A Flurry of Fists Edit
The area that lies before you is quite linear, and gently twists around in a helical pattern. At the bottom of the valley, Vargas, that guy that you've heard so little about, blocks the way out of Mt. Kolts. He's freaking paranoid, I tell you. He thinks Sabin has sent us to kill him or something, and instead of waiting for answers, he decks us with a quick jump from a mountain ledge.
Poor Vargas dies, and so too does our short-lived memory of him. Moment of silence... Character time.
|Playable Character: Sabin Figaro|
Sabin, brother of Edgar, is the bare-knuckled brawler of FFVI. He's like Tifa, or Yang, or Zell, or Snow, but he's actually much better than all of them. In years past, (maybe it was only last week...) The Figaro patriarch died, leaving the question of succession to the brothers. Sabin didn't want power, or wealth, or fame, or anything important like that, and decided to train under the watchful eye of Duncan. But now he's dead, so I guess he has nowhere to go but with our sorry group. As far as I know, he isn't too intelligent, mainly deferring matters of strategy and warcraft to others in the group, but he does have a strong sense of honour, I take it.
Sabin's true strength is much like the strengths of the other three party members - it's in his gameplay, rather than his character. He has high power and HP, and kick the crap out of almost every enemy he encounters, but that's not why he's so great either. It's his Blitz command that's the standout - tapping it brings up a selection of techniques that can be used to thrash every enemy in your path, and lay waste to all who dare oppose the mighty Returners. You got a little taste of that before: Selecting a command will bring up those eight arrows, and you have to put in a certain sequence of button taps to execute the blitz correctly. Each of these can be found in the character menu once he learns them, so you can educate yourself on how to pull off every blitz technique you own. It's much easier in smartphone versions - in the previous games you didn't have buttons to push, you could only tap the directional pad and hope you didn't fuck up in the wrong situation.
Sabin's one of the greatest characters in this game. He's wonderfully useful especially in this early stage, but he's also incredibly practical in the game's latter half.
There's something I just learned about the Blitz system that makes things even EASIER. The AUTO feature (Those two triangles in the top left corner) will speed up the battle and cause each character to repeat their previous action. If you correctly pull off a Blitz, then hit auto, then Sabin will repeatedly use the same technique over and over again without fail! Cool, yes?
So I guess Sabin didn't even notice the people he was rescuing until after the fight. Did he really want to kill Vargas that bad?Also, Locke can't tell that the two are twins when it's completely obvious, and Terra's even worse - she can't tell the difference between bears and humans! These people have their uses, but damn are they dumb.
After everyone gets the good sense to shut their mouths, head east into the cave that Varvar was guarding. Grab the Tent from the chest here, then leave through the entrance.
Returner Hideout Edit
Walk up the valley (Equip those Mythril Claws on Sabin if you have 'em) until you come across a path leading into the eastern mountainside. Welcome to the stopgap home of the rebel army. Speak to the guy that looks like a 40's pilot to be lead into the cavern. Walk into the room above you, save if you feel it to be necessary, open the chest near the bottom for a Hi-Potion (I don't know why they've stopped with the possibility for item changes all of a sudden), then speak to the guy standing to your left.
This is Banon, a lion-maned tramp who also happens to lead the resistance. It's looking really good for the rebels right about now... Anyway, Banon has been searching for Terra for the purpose of exploiting her powers for use against the Empire, which is kinda who we've been fighting the last few hours. Banon prophesies that Terra is the chosen person to deliver the citizens of Balance from the iron grip of Gestahl, and one Pandora's Box reference later, Terra awakens in a separate bed chamber. Speak to Locke, who will complain a bit about the Empire (we've all got problems...), and Terra jumps in, thinking that she ought to complain about something too. Take the Phoenix Down from the chest, then exit the room. Turn left, then walk over the bridge above you to get to a new area. Up here, there are three chests for you to loot, and they contain the following items; An Air Knife (Great Locke weapon), a Phoenix Down, and a Knight's Code (That unpredictable Relic from earlier). Hmmm. Guess I should have advised you against buying that relic earlier. Oh well! Take an Ether from the top pot, then search around the right side of the room (near the crates) to find a hidden passage that leads to the White Cape relic. It prevents Imp and Silence, sooo it's not that useful. Unless of course, there's a battle it would work well in, and in that case I'll tell you about it beforehand.
Return to the place outside Terra's room, then walk south and east into a common room-style area. Check inside the pot next to the suit of armour to find a Green Cherry, then walk south into the inn to get a free rest. To move the story along, you first need to talk to the Super Figaro Bros. (I wonder how many times that jokes been made?). Speak to Sabin in the main room to hear about how we should trust Edgar, then speak to Edgar in Banon's room to hear about how Terra should join the returners. Finally speak to that guard by the southwest exit (the ONLY exit) to be let out, then speak to Banon again. There's a short little exchange here, the first of a few that will get you different items depending on the actions you take and the words you say. Banon will ask Terra if she will join the Returners. If you answer no, she'll walk back inside. If you say 'no' three times in a row, you'll receive a Genji Glove (Relic that allows you to dual-wield), and if you say 'yes' at any point, you get the Gauntlet (Use both hands on one weapon to increase damage). I think the Genji Glove is a bit better, or why else would they make it harder to obtain? Do you think that any person playing this game would be so stubbornly persistent in declining to join the obviously good guys? Saying no three times will also get you a different scene with Terra (She complains - surprise!), and Banon gets increasingly shitty with her.
