Final Fantasy 3 part 5 – Lightning and Despair

After putting a stop to the corrupted royal adviser, Hein, the group saved King Argus, who gave us the Wheel of Time.
Giving the Wheel to Cid, he crafted our sea-fairing ship, the Enterprise, into a sky-flying airship!

We were also told by Cid that Luneth, Refia, Arc, Ingus and even Cid himself are not from this land, but the surface world.
Using their newly formed airship, the group broke through the barrier of darkness that was surrounding the surface world.

There, they found Aria, a priestess who was protecting the water crystal.
Aria saved Luneth’s life by pushing him out of the way of Kraken, a fiend in service to Xande.
After defeating Kraken, Aria used the last of her strength to imbue the party with the power of the water crystal.

During an earthquake, the group became unconscious, while Luneth had a vision of an old woman telling him to find a man named Doga on the Dalg continent.

After coming to, the group was told their ship had been chained by a man named Goldor.
With this new information, the group now searches for a way to release their ship and explore the surface world.

Investigating Amur, we find that the shops sell some great items, but they are expensive. I buy some upgrades for Refia, and continue on.

Talking around town, people are saying that we need something called the Levigrass shoes to be able to get to Goldor’s manor.
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We speak to the man who is supposed to know where to get them, and he directs us into the city’s sewers. Also, the four old men overhear this conversation and decide to investigate the sewers themselves.
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As well, checking the MogNet, it appears back in Ur they are having some trouble locating some missing children. We will have to check it out the next chance we get.
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Before that, we walk around outside on the world map to get a look at our surroundings.
The surface world is much bigger, now that the darkness has been lifted.
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Some of the random encounters are also pretty brutal. The Vulcan is a Salamander palette swap that has some decent HP, and can use Fire Breath. Thankfully, it is weak to Blizzard spells, so that helps.
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There are also Magicians lurking around. They don’t have much health, but they can cast the trio of elemental spells (Fira, Blizzara, Thundara), which hurt, especially if they only target one person. Good news, Refia can steal Heavenly Wraths from them, so that is nice.
It is also at this point that I am starting to feel the Red Mage’s lack of specialization kicking in. They haven’t got an equipment upgrade in a while, and they can only cast spells up to level 5, which thankfully, we haven’t found yet, but we will. But I plan to replace them soon enough.

In any case, after getting our butt kicked (mostly Refia’s), we rest up and head to the sewers.

Inside, we traverse through the sewers and come across a chest with Cat Claws, a set of knuckle weapons in them.

On the next floor, we come across the four old men in trouble, surrounded by monstrous toads. We jump in to rescue them.
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We fight off the toads, and they come to their senses, realizing they aren’t the actual warriors of light.

Continuing on, we come across a hidden passage that holds a Hammer and a Diamond Bell.

Finding a similar passage, we find a Kaiser Knuckle, Power Bracers and a Poison Dagger.
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On the next floor, we find Delilah, the old crone who can make Levigrass Shoes. We ask her for some, which he obliges.
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She tosses them to us, however, right before they get to us, the four old men come and tell us to watch out!
Ingus dodges out of the way, and the shoes explode!
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The old men tell Delilah we are the real heroes, and that we need the shoes.
She finally agrees and we get the real Levigrass Shoes. One of the old men casts Teleport and we all escape the sewers. Next up is finding Goldor Manor!
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We pass over the bottomless bog and head into Goldor’s Manor.

As if the name wasn’t a dead give-away, everything is gold themed here.
The enemies are gold,  you even steal Gold Needles from the enemies you face here. Which, is actually pretty handy, I will probably never to have to buy Gold Needles again after this.
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We eventually come to a treasure trove of chests, that… All contain Gold Swords?
With only 5 attack power, they are useless as an actual weapon. We will just sell them for the extra cash.

We also find a Wyvern Claw at the very end, another knuckle weapon for Monks.
It seems the enemies in here aren’t that tough, but it seems like the encounter rate is pretty high.
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The only annoying enemy is the Nightmare, which, coincidentally, is the only enemy that doesn’t have a gold theme. It hits decently hard, but its attacks can sleep, plus it can confuse people.

We also run into a Lost Gold. It’s physical attacks don’t hurt at all, but it can cast Toad, so it is one that has to be taken out quick.

