LOCATION: Outside Returner's Base
PARTY MEMBERS: Edgar (Lv. 10 HP 157/222), Sabin (Lv 11. 148/259), Terra (Lv. 9 HP 125/186 MP 0/61), Locke (Lv. 9 HP 109/194)
ELAPSED TIME: 1:24
STEPS TAKEN: 4215
Well, I didn't get as far as I planned. In comparison to last year, I'm a day ahead (which just shows how bad I was last year), but in reality, I'm right about the same point I was before in terms of gameplay time.
So today I went through the whole sequence where Figaro did its submerging into the desert, and went through the story sequences. I decided not to trigger that lengthy "she uses magic" cutscene and defeated the M-TekArmors with the Autocrossbow. I went through the cave without taking any of the treasure.
In South Figaro, I fiddled around a little, but despite talking to people even though I'd talked to them in previous playthroughs, I didn't trigger the conversation with Shadow. I'm not avoiding him entirely in this game, but I was hoping to wait until Sabin's section to meet him.
Instead I made some bad purchases with the little money I had. I bought two pair of Sprint Shoes, a True Knight, a Star Pendant, and a Jewel Ring. I also bought assorted pieces of armor to beef up my characters defenses, as I remember there being a rather noticeable increase in the enemies attack power. Of course, I didn't buy curative items. After all, I didn't need them, right?
I wouldn't know the answer until later. I visited Sabin's little house, then went up to Mt. Kolts. Unfortunately, I made some very poor battle decisions and as a result, Locke ended up dying in a fight with two Tuskers...and I didn't have a Fenix Down. I had to then go back to Sabin's hut to revive the thief, then head to South Figaro.
About this time, my capture device started to lag really badly, and so I decided to simply walk around town and grab treasures I had told myself I was going to leave for later. After a few moments, it was becoming clear that the lag wasn't going away so I stopped recording. Bye-bye lag!
I didn't stop playing though. Given that I had gained a couple of levels, bought a little equipment, and most importantly stopped having to deal with a choppy picture that froze intermittently, I was able to go through this section a LOT more smoothly. I was able to get to Vargas, beat him, then welcome Sabin into the party! After that, it was out of Mt. Kolts and toward the Sabil mountain range where Banon awaits. I decided to stop there.