|*sniff* I'll always remember that sloppy makeout|
session we had at the Chocobo party.
With the tower stablized, the characters are now free to sail the rest of the floating continent's oceans. Heading west, the party discovers a cave filled with dwarves (lali-ho!) who are quite distraught that a villain named Guzco has stolen one of their two sacred horns. Hot on his tail, the group dives below an underground lake (utilizing Toad magic again) and soon catches up to Guzco. Something occurred during the fight that kinda pissed me off, but first some background. The magic in the Final Fantasy games up to this point aren't exactly known for favouring the non-damaging and non-healing spells. Status-afflicting spells rarely work and even when they do, they don't always work the way they are suppose to (FFI is notorious for this). FFIII has a number of information gathering spells, such as scanning for an enemy's elemental weakness. T-Bone had bought the Libra spell, which allows him to see a foe's current HP. It works well enough on minor enemies which — well, who cares about the HP of an enemy who'll die in one hit from a fighter anyway. So, Libra is pretty much only going to be useful again boss creatures, but...
|Nope! But at least T-Bone wasted his turn!|
Come on, FFIII, this is just an info spell; it's not going to break the combat by paralyzing or stunning Guzco or anything, dammit. Anyway, after defeating Guzco, the party returns the horn to the dwarves, only to have Guzco show up and steal both horns and then bugger off to the nearby Cave of Fire. The party must quickly give chase again before Guzco unleashes the power of fire. Upon reaching him in the chamber of the Fire Crystal, Guzco seems fairly confident that his newfound flame powers will be able to easily handle Shen and his homies.
|Guzco v2.0 gets a harsh lesson|
in elemental opposition.
After putting Guzco on ice (permanently), the party receives four jobs from the Fire Crystal: Thief, Knight, Hunter, and Scholar. With four jobs and four characters, it seems like every character should be getting an upgrade; however, this is not the case. The thief sucks since the only weapons available to the class are mithril daggers from way back at the beginning of the game. The hunter is okay but uses up arrows, which the group doesn't have a whole lot of at this point. Most importantly, none of the new classes are strong magic-users (the hunter gets some white magic). This is actually good news to me; I'd dislike it if the "old" jobs immediately became obsolete after acquiring new ones. Plus, I really like the black mage sprite, for reasons not related to Final Fantasy at all.
|Orko: the original gangsta.|
The big drawback of having new jobs is having enough space in the inventory to switch them around. Before changing jobs, characters must remove all of their equipment. With over half the inventory space taken up by consumables, the remaining slots get filled quite quickly, especially since the new job will most likely not use any of the original equipment. So, the party is forced to sell off the old equipment and hope to find and repurchase it later should a character want to slip back into a previous job. Except that FFIII totally has this base covered in the form of an alternate storage space that is placed throughout the world and accessed by using a cheap, common item.
|Fat Chocobo likes carrots (though wouldn't|
chocolate-covered peanut butter
bacon make more sense?).
With F.C., mass job changes become much more manageable and even goes so far as to show which classes can equip which item as they are scrolled through (ordinarily, this is only shown in shops). On one hand, if the functionality for all this extra space exists within the game, why not just allow the party to normally have access to it? On the other hand, Fat Chocobo. At any rate, while some members of the party play with their new jobs, a messenger arrives at the dwarf cave to tell the party that Tokkle is about to be burned to the ground. The valiant heroes suit up and rush to the scene only to promptly be arrested by soldiers sent by Lord Hyne, the evil mage originally responsible for the sacking of Tokkle and enslaving the populace of Argass Castle.
|Hey, c-come now, fellas, can't|
we at least have a fight first?
After meeting the king of Argass Castle in Hyne's prison, the party swiftly escapes via Mini magic through a hole in the wall and make their way to get the revenge on Hyne (dumb soldiers forgot to take our equipment). Talking with every NPC pays off as the party knows that Hyne has a weak point, although he can change it if he so desires. Enter Xero the Scholar, who has a special ability to scan a subject and determine any weak points. It costs him a turn but is well worth it when combined with the elementally diverse Yauch.
|Poor Hyne, he doesn't realize that Yauch's|
only level 3 spell just happens to be Ice.
Even more hilarious is that, when Hyne gets frosted by Yauch, he uses his switch weakness ability, which ends up being weak vs. cold again. Shrugging his shoulders, Yauch sends another Ice 3 to Hyne's dumb ass and he's put on ice (permanently). With Hyne gone, everyone returns to Argass Castle and the king gives Shen the Time Gear, who gives it to Cid in Canaan, who uses it to infuse the sailing ship with the ability to transform into an airship and back.
|Airship, transform and roll out!|
This incarnation of the airship still can't clear mountain ranges but it can get the party off the floating continent and down to the rest of the world, which is almost completely covered in water. There are just two places that can be visited: a shipwreck and a temple of water. At the shipwreck, Shen finds a priestess of water, Elia, who is sick but easily cured with an antidote. She then accompanies the party to the water temple and opens the way for them to slog through a dungeon and defeat the Kraken guarding the Water Crystal. A new crystal means new jobs and Water isn't as stingy with them as Fire was. Check out this list: Geomancer, Dragoon, Viking, Karateka, Magic Knight, Conjurer, and Bard. Along with getting new classes, the world water level drops significantly after a raging quake and many new land masses appear, complete with functioning towns somehow. Shen and the others are caught in the water cave and black out, only to awaken in the town of Amur. Some dick named Goldor has chained up the precious airship so it looks like the gang will be stuck here for awhile. That's alright though — time to experiment with all these new jerbs and do a little grinding in the process!