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Hamfruitcake here and here's another chapter of my wal- Butters, why are you dressed in a bear suit?
'Ooo soft.' Edit
Dagger seems reluctant to get on, Vivi doesn’t mind and Steiner rushes off before anyone can disagree. Zidane manages to convince Dagger onto the ship and manages to cop a feel, what a stud.
Inside Vivi is trying to engage with his stretched out lookalikes and Zidane has a plan to turn the ship around, go upstairs to meet Steiner who is thoroughly pleased to hear the Princess is on board and that Zidane will be duly punished upon returning to Alexandria and prevents you from returning downstairs. That’s perfectly fine with you because up here is where the wheel is, time to turn this ship around, head to the bottom of the screen to cause some monkey business.
Steiner will immediately come yell at you and Vivi and Dagger will be confronted by Black Waltz III. This time he means trouble and as the Black Mage crew try to defend you he blasts them away with a very emotional FMV which makes Vivi look sad. Zidane leaves Dagger to fly the ship and the boys take on the Black Waltz.
|Boss Battle : Black Waltz III|
Vivi is immediately in Trance for this battle, so cast double fire and get to work stealing those items. Have Steiner defend and throw potions when necessary and try as hard as you can to get the Linen Cuirass as it will be extremely useful synthesis later on. Thundara will hit pretty hard so ensure everyone's HP is kept as high as possible and have Vivi focus his magic once he has come out of his Trance until Zidane has stolen the items for you.
Steiner gets annoyed at all these Waltzes coming along but Zidane reasons that three is all there will be for some odd reason being all knowing and what not.(Actual reason is that a waltz is a song that has a three beat measure so there are most likely to be 3 waltzes to fight.) Zorn and Thorn witness the Black Waltz returning and he has only one thing on mind. KILL! Dagger is heading for the South Gate towards Lindblum much to Zidane’s delight and Steiner’s chagrin and then the Black Waltz attacks again. Vivi fends off the Waltz with a powerful magic spell and falls over causing Zidane to have to hang on to him as they hurtle towards the exit of the South Gate; luckily the Black Waltz blows his engine up and the team escape safely.
Dagger seems to know what to do here and the Minister Artania will take her and Steiner and your team to the Conference Room to meet the almighty Regent Cid. Coincidentally from the imposing name and humungous castle you’d expect some great looking bloke but due to his own misfortune he has been turned into an oglop with a huge moustache and a little cape.
Lots of talking will ensue until Zidane gets bored and goes into town to get some food at a bar, flirt with a waitress and piss off a rat lady dressed in pink whom you will get to name. I recommend Ratchelle just for irony’s sake but she will be referred to as Freya from now on. Apparently she’s here for the hunt; that sounds like fun, maybe we’ll join in at some point. And because we named her we may as well see what she's like.
I've got little time for the girl, she's feisty sure and she's got a decent attack but she has such a little amount of significance past disc 2 and it's a shame I guess because she could've been developed but she was put to the side to make room for the more charismatic Eiko Carol; as her story is it revolves around her lost love Sir Fratley which brings some well needed angst to the story; but then Vivi brings angst and still remains loveable. Freya, alas, does not have that power.
Freya's attacks are fine, but they're not great and she simply doesn't match up to Zidane or Steiner in the end. She also has a Jump ability which you will come to learn and use a lot soon. It enables her to escape the battle then reappear piercing her spear into the enemy on the way down. Handy for avoiding harsh attacks. Her Trance is basically her Jump but instead of piercing once she does it several times which is rather neat I guess. Her Dragon ability although handy is ultimately rather useless unfortunately, at least until you get to the very end and find Cherry Blossom and Dragon's Crest. She also uses the same armour as Steiner so make note of that.
In all honesty. Freya is expendable. I've completed the game many times without her and it's never been a loss. I basically sub her for Quina and Steiner, Steiner for basically awesome attacks and Quina for healing and other useful spells. So you can store her away after Disc 2 for all I care.
In the morning Cid and Dagger will regale each other with what’s been going on in their countries allowing you to be filled in on all the background information you'll need. Uncle Cid is always here to help apparently, he used to be a great airship builder but now that he has a brain the size of a pea his skills waned to the point he can pretty much only talk and get upset about his previous skirt chasing. Now after all that chit-chat it’s time to explore, Lindblum is a big place so get your walking shoes on.
Zidane offers to give Vivi the grand tour but he’s not interested and wanders off on his own allowing you to sit through another one of Mogster’s lectures. Once again listen to everything he has to say if you're uncertain.Moodon has a letter for you from Ruby telling you she’s irritated you abandoned her but that’s all, save and head downstairs. There is a comments and suggestions box which you can read an angry review from someone called Lani, she sounds delightful.
Once you’re outside you’ll witness an ATE involving Steiner bumbling through town managing to irritate the locals and find a liking for pickles.
Head up to the top of the screen and you’ll be where Steiner just was previously, there you’ll find Card Freak Gon’s' house at the top of the screen, with two chests, one Hi-Potion and Echo Screen to be pillaged. Don’t bother playing cards with him, he has nothing worth winning, Wimpy Guy outside has some handy cards such as a Wyerd if you're interested. In the screen to the left you’ll find the church with a Leather Plate up the ladder and the small kid in green, Yaup will have an Ironite card and a Ragtimer cardyou’ll want to win off him. On the screen to the top right from Card Freak’s House will be the weapon, item and synthesis shops, spend spend spend is the recommendation here. There are some Silver Gloves to pick up in the back of the Synthesis Shop, just run past the desk and pick them up. Synthesise anything you need, I'm telling you now to get a Butterfly Sword and an Ogre for Zidane and if you haven't the items you can pick up the necessary weapons from the Weapon Shop. Also when in the Weapon Shop Zidane will reminisce about a person with blonde spikey hair wielding a big chunky sword if you glance at the wall.
