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Final Fantasy Record Keeper originally had but an Excuse Plot, but as Episode Magicite came, it started to gain a plot of its own, and this ended up generating the Record Dungeons, which is now the main story of the game.
Spoilers are unmarked here, especially the JP part.
- A great kingdom in an unknown place thrives off a great library known as the Archives, which records the story of heroes from the past, which happen to be the many worlds of the Final Fantasy franchise. Everything goes well until the paintings that record such stories start to mysteriously fade without any possible explanation. With the kingdom in uproar, they ask the Archives to do something about it; Dr. Mog, chief of the Archives and head librarian of the kingdom, decides that the hopes of the kingdom would rest on his best student, Tyro, who is tasked with going inside the stories contained within these paintings and restore them to their original state by reliving them.
- As Tyro is shown the ropes by Dr. Mog, he tackles the paintings containing the stories from many different Realms, getting access to the memories of its heroes and summoning them to help him on his mission, learns about the Torment Dungeons, and the stuff he needs to get around the fights ahead of him. Eventually, he is tasked with restoring the dreaded Nightmare Records, which would also enable Tyro to access powerful abilities by setting alight twelve crystals of unsurmountable energy.
- After finally activating the twelve Nightmare Crystals, a strange surge of energy coalesces at the center of the hall of the Nightmare Records, catching Tyro and Dr. Mog by surprise. The energy crystalizes and coalesces into a crystal, which even Dr. Mog doesn't know what is. Tyro is called by a voice inside his head and instructed to approach the crystal, but is stopped by Dr. Mog, saying he feels powerful energy coming from the crystal and must first make sure that contact with it won't produce disastrous results.
- After making sure the Crystal represents no harm to them, Tyro and Dr. Mog check it, and it spontaneously shatters to reveal an apparently comatose girl in a praying position, wearing pink clothes similar to those from the Archives. The girl suddenly talks into Tyro's head in a faint voice, urging him to contain the powerful monsters inside the Records she is guarding. She only remembers her name, Elarra, and the fact that she's supposed to guard the Records around her. Tyro and Dr. Mog gain access to a new, unexplored area of the Archives containing six strange Records from which enormous amounts of magic seem to seep.
- Heeding the girl's request, Tyro jumps headfirst into the first crystal portal. She assists Tyro from her position, providing a protective wall for his party. Tyro defeats the first monster with the help of his Hero Records and receives a magic stone, which happens to be Magicite. Tyro and Dr. Mog consult with Cid, who is impressed that Tyro was able to get his hands on a Magicite stone. Cid says he can help Tyro gain power from the Magicite, and that his research once taught him that Magicite was once used to power Airships, a thing Cid intends to do now that Tyro has access to the stuff.
- After the third Magicite Esper is defeated, Elarra invades Tyro and Dr. Mog's heads again to explain to him the elemental mechanics upon which the Magicite Records operate: an elemental wheel going through Water, Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth, Lightning, and then back to Water. She also mentions how Holy and Dark are elements in opposition (and thus outside the wheel).Dr. Mog: Who are you, kupo? Wait, I know that uniform!Shadowsmith: I am the Shadowsmith. I was sent by the Royal Arcanium after Cid told us of the situation.Cid: I know the Royal Archives and the Royal Arcanium have their... differences, but I figured we should set that aside for now.
- After Tyro completes the elemental wheel of Magicites, Dr. Mog comes back, having had problems to find the Magicite Records for Holy and Dark. Elarra also can't help Tyro with this. Tyro and Dr. Mog are eventually met by an agent of the Royal Arcanium, known as the Shadowsmith. The Arcanium and the Royal Archives aren't exactly on friendly terms, and Cid contacted them because Dr. Mog and Tyro have stumbled onto a massive block when it comes to locating the Holy and Dark Magicites. Dr. Mog is obviously not happy at this, but he agrees to let the Shadowsmith into the operation. After a quick analysis of the place, the Shadowsmith realizes that Tyro's problem is how Holy and Dark energies nullify each other to the point of tricking outside minds into thinking there's nothing around; using the energy gathered by Tyro when he quelled the first wheel should be enough to unseal the last pair. The maneuver works, allowing Tyro to reach into the Records of Mist Dragon and Shadow Dragon.
