Part 12: Update -X- One PieceWe're approaching Chapter 8, but we have some minor detours to make first.
Also, there's something I forgot to mention in the last update.
Now that we have some Transfigurations available, I want to point out the different coloured abilities you would see if you checked out a Mirage's abilities.
By viewing abilities, you can see all of the ones that a Mirage can learn in its different forms (although some are hidden at first). If the ability is coloured Green, then it is unique to that form of the Mirage. So if you change the Mirage to a different form, then that ability won't transfer. It's a good snapshot of what you can expect before you go Transfigging Mirages, or when you are trying to construct a stack.
Anyway, that's all there is to that. It's very straightforward.
Now, let's hit the road for Nether Nebula. Our new Transfigs that I showed off in the last Lil' Update will allow us to visit some new locations. Well okay, not so much new, more like extra areas of places we've already been.
Before going ahead, make sure you have a Mirage with the Flutter field ability, as well as one with the Smash field ability. For us, Floating Eye has Flutter (but NOT Ahriman, so we needed to change him back to Floating Eye first). Mugsy has Smash, but only in his Mythril Giant form.
If you remember back to when we were first here, just before meeting Ramuh, Shiva, and Ifrit, there was this big rock blocking a side route.
Mugsy can take care of this for us after he unlocks Smash from his Mirage Board.
I'd tell Tama to pull her weight for once, but she does kind of sacrifice her life to save us from losing progress when we fuck up in battle.
A little further ahead, there is a second stumbling block in the form of a crevasse. Floating Eye will carry us over this with Flutter.
That only meets the syllable portion of a Haiku. Don't go giving Lann credit where it isn't due. I don't see any juxtaposed imagery going on in that.
So welcome to the secret area of Nether Nebula. The Mirages in here are mostly the same as in the main portion, but there are a few notable exceptions. Also, the Mirages in here are stronger than the main portion.
The notable exceptions are that we can snag the other two 'reward' Mirages here. We already have Zapt, but now we can acquire Fritt and Bablizz.
This is another change the Maxima addition makes to the base game. You could find these special Mirages here in the regular game as well, but they were a lot rarer and harder to get. The Maxima version makes them much easier to catch. Fritt here showed up in the very first encounter of this area for me.
Fritt needs to be hit with Fire attacks to catch.
Battles here will pay out around 10,000 EXP, so it makes for a decent early game grinding spot (at least until we get the means to easily exploit Undead Princess.)
The area is only a single screen. There are treasure chests in here with a mega-potion, 2 mega-ethers, and another one with 2 mega-phoenixes.
Finally, Bablizz completes the set. You can probably guess based on Fritt what the capture conditions for it and Zapt are.
So that's it for this area. We aren't done with secrets, though. If you remember, there is a place we've been to recently which has a Smash spot we had to skip initially.
Starting in Saronia, we head back out to the Ice Region on our way to Icicle Ridge.
World of Final Fantasy Music: Chocobo Theme
Bruce doesn't have Joyride anymore, so Wark will give us a lift instead. Chocobo's have their own Joyride theme that is in line with the Chocobo Theme from other Final Fantasy titles. It is adorable.
Anyway, once we retrace our steps back to the final Ice Slide puzzle, it's just a matter of going down, left, down, and left.
At the top of the path that was previously blocked by an ice boulder, we find a big platform with a weight switch on it. This one requires a weight of 11 or greater and an Earth Resistance of 100 or greater.
I choose Mugsy, Foozles, and Dutch Oven to fill those requirements.
This causes the platform to fall down, and gives us a route to that upper left path.
Go down, left, up, left, up, right, up, left, up, right, and honestly it's impossible to screw up by this point.
Secret Slip is a small area that only contains one special Mirage, but said Mirage is a doozy.
The battle is against two Holy Dragons. This is a tough fight or a tricky tough fight depending on whether or not you want to catch one for yourself. First of all, you need something capable of Light attacks. For our purposes, I switch Dingldoink back to a Baby Paleberry and stick him on top of Reynn's stack.
Their regular attacks can hit for 300 or so. Their special is Holy, which can hit for the high 300's even if you have resistance to Light. Oh yeah, and as you can see, I've changed up the stacks. Dingldoink is only here temporarily. Dutch Oven is normally in that spot.
And no, before you try and get smart with this, I can confirm that casting Reflect and bouncing Holy back at the dragons will not trigger their capture chance. You need to hit them with a Light attack of your own, which I think is kind of bullshit to be perfectly honest. Don't punish thinking on the fly, World of Final Fantasy. Encourage it.
