Part 28: Update -XXIV- Stairway to HeavenUpdate 24 Highlights - Chapter Start
Get ready for a small bit of story followed by a whole LOT of nothing. This next dungeon is frustratingly long and dull.
The path that will take you to the Crystal Tower.
Do you really need to come here and tell us to go up the stairs? Of course we're going up those stairs. It's the only route we have to explore at this point.
If you wish to find her, you must brave the Crystal Tower.
Then our mom's up there somewhere? She's still alive?
The four keys you collected give you the right to know. If you have the courage.
Reynn. I'm going.
Huh? What for?
Why did that woman tell us all that? She must have had a reason.
Christ, here we go again.
Uh, well... How in the honk am I supposed to know? Does that mean you're gonna quit? After everything?
No, I just... Come on, think about it. There's something funny about Grymoire.
Well, yeah, I'll admit it's kinda weird. I mean, it's full of little people and--
No, I'm not talking about that. The prophecies. They treat us like characters in some kind of story. It feels like someone wrote out a plan, and you and I are just going along with it.
What? Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Reynn, you are really overthinking this.
You're underthinking it.
I... Okay, maybe you are right about that.
She most certainly is not right about that. It's fine to be suspicious of people's motivations, but all Reynn has done so far is hypothesise without making any suggestions as to what they should do to prepare or protect themselves.
But don't act like this "story" is writing itself! We almost died a bunch of times. If we hadn't collected so many Mirages, we never could've made it this far. The way I see it, we did that all on our own. It wasn't... pre, uh... Tama?
That's the one. There's no way it could have been preordinated.
Uh-huh. Or predestified, right?
All of this is starting to make my vocabulary the-hurt...
Well, one thing's for sure. We have no choice.
EXACTLY! SO SHUT THE FUCK UP! God, you waste so much time. If you're going to conspiracy theory every single thing then could you at least do it while we walk? I wouldn't mind Reynn's little Sherlock diatribes if she suggested things we could do about it, but none of her ramblings have impacted anything we've done or the results. The worst part is that we've had a plan of action since Day 1, but the twins apparently abandoned it the second they left Cornelia. Remember seeking out help from the League of S? We really should be staying in contact with them regarding all of these developments.
(Eiko did say that there was no changing the prophecy.)
'Kay, let's head for the Crystal Tower.
Before we do some serious legwork, it's time to mess with the stacks again. Still short on nicknamed Mirages, I continue pulling out old favourites.
Quachacho gets renamed Piplup after the adorable little penguin Pokemon from the Sinnoh region.
Quacho is renamed Pingu and transfigged into a Quacho Queen. Those of you alive during the 90's will recognize that name as the claymation penguin series where they all talk in gibberish.
On top of that, Dingldoink makes a return and is elevated to royalty, while Litten sticks around for lack of anything else.
During training and coliseum Mirage collecting, I tried out a few summons. First is T.M.N.T as an Adamantoise.
Adamantoise definitely has some uses. It's a very tanky XL Mirage that can get abilities like Auto-Protect and Auto-Shell fairly early, further improving its insane defences. It isn't much for offence, but it's a decent choice if you need to turtle up for a few turns.
I also catch a Gilgamesh of our very own in the Coliseum. He needed to be inflicted with Berserk for a capture chance.
Back to the stairs.
You do know we can't fly, right?!
Yeah. It's similar, but not the same. It's...
Old-fashioned... I guess you might say?
Yeah. And unlike Nine Wood Hills, this is a real ghost town.
Okay, so we've clearly stumbled on the "real" Nine Wood Hills. Let's not pretend like that isn't what this is.
There's an exit gate next to the plaza statue and I suggest you make use of it to save.
This must be the Crystal Tower.
[???]: Turn back.
Terra is voiced by Natalie Lander in English, Yukari Fukui in Japanese.
Terra is from Final Fantasy VI. Our introduction to her here is similar to the way the player first sees her in VI: piloting a Magitek Armor.
It's one of the most iconic opening scenes in Final Fantasy. Terra trudges through the snow in Magitek Armor with Biggs and Wedge on orders to collect the frozen Esper in Narshe. Kefka had a slave crown put on her to force her to follow his orders, but that doesn't last too long as the Esper they are after vaporizes Biggs and Wedge and knocks Terra out.
A member of the Returners (rebels) named Arvis finds her and gets the slave crown off, but Terra's memory is kind of messed up from it so she only remembers her name. The Empire tries to recapture her, but Locke fends them off and they make a break for Figaro (where she hides, as mentioned in Edgar's intro). She eventually agrees to join the Returners in fighting the Empire.
During a second attempt by the Empire to get the frozen esper, the Returners fight them off and Terra winds up getting turned into an Esper herself. She bolts after that since her power is kind of worrying.
