- First off: a battle as Edge. Use Flood twice to end it quickly.
- Eventually you’ll be set loose in Eblan Castle. There are items to purchase in the first room - items you can’t buy - and more in the second. Not much to see.
- Head outside and you can find stuff in the two towers to the west and east. In the west you can get an Ether on the first floor by passing through the wall to the right of the entrance and a Phoenix Down by dropping through a wall on the second floor, while in the east you can grab Eye Drops on passing through a wall in the rear of the first floor and an Ether, a Potion, an Antidote, a Phoenix Down, and a Maiden’s Kiss via the second floor.
- Leave the Castle and you’ll be confronted by the four ninja from earlier. After a cut scene you’ll embark on a series of mini-scenarios as each of them.
Easy enough. Each of the Eblan Four will head of to various parts of the world to train and spy on the locals. In each scenario you’ll have to run through a short dungeon, solo, as the four. They’re all inferior to Edge in terms of combat, but should remind you of their master in most respects. You can complete these scenarios in any order you like.
The main thing to keep in mind here is the consequences of death. Dying will immediately end the scenario you’re playing, but it will not end your game. Instead, you’ll be shunted back to the selection screen to choose another of the Eblan Four. The ninja that died will thereafter be dead for good, and will not participate in the rest of The After Years. If you want to use them for the rest of this chapter, or any other parts of the game, don’t die. Saving often is advisable.
(To be honest, they all kinda suck, so you probably won’t use them anyway. But, hey, completionists, right?)
- First up on the list is Gekkou, the largest, slowest, physically-most-powerful of the Eblan Four. Gekkou likes fire attacks, and using his Flame magic on groups of foes should allow you to plough through this chapter pretty easily. Gekkou can usually kill enemies just as easily from the back row as from the front so don’t hesitate to push him back.
- Head south from the starting save point. You’ll find a Potion near a jump point. Hop east and head north and you’ll find a Monk; speak to him to receive your quest for this section. There’s another Monk further north, this one dead.
- Make your way along the rest of the map. There’s a Crescent Axe just north of the second Monk, and near that a leap point to another screen. Random battles will start up here, so be cautious.
- Head east to the next jump point. It will take you to a brief juncture; hop north to find a Maiden’s Kiss, then go west. One curve later you’ll find another jump point beside a chest containing a Kenpo Gi. Using the jump point will take you up to a Steel Headplate. Hop back down and head north for a cut scene.
- Keep ascending. In the north you’ll find a Shuriken to the left of a jump point, then head right to find a jump to another screen. Just north of where you come out you’ll find a Power Armlet; after that you’ll have a few choices of where to go next. Stick to the southwest and you’ll find a Hi-Potion. Go north to hit another cut scene, after which the path branches again; head west to find a save point, then backtrack and go north to find a Tent. (Perhaps in the opposite order.)
- North of the save point you’ll find an Ether on the other side of a jump point. Head east to find another jump point that will take you to yet another screen. There’s a Shuriken to your left, and on the next platform up a Hi-Potion. Keep following the obvious path until you hit a cut scene.
- Gekkou will now have the opportunity to fight a blue-haired mystery girl. Don’t. Gekkou will lose the battle, and though the game will continue, he’ll be gone forever. Choose ‘Hold back’ to end Gekkou’s scenario.
- Second on the list is Zangetsu, an elderly ninja with lightning attacks vis a vie Shock. He’s good at using his limited number of spells and has otherwise balanced stats. He also has the Human Kite ability, which is basically jump. He can handle his section of the chapter on his own quite well, thank you.
- You start off in the Dwarven Castle. Plenty of items here: a Potion in the east tower, a Shuriken in the west tower, and an Emergency Exit in one of the pots in the basement (the room with the secret passage). You can also buy weapons and armour for Zangetsu just outside the pub (don’t bother with the Javelin or the Shinobi Gear, you’ll find both), and items on the opposite side of the castle. (Grabbing some Potions and a Tent might be wise. Zangetsu can’t heal.) Speaking of the pub, you can save inside.
- Once you’re done looking around, proceed to the highest point of the castle, between the two towers. You’ll hit a cut scene, and Zangetsu will leap away to the scenario’s dungeon, the Dwarven Mine Path.
- There’s a split in the path as soon as you regain control of Zangetsu. South is a save point; to the left you’ll find a Potion, and the path will continue. There’s a Zeus’s Wrath at the bottom of the next set of stairs.
