IX: Meteorite Madness!
That's right, Butts is back in town for Part 5 of the Fiesta. Now when we last left him, Butts bid farewell to Galuf and Krile as they returned to their world. Interesting thing to note is the fact that the return trip is a simple matter of teleportation, while the initial trip involves crashing a meteor through a dimension into the earth. I could spend this entire post wondering about the elaborate meteor travel infrastructure, but I've already thought about it way too much. Let's just move on.
...Or we can think about them for the next chunk of the game, sure. Dissatisfied with being left behind while Galuf fights Exdeath in his own world, Butts, Lenna, and Faris decide that they aren't going to let him fight alone. The question is: how do they get there? Investigating one of the meteorites reveals that they could use their power to open a portal, but one meteor isn't enough, and it's going to be a one-way trip. So they must travel to each one and Cid will...do something to it to make it...go, I guess. It's not that simple though, the meteorites are guarded. By MONSTERS! First up are the Purobolos.
Now, normally these things are a pain in the ass until you realize their trick. After killing a couple, one of the others uses the Arise spell to revive them. If you don't have a way to hit them all, this battle could theoretically go on forever. Unfortunately for the bombs, they don't have infinite MP. They can only use Arise a few times and once they run out, you're free to massacre them.
Or if you've got a wizard, two Frost Rods are all it takes to wipe them off the map.
The monster guarding the next one is the Manticore. Psh, I've absolutely steamrolled almost every boss at this point, what kind of challenge could this thing possibly bring?
Okay well, turns out Aqua Breath is painful. It's fine, it's fine. I'll just be faster with my rod breaking and penny throwing next time. This thing is actually susceptible to Stop as well, but Galuf was my Bard and I neglected to switch anyone to Bard in his absence or give anyone the Sing ability, so I brute forced it instead.
Alright, last one. Who we got?
Excuse me sir, you've forgotten your clothes somewhere. Yes, we're all impressed by your physique but honestly, could you put some clothes on?
Titan is a difficult fight. His Earth Shaker attack hits everyone for some pretty hefty damage and he always uses it when he dies so you need to be able to survive it. The strategy here is the same as the Manticore, kill him before he kills me.
And with that, we get a rad summon that we can't use and all of the meteorites are...well whatever they are, the portal is now open! There's literally nothing left for us in this world so let's go!
As we say goodbye to World 1, let us remember what we've done and what we've left behind. The dragon that we rode and left...around somewhere and the trail of hundreds of broken rods will serve as a memorial for our deeds.
Our heroes take the plunge down into the portal in the center of the world and are carried up into the sky and presumably head sideways into an alternate dimension. Magic! They arrive on a small island in the ocean in the middle of nowhere. Huh, Galuf's world kind of blows. The game ever-so-subtlely tells you to use a tent by giving every random encounter a 100% chance to drop a tent. Oh, and if you faff about for too long, your party "suggests" that you use a tent.
Okay, fine, these things aren't cheap you know. Butts and the others set up camp for the night and oh no! A monster comes to capture them! What a twist! Lenna and Faris are dragged just offscreen and Butts is left to contend with the monster himself.
Now, you aren't supposed to win this battle, but if you are decently leveled, have high damage output, and get lucky, it can be easily won. For your trouble you get an ether and the chance to brag to your friends about how you totally thwarted Exdeath's machinations.
What a trickster, that Exdeath. The party wakes up in a cell and the man himself is peering in.
One of Exdeath's lackeys informs him that Galuf is leading an assualt and is currently heading this way. Exdeath promptly prepares for the siege.
Galuf, feeling inadequate at the sight of Exdeath's giant mirror, withdraws his troops and instead decides to go it alone. Now, if anyone is wondering about the rules of the fiesta when it comes to having a party of one, I'm allowed to make Galuf anyone of the four jobs that I have. Once the party reunites though, I need to make sure I have one of each. I made Galuf a Black Mage for this sequence since B. Mages can just nuke every encounter. Luckily, the game gives you easy enemies since you're handicapped.
Galuf sneaks through Exdeath's castle with relative ease since all of the guards are inexplicably locked in a cage as well and Exdeath himself went back to his room, or something. However, one obstacle stands in the way of Galuf releasing his friends.
That's right, it's everyone's favorite bumbling idiot, Gilgamesh! Now if you're not familiar with Gilgamesh then you probably haven't played many (or any) Final Fantasy games. Square Enix likes to throw this guy in just about every game as an optional boss, a summon, or a weird treasure hunter guy. More on him later, because he's dispatched quickly for now.
Now that we've gotten our full party back, our four jobs are redistributed thusly. Our heroes must now conduct a sneaking mission to escape from Castle Exdeath. Butts knows exactly how to handle this.
X: Clash of Titans.
Success! Butts and friends have made it out of Castle Exdeath and can now travel to Galuf's place to regroup and form a new plan of attack! However, escaping was only half the battle. The only way off the island is to cross the Big Bridge and Exdeath's troops are amassing to block our path. Cue the music!
The chances of pushing through Exdeath's troops are slim at best. Surely he has gathered his finest soldiers to stop us and surely epic battles to the death will now commence!
Well, let's just assume that the big guns are being saved for later. Also, I neglected to grab a screenshot of the other half of Exdeath's army, the FLYING KILLERS.
Either Exdeath is toying with us, or he honestly thinks some tabbies with wings strapped on will stop his greatest foes. I like to believe that Exdeath is a big softie at heart and just likes cute shit. After dispatching the adorable army, Butts reaches the home stretch. Only one door remains between our heroes and safety, but uh oh...do I hear something behind that door?
And this time, he means business. Gilgamesh uses some nasty Blue Magic, but his main gimmick is using Protect and Shell halfway through the fight, halving your damage. He's also got some mighty zingers as he pretends to give up moments before using those spells.
But alas, even Gilgamesh isn't strong enough to stop Butts. Maybe next time, buddy.
Now that Gilgamesh has been defeated, our party is in the clear. Hey, what's that light over there?
Our heroes are mere seconds too late as Exdeath sets off his castle barrier which sends the party flying off conveniently all in the same direction. They land in the middle of nowhere and not even Galuf knows where they are. Now that they have a second to breathe, he berates them for coming after him and Butts apologizes for ruining his plan. Galuf counters this by saying that what happened ended up being a good thing, because his entire force would've been wiped out by the barrier. To himself, he says that he's happy that Butts and the others are here. A touching moment.
The task is set: find out where the hell we are. We've got an entirely new world to explore and we'll get to it next time!