If you don't want to bother catching one, then be aware of this little hitch in the fight. You need to whittle the dragons down to the point that they can be taken out in quick succession. If not, then one dragon will revive the other one. It isn't a lot of HP, but you don't want to get caught in a loop of them reviving each other while your AP declines.
Dragons are a common enemy in the FF series, but Holy Dragon specifically is one that shows up in FFVI as a boss. Its actually the easiest of the dragon bosses in that game. It only had Holy, which you could just easily reflect back at it. This reinforces my belief that reflecting Holy back at it here should have been a way to trigger its capture chance. Missed opportunity for a call back, WoFF.
Before moving on, I should explain the changes I made to the stacks. Basil now becomes a Malboro Monstrosity (and begins the Board march towards acquiring Bad Breath for our personal use). Dutch Oven goes on top as it is a good support Mirage. I use Fire Seeds on a blank space in order to give the stack access to a mid-level Fire spell. They have a good balance of Magic and Strength, along with some decent defence. Their range of abilities to take advantage of those stats is a bit lacking, though. They'll need some more training.
They have solid elemental resistances across the board as well (+50 to everything except Fire), although Light and Dark attacks will mess them up (-150 each).
Lann's stack leans more towards physical attack, but it has a wider range of skills at the moment, plus better agility. Elemental Resistances are more unbalanced though.
Both stacks kind of need some work, but that's fine. That happens when you're constantly switching Mirages around.
Oh, and we are strong enough to take on this Murkrift now. This is a new one for Maxima. I'll show it off next time, since we've still got a dungeon to fit into this update and it's running a bit long as it is.
Probably should go back and take care of that Behemoth in Wellspring at some point, too.
Okay, enough exploring. Let's go back to Saronia so that we can find a way to get the hell away from Saronia.
Update 10 Highlights - Saronia
We have to go bugging citizens to find a lead on a boat.
There are only three people we need to talk to and they are all in this one area.
We. Have. Bruce. What is wrong with you two? Bruce could totally make it through that Low Seas place.
Well, you can't really blame them. They probably need every boat they've got to make ends meet.
Wait! Hold your chocobos. Didn't somebody mention a pirate ship was parked at the pier?
Yeah, something like that. Why, what's your point?
Heh heh heh. I've got an idea. What if we beat up all the pirates and then... commodore their ship?
What? There's no way it'll be that easy.
Well, we don't have to go in with Mirages blazing. We might just be able to sneak off with it.
Fuck yeah, Lann. That's what I like to hear. Let's go steal the shit out of a Pirate Ship!
I guess... It's definitely risky, but if we don't get our butts in gear, Refia's Not-Uncle, or that freak in the creepy golden mask, might come along and really rain on our parade.
Lesser of two evils it is! Docks, here we come!
Also, that guy that was blocking the way to the docks because "non-citizens aren't allowed there" just wanders off during Lann and Reynn's conversation. Talking to him just has him repeat what he said about not letting us have his boat.
I guess his guard shift ended? "Five o'clock. Welp, my day is done. Not my problem anymore."
The chest behind him that requires you to be in Jiant form contains another Girl's Diary Entry. This is number 3.
World of Final Fantasy Music: Pirates Ahoy
Update 10 Highlights - Saronia Docks
These docks need to get docked a few points. Let's watch our step...
There's an exit gate right behind us, which is good because before we can go anywhere in this dungeon we will need a Sizzle Mirage.
I quickly go back and swap Black Nakk in (after transfigging it back from White Nakk because Sizzle doesn't transfer).
You jumped into a cannon. The hell did you think was going to happen?
Naturally, this must the-be how the locals get around.
Going up the stairs nearby, there's a treasure chest that will ambush with a battle when we try to open it.
The capture condition is straight-forward, but be careful when attacking it. You have to reduce the HP quite a bit, and a stray critical might take it out.
Mimics are another common enemy to the Final Fantasy series, and are actually common enemies in fantasy anything. They were originally in FFII as things called "Monsters-in-a-box", which are essentially the same thing. They look like treasure chests but will trigger a battle when you try to open them. They tend to be slightly beefier than the average enemy.
I liked FFX's design of them the most. The chest itself breaks into pieces of wood and takes the vague shape of one of four enemy types. It's a cool idea.
I heavily presume that the "other famous mimic in our game lineup" is referring to Dragon Quest, although I guess it could be Gogo from VI as well. Either way, Mimics started showing up in Dragon Quest III, which was released around the same time as Final Fantasy II. At the time, Square and Enix were competitors. They didn't merge into Square-Enix until 2003.
