What we did next was a bit of an odd note, one not likely to be repeated in the Final Fantasy marathon. We decided to use the game’s fast travel system – this game has a taxi system of ships and airships – to explore ahead of where we were supposed to be, partially because the airship ticket guy talks too fast and we bought one by accident. We landed in a town that was only one quest ahead of our intent, but we actually stumbled into a special plot point you can only see by going ahead of schedule!
It seems that the Empire was building a massive Dreadnought, an airship built for war (as opposed to the warships in the other Final Fantasy games, which carried heavily equipped level 93 Warriors of Light for famine-relief purposes). The man in charge of the operation was called “the Dark Knight” and no one else in town would speak to us: it’s not clear if they were just terrified of the Knight or if they were actually zombified by some sort of power. Later dialogue suggested that whatever it was, terror or magic, it was making work proceed at a rapid clip.