Out of the frying pan into the freezer so to speak; not forgetting some wonderful dialogue and great special effects. Do try to enjoy this wonderfully cold area. With Hamfruitcake guiding the way.
Start with going round the bottom of the valley to find a Gate, Zidane handily tells us it’s gate that bridges Alexandria and Burmecia. You can go up the Gate and trying to peek inside and then you will be able to talk to the woman inside; whom Zidane will attempt to flirt with only to realise he already has a beautiful woman following him around. You can get some Potions from her but aside from that you can’t get through. There are also two treasure chests in here, one with a Potion in and the other has some Eye Drops to pilfer.
Come back out and follow the ledge until you come to the Ice Cave. Note there are plenty of new beasts around here, but the most useful probably be the Serpents who can give you 30 EXP each. If you equip Steiner with the Iron Helm you got then you can teach him Level Up which will allow him to catch up with Zidane if you have been levelling with him before. Be careful with Garnet who will most definitely be your weakest character at this point. A tip would be to press the R1 or L1 shoulder button when she is casting her curative magic to heal the whole party to keep your HP topped up just to give her something to do really. The same can be done with Vivi when using magic against a swarm of enemies although it does lower the intensity of the spell considerably.
Continue around the cliff bottom through the forest until your find a glowing blue entrance.
Now into the cave and inside we have another little scene where Steiner manages to stick his big metal clad foot in it upsetting Vivi a little. So onward we march.
Go towards the step to jump down to get a Tent and then move onto the next room.
In this area you can find another couple of chests, if you follow the path that goes beneath the stairs and to the front of the screen you'll get a Potion. Come back to the front of the screen and follow the path up to what looks like a icy wall. Zidane will examine it then ask Vivi to use his magic on it. You'll get another Ether. Now you can leave this area by going up the steps and to the top of the screen.
This place has some more new enemies as well. Some Flan who are not by any means hard to beat. Some new Goblins who will use a sleeping potion on you from time to time but it's not really going to tip the scale against you too badly, if you're desperate to wake your characters up have Garnet or Vivi give them thwack to have awaken them. Finally Wyerd are generally what their name suggests. Still, they're not too hard to beat and have a small physical attack which will sometimes switch yours and it's HP but that can sometimes be more of a help than a hindrance and blizzard spells. Nothing in here should give you problems but it's a nice place to get some training in.
Now in the next room follow the path to the left and burn down the wall to reveal yet another chest, this contains a Elixir, now come back to the front of the room and follow the path to the right to open another chest with a potion in it. Come off the ledge where you found it then examine the icicle you wandered up. Vivi will use his spells again and you'll get a Mage Masher for your efforts. Technically you should have it already but still useful for synthesising later on so move on up to the top of the screen to the next area.
In the next room follow the path to find another treasure chest with a Phoenix Down in it. Now follow the path to the far left which stops abruptly due to another ice wall, Vivi will handle it and then follow the path around to get a Leather Wrist which again you should already have but equip it to Vivi so he can learn Blizzard. Follow the path to the next screen, in this one we have a fork. Go up the left path.
Now go to the next room following the left path first to defrost a Moogle, damn she sure has a mouth on her! But at least she’s grateful, save and rest and don’t forget to ask if she wants to use the Mognet system. She does apparently, she has a letter for Gumo. You’ll also get another tutorial by Mogster, again if you haven’t played this before it’s a good idea to let him to talk at you for a while. Come back the way you came and follow the path to the right. Your characters realise it’s pretty damn cold, so cold that people just start passing out everywhere. A bell rings and Zidane awakens, you now only have control of him and he meets the wrong sort of company in the form of Black Waltz I.
|Boss Battle : Black Waltz I|
Black Waltz is not a hard enemy, it’s only attacks are Fire and Blizzard which will only succeed in tickling you at this point (if you trained up to level 7). Get rid of him as quickly as you can so you can focus on the real enemy who is looming at about 10 feet taller than you.
|Boss Battle : Sealion|
Ok this boss battle can either be a pain or a God send. Start off like you normally would any battle and steal the Mythril Dagger off the Sealion. I wouldn’t stop doing so until you have it since it is quite a good weapon to have at this point in the game.
Sealion has three forms, the jewel on it’s belly tells you have annoyed it is, when blue it will merely use wing and blizzard, it will then go yellow the more you attack, and he will start using Blizzara and Tsunami which is quite a daunting attack but don’t let it worry you too much. Once it’s red it will normally take a single attack to kill it but it’s attacks will become erratic and it’ll go a bit mental. If you get into a trance Tidal Flame will kill it almost immediately
Apparently that Black Waltz was only a taster for more to come apparently. Better check on the team who have awoken. Steiner gets a little weird about being asleep whilst Garnet is awake, Zidane will tell him off and you can now exit this cavern through the area you just fought that boss battle.
As you come out of the Mist we see a village in the distance. Zidane suggests that Garnet starts talking more like himself or Vivi to which Steiner rudely disagrees. All the same, Garnet decides she wants to be called Dagger as an alias whilst outside the castle. Zidane also suggests she tries to speak like our good friend Vivi, adding a words like “Alrighty” to her vocab. So now she's got her real name we can give her a box.
|Garnet til Alexandros XVII AKA. Dagger|
Dagger is our quintessential Princess if you havent figured that one out yet, but she's also very athletic, intelligent and incredibly naive. All the qualities that make her rather great. She's my favourite leading lady by a distance due to her actually becoming a really strong character as a lot of events take place in her life. She is also one of the only people in the world who can pull off an orange jumpsuit and that in itself fills me with both envy and love.
Dagger is a Summoner mainly but also a White Mage for the first disc of the game. Therefore she'll do good in the back row and top up everyone's HP from time to time along with protection from status ailments etc. Once Dagger gets her summoning abilities she's a much more useful character in an offensive stance; she will also get one of the most powerful moves in the game which is Ark, but more on that later. You will come across another white mage later in the game who is technically more useful but it depends on if you want to use summons excessively or have access to Holy. For now her Trance is Eidolon which makes her summons stronger, for now it's useless but keep her around, she is very handy.