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Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has the moon phases, which is a new feature exclusive to this game. Basically, the entire game is based on four phases of moon. You can use this to your advantage if you want to. Each moon phase will have difference on your characters; the difference being separated into four factors: physical attack, black magic, white magic, and throwed weapons.
Here are the list of moon phases and its advantages/disadvantages:
- Full Moon: Black Magic +25%; Physical Attacks -25%
- Waning Moon: Physical Attacks +25%; Weapons -25%
- New Moon: Weapons +25%; White Magic -25%
- Waxing Moon: White Magic +25%; Black Magic -25%
At the beginning parts of the game, waning moon and waxing moon (playing as Ceodore) will be at your advantage. Be sure to use this opportunity to grind your characters and get better equipments.
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Walkthrough: Adamant Isle
You will start the game by seeing an event with our main character, Ceodore; with Biggs and Wedge, the generic names for Final Fantasy NPCs. After the event where you can walk around, try to familiarize yourself with the controls and talk to everyone on board of the ship. Another event will occur, and you will be at the world map. Go to the town nearby to arrive at Mythril.
Upon entering, you will have another event and you are now free to walk around. Talk to everyone here if you need information. On the upper part of the town, there will be a sidequest where you can get 500 Gil. Your first target here is to get better equipments. First, go to the armor shop and get yourself one Bronze Helm for better defense. Your next aim will be a Longsword, which will net you 500Gil. Don't get it from the sidequest here--instead, go out of the town and start grinding on the forest nearby. Make sure that Ceodore is about level 9-10 before continuing. When you reach that level, most likely you will already have more than 500Gil available, and you will need to buy the Longsword. Buy it, then go outside for a sidequest.
Go to the back of the stores and look around to receive a Ruby Ring. Return to the bear-like thing, which will reward you with 500Gil. If you have reached level 9-10, you have nothing to worry about. Just go to the inn and sleep to full moon.
After awakening, there will be another event, where you need to go to the grotto. Go outside the town to the world map, then enter the cave near the town for another event.
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You will start at Adamant Grotto, 1F. Walk and talk to the person guarding the entrance for an event, in which you can enter the grotto. Before you enter, make sure you have taken all the items in the treasure chests, which will help you by giving you a Tent, Potion, Phoenix Down, and Ether. Now, head downstairs to Adamant Grotto 1F. Biggs and Wedge will join your party.
After walking a few tiles up, there will be another event involving explanation about the moon phase, in which we are now at the Full Moon phase, which means that our physical attacks will be decreased by 25%, while Black Magic will increase at 25%. Definitely not good for Ceodore, being unable to learn any Black Magic. Thankfully, you have bought the Longsword and grind to level 10, and this dungeon will just be a breeze for you.
Walking further will get you into another tutorial, which involves Bands. Make sure you read this carefully, as you will need Bands to cause a lot of damage to your enemies. Continue on, while getting every treasure chest you see, which will contain an Ether, Potion, Tent to help you with your journey. Continuing along the way will lead you to Adamant Grotto B2.
Starting from this floor, Ceodore will be on his own, as Biggs and Wedge will leave the party. Walk North to find a Save Point, if you must, heal yourself using a Tent. Chances are its not necessary, however, so continue along the way.
You will see some stairs. From there, go west to get to a hidden passage, which leads to a chest containing a Phoenix Down. Return and follow the path east, go down another ladder to arrive at a chest containing a Bomb Fragment. South from there, you can see another chest containing Eye Drops. Before you left this floor, make sure that you are at level 12 at least. It will greatly help you.If you have, continue down the ladder to arrive at Adamant Grotto B3.
Go to the first chest you see on B3 to get to a chest containing a Bronze Hourglass. Go east across the bridge to see another chest, which contains a Tent. From there, return to original position and go south to obtain Antarctic Wind from a chest. Go west to see another chest which contains Echo Herbs. Go south, and go to the tiny path you see, to reveal a hidden passage to a new room. Inside the room, there will be Iron Gloves. Equip it. You'll need it. Return back and go to they yellow door, to arrive at a little room containing a Save Point. Save, then go down to B4.
This will be the final floor of Adamant Grotto. If you are ready and have saved the game, approach the chest to encounter the boss of this dungeon, Sand Worm.
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Boss: Sand Worm
Your only way of damaging this thing is by just attacking normally. Just attack it over and over again. Be sure to keep your HP above 100. Halfway through the battle, it will use Whirlwind, and the battle will immediately end. A cutscene will take place, where Biggs and Wedge will come to you. (No, they won't help you.)
After the scene, Ceodore will learn a special move Awaken, which will restore his HP. From then on, for a few turns, his attack will increase; although after that, his HP will decrease again. From then, just attack the Sand Worm again. As usual, heal if HP below 100. Eventually you will defeat the boss, and another cutscene will occur.
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After the battle, Biggs and Wedge will rejoin your party. Retrace your steps, and return to the entrance of the dungeon. On the first floor, Biggs will leave your party again. Continue on and get out of the dungeon. Now, you will have to return to the ship and depart back. Although if you wanted to grind some more, grind in the forest near the ship, and heal using a pot in the Red Wings ship. I would recommend you to be at least level 15 right now.
When you are ready, talk to the soldier in the Red Wings, and the ship will depart. There will be an event on the way back, and eventually you will have to deal with two Belphegors. For this battle, make sure you always focus your attack to one Belphegor at once, as it can cause major damage. Always heal when your HP is below 150. After the battle end, there will be an event, and you will control Cecil in Baron Castle.
Walkthrough parts 1 and 2 of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.