Victory!

First, I actually started this post like a week and a half ago but due to some work stuff I wasn’t able to finish my write up.

I have defeated the final dungeon! I didn’t really do much grinding to level up but I basically had to rely on the memo save.


This dungeon was intense though. Its a maze that runs you through all the fiends and then we get to the big boss, Chaos.


Chaos was a hard hitter. I had to do the fight three times and in the final round I lost everyone but Jon. But thankfully he is strong.

Eventually Chaos sank down and the world was safe once more! I was really surprised when it happened because I was sure I was going down.

The story came to an end and no one will remember a thing…

It was really a great experience to get to play this game. I do look forward to playing FFII. I have come to find a lot of inspirations for modern Final Fantasy games and my personal favorite RPG Legend of Dragoon.

In this game the White Mage turned White Wizard was essential to my game. You can change it so that you play without one. This I imagine is quite the challenge. Since I played with defaults Sansa, my white mage, was absolutely necessary to keep alive because she was the one who possessed the Life spell. I hoarded this one for boss fights so I could revive whoever.

In my experience with the later installments of the series I usually slack on my white mage because they’re so weak and in those games I can use Phoenix Down to revive.

There be no Phoenix Down though. And potions restore such a small amount that the Heal and Cure spells were more valuable in this game.

I also found myself using my Black Mage more who is another I generally don’t bother with in later games. However, the success odds seem to be much better in this first installment to the series. Sure the insta-death spells didn’t always hit but they had any success rate at all. They didn’t feel like total wastes of time to cast.

Petyr even proved useful enough to save me in a boss fight with one of his spells. For the longest time he was the only one able to cast Haste until Sam got upgraded to Ninja and was able to learn the ability as well.

Sam was quite possibly the more useless character of the game. Prior to becoming a Ninja, when he was only a thief, he maintained the second highest HP but honestly was very weak to attacks and would go down easily and often. Once he became a Ninja he did become more useful being able to cast Dark Magic spells and seeming to have gained some fortitude. I feel as though he did not live up to his given name.

Jon… where would I be without my Warrior turned Knight. He really was the powerhouse of this game. He could take a hit and he could dish them out. He also could equip some of the best weapons. He generally was the one who stayed standing through the fights and in the final battle he was the ONLY one still standing against Chaos.


All in all this was a great experience for the first game. I look forward to II!

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To the Center of the World

Well I usually try to post on Sundays. I missed yesterday because I was trying like hell to finish the game. I’m 99% sure I’m on the final dungeon.

Anywho! So I went back into the Sunken Shrine for some more exploration I had missed a whole floor! I also got some leveling up done and… I fought water-

Yea… that’s right WATER.

Also found the Mermaids… they did exist! Still not a side quest or anything but killing the water fiend should in fact save them.

I also happened upon the Rosetta Stone and I didn’t have to pay $150+ for it. There was a doctor in Melmond who was very bothered I didn’t know who they were but in any case they were able to teach me the language of the “Hawkwing” people. Thus named because their city is on the part of the land that looks like the wing of a hawk. 

So as it turns out the Hawkwing were responsible for the Airship I’m floating around in. Is there any subtlety in them being the HawkWING people?  

Well despite having built the airship parking SUCKED. I had a long walk to get to their little city as you can see below.

I was able to pick up Holy and Flare though while there. They also gave me the bell so I could enter the Tower of Mirage.

But on the trek back to the ship I ran into some “Winter Wolves”. I couldn’t resist…

I got to the Tower of Mirage and worked my way up to the Floating City. Where I fought AIR. I can see why its so angry, its very brown, clearly there is some pollution going down.

That is NOT healthy air. It’s angry dirty air. And somehow I can defeat it with a sword but… yea… Air.

I did manage to defeat the air fiend and restored the final crystal. Petyr was the surprise hero of the fight with this fiend. I had picked up some spells before I went into the Tower and one of those spells was Break which petrifies an enemy. But much like Poison and Quake it is an insta-death attack. Needless to say I was surprised to find it worked on the boss because I am very used to newer games where Bosses are generally immune to such things. But not this one… So YAY! Good job Petyr. Everyone came out alive from this one.

There was also some great treasure in the Floating City and after I had missed that floor in the Sunken Shrine was a lot more careful here because I did not want to have to go back in. I managed to get some Adamantite which was NOT in a chest. It was just sitting there, on the ground.

