Part 4, our first bit for optional content!
Reload the completed save data for Ceodore's Tale and we'll be outside the Mist Cave as we were when we left it. We're going to do Ceodore's Challenge Dungeon now, an optional area with many awesome prizes to claim. The going is tough, level grind up to 30 if you want the easiest time of it. I grinded while hunting Thunder Dragons and got up to Level 35 when I went in. Also note Ceodore learns Shell at Level 34 and Blink at Level 40, something to shoot for if you need a definitive goal. Also feel free to head back to Baron and restock your items. When you're ready, talk to Namingway in the small room near the entrance of the Mist Cave. He'll invite you to enter Ceodore's Challenge Dungeon now.
The area is a recreation of the Adamant Isle Cave. The enemies here are very different and much stronger compared to the ones in the Mist Cave or any other area so far, but if you level grinded like I said they shouldn't pose too much trouble. Go along the path and check the bottom wall between two rocks to a chest, fight the Steel Golem for Plate Mail. Head right over the bridge, the chest has a Dry Ether for you. Go up to the next area, up through the cave with the save point and open the chest for an X-Potion. Go up and right, you'll see something new to the cave, a closed-off room with three chests. The entrance is between two rocks below, the chests contain a Great Bow, Bomb Core and Hermes Sandals. You can keep exploring the hidden passage, you can't see where you are so just feel your way around. Go down and to the left to find another hidden room with a monster-in-a-box, a Mystery Egg that hatches into a Lamia Queen. It will die easily and leave you a Mythril Sword, a powerful weapon that puts Ceodore's damage output on-par with the Hooded Man's. On the main dungeon path again go down and to the third floor. The path is linear, follow it until you come down the right wall and see stairs to the left. Go down to a dead-end and look for a hidden passage in the wall, it leads left to a hidden room with Fire Arrows and a Vampire Fang. Go back and follow the path to a door, save and heal inside, then go down the stairs. Speak to the cloaked figure to fight the dungeon's boss.
|N/A||N/A||Giant's Gloves (rare)|
The Adamantite Golem will move towards you every turn, his attack power rising every time. On the third movement he'll throw out three attacks in a row, then will rest for a turn before moving back to his original position. These attacks do around 400-500 damage each and can hurt a lot. Spend his initial movements forward casting Protect on the party a few times while the Hooded Man uses a Spider Silk to slow the Golem down, then attacks. Once Protect is stacked a few times let loose Cross Slash until the Hooded Man runs out of MP. Overall as long as you buff with Protect and use the Hooded Man to heal with Hi-Potions during the Golem's early movements, you can endure his triple-attack and then the worst is over, pummel him into submission. For extra protection against his triple-attack, once you see him move the second time you can swap rows to put your party in the back, halving damage, then move forward again after he attacks.
Now open the chest and prepare for the fun of the dungeon - your reward is random! You can re-enter this dungeon multiple times, you'll have to refight the Golem each time but you'll get a different reward. Subsequent runs are actually very easy, the enemies provide a lot of exp so you'll level grind quickly, and with the chests out of the way you can go right for the boss. Provided you run from enemies and know where you're going, you can traverse the entire dungeon in only a couple minutes. The Adamantite Golem is no threat as long as you heal up before facing him and buff yourself to endure his attacks. If you're having trouble with that, level grind a bit. The possible chest contents at the end include Mythril equipment, an Elixir, an X-Potion, a Soma Drop, a Silver Apple, a Flan Ring, Adamantite, and Lustful Lali-Ho. The real prize is the Adamantite and the Lustful Lali-Ho. In the final areas of the game you can trade pieces of Adamantite for the best armor in the game, and every tale's challenge dungeon has a piece. Collect them all! The infamous magazine can likewise be exchanged for a rare and powerful item, so again you'll want to stockpile these during the tales. Note that the treasures are random and some can be acquired more than once (I got three X-Potions). If you don't have the patience to keep going through, get the Adamantite and the magazine and let it be, though consider getting the Silver Apple and Soma Drop too.
Oh, and remember if you want a Blue Tail to go to the first area of the Mist Cave and hunt Thunder Dragons during the full moon. The Blue Tail, along with the various other colored tails we'll be collecting, can also be traded for rare stuff later on. Unlike the Adamantite however the Blue Tails and the Thunder Dragons that drop them can be encountered in the final tale, so if you don't feel like tracking them down now you can forget about them. As it is the Thunder Dragons are a rare encounter and the Blue Tail is a rare drop, so you can kill dozens and not get a single tail. If you're not up to the tedium, don't worry, as I said you can try again later, there's no shame in not having the patience to do it now. Another enemy to hunt down is the Ogre, a common enemy easily killed. It may randomly drop the Giant's Gloves, one of the best armwear pieces in the game that gives fighters a huge offensive buff and have end-game level defenses. They're a rare drop though, good luck getting them, they're awesome.
Now, you may wonder what the point of this is, the tale is over why bother leveling and getting new equipment? Well, as you may know The After Years was released in episodes originally, with individual Tales telling different parts of the game's story. The final tale is the climax that merges all the individual tales as the characters come together for the final dungeons. When we begin this final tale, called "The Crystals", we can import our save data from the tales we've completed. Thus when the time comes to go to the next tale, we'll carry over our levels and equipment to the new tale. Ceodore's Tale is imported into two tales actually, but the point stands that its worth the time to level grind now and get rare stuff to be used later. Note that once you finish Ceodore's Tale, it's done, the shiny star on the save menu means we can save in the tale whenever and wherever we want and when we import that data we'll still get credit for our new post-end items, we don't need to end the tale again.
Now that we've done the Prologue aka Ceodore's Tale, we'll move on to the rest. You can do the tales in any order except for the final one, each tale is self-contained and all that doing them in a different order effects is how you perceive and understand the story. I, however, will be doing the tales in the order the game lists them in the main menu, so Part 5 of the walkthrough takes us to Rydia's Tale. If you plan to do a different tale next, check the nav template below to find which walkthrough part you're looking for.
|Drake Clawfang's TAY Walkthrough|