Plotwise, we're pretty much headed right back to a place we just left.
Before we get to that, though, there are a couple things I forgot to do last time. One was to get one more dance for Mog. It's called Desert Aria, gained by having him fight in one of the world's desert areas. One of the attacks this set has is called Sand Storm, which Gau can get from one of the desert monsters he Rages as, too.
The other was that I had wanted to go back to Figaro Castle with both Edgar and Sabin in the party. Sabin temporarily leaves the party to go looking around on his own while Edgar and whomever else is in the party can go looking around as they please, so long as they wind up using the free Inn at the end.
When they do, there's a cutscene where Sabin remembers how it was just before he left to train as a martial artist. It was the night the King of Figaro, his and Edgar's father, died. Sabin took it like a nuke to the face, which was only made worse by the fact that everybody else seemed to be handling it too well, in his mind. He thought the Empire had poisoned their dad, and he had a fire in his belly because of it, in part, at least, because it was the king's last wish that his sons split the kingdom between them, and that just didn't sit well with him.
Sabin ran off to be alone, followed by Edgar, who told him that they were going to settle their dispute with a coin toss, and that if it came up heads, Sabin would get his way and the brothers would each do what they thought was best, without regret. Of course, it was heads because Edgar was using the same coin that Celes would later use on Setzer to get him to join the party.
As the scene concludes, Edgar shows up again and tells Sabin that it's hard to believe that it's been ten years since that day and wonders if their father would be proud of them.
From there, it's back to the Empire, where we're off to the cave that leads to the sealed gate that leads to the Esper World. This dungeon is on the short end of medium length, but since the monsters are a lot tougher than they have been for awhile, it can be a real challenge. What's worse is that most of these monsters are undead type, which is interesting because some are actually healed by fire and damaged by ice.
There are a few interesting treasures to be had along the way, most notably a sword for Cyan called the Tempest that randomly casts Wind Slash with each attack. There's also a knife for Shadow called the Assassin. I could have sworn there was a chest in this cave with a monster called the Pug in it. I can't remember what we get for beating it because I've only done it once, and it's been a very long time now. The thing about the Pug is that it's a very early version of a series classic monster called Tonnberry. These guys were always hell to beat in the games I've played that have had them, and I'm assuming the more recent sequels have changed nothing in that regard.
There's also a Ninja in here that will show up and fight the party. I'm not sure how it is that ninjas have an elemental weakness against lightning, but by this point, I've got two people who can cast Bolt 2, which is enough to take him out in one hit. Before he dies, he says he thought he had dibs on a treasure that's kind of a puzzle to get to. I can never remember the exact sequence to push the switches in, but the treasure is a Genji Glove, a relic that lets whoever's got it equip a weapon to each hand.
There's a character-specific relic in this cave, too, called the Coin Toss. It's for Setzer. It changes one of his battle commands to Coin Toss. The good news is that it can do a lot of damage, but the bad news is that for every point of damage it does to its target, it takes one gold from your money supply.
At the end of the cave is the gate. Just as Terra starts trying to contact the Espers on the other side so the party can ask them for help, Kefka shows up and says that the Empire's whole plan was to let the Returners have Terra so she'd lead them back to the Sealed Gate, where they could get into the Esper World and take more of them.
Beyond that, he doesn't really mess anything up here, but the party does have to fight him to keep him away from Terra long enough for her to get a message through to the Espers. It's really not that long of a fight, all things considered, because after one round, the Espers come through.
Of course, things go wrong, and the gate is blocked off in the process. The Espers that made it through head for Vector and start wrecking everything that gets in their way. Unfortunately for our heroes, this includes the airship, which crashes in the far west end of the Empire.
In order to figure out what the deal here is, we're going to have to make for Vector on foot again, which shouldn't be as difficult the second time as it was the first, but that's a tale for next time. We'll see you then, folks!