The Trip South[edit source]
The plains and forests hide enemies that should be no threat at all – bunnies and birdies, really. Just have Terra attack or use Magic while Locke Steals stuff. The enemies in the desert are tougher and can likely survive a hit. Alacrans use Numb to Stop you, and the Sand Ray drops all sorts of Antidotes, which is odd as none of the enemies thus far have been able to Poison you. Still, later enemies can so you may as well pick up a few now.
Enter Figaro Castle in the middle of the sand. Head up, ignore the stairs and enter the tower. Take the left door to find an Item shop! Stock up on Potions and Phoenix Downs. You may also want to buy an Ether to restore Terra's MP, but they're expensive, so maybe not. Leave at least 1250 gil in your pocket. Leave and take the right door. Buy a Bio Blaster and a Noise Blaster, but ignore the Autocrossbow. Be sure to open the chests in both shops, then take the stairs in the main hall to find a chest with a Phoenix Down Now go back down and take the upper door and talk to the King. Meet Edgar, a self-proclaimed ladies man.
PLAYABLE CHARACTER - Edgar Roni Figaro
Edgar will be your powerhouse for about the first third of the game, so get used to him. He's also a shameless flirt and will put the moves on women almost constantly. Edgar equips heavy equipment including swords, and is one of only two characters who can equips spears. He can also equip a lot of shields, armor and helmets. Edgar's stronger stuff includes the Red Jacket, Holy Lance and Longinus. Edgar's ability is Tools, which lets him use various weapons. He joins with the Autocrossbow, which can rip apart enemies for a long time to come. Before you get magic, Edgar's tools make him the King of Crowd Control, but later in the game they're just plain weaker than magic. At this time though, you can give him a spear and retool him as a Dragoon. Edgar is a good character, but if you leave him at home, you won't miss out on too much.
Locke runs off for some reason, and Edgar flirts with Terra. Apparently women who barely know their own names are a turn-on for him. Terra doesn't understand his pick-ups (not that they're very good anyway), and Edgar leaves too. Now explore the castle. Just wander around a bit, but eventually head to the lower left-door outside to find an area where you can rest. Take the stairs and head outside. Inside the left tower, chat to the Priestess to find out about Edgar’s twin brother Sabin, who threw a temper tantrum when his Daddy died and ran away. Now head back to the throne room. Talk to Edgar to see the scene.
Remember this guy? If you don’t, here’s a reminder: his name’s Kefka, he’s the one who popped the Crown-thingie on Terra to control her, and before the game is done he’ll do a lot more and a lot worse. Talk to his guards, then him. Edgar will flip him the bird and Kefka will leave in a huff when Edgar fakes stupidity about Terra. Now, open the menu. Give Edgar the Mythril Pike and Shield you swiped from Mog. However, his Tools command is much better than his Attack, so you may just want to sell the Pike for a quick 400 gil. Anyway, talk to Locke and have him lead Terra to her room. Follow him and talk to him to have a scene where he tells Terra that Figaro is only pretending to ally with the Empire while consorting with the Returners - Locke is the liason between them. Come to think of it, why the hell are they called that, what are they returning anyway, and why does it take more than one person to return it? Whatever. Watch the next scene in Edgar’s room.
Well, So Much For Figaro...[edit source]
With Edgar again, watch the castle go up in flames, then chat with Kefka. Talk to the guard at the top of the screen to hop on a Chocobo with Locke and Terra. As the three of you flee, Figaro sinks into the sand, leaving a really pissed off Kefka hopping around in the sand. He sics a couple of soldiers on you – the problem is, they're wearing familiar suits of armor.
You're drawn into a back attack with two suits of Magitek Armor. Finally, a boss that can actually kill you without you realizing it! Well, maybe that’s not good news to you, but hey, you’ve been through two easy bosses so far, a real challenge at last might be nice! Well, not really. See, Edgar can take them both out in two shots from his Autocrossbow - somehow, you get it automatically when he joins you. By the way, how do you think that thing works anyway, is it like Hugh Jackman’s crossbow in Van Helsing or something? And how did that crossbow work while we're on the subject, it never seemed to run out of arrows except for that one scene in the village. Well, anyway, however either of them work, Edgar's does a good job of wasting most of the enemies you'll meet for a while to come.
