Part 36: Update -XXX- Soul Chai- wait, I already used that oneAlright, we'll take a break from the Intervention Quests and return to the plot for a while. There's still six or seven of them left, but we can get to them later.
There is one last thing I can show off before we get going, though. I didn't get the chance to show it in the last Lil' Update because of length.
We're getting our hands on that Ultima Weapon.
Ultima Weapon is a tricky catch. It's level 90 first of all, so it will likely wipe the floor with you at this stage of the game (Ultima is actually capable of OHKO'ing both Lann and Reynn's stack). "Deal a lot of damage at once" is also a tall order. "A lot of damage" in this case means over 25,000.
There are two main ways to go about doing this if you want to catch Ultima Weapon as soon as possible. One involves repeatedly lowering its Magic Defense until it's weak enough to hit with a powerful spell. The problem with that is staying alive long enough to pull it off.
The far easier method is to just use Gravity.
Unfortunately, base Gravity comes up a little short (remember, 1/4 remaining HP. UW has about 80k). To get around this, you can boost Gravity's power by casting Faith on the one that's casting it (not really sure how this works on a fractional damage spell, but it does).
The Coliseum variant of Flan Princess, Kaguya, gets access to Faith pretty early. So by getting her to cast Faith on Lann's stack and boost his Magic Attack, Gravity is able to deal just barely enough to trigger the capture opportunity.
After that, you'll need to keep spamming Imprism while hoping UW doesn't bust out Ultima and end the battle outright. After a few failed attempts, I finally get lucky.
Ultima is a physically smaller version of Supraltima Weapon (which I unfortunately don't think you can catch). It's going to need some training, but it has some damn good potential.
Update 30 Highlights - On the Road Again
Anyway, back to story stuff. After finishing the Five Cogna Lords quest chain, this scene will trigger in Plaza 99.
Sure. What's up?
Where are they?
The end of the chains.
Uh... What now?
You already know the towns under Federation control are anchored to chains that extend into the sky.
Guh! Don't tell me.
Oh, I'm tellin' ya. We know now that all of those anchors were fired from the same exact location. And that spot must be Bahamut's seat of power.
So no-one thought to check where the chains were coming from until now? Really? None of you busted out a telescope and looked to the one point in the sky where all the chains converge?
So you're saying their castle--it just floats there?
Apparently. If Balamb Garden can do it, then why not the Federation?
Great! Then we can just sail the-up there in our airship!
Not quite. Here's the problem. Their castle sits at a much higher altitude. The airship simply isn't built to travel that high.
Oh, come on. Then what do we do?!
I'm already getting an ominous feeling about this.
First, you should visit a cathedral.
Yes. At the heart of every town that's a part of the Federation, you're certain to find one. They're sanctuaries that only admit people chosen as Architects. And they're much more than that. You need to see it. Once you have, then I'll explain how to get to the castle.
Remember that strange town we visited-- the one where you said something felt kind of "off"?
Yeah, the one where you told me we should keep a low profile, right?
I bet that was a cathedral in the middle of town.
We've seen lots of towns like that the-since. We shouldn't have to go the-far to find one.
I wonder if it's possible to not go to Agarthir and if this conversation changes as a result? Oh well, way too late for that now. Not like it would have been a huge difference if there was one.
Either way, we have a goal now. We just need to go to Agarthir and check out that spooky cathedral place we were stopped from going into during our first visit.
On the way there, I turn Dingldoink into a Paleberry King. No particular reason, I just noticed he could do it and we don't have this form yet. It has a lot of the same abilities as Tonberry King does, but I'm going to check and see which one has better stats. Might be worth it to keep Dingldoink in this form.
There's Mirages here. Be careful.
Agarthir is looking a little worse for wear. Not so gung-ho about the Federation now, are you?
The roaming enemies can be battled, but be aware that you'll need Eldboxes to capture them. You should have a decent supply of Eldboxes at this point anyway, since we'll be running into a lot of Cogna from this point on.