- There are four sets of stairs to the south, leading in a variety of directions. To the northwest is a Maiden’s Kiss and a Remedy; to the southwest is a Cottage and a Javelin; to the northeast is Shinobi Gear and a Heavenly Wrath; to the east is a Potion.
- The path splits again. To the east is a Hi-Potion; to the south is an Ether; to the north is continued pathway and an Ether. There’s a Trident to the north of a bridge which will take you south, and if you cross the bridge you’ll find a Headband.
- In the northeast of the area you’ll find a pot which will restore your health, as well as stairs out of here. An enemy will stop you before you can get out of here - it should be a boss fight - but you can trash Belphegor by using Human Kite a few times. Scenario done.
- Third on your list is Izayoi, the Eblan Four’s water ninja. Flood is a solid elemental spell, per usual for these guys, but she also has the Heal Pill Ninjutsu, making her the closest thing you’ll have to a white mage in this scenario. (The next guy gets it too, but he’s not as good at using it.) Speed aside, Izayoi is otherwise a fairly mediocre character.
- Izayoi starts out in Troia. Check the pots in the pub for Eye Drops, and dip into the water to reach the clearing in the far northwest, where you can find 300 gil, a Hi-Potion, and an Ether. You’ll have to sit through a lesson in the water to get the latter three items; just sit in place until you’re allowed to leave. You can also purchase weapons and armour while you’re here, but there’s no need to go nuts.
- Leave Troia. (You can’t enter the Castle, so don’t bother trying.) Wander north through the forests until you find a Chocobo Village in the far north. Hop on a chocobo here and use it to run to the faaaar south, where you’ll find the Tower of Trials from Palom’s chapter. Izayoi can’t go through the front door, but she can skip up a few levels from the outside.
- At the top you’ll see a door to your right. Go through to find a restorative pot and chests containing a Potion, an Ether, and a Bronze Chestplate. Head back outside and climb the Tower until you find another door; inside you’ll find an Ether, a Crossbow, a Bronze Hourglass, a Tent, Ice Arrows, and a Potion. Equip Izayoi with the Crossbow, put her in the back row, and head up the stairs. There are Eye Drops at the top.
- Head back outside. Enemies will start bothering you out here, but the Ice Arrows and Flood will make ‘em easy. Keep climbing. There’s a door halfway up containing a save point and a Thorn Whip; equip it if you’d rather save Ice Arrows. Up the next ladder to the right you’ll run into a fight against a Zu which can be fairly dangerous, as it attacks twice in a row; heal every time you take damage. You’ll have plenty of time to dish it out between the Zu’s attacks.
- Beat the Zu to enter a cut scene. Once it’s done you’ll have to descend the Tower again. There are enemies all the way down this time, though they’re pretty easy. Once you exit the Tower, make for the ship on the opposite shoreline. Enter it to end Izayoi’s scenario.
- Last of the group is the diminutive Tsukinowa. The closest to Edge in terms of abilities, Tsukinowa can both Steal and dual-wield. He also uses wind-based Ninjutsu in the form of Gale. That aside, he’s the fastest character in the game… and that’s all he’s got going for him. He can nevertheless handle this scenario on his own easily enough, and learning Heal Pill at level 9 will help.
- You start off in Mysidia. Not an item to be found, unfortunately, but you can purchase weapons for Tsukinowa; Boomerangs are a good choice if you’re uneasy about his durability (or lack thereof), but Kodachis will give you more damage overall. Make sure to shove Tsukinowa in the back row for the first little while either way, as he can’t take punishment at all.
- Once you’re done shopping, speak to the little boy on the east side of town and have him turn you into a toad. This will allow you to bypass the dude in the north who’s blocking the Hall of Prayers. Watch the cut scene inside, turn back into a human by speaking to the kid again, and leave town.
- Head east to Mount Ordeals. Monsters will start showing up as soon as you enter. Head north along the mountain and you’ll see a chest on your right; it contains a monster battle, easy enough, and a Hi-Potion. On the next rise you’ll find another monster-in-a-box and a Tent. Keep going north.
- Next screen. There’s another monster box (just assume they’re all monster boxes) with a Hi-Potion on your left, and beyond that a Green Beret, just beyond a cut scene. Another screen lies beyond. Head west from the entrance to find a chest containing a Metal Boomerang, then head north. You’ll find the exit - and a chest containing an Ether - in the northwest.
