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Come on kiddies, do we really have to do an intro? It's been 16 parts, let's just get on the show, alright?
Again, to get the most out of this place you have to kill Zeromus with all the characters, which will take three trips through the Lunar Core. Do it if you want to do this dungeon in full. Also know that doing everything here also takes three trips. Now, as a non-linear area, this dungeon is impossible to walkthrough because the floors you encounter are random. The only floors you always encounter are the Trial floors, floors where you can complete a character's trial if they helped kill Zeromus. Also, many new and old enemies appear in here, none particularly dangerous though.
Anyway, since I can't walkthrough the dungeon, I'll walkthrough the trials for you. Remember, the trial cannot be attempted until you kill Zeromus with the corresponding party member with you. And these appointed subtitles are just mine and mean nothing, just to jazz up the section titles a bit. Each trial is supposed to represent some sort of personal trial for that character based on their story, but with the exception of Kain it's not shown well. After each trial you get a Grimoire, which summons the boss you just beat for a one-time 9999 damage to all enemies.
Rydia's Trial - IntelligenceEdit
For this trial, I think it's supposed to play on Rydia's insecurities and her childhood fears and complexes. Or maybe I'm reading too much into their trials. Anyway, you're in a cave full of mist and Rydia reverts to a child and loses her summons. Curiously, for this trial Rydia regains her child form's white spells while retaining her black magic. Anyway, you have to track down Titan, Ifrit, Shiva and Ramuh and wallop them as minibosses. They're not at all hard to beat. Afterwards, you have to locate and take out the source of the cave mist.
The Lunar Dragon is a throwback to the first boss of the game, it's been so long hasn't it kiddies? It can use Sleeping Gas and Poison Gas to inflict those status ailments the party, and it tosses decent physicals that do 1000 damage or so. As with its counterpart, it'll randomly turn into mist and become immune to damage, countering attacks with Cold Mist which hits the party when attacked. it'll also use Slow at this time, annoying as hell. And it can use Restore to heal itself for 9999 damage.
By this time you know the routine - fighters fight while mages cast Flare/Bahamut and heal when needed. Don't cast Holy or Meteor, the Dragon absorbs it. The Dragon has a lot of HP to whittle down, especially with Restore, but its offense is lacking. Just pummel it with your best spells, and Osmose MP off Edge or Cecil if needed. The Dragon should fall after a long battle. For your victory you get the Mist Ring. It boosts the damage of the Mist Dragon summon, and when summoned it casts Image on the party. Image provides temporary defenses from physical attacks, which is good. Finally, an offensive summon worth using besides Bahamut.
Rosa's Trial - SpiritEdit
Rosa's trial is a test of her resolve and ability as a white mage and healer. A village has been attacked and so many people around town are weakened. Rosa has to run around the town healing the wounded as fast as she can. You're timed, but you can't see the timer, which is a pain. Furthermore, some of the wounded are monsters that eat up time.
Head left and up to the corner, healing five people on the way, then go right for two more. Go down over the bridge, ignore the piggy, down and left, ignoring the frog and the mini, to the petrified woman. Go right to the fallen man, then up, right and up to another. Go down, heal the frog and the piggy, then go in the waterway, heal the frog and follow the water to the final person. When time runs out, you fight a boss.
Lunar Asura will mimic her counterpart by countering physicals, though not always with physicals but sometimes one of her normal attacks. She uses Level 3 elemental spells (Thund/Blizz/Fir-aga) and Globe199, that instant kill move you may remember from CPU and Death Mech. And of course she heals herself with Curaga and Restore. She's also fond of status attacks, particularly Mini and Toad.
Rosa will have a difficult time keeping up with Lunar Asura's kills and status effects, fitting giving it's her trial we're talking about. Shell would be useful for enduring Lunar Asura's spells, but odds are she's killing party members too fast to give Rosa a free turn to use it. Pummel Lunar Asura with your best attacks, she's got a lot of HP to take off, and it seems like a lot more with her randomized counters.
When Lunar Asura falls, assuming you healed everyone in time, you get the White Ring. It changes Pray to "Miracle" - now Pray restores more HP and also casts Esuna, assuming it works. While Pray was useless, Miracle is quite useful, it restores HP even if it fails so it's guaranteed to do something.
