We meet again, in this wonderful vacation spot. Filled with extraordinary scenery and an interesting community.
The Prima Vista is in pretty bad shape; a lot of it is on fire! Apparently we’re in the Evil Forest, a place which no one has gotten out of alive. I wonder if there are any shrubberies just in case...
Zidane appears looking at the destroyed ship and Cinna begins by describing all of the notable things... like Zidane, being a complete nut, jumped off the Prima Vista and might have just killed the Princess. A Moogle comes along and assures us the Princess is alive but something weird and unexplainable just happened to her and Vivi so we have to find her. We find this out by an ATE – Active Time Event. Through this game when the alert appears in the bottom left corner we can have a look at what other characters are doing whilst we’re on the wander by pressing Select. Some of these are amusing, others, a little boring. I’ll probably only describe the ones I find interesting but if you watch a good percentage of them at certain points in the game you can get various items so pay attention. Save with the moogle and exit via the hollow log at the bottom right of the screen.
Through here our location is confirmed with the words “Evil Forest” glowing on the screen. In this small area you can have a bit of a fight on your own. I like to use this area to beef up Zidane a little bit, equip him with that Mage Masher you got about 2 hours of game play ago. This will be nice because you’ll be able to kill all the monsters in this area with one hit. Try to gain a few levels while you’re on your own. The amount of EXP you get is divided by how many characters you have. So whilst you don’t get that much with just Zidane, imagine how little you would get if you had more characters. Trust me on this one, it’ll save you a bit of time later on (and having Zidane your strongest team member is not a bad thing. Keep that as a mantra throughout gameplay). So yeah, gain a couple of levels while you can. You can actually get up to level 5 without much hassle. If your HP feels a little too low then just give Zidane a potion, if you want you can steal a couple from the goblins and fangs in this area too.
Now just follow the path along and you’ll find Vivi cowering and Steiner trying to apprehend some foul fiend who has taken the princess captive. Of course Zidane resorts to fighting and thus we have a mini battle.
|Boss Fight : Prison Cage|
This fight is not hard, since we start off by being introduced to Trance. If you have levelled up this battle could be over in a mere two turns. If not just make sure the princess’s HP is topped up by Steiner, just give Garnet a potion if her HP drops down too low. Normally if the monsters arms go up in the air he’s preparing to absorb, she can normally take three absorptions before she dies so try not to go nuts with the potions you so carefully pilfered. Note: if you have equipped the Mage Masher to Zidane you will notice you have two abilities when in Trance, Free Energy and Tidal Flame. Use Free Energy only!! Tidal Flame will hurt the Princess too, that is, unless you want a quick game over.
The monster then escapes with the princess only to return to capture Vivi.
|Boss Fight : Prison Cage|
The monster dies, not before poisoning Vivi and Steiner with some sort of smoke.
Blank assures Vivi he’s not dying and gives him some medicine. Steiner is locked up by the clamp rats... He seems irritable. Meanwhile Zidane is having an argument with Baku about saving the Princess; Baku says no but Zidane being the chivalrous leading man he is insists they should do something to save her. Baku turns his back on the subject and as Zidane you can storm out like a bratty teenager (not before picking up the Bronze Gloves just beside the globe and Baku).
And now we have some ATEs to enjoy (or revile). Steiner plans his escape and also finds Cinna’s Garnet doll, calling it ugly and basically cuddles it as he drifts into a peaceful but highly uptight slumber. Ruby is apparently upset about being left behind. And Cinna is crying about the doll that Steiner has now stolen. Doesn’t Cinna realise that this is Final Fantasy? Does he not know the rule of “finder’s keepers”? Seems not, he’s rather upset about it all as well.
Go into Vivi’s room, which is the one Blank has just left and have a chat with everyone’s favourite black mage, Zidane tries to build up his confidence telling him it was his black magic that saved the day (which is actually not a word of a lie). Go up onto the bunk bed to get 116 gil and then to the top left corner to get an Ether.
Zidane has a moment to think about whether he should save the Princess. You know he will but it’s an opportunity to toy with his emotions. Either way eventually you’ll say yes so no point in saying no, unless you want to see him mooch around for a while longer.