By the end of the game, Terra uses up her Esper power and becomes fully human due to her love for orphan kids she was protecting during the "year of Kefka".
Although Final Fantasy VI is supposed to have an ensemble cast rather than a dedicated "main" hero, Terra is still considered the first female lead character in the series (as much as that must drive Toriyama crazy). She is featured heavily on the cover artwork as well as advertisements and she is also frequently the main FFVI representative character in crossover works (such as in this game, Dissidia, and Theatrhythm). She's also one of Amano's favourites (the other being Faris). He's drawn more official artwork of her than any other character.
Update 24 Highlights - The Other Nine Wood Hills + Boss
Who are you?
I don't-- Aaah! Turn... back!
What do you mean?
Are you a summoner?
Technically not, but we'll touch on that in a little bit.
I can sense something the-human and Mirage at the same time!
How's that work?!
And that Magitek armor! We've never seen anything like it!
Whatever the case, she's not the-playing around! Be the-careful!
Update 24 Highlights - Champion Summon: Cloud
Final Fantasy VII Music: Those Who Fight Further (This is another Prismelody remix that I really like)
Then I guess we won't play around either.
Omnislash is Cloud's final Limit Break in VII, although the version we're seeing here is some kind of cross between his Advent Children Complete "Omnislash Version 5" and the original Omnislash. AC Omnislash has between 5 and 13 slashes (depending on whether it's the original movie or Complete), while original Omnislash hits 15 times. This one seems to hit like 20 times, at least.
Maduin has 13k, so this takes a good chunk out of him.
He can deal about 1000 with an attack called Riot Blow. Terra will stick largely to magic casting, so if you have the Reflect ability then it might be worth using it.
Also, there is an ability called "Throw" which Mugsy had for a while (Very high topple chance, but low accuracy). Lann's stack currently has it as a Stack Ability, and Quacho Queen seems to have a unique animation for it where she runs and trips, causing her to launch Lann and the Small Mirage at the enemy.
There isn't much to the fight beyond that. Terra is pretty easy to take out if you can knock her stack down (Magitek Armor also becomes an easier target).
Dude, what was that?
Not going to jump into a discussion of how suspicious this is or what she means or how she was clearly trying to warn us not to go? This is pretty much the one time where being skeptical could pay off. We could restrain her and wait for her to come to so that we can find out what she means. Maybe get a little intel on what's coming up?
It seemed like she didn't the-really want to do any of that.
As long as she's okay, we'd better keep on moving. Before someone else can attack us.
God, Reynn. You suck so much. All the other times you've stopped to overthink something, but this is the one you pass on? The one where we could actually do something.
"No need to question the girl telling us to turn back and that we mustn't go on. What's that? The masked woman told us to climb the stairs to find answers and our mother? WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE UP TO?! WE NEED TO STOP AND ARGUE ABOUT IT BEFORE DOING IT ANYWAY!"
Oh, great. Things just get better.
All the same, they've merely doomed the last ox to the yoke. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Okay, let's pause for a moment. Segwaritotto over here is implying that Terra is the last summoner the antagonists need to do whatever the hell it is they are planning.
The problem with that is that Terra isn't a summoner. Snow supposedly doesn't count as a summoner in this world, but Terra somehow does even though what Snow does is closer to the "summoner" description.
For those that haven't played VI, Maduin is Terra's Esper father. She's half esper and half human because Maduin hooked up with Madeline (a human woman and Terra's mother). In VI, Maduin is summoned by using his Magicite. Magicite is basically just the crystallized remains of Espers that grant the party their powers (like magic, stat boosts, or the ability to summon them). Even though Maduin is Terra's father, he can be summoned by anyone in the party just by equipping his Magicite to them.
If it seems like I'm overthinking this, I should mention that World of Final Fantasy acknowledges this in the Who's Who for Terra. I can't include the blurb about it right now because it has spoilers, but it amounts to what's basically a shoulder shrug and the writers going "Uhhh, she's not a summoner but she was still captured because she could serve as a... catalyst? Or something? I dunno. We wanted them all to be girls, okay?"
Update 24 Highlights - The Crystal Tower
Anyway, The Crystal Tower. This place blows. I hope you like the pretty design, because we'll be seeing it for a long time. This place has 7 main levels, plus two side areas (that are story required), plus the secret area.
Crystal Tower is a location from Final Fantasy III. The Warriors of Light have to climb it to confront Xande, but before they can they have to track down five people with pure hearts in order to stop a curse from being inflicted on them. When they beat Xande, they confront FFIII's real antagonist, Cloud of Darkness. They get beaten the first time, but then later follow it through a portal to battle it again.
It's really different inside too.
And I don't see any elevators.
Aw, no way.
We'll just have to climb up one the-step at a time. C'mon! I know we can the-do it!