Magna Roader is from FFVI. There are four differently colored versions of them and they use different elements and attacks. They're normal enemies though, so there's not a lot to say about them. They do have other appearances, but they can't be discussed due to spoiler policy.
You need to reduce their HP to create a capture chance.
Oh, fuck yes! Can we play that instead?!
It's "cathedral." Just keep an eye out for Mirages, okay?
Entom Guard is another variant in the Entom line of enemies. This one can transfig into regular Omega. You need to hit them with Fire attacks to create a capture chance.
There's a few books scattered around Agarthir now, mostly related to the Prophecy and the Demon Dyad.
Can't remember if we checked these out during our first visit, but here they are again just in case.
The Cathedral is that tower at the back of the town. Not quite as holy as I was expecting a "Cathedral" to be, but hey, I'm not up to date on cult decor.
Update 30 Highlights - The Cathedral
...What the fuck are those things?
Wh... what is all this stuff?
If I had to offer up a guess, then just about four souls in every ten.
All this is the true face of the Federation.
What the hell are you doing here, Shelke?
I already knew that I didn't like them, but this just turns my stomach.
The Architects are making the world better. It's true-- if you're the Federation. That's exactly what they do. The Architects can live the remainder of their lives in peace, and never want for food. Yes, the moment their souls turn to crystal, and ascend to Bahamut's castle, their wish becomes reality, since crystals don't fight or eat.
So what, everyone should be happy?! Gimme a break!
Lann is the-right! This is-- this is completely the-messed up!
Shelke, did you know about it?
I did. In fact, I was put in a cathedral.
At first, I believed what they said, and became an Architect. I was admitted to a cathedral... and I nearly had my soul crystallized. But by sheer coincidence, an accident halted the system, and I managed to escape.
Shit, we were almost rid of Shelke. So close.
Later, Shinra took me in, battered, broken soul and all. They helped me.
They most certainly did not do that in DoC. Shinra discovered her in that game, but they planned on sticking her in SOLDIER in order to use her ability to develop a new type of warfare. However, President Shinra decided he wanted her in the Deepground project instead, so he ordered the Deepground soldiers to attack the transport group that was bringing Shelke to Midgar and abduct her so she could be made a part of Deepground's forces instead, except that makes no fucking sense because President Shinra is the one calling the shots so why would he have to launch some kind of Black Ops kidnapping against his own company's forces when they were already bringing her to the same location that Deepground is based (Midgar). Also, the Turks were part of the transport group and their leader knew about Deepground so he would know who the mysterious attackers were anyway (the Turks are the spy/intelligence/special forces group of Shinra, they'd find out who was behind it all), thus making the entire "secret" mission President Shinra ordered entirely pointless and a waste of time...
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is
Still, until the world fell into chaos, this-- breaking into a cathedral-- was out of the question. But now we know. These are the entrances to our enemy's castle.
You mean... the chains. They're the way. They deliver all of the crystal.
Correct. Once the Architects' souls have been crystallized, the chains conduct them all the way up to the castle.
But, but, how are we the-supposed to take the chain all the way to the top?
There's an elevator, right? There's got to be an elevator or a shuttle service or something.
Well, if you're human... it sounds like you have to be a Jiant to use the chain.
Hauyn explained how it works. You see, she took the Chainroad when she went to the castle.
She's up there?
She said the road was designed for the Bahamutian Army. You need to be both a Jiant and a Mirage user in order to traverse it. So...
Right. It's gotta be us.
Reynn, c'mon. If we're the only ones who can go, then there's no room for debate here.
Yeah... I know...
After all, if we really did cause all of this mess... it's about time that we settled up.
About time you two started taking responsibility.
Don't forget all the people down here. They need your help. Don't you think?
Remember, that castle is Bahamut's stronghold. When you do go, make sure you go prepared.
Despite what this sounds like, it isn't actually a Point of No Return. Granted, it will be quite some time before we see a Gate (or even a save point for that matter), but we won't be missing anything by moving on. Hell, we'll be able to return to Nine Wood before we even see the next significant story scene.
