Last time on Let’s Play Revenant Wings, we took a break from our vitally important mission to enjoy
canoodling canoeing around the Skysea, catching some rays at Port Marilith, and participating in Rikken’s scavenger hunt. There’s always time for sidequests before saving the world, after all.
Then the party wearied of Penelo’s reminders that we had a job to do. So now we’re back on the Path of Plot Advancement, chasing after rumors of the Judge of Wings.
However, it turns out that Yapih Caverns are adjacent to the Skysea, not under it, and they’re full of molten lava. This is a sure recipe for a Krakatoa-style eruption if seawater ever seeps in.
Which would be awesome.
But we’re not worried. Remember my old-school Final Fantasy motto? “We’re Warriors of Light! We’re inflammable!” (Yes. I know.)
Which, come to think of it, was first coined when Spoo and friends visited Marilith— a different Marilith, mind you. What goes around, comes around, especially in Final Fantasy.
Much like the WoLlies of yore, we’re bound to discover a ginormous crystal at the bottom of this temple and lose it to the enemy. So, let’s get started!
Mission screen which I failed to screencap:
Mission 4-3: Unrelenting Nemesis
While the others were busy with Rikken, Tomaj had his ear to the ground. His efforts discovered an underground shrine the party now moves to explore. Familiar foes and a fantastic find await.
Well, that sounds promising. Anything with alliteration can’t be all bad.
In place of the usual pan-across-the-dungeon, we glimpse three bangaa dashing along the tunnel ahead of us. Looks like Bwagi and his scaley siblings. And everywhere that Bwagi went, Ba’Gamnan is sure to go.
The Garamsythe Waterway theme provides our ominous dungeon ambiance. Oh, how far we have come since the days of Vaan Ratsbane sloshing around the Garamsythe sewers, skewering rodents of unusual size.
He’s learned a lot in his journeys, including “take everything Tomaj says with a grain of salt.”
Come now, Vaan, you’ve found unexpected things in stranger places. Even if Balthier would never explain that Minerva Bustier hanging in his closet.
The camera pulls back to reveal a nasty drop down to what is presumably glowing lava.
I hope that “fantastic find” mentioned in the mission description doesn’t involve a balrog, winged or otherwise.
YAHOO! That odd sound announces that everyone and their parrot is gatecrashing our super secret mission to this remote dungeon. I manage to screencap Rikken, Elza, and Raz bolting past our more cautious party at top speed.
Vaan is spurred on by the competition. But before we can take three steps, the mission screen leaps out and ambushes us.
Battle Party Time! We’ll be up against Bwagi, Gijuk, and Rinok. Of course, Rinok is pink so we can tell she’s female.
All their Espers are fire Espers, vulnerable to water. Easy peasy. I choose all my water Espers that are vulnerable to lightning not fire, making our ice elementals sit out.
Time to break in our new custom water weapons: Big Blue Kitty (Vaan’s water sword), Shiva Snap (Kytes’ wand), and Splooshslayer (Llyud’s spear).
Clan Vaanity, assemble!
Hey! I said assemble!
What gives? I carefully picked out my Espers on the Battle Party Screen, but they’re on strike or something? Booooooo. Guess it’s just us, then.
Forgoing battle and
XP glory, we begin to sprint from treasure chest to treasure chest while Rikken, Elza and Raz get hung up at the first U-bend fighting monsters. Sorry, guys.
Eventually Bwagi catches sight of us. I am incensed that he’s borrowed Old Dalan’s term for Vaan (“gutter churl”).
Sure enough, there’s one guest late to the party. Ba’Gamnan is footloose and muzzle-free, or at least his muzzle is no longer electrified.
Oh, he is pissed. He comes barreling in with a roar, spins around and Knocks Them All Down. Tonight’s Garland award goes to…!
Meh. We’re next on his shit list. Well, that was only to be expected.
There seems to be some history between Rikken and Ba’Gamnan, but we haven’t heard the juicy backstory. So I’m going to make it up. Once upon a time, Rikken sold Ba’Gamnan some skin cream to protect his sensitive scales from Balfonheim’s sun. Ba’Gamnan never paid up. But Rikken had the last laugh: Ba’Gamnan turned out to be allergic. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t used it there. Enmity has existed between them ever since.
Raz: I’d as soon consort with sharks. Let’s nab such treasure as we can and be off.
