When we last left our heroes, they were still escaping from Exdeath’s Castle. Which wasn’t too hard, but now we have to get across the BIG BRIDGE.
Of course, the heroes get blown to the other side of the world by a barrier (?!).
Who-knows-where has a lot of swamps.
Behold the instant-death abilities of the Bottomless Bog!
Behold buying Hi-Potions!
Behold making a living as a bar dancer (click the picture for a video)!
Anyway, we eventually get saved from Nowheres-ville via Moogle psychic abilities. We fought a boss during then, but the skeleton wasn’t anything to write home about. Story happens, and eventually I have to fight…
Dragon Pod (Another video to click on above!). This guy can be a massive pain, sprouting flowers that can inflict status ailments. However, this was undermined with Gaia’s Cave-In and Earthquake, plus the Dancer being able to equip the Ribbon. All in all, it went well.
After this, we go to storm the Barrier Tower with Xveat. Unfortunately, my pictures and video from the boat fighting didn’t save, but you can be rest assured that Gilgamesh got his face beaten in for a third time. Enkido died with one Berserker hit, too.
Dragons, on the other hand, promptly beat my face in a few times on the walk up. Also, the Blood Sword has terrible accuracy, and activating Sword Dance with it equipped does NOT give you 4x damage. It’s like a double fail.
Atomos looks scary, and to be honest, when he starts trying to suck in your friends’ dead corpses, it doesn’t help that image much.
Galuf laughs in the face of death, however, and Atomos falls. Bartz doesn’t think it’s so funny.
Let’s fast forward a bit in the story. Ghido’s a bit of a jerk, the party finds out that Exdeath is basically a tree, and they run off to his birthplace, for one reason or another. Upon reaching the Guardian Tree of the Moore Forest, however, we run into these guys:
Oh, these crystals. Really, screw them. They are quite the challenge for a normal playthrough… trying to fight these guys with Job limits is absolutely maddening. Each crystal represents an element: Right is Water, top is Fire, bottom is Earth, and left is Wind. They will only attack you normally… until you get them low on health, when the crystal starts spamming a high powered move of its element… and one that’ll hit the whole party, at that. So, obviously, you should try not to knock multiple crystals to low health at once… a bit of a difficulty with a Berserker, and it doesn’t allow me to use Gaia either, with what not being able to pick my targets with it.
It took me about five tries before I realized this. My Knight had a Flame Shield, which absorbs fire damage. So, if I activate the top crystal, it can heal me while I whittle the others down. Unfortunately… the crystals fall out of sync, so eventually the low-health crystal in the back uses Aeroga on Lenna twice and kills her. After about seven more attempts, I just go and grind out about four levels. Which didn’t help… but you know what did? Everyone being able to dance. Seriously.
Sword Dance saved the day… let me explain. I followed the strategy that I stated earlier: I activated the top crystal, and used its Firaga to heal Knight Faris while I defeated the Water and Earth crystals. However, when I got to the Wind Crystal, I realized that Aeroga simply did too much damage to a single target to stay alive. So I killed the Fire crystal, revived and fully healed everyone, and then started dancing (including Galuf, who had a Dancing Dirk). Once he started casting Aeroga, I was worried, but… Faris pulled off a Sword Dance right when I was getting worried, and won the day. Actually, it makes it a little ironic that the Dancer is the only one dead at the end of the battle.
However, this is no time to celebrate, since Exdeath ruined the party (you can click the picture for another video). Galuf, however, danced in the face of ultimate evil itself, and came out… well… I’d love to say alright.
…But… Well, Galuf, you were a fine man. And the finest party member. You will be missed. More importantly, however, you will be AVENGED.
LET’S GO TEACH EXDEATH A THING OR TWO ABOUT EX…DEATH… okay that ruined it. Next time.