I learned a few things here after all.
The first thing I learned was that the special club in Toroia Village is only 10000 gold when I thought it was a half mil to get in. Way cheaper than I remembered, but still way too expensive for what we actually get, at least in the original US version of the game. What the ten grand buys us here is entrance into a place called Saloon KING, accessed through a doorway that a dude at a table opens with a guarded switch. Once in this secret area, there's a dude at a counter who tells you to go on in because the show's about to start. From there, Cecil, who I usually have in front for this, takes a seat on the steps leading up to the stage, where ten or twelve dancers come out and do their thing, eventually even bringing Cecil up on stage to be part of the act. When it ends, the dancers leave the door to the dressing room open and the only one there tells the party to get out. The only other guy there says he loved the show.
As for what effect this has on the game as a whole, I'm not entirely sure. I've beaten the game without it so many times that I'm pretty sure it's not necessary or even important. But now I remember what's in there and why I don't do it very often any more
The other thing I learned in the first part of this section is that I need to save more often and get back on the ball with getting myself into better shape than I am now, and maybe start working on these things earlier than I do. Granted, I've been through this game a million times, so it's not exactly fresh content any more. All the same, though, I really shouldn't be nodding off the way I do when I'm working on this thing. But that's all material for other posts.
The first save point in the tower is on the third or fourth floor, just before the fight with the Magus Sisters. For as many times as I've done all of this, one would think I'd have just known that, but it's interesting the things one forgets when something becomes muscle memory. I'd intended to stop earlier than I did, but I'd forgotten how far along that save point was.
I picked back up with the fight with the Magus Sisters. This went pretty much as could be expected. I had thought I'd be able to get a Lit-3 spell from Tellah off on the middle one, who can bring the others back to life if they die first. Unfortunately, they started doing their thing, so my spell wound up killing Cecil instead. And the way my luck had been going, soon as I got him revived, the Sisters reflected a wall spell onto him, purely by chance, which meant I had to rely on cure potions. Good thing I had plenty of those on hand. Of note here is that I was so zonked at the end of the first half of this that I forgot to put the Fire Sword on Cecil before I went into this fight and didn't notice until it was too late. I guess it really doesn't matter much, as this boss fight was no more difficult than usual.
I did remember to remedy the weapons situation before proceeded with the rest of the Tower of Zot. Since I happened to have a spare Rod from a previous go at getting the Imp summon in my inventory, I put that on Tellah when I took his equipment, since he'll be leaving us for good in a bit when we go to deal with Golbez. The Big G does what the villain always does here and takes his goods without fulfilling his end of th bargain, and Tellah tries to kick his ass but dies in the process.
The fight with Valvalis was pretty standard, too. I beat her in her tornado form, which I guess is sort of a 50-50 thing. Since this next bit where Kain gives us the Magma key to get into the Underground is a scripted cutscene, there's really no change from when I did this a couple years ago, so when that was taken care of, I went to see if I could get the Imp summon again. Just about the time I was going to give it up for the night, I wound up getting it. It's been awhile since I got it this early in the game, so I'll hold onto it until I get Rydia back in the party again. That'll be here in a bit, so I won't have to hold it for very long.
There's a reason I've been trying so hard to get this. It'll become more clear when I get to the moon, but for now, the fact that it only costs one MP to use, so it's cheap. Since that's taken care of now, I think I'll just move on with the main storyline so I can actually give this new spell of mine to its intended user. See you next time, folks, and until then, DFTBA!