- With all eight Magicites put down, the Shadowsmith is impressed at seeing Tyro's abilities firsthand, noting that his reputation started to reach the Arcanium. As there are more sources of magic and a strange barrier located after the first wheel, the Shadowsmith decides to conduct more research within the Archives rather than on the Arcanium. Elarra can feel the seal on her weakening little by little, and she gets a new ability, Fabula Raider. Meanwhile, a Mysterious Entity has taken notice of Tyro's actions around the Magicite Records, and prepares to take action...
- With half the second wheel defeated, Tyro comes back to be warned by Elarra that something evil is approaching; the Mysterious Entity shows itself to the party, telling them to turn back from the Magicite Records or else, firing a warning shot afterwards. This causes Elarra to promptly exit her praying position, jumping at the front of the party with her Fabula Guardian active. The Mysterious Entity repeats his warning, telling Tyro that he won't be as "considerate" next time. The Shadowsmith surmises that he's the responsible for all the stir in the Magicite Records; Dr. Mog comes running to the party to check on everyone. Elarra, now able to move, is further able to support Tyro now.
- With the second wheel defeated, Tyro and Dr. Mog run into another stumbling block, as again they can't pinpoint how to unseal the Holy and Dark Magicites. The Mysterious Entity comes back, causing Elarra to provoke a Go Through Me between her party and it, causing the Entity to call it a day and leave, saying that next time they'll all be dead. The seal on Elarra is near broken by this point; the Shadowsmith says it's only a matter of time until Elarra can roam the outside world. The Shadowsmith takes his time and starts to understand how the wheel works, and takes the helm to perform the unsealing himself, allowing Tyro to challenge Siren and Hades.
- The complete unsealing of the second wheel angers the Mysterious Entity, who makes yet another move to try and get Tyro's party eliminated. Elarra once again jumps in front of the party, now at full power, and invokes the power of the Ancient Records (which may very well be her Fabula Mage RW), causing serious harm to the Entity and forcing it to flee for its life. Dr. Mog quickly notices the exchange and rushes to the party, only to realize Elarra is now fully free to roam around and powerful enough to help Tyro, gaining the Fabula Priestess ability. The Shadowsmith notices there's still another barrier after the second wheel, and starts studying it in order to break through.
- Dr. Mog: True, Kupo! It possesses magic on a scale we've not yet seen!Shadowsmith: It's not just the scale that's different.Tyro: What do you mean, Shadowsmith?Shadowsmith: It would be easier just to show you. Follow me.
- A few months pass after Elarra has broken free of the seal and she is now a member of the Archives along with Tyro. Elarra is slowly adapting to her life outside the seal she protected for ages, but has become concerned with her lack of memory, not knowing why she was even put there in the first place. Tyro comforts her saying to not worry too much about this. Dr. Mog has been trying since then to pinpoint who is trying to stir the Magicites into trying to break free from their Records, to no avail. It all changes when the Shadowsmith's research finds a breakthrough via the second wheel Tyro fully unsealed, leading to an even deeper section. The Shadowsmith rounds the party together and explains his exploits, Tyro and company accompanying him to the new section he discovered. The catch: it's a completely alien space, with no ground or ceilings, gravity, or any other object but sixteen Magicite Records floating apart in a new, exquisite double wheel formation. As the Shadowsmith decides to conduct more research on this strange area, Tyro and Elarra gear up and head into the Lightning Records of Quetzalcoatl and Behemoth King.Dr. Mog: What I can say is that we can't let our guard down. We don't even know who it is attacking us, kupo!Shadowsmith: Dr. Mog? I may know something on that count. My research turned up some... information.Dr. Mog: Really, kupo?Shadowsmith: Our foe is a lover of battle. A fearless warrior who rides his beloved steed into the fray. None who have taken a direct blow from his spear have survived.Tyro: Wait, you don't mean—Shadowsmith: Our foe... is Odin.
