LOCATION: Outside Narshe
PARTY MEMBERS: Edgar (Lv. 13 HP 354/354), Sabin (Lv. 13 HP 364/364), Celes (Lv. 11 HP 245/245 MP 77/77), Locke (Lv. 11 HP 249/280)
ELAPSED TIME: 5:05
STEPS TAKEN: 12927
I didn't make up as much time as I would have preferred, but I'm finally headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, because everything did go well, then I went through the Imperial Camp/Doma Camp scenario in the same fashion as I usually do, taking out the enemy commander, making sure to fight Telstar. After that, I had Shadow Shuriken himself until I got to the Phantom Train. This time the Phantom Train experience was marked by a lack of trouble or enemies. I got quite a few encounters of single Whispers, Bombs, and Ghosts. The Phantom Train was reasonable today, and there was no nasty Scar Beam to finish me off.
I did mess up, though, after this section. Shadow left the party at the waterfall and I jumped in to fight those Piranhas. They weren't any trouble, but Rizopas, the head fish, killed me. I got too defensive after he used El Nino and instead of finishing him off, I tried to heal with items. So I did that part again and this time, he didn't attack with El Nino and died much more reasonably.
After this and the Gau introduction scene, it was off to Mobliz to get some Dried Meat to give to Gau. Once I had him in my party, I spent about 45 minutes on the Veldt. That was far longer than I had planned, but I was able to get all the useful ones such as Templar, Hazer, and Stray Cat. I also was able to get the Tintinabar in Mobliz, and four Green Berets from those Telstar encounters!
But after this it was time to go to Crescent Mountain and take the Serpent Trench to Nikeah. I didn't trigger any special scenes this time, and I went the right way this time underwater and grabbed the two treasures. Once I had been deposited in Nikeah, I bought a couple of Silk Robes, some Iron Armor, and a couple of Magus Hats for my spellcasting ladies. I wouldn't normally spend so much, but given that I didn't know how
Then it was the Edgar, Terra, and Banon scenario, which went so little incident that the lack of anything interesting would almost be interesting. I went through the checkpoint without setting off the alarm, but I resisted taking any of the treasure from the chests. I had to get to Arvis' house on the double!
So then all three parties were reunited, only to be disbanded for another multi-party sequence. I set my parties up in the following groups
1. Cyan, Locke, Celes
2. Sabin, Gau
3. Edgar, Terra
Today I was impatient. Instead of just keeping my parties at the choke points, I let Parties 2 and 3 absorb the first wave of troops, then weaved Party 1 in between waves and took on Kefka early. I was able to beat the Test Rider too easily (I didn't successfully steal), then had a more "dramatic" (i.e. filled with stupid mistakes on my end) battle against Kefka. But he was sent packing, with troops still left of the field no less!
Then it was time to say goodbye to Terra as she turned into a pink humanoid and flew into the sky. Whee! But for me, I had to pick which four people to take, and it was pretty simple, since Locke and Celes were only at Level 11 and everyone else is at Level 13, so I picked the Super Figaro Brothers to go along with the two people who would be forced into my party later anyway. And that's that!
All things considered, I'm actually an hour ahead in game time and three days ahead in actual days. Of course, I failed last year too, so maybe that's not something I should be proud of.