In the center of the Sea of Corsairs is a massive ship. This watercraft is called the Grandship, a tiny nation state floating on water. Ringabel decides to visit it, despite Agnes and Airy's protests.
- 1 Grandship, The Sinking State
- 2 House by the Sea
- 3 Eisen Bridge
- 4 Hartschild, Town of Shieldbearers
- 5 Sub-scenario: The live captain of a ghost ship
- 6 Grapp's Keep
- 7 Sub-scenario: The diva of the battlefield
- 8 Mythril Mines
- 9 Starkfort, Lair of the Swordbearers
- 10 Sub-scenario: Cleansing the toxin forever
- 11 The fire vestal's message
- 12 Underflow
- 13 Temple of Fire
- 14 Sub-scenario: Master and disciple
- 15 Egil's new home
- 16 Sub-scenario: Murder mystery at Goodman's
- 17 Grandship's crisis
- 18 Engine Room
- 19 Grandship soars
Grandship, The Sinking State
Upon boarding the Grandship, you will be greeted by the proprietress of the tavern onboard, the Drunken Pig. She asks you to search for a boy called Zatz on the Grandship. Before you do so, go down and inspect the bottom-right corner of the area for an Antartic Wind. After that, head north and check the grid gate for 1000 pg. Now, move through the arch at the top to enter the Grandship's marketplace.
You can find all of the standard town amenities here, as well as a short bucktoothed boy. Upon talking to him, he confirms he is Zatz and goes off to meet the proprietress. Search the mailbox of the item shop to get an X-Potion. The shops here don't have much to offer. The armory has several interesting items to offer, but their selection is limited. You can buy any of the scrolls you've missed on Florem here too.
Back on the Upper Deck, go into the tavern. First, go up the stairs and inspect the lamp to get a Flame Charm. Next, go to the west end of the room where the barrels of wine are stored. Search around there to find Bacchus's Wine. Now go to the counter and talk to Zatz.
It turns out that he is from Eisenberg, a land torn apart by civil war. He is part of the Shieldbearers, a group that traditionally protected Eisenberg in the past, and is fighting against the Swordbearers. Despite their lesser numbers, the Swordbearers are assisted by skilled mercenaries from Eternia: the Black Blades. He also says that the vestal of fire was assassinated by the Swordbearers, and the Temple of Fire is blocked off by lava from a nearby volcano's eruption as a result. After learning about your destination, Zatz offers to help guide you to Eisenberg.
|Viking Axe||4800||Hermes Sandals||5000||Viking Coat||3000|
|Rod of Ice||3800||Artisan Gloves||2500|
|Iron Pole||3000||Earthing Rod||2000|
House by the Sea
Simply go north from the Grandship, past a narrow channel, and you should see a small wooden house. There, you will meet Datz, who mentions an attack by a swordmaster. Zatz asks you to talk to the commander of the Shieldbearers in the hope that you will join. From the House by the Sea, start by going south. Along the way, you'll be attacked by Kamiizumi, commander of the Black Blades and Edea's teacher. As he confronts the group, he is notified of the Swordbearers' withdrawal and leaves to aid them.
During your travels in Eisenberg, watch out for the Valtora which can reduce your health down to 1 HP with Chomp, Deathstalkers that can summon two more of their kind with Pheromone Plus, and Soil Eaters that can attack the whole party with Earthquake. At night, you may also encounter Ghosts that can use Curse to lower your physical stats. Continue west and north until you see a tower atop a mound of dirt. Enter it.
You'll arrive at Eisen Bridge, the center of the conflict, and meet with Commander Daniel Goodman. As the Shieldbearers are devout Crystalists, he offers to help the vestal however he can, but laments that they have no way to reach the Temple of Fire. He directs you to Hartschild to the west, where his residence is.
Hartschild, Town of Shieldbearers
As you continue west, you'll notice a coast at the southern end of the continent. You can dock the Eschalot here as well in the future, which is useful as it is much closer to town. Go to the building at the center to enter. Inside, Goodman's wife Eleanor will greet you. She has prepared a feast for the group, but Ringabel runs off, apparently distracted by an attractive girl. Meanwhile, at the Council of Six, Alternis Dim has a brief argument with Victoria, and becomes wounded by her magic.
Back at Hartschild, Ringabel returns wounded from his pursuit. The next morning, the group discusses about the possible ways to reach the Temple of Fire. With no way to get to the temple other than by air, and with the Earth Crystal in Eternia surrounded by impassable mountains, it seems that your adventure has ground to a halt. At this point, Tiz suggests helping the Shieldbearers for the time being. Go back inside Goodman Residence and take a look around. Inspect the closest corner left of the entrance to find a Gale Hairpin. Then, inspect the top-right corner of the room Eleanor is in to find a Kunai.
It's time to explore around Hartchild before setting off. There are new level 4 White Magic and level 3 Time Magic available to you here, but they can be a bit costly. As for the armory, you'll find a poor selection of weapons, but an impressive collection of charms in the accessories department, all of which give you elemental resistances. There are also some items that raises your Mind stat, good for healers and defensive characters in general. Finally, inspect the barrels below the items shop to get an Elixir, an awesome but rare restorative item.
