Working on advice from a walkthrough, we unlocked the Airship and tracked down two out-of-the-way towns built to equip Evokers, Bards and Geomancers. These might have been useful if we had had any of those classes (especially an Evoker, as the town sold all of the Summoning spells that would ever be sold, not bad!), but as far as we were concerned, the towns were really only useful for buying a hats for our Mages (and later, a hat for our defence-starved Dark Knight, but that’s a jump ahead). The Mages would not get better armour virtually until the end of the game, with one exception. We came to just accept that they were never going to get any better.
From there, we went to the northwest continent and found a gigantic walled city. I do mean gigantic. It wasn’t entirely filled with buildings, but the entire countryside was cobbled (though trees grew through the stones out of ill-repair, which was a very nice touch), and if there’s a bigger set of city limits than this in the entire Final Fantasy series, I will be surprised, and triply so if it’s not from a futuristic game like XIII. The shape of the continent invites this comparison, so I’m not exaggerating when I say this city had to be bigger than most of the northeastern United States.