Oh, no you don’t! You can’t have the treasure! It’s
ours the aegyls’ ours!
The flames in this dungeon look decidedly weird. They don’t flicker, just sway back and forth like an altar to cartoon bunny ears. On a vorpal bunny with a sunburn. And the less said about vorpal bunnies the better, so let’s move on.
I’m afraid we let Rikken’s crew take on nearly all the monsters while we plunder the place. We take some papercuts from Level I monsters nipping us as we run from one treasure chest to the next, but at this point we can soak the damage.
I think poor Raz got KO’d again (that yellow star on the map).
We open the last treasure chest just as Elza and Rikken are clearing away the last few monsters.
Okay! Time to heal up, cast our buffs — all we’ve got is Faith and Hastega, but many of our accessories provide group bonuses — and beat up Ba’Gamnan again. If he’s as weak as he was last time, this won’t be a fair fight. What do you want to bet something will make it more challenging for us?
Sure enough, while we’re healing, a brigade of Lamias teleport in, even though there’s no summoning gate. Twits. They’re essentially centaurs that cast bolts of fire instead of arrows, and they’re nearly as annoying.
Elza gets KO’d fighting Ba’Gamnan and his wolves while we’re dispatching the Lamias. We can’t reach her without fighting Ba’Gamnan, but we need all the allies we can get. And Llyud has that Revive spell charged up and ready to go!
Raz’s track record hasn’t been stellar as far as remaining conscious through a battle, but perhaps we can even his chances. I send Llyud back down the tunnel with smelling salts.
Rikken, meanwhile, has planted himself by the last treasure chest we opened and is sulking, or hiding, or both. Okay, fair enough, you guys took out the vermin. We’ll take on the boss!
Vaan promptly gets hit with a sleep spell, Penelo’s been immobilized, and Kytes is, as so often, confused. Wake up, kids, we need you!
Drat, Raz stayed exactly where he was after revival, without so much as a thank you. I guess they don’t budge unless there’s foes within range of their attack. Fine, fine, see if we care.
We lure Ba’Gamnan into the cul-de-sac with the treasure chests (hoping to galvanize Rikken into helping— it doesn’t work), then send Llyud around the corner to revive Elza with her +3 battlethong and trusty flintlock!
Then we move back towards Elza, because she has a ranged weapon and will fight from farther away. Yahoo! Ba’Gamnan follows us into the ambush, and she’s soon perforating those baby-fresh scales.
(This is point-and-click combat: click the ground to move to a new location, and the cursor changes to the boots icon seen in other screencaps. Then click a target with the crossed swords cursor to attack).
Ba’gamnan proves to be no pushover, at least when comic relief pratfalls aren’t causing him to trip over his snout. But eventually the gutter churls best him.
Rikken joins in the victory dance even though he spent the whole battle hiding around the corner. Sneaky bastard.
I missed the mission title screens earlier, so here’s the Mission Complete screen instead. We’re leveling up nicely.
Afterwards, there’s the thorny question of what to do with Ba’Gamnan. With Tomaj’s device broken, enslavement is no longer an option. Just as well. I was getting tired of wanting to change our name to Clan Hypocrisy.
Vaan ponders tying him up. Filo, bless her, goes over and kneels next to the KO’d bangaa, taking pity on him.
Filo: Doesn’t seem right, just tying him up like that.
Listen to her, Vaan!
But then Ba’Gamnan snarls and staggers to his feet, glaring at her. The game makes a cute “eeek!” sound to accompany Filo’s surprise.
@#%$@$%! mog on a shish kabob, the toad grabs her and runs of. Oh, of course. We haven’t had a distressed damsel mission in this game yet, have we? Square can’t get through a game without it.
So now we have a good guy excuse to beat up the bad guy. Phew. For a moment there, I was worried we’d have to solve a complex ethical dilemma.
Vaan vows that Ba’Gamnan is gonna be sorry! Vaan jinxed us earlier by vowing to Penelo that the kids would come to no harm. The Foreshadowing Fairy never sleeps.
I’m gratified to see that Rikken and friends give chase along with us.
Ba’Gamnan whirls around and strikes Filo with his tennis racket of doom, further reestablishing his baddie credentials.
Filo wakes up after getting thwacked, but she’s clearly not in good shape.
