Part 16: Update -XIII- Burn baby burn
It makes Nine Wood Hills look the-humble!
This dude is just hanging around outside Nibelheim. He gives us smelling salts. You're a bro, random dude.
Back to what we were doing.
Update 13 Highlights - Chapter 11: Crimson and Azure
Which is us starting Chapter 11.
Welcome to Midelheigar. This is a weird fusion of locations from FFVII. Nibelheim is the name of the small mountain town that Tifa and Cloud grew up in. This place is not Nibelheim. For reference:
This is what Nibelheim looks like. What we see here is closer to Midgar, which is the giant industrial raised city that FFVII opens in. The tower you see in the outside shot is a little Lilikin version of the Shinra Building.
Hold on a sec.
Hmm... I don't see any chain on the place.
Well, maybe they're like Cornelia, and they haven't been annexed by the Federation.
Huh? It can't be.
Final Fantasy VII Music: Tifa's Theme (This is also the Music for "Not-belheim")
Note: In case you haven't been listening to these, or are only familiar with the music from WoFF or the source FF, it should be mentioned that all of these songs I'm linking to are remixes for WoFF (Prismelody is what the game calls them). Tifa's Theme here is a lot more upbeat sounding than in the original FFVII. It sounds like it's being played in a Saloon. Original FFVII Tifa's Theme is more gentle and slow, incorporating more of a flute sound (or as close to wind instruments as early PS1 audio could get).
Some of these remixes sound nice, but some of them don't quite work (at least in my opinion). This is one of the remix themes I'm not a fan of. However, we'll hear one for a FFVI song at some point that I really like, for example.
Also, I didn't mention this originally for some reason I can no longer remember, but that building behind Tifa is the Honeybee Inn. I'm not sure if this was an intentional reference the devs threw in or not. WoFF tries to stick to an E10+ rating, but the Honeybee Inn is a brothel from FFVII that operates in the equivalent of a Red Light District. Cloud can optionally infiltrate it after chasing Tifa to Wall Market (basically a Red Light District). Originally it was going to have more of a role, but it was partially cut out/toned down because FFVII is a Teen game and the Honeybee is a straight-up bordello. The devs felt that was pushing things a bit too far.
Hey there, guys! It is you, right?
Hey! Super punchy girl!
Hi! How are you doing, Tifa?
It's the-good to see you!
Same here! Hey, I have to ask. What are two Keepers and a Mirage doing way down here in Babil?
Oh, yeah. I guess we never told you, did we?
*And then our heroes explain everything for the umpteenth time*
Oh, good! I was starting to worry. What if I accidentally saved a couple of bad apples from the Bahamut Army?
I mean, they are known to employ Mirages as part of their army, as well as Jiants. It's a pretty easy assumption to make, Lann.
I don't know. I guess they don't see many Mirage Keepers anymore, unless they're working for the bad guys.
I believe we've been told something to that effect by at least two different characters. Pay attention! Both of you!
Yeah... And not just Keepers. Jiants, too. These days, they all seem to be fighting for Bahamut. I guess it makes sense in a way. They say the Federation conquered their homeland long ago.
Still, the prophecy's a hot topic around Nibelheim. Everyone in town has heard of the Jiants from the Hills.
Ugh... I'm not sure I like being a celebrity.
Anyway. So you're looking for the valley of fire?
Unfortunately, that's the only real clue that we've got.
What do you mean?
If you're looking for fiery valleys, this region is full of them. But that's just it. Any one of those valleys could be the one the prophecy is talking about. Oh, right! I forgot there's a summoner in town doing research on the valley! She might know.
So we're off to see the summoner that's right over there. We're going to take a look around for goodies first.
Looks like Grymoire Shinra isn't sucking the planet dry of life juice. Good for them.
Just to the right of the well we find the fourth set of Journalist Notes. This is the last one. So let's check them all out.
All of these notes point towards Firion, from FFII.
