The beginning of the end! The first thing you’ll do here is import your information from every Tale you’ve completed up to this point. Any Tale that was not completed - or which you, for whatever reason, choose not to import - will have consequences for the end game, typically via lost party members, items, and opportunities for more items. We’ll get into these consequences more in a bit. Any items you’ve collected in the imported Tales will now be in your inventory, money remaining at the end of each Tale will be added together, and your characters will be at the same levels as they were when you last saved in their respective Tale. Good times.
During this Tale you’ll be fighting Rydia’s Eidolons. It is important for you not to inflict too much damage to these guys during your battles, and instead simply focus on survival. After a set number of rounds the Eidolons will come to their senses, and you’ll gain them as summons for Rydia.
You’ll step off the airship with a party of Luca, Rydia, Edge, and the ‘Man in Black’, who, c’mon, we’re just gonna call Golbez. Step into Baron to start and you can find items in the usual spots: a Phoenix Down outside the inn, a Small Tale in the well beside Cid’s house, a Hi-Potion beside the armour shop, an X-Potion and a Silver Hourglass in the southeast water, and a Cottage, Dry Ether, X-Potion, and Small Tail in the grass on the northwest side of town. There are soldiers wandering ‘round here who will fight you if you speak to them, but they’re really easy to kill. Talk to the Namingway by the entrance if you need to buy anything. Cid’s home is the only one that will open for you, but there’s nothing inside besides plot.
Return to the airship. You can now use it to fly pretty much anywhere in the world, which, compared to the majority of The After Years, is a significant amount of freedom. That said, a lot of areas have been completely blocked off. There’s still a lot to see and do nevertheless, so let’s get started…
… though before you go too far, look on the island juuuust east of Baron. There’s a Small Tail hidden in the area here represented by a single tree. As with Tails in other sections of the game, Small Tails will be useful for getting better items later in The After Years.
Head to Mist first, as it’s the closest location, to the north of Baron. You’ll hit a cut scene which reveals some of the point of this chapter, namely to free the Eidolons and put them back under Rydia’s command. Check the grassy plots in town for Bomb Cranks and a Bomb Core.
Once you’ve completed the tasks listed below - namely recruiting, or killing, Ramuh, the Sylphs, Ifrit, Shiva, and Titan - return to Mist. The fog will clear, and after a cut scene Rydia will gain the Dragon summon.
You’ll find both Yang and Ursula in Kaipo, in the usual house for sick people, and, yes, they’re both bedridden. You’ll have to find a way to cure them of their ails. The town has been overrun by Sylphs, as well, and they’ll attack you if approached, though they’re quite weak.
As a side note, the deserts around Kaipo are great for quick-levelling any characters who are lagging a little. Golbez can murder anything here with Quake, assuming you got him to level forty-two.
Located to the north of Kaipo, Damcyan has been overrun by Antlions. You can fight or ignore them as you prefer. Head to the throne room to find a cut scene, and Harley will hop onto the airship… though she won’t join the party. Boo.
There’s plenty of treasure in Damcyan. You’ll find a Decoy and a Bomb Core on the east side of the Castle, a Small Tail in Harley’s room in the west, and a Phoenix Down, an Emergency Exit, two Ethers, a Diamond Shield, three X-Potions, a Hi-Potion, a Blue Fang, a White Fang, and a Red Fang in the treasury on the east side of the Castle walls.
Located east of Damcyan, Fabul is also plagued by Sylphs. Come here after visiting Kaipo and head to the throne room for a cut scene. Sheila, Yang’s wife, will give you a Frying Pan and a Ladle. You can find a Phoenix Down, a Cottage, and a Decoy in the throne room’s secret door (right side of the throne), and an X-Potion in the pot to the left of the throne. You’ll also find a Cross, a Phoenix Down, a Bronze Hourglass, and Hermes Sandals in the west tower, and a Bacchus’s Wine and Hi-Potion in the east. At the top of the east tower you can find a Small Tail in the flower pot by the bed.
Take the Frying Pan and Ladle back to Kaipo and use them on Yang and Ursula. Neither of them will rejoin the party yet, but Rydia will gain the Sylphs as a summon. Huzzah!
This small island town on the eastern island chain hasn’t changed a whole lot, and the items you can buy are pretty much worthless. You can find a Heavenly Wrath and a Remedy in the grass behind the northern buildings, and a Cottage in the grass in the east.
