Part 33: Update -XXIX- Cogna No. 5UUUUCK!
Let's do this, I guess...
Update 29 Highlights - World of Final Fantasy
Vivi! Directly behind you! Eight hundred out!
I'm on it!
Did we really need Shelke for that? Seems like positioning some sentries up there would achieve the same thing.
All targets down. Not a direct hit this time, but the blast was enough.
...We can't keep doing this forever.
If I may, sir. There must be a mobile command center-- a Cogna that tells the others what to do. If we can locate that, and destroy it...
Command center... There is that Cogna we've been trying to pin down. But you've heard the same reports as I have. Not even the Black Mages' magic was able to put a dent in it. Even if we found it, how are we supposed to stop it?
If only we could use machines-- fight fire with fire like Reynn and Lann did.
Fight fire with fire... I think I know someone who can help.
That Magitek armor of yours-- can it damage the Cogna's mobile command center?
The one in the desert? I suppose it might be possible...
Oh, my apologies. I couldn't help but be captivated by your beauty. Tell me, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
Oh, you're playing hard to get, I see.
Ugh... So back to the subject at hand. Is it possible, or no?
My Magitek armor-- I summoned it just like a Mirage. So I imagine it must be similar to the Cogna. If so, logically speaking, it should be able to hold its own against them. But... I wasn't myself when I used it. Segwarides was controlling me...
But then of course, my lady is free to inflict a few wounds of her own, now that she has laid my heart bare.
Edgar, shut up! Just. Shut. Up.
Okay, so, what do we do about the Cogna? Should we get Reynn and Lann after all?
Thank you for keeping us on track, Vivi.
Reynn... Lann... Right, I never did get a chance to repay them. .....
Fuck this mini game. Fuck the person who designed it. Especially fuck the person that decided on locking a Mirage and extra story scene behind it. Then fuck that person a second time for requiring players to win under entirely luck based conditions to get that Mirage and story scene.
This is bar none the worst mini game of the bunch. I haven't seen the supposed fishing mini game added in Maxima, but I'm sure there's no way it can be worse than this.
...So this mini game. The Sandstalker mini game. You can see all the rules laid out above. It's something like a cross between Minesweeper and Battleship with a tiny bit of Chess thrown in for good measure.
Both the player and the computer get 3 units. 1 Large, 1 Medium, 1 Small. Our units are Terra (L), Shelke (M), and Vivi (S). The enemy units differ in type each time, but it's all cosmetic so it doesn't really matter.
The numbers you see are HP. You place Terra, Shelke, and Vivi on the grid and the enemies are placed in a similar manner, although you can't see where.
Each attack that lands will always deal 1 HP of damage. You don't get any bonus damage for a Large unit attacking a Small for example.
Turns will alternate between you and the computer. You can either choose to Move or Attack on your turn. You can only move in a straight line (Up, Down, Left, Right), although you can move as many spaces as you want (not that this really helps you much).
When you choose to Attack, you can select any square that surrounds the unit (indicated by the Red squares in the screenshot above). If you get the first turn (the AI sometimes gets the first turn, indicated by the game starting with an "Ambush" notice), then your only opening move is to just attack a square at complete random.
As stated in the rules, if you attack a square where the enemy is then you'll deal 1 HP. In the screenshot above I got lucky and picked off the Small unit on the first turn (Small units only have 1 HP, so one hit and they are dead).
After your turn, the enemy gets a shot. They follow the same rules. If you or the enemy attacks an empty square, but a unit is in one of the squares surrounding that attacked space, then you get a Resist notification. This is the minesweeper portion of the game. Using the enemy attacks as well as your own, you can sort of pin down the location of where the enemy likely is.
Of course, that means the enemy can do the exact same thing to you.
If you or the enemy attack an empty square and there is no unit in any of the surrounding squares, then Miss will show up.
So that's the basic flow of the game. You're taking shots in the dark and trying to narrow down which square the enemy units are in while they do the same thing to you. It's almost entirely based on luck since enemy starting locations are randomized.
Ready for the fun parts of this game?
If you manage to hit the L or M enemy unit and they determine that they can't just kill you before you kill them, then they will take off. You can see the unit and their movement direction as well as spaces moved every time it happens. So in the screenshot above, we know that the L unit just moved from the square on the left of Terra to the square at the opposite end of the board to the right.