Firion is voiced by Johnny Young Bosch in English, Hikaru Midorikawa in Japanese.
Firion was the first Final Fantasy hero to get a set name and narrative (the first FF used a player selected party of characters with no major identifying traits). His story is as timeless as it gets. Parents dead, hometown gets attacked by the evil army and burns to the ground, he fights to put a stop to it. He does this by joining the Wild Rose Rebellion, which is led by Princess Hilda. This is what the Journalist Notes are referencing with the mention of him looking for a Princess at the Coliseum. Wild Rose is also a code word that the rebels use.
Firion's design is very colourful and unique. I really like it. So when are we going to get to track him down and see what he can do?
Final Fantasy II Music: Rebel Army - Firion's Theme (This is the least spoilerly video I could find for this track. The others show Mirages we haven't seen yet.)
There you go. That is the extent of Firion's inclusion in Maxima. He doesn't get a Champion Summon, or Miniventures, or Intervention quests, or story involvement of any kind. The only thing I've been able to find on him for this game is that he is a Champion Jewel. That's it.
I want to point out that Firion is FFII's sole representative in this game. FFII had no characters in the base game, and when they decided to do the Maxima add-on, all they could muster for Firion's inclusion was as a Lann reskin and a series of collectible notes.
I was extremely disappointed to learn this. I thought for sure he would at least get a summon sequence. The notes they added even make it sound like this is leading up to a piece of additional story content or quest.
But nope. Skin swap. Good job Square. Way to quarter-ass it.
Let's just move on and stop dwelling on this insult to FFII.
While we're on the subject of Champions, let's see what Tifa's summon looks like (before I forget to use it).
Tifa Champion Summon
Final Fantasy VII Music: Those Who Fight
Tifa's summon is her Final Heaven Limit Break. I already talked about this earlier.
Back to Nibelheim. There's a weird guy standing to the right of Tifa and our mystery summoner.
Talking to him causes the camera to zoom all the way into this sign above his head.
Then it just shows him looking at us before starting to smile.
We're going to walk away now.
That bright future better not involve the use of planet-life-juice-sucking reactors. I've got my eye on you, Shinra.
[Knight]: At any rate, as long as SOLDIER is here, they won't be laying a finger on this town!
SOLDIER is the elite special forces group that Shinra employs in FFVII. That's how they are originally portrayed. Crisis Core retconned things to imply that SOLDIER used to be far more powerful and exclusive, but over the course of the game they lose a lot of their strongest personnel and leadership, to the point that by FFVII the group is mostly made up of tougher than usual troopers.
Sneaky reference, devs. Keep those up.
Anyway, that's enough farting around. Let's meet this summoner.
Update 13 Highlights - ProphecyRydiaProphecyProphecyProphecy
Aha ha ha... heh.
Yeah, that's us.
Hello there. I am the summoner Rydia.
Rydia is voiced by Caroline Macey in English, Noriko Shitaya in Japanese.
Rydia is from FFIV. She's a little girl that Cecil and Kain "rescue" from the destruction of her home town and the death of her mother... that Cecil and Kain were kinda responsible for. They didn't outright kill her mother in cold blood, but they did sorta murder the dragon her mother was linked to as a summoner, which causes the summoner to die. Then the thing Cecil and Kain delivered to the town kind of blows it up with Bomb monsters.
Aaaannywaaay, through wacky adventures Rydia joins the party on their journey, then gets knocked overboard when the ship the party is on is attacked. She winds up in the land where the summons live and, due to time flow fuckery, later rejoins the party as a young woman (as opposed to the 7-year old she was when she left).
There's more to her story, but once again we are missing a piece of the puzzle. Yes, FFIV has an EU of its own, unfortunately...
And this is the dragon mentioned earlier, except being used by Rydia instead of her mother.
Hey, you know... the way that Mirage follows you... you totally remind me of Yuna! I guess it's because you're both summoners.
Huh? You mean you know Lady Yuna?
