Rhythm of Wind, Sky, and Earth

Last time, we partied hard, and our reward is being stuck in prehistory for all eternity. On the bright side, we have a new party member.

Ayla is probably the least-versatile character in the game. In fact, half of her techs are simply "stronger physical attack". However, she does make up for this by being really strong. Her stats are like the men, focusing on high Power and Stamina, but she also has the best Evasion growth in the game and starts with the highest Speed stat of any character. On the other hand, her Magic stat is abysmal, but she only has two Techs that actually use it anyway.

Ayla's other oddity is her lack of weapons, only using her Fists. I mean, Robo attacks with his fists too, but Ayla can't rip her arm off and replace it with a slightly more powerful arm. But it doesn't really matter anyway because Ayla also has her own distinct damage formula, separate from the men and Marle/Lucca. It's ((LVL^2)/45) + (PWR * 16/9), which completely ignores weapon power (and is also the same formula Robo Tackle uses, oddly enough). So what Ayla lacks in versatility, she makes up for in hitting hard. That said, she does have a little bit of versatility...

Anyway, plot tells us to go south to the Forest Maze, but of course we're holding off on that.

Who cares

With Ayla, we now unlock the Trading House. Rather than spend money on weapon and armor upgrades, those items we've been picking up from enemy encounters can be traded in for them.

The new weapons are straight upgrades with nothing exciting of note. Same thing with the Rock Helm as far as defensive boosts. The Ruby Vest however is our first piece of gear with elemental resistance, in this case it halves fire damage. Handy to have!

And that's how trading works.

I'm lacking trade fodder to get everything I want, and I want to show Ayla off, so off to the Hunting Grounds!

There's Ayla's regular and critical attacks.

Ayla's first Tech is Kiss, a healing tech.

For 2MP it heals MAG*14 + RND, which isn't much considering how low Ayla's Magic stat is. It does also heal status, though, so it's not all bad.

The Nus give 30TP each, so we quickly bring Ayla to speed and already get her a second tech, which also unlocks two new Dual Techs. And like Robo, Ayla doesn't need to visit Spekkio to begin learning her third tech.

Rollo Kick does a bit over 50% more damage than a regular physical, but costs 2MP for it. I'd rather stick with her physicals and rely on critical hits myself, though the Dual Techs are handy (well, not really, but I'm trying to be positive here).

I finish up the Hunting Grounds and trade to get all the gear I want, so let's go ahead and advance the plot.

Well, looks like we found Kino.

Kino's looking pretty guilty.

Why take?!
Kino like Ayla best. Ayla like Crono, but Kino not like...

Turns out it's a matter of simple jealousy. Ayla's paying attention to the strong and badass Crono, so Kino decides the best way to get revenge is to steal his stuff.

It's not well-thought-out, but love and jealousy can make you do some really stupid things.

Anyway, Ayla's taking none of Kino's crap and decks him in the face. Or...would if the sprites were close enough to make contact.

Ayla no like Kino...


Give back stuff to Crono!

Reptites!! Where they go?!

Okay, Ayla!

And there goes Kino.

While Ayla's a wild woman and all, deep down she really does care about Kino, so much so that he's second-in-command for Ioka Chieftan after Ayla.

Now it's time for the Forest Maze. The good news is it's not really a maze but a linear path with a looping section at the very end. In fact, it's only one screen big and a pretty short area in general.

These guys have 400HP and bog-standard defenses and attacks. They do have one other gimmick I'll show in a bit.

But for now, let's show off those new Dual Techs! First off, Crono's Cyclone and Ayla's Rollo Kick results in Drill Kick.

Crono's stats don't matter. It ends up doing 75% more damage than a regular Rollo Kick from Ayla, which ends up being roughly 175% more damage than one of Ayla's physical attacks, for 4MP and Crono's turn. Ayla's fourth tech alone will do more than that once we unlock it.

Spin Kick this time uses Robo's Robo Tackle with Ayla's Rollo Kick. Once again, only Ayla's stats matter here, as it does double the damage of a Rollo Kick (or 215% more damage than a physical attack). I guess it depends on how much Robo Tackle's doing for you whether it's worth using this Dual Tech, but honestly, considering the huge speed difference between Ayla and Robo, you'll probably get much more mileage having them do things separate.

Winged Apes have a hefty 450HP and high magic defense.