If the enemy moves in a direction where you have one of your other units stationed, then congratulations! You can pick them off! If they move in a direction that you don't have another unit positioned in (such as in the screenshot above) then you have little choice but to chase after them, at which point the unit you were chasing will either run in the opposite direction again or turn around and blast you in the face (remember, the computer can see the directions you move in too).
So what happens when you flip that situation and the computer manages to nail you while you don't know where they are? You're fucked! That unit is essentially dead and there's pretty much fuck all you can do about it because the AI will just hound them across the board.
Let's examine the options available to us. Terra was just hit. If you choose to attack, then you have to pick one of 8 surrounding squares that the enemy could be sitting in. In this case the attack misses, but we learn that the M enemy unit is somewhere south of Terra. This still narrows down the possible location of the enemy to 4 squares (the two squares on either side of the Resist space and the two squares directly to the left and right of Terra).
So if Terra had 2 HP left after the first attack, then you have a 1 in 8 chance of picking the right space for your counterattack. Here are the outcomes of this situation:
1. You take that 1 in 8 chance and get lucky, hitting the enemy on your first try.
--1(a). Assuming you do get lucky, if the unit is an L, then you lose because they've already dealt 1 HP of damage to your L unit and will thus beat you in attrition. If the enemy knows it can win the damage race, it won't run even if you land a counter hit.
--1(b). You miss, at which point you've narrowed the odds to 1 in 4 possible squares, but you'll eat another hit from the enemy.
2. You miss the first counter attack, but hit the second one.
--2(a). If the enemy attacking you was an S unit, then congratulations! You destroy it and stave off your unit's defeat.
--2(b). If the enemy attacking you was an M or L, then you lose. They will out damage you.
3. You try and run, which will result in:
The enemy just following after you and leaving you in basically the exact same situation as before, except that now you might have been able to narrow the possible squares down to 2. Of course, you still run the risk of it being an L or M unit that beats you in the damage race.
Finally, there's 3(a). You try to run and end up moving right into one of the other enemy unit's attack range, at which point you lose because they know exactly where you are and don't need to move a unit to get a hit in.
Doesn't that sound like fun? Do you think you could bring yourself to believe me when I say it gets worse?
First of all, let's get the one bit of good news out of the way. The mini game can be skipped if you simply don't want to be assed to put up with it. The story will continue on as if you had won.
You also don't need to keep every unit alive to win. Even if you take out the last enemy unit with only Vivi left, you win.
That's not so bad, right? It still requires a ton of luck, but it's doable.
If you skip the mini game or just manage to scrape through it, then this is how the quest ends. Just this shot of Terra saying she was glad she could help.
The shitty part is, this is not the "real" end of the quest. I mean, we didn't even beat the Cogna Lord/Command Center or whatever the hell. We just stopped some small fry.
In order to get that real ending, you have to beat this piece of shit game under two conditions: All of your units left standing, as well as winning in under 20 turns.
Winning in 20 turns is the part that Maxima changed to make this easier. If you played this closer to release, long before Maxima would be a thing (like I did back in 2016), you only had 10 turns. The limit was actually 20, but the game would count the enemy's turns as part of the total, so you essentially only had 10. Maxima removed that part and now it only counts player turns.
What that means is that, in the base game, you can only miss or move 4 times in total because you needed to deal 6 HP in total damage across 10 turns. Even with the change that Maxima made, you only get 14 misses/moves. 14 is much easier to work with, although the enemy can still burn through those turns if it chooses to run away from you.
Of course, even with the increased turn limit in Maxima, the attempt will end immediately if your M unit takes a hit without you knowing where it came from (the enemy will then have a lock on you and will follow that unit everywhere). It also means the attempt will immediately end if Vivi gets hit AT ALL, because that's instant defeat for him. There's also a chance that Vivi will just bite it on the first turn from the computer getting lucky.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that your units and the enemy's can occupy the same squares? So if an enemy is sitting right on top of your unit, you could easily waste 3 or 4 turns trying to figure out where the fuck one of them is located (as well as risk taking a hit as soon as you move your unit to a different square because you can't attack the square you are standing on).
