This is going to be one of those ones that's more cutscene than actual playing, but it's something that's unavoidable sometimes.
When we left off last time, Professor Cid was about to put us into a mine cart to get out of the research facility. Before he does, he explains that he'd practically raised Celes as his own daughter, until she was forced to become a MagiTek Knight. Before he can really get into why, Kefka starts coming at them, so Cid just tosses the party into the mine cart and starts it down the track that leads out. Along the way, there are random battles to deal with. From what I remember, there are only two kinds of monsters, both called Mag Roaders. One version is big and blue, and the other is small and red. I do believe they've got some different powers, but I never ran into the little red ones, or any of the other monsters that might have been in there, this time. There's a boss at the end of the party, called Number 193, I believe, that's roughly the equivalent to Baigan in Final Fantasy 4, in that it's got two bladelike arms that can be killed but will regenerate during the battle. I'm sure some of the magic the party's learned along the way works against it, but in this case, it's just easier to beat it to death with physical attacks instead.
Once outside the research facility, Setzer takes the remaining party members back to the airship, where they decide to go back to Zozo to see how Terra reacts to all the Magicite they gathered from the factory. As luck would have it, one of the pieces is from Terra's father, an Esper named Maduin. When his shard of Magicite is brought near Terra, we're given an abbreviated story about how Terra was born, how so many Espers found their way to the MagiTek Research Facility, and just how Emperor Gestal became inspired to order the creation of the Mage Knights like Celes. Twenty or so years before the start of the game, a human woman named Madonna found her way through the Sealed Gate to the Espers' world somehow, and after some debate about what to do with her, she decides she'll try to go back to the human world on her own. Maduin goes after her, and talks her out of it by telling her that they'll never know if humans and Espers are “compatible” by getting it on with her right there in the cave that links the two worlds.
Not long after, Terra is born, and all seems to be going well. At least, until two years later, when the Empire shows up and starts kidnapping Espers right out of their own world, with Gestal himself promising wealth to anyone who gets him an Esper. The Espers start doing the smart thing and begin casting a spell that will expel the troops and seal the gate again. There are, of course, still some Espers who think that Madonna is behind it, and hearing them say as much makes her take Terra and run off through the gate. Maduin once again goes after her, but this time, it's too late to save them, and all three are blown out to Gestal, who pretty much takes Terra from her mother's arms and bitch-slaps Madonna when she tries to get her child back and then declaring that this discovery will allow him to take over the world.
With that out of the way, Terra comes to terms with her newfound Esper abilities and rejoins the party. On the way back to Narshe, Setzer teaches us how to fly his airship. Between the escape tunnel we began with and the flying scenes we'll be having for the rest of the game, I can understand why the attempted 3D effects never really caught on with the 16-bit generation of console gaming. It's not that it's bad, by any means. It's actually quite good for its day. It just hasn't aged well, because it was difficult to see things in, and in a few cases, badly pixelated, even on most consumer-grade screens of the day, and it really shows up on the relatively new flat-screen I'm playing on now.
Back in town, Arvis and the Elder tell us that Narshe is ready to join the Returners in the fight against the Empire. The plan they come up with is to have us go talk to the Espers and explain to them that most of the human world wants to stop the Empire, and that Figaro and Narshe will attack from the north, but they need help from the Espers, if they're willing to join the fight and attack from the east, which is where the entrance to their world is. We'll be going back to Imperial territory in a bit, but there are a few other things I want to take care of first. Amongst those is getting Mog, who I guess I can get now, if I just find that Lone Wolf the Pickpocket guy again. It'll be handy to have his dances, and there's one we can only get in the World of Balance. I also want to update Gau's Rage list with the new monsters we've got now.
But that's for next time, folks. We'll see you then.