Time for Edge's challenge dungeon!
A Beast's TailEdit
We appear in the Eblan Cave, head back to the castle. Buy supplies including several Tents, and check the equipment shops. With proper cash now, buy a second Metal Boomerang for Tsukinowa, a Kenpo Gi for everyone, and a Silver Armlet for anyone who needs one. You can also grab a few dozen Shurikens. All suited up now, head to the save point at the Eblan Cave.
At the save point rest until the New Moon, then wander this north area to find a Behemoth. These nasty pricks will counter any attack with an attack of their own, and counter magic with Maelstrom to reduce the party to single-digit health. There's a very easy way to turn this to an advantage. Provoke a Maelstrom, then smack the bitch with Advent of Phoenix for over 6000 damage. The Behemoth has 10000 HP, so two Advents will kill him, if you're up to resting every few encounters due to the limited MP of the party and Advent costing 20 MP. However I had 15 Ethers to toss around, so you may as well use them if you don't feel like buying dozens of Tents. After the first Behemoth fight you'll retain your low HP, don't worry about random encounters they'll all die in one hit. The Behemoths will drop Purple Tails. However, they may also drop Power Sashes, which are just as good! They give great defense exceeding all of your current armor options, and give +15 Strength. We thus have double the reason as normal to seek out the tail enemy of this chapter. As an up-side, Behemoths only do counters, they never attack on their own so fighting them at low health is perfectly safe.
The only problem with the Behemoths is that they seem picky on if they consider Bands and Ninjutsu magic or attacks, and thus if they counter them with Maelstrom or not. I previously said here that the Frozen Moon Band provoked a Maelstrom while normal Ninjutsu didn't, and they counter Advent with a physical. Now I'm finding the exact opposite on my replay, they used Maelstrom to counter Zangetsu's Shock and Advent, but a physical against Frozen Moon. So maybe it's random, or maybe I'm stupid, decide for yourself. If they do use a physical to counter Advent, no problem, toss a Phoenix Down.
If you don't want to use Advent twice, then after the first use have Izayoi and Gekkou use Phantom Lightflies to heal the party and just slug it out normally. Edge and Tsukinowa can use Mirage and Zangetsu can use Human Kite, the latter not only does damage but lets him avoid attacks, and with Mirage on Edge and Tsukinowa you have about a 50% chance of the Behemoth attacking one of them and not doing any damage.
When you're done farming the Behemoth, head to Eblan Castle and restock, particularly buying many Shurikens. Time for the Challenge Dungeon.
Edge's challenge dungeon is a time trial - the faster we get to the end the better the treasure we get. So this first run will focus on getting all the other items in the dungeon, subsequent runs will focus on getting to the end quickly. Though you can't see it the timer continues running in battle, so use Auto-Battle to speed things up. Also don't be afraid to flee from battle, Smoke from Edge or Zangetsu can help. Wild Moon from Edge and Tsukinowa helps against large groups of enemies. Also note the monster-in-a-box chests will drop one of two items, but won't repeat. Some chests that are safe in one run may hold monsters in the next, and there can be several chest monsters on a single floor. My advice is to take them if you believe you can spare the time, but only grab the chests that aren't out of the way. Furthermore the treasures of the chests are random, so I can't tell you what you'll find.
In this dungeon the main monsters to watch out for on all floors are Caterpillars and Lamias. Lamias counter all attacks with Entice and Caterpillars with Slow. Use Wild Moon on groups of Caterpillars and Human Kite, Frozen Moon Dance or Shurikens on Lamias. The third floor has Malboros, very annoying enemies because Bad Breath inflicts a lot of status ailments, including Mini and Pig which we can't heal save for Remedies or resting. The only way to deal with them is to equip as many people as you can with a piece of equipment that resists a status ailment - due to a glitch if you resist one status, Bad Breath won't effect you. The Headband fits the bill so give one to everyone if you have enough. If you meet any Golem-type enemies in the dungeon then fight them, they may drop the awesome Giant's Gloves.