Leave the area and you’ll witness a scene involving Vivi and a Kupo Nut; Alice the Item Shop owner will accidentally mention there’s a festival involving animals which delights the innocent minded black mage and he skips of merrily with a free kupo nut in hand. Lucky bugger.
Out there, Full of Shine and Full of Sparkle EditNow time to explore outside, leave the city by exiting at the bottom of the screen by the inn and aircab station where you’ll find the Hunter’s Gate and be able to leave and explore the world map. Random battles should not be a problem here with Zidane’s newly synthesised weaponry, but watch out as the Axel Beaks tend to put you to sleep but will promptly wake you up with a beak attack hopefully.
Apart from that there isn’t much else to do here apart from some training up and perhaps take part in a Pop Quiz in the forests. Gain a couple of levels and abilities for Zidane before you leave in preparation for the hunt, there will be some new party members joining you shortly and depending on Zidane’s level they will tally with that, the stronger you want your new party members the stronger you train up Zidane in this area. Learn the abilities from the Butterfly Sword you will have synthesised, which although weaker than the Ogre does have some useful things to know. Immediately equip the Ogre when you know the abilities. Head back to Lindblum when you’re ready.
Back in Town Edit
Go to the aircab station, if you see Old Margaret there she will have Mimic card to win in cards so challenge her if you want, she also has a Gimme Cat which is incredibly rare but if you get it then you should pat yourself on the back, and head to the Industrial district. There is a Leather Wrist in the subway and a Bronze vest outside the café next to the man; up at the steam house you will also find a Mimic card and a Steepled hat. Then to the Theatre District where you’ll see a lady in nice dress and hat, called Marian, who will have a Mandragora card that will look nice in your collection, if you’re lucky and patient she may use her Feather Circle card on you. Upon leaving the aircab station you’ll get to watch another ATE involving Steiner once again irritating the locals and an old man will teach him about the difference between steam and mist powered things; he also looks a lot like Morrid but not a word about coffee.
Go have a chat with aspiring artist Michael and take the Ore from his chest, upon leaving there's Gil on the bottom right of the screen and head to the stairs if you look to the bottom left of the screen you may see a ‘pigeon turd alert’ for your own viewing pleasure. Go down the stairs and round the path down the other set of stairs at the bottom of which will be a gaggle of women impatiently waiting for some big shot actor to appear. Zidane seems jealous of the female attention and then some guy in a giant moogle costume appears and gets yelled at and runs into a statue before running off, poor guy... Then head upstairs into the Tantalus Hideout and wait for the bells to start chiming and for the story to progress.
Zidane has a moment to wonder a bit about Dagger; then some young scallywags come in claiming to be thieves, they kinda pull Zidane’s leg and he is convinced he wanted to go. Check out the chests for some gil and take the Mini Burmecia from the bunk bed, this is another key item that you can sell off for a rather good price later. As you leave the hideout you get to see how Baku and the others are doing, Cinna’s running around muttering about coffee (wonder what kind he has...) and Baku and Marcus agree they aren’t going to save Blank until they can find away to free him without awakening the Evil Forest. After all these lovely scenes, head on over to Lindblum Castle on the aircab.
Pain in the Castle EditAs you get back to the castle go into the guest room where Steiner will proceed to yell at you, telling you that the princess has run off. As he goes on a search open the chests to find a Glass Armlet and an Ether. Give the Mogki her letter which describes Stiltzkin being on the move. She asks you to deliver a letter to Atla. Save your game and now to figure out how to find Dagger.
There will be a girl in down the stairs directly from the guest room who you can flirt with a bit if you're that way inclined. Then to activate Zidane coming up with a master plan you have to try and get into the lift Artania took you on before. Then go find a snoozing guard down the stairs from the guest room, convince him something weird is going on in the guest house. You then beat him up, steal his clothes and stuff him in the wardrobe like a pro, apparently he doesn't like the dark... Now you can get the lift to the upper level, go to the left and follow the stairs up to the tower where you’ll find Dagger and a FMV of her feeding the pigeons. Take her to look out of the telescope and examine all the places you will eventually go.
Note the Chocobo. Chocobos rock and they’re one of the reasons this game is amazing. Dagger and Zidane have a wonderful chat and prove it’s not all about the sexual tension since these two actually really care and like each other. Even if Zidane is a serial flirt, he still goes out of his way to make her feel happy and it seems Dagger likes having him as a friend even if she feels he patronises her too much. Our characters all have their own moments during this conversation and we are made to feel a little bit of empathy for poor insectoid Cid and Vivi has a little moment with some kid's toys. Steiner yells a bit more but we just can't stop him from doing that. Zidane eventually convinces Dagger if he wins he gets a date with her. So it’s obvious we now must win. The guards are having an issue keeping the monsters in check it seems, there is one particularly bad tempered one thrusting about in his cage that they are having real trouble controlling. This can't be good.
Anyhoo next up everyone will be signing up for the Hunt, I might put my name down if Alice is right about those animals...