Apologies for not updating this run recently – been very busy. Even in this update I don’t really get a lot done and mostly just side quest. Still, it’s fun. And as always, please consider donating to Child’s Play, they’re doing wonderful work. I know it doesn’t seem that useful – toys for kids in hospital? Who cares, right? – but here are a couple of examples from their site of just how important and helpful these can be.
This gift allows us to make the child as comfortable as possible. Hospitals can be scary places, and things like movies and video games give the children a sense of normalcy in what is not a normal situation for them. – Patti Brahe, senior vice president of Parkview Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Our department has had these items on our ‘wishlist’ for years, knowing that with them we can support our patients in new and better ways. Believe me when I say the donation we received could not have come at a better time. Not only will it provide our patients with support, distraction, and therapeutic play, it has already revitalized our staff morale. – Bethany L. Fisackerly, Child Life Specialist
There are a lot more testimonials on the Child’s Play website I linked, making it honestly a pleasure and a privilege to support them through the Four Job Fiesta, which as of this post (to be clear I mean the event as a whole, not me specifically, obviously) has now raised over $10,000 for the charity – we’re now shooting for $12,500!
At the end of the previous update, I had unlocked my third job, Ninja, and proved that I should consider buying a lottery ticket. So, to continue the plot, I need to fix the boat, but Cid won’t do it because he’s a mopey panda, which necessitates heading to the Library of Ancients. Partly because we need to find his grandson Mid to cheer him up (not that the game explains this), partly because it’s the only new place we can go now that we’ve… exploded Karnak Castle. You’d think that we’d face some sort of repercussions for that This is another reason I ended the update by grinding – as you may have seen, I ended up with all my characters at level 16, which is rather helpful for this dungeon.
It’s even less of a problem considering I have three spellblade users, two of which dual wield. All the enemies in here are weak to fire, meaning Spellblades cleave it in half, and Black Mages burn it to a crisp. But the main reason to not be level 15 in this place is that it makes you a target for one enemy’s Level 5 Death spell – Page 64, who naturally I didn’t screenshot.
That’s going to be a theme this update. Anyway, these… books… are the only enemies who show up in the library, so it’s a bit of a joke. Speaking of jokes!
Ifrit is effectively the midboss of this library, you can’t proceed without acquiring him. Fortunately, I have Spellblade.
Ifrit will essentially just spam fire attacks, with his most threatening one being Blaze. He’s like a less intimidating Liquid Flame really. Yes, it’ll hurt if he single targets, but Cura fixes that no problem if you keep your health topped up.
Yeah… Needless to say Ifrit gets dropped in about three rounds, because dual-wielding Ninjas with Spellblade wreck him.
Sensing a theme there?
I’m pretty sure I had more trouble with Shiva, frankly. And I definitely have more trouble with the other summon I acquire this update. Spoilers.
With that, it’s on to the rest of the library, which is honestly a pretty short jaunt until we reach its end-boss, Byblos. Who is another book.
Byblos is a boss who is potentially problematic if you don’t really understand what you’re doing or have been unlucky with either the RNG or your job rolls. He has a lot of nasty counters that inflict status ailments, including Toad and Confuse. He’ll also halve your level to hamper your stats with Dischord, buff himself with Protect when struck with physicals (though this is random) and halve your MP with Magic Hammer.
However, he is also weak to fire, I have dual-wielding Ninjas with Spellblade, and I actually only got him to use Protect once. Seriously considering that lottery ticket thing, Byblos’ biggest attack is his Drain spell, which is still very painful at this point in the game, though at least the health he replenishes from it is nothing compared to what I’m doing. Look, I even captured his special boss fadeout! I’m the best blogger ever 😉
Anyway, we get Mid, and thus get our hands on a boat, which if we’re playing normally will last us a grand total of five minutes. FFV is really schizophrenic about its vehicles. However, I decide to sail over to Jachol first, intending to upgrade my equipment (which I didn’t capture) and grind some ABP in the Jachol Cave (most of which I didn’t capture either). The equipment I get is very useful though, most notably the Mage Masher daggers, which can inflict Silence at random. I have plans for this, much later down the line.
