Rydia's Challenge, HO! Here we GO!
First, we're gonna wanna be at Level 32 for this dungeon. Rydia will learn Bio then, her best spell yet. To train go to the second floor of the Agart Mine and fight enemies in front of the pot, using it to heal between battles for quick and easy EXP. Feel free to go all out in battles thus with LBB.
Deeper in the mine on the fourth floor, during the Waning Moon Phase you may encounter a Green Dragon. As with the Thunder Dragons of Ceodore's Tale they only appear during the Waning Moon and drop Green Tails. Offensively they're the same as the Thunder Dragon, using Lightning. Much like Ceodore had to, Rydia will need a bit of leveling to get the point she can endure the worst Lightning can do. Fortunately you have an advantage Ceodore and the Hooded Man don't - Stop. Have Luca attack to make the egg hatch, then cast Stop with Rydia and spam LBB to kill the dragon. The fourth floor has a Save Point, convenient to save quickly if you're fortunate enough to get a Green Tail.
Once Rydia has learned Bio head back to Agart and buy a lot of Hi-Potions and Tents. Then rest until the Full Moon, when Rydia's Black Magic is powered up and physical attacks are weakened. Use Big Throw so Luca can bypass the penalty. Talk to Namingway and enter the dungeon. It's tough going, as even if you repair the dolls you're limited to Luca and Rydia here, hence bringing lots of Tents and Hi-Potions for healing.
Bio will kill pretty much anything in one hit down here. Bio should especially be used against Lamias and Coeurls, as they counter with Slap and Blaster if attacked. Use Bio single-cast again them, even if in groups, to kill them one at a time. Mad Ogres resist magic but are vulnerable to Sleep (note Sleep can be multi-cast). I got lucky and won a pair of Giant's Gloves from these guys. It's a very strong armor for Luca that gives a very impressive boost to Strength, Attack and Stamina, while also resisting attacks from giant-type enemies such as the Mad Ogres. I got lucky and hopefully you will too to snag one. Many doors and walls here are Demon Walls and Trap Doors. Trap Doors can be killed with one cast of Bio and maybe a follow-up attack from Luca, so don't bother with Stop. Demon Walls are more dangerous, but Rydia's Bio will see you through. If Rydia runs low on MP, and she will, use Osmose on Luca, her MP pool is useless here since Bio is far more effective than LBB. Also note some doors may be locked and you'll only be able to go through them on subsequent explorations of the dungeon.
Walk north over the bridge, ignore the two side doors and inspect the middle one, a Trap Door. In the next room kill the left door, a Trap Door, and go beyond it for a Chain Whip for Rydia. Leave her with the Healing Rod. Inspect the middle door now, also a Trap Door. The wall behind it is a Demon Wall, but it blocks a dead end so ignore it. Instead go left to the door, guess what, it's a Trap Door. Or it may be locked. Beyond it the chest contains two Coeurl and two Mad Ogres. Your prize is a Mythril Helm. However, the Horned Helm boosts your damage so leave it on. Return to the three doors and go right this time (Trap Door again, of course). Beyond it is another door, and...yup, Trap Door. Here they're more spread out but there's another trio of doors, the side ones are dead ends so fight the middle one. Beyond it is a Demon Wall, and it guards a save point. Save and heal, using four Tents to cycle back to the Full Moon so we can keep Rydia's magic boosted and enemy attacks softened. Also note that with over 300 MP, and a single Tent only restoring 100 MP, Rydia will want to use several Tents anyway.
Oh hey, this is new - three doors! Check the right one, no prizes for guessing what you fight. Both doors behind it are also Trap Doors, the left one guards an Ether, the right one leads to a second door. Behind it are three chests, one contains three Flamehounds. Lead off with Bio and Big Throw to kill one instantly and weaken the others, then finish them off. The chests have a Mythril Shield, X-Potion and Light Curtain. Go back to the first room now and take the left door, then the right door behind it. You'll find another set of three doors, take the middle one to a second door. Now we see three candle-lit walls. First, go down through the passage to the left to fight the Trap Door from behind (I have no idea how this works, shouldn't it be a back attack for the enemy?) It guards a Bronze Hourglass. Back with the walls, fight past the right one to find another save point. Rest up with four Tents as you did at the last one.