Located southeast of Baron, Mysidia is pretty dead until you approach the Hall of Prayers. Doing so will cause Ramuh to attack Rydia. This is a ‘boss’ fight, but all Ramuh does is hit your party with a variety of lightning attacks, namely Thundara, Thundaga, Lightning Bolt, and Judgment Bolt, the latter of two are the only attacks you really need to fear. Last long enough and Ramuh will come to his senses and become a summon for Rydia. Porom’s inside the Hall of Prayers, and will join your collection of PCs on the airship.
You’ll find this small cave to the east of Mysidia, on a side island. (It’s literally the southeast cave on the map, though that’s difficult to tell if you never look at a map.) There’s a Small Tale in a box near the entrance and an Elixir in the back.
Located south of Baron, Agart is currently overrun by random monsters. Approach the well in the middle of town and you can descend into the Agart Subterrane, a small, simple ‘dungeon’ containing a Decoy, a Diamond Armlet, an Ogrekiller (down stairs to the right of the first set of stairs you’ll find), and, on the bottom floor, a… dead end. Shrug.
Head back to Agart and head north of the well. You’ll find a familiar face waiting, and then another, Titan, will challenge you to battle. It’s a fairly basic fight, as Titan can only hit you with physical attacks. Fight during any Moon Phase where physical attacks aren’t boosted and you shouldn’t have trouble outlasting Titan. Players familiar with Titan will probably feel the urge to cast Float, but don’t worry - you get covered for this halfway through. Beating Titan will earn you the same summon for Rydia.
Once the Mysterious Girl leaves Agart will be cleared of monsters, but you won’t be able to enter most of the buildings. Check in the northwest of town for a Gaia Drum, hidden in grass, and pop into the Observatory to find a Small Tail in a globe on the lower floor.
Located west of Baron, the town of Troia is fairly boring. You can find an Ether, a Dry Ether, a Decoy, and an X-Potion in the grassy clearing to the northwest, accessible via the water. You can also find a Small Tail in the alleyway beside the weapon and armour stores. The Castle is another matter; head to the Crystal Chamber and you’ll establish that everyone is frozen solid. You’ll then be directed northeast to the Lodestone Cavern.
The Cavern is the same as ever, though the magnetic field that mucks up metallic weapons and armour is gone, so don’t worry about that. Make your way through the dungeon as you ever have. There’s a Recovery Rod and a Unicorn Horn on B1, a Couerl Whisker, a Cottage, and Hermes Sandals on B2, a Silver Hourglass, a Diamond Helm, a Dry Ether, and a Cottage on B3, a Light Curtain, a Remedy, and a White Fang on B5 (accessible via an invisible path on the bridge on B4), and Diamond Gloves on B4. There’s also a Small Tail in the skeleton found by the Crystal Chamber at the end of the Cavern.
Save just outside the Crystal Chamber, as you’ll fight Shiva inside. Shiva is ridiculously weak to fire, and a few shots of Golbez’s Firaga will outright kill her (unlike most other Eidolons, which usually wake up before you can do enough damage anyway). Hit her with spells until Rydia says something, then go on the defensive and heal up until Shiva returns to normal and becomes a usable summon. Your team will then collect Palom and Leonora and stick them on the airship for later.
Grabbing Shiva will ‘unlock’ Troia Castle, allowing you to grab a Small Tail from the western moat’s dead end.
Located southwest of Troia, Eblan… is… on fire. No two ways about it. Head to the east tower to start and you’ll find a Melt Golem on the second floor; trash it with Blizzaga. Collect the Cottage, Bacchus’s Wine, and X-Potion from the chests near the Golem. There’s a similar Melt Golem in the western tower; go through the southern wall on the second floor and head east to reach it. You can find a Small Tale in the suit of armour near the Golem while you’re up here. If / when you run into Ifrit while wandering around the Castle, just run - you can’t beat him.
Eliminating the Golems will open the Castle proper. Head to the throne room to trigger two scripted battles, after which Rydia and Edge will learn the Inferno Band. Now you’ll have to fight Ifrit in earnest. He’s a powerful Eidolon, but he’s basically the same as the rest, just fire-based. Batter him with Blizzagas until he comes to his senses and becomes a summon. Once Ifrit is gone you can continue plundering the castle; there’s a Boltslicer and an Elixir in the west tower and a Red Fang, a Silent Bell, and a Remedy in the east.
