Outside Ipsen’s Castle we find a huge staircase leading up to the castle itself, Zidane notes that the building itself is strange, it looks like its been built upside down. The plan is for four of us to head in, with the rest standing guard outside. Amarant objects to this, he says he works alone and challenges Zidane to a race to be the first to find the key to breaking the seal between Terra and Gaia. I decide to take Vivi, Steiner and Dagger with me, sticking with the OG crew. Once inside I discover that Zidane’s comments about the castle were a clue, but just to drive the point home, there’s another clue inside:
“Do not be resitrcted by your knowledge and experience. This place turns logic upside down. What’s big is small, what’s strong is weak an heaven is earth.”
The point is, all my good, strong equipment is actually weak here. Zidane and Steiner are lucky to be hitting 300HP when they attack in here, and in nearby chests I find some of the early game weapons. Switching things around and equipping Zidane with a pair of Daggers and Steiner a Broadsword brings their damage output back to where is should be, whilst Vivi and Dagger do respectable physical hits from the back row, skills and magic don’t seem to be affected.
Kumool is waiting in the courtyard, so I deliver the letter that Mogki had written, this makes him happy, it would seem he doesn’t get much mail
“From Mogki to Kumool
Hey, Kumool. How are you, kupo?
Us Moogles in Lindblum are all wondering the same thing these days.
Where the heck is Mognet Central?
No one knows, kupo.
Do you know where it is, kupo?
It’s supposedly very far away and you can’t enter very easily, kupo…”
Kumool says he believes that you can only enter Mognet Central if you’re riding a Chocobo…
The only route to take out of the courtyard is a fireman’s pole in the centre, sliding down it takes us into the castle itself, where the interior is all upside down and I feel a bit like the juggling sequence during the beginning and end credits to the old CITV show Mike and Angelo. One big surprise is that find Tonberry’s here. These guys are deceptively tough, they have a lot of HP and slowly walk across the battlefield towards one of your party, once in range they kill that party member in one hit, so rather than take them on, I decide to flee from battle. I have to do this two or three times.
After climbing a bunch of ladders and taking an elevator, I find Amarant stood in a room which has an odd blue glow coming from the floor and back wall. He tell’s Zidane he’s late, and thus Amarant has won their race. Zidane asks if he’s figured out how to break the seal, Amarant won’t give anything up, he just tells him to investigate the map on the wall and leaves. On the map are four mirrors, when Zidane removes them, each has an inscription that he reads:
“My power is protected under water, surrounded by earth” – Water Mirror
“My power is protected high atop a fiery mountain” – Fire Mirror
“My power is protected behind a tornado” – Wind Mirror
“My power is protected under the shaking ground” – Earth Mirror
Before we can leave the room, a voice booms out
M-Mirror…. Return to me…”
A giant bug-like creature appears
“Energy flow… interupted. Energy to… Terra… You dare get in the way of Terra’s master plan…? Return… my mirror…”
After defeating Taharaka it tells me
“One is all, all is one, you’ll never break the seal.”
I’m then left to make my way out of Ipsen’s Castle, though I give the rest of the place a good going over first. When I finally do leave, Freya informs Zidane that he won the race, Amarant hasn’t left the castle, worried, Zidane heads back into the castle, alone, to find him,
He’s not actually too far inside, but he is hurt and doesn’t understand why Zidane would come back for him, he wonders if Zidane has come back to mock him or taken him at his previous words of them possibly being enemies the next time they met. Zidane denies all this, he tells Amarant that Freya had said he hadn’t come out of the castle yet so he came back to find him. He’s there to help a member of his team, but Amarant still doesn’t understand. He thinks Zidane has something to gain by coming back.
Once back outside the group discuss what they found inside the castle, they discuss the map and the four mirrors. We know the mirrors are somehow related to the seal, Zidane believes they need to split up and “conquer” each location at the same time. Eiko says she wants to go with Dagger, she says the ladies should get to choose their partner first and besides they have some girly chat to catch up on (though she’s excluded Freya from this despite her knowing Zidane the longest). A member of the Hilda Garde’s crew believes that the location we’re looking for is south of Ipsens’s Castle. Sure enough, sat in the ocean, is a whirlpool with a rock-like structure at the centre of it, hovering overhead it’s revealed as being the Water Shrine, which is where we drop Dagger and Eiko off.
Zidane decides to drop Freya and Amarant off at the next location. Located Northeast of Esto Gaza we find the Fire Shrine.
Wondering who to send next, Zidane decides its best not to pair Steiner with Quina, instead, he tasks Vivi with “babysitting” the Captain of the Knights of Pluto and drops them off at the Wind Shrine. This leaves Zidane stuck with Quina, who is currently about twenty levels below Zidane and is in desperate need of learning more Blue Magic before we can head into the Earth Shrine