We head back to the front of the manor and start to explore the locked rooms.

We put Refia in the front position for a bit and let her do her work picking the doors.
After finding a few empty rooms, we finally find one that continues on into the manor.
It was at this point Refia had stolen 30 Gold Needles, so I started just attacking with her, since I figured that would probably be enough to last me the rest of the game.
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After traversing our way through the extremely annoying hall maze, we reach Goldor himself.
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Goldor went down pretty easily. Like most bosses, he gets two attacks per turn, but the damage he dealt wasn’t that bad at all. He did hurt when he cast Thundara, but that was quickly remedied with a Cure spell.

He was slightly annoying with his casting of status ailments, but I got lucky and he made some stupid decisions, like casting Blind on an already blinded character, or Confusing Luneth, but then immediately attacked him, knocking him out of confusion.

Between a couple of Blizzagas and Refia and Luneth attacking, he didn’t stand a chance.
After we trounce him, he destroys the earth crystal he was guarding! Before he vanishes, he leaves behind the chain key.
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Now we can unlock the Enterprise. Refia is worried about the repercussions of destroying the crystal will have.

We Teleport out and make our way back to Amur to rest up.

On the way, we unlock the Enterprise, and rest at the inn.

With nothing left to do at the moment, let’s explore!
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We find a few places we can’t go yet, like a mountainous island where fierce winds push us away, as well as an odd area with statues that seem to block us out with a force field of some kind.

We find a small village on a tiny island and land to investigate.
It is the town of Duster, which appears to house mostly Geomancers and Bards.
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Also, this bard has a funny line when he sings to us. Brought the smack down? Really?

We enter the armor shop and finally find some upgrades for our Red Mages in the form of Rune Bracers! They also protect against some status ailments, so that will be helpful. I also purchase Feathered  Hats for everyone.

Being a Geomancer and Bard village, the weapon shop sells only bells and harps.
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As we are exploring, we come to a large castle, but when we get close, we are fired upon!
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The Enterprise, destroyed, we wake up to find everyone all right, but there appears to be a war going on here.
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We find the castle is called Saronia. They won’t let us enter, so we leave.
We enter one section of the walled city, but it appears everything is closed up because of the civil war affecting the city.

We enter the southern section of the city and find out a bit more information. The king has divided the populace in two, causing in-fighting. As well, there is talk that his adviser is evil. Once again, evil adviser. There is also talk of a missing Prince Alus…
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Entering the tavern, we see a young boy being bullied by some thugs. Arc, surprisingly, steps in for the boy, causing the men to attack us. They are just the same Gold Knights we have already fought in Goldor’s manor, going down easily.
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After the fight, the boy reveals himself to be Prince Alus, who wishes to get back into the castle to convince his father to stop the fighting. He says he tried to before, but his father threw him out of the castle!

He asks us to help him and we agree, so he joins us. After he joins us, we go and talk to some old men who were looking for him. Seeing he is safe, they give us a Wind Spear and a Dragon Mail.

Exploring the rest of the of the city, everything is still closed up, except for one shop that sells Dragoon weapons. It is almost as if the game is trying to tell you something…

Anyway, we come to a huge tower called the Dragon Spire, where a strong Dragoon treasure is supposedly at the top. We go after it, because treasure!
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Of course the tower is full of monsters, and on the way up to the top, Alus tries to help by casting… Confuse.
I suppose I shouldn’t expect more out of a ten year old boy.
He can also cast Aero, which is decent, I suppose.

But, Refia manages to steal a Black Hole from one of the enemies! This casts Warp in battle.
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At the top, we find a couple of sets of Dragoon armors and weapons, as well as some Phoenix Downs!
The game must really want you to use Dragoons at this point.

After climbing up Dragon Spire, we decide to head back to the castle with Prince Alus in tow to convince the king to stop all of this fighting!
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We head on up to the front gates of the castle, and Prince Alus demands to be let through. The guard at first won’t let him through, but then another guard comes up and says the king will allow it.