We watched her dance on a pond. She attacked us. We kicked her ass. Yeah, we've met.
Yeah, we met her. Back on the upper continent. She was really a lot of help to us.
We might not even be the-here if Yuna hadn't pointed us in the right direction.
The fuck are you on about, Tama? We ran into her on the way to Saronia. She pointed us towards the place we were already going. All Yuna did was give us a history lesson.
Oh... Well then... I suppose you can't be all that bad.
That means you can trust them. For the time being, at least.
*The twins then proceed to explain everything AGAIN. Can we just go back to Nine Wood real quick and find a copy centre or something? Maybe print up some flyers we can just give people?*
So let me get this straight. You're searching for the four keys recorded in the prophecy?
Yeah. We came to Babil because we heard one of the keys was hidden here, in a valley of fire.
Right, but you know, the keys are part of the Crimson Prophecy.
Crimson Prophecy? So wait, you mean there's more than one version?
Yes. There used to be a single prophecy: the Azure Prophecy. It only spoke of four sigils, and said nothing about keys. It was much more abstract.
Maybe it's a Resident Evil situation, where the sigils are also keys.
Ugh, this is no business of yours.
[Fanatical Man]: Are you a summoner or not? You should pray that fate guides you to the Crystal Tower.
[Fanatical Woman]: The Crimson Prophecy is clear. Flanked by Mirages, the chosen ones shall acquire four keys. From the Crystal Tower they shall mount the heavens, where god will grant them the gift of eternity!
Eternity? Sorry to burst your bubbles, but we've met god, she's not that impressive.
[Fanatical Woman]: So long as you know to look for the signs, the keys shall be found.
[Fanatical Man]: So do as the Crimson Prophecy commands of you, hmm?
Right, so continue doing exactly what it is we've been doing this entire time. Keys, sigils, it's all the same.
Yeah, no kidding. At least they're not breaking any laws or getting violent, but it's still creepy.
Eh, it's not so much creepy, just incredibly rude and annoying.
What do those fools know, anyway? The Azure Prophecy was written by the First Summoner! It's the Crimson Prophecy that came later. The whole thing is nothing but a sham.
Still, that sham seems to be the prophecy folks believe in.
What exactly are they believing in? It sounds like the prophecies are entirely about the Jiants from the hills. Is the Crimson Prophecy promising free ice cream for everyone after the whole "Jiants get gift of eternity" thing? Believing in either one doesn't seem to be doing anything for regular people.
Unfortunately so. That's why I came here to sort the truth out myself. Tell me, then. Why are you searching for the keys like the prophecy says?
*Yes, they are really doing another exposition fade-to-black*
So you're telling me that your mother shares the same name as Lady Lusse Farna? And you're looking for the Heralds' castle to find her.
I get it! If you really are the Jiants from the Hills, all you have to do is follow the prophecy, and you might wind up there anyway.
Right. There's actually more to it. Someone told us we would find our family as long as we kept collecting Mirages and pressing onward.
Hmm... Well, whatever the case, it seems the only way to prove which prophecy is true... is to accompany the two of you to the valley of fire. In a way, you'd be accompanying me and doing me a favor.
What do you mean?
Oh! Never you mind! So, are we ready?
Uh, "are we ready"? We don't even know which valley to go to.
I've already figured it out. The valleys of Babil are numbered, and I believe the one we are looking for is Valley Seven.
How the hell do you know that?
Oh well. Guess we're just going to gloss over that.
The lady nearby has a quest for us. I already have the Dragon Scales needed, so this is instantly fulfilled. She gives us a Berserk Seed.
The treasure chest right next to her requires Jiant form and contains 3 earth hammers.
That's it for Nibelheim. Leaving and going to the right will lead us to the fire valleys.
World of Final Fantasy Music: Labyrinth of Fire
Update 13 Highlights - Valley Seven
Ooogh... I think my fur is the-melting...
Hmm? You okay?