Even still, you should make sure you are prepared before you go, purely in terms of items and Mirages. The dungeon standing between where we are now and where the next save point is, takes a decent stretch of time. It's also boring as sin, but that's besides the point.
Let's just get on with it.
World of Final Fantasy Music: World of the Cathedral
Of course there's no elevator...
There's a gate directly next to our starting location, so make sure you take advantage of it to do any last minute prepping before you start the hike towards the castle.
Making our trip slightly more enjoyable is the fact that Laguna has Joyride in his Coeurl form.
I'll be skipping large sections of this dungeon, because what you're seeing here is basically all there is. There's no interesting scenery or detours or stuff, it's just a boring trudge through the interior of a chain.
Good, because the stronger they are, the stronger they can make us. Right, Lann?
There are a few more Mirages here that we haven't gotten before, but they're all just variants of existing ones. This place is boring.
I hope we catch up to Wyn in time.
Despite that, I will suggest that you resist the urge to turn off encounters or equip the Stealth Mirajewel. As much of a drag as this place (and the upcoming dungeon) is, it's a good idea to pick up whatever levels you can. We are approaching some major battles.
Starting with Ascent 2, we will run into blocked routes. The first one has only a dead end on the right, but if you take the left path and circle around to the other side of the dead end, there is a chest with a mega-potion in it.
Update 30 Highlights - Pushing Her Buttons
Touch it! All buttons must be pressed!
Wait, Lann, what do you think you're-- Aaah!
Huh? Reynn?! She vanished!
Oh the-no! What are we the-going to do?!
I-I don't know! Don't the-look at me!
Huh? I think she's the-calling me.
*And then Tama poofs away*
Aaah! No, Tama, not you the-too! Okay... What now? What do I do? I've the-lost them both!
Hey, no objections the-here.
Uh-huh. Don't pretend like you weren't freaked out. With these devices, it shouldn't take us anywhere near as long to make it to the top. But from now on, don't touch anything without checking with me first. You got that?
What good is checking with you going to do? You have no fucking clue how these things work.
What did I just say?
You said these devices would make the trip shorter. Everything after that was just your useless opinion.
Ooops! Heh... I'll be good.
The battle is against a Minotaur and Lead Gnome stack. Weak against Thunder. Nothing impressive.
So now we're dealing with teleporter dealies. The one on the top takes us forward, while the one on the left takes us back to where we came from.
Ahead from there is another dead end path on the left, although there's nothing there. Take the path on the right and if you want an extra battle, then go back towards the opposite side of the dead end to find a button which will summon another Minotaur (this one accompanied by two Magna Roaders).
After that, head north to find another button which will take us outside.
I give up. I don't wanna climb this thing anymoooore.
H-hey! It's too early to give the-up!
Ugh. If Wyn could make the climb, then we can make it too. At least, I hope so...
Except Wyn didn't make this climb. She has Siren to just fly here up there.
Anyway, there's nothing out here at all. No encounters and no chests. Just keep running forward until you reach the next button.
Can you tell us more about the Exnine Knights?
They're no-good nefarious the-meanies who want to fill Enna Kros's worlds with hatred.
Nuh, nuh-fair... So what you're saying is that they don't play fair.
Well, that much goes without saying.
Moving on. The next link has dead ends on both sides. The right path has nothing on it, so go left to find the button to move forward. It will transport you to the right path on the other side of the dead end so that you can continue, but if you swing back to the left path there will be a chest with a Mega Phoenix in it.
Enemies change up a little bit here. There will be stacks of Magna Roaders and Red Caps.
The link after that has both left and right paths open, so it doesn't matter which way you go.
Oh my god, it's Left Claw! We could have transfigged Right Claw into one ages ago, but I just never bothered. Time to complete the pair.
You just need to reduce its HP to create a capture chance.
For the next link, the left path has a monster summon button, the right path is the way forward.
Well, so what! I wasn't trying either!
Thanks, Lann, that's the-good to know.
