Monday, February 6, 2012

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy 4 (SNES, 1991): Issue #22: Moonraker

So starts the final dungeon of the game.

I'm going to break this into two or three parts because I'm sure it'll be Roger Moore than I want to put into one big, long post. Plus, there's a good dividing line or two, complete with save point, about a third or halfway through this one, where I'll be stopping.

This is very much the path to the very core of the moon. It starts in the Lunarians' Castle and goes a long, long, long way down. Along the way, there are the heroes' ultimate weapons and best armor that I'll be grabbing. It's really a necessity to do that because, sure, this may be the “easy” version of the game, but this last part is not.

The reason I'll be going for the save point at the halfway mark of this dungeon instead of by the boss fight is that there are quite a few of the latter, but that's to be expected, after all. We've gotta work for those ultimate weapons, right? Especially since they have names like “Masamune” and “Murasame”.

So, let's get this party started, shall we? Behind the altar where we met FuSoYa, there's a big crystal room with the matching versions of the ones we couldn't defend back on Earth. These ones talk, though, and tell us that they've been sealing in a great evil and have only opened the path now because FuSoYa and Golbez have started their trip to the core to stop Zemus.

This place is a real maze, and by the time I get to that save point I mentioned before, it'll be time for a break, both for me and for anyone reading this. Down we go.

As I go through this area, I begin to realize that I'd never really thought about just how big it was, but there's a ton and a half of stuff in it, and it's the very last area in the game, too so I guess it makes sense that it's the biggest.

One of the first things I'd forgotten is that it wasn't the Blitz whip like I said when I bought it in the Land of Summoned Monsters. Amongst the first chests we find is one with a Flame whip in it, and it turns out it's Rydia's strongest weapon. Best yet, there's no monster guarding it.

Another interesting set of chests is the one that contains Kain's ultimate armor, the aptly named Dragoon equipment, consisting of a helmet, a shield, some gauntlets, and some plate armor. Nothing guarding that, either, which is kind of a surprise, and hardly an indicator of what's to come. Virtually every other major piece of equipment yet to be found has a monster guarding it, and in a lot of cases, these are very powerful monsters. Then again, one of the Lunar Crystals at the start of the dungeon said that this dungeon had “weapons that once threatened the Lunarians' very lives”, so the guards are to be expected.

Of course, this tends to apply to Cecil's ultimate armor, the Crystal Set, with the same components as Kain's Dragoon Set. Most often, these are guarded by Behemoths, but there's one piece guarded by a Warlock and a Dragon Fossil.

Along the way, we also find the first of the Lunarian super weapons. It's the Murasame, a Ninja sword for Edge. It's guarded by a demon called Pale Dim. This is a boss fight, but a comparatively easy one for this point in the game, in part thanks to those swords and knives I farmed up in Magnes last issue. Kick Pale Dim's ass and the Murasame is yours.

One other thing guarded by a Behemoth is something called the Stardust Rod, which Rydia can use. I usually don't put on her, though, because the Flame Whip is a better weapon in spite of the rod's having the bonus effect of casting the Stardust spell, which was one of the Twin spells Palom and Porum could use earlier in the game, when used as an item.

And at this point, I find that going through even this dungeon is pretty much muscle memory, and I seem to have forgotten, at least consciously, where a rather major save point was. As I seem to have stumbled across this one, I'll stop at it for now. I do believe just beyond this save point is Cecil's ultimate weapon, the Crystal Sword. But as I said, since there's a save point here, and this is a longer dungeon than I remember, I think I'll stop here and divide this last dungeon into at least thirds now.

I'll see you soon with Issue #23: Moonraker II!

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