We enter the castle and they tell us that we will have an audience with the king tomorrow, that we should sleep here for the night. Great, sleeping with a mad king and an evil adviser on the loose. This can’t end poorly.
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During the night, Alus talks with Arc about his father. They go to sleep, with Arc telling him everything will be fine.
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Just then, the king enters their room, and pulls out a knife to kill Alus!
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Alus and everyone, thankfully wakes up, but it appears the king is being controlled by Gigameth, his adviser!
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The king, to stop the spell, stabs himself, breaking free from the control of Gigameth. Everyone jumps in and Gigameth takes on his true form…
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Garuda.

Okay, let’s do this!
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Oops, maybe not.

This fight is almost a gimmick fight. You see, the game has been giving you hints, throwing you free items your way, in an attempt to make you switch everyone to Dragoons, much in the same way they did with the Hein battle. Except, Hein was pretty easy… Garuda is not.

Garuda is the boss that most players have trouble with. This guy is essentially a brick wall that can stop players cold.
The main reason? This attack right here.
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Lightning deals a metric crap-ton of damage at this stage. If Refia isn’t at near full HP, she won’t survive. Luneth, it deals some really good damage to him, if he doesn’t have double shields equipped and is defending, if he is, the damage won’t be fatal.

He also attacks twice per round, the usual for bosses, and one of those attacks can be Lightning. Essentially, if he uses Lightning for more than one turn in a row, there is a very good chance someone is going down, and they probably won’t be able to get back up, unless you are lucky.

The game is expecting you to have four Dragoons, who all use the Jump ability, avoiding Lightning, while dealing a ton of damage in return. Dragoons deal extra damage to flying monsters, which Garuda is, so they can tear through him pretty quick.

I don’t want to have to do that, but I may if I really can’t beat him. Oh, and also, don’t bother stealing, it seems like all you can get is a Hi-Potion!

Also, physical attacks really don’t hurt him that much at all. Luneth wielding the Blood and Royal sword was only dealing about 150 damage to him.

After getting a multitude of resets against Garuda, I thought it was finally time to do some grinding. I really debated about whether or not to change Refia’s class. I love Thief, in fact, it deals more consistent damage than my other characters, but against Garuda, it just wasn’t cutting it. Garuda has some great physical defense, and not even my Knight was able to deal any sort of good damage against him.

I tried Geomancer against him, but it didn’t do enough, Scholar, which actually did some great damage with the small stack of Bomb Arms Refia had stolen previously, but I still lost.

Then, I broke down and made Refia into a Dragoon, bought her another Wind Spear, and gained a few levels with everyone.

During the fight, I got incredibly lucky. On the first turn, I had Luneth throw a Bomb Arm, Refia Jump, Arc cast Blizzaga and Ingus throw a Bomb Arm as well.
The first few turns, he never cast Lightning, giving me the chance to survive and deal some damage.

Then he used Lightning, but thankfully, Refia was in the air, so it missed her, but it hit everyone else pretty hard. I had every except Arc attempt to heal, but his turn came too quickly and he cast Lightning again, demolishing everyone. I thought it was over, but thank the Dragoons, Refia landed, delivering the killing blow!
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That was such a lucky battle. It also evened out Refia’s EXP with everyone, since she was behind because she was KO’ed during a few battles.
Here is everyone’s basic stats before the winning battle:
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Refia was only job level 6 or 7 for the fight, I didn’t feel like grinding job levels much.
Anyway, after the battle was over, Alus runs to his father, but it is too late, his father is quickly fading.
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He tells his son that he loves him, and that Alus needs to take his place as king, to make the kingdom peaceful again, before he disappears.
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Alus, determined, thanks us for everything we have done for him.

After the fight, we talk to the various guards around the castle, and Alus, who tells us we can take anything we need from the castle. A guard then tells us that there is a secret passageway on the first floor that leads to treasure.
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We find it and discover a huge bounty of treasure!
Among the spoils were an Ice Rod, which casts Blizzara and a Golem Staff which casts Break, plus many other goodies. We clean the place out and leave and save.

I am still giddy over that defeat of Garuda. Garuda is a bastard, through-and-through. Just to give you an idea, Lightning is an attack that the final boss can use.
Yeah. I guess they really wanted you to use Dragoons here. Which, I suppose I did, and won, but so be it.

Next time, we see explore Saronia and see if we can’t salvage the Enterprise!

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