I also fought a couple of other interesting enemies. The first being a Chimera. Chimera This thing cannot possibly be comfortable. It’s front feet are faces. Like seriously… those are faces.

I also came across Dark Flan. flan I hate fight flan in all the games. They’re such a pain to try and defeat sometimes. BUT They looked very different back in the day apparently.

The city also had a window. From this window you could see all the world below! And it was here that I got my cue for the final act of the game. Well to be honest I am assuming its the final act. I have defeated four fiends: earth, fire, water and air. I figure now its time to meet the puppet master. The crystals converged to one spot…world
But before I journey to the center of the world… I need to do some leveling up and I need to fill in some of the few remaining empty slots in my spells. I don’t know about this installment but my experience with Final Fantasy games, and honestly Square games in general, is the final fight is never a single fight. But instead a multi-stage fight. I want to be prepared.

Also I took the Adamantite to the only blacksmith I’ve come across in the game. He had his dream come true to work with it and gave me the resulting sword– Excaliber! King Arthur… eat your heart out.  excaliber

So this is where I am now. I have leveled up so everyone is level 30. I did make an attempt for the final dungeon however the foes I met just working my way through the maze to the boss proved to be a bit more than I was prepared for. I opted to call it a night for now. I’m going to try to do some more grinding and get my level up a little higher across the board then try again. I really hope to have a good result soon. I am so close to the end.

Inventory Control

So I haven’t done much but a little running around, some grinding and trying to build up some Gil so I can buy some level 7 and 8 spells.

As I wandered the world I went into a desert. In this desert I found a place with one item for sale… A bottled Faerie… it was very expensive — 50,000 gil.

I bought it… they now have no stock… But I guess at that price it just take one sale!

I did take on a side quest to save the mermaids… There were no mermaids and it wasn’t a side quest. It was just part of the main quest. I really just went to where the water fiend was. I actually defeated this one in one go, and NO deaths! Sam lived through this one! His first fiend battle survival! Yay! Clearly he is growing stronger. He may haul us up Mount Doom after all!

But I made too quick of an exit I think. I think I must have missed some chests or something key because the only places I can find that I haven’t visited I can’t get into.

I didn’t explore this one as well as I have others. I guess that will be my goal next time to dive back in… yes I wrote that.

But I did bring back the water crystal! Woo!

I Have the Pow-ah

I have spent a great deal of time playing today and yesterday. I went from level 13 to level 20 across the board (Jon actually reached level 21) before I went to fight the fire fiend. It did make the dungeon a little easier to take on but definitely still not easy.

In Mt Gulg I ran into some Piscodemons and their grey cousins, Mindflayers. I died a few times to be honest. So even at level 20 this dungeon was no piece of cake. But I made it through and I restored another crystal! Yay!

During my leveling up quest I did take that time to fill in some more of my spells as I was getting Gil left and right. I think the greatest difficulty with the magic is deciding which three spells to take with you. It was easy in some cases because Sansa and Petyr weren’t necessarily able to use certain spells as a white and black mage. But regardless I got every slot filled generally opting for attack spells over impairment spells. I rarely use things to paralyze or blind my enemies. The one spell I was surprised by was Poison.

The surprising thing about this was I kept seeing the name and thinking in terms of modern installments. I didn’t give it much mind. I figure “oh it will poison my enemy… maybe but I wanna get another spell first then I’ll get it.”

Well that was dumb. Turns out in Final Fantasy poison acts as an insta-death attack. Its not 100% guaranteed and if it does hit it doesn’t always hit every enemy if you’re fighting more than one. Needless to say though, this is awesome. Its not like poison now where your enemy will be hit every turn with X hp coming off and it may or may not kill them.

Petyr just became way more useful. And… well way more Littlefinger. He’s no good in a physical fight but you wanna get crafty his intelligence is through the roof and he will outmaneuver you if not eliminated quickly.

I made sure to get him Quake as well which works in the same way as Poison does. Insta-death, not guaranteed, and may hit some but not ALL enemies. Between the two Petyr can kick some serious butt.

I did also set him up with Reaper, which is Death. So yea, also insta-death but from the times I’ve used it the success rate is not very good and it targets only one enemy at a time while Poison and Quake target many.

I also tried out Muddle.

