Part 55: End-Game Content 2 - What Are You Doing HereEnd-Game Content 2 - What Are You Doing Here
Welcome back. We're going to start today's optional content update in Bevelle.
You wouldn't know it from the World Map, but there's a hidden dungeon in Bevelle full of superbosses and broken treasure. It's called the Via Infinito, and it proudly launched a tradition of procedurally generated end-game dungeons for Final Fantasy. It's 100 floors deep, incrementally more difficult as you get further down, with each floor randomly chosen from a set of predetermined layouts. Players of Lufia II will be feeling some deja vu.
It's also one of the longest tasks to complete in the game, and a bit daunting to keep interesting the whole way. To help me with this update, I've recruited a guest commentator who is an expert in procedural generation; a Markov chain text generator into which I fed the first 22 updates of this LP. Say hi.
Mmm... nah. On the problem.
Mark's a little shy. You have to talk to him a lot before he opens up.
Our adventure begins, naturally, with the Kinderguardians.
We found it all by ourselves!
Naturally, our first reaction is to follow the kids through the teleporter.
Well, not like the woods in Chapter 3, the check to the rock Yuna's narrative, right?
Where are we?
I know a place just like this! It's the, uh...
Oh! I wanted to say it!
I assume they're talking about all the pyreflies floating about.
Dunno who this mysteriously appearing old guy is, but he looks much less friendly than Maechen.
We do have approachest, especifically, the villain.
Who are you?
This place was long sealed away, until a man named Trema came and unlocked its secrets. Into the depths alone he descended... Never did he return to the light.
About this Trema, he-
The old man explodes in a smelly burst of pyreflies.
L-L-Let's get outta here!
Having actually seen all the optional scenes, Pacce being afraid actually means something.
Not so much game is laid outcome back to their thing the game isn't have room.
There's another Crimson Sphere lying in the entraceway, though, and this one gives us the opportunity to watch it straight away. The game probably figures there's enough meaningless walking in the Via Infinito that making us head back to the airship to watch this would be overkill.
What did you see?
As soon... as soon as we went in...
They became violent. Everyone. It must have been the pyreflies.
They swarmed around us, too. So many pyreflies...
All-purpose natural plot hole filler, those pyreflies.
Start making sense.
It was a machina. An enourmous machina. It trembled and growled... like a beast.
I've never seen anything like it!
So this is where the three first learned about Vegnagun. But it was sealed under Bevelle at the time. There's one tiny bit of the puzzle left for the characters to fill in.
It made me feel fear, regret... despair.
Same here. I can't explain why, but I felt... so sad.
Yeah. It was like... somebody's raw emotions just came out of nowhere and hijacked my brain.
Somebody? Somebody who?
The three are quiet.
Return to the command center at once. Protect the maester until the operation has concluded. That is your first mission as Crimson Squad members.
What, we passed?
The team walks off congratulating each other, but Paine's camera catches the guards' guns rising to their backs...
Video: Crimson Record 6
One sphere left to find somewhere, but for now, down the hole.
I like about is the hole. But we'll be perfectly appropriate. It's go along.
There's a few things to know about this dungeon. First, Charm Bangles are useless here, although running away is still a winning strategy. Second, there are some monsters visible on the overworld to interact with. They're not all forced battles, but most of them are. Third, every Oversoulable monster, minus the Bevelle Temple dungeon pit bosses, appears down here, including bosses.
Fourth, every floor has a teleport circle which will restore the party like a Save Sphere and can warp us out to the save point. Once we're outside, we can return to the floor we left, so we're not actually forced to do the whole thing in one go. And finally, there are a fixed number of floor layouts that you can encounter. Every multiple of 20 is the same as the top floor, but the others are randomly chosen every time you enter a floor, even if you leave one and re-enter.
We'll take each 20-floor segment in a chunk, giving you all the pieces and letting you put it together in your imaginations yourselves.
As exchance the symbol on the stay so. Wakka dismal scene of the way to do soon, but does exactly what locations you've machina. We've good. But that them are just durable, so we can also changes that we're cave's tell.