Vaan demonstrates his masterful powers of observation.
Oh, sure. Just dandy, boss. That ride under a bangaa’s armpit felt great!
Penelo: I think there’s something wrong with her. We’d better hurry!
Yeah, stopping on the bridge to call out to her, not really that helpful. I suppose it’s difficult to run and chew text boxes at the same time.
Speaking of text boxes, Rikken’s crew and Vaan decided this is the perfect time to have a shouted conversation across pools of bubbling lava.
Not helpless when she’s blasting people with her exploding hoverboard, but… yeah. She’s just a kid. This is about as low as you can go in a PG setting.
Elza: Can’t sink much lower than that.
I love the way the parrot and Raz are both wearing silly hats. Labyrinth goblin chic is making a comeback.
Vaaaaan! YOU are wasting your breath! Get after them!
Vaan performs some hasty negotiations to enlist Rikken’s aid. After a bit of back and forth:
*lip wobble* That was our first haul of orichalcum in this game. Okay, okay. Speaking of greedy sky pirates.
Phew. Er, I mean… can we stop jabbering and rescue her, folks?
Rikken and his backup dancers insist that tackling Ba’Gamnan is no small task, that they’ll need suitable compensation, yadda yadda…
YAHOO! (They strike a pose.)
My heart just grew three sizes. Now shut up and let’s go get her.
Soooo…. sure hope we have summoning gates this time, because Ba’Gamnan’s pulled a lot of level II critters out of his butt, including the bane of my existence, centaur archers (Sagittarius).
In return, I whip out my latest Esper enlistee, this drip here:
Still not quite sure how I feel out of Shiva’s putative heterosexuality. It’s all so sudden.
Bugger. Hard to exploit elemental weaknesses when their weaknesses and mine are mirror images (strong in A, weak in B and vice versa). I try to make sure most of my fire-weak Espers are Level II, then give my party members Zappy Stick (lightning) weapons.
Oh good. Yes, there’s summoning gates this time, and no treasures to distract me. Now the hard part will just be keeping Rikken and friends alive.
We’ve been taking our own sweet time securing gates (I’m sure Filo can wait), clearing monsters, fortifying our Espers— thankfully Rikken and friends mostly stay near us so they don’t die— when Bwagi’s bangaa trio returns to cause trouble. Wonder which side they’ll join?
They’re not above grabbing Filo and making off with her for no good reason except to be troublemakers. At least they’re kind enough to announce their intentions. So is Rikken!
Okay, okay. More XP for us. Twist our arm.
Just your typical too-much-going-on battlefield chaos…
Although actually, we wind up attacking the bangaa, because I just can’t stand leaving all the glory to Rikken and friends. Sorry, Filo, just hang tight.
We clear away more monsters so we won’t get surrounded when we move in to tackle Ba’Gamnan. Once again, Rikken and friends are grateful for Llyud’s Revive spell.
Slowly we work our way towards our downed comrade…
Did I mention I hate those bleeping archers? As we approach our goal, they pelt us with several arrows a second!
Poor Kytes gets KO’d about 10 steps away from her at the very end of the battle, so it’s not quite clear whether Penny’s doing a victory dance or lamentation:
Above, there seems to be a large Golum bouncing off Vaan’s chest during the victory dance. Ouchie.
Afterwards, we gather around Filo while Penelo heals her. It takes several casts of Cura.
What on earth did Ba’Gamnan do? She’s made it through some fierce battles without much injury!
She finally revives with a squeak and starts apologizing all over the place.
Filo: Seems like whatever I do I just end up getting into trouble.
Er? This is the first time she’s gotten into trouble. It’s Vaan who got KO’d/GAME OVER a bajillion times sneaking into the Fane.
Filo: Always runnin’ off half-cocked… Maybe I should just head back to Rabanastre.
The heck?! What is going on here?
Penelo shushes her, and Kytes gives a nice speech about how we wouldn’t have come this far without her— he certainly wouldn’t. Rubbing it on a little thick, but his heart’s in the right place.
Now there’s the Vaan diplomacy skills I remember from FFXII.
Rikken reminds us that he’s owned a smile. That, or he’s going to charge us one million gil.
