The high-class hobbies of Jidoor[edit source]
Head to Jidoor and go far up to the large house that is actually a combination house and art gallery. Talk to the guy having a seizure. Seems that the opera star Maria is about to be kidnapped by a guy calling himself “The Wandering Gambler”. Why do you care? See, the Empire is situated on an island with no ferries there, and Mr. WG owns the world’s only airship. Heh, that got your attention huh? Setzer is gonna become the latest addition to your little crew, provided you can meet him.
Leave Jidoor and head south to the Opera House. Along the way, learn more spells. Locke should know either Bolt or Fire before you reach the house. Enter and talk to the Impresario to have a scene. The plan is to hide Maria and have Celes take her place in the opera. When Setzer kidnaps her, she’ll sneak Locke and the others on board the airship so they can commandeer the craft.
Of course you know it ain’t gonna be this easy. Enter Ultros, who’s planning to screw with you some more. As a note, he only fought Terra, Edgar, Sabin and Banon. What if you took Gau and the Captain with you, how does he know who you are? Odd.
Aria di Mezzo Carattere, aka, Celes' theme music[edit source]
Alright, the next part of the game is really cool and really boring at the same time. I say cool because of the uniqueness of the subquests, and boring because said subquests are stuck between three long scenes, which all have little to do with the actual plot of the game. Watch the opera, wake up afterwards, then go visit Celes. Now, finally a change in the GBA version I approve of! The dialogue between Locke and Celes here is much more romantic than before, concerning Locke being smitten by Celes' new look and her asking Locke if he only sees her as a replacement for Rachel. Seems those translators finally put down their bongs and did a decent job, I love this stuff. See, this is why Locke rocks. But then, I'm a sucker for tragic romance, so take it as you will. Read the book if you want, then go up and onto the stage.
For here, the lines are “Oh my hero”, “I’m the darkness”, and “Must my”. Luckily for me who didn’t pay attention to the book, the cues are the same as the Super NES, although the rest of the dialogue has changed. Now talk to Draco, he says to dance with him, but really you just need to talk to him whenever he stops. Grab the flowers that appear and walk to the end of the balcony. Watch the scene, then as Locke, pick up the letter and go talk to the Impresario.
Now it’s the climax, the final battle between Ralse and Draco while Celes looks on. Meanwhile, Ultros somehow managed to slither up into the rafters and is planning to drop a huge weight on her. You’ve got to stop him. The Impresario is worried that the opera could be ruined, me, I care about Celes becoming a pancake. You’ve only got five minutes to foil Ultros, so get moving! Put the GBA’s auto-sprint to use and run up to the right. There’s a lone switch and a row of three switches. Use the lone switch, run down, left and up to the other side of the balcony. Enter the door. By this time you should have approximately 4:30 on the timer.
The rats are here to stall you, and they do it well. The Stunners die easily enough to Edgar's classic Autocrossbow, but once you kill them all the Goetia with them calls in more. Locke should now have a double-Thief Knife set-up (you can get a second in Zozo), so take them down with his physical while Edgar uses Tools and Sabin uses the Rising Phoenix Blitz to take the rest of the group out. You can kill all the rats and still have enough time to meet Ultros, but you have to hurry doing it. Talk to Ultros and get knocked off the rafters. Well, so much for Ralse and Draco. In a really corny attempt to work your grudge with Ultros into the opera, the Impresario acts like its part of the show. What a lameass. Well, at least you get to kick Ultros’ ass again, that’s always fun.
Speaking of Ultros, he has his old Ink and Tentacle attacks again, with some new tricks like turning you into an Imp and Confusing you, among other magic-based attacks like Acid Rain and Megavolt. This would normally make him quite a tough opponent. Thing is, with that Burning Fist claw you picked up for him, Sabin can do over 1000 damage an attack because Ultros is still weak against Fire and what's more, it's a side attack. Factor in Edgar’s Chainsaw and Locke’s double-Thief Knives to that. It only took me a single round to kick Ultros’ ass and make him run. As a note, this second fight with him actually has him with less HP than the first fight. I have no idea why. Afterwards, Setzer drops in and swipes Celes while the Impresario still acts like it’s part of the show. Maybe I should have called him Captain Dumbass instead of Cyan...well, the plan kinda worked, be grateful for that.
PLAYABLE CHARACTER - Setzer Gabbiani
Setzer is the local airship pilot of the game, stealing that honor from Cid. Setzer's stats are fairly decent, and he equips "gamblers", which are cards and dice, as well as daggers and a combination of heavy and light equipment. Setzer's best weapon, the Fixed Dice, can easily do 9999 damage, and with the right set-up, a Level 50 Setzer can kill even the final boss in one turn. Setzer's ability is Slots, which lets him spin three slot wheels and activate an effect based on the result. Even if you lose, he summons a Lagomorph to heal the party, so when those slots spin, there's practically no risk. Slots can later be changed to GilToss, which lets Setzer throw money at enemies for damage, but Slots is superior. Setzer is overall a very potent character and if you want him on your team, by all means feel free, I won't fault you for it a bit. By the way, does he remind anyone else of Sephiroth? Look at him, the only difference is that Setzer has much more style.
Aboard Setzer’s ship, the Blackjack, talk to him. Watch the scene, and here’s why you should have brought Sabin and Edgar. If you watched the scene with them in Figaro, you know that Sabin agreed to leave as the result of a coin toss. Well, Celes conveniently borrows a 2-headed coin from Edgar to con Setzer into helping you. And of course Sabin figures out what happened in the past. What a kind king, huh? On board you can find an Item shop and a healer, then it’s on to a pretty neat scene as you fly to Vector.
The southern continent[edit source]
Land near Albrook. One step inside the city tells you that this place is the Empire’s. Luckily none the Troopers attack you. The weapon shop has new weapons for Celes, Edgar and Sabin. But Sabin’s Blazing Fist is still better, and Celes and Edgar are getting new stuff shortly, so ignore the new stuff. But be sure to talk to the guy in the shop lobby, he’ll talk to you about one of the best swords and one of the hardest bosses in the game. In the armor shop, the Priest Miter gives a +12.5% boost to MP, as opposed to the Green Beret which boosts HP. The Miter has higher Magic Defense and Evasion, but the Beret boosts normal Evade. Use whichever you like. As a note, Celes somehow de-equipped all her stuff, so give it back to her now, including an Esper. The chests are empty, BTW. The Relic shop has a few new things, but none of them are really needed.
Leave town and head north-east through the mountains. There are two other towns, but to me, the benefits of visiting them isn’t worth the time it takes to walk there, especially since you can visit them later. Along the way to the center of the island, watch out for Wyverns that can use Cyclonic to inflict near-fatal on the entire party. Jokers are stocked with Acid Rain, so be careful around them too. Celes’ Cure will be getting a real workout; fortunately, Kirin should have taught someone else that spell by now. The Don has a rare Tiger Mask for Locke to Steal, it’s handy for Sabin or Gau. Finally, the Litwor Chicken; despite their dumb name, they're the worst of all because they can cast Quake. If you go north past Vector you'll reach Tzen and can buy Boomerangs for Locke and Mythril Helms for other people. The helms have superior defenses to the Berets and Miters but lack their HP/MP boosts, and the Boomerang has higher power but Locke can find better weapons soon so you can pass this side-trip up if you want.
Enter Vector when you're ready, make sure you've learned a little magic by now.
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