There is a special battle in the Coliseum where we can get a variant called Kobold Mimic.
Dutch Oven later gets a Transfig that can turn it into a Mimic Jackpot.
Back to the docks. There's another launch point, but there's also a little platform down there where the light is. Let's make sure to go down there first.
Nice. That's all that's around here, so let's get shot out of a cannon.
That shoots us over to a switch. Bruce can fill both of these requirements on his own now that he's a Mega Sharqual.
This causes the water level to rise and lifts the floating bridge into position so we can cross it.
You can't get back to that bottom platform with the item like this, though.
By the way, you'll notice that I'm not showing any random battles through this dungeon. That's because the Mirages in here are ones we've already got from previous places. Namely, we can find stuff like Ahriman, Floating Eye, Mini Flan, and Sharquals.
In the next area, we can board the first ship we see to grab a treasure chest with a Strength+ seed in it.
We then get back on the main path and quickly come up on a split. Take the stairs down (rather than get on the ship) and you'll run into another treasure chest that contains something called a swirlshell. This is obviously another Gimme Golem thing. Although, there's also something else off to the right of this chest.
No Cactrot, not that random item hidden in the clams.
Ringing the bell will prompt a response from the twins.
That chime sounded like it could wake the dead.
You don't mean a gh-gh-gh-- AAAH!
Hey, I didn't say it!
Hmmm... eh, it's probably nothing. Moving on.
Heading back to the ship and launching Lann over to the other side, we land right next to a Murkrift on a dead end pier. Unfortunately, this one is against a single Level 25 Mega Sharqual, which we already have in the form of Bruce. Nice EXP, but nothing else of note. It's decently strong, but shouldn't be a huge threat (as it's by itself).
After that we hit a Gimme Golem, but we already have the item it wants, which makes it largely pointless. Before that, we spy another bell nearby. Might as well investigate.
Following the stairs down from that leads to another bell, a cannon, and a treasure chest off to the right (that requires Flutter) that contains 2 phoenix downs.
The cannon shoots us back to that first bell we ran into, which... hmm... wasn't there a mention of that recently?
Riiiight. Occult Fan, Issue 2. That said something about ringing the bells in a certain order. It doesn't say what that order is though. It does say that maybe someone in Saronia would know, but that's actually a false lead. None of the Saronia citizens mention it. However...
You may have spotted some chalk drawings on the wall when we were rooting through Shanty Town for goods. Here is our correct bell order.
So first is the basket of kelp, or seaweed, or whatever.
Then the bell next to the boat full of clams.
And finally the one next to the boat full of fish.
The blinged out boat parks itself at the end of that pier where the Murkrift was. Let's go check it out and see what we can steal.
There's a lot of treasure here, but there's some kind of Pirate Moogle guarding it.
I think this might be a rare Mirage!
What? ...Oh, that's nothing.
Since when is it nothing?!
You suck, Reynn. Rare Mirages are awesome.
Although these things are kind of maybe a pain. We need to inflict Berserk in order to create a capture chance. Chocolatte sells items called War Gongs that can do that if you don't have a Mirage that can. That's easily done, in theory.
In practice, this is very difficult. Like the Mini Flans, there are a lot of these enemies that are all bunched up in a group. They also have an ability that can inflict Berserk on your whole party. Berserk means the characters will automatically do a basic attack. This is a problem.
Six of these things pegging away at 200-300 or so damage each will quickly chew through your health and there's basically jack you can do about it.
This requires some preventative measures. I change up Lann's Jiant stacks to maximise Berserk resistance and hope it's enough to hold the ailment off while I try and whittle away the numbers. Reynn's stack already has the best resist I can muster at the moment with what Mirages I have.
Reynn ends up getting Berserked, but Lann thankfully holds it off. Later in the fight, both Lann and Reynn manage to dodge the bullet.
Once you manage to knock out the others, throwing a War Gong at the last one should seal the deal for you. You won't have to worry about Berserk when the last Pirate is Berserked itself.
We get a kupicaroon memento, and the ability to rob the ship blind of all its treasures. Said treasures include: 2 holy torches, 5 water spellstones, 5 phoenix downs, 3 ethers, and 2 haste stones at the back of the ship. An elixer and a turbo ether in the middle. A phoenix pinion, 2 remedies, a mimic battle, and 5 star curtains at the front of the ship. A good haul.