Now just hang on a ding dang moment. It’s one thing to be fighting for the sake of making a kid smile, but quite another to require a girl to smile for other people when she feels rotten. Guess that’s in keeping with “undermine tomboy with damsel in distress mission” and “the girl/victim must apologize all over the place.”
Vaan runs over, orders Penelo to work her magic. She gives him the chibi shouty-face with fists at her sides: “What magic would that be?!” This has the desired effect.
Rikken considers himself paid, and then takes Ba’Gamnan off our hands. The body disappears, going into the same Bag of Holding where weapons are stored.
The bounty system is what passes for justice in Ivalice. I’m…kinda okay with this? I mean, he could still be executed or tortured, but whatever happens probably won’t be as violating as using him as a puppet slave.
Raz is worried that the bangaa is “a bit frayed around the edges,” and that the bounty may be lowered.
Now that is funny. I love Elza.
After they leave, the screen starts shaking violently.
Oh bloody hell. There’s a purple flash, which is in no way fabulous. How could I have forgotten the Judge of Wings?
The screen goes almost dark, still shaking violently, with unclaimed text saying, “Why? Why?”
Llyud doesn’t seem to have a purple migraine like the others. Penelo is feeling waves of despair:
Then the screen goes red. Still shaking. This time little Kytes is getting a mindful:
Llyud can’t feel a thing, since he’s a Spock and has no emotions. The others struggle against it, feeling alien emotions in their minds, until finally their heads and the screen begin to clear. Vaan guesses it’s emanating from deeper in the cave, and they rush headlong towards danger.
And once again I’m about to meet the Judge of Wings after midnight, and have to stop. I hate being old.
Thanks to the wonders of game mechanics, we’re dumped from the dungeon depths onto the world map outside the cave entrance. Fantastic. Surely there’s time for a quick trip back to the airship to craft a few items (nothing of note; I’m filling in all the starter items for the sake of completion points, but Llyud now has a Pokey Stick), visit Namingway to rename the Clan something very special for the upcoming battle, and exchange pre-battle jitters.
Filo is still spewing apologies. Most everyone else is stuck in variants of, “Uh oh, big things are afoot.”
Tomaj is still finding ways to talk other people into doing whatever he sets a mind to.
And Vaan checks on morale.
Back to the fire cavern! This next mission doesn’t sound good.
Could we just go back to Bhujerba for a nice dip in a magicite spa? No? Okay.
The camera pan starts where we left the party, dashing along the causeway where we found Filo, and scrolls ahead of us until it reaches a platform with a standard Final Fantasy glyph-mandala surrounded by torches, in front of a large pulsing cluster of flame-colored crystals.
Esper Battle music sets the tone.
Llyud tells us this is just plain ol’ auracite, although it’s certainly more impressive than anything we’ve seen so far. I’m sure the Judge won’t be picky.
How will we screw up this time? I can’t wait!
Vaan: So we’re in the wrong place.
*facepalm* No, but that would be funny. The Path of Plot Advancement wouldn’t lie to us, surely!
Nope. The Judge of Wings appears in a purply-white flash, fires up her purple aura (still not fabulous), and starts to summon something.
Vaan politely reads the Riot Act and makes sure we’ve filed the proper forms before attacking.
The Judge of Wings ignores him, of course. The large figure that manifests looks vaguely familiar. Belias, hot stuff, is that you?
Queen Ashelia really needs to shut the pet flap. You shouldn’t be out and about without a leash.
Ayup. The Judge of Wings vanishes and leaves Belias the Gigas to beat up on us. Which is a bit silly, since Vaan and Penny helped beat the thing in the first place two years ago. (Admittedly they had Balthier, Fran, Basch and Ashe with them on that occasion, and it wasn’t an easy boss fight).
Unsurprisingly, Belias is accompanied by every kind of fire Esper, all weak to water. Conveniently, while some of our water espers (actually ice) are weak to fire, others are only vulnerable to lightning. I bring in all of the latter.
And we’ve still got all our water pistols and assorted splishy splashy weapons.
So, Fire vs. Water, take two.
I didn’t realize how appropriate my Namingway visit back on the airship was going to be when I chose a new temporary name for us on a whim.
CLAN POTHOLDER, ASSEMBLE!
May the divine grace of CAPTAIN BASCH’S POTHOLDER protect us from the flames of perdition, faram!