The treasure in the cave is mostly useless, but the encounters aren’t. Formations of Nut Eaters are the most common, easily killed and delivering 2 ABP. The Skull Eaters give 5 ABP, but a) good luck hitting, damaging and killing them, and b) good luck surviving a fight with them. They’re nice enough to flee most of the time though, awarding you ABP anyway. What a bro. You’ll notice that I switch Lenna to Mystic Knight and Bartz back to White Mage, to let them both get some experience in their other classes. That’s the only new thing I can do with the boat, so we sail over to Crescent, where the boat is promptly sunk in an earthquake. I do… things in Crescent? I think? Look I did this a week ago and there isn’t much in Crescent that’s very useful for me at this stage. I do get the Black Chocobo though, so that’s lovely. And now I can access a few more places – Istory Village to pick up the Toad and Esuna spells (I forgot I could get Esuna in Karnak Castle) and encounter an optional summon. Sidequesting!
Ramuh is the most challenging of the three elemental summons at this stage in the game, mainly because I can’t absolutely ruin him with Spellblade. It’s a more straightforward slog through his 4000 HP. Shockingly, Ramuh mostly sticks to lightning spells, which are fairly damaging. and puts Bartz on constant healing duty, occasionally supported by Lenna, while the ninjas rip into him. If the Mage Mashers got to silence him, (both Ninjas have one) this would be a breeze, but he’s immune to it. It’s a fairly standard battle of attrition, but nothing I can’t handle at this point of the game. So of course I didn’t capture most of it.
Next on the list is Lix Village, which is mostly useful for abusing the half price discount for items, getting some backstory for Bartz and purchasing throwables for Ninjas! … Which I forgot about until after the next boss, so sequence breaking ahoy.
The scrolls are for elemental damage and are currently my only way of dealing damage to a whole enemy party. I buy twenty of each. Shuriken are stupid expensive and not damaging enough to justify it at this stage. Note the Water Scroll in particular – it’s my only way of dealing WATER damage, because in FFV, Water and Ice are completely different things and elements. Maybe Ice is made of frozen lemonade or something.
Enough stalling, because it’s onto the biggest challenge of the update, and a major Fiesta roadblock. We go to the Desert of Shifting Sands to do battle with the Sandworm, so we can cross its corpse to chase a king’s ghost through a ruin to fall into a trap and get an airship as a result.
No, really, that’s what happens. FFV is so silly.
So: the Sandworm. Ordinarily, this boss is a matter of patience. He moves between the three holes here, so mashing A is not recommended, especially because the holes will (somehow) counterattack when you hit them with Gravity, halving your HP. The Sandworm’s only attack meanwhile is Quicksand, dealing a flat 60 damage across your party, but inflicting Sap, causing your HP to tick down rapidly. It’s like poison, but with more pressure.
The Sandworm is weak to water, which means that if I’d remembered to buy those scrolls in Lix before, I could’ve trivialised him (though I’d have incurred my fair share of Gravity counterattacks for Bartz to tend to). Oh well, where would the challenge be in that, right? Lenna is using the Blizzara spellblade here and her damage at its normal rate, because water and ice are totally different things, because fuck you, that’s why.
So why is the Sandworm a roadblock if you’ve been unlucky? The biggest problem is lacking a decent healing option at this point of the game outside of White Mage, which you more than likely haven’t rolled. That means you’re relying on Potions to heal, which at 50 HP a heal have long since outstayed their usefulness. The rate at which Sap ticks your HP down constantly turns the fight into a mixture of a damage race and a war of attrition, and god help you if you incur a Gravity counter… Which is damn near guaranteed if you have, say, a Berserker, which targets enemies at random. There ARE ways to trivialise him – Water scrolls from Ninjas, Aqua Breath from the Blue Mage or capturing a Dhorne Chimera with a Beastmaster (which deals absolutely absurd damage to Desert-type enemies), but the Sandworm is a potentially brutal fight that is very hard to keep up with the damage from.
But I have White magic. Bartz spams Cura and we get through.
… This by the way is what Water Scrolls do to enemies in the desert.
So after that, it’s on to the ruins, where the things I described earlier happens. Chase the ghost. Fall in a pit. Get an airship. Pick up the Mini spell on the way. And then get randomly attacked by a “boss” that clung to the airship as it rose. For those of you keeping score at home, this is the third vehicle in this update, yes.
Cray Claw is a pathetic reskin of the game’s second boss, right down to his stupid Tail Screw attack. I finish him in two hits by having Ninjas throw Shuriken at him. I found them while picking up Mini.
Next time, I’ll use this airship to finally go hunt for that Earth crystal… Right after I go buy some more scrolls.