Most importantly, they mostly attack by throwing characters at other characters.

Back to the Eaglets, damage a Gold Eaglet enough (without killing it) to turn it into a Red Eaglet. It gains some physical defense and becomes immune to fire.

Good thing we have those Ruby Vests!

Lucca also has a Dual Tech with Ayla. Unfortunately, Marle will have to wait until Ayla learns her fourth tech to get a Dual Tech with her.

This combines Lucca's Fire and Ayla's Rollo Kick. This time it uses the stats from both women and deals an extra 25% damage for each attack. Not too shabby!

Otherwise, as I said, this area is short and particularly uneventful. But that's just a lead-up for our main dungeon today, the Reptite Lair.

Primitive Mountain

...which is also short and uneventful, though at least this has some weird gimmicks.

First off, the Evilweevils here will burrow additional holes you can use to access different rooms, leading to various treasures. Nothing too fancy, but it's a neat gimmick.

The Evilweevils have high physical defense but low magic defense and HP.

The Fly Traps have half the normal physical defense of most enemies but a decent HP pool of 316.

If an Evilweevil takes non-fatal damage, it'll counter by sucking life from the Fly Trap.

I can't resist. There's something hypnotic about this, too...

Fully heals HP and MP, not too shabby a find.

The bottom floor has a bunch of Reptites running around randomly, with a couple guarding treasure chests.

If you fight them, you trigger a fight with a Megasaur.

These guys are fearsome, with powerful fire attacks, very high physical defense, and a staggering 830HP. At least their magic defense is slightly lower than average. However, there is a trick to them that we learned in Ioka.

Lightning spells temporarily reduce their defense.

This means you can beat them up quickly, and they won't even be able to attack until it wears off!

Too little, too late.

And Ayla already picks up her third tech, as well as another Dual Tech with Crono.

This is another "stronger physical attack" tech for Ayla, doing 125% more damage for 3MP. At least it'll always beat a critical hit.

Volt Bite combines this with Crono's Lightning. Crono's stats are irrelevant, but Ayla's attack deals double damage and also has the Lightning element. Crono's fast enough to keep up with Ayla, and as strong as he is he's not matching Cat Attack's damage right now, so this is a solid Dual Tech for now.

Near the end, we run into Shitake, a weak enemy with no magic defense that has only one purpose.

To be thrown at people.

It doesn't even attack. If the Winged Ape falls, it simply runs away instead.

At any rate, we're pretty much done here. Just one more room to go...


Huh, this sounds eloquent compared to Ayla and her tribe.

Ah, the apes have arrived! Hmm. You're nothing like Ayla...

Why would we?

Boss Battle 1

Nizbel is a tricky beast, and can be a challenge if you're underleveled or can't grasp his patterns.

First off, his attacks are decently strong but nothing scary. Completely manageable.

However, he essentially has max physical and magic defenses, and a whopping 4200HP to burn through. It'll take forever to beat him this way.

But the lightning gimmick still carries over to Nizbel.

So naturally you'll begin wailing on Nizbel. However, unlike those Megasaurs, he has one nasty little trick up his sleeve.

He releases the lightning back onto your party for massive damage.

Thus the idea is you don't necessarily want to always keep casting Lightning on him. Instead, you want to go into offensive and defensive phases. Cast Lightning, then use your most powerful Techs until Nizbel uses his lightning attack. Then heal up while Nizbel goes back to weaker attacks, and once you're ready, use Lightning again and go full offense. We've done fights similar to this, but this time the game really encourages you to go all-in on whichever phase you're at.

Get that pattern down, and this should go rather smoothly...assuming you have the HP for it, of course. Just consider it half a test of what you've learned so far, and half training for battles to come.


But remember, WE Reptites will rule the world!

We won this battle, but for Ayla the war is far from over. But who cares, that's her problem, not ours.

I do not detect any damage.

Of course, Ayla's never one to back out from a fight.

...even when she really should.

Rhythm of Wind, Sky, and Earth

I'll never forget you! Thanks!

It's certainly been an interesting trip. Kind of a nice break from the more serious stuff we've been doing in the Middle Ages and in finding ways to defeat Lavos.

But we've got a mission in hand. Now that we have the Dreamstone, we can reforge the Masamune and give it to Frog, so that with its power he can defeat Magus and prevent the creation of Lavos.

So next time, we finally do all that.