I arrived at the Ancient Library just in time to pick up blue magic L5 Death, with the whole party at level 15 and just a couple fights from 16. I alertly fought one fight outside, killing Butts on purpose, making him stay at 15 to learn L5 Death while the others went to 16 to survive it.
Plan Brain Dead Monks worked again on Ifrit - all I did was attack which out-offensed him.
That plan most certainly did NOT work against Byblos, though. His Protect (Armor) buff and Dischord (Sonic Wave, halves target's level) debuff left my party looking pretty silly, trying to kill a 3600 HP monster with 10 damage punches. And a strong Monk getting confused is pretty disastrous.
So time for a real plan. It's three Black Mages to cast Fire, and one Time Mage to buff and debuff with Haste and Slow. Byblos responds to magical attacks with Toad, which is just a minor annoyance, plus I amusingly had some toads attack other characters out of Confused status a time or two. Also the AI RNG smiled on me and he never used Dischord/Sonic Wave.
This worked fine, until Byblos reached the critical range and started responding to each of my 240-damage Fire spells with 240-point Drains. Obviously that isn't going to work.
But eventually, I won the fight when Byblos ate three or four straight Fires without responding with Drain. Afterwards, I looked up the exact AI behavior, which is a 2/3 chance to respond to any hit with Drain when under 800 HP. Ok, so I got through there with some luck as well. Barring that, the best bet might have been to keep just one Monk in the party, to use Focused barehanded attacks to kill the last 800 HP using as few big attacks as possible, just like Sullla's solo monk did.
(Uh yeah, then a while later I realized I'd just picked up the Ifrit summon, which deals 3x the fire damage of the black magic Fire. Hey, the last time I played this game was almost four years ago, when the GBA cartridge came out.)
(Uh yeah, then I realized that Karnak town sells the third-level Black Magic spells, meaning Fire 2. Banghead. Duh. The Nudists hadn't had shopping on their mind so I missed it. Well I say the fight was more fun my way. )
For the Sandworm in the desert, I took the easy way out with Aqua Breath (AquaRake), 8x damage to desert enemies is a one-hit kill. CrayClaw on the airship went down too to Plan Dumb Monks. By the way, I love the moment when the airship launches and the screen first tilts into Mode 7 graphics view. Getting the airship in any FF game is always awesome. The FF5 airship music isn't that inspiring (the theme flying on the wind drake is better), so instead I played the airship theme from Final Fantasy IX for a little while. Seriously, go play it while you read this section.
(I lost a few screenshots here thanks to the emulator's behavior. VisualBoyAdvance starts screenshot numbering over from 1 every time the program is started, and overwrote some here that I'd forgotten to copy to safety.)
Plan Rockheaded Monks didn't work against Adamantimi. I looked up the boss's weakness - Ice element. All it took was two Summoners working Shiva and a Time Mage hasting them.
The Launchers actually killed me, dumb monks don't work so well. But like anything with an elemental weakness, two Black Mages slinging an elemental spell and two other mages to buff them carried the day.
Now Sol Cannon. I do think I can get the most offense from Monks here. So I took two of them, and one White mage and one Time mage for healing and buffing. That worked pretty well. The Monks took out the Launchers, by Kicking rather than guessing which target is which. Galuf Hasted everybody, and Lenna kept busy using the Esuna (Heal) spell to repair the dreaded Aging status that hoses solo characters.
And that was pretty much it for the fight. The Monks didn't do tremendous damage, just like 150 x 2 per turn. But with my party fully Hasted, Protected, Regened, and the boss Slowed, there was no way to lose.
Heh, Find Passages also shows invisible floor.
In the Lonka/Ronka Ruins, I first really felt the bite of having no armor. The random encounters here were seriously dangerous! In four-Monk mode, the first random encounter killed two of my party and I ran away. Realigning into three Monks and one White Mage for healing was good enough; she could erase the damage from the enemy mages' ice spells and Enchanted Fan's Aero spell. Still, this took a LOT of magic points per battle, for rather paltry rewards of 1 or 2 ABP. Eventually I just equipped !Flee (!Escape) on a Thief and ran from everything.
Unfortunately, in the running, I wasn't paying attention to Blue spells and missed the opportunity to pick up White Wind and 1000 Needles (Blowfish). The latter is extremely useful: it always deals exactly 1000 damage every time. That's pretty much the strongest attack of ANY type for any class at this point in the game. At least you can get it again about halfway through world two. White Wind can't be gotten again until late in world three (the sunken Worus Tower, after you get the submarine); there were times I missed its presence although it was never critical.
ArchaeoAvis got the same party alignment as Sol Cannon: two Monks for damage and White and Time mages for buffing. This worked quite well, as before. A Hasted party vs a Slowed boss is no contest.
Puroboros - I had the party sans Galuf in three-Monk mode, and ALMOST did the fight very well. I wore down the entire pack with Kicks to lower their HP. They started popping like balloons, and I drank a couple Hi-Potions, situation well in hand.
Except then one of the Puroboros attacked normally, and my Monk dutifully counterattacked, killing the Puro... and watching it revive four of its friends. AAAUGH. And my characters were low on HP and had to spend their time chugging Hi-Potions instea of attacking. Now the fresh Puroborices exploded for 1000+ damage a pop and killed some of my characters. I responded to each with a Phoenix Down, eventually figuring out that as long as more characters than Puroboroses are alive, I don't lose. The Puroboros-go-round revolved several more times, me sucking more Hi-Potions, but eventually there was just one left at low HP.
It took forever - that last Puro attacked normally about four times, and I was ready to start screaming at anybody who Countered... but nobody did. Eventually it finally blew up to give me the win.
Three Monk Mode worked against Titan, with enough HP to simply survive the Earth Shaker.
It didn't against Manticore (Chim.Brain), they couldn't kill him with punches before he killed them with spells. But Time and White buffs on one fighting Monk carried the day again.
I spent a little more time collecting Blue magic, including grinding a few ABP to get !Control for a Beastmaster. I also went and beat a Jackanapes (Garkimasra) in the Castle Walse basement just because I could: at level 20, Goblin Punch deals terrific x8 damage to the level-20 monster. It also taught me another Blue spell.
And on to the second world.Index | Next