Oh! I'm all right. Shall we?
Just think about cold things! ...And then think about them melting.
This place isn't quite so bad as The Dragon Scars in my opinion. It's a bit more straightforward, although it does require a lot of running around to get to the side areas.
There's a path on the left that goes down to a little bridge. Shortly into our travels, we get hit by our first battle.
With new Mirages.
Can't really say I do to be honest. I don't recall any times where these little bastards ruined my progress.
Just to rub the Firion thing in more, the first enemy we run into made its debut in FFII. Bombs are a series staple that have appeared in all the major games. They are trick enemies which will grow larger and larger as you attack them, until they trigger Self-Destruct (they can also do this if their HP is low). Depending on the game, this can inflict some serious damage.
Aaaah! Why are you sneezing?! It's like five hundred degrees in here!
Trucking forward, across the bridge you can take a side path on the right and find an Agility+ seed hidden under the next bridge. Circle back up and keep going south.
Across another bridge we run into a split. The path on the right is blocked by a Gimme Golem, so it's off to the left for us.
Where a switch awaits. These conditions aren't too hard to meet. Smaug should be able to handle it on his own.
The switch causes a bridge to... morph? It kinda has this organic look with the way it extends that is a little gross.
Circle down and cross the new bridge to find another switch. What the hell is the point of putting two of these so close together?
That treasure chest has the Gimme Golem item we need in order to progress. The last switch, with the exact same trigger condition, is twenty feet behind us. If you can meet the condition of the first switch then you can obviously meet this one. Once again, who the hell would activate that one switch and then use a Seraphone or backtrack to the Exit Gate in order to remove the Mirage(s) they just used? This serves absolutely no purpose.
Whatever. Back to the Gimme Golem. Once we get it out of our way, we can cross the bridge to the right and run head first into another tutorial card.
Luckily, Babyhamut already has this field ability, so there's no need for me to go running back to get through this.
If you don't have Babyhamut, then Bablizz can also get Chill very early.
The bridge cools and we can run over to grab a treasure chest with 2 hi-ethers in it. Also, there's some kind of insane fire tornado going on. No way to interact with it though.
Backtracking a little and continuing right, we head into the next area and come upon a story scene.
Update 13 Highlights - Rydia's Freakout
What's going on? We'll never be able to put out a fire this big. Not with the Mirages that we've got!
I dunno. I think Bruce could put it out. Or maybe we could pop back and train a bit so--
What the hell, Rydia?!
Ah! Don't just stand there gawking like that! We can't just leave her to fend for herself!
You're one to talk, Reynn. Your "Ah!" reaction only came after watching her run across the bridge and out through that cave in the distance.
Oh... right! We gotta go after her!
Wh-what he the-said!
Great, so we're doing this now. Well, she can't have gotten that far, right? We'll meet up with her in the next area and--
Well fine then. If that's how it's going to be then your ass is going to sit and wait in this hellhole while we run around and do side stuff.
The path to the right is where Rydia ran off to on her panic-induced half-marathon through an active volcano. The path up needs a boulder smashed, which Mugsy is happy to do.
Babyhamut finds a Flash Bomb hiding in the rock. Then we take the path behind it to find a chest with 2 hi-potions.
Heading back to the starting point, we hit up the left path towards the Murkrift.
There's a Chill spot in the way and a switch visible beyond that.
But first, another new Mirage.
Okay, so not really "new" in the typical sense. Lead Gnome is Mugsy's Chrome Giant baby form. We transfigged him into this though, so we don't really need this one. I catch it anyway though, just so I don't forget to show off the database entry.
Another one checked off the list. I'm going to do my best to get a 100% Mirage Database, purely because I don't want the thread to miss out on possible entertaining descriptions.
Anyway, the Murkrift is blocking access to the switch, so we'll need to get it out of the way. They will sometimes act as gatekeepers for secret areas (like back in the Saronia Docks). Level 30 is pretty doable with our current team, though. Let's see what we've got.