- There’s a chest to your right on the summit containing a Hi-Potion, and just north of it a save point. Cross the bridge to the west to find one final chest containing Shinobi Gear and a stone monument. Check the monument, then head back the way you came. Return to Mysidia and head to the tip of the continent to the left of town to end the scenario.
Cave of Eblan
- Once all four scenarios are completed, one way or another, you’ll be swapped back to Edge. Buy anything you think you’ll need in Eblan - you should have lots of money by now - then head west from the Castle to find the Cave of Eblan.
- B1. There’s a secret passage directly to the right of the entrance. Pop through the wall to find a Hi-Potion, then go through the wall beside this chest to find another containing an Ether. There’s a Silver Breastplate south of the entrance, Mythril Gloves in the middle of the area, and a Cottage in the far southeast corner. The exit is in the southwest corner.
- B2. The enemies disappear here abruptly. (Play FFIV if you don’t know what used to be here.) There’s a Rune Armlet to the west and 500 gil in the far west. Check the monument here before you leave.
- Beyond is the Path to the Tower of Babil. Check the chest right beside the entrance to find a Hi-Potion, then head north to find a chest containing a Manji Shuriken. Before going up the nearby stairs, dip south through the gap in the wall to find a secret path. This leads to a Hi-Potion. Grab it, then go up the stairs.
- The path splits in the next open area you reach. To the northwest you’ll find an Emergency Exit; to the north are Echo Herbs; to the south and through a secret wall on your right is a Dry Ether. head south from here.
- Head into the next room. You’ll find three chests on the next path containing an Ether, a Cottage, and a Hi-Potion, and you can pass through the wall on the right to reach a Hi-Potion and a Silver Apple. Follow the path far enough and you’ll find a Cottage, a Potion, a Remedy, and a Hi-Potion. Keep following the path northeast to return to the previous room.
- Just beyond the entrance is a door; inside is a save point. Use it, then head back outside and take the western path. You’ll find a Kogarasu up here. Return to the doorway and go north. There’s a chest through the wall on your left; pop through the rock directly adjacent to it to reach a Cottage. Continue north and you’ll be done with one dungeon… and off to another.
Tower of Babil
- B1. There’s an exit from the dungeon on your right. Use it if you’re really hurting. (Though you probably won’t be.) Go through the wall on your left. There’s a chest nearby containing a Hi-Potion. Loop around the room to the northwest and you’ll get into a fight against two Belphegors, and if Tsukinowa survived his scenario he’ll show up to help and join the party.
- Head south from here and you’ll find a Great Bow, and near the exit a Battle Axe. Before you hit the second chest you’ll get into a forced battle with two Flame Hounds, and Izayoi will join the party if she survived her scenario. Check the thin path to the right of the next door to find an Ether before proceeding to the next area.
- B2. There’s a chest to the left of the door containing a Manji Shuriken. Head counterclockwise around the edge of the room and you’ll get into a forced battle against three Proto Clockworks; Zangetsu will join the party during the fight. Check the island in the middle of the area for a Partisan. As you make your way west you’ll get into a battle with two Frosteasts, bringing Gekkou out to fight, assuming he survived. That’s everyone. (The Frostbeasts are pretty tough, so make sure you use Flame to kill them quickly.) Continue south to find a Hi-Potion and the exit.
- B3. There’s a door to the south leading to B4; before going through, go east to find an Ether. Through the door to B4 you can go east or west. Go west to find a chest containing a Kogarasu, then head east to find a winding path leading to a Tent - as well as back to B3. Head east to find two doors, one of which contains a save point and an exit, the other of which leads to another room.
- B5. There’s a Chain Whip at the end of the catwalk on the right, and a Hi-Potion in the far west. Approach the blue-haired girl on the central platform to trigger a battle with her and Ifrit. Hold it together for three turns - just stay healed - and the battle will end automatically.
- B8. Every battle from this point on is against Ifrit, and you can’t win. Just run. To the north of where you land you’ll find an Ether; to the south is a door to B7. Head north from the door to find a Phoenix Down and B6. Head south to find a split, then go right to find an Elixir. Return to the split and take a left this time. Go through the door at the end of the path to bring Edge’s Tale to a close.