Return to Eisen Bridge and talk to Daniel Goodman. Datz tells Goodman about their new allies, and returns to Zatz at the wooden house. Goodman is happy you're helping, and gives you the mission to scout out Grapp's Keep. The keep is near East City, a settlement where hundreds of thousands of Shieldbearers were killed by a toxic mist. He hopes to find out about the nature of the mist, as well as a possible cure. The keep is northeast of here, and the eastern gate will now be open to you.
|Force Armlets||2500||Large Shield||2500||Defender||5000|
|Flame Charm||3000||Orichalcum Helm||1500||Halberd||4500|
|Ice Charm||3000||Holy Miter||1000||Main-Gauche||3500|
|Thunder Charm||3000||Black Cowl||1200|
|Wind Charm||3000||Orichalcum Mail||5000|
|Earth Charm||3000||White Robe||4000|
Sub-scenario: The live captain of a ghost ship
Back at the House by the Sea, Zatz will tell you about a curious ghost ship witnessed travelling around the waters east of Eisenberg, and asks you to investigate. Hop into the Eschalot and head back into the Sea of Corsairs. Your objective is to look for a thick cloud of fog which only appears at night, with no quest marker pointing to its position. You'll just have to search the general area east of the Eisenberg continent or south of Caldisla. When you enter the fog, you'll be given the option to board the ghost ship or let it pass.
SS Funky Francisca
This decrepit ship is staffed by the spirits of its perished crew--with one exception. You're greeted by Hayreddin Barbarossa, leader of the Black Blades' naval forces. Before you go talk to him, take your time exploring the ship. Go to the western end of the ship to find 2000 pg, then inspect the pile of loot near the mast for a Viking Axe.
Boss: Hayreddin Barbarossa
Captain Barbarossa is standing in for the actual, dead captain of the ship, and sails around the Sea of Corsairs helping the captain in his search. He is pretty carefree despite being an enemy, and simply wishes to fight you for the thrill of it. It's time for an asterisk battle!
Barbarossa is the bearer of the Pirate asterisk, and is a purely physical attacker. His normal attacks are strong enough, but he can also debuff your party with Shell Split, which lowers your P.Def, and Defang, which lowers your P.Atk. He can also use Double Damage for an extra strong strike. Barbarossa is quite fond of using Braves for high damage offensives, often using Shell Split followed by Double Damage to heavily wound a party member. He has an elemental weakness to lightning magic.
Compared to some of the bosses you've faced before, Barbarossa is surprisingly simplistic. The main threat comes from his highly powerful attacks, so sufficient armor and healing should sustain your party for the whole fight. Barbarossa's careless Braves often leave him with a few turns vulnerable. If you can anticipate his Brave combos and Default on that turn, you're free to do whatever you want on while he is recovering from negative BP. Continuously exploit these BP openings and you will defeat the hearty captain without much trouble.
Barbarossa gives you the Pirate asterisk, a straightforward, physically-oriented job that can deal high damage with normal attacks and inflict debuffs while dealing damage. You'll also get the Captain's Log added to D's Journal, which details about the former captain, Suleiman's search for Susano-o and Barbarossa's efforts to complete his quest.
Grapp's Keep is a long walk away from the Eisen Bridge. From the guardpost, follow the road north and east, travelling between a short valley, until you arrive at the keep on a hill. The gimmick of this dungeon is a lot of levers. There are plenty of gates here that block your passage, and you must seek out the lever to find a way to proceed. This place is crawling with undead with strong attacks. In particular, Zombie Knights can inflict Paralyze status and Bone Hunters can Poison you. Fortunately, all of these enemies are weak to both fire magic and curative magic like Cura, so your healers can help out with killing enemies.
From the entrance, head east and go north. Go into the western path when you can to enter small chamber. Pull the lever here to cause a gate to open at the other side of the wall. Backtrack to the entrance and go north, and you will trigger a cutscene with the ghosts of the perished soldiers. Perhaps you can find out more about the mist by seeking them out. Go west and around the bend to find an X-Potion. Head through the newly-opened gate and up the steps there.
Go south for 2000 pg from the chest, then pull the lever to cause the gate to the east to open. Head north and go downstairs. Pull the lever in this room, head up, then take the southern staircase on the 2nd floor. When you return to the starting area, you can now head north through another door to find two chests. One of them is locked, but the other contains a Turbo Ether. Make your way back to the start and go straight north, then go up the steps to view another cutscene. Travel down the northern path to be presented with two staircases. Go down a floor for a chest containing a Glaive. Go up to the 3rd floor and another apparition will talk to you about the mist.
Head south down the western path. You'll overhear a conversation between Qada, the chemist that unleashed the toxic mist, and Commander Kamiizumi. It appears that there is a master sample of the toxin hidden here, so your new objective is to obtain it. Keep heading south to reach a dead end with a Rebuff Locket. After that, travel down the eastern passage to reach some stairs leading down. Hug the east wall and move south to enter a secret hallway. Go west to reach a chest containing an Elixir. Now head down the steps.
