On today's wintry installment, reunions take second fiddle to first impressions between allies quite distrustful of one-another. That clown you keep hearing so much about has a little one-hit wonder he likes to call Ice2, but not before some party combinations prove far better than others. All this and an old man who groans laboriously, so grab some [more] cider and snuggle up for strange pictures of the "Finest Fantasy for Advance" -- only on Sony PlayStation.
Sometimes I don't even know what I'm typing.
Here in Narshe, old friends collide. Terra takes a back seat while Edgar and Banon discuss the imminent need to gather with a man the game rightly calls "Elder." Elder has an issue with throwing away the lives of his people, but more and more, it's becoming obvious he's got to bite the bullet. This conversation is retrospectively ironic considering I don't see a single one of his men on the field when the fighting starts, but hey, I'm sure they were, uh, defending the town or something. Even though Kefka's forces arrive from the south. Ah. Well. We can't all be perfect.
Mid-sentence, Sabin greets his bro and Cyan introduces himself. Gau does, too, after a fashion. Seconds later, Locke and Celes arrive, with Locke delivering the grim news that the Empire's almost on top of Narshe. Cyan draws attention to the fact that Celes Chere is in fact a former imperial general, which goes over swimmingly enough to trigger another panic attack from our resident Barristan Selmy when someone else lists off Terra as a former imperial soldier.
Photographed above, Cyan's reaction to discovering he's in league with two women he'd sooner duel to the death.
There's nothing for it then but to begin the battle in earnest. There's a scene with Kefka rolling up through the desert again and some of his troops aren't clear on the concept of wholesale slaughter so he spells it out to them as best he can. There's been a trend in Western society to depict clowns as closet homicidal maniacs, so it's refreshing to see the hard-working Easterners at Squaresoft making no concealment of the depravity inherent in all clowns, always.
Oh, I want to use this picture before it's too late.
So, yes. The Battle for Narshe. Let's capitalize it to make it all officious-like. On the way to the snowfield, there's a terrific sequence in which Celes and Terra become affiliated and Celes says she's no opera floozy before Cyan vows to keep his eye on her. Locke's hidden past is further alluded-to, and, well, I'm sure some other things happened, too, but I'm still stuck on Celes literally mentioning the opera derisively chapters before performing her #1 hit single.
Everyone lines up like ducks in a row and I equip them accordingly. When I'm ready, I let Ol' Banon know and he lets me hook up my teams. This is where my commitment to trivial plot ideas comes into play in a big way. Cyan goes with Gau, because I dig that he has lost his son and is treating Gau protectively. I throw Terra into the mix to heighten the drama of Cyan not trusting her or Celes; I'd do Celes instead but she's with Locke, because he will protect she and Terra, but Terra's already accounted-for with the Cyan dynamic. Also, Terra will one day discover the concept of love through the birth of a child, and Gau is a child. Edgar and Sabin stick close together and keep careful tabs on Banon, because they're bros, and that's what bros do.
Here's a more streamlined explanation.
The battle goes well for some and "eh" for others. Locke has his Genji Glove, but he's not yet been given access to the Full Moons I'll soon be purchasing, so his damage output is great but not gorgeous. Celes has an Earring, but not two Earrings, because I gave Sabin an Earring, because Fire Dance. So she can multicast Ice, but she'll need to cast it twice to mop up the opposition. Elsewhere, BioBlaster and Fire Dance are enough to make mincemeat of every Magitek mech, and Gau's scratching people as if he were some stray cat, so I really needn't go on.
Along comes a Kefka who we beat up to earn 15 silver points [and the salvation of an entire city].
This isn't the party I used and I don't appreciate Locke being the only one unconscious but whatever you get the point.
Once Kefka's bolted, Terra has this thing where she turns into, ah, Trance Terra, if you will, and her sprite is both lovely and also alien and she flies away, flies away, flies away home as everyone clings to the cliff. Some look awake, some look out like lights, but everyone agrees there's nothing sacred about their final ray of hope turning into a neon pink bipedal ethereal and soaring off into the horizon.
Forget what I said about clowns. This is the real threat to the planet.
Regrouping, the team agrees to leave two people behind to defend Narshe, further destabilizing the notion that Elder's alliance is worth a damn since I guess his guards are now... uh... guarding... the moogles, yes, let's go with that. I choose Locke to helm a party which also sees Celes, Edgar, and Sabin, leaving Gau in Cyan's protective custody for reasons aforementioned. I loot a bunch of treasure chests and trot on over to Figaro Castle, where another memorable scene begins.
Like a boss.
Sabin flops down on a throne and reminisces. He and Edgar were having a rough go of it ten years ago when their father, the king, kicked the bucket most unexpectedly. It's theorized in-script that the Empire had him poisoned, which means that, yes, the Empire had him poisoned. A low-down no-good deal, that Empire. Sabin, despite being Edgar's twin as I understand things, is a more emotionally loose cannon than his twin-bro and calls the castle out on its politically focused demeanor following dad's demise. He tells Edgar they ought to run away together and leave it all behind, but Edgar ensures Sabin gets his freedom. The rest is history.
Gacha history right here waitin' for ya. Please be excited.
Poor Arvis, they didn't even make him a "shocked" animation.