PART FOURTEEN: Chekov's Axe
Bartz, Lenna and Faris traveled to Galuf's world, forever leaving behind their world to help their friend. Now that's true friendship! Unfortunately they were immediately captured and Galuf had to bust them out of prison. After meeting Exdeath's right-hand man, they tried to escape to safety, only to be blown away by an energy barrier raised around the castle.
This is where we start off after the scene. If only there was some way to check where we are, but we don't have a map. Or do we? Well, we found a map of the world in the Ship Graveyard but obviously that's a map of Bartz's world and is completely useless to us now, yes?
Gasp! The map we have must be magical, because lo and behold, here is a map of Galuf's world! So yeah, the cross is near the top center of the map. For the record, Exdeath's Castle is that large continent in the southeast, meaning we got blown pretty far away. Also as you can see there isn't a lot going on on Galuf's world, it's pretty sparse.
Faris is a Geomancer now, reason being that the dark brown spots on the map are swamp terrain, and swamp terrain has one pretty great !Gaia effect. This is one of a handful of places where Geomancer shines, so might as well use it while it's good.
Wooo enemies. Devourer sometimes uses Slimer, which sets Slow. Not particularly interesting.
This is Geomancer using the ability that makes them good in swamps, Bottomless Bog, which is an instant death attack on all enemies as they sink into the abyss.
Tunnelers like using Discord, which cuts your level in half, causing you to deal less damage. They're not tough though.
Fairy Orcs are probably the most interesting enemy. If you cast Cure on them, they'll heal your party with Curaga. Weird. You might want to do this because if a character happens to get KO'd, they'll resurrect them as a Zombie.
This is the first time you could potentially get Zombie status, one of the deadliest statuses in the game. You might think that Zombie status just makes curative things hurt you and unable to be resurrected. That may be true in later FF games, but you'd be wrong in this game.
Zombie causes a character to be active, with grayish skin and blank eyes. They have 0 HP, but the biggest problem is that a Zombie character acts as if they're under a combination Berserk/Confuse status, targeting your party with a physical attack every turn. This is bad, because a Zombie character counts as "dead" so if a Zombie takes out your remaining alive party members, game over.
To make matters even worse, Zombie is the only status effect that is not cured by a stay at the inn or by a Tent/Cottage. ALWAYS HAVE HOLY WATERS. ALWAYS. Holy Water is the ONLY way to cure a Zombie, and you don't wanna be deep in a dungeon and have a zombie with you, having to deal with that as you rush out to buy more Holy Water.
Birostris can use Transfusion but that's about the only interesting thing about them.
After a bit of walking you'll see a town.
Things are pretty calm here, and one NPC even mentions that Exdeath would never bother with a podunk out-of-the-way town like this. Well, whether he would or not, an inn is always welcome, as is a chance to stock up on supplies. So let us do that thing, starting with the magic shop.
Level 4 White Magic spells! This is more or less the point where Red Mage becomes useless, since Red Mage can only cast up to level 3 of Black/White, and now we have level 4 available. Dualcast is still great, but that can be learned later.
Esuna you should have gotten from Castle Karnak or possibly Lix, the other two are new though. Blink creates two mirror images that cause the next two physical attacks to miss, very useful. Shell reduces magical damage so that's pretty great too.
Three new Black spells which also means three new Mystic Knight Spellblades. Drain heals the caster for as much damage as it deals. Break turns an enemy to stone, which is effectively the same as killing it, though some enemies are immune to death but not being turned to stone, so yeah. Finally Bio is a poison elemental spell that inflicts the Sap status on an enemy.
Finally, Time Mage has a damage-dealing spell! Comet is very random though, with its spell power ranging from 50 to 200, so it'll either do a lot of damage or barely any, especially if the enemy has good magic defense. Still, better than nothing, especially since it ignores Reflect. Slowga is just a Slow spell on the entire enemy party, and Return causes the battle to restart, which is useful when trying to get rare steals from enemies.
Now, let's check out the weapon and armor shops.
Lots of stuff here. Orichalcum Dirks are the strongest dagger type weapon, War Hammer is basically worthless, you already have an Ashura from way back at Castle Tycoon but if you want more here they are, Sleep Blade is very good and you should get at least one. Of the ones I'm not showing, the Wind Spear is a wind elemental spear which is still weaker than the Javelin from the world 1 Sand Bears. Dark Bows have a 66% chance to inflict Blind, you might have gotten one as a drop from Enchanted Fans in the Ronka Ruins. It's also slightly weaker than the Killer Bow you could've stolen from Ghidra. The Dream Harp, like almost all harps, is useless. The Chain Whip is really nice though, good attack power, full power from the back row, and has a 50% chance of inflicting paralysis on enemies. It can only be equipped by Beastmaster of course, but Beastmaster is a pretty great job so making a character one isn't a terrible idea.
