I meet up with another thief or resistance member up on the mountains and he gives me some more dosh. I haven't found much to spend it on, maybe the goal is to get as much money as you can, like in Wario Land?
I couldn't get anywhere on the mountain so I went back down to look around, and whoa, savage. That girl I dropped off just straight-up murdered the priest and ran off.
I went into another dungeon in the desert but there wasn't any treasure inside, not even a lot of money or anything. There was a cape or cloak or something on the mountainside but it doesn't show up that my guy is wearing it now.
Anyway I fought some worms at the end and got an amulet. Okay so that's a goal for the game, raid the dungeons for some super-valuable artifacts to fence off for extra money to fuel our hero's greed. I mean, it worked for Wario, so okay.
My new sword can shoot beams so I can fight the monsters in this cave. Inside is a guy who gives me a little bit of money, then in his chests I get a bottle of green stuff and a couple more of those heart amulets.
I worked out that if you drop the chest fungus off you can get paid for it, so I'll be on the lookout for some more.
I'm still not sure where to go or what to do next, though -- my map is on the freedom fighter's house in the ruins still -- so I dick around a bit more trying to find something I can manage.
This guy's pretty cool. He gives me a mirror that's probably pretty valuable, and in his back room I find a flute of some sort and a grappling hook. The flute summons a duck, which totally makes sense.
The reward for decoding this script on the cliffside is $20. Given how dramatic it was I expected something better.
This chest has $20 in it, too, although I had to go through a lot of trouble to get it open. Something about meeting one of our hero's partners in crime, I think.
Another heart amulet for getting to the top of the mountain.
There's a tower on top of the mountain where I got a magic wand, that's pretty cool. Turns out the guy's a wizard and can throw fireballs.
The boss at the top of the tower was super weak and only took two hits, talk about a letdown. I get another of those pendants, though.
Exploring the mountains gets me a shovel, and not pictured: another wand that lets me shoot ice and freeze stuff, and a staff that lets me create blocks and then explode them.
The wands don't help against the thing in the ruins I explored before, so I go into some other dungeons in autumn world. This one was super hard and didn't even give me anything good.
This one was full of money and the girl here also had the key to her own cell. What's up with that?
I'm not showing every cache of money I find but there are so many I must be doing pretty well.
Climb up this cliff and there's another tile that turns the world autumn.
Leading to a cave where I find a bow. Now I can finally use all those arrows I've found! But not the one from the start of the game. It's got sentimental value.
The water sigil stops the rain and opens up this dungeon in the lake, which is the most sensible thing that's happened so far.
I get, what is this, a tornado sigil? inside that dungeon.
There's probably a vault in every dungeon, but I just can't find them because I can't read the clues.
Okay ngl this pile of eyes killed me real quick
Turns out the bow was what I needed to finish the ruins. So the tool I needed was in the autumn world, on the other side of the map from where this dungeon is. Talk about nonlinearity!
The freedom fighter gives me his savings in payment for the three pendants. Hardly seems worth the trouble.
A sword appears on the map now but I'm pretty sure I'm good with the one I've got so I ignore it.
I can't believe I missed this before lol
If you push the "use hammer" button and the "dash" button at the same time, your guy charges forward and just plows through stakes like these. It doesn't help against monsters though.
I find a boomerang on a pyramid. This is, like, a Mayan or Cambodian-style pyramid but I find a distinctly Australian weapon here. What the hell, man.
The monkey charges $100 but at least I know what he does. I still haven't figured out what the guy in town and the fish-person took my money for.
Anyway this dungeon vault was easy to find.
I killed the boss in this one, which is cool since the moth in the forest and that eye pool just murdered the shit out of me when I ran into them.
And for clearing this dungeon I got a crystal instead of a pendant. I'm not sure what the deal is since they don't tell you anything about them in-game and they don't seem to do anything, but they're probably valuable so I'd better go get any more.
Each boss you kill gets you a life-up and I'd forgotten if I'd killed the worms here or if they'd killed me, so I went back and got another pendant to replace the one I sold to the old guy in the ruins.
I go back and kill the moth and get another crystal. I'm not sure where to fence these off, though.
Okay, this may be a big spoiler for people who haven't played before, but this girl who's locked up is actually the boss of the dungeon and you have to fight her once she puts on her robe and wizard hat. Maybe she's a prisoner like that other girl, and that's what happened to the priest? She has another crystal though.
Outside of the blacksmith's hut in the autumn world I find a pair of flippers, which allow me to swim. Finally!
If you throw your shield into a spring you get a better shield, because that makes sense.
This guy hands you a jar of bombs. This must be one of those "corrupt empire exploits the people for magical power" plots that were so popular in games back on the SNES, since every damn peasant I talk to outside the castle is armed to fight back with bombs and stuff.