A soldier runs inside and collapses, and with his last breath, warns that South Figaro has been taken, and that the Imperial Forces are on the march. Edgar suggests that 'someone' has to sneak into South Figaro to slow down the enemy, and that person is Locke. What! How is one person going to slow down a fucking army? Besides, shouldn't they have left South Figaro if they're 'on the way'? This smells of bullshit to me... And my fears are confirmed, of course, when it turns out that Banon is joining us to replace the recently discarded thief:
|Playable Character: Banon|
Banon is the recently introduced Mon Mothma of the rebel army (Or perhaps MacDuff?), being particularly of note because he joins the party rather than just sitting back and being an NPC like those pilots in the Returner Hideout. Apart from that, unfortunately, he has nothing. No, he really has nothing that makes him a stand-out character - in fact, after he leaves the party, you barely even hear from him again. And he didn't die, so this isn't exactly like other deceased characters: He lives on, but not in our memories. Good thing no one gave two shits about him. Hey, I just noticed - rebellion when split up, makes Rebel Lion. Was that the reason for the stupid hair?
Banon is an Oracle, which holds the distinction of being one of the worst class recurring classes in the series. Thankfully, it's a little better off here than in FFV: It grants old Bano the pray ability, which allows you to heal a good amount of HP for no cost at all. Veeery useful in the upcoming dungeon - Banon's a great healer, and so long as you have him pray, pray and pray, you don't stand much of a chance of dying at all! Just don't have him attack or anything because he blows hard at actual fighting. Why was he chosen to lead the insurgence again?
Stick Banon in the back row (because he can't take a hit) and walk down towards the raft waiting for its occupants. Could they not even afford a bloody boat? Also, if you want to control Bano for whatever reason, then put him in as your party lead now.
Lethe River Edit
I didn't know this until Banon just said it, but apparently we're going to Narshe. Why back there? Won't everyone try to kill Terra? Blah, I don't know anything anymore...
Fun facts about the river and this next leg of our voyage:
- There are no random encounters: They're all scripted.
- You can't open the menu while riding the raft, so you also can't heal outside of battle.
- If Banon dies, you lose.
Thanks for that Banon, real nice. If he falls in battle even once, then you get an instant Game Over. Won't Phoenix Downs work on this fool? Maybe everyone is strangely inspired to kick his lifeless body off the raft whenever he falls. It works, doesn't it? So yeah, just make sure Banon lives to see the end of day. Have him pray every turn, and you can't lose.
When you get to the first intersection in this place, choose whichever - they all lead to a save point. Heal and save if you really feel the need, then off you go again. At the next split, go left to arrive at a second save point. I highly recommend using this one, since there be a boss fight up ahead. Put everyone in the back row for now, since Magic, Pray, Blitz and Tools ignore row damage restrictions and lessen the damage your characters will have to endure. Jump back on your magical flat boat down the River Lethe, fight through some more enemies before something really stupid happens. Meet Ultros, the game's resident comedian! (*Cricket chirps*)
|Boss Fight: Ultros|
The cephalopod might very well be the most difficult fight yet, but only if you neglected to place everyone in the back row. His normal attacks might reach around 50 when unmitigated by back-row safety, and his Tentacle attack does the same amount to everyone at once. He also counters attacks like spell magic with Ink, but since spells or the like never miss, he sorta fails on that point.
Ultros's ultimate attack is the nastiest one you've yet seen in FFVI: He comments about one of the characters, then hits them with a powerful move worth up to 100 in the back row, and is possibly capable of killing the person off immediately if they aren't. If you can survive all these attacks, then the rest is simple. Though his HP does look a little high, having Edgar use Auto-Crossbow, Sabin use Raging Fist and Terra using Fire every turn will see it quickly dissolved. Terra is especially useful here, since the octopus is weak against fire, and casting the spell on him will do up to around 300 damage! You also get a humour(less)ous scene if you do use it on him. Also, remember to have Banon pray every turn. The teams victory depends on it.
After his 3000 damage is sunk, so does Ultros, falling beneath the waves and currents of the river.
Ultros is quite the perverted octopussy, and tries to snag Terra's octopussy (oh that's really bad...) for his decadent disports beneath the water. Sabin decides to jump in after him because he's a halfwit. Sabin gets thrown out of the water, but Edgar, his own brother, doesn't seem to care. 'Fuck that idiot!' I seem to recall him saying.
Choose a Scenario, Kupo! Edit
We get to choose we want to play as for the next few hours, the choices being the following parties:
- Locke, and his vain attempts to slow down the Imperial approach from South Figaro,
- Sabin, who I assume is
deadknocked out somewhere,
- Terra and Edgar, with the assistance of old man Banon, who are heading to Narshe. I forget why.
Terra's is the shortest, so why don't we do that first? As Mog, walk up to any person whose story you want to do, and speak to them. You can also save if you want. I don't care what you do - It's all relative.