- Rydia’s Tale is prefaced by a lengthy bundle of cut scenes. Once they’re done you’ll be in charge of Rydia, though unlike Final Fantasy IV - for the moment, anyway - she does not possess her summons. Her black magic will have to do.
- You’re now on the Feymarch’s upper platform. Check around the platform for two Potions, an Ether, a Tent, and a Phoenix Down. In the south is a conspicuous, black-lined tile snugged up against one of the walls; step onto it to find another area with an Ice Rod, a Dry Ether, a Hi-Potion, and 500 gil.
- Return to the main platform and step on the northern warp pad to jump to the middle level. You can talk to the inhabitants, but they don’t have much to say. Check the basement of the southwestern building on this platform and speak to the figures, then return to the middle platform and use the warp pad to the southwest to leave the Feymarch.
Passage of the Eidolons
- Though not long, this dungeon can be a little dangerous because Rydia’s by herself. Keep her in the back row and use her strongest spells to hit, and annihilate, every enemy at once. Use her -ra level spells to ensure kills. The exception is against the coloured slimes, which you can kill in a single hit with first-level spells of the same colour (for example, lightning against the yellow goops). If possible, avoid Waxing Moons.
- B3. Take a left from the stairs through the nearby wall (the lava is not harmful in this version of the game, so don’t worry about taking damage) and go north. You’ll find an Ether up here. Then return to the stairs and go south. There’s a Potion on your right, a Potion on your left, and stairs at the end of the line. You can also reach chests containing a Tent, a Phoenix Down, and 500 gil by passing through the leftmost wall in the passage just south of the stairs.
- B2. There’s a save point on the right. Wander left to find a junction, then go south. To the southeast is a Bronze Hourglass; to the northwest are Eye Drops. Head southwest to find stairs out of here.
- B1. Check along the eastern wall, from south to north, to find an Ether and a Decoy. Directly west of the Decoy chest is a secret wall you can pass through to find a Feathered Cap. Snag it, then go up the stairs in the middle of this area.
- You’ll hit a cut scene once you’re outside. You’ll also gain an airship - handy! - and Luca will join your party. She’s basically a Cid clone, and will serve as a tank for Rydia.
- The Falcon will ship you off to the Dwarven Castle. Pop inside and go to the throne room for a cut scene. You’ll be directed back to the airship to head off somewhere else…
- … but you shouldn’t do that just yet. Have a look around first. Start by checking the Castle’s west wing. There’s an Inn and an item shop on the second floor, which you should use to buy some restorative items, and if you check the pot near the item shop you’ll find 500 gil. Check downstairs and you’ll find two Potions and Warrior’s Clothes in a pot on the east end of the room. Speak to the dwarf in here, beside the obvious hidden door, to find a passage leading to a Bacchus’s Wine, a Tent, a Phoenix Down, a Kokkol Ore (hidden in armour), and a pot that will fully restore your health. There’s a path here to the base of the Tower of Babil, but don’t bother going that far right now.
- You can access the West Tower from here or via the ramparts. There’s a Gold Needle in one of the southern pots on the second floor, and you can find Spider Silk, a Soma Drop, a Potion, and Hermes Sandals on the third floor. You’ll have to walk through the walls creatively to reach all of the chests.
- Between the two wings of the Castle you’ll find a weapon shop and an armour shop, the latter of which Luca might find handy if you have enough money. From this room you can enter the East Tower; on the first floor you’ll find a Hi-Potion, on the second you’ll find Kokkol Ore (check the suit of armour in the corner), and on the third you’ll find a Phoenix Down, an Iron Shield, an Ether, and a Silver Apple.
- Head outside once you’ve looted the Castle and hop onto the airship. After a cut scene you’ll gain two new party members, Calca and Brina, and gain control of the craft. Calca and Brina start off extremely weak, so spend a bit of time levelling them (not to mention accumulating money so you can buy them some actual gear).
- If you fly south you can find the town of Tomra a short trip east of the Sealed Cavern. Here you can purchase more advanced supplies than what you’d find in the Dwarven Castle. Check the wood piles in the Inn for a Bacchus’s Wine, the weapons shop for a Phoenix Down, the armour shop for a Kokkol Oe, and the storehouse in the rear of town for a Kokkol Ore and a Potion (a second Kokkol Ore can be found in a pot just outside the storehouse, as well).
