I’ll preface this entire walkthrough by pointing out that Porom’s Tale is almost not worth doing. It’s difficult, it’s repetitive, it’s a bit tedious, and the ultimate rewards from her Challenge Dungeon are pretty negligible in the long run. It’s also a really annoying Challenge Dungeon, and rather boring to run several times in succession. Levelling Porom is the only real benefit you’ll get from completing the Tale. Consequently, if there are any Tales you wish to skip, this is one to choose.

If you do decide to undertake Porom’s Tale, don’t spend much time grinding. Lots of people come and go throughout the Tale, but, in the end, only Porom’s level matters to the end of The After Years.Run from the majority of the battles to get the Tale over with as quickly as possible.

Underground Waterway

- You’ll briefly dip into the past during this Tale. Chase Palom to the southwest corner of Mysidia, near the weapon / armour shop; then to the southeast corner of town, near the item shop; and then to the northeast, to the right of the entrance to the Devil’s Road.

- You’ll wind up near Kaipo. Visit Tellah’s grave in the north of town, then Anna’s beside his, then leave. Head northeast to the Waterway, back on the main map.

- The first thing to note here is the levelling. The levels you accumulate in this area won’t carry over for Palom or Porom - however, you still need to battle enough to survive the boss at the end. You can probably defeat the boss at level thirteen or fourteen without too much trouble anyway, so there’s no need to go crazy on levelling.

- Head north from the entrance to find Lightning Arrows and a Crossbow, a good weapon for Porom, then return to the entrance and go west. There’s a Tent in the southwest corner of the area. Go north, then, at the exit, head east along the bridges. Step into the water in the east to get at the chest in the northeast corner, then wander through the water to the southwest until you see a large waterfall. Go through the middle to find a hidden room containing a Hi-Potion, a Dry Ether, and a Phoenix Down. That done, return to the northwest.

- B2. Head north and into the water. The stairs to your left lead up to a Maiden’s Kiss. To the south the path splits again, back on dry land; head left to find an Ether. South leads to a save point. Head north to return to B2, then head east. Go north at the next split to find Gaia Gear and south into the water to find the exit.

- B3. Head southwest to find a split across several bridges. Head right and south to find a Tent and a Thunder Rod, then return to the split and go west.

- B2. Head north to find a Phoenix Down. To the left of the exit in the north is a hidden passage which wraps north and east to a chest containing Hermes Sandals.

- Head north in the next room. Chests on your left contain an Ether and a Maiden’s Kiss. Return to the main path and continue north, then east. After a quick cut scene you’ll be beside the exit. Go south to find a Unicorn Horn and a Cottage before leaving.

- Save on the world map, then enter the dungeon to the north. You’ll drop down a waterfall to B2. Climb back onto dry land and head south. There’s a brief split in the south that leads to an Ether and a Hi-Potion. The exit is further west.

- B1. There’s a Silver Armlet and Hermes Sandals to the east, and, in the northeast, a boss battle.

Cooler Mammoth

This battle’s a pain in the butt, and much worse than its counterpart in Final Fantasy IV. The Cooler Mammoth is accompanied by four Cooler Leeches, and together the five parts of the boss will wail on Palom and Porom repeatedly. Their constant assault of normal attacks and Blizzaras will quickly whittle the twins down to zero. The key here is to immediately Slow the entire enemy party with Porom at the beginning of the battle, then barrage your side of the fight with Protect and Curas while Palom hits the Cooler Mammoth with Fira. Repeat Fira and Cura over and over and you will win in relatively short order. You can further deaden the opposition’s attacks by casting Silence on the enemy, though you’ll have to reach level fifteen to learn the spell, and it’s not necessary to win anyway.

Try to avoid battling the Cooler Mammoth during a Waning Moon. You won’t need to physically attack the thing at all, and it will mash you if its attack strength is boosted.

Odds and Ends

- Time jump. You’re still playing as Palom and Porom, but now you’re in Mist. Pop into the town and have a look around. There’s a small clearing hidden in the trees to the southeast where you can find two Bomb Cranks, another Bomb Crank in the grass in the northeast corner, and, in the northern-most house, Rydia. She’ll join the party. Pop into her chimney and head east to find chests containing a Silver Hourglass, a Dry Ether, and a Cottage, then keep going south to find another passage that leads south to a Soma Drop. Return to the airship after purchasing whatever you need in the weapon and armour stores.