The M-Teks like to use a very nasty attack called Magitek Laser that will do a lot of damage, like around 100. Be sure to have Terra Cure if they use it too much, and enjoy the cute scene that happens when you do: Edgar and Locke have a spaz attack when they see Terra use Magic, she winks, they get turned on, and it’s all ok. Locke can Steal Hi-Potions from the M-Teks until Edgar kills them. You can also use the Noiseblaster to Confuse them and let them kill themselves. One way or the other, whack them and leave Kefka hopping in the sand.
Locke and Edgar convince Terra to come with them to the Returners' Hideout. Ride the Chocobo south and east to the cave. Hop off and enter it. Talk to the guard and enter the cavern. Inspect the water ahead – it’s a recovery spring that restores your HP and MP, nice to have around after that boss battle. Now head through the cave via the right door. Head down, right, down, left and up the stairs to the exit. There’s three chests in here, leave them, trust me. None of the enemies here can withstand a blast from Edgar’s crossbow and don't give much in spoils, so don’t worry about them. Just leave the cave.
Southern Charm[edit source]
This part of the game hurts me. See, there’s an enemy around here that looks like a green rhinoceros that in the Super NES release was called Rhinotaur – in the GBA release, it’s a Belmodar…yeah. Oh, and there’s an enemy here that looks like a short guy in goggles with a wrench formerly known as the Greasemonk, and now it’s the Unseelie. What the hell were these translators thinking?!? Whatever. Enter the town.
Welcome to South Figaro. See the guy in black? Thanks to the GBA’s auto-sprint, you can run and enter the café before him, and yet he’ll still be at the bar when you do so. I so love glitches, I really do. Talking to him gives you a chance to name him, meaning he’ll join you later – he’s called Shadow, and for now he doesn’t do much but threaten you if you talk to his dog, Interceptor. Head to the Relic shop connected to the café via the Inn. Buy three Star Pendants and give one to each character. Talking to the guy in front of the counter gives a dumb tutorial on Relics, so don’t do that. The shop sells Sprint Shoes, now redundant in the GBA and Anthology releases thanks to auto-sprint. Sprint Shoes make you run even faster if you have auto-sprint activated, but I personally find it a bit hard to control at that speed. But hey, you're the one playing, if you can handle it and want the boost be my guest.
Now it’s time to buy more stuff, but odds are you’re broke. So head to the large house north of town. Head up the stairs, take the first door, and enter the stairs hidden behind the bookcase. Head down these steps, go right and then straight down to find another hidden staircase. Here’s a Hyper Wrist and a Hermes’ Sandals, both very good Relics. Hyper Wrist increases a character’s Strength by 50%, and the Sandals increase their speed by casting Haste on them. Give the Wrist to Edgar and the Sandals to Locke – Edgar’s crossbow now does more damage, and Locke can Steal more often. Leave the stairs, head right and take the third door. The chests here have 3000 gil in total. Leave the house, but remember the area, you’ll be coming back here later. The first room is empty now, but it won't be later.
Go to the weapon and armor shop to the right of the big house and buy the new equipment. None of them give stat boosts except for defense, so just buy whatever makes the pretty little green arrow appear above a party member. Next, you can stock up on more items if you want in the item shop, just take the stairs near the weapon and armor shop and head south. And there’s some stuff hidden in crates and barrels around town, but leave them alone. Just buy what you need and leave.
There’s a house north of Figaro where you can see a little scene where Edgar realizes Sabin has been living nearby, and you can rest there for free. For now, enter the forest east of South Figaro. Here you can find lots of enemies. If you fight any Rhinotaurs (sorry, I just can’t call them Belmo..whatevers), try and steal a Mythril Claw from them. Edgar’s Autocrossbow will waste anything you find with ease. You’ll earn lots of money, and any fight with a Rhinotaur will yield more than 100 exp. Fight here until all your characters are at level 11 or higher – if you get weak, just enter town and stay at the Inn. Once you’re ready, head north and enter Mt. Kolts.