- After taking care of the first pair of Magicites, Tyro realizes the sudden jump in difficulty these fights now represent. The Shadowsmith comes to Dr. Mog with news that he managed to discover the identity of the Mysterious Entity: Odin. Tyro recognizes the name as one of the most powerful Espers in existence, to which the Shadowsmith has no denial.
- Tyro starts checking on the party as he beats each pair of Magicites, coming as Dr. Mog and the Shadowsmith discuss about the latter's discovery. The Shadowsmith surmises that Odin is trying to eliminate those trying to quell the surging energy inside the Magicite Records for reasons yet unknown. Tyro becomes bothered by the possibilities of facing against an Esper as powerful as Odin. When he questions the Shadowsmith about the odds, he says that the odds don't matter as they are now forced into the fight, but Tyro has grown quite powerful himself since the two first met, especially due to the Magicite he's been gathering, and concludes that Tyro can grow further. Odin appears again to the party, and at the same time the Fire Magicites come into action. The Shadowsmith orders Tyro and Elarra to move into Phoenix and Belias as he stays behind and fends Odin off.Tyro: Uh... Excuse me? I have no idea what you two are talking about. Is that energy released when we bring the Magicite under control dangerous?Shadowsmith: No, not necessarily.Dr. Mog: But you can't guarantee that, can you, kupo!? If it wasn't dangerous, we'd still have our homeland!
- With the third pair of Magicites down, the party manages to reunite together. The Shadowsmith says to Dr. Mog that Odin wasn't looking for a fight and vanished, just like that. Dr. Mog becomes frustrated at having no explanations for the situation at hand, as he detected a big magic surge just as Tyro and Elarra quelled the second Fire Magicite, and he questions the Shadowsmith on whether he noticed it. The friction between Dr. Mog and the Shadowsmith becomes more apparent as he brings up the destruction of his home island and the Arcanium's involvement in it. The Shadowsmith tries to calm him down, and Tyro ends up hearing the discussion, inquiring them on just how dangerous that energy is and if the Magicite is really worth the trouble considering the potential damage. The Shadowsmith restates that gathering the Magicites is the only way they can stop Odin right now, and that Tyro will not fulfill his destiny if he lets his worries command his actions. After heading to check on Elarra, Tyro receives notice that a new set of Magicites have awakened and are ready to stir trouble. Tyro becomes hesitant to go in this time, which prompts Dr. Mog to give him a pep talk, saying that Tyro will always have his friends to help him when his head becomes clouded by doubt. Elarra also gets extra motivation from that speech as she and Tyro head for Mateus and Manticore.
Chapter 1: Untrodden Paths
Chapter 2: Light Beyond the Darkness
The Haunted Seven
- As Halloween approaches, seven Paintings appear in a specific section of the Archives, said to contain cursed treasures that can also benefit the bearer should they know how to handle them. Dr. Mog would check these Records himself, but he's too afraid to do it... Which leads to him enlisting Tyro and Elarra's help, without telling them why he won't do it himself. Dr. Mog explains the legend to them, tasking the two with obtaining the relics and reporting what they do when all are gathered together.
- Tyro enters the first Record, only to run into a peculiar problem: Elarra's fear of ghosts. She dashes out of the scene as soon as she sees a ghost come to confront Tyro, and he has to deal with the situation without her help. Despite the setback, Tyro gathers the first cursed relic, but feels that he has to bench Elarra on this one.
- Elarra feels too scared to enter the following Paintings with Tyro, and Dr. Mog notices. Tyro decides that Elarra should take a rest from the stress and goes into the Records by himself, counting on his Hero Records to help him. Dr. Mog is left to wonder what will happen once Tyro gathers all seven cursed relics.