I had to play this for 40 goddamn minutes just to get lucky enough to meet the real ending victory conditions. Every time I had to run over to Anamika, start the quest, wait a few seconds for the scene to load, wait a few seconds before I could skip the cutscene, spend a few seconds setting up positions, spend a few more seconds giving up and skipping cutscenes when I inevitably lost, then repeat the whole damn cycle over again. It took 15 attempts!
Update 29 Highlights - The point that RNG finally decided I had suffered enough
If you meet the conditions then after the mini game you'll be thrown into a battle with the Cogna. In my case it's a stack of Searcher and Entom Soldier.
Good! Now's our chance!
Yeah! Let's take it down!
I think it's less the QA testers not loving us enough and more the QA testers not doing their damn job. If they were doing their job, then they would have reported this shitty mini game and saved players hours of misery that way.
The only hint I can possibly give you is to stick Vivi in a corner and never attack with him unless you know an enemy has run into his range. This minimizes the chance of the computer narrowing down his location or tagging him with a blind shot. You can try using a piece of paper and mapping out the results of fired shots, but honestly you can pretty much tell in the first few turns whether or not this will be the successful attempt.
Update 29 Highlights - Bonus Scene
Lucking out allows us to see the actual ending scene of this quest.
Well, I hope... I'm at least saving them a little trouble.
*And Terra gets knocked on her ass since she just stood there and made no attempt to dodge*
....?! Please... Help me...! Maduin!
Huh? I know you.
You were my first summon... Maduin!
Tell me... How could I forget you? I don't...
[Maduin]: That machine had a hold on your mind. But... all that is in the past. You remember now, and I'll always be here.
Thank you... Father...
Heeeey! Are you okay?!
And then we get the Maduin Memento. That's right, that touching scene where Terra reunites with and remembers her father as well as the ability to even get Maduin for ourselves is locked behind that bullshit.
If you skip the mini game, you don't get to see that or get the memento. If you go to the Twin's Room and play the mini game there, you don't get to see that scene or get the memento. There are no hints about what conditions you have to fulfill or even that there is an additional scene at all.
If you don't care about the story scene or just watch it on Youtube, then the only way you can get your hands on Maduin to complete your Mirage Manual is to find somebody online willing to trade you one.
Let us never speak of this again. We saw the scene and got Maduin. End of topic.
Anyway, I explained Maduin previously when I talked about how Terra is not a summoner. Maduin is her father, which is why Terra is half Esper. Madeen refers to a similarly named summon from Final Fantasy IX.
To wash the taste of that mini game out of our mouths, user Magic Fanatic informed me of a Murkrift that Maxima added which gives a new Mirage. It was located back in Phantom Sands in the fourth area, down this pit with the chest on the other side.
Moomba is a Maxima addition. You need to restore its HP to create a capture chance. Magic Fanatic pointed it out to me and also suggested a name, so Moomba will therefore be known as Laguna from now on. Laguna is a character from FFVIII and basically confirmed to be Squall's estranged father.
Moombas are... possibly an evolution of a different creature from VIII called Shumi, who kind of look like human squid things and are technologically proficient, but they worship or idolise the Moombas despite the fact that Moombas are used as slaves in some places... They also remember people by smelling or tasting their blood...
Final Fantasy VIII was weird.
Anyway, let's get back to finishing these story quests so we can take a break and catch up on some Lil Updates.
We're off to Nibelheim to deal with... something.
Update 29 Highlights - The new Nissan Super Altima
Oh... that's a problem...
..... Don't know. After we hit twenty, I stopped counting.
At least... we're wearing it down.
It's exactly as I thought. I've been keeping an eye on its behavioral patterns, and it seems to keep moving between the fire valleys.
Then you were right. It must be drawn to heat sources.
Mm. Luckily. At least we know now that it shouldn't be coming for Nibelheim anytime soon.
But remember Valley Seven. There's always a chance one of the fire valleys can go out.
If it does, and that thing's near Nibelheim, it might take what it can get.
If it's alive it can die, so let's hit it till it does. As many times as it takes.
That's my usual gameplan. Worked in Predator. Well, eventually I mean.
I'll help in any way I can.
Right. Let's go!
I don't know, but everything from its HP to its, um, everything is the-right off the scale!
Have we even got a shot at this thing?
Fortunately, it seems like its healing abilities are the-limited.
So then, we shouldn't expect to take it down in one shot.
Huh? Wait... What do you mean?
I mean, we fight it as many times as it takes!
