I have yet to find where Cecil's bedroom is.
There's no Fat Chocobot on the Lunar Whale, so if I use a Whistle to call a Fat Chocobo I'm not sure if I can ever get my deposited items back.
Oh, and the next summon Rydia got for beating Rubicante? Bahamut.
Not one guard here is corporeal.
Well, if I ever have to fight Bahamut or Asura, this'll be useful.
Speaking of... er, I really hope this is neither Bahamut nor Asura.
It's not moving.
It just uses strong physical hits, I don't have to worry about being Crushed.
I do eventually get tired of trading hits with the damn thing, though. Beating it unlocks Odin for Rydia.
Neither the monks nor the beds are functional.
I... huh? I don't remember that being an item...
Oh, it's just what the English version would have called the Couerl's Whisker that causes instant death when used in battle, if it had included that item in the first place.
Actually... kind of tedious. They drop a Strength bracelet that I give to Kain.
I usually grind some levels out of this encounter in vanilla, since the Arachnes only use the easily-neutered Quake and the Conjurer can be made harmless with a Size spell. But eh.
I'm still wondering if tails do anything.
If the altars are empty, then I won't be getting stuff off of them later on.
But if the altars are empty, I'll probably be fighting the bosses who were guarding them somewhere near the bottom of this dungeon anyway.
This is a one-way passage, since there's no getting into the chamber of mirrors if you're not doing the becoming-a-Paladin cutscene.
We already crossed the bridge and Scarmilogne didn't show up so I'm not sure who's hissing, or why I can hear Palom and Porom bickering about it when they're 50 levels up on this weird-ass non-Euclidean dungeon.
I didn't use this one for grinding, but knowing for sure that I can keep an enemy pinned down while Rydia drains all its MP into her own reserves is nice. Fighting off the nagas it summons gave everyone else something to do.
It took a while.
Yeah, bring it! I've got the second-best sword in the game! I can take you! I can take anything!
good day sir I hope you are well how is the missus
Hey, here's a boss that endlessly alternates between "strong attack" and "fatal attack". Rosa and Yang spent most of the fight keeping Cecil on his feet, since Excalibur doesn't stop Blizzara from doing weirdly high damage. Turns out he was wearing the Ice Shield I'd found earlier on, giving him a weakness to that for resistance to fire. It took a while to swap that out for a Fire Shield I kept as a backup for just such an occasion, given that Leviathan would keep knocking Cecil out every time I revived him, before Cecil got a turn to act. Once I did, though? Leviathan stopped casting Blizzara on him and started hitting Yang instead.
Eventually Cecil stayed up for long enough that Rydia could stop playing party healer with Sylph and do something else with her time.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised which summon I got for winning.
But Rosa drank my only Ether during that fight, and then ran out of MP again. So it's back to the Lunar Whale to rest up.
Here's what the party looks like headed into level 60.
After I saved I did a bit of dicking around with party setup. If you talk to a party member on the Lunar Whale twice, you can get duplicates of them in your party. So I ditched Rydia and invited in another Yang. Hey, maybe I can get copies of his equipment off the new guy! (Yang is still wearing the Glass Mask.)
But no, new Yang starts at level 5, with a Fire Claw. Data for each duplicate member is independent of any others.
So I ditched the new Yang and brought Rydia back in...
Tits, she's reset to level 5. Anybody out there who wants to give Beyond Babil a spin, pick a party and stick with it. Rydia still has all the spells she got for leveling, which is damned odd, but with only 30 MP can't cast much of anything. And she lost all the gear she was wearing just like duplicate Yang did, only holding a plain ol' regular Rod.
Looks like the mod dev team closed up the obvious loopholes for exploiting the system. Damn.
Not pictured: a solid half-hour spent going in circles looking for the passage back to Mt. Ordeals that led to the Leviathan boss fight.
It doesn't help that a couple of those passages twist back to before the previous boss. I had to walk through the Evil Wall boss room five or six times.
But that said, the Troia castle middle passage has the chamberlain try to sell me stuff. Not much here, though.
And this glitchy spot is where I'd use my Tent
IF I HAD ONE
In the passages leading up to Agart -- the new area -- I picked up Dragoon gauntlets for Kain and a Protect Ring for Rydia. Agart itself is full of shops, most of which are selling clothes and Iron armor pieces, but...