Once again, we clear the battlefield one bit at a time, corking the summons gates that keep sending more annoying Lamias our way, until Belias only has his final group of defenders. Then there’s nothing for it but to spread out and charge the dais, where a formidable mix of different kinds of Espers prevents us from choosing one type of attack to lead the assault.
Llyud has to revive Filo again and again. Great, now that we’ve had her apologizing for getting in trouble, I’m going to notice every time she does get into trouble.
Finally it’s just Vaan holding Belias at bay, while Penelo showers healing spells on him and Kytes pops off Blizzaga and whatever magic he can muster from a safe distance.
Phew! Victory. We lost nearly all our Espers in that one, even though I kept summoning replacements as often as I dared look away from the battlefield to operate a summons gate.
Okay, I admit it: that was tough.
Even as Penny, Vaan and Kytes celebrate their victory, rainbow sparkles converge on Vaan, much like those when the Judge of Wings sucked the auralith dry. Is this a good or bad sign?
Speaking of which, whatever happened to all our
limit breaks overdrives trances quickenings? The RPG Bag of Spilling has taken a heavy toll on some of our abilities. Nice to have this one back.
Come on, I think Filo deserves 1000 more XP for getting KO’d 5 times.
It’s not just that she’s a girl, it’s also because Ranged attacks are murder on fliers, and our fliers are our fastest party members, so they tend to zip ahead and get toasted while the rest of us are playing catch-up.
Drat. Judge of Wings reappears, of course.
Oh, craperoni. She begins an even more impressive summons.
Would that be Bahamut the bigass platinum dragon from older Final Fantasy games, or Bahamut the bigass
Death Star Sky Fortress that we crashed so spectacularly on the outskirts of of Rabanastre in FFXII? And what was that thing, anyway? Margrace talked as if it were alive. Kinda like the airship we have now.
Vaan yells, “What are you doing?!” and runs forward like a lemming. Everyone follows. They cross right over the summoning dais which is pulsing and flaring with energy.
Not his best-thought-out plan, I must say.
The flashes of light envelop the party as something large (but not as large as Bahamut) begins to materialize behind us.
The huge burst of energy shrinks down and careens towards the altar, striking Vaan at the center of it.
The screen completely whites out with a weird hissing roar.
Oho! It’s that time! It’s the epic FMV of “Oh, shit, it’s too early in this game for us to defeat the villain!”
The screen fades in to reveal a mountainscape. Which is actually the rim of the Skysea, with airships circling overhead and grumbling about the “no parking” signs around Port Marilith.
The mountains split open as something huge lunges skywards.
Yep. It’s Bahamut. And he looks like the one in Final Fantasy VII, not XII. We’re never gonna get a good explanation for that Mist-eating dreadnaught, are we?
Revenant Wings Bahamut brandishes a ginormous Spear of Overcompensation crackling with energy.
I think we’re gonna need more than Basch’s potholder to ward off that thing.
The tip of the spear splits in three for more overkill.
He rears back and hurls it into the Skysea.
A massive tsunami rushes out in every direction, striking the cliffs and bringing them crashing down.
Everything’s happening really fast. Even hitting pause, I’m having trouble figuring out exactly what’s happening, except that it’s catastrophic.
That looks like the Vaanity (V-shape) at upper right, although I have no idea how everyone could’ve hightailed it all the way back through that dungeon so fast (or why Tomaj would’ve waited for them, being Tomaj).
Yep, it’s the Vaanity. One of the wings gets clipped by something, causing it to smoke.
The whole island appears to be falling apart.
Black “Chapter 4 Finished” screen interrupts the disaster movie.
What was I saying in my last post?
“I’m so paranoid. The game has been giving us a relaxing tour of paradise islands, so I keep expecting some cataclysm to spoil them and catapult us into the World of Ruin or the Void…”
I called it.
Here, I went back to my last save and tried to pausebutton-screencap my way through the FMV so you can see what I was talking about, although my timing makes the whole thing even jerkier and more confusing:
At any rate, it was suitably dramatic, with epic music and sound effects to match. Squeenix is so good at these cataclysmic sequences.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, as is customary during these Colossal Setback Sequences: YEP, WE STILL SUCK!
So that’s the end of Chapter 4. And, presumably, the Skysea.
I hope we didn’t miss any treasures or sidequests. What a tragedy. Stay tuned to find out what’s left of Lemurés!