First things first, travel down the western hallway to the end to find a lever. Pull the lever to open the gate east of you. North of the steps, go east and south into the branching path to find a chest containing a Bomb Fragment. Head north and go west into another branching path for a Bacchus's Wine inside a chest. Head down the stairs and pull the lever to open a shortcut back to the starting area. Return to the entrance and go up the stairs directly in front of you again, then move south through the gate. Go up the steps and make your preparations with the Adventurer. Head into the room and grab the sparkling object.
Taking the toxin sample triggers the keep's security system, and you're attacked by three Automatons! The Automatons main attack is Rocket Punch, which hits your whole party at once. Several consevutive Rocket Punches can potentially wipe out your whole team, so be very careful. The Automatons will also use Limiter Rescission to increase their P.Atk at the cost of P.Def. Finally, they will occasionally use Self-Repair to replenish some HP. As metallic machines, the Automatons are quite vulnerable to lightning magic.
The Automatons are powerful and beefy, but they don't have any tricks beyond Rocket Punching you into oblivion. As long as you have a healthy healer, your party should be able to sponge the Rocket Punches without a problem. Despite this, it is still highly advisable that you use a focus fire strategy to defeat the Automatons one by one, as one less machine capable of Rocket Punching means more chances of survival. Use Thundara liberally whether you're targeting one Automaton or all of them, as they are weak to lightning. A skilled Thief can steal Pantheon's Wrath which deals lightning damage to all three of them, making this fight last shorter.
With the sample in hand, leave the keep and return to Eisen Bridge. Instead of researching the sample for a cure, Goodman promises to follow Agnes's advice and destroy it instead. Just then, the base is suddenly attacked by the Swordbearers, and they seem to have the upper hand. Goodman explains that they are using Mythril from a nearby mine. The Shieldbearers tried to retake it, but the Swordbearers used the child slaves, known as "canary boys", as a human shield. Perhaps a smaller party like yours would be able to rescue the children while the Shieldbearers retake the mine.
Sub-scenario: The diva of the battlefield
At Eisen Bridge, talk to the commander and choose the "Who's that?" dialogue option. Goodman says that the teenage girl on the bridge is part of the Black Blades, whose songs adversely affects the Shieldbearers' soldiers. Her name is Praline a la Mode, and she calls herself the diva of the battlefield. Trying to approach her on the bridge is ineffective, as the performer is surrounded by soldiers. You'll need to find a way to shut her up.
Following the trail of Arca Pellar
Return to the Grandship and enter the Drunken Pig. When you talk to the Proprietress, she mentions that a bard called Arca Pellar, who taught the people on the Grandship to drown out a siren with song a long time ago. The bard left the Grandship and travelled to worlds unknown, but she tells you to ask the elders in the tavern. Go and talk to the old men at the center of the tavern. One of them tells you that Arca Pellar has 3 disciples, and that one of them lives in Ancheim.
Head back to Ancheim and go to the front of the giant clock. The first disciple can be found here, and tells you the second of the bard's pupils lives in Caldisla. Return to your starting town and talk to the woman south of the spell shop. She says that the last student lives in Florem. Travel to Florem and go to the stage in the plaza. The man standing there is the final disciple, and says the bard spent his final days in Hartschild. Upon reaching Hartschild, talk to the woman next to the fountain. The bard is dead, but he taught the whole town to sing. She also says the bard's belongings were sent to the Grandship. Finally, return to the Grandship's tavern and talk to the Proprietress to get Arca Pellar's baton.
Boss: Praline a la Mode
At Eisen Bridge, talk to Goodman and choose to challenge Praline one more time. With the musical wisdom left by the bard, the song of the Shieldbearers drown out Praline's own songs. No longer the center of attention, Praline is angered and confronts you in an asterisk battle!
As a performer, Praline plays more of a support role with her songs. In fact, the true danger comes from her bodyguards, who will constantly be powered up. The Black Blade causes confusion with Edge of Madness, while the Black Axefighter can use Shell Split to lower your P.Def. Praline herself mainly uses Love Power to strengthen her allies, granting them increased P.Atk. She can also use One More For You to increase a bodyguard's BP. If you defeat both of her assistants, she can quickly summon new ones with Bodyguards.
First and foremost, you need to have a good form of crowd control to limit the damage from the Black Blade goons. Praline will not summon more bodyguards if you don't kill both of them, so a lasting way to reduce the enemy's threat level is by killing one early on, then keeping the other disabled through Sleep or Stop. Dispel is also incredibly handy, as it lets you remove the effects of Love Power with ease. If you can subdue her bodyguards, the only danger from Praline is a Love Power-boosted melee attack, which is still fairly strong but easy to defend against. Disable her bodyguards then dispel her song effects, and victory will soon be yours.
Praline gives you the Performer asterisk! Performers can buff the whole party through the power of song, making them great supporters if you can manage your MP well. Praline herself decides to give up her position in the Black Blades and live as an ordinary girl from then on.
The Mythril Mines can be found by following the road north and west from the west gate. Go inside the cave to enter the mines. Upon arrival, you'll bump into one of the canary boys. He tells you that there are currently nineteen boys on duty, so that makes eighteen remaining that need to be rescued. However, you'll be spotted by one of the Black Blades. As a lone regular enemy, you should have no trouble defeating him quickly.