Someone is selling Glass Masks for an affordable retail price. Now everyone can have one until I start finding Ribbons.
In a randomized dungeons rooms like this are pretty shitty.
I have Float now! I don't have to worry about the damage floors here!
I did worry enough about Bahamut as a random encounter here that I ran away without taking a screenshot, but that's totally a thing that happened.
I go ahead and buy the Pass to the secret back room...
But as it turns out the Pass-opened passage leads to the door on the top there, and the top-left passage out of the bar leads to the bottom passage down there. So it was a waste of money.
I'm pretty grateful to see that the healing tiles in the Lunar Palace are still functional, given that the boss room is the next chamber.
The CPU is such a pushover with this party -- FuSoYa isn't around to stare uselessly at the CPU's Reflect status without anything to do -- that I stood here and fought it three or four times to gain a couple of levels.
I've got Bahamut, Leviathan, Sylph, and Odin. There's not really much left to unlock. I mean, Mind Flayer maybe, if that's even on the list. On the other hand, if it is, that means the useless Goblin and Bomb are too. So meh.
The village Mist has several shops, but nothing worth buying. A lot of Dark Knight armor comes up in these stores, which I assume is why they recommended I bring Dark Knight Cecil in this party.
I mean, they also gave me Excalibur for free earlier on and I'm pretty sure I haven't seen Deathbringer anywhere, so it still doesn't make any sense to bring along crappy ol' Dark Knight for this long.
Treasures found along this stretch include the Yoichi Bow and the Dragoon Lance, finally replacing the Flame Lance I found on level two.
Rats, I missed the icon here. This is Dark Knight armor. I was hoping it was a Black Belt, because despite his very nice helmet and bracelet Yang is still wearing plain Clothes.
Boss for this part is the Lunasaurs that normally guard the Ribbons in vanilla.
Roughest boss fight yet! Rosa just kind of stood there for a long time without casting any healing magic on anyone, and took a Virus and a Flame for the KO. After that, Yang dropped and Cecil got dangerously close. Rydia was pumping out 9000+ damage with Bahamut and the Dragoon Lance upped Kain's jumps to near the damage limit. I'd also like to thank the Dragoon Gauntlets and Protect Ring for halving the damage from Flame.
I find the reward for the Lunasaur fight to be in very poor taste, game.
Well, moving on.
Nice. I guess I can skip whenever I find some endgame gear from here on out, since I'm past level 80. I'm not saying I never find midgame equipment anymore, but I do find some more Crystal and Dragoon armor lying around.
The Ragnarok, too. Hey, did you know that if you happen to overflow your inventory in this room all the doors are reset, and you have to step on and off the button you can reach to open the door nearby?
Another town, meaning lots of paths that lead in and out of the various houses. One of the guys wandering around is a shopkeeper willing to part with a Stardust Rod for Rydia.
Also, a little patch of grass in the back holds about a quarter of the matter in the entire universe. Careful! It's heavy!
I've also found Imp and Mind Flayer. So they don't show up when Rydia passes checkpoints. And if you happen to run into a panel that triggers a boss fight, it doesn't happen. Otherwise I'd have to kill those Lunasaurs again.
The boss for this set of levels is the Plague Horror. This battle never lasts particularly long, it's just pumping out all the strong attacks you can as quick as you can.
I don't think I've ever gotten one of these in a vanilla run. It's... kind of not worth grinding out rare drops for.
The path forward is through the secret passage to the dwarf pub.
If you find a Namingway, they're still functional. I never did hit Hummingway's Cavern anywhere, I wonder if any of the Hummingways would operate as shopkeepers like all the other NPCs that wander around do. NPCs that stand still, as has been demonstrated, are incorporeal.
Here it is, level 100. I mean, you can make the game longer when you set up the randomizer, if you really feel like it, but why would you do that?
And in the final chests: still some crap. I mean, also the Crystal shield, but also also crap.
I've got almost the full set of Crystal armor and the matching sword, so why didn't I get the recommendation to bring Paladin Cecil? I never found a Deathbringer. I never found any of the better harps for Edward. I did find the Gaea Hammer but not much in the way of lategame armor for Cid. So I can recommend to anyone else who picks up this randomizer that the suggested party the script spits out is utter shit and may be safely ignored.