Cecil's Trial - IntegrityEdit
This trial is designed to test Cecil's dedication to the holy path of light and see if he's worthy of being a Paladin. You're in a castle and have to go about doing good deeds. There's five randomly chosen rooms to complete. It's not hard to figure out how to pass, in one a man leaves a Megalixir at a friend's grave, don't take it, a guy is looking for his Golden Apple, find and return it, etc. As I said, it's not hard to pass. After five rooms you meet the King, and he grants you a weapon. The better you did, the better the weapon. Pass all five trials to get the Lightbringer, Cecil's ultimate weapon. Of course, it doesn't come cheap - you're going to pay for it in blood.
You may remember the original Odin liked to use Zantetsuken to do 4000-5000 damage to the party. Well, his Big Brother likes to do that too. Lunar Odin is vulnerable to Slow, so cast it to, well, slow him down. His Zantetsuken is survivable at your higher levels, but it still hits hard. Revive the fallen and heal quickly afterwards, he'll start tossing physicals. If Kain or Edward are with you, have them Jump/Hide when Lunar Odin raises his sword to avoid Zantetsuken. For once Captain Pussy's hiding can be useful. For the offense, Lunar Odin has a bizarre attack script that kills him within a few turns if he's hit by lightning, so smack him with Thundaga and let him die. If you don't kill him soon enough, later in the fight he'll use Zantetsuken twice in a row. You will not survive that, simply will not. You have enough trouble surviving one of them. Fortunately the Thundaga kill trigger goes off before the Zantetsukens do.
For your victory, you can keep the Lightbringer.
Edge's Trial - DeceptionEdit
Edge's trial is a test of his abilities as the heir to the Eblan ninjutsu legacy. His trial is also the most annoying to complete. The enemies here randomly drop keys which you'll need to proceed, so you'll have to fight to move ahead.
You start by falling down a long way. Go up to the door with the statue, then left of that door and a long way up. Head right at the top, down and left and you'll find a pair of double doors, enter the left ones. Examine the right switch on the wall, go up and examine the left switch, to the left is a pot that restores your MP if needed. Then go up the stairs, up again and speak to the king. Yeah right, it's not so easy, enjoy another pitfall. You fall back to the doors and switches, go back through them and up to see a wall of fire blocking the throne room entrance. Edge ninja-s his way through the wall, and lands on another pitfall. Now the real trial begins.
The tiles to the right crack once if you walk on them and break if you walk on them twice. Walk on each only once to hit the switch and open the door. Go up, right, down and examine the poster. Follow the directions to another poster, and those directions lead to another area. Go down past all the stairs and go past the blue switch and through the door. Go back up, hit the blue switch, enter the blue door and hit the green switch, then purposefully fall through the cracked floor. Cast Float down here to move safely, then go left and down all the way and right for an X-Potion. Then go back left and up part-way, and through the wall left and down to a teleporter. Go up to find yourself back at the very first area with two double doors.
Now go through to the wall of flames, back down the pitfall and back to the two posters. As you cross the gap, enter the green door. Outside, go right and into the water, and follow the water to a door. Now make your way left through some invisible passages to a door, unlock it with one of the keys you ought to have. Go left through a passage, up and right to a pot of MP restoration, use it. Now go up to another locked door, go through it and head left through the wall, go up and right through the wall to a secret entrance. You end up outside some double doors, finally go up back to the throne room. Time to kick the king's ass for this shit he's put us through!
Lunar Ifrit is actually the weakest of the Lunar Summons, I guess it's to compensate for the difficult trial. He'll use Flame to hit the party for mediocre damage, counters physicals with his own, and counters spells with Glare which can kill you. He's also got Fira and Firaga, which are mediocre and decent. Just have Rosa or Porom heal while you attack and use Blizzaga to smack his weakness. You shouldn't have any trouble.
When Lunar Ifrit croaks, Edge gets the Hanzo Gloves. They upgrade Steal to Plunder, which does damage to enemies and boosts the chance of a successful Steal. They'd be worthwhile if there was anything worthwhile to Steal in this game, I guess. But I never use Steal and I complete it fine. Afterwards, Edge wants to stay and have fun here, but Cecil and I are sick and tired of this place and leave.
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