Yeah, veeeery encouraging!
Hey, uh... What can I say?
If we go all the way south from this screenshot, we'll discover a special button at the bottom of the chain. It leads to a Chainroad area that's empty except for a button all the way at the bottom. Said button will spawn...
A Paleberry King, which we just recently got. Oh well. At least it's some EXP.
You need to land a critical hit to create a capture chance. I recommend trying to catch it even if you already transfigged one like I did. Paleberry King still has Everyone's Grudge, which could fuck you up if you aren't careful (and send you all the way back to the start of Chainroad). You can get an extra prism by going through baby paleberry's Mirage board.
Whether you beat it or capture it, you'll get 110,000 EXP. You also get a memento for it.
All the way back to where we came from and all the way up the chain until we come to another button.
The Exnine Knights are the-like an army. They have the-lots of members, so it's no the-wonder I haven't met the three here in Grymoire.
There's that many of them? Dude!
Not only that, the ones with names and the-numbers are the cruelest and most dangerous of all. Each is responsible for the-destroying many of Enna Kros's the-worlds.
Didn't the Champions rise up to stop them?
Of course they the-tried. Without the Champions, the whole googolplex of worlds would have the-fallen.
But, wait. Don't all three of the Heralds have names?
They sure the-do. We've the-heard them call each other by those names. I've never the-seen three of them in one place before.
Well, don't worry. We have the Champions and a whole host of Mirages to help us protect Grymoire.
Right. So c'mon! Let's get this done!
Go up to the next button and hit it. There's a chest right below where we wind up that contains a mega-ether. After that, head up to the next button and hit it as well.
The first split has a dead end with nothing on the left, so go right. If you circle back around to the opposite side of that dead end, there will be a chest with a remedy+ in it.
The next link has a button on either side. Both of them just transport you to the other side of the dead end, so it really doesn't matter which one you take. The path on the right has a monster summon button near where the paths converge though, so if you wanted to save like, 5 steps, then you could take the right path.
Update 30 Highlights - Stupid artsy crap
Finally. We're done with that garbage.
This is it.
The final stronghold.
This silence is giving me the heebie-jeebies.
I'll the-say. Way the-too creepy.
Keep climbing the chain until you reach the top. There's nothing along the way and no music.
Thankfully, there is a Gate up here.
Okay, time to finally check out this Castle Exnine place. I'm sure it's very intimidating or majestic or some--
World of Final Fantasy Music: Castle Melody
Oh, go fuck yourself. It's one of these dungeons?
Look at this. It's just...
It's too strange to belong in this world.
Sometimes I think you are too... But, yeah...
Ugh, this place blows. It's disorienting as hell and it's easy to get turned around if you get into a battle in the wrong place. Why is that?
Because there's no map! Yay!
Also, gravity is all weird and we repeatedly walk up and down walls.
There's not a lot I can do to guide you through here since describing directions gets really confusing. I will say that it's more linear than it appears, but you can still get turned around and spend time running into walls or ledges thinking that they might be hidden paths.
Don't even pretend you forgot what that is. So, we're already inside the danger zone?
I think the-so. They're powerful enough to recreate bits and the-pieces of their own worlds inside the threshold. Just the-like this.
Wait, but that means that if we go kaput...
I might not be the-able to rewind you to safety. You have to be very the-careful.
This stupid place.
One thing that makes this journey through hell easier is an ability which Death Searcher has called Reaper Lore. Both Biggs and Eyevan have it since they've mastered their Mirage boards and therefore have all abilities they can get.
Reaper Lore restores HP whenever something gets KO'ed. So what you're seeing in the screenshot above is Reynn's stack getting back 535 HP after one of the Entom Guards got taken out (Lann's stack got back the same amount just before this screenshot). If you take out an enemy stack, then that counts as 2 or 3 KOs depending on how many were in the stack, so you can easily get 1,000-1,500 HP back.
Optimus is also providing Drain with all his basic physical attacks, so Lann and Reynn stay pretty much fully healed throughout this entire dungeon without me having to do a thing.
