Hey, Cotton finally turned into a Mariche!
Their stats are very...well rounded. Those top four moves, the Gazes, are what he needed to transform, so we'll have to hold onto them. This will pretty much be his final moveset, other than the bottom move, which will change occasionally. Silf is a good single target attack, Oscillation is a multi-target attack, and MagicHeal is awesome, so he's pretty much set.
On to the Biolab, and the first of the two bosses we're taking on tonight.
I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but this is the best place to grind up some stats and moves. The enemies here will always be around 2 ranks higher than what you'd see elsewhere, so you'll get strong fast.
The room with the secret passage holds a few interesting notes as well. Popular opinion states that this one alludes to a segment of Asellus's quest that never got finished, where she would meet another half-mystic down here. Seems likely, if only due to the fact that this place has no actual storyline purpose for anyone as it is.
This one's probably hinting about how Cotton can be found here.
The secret passage leads to these stairs. Up goes to where Cotton was, while down is our destination.
I just love gardens.
This one's locked, and everyone knows the best candy is behind the locked doors.
We head over to the building on the right...
...and fight the lone female scientist in this place. She must have been popular, at least until all these people mutated themselves and whatnot.
Victory allows us to release the earlier lock.
Ooh, treasure chest. Surely nothing will come up to impede us from taking it.
Of all the people to call Lute a scholar, you're the first.
Video: The Earth Dragon blocks a lot.
The DragonShield is quite good, and may be the best shield in the game. Some people claim the DurahanShield is better, but there's no real reliable way to figure out which is best. They both work really damn well, so that's probably all that matters.
Now, we head back to the ancient ship to take on the other optional boss.
We head through the hidden door here...
...and proceed to fight the two bats here over and over. There's no real way to tell how long it'll take for the AbyssBat to show up, but if you keep killing these bats and exiting/entering the room, he'll show eventually.
Video: Sadly, I had a video error here and the recording got cut off. So only about half the fight's on here. But, you do get to see me get my ass kicked quite well in the two minutes that the video was working. The second half of the fight went in much the same way, so you didn't miss much. This guy is way harder than the EarthDragon was, and you don't even get anything for beating him.