After that fight, Cactrot gains the SP to turn into a proper Cactaur. Size doesn't change, so I go ahead and do it. Cactrot has 1,000 Meedles, which splits up damage randomly across all the enemies. Cactaur has the proper version of the attack, called 1,000 Needles, which will deal a flat 1,000 damage to an enemy regardless of defence. Much better.
After some Mirage Board stats, Cactaur gets a +7 increase to agility over Cactrot. I should mention that Mirages have two kinds of Transfigs. There is the direct kind, where they can change into a higher form (White Nakk to Fenrir), but there's also a shift style one where a Mirage can transfig to a different line (Black Nakk to White Nakk). Direct keeps all the same purchased Mirage Board spots, but when you shift to a different line all the SP is returned and you can go through the Mirage Board fresh.
Heading back to where the Gimme Golem was, there's a treasure chest on the ship before the next area. It has 5 fish scales in it (which are water attack items).
The last part of this dungeon is laid out over a wide area. Heading to the right from where we enter and down the stairs causes a small conversation to trigger.
Yeah, Lann! Nobody ever said anything about having to fight past all these stupid Mirages.
I'm sorry. I don't recall you offering up any alternative ideas.
Oh well. I did read that cold weather helps keep you focused, so I guess it's not all that bad. See, shivering uses less energy than a--
Ahhh! Man, do I just love the cold! Well, come on, come on! No time like the present!
Moving on. There's a treasure chest and two cannons on the right hand side. The path in the middle towards our destination (where the save point is) is blocked by another Gimme Golem, so we might as well shoot ourselves further to the right.
Another switch and a Flutter point. The Flutter point leads to a chest with 3 potions in it. The switch can be activated by Bruce, same as the last one.
The switch raises the water level, after which we can take the cannons all the way to the left of the destination ship.
Which is where we find the swirlshell we need.
Then we need to fire ourselves back to the switch on the right, activate it again to lower the water, then head back to the centre path.
Let's be the-sneaky.
We save at the save point, then hit up the Pirate Ship.
Update 10 Highlights - Pirate Ship Hijack
[Moogle]: Avast ye, kupo!
[Moogle]: Not so fast ye, kupo!
Remember when we talked about the Moogle and I said that their "kupo" thing varies from an occasional utterance to a constant thing? World of Final Fantasy takes the more annoying option. The Moogles that talk in this game say "kupo" at the end of every. Single. Sentence. Ugggghhhhhhh...
Huh? The pirates--did they just call us pirates?
Well, I'd say the pot knows a kettle when it sees it.
[Moogle]: Kupo! All paws on deck, kupo!
My timbers are not exactly shivering.
Now what, kupo?
Stop saying "kupo!" and fight, kupo!
Get 'em, the-kupo!
Guys, we're not here to have fun.
...We're not here to have fun, kupo.
All of you shut up!
I'm not even going to pretend that these guys are a threat. They are laughably weak. Balthier, wash them away please.
And that takes them all out in a single shot. Obviously, we are not done here.
Although we do apparently rob these guys blind. Damn, that gil.
[???]: Scurvy swabs! For shame!
Final Fantasy V Music: Pirates Ahoy! ~ Faris Theme
Update 10 Highlights - Faris and Syldra
It's Faris and Syldra!
Both Faris and Syldra are from FFV. Faris is a pirate captain and Syldra is her sea-dragon that pulls the ship. This entire scene is a callback to Faris' initial meeting in FFV. The party in that game tries to steal her pirate ship as well, which is where they encounter her. Faris is a Warrior of Light.
Faris is voiced by Emily O'Brien in English, and Rie Tanaka in Japanese.
Faris is girl, but was raised as a boy (since she was raised by pirates). It bugs her when people question that, but she also has trouble keeping it straight herself. She'll flip between referring to herself as a woman or a man.
She's actually a Princess, but that doesn't really jive with her, so she goes back to being a Pirate Captain at the end of FFV.
Syldra is the friend of Faris and is able to pull the pirate ship along even when there is no wind. Syldra saved Faris when she was young and fell into the water. She later helps save the party, but that rescue doesn't end quite so well since she kind of... dies as a result of it.
Syldra makes another appearance later in the game as a spirit and then becomes a summon.
[Moogle]: It's Cap'n Faris, kupo!
It's created a threshold!
Th-that Mirage must be mega the-powerful!
How kind of you gents to whip my crew into shape.
That's what she's saying, you doofus.
Hmph. What are you, comedians? Too bad. If you've the brass to steal from pirates, then you know what comes next. So long, you clowns!
Tama, it's time! Make yourself big!
You can do that?!
Hrrrah! ...Heh heh. Guess the-not.
