needs to play catch-up, and Terra and Edgar are coming along because they're awesome.
Dream Stooges are still Dream Stooges.
So we follow some monsters loosely based off 30's-40's comedians by jumping into the soul of a well-spoken man because Final Fantasy.
First task is getting the party back together.
Suriander likes to counter attacks with Sneeze, removing a character from the battle. Pan Doras love to use Evil Toot to give all sorts of nasty status effects.
Succubi probably do something too, but nothing too important I imagine.
The Dream Stooges follow a decent pattern. First, Curly gets reflect cast on him.
Meanwhile, the stooges will cast various attack spells at the party, like L3 elementals and Rasp.
Then they'll bounce Delta Attack off Curly to another character, dealing over 400 damage. A good chunk, though only single-target at least. Also, sometimes I'll drag things on long enough that Curly's Reflect wears off, meaning he himself gets hit.
Still, Delta Attack's their peskiest attack, so my goal is to kill Curly first.
Stooges are stooges, so there are some antics going on during the actual battle.
After Curly's down, he casts RegenX on the other two stooges.
And from there, it gets a bit crazy.
After this, it's just Moe solo for awhile. He'll start using stuff like Flare, but it's still pretty simple.
After Moe goes down, Larry shows back up. Still easy at this point.
And that's that battle. Not too shabby, and I liked how the slapstick got fleshed out a bit.
Next is the Phantom Train. The actual music is just the train noise background, but that's boring so here's the full theme.
Parasouls use Rasp and Flash Rain. Samurai are pretty nasty with hard-hitting physical attacks, Wind Slash, and an instant-death counter. Don't know what Maidens do since they die easily.
The Guilt weighs down the chest to get the Flameguard. Stunner is Shadow's best ninja blade, boosting Speed by 7 and the evasions by 10 while randomly inflicting Stop, which is honestly usually more useful than Instant Death considering how many undead exist.
Though the train took me awhile due to the puzzles and the increasingly-lengthy random battles, there's little to show off there, and even less to show off here.
None of these guys do anything exciting.
And yeah, Terra still has her extra Magitek options here. Fun fact for the original version, if you bring Terra and Gogo along, Gogo also has Terra's extra Magitek stuff. Also, Umaro will just use random beams in this part.
No new enemies here, so let's look at Cyan's most treasured memories.
If only my comrades in arms would learn patience whilst I charge my most sacred of bushido techniques...
OK, that's boring. Let's go murder a soul-possessing demon instead.
What, you think we were gonna make it through the hack without another Iron Maiden reference?
So the Wrexsoul fight was different in the original. You had to let one of your guys die or something before he'd show up and let you beat him. Or something. I don't really know because I would always just cast X-Zone instead.
There's Meteo and whatever this attack is.
Soul Fires counter attacks with Condemned.
Phoenix came in handy here, of course.
I beat him without really trying to exploit the gimmick. Oh well, everything worked out.
Your family saved you huh?
My family? I was talking about that trio of fools who kept trying to kill each other! Those fellows have to endure each other, and that is suffering I could never hope to match.
And then Cyan's wife and child turn into a katana that isn't even the best in the game.
And so Cyan conquers his demons and so forth.
Masamune boosts Vigor and Stamina by 7 and randomly counter-attacks. Learning all Bushido unlocks the L30 Tempest (a slightly weaker version of the 4x attack bushido Flurry, except instead of inflicting Muddle it ignores defense) and Cleave, which requires this quest to unlock, which can still potentially kill all foes on the battle field. I'm really hoping this baby works well, since it'd probably cut my time wasted in random battles by half at least.
Characters: Celes, Cyan
Stats: HP +60
Spells: Demi (5), Quartr (4), Holy (2)
Both like the HP, Celes likes the spells.
As an intermission before the next dungeon, let's do the Gau's Father stuff.
...You think this senile old fool could be my father? How depressing.
What's wrong with my garments? I doubt the twit would even know the difference.
I'm just looking for an excuse to get blasted, and I hear Jidoor has some great cider houses.
I love this scene just because it's probably the only time the entire cast gets to bounce off each other other than the ending. You can kinda-sorta see how they might all be friends in a weird way, even though most of the time the party doesn't really interact with each other besides pre-established relationships, a romance, a few developing friendships. Speaking of which, it also shows off the bond between Sabin and Gau.