- Kokkol’s Forge is in the southeast of the overworld, nestled into the southern wall. You can find a Hi-Potion (pot), a Kokkol Ore (fire place) and Angel’s Clothes (second floor bookcase) inside. The blacksmith in the Forge will create new weapons and armour for you if you give him components and Kokkol Ore. Kokkol Ore is absolutely useless once you leave Rydia’s Tale, so you might as well use the stuff up now.
- In the northwest you’ll find a cave which serves as a dungeon, if you feel like some extra wandering.
Sylph Cave [OPTIONAL]
- B1. Take a right at the entrance. You’ll find three chests containing Spider Silk, a Potion, aaaand something you can’t reach yet. Head southwest from here and down the stairs. You should quickly notice that you do not take damage from green goo on the ground, unlike in Final Fantasy IV.
- B2. There are two sets of stairs, one to the south and one to the north; go up the northern stairs for now. They lead to a thin passage in B3.
- B3. Head north along it to find a Phoenix Down, Echo Herbs, and Clown’s Clothes (the last accessible by entering the wall beneath the bottom chest and looping north). You can pass through the walls beside the stairs, left and right, and find a path back to B2; this eventually leads to an Ether and a Tent. The hole drops down beside chests containing 800 gil, a Hi-Potion, and a Bronze Hourglass, and if you go north and head through the left wall you’ll find a warp point that’ll zip you to a room containing a Horned Helmet, an Ether, a Mythril Knife, and a Hi-Potion. The teleporter in this final room will send you out of the dungeon.
- Return to B2 and take the southern passage this time, back up to B1. There’s a save point on your right and another passage on your left. Go left until you dead end, where you’ll find a Dagger. Go down the stairs near the Dagger.
- B2. There’s a Phoenix Down in the nearby chest. Head left and north. There are stairs on your right where you can find a Hi-Potion and a Silver Armlet, and if you go as far north as possible you’ll find more stairs. Pass through the right wall to find Kokkol Ore before descending.
- B3. Keep following this passage until you come to a house. Check the pot outside the house for Kokkol Ore, then head inside to find a Mage’s Robe and a Healing Rod. On the second floor you’ll find a teleporter out of here. Dungeon complete.
- If you played -Interlude- before The After Years then this place should be pretty danged familiar. The main difference this time is that you won’t be facing nearly as many demonic doors as you progress, which will make the going a bit easier. You’ll find the dungeon in the south, near Tomra.
- B1. Head south. There’s a door down here with chests containing an Ether and Echo Herbs. Further south of this door you’ll find another chest containing a Potion. Loop ‘round the room clockwise to find another door, within which you’ll find a Potion and stairs. Check the left doors in here for a Trap Door - kill it as quickly as you can with your strongest attacks - and behind it, Mage’s Clothes. Grab the Tent before descending.
- B2. Descend the rope directly south of the entrance to find a Gold Needle, then backtrack and head east and north. You can grab a Phoenix Down along the way. The doors in the north contain, in order: nothing; a Battle Axe (Trap Door); a Bomb Crank, a Zeus’s Wrath, and a Bomb Fragment; a Hi-Potion; a save point (Trap Door); and a Bronze Hourglass and a Potion. In the southwest is a door leading to an Ether and stairs.
- B3. There’s a Cottage and a Phoenix Down in the first room, and Kokkol Ore in the door on the left. Head south and out into a larger cavern. Go ‘round the ring in the floor to the right and you’ll find a Hi-Potion on the far right. Head through the door here to find another door - a Trap Door, yay! - and through that you can wind along hidden passages to find a Horned Armor in another, nearby room. Backtrack out of here and go down the rope in the middle of the ring. On the right at the bottom you’ll find a room containing a Gold Needle, a Dry Ether, and a Kokkol Ore in a crate; on the left are stairs.
- B4. Use the save point here and head south to find a wider chamber. Loop around it and you’ll find stairs in the middle to B5. You’ll find a Dark Crystal at the end of this path. Snag it and backtrack to hit a fight that you probably could have predicted.
