|Final Fantasy IV: The After Years created by Square Enix.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
- You’ll begin the chapter as Ceodore, prince of Baron, on his first mission. Wander around the airship and chat with everyone to continue the cut scenes. Eventually you’ll wind up on the Adamant Isle; if you ever need to heal, use the pot on the airship’s deck.
- Pop into the town of Mythril. There’s not much to do here (you’re not small enough to fit in most of the buildings), but there’s a tiny side quest you can complete by retrieving a Ruby Ring from the grassy patch in the far north of town. Give it to the pig one building south for 500 gil. You should purchase a Longsword and a Bronze Helm with this money. You can also find a Potion in another, smaller grassy patch, east of the first. Stay at the Inn when you’re done looking around.
- A soldier will come to give you some news after you leave the Inn. Depart Mythril and wander to the nearby cave. Before you do that, however…
As one of the soldiers will point out, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years operates on a series of moon phases. Whenever the moon changes phases (every thirty minutes, or every time you rest at an Inn / in a Tent) your abilities will shift as well, strengthening some and weakening others. The game will happily tell you which abilities are strengthened and which are weakened by highlighting the commands in green and red, respectively; nevertheless, it’s not a bad idea to know which moons do what.
- New Moons (completely enshrouded) will raise the power of Skills but lower the power of White Magic.
- Waning Moons (bottom half enshrouded) will raise the power of Attacks but lower the power of Skills.
- Full Moons (obvious) will raise the power of Black Magic but lower the power of Attacks.
- Waxing Moons (upper half enshrouded) will raise the power of White Magic but lower the power of Black Magic.
In addition to these changes, certain enemies will not appear unless you’re in a specific moon phase, and some dungeons will not open. These will be noted as we go along.
Adamant Isle Grotto
- Pop into the game’s first dungeon and you’ll find a line of chests waiting. Pop ‘em open for a Tent, a Potion, an Ether, and a Phoenix Down, then speak to Biggs. He and Wedge will join the party. Head downstairs.
- B1. Your first battle down here will sport a tutorial, as will the second.
The second battle will introduce you to Band Attacks. These are joint attacks between two or more characters (in this case, Biggs and Wedge) which are similar to Palom and Porom’s Twincast attacks from Final Fantasy IV. Bands must be discovered during battle, and will not always exist between two characters. (Typically characters with storyline ties will have Bands.) These attacks are quite powerful, and are worth discovering when you have the chance - though bear in mind that Bands expend MP when used. Don’t expend your MP frivolously.
- B!. Head north from the entrance and onto the lower level. You can find a Potion on your left and a Tent on a small platform to your right. Head east from here and follow the far eastern wall to the north; check the chest on the left for an Ether, then take the stairs in the northeast. You may want to get Ceodore to level four or five before entering the next area…
- … as Biggs and Wedge will leave the team once you do, forcing Ceodore to travel alone. The enemies down here are weak, so he’s not in substantial danger, but you should be cautious nonetheless. Hop into the nearby room to find a save point, then proceed onward.
- B2. Head back into the main area of B2 and wander north, but before you go too far, take a left. You can wander through a secret wall and find a Phoenix Down waiting. Backtrack and continue clockwise around the room until you reach the southeast corner; make sure to grab the Bomb Fragment from the chest in the middle of the area and the Eye Drops from the chest to the left of the stairs.
- B3. There’s a Bronze Hourglass to the left of the first set of stairs, a Tent on the east side of the room, an Antarctic Wind in a chest in the area’s southeast corner, Echo Herbs in a chest on the west side of the room, and Iron Gloves in a secret room in the area’s southwest corner, accessible via a secret path that’s pretty obvious. The path is straightforward, and leads to another small room with a save point.
- B4. Make sure you’ve saved and healed, ‘cause you’re going to get into a fight as soon as you open the chest in this room.
The first boss fight of The After Years is fairly straightforward. The Sand Worm is only interested in smacking Ceodore physically, and won’t do a ton of damage each time. All you can really do is smack it back and heal when necessary. Ceodore’s Cure spell isn’t very powerful, so Potions are recommended. Once you’ve done enough damage you’ll spark a cut scene, and Ceodore will get a nice little power boost that will allow him to easily end the battle. Huzzah!