They also have Treasure Hunter, which increases the chance of rare items dropping.
Death Searcher is great.
After running for a bit, you'll reach an intersection of pipes with a chest in clear view. It has 2 x-potions in it. There's another chest nearby with 2 remedies in it, just before we move to the next area of the dungeon.
So, whenever we step through a threshold, we're stepping inside someone else's private world?
That's the-right. I knew it wouldn't take the-long for you to understand. But for someone to the-create a world this physical, this real inside their threshold, they would have to expend a tremendous the-amount of energy. Not just anyone can the-do it.
All that soul crystal being sent here...
Right, it's, uh, probably doing the, um...
It's okay, Lann. You don't have to contribute. Well, whatever form a threshold takes, we know how they work in general, so, at least we'll be ready.
That's the-right. And you may not have the-noticed, but both of you have thresholds too.
Wha-- but-- I-- the-- PSHHHhhh.....
Hweh? I think Lann's head is the-starting to smoke.
All this info must have finally blown his mind.
Here is the second color variant of Magna Roader.
The path is linear up until this point. That little corner piece of pipe there can be walked on, so make sure to grab this chest before continuing downward.
There's another chest along the main path which has a phoenix pinion in it. You can't miss it. It's just before the transition to the next dungeon area.
In the next area, take the path on the right and up to find a chest with an elixir. Then head back and take the left/downward path. Along the way is another easy to see chest with 2 remedies.
Also another Magna Roader color. One more to find.
They don't the-stand a chance against the king of Bahamut. There's just the-something about him that feels fundamentally the-different than the other two Heralds.
After this conversation there is another easy to get chest with an X-Potion.
There's two paths in this area. The right one will lead to a chest that's just out of sight containing a mega-ether. The upper path is the way forward.
Shortly after this part you'll transition to the next area where a save point awaits. For the love of god, save your game. The enemies here aren't very dangerous, but you do not want to run the risk of getting blindsided by something and having to go through all of that dungeon (and those battles) again.
The darkness crystal to the left will take us back to the beginning of the dungeon in case you need to backtrack to Nine Wood.
Now, what's the deal with that Ywain Carbuncle, or whatever its name was.
Isn't that the carbuncle that was with Hauyn-- I mean, the woman in the mask?
We need to beat the Carbuncle in order to progress, although it's not exactly the fighting type. It has Auto-Reflect that you can't get rid of, but you can easily use the Reflect trick to bypass that if you want (Einhanders can also get a skill that let them bypass Reflect by default).
Even without magic, Carbuncle only takes a few physical attacks to defeat. It might use Banish on you, but that's not especially dangerous.
When defeated, the next section of dungeon just materializes. Also, if you go behind where Carbuncle was you can reach a chest with a mega phoenix.
Did we beat him?
I don't the-feel his presence.
Hopefully that means he's gone from the castle, if nothing else.
Now that we can continue on our way, take the path to the left of the crystal.
Come on. Let's keep going.
Another chest along the way, this one having 3 protect stones.
It's possible to run into Death Searchers in this area as well, in case you want to get one and not have to level a Searcher variant to 44.
Further ahead is another chest, this time with a remedy.
This is followed shortly by the transition to the next section. Trust me, this is not as horrible as it looks. You can go up and left to get to that chest, then just go down the "stairs" to continue. It looks like a set of Penrose Stairs at first glance, but it's thankfully not.
The chest has 6 wobblestoppers.
While running through the dungeon, Ultima Weapon levels up enough for me to grab the Ultima Mirajewel off of its board. So now we just have Ultima at our fingertips. It takes the full 12 AP to cast, but I have big plans for it.
After transitioning to the next section, there is another crystal and a save point. Once again, make sure to save at these. There's a chest with 9 hi-potions on the left path upon reaching the split, which is eh. Hi-potions are mostly useless at this point, except for emergency outside battle healing.
Head back to the split and keep going right. This leads to another Carbuncle. It's the exact same fight as last time.