In addition to Eblan itself you can enter the Cave of Eblan and wander around. Inside you’ll find a Remedy, an Ether, a Phoenix Down, an X-Potion, and a Hi-Potion on B1, a Spider Silk and a Phoenix Down on B2, a Phoenix Down, three Hi-Potions, a Spider Silk, an X-Potion, a Dry Ether, a Lilith’s Kiss, Hermes Sandals, a Vampire Kiss, a Bacchus’s Wine, two Ethers, a Cottage, a Mallet, a Potion, and a Black Cowl, all in the cumulative Path to Tower of Babil.
At the very end, just before the (sealed) entrance to the Tower of Babil, you’ll hit a cut scene that’ll force you to fight a Marquis Malboro; you can kill it easily enough by using a Spider Silk to slow it, then pepper it with only physical attacks, as it will Reflect itself. This will earn you a Kiku-ichimonji.
In the second section of the Path to Tower of Babil you’ll find a Tail Collector who will trade you for the Small Tails found in this chapter; fourteen Small Tails will net you a Rainbow Tail, while seven will net you any of the other coloured Tails. You can find enough Tails in this chapter for one Rainbow Tail and one other Tail or three of any other Tail.
Though most of the areas on the world map have been closed, there are a few new locations you can find by flying around. They’re often represented as yellow spots on the map, usually surrounded by three or four normal craters, though not always. They’re in the following locations:
- Northwest of Baron - Small Tail (hidden in the grass)
- South of Kaipo - Small Tail (location is in the middle of three craters in the desert; item is in a stone block)
- Southeast of Kaipo - Monster-in-a-box; drops a Black Belt Gi (location is in a light patch of grass on the southeastern edge of the continent - can also find a Small Tail in one of the stones here)
- East of Damcyan - Small Tail (check the large crater near the Castle, and the skeleton in the mini map)
- East of Mount Hobs - Faerie Rod (can also find a Small Tail by walking through the trees to the right of the chest and searching the bus to the south)
- Southeast of Fabul - Small Tail (check the bush in the rear)
- Southwest of Mount Ordeals - Monster-in-a-box; drops a Ribbon
- Southeast of Mount Ordeals - Elixir (in a cave)
- South of Troia - Monster-in-a-box; drops a Mage Masher
- East of Troia - Small Tail (in an eastern bush)
- North of Troia - Ice Whip (go through the trees on the right side of the clearing; also a Small Tail hidden here, in a bush to the left)
- North of Eblan - Small Tail (represented as a small tree - the Tail is hidden in the grass)
- East of Eblan - Small Tail (another small tree on the map)
- East of Agart - Diamond Armor (yet another small tree)
Return to Baron
Head back to the centre of trouble once you’ve saved the Eidolons across the world. (This includes the Mist Dragon of Mist, as well, so don’t forget to go there.) The haze covering Baron Castle will lift, allowing your team to enter. After a scripted fight and a bunch of dialogue your team will get shuffled around, and you’ll have to fight the real boss.
Yes, another one. They’re oddly satisfying to battle, however. This Mysterious Girl is similar to her kin in that she primarily uses black magic - hell, she only uses black magic - but she doesn’t have a summon to fall back on, unlike the others. Consequently, her black magic is a lot more painful than it would normally be.
Your team now consists of Golbez, Rosa, Ceodore, Rydia, and Edge. If you have a way of casting Reflect with Rosa (namely by hitting level forty beforehand, presumably in Kain’s Tale) you can do so on your entire team, one at a time, and render the Girl’s attacks harmless. If not, Rosa might have a bit of trouble keeping up with the Girl’s damage output. I recommend putting either Ceodore or Rydia on item-based healing duty while everyone else wails on the Girl. She’s not that hard, but you don’t want to take more than two hits from her without healing. Shell and Slow, as ever, make this fight much easier.
Be warned! Though most of the time the Mysterious Girl uses black magic, she will, once you get halfway through, start pulling out more powerful all-hitting attacks. First comes Leviathan; then Bahamut; then Meteor. They’re all quite strong, though so long as everyone’s above 1,000 hp and has Shell cast they should be okay. Slow will, again, make your life substantially easier.