Part 21 of the walkthrough, the biggest climax yet! Secrets will be revealed, heroes will rise, and a legendary badass shall make his name known anew!
Enter Baron as Kain and he'll drag her to the throne room. The Enterprise arrives and the party is now on the map, last chance to de-equip the Hooded Man of anything too valuable. Enter the castle and we'll engage three Zombie Infantry, now with Cid in our ranks. Not sure where Edward is. Beat them up and continue on. In the hall before the throne room we catch up to Kain and Rosa, and Kain recognizes the Hooded Man. Rosa looks at our mystery man and..."Kain?" Ceodore is appropriately confused as Rosa then looks at Kain and asks who he is. "I am Kain. The real Kain." Kain and the Hooded Man begin to fight, and Edward and Cid burst in to watch the show. The Hooded Man orders them to stay back, and Kain agrees. In the fight now just attack and keep your HP over 1000 so Jump doesn't kill you in one hit. Eventually Kain will taunt us and accuses the Hooded Man of wanting Cecil dead and Rosa to himself. If you haven't figured out what's going on yet, this final scene should be a clue - Rosa calls out to the Hooded Man as Kain again, and our fight begins anew. The Hooded Man, it turns out, is actually Kain - the Kain we've known the entire game is his evil doppelganger Dark Kain, who is called "Kain?" now because....who knows. NOW the real fight!
The first thing you'll notice is that Kain has regained his Jump ability, use it and it'll do several thousand damage. I'm not sure of an exact HP total for Dark Kain, but three jumps at over 3000 damage each did it for me. He falls to his knees and we flashback to the mirrored chamber, where we see Kain's reflection step over Kain's collapsed body and leave. In the present Kain realizes he can't bury his past, his former deeds of evil and jealous thoughts are a part of him and always will be. Dark Kain collapses and fades away, leaving the Crystals behind. A voice calls out to Kain, the voice from Mt. Ordeals, and in a flash of light...
PLAYABLE CHARACTER - Kain Highwind
Behold the return of the badass, now even stronger than ever. Kain has been endowed with the power of light and become a Holy Dragoon by proving himself superior to his own repressed darkness. He doesn't look as badass as before, the hair tiara looking particularly embarassing, but is a far superior party member than he was as a normal Dragoon. So let's get to it.
Kain equips heavy equipment and armor and has much better pools for equipment than the Hooded Man. He's got awesome HP, Strength and Speed now, the exact quality of which depends on how high his level was as the Hooded Man - the lower his level the better his stats, since his stat growth as a Holy Dragoon is superior. Kain also can cast White Magic now, which means he can buff the party with Blink and especially Haste, and of course he can Jump. He has a larger MP pool, and with his bonds with his comrades restored has a much larger variety of Bands with most of the "Baron" crew like Cid, Ceodore, Rosa, etc. Overall Kain is an absolutely awesome party member. If you don't use him in your final party, you're missing out on a lot.
Everyone formally welcomes Kain back, and our party forms - for some reason though he walks onto our sprite Edward doesn't join us. Kain comes with a set of Mythril Gear and a Dragoon Lance with over 100 power. Give him a Power Armlet and Flame Mail. Also optimize Rosa and Cid, give Rosa a bow and Cid some better equipment. Enter the throne room to confront Cecil and the Mysterious Girl to end the tale.
Reload the save data to be back outside Baron. We've got an awesome party for this challenge dungeon. First, enter a fight and kill off Ceodore and Kain, they're probably close to level 40 or so and Rosa and Cid will level up twice as fast with them dead. The monsters around Baron are tough, the easiest encounters are the ones with Goblin Captains, which are easily dispatched and reward several thousand Exp. Get everyone up to at least level 35. Also buy Rosa a Killer Bow and Silencing Arrows in Baron. The armor shops have nothing for us. While in the shop check the lower-right corner for a passage behind the counters, there's Ice Armor and an X-Potion here. Namingway is in the Inn when you're ready to go.
First, we have lots of Bands now! Ceodore and Kain can Band their Attack commands together for Cross Slash Prime. Band Kain's Jump with Rosa's White Magic for Saint Dive, or with Cid's Analyze for Aiming Trust. Band Ceodore's White Magic with Rosa's Blessing for Divine Healing, it restores HP and may grants status buffs depending on the Moon Phase. Band Ceodore's Attack with Cid's Analyze for Rocket Launcher, and finally Band Rosa's Aim with Cid's Analyze for X Chaser, which can inflict instant death. All of these attacks hit a single enemy except for Saint Dive, unfortunately it also costs the most MP. Use Rosa's Blessing to restore MP if you begin to run out, the HP healing isn't to bad either. The monsters in the challenge dungeon aren't too tough if you're properly leveled, Kain will probably kill everything in one hit and with his speed he'll do it in the blink of an eye. Golem-type enemies appear as always, cross your fingers for Giant's Gloves drops to replace your Power Armlets.
We begin the dungeon is a castle area, follow the path to a chest on the left with an old friend, Adamantite Golem. He was the boss of Ceodore's Challenge Dungeon, now with a stronger, larger party, he's a wimp. Feel free to bust out the new Bands to take him down, two Cross Slash Primes did it for me. He yields a rare Adamantite. Follow the path right and up to some trees, go up the stairs to the left to a chest. It refills every time you enter the dungeon and contains a random item like a Potion or Ether. Go down the stairs, left and up to a Dry Ether, then back down. Approach the doorway and walk right into the wall, then down and right, then up through a doorway to a chest with a Protect Staff. Now enter that door we passed.
