The Gilgamesh/Enkidu fight was no problem, needing no other buffs than Haste and Slow. In the Barrier Tower, my Lenna unleashed her rage at Sullla's Ironcores' loss to the Red Dragon! I swear she pulled out a Sword Dance on almost every round of combat against them.
Atomos was also no problem. Galuf got Cometted, but then Lenna (with haste) went on another great run of Sword Dances, pulling out four in about eight turns to chop him apart.
In Moore, upgraded to two Air Daggers and three sets of Diamond armor. A bit expensive at 21,000 per berserker, but hey, I've got the cash from the Gil Turtle challenge.
Also upgraded to Haste 2, which along with Slow 2 was now my mainstay in almost all random fights. A multiplier of x4 to my total party strength relative to the enemies means no contest.
And the Crystals. I had a rudimentary plan: equip Time magic for the uber Haste/Slow pair, and the Mix command for Resist Fire mixes (which actually grant fire absorption.) This worked to some extent: the berserkers actually damaged the fire crystal first to the critical range, but Faris only landed two fire mixes before two of the berserkers died to other spells. I never really recovered after that; Lenna ripped off a 3500 Sword Dance to kill the fire crystal, which left me short of healing for the rest.
Ugh, I really need White magic for Shell and Cure-3 (even Chemist mixes for healing aren't enough, on just one ally at a time), but also want Time and Mix. Of the three, I guess Mix is the least important; enough curing can make up for lacking fire absorb. Faris also went Bare to put on a set of defensive equipment. Ribbon, Aegis Shield, Guardian Dagger, and Elf Cape -- that's about a good a defensive package as you can get!
And this worked. Shell (Barrier) spells nerfed the elemental damage enough that we could survive two full hits, and Curaga wiped away the damage. The randomly flailing Berserkers eventually did kill one, then two, then three crystals.
Got a problem though - Bartz and Galuf are wielding those Air Daggers, which heal the Air crystal!
The slightly silly but effective answer was to Mini them and let Lenna take out the crystal with her Dancing Dirk. Faris ran out of MP for healing, but swapped over to the Heal Staff. So we won, and Krile swapped into the party for Galuf.
(Man, is that Berserker sprite for Krile sickeningly cute. Maybe this character should have been the chaperone instead. Nah, pretty much all her sprites are like that.)
In Exdeath's Castle, now I tried to learn Level 2 Old to have in my bag of tricks for the Exdeath fight. I worked out this configuration. Faris is a Blue Mage (for Learning) and has Control, the standard setup for Blue spell acquisition. Bartz and Krile are equipped with just fists so they won't kill the monsters. After L2 Old does hit, I need some way to win the fight, so Lenna has the Dancing Dirk. To disable Lenna until needed, Faris inflicted Mini status with the Blue spell TinySong. Now I have to Control the Magic Dragon and hope the two berserkers miss attacking it long enough for it to cast Level 2 Old. It only casts L2 Old on its own team, but it will reflect off the Reflect Mage with a chance of hitting Faris. I had pretty much unlimited time to try this - White Wind or just Hi-Potions could easily erase the small damage the monsters were doing. This eventually worked, and we fixed Lenna to win the battle.
I also wanted the Carbunkle summon, which you get one chance to acquire at the top of the castle. I looked at the algorithms guide ahead of time and saw 50 Defense and magic defense. Sounds like a job for mixing Turtle Soup.
It worked, but was quickly overshadowed by Carbunkle swapping forms to the one with all elemental weaknesses, where the Air Daggers did 2500 damage. But anyway, with the fight well in hand, I threw a few Samson Power (Level+10) mixes on Lenna just to see if she could rip off a 9999.
Um - CRAP! Carbunkle pulled out a Death spell on Faris! Now I got nothing, can't fix any of the disabled warriors. And he had switched forms back (only the first form has the Death spell.) All I can do now is pray.
And it's a miracle! Sword Dance saves the day!
I'd forgotten to steal Genji gloves in the first Gilgamesh fight, but remembered to grab the Genji Helm now with Faris as a thief. She also equipped Time magic, so Haste/Slow were all the buffs the berserkers needed.
What jobs for the Exdeath fight? Time magic is a must, so that Faris can cast Reset if Condemn hits her. For the second slot I decided to try Blue magic, since he is vulnerable to Level 2 Old, and White Wind should be good enough for healing.
He didn't cast Condemn anyway (sorry Sullla, I stole your luck there!) Dynamo (Reverse Polarity) awkwardly knocked the berserkers to the back row - where I couldn't retrieve them! His Zombie Breath missed on inflicting any zombie status. So the Berserkers chugged right along dishing out whacks.
White Wind almost wasn't enough for healing, after a Hurricane move dropped Faris to just 65 HP. And she couldn't heal with an Elixir before White Wind due to wearing the Bone Mail. But she managed to slowly cast White Wind over and over again, doubling the party's HP each time until reaching full. Along the way both her Elf Cape and shield blocked attacks that would have killed her.
Actually, perhaps letting the berserkers get knocked into the back row was a blessing overall. By the time Exdeath reached the Fire/Ice/Bolt 3 part of his AI script, L2 Old had done its dirty work and the spells hit for a piddling 300 damage. Easily White Winded away. So I won on the first try, and didn't even need any Elixirs.
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