Floors 1 to 19
This j-shaped level is probably the simplest one. The only danger is turning the blind corner and running into the patrolling Tonberry.
True, Tonberries themselves aren't that challenging, even when Oversouled. But Oversouling that species could come back to bite you later.
There's a Tonberry standing opposite the end of skinny platforms, but there's just enough room to squeeze past it on either side.
This level introduces a new enemy, the Elder Drake. They're strong enough to be bosses in their own right, especially at the level you're likely to enter the Infinito. If you really want to take one on, remember that it uses its breath attack only when you attack it with magic, its breath attack is not fire-elemental, and it has four elemental weaknesses of its own that make equipment like Tetra Master or Force of Nature quite useful.
On this map, they will pounce out at you from their nook, but you can dodge them easily with simple timing.
Here's the first time we're forced to fight a battle. The wall with diagonal stripes lowers to become a platform after defeating the Tonberry. Still, if you don't want to fight for some reason, the save circle is right behind it, and you could leave and re-enter until you get a different layout.
I hit takes it anyway?
Defeating the Tonberry you start out in front of will warp you around to the save circle, but it's probably just as fast to run around the side, especially with the class of enemy you're likely to encounter here.
Oh yes, the enemies.
Some chapter 2. I encounter different some more effection. This is a better what this more rhyme, instant solution would lead a which you can pause I don't be ther way to become more than level 32. Turns parallenge at yes, apparent locational.
Incidentally, this is how I oversouled Anything Eater before fighting it. This is also a good opportunity to pick up Blue Bullets you may have missed, including Heaven's Cataract, which I could have picked up in Bevelle in Chapter 2 if I didn't already have it. It's a good go-to Blue Bullet which ignores Magic Defense while decreasing Defense and Magic Defense by two levels, so it combines offense and support in a relatively useful manner.
There's a treat waiting for us on B20, so I prepare by throwing everybody into their new Mascot suits. Aside from going a little nuts with the cross-class equipment, I didn't bother to optimize much because Mascot is ridiculously powerful on its own. The game doesn't try very hard to stop you from getting this far, for a reason we'll see soon.
We count many indicating organized memories are in traditing of the Farplane, so it's not only be apply Points as random, and she's a neat party dangerous and the change your supremembers to catch about this partner at these guys! Looming Seymour's out on and door.
Bevel First two chapter, some reason. One of the way of them freely because I course, for a lieutenants' bedrooms. Ormi, the gimmicky particularly useless, and up talking.
Video: Boss: Aranea
You think there are more in here?
This doesn't completely make sense. Kinoc got killed and absorbed by Seymour in the prequel, and we fought and, ostensibly, subsequently sent Seymour and/or his brand new Kinoc suit. We fought him in Bevelle, though, so it's possible that Kinoc didn't make it all the way to the Farplane. Or this could be due to Shuyin or Vengagun, or the overflowing Farplane, or some emergency Maester backup system. It's just never explained either way.
I think we should go home now.
I knew it.
What does make sense, at least somewhat, is that Kinoc drops the last Crimson Sphere we were looking for. It'd make more sense for him to drop the previous one, but then the order we'd watch them in wouldn't work as well.
The trio is watching the sunset on the Mi'ihen Highroad. Paine walks up behind them with a movie sphere.
I'm glad you're all right.
You're not mad?
I kept you from dying.
You can owe me one.
The Travel Agency Shot can scene in voice actually surprising. Our finding prographically see the mission of expected sounds like the last scaling them even thout and parally attract first.
I want to know... what it was you all saw back there.
Problem is, we don't know.
We'll figure it out one of these days. We'll tell you then.
Well, the maester's not going to be pleased when he finds out we're still alive. Moving as a group is too risky.
Wanna split up?
That would be wise.
For any other recorder, that might be the end of the video. But for Paine...
And then shots ring out.
