Part 115: Part One Hundred and Fifteen: Loose EndsPart One Hundred and Fifteen: Loose Ends
With Steve here, the list of GFs is complete and the game's last outstanding sidequest is wrapped up.
The first thing to note about Steve is that it starts at level 30. Obamamut started at 35, which puts Steve in kind of an odd position.
Here's another strike against Steve: unlike every other GF, it takes a full 1,000 EXP to level up. There is nothing special enough about anything Steve can do to warrant this, it's just twice as slow as all the other GFs to get to level 100.
Looking at Steve's ability list also leaves something to be desired. It comes with the weird/rare junction abilities already learned, which is cool, but everything else is sort of crappy. The only command that comes pre-learned is Devour - aside from the PuPu card, this is the only source for it. Devour is a somewhat interesting but very situational command. The only stat-boosting ability on this list is Luck+50%, which isn't a top-tier stat boost, especially without Luck-J; the natural value for Luck at level 100 is about 20. Even with Luck-J, wasting a valuable ability slot on Luck+50% is kind of a last resort.
On the second page, we can see more turds. Expendx3-1 is already very situational, and 250 AP is way too much for it. The SumMag+ and GFHP+ trees are the only things on this list that expand when you learn an ability. Steve's GFHP+ goes all the way to 40% but is entirely useless after level 70 since its HP hits the cap naturally. SumMag+ also goes to 40% and could be useful, if you summon a lot and want to grind it out. Really, the only thing I personally think is worth having Steve learn is GFAbl Med-RF, which is very handy and lets you do something stupid if you're so inclined.
The other reward for defeating Ultima Weapon is a full SeeD rank. You can see in the bottom-right there, I'm rank A again.
Defeating Ultima Weapon has wrapped up the game's bulky side content, but there's still a few things to look at before storming Ultimecia's castle. First up are some attack items you can only get through Chocobo World. Here we have Friendship.
Friendship summons a moomba, which does an attack that leaves one target at 1 HP (or does 9,999 damage).
Next up are Gysahl Greens, which are available from Chocoboy but have a much more expansive use when combined with Chocobo World.
See, Boko has four different abilities to choose from, but which one he uses is determined by events in Chocobo World. If you don't play Chocobo World, or if a certain event doesn't go off properly, this will always be ChocoFire.
All four moves start the same way, with Boko dropping in and focussing his power.
ChocoFire is a Fire-elemental attack with low base power but high growth per level - Boko's attacks get the same modifier per level gained that Steve's do. Unfortunately, that's also tied to Chocobo World. Gysahl Greens are basically worthless without playing it.
Boko's second ability is ChocoFlare.
This has higher base power than ChocoFire and is non-elemental.
ChocoMeteor is the next step in the chain. The power for these attacks goes 40-60-80-100, and they're theoretically boosted by Boko's level increasing between the events that unlock each one. He's not gaining levels here, of course, because I cheated to show off the moves. Anyway, ChocoMeteor is really just an awkward middle child. The only difference from ChocoFlare is power (and the animation).
Boko's ultimate attack is ChocoBocle, which is an alternate translation of Chocobuckle, a technique that showed up in FF7.
It's not a particularly flashy move, instead acting more as a cameo for the Fat Chocobo and a possible reference to the Choco/Mog summon in FF7, which would occasionally just drop a Fat Chocobo on the enemy instead of doing the normal animation. Here, it's Boko's most powerful attack, with 100 base power (higher than Steve's). More interesting is the fact that ChocoBocle can break the 9,999 damage cap and deal up to a theoretical 60,000 damage.
Chocobo World can also give you a couple of unique ability items. The first is the Ribbon, which teaches a GF the support ability Ribbon. This works like the Ribbon accessory in other games, and blocks all status effects. This is an effect that can't be perfectly duplicated by junctioning magic, but comes at the price of one of your ability slots.
The final Chocobo World item is the Mog's Amulet, which teaches the MiniMog command.
It's not exactly well-described.
MiniMog the command lets you summon MiniMog the pseudo-GF.
MiniMog's move is to put on a little dance show for the party and heal your GFs a bit. It's situationally useful, being the only way to heal your GFs in combat, even though I don't believe it can revive KO'd GFs. Always nice to see a moogle, though.
Now that we've seen all the pseudo-summons, let's take a gander at our new friend Steve.
Steve starts out as a found-footage movie before it's revealed that it's actually in some kind of wire-frame tube with screens. This is a weird animation, to be honest.
As far as I know, nothing on any of the screens means anything.
Steve shines a light and appears from space. It is unclear what Steve actually is - it might be a UFO or an alien, but there's also a fan theory that it's a Garden from the future, since the default name is Eden and it's round and flying. Hell if I know.
The enemy is wrapped up in a grid, which is a classic attack mechanism, and floats up above that weird crystal on top of Steve.
With the enemy properly placed, Steve begins to charge its laser, which involves turning the planet into this thing. It's got roman numerals around the edge, so it might be a clock? Steve's is probably one of the most bizarre summon animations in the whole series.
Anyway, it finally does damage by shooting its laser out of the planet-clock and into some other galaxy or something. A blob appears.