Dude! That... means we have to live through the first time.
Okay, so Supraltima Weapon is a little different from the usual Mirages/Cogna. Its HP is ??? when scanned, but it actually has about 70k or so.
It has some solid defenses, so this will likely be a long fight.
Update 29 Highlights - Full Power! + End Scene
It also packs a good punch. It will spam Full Power! quite a lot. Ultima is something it only seems to pull occasionally. A standard physical attack is very rare (or at least it was for me).
Anyway, after hammering on it for a while, this message will trigger and we'll be booted out to Anamika's tea room.
Supraltima Weapon is a more robotic looking version of Ultimate WEAPON from FFVII. Ultima Weapon is a recurring super boss from the series, but this quest is a reference specifically to its appearance in VII.
In FFVII, Ultimate WEAPON is one of the Godzilla creatures created by the planet to protect itself. It has 100,000 HP, but after fighting it for a bit during its first appearance, it will bail and go flying around the world map. You need to track it down and ram it with the airship until it stops near a town/city and tries to explode it. You can then fight it again but with the same HP you beat it down to in the previous fight. You need to keep repeating this cycle until it gets down to about a fifth of its health, at which point it will go to Cosma Canyon where you can finish it off.
That means this quest will involve repeatedly challenging Supraltima Weapon to wear down its HP. There's no new scene or anything when you go back to the quest, so you can skip that part and just pick up where you left off. The number of rounds it will take you to do it depends on how strong you are. I managed to take it down in two through a combination of Omnislash and Frigicite to bypass its defenses. I've seen other people say that it took them 5 rounds.
It is possible to take it out in one round, but you'll need to have a well trained team of Mirages (of which I do not because I keep swapping them out constantly).
Overall, the main focus of the fight is to chip away at it while making sure your HP stays on the high end. A stray Ultima could finish you off if you aren't careful. Also, make sure you touch the save point after every round so that you start the next battle fully healed.
Ugh... That's enough fighting for an entire lifetime.
Whew... Heh... Glad you stuck with us. Reynn. Lann.
Disappointingly, we don't get a Supraltima Weapon memento or the chance to catch it. We'll have to wait another day for that.
Update 29 Highlights - Ragnarok
One last quest to take care of. We need to stop that Cogna with terrible aim from eventually hitting Cornelia.
I'll just have to hold them off here. Good luck, Lightning, Eiko. And my princess, Sarah.
Thank you for coming, Eiko. Your journey here must have been long and risky.
Huh? Awwww! It really wasn't that big of a deal. I'm just happy I could be of service.
So that's new.
It's called the "Lute of Ragnarok," isn't it? Lightning's assessment was spot-on. The Lute is like Big Bridge-- it's an eidolon that's entered into a deep sleep. I'm amazed you never realized what you had. Buut, if I didn't know about it, how could you?
Question: How did Lightning know if you didn't? She's not a summoner.
Cornelia's history goes back a long way. From what I understand, our first king was a summoner.
I think it's safe to say there's no doubt about it now. Well, whatever the case, our new friend will need lots of magic to bust through that Cogna's armored shell.
Ragnarok is a sword Esper from FFVI, which is what this "Lute of Ragnarok" is based on. Ragnarok shows up a lot in the FF series as a weapon, but FFVI is the only instance I can think of where it is a summon.
The Ragnarok from FFVI doesn't blast things, though. It's summon ability can turn monsters into items.
Yes. But Lightning will come through for us.
Update 29 Highlights - The
Alright, here we go, the last of these stupid mini games. Except for the one Maxima added... dammit.
This one is thankfully very straightforward. You just have to push up on the analog stick and hit the right button to attack whatever shows up in front of you.
You get 2 minutes, but there is a trophy/achievement for doing it in under a minute. Even if you fuck up repeatedly, you can still get through this in like a 1:20, tops. Of course, you could also just skip the stupid thing and get on with the story.
You don't get a lot of time to react when they appear. The smoke that appears when they poof in takes a second to dissipate, so you're basically right on top of them before you can even tell what Mirage it is. They make distinct cries though, so I guess if you are good at sound recognition you could tell what it is a split second sooner based on that.
It's not especially difficult to get to the end in under a minute. Stopping for a second when a new Mirage appears to make sure you are hitting the right button will still let you get through it in about 50 seconds. It's more important to be accurate than to rush, because if you run into them or hit the wrong button then you'll lose about 4 or 5 seconds each time.