Over to armor now!
You can buy gold equipment here for your Armor users. The shield is an obvious upgrade as is the helm; personally I keep Ninja Suits on my Armor wearers for the lower weight and speed boost, and the armor isn't THAT much better. Green Berets are great for Clothes wearing jobs, boosting agility and strength, and Wizard's Hats are the next best hat for Robe jobs. Ninja Suits are for sale now, so everyone can wear them instead of just one person from the Library of Ancients. You can also now finally buy Gaia Gear for Robe characters, though you may have some from Karnak Castle's escape sequence if you got lucky. As I mentioned before, they boost earth element attacks, which means Titan from a Gaia Gear wearer is gonna be really strong for now.
Finally, let's look at the item shop.
The item shop got a boost too. You can buy Hi-Potions! Hi-Potions restore 500 HP, which is way nicer than the Potion's 50. You can also buy Holy Water here (BUY IT), and other status restoration items.
At the OTHER item shop counter, you can now buy Cottages instead of Tents, Cottages restoring all your HP/MP rather than just some like the Tent does. You're getting to the point where Tents are a bit lacking, so get Cottages. There's also five new items you may have gotten from drops in Bartz's world, which are the Hero Cocktail, Power Drink, Speed Shake, Goliath Tonic and Iron Draft.
These five items are used with the Chemist's !Drink command. Power Drink, as I mentioned, is bugged in the SFC and GBA versions and only increases the power of Goblin Punch. In the Android/iOS version it works as intended, boosting the drinker's attack power by 20. Speed Shake bestows Haste on the drinker, Goliath Tonic doubles max HP (very nice), Hero Cocktail temporarily increases the drinker's level by 10, and finally Iron Draft bestows Protect and Shell on the drinker. These are pretty great and especially in challenge runs are very nice, though just playing the game normally you may not find much use for them.
So what else is going on in this town? Well, a couple of NPCs have interesting things to say. Better not get too close to that castle down south...
Which in RPG terms, means "Go to that castle!" We will in a bit. That big fat liar says he saw a moogle! He's a liar liar pants on fire!
Moogles! The other mascot of the Final Fantasy series after Chocobos. This town's got the best brew in the whole world! You should try a glass!
Well, why not? Let's see what's shakin' at the pub!
One guy mentions that the town is so backwater they don't even have dancing girls. If you try stepping on stage...
If you choose yes, Bartz will dance around, and then the bartender will run up to you and say "Hey, not bad!" and pay you 100 gil. You can do this as many times as you want, but there's faster ways to make money.
There's also something else in this pub, though you may need a Thief to find it.
Yep, a new piano to play! This is piano number six.Piano music!
For the record, this is Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster.
Which reminds me, the last piano music, number five,
(I linked it before but here it is again) was Schubert's Marche Militaire No. 1.
The Final Fantasy V Advance LP, teaching you about classical music!
The innkeeper will let you stay for free, which means there's story stuff afoot!
Galuf gets up in the middle of the night and heads out, and Bartz wakes up noticing his absence. He heads out looking for Galuf, and then decides to check the pub. Finally, a chance to try the famed Regole brew! Kinda burns a path down your throat!
Bartz enters at this point and walks up to Galuf.Oh, Bartz! What's up?
Mmm. Come on, pull up a chair.
Galuf...I'm sorry. If we hadn't butted in, you'd have been able to get into Exdeath's castle...
Nah, even if we had gotten in, the barrier would've destroyed us... I hadn't the slightest inkling it'd been finished. In fact, it's only thanks to you that we weren't all crushed!
Bartz... You knew that once you came here, you could never return. So why'd you do it?
...No particular reason.
Hey, don't worry about it.
End scene. Good character building moments. It's why I like Final Fantasy V. Though admittedly they lose some of their charm when you've seen them eighty times before. :V
That's all there is in Regole, so once you've stocked up and healed up, head down to the south, where there's a castle that you were told to stay away from. Obviously, that means to enter it right now.
This is the Sealed Castle of Kuza. The castle is just one long hallway with no twists or turns, and after the second door you end up in...This is the music that plays in the Sealed Room.
Very creepy stuff.
When you step down off the main platform... Jumping Jehoshaphat! These must be...the twelve sealed weapons! They really do exist--I thought they were only legend!
So these were used in battle a thousand years ago?
They've all turned to stone...
Guess you can't expect much more from stuff that's a millennium old.