Pick up the Wrist from the left end of the room with the staircase in the middle and Vivi at the other end. Now leave this area to find Marcus guarding Steiner’s room, it’s good to know the knight is being well behaved. Go down the stairs and through the door to find Baku sneezing; like I said, Baku likes a good fight so be ready for a bust up. Pick up the Potion from this room and go back out into the room where we first fought Baku.
|Boss Battle : Baku|
All you need to do is steal the items and give him a good stab or two. He doesn’t hit for much and sometimes trips over his own feet so it’s not difficult. As always if you feel nervous just give yourself a Potion although it barely seems necessary (unless it takes forever to steal one thing). After the fight Baku congratulates you by winding you.
Go get the Rubber Helm from the top left of the room and then you can go convince Vivi and Steiner to come on a mission with you to find the Princess. It doesn’t take that much convincing and so the story continues. Don’t forget to open the chest in Steiner’s room, its got an Ether in it.
Now you can leave not before Blank gives you some medicine so the Princess can survive the icky seed stuff Steiner and Vivi got infected with. He’ll also remind you how to set Abilities which isn’t that hard to figure out now really! Just to activate them click on them making the circle beside them shiny blue, the number at the top of the screen is how many ability points you can use. It's always worth checking back to this screen and shuffling your abilities about to suit you. If anyone has it, antibody is a must and any of Steiner's killer abilities too. Outside you can stock up on items by chatting to Cinna, unfortunately you’ll have to pay but buying a couple of Eye Drops won’t hurt. Now equip your characters as best you can.
Specifically equipping Steiner with the Rubber Helm and Vivi with the Silk Shirt; I know the Bronze Helm is better for Steiner but there are a few enemies ahead who enjoy casting Thunder, think how Steiner’s nickname is Rusty and it will probably make sense. Basically it reduces thunder damage by 50%. The Silk Shirt will teach Vivi Thunder, which will be handy later on.
Save your game and move out.
Going in the Undergrowth Edit
As you progress through the leafy fauna you’ll see an ATE in which the orchestra perform a damn fine version of Rufus’s Theme from Final Fantasy VII and Baku mentions how nice it is. Keep travelling through and you’ll come across a spring which will thankfully heal your hp and mp from just a sip, although it won’t heal status ailments such as darkness. Chilling out in a hollow log will be a moogle, called Monty, give him the letter from Kupo and he’ll have received another letter from Stiltskin which will reveal a hint about the Princess. Keep on trekking forth and you will eventually find the princess and your first legitimate boss battle:
|Boss Battle : Plant Brain|
This guy can surprise you if you’re not fully prepared so remember that Rubber Helm for Steiner. Proceed to steal both items with Zidane and focus with Vivi until you’re ready, just attack with Steiner and use him to throw Potions and Eye Drops when necessary. Watch out for Pollen and immediately counter it with Eye Drops on your attackers. Fire and Fire Sword are the order here so use and abuse them. Remember to keep your HP topped up for low levels and throw all you have at it until Blank appears to assist you. The battle will end relatively quickly from this point.
The forest appears to be quite angered you’ve killed it’s queen and thus sends a lot of red topped spider things after you. You can fight as many or as few as you want just keep heading forward until a nice FMV sequence throws you out of the forest and into the wilderness. Unfortunately for Blank the forest petrifies itself and through his heroic gesture of chucking you the map of the Mist Continent he is trapped in there too.
Now we get a nice little moment around the campfire, love the pom pom on the tent. After some mild dramatic ramblings from each character you will have some sleep and a moogle will come along and show you a thing or two from Mogster. Beginners should read everything he says and try to get past his irritating arrogance. Then you will receive the Moogle’s Flute allowing you to save and use a tent on the world map, incredibly handy. When on the map press square and Moguo will come whizzing to your aid, calling him and sending him away immediately will eventually begin to tick him off and eventually he become so incensed with rage his Kupo with become a KU-PHEH having sharpened his knife. When you're done making the Moogle mad and I'll see you on the next page!