- Dr. Mog and Elarra observe as Tyro clears each of the Records and gathers every last cursed relic. Elarra blames herself for leaving Tyro to fend for himself in these Records; Dr. Mog states that no one would want her to come to harm, hence why Tyro decided to tank the cursed paintings without hesitation. When Elarra asks Dr. Mog to check on him, he dodges the subject, tipping Elarra that he's actually afraid of entering the Records. Dr. Mog admits that he's scared, but because of what legends say about the cursed relics: if all seven are gathered (and Tyro just headed off to collect the last one), the holder may end up stuck in the otherworld with no way back. After hearing of this, Elarra rushes into the Record Tyro just entered, believing he's in grave danger.
- Elarra is proven right when the Phantom Train, which Tyro is fighting and contains the last cursed relic, traps his Hero Records in a "soul prison", and then him. Elarra arrives just when Tyro is trapped, and releases him and the Heroes with a power she didn't know she had. With her support, Tyro manages to defeat the Phantom Train and obtain the last relic.
- Tyro and Elarra make it back to the Archives with the seven cursed relics in tow. Tyro notes that Elarra pushed through her fear of ghosts to save Tyro, and she explains she would rather fight the ghosts over taking the chance of Tyro not coming back. Tyro thanks Elarra for helping him, and reports to Dr. Mog about the relics, saying they don't have any special effects when gathered together. Dr. Mog is relieved that the whole thing was a Wild Goose Chase, but pretends to Tyro that he knew this all along, dismissing them. A few days later, Dr. Mog comes to Tyro and Elarra to ask them to locate a mirror mentioned in urban legends around the Archives, using the same method applied on his tasking of the seven cursed relics. Tyro and Elarra don't buy the story this time and go do something else.
Chapter 3: Isle of Treason
The Pharos at Ridorana
- A mysterious tower not unlike the Pharos of the Ridorana Cataract from Ivalice is discovered by the party soon after they leave Dr. Mog's homeland. The Pharos starts emanating an unusual amount of magic; if left unchecked, it can cause a Memory Burst of its own. The Shadowsmith sees this as an opportunity to test Tyro and Elarra's capabilities, as well as his own abilities to command them on missions, and send them to explore the place. He also uses this as a means to check if Tyro and Elarra, under investigation due to Dr. Mog's recent "treason", are to be trusted.
- While conducting his own research, the Shadowsmith notes to himself how the rules of nature don't apply to such an exquisite Record such as the Pharos of Ridorana before Tyro and Elarra come to report their findings from their first foray, indicating the Pharos is ladden with battle Records. Tyro thinks he can mitigate the magic flux by quelling the Records inside the tower, to which the Shadowsmith agrees. Tyro and Elarra also note the colossal size of the place, and they think that just the two of them won't be able to fully do the job. The Shadowsmith works a solution by calling his two assistants to help them in different sections of the Pharos: they would explore the tower, while Tyro and Elarra would do the fighting. After another of the Shadowsmith's "I have again put you in danger" moment, Tyro and Elarra go back to the Pharos to continue their mission, as the Shadowsmith notes Tyro and Elarra's interactions.
- While Tyro and Elarra are fighting on the Pharos, the Shadowsmith's assistants, Biggs and Wedge, arrive on the scene. They report Tyro and Elarra's success on quelling the magic inside the Pharos, but Biggs questions the Shadowsmith on why he decided to leave the fight to newbie members of the Royal Archives rather than experienced fighters such as he and Wedge, as well as the fact that he's trusting a group headed by a traitor. They're immediately shot down by the Shadowsmith saying he can trust Tyro and Elarra, and that it's the Royal Archives' job to preserve history. The Shadowsmith reassures them he has his ideas on how to deal with Dr. Mog before dismissing them.
- After conquering the underground (and most dangerous) floors of the Pharos, Tyro happens upon a tablet and reads it, promptly heading back to Shadowsmith to report it. The contents of the tablet read: "When the light of magic becomes a flame, then will the maddening dragon wreak havoc upon the battlefields of memory". The Shadowsmith surmises that the contents of the table may refer to something about to happen, soon. Tyro also wanted to meet the Shadowsmith's assistants in person, having missed them while fighting on the Pharos, but the Shadowsmith assures Tyro that their first meeting is already at hand. As he leaves, Tyro swears to himself that he'll keep protecting history in Dr. Mog's stead.