Not too scary. Inflicting Poison is relatively easy. We should have some Poison Inflicting items in the old pouch. If not, then Reynn's stack has Bio.
They're not especially strong, either. HP totals are a bit of a nuisance though, I'll admit. It takes a while to whittle two of them so I can focus on catching the last one. Thankfully, the capture succeeds on the first try. No need to stand around constantly throwing Pokeballs at it for like 5 minutes.
Memecoleous looks to be part of the Sphinx/Manticore family. They showed up in FF1 and have made scattered appearances in the series afterward. Not a very common enemy type to include (their other appearances are VIII, XI, and XIV, as well as some side games).
As for the switch that they were protecting... this one is actually going to be a bit of a problem. The Mirages I have with me can meet the Fire Resistance threshold, but weight comes up 1 short. Someone in the stack needs to gain a pound.
I (being a cheap son of a bitch) didn't purchase any more Seraphones. I'll have to return here once we track down a save point so we can see what's going on with this thing.
Heading back towards Rydia, we cross the bridge to the left of the starting platform and head down a bit to find a smash boulder. Behind it is a chest with 4 bomb fragments in it (item that deals fire damage).
At the top of the platform, there are three paths to take. Two of them have smash boulders, the unblocked one leads to where Rydia is. The path you see me going towards in this screenshot doesn't have anything on it. Not sure what its purpose is right now. Certainly a lot of mysteries going on in this place.
The other blocked path has a chest with a phoenix pinion in it.
Alright, time to go check on what's bothering Rydia, then drag her all the way back to the main route.
Update 13 Highlights - Saving Rydia
Awesome, she got herself cornered by an enemy.
Everyone! The-use Lann as a shield!
Right. Good idea. You ready, Lann?
Yeah! Wait, you're gonna use me as a WHAT?!
Nobody is going to use you as a shield, Lann. Not yet, anyway. M.C.Hammer has this covered.
I love you M.C.Hammer.
No! Stay away!
Rydia! Are you okay?
Ugh... I... I hate fire. More than anything. Long ago, the Federation decided to invade my home. The house I was in caught fire... I was all alone, and I...
Then why'd you come to a place like this?
You needed someone to help you, didn't you? I wanted to conquer my fears! But... I couldn't do it. The mere sight of so much fire... It was...
And the reason you couldn't mention this crippling fear of fire to the group in advance was...?
Well, I'd say you did pretty great!
Yeah, I mean, that fire Mirage? You doused it in one fell swoop!
A. Mist Dragon is the one that doused it, not Rydia. B. It was basically a bouncing corpse since we defeated it.
Right? You've got nothing to be scared of. Fire got you down? All you gotta do then is just blow it out, baby.
"Blow it out, baby"? That's your sage advice? She's not struggling with a fear of birthday cakes.
Oh no, please tell me you're not about to beat another "comedy" scene into the ground...
I'm just going to get a snack or something. Hopefully by the time I'm back, this will be over with.
Oh wait, are you trying to make fire look cool?
It's the-cooler than you.
Hee hee! Ha ha ha! You're so weird. Heh heh!
Huh? I am not!
Yeah, you're way past weird.
Completely beyond the-redemption.
Ha ha! So, shall we?
Wh-what? But Rydia!
Go home. You've got nothing to prove. We'll let you know if we find anything.
Really? How will you get past that wall of fire?
Look. I'll return to Nibelheim after I put the fire out for you. Sound reasonable?
Yes. Come on.
Uh, hey. You okay?
*Rydia nearly topples over*
World of Final Fantasy Music: Refreshing Melody (I don't know why they didn't put Rydia's Theme in the OST)
...I'm fine. I just got a little worked up... and I couldn't keep my balance.
All right then. I should return to town. I hate to leave...
Nah, you've done plenty for us.
See you the-next tama!
Hey, wait! When's the next tama, Tama?