Ugh, I should have known better than to even ask.
So we're tossed into battle with Syldra. Just Syldra. Faris might be standing there, but she's kidding herself if she thinks she's any kind of threat.
Despite what you may think, since Syldra is a sea-dragon and all, she actually resists Electricity. Fire and Ice are her two major weaknesses. Not that it matters--
Since you won't be taking advantage of it.
Don't bother trying to fight. This is a scripted battle that cannot be won. Assuming that Thunderstorm doesn't kill you in the first turn, Syldra will just keep spamming it until you stay down. Elemental resistances do nothing to blunt the damage, meaning that the attack is changed to a special non-elemental-damage-because-boss-fight-so-fuck-you type. Even if you power level and are strong enough to fight toe-to-toe with her, the battle will just end in a special one-shot kill Thunderstorm after a certain length of time.
Also, if you manage to blast through her HP before then, then all damage just gets reduced to 0 when she hits 1 HP. Syldra has plot armour, so just sit back and let this happen.
But they're... they're too strong!
They really aren't, actually. They are just temporarily benefiting from Story Armour.
[???]: I have you now. Hide Refia all you want, but you can't play hide-and-seek with destiny. Fate has chosen us!
Oh great, what fresh hell is this?
The thane of Saronia? Why is he here?
Why is he alive? We beat him, then he got impaled by golden mask and vaporised.
He followed us here?!
Wh... what the...
Out of the hydra, and into the crack-the-pot! What are we gonna the-do?
Kill him again? He really wasn't that hard before, and now we're a lot stronger.
[Bahamutian Soldier]: Doesn't this make you just want to kiss kismet? These divine designs... Isn't fate great? Now that it's brought us together, anything could happen. Just imagine. Are we destined for something bigger? Or could it be... our cookies are merely meant to crumble? Now, Jiants from the Hills. These questions... are all yours and mine to answer!
Oh my god, let's just fight already. Please, spare us the naval gazing crap.
This is the same fight as last time. Also, I have 1,000 Needles for this one. Just fall over dead, dude.
He does have an attack called Tower Breaker that will send your stacks immediately to critical and knock them over if it hits, but it's really not threatening. Especially--
What? What the hell are you two grunting for? He's nearly dead.
You scoundrel! Find another ship to spew your bilge on!
Hey, hands off my kill, Faris!
[Bahamutian Soldier]: So this is how... the dice have rolled...
Dammit Faris. You kill stealing asshole.
Yeah, WOW, you killed a guy that we already had halfway in the grave. Impressive work. Robbing us of our damn EXP...
Perhaps you'd care to explain.
*One explanation later*
So, the Federation replaced Thane Takka with one of their soldiers?
Actually, we're not too sure about that ourselves.
But everything we've told you is true.
Honest to the-goodness!
Well, believe me, I'd not put anything past those Federation dogs, but if they have monsters like that in power...
Captain Faris, you wouldn't happen to know where they're headquartered? The Federation, I mean.
Bahamut's citadel? No one knows a lick about that, lass.
It was worth a shot...
Why? Was that your reason for trying to steal my ship? To go off on some wild goose chase?
Uhh... The whole idea was Lann's!
You don't say.
What? Me? Oh, I would never ever-- I mean I don't even like ships, not that there's anything wrong with your--Oh, please don't hurt me.
I'd like to see her try that without plot armour.
Ha ha. Belay there, lad.
You see... I might be able to help you gents on your way after all. If you are the Jiants from the Hills-- the ones the prophecy mentions-- then I recall the same prophecy mentioning where you're supposed to go.
Huh? You mean there's more to it?
Could you maybe get someone else to tell it?
[Moogle]: Aye, I have, kupo! The prophecy says quite clearly that the Jiants from the Hills will collect four keys, open up a pathway to the Crystal Tower, brave its dangers, and mount the very heavens, kupo!
Four keys, huh?
Wait, the Crystal Tower?
Hmmm... So Mog, I don't suppose you know where the four keys might be?
[Moogle]: I'm afraid I know of only the first one, kupo.
That's one more than I do!
[Moogle]: Kupo! The first key is said to lie in a... Oh, 'twas a valley of fire, kupo!
I can think of one place. The fire valleys in Babil, down to the south of the Low Seas.
Ugh, there's those Low Seas again.
Hee hee hee hee hee!
New stuff becomes available in the Chocolatte Mart at this point. We also get the chance to save. The chapter actually ends here, which is a weird spot considering Chapter 9 will just start with us still on the ship talking to Faris.