I feel like the results are like a spot the difference picture. Clearly if you’re confused you face the other way. This does kind of correspond to at least FFXV because those cactuars for the first timed quest kept confusing me, before I remembered I had an accessory for that, I would have to move the L stick the opposite direction to get Noct to go the way I wanted him to.

I also set up Sansa with some spells I generally focus on healing and dispelling ailments with her. I believe I got NulFrost because I had no other spell to buy for her, the other option had been something she couldn’t use.

In my great leveling excursion I also started to have enemies flee. To this point in this game I’d never had any enemy run away from me. I’d run from some but never the other way around. It felt nice. I felt powerful.

Six anacondas and three scorpions showed up to a fight. One fled shouting “Damnit what did you guys get me into?! You said we were going for ice cream!”

Then two more realized it was a sword fight and followed the first cursing the ones who stayed. And I killed the remaining. Yes… powerful.

So I was on a roll after Mt Gulg decided to try and keep going. I thought I was going to get another crystal but in the Ice Cavern but I was mistaken. I fought through hell to fight a giant eye. But it was totally worth it because I got a Levistone. Yes, that’s right. We all know where this is going… AIRSHIP time!

… Almost…

First I had to make my way to a desert to summon the beast up from the sands… why was it in the sand? I have no idea. But I’m not questioning it. I got an airship its cool.

Oh and I found out how to bring up the map finally. I don’t know if it was possible before the airship and I just didn’t think to try random combinations but apparently if you press Start and circle you can get the map to pop up. My controller isn’t very good and it had freaked out and somehow got it to pop up. So I started trying everything I could once it got it under control and well there was a map. I feel kind of dumb if this has been available this whole time cause all I’ve wanted was for a map. Now I have one. Maybe I had one… Dunno… got it now. That’s what matters. Yea. Made it bearable for myself.

So we took flight! Went and did some exploring of the world. Did this citadel of trials. It was a lot of running floor to floor the prize at the end? Rat’s Tail.

Got back to my nifty airship and floated off for more adventures… Well that rat’s tail apparently is the secret to getting an upgrade.

So Bahamut is a common summon in Final Fantasy. Well in the first game he’s hiding out and he takes your rat tail as a sign of your worthiness and gives the Light Warriors class promotions!

YAY! Now I actually can use some of the spells I haven’t been able to at other spots because they were for a white or black WIZARD. Yea… Sansa and Petyr, they wizards now. 

And let me just say… damn.

The difference in fighting with these new classes is extremely noticeable. Attacks that would have previously risked the lives of Sam, Sansa and Petyr are now doing only 15-30 damage instead of 30-110. Jon was always strong. I think he’s only ever died once on me. He may know nothing, sporting the lowest intelligence of the bunch, but dude can take a hit.

I thanked the Dragon King and went on my way. And now I have chosen to rest for the time being in the town of Onlak. I found a couple more seemingly unimportant wells. But I’m keeping an eye on them regardless.

Oh Sweet Victory…

I worked my way back into the Terra Cave.

Let me say that tonight was NOT my lucky night. I don’t know what random throw I got that made me hit as many encounters as I did or such difficult ones but it was a rough run.

I had to take advantage of the memo save in order to do it though. I ended up running into 10 Piscodemon, wizard Cthulhu, encounters of at least 3 or more. I killed a few rounds of them but my HP was so low as did my supplies if I wanted anything left for the boss I had to just let them kill me and run again from the memo save.

It took three tries to finally get the boss (I did a memo save before fighting, I just wasn’t up for doing the maze run another time after all those Piscodemons). What I found really interesting though was the differences between each fight. It was the same starting stats, all characters alive, same starting levels, literally identical.

Fight 1

Petyr hits Job with Haste, Jon attacks doing about 50 damage, Sansa hits Jon with Invis, Sam attacks and does about 18 damage.

Petyr hits Jon with Steel, Jon attacks doing about 74 damage, Sansa heals Jon, Sam attacks doing 2 damage.

The boss hit with Ice2 and killed Sam.

Petyr manages to hit the boss with Fire3 to do 174 damage.

Then the boss cast Ice again and everyone died.

Fight 2

Petyr manages to cast Haste on Jon, Jon attacks, Sansa casts Shld on Jon, Sam attacks does 54.

The boss casts Ice and kills Sam.

Petyr casts Fire3 and it does 250 damage.

A couple more rounds of fighting and eventually Ice again and kills everyone.

