Five battlefields at once? I must have been nuts going into this!
There's actually quite a bit to cover in a relatively short time here, so we may as well get started.
To start with, I went through the Focus Tower to find the Venus Shield, right where Spencer said it would be, though I needed to blow open a door to get to it. On the other side of the floor, there's the Blizzard spell, which will come in handy since we're coming into the fire area. The Old Guy is also there to tell us that something made Captain Mac rush from his home and then change the subject to finding Reuben in Fireburg. I remember the bit about Captain Mac leading to something, but I can't say what, exactly. Not because I want to avoid spoilers, but because I legit don't remember. So, it's off to Fireburg to get Reuben and take on the five battlefields between Aquaria and Fireburg.
The thing is, though, to actually get where we need to be here, we need to go back out of the tower and around to the entrance we came through to get to Aquaria to get to the door that'll take us to Fireburg. This is one of those things that's kind of a plot hole in this game. We can find Reuben in the first actual house in this town. He's with his mom, who's worried about her husband and Reuben's dad, who is trapped in a mine. Reuben, of course, is the other guy in the room. When we have Ben talk to him, his line is “So you're Reuben, huh? Have you heard of the Fire Crystal?” Mighty damned presumptive, I'd say, but he's right. Reuben says he doesn't have time for that right now because he's got to get his dad out of that mine.
Reuben goes on to explain that we'll need something called Mega Grenades to make that happen. Those'll be the final upgrade to the explosives weapon. There's a guy in town who knows how to use them, but because he was Papa Reuben's mining buddy and was there when Papa Reuben got trapped, he panicked and locked himself in his house. Fortunately, Tristam got there just before we did, and can help us. But that's like the Fire Crystal. It'll have to wait a bit. For now, we're going to deal with the battlefields.
Of the last two we can get to in Aquaria, there's an east one and a west one. The east one has mostly Phanquids, with a Sphynx or two thrown in for the hell of it. The reward is the Exit spell. Far as I can remember, the Exit spell is more useless in this game than it is in most of the main series games, but the XP from the monsters is good. The west one was mostly Freezer Crabs, with a few Gathers thrown in for good measure. The reward is 744 XP.
There's three in the Fireburg area, for now, from south to north. All the enemies are new, since this is completely the opposite of Aquaria. The south battlefield had mostly Jelly monsters in it. They're orange and white pallet swaps of the Slimes from Level Forest. The reward there is 900 gold. The middle one is Jellies and another new monster called Sting Rat. Sting Rats can cause the poison status. I think Ben's already got defense against that from armor we got in the Ice Pyramid, but Reuben can still get hit by it. The reward from this one is something called the Gemini Crest, which we haven't heard word one about so far, but there's a place called the Wintry temple where we can use it. The north field was filled with a tree monster called Plant Man. The reward is 800-some XP.
That'll be that for now, so we'll deal with Reuben's dad's friend and the mine next time. Before I go, though, I'm just going to mention something I should have before. The Venus Shield protects against some kind of attack, but I'm not sure what, and if I've not said it before, it makes me regret losing the instruction manual and the strategy guide for this game, just so I could know what the symbol on the screen meant. In most of the other Final Fantasy games I've played, it's the one for Holy elemental attacks, but far as I can remember, the only enemy that uses those is the final boss, which doesn't come for another couple zones yet. I could be wrong about that, though, because it's been awhile since I've played this game.
But anyway, I should really be going to bed now, because as I write this, it's 3 AM, and as I've got the uStream feed from the Friends of Felines Rescue Center up, I can hear the early morning voulunteers coming in to help feed the cats. That means I've been up way longer than I should be. So, I'll just set this up to autopost later and head off to bed. See you soon, and DFTBA!