- Once the fight is over you’ll gain the Knight’s Emblem, and Ceodore will learn Awaken. Biggs and Wedge will also rejoin the party. You can now battle your way back out of the Cave and return to the airship. Make sure you use the pot on board to heal…
- … ‘cause you’re gonna run into some midair trouble in the form of two Belphegors. They have boss-level HP, but they don’t hit hard enough to be a problem. Heal as necessary.
- Now you jump to Cecil in Castle Baron, fending off a siege of monsters. Try to take the eastern path in the main hall and you’ll have to fight off Gargoyles; kill them off, then pop open the secret door to the north to find a Decoy, a Tent, and a Phoenix Down.
- Go up the eastern stairs. You’ll fight another set of easy enemies on the ramparts, then wind up in a small room with a save point. (The switch beside it is broken, so don’t bother.) Head north once you’re back outside and enter Castle Baron’s eastern tower, where you’ll find Hermes Sandals, a Hi-Potion, a Red Fang, and an Ether on the first floor, Echo Herbs, a Bacchus’s Wine, a Heavenly Wrath, and a Hi-Potion on the second floor (check the pots), a Remedy, 500 gil, and a Bomb Crank on the third floor, and a… something… in one of the pots in the basement. (Somebody tell me what it was, I hit the danged button too quickly. Thanks!) You’ll have to kill an Ogre on the third floor, though it’s no biggie.
- Return to the main hallway and take the western path this time, now that it’s unblocked. You’ll have to kill a Centaur Knight on your way (easy), and just before you get outside, Rosa will join your team. Head to the western tower to the north and Cid will jump into your party as well. There’s nothing much to see inside the tower itself.
- Pop into the door where Cid appeared. You’ll find a save point inside, and up the stairs nearby you’ll face a few battles. The only enemy that’s problematic is the Ahriman, as it will Doom your characters one-by-one. Still, normal attacks will do nicely. A cut scene follows, as well as a battle you can’t win, so… enjoy?
- After a severe debacle you’ll jump back to Ceodore. Inspect everyone in the area, keep watching cut scenes, and eventually you’ll wind up in a small clearing, near a save point. Save up, then head west. After two easy battles the Hooded Man, a potent melee unit, will join your team.
- Head northwest. You’ll find the town of Mysidia waiting on the coastline. Explore the town - there’s stuff to buy, but nothing to find - then head to the large building in the north. Speak to Porom (my lord but she’s changed over the years) and she’ll unlock the Devil’s Road for you. She’ll also shove the White Mage and Black Mage onto your team. You’ll find the entrance on the east side of town, just north of the Inn.
- Unlike the original Final Fantasy IV, The After Years’ incarnation is a dungeon. Don’t enter damaged or otherwise unprepared. Enemies aside, bear in mind that the patches of brown interspersed throughout the dungeon will damage you if you step on ‘em. Fire is good against the zombie-ish creatures in here; ice is the better ghost against the spirits.
- The Devil’s Road consists of a series of teleporters, and you need to step on the right ones to proceed. The first two teleporters are no big deal (check the left wall by the second for a semi-hidden Bomb Fragment); the third is a split between two. Step on the upper teleporter to proceed.
- Next up is a pair of teleporters on the north side of a patch of goop. Use the right. The next small room has a single teleporter, and if you check the left wall you’ll find a secret path leading to a Phoenix Down. Hop onto the next teleporter to find a Sage’s Suplice and two more pads; to the direct left you can find a fake wall leading to a Silver Apple. Use the upper pad.
- You’ll find up in a long, north-south corridor with a teleporter at each end. Hop on the upper teleporter first, as it will take you to a room with chests containing a Hi-Potion, Echo Herbs, and an Ether. Then you can use the teleporter in this new room to loop back and take the lower teleporter. You cannot backtrack after you take the lower teleporter, so make sure you’re content with your choices.
- After a dip into a room with a save point you’ll wind up in a maze of sorts, where you need to step on the proper pads in a series of narrow, interconnecting hallways. Unlike the identical teleporters in the previous area, however, these will create impassable barriers after you pass over one, so you need to choose your way through carefully. To advance you’ll want to head north from the entrance, wander along the northern wall until about halfway across the area, make your way southwest, and hug the western wall until you wind up in the northwest corner. There are no chests, so don’t worry about missing anything.
- Yaaaay, civilization. There’s not a ton to see here, though you can purchase some new gear for your team (don’t bother outfitting the two Mages, as they won’t be around much longer). If you check the pot near the southern entrance / exit of town you’ll find a Hi-Potion, and if you slide down the waterfalls in the north of town and wander along the stream that runs through Baron you’ll eventually find a hidden Arctic Wind.
