LOCATION: Outside Thamasa
PARTY MEMBERS: Locke (Lv. 21 HP 680/757 MP 106/172), Shadow (Lv. 21 HP 754/754 MP 171/171), Terra (Lv. 22 HP 711/812 MP 160/192)
ELAPSED TIME: 12:29
STEPS TAKEN: 34009
I entered Vector and after looking around any buying things I didn't need, I headed northward, talking to people along the way. It's sad in a sense that this scene is the last we see of Banon and the Returners. Nevertheless, after taking a last look around Vector, I headed to the imperial palace and talked to the emperor himself.
I messed up when talking to the soldiers, or more accurately, when fighting the belligerent ones. I forgot that the soldiers had high physical defenses and used physical attacks. That and I was depending on Gau to cast when I could have been more effective with him casting any spell. Furthermore, I got somewhat greedy and opened treasure chests I knew would be available after the segment passed. As a result, I missed out on the Charm Bangle, but given that in some playthroughs, I don't even get the Tintinabar, I consider my result a win and not a loss.
Despite this, this section did not take nearly as long as I anticipated. So once I was left with Locke and Terra and took a quick look for any treasure I missed, I decided to walk over to the base and raid the storage room in the base, then walked back to Albrook. Once in town, I took some time to look around. I also spent a great deal of money on Relics, particularly a couple of Peace Rings, some Sniper Sights, and a few Amulets. Since I don't know how much time I'll get later on to acquire these goods, I decided to get them now.
After surveying the town it was time to report to General Leo to begin another stretch of pure plot, the long boat ride to Thamasa. From the return of Celes (and Shadow) to the evening of misunderstanding, there's plenty of tension even before the boat leaves port. Even though it comes as no surprise that the journey itself also contains important scenes, I'm still amazed at how well it's put together.
Of course, eventually I regained control of my party and I decided to at least make sure that Shadow learned at least the basic Fire, Ice, and Bolt spells, so he got the Bismark treatment. Even though he's no mage, his natural magic stat of 33 isn't that bad, and I wanted him to learn at least a couple of spells before he left the party. So I walked to Thamasa and made sure he received enough Magic Points to learn the basic three attack spells. After this, I stripped him of all equipment and Bismark and stepped into town.
Once I entered Thamasa, I bought a whole bunch of needless junk, including an Ice Rod, three Mystery Veils, and four Gaia Gears. I'm pretty sure I would find a couple Gaia Gears later on, but right now I wanted to make sure I had enough equipment to go around.
After this, I talked to Strago and watched both his and Relm's introductions. Although I decided to wander around and visit the Elder's house after this, I didn't bother about triggering any of the short sequences of the Thamasa residents using their magic powers. Since stopping at the Inn would trigger the next sequence and render me unable to save, I decided to leave town, save and file a report now.