And that's it! Steve is, of course, the most powerful of the normal GFs. It deals high non-elemental damage to all enemies, and its attack ignores Spr, so it's useful even against high-defence targets. Additionally, Steve can learn the rare SumMag+40% ability, and knowing all four doubles the damage from Eternal Breath. The length of the animation (apparently 72.6 seconds) gives plenty of time to use Boost if that's how you live, apparently making it easy to hit the full 250. On top of all that, Steve's damage is capped at 60,000. So that all sounds pretty good. Unfortunately, as I mentioned at the start of the update, you get the GF at level 30, it levels slowly, and you get it late in the game. If you're a normal player, it might seem reasonable to grind levels before fighting Ultima Weapon, or you might miss/ignore it completely. If you're a min-max player, you're probably keeping your characters' levels down to weaken enemies; unfortunately, you can't get Steve before Edea leaves your party, so you can't use temporary characters to grind GF levels while avoiding party levels. Really, Steve comes at an awkward time that makes it technically the strongest GF but practically kind of mediocre. It also has low compatibility to start, so it's summoned more slowly. And on top of all that, Eden has the classic problem of only hitting once - if you know what you're doing, it's easy to get more than 60,000 damage out in 70 seconds. Really, as far as ultimate summons go, I find Steve here pretty disappointing. It's no Knights of the Round.
Steve aside, there are a couple other GFs whose attacks I don't remember ever showing off. First up is Dogtrio.
Counter Rockets doesn't do any kind of damage, it just puts Double and Triple status on your party. Like the spells, this is a situational move, mainly useful if you want to cast spells.
The other GF to show off is Conductor. 1,000 Needles is kind of a misnomer here.
Instead of a fixed 1,000 damage, 1,000 Needles deals 100 damage per level. This is useful against enemies with high defence, as the technique tends to be, but it's not one that I make regular use of.
And finally, there's one last command to show off.
(The full thing reads "Censored...Please stand by..." and there are several possible backgrounds.)
Devour removes one enemy from the field and has various effects on the devourer. In this case, Quistis ate a Ruby Dragon and so her HP was fully restored and her max HP was permanently increased by 10. You can eat specific monsters to raise each of your five basic stats (as long as the enemies are level 30+): Ruby Dragons for HP, T-Rexaurs for Str, Behemoths for Mag, Adamantoises for Vit, and Malboros for Spr. You can also eat PuPu for a one-time boost to Spd and an eternal knowledge that you suck. Other than boosting stats, Devour can restore HP or, if you eat the wrong stuff, deal damage and inflict negative status effects. The success of Devour depends on the enemy having low HP and the difference between the devourer's HP and the target's (the larger the difference, the better).
Now, Devour is one way to run your stats up without junctioning, but I'm going to show you an easier way. It happens in this menu here.
The first thing you need to do this is money. Each stat point will run you 1,500,000 Gil (I think 2,000,000 Gil each without Haggle) or 150,000 for HP (200,000 without Haggle). To do this, you'll also need Tonberry's Call Shop and Familiar abilities. Haggle and Sell-High also help.
To start, I'll demonstrate this infinite Gil trick. Buy 100 Tents and 100 Cottages (if you have the special shop in Esthar unlocked). You can do it with just Tents, but it's slower - in fact, you can do this as soon as you can afford 4 Tents and use Recov Med-RF (a Kate Bush ability).
Using Recov Med-RF, Tents and Cottages both turn into Mega-Potions, which you can sell back to shops at a profit. As you can see here, with Haggle and Sell-High, you can turn a profit of 352,500 Gil per cycle doing this. Generally speaking, this is useless - weapon upgrades are cheap and SeeD pay should cover whatever sundries you need to buy. Really, it's only important if you're going to do this kind of shit.
To make the stat-boosting items, you need to call a pet shop. The Timber Pet Shop will work in a pinch, but you'll have to pay ten times as much for the non-HP stats.
I'm just showing off HP here, starting with HP-J scrolls, but for everything else you'll want to call the Esthar Pet Shop and buy the [stat]+40% items. You'll need 100 of whatever item you buy, which runs the bill up quickly. You can also do HP for less money by buying Giant's Rings from the Esthar shop.
From your starting item, you need GFAbl Med-RF. 10 Scrolls turns into a [stat]+40% item, and 10 [stat]+40% items turn into a [stat]+60% item.
Then it's just a quick skip over to Forbid Med-RF, where either one Gaea's Ring turns into one HP Up or 10 [stat]+60% items turn into a [stat] booster.
And all that lets you, uh, boost a stat by one (or boost HP by 10).
This is one of the ways to do a "perfect natural stats" game, with the other being Devour. Either way, it's a lot more trouble than it's worth - and these are the easy ones. The hard ones are Spd and Luck. For Spd, you're stuck collecting drops from Cactuars and for Luck, you're stuck farming Dark Matters. You can also get the items from cards, but it generally involves rare cards and a lot of them, so have fun playing a million games against left Diamond on the Ragnarok. I'm just showing the processes here for education's sake - never bother with this shit. Embrace junctions.
And now, since this update is long enough and I honestly can't even think of anything else to show off, it's time to get back to Ultimecia's castle and get the show on the road.