Yeah, easy! Says the fox hitching a ride!
Before we start tackling this place, turn around and head back outside to where we fought Terra. There's a chest out there with Herald Report, Excerpt 1.
Another set of documents to keep an eye out for. Nothing we don't know already though, or at least nothing we haven't been able to infer.
Back to the tower.
There are two inactive crystals floating near the exit gate. Those will act as our quick travel between the first floor, the middle floor, and the final floor. This is the only Exit Gate in this dungeon, so we'll need those teleporters to get back here should we need to train or stock up later.
Heading to the left and through the broken piece of wall, we hit the stairs. Down the stairs is the secret area, but there's a problem.
There's a Kuza Beast down here, the transfig of the Kuza Kit we already have (electric version of Babyhemoth/Behemoth, basically). You fight a pair of them here, and beating them nets you a clearcryst.
They are fairly tough, although that might just be because I keep swapping out our good Mirages for fresh ones. These types have Magic Counter instead of regular counter by the way, so be careful of your magic usage. Other than that, they switch between regular physical attacks and a move called Thunder Horn, which is just an electric version of Horn (topple chance).
Update 24 Highlights - Champion Summon: Shantotto
Final Fantasy XI Music: Awakening
Anyway, might as well get this over with quickly so that I don't have to listen to her ever again (outside of an Intervention quest).
I hate you so much. You aren't threatening. You're just a huge nuisance.
And of course she does that stupid fucking laugh twice.
Like nails on a chalkboard.
Magic Burst is part of the Skillchain system in XI. You activate it by casting a spell that matches the element of one another player casted before it. It requires certain timing, but if you trigger it then it boosts the power of the second spell.
Update 24 Highlights - Champion Summon: Tidus
Final Fantasy X Music: Blitz Off! - Zanarkand
Now that you've all seen it, I'll be tossing Shantotto's medal into the nearest trash can.
What does Tidus have to offer?
Oh shit, look out! Don't touch it!
Sorry, an outtake somehow found it's way into the footage.
Blitz Ace is the final Overdrive for Tidus. It's very similar to how it's depicted here, except in FFX one of the female party members (based on affection) will be shown throwing the Blitzball up to Tidus. In World of Final Fantasy it happens off screen, although it's assumed that one of the twins throws it.
Beating the Kuzas will clear a path to continue down the stairs, but you'll quickly run into a Gimme Golem. You'll be able to clear this one with the clearcryst you got from the Kuzas, but there are three more Gimme Golems beyond that. We'll have to track down another three optional Kuza fights to clear the entire route.
There are new Mirages around the tower as well. Sistertaur is the counterpart to Brothertaur, which we caught earlier. You need to reduce her HP to create a capture chance.
Heading up the stairs to the second floor and then across the bridge to the right, we'll find a flutter point. There is a chest with an X-Potion in it across the gap.
Head back across the gap and towards the crystal bridge to the north. You'll see a green crystal floating on the other side of it.
Which transports us further up. You can see the green crystal we started from on the far left, slightly below the middle of the screenshot.
Along the way, more new-ish Mirages. Wind Toad needs to be inflicted with Oblivion for catching.
Water Golem needs to be dealt a lot of damage at once, which is tricky because it has slightly over 1000 HP. For my part, I used a Scale item that deals moderate Water damage (which Water Golem resists).
Head up from the green crystal we teleported to and head to the left across the bridge to get back to the stairs. Then follow those up to the next area.
In the next area, about half way up the stair case, we spot another Kuza Beast on a platform off to the right. Another fight and another clearcryst. Behind it is a chest with 3 phoenix pinions in it as well.
Back to the stairs and up we go. There is a non-loading transition just before we hit the next broken portion of stairs.
Off to the right is another bridge along with a green and red (amber?) crystal.
WARP! Aha ha ha ha ha!
Aha ha ha ha ha!
Oh, good old warp drive. But let's be realistic. Everyone knows Warp Ten is the limit, and we're clearly not moving at infinite speed.
Is... is that a Star Trek reference? Because they did exceed Warp 10 in that series. I'm not even a Trekkie and I know that. Let's not even get into the possible speed of Plaid.
Uh, does she know we were the-kidding?
The green crystal transports us to the stairs to continue our ascent. The amber crystal lies a bit further beyond the green one, over a flutter gap. It leads to a chest with a remedy+ in it.
Go back to the green crystal and transport to the stairs, then keep going up. We'll shift to the next level of the tower where we can find the first rest point.
Floor 3 is where we stop for today. There's a save point here and a blue crystal which will bring us back to the first floor with the Exit gate, so this seems like an appropriate place to call it quits. We still have another 3 floors of this to go and then a final floor which splits off into two other multi-floor sections.
This place sucks.