Last time on Let’s Play Revenant Wings, we crashed on a paradise island and tripped over a love triangle. Freedom regained, we head straight for the Strahl…
…conveniently moored beneath the one sky island we haven’t yet visited.
However, along the way, we discover the Skysea wasn’t vaporized but scattered like Jenga blocks. These fragments offer a wide array of optional missions for a limited time only, with Espers standing by to take our calls.
So this is another Sidequests Before Saving the world post, a whirlwind tour of the whirlwind-torn map.
Last time on Let’s Play Revenant Wings, we caught up with Ba’Gamnan’s old pals, explored our newly-remodeled airship, crafted custom weapons with ridiculous names, and stopped dastardly sky pirates from exploiting and robbing the aegyl.
While engaging in some of the same behavior ourselves. Oopsie.
Alas, it is time to bid farewell to Clan Wee Sprats:
…and return to Clan Vaanity, because really I can’t think of a better name.
(Don’t worry, I haven’t played this game for godawful numbers of hours; apparently the clock keeps ticking if I leave the emulator on pause).
And now it’s time to visit the Skysea on a new and exciting island!
Last time on Let’s Play Revenant Wings, Clan Vaanity continued the hallowed Final Fantasy tradition of letting the villain smash the vitally important thing we were supposed to protect. Oh, and Balthier supposedly died next to a Fran-shaped pile of pixels.
Unfortunately, after an End of Act One climax, there is often a lull. So I’m afraid this installment has only a brief segment of plot before Tomaj hijacks the story for airship remodeling and sidequests. I’ll warn you when we get there, in case you want to skip ahead.
The Music of Comic Relief strikes up to take our minds off our recent failure. Remember how I said Ba’Gamnan slipped away at the end of the last battle? My bad. He falls in behind the party as we exit Fane #2 with our tails between our legs. Yes, I know, he’s the one with the tail.
Outside, we are accosted by Ba’Gamnan’s bangin’ bangaa gang (Say that five times fast: the sobriety test for Ivalician speed traps).
Last time, Clan Vaanity backed up their claims to be “good” sky pirates with an act of selfless heroism, taking oodles of arrows and cactus spines to protect four whole aegyls from evil sky pirates. Even Ba’Gamnan took some for the team, thanks to Tomaj’s enslavement gadget whose ethics are deeply problema— la la la I can’t hear you I have a continent of hapless natives to save!
Llyud says we need to hurry into the Fane of Something Vaguely Egyptian-Sounding to stop more sky pirates from desecrating the auralith (bigass magical crystal) at the heart of sky island #2. However, Tomaj’s notice board has been bleeping at us about sidequests that opened up back on sky island #1.
Should we hurry on to the Path of Plot Advancement? Or indulge in Sidequests Before Saving the World? Well, a little bird told me that Revenant Wings sidequests often evaporate before the next chapter. And the current chapter has the ominous name of “What Goes Up…” Look. I wasn’t born yesterday. I recognize an RPG Point of No Return when I see it.
Therefore, I’m going back to Zephyr Island one more time to perform pest control and treasure mop-up duty. I’m sure the evil sky pirates will play cribbage or something until we return.
First off, there’s a bug hunt mission prosaically called “Bug Hunt.”
Kytes: Get a load of that!
Yes, Kytes, believe it or not, there are lots of bugs. Sometimes I think these characters don’t bother to read title screens at all.
The Golden Vaanity bobs gently above Zephyr, the Windward Isles, aka that very first dungeon which will later be tinged with a sense of homelike nostalgia because you can squish all the starter monsters there like bubble wrap:
We sail away, flush with the sweet taste of victory and the knowledge that we thoroughly cased the jointwhumped some baddies who thought it would be fun to use inept angels for target practice.
Where to next, Llyud? I keep wanting to call you Lloyd.
*finds official render of Llyud*
I’d quote George Takei’s favorite quote, but he’s a little young. Ahem.
He says we need to trot ourselves over to the next island to defend a giant crystal that the Judge of Wings wants to swipe.