Most people call me Lightning. And that's just what I have to be right now. Sorry, but I need to do this fast.
Please, he would crush you. You merely adopted the lightning. Ramuh was born in it, molded by it.
Yeah. Thanks for not making this hard.
Despite it looking like Lightning was going to attack Ramuh, he kind of just turns it over like he doesn't care. Lightning should count herself lucky.
Of course you know what that means. There is a scene and a boss fight hidden behind the quest. To see it, you have to finish the mini game within 1:10.
The reason I'm not mad about this one is because unlike Sandstalker, this mini game doesn't have luck involved. It's all about how good you are with your reaction time. Also, you get the special Mirage memento as a reward for the quest, so the only thing you miss by skipping the mini game is an extra scene.
Update 29 Highlights - The Judgement Staff
Getting there in under a minute and ten seconds will cause this scene to trigger after Lightning does her "I need to do this quick" line.
Listen, we were kind of hoping you might lend us that Judgement Staff of yours.
Ha ha ha! I knew it. You two are here after all.
Well, technically, it's just Lightning.
Alas though. If you are here for the staff, you are just a tad too late. You see, I have already passed it on to my scion.
"Sighing"? About what?
You're so awesome, Ramuh.
Just do what I always do and pretend that he's not even talking. So, who has the staff now?
It's true. Oi! Sweetheart! Come say hello to our guests!
Oh, come on. Listen now, grandpa. I'm sure she's a real sweetheart, but shouldn't she be out of diapers before you--
Sure you don't need a diaper?
Let me assure you, my granddaughter is more than capable of wielding the staff. If you want it for yourselves, you will just have to win it from her in combat.
Just me? Where do you think you're going?
Well, you know the-what they say. Once zapped, twice the-shy. Or, um, something the-like that.
Ramewl isn't particularly hard. If you have a major electricity weakness then it could be a problem, but overall she's nothing special. She does have access to Haste though, so having Dispel or Slow might be a good idea.
Update 29 Highlights - Heaven's Wrath
Her special attack is Heaven's Wrath, which hits multiple times for about 200-500 each depending on your resistance/weakness.
It's pretty cool looking. Either way, if you find yourself having trouble with her, just up your Thunder resistance or make use of Reflect (if you have it. She casts Thundara sometimes).
Oho. I can see that the pair of you have regained much of your former power.
You got that right!
We've been through way more mayhem than you give us credit for. And not the fun kind.
Oh, right... Well, I did promise. You can have the staff.
After this, we get the scene where Ramuh says "I know what you've come for" and Lightning thanking him. If you did the Ramewl fight, then the following bit will play after that.
Whether you do the fight or not, you get a memento for Ramewl. Magus can now be transfigged into one should we wish.
And that's all. Now it's time to get on with Part 2.
Update 29 Highlights - The Last Cogna Lord
Set the Judgement Staff now!
The attack breaks through the Cogna's barrier, but we still need to finish it off.
It's over, Cogna!
*And then the Warrior of Light ran all the way from Cornelia to the train platform I guess? That's where the Cogna was positioned.
What would you even do with it if you had one? Now come on, we have to stop this thing before it goes any further!
Omega is a fairly easy fight. It has a crippling -100 weakness to electricity and a -50 to water. It also only has about 20k in HP. Be aware that it will try to cover the weaknesses by casting Reflect, so Dispel will make this fight go much easier.
In terms of offense, it just sticks to regular physical attacks. It has a special ability called Destroyer which boosts its attack power by quite a lot and can't be dispelled, but it's also pretty slow so it can't really capitalize on that.
Maybe you did. Or maybe some nosy friends of our decided we needed their help.
Is that so? So they saved me once again. Lann... Reynn...
We get an omega memento for beating this quest, letting us grab our own.
We're dumped off in Plaza 99 after all the Cogna Lord quests are completed. Returning to Anamika's tea room will trigger a story scene, but we'll get to that another time.
With the final story quest done, we get a tutorial card reminding us that we can snag more Arma Gems from the Coliseum. We're going to need them, because a LOT of Intervention quests have opened up. Time to take a break and get some Lil' Updates in. There's also a bunch of new Mirages to show off.