Fight 3

I decided to have Petyr do Fire3 first this time. it only did 74 damage this time. I was disappointed. But somehow we managed and eventually did kill the boss. Sam did die though. It was a shame he could have used to share in that EXP.

But I was just so happy to have won.


I’d really love to see some of the coding that determines some of these events. I’ve never been particularly interested in that for any other Final Fantasy game but because this run I did run into so many Piscodemon encounters and because the power of Fire3 changed so dramatically I’m very intrigued.

I’ve asserted previously that this game has really required a more tactical approach then I have personally had to demonstrate in later installments. However, that has not excluded the luck factor. Whatever random detail dictates what I will run into, what attacks will be made against me, and what damage I will be doing does still have a big effect.

I never expected to win that third round. When I saw Petyr go down to 4 HP, I didn’t bother to protect him. I just had him keep casting fire, and it did a HUGE help. Fire2 even striking the boss at 170 HP. I could not have predicted that. There was no real strategy with Petyr at that point. It was just balls to the wall all out attack with whatever life he had left. I believe he actually managed to be the one to make the final blow.

So yes, there is more necessity to play smart. But if you get a bad draw you’re still boned.

Now I move onward with the game and in the new area I’ve made it to the enemies are pretty tough. I figure this means before going for the next dungeon and the next boss fight I probably have no choice but to do some grinding. My level 13 team is not quite up to snuff right now. I am only at about 15ish hours though for this game. I’m not sure if that is a good sign or a bad one.

In later installments that I have played, and in many RPG games for that matter, the many hours you put into the game quantifies how good you are, how much you enjoyed it, and how well you really got to know the game. When talking with others we always have to add, “Oh I put in x hours” or some variation on the same statement. People need to know just how much time the clock was at.

Did spending X amount of hours grinding and exploring really change the story? Not necessarily. In same cases it can certainly add to the story but I’ve yet to experience a game where the little extras I found in side quests really MADE the story. But one thing possibility is more that you lost yourself so many hours in a fabricated world. So the more hours of enjoyment you got the happier you are in the end.

I can say that I have personally felt some disappointment when playing a game that only lasts maybe 5 hours total but I could have really used more of that world. I felt it bad with The Order (I know, I know a lot of people aren’t fond of this game), but hear me out a moment, The Order’s game play was lackluster and the very clear path you had to play along sometimes sucked. But I personally felt those things sucking the way they to be a testament of how well crafted the world was. It couldn’t really be contained the way that the game was contained. There was no exploration really possible in that game.

So that being said, I don’t feel as though I have been shorted on any exploration in Final Fantasy. The world is open, I still wish I had a map, and you’re able to really just kind of go. You have to follow the hints from talking to people even to find your way around the world. But we are talking 8-bit days. I may really not need 70+ hours for this one.

But I am still watching that supposedly not important well that is back in Cornelia. It has yet to be important…



Side note: Episode Gladio dropped today (3/28). I haven’t had a chance to play but I’m VERY excited!!!



Another Side Note: Today Kingdom Hearts 1.5 & 2.5 Remix for the PS4 also came out. And better yet, today (3/28) marks the 15th anniversary of the release of Kingdom Hearts.

kingdomhearts1

To anyone who has never played Kingdom Hearts I encourage giving it a try. It is a really great game. The series has gotten kind of out of control and yes we’re still waiting for 3 to ever happen and yes the story is confusing at times but it is amazing and it will hit you with the feels.

Happy 15th Birthday Kingdom Hearts, if you were a person we could start taking you out to teach you to drive. But you’re not… So… Just know I love the many hours of enjoyment you brought me.

Every Step You Take

You will fight something… Seriously.

I absolutely hated Chapter 13 of FFXV, because it was just a frustrating maze. Well so is the Terra Cave. Doing a run through is hell when you also get stopped every few steps to fight yet another thing. Getting through the first three floors to the first boss was hard enough, then getting through those and then to the next two…

Worse is after all that, I died.

I did finally get the Life spell. I’m thrilled I can bring back someone from the dead! YAY! They come back with 1 HP but hell they come back. Currently I’m only level 12 so I can only cast the spell once. I think that I may be able to beat this boss without doing more grinding but it will require more thought and planning for how to fight.

