Their leader missing, the team pokes around the Earthbound Village in 12,000 BC
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Earthbound Village, 12,000 BC

- After a heart-wrenching awakening, your team will be short one rather crucial member. You can now form any team you like from the people left to you, and I highly suggest you put Ayla in your roster. You’ll see why shortly.

- 12,000 BC has been reduced to one tiny island. Have a quick look around the other huts in the Earthbound Village. One contains a Nu that will sell you basic items. Speak to the man beside the Nu and the Nu will wander out of the hut. Behind him is a Magic Capsule.

- Head for the Village Commons, the forest area near the huts. Speak to the elder in the north to trigger a cut scene. Hey, guess who else survived?

The team prepares to escape from the Blackbird, a massive warplane patrolling the skies of 12,000 BC

The Blackbird

- Sigh. You’ve been captured, and your items, money, weapons, armour and accessories stripped. You need to get all your stuff back and get off this lousy ship. So long as your teammates are unequipped they can’t fight, and if everyone is unequipped when you get into a battle, you’ll just get thrown back in jail. The sole exception to this is Ayla, who only requires her fists to fight. Having her on your team will allow you to forego sneaking around. (Though we’ll proceed assuming you don’t have Ayla.)

- First up: escape your cell. Check up the ladder to confirm where you are to start. You can then either knock on the door until you trick a guard into entering, thereby securing your release, or you can jump up into the vents by investigating the northern wall. We’ll go with the vents.

- Proceed northwest through the vents until you find a grating that’s just south of a ladder. Slide down the ladder and you’ll find a sleeping guard. Pop open the chest near the guard to find someone’s equipment, then head back up. Now you can fight.

- Head west and south to find a ladder, defeat the Byte in the next room, and head into the hallway. The next room to the south has three Daltonites guarding a chest. It contains your money.

- Back into the hallway. Head as far south as you can go, using the switch beside the moving track to get down there. On your left is a room containing two more Daltonites. They protect a chest containing another member’s equipment.

- Back to the hallway yet again. Head to the northeast corner of these corridors. You’ll find two Daltonites guarding a door. Take them out, then destroy the Byte inside to get at a chest. It contains the third set of equipment.

The team explores the corridors of the Blackbird in 12,000 BC, taking out enemies on their way to the left wing

- Hallway! Go through the door in the far north that’s protected by two Daltonites. Beyond is a second set of corridors. Through the door on your immediate left is a Byte, two Daltonites, and a chest containing your items. If you took a different route you can equip your unarmed characters at this point, though they won’t have what they were wearing when you were captured.

- One more trip into the hallway. Head to the northeast in these corridors and into the room protected by two Daltonites. Inside is a ladder. Climb into the vents and follow the darkened passages to the east to find a dead end. It’s home to a Magic Capsule.

- Return to the room where you found your inventory. In the back of it is a ladder leading up onto the Blackbird’s left wing. The wing is covered in Turrets that are quite similar to the Rubbles of the Mountain of Woe: they lock your Techs, they have high evasion, they will disappear after a few rounds, and they reward you with 100 TP if defeated. Yowza. Berserker Rings are recommended, as you won’t get a second chance at fighting these puppies.

- Make your way down and to the left along the wing. Eventually you’ll wind up near the bottom, and you’ll have to face…

Robo, Lucca, and Ayla take on the Golem Overlord, the easiest boss of 12,000 BC by far - and possibly the entire game

Golem Overlord

Sound intimidating? It’s not. The Golem Overlord is a pansy. He’s too scared to fight, and if you leave him to wallow he’ll just run away. This means you have a limited time to take him down, so if you reeeeally want the experience and TP, lay into him with your strongest attacks, no holds barred.

And once he’s dead / fled…

The team takes on King Dalton, the ill-fated ruler of 12,000 BC

King Dalton

Dalton’s a teensy bit more serious this time, but not to any great degree. In addition to his usual Iron Sphere attack Dalton uses a few non-elemental attacks, yielding fairly inconsequential amounts of damage, and a rather nifty reversal mechanic. Use a specific element on him and he’ll use the opposite back on you. For example, if you hit him with Fire Punch, he’d retaliate with Ice II. You can use this to your elemental advantage if you’re wearing the appropriate vests, but… to be honest, Dalton just isn’t strong enough to be worth the effort. Two or three powerful Dual or Triple Techs will take him down. So long as one character is healing the rest this will be an easy fight.

- Follow the prompts after Dalton goes down and, hey, the Epoch is yours. You’re free to fly the sucker all over the place. That said, there’s one more thing you have to do before you’re allowed to roam the world…