You can walk around and examine the weapons if you like, there's no random encounters in this room so you can leisurely stroll around and check them out...though obviously, as they've turned to stone, you can't actually use them. The twelve sealed weapons are:
Assassin's Dagger, Apollo's Harp, Excalibur, Fire Lash, Gaia's Bell, Holy Lance, Magus Rod, Masamune, Rune Axe, Sage Staff, Sasuke's Katana, and Yoichi's Bow.
I'm sure we'll never see these weapons again!
In the non-Sealed Room areas, there's only one encounter, the Shield Dragon. Shield Dragons are a massive pain as they are very strong. They can use Knock Silly, which causes Confuse if it hits, as well as Blaze, a fire elemental attack that deals 25% of your max HP, but their deadliest attack is Zombie Breath. Zombie Breath is a full party attack that can deal up to 900 HP damage, and anything it KOs gets turned into a zombie. Eep.
They have a lot of HP, but they also give 2500 experience to a full party, which is not only the best experience at this point in the game, but remains the most experience you can get outside the bonus dungeon (meaning this is the max experience from an encounter in the SFC version). There's only one other encounter that gives this much experience and it's not until the final dungeon!
The tradeoff is that they're very difficult to kill. The easiest way to take them out is with a Beastmaster using the !Control ability. Control it, have it use Blaze on itself four times, it's gone.
Leaving the Sealed Castle of Kuza behind, it's pretty uneventful for a while, heading through swampland and forests.
You will eventually reach this forest, which blocks your way, meaning that there's going to be an event in it.
It's hard to tell here, but all the trees have leaves covering them, and there's a small circle around the party that allows you to see through the leaves. The circle moves with you so you'll basically see leaves disappear as you walk towards them, leaving the bare trunk.There's music here, too!
This is the first appearance of the moogle theme in the Final Fantasy series, though not the first appearance of moogles. More on that later.
That white looking thing with the pink wings is a moogle, and you need to walk up and talk to it to intitate the next sequence. You actually can just walk past it and exit the forest on the other side, but then you wouldn't be able to go where you need to, so don't do that.
When you talk to it, the moogle freaks out and runs off, falling into a hole in the ground. Moogle?
Strange little critters that live in the forest. They're pretty timid, though, so you don't see them that often.
Let's help it!
This is to help establish the character trait that Lenna loves animals, not just dragons. But do what she says, it's the right thing to do, and besides you need to anyway to advance the story, so hop into the hole.
You end up in an underwater cavern. When you step into the water, the current will carry you along, and you will be forced into battles on specific squares.
Lesser Lopros are pretty strong, using Breath Wing and Frost. They're also immune to Bio, so don't use that. Use fire elemental attacks instead, as they are weak to those.
Moogle Eaters don't do much interesting, but are weak to lightning. Blood Slimes are weak to fire and are under inherent Poison status, also they can use Vampire. Acrophies have strong physicals, but they're weak to lightning and also can be taken out by Level 5 Death so use those against them.
There's a path split along the way but both ways take you to the same place in the end. I usually take the path near the gil chest myself, though that puts you at a spot where you have to walk back a bit for the Phoenix Down chest, not a big deal in my opinion.
At the end of the cavern it seems Mr. Moogle has gotten himself into a bit of a sticky situation with a spooky scary skeleton. When you get near, the skeleton decides to go after you instead.
This is Tyrannosaur. It generally attacks with physical attacks, and will counter anything that isn't magic with either a physical attack or the Blue magic spell ????, which as you may remember deals damage equal to Max HP minus Current HP. So that's not pleasant. It's weak to fire and immune to ice.
But the Tyrannosaur's biggest weakness is that it's undead, and on top of that, it's not Heavy.
Phoenix Down will instantly KO Tyrannosaur if it hits (it has a small chance to miss). You can also use an Elixir on it to bring it down to 1 HP and then take it out with anything else, but that's a waste of an Elixir in my book. Phoenix Downs are the better choice and it probably won't take more than two before it hits.
The Moogle is still apprehensive, but Lenna assures it that everything's okay. The moogle rushes past the party to the exit, and Lenna deduces that it is asking the party to follow it.
The moogle only speaks with the sound "kupo" or variations thereof, so the conversation isn't particularly compelling.
This part is a bit tricky and I never realized it until a walkthrough spelled it out for me, so here's the deal. Mr. Moogle will step onto the desert and then look from side to side a bit. This is the game trying to use the limited sprite to make Mr. Moogle appear as if it's shaking its head. It's saying "No" to going in the desert. After that, Mr. Moogle runs around the desert, through the forests, to a large forest in the northeast.
Mr. Moogle is trying to tell you to stay out of the desert because it's dangerous. Stay in the forest paths and you won't run into any enemies, wander into the desert and you might meet a horrible fate.