Throughout this dungeon, you must fight the few Black Blade guards to free more of the canary boys. The normal Black Blades can cause Confusion with Edge of Madness, the Black Pikemen can Counter every one of your physical attacks, while the Black Axefighter lowers your P.Def with Shell Split. As they are all fought alone, they are pretty easy to deal with. You'll also randomly encounter other enemies. Mythril Shells are the strongest foe you'll find here. They fight like the Land Turtle boss in Mount Fragmentum, using powerful Spin Attacks to strike you. Carbuncles and Succubi also appear, the former capable of healing and casting Aeroga, while the latter can Charm you with Entice.
From the entrance, head west until you reach a dead end to initiate a battle with the guard. You'll free 2 children, and get an X-Potion from the chest! Go to the center of the passage and move south, then east into the narrow path. You'll have to fight another guard at the end to rescue another pair of canary boys. Head down the west path now until you reach a central hub with the stairs. Go into the northwestern path to fight another guard and rescue two more boys, then head down the southwestern path for a chest containing an Earth Drum. Walk to the end of the southeastern path for one more guard battle, rescuing all the children on this floor. Use the steps to head deeper into the mine.
This room is a large loop, so you can choose to free the children by going clockwise or counter-clockwise around the floor. Travel west, then turn around and into the narrow path south to fight a guard and rescue two children. Follow the path to the northern end of the room, where an Adventurer is stationed for resupplying. Move into the small alcove to the south for another guard battle. Head east and enter the branch into the center of the floor. Here, take the northern path to find a chest containing 1000 pg, then take the southern path for another guard battle. Back on the main loop, travel south a bit more and go north into the branching path. You'll find the final guard and the last two children in here, as well as a chest containing a Turbo Ether. Now it's time to escape and let the Shiedbearers retake the mine!
Outside, one of the canary boys says that one more child called Egil was taken to the Shieldbearers' headquarters at Starkfort. Tiz is very eager to go rescue him, and plans to storm straight into the fortress!
Starkfort, Lair of the Swordbearers
Starkfort is at the northern tip of the continent, a stronghold with a large inverted pyramid on top. Outside the fortress, you can find a shopkeeper with a nice selection of items, including level 4 Black and Time Magic. There is also an Adventurer here. From the entrance, go into the cranny at the left side of the rocky path and inspect it for an Earth Drum. Next, go west into the narrow path west of the Adventurer to find a Stardust at the end.
|Spiked Shield||3700||Zweihander||7500||Giant's Gloves||1500|
|Mage's Hat||1500||Battle Mace||4800||Power Bracers||4000|
|Black Robe||6000||Hammer Knuckles||4200|
Despite being the main base of the Swordbearers, Starkfort isn't any more dangerous than your average dungeon. The enemies here are mainly Black Blade lackeys which you've already encountered back in the mines. However, there are also groups of Hellhounds here. Hellhounds can use Snap to deal damage and make other enemies focus on the victim. At the entrance hall, search the west end for a chest containing 500 pg, then get a Hi-Potion from an alcove to the east.
Progressing further down the hallway, Ringabel will talk about the layout of the fort. The war room up north is blocked while the section to the west is labeled "Poison", so Egil is most likely being held in the eastern section. Go up the stairs and move straight south to find an Ice Brand. Next, follow the wider path around a corner to find Egil lying on the floor. He says something about wanting to meet the fire vestal before passing out. You should certainly hear him out, but you'll need to take him back to Hartschild to rest first.
Sub-scenario: Cleansing the toxin forever
As you may recall from Ringabel's journal, the stairs at the west end of first floor leads to an area called "Poison". Take the stairs to end up in a small hall. Head into the branching path to find a chest containing 1000 pg, then travel down the main hallway to find the Adventurer.
When you've made your preparations, head to the third floor and go east to find Qada. He is quite displeased with losing his toxin sample, and plans to cook up something deadlier. You must defeat Qada in an asterisk battle to put a stop to his inhumane ways!
Qada has some deadly tricks up his sleeve, and he is capable of ridding one of your characters within a turn. Qada usually starts with Water of Life, which lets him regenerate 1200 HP per turn. Qada will also often use Poison Hi-Potion to deal a consistent 1000 damage regardless of your defense, and even has a chance of Poisoning you! When you see Qada Default, brace yourself for his lethal Brave combo. He will use Dark Breath followed by several Poison Hi-Potions or physical attacks. Dark Breath deals damage equal to Qada's lost health, meaning an instant KO after the first few turns.
Before the battle, you might want to invest in some Star Pendants for their Poison immunity. When fighting Qada, ignore any allied defense modifiers you have, as Qada's abilities all deal fixed damage, and he rarely uses normal attacks. This includes defense-lowering abilities, so something like the Knight's Stomp is actually quite safe to use. Be sure to have plenty of healing available to counteract Qada's extreme damage, and many Phoenix Downs for the inevitable KOs from Dark Breath. The White Mage's Dispel spell is also invaluable for nullifying Qada's Water of Life, making it much easier to wear him down. As long as your healers can keep up with Qada's attacks, you'll eventually defeat this evil alchemist.