The Man on the Mountain Is PO'd[edit source]
Alrighty, here’s some new enemies. The Cirpius here can Petrify you if left alone, luckily, they’re easy pickings for Edgar. The Trillium can Poison you, but those Star Pendants you should have picked up will prevent that. The Gorgias are nothing more than HP tanks with a moderately strong Gore, and the Zaghrem were known as Brawlers in the Super NES release…*sigh*. Locke can Steal Bandanas from them, which are superior to the Plummed Hats you’re probably wearing. Overall, you’ll probably need to have Terra Cure a few times here, the enemies are reasonably tough.
Head through the cave, go outside and cross to the next cave. Go down around the boulder to find a chest. Inside is a dagger for Locke that Super NES fans know as the Guardian…now it’s the Main Gauche. Ugh. Well despite the new name it gives a boost to Speed and Evade, so it's great at this point. Head back to the main cave and go east to find a Gigas Glove to power up physical attacks even more - 25% to be exact, although it's not a stat boost that shows up when you equip it. If you don’t mind risking Poison, pair it up with Edgar’s Hyper Wrist for a mighty attack – Autocrossbow will now do over 200 damage a shot. Now go up over the bridge. Hey, who’s that? Nevermind, they’re gone. Take the first cave to find a chest with a Tent. Head back and take the second cave. Head through it and go over the bridge to find a save point. Use that Tent you found and Save before heading on.
|Hi-Potion/Mythril Claw||Can't Morph||None|
Circle around the big spiral and talk to the guy at the bottom. This guy is Vargas, Sabin’s training partner and his boss’ son. Say, think he's friendly? I'll give you a hint: no.
Vargas comes into battle with two bear enemies named Ipooh that can be taken down with a few volleys from the Autocrossbow. Now it’s you and Vargas. Don't let his HP intimidate you, you'll only need to take off a fraction of it. He likes using an attack called Gale Cut, which hits the party for around 50 damage, and he’ll taunt you before throwing two physicals in a row. Still, you have Terra, so just use Cure while Edgar fires his crossbow and Locke Steals and then uses his physical. You can't attack Vargas until the Ipooh are dead, so obviously kill them first, then beat up Vargas.
After a bit, Sabin shows up and he duels Vargas alone. Vargas uses Blizzard Fist to blast away the rest of your party, then uses Doom Fist to cast Condemn on Sabin – when that timer goes up, you die, it's that simple. I find it odd that Vargas is the only guy in the entire game to use those two attacks, but whatever. Just enter the Blitz command with Sabin to unleash the Raging Fist and end the battle instantly. If you don't know how to Blitz, its "Left, Right, Hold Left and Press A". Vargas is defeated and Sabin joins the party.
PLAYABLE CHARACTER - Sabin Rene Figaro
Sabin is a Monk, so he'll spend the game getting up close and personal, beating up enemies with his bare hands as all good Monks ought to be able to. As the Spoony One says "A good Chuck Norris roundhouse to the jaw will finish anything". Sabin's equipment draw is highly limited to claws, hats, light armor and light shields. He can also equip some of the stuff his brother can, which is Figaro-exclusive stuff like the Royal Crown and the Red Jacket. Weapon-wise, Sabin's weapons aren't that good, although the stronger ones give good stat boosts. Sabin's true power is his ability, Blitz, which lets him unleash super-strong attacks, provided you can input the right button commands. At higher levels, Blitzes can hit multiple enemies, and his ultimate Blitz Phantom Rush can easily do 9999 damage. Sabin's Blitzes easily outclass Edgar's tools, feel free to bring him along on the trips later in the game.
If you managed to swipe a Mythril Claw from the Rhinotaurs in Figaro, give it to him, it’s a far superior weapon to the Metal Claw. Enter the cave Vargas was guarding, take the tent and leave the area to go to the overworld. Save the game, and don’t worry about fighting enemies here for exp, because they don’t give much. See, exp is divided among your party members, so a full party of four will level up much slower than a party of one or two. Remember this for later in the game when leveling up. Head north and enter the Returners' Hideout.
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