I’m sure this quest will in no way resemble the “We Suck” segments of Final Fantasy III, IV, and V, wherein we totally failed to prevent the villains from stealing and/or smashing the Crystals of Light.
“I’ve heard of some people trying to map out the Great Crystal during their XII playthroughs so as not to keep getting lost, but such a task would be long and frustrating and definitely not worth the trouble.”
Yes, the in-game map is nearly useless. However, notice “A Prama Vikaari” at top. It tells you exactly where you are, if only SOMEONE would make a map…
I love making maps, and I took Livvy’s comment as a challenge. Here’s the fruits of a week’s labor.
I’ve divided my Giruvegan Great Crystal map into two parts, one for the lower levels which you have to traverse for the plot, one for the upper levels that masochists explore for valuable and unique items and prey, including Excalibur, Ultima and Omega (Mark XII). My notes below will help you find all the treasures and understand the naming conventions of the rooms so that they’re not just gibberish.
Last time on Let’s Play Final Fantasy VII, we picked up a ninja in a random encounter and stuffed her in a Bag of Holding, cruelly refused to tell Zack’s parents what happened to him, visited Nanaki’s people and had our hearts wrenched, visited the hometown of Tifa and Cloud and had our heebies jeebied, and picked up one of Hojo’s lab experiments taking a nap in a casket. (As opposed to Morgan Freeman’s Vincent taking a bath in a casket.)
Then we headed into the mountains north of Nibelheim where—
AUUUGH I haven’t saved in an hour blammmity blam blam flail flail hack slash bite maul… oh. Oops. There was a really powerful blue magic spell that we could’ve learned from this thing, wasn’t there?
Next up, Final Fantasy VII descends unexpectedly into Scum and Villainy with a side helping of burlesque. I will also attempt to explain the Mysterious Voice in Cloud’s Head.
But first, we need to meet the third corner of Cloud’s pointy little love triangle. Whom I love, despite Squeenix dropping heaps of overhype on her tombstone. Did I mention this walkthrough would have spoilers?
Which brings me to the most difficult and challenging, thorny and complex issue of this entire game. No, it’s not Cloti versus Clerith, which sounds like dueling nasal sprays. This issue is much more challenging, and has riven fandom to the core…
Whew! I got bogged down rounding up all my scattered party members — seriously, we just lived through the end of the world and everything, but did they have to be difficult and run off and join weird cults and get themselves lost on mountaintops, in the depths of monster-infested catacombs and so on? — so this playthrough is once again tardy.
Hey, it wasn’t that long since my last post.
So, last time in my Let’s Play Final Fantasy VI, the world went to Hades in a haversack. Miraculously, the crustal ruptures we saw in that exciting end-of-the-world cutscene did not result in Siberia-sized lava outpourings, a planetwide blanket of sulfuric acid fog/rain, or other Permian-Extinction-style armageddon. (Geology porn… bookmark for later!)
Instead, as this is Final Fantasy, Celes awakens in a blasted world that’s creepy and sad and fragmented. FFXIII-2 riffed on this trope again 17 years later, and the music from its Dying World fits nicely:
Holy Chocobo! We’re in the home stretch of FFV! Let’s pause a moment to ogle the closing FMV from the PS1 version.
It’s a fine recap of some exciting moments in the game: pyromaniac Exdeath setting the Moogle forest on fire around the Guardian Tree, Galuf’s attack on Castle Exdeath thwarted by the barrier and his friends showing up to spoil everything, Krile on her trusty dragon seeking the perpetually lost party, Faris losing her beloved Syldra the Sea Dragon all the way back on Disc One, the shade (?) of King Tycoon playing hide-and-seek with us, the Lonka/Ronka ruins flying up into the sky, and a couple endgame battles we still have to look forward to (or flee, if we have any sense).
Symbolism ahoy! I’ve totally lost track of which crystal / element / attribute goes with what in this FF installment, and I don’t know why I care, but I’m puzzling over them, particularly hope = fertility? I also marvel at how quickly graphics look dated, and how awesome Faris and Lenna look in trenchcoat and court attire with matching katanas.