After the battle, you'll get the Salve-Maker asterisk! Salve-Makers have a big focus on items, using Compounding to combine different items and materials for a variety of effects. They are also a great healing class. You'll find that a new section is added to the encyclopedia of D's Journal, which contains a record of every Compounding item you've created so far and their recipes.
Once the party leaves Starkfort, Qada gets back up, having faked his death using his own concoction. He has great plans to defeat the Duchy and rule over the world, but is literally cut short by a quick stroke from Kamiizumi.
The fire vestal's message
Back at Hartschild, Egil says he needs to go to the fire vestal by using a secret passage inside the Mythril Mines. Tiz manages to convince him to stay at Hartschild, while Airy gets the location of the passage from questioning Egil. However, when you arrive at the Mythril Mines, you'll find Egil being chased by several Black Blades. You must fight one of each type of Black Blade thugs to save Egil. Looks like you'll need him by your side after all. Head to the Adventurer in the lower floor of the mines. Egil will open up the way forward. Prepare to venture into the scorching heat of the Underflow!
There is a rather nasty hazard in the Underflow, and that is the burning ground. Burnt patches of rock will periodically glow red hot. Stepping on them at this time will result in you taking damage. If you don't want to wait around for the ground to cool off, consider equipping the Dungeon Master support command to make exploration smoother. You'll find Flare Lanterns that can Silence and damage your whole party at once with Book Burning, as well as Red Flans that cast Fira and Poison you with Venom. Zombie Minotaurs also appear, using Berserk to increase their P.Atk and attack you mercilessly. Later on, you'll find Magicians that can cast Blind and Curse on the whole party, Demons with a deadly Doom ability and Inferno Golems with a Red Hot physical counter.
At the entrance, you'll find your path to the west blocked by a massive boulder. You have no choice but to go north. Follow the linear path until you reach a branching path. Go south into it to find 1000 pg in the chest. Continue down the path and go east when you reach a junction. You'll be presented with a choice of three paths. The path southwest contains a chest with a Bomb Fragment, and you can find a stronger Bomb Arm by continuing down the path to the east. When you're done, move deeper into the dungeon using the stairs at the western end of the floor.
Go west from the stairs. When you see a path branching south, you may brave the corridor of burning floor to reach a split path. Take the eastern route to find a chest containing 2000 pg. Back up north, head west and continue to a dead end to find a Safety Ring. Backtrack to a junction you've passed on your way here and go south to reach the steps upward.
As you head north to the chest, you'll get a mean surprise. The floor in front of you will crumble and collapse into the lava. You'll find many more of these unstable floors. They won't harm you, but they often appear right before a tantalizing chest, forcing you to take the long way around to get them. For now, ignore any branching paths and go southwest. Continue south at the junction to reach a chest containing an X-Potion. Head west to trigger a cutscene. After that, go north. Travel east at the split path and continue southeast to find a chest containing a Flame Charm. Continue down the eastern path to finally reach the chest you've seen since the start, which contains a Turbo Ether inside. Back at the path leading north, continue north to find the steps leading down.
This is the largest floor yet in this sprawling dungeon. Head south down a narrow pathway and go west when the path splits to find a Diamond Staff inside the chest. Back on the main path, head into the western half of the room. When the path splits, move to the east and head south. Continue east and head north at the branching path to find a chest containing a Flare Hatchet. Now head west, then north up a new pathway. You will find a Gale Bow at the dead end. Go south back to the intersection, then go west to find the stairs downward.
You're close to the Temple of Fire! Now all that's left is to hop across a series of rocky platforms. However, as you do, a tremor strikes and the platforms start collapsing. Egil almost falls off the platforms, but the whole party gets together in time to save him, and themselves, from plummeting into the lava below. After the cutscene, go north to find the entrance into the Temple of Fire. If you continue west, you'll return to the area before the collapsed platforms. Go south some more and you'll end up back at the first section of the Underflow. It seems like the tremors have destroyed the boulder previously blocking your path, opening up a massive shortcut through the Underflow straight to the temple!
Temple of Fire
The Temple of Fire has an identical layout to the other temples, but it is also ransacked and partially destroyed just like the Temple of Wind. Don't let your guard down, as there are still some powerful Underflow enemies lurking here. You can head straight for the altar to awaken the crystal, but it's worthwhile to explore the rest of the temple first for some great items. If you investigate the three large rooms, you'll discover that the Temple of Fire was likely damaged by other humans instead of monsters.
Head into the narrow corridor to the west and go south to find the fire-infused Flametongue inside the chest. After that, go east. Keep going east to the end of the hallway to get an Iceflame Shield. It completely blocks water and fire damage, but unfortunately won't help against the upcoming boss. At the northeastern part of the temple are two chests containing an X-Potion and a Turbo Ether respectively. Finally, as you return to the center hall, enter the northwestern narrow corridor and head to the southern end. Move west through the false wall, then move south to a chest containing an Elixir.
Entering the altar, a familiar ominous air can be felt. It seems like another monster has consumed the crystal. You've fought two of these baddies before, and you'll need to slay this creature if you want to awaken the crystal. Begin the fight with Chaugmar, the Mark of Doom!