After the final level is Zemus's lair. There's a new warp panel here that brings up an item prompt...
...allowing you to warp straight back to the Lunar Whale by using the Dark Matter. Assuming you found it.
You can guess what's coming next. Dark Matter will warp you back down to level 101, too.
The fight with Zeromus is exactly what you'd expect. Cecil keeps Rosa on her feet, Rosa keeps everyone else on their feet. Kain jumps. Rydia and Zeromus trade nukes. The only difference is that Yang is using Power instead of Edge flinging Shuriken.
And then the game cuts straight to mod credits. So that's a wrap.
All in all this was pretty dull! Who plays a Final Fantasy game and goes "Yeah this is pretty okay but I sure would enjoy it more if they cut out all this talking and just let me get into random encounters a lot!"
And I'm gonna go ahead and point out that I never found a single suit of armor for Yang. And the game recommended I bring someone else who wears the same armor, but is a lot more fragile: Edge. Can you imagine? Rosa wouldn't be doing anything for the entire game but casting Life after every stiff breeze knocks an unarmored Edge over again.
So here's a thing
In which two young women receive a gift from the king--
-- who is a bit sexist apparently --
And take off for adventure in their sweet airship.
Free Enterprise is a mod for Final Fantasy IV that, yes, gives you the Enterprise (for free!) at the start of the game. Most cutscenes, and indeed virtually the entire plot, have been removed -- there's no tortured Dark Knight atoning for the murder of innocent wizards or anything from the get-go. You can fly where you like, do what you like, and generally race to see how fast you can take down Zeromus.
Not that I'm racing. I've got a lot of stuff I'm juggling and sometimes have to leave my PC idle for a few minutes. That be how it is.
Where do we go first?
I mean, there's a town right there. The castle is walled off in the pre-Cagnazzo fight sort of way, so there's no going in there.
The tutorial hut has hints for how the mod has switched things around. Including:
If you use the Pass in Troia, that will take you straight to Zeromus instead of a cabaret. If you randomized shops (and I did) then you have to find it first.
You do still need the Crystal to swap hairball-Zeromus into fightable-Zeromus. So even if you have the pass, you need to hunt for the Crystal.
Once you get the Dark Crystal -- there are a lot of key items that are discarded Lunarian ultratech, you know -- take it to Mysidia to get the Lunar Whale.
With the plot points to access them removed, they added some guys to let you reach the Tower of Zot and Giant of Babel.
If you do a plot-thing that advances a character, the character advances even if they're not in the party. Beating the boss in the dwarf castle ages up Rydia, and scaling Mt. Ordeals jobchanges Cecil and lets Tellah recall all his spells. Fighting the boss in upper Tower of Babel teaches Edge his extra Ninjutsu skills.
Okay? Okay! We're off!
(This one will probably be split into several parts, it's pretty long.)
There's a party member you can pick up right here in Baron. With plot progression removed, Yang is waiting in the pub with the Baron key hanging around his neck right off. But with characters randomized, it's some kid instead of a mustachioed monk. And with key items shuffled, it's probably not the Baron key.
Anyway, let's say hi.
His mooks rush us. Bosses are scaled to where they appear in the game -- fighting the Mist Dragon lategame will have its HP and stats adjusted upward, fighting Bahamut in the misty cave will scale him down. (The guys in the tutorial hut warn: even scaled down, a Meganuke is still a Meganuke, so look out.)
Which is all well and good, but these guards aren't boss monsters. So they're as strong as usual.
So let's not go that way.
The weapon and armor shop is locked, but the item store is open. It sells Hi-Ethers. That's... great.
I find a Blizzard lance in the pool off to the side. So that's pretty co-- pretty nice, if I ever find a lancer to carry it.
The girls are only carrying a piece of iron cookware, not a bomb ring. The Village Mist is fine.
Hidden in the grass are not fragments of bomb monsters -- those aren't even in the game, this is FF2US -- but a decent bow for one of the ladies.
Headed north, I find a ruined castle.
Inside the basement I find the barbel off a dragon's face that this eight-year-old girl is going to use as a flail.
On the top floor there's a bunch of dead soldiers and some woman. A living soldier walks in, we look at the corpse, he nods, and we have a new party member.
