LOCATION: The Veldt
PARTY MEMBERS: Sabin (Lv. 12 HP 204/289), Cyan (Lv. 13 HP 163/319), Gau (Lv. 13 HP 311/311)
ELAPSED TIME: 3:33
STEPS TAKEN: 10201
Due to the events of today, I had to break my gameplay into two sessions, one short and one long. The first session began with my party walking to the Returner base and talking to Banon. I explored the Returner base, talked to the various people in the base and grabbed as many hidden and obvious treasures I could find. I accepted Banon's request for help and got the Gauntlet, then watched the scenes that followed. With Banon now in my party, I put him in the back row and and leapt onto the raft.
The journey through the river was rather uneventful, as was the fight with Ultros. I played both the regular encounter and the boss encounter a little defensively by having Banon spam Health. The memory of a playthrough where Banon died due to a Tentacle attack still haunts me. After the boss battle and Sabin's forced expulsion from the party, I chose Terra and Edgar's scenario, fought the rest of the encounters, then wandered around on the world map. I wanted to get a few desert encounters in before going to the Narshe classroom and saving. End first session.
The second session was a little more productive. I grabbed the Tincture I missed previously, then after some slight hesitation, left the Classroom and went into the secret entrance of the Narshe Cave. I got through the security checkpoint, then doubled back I could fight trigger a fight with a group of Dark Side enemies. I thought there was another enemy combination so I purposely messed up the security alarm again, only to get the same result, so I went through it one more time and did not mess up. I visited the Moogle Cave, wandered a little, stripped Terra and Edgar of their equipment, then ended the scenario by going to Arvis' house.
Next I chose Sabin's scenario, even though I had no intention of finishing it today. I recruited Shadow, and I stocked up at the shop for some Shuriken and other goodies, then headed for the Imperial camp. I triggered a fight with both a pair of Dobermans and a Commander, but despite fighting Telstar and getting the visible chests, I'm quite positive I missed a treasure here. Anyway, it was the familiar scene-switching, chase-down-Kefka, Magitek-Armor-riding madness.
After this, I decided to knock out Shadow as soon as I could to prevent him from running. Too make this easier I stripped him of his equipment, only to forget to put it back on later! I didn't bother to travel to Doma -- if there's something I need from there, I'll get it later. After messing up in the woods that lead to the Phantom Train, I finally chose the right route and hopped aboard.
There's not much to say about the Phantom Train. I remember in one playthrough I sped through this section without encountering either Over-mind or StillGoing, so I made sure I encountered them. I may have missed some treasure here, since I wasted a lot of time talking to ghosts who wanted to fight me. Surprisingly, Shadow's lack of equipment didn't mean much except for the Spectre fight, when he got KO-ed by a lightning bolt, and I didn't even notice I had forgotten to re-equip him until after the entire scenario was over.
Thankfully, the fight against the Phantom Train was uneventful, despite the fact that I forget it was another "Back attack" boss fight. In a previous playthorugh, the train used Evil Toot and Scar Beam -- an attack I had never seen until that playthrough -- to kill my party. This time, despite the fact that Shadow was nearly naked (he still had his Relics), the fight was easy.
After this, it was time to say goodbye to Shadow and steal the clothes off his back, which is when I discovered he had no clothes! After this, it was a leap off the waterfall of doom, a fight against the killer fish, and then landing in the Veldt and meeting Gau.
Once I was able to control my characters again, I found the random encounters on the Veldt a little tougher than I remembered, I didn't want to use healing items, which resulted in Cyan getting knocked out. I contemplated running from these battles, but I decided to fight it out until I reached town, which I did. Once in Molbiz, I milled around somewhat, looking for a free place to rest my head and after a half-hearted search, I went to the Inn. While in town, I also bought the necessary Dried Meat and saw the beaten soldier and mailed a letter for him.
I went back the Veldt, but it took a few battles for Gau to show up. For fun, I decided to give Gau a Green Cherry before giving him the Dried Meat, even though I knew the former wouldn't produce any reaction. After getting the dried meat, I watched the hilarious scene and mini-tutorial that followed, then saved and quit.