Final Fantasy: Frazzled Cats

So I headed to the Earthgift Shrine. It did not work out very well.

Standing just inside the cave was a dwarf who I’ll call Bashful. Bashful said:

Keek? Lippin?

Then, like a million other characters standing outside a million other caves in a million other games, he said:

I, of course, totally ignored the dwarf. I went to the door and opened it. If you listened to every character in every game who said, “I wouldn’t go in there if I were you”, you’d never beat any game. That’s usually a big, flashing neon sign indicating: “GO THERE!” So I did. The screen went white, and I was suddenly standing in the middle of a desert.

Is this The Construct? Can I learn kung-fu?

This seemed very odd. Usually there’s a bit more prep for dungeons in Final Fantasy games. You at least get some kind of idea of what’s going on. Then I remembered something. The other day I had looked at the back of the game box. It mentioned something about new dungeons. Sometimes when they remake these games they add extra challenges, extra bosses. All are usually optional, and you usually can’t access them until much later.

I walked around for quite a while. Every now and then I stumbled across some palm trees. I kept running into Black Goblins and Desertpedes, which looked like scorpions. They were cannon fodder. I eventually came across a chest, then just west of that I found an oasis. Next to it was, naturally, some stairs. With no other choices presenting themselves, I headed down.

I came out into a forest. Why not? The stairs vanished. On the other side of some trees were more stairs, but even though I beat the shit out of Lich, the Fiend of Earth, apparently I can’t chop down a couple freaking pine trees. Frotz even has an axe. But no, I end up taking a very long walk through the woods. It probably took half an hour to get to the stairs. Again, the fights aren’t a challenge at all.

Oh, look! The next set of stairs. Too bad they're behind trees made of titanium.

Next I found myself in some typical underground caves. The enemies continued to be wimpy, and the items I found in chests were things like potions and whatnot. Nothing special. So imagine my surprise when another level or two down I stumble onto this:

This doesn't end well.

This creepy lady, or whatever it is, made short work of me. Remember that up until now in this dungeon I had been fighting the equivalent to slightly frazzled cats. Next thing I know, I’m in a fight with the chick from Species, who immediately kills my two fighters with an earthquake. Kai and Yurto are similarly killed in short order.

Moments later, they’re standing back at the entrance with Bashful.

They managed to gain a level on the way to getting killed, so it wasn’t a total waste of time. I’m pretty sure now that this is an optional dungeon that I should come back to later, though. I actually went back and tried multiple times. Not only did the Echidna repeatedly annihilate my people, other big baddies (I counted maybe 4 total) were down there, and I guessed they were about as badass.

So I slinked back outside, used a tent and decided to try to track down the main plot. But later, when they’re much higher level, I’m going to go back and turn that thing into a nice pair of boots.

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