Chapter 4: Best Intentions
Episode Cardia - Chapter Bahamut
- "Wielders of dread power... Minions of chaos... You have no place here... Not in this realm, or the records of the great tales."Shadowsmith: The Cardia Islands... Purifying flames... Dragons... No! Cid! Get us out of here, now!Cid: What is it, Shadowsmith?Shadowsmith: If we stay here any longer, the Dragonlords will reduce us to ash!Tyro: Dragonlords? You mean those are incarnations of Bahamut?!
- The exploration of the islands is peppered by more back-and-forth between Elarra and Biggs, again cut short by the Shadowsmith. Cid takes the opportunity to question him and Wedge what exactly they loaded into his Airship earlier, to be met with a cold shoulder to his high dismay. The banter is suddenly cut short when Tyro and the Shadowsmith sense powerful magic closing by, and the Airship is mysteriously pulled against a strange portal and ends up in an alien place. A menacing voice tells the party that they are in the Cardia Islands, a training ground for Record Keepers, and Tyro recognizes the place as the one where the Four Warriors of Light proved their courage to Bahamut. Judging them to be threats to the Records, the voice, Bahamut, sends four incarnations of himself at the party's Airship to obliterate it. The Shadowsmith sums the current fact with the information Tyro gathered from the tablet on the Pharos of Ridorana and concludes he is the "Maddening Dragon" mentioned on the inscriptions. The Shadowsmith urges Cid to leave fast, but with the Airship surrounded and unarmed as he has no taste for weaponizing it, it leaves them on a bind. Biggs and Wedge then reveal they actually smuggled a cannon into the Airship, and Cid would have jumped on them had the Shadowsmith not intervened and said they will need the cannon if they are to escape the situation at hand.
- When confronted by the odds, the Shadowsmith decides to step up and act to hold Bahamut back while Tyro and Elarra move to confront the four dragons sent by him while the Shadowsmith prepares the spell that will allow the Airship to leave the Cardia Islands. Wedge and Biggs are ordered to help and they comply by providing cover fire for Tyro and Elarra at a distance, weakening the dragons so the fight can be made easier. The Shadowsmith tells Tyro and Elarra that, as he's always sending them on missions, it wouldn't be fair if he backed away when his turn came. With Cid piloting the Airship, the party moves to battle the incarnations of Bahamut.
- After four arduous battles, the party manages to push all the dragons back and Cid manages to get the Airship out of Bahamut's dimension. The Shadowsmith notes Tyro's uneasiness, and Tyro answers that he feels that he shouldn't leave Bahamut unattended. Shadowsmith tells Tyro that it's up to him whether he'll go back to the Cardia Islands to finish this threat once for all...
Episode Cardia - Chapter Odin
Gauntlet of Warriors
- Another magic surge is detected on the party's way to the next island, and it seems to be coming from a ruined coliseum in the proximities. Deciding it's worth checking, the Shadowsmith directs the Airship there and asks Tyro and Elarra to investigate. Upon arrival, Elarra notes something is very different with the place, as she doesn't feel any particularly strong magic. Thing is, Tyro does; the Shadowsmith, who arrived after them, explains to the party that this is due to the memories contained in the Coliseum, those of competition and desire for power. Elarra doesn't seem to get a grasp of this, as she doesn't have the same drive for battle as Tyro does. While Tyro seeks to be stronger in order to perform his job, he actually doesn't think battles will solve everything, to which the Shadowsmith agrees. Tha Shadowsmith entrusts Tyro to the task of battling through the records contained in the Coliseum.
- After a few battles, the Shadowsmith notes Tyro is uneasy. Tyro is concerned due to his fighting spirit igniting when he's fighting at the Coliseum. The Shadowsmith assures Tyro that a well fought battle can change him for the better. The same can't be said of Biggs; his Blood Knight perks kicked up a big notch inside the Coliseum, causing him to charge at anything, including the direction opposite to the Coliseum, to Wedge's chagrin. The Shadowsmith leaves Wedge to deal with his partner while Tyro and Elarra take a rest from the battles.