- Leave town and head to Castle Baron. You won’t be allowed in. Return to the town and visit Cid’s home, the northwestern building. The purple-haired girl inside will hand over the Baron Key, which you can use to pop open the door in the tall wall to the south.
- Watery fun. This area is populated almost entirely with monsters vulnerable to lightning, so the Black Mage’s Thundara spell will do quite well for clearing the way. (Anything not vulnerable to lightning can be thrashed normally.)
- B2. Start by heading all the way south; you’ll find three chests containing a Unicorn Horn, 600 gil, and a Phoenix Down. Loop back north by heading left, and keep following the path until you reach stairs.
- B3. This area consists of isolated rooms and secret passages. Dip into the water in the first room and pass through the southern wall. It leads to a Hi-Potion. Go through the southern wall in this second room as well and you’ll find another chest, this containing a Black Lizard battle. The Lizard has lots of HP, hits reasonably hard, and will counter physical attacks with petrification. Have the Hooded Man attack, Ceodore hold back (he doesn’t do enough damage), the White Mage use Esuna to heal petrification, and the Black Mage use Blizzara. You’ll earn a Coral Sword for besting the thing.
- Backtrack to the entrance. Pass through the wall on your right, then do so again. You’re now in an open area with a central platform. Check the chest on the platform for a Remedy. There are a bunch of secret passages to the south, but they don’t lead anywhere special. Pass through the wall on the right (some rocks tell you exactly where to go) and head north.
- B2. There are stairs on your right. Go through the left wall beside the exit from this room to reach a Soma Drop.
- B1. The door on the left contains a save point; the door on the right leads out of the Waterway.
- You’re now in the moat. Head south to find a path into the Castle. Once you go through Ceodore will leave the party for a bit, and the White and Black Mages will leave for good. Pop into the door on the left as the Hooded Man for a cut scene, then head back outside and go through the right.
- Make your way to the throne room, as there’s nothing to see otherwise. Try to leave the throne room after looking around for a cut scene, then leave the Castle once Ceodore rejoins. After another cut scene you’ll gain the Cross Slash Band for Ceodore and the Hooded Man.
- Leave Baron and wander northeast across the desert. This open path will eventually take you to the Mist Cave, the next (and final) compulsory dungeon of this scenario. Defeat the Centaur Knight outside the dungeon to gain entrance.
- The first thing to note about this place is the presence of Thunder Dragons during Full Moons. Thunder Dragons are very dangerous at this point, and can demolish your party by the second turn if you’re not quick. Either use a Bronze Hourglass to stop it entirely for a bit or Spider Silk to slow it, orrrrr run. Run until you’re much stronger.
- B1. Head east and you’ll find a door. There’s a Namingway inside who will mention coming back later. Keep him in mind, as he’ll unlock a Challenge Dungeon after you complete the scenario. Challenge Dungeons offer a more difficult experience in exchange for more treasure. Keep following the pathway northwest until you find a Steel Helm, and past that, well…
- B2. Head south and the path will split. Take a left to find a Silent Bell before going right. Follow this path until it splits again, and you see a walkway to the north. Ignore it for now and continue west until you find a northbound path. It leads to a Phoenix Down and a Remedy. Then backtrack to the boardwalk and head north. (If you take the right you can enter a secret room containing Mythril Gloves.) There’s a room up here containing a save point and a Namingway who will sell you restorative items, as well as the stairs to the next level. Buy a few Hi-Potions before setting out from here.
- B3. There’s an Antidote down the stairs and on your right and an X-Potion to the south. Head west and the path will split; go north to start and you’ll find an Arctic Wind across several bridges. Head back south and continue east once you’ve nabbed it. The path widens and splits again, but the only path you need to take is onto the rocky platforms to the east. The other two are dead ends.
- B2. Another split. Take the northwestern split and you’ll find a Cottage and a door leading to Chainmail. Return to the south and go right this time to find a save point, always ominous, then keep going to hit a boss fight.
No big deal, really. The Tunneler either uses Earthquake to hit both characters for 170-ish damage or smacks a single character for above 200 HP. Painful, but you should be able to win as long as you’re above level 20. Smack it around and have Ceodore heal via Hi-Potions as necessary, and use Float (Ceodore learns it at level 25) to avoid Earthquake. You can win without the spell, however.