|Sweet! Let me just go dig out my ol' 286.|
Can't say I was much impressed with this ultimate magic. It does decent damage at the start but doesn't increase by a whole lot as it is trained. Probably tied to the fact that no one's INT really got very high, due to the melee/magic balancing of stats. Most of the stats would fluctuate in this manner except for two, AGiLity and SOUL. These never decreased during play, making white magic very strong and dodging melee attacks easier. Don't know why those ones in particular were exempt from decrease but it really hurts the balancing system the developers seemed to be going for.
Heading back to Altea with renewed hope for the eradication of the emperor, the party was shocked to find the entire town lay in ruins. The empire had harnessed the power of a whirlwind and destroyed the town. That whirlwind now threatened Phin itself. The heroes are obviously the only solution to this crisis. The only problem is getting in. Luckily, the Hiryuu egg that was incubated earlier in the game has hatched and the small Hiryuu that emerges manages to find the party at the Castle of Phin. This powerful flier can easily overcome the gusting gale of the whirlwind.
|Uh, are you taking us one at a time or wha...?|
Inside the raging storm, the characters battle through many foes until they finally reach the emperor himself. Richard rages out and a battle ensues.
|lol, nice outfit, Emperor. You look|
like a frigging Batman villain.
Upon his laughable defeat, the rebels rejoice but it is cut short as a messenger comes during the festivities and informs them that the Dark Knight is trying to become the new emperor. They also find out that the Dark Knight is none other than Fabio, lost so long ago. He is living in Paramekia Castle which lies embedded in mountains. The only way to get in is via airship so the plucky crew are off to find Cid (I guess the Hiryuu was one flight only). They find him dying from injuries sustained during the whirlwind attacks. He bequeaths his airship to them and then the party stops listening because they just got a freakin' airship!
the keys are where now?
Smashing their way through the Paramekian defenses, the group confronts Fabio who is going just a little power crazy. A surprise visit by the resurrected emperor puts Fabio in his place. The emperor is pissed at the Dark Knight's attempt to gain power. After receiving his comeuppance, Fabio and the others escape as Richard sacrifices himself attacking the emperor and the whole place comes tumbling down.
Back at Phin, Queen Hilda is terrified to hear about the emperor's resurrection. She tells the party that the only way into the emperor's Pandemonium Castle is through the portal called Jade, which exists near Mysidia. After a long walk through many corridors and multiple teleporters, the nearly exhausted group come to find themselves face to face with the emperor. Quaffing some all-healing Elixirs, the heroes are rejuvenated and ready to face their most dangerous foe yet.
|Hope we've got enough MP.|
The arsenal of spells that we had trained up to this point came in very useful as our melee attacks were somewhat lacking. The defeat of the emperor this time is permanent and the heroes return to Phin to enjoy a proper celebration. Fabio is still torn apart by his evil past and, even though Elvira wants them all to stay together, he decides to go his own way. The ghostly visages of all the valiant allies we had throughout make an appearance before fading away forever. A bittersweet ending to a bitterly sweet game.