- Next to the Dwarven Castle. There’s a Hi-Potion, an Antidote (jar, second floor), a Unicorn Horn, a Bronze Hourglass, an Ether, and a Tent in the east tower; a Hi-Potion (jar, second floor), Spider Silk, Hermes Sandals, a Cottage, and a Dry Ether in the west tower (you need to move through a series of invisible hallways to reach the latter four); 1000 gil in a jar by the inn; and a Phoenix Down, a Hi-Potion, and Echo Herbs in the basement. Visit the king to trigger a cut scene, then return to the airship.

Passage of the Eidolons

- Once again, don’t bother levelling too much here. There’s little point.

- B1. There are Fire Arrows in a chest to the northeast of the entrance, and you can walk through the wall to the left of the chest to find an Ether. In the southeast you’ll find a Hi-Potion; the exit is in the southwest.

- B2. The path splits to the east. Go south to find a Hi-Potion, then north to another split. The left path leads to a Cottage; the right to a save point.

- B3. Go until the path leads you east. You can walk through the wall to your left and head south to find a chamber containing Hermes Sandals, a Sage’s Surplice, and a Decoy. Go back into the wall and keep going south, then east. The passage will eventually lead you to a chest containing a Hi-Potion. Go west two chambers to find Echo Herbs, then head back one passage and go north. You’ll hit a cut scene. Once it’s done, go through the wall on your right and head north to find a Dry Ether. That done, head back through the Passage and leave.

- Once you’re back on the surface, remove everything equipped to Palom and Rydia. They’re going to leave the party.

Mount Ordeals

- After a cut scene you’ll have control of Porom again, back in Mysidia. A Black Mage and a White Mage will join your party; they’re basically crappier versions of Palom and Porom. Equip them with the stuff you took from Palom and Rydia for a slight edge (and, you know, to save some of the money that you probably don’t have).

- Make the trip to Mount Ordeals to the east. You’re at a bit of an offensive disadvantage here since you have two White Mages and one Black Mage, but a lot of the monsters here are undead, so use that to your advantage when attacking. Use ice attacks on the ghosts and fire / curative on the skeletons and zombies. Don’t hold back on MP values, as this dungeon isn’t terribly long. You can start levelling a bit now, if you like, since all three of these characters will wind up in the Challenge Dungeon.

- Head north. There’s an Ether on your right as you ascend and a Psycho Spiral on the next rise. This area exits into one with no items. Keep going north.

- The path splits on the third screen. Take a left to find a Sage’s Miter, then return to the split and go north. There are Blinding Arrows just before you hit the exit, a short ways south.

- There’s a save point on the Summit. Cross the bridge in the north and you’ll find a stone monument in the west. Inspect it for a cut scene, then head back the way you came. Another cut scene will put Kain in your party. He’s probably a fair bit stronger than the rest of the party, and finally provides some physical hitting power to your team. Head back down the mountain.

- (If you want to level Porom, this is a good time. Kain can easily kill the ghosts while Porom heals away everything else. Kill the two Mages to amplify her experience. Just sayin’.)

- Return to Mysidia. You’ll find the town under attack by monsters. You can attack as many of the robed figures as you like, but the only one you have to fight at first is the purple-robed dude in the north. He’s a normal enemy - a Steel Golem - but he’s strong enough to almost qualify as a boss. The easy way to stop this guy is to, literally, cast Stop. Then Jump him until he goes down.

- Head into the Hall of Prayers and proceed to the Prayer Dais in the far north. There’s an actual boss fight waiting.

Blood Eye

This thing is easier than the Steel Golem you just beat, but not by a whole lot. The Blood Eye is capable of inflicting a range of status effects on your team, and can attack rather quickly to boot. Slow it down to start, then pelt it with Jump attack after Jump attack. Kain shouldn’t do anything besides Jump. The rest of your team should meanwhile heal their wounds, cure confusion or paralysis when they hit, or, if you feel confident of your health, use -ra level attack spells. The Blood Eye should only take a few turns to kill if Kain remains alive, but they’ll be a tense few rounds unless you cut down the Blood Eye’s speed.

- After the battle, leave the Hall of Prayers. You’ll get into one more fight - one you can’t possibly win, though it’s interesting to see the Elder battle, albeit briefly - and the Tale will end.