Chapter 5 - Dark Clouds
We finished off chapter 4 with a rather dangerous combatant needing to be taken care of, but almost leaving the group trapped in their demise. Thankfully, the group manage to procure a way out of the soon-to-be crumbling death-trap that they’re stood in; moving things onto the next chapter.
The Hexatheon’s Blessings
At the start of the chapter you’ll be returned to Duscae; unfortunately Duscae isn’t quite as freeing as it once was as there are blockades all around the place and to make matters worse you are currently without a car. Thanks to this rather big problem, it’s definitely for the best that you complete the Wiz Chocobo Post quest if you haven’t already, because you’re going to be on foot for some time now and it’s not exactly all that time efficient to be going everywhere on foot.
- Rewards: 1,000 XP
Near Noctis and his friends will be a friendly face: the lovable dog Umbra. When you’re ready, have a word with Umbra and watch him run off, so be sure to follow in-chase just west out of the town where you will soon see Gentiana. She’ll proceed to tell Noctis a couple of things, but they are in a fairly cryptic light that makes things difficult to understand before she vanishes. Once she’s finished, Umbra will approach you and give Noctis a note from Lady Lunafreya, which you can respond to however you choose but will not give you anything specific in regards to your response, so feel free to pick the one you most prefer.
After a quick flashback explaining some of Gentiana’s previous words, it becomes clear that Noctis is required to touch 3 nearby runestones; all of which are identifiable by lightning strikes. Look around you and you should see the first set of lightning strikes that you should be heading towards.
Along the way you might come across some imperial soldiers, but they aren’t a combatant you will find yourself struggling with at this point. There are a number of warp-points around the surrounding area, so keep them in mind if you find yourself starting to get bereft of health at any point.
Keep heading towards the lightning strikes until you find yourself walking through a cavern with a tree-looking object being struck by lightning – touch it and move onto the next runestone.
The second runestone isn’t too much further from the first and is only a short way towards the North. Once again, follow the lightning and you won’t have any trouble finding its location. Do be aware, however there are some imperial troopers just before it, but you can sneak behind them with relative ease to get the drop on them; resulting in a much easier fight. Afterwards, head towards a small opening and make contact with the second runestone and make your way onto the next quest.
The Trial of Ramuh
Similar to the trial of the Titan, we’ve got some fairly difficult task that needs to be bested to gain ourselves a new blessing of the gods.
- Rewards: 1,000 XP
Before you start on the quest, it’s a good idea to head back to Wiz Chocobo Post, partly because you can head straight west from there to get to the next runestone, but also because you can take a chance to finally level up if you haven’t recently.
Keep to the west and you’ll know you’re in the right direction because a lightning bolt will strike against some rocks, opening up an entrance to a deep, dark cave and the location of the last runestone. Travel inside the cave and have fun in the next dungeon of the game. At the beginning there will be some bats in your way, but they shouldn’t be much for you to handle. What you will want to keep an eye out for is the cornucopia of imps spread out about the place, but they aren’t a big fan of daggers or pistols, so be sure to put that weakness to the test.
Throughout your time in the cave be sure to keep an eye out for Thunder Bombs because while they may look lovely and colourful, the amount of damage they can deal with a few strikes of lightning. For these guys they don’t have any real weaknesses, so it’s best to avoid any form of lightning damage and stick to swords and daggers to take them out as quickly as possible.
You know you’re heading in the right direction when you come across a twisting path, a couple of area lacking of any enemies, and then finally a couple of pathways for you to choose. The one towards the north will lead to a lock door that you can’t deal with until much later in the game; the one towards the northwest will lead you to the boss fight of the dungeon: a Naga.
This Naga has a number of different attacks it can use against you, such as a lunge, a ground slam, and can even spit poison that will slowly erode your health if you’re not careful. It has a fair amount of health at 30K, but is severely threatened by greatswords and ice damage. Just keep nimble on your toes and you should be avoiding any real threats the Naga can throw at you.
Make towards the last passage once the Naga is defeated and touch the final runestone and finally receive your next blessing of the gods. Once you’re done there, fast-travel back to the entrance of the cave and make your way onto the next quest.
Engaging the Empire
For a quick moment the action really racks back up when you find out that Noctis and friends need to infiltrate an Empire base to end the chapter.
- Rewards: 3,000 XP
Upon exiting the cave, a giant ship will fly above your head – thankfully not spotting you. During this particular event, Cindy will call you to confirm that the Regalia is currently being held within an imperial base and the only way to acquire it is by breaking in and taking it back by force.
Head towards the imperial base nearby and be aware that you’re going in the right direction when you see some strange red waves around the surrounding area. After surveying the outpost from a distance, Ignis recommends that the group rest at a nearby camp for the evening to device a coherent strategy for infiltrating the facility.