- After Tyro clears nearly all of the Records, he reports about his exploits to the Shadowsmith, telling him he learned a lot about searching for strength. Elarra, however, isn't impressed; if anything, she's heavily bothered by how Tyro seems to be having fun out of these battles. Tyro notices her change of humor, but she evades the subject, causing the Shadowsmith to jokingly note that. This is interrupted when Wedge appears out of the Coliseum carrying an injured Biggs, who met a stronger challenger inside. One last Record is left for Tyro to fight: Siegfried.
- The battle with Siegfried left Tyro completely exhausted, and he rests close to the entrance of the Coliseum. Meanwhile, Elarra questions the Shadowsmith on his and Tyro's drive for battle. The Shadowsmith believes that some people seek to learn from fighting, and he himself also does that, adding that knowing their strength is what drives people to seek ways to become stronger. He completes by telling Elarra that protecting those dear is another important drive for someone like Tyro to seek strength. While Elarra processes the information differently, the Shadowsmith leaves it at that, as she seems satisfied with her conclusions. Biggs goes through another Butt-Monkey moment as he still reels from his battle with Siegfried. Elarra notes Wedge also has nothing of the fighting spirit demonstrated by the other three men, and admits he didn't want to look bad in front of the Shadowsmith. Elarra decides she'll serve as a balancing force so that Tyro doesn't develop into a Blood Knight or worse, as Tyro wakes up and the party prepares to set for the next island for good.
Chapter 5: Shadow of Suspicion
Chapter 6: Reaching the Truth
- The party reassembles back to the Archives after they discover of the ruse put up by the Shadowsmith, with Biggs and Wedge now full-time members of the team. They arrive on time for the celebration of the Yesteryear Festival; Dr. Mog has all the others help him on the haste of preparing the needed stuff, as he's been away from the Archives for quite some time. Wedge complains at having to do such chores, but Biggs looks compromised to help the Archives now that his trust on the Shadowsmith has been broken. Tyro and Elarra note Dr. Mog's enthusiasm as he bosses his new subordinates around, and he cuts the two's chatting to get them back to work. Biggs finds a painting of a clown which Dr. Mog doesn't recall having gathered for the Festival. He just orders Biggs to put the Painting in any wall space he can find.
- With the preparations done, Biggs and Wedge are still getting bossed by Dr. Mog, while Tyro and Elarra comment on her first instance of the Yesteryear Festival. Dr. Mog comes to them in a hurry, having noticed the Forbidden Painting up in one of the walls — the same painting Biggs found. Elarra can sense strong magic coming from it; Dr. Mog comments the Painting contains memories of a dangerous magic user, namely Kefka Palazzo. Kefka's magic has enough power to affect the world even long after the events of FFVI; its Painting can warp the Records of others close to it. Dr. Mog decides this is another job for Tyro, as usual, but this time he wants to head into action himself and assist the heroes. They decide to fetch Biggs and Wedge as well.
- Biggs and Wedge arrive as Tyro and company clear the Paintings affected by Kefka's mural, and Tyro explains to them the situation. Dr. Mog has his mood apparently affected as well, becoming suddenly depressed. The Yesteryear Festival for this year was going to be the first time Dr. Mog would be able to put the Record Paintings on display, which motivated him to work hard, but he fears the Festival will be cancelled with this incident; Tyro's party cheer him up by saying not all is lost and they can still fix the Paintings in time, which motivates Dr. Mog to keep going.
- Tyro and company manage to clear almost all of the paintings, leaving only Kefka's painting to be solved. As Dr. Mog describes what powers the Painting has and mentioning a jester, Biggs comes to the realization that was the painting he found. Biggs ends up again on the receiving end of scrutiny when Tyro, Elarra and Dr. Mog try to pieces things together, and Dr. Mog starts jumping to conclusions and eager to "make mincemeat" of whoever had put the painting in there (unaware that he himself ordered Biggs to put it there). Tyro and Elarra realize Dr. Mog is out of control, while Biggs and Wedge discuss having noticed something about Kefka's painting, but don't think it's a good time to bring the issue up.