I go back and kill the puddle of eyes and get a crystal for that too.
The next dungeon is more nonlinearity stuff. If I didn't have this block-creating staff to weigh down this button I don't think I'd be able to get through this dungeon. But there's no indication in the game that I need it, or that it's up in the mountains in a nondescript cave.
The tornado sigil turns out to be fire, even though it doesn't look like that at all, and the animation is just recycled from that tablet that gave me $20 way back when. Does okay against this boss, though, and I get another crystal.
I find another spring inside the pyramid and when I go through my inventory it tells me I already have a level 4 sword. But the blacksmiths gave me a level 3 sword! And you get the level 4 sword by throwing your level 3 sword into the pool (because that still makes total sense). And I never even saw a level 2 sword. Weird.
The next dungeon has an iron glove to replace what I guess is the bronze glove I got earlier, but I can't figure out what it does. It doesn't seem like I can lift or pull anything new, or do more damage with my sword now.
This boss requires the grappling hook I got to kill it, but at least it was from a cave near here instead of all the way across the world.
According to my map this turtle dungeon has the last crystal.
But it was a dungeon way back that had turtles in it. There aren't any here!
Anyway it's kind of tricky, at one point you have to leave this dungeon and go back to the mountainside, and then warp back to the non-autumn world (spring world?) and go into a cave to get the biggest shield. Which you need to complete the dungeon! I can only assume that would have been easier if I could understand the hints in Japanese.
I found the vault in this dungeon too. I think I found like five vaults in ten dungeons? So I might not get the best ending.
Anyway the boss is p easy, just hit it with the spells from your magic wand then slash it with your sword.
I don't get it but the crystals let you enter this glowing tower. I guess that's where the game-ending treasure is?
I get the lightning sigil in here, and a bag of dust that turns those annoying swirling enemies into faeries and other stuff into blobs. That's pretty powerful so I understand why they put it in an endgame dungeon.
I think this is a suit of chainmail or something since I start taking a lot less damage from here on out, but I'm not sure why it's red instead of grey. Anyway the monsters do a shitton of damage so I'm glad to have it.
The top of the tower has a wizard that you can't hurt by slashing with your sword, but you can kill it by catching its magic in your butterfly net and throwing it back like some sort of magic lacrosse player.
The wizard dies, and his ghost is a pig, then a bat. What the hell is up with this game.
Anyway the bat flies off and makes a huge hole in the top of the pyramid and inside you have to fight the pig. It's a pretty intense fight, and you have to kill it with the arrow you got at the very beginning of the game in your own house. Can you imagine if I'd used it up before then? I'd be stuck and have no idea what to do.
Anyway I beat the wizard ghost pig bat guy and got the treasure I was looking for the whole time, which I guess is three triangular slabs of gold? Shit's gotta be super heavy but I guess I found the treasure I was hunting for the whole time, so that's the end of the game.
All in all it was pretty fun but I couldn't understand a lot of things that were going on. Maybe it'll get an English translation one of these days? That would probably help.
Well, you know what thread this is.
This is Beyond Babil. It turns FF4 into a Roguelike. Sort of. If you're familiar with the Ancient Cave from Lufia, that's a better description.
You start on the Lunar Whale. Build a party of level 5 characters! Everyone's available. Spellcasters learn spells as the proceed rather than on level up. Rydia starts with Fire/Fira, Blizzard/Blizzara, Thunder/Thundara, and Chocobo. Edge starts with Flame, Flood, and Blitz.
I'm not actually sure what this means, because it brings up an item-use menu. Neither the Tent nor the SavePoint I start with do anything.
So our first level is... the Sylvan Cave from the Underworld! Including intact damage floors. This'll be a hoot.
The randomizer recommended a party, but uh... it's a p shitty party.
Edge starts with an IceClaw, leaving him with the usual decision to put him on the front row to do full damage to enemies or put him on the back row so that he can maybe take more than one hit before faceplanting in the dirt. Porom starts with a Staff, so she's as useless on offense as you'd expect. Rydia can at least use the magic missiles out of her Rod to save MP -- not that that saved her against the horrifying might of a group of three Larva.
I.. er... hmm.
I guess that error message on the randomizer about this being the wrong version of the ROM wasn't kidding. Let me get back to you on this one.
Let's try that again. The recommended party for this dungeon is Cecil as a Dark Knight, Edward, Yang, Cid, and Edge. No healing, and my only options for full-enemy-party attacks are Darkwave and Ninjutsu. I'm pretty skeptical.
Literally the first chest in the dungeon.