Ignis mentions two very important things: this must be done stealthily and must be done at night. Once the night turns to day and you’re still inside the compound, expect to have to do it over again the following night.
Following on from the stealth comment, when you start the quest you’ll be near some large storage containers and not far north of your position is a couple of patrolling soldiers. You can’t fight them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t assassinate them using some much needed stealth. When you’re close enough to one of them, you will be shown a warp-strike prompt and regardless of your damage, they will die the instant the strike connects. After the first strike, quickly look to the other solider and do the same to make sure neither of them stands again.
The majority of the base is pretty linear, so you won’t easily get lost, but do keep an eye out for any patrols or searchlights. Searchlights tend to have a very bad habit of following you around almost 24/7, so if you can avoid getting anywhere near them then it is for the best.
Following along the linear path, you shall eventually come across a keypad that will unlock a red-laser gate. Be sure to keep your eye out for any overhead catwalks or metal structures, as the guards tend to come in three’s along there, but if you manage to get away with each warp-strike they don’t manage to put any pressure on you.
After the next locked gate the Regalia will be in sight; alas so will be a very big mech; unfortunately, the mech doesn’t plan on leaving you be and is going to pick up a fight. It’s not too much different from the same one that Loqi used against you; however this one is around level 30 and deals a hell of a bigger punch – especially in the form of its rockets. To keep things nice and simple, warp-strike with a greatsword to its legs until it tumbles to the ground – then feel free to deal as much damage as you can get away with before it stands and requires you to start the cycle back over again.
The mech will end the fight with a very large explosion, causing all personnel currently located in the base heading straight for your location. From the looks of things, stealth is no longer an option and from here on out you’ll be taking guys out the old fashioned way.
Before you make your way out of the base, Ignis recommends that you take out the generator of the base, so that it can function no longer. When you make your way to the generator you will be faced with another couple of mechs, a feat that isn’t impossible, but at the same time not all that easy.
Relax! You won’t be dealing with them – that’s where your new friend: Ramuh – the god of lightning comes in. He will bestow his power upon you and will fire a devastating lightning bolt towards the ground; destroying pretty much everything around you after you hold the onscreen prompt.
Since the base is pretty much nothing more than a crumbling piece of rubble now, you can head out of the base with your car in tow. Just before you leave, you’ll be treated to a cutscene that introduces you to a couple of rather important individuals on the imperial side of things. You have a certain someone to thank for defusing the situation, who also then announces that the imperial army are moving out of Duscae, along with all bases and roadblocks.
Once the cutscene is over, head back to Lestallum with your reacquired Regalia and go meet up with Iris, as she wants to have a word with the group – at least in the next chapter anyway.
- See also: Plot
Chapter 5 – Dark Clouds
Ardyn drops off Noctis’ team at the nearby chocobo ranch. However, the gang need their car to travel, so they call Cindy asking her to go look for it, despite knowing full well that the Imperials likely took it. Several days of waiting later, Gentiana – The Summon Shiva, and servant of the Oracle – appears for a moment to cryptically tell Noctis’ team that Luna is about to awaken Ramuh, and to go to Altissia after she does. She then tells Noctis in secret (again, cryptically) to locate three Runestones hidden around Duscae (though she does not say that this is to awaken Ramuh). Noctis’ retainers determine that they can reach Altissia by using a hidden boat in Caem. Gladiolous says he’ll have Iris set it up (we never see him call). But, in the meantime they should go locate Ramuh. After finding the first Runestone, Gentiana urges Noctis to hurry as the empire is going to try and stop him. Two Runestones later, Noctis acquires Ramuh’s power.
Cindy then calls Noctis saying that the car is in an imperial base (it isn’t specified which one). The gang decides to go after it ASAP before the empire moves it. After locating the base, Ignis decides to infiltrate stealthily. So, the gang waits till nightfall, successfully destroys the enemy forces, and reclaims the Regalia. Before they can get inside, however, Ravus – Luna’s older brother and commander of the imperial army – appears to issue meaningless threats and goad a fight with Noctis. But, Ardyn materializes before a fight can break out to shoo away Ravus and protect Noctis. (He also does so quite deftly, lying to both parties about when he’ll next see Noctis so that he can assist him again in the near future while avoiding imperial detection).
Noctis and co. return to Lestallum (no reason for this is given) and find out at the inn that Iris is still there. Imperials came in the night looking for Noctis, but no one said anything so they killed Jared. Iris states that she’ll take Talcott with her to Caem because they can’t stay in Lestallum while Noctis swears revenge for Jared.