Chaugmar is an unorthodox boss that has some nasty surprises in its arsenal. Immediately from the start of the battle, you'll find that your attacks barely scratch this giant brain. In fact, while it is surrounded by an energy barrier, it has 9999 defenses across the board, so you can give up hope of damaging it while it's in this state. After three turns protected by the barrier, it will open its eye and use Transform on the fourth turn, lowering its defense to much more manageable levels. This is not yet the your opportunity to strike, as it will use Energy Burst the following turn to deal massive damage to your whole party. After one more turn exposed, it will once again return into its defensive state. In either state, Chaugmar can use Blood Suck to absorb a single target's HP, a spell that drains much of a single target's MP, and Heart Suck which steals 2 BP from one target. Usually after a Heart Suck, it will follow-up with multiple consecutive Blood Sucks which can critically wound a party member.
Chaugmar is a very tricky boss, and can very easily wipe out an unprepared party. While it is protected by the barrier, don't bother attacking and instead use the turns to set up buffs or debuffs, build BP with Default as well as to keep your party healthy after Blood Suck. Moves that deal fixed damage can break through Chaugmar's guard, with the Thief's Godspeed Strike being one of your strongest options at this point in the game. After Chaugmar transforms, have the whole party Default to survive Energy Burst, then heal off the damage the next turn. The turn after Energy Burst is your big opening to attack it, so unleash your stored BP with Brave attacks to wear it down. Chaugmar is weak to lightning magic, so Thundara from a Black Mage or Spell Fencer as well as the Zeus's Wrath or Pantheon's Wrath items are especially handy for wearing it down. Once you get a grasp of its attack pattern, it's only a matter of time before Chaugmar is slain.
With Chaugmar out of the way, the awakening ritual begins. As always, you must simply mash until Airy tells you to stop. With the Fire Crystal awakened, you are one step closer to fixing the Great Chasm! Your support command slots will also increase by 1, so take some time to rearrange and fine tune your characters' abilities.
You'll automatically end up back in the Mythril Mines. With the Fire Crystal restored, it seems that all the Mythril Ore created by volcanic activity has gone as well. Go to Eisen Bridge to report the good news to Commander Goodman. Without Mythril, the Swordbearers no longer have their strongest weapon, and the tide of battle is finally shifting. Goodman promises to let all of the freed canary boys live a new life in Hartschild.
Sub-scenario: Master and disciple
Now that all the Mythril has disappeared, the Swordbearers are forced onto the defensive. If you head back to Starkfort, you'll find the previously locked northern entrance open. There's a huge part of Starkfort you have yet to explore, so head on up the stairs!
Starkfort Interior (cont.)
This area was teased during your previous visits, but now you can finally get contents of the chests here. One of the chests are locked, but you can get the other three, which will net you an Ice Charm, Bacchus's Wine and a Dragon Fang. Head up the stairs once more. You'll begin to encounter Fire D.Gon here, which possess Fiery Breath to strike the whole party.
This third floor has a simple layout. Head north, then east to the end of the hallway to find an X-Potion. Head to the opposite end of the hallway and go south down the false wall of the western chamber. Travel to the end to get a Safety Ring from the hidden chest. Now go north using either pathway. There are two stairs leading up at the north end of the floor. Take the west one first, then go south along the winding path to find steps leading back to the floor below. You'll end up in a secluded room containing a Courage Ring. Backtrack to the north end of 3F then take the stairs to the east to progress.
Follow this winding path as well. Head down the branching path halfway through to find a Kunai from the chest. At the end of the path, head up the stairs. You'll overhear Commander Kamiizumi talking to the leader of the Swordbearers, who has decided to flee by stealing Kamiizumi's airship. Looks like the war is going poorly for the Swordbearers. After the scene, head east and down the steps to find a Turbo Ether. Back on the fourth floor, take the west path up and get the Power Bracers from the chest on your way. Save with the Adventurer, then venture upstairs.
Boss: Commander Nobutsuna Kamiizumi
At the Swordbearers' war room, Edea confronts her former master. Nobutsuna berates Edea for betraying the Duchy of Eternia, and ridicules her black and white view on morality. Edea and Kamiizumi's conflicting views force them right into an asterisk battle!
Being a master swordsman, Kamiizumi is a very cautious and tactical boss. He has three separate counter abilities: Nothing Ventured, Before Swine, and Know Thine Enemy. Nothing Ventured reduces damage and counters upon being hit by a physical attack, while Before Swine counters and reduces damage from a magical attack. Know Thine Enemy is an especially strong counter against a specific member of your party. If Kamiizumi kills a character with his counters, he will press the attack next turn by Braving and attacking three times. Once Kamiizumi's health drops low enough, he will start doing Brave attacks more spontaneously.
Kamiizumi requires a bit of guesswork and luck, since you never know which counter he will pull out at the start of battle. Fighting a cautious boss requires a cautious strategy. Gradually chip him down with incremental damage from singular attacks; you don't want him to strike down multiple party members in one turn. Once one of your attacks is inevitably countered and your party member KO'd, Default immediately to soften Kamiizumi's Brave combo the following turn. After that, unleash your own Brave attacks while Kamiizumi is in negative BP, as well as taking that time to revive and heal your fallen ally. When Kamiizumi is wounded enough to use Brave spontaneously, you can be even more passive, just Defaulting until he uses the Brave combo, then attacking afterward. Play it safe, and you can defeat this skilled swordsman.