This final floor is simple, there are ropes leading to the platforms but some of them contain scripted, inescapable fights. I'll direct you to the safe paths. Go left and climb the middle rope, then the right one, then the middle one to stars leading to a monster-in-a-box, three Mad Ogres. They yield Mythril Armor. Also note the wall before the stairs can be fought as a Demon Wall. Climb back down the middle rope, go right across the bridge and climb up the middle rope. Down these stairs is another monster-in-a-box, two Skuldiers and a Steel Golem. Use Fira on the undead then Bio on the Golem. You'll win a Polymorph Rod. It boosts Rydia's Intelligence by 7, the current Healing Staff increases it by 3. Yeah, Bio just got even tougher. Climb back down the middle rope, then climb down the right rope. Three chests are here with a Cottage, Remedy and Spider Silk. Back up the rope go right over the bridge and climb up the right rope. You need to fight this Demon Wall to reveal the door to a save point. Save, heal if you need to (you may not if you avoided a lot of enemies on the third floor), and take the stairs to the final floor.
The boss of the dungeon, Boss Gobby, attacks with three Minion Gobby. After the very annoying and tedious dungeon the boss is a joke, so he doesn't get a template. Boss Gobby will order his minions to attack, and counters all damage to him with Thundara, Bio or Firaga. If you kill off the minions he'll buff himself with Shell, Haste and Protect, then use Curaga to heal. Two Bios will kill the Gobby, the only danger is that he may use Firaga to counter and kill Rydia. No problem, the Minion Gobby are pathetic and do little damage, revive Rydia, second Bio and the boss Gobby goes down. Group-cast Bio on the minions now and pick them off with Big Throw, if you just use Big Throw without Bio they'll be at low health and will self-destruct, which hurts.
As with Ceodore's dungeon the prize is random. You can get Flame Mail, Flame Shield and Gaia Hammer for Luca, though as the hammer is two-handed it can't be paired with a shield. Rydia can get the Gold Hairpin and Black Robe, which give excellent boosts to Intelligence to power up her Bio to even more absurd levels. There's also a Sprint Ring, which raises Speed, and less impressive treasures like Elixirs, Soma Drops and Silver Apples. There's a piece of Adamantite too, definitely get it.
Now, when the final tales of the game begin, Rydia and Luca are two of the party members you must use for the first part of the final stretch, so it pays to level them up and suit them up with the awesome equipment from this dungeon. With all the treasures gotten now we can skip right to the end. Here's the express path to the boss. Note the Trap Doors respawn, but you can get through the dungeon by facing only a few of them if you know the way. If you run from normal enemies you can get to the boss without having to rest to restore Rydia's MP. You may have to Osmose off Luca though, a minor issue - you can also use Osmose on some enemies, I found Ogres (the normal ones) were pretty good for this, drained about 100 MP each, a trio of them will top Rydia up great. Anyway, the quick path to the end, notes in brackets mean the path is straight but you'll encounter the enemies in the bracket on the way:
- Middle door, right door (Trap Door), middle door (Demon Wall), save point and stairs to next floor.
- Left door, right door, middle door (Trap Door), right wall, save point and stairs to next floor.
- Right bridge, left rope, left rope, right rope, Demon Wall, save point and stairs to final floor.
See, much simpler and quicker huh? Just stay at the Inn (four times so we keep the Full Moon) after each foray and you'll be fine. The Adamantite is the true treasure again, but if you don't mind going through several times get the equipment for the party too.
Well, that's Rydia's Challenge Dungeon. All that remains now besides it is Green Dragon hunting (Waning Moon on the floor floor of the Agart Mine), and fighting the Quartro Puppets to get the stuff to fix Calca and Brina if you didn't before. Note if you didn't do this before and get the items to fix them now, you need to go through the end of the tale again and save it for their salvation to be noted.
Break the SystemEdit
In the Wii release, quite infamously I understand, the game's random number generator was very easy to rig - by equipping characters with exact equipment and doing exactly the right attacks in battles, you could guarantee a random drop of anything. Sadly these methods no longer work in the PSP version, but the RNG can still be manipulated. One "YueYing" of GameFAQs has found one such way with the Green Tails. The Green Tails trade for Rare Band L2, which are arguably the most useful of the tail items since it increases the odds of rare drops occurring, so farming other tails is easier.
Get them to Level 40 and equip Rydia and Luca exactly the following:
- Rydia - Polymorph Rod, Gold Hairpin, Black Robe, Sprint Ring
- Luca - Gaia Hammer, Horned Helmet, Horned Armor, Mythril Gloves
Go to Agart Mine B4, rest until the Waning Moon, save, and reset your game by pressing L, R, Select and Start at once - you must reset to reset the RNG. Now, when you go back in, your first random encounter will be a Green Dragon, and the next three fights are another Green Dragon, normal enemies, and a third Green Dragon. Fight them, and if you don't get a Green Tail, soft reset and keep trying. If you do, save and soft reset to try for a second, and a third, etc. Patience is a virtue kiddies, it'll take time but it's a lot faster than running blindly hoping to find dragons, right?
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