Oh! Maybe it's the-sometime tama-rah!
And thanks, for everything.
No, thank you. Well, so long!
Best of the-luck on your adventure!
Ha ha. You're coming too, Tama. Nice try.
Hm? Oh shit, I was gone longer than I intended. We're back to story progress. Apparently Rydia left us, which sucks because there's another firestorm thing a ways back that could use a clearing.
Oh well, maybe we can drag her back here later. Let's just get this place done with.
Forward and to the right is a platform with a chest hidden at the end of the downward slope. It has some phoenix down in it.
We meet a new Mirage on the way back to the main route. Flammantoise needs to be hit by fire attacks to create a capture chance. Annoyingly, it comes in a very stable stack with a Spark Dragon, so you'll probably have to swing away at it to knock the stack over while also making sure to heal it periodically.
We can't the-give up now!
Technically we can, but let's get this over with.
The next area is the last. We've got a save point and a chest (with a hi-potion in it), as well as a very obvious boss platform in the back.
Before we tackle that, I swap out some Mirages so that we can get to the bottom of that switch near the Murkrift we couldn't trigger.
Smaug, Bomb, and Flammantoise are enough to meet the requirements.
It creates a bridge to the distant cave so that we can head in. What lies beyond?
Phoenix lies beyond.
The bad news is that I didn't have any healing things powerful enough to trigger the capture chance. I'll have to come back for it when I get my hands on another X/Mega-Potion or Elixer (I used the ones I had on Undead Princess to train up the current batch of Mirages).
Damn. Well, at least it will just sit there and wait patiently. I'll head to the Coliseum when a Gate shows up and win an X-Potion or something. Then we'll be back for Phoenix.
On to the boss platform.
Update 13 Highlights - Key of Fire and Chapter End Cutscene
What do you the-know? Now that was a piece of the-cake!
Hey! Give us back that key, right now!
So much for a piece of cake, I guess...
Give it a shot.
Yeah, the-do it, do it!
Okay! Wait, where is its back?
Looks like the fire key is powering up the Bomb. We're dealing with a King Bomb now.
King Bomb isn't too bad on his own. Basic attacks hit for about 300, while his Fira spell hits for 600-800 (Lann's stack is still weak to fire, so it hits them pretty hard).
I don't have Bruce with me anymore, so I can't take advantage of the Water weakness. King Bomb can be put to sleep, but I don't really have a use for that in this fight. Sleep tends to wear off once the thing takes a hit, so it's only use here is to give some breathing room for healing.
So I cast Haste on Lann's stack and just wail away on it with physical attacks and the occasional Thousands of Needles.
As King Bomb's HP gets lower, you'll notice him start to grow. He's prepping his Self-Destruct, so before you finish him off make sure you top up your HP, just in case.
Explode will hit fairly hard. If you are a lower level then this could be dangerous. It shouldn't be enough to take out your party either way, unless you deliberately run your HP down to triple digits (or you've separated your stacks).
What's up? You don't seem very happy.
No, it's not that at all, I just...
Reynn trails off and then we get a prompt saying we acquired the "Key of Flames". One MacGuffin down, three more to go.
And now we're back in anime land, where the proportions of our heroes somehow don't look quite as unsettling as the in-game graphics.
Is it 'cause we gave that bomb the old heave-the-ho?
*The ground starts to shake*
Ah! What now? An earthquake?!
Whoa! It must be a big one!
...Or it could be Leviathan. Somehow.
Oh no. Anything but another FLOOD!
Oh! Mayday! The-mayday!
And then our heroes get drowned for a second time.
Also Plumed Knight is there and captured Rydia. Figures. There goes my idea of grabbing her to help with that other firestorm.
And that's the end of the chapter. We got a key that may or may not destroy everything; Lann, Reynn, and Tama got sucked into a whirlpool and flushed to who-knows-where; Rydia is in the hands of the bad guys for some reason; I'd chalk that up as breaking even, personally.