Here's an interesting bit of trivia! So while you can't see it on the still shot, in the game the desert sand tiles are moving, giving the appearance of waves. From what I understand, this is a mixup in programming in the GBA version. Remember the Desert of Shifting Sands in Bartz's world? The whole deal with that desert is the sand moved and shifted...apparently, and I haven't played the SFC (PS1) version in years so I can't verify, this moving sand effect was on the Desert of Shifting Sands in Bartz's world, and the desert here was stationary. However again, due to an error, the sand is perfectly stationary in Bartz's world, but moves here. Neat if true!
So what happens if you ignore Mr. Moogle and decide to traverse the desert?
You run into these pleasant chaps. The Cactus are weak to water and are also Desert type. They use physical attacks and you can use !Control to potentially learn 1000 Needles from them if you missed it before. Cacti aren't too dangerous, they are Heavy though so instant death stuff is right out. Use Water Scrolls or Aqua Breath.
The Sandcrawler is the threat here. They have 15,000 max HP and every turn they may use Maelstrom, which has a chance to bring your entire party down to single digit HP. They also have very strong physical attacks, so they're pretty tough. They are vulnerable to Break and instant death attacks though, so either Black Mage casting Break, Mystic Knight using Break spellblade, a Chemist's Death Potion mix, or a Berserker with a Death Sickle can take them out with some effort. It's a Desert type as well so Aqua Breath will deal massive damage to it, not weak to water though.
The rewards for killing these guys isn't worth it, so unless you're going for a full bestiary (and I am) then just avoid the desert and don't bother with 'em.
Once you get to the large forest you may need to walk around a bit to find the right tile to get into the Moogle Village. No random encounters though so just wander around and you'll eventually get it.
When you enter, the moogles hanging out at the front will immediately freak out and scatter. As you're walking around every so often you'll see "Kupo!" and a moogle running across the screen. Make your way over to the far right, near one of the trees with doors, and you'll see a stationary moogle beside it. Talk to it and it'll freak out and run off at first, but then it'll stop and realize who you are, turning back to meet you. It's Mr. Moogle!
Mr. Moogle will take you into his home, where Lenna will make a remark that he's saying they can have the treasures, and Mr. Moogle nods. Take the treasures! They contain a Cottage, Phoenix Down, Ether, 1 gil, 10,000 gil, and a Dancing Dagger.
The Dancing Dagger is a bit stronger than the Orichalcum Dagger, it also raises Agility and Magic by 1 point. The real draw of the weapon though is that every attack with it has a 50% chance to proc the !Dance command, which then has the usual odds of picking a dance. The Dancing Dagger IS affected by gear that boosts Swords Dance, so wearing a Lamia's Tiara replaces Tempting Tango with Swords Dance if Dance is used.
Once you leave, the other moogles will no longer be scared of you and will be running around the village, but they all just say "Kupo!" when spoken to. There's one other item to get here, go into the tree in the middle of the village.
Who knows why moogles would have or need a moogle costume, but don't question it and just put it on, which will cause your sprite to turn into a moogle sprite.
Now, head to the tree on the left.
The moogle in here falls in love with you. Is it a male? A female? Who knows! But what it does is run up and unlock the treasure chest in the room, which contains a third Elven Mantle. Nice! Now you can equip all but one of your party with an Elven Mantle, which you should do because Elven Mantles are cool; and by cool, I mean totally sweet.
Once you've gotten that, go back over to the right, where Mr. Moogle is standing outside his house again. Speak to him and the scene will change to a castle.
The moogle talks to her and Krile rushes to the roof. What's happened?
It's Grandpa--he's in the moogle village!
Moogles can all communicate through telepathy. Even when they're far apart, they can keep in contact with their minds...
The moogle village... That's pretty far from here.
Yes... Plus, the wind drake is too tired to fly.
After she says this, the wind drake stirs a bit and makes a noise. So that means...? I see... Thank you. He says he can go--but only once!
If you're certain it's all right...
The scene shifts back to the moogle village, where the moogles are all gathered together and dancing back and forth. They walk up to Bartz and one of them makes a gesture...
Meanwhile, the wind drake flies over top of the forest... Gee, where is the moogles' forest anyway?
Hmm? At the nose?
After hearing this, the forest changes a bit.
And Krile lands on the moogle's nose. Grandpa!
How did you find us?
The moogles told me you were here! Grandpa, we should hurry back to the castle!
The party climbs onto the wind drake, and as they take off, the moogles wave goodbye. It's pretty cute. King Galuf!
Wait...did they just say...? Thanks for holding down the fort while I was gone.
Again...they said it again...it can't have been a mistake twice. Galuf...is a king?!
And with that...we'll end this update.
Next time: intrigue! Suspense! Find out the TRUE STORY behind Bartz of Lix!