Inside the castle, go left and up, then walk right through the door to a chest with an Ice Shield. Go back to the entrance and head to the upper-right this time to a small bedroom area, check the pots for a Golden Apple, save this. Leave the bedroom and walk left through the wall to get to that second chest beside the Ice Shield chest, it, appropriately, has Ice Armor. Now ascend the stairs in plain view. The chest has Angel Arrows, the strongest arrows in the game until we get to the final dungeons. Give them to Rosa. Now leave the castle and go back to the Dry Ether chest. Go right and enter the trees to find a hidden path to a well. Go down and grab the Ogrekiller. Not only is it massively powerful but it's one-handed, give it to Cid with a Flame or Ice Shield. Now jump down the pit. We can't climb back up the well so don't skip to this part.
Monsters down here are a lot stronger. There's our friend the Malboro, remember them? They like Bad Breath, we don't. A new enemy is the Arachne, they have a nasty Quake spell, cast Float to avoid it. Mini Satanas counter all attacks with Confuse, use Cross Slash Prime or another Band to kill them in one hit. Alternatively give them a taste of their own medicine with your own Confuse from Rosa, either the spell or her Angel Arrows. Follow the path up and to the right, ignore the stairs, and take the left path at the fork. The Diamond Armlet down here is for Rosa, it has superior defenses to the Rune Armlet but doesn't boost her Spirit, it's up to you if you want to use it. Go back and down those stairs to the door to the next area.
We have a unique oddity in here - Thunder Dragons that appear all the time and can drop Blue Tails. Nice. Follow the path around counter-clockwise, at the bottom of a set of stairs is a doorway, it'll take us out of the dungeon. Don't go unless you're finding yourself overwhelmed. Past that door is a bridge and a save point, definitely use it, the going has been hard and we don't need to do this again. Go right and up the stairs, go up and follow the path counter-clockwise over a bridge and back into the first area. Follow the path under the bridge and left to a Gold Hairpin. Give it to Rosa, sadly it only boosts Intelligence and not Spirit. Go all the way back to that fork just past the save point. Take the shorter south path to an Elixir. Back at the save point, save and heal up. Rest until the Waning Moon and make sure Ceodore, Kain and Cid all have some sort of Ice equipment, then go up to meet a cloaked figure.
The Curse Dragon is another enemy that likes his counter attacks. He counters with Blaze, two normal attacks, or Fira or Curse on one or all party members. Pretty easy to handle, just pummel him. Have Kain and Rosa Haste everybody early in the battle while Cid uses a Spider's Silk to inflict Slow. Ceodore is to cast Protect on us every turn while Rosa heals, Kain Jumps and Cid attacks or throws out items. Eventually the Curse Dragon will speak, and with a music change and some flashy effects, transforms into a skeletal form. Now his counter attack is Black Fang, instantly killing a target, or Doom, inflicting a 10-second timer that kills us when it hits 0. He also likes Firaga and Dark Breath, a decently strong group attack, and still has Curse and the two-hit combo which now does greater damage. Ouch. He's much more dangerous and has twice as much HP as the first form so we need to slow down a little or else his counters will crush us. Slow doesn't carry over, use another Spider's Silk. If you gave everyone but Rosa Ice equipment like I said you should be able to resist Firaga fairly well, while Ceodore's Protect cushions his physical blows. With his nasty counters have Rosa heal and Cid toss out healing items, but don't attack with him. Ceodore and Kain will be the source of our offense with Cross Slash Prime. On my game, with a Waning Moon they did 5000 damage a hit. Heal up from Curse Dragon's counter attack CSP him to death, throwing an Ether at Kain with Cid if needed.
Curse Dragon's second form can be very nasty, be sure you saved before fighting him so all our progress isn't wasted. Also if you find Kain's MP is too low for your needs, use your Soma Drops on him, we're nearing the point we've been stockpiling them for anyway. When you beat him claim the treasure. Our spoils may include shiny new awesome Diamond equipment, try to get it all if you can since it's the best armor we have for a while. Rosa can grab a Luminous Robe for +5 Spirit, and the Flan Ring from Ceodore's challenge dungeon returns. For weapons Cid can get the Sledgehammer and Rosa the Elfin Bow. The Obelisk is for Ceodore or Kain, it boosts Strength by 5. However, the Dragoon Lance boosts all stats by 3 and is only 5 attack points weaker. Give up the stat boosts for more dedicated offense? Your choice. The Demon Slayer is a very powerful sword, one of the best until we get to the final dungeons. We can also find the Lustful Lali-Ho, hold onto it as always, a use for them will come.
I encourage you to loot this dungeon for everything. The Curse Dragon isn't too hard to beat once you get the hang of him, and the dungeon is pretty quick to get through. If the well path isn't to your liking, enter the main castle door and jump down a pit to the right, you'll land on a ledge to the right of that Gold Hairpin we found earlier. Just remember to save and heal every time because the Curse Dragon can easily catch you off-guard and kill you.
As a final footnote, besides the Thunder Dragon the Grey Coeurl, the tail enemy for this chapter, is in the first part of the Devil's Road during the Waning Moon. It has the Grey Tail for you.
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