Video: Crimson Record 8
The other nice feature of these boss floors is an express elevator that links them all together as something of a fast-travel system. Even if the teleport circles weren't saving our progress, this would let us pick up basically wherever we want.
And since we've completed our collection now, let's take advantage of it.
Yunie, that place reminds me of the Farplane. Promise me we won't go back there!
Yevon's darkest secrets are buried beneath that labyrinth. I say we go dig them up.
Most players will get to this boss, grab the sphere, and leave to do the Den of Woe. I recommend that, if only because finishing the Infinito first will make you so beefy that the Den won't be an interesting challenge.
Isn't be fine, too dangerous now suddenly a kind of the at the machina would hope that all it slip three to buff the real with a couple of the shows us like an appropriate amounts of art to any longer be song around up the FF relevant on the pointles think about Yuna. Similarly; his database enemies are not a command of the potential to part the been games, there's Leblanc anymore. New Yevon? We found.
The Den has the same fog effect as Mushroom Rock Road did in Chapter 1, which makes navigating annoying. Eventually we can make our way to a room that looks like a waffle.
You can set up your party a number of different ways, but I recommend having Gun Mage available on somebody. I also strongly recommend putting a maxed-out Berserker, elemental absorption, and maybe some healing on Yuna specifically.
The team is standing in a cloud of pyreflies, and memories start popping up around them. Paine, naturally, goes right through the visions of her old teammates.
What was that?
Are they... unsent? No, that can't be right.
Pyreflies. I've seen this before. There are places where pyreflies cling to people's memories and make them eternal.
Those were the guys' memories from back then... preserved by the pyreflies. Memories.
I wanted to rest forever, but the pyreflies make me relive that moment...
Shuyin appears behind Rikku and puts her in a chokehold. Rikku, naturally, panics.
Okay, the Ifrit fight front door, when we pass valid Snake out.
Shuyin, for his part, seems to have the divide and conquer strategy down to an art.
Rikku is lost to fear, attacking Yuna wildly...
...and Paine is lost to anger, advancing without hesitation or compassion.
The only question that remains is, is there something in Yuna to take?
Unconscious, Yuna sees memories. They're not as fragmented as the ones that played during the concert, and they seem to be from Shuyin's perspective. There's some marked omissions between these and the ones Yuna saw from Lenne's dressphere. The tragedy is the same, but Lenne's final smile is missing.
We also see Shuyin opening up Vegnagun's chest to reveal what appears to be a large cannon. Presumably this is the "gun" in Vegnagun.
The playback ends with him looking down the barrels of the guns that took their lives.
Video: Shuyin's Memories
Back in the real world, Yuna has regained herself, apparently with some help from Lenne's memories. Whether they fortified her directly or simply gave her something to protect is left unclear.
Resisting seems to weaken Shuyin for a moment. Paine slumps.
But Rikku... attacks.
Under-full parties is a twist we haven't dealt with since the first mission of the game, and now it's being used to put Yuna in a one-on-one fight with her friends. Rikku has her default Thief double attack, grenades, and four flavors of elemental attack item. I recommended Berserker and Force of Nature because it neuters five of those six attacks, making it much easier to get through this tricky bit. After having a full party for the whole game, having to solo can throw you for a loop.
Once Rikku is down for the count, Paine gets repossessed and attacks. She's only got a physical attack, though, so Berserker is untouchable.
The rest in a giant match this was him some fly underlying buddha. Yuna doesn't mentirely lingers isn't very good matching to expect the fact, such the end of symbiosis. I like there's on.
Video: Boss: Rikku and Paine
Properly thrashed, Rikku and Paine seem to have come to their senses.
Shuyin is no ordinary unsent!
Seems that way. When he died a thousand years ago, his feelings became intertwined with the pyreflies, creating this... apparition.
By the way, sometimes the camera shows the view from Shuyin's perspective, and those shots have a static filter over them like a movie sphere. It's meant to reinforce that the Shuyin we're dealing with is a recording.
He must have had some serious regrets for his feelings to act on their own like that.
What just happened to us happened to them, too. Here. They felt Shuyin's despair. They went mad, and they died. They killed each other!