Get the chest immediately below you then go right and up for another chest, and now down and around up to the left to find another chest. The monsters in the chests may award a Killer Bow for Izayoi, or an Ashura katana for everyone. The exit is to the right. Also note this floor has two cloaked figures that run around blocking you that will appear if you dally too long, another good reason to speed it up.
The second floor may or may not be familiar. If you're a nerd with a memory for video games like mine, it's the waterway from Baron, sans water. Go down through a hidden passage to a chest, then down again through a longer passage to a second chest. Head right through the lower wall and up to the center area, the island on the ledge holds a chest. Heading right through the wall between the rocks will trigger a forced battle with two Blood Eyes, very dangerous enemies that do a lot of damage and have a lot of HP. Instead go back into the hidden passage and go right and up. The monster-in-a-boxes here may drop a Black Belt Gi or a Mythril Hammer for Gekkou.
We're in a redone Mist Cave now. Follow the path to the two sets of stairs and go up between them to a chest. Go up those left stairs for a chest, then right, taking the stairs you see for a third chest. Now follow the path to the exit. The chest monsters here award the Crimson Cherry, a powerful katana, or a Black Cowl.
This fourth area isn't familiar to newbies, but fans of the original game may recognize it. To the right, if you can spare the time, is a short hall to a healing tile. The left leads to a teleporter out the dungeon. As you go up the large room you'll fight a scripted battle, kill them and open the chest. The monsters that may appear inside yield a Chakram or a Wind Spear, for either Tsukinowa or Zangetsu. Go up through the door.
The final floor has a scripted encounter at the top of the small steps, then it's the final chest with our rare item. The faster you got here the better the chance it has something good.
Now the fastest way to get through the dungeon with the most treasure. Run from all random encounters and ignore the chests, unless you think you can spare the time and have yet to get the two monster-in-a-box treasures, which are just as good as the dungeon items. When you have both, ignore all chests.
Go down, right, down and around to the next floor. On the second floor go down through the hidden passages leading to the chests, as otherwise we'll face scripted enemies, then go right and up along the far right side. In the third floor follow the path to the twin stairs, go up between them and right, then up. Fourth floor go straight up. Depending on the enemies you meet and if you ran from them or not, you should be able to make it here in under five minutes.
The final chest, of course, has the standard four Elixir, Adamantite, Soma Drop and Silver Apple, definitely get the Adamantite as always. It also has a new weapon for each ninja - the Gaia Hammer, Blitz Whip, Flame Lance and Wing Edge, as well as the Kotetsu for all of them. Give each ninja their exclusive weapon when they get it, saving the Kotetsu for Edge with one of the other katanas found in the dungeon. The Goblin Mask gives a nifty boost to Speed, Spirit and Intelligence. The Mist Wrap is a strong armor that gives +5 Speed. The final rare item is the Treasure Hunter armlet. This item boosts the drop rate of items, but sadly doesn't effect rare drops, which are the worthwhile ones of course. The equipment aside from the Kotetsu are mostly missable, as you won't be using the Eblan Four after Edge's Tale and by the time we get to the final tale we'll have stronger stuff. The Adamantite and Treasure Hunter are worth it though.
Now I highly advise going back and farming Behemoths, try to get at least one Power Sash. I emphasize at least because obviously more is better. Give it to Edge. With everyone at Level 40, an Advent of Phoenix from a Maelstrom'd party may do just enough damage to kill a Behemoth in one round, making killing them quick and easy - I say "may" because I believe HP gain on level up has a slight random factor, and Advent of Phoenix has a slight random factor too - once it did just over 10,000 damage, the next fight just under. Either way, Behemoth farming is quick and easy. You can use Silver Apples and Golden Apples to boost Edge's max HP and thus the damage Advent of Phoenix does, if you like. True, you have to keep the party at single-digit health and be vulnerable to an enemy ambush, but if you're worried you can toss a Potion (not a Hi-Potion) on everyone, no enemy you meet in the cave can do enough damage to kill them even if they all gang up on one person.
For a guaranteed Behemoth spawn, this RNG manipulation trick has be found. Save in the Eblan Cave on the New Moon, then soft reset and head back in. Run 23 labs of the box within the save area, then head outside -- you should immediately run into a Behemoth.
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