Final Fantasy: Ironcore

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Door Number One, Door Number Two, or Door Number Three? The choice is clear for this group: Gurgu Volcano first. Gurgu doesn't pack any dangerous instant kills, and the equipment is quite valuable: the Flame Armor and Shield provide Ice resistance. Okay, there's not a whole lot of actual Ice attacks in Ice Cave - it's pretty much only Frost Ds and FrWOLVES on the third floor - but those are still dangerous.

FF1I0024.png 256x224Well, my very first fight in Gurgu Volcano, right on the top floor, turned into disaster. Five R.GOYLEs got off a whole bunch of FIR2s, and slew both my red mages! OK, that's emergency retreat number one; the fighters made it back to the Crescent Lake clinic.

FF1I0025.png 256x224Looting treasure on the second floor, disaster struck again. A PERILISK nailed Rock with a SQUINT -- wow, that really doesn't happen often. I finished clearing the second level without him, then returned to town again. That's emergency retreat number two, though it was about half emergency and half normal treasure retreat.

The rest of the Volcano proceeded without incident... until this incident.

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HOLYCRAP. That Red D was a random encounter at the end of the penultimate floor -- it's not the fight for the Flame Armor. It got a surprise round, and blew off two BLAZEs before I even got a turn. Both Red Mages hit the floor. But the fighters killed the dragon.

Yikes, what do I do now? This is a big dungeon, and it's a LONG way to walk back out. And I actually think I have a better chance of getting through KARY rather than all the way back out. Plow ahead!

FF1I0031.png 256x224FF1I0030.png 256x224I'm not sure whether this was crazy, stupid, or reckless, but even after that I still decided to risk another Red D fight to get the Flame Armor. This Red D landed only one BLAZE, which was not a threat to kill either fighter.

Anyway, we've got to fight KARY to get out of here. The only thing the fighters could do was bash. Round one saw the fighters exchange two attacks for a FIR2, which is about an even trade for both sides. Round two KARY wasted on a DARK while I landed more damage. Round three saw a physical attack for only 53 damage, which is fine by me. Round four involved my attacks against another FIR2, and this is getting way too close.

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I've dealt slightly over 300 damage to KARY in four rounds, but she's more than halfway to killing my two fighters. Fortunately, now she got stupid. Round five she wasted on another DARK, and round six was a physical attack for only 50 damage.

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The whole world held its breath as Rock took another swing -- and he connected for 85 damage and the victory!

Now my fighters still had to paddle back to civilization, but unlike Kill the Berserker, I had no problems there.

So now I have a choice between the scourge of this project, or the other scourge of this project. Insta-kill Sorcerors in Ice Cave, or insta-kill Sorcerors in Castle Ordeal. I thought long and hard about this one.

I decided on Ice Cave first, reason being that getting the Airship gets me a lot more to help in Castle Ordeal than vice versa. This party, with full access to armor and absorb, doesn't need the Heal Staff. Nor will the Zeus Gauntlet be the winning margin, with two Red Mages packing plenty of spell power including two FIR3 shots each. The second Ice Sword would be nice, but again it's not going to get me through where another weapon wouldn't.

By contrast, getting the airship gets me lots of stuff for Ordeal. The most dangerous thing in Ordeal that you can actually do something about is the FIR2s from MANCATs and R.GOYLEs. That means the Ice Armor and Ice Shield -- plus I can even go get the first Ribbon from the Waterfall! (Unfortunately, the Defense can only be used by a Knight, not a Fighter.)

FF1I0037.png 256x224In Ice Cave, I almost ran into trouble early, getting stoned in my first fight, but Vita launched the ICE2 to save the day.

FF1I0038.png 256x224Against five WIZARDs, it's very tempting to use LIT2, but I need to save the magic charges for undead and SORCERORs. Anyway, I must've spent too much time with the Berserkers if I thought that this group would be any kind of problem. With plenty of Absorbing armor, this fight cost a whopping two heal potions.

Then disaster did strike, though.

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On a surprise round, Rock got RUBbed. Not a single thing I could possibly do about that. Then Iron ALSO got RUBbed in that same fight. This place is EVIL.

FF1I0041.png 256x224So I had to beat a real emergency retreat, walking back out of Ice Cave. A group of COCTRICEs back on the first floor nearly ended my quest, stoning one of the two remaining Red Mages -- but I got out of there with a FIR2.

Hey, as long as I'm in Pravoka, here's an idea against those MAGEs: I'll pick up MUTE for both spellcasters.

So let's try this again. Can the Ironcore team beat Ice Cave?

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