Part 11, still on Palom's Tale. Man my intros are really bland this time.
The Waterway[edit source]
Back in Troia head to the castle and speak to the Epopts. Palom questions why they loaded their tower with monsters and wanted Leonora to learn Black Magic instead of the traditional White, and we learn the Epopts want to learn it as a defense against Baron's recent aggression. Palom is upset and we head off to rest. Palom reflects that Baron's actions in the past were Golbez's work, and realizes the moon he left on has returned. Leonora comes in and we're off to see the Crystal. The Epopts tell us Baron is on their way, and Palom volunteers to steal the Crystal and hide it so they don't invade Troia for it. A wasted effort, just as we go to get it a familiar face walks in. The dynamic duo takes the Crystal and flees into a hidden escape route. Follow the path to the obvious crack in the floor and head left into a hidden room with a Cottage and Ice Arrows, then follow the path to the waterway. There's a save point here and a Namingway who will set us items. Buy what you need, rest if you don't like the Moon Phase, and move on.
As you may expect from a water dungeon, many enemies here are weak to electricity so zap away with Thundara. Follow the path down, back up and left to some stairs down and a bridge to the left. Go down the stairs and right up a ledge and over a bridge to get a Hi-Potion, then go back and enter the water. Swim down to a ledge with Lightning Arrows and a Great Bow. Equip Leonora with these so she isn't a complete load, because her black magic as you're figuring out is useless with Palom around. Go back to the fork from before, cross the bridge to the left and snag the Heavenly Wrath from the chest, then go down, heal with the pot and head to the next floor. Don't go down the bridge here, instead head right along the ledge to two chests with a Hi-Potion and Arctic Wind. Go back to the entrance and follow the linear path across the bridges and over the land, snagging an Ether, Remedy, Bacchus's Wine and a Phoenix Down on the way. Dive into the water and surface to the north, then follow the bridges to the stairs up. Save and rest if needed, remember a Tent only restores 100 MP, you need a Cottage for a full heal.
Follow the path, grabbing a Tent as you pass, and you'll come to a bridge up and stairs down. Go north to find a Rune Armlet, give it to Palom to boost his Intelligence and give him more defense, Leonora's Sage equipment should be doing well for her in that last regard without the armlet. Go down and into the water, locate the obvious hidden passage that is so obvious you shouldn't need me to tell you where it is, and follow it to three chests with Lilith's Kiss, Cottage, and Echo Herbs. Then go back and swim north to a four-way split. The stairs nearby have Spider Silk, then go to the next floor. Here go along the water, surface and look on the ledges for a Ruby Ring and a Phoenix Down. Dive back into the water and go north to find the stairs forward. We emerge at the entrance to the castle, and as we leave Leonora suggests we hide in a cave to the north, a magnetic field there disables use of metal equipment so it'll protect us from armored soldiers.
Head to Troia and check the armor and weapon shops, there are new people with new equipment. Buy Palom a Sage's Surplice and Leonora a Rune Armlet. The Wizard's Hat boosts Intelligence but the Sage's Miter doesn't, so leave Palom with the former. The weapon shop has elemental arrows, the Great Bow and a Psycho Spiral staff. The Staff boosts Spirit by 3, if you like it buy it. When you're ready to move on go to the north Chocobo Forest and catch a Black Chocobo to fly to the Lodestone Cavern. Leonora should be at Level 20 by now, with Palom almost to Level 25.
Magnet Cave[edit source]
As we fly the Baron airships pursue us and we flee into the cave with no option to fly anywhere else. Palom tells Leonora to run for it, of course she doesn't listen. Head right over the bridge to a healing pot and a Hi-Potion, then go down. The path to the stairs down is linear, there's a chest with Echo Herbs next to them. In the next area go north to see a bridge, go left to find an Ether, then head over a bridge to a door, inside are a Circlet and an Ether. Give the Circlet to Palom. Leave and go left to the stairs down. Immediately there's a door, head inside to find a save point and a Namingway merchant. Outside head over the bridge to another door, it has three chests with a Cottage, Spider Silk and Bronze Hourglass. Out the door go left and up a long path through rock to the next cave. Go up to find a Polymorph Rod for Palom and a healing pot. In the next area as you begin to cross the bridge Leonora will reveal a hidden path to us, and we go into a new area not in the original game.