Stuff from the waterway under Baron castle in the core game! Reminder that I am currently level 5.
The other options for my first treasure are ten fire arrows and a suit of iron armor. Cecil can't wear it because he's limited to his dark knight goth gear, Yang and Edge use black belts and stuff, and Edward would collapse under the weight. Guess it's for Cid.
The secret passage that normally leads to the Crystal Sword/Ragnarok instead takes me to... the Sylph cave and its damage floors. This party doesn't even have the potential to eventually cast Float!
The passage to the north from start leads to a functional shop.
Nothing I can afford, though.
ow my feet
Also a Flame Lance. I guess Edge can throw it at something. Edge gets the Dancing Dagger to equip, since it would bring his attack damage up into double-digits.
ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow
Okay so let's try that aga--
OH COME ON
btw you can't run from chest ambush encounters
I think it's Floateyes that drop these. Hey, hold on. Something I saw around here is weak to Lightning...
But first, maybe a little party rebuild is in order.
Kain now hits like a truck. Cecil inherits the Dancing Dagger.
Ah, sweet, soothing curative magic.
Returning to the shop to sell off some now-useless equipment, like this Wooden Hammer or this Dreamer's Harp, I discover that the shop has random encounters inside too.
Turns out Rydia learns new summons every few dungeon levels. People learn spells at level-up normally.
Anyway, I've got this Blue Fang/LitBolt/LitStorm/whatever...
So how about that first chest ambush, huh?
SUCK IT LOSERS
Everyone jumped from level 8 to level 12 or so. Except Kain, since he took a couple croc bites before Cecil could throw the electric grenade. Thankfully, Rosa picks up the Life spell around level 10.
My reward is an axe that I don't really want to equip on anyone, since axes in Final Fantasy games tend to be kind of terrible.
It sells for a penny, though.
So I clean out the shop. The best haul here is the Black Robe, normally midgame armor for Rydia, and Rune bracelets for Yang, Rosa, and Rydia. Cecil and Kain get some gauntlets and shields, but nothing as nice as those other things.
This floor from the Tower of... uh, Zot, I think? has four exits. Most of them double back to the first level's Lunar Subterrane area. Exploring those new areas of level 01 results in teleporters and doors that lead... back here. Ah, randomized dungeons.
Areas of the game that normally have save points on the ground give you the SavePt item instead. You can use it to open up the use of Tents and Cottages and save your game, but once you move, the effect wears off.
Level 06 is a bit from the Sealed Cave.
07 is the Cave of the Father/Bahamut's Lair. Thankfully, the scripted encounters with Behemoths have been removed.
Golbez is just hangin' out on level 10. You can't talk to him or interact in any way, and can in fact just walk through him.
Checkpoint. Which I thought would include a save point to rest up, and maybe a quick shortcut back to the Lunar Whale if you wanted it. Nope! It's none of those things. It's a boss.
It's probably fine.
I think I'll use one of my SavePts and my starting Tent before I go much further, though.
Well, given the map I was on, I'm grateful it's not the boss rush gauntlet of Elemental Fiends.
I AM CASTING SAFE AND SHELL
well no I don't have Shell yet, but Baigan's arms hit pretty hard and can Haste themselves so a quick buff doesn't go amiss.
It was a tough fight, but I won.
If you step off the boss panel, returning will ask if you want to fight it again. I decline. The experience wasn't that good for the effort, and I've still got more gold than I know what to do with from selling the Poison Axe.
Mt. Hobbs descent. No treasure and no random encounters, oddly.
This shit again. Rosa's like forty levels away from learning Float.
Some treasure is worth treading on the damage floors, though.
Just walk on by the chest trap and move on.
Given my level and mismatched gear, Ogres are pretty dangerous. Rydia picked up the Mist Dragon summon for beating Baigan, though. No fanfare or anything, it just shows up on her !Call list.
Ogres drop items that cast Blizzara.
Don't blame me for the dungeon levels jumping around like this. The game just does that. The other exit from the Eblan castle interior led straight to level 20!
Helmets are in short supply, so I'll take it.
Level 18 is the Baron castle vault, with a guard who doesn't do his job. Like Golbez before, you can just walk right through.
Inside are a bunch of consume-to-cast-a-spell junk items and the Blitz whip.
Grab the silver dagger, grab the ice rod, head on down.
dum de dum. I guess this'll be a long micro-LP if I point out every floor, considering most of them are linear paths of around thirty steps.
Picked up an Icebrand on level 17 though.
But I'm starting to run low on MP, so I squeeze off an Exit to head back to the Lunar Whale. Did Cecil get Exit in FF4 SNES? It's been so long since I've played that version I honestly forget.
