The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy

by ddegenha

Part 10: The Saga of Loq: Chapter the Second

The Saga of Loq: Chapter the Second

After a fair bit of running around to get the Mystic Key, it's time to do some looting. Most of the treasure is as useless as it was before, but there are exceptions.

The silver armor is actually a worthy upgrade, providing more armor than the chain we have or a silver bracelet. More pathetically, this is the third best armor in the game for the Red Mage.

With Melmond being open to us, a new group of spells are open to us. HRM3 and HEL2 are White Mage only, barring them to us. As some people have mentioned, due to a bug in the coding HEL2 performs like HEL3. Of the remaining white magic spells, Life is utterly useless to us in a single player game. CUR3 is a must-have, and gets snapped up immediately.

WARP and BANE require us to get a class change first, and aside from that aren't terribly useful. Final Fantasy shares a characteristic with many RPGS of having death magic be unreliable at best. I can only thing of one place where WARP would be useful when you have EXIT as an option. FIR3 is something we definitely want, and I go with SLO2 to fill out the slot and because it will come in handy later. SLO2 can decrease an enemy's number of hits, but very few enemies even have multiple hits and many of the ones who do resist Status element magic.

The addition of spells to our shopping list makes this playthrough much more expensive. I go back to the Peninsula to get some gold and a bit of experience, where the new spells make fighting much easier.

Once I'm satisfied, it's time to head to the Earth Cave again. I had to face facts in the Marsh Cave that Loq can't spend time looting everything in caves. He just doesn't have the stamina to survive the experience, so trips into dungeons are pretty much directly to the objective and out the other side.

On the way down I run into these guys, which is a very unusual encounter. It's not unwelcome, but it's a bit weird to see.

Reaching the third floor is again the greatest risk. The enemies here are just as capable of killing Loq as they were of killing Solo.

This is what we're dealing with right before the Vampire. You might notice that I've got two level 5 spells available...

That's right, kill it with fire. As a note, the Vampire here has 156 HP.

On the way back I find this encounter on the second floor, well away from the hall of giants. While these enemies weren't uncommon on the fourth floor it's kind of strange to see them here.

The trip to get the rod and back down results in two level gains, since we have to do a lot of running to escape and don't bother looking for treasure.

As far as dealing with Lich is concerned, Loq doesn't have the HP or the damage output to go toe-to-toe with him. Instead, this is the time to fight smart and use Lich's elemental weakness. As you can probably guess, he's quite weak to Fire. I had to use all three charges of FIR3 available, but it was worth it.

On the way to the exit I run into an Earth Elemental roaming free range. I didn't even think that was possible. Is this game out to get Loq? He manages to survive somehow, and head to Crescent Lake for his reward.

The only thing worth purchasing here is the buckler, which adds a bit of additional armor. This is one of two options for a shield for Loq, with the other still to come.

RUB, QAKE, and STUN are only available to Black Mages. This is alright, as none of them are actually worth a damn. STUN is handicapped by both being a STATUS spell and only affecting enemies who have 300 or less HP. QAKE is the sole earth spell available to the player, but very few enemies are actually weak to earth. RUB only seems to work when the game is out to get you. Naturally we're going to go with LIT3 after class change.

SOFT is pointless for us, but EXIT is an immensely useful spell. It allows for one way trips into dungeons, allowing for longer time periods fighting, and also makes it possible to escape from the Temple of Fiends. FOG2 raises the armor rating of all allies, while INV2 does the same thing with Evade. I never did decide which one to take on this play through, and didn't miss them. For a regular play through, Evade is probably better than armor.

Another contribution from my wife: If Loq is the only person alive, then why can you clearly see two people sitting in the canoe? Is he propping up one of the dead bodies Weekend at Bernie's style?

Next stop: The Castle of Ordeals. It actually has even more to offer Loq than it did for Solo. On the way, I receive more evidence that the RNG is out to get Loq.

Once inside I contemplate getting the Zeus gauntlets. I reluctantly conclude that they're murderous at this point and I'll have to come back later...