Down here take the left bridge to find a Mage's Robe. It boosts Intelligence and Spirit, but doesn't boost Spirit as much as the Sage's Surplice, so leave Leonora with that and give the Mage's Robe to Palom. Now go along the other bridge to see the stairs up. Ignore them and go around them to find a chest with a Hi-Potion. Now go to the upper-right part of this area and go up to find an invisible path to a chest with a Soma Drop, save it as always. There is one also from the earth junction of the two bridges, to an Hermes Sandals. Then go up the stairs. We'll walk back to the main path and see some Baron troops come in. Go up past the door above and around to a Dry Ether, then go back and right. Recover with the pot and save. If you plan to do Palom's Challenge Dungeon I would say level up to 30 now, the enemies here leave good amounts of Exp and we have free healing. Palom learns Bio at Level 30, and as Rydia showed us Bio is our go-to spell for the tales up to the finale. When you're done enter the door to a crystal room, and an old friend will be revived by the Earth Crystal's light.
The Dark Elf casts powerful level 2 magic on you. Use Leonora's Cura to heal and cast Shell when you have a free turn. Also cast Slow on the Dark Elf to buy time for such. Palom should cast a level two spell, or if you did level grinding, Bio. After he takes around 7000 damage or a bit more he'll shapeshift into the Dark Dragon. He cannot be harmed in this form and will use Dark Breath, so bunker in with Cura until Shiva appears to blast him away. The Mysterious Girl enters, and Palom teleports Leonora away, then petrifies himself with the Crystal. As Leonora just walk out the door to continue the scene. The girl moves to shatter Palom but Leonora heals him. We then discover Leonora is the girl Palom flirts with in the ending of the original game. The touching reunion is interrupted by the Girl asking for the Crystal again. "You know, this girl here is no good as an Epopt. But as my partner, she passes with flying colors!"
This is a scripted battle, we can't win so don't waste any items. However it's the last battle of the tale and we finally get to take a shot at the villain so let's use it! Try out that new Particle Bomb Band for a bit of spice. Also enjoy the battle remix of the Mysterious Girl's theme, pretty badass. Eventually she'll summon Shiva and blast us with Diamond Dust, then teleports out the room with the Crystal. We then cut to Porom and Kain on Mt. Ordeals, and Porom senses a disturbance in the Force. On that note, we end Palom's Tale. On to the Challenge Dungeon!
VIP Access[edit source]
You can do this as soon as you arrive in Troia at the beginning of the tale, but it's best to do the challenge dungeon a bit because you need a lot of money for this. Go to the large building, the pub, and speak to the person by the entrance. Buy a Member's Writ for 10000 gil and show it to the person above them near the wall. They'll open a hidden door. Head downstairs to the King's Bounty pub and enjoy the "show". Afterwardss Palom has only 1 HP, heal him and enter the dressing room. Open the lone chest for a Lustful Lali-Ho but don't show it to Leonora or you'll lose it, and we must hang onto it. Then buy the Member's Card from the old woman. Show it to the man back in the showroom and he'll open another hidden path. Head into the Queen's Bounty pub and enjoy a much better show this time. In the right dressing room two girls will sell "Queen' equipment, the defenses suck but they resist a lot of status ailments. You can buy them if you like, but know they can only be bought here. In particular the Queen's Whip is required for a special Band ability in the final chapters, so at least buy it.
In the left dressing room is the card to the final hidden pub, but membership costs 99999 gil! The best place to get this is on the Mountain Floor in the Challenge Dungeon, the monsters leave a fair bit of money, and you may meet the Gil Bird which leaves 999. On a Full Moon the Gil Bird drops 9999 gil! However they tend to run, use Bio, Slow and Particle Bomb to destroy them before they escape. With the odd lucky encounter with a Gil Bird getting 99999 gil will take a few hours. Also remember to sell your old equipment for quick cash, it may only be a couple hundred gil each but it adds up. With a VIP Card in hand talk to the man in Queen's Bounty and he'll open the path to the final area, The Emperor. Enjoy the biggest show yet, then leave. You'll find a treasure chest on the way out that contains the reward for giving up our hard-earned cash - a Black Tail.
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