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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Final Fantasy 19: The World of Darkness: Where the Hell Are We?

Location: The World of Darkness, Around Peaheria
Party members: Badger, Ferret
Opponents: Dark Warrior, Stormfin Pike, Thunder Giant, Ninja, Cu Sith, Needle Monkey, Catoblepas, Heavengaroo Magus, Sorcerer, Crazy Horse
BGM: Emotions (Xenogears OST)

What the hey? One moment you're dancing a jig at Ultimecia's handy, more-or-less single-handed takedown of an Immense Insect from the Inferno, and the next, wham, you've been dropped into a world of blue fields and night skies, stars stretching on forever over mountains made of crystal. And Ultimecia is nowhere to be seen.

Houston, we have a problem.

Preparation: Equip both Badger and Ferret with Floppy Hats. You will be facing nothing but physical attacks on the world map of the World of Darkness (unless you head to the beaches, but you do not, I repeat, DO NOT, want to do that at this point in time,) and Floppy Hats offer the best defense of any helmet you have access to right now. If you're lucky enough to have an Oxen Stone, give it to Ferret; otherwise, she should keep holding onto her Horse Rock.

Monster formations:

Dark Warrior
Cu Sith
Cu Sith, Cu Sith
Dark Warrior, Dark Warrior

(Foot of the mountains)
Cu Sith
Thunder Giant
Cu Sith, Cu Sith

Stormfin Pike
Stormfin Pike, Stormfin Pike

Unless you went overboard in the Lakeside Woods and are very much overleveled, your only hope of surviving the enemies of the World of Darkness is status effects. To recap, Badger has access to Mini through his Compression spell; Ferret SHOULD have Paralysis through Shriek and Confusion by way of Ultrasonic.

Dark Warriors are the most common enemy, and also one of the least dangerous. Their attack and defense are both very high, but their speed is low, which makes them easy to handle. They will alternate between their normal physical attack and the !Dark Wave skill, which does an unblockable, unchangeable 20 points of damage to your team, but this is survivable; even preferable, as it happens, for the attack does the same amount of damage to the Dark Warrior himself. Defeating these shadowy menaces isn't too hard, even in pairs; they are vulnerable to all three of the status effects you can cause, so Paralyze them with Ferret until Badger can Miniaturize them, thereby reducing their attack and defense to manageable levels. From there, physical attacks will do the job. You can also Sketch them; 75% of the time you'll get the !Wave of Darkness skill, which deals 20 barrier-piercing points of damage to all enemies without costing Badger HP (since it uses the sketch's HP instead of Badger's own). The other 25% of the time, the sketch will use Blind, which will make the Dark Warrior's physical attacks miss.

Cu Sith are nastier on paper than they are in battle. Every turn, they have a 25% chance of attacking, a 25% chance of using !Howl to remove all positive status effects such as Protect and Shell (which you can't put on yourself yet anyway,) and a 50% chance of using !Phase, which sets Vanish. The Vanish status effect makes the affected target immune to all physical attacks, causing them simply to miss. Once invisible, the Cu Sith will only physically attack until they are revealed again, at which point they return to their previous A.I. script.

This means that Cu Sith spend a lot of time not actually attacking, which gives you plenty of time to plot their downfall. Cu Sith are immune to Mini, but the damage from Compression will still cancel out their Vanished status, which means they will probably use their next turn !Phasing again. However, Ferret is the character who will prove their real downfall. Even Vanished, Vocalizations will still affect the slippery strays. Use Shriek to paralyze Cu Sith, Compress them back into visibility, and hammer them to death from there.

If Badger Sketches a Cu Sith, it might use !Phase on Badger, thereby giving HIM the Vanish status. Unfortunately, this status can be removed by !Howl, so the chances of getting out of the battle with it are small. It is also important to note that Badger can NOT Sketch an invisible opponent.

Ninjas are incredibly annoying due to the plethora of status effects they cause. They only have 11 HP, but between Blind and Blink, you'll find it difficult to get at those 11 crucial points. They can attack physically, but rarely choose to, much preferring the Bio spell to inflict Poison and the Aero spell, which deals wind damage to all opponents. This spell is EXTREMELY important: it is the next Blue Magic spell Ferret can learn, and is both cheap and multi-targeting. It is excellent for revealing Cu Sith, getting through the high defenses of Dark Warriors, or - much to the Ninjas' chagrin - eliminating Ninjas. Don't waste your time with physical attacks or curative items when facing a Ninja; ignore the status effects and let loose with Aero at the first opportunity. (Until you get Aero, Compression can work as well, but it typically takes two casts of Compression to kill a Ninja due to their high Magic Defense. Sketch them instead; you'll Bio them 75% of the time, which will - if it inflicts Poison - kill them, and Aero them the other 25% of the time, which will just kill them outright.)

You'll only find Thunder Giants around mountains, but they're not as difficult as you might expect from their rarity and their enormous size. They pack even more HP and strength than Dark Warriors, but their defenses aren't nearly as good and their speed is outright abysmal. Their attack pattern consists mostly of attacks and, on occasion, !Shock Punch, which may cause Paralyze.

The bad news is that Thunder Giants are immune to both Miniaturize and Paralyze. The good news is that they are vulnerable to Confuse and they are EXCEPTIONALLY good targets to Sketch. Once Confused, the Thunder Giant will waste his next turn punching himself in the face, which is good news for you; better news, however, is that Sketching a Thunder Giant gives a 25% shot at Magnitude 8. This is an extremely powerful multi-target earth-elemental attack, and Earth, as it so happens, is the Thunder Giant's number one weakness. Beguile the Giant with Ferret's Ultrasonic and let Badger Sketch earthquakes until the creature falls.

Avoid beaches at all costs. Beaches are the domain of the Stormfin Pike, and no amount of clever status-manipulation is going to get you through a battle with one of those beasties. The Stormfin Pike is vulnerable to Confuse, but this only provokes it into using Clean Sweep like a maniac. Which it is immune to. If you're really feeling lucky, you can initiate a battle, throw out Ultrasonic as quickly as possible, snag Clean Sweep for Ferret (for yes, this spell is a Blue Magic spell, and a very powerful one at that,) and then run like hell. You might even make it out alive. However, Stormfin Pikes are quite difficult to run from, and it would be better to wait until you have some better equipment, not to mention your third character, who is very near in your future.

Make your way carefully down south. The sprawling metropolis of Peaheria is not far from your starting location, but the enemy encounters might spell your doom if you're not careful and quick on your mental feet. You might want to save after every battle.

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