Because the best traveling companions are guys you find in ruined castles wandering through piles of corpses.
The girls very wisely... uh, hand him the ice lance they found a few minutes ago.
And the three escape on a hovercraft for some damn reason.
While having an airship lets you go anywhere, random encounter monsters aren't any different than usual. So if you, say, fly straight to Mt. Ordeals and try to scale it, you're going to get mashed into a red paste. So let's try the old waterway first.
The girl with the dragon's whisker is about as good at killing stuff as the full-grown fully-armored guy with a lance. Yeah.
Quality of life improvement!
Experience isn't split among the party, everyone gets the full share that pops up in the window. This can lead to some very fast advancement, so the devs very wisely lumped multiple "_____ gained a level" text boxes together. Now you get, at most, one per party member.
Normally this would be pretty rad, but... I already have better weapons all around. I mean, Rydia's got one that comes as a rare drop from a tough monster in the final dungeon! It'll be a while before she replaces that.
After heading back to town to heal Rosa's transformation into a frog, which she can't heal herself because frogs can't cast Esuna, we return to the waterway and find some buff dude hanging out near a bridge. He joins the party without a word.
Genji Gauntlets. In the second dungeon of a normally-progressing game.
Possibly to prevent you from getting stranded, you can't jump down the waterfall. Yes, that means backtracking through the whole damn dungeon.
So let's see what big, nasty, terrible monster lurks at the end of this very wet dungeon. Hey, what's a waterway with this much wet stuff doing right by a desert? It must be magic, like there's some kind of elemental force inside that functions as a water spirit and what was I saying?
Oh. Right. The boss of the waterway. It's this... random old guy!
who was that in the core game
Right! Thematically appropriate for the dungeon and also oh shit
Thankfully, bosses are scaled down. Big Wave is some big trouble, but it's not the instant partywipe I expected.
It takes a while of both of the girls casting Cure spells and both of the guys pounding on the sea-serpent, but we eventually prevail.
Rydia does not learn how to summon Leviathan. In fact, if there was a reward for this fight, I didn't screencap what it was. When you beat Octomammoth here in the core game, you just get "Okay, that's done, let's keep going", so there's nothing of note in the mod either.
So I hop back in my airship and zip off to Mt. Hobbs so Rydia can learn to control fire.
We're leveling up quickly, but not so quickly I want to strike off into midgame dungeons. So let's see what's at the bottom of the Antlion den.
Sorry, Cagnazzo den.
The introduction to the antlion still plays, with the fangs snapping shut on your party. Only the left fang is replaced by Cagnazzo and the right fang doesn't appear at all. So it looks like a turtle erupts from the sand and tackles your guys before the fight.
I honestly forget what did that much damage. I mean, probably a Thunder spell from Rydia, but Yang might have a Thunder Claw by now. With Cagnazzo's scaled-down HP, the fight doesn't take long.
The reward is... uh...
Oh yeah. The hook. That carries the hovercraft around. So now I can get to the Adamant Grotto and the caves of Eblan, if I want to get brushed off by a small miner or obliterated by giant bats and skeletons.
Just because I'm curious...
At this level, their puny Fire spells are actually kind of bothersome, especially for Yang. But they self-destruct after a bit anyway.
Rosa's robot doppelganger, or whatever's going on here, is in a fight with a king.
wait who was that guy in the core game
Oh right and also oh shit
Thank mod for scaled-down HP. I manage to win before Odin could get off a Zantetsuken. Without magic any stronger than Thunder things could have gotten pretty hairy.
Hey, you know where has a bunch of free treasure just lying around in the grass? Last time I modded this game I found most of the matter in the universe here!
But stuff here was so crappy I didn't even bother screenshotting it. The shop sells Whistles for the usual bafflingly exorbitant price.
Fabul has a set of Yoichi Arrows and a free rest spot in the King's bed. I don't go into the throne room to initiate the Fabul Defense scene, figuring that five boss fights in a row means I'd soon run into one I couldn't beat.
So instead: Ordeals. It's a lot easier without a Dark Knight in the party.
Further up the mountain, instead of a doddering old man, I find a child.
She's a bit behind in levels, but that's fine. I move Kain onto the front row and keep going.
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