Paine is jumping at shadows, but this time the shadows jump back.
The illusion of Baralai attacks first, with many of the same attacks as before, losing Demi for Mightier-Than-Ours Guard. If you missed Drill Shot, here's your second and last chance to learn it.
Gippal attacks second, and if you've been wondering what that thing in front of his face in his character portrait was, it turns out to be a giant FFXII-style chainsaw-polearm. His bullet hell attack deals fractional damage, he chucks potions and status grenades, and he uses the Blue Bullet Mortar, making this your first and only chance to learn it. If you managed to survive the one-on-one fights, though, these two should be no trouble.
You know what? Never directly is almost frustrategically, a Gun Mage comes to healing the. Party he's go temple, everyone is go character we have two Recovery conversal, and failings to dismiss to one of there...
Video: Boss: Baralai and Gippal
Nooj is last, and he shoots us. A lot. He shoots us normally, he shoots us magically through the floor, and every five actions or so he shoots away everybody's MP too. There's no Blue Bullet to learn this time, so switching to an Alchemist for healing is not a bad idea; otherwise, I recommend Ragnarok so you don't have to worry about refilling MP as well as HP.
Nooj is pretty straightforward until he gets down to 10% health, when he uses Lightfall, an attack that deals five thousand unblockable, unreducable damage to your whole party. There's two ways to deal with it; either finish him off with an attack that deals more than 3000 damage, or have one or more party members with at least 5000 HP. I had Paine as a Warrior because I thought it was thematic to put her in her normal costume for these fights, with Bushido secondary for piercing attacks, but I forgot about them until I had already run out of MP, so I had to go for the second option and the fight took longer than it really should have.
There's a certain White Magic gate, try to do. Next time thing to safely bring Gullwings, not doing to picked up a mobile versive to know was able to help you know the leveled out of wants to jumps down, that awaits us a seems from they can't.
The only reason I didn't do that is because the Supreme Light grid isn't earned until after this mission, and Salvation Promised takes too long to unlock Auto-Life before your MP gets sapped. It's annoyingly inconvenient to use top-level White and Black Magic in this game. But if you're doing a low-level challenge, that's worth considering.
Video: Boss: Nooj
Anyways, let's go outside. I don't want to be here.
Note that we didn't have the chance to deal with Shuyin himself. There's no reason he couldn't start this fight all over again if we linger in here.
The party leaves the Den and recaps the plot for those who weren't paying attention. I think most of this scene is redundant, and I'd expect anyone playing along to have pieced this all together themselves. I guess this is meant for people who didn't watch any of the Crimson Spheres.
After we escaped, they said they would uncover the truth behind it. But then... Nooj shot us. We thought he'd betrayed us. But Nooj wasn't Nooj. I understand now: Shuyin was using him the whole time.
And anyway, it probably feels really good for Paine to say that out loud. She's been hoping to find something like this for two years.
Agreed. We've got to free him from Shuyin.
Not so fast. Remember when the three of them were meeting in the Bevelle Underground? All these pyreflies came floating out of Nooj's body in a big cloud. And then they went whoosing into Baralai's body! So doesn't that mean Shuyin's using Baralai now?
I would say that this dialogue is optional in case people didn't see the secret Bevelle scene in Chapter 3, but you can't get down here without getting the Crimson Sphere from that scene, so I don't know what the fuck. Is it too much to ask for the main characters to be at least as smart as the player?
Who know what? Never of these see area that all about having all the nonlines necess to completely what might wants and failing to pick might harm and try of unimportance optional scenes hidden spare reach the templetely surprised waiting for the key, Paine's feeling itself. It's almost leader what do our party heavy stuff isn't actually ruins, we're going to Brother for a cert.
I guess it's Baralai we're saving, then.
Why wouldn't we?
Yeah, you've already dragged us all over Spira!
Songstress now has her last dance.
I guess we better take care of all three of the guys!
I did plan to tell you, Yuna. You've earned a lot of respect points.