I kinda wish the original did more of these kinds of scenes. It was something FF5 did very well due to its significantly smaller cast, and it's something that pops up kinda randomly in future games.
As tempted as I am to add dialogue to the next scene, I'll let it speak for itself. The following is from the hack itself:
*cough* He can't wear them all...
I thought monks were supposed to take a vow of silence.
Which of these do you like? Oh! This is nice too, but... do you think it becomes Gau?
...might as well get him fitter for a monocle while you're at it.
This hat wouldst be perfect.
No, no. Just no.
Gau like Mr. Thou's hat...
But... I am Cyan, retainer to the-
Not now, Cyan.
Gau look like clown...
It's perfect! Functional yet sporty. We're done.
Excuse me, sir. Put in an order for a coat like mine.
Seriously, the above scene is one of my favorite parts of the game. The original version's was crazy vague and confusing since a lot of text boxes weren't actually attributed to anybody, and the rewrite definitely makes it flow a lot better.
Are you sure you couldn't buy me the monocle?
What the fuck!?
Cease, please! This idiot isn't worth the effort. Let him rot in his insane little world.
Say, "Shadow," doesn't this speak of fatherhood make you think of, I don't know, any children you may have?
...I don't know what you're talking about.
...Of course you don't.
...Happy that I got away from being raised by that man. Who knows what kind of crazy animal I could've become if I weren't raised by monsters?
That's...one way to look at it, I suppose. Come on, let's go loot more stuff.
Next dungeon is the Ancient Castle. Still rotating my party so that everyone gets a turn.
Urchins can inflict Poison and use Blowfish. Sabin and Gau can do some pretty big damage at this point, while Setzer can still keep everyone healed easily with Lagomorph.
Another Red Cap is nice.
The ultimate tonberry, he's still the same as the rest. Lots of HP, Step Mine, deadly physical attack, you know the deal by now.
The reward is the strongest dirk in the game. The Avenger boosts evasion, Vigor, and Speed, and it's holy-elemental. Shadow likes all of that.
The enemies are simple, and most of the treasure not that exciting, so here's the castle already.
Where'd you learn this?
It's not important.
Yeah, I didn't listen to a single word you said. I'm just here for some quick cash.
Mephisto will use Quake, while Boxxy has innate Reflect and will use Disaster to inflict statuses.
Don't know what they do.
Katanasoul hits hard and uses GP Toss and Wind Slash to hit everyone for good damage.
Our reward now is Locke's ultimate weapon, the Valiant Edge, which still gets stronger the lower Locke's HP is while ignoring defense.
Meanwhile, this is the ultimate staff, which can randomly cast Flare.
Rather than getting an esper and then upgrading it to another esper two minutes later, we have to restore Odin first instead.
Still the same trick to unlocking the hidden room as the original.
And now we have Odin proper.
Stat Boosts: Magic +2
Spells: Stone (4), X-Zone (2)
Finally, a pure +2 Magic esper for Strago, as if his magic wasn't powerful enough. X-Zone's also likely gonna be great for trivializing regular encounters.
I backtrack to the save point so I can do the next dragon, and run across this guy. Not too scary, just Raze and a couple other attacks.
Today's dragon is Blue-D. He's weak to Bolt, and isn't too difficult.
He likes to cast Sleep and SleepX, which isn't too bad a status effect in this battle.
He'll also use Blowfish, plus he does the usual dragon stuff like countering with Water Claw and Polarity. He can also use Dispel, and of course he uses water-based attacks.
To change pace a bit, I have Gau use the Harpy Rage for Gigavolt, which does similar damage to his physicals and inflicts Seizure. So that's nice.
I also have Shadow throw his Bolt Skeans because why not? They do pretty strong damage, around 3000 or so. Maybe now I'll actually use Shadow's Throw.
Another long-yet-easy fight. Our reward is the Zantetsuken, tied for strongest sword in the game. Guaranteed hit and can instant kill, though it cleaves instead of just casting death. Nice reward.
Next time, we'll finish up the WoR by doing Hidon's Cave and Fanatics Tower, plus whatever crap needs to be done.