Or not. This is one of the linked chests that were mentioned before. I hadn't known about this before, but it turns out that you don't have to fight the Mud Golems if you don't want to.

In the meantime, this encounter with the nightmares is quite dangerous since they're more than capable of dealing 150 damage per turn. On the plus side, they're weak to ice. A couple ICE2 spells solves that problem easily.

These two items are what we're really here for. The Ice Sword is a substantial offensive upgrade for Loq, and the Gold Bracelet is the second best armor in the game for him.

It's worth noting that enemies are generally placed from the upper left corner to the bottom right in order. Loq had to deal with two Zombie Dragons, but FIR3 evened the odds substantially.

Proceeding to the Ice Cave, some of the more difficult encounters are rendered more bearable by Loq's mass-killing abilities.

A scene like this, however, means that Loq will be dead before he gets a chance to attack.

Alright, seriously, what the hell? This isn't even from trying to go after the Ice Armor. I left that alone since Loq can't use it and I don't need 15,000 gold THAT badly. These Ice Dragons were just wandering around the cave. If I didn't know better I'd swear that there was a special Red Mage only encounter table that's trying its best to screw me.

Fighting the Eye isn't as difficult as you might think, even with the lower offense of the Red Mage. The Eye isn't weak against anything, but with only 162 HP he's easy enough to chop apart. His first attack is usually XXXX, but that's actually a free turn. It only works when you have less than 300 HP.

After getting the airship it's time to get a class change. Behold, the Red Wizard!

Now that we have unfettered access to spells, it's time for some shopping. This is our spell list after class change. The next order of business is to get some better equipment for Loq, so to the Ocean Palace we go.

As a Red Wizard Loq can equip the Zeus gauntlets, which provide a way to save his spell charges for emergency use of CUR2. The highest number of spell charges you can get is 9, so items like this are a welcome relief.

Here it is, what you've all been waiting for: the best armor in the game for Loq. It's not spectacular, providing equivalent protection to the Ice or Flame armor, but it's something. We get some gold and grab the SLAB then get out of here. On the way out, we'll take a look at the spells available in Onrac.

SABR is afflicted by the same bug as TMPR, so there'd be no point even if we could actually learn it. BLND is exactly what it says on the tin, but falls into the category of spells that only work on enemies with 300 HP or less. ARUB protects from death spells, which is useless since the ProRing and Ribbon provide plenty of protection. We get it anyway since it's one of only two level 7 spells we can actually get. HEL3 is for white wizards only, and duplicates the functionality of HEL2. If you need something to fill a spell slot, though, go nuts.

After clearing out the top floors of the Ocean Palace it's time to head to the waterfall. Pyrolisks are easy enough to kill off with ICE2, removing them from the equation.

While we're here we pick up the Defender and Ribbon, giving us our second or third best weapon for Loq depending on the situation and shoring up our resistances. There's no downside on equipping the Ribbon, since Loq can't equip any helmets with better armor ratings. After handing over the CUBE, this robot is begging us to help his friends in the Sky Palace.

Before we finish up, it's time to look at the magic shops in Gaia.

ICE3 is a shoe-in since it's the only other level 7 spell we can get. BRAK is a poison/stone element spell, which means that it's crippled. CUR4 is one of the best spells in the game, in that it both cures status ailments and restores the target's HP to the maximum value. HRM4 is also worthwhile, seeing as it provides the white wizard with another tier of damage for undead enemies.

FADE is equivalent in power to HRM4, but will work on all enemies. Probably the best spell in the white mage arsenal. WALL is a limited utility spell, since it just gives you the equivalent of a Ribbon. Since there's 3 ribbons in the game, there's barely a point for this spell. Anybody else remember the Nintendo Power guide suggesting that you should waste turns casting this on people? XFER is supposed to remove enemy resistances, but it's functionally bugged and is useless to a player.

Moving on to black magic, STOP and ZAP! are time elemental spells that paralyze and kill enemies respectively. They're the only time elemental spells in the game, and for that reason are possibly worthwhile. XXXX, as I mentioned before, only works on enemies with less than 300 HP which is nothing that can't be killed more easily by simply hitting it.

Next time: