Part 20: Update -XVII- PK hates The Compilation of FFVIIUpdate 17 Highlights - World of Final Fantasy
Ugggghhhhhh.... here we go. Let's try and get this first part over with quickly.
That must be the agent up there.
Dirge of Cerberus - Final Fantasy VII Music: A Girl Named Shelke
Fuck. Shelke is voiced by Kari Wahlgren in English and Fumiko Orikasa in Japanese.
Shelke comes from Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. I'm not going to talk about that game in length right now, because I have to do it later when Cloud shows up and we have to dive into VII's extended universe.
Shelke is a member of Deepground, which is (somehow) an even more secret military branch of Shinra than SOLDIER. She was taken in by Shinra at a young age because of her Professor X powers of being able to jack into Cerebro and track down "clean" people for Deepground's "end the world" plan.
She was trained and experimented on for years, which means that she obviously turned into a Rei expy. She doesn't quite get human feelings, has a vacant look most of the time, little emotion in her voice, all that good stuff.
Anyway, Shelke becomes a good guy over the course of the game and helps Vincent in saving the world. At the end of the game she gets to finally start living a normal girl life.
Now, here's the thing. It doesn't quite come across well in her WoFF appearance because of the chibi graphical style. Shelke is technically 19 years old. If you found yourself looking back to her DoC render up above and thinking "Really? She doesn't look like she's 19.", then congratulations! That terrible feeling currently welling up in your gut is spot on! Shelke is 19 chronologically, but is permanently stuck in her 9 year old kid body because of experimentation and shit.
Why, Japan? Just... what is it with you guys and doing that shit? Anyway, Shelke doesn't even have much of a narrative reason for her existence. DoC is a game about Vincent. Shelke isn't really a humanising tool for Vincent's character, because she doesn't have the emotional aspect to serve that role. She's not an adoptive daughter for Vincent, because she starts living with Cloud and Tifa's family after the events of DoC. She's also not a romantic partner (I fucking seriously hope that wasn't her intended purpose), because Vincent already has a romantic interest in Lucrecia. Lucrecia isn't dead either, she's just in self-imposed exile and sealed in a crystal, so there's no reason to give Vincent a "replacement".
I hate her. I'm vetoing my "not shitting on particular titles" thing, because VII is my favourite of the Final Fantasy series and I feel that excuses me for calling out the stupid aspects of it. She's not interesting, she serves little narrative purpose on her own (her main role is to randomly deliver plot information to characters that can actually accomplish things), and she's a constant reminder of a very low point in the Compilation of VII (which is saying a LOT).
Sorry, I didn't mean to subject you to so much info on this character. Here, I'll end it with a positive: I think her weapon is sort of cool looking.
Now let's fight her.
Hey! Why's she attacking us?
And by "fight" I mean this is a "can't win" battle so don't even try.
Yes, Shelke. You won through the power of plot convenience. Congrats.
Unless you fight back, you are going to die.
Nngh... If I look dead to you, then guess again!
Lann and Reynn try the same thing for the third time, and still meet with the same results.
Good. That's more like it.
Countertek deployed. There is no method they can utilize... that I can't neutralize.
Wakey the-wakey wakey!
That's the-me! Boy, am I ever the-glad to see you!
What a relief. We're all fixed!
When I realized I couldn't the-reach you, I was so the-upset!
If your powers have recovered, we need to keep going.
Oh! Isn't Shelke here the-completely amazing? She's the-with the, uh... Oh, that's the-right, the League of S!
I knew it! She is the other agent!
So. Are you done? Because we need to keep--
Any-the-way, it can take any the-kind of magic or technique, any old the-move at all, and completely nullify it!
Yes, Shelke attacked Lann and Reynn without warning for no good goddamn reason, just to restore their Keeper powers. Why didn't she just explain who she was and then use Countertek to nullify the seal, thereby saving a bunch of time? Who knows!
Yes... That's right.
Whoa. That's so cool!
And that's the-what she used to remove your suppressors! Although, she wasn't sure it the-worked, so she was kind of the-freaking the-out!
What? Th-that is not true at all! I was... completely in control.
Tama keeps butting in on Shelke's lines and I love it.
Also, either this is the writers deliberately taking the piss out of DoC, or they are desperately trying to convince everyone to like Shelke. If it's the latter, than it isn't working. Shelke sucks. You can't convince me otherwise.
You sure are. Thank you for the help.
Yeah! You're the bestest!
I... I don't have time for this. We are here to work. Let's continue the operation.
Yes, please. We finally get control back and are standing right outside Mako Reactor 0. This is a big area with little purpose, which means--
Hidden items! There is a chest with 2 turbo ethers on the outer ring, and there is a chest with 2 lightning spellstones on the inner ring just behind the reactor entrance.
Hey, we got this.
Oh yeah. This right here is our time to shine.
Mako Reactor 0 is a reactor specifically from Dirge of Cerberus. That game says that it's located under Shinra HQ and was built at the same time as the HQ to power it and an underground medical facility for SOLDIER.
Except when Sister Ray drains the power from the reactors in order to fire, all of Midgar suffers a temporary blackout, including Shinra HQ. So I guess Deepground was cool with Rufus heading downstairs and plugging in to their electrical socket? This is despite the fact that they were actively working to subvert Shinra's control over them. Damn retcon bullshit.
Anyway, I'll stop whining about DoC (for now). Before we even consider starting this dungeon, we need to take advantage of this exit gate to finally return to Nine Wood Hills. Stuff has been piling up while we were away.
We also need to pull our Mirages out of storage.
This is a good time to clear out the old Mirages and bring in some fresh faces. I didn't really want to do that, but upon getting access to the Prism Case again I discovered that M.C.Hammer had disappeared. Apparently after seeing all the advertising deals Lightning was getting, he decided that he wanted some of that sweet brand money too.
So he hooked a recording contract with Sony Music or something, then got an advertisement deal with Cactus Club Cafe.
Judging by the postcard he sent, he's living it up while cruising around somewhere near Insomnia with Cat-Girl Lightning.
With the loss of the team's ace, I felt it best to just shake up the entire roster rather than try to make someone else fill M.C.Hammer's role.
Pretty much the entire roster is replaced. As our only XL Mirage at the moment, Clifford maintains a spot in the lineup (someday he'll be strong enough to actually be worth summoning). Babyhamut also stays on board, purely because of Field Ability coverage. Babyhamut's use is actually heavily reduced with this lineup though, I may yet pull him from the lineup if I find one of the current Mirages has "Chill". Zap and Sizzle are already covered with this team.
Other than that, I pull out an Ice Bat and name it Frostbite, because I like Ice Bat. I also pull Undead Princess out because I think she's rad and I had an open spot. I need to double check, but I don't think Foozles had a chance to shine, so we'll keep them around.
Moogle gets saved from Prism Case purgatory and is renamed "Moogiepie" (I need to remove the hyphen). This is 100% due to the Intervention Quest with C. Conductor, Tonberry, and Moogle, being so damn charming.
Fritt joins in and is renamed "Litten", which was suggested a while back. Bomb will be called "OMG! JC!" in honour of JC Denton from Deus Ex (Oh my god!JC! wouldn't fit, so OMG will have to substitute). Searcher is renamed Eyevan and Magitek Armor will be Biggs (I can change it to Wedge if people prefer Wedge over Biggs).
Finally, Beowulf and Smaug stay with us because they didn't get a chance to take center stage.
Beowulf and Smaug will serve as the stack bases for now. Both of them have the option of becoming Sky Dragon if the thread would prefer a color change.
Moogiepie and Frostbite will take the top.
You may notice a lack of Blood Eye. Apparently Moogles have the capacity to carry Lann and Reynn using their tiny little wings, so Blood Eye is no longer needed. I certainly don't dislike Blood Eye, but being one of the rare Mirages with Flutter was pretty much the only reason he stuck around so long.
Before we return to the story, it's time to clear out the Coliseum Mirage Variants that have been stacking up. First up is an alternate Phoenix called Iris. You just need to reduce its HP to get a capture chance.
Next up is a Magitek Armor variant called Magitek Armor P. This one requires an HP reduction as well. Keep in mind that you need an Eldbox to capture it.
"Moon language". Never stop being awesome, description people.
There's also Princess Flan alternate. You need to use physical attacks to create a capture chance.
I also picked up an Elixer from somewhere, so here is regular Phoenix that we initially couldn't catch in the secret area of Valley Seven. Remember, you need to heal a lot of HP at once to trigger a capture chance.
Phoenix is a summon monster that first appears in FFV and makes pretty regular appearances after that. It's usually more unique than the other summons because on top of causing Fire damage to enemies, it can also revive party members. It's a good way to save your ass while also getting a shot in at the enemy and maybe taking some of them out.
Lastly, if you go to Toil 3 of the Phantom Sands, you can take the center path to a hole in the middle of the paths.
Jumping down will take you to a place with a treasure chest just hanging out in the open.
Approaching it causes Sphinx to show up. When the scene ends, you can go up to it to trigger a battle. You need to deal a lot of damage at once to create a capture opportunity. The easiest way is to use a Water Spellstone. Sphinx has a -50 to Water Damage, so a Water Spellstone will hit for 4500 and trigger the capture.
Sphinx and the Memeoculous thing we caught are from the same general family. The treasure chest that this was guarding has a Sphinx Memento in it, so you could always just beat this one and then transfig a manticore.
Afterwards we get teleported out to the Phantom Sands again.
I take the new Mirages out to Undead Princess for a small boost since many of them are very low level.
In the process, Frostbite gains access to Demivampire.
Dingldoink got access to Baby Tonberry shortly before we were cut off from the Prism Case.
Moogiepie has the option of becoming a Pirate.
And Litten grows into more of a furry than he already was.
And that will do it for now. I've got a bunch of Champion Medals to show off, but I'll save those for the next update. There is also a scene at the Coliseum which unlocks new Mirage forms, but I'll also save that for the next update. Intervention Quests have kinda dried up for the time being, so I need to fit this stuff into regular updates.
Final Fantasy VII Music: Mako Reactor
Time to get back to the story stuff. We'll tackle the first part of this dungeon and finish it up in the following update.
First things first, you are required to have a Mirage with Zap for this dungeon. It is used extensively.
The goal is to activate that center console. We need to Zap the generators in the correct order. Start at the end of the cable, and just activate the generators along the way to the control panel.
Once that is done, Zap the control panel and the door on the lower left will be unlocked.
If you head down the stairs to the right you can grab a chest with 2 wobblestoppers in it. We're going to be coming back this way later, so you could always just leave it until then.
The doors to the middle catwalk are locked, so just continue into the recently opened door.
When you head down the stairs, you'll see the generator "puzzle" in the distance. Before going there, head through that broken fencing onto the pipe.
There's a Flutter point to a chest with 2 lightning spellstones at one end of the pipe. Following the pipe back to the other end will lead to a chest hidden under the stairs with a Jackpot Mimic in it.
The generator puzzle is a tiny bit more involved than the first. Just activate the left one first, then the middle, and finally the right. Then head back and Zap the control panel to open the next door.
Final Fantasy VIII Music: Never Look Back (This the default battle theme for this dungeon)
Along the way, we run into one of the few new Mirages this place has to offer. You need to inflict Blind to trigger the capture chance, so make sure you have Flash or Flashbombs.
Bats are another real life creature that have managed to survive through the series without getting replaced. They show up in FFI as background entities in caves. They later became enemies (FFIII onward) and make regular appearances throughout the series. There's not a lot to say about them to be honest. They're bats.
Something is notable about Werebat here, though. Ice Bat only has one transfiguration (Demivampire), but Werebat has two. Interesting.
Going through the door leads to a catwalk overlooking what appears to be our destination. Fun fact, this shot looks very similar to the reactor entrance from VII. However, the reactors from VII have a T-shaped catwalk instead of a separate one leading to the entrance.
Can't get down there from here, though. Onward we go.
Huh? Say that again?
You mean they're machines, not Mirages?
Ex... excuse me? BOTH OF YOU ALREADY FUCKING KNOW THIS! I could possibly understand Lann, but Christ Reynn, you're supposed to be the slightly intelligent one. We just heard all of this like 10 fucking minutes ago.
Maybe machines, or the-maybe... No, that's the-impossible. Never the-mind, forget I said it!
Okay! It's forgotten!
...Well, at least we know how to imprism them. For now.
Apparently Shelke's Countertek has the side effect of erasing short-term memory.
Moving on, continue to the stairs on the left and head on down.
There's a few ways to go from here. To the right behind some fencing is a treasure chest that is actually a Jackpot Mimic. To the left of the stairs we came down is a pipe that leads to a treasure chest guarded by a Murkrift.
Level 35 is doable. Let's get that chest.
3 Mythril Giants isn't too bad. We've already got Mugsy, so we don't need to catch any of these. If you wanted to do it, then you need to use magical enhancements on them to create a capture chance (stuff like Shell, Protect, etc.).
When fighting them, Electricity works best. Also be careful of stack toppling. These guys love to use "Sling" which has a toppling effect. Any time you are outnumbered should be cause for caution.
As for the treasure chest, it contains a dazzledisk (which is a Gimme Golem item). We need this to access a side area with a special Mirage encounter.
Take the stairs to the right of the ones we came down to move towards the generator puzzle.
The cable starts all the way at the end of the catwalk. Then we head up to that generator near the top of the screen by the locked door. After that we follow the cable to a partially concealed catwalk to the left.
Finally, it's just a matter of returning to the generator up next to the control panel.
Starting this one will unlock the door, but not the gate that leads to it.
It will open the one near that generator, though. I guess we're going that way.
Straight up the stairs from the newly open path, there is a treasure chest with 2 shell stones. Head through the broken fencing onto the pipe and follow it around to the other catwalk.
Up ahead is a save point and I heavily recommend taking advantage of it, more so than usual. The next part isn't exactly easy to fail, but you never know what kind of stupidity can arise when you're being rushed.
Activating the control panel next to the save point will open the gate back where we came from, but it will also trigger a countdown.
Update 17 Highlights - A casual stroll during a meltdown
The path we took to get here is also locked off, so we'll have to head through the door. In the screenshot above, there is a chest with 2 tranquilizers on the opposite side of the other chest. I missed this back at the start of the dungeon because the (at the time) closed gate was concealing it. Even now, it only barely pokes out.
Hey! I said no fourth-wall stuff! Whatever it is, it's not good.
Let's get the-out of here!
When running down the long catwalk, make sure to grab the chest on the pipe to the right. There is some broken fencing about halfway along the catwalk where you can get on to the pipe. The chest has 2 phoenix pinions in it.
Huh? Isn't this the entrance?
Keep going! Trust me, this is the right way!
Okay! Roger that, full speed ahead!
I guess we're the-doing this again!
Like Reynn said, this is the correct way to go. We need to retrace our steps through the dungeon from the entrance, which means heading through the door on the left. There's only one path to take anyway since the gates are locked, so it's not as though you can get lost.
The timer will pause during transitions or loading screens, but it will continue to tick down during battles.
This is a call back to VII. During the opening segment of VII, Cloud takes a mission with the terrorist group AVALANCHE to blow up the Sector 1 Mako Reactor (since they are kind of sucking the life juice out of the planet, which is bad). Tifa later joins Cloud and Barret during AVALANCHE's raid on the Sector 5 reactor. However, things go pear-shaped during the first raid as a security system (big-ass scorpion robot) is triggered when the bomb is set. After beating the guard system, a 10 minute countdown is triggered and AVALANCHE has to haul ass out of there before the reactor blows sky-high.
We're given 15 minutes this time, although I have no idea why.
I stood around back by the entrance for about 5-10 seconds in order to let the characters finish their talking. There's still about 14 minutes left and the location you are seeing right now is basically right outside of where we need to be.
The previously locked gate is open now, so we can take the stairs down to arrive at that unlocked door we couldn't get to.
That door is where we need to go, but if you completely circle back around to where the countdown was first triggered--
You'll find that locked gate from earlier is now open. This path leads to the Gimme Golem, so if you didn't beat the Murkrift and get the dazzledisk from earlier then don't bother coming back here. Just proceed through the story progress door.
With the golem out of the way, we can examine the control panel just behind it to stop the countdown and open all the gates. All of that took about 2.5 minutes out of the 15 we had. You are really babying the kids that you think will play this game, Square.
Oh well. A major warning before we venture through that door and check out the hidden Mirage: SAVE. The timer has stopped and the gates are all open, so swing back to that Save Point around the corner and make sure to prepare.
The Mirages behind this door are not ones you will be defeating. The goal to ending the fight will be Imprisming them. If you want to fight them in a straight battle, then just forget about this place until you've reached a much higher level.
Also, make sure that you have a Cactuar prism. If you caught a Cactuar, then go through its Mirage board until you get to a space that gives you one (they are usually diamond shaped).
You also need to make sure to have a Mirage (or item) that can use Haste.
With that in mind, let's see what's tucked away in here.
Update 17 Highlights - M.C.Hammer's Entourage
Approaching the empty space will cause a rumble and a Gigantuar to drop from the ceiling. Then another one pops up from under the platform.
Except one of them actually isn't a Gigantuar, it's a Gigantrot.
These two aren't especially powerful, although they are strong enough to be capable of taking out your stacks. Gigantaur also has Thousands of Needles, so it can easily shave off 1000 damage from both of your stacks or flat out KO them if you are unlucky (or stupid) enough to unstack.
As for offense, there isn't much you can do against them at this stage of the game unless you have been abusing EXP tricks to crazy over level. They have 40k HP each, and even hitting them with Fira (which they are weak to), our stacks only managed to inflict about 150 damage a shot.
You also can't run from them, so if you get into this battle without the proper tools to capture them, then you either wait to be knocked out or quit and reload.
In terms of Imprisming, Gigantrot needs to have Haste cast on it. Gigantuar needs to take a critical hit. I would suggest trying to get Gigantrot out of the way first, since the capture condition can be reliably inflicted.
Gigantuar will pretty much just take luck. There are Mirages that have spaces to boost their Critical chance, so it might be worth looking into them for this fight. Either way, you just need to keep swinging until one of them is a Crit.
We've already seen Gigantuar, so here is Gigantrot.
Ending this fight (either through knocking them out or capturing them) will reward 90k EXP. It might take some doing, but it's a good battle to take on early if you feel you're lagging behind in levels.
As usual, you will get mementos for both of them upon winning, so you can always transfig other Mirages into them if you didn't capture.
Regardless of whether you chose to fight them or not, head to this area and then run to the left of the progress door. While running down the stairs during the countdown you may have noticed that the fencing at the bottom was broken. There is a chest hidden through there with 2 hi-ethers in it (you can see the chest in question in the background of the Murkrift screenshot from earlier).
After that, proceed through the door that we were about to enter.
This leads to that lower catwalk we saw earlier. There is a save point here, and that control panel on the left will stop the countdown if it happens to still be going.
There's only one door to go through. We'll find out what's on the other side in the next update.