Kamiizumi grants you the Swordmaster job. Swordmasters are good katana-users that rely primarily on counters. Good prediction and knowledge of enemy attack patterns are a necessity when using them. Before Kamiizumi dies, he makes the same request as Einheria to Edea: face her father directly.
Egil's new home
Back at Hartschild, Egil says he doesn't want to leave Tiz and the gang. Go to Goodman's Residence. Eleanor convinces Egil to stay, and promises to take good care of him. You've no leads to the Earth Crystal, so just return to the Grandship. In the tavern, one of the customers laments that the inn in Caldisla is in trouble. Travel back to Caldisla and enter the inn.
Innkeeper Karl is bedridden with illness, so a distant relative is helping to manage the inn. Karl's illness isn't severe, but he is depressed after losing Owen. Owen died protecting his country, the same as Egil's parents, and Egil also lived with his grandfather before. Perhaps Egil can keep Karl company! Go back to Hartschild and enter Goodman's Residence. Egil is overjoyed to join you. Return to Caldisla and head to the palace. The king is very understanding of the situation, and lets Egil stay and use the palace's training hall. At the inn, Karl feels much better with Egil staying with him, and Egil himself is quite happy to be able to follow in his parents' footsteps. Having solved this little dilemma, your next task is to find a way into Eternia.
Sub-scenario: Murder mystery at Goodman's
After you have sent Egil to live with Karl, you can pay Eleanor a visit. When you enter Goodman's Residence, you'll find that Commander Goodman has made a rare return to his home. Apparently, Goodman has received a letter from the wind vestal saying that she wants to host a banquet at the residence, and has invited Officers Steiner and Neuer as well. Suddenly, Eleanor rushes out and gives Goodman a worrying letter with a death threat inside, saying that the letter was given to her by Nastassja, their new servant. Just as she returns to the kitchen, a scream can be heard, and Nastassja is found dead!
A killer among us
Nastassja is confirmed to have died and her body is left in the bedroom for now. The Shieldbearer officers suspect that this is Eleanor's doing, and notes that the exit has been sealed. Since no one could have entered or exited the building recently, that must mean one of the people among you is the murderer! Talk to all of the people involved to get their opinions. Officer Steiner secretly suspect Officer Neuer of doing the deed, while Officer Neuer thinks that Officer Steiner is responsible. Commander Goodman doesn't think his wife could be the killer. Eleanor is in shock after being accused of murder, and tries to calm down by serving some tea. Lastly, Ringabel himself thinks that both Goodmans might be behind this.
As the group struggles to find a lead, Officer Steiner drops dead. It turns out that he has been poisoned, and he was the only one that drank Eleanor's tea! Seeing no other suspect, Commander Goodman reluctantly locks Eleanor in the basement cellar. He suggests checking out the exit to hopefully get help. Just as you move to the exit, the lights go out and a slash of a blade can be heard. When the room is lit again, Officer Neuer is mortally wounded! Before she dies, she says that she was assaulted by a woman. Could there be a hidden passage Eleanor could have used? You should go to the basement to investigate. Take the stairs leading down. After a fruitless search for a hidden passage, you can rule out Eleanor as the murderer. There are no more women in the room that could have killed Officer Neuer, unless...
Boss: Konoe Kikyo
The party hurries back to the main hall and just manages to stop Nastassja from killing Commander Goodman. It turns out that Nastassja is really Konoe Kikyo, who was disguised as a dead body to assassinate Commander Goodman. However, she never accounted for the wind vestal to actually attend the banquet. Upon dropping her disguise, she goes totally silent, and Ringabel recognizes her as the woman who he ran after when you first arrived in Hartschild. Cornered, the leader of the Black Blades's covert force attacks you in an asterisk battle!
Like Commander Kamiizumi, Kikyo is a very defensive boss, with high Evasion and heavy use of Default. Her main tactic in battle is using Utsusemi. This ability guarantees that she will evade the next physical attack aimed at her, and causes her to counter with a powerful Transience. Another of Kikyo's tricks is her Shippujinrai, an attack that always goes first. If she has BP stored up, she will likely use Brave to pull off consecutive Shippujinrai, which can do some serious damage.
Kikyo's Utsusemi is annoying, but it is easy to work around. As it only evades one physical attack, you can start off the turn by hitting her with a weak attack to trigger and remove Utsusemi, then follow up with attacks from your more damaging characters. Make sure to preemptively heal your initial attacker so that they survive the resulting Transience. Don't hesitate to Default often, which will prevent you from triggering Utsusemi and prepare for long Brave combos. Shippujinrai is a threat, but it is only potentially lethal when Kikyo uses it in a Brave chain after Defaulting several times, so it is fairly easy to anticipate.
Konoe Kikyo leaves the Ninja asterisk. Ninjas are good physical attackers due to their high speed and ability to dual wield weapons without losing any damage. They also have good Evasion and evasive abilities that make for some interesting strategies. Before she dies, Kikyo disguises once again and regrets killing the fire vestal against Kamiizumi's orders.
