|Hrmph. Shall I fight seriously now?|
After getting absolutely demolished, Layla decides to join the group and allow Shen control of the ship. Off to find Dist. Shen is an explorer at heart and it seems that whenever he acquires a mode of transportation that vastly opens up the world, he tends to get distracted and then lost. I'm pretty sure the group gained a couple of Seamanship skill levels even though it doesn't exist in the game. A couple of fortnights later, the ship returns to port and begins the search for Dist anew. Finding a cave entrance on an island, Shen figures that it probably leads to Dist after navigating a dungeon. The fights seem quite tough and many retreats back to an inn are necessary to getting further into the dungeon. The reason why becomes clear as the heroes hit the bottom of the dungeon and acquire a quest item that they weren't quite suppose to get yet.
|And stupid. Let's not forget stupid.|
After finding the real Dist, a series of smaller quests take place involving getting a pendant in order to translate the Hiryuu language and incubating a Hiryuu egg. After returning to Altea, the party learns that the emperor is holding a tournament at Paramekia with princess Hilda as a prize! Gordon comes in and offers his assistance to the mission.
Actually, with his new equipment upgrades, Gordon does hold his own with the rest of the group. Even against the beast fought in the arena, Gordon managed to not die, which is all we ever wanted out of him.
|Begrudgingly, the group gives|
Gordo a sliver of respect.
Easily dispatching the Behemoth, the group is promptly captured by the imperial guards and put into prison. With the help of Paul the ninja, the party breaks out and a search of the grounds reveals the captured princess. Gordon takes Hilda and escapes back to Altea. I'm guessing he wanted some alone time with her because Altea is also where the rest of the party is headed as well. Upon their arrival, they learn that the rebels are about to attempt to take Phin back and their help is necessary. During the melee, the party breaks into the interior of the castle and confronts the general in command, Gotus. After the party takes him down, the enemy forces are in disarray and victory is soon given to the rebels. Phin is once again free and the townsfolk rejoice in the streets.
|A teasing jab at the townsfolk|
in the first Final Fantasy.
Once the celebrations die down a bit, the party is quickly put back on the trail of adventure. In order to defeat the empire, Gordon and Hilda both believe that the ultimate magic spell, appropriately called Ultima, must be acquired. More information can be gained in the magical town of Mysidia. The errant quest item procured earlier comes into play here along with an item gained back at Phin Castle. First though, since all members of the group are well versed in magic, they simply must pay a visit to Mysidia's famed spell depository.
After loading up with some new magicks, the party must, once again, train those spells up a bit in order to make them useful. The heroes try to build them up as they are exploring new areas but it generally means that enemies last longer and magic points are quickly consumed, necessitating a trip back to a town. Attempting to "multiclass" the characters in this way has resulted in much longer quest times but the group feels that the addition of magic is crucial to keeping battles fun. It also keeps winning fights more riveting in the hopes of getting a stat up without another stat going down. If a pure fighter was being played, his INTelligence decreasing would not matter in the least. I'm more than willing to put in the extra time to see how some of these spells fare at a higher level.
Completing the Mystidia quest nets the group a Crystal Rod which will be used to break the seal on the nearby Tower of Mystidia. However, as the ship enters the bay which houses the tower, waves suddenly rock the ship to and fro and is then swallowed by a leviathan. Layla is now missing but the party quickly finds a settlement of sorts within the leviathan. It is here they find a new fourth member by the name of Richard, who turns out to be one of the last Dragoons!
|Hey, are you going to eat that pizza?|
Now to find our way out of here. Should be interesting to see what kind of anatomy this leviathan has (perhaps a gold vein? lol).