The Southern Continent isn't as big a place as I had remembered.
Just as dangerous, but not as big. Kinda gotta be careful of the new monsters here. Some of them have magic attacks, others have some nasty special attacks, and others are just really strong. They'll all be good to have as Rages for Gau later on. Of note are the Chicken Lip, which knows the Quake spell; The Wyrven, which has a special attack called Cyclonic that can lower it's victims' health to critical; and the FossilFang, an undead monster that lives in a patch of desert on the west end of the continent and can cause sandstorms and turn party members into zombies.
There are three towns to visit here before we get on with our mission: Albrook, Miranda, and Tzen. Setzer has conveniently set us down by Albrook. There are a few decent weapons and armor to be had here, but more importantly, the folks explain a few things about the monsters here, in that they have, as one scholar puts it, “weak” magic power, and that the empire has pretty much taken over the whole continent from their capitol city of Vector, at the center of the continent.
The same can be said of Miranda and Tzen. In Miranda, we get to meet the wife or girlfriend of that guy in Moblitz who wanted Sabin and Cyan to send all that stuff for him. She says she'll read the book he sent every night before bed. Other people around town say that Miranda used to be the most beautiful town on the continent until the Empire came in and blew the hell out of the place. In the forests outside of town, we can run into enemy parties of a Wyrven, a bulldog monster called Ralph, and two Chicken Lips. It's a good thing that the Esper Stray teaches whomever has it equpped the Float spell, because the Quake spell it uses hurts friend and foe alike when used, unless floating. But that enemy party I mentioned, I did because you can win 1337 gold from it, which means it was using “leet-speak” before it was much of a thing on the Internet.
On the way to Miranda, I died trying to fight some of the FossilFangs. I don't know if we actually need to beat them to get them on the Veld for Gau, but I'll find out next time I get there. But that'll be for after we're done in Vector.
The story in Tzen is pretty much the same. There's some cool stuff to be had there, and the people say that life there was pretty nice until the Empire came in and started wrecking the place. In this case, it's made to sound like each one of these towns was its own nation-state before the Empire came it. I guess that's the assumption we're supposed to make in most games like this. There are exceptions, but that's a discussion for another time, perhaps.
From Tzen, it's pretty much a straight shot through a pass through the mountains that make up most of the continent to get to Vector, which is to the south. We'll actually be going in next time, because even though this hasn't been a particularly long post in comparison to the others thus far, it takes about an hour to go through this little circuit.
Before I actually do wrap this up, though, I should mention that in the forest patches outside Miranda and Tzen are rent-a-Chocobo places, called Chocobo Barns in the game. Those will come in handy later on, because if I remember correctly, we'll be on this continent for awhile after we're done in Vector, and we'll also be coming back later in the game.
For now, though, it's time to say goodnight and wrap this up. We'll be going into Vector next time, in Returners Tour of the Empire, 20th Anniversary Edition, Part Two. See you then, folks!