Here it is, the only resting spot in the game. Even if I had found another Tent from the one I started with, I have to drop a SavePt to use them.
Hah! Suck it!
Hah! Suck it!
My rewards are a Middle katana and a Silver bracelet. So this was, uh, mostly a moral victory.
Holy-elemental damage, ya undead sons a bitches!
The reward here is a Wizard Hat, so Rydia gets her first piece of headgear.
Huh. The crystal room from Babel.
There's no trap door, though.
(The crystals do nothing.)
Levels 18 and 19 are both maps with a half-dozen doors that all lead to each other.
Who could it be this time?
The Magus Sisters! On a nice sunny beach.
These ladies are a breeze with a party of five including a Summoner. It kind of highlights what a deadweight Cid is, too.
That's kind of a lot of EXP. I might come back and make fun of them for a while to grind up a couple more levels.
The shops from... uh, whatever the dorf town was called... are abandoned. Nowhere to spend any of my cash.
Beating the Magus Sisters unlocks Jinn for Rydia.
A gaiaful hallway.
Kokkol's workshop has a Silver Shield. C'mon, this is where you get Excalibur and Fuuma Shuriken in the vanilla game!
Yeah, I figured it was about ti--
Arachne only ever cast Quake, and I'm still twenty-five levels or whatever away from getting Float.
Yang finally gets some better armor than a set of clothes and a Rune armlet. Monks are supposed to be big and tough and strong but Yang's lagging defense is making him quite a liability.
When Rubicante stormed Eblan he just fuckin' bisected all the people.
Hey! A functional NPC!
Oh my god it's a shop of curative items
That'll take a load off of Rosa.
Hey! A functional resting place!
And that sealed passage from the, uh, Sealed Cave? Leads straight back down to the Eblan Cave on level 25.
And a chest nearby has the best headgear in the core game sitting inside. Yang still hasn't found so much as a new belt, so he gets it.
I... hmm. I mean, I'll hang on to it...
And I had to wrap for a bit, so it's back to the Lunar Whale to save.
Thanks to that handy shortcut on level 6 I'm back in new territory in no time.
You know how when you fight Calcobrena in vanilla FF4, and you're stuck with Cecil, Kain, Rosa, and Yang? Whole bunch of people without the ability to hit the entire enemy party at once, so it's really tough to take out all six dolls before they transform.
Turns out, though? Having a Summoner in the party makes this fight reeeeeeal easy.
The Cals and Brenas have item drops, too. Huh.
Oh, and the summon they gave Rydia? Sylph. Here I was expecting a linear Chocobo -> Ifrit -> Shiva -> Ramuh -> Titan progression, but nope! It's properly random.
Pot is empty. There's no restore here.
The reason I keep skipping ahead is because most levels are only slightly more interesting than this one.
There's a bug with the Sylph summon. If it's sorted into the top-right corner of Rydia's command window, then casting the summon costs 0 MP. Normally it's 25! But I'm perfectly willing to exploit this unfixed bug in a game with dick all for MP restore items. Rydia now has a free non-elemental magic attack that heals the party a bit. So that's nice.
I try to poke the NPCs I see in case any of them are tangible enough to sell me anything. I can't reach Cid from here, but I have my doubts anyway. I walk through all of the Baron guards.
This was a pleasant surprise for an enemy drop.
Cecil took a Blaster from a Couerl. But check it, I have revive and curative potions now. Rosa can just sit back and keep her MP.
Of all the NPCs to still function, it's this asshole who poisons the whole party. Everyone else in the bar is intangible.
Oh no! I have to go bring Palom along so he can dispel this fire with his magic!
Nah j/k you just walk through it like everything else.
This was an IronMan and two BladeMan. BladeMen? Blademans? Whatever.
Point is I'm strong enough to actually take out monster chests now. The reward is just a Rune bracelet, and everyone who can wear one of those is already wearing one.
I'm gonna hang on to this in case it's actually useful anywhere, but in a game where I don't think I'll ever have to search for Princess Flans to get Pink Tails to exchange for Adamant Armor, I don't know what a rare-random-encounter-finder is going to do for me.
Rubicante of the Flame
bad with water
...even though he's standing ankle-deep in it right now
Rubicante is actually a tough fight, the first one since Baigan, really. He didn't even heal us before he attacked! How undignified. Rubicante just swaps back and forth between Fira and Glare, but not even Yang has enough HP to withstand Glare. If Rubicante didn't take a moment now and then to hide inside his cloak and give me a round or two to recover and just alternated between "strong attack" and "fatal attack" the whole time, I probably would have splatted here, too.
But I made it.
And Rosa learns... huh? I thought Float came a lot later in her normal spell progression. Oh well, I'll take it.
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