But it's required because it reveals the next piece of the dungeon.
Backtrack to where you got the 9 hi-potions (or just go and fight the Carbuncle first and grab the potions on the way here) to continue forward.
At the top, take the path on the left with the pipe to reach a chest with a megalixir. Then go back and take the right path upwards.
This places blows. Shut up, Reynn.
Keep going until you reach the transition to the next area. At the top of the blocks there is a chest visible which has 6 hi-ethers. Then go back and take the right path along the pipe. Another split a few steps away from that has a chest to the right with 2 phoenix pinions.
This next part is kind of a mess. When you get up to the next split, go forward (North) to get the two chests in the background. One has 2 remedies and the other has 3 shell stones.
Return to the split and take the left path up the wall. Another chest with 2 turbo ethers is along the way.
Go up until you get here. The chest on the left has an X-potion, the one in the back has a mega-ether. The chest on the far left has haste stones.
Go back to that chest that had the X-potion in it and head downwards. We'll find another Carbuncle down there next to a chest. Beat it and grab the 3 megalixirs in the chest. This Carbuncle is optional, so the part of the dungeon that reveals itself is a bonus area. To get to it, go back to where that chest with the haste stones was and continue left.
There's a switch up here that requires a weight of 11 and an Ice resistance of 125. I had to pull Shiva out of the Prism case and transfig Dingldoink back to a Paleberry to make this work.
The switch causes the blocks to line up and form a path downwards, so go to the right a little and then follow it down. There are three chests down here: 2 mega-potions, 2 remedies+, and 2 mega phoenixes.
After that, go all the way back to that chest with the haste stones and head along the pipe to the right of it to get to the next section.
Huh?! Wh-what's the matter, Tama?
N-nothing... Something just the-gave me a start. That's all that it was.
Whenever someone says that, they are always lying. What's going on Tama?
Update 30 Highlights - Something's Wrong with Tama
Tama? What's wrong? Are you okay?
They must... really the-hate me...
I can't bear to see you in pain. Please, go back.
Huh? But, I can't go the-back-- the three of us are a team! Enna Kros told me to... the-look after you...
Well, you'll be here in spirit, and that's what counts. We'll call you if we get into trouble.
Please? For us, 'kay?
Gotta side with the twins on this one, Tama. You're no good to us if you fade out of existence.
Ohhh... all the-right. But stay on the-guard. You still... have no idea who you're... the-dealing with...
Hey, we can handle 'em. I mean, come on. We've held our own against almost everything we've faced.
Right, and don't forget, he's got me! We'll be fine.
Oh yeah, that's reassuring. Glad to know we'll have Reynn there to stand around and blabber conspiracy theories.
All right, if you're the-with him.
What, I'm no good on my own?
That goes without the-saying.
Okay. Well, if you're sure, I guess I'll head the-back. See you soon, all the-right?
Yup. You know it!
*And Tama poofs away*
Yeah. Let's thrash those Heralds, so we can finally go home.
One last Mirage to catch on the way. We saw this little one waaaaay back in the tutorial fight. It needs to be inflicted with Oblivion to capture. Now we finally have the Generic Tama.
In the next section of dungeon, we're greeted with another Carbuncle fight. It's identical to all the others.
Beating this one opens up the path forward as well as another dark crystal. This is the last opportunity to backtrack all the way to Nine Wood for last minute preparation. There's a save point just ahead, so don't worry about back tracking right this second.
There is one last Carbuncle fight up ahead before that save point, though. The fight is the same as the rest, but you might want to take the crystal back and save just in the off chance something unfortunate happens. It's your call.
For some reason this Carbuncle drops a memento, which... sure? I guess. I mean we already caught a Carbuncle long ago and I'm fairly certain we can go get one from the coliseum as well. Maybe this signifies this Carbuncle as being the real one?
Anyway, climb up the newly discovered path and hit the save point just outside of the door. Make sure you are prepped for boss fights at this point. I recommend having Dispel handy, and possibly Slow (or lots of Spider Silk) if you can.