This is not a difficult fight. The Demon Wall moves progressively closer each round, inflicting single attacks and petrify on your characters. Neither are particularly painful, but petrification will prove tiresome if you allow it to take its course. Either have Brina use Dance until she hits the party with Esuna, curing the petrification, or ignore it and focus on attacking. This latter is perhaps the better course, as a) it takes a while for petrification to stick and b) you want to kill Demon Wall before it gets close enough to insta-kill your party. Rydia can use one of her second-level elemental spells; Luca should be hitting fairly hard; Calca and Brina can use Band to dish out nice amounts of damage. (Luca, Calca, and Brina can also all Band together, if you want, though this ties up three fighters each round.) Using Spider Silk to slow the Demon Wall can also prove handy if it’s beating you up too much.
- Backtrack out of the dungeon the way you came. You’ll hit a cut scene at the entrance, and Calca and Brina will leave your party. (Potentially for good. More on that soon.)
- Hop onto the airship. After a cut scene you’ll have two options: either head to the overworld or stick around. If you haven’t spent any Kokkol’s Ore now’s the time to do it, ‘cause it’ll be useless in a moment. Once you’re done flitting about in the underground, choose the overworld option to leave here for good. One mostly-scripted battle later (Luca attack, Rydia defend) you’ll wind up on the surface.
- You’ll wind up beside a village. Agart itself isn’t much to see, really - just some stores and an Inn. There’s another Challengingway dungeon to be had here, too, but you can’t visit it just yet. There’s a little more to do first. Leave town when you’re ready to find Agart Mine nearby.
- B1. There’s a Hi-Potion on your left, and further south is a Remedy, both in plain sight. There’s an Arctic Wind a little ways removed to the right further down. There are stairs at the bottom.
- B2. There’s a pot that will fully restore your health to the east, at a split in the path. To the south is an X-Potion; further east are more stairs, as well as a Cottage.
- B3. Head all the way south in the first hallway to find a Phoenix Down, then backtrack and go east. At the next split, a few feet away, head south to find Plate Mail, and go up and right to find a Decoy. Take the central path of these three to the eastern end of the room. In the north is a save point; the south leads to B4.
- B4. More interconnecting tunnels. Head northeast from the entrance to find Mythril Gloves, southeast for a Dry Ether, and north to find a Remedy. Then check the east side of the tunnels for a Mythril Spring (southeast), a save point (east), a Circlet (northeast), and, in the northeastern-most chest, a battle with an Agartoise.
This is only a difficult battle if you get impulsive. The Agatoise has two forms. In the first, its blue form, it will use weak physical attacks. Nothing special. When it uses fire magic on itself, however, it shifts to its red form, which is substantially more dangerous - mainly because it can counter everything you do with painful fire magic. You will die very quickly if you let this form linger for too long. Have Luca attack while Rydia holds back. Once the Agartoise shifts forms, use Blizzara on it to swap it back to blue, dealing substantial damage in the process. Keep this up ’til it dies. It will take a while, but once you get this pattern down it’s a simple enough fight. You’ll get Agartite for besting the Agartoise.
The Agartite essentially ends this scenario, and when you return to the airship you’ll (almost) bring things to a close. That said, there’s one last thing completionists will want to do, and that’s save Calca and Brina. In the northwest of B4 there’s a small room that’s notable in that there’s nothing inside… normally. If you go into this room during a Waxing Moon, however, enemies known as Quarto Puppets will begin to appear.
Their high HP aside, Quarto Puppets are important because they will drop Mythril Nuts and Mythril Bolts. Unless you have at least one of each of these items, as well as the Mythril Spring from earlier, Luca will be unable to repair Calca and Brina at the end of the chapter, and they’ll be unavailable as party members forevermore. If you want to use the puppets from this point on (they suck, to be honest, but there you are) you need to get these items before ending Rydia’s Tale. The Bolt may take a while, as it’s the rarer of the two, but these enemies will drop both items eventually. Use Stop on the Puppets if they’re proving too painful to ease your battles.
As for the airship, one way or another…
Yep, a final boss battle to end off the chapter. Titan is nice and simple: either he hits your team physically, one at a time, or he hits both with Earthquake. Both strikes deal moderate damage, though it adds up over time - especially given that Titan has a ridiculous amount of HP, considering how much you can dish out by now. Keep smacking him and healing up when your health gets to 200 or so (this is especially important for Luca, as Earthquake hits her extra hard) and, eventually, someone else will show up and end things for you. Despite how it sounds, this is not a timed battle - you need to be doing damage to end it.
Part Four: Rydia's Challenge Dungeon