Back on the Grandship, go to the Drunken Pig to have a meal from the Proprietress on the house. While dining, the party notices that the ship is rocking severely. Zatz and Datz arrive to bring grave news: the Grandship is sinking! Head north to the Markets, then go up the steps to enter the previously inaccessible Bridge. Ringabel's journal mentions the Grandship's engine room, but it won't open. Upon further investigation, it's stated that a piece of Orichalcum must be placed in the core of the engine room. Egil picked up a piece of Orichalcum before, so perhaps you should visit him again.
The Notes section in D's Journal now contains the Sleeping Council Minutes, a humorous account of the Grandship's incapable governing body. On the Bridge, inspect the blue-roofed hut to find a Zeus's Wrath, then search around the telescope to get a Turbo Ether. Now, exit the Grandship and head for Caldisla, then enter the inn. Egil is living well in Caldisla, and will gladly give you the Orichalcum. Return to the Grandship Bridge and check the locked door again. The Orichalcum opens it, but you must navigate through the complex engine room to reach the core.
Down in the engine room, you'll find several upgraded versions of enemies. Monodons have a powerful Buzz Saw ability to lower your P.Def, Zombie Sharks strike the whole party with Fang Rush, Remoras makes other foes target a character with Group Snap, and Dark Stompers can inflict Dread status and raise evasion with Veilga. You arrive in an elevator, and there is another inactive elevator at the opposite end. You'll need to find two levers and pull them to activate it, just like in the Grand Mill Works.
From the second elevator, head south and go down the stairs. Move north and ignore the stairs, then explore the area to the west to find 2000 pg. After that, take the branching path south to find a Cross Axe in the chest. Use the steps to descend deeper into the Engine Room. Go south, ignoring the blue chest, and take the west path to find a Trident. Go west and south into the branching path to get a Hammer Mace.
Follow the path as it winds past the gears and bends around a corner, then go south into the first branching path to find a Raikiri. Continue east to the dead end to get Bacchus's Wine within the chest. Finally, travel down the center path then go east to find some steps upward. On the next floor, go straight forward to head up again, taking you to the chamber with the right lever! Backtrack to the eastern steps of B29.
As you go west, check out the alcove at the center of the passage to find a chest containing 1000 pg. Keep going west, then north to get an Antartic Wind from the chest at the dead end. Go south and take the stairs down. Take the east path first to find a chest containing a Turbo Ether, then head north. Move through the opening and continue north, turning around the bend to get a Gold Hourglass. Follow the path east to find stairs leading up, which takes you to the left lever.
With both levers pulled, return to the eastern elevator and pull the lever there to descend deeper. You'll find yourself in the core. Take the west path south to find an Artic Wind. Now move south down the east pathway. Follow the path and go west. As you reach the middle of the room, move south to pass through a false wall, then move west to find a rare Megalixir within the secret chest. Go north path the Adventurer, taking the west path to reach a chest containing a Barrier Shroud. Back at the Adventurer, save, then venture east and north into the large chamber.
Before you can toss the Orichalcum into the core, you'll be attacked by a monstrous beast! This massive fish creature has a variety of powerful bite attacks. Its Bite is its basic attack and is quite strong, while its Venomous Bite can inflict Poison on its target. It will also occasionally use Toothy Rend, which is an extremely powerful single target attack. Finally, it has the Roar ability, which strikes the whole party and has a chance to Silence everyone it hits.
Behemoth hits hard and has some disruptive attacks, but doesn't require any special strategy outside of basic ailment protection. You'd definitely want some form of Silence immunity on your healer, either with a White Cape or with a support command. Poison is also a concern because Behemoth does so much damage, so you do not want to compound your lost health with damage over time, though it can be cured with greater ease. As long as your healer stays alive and can keep up with the Behemoth's attacks, you can just treat this fight as an unusually tough regular enemy and just use your standard combat strategy. Lightning attacks via Black Mage, Spell Fencer or combat items are very effective here, as is the Ranger's Aquatic Slayer ability.
With the Behemoth defeated, the Orichalcum is inserted into the engine. After an odd tremor, the group returns to the Bridge to find Zatz, Datz and the Proprietress waiting there. The rest of the Grandship's residents have evacuated, but the Proprietress insists on staying. Ringabel presses a button out of curiosity, causing the Grandship to rise into the air. It turns out that the Grandship is an ancient airship, with the ability to fly higher than the Eschalot! Now you can finally overcome Eternia's tall mountain range and awaken the Earth Crystal.
Now that you have the Granship, travelling on the overworld is much simpler. You can either choose to move around the world by yourself, or utilize the ship's Autopilot feature, which takes you to most towns and dungeons automatically. You can disembark on solid ground or land in water with the Eschalot, and pressing the Grandship icon from the sidebar will let it pick you up from anywhere in the world. For now, move to the location of your next objective: Eternia!
At the Council of Six, the councilors receive news about the Grandship's disappearance, followed by an urgent warning of a massive airship approaching Eternia. With the wind vestal's group right at their doorstep, the Duchy of Eternia is pulling out all their stops to defend the Earth Crystal.