Wednesday, December 28, 2011

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy 4 (SNES, 1991): Issue #12: Journey to Bab-Il

This might actually have more to do with the classic Star Trek episode I'm referencing than I realize. After all, I've seen some strange theories and read some weird fan fictions over the last twenty years. But that's beside the point.

Of course, something I can say is more obvious is that oft-repeated observation that there are points in RPGs, and especially Final Fantasy games, where more often than not, the best weapons and armor will be found in treasure chests in dungeons and cave, making the shops in towns that sell them almost completely useless. There are a few exceptions here and there, of course, but I'll point those out when I get to them. For now, though, let's get into the Tower of Bab-Il.

After another fifty-three mile hike, we see the Dwarven tanks distracting the tower's defenses so that Cecil and crew can get in. I usually need to use a tent before I start because the trip there has brought my MP and HP down enough for that, and also I save, just because it's a good idea. It's funny in this case because it's all happening in a combat zone, and yet our heroes are completely safe in taking these actions.

But anyway, once we get into the tower, we start finding just the kind of weapons and armor the shops in the Dwarf Castle weren't overcharging for because they weren't selling at all. These are mostly ice items for Cecil, though there is also a spear for Kain. These items come in chests with monsters in them.

The entire point of even going up the tower was to get the seven stolen crystals back from Golbez. When we get there, we find the Fire Fiend Rubicant and some guy called Doctor Lugae saying that the crystals have already been moved to the upper part of the tower, which can be seen above ground. Lugae beams Rubicant out because apparently it's safe for him to just go out randomly on account of the fall of Eblan and its ninjas. Afterward, Lugae gets a little nuts because he thinks he's the boss of the place now that Rubicant is gone. For the moment, he is, but that won't last long.

Lugae has a robot named Balnab. Balnab's horribly broken, needing constant oiling, and at first attacking Lugae instead of Cecil and gang. Take out Lugae and Balnab explodes because there's nobody there to give it oil. Round two starts up almost right away when Lugae reveals that he's a cyborg of some sort. He'll gas the party, causing status effects that he also heals. Kill the cyborg Lugae and he tells you about how he's got the tower's main gun targeting the Dwarves and a gang of monsters set to fire if they don't hear from him.

Getting down there and killing the monsters guarding the gun doesn't quite solve the problem, so Yang sacrifices himself to stop the gun's auto-fire sequence. And after that loss, we've still gotta hike out of the tower.

Once we finally get to the exit, Golbez somehow tells the party that they've lost and tries to kill them by burning out the stairs they're on. Fortunately, though, there's a lucky save from Cid and the Enterprise. After a chase scene with a Red Wings airship, Cid tells the others to escape and jumps off the Enterprise with a bomb powerful enough to seal off the entrance to the Underground.

Now, as I've pointed out a few times before, this game has been out for a good twenty years now, so I'm probably not spoiling much when I say we'll be seeing Cid and Yang again, both in the Underground. Cid will fix another airship for the party, and we can find Yang again, if we go on the Sylph side quest at the right time.

For now, though, we're headed back to Baron to discuss what to do now that things have changed so dramatically. But that's a matter for next issue. See you in the very near future, folks.

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