Last time, I typed a post at too early in the morning and it led to an annoying post.
In future, I'll try to keep a more consistent layout when I'm hunting Marks. In any case, I have been forcefully enrolled in my first Hunt: I must track down the Rogue Tomato. Located in the Dalmascan Estersand, who knows how long it could take to find it?
As I begin progressing, I soon find cute little monsters called Cactites. It is perhaps worth noting that XII
runs on a different battle system then other FF
games; there are no random encounters, and you simply meet the enemy and battle them in 'the field', so to speak (even when the field is a desert). It's green health bar indicates it's non-hostile nature, which I exploit by using it to let me make sneak attacks, at which point they become aggressive. It's not as cruel as it sounds — they drop Cactus Fruits occasionally, which sell for a fair amount of Gil at this point in the game. There are also Wolves, which have red HP bars; this means they are hostile and thus will attack me even if I leave them alone.
Thanks to how early it is in the game, the Cactites and Wolves soon prove to be somewhat damaging after the sixth encounter; thus, I quickly run to a treasure urn and open it — out drops a Potion, whoo! Except, as it turns out, I had five already.
In my slaughtering of innocents, I soon level up to Level 2, which is a good sign. I soon find another Potion and bump into the Rogue Tomato. Time to make tomato sauce.
Mark: Rogue Tomato
— HP = 134
One-hundred-and-thirty-four? Surely, Allan, you've forgotten a zero? No, I haven't; unlike Reks against the Remora, I have no backup, and Marks are not really bosses. For the most part, they're more like sub-bosses.
Nevertheless, the Mark and I go at each other. After three hits, it runs away; indeed, it jumps off a cliff to get away. I must now climb down the cliff in pursuit of my hunt. However, I, being myself, get bored of pursuit and decide to hunt some more Wolves. I soon espy a fresh monster-face; Cockatrices. It's slightly stronger then the average monsters, but ends up dead all the same. I go for another and soon find a chest containing 34 gil. I'm rolling in cash now, bitches.
Silliness aside, I soon remember that I had a reason to be here. I pursue the Tomato once more, only to find that it's healed itself. It's new location means that a Wolf soon comes to help it. Obviously, I take care of the canine first before returning to my future condiment. When it reached 40% HP, it begins using Flame Breath, which is about three times stronger then it's normal attack. However, it soon falls for good.
Afterwards, Vaan takes some Galbana Lilies, which were growing in the desert. Presumably, he's permenantely screwed up the ecosystem there. I now should head back to Rabanastre, but hey, I may as well get some more kills under my belt firs- GIANT DINOSAUR
No doubt any newcomer's reaction to the Wild Saurian. A neutral enemy, like the Cactites, but you'd do best to not provoke this one — it's HP is in the ten thousands, and it would eat me alive. It is worth noting that here, later in the game, the Wild Saurian can be replaced by a similar monster, which has even more HP and is actively hostile. This zone isn't safe.
But instead of pissing my drawers and returning to Rabanastre, I head to the outpost on the other side of the zone. You never know what you'll find. Killing another Wolf gives me my third level, which puts me on equal footing with my enemies. 'Equal footing' meaning that I kill it in three hits, and it'd take a lot more then that for it to kill me, obviously. Before moving to the Outpost, I continue to beat up Cactites for fun and loot.
Upon heading to the outpost, I soon learn that there is nothing of interest here. I pick up a small amount of gil (22, to be exact) from the ground, and head back to Rabanastre. On the way, I obviously beat up more Cactices and canines. Before returning to town, I soon find that I've accumulated approximately four Cactus Fruits, as long as assorted over Loot. That should be good enough; I invest some License Points in purchasing a Cure license, which I hall find use for post-haste.
Returning to Eastgate, I soon find that the Archadian occupiers have closed the gate! Kytes, another of Migelo's helpers, has been locked out as well. After chatting to him, the guards push the citizens of Rabanastre from the gate to allow a Chocobo through, citing it as a 'pedigreed parader'. After Vaan protests, the Imperials shove him aside to allow the Chocobos entrance; Vaan soon noticed that his Galbana Lilies were dropped and crushed under giant bird-feet. Irritated, he begins to confront the Imperials. He's soon interrupted by Bender's
Migelo's familiar voice, complimenting the Imperials on their fine Chocobos. He soon butters up to the guard with some Dalmascan wine, which serves as a bribe to allow the Dalmascan citizens into the city. Vaan storms in in a rather large hurry; just in time to watch the parade for the new Lord Consul, Vayne.
You can find the cutscene here.
What a nice speech.
Afterwards, Imperial shenanigans happen. Apparently, Archadian's Emperor is chosen democratically. Huh. Vaan soon concocts a plan to break into the Consul's fete in the Palace, but to do that, I must visit Old Dalan in Lowtown.
First, however, I head to a curious house, which has a Suspicious Bangaa in front of it; the building of Clan Centurio, which is a Mark-hunting club. I join and for my troubles, get three Potions. Clan Centurio will be getting me plenty later, of course. I head to the Clan Provisioner afterwards, to sell my Loot.
It occurs to me more now then ever that this is rather stream-of-conciousness. I should stop that. In future, I'll probably go with a style closer to summation then as-I-go. Hmmm...