I’m thinking I will need to try and heal up more before I enter the fight. Use Petyr to get Haste as quickly as possible on Jon then on Sansa. Steel on Jon and possibly Sam. Sam has started to get more useful recently but his HP has stunted which kinda sucks but at least his attacks are getting better.

Anyways… yea… I will report on how that all goes.

On a side note: The timed quest this week on FFXV is to fight some snakes.

Look at that snake, that snake looks like its stoned… It’s not really a hard fight just kind of tedious because there is so many and the space is small so its easy to accidentally get too far and risk resetting. I got back in every time but still a threat.

Last weeks challenge was the Dread Behemoth which had some awesome rewards but was too difficult for me. I am level 99, the cap I believe is 120, and the behemoth is at 140.

Gladio took the loss pretty hard. We ran… oh how we ran…

The Dying Earth

Well I have been attempting to save the dying earth in Final Fantasy. But I seem to be a bit too weak. Or I’m just not playing smart.

The Earth Cave is a maze filled with some challenging enemies and some pretty cool treasures.

I’ve made it a little further each trip in and have only died once and managed to get myself out before death another time.

At this time I’m feeling a little more frustrated. I had hoped to be further into the game by now. I think this weekend I may need to sit and just play as much as possible. I will defeat this game!

This is a short post due to my lack of progress. Hopefully I’ll have more later.

Make Haste and Awaken Sweet Prince

I’ve managed to get my team up to level 10.

In the time that I was grinding I managed to acquire enough gil to purchase Haste for my black mage. This is a level 4 spell. In modern games it is used to increase the amount of times a character gets to attack.

In this game it is handled a little differently but similar. I imagine this is due to memory and programming limitations of 1987. Regardless its still a vastly useful spell. In this game it increased your number of hits. I tried it out on each of my characters once. Jon, warrior, who usually hits twice doubles his hits to 4; Petyr, black mage, Sansa, white mage, and Sam, thief, all doubled from 1 hit to 2.

It seemed like the odds of missing also seemed to decrease with this spell active. Sam misses most of the time and when haste was cast on him he didn’t miss even once. Petyr was a similar case.

Though on the subject of the miss rate I have noticed that Sansa and Jon have, in general, started to miss less. Which is kind of awesome. That really could drag out some fights with how much my team and the enemy kept missing.

Speaking of dragged out fights, I got caught in quite the death loop during my grinding. I encountered 4 ghasts. They managed to paralyze my entire party until they killed first Sam, Sansa, and Petyr. All of them kept getting paralyzed as soon as it wore off so I couldn’t even get an attack in or flee. Jon has such a high HP it took forever for him to finally die. The ghast would strike, usually, 3 times and paralyze with the attack. So Jon’s like 220ish HP went down 3 HP at a time. I considered just restarting from the last save point but I was so amused by the situation I figured I’d see it through. And that is my death loop story.

I did manage to fight my way through the marsh caves, get what I need, do another boss battle and eventually wake the elven prince though and I got a Mystic Key which has opened doors to some sweet gear. There was a lot of running around which really isn’t new for Final Fantasy. Not quite the same as the way you can run around in circles in FFXV but at least there you have a car and fast travel.

Moving about in this game is a little slow because when you’re not in a city you can run, only walk. Of course you’re also contending with random battles. There are also the limitations of movement based on the D pad. Nothing too bad though just feels slow sometimes.

The more I play, the more fights I get into, I really see that this game is very tactical. I think I’ve mentioned this before but its just so true. For instance the Marsh Cave fight. Having Haste was a HUGE help. I had Petyr hit Jon with it and with Steel, which increases his attack, while Sansa hit first herself with Invis, raising evasion, then hitting Jon with it before acting as healer while Sam just made strikes and healed with potions if absolutely necessary. This worked well and Jon was able to knock out each of the Piscodemons which kind of look like wizard cthulus.

Either way after the death loop this was a pleasant outcome. I was concerned maybe I wasn’t strong enough. But the reality is, this game isn’t all about strength. I can’t just level up and be strong enough, I have to think about how I intend to handle the battle. Which you did have to do in FFX but really after that game if you had a high enough level you really didn’t have to care. In smaller fights like against wolves or goblins I can do that and not care about how I win because I am strong enough for that but it’s nothing like how in FFXV a lot of the time I could just keep warp attacking and eventually just win. Less thought went into it for me.

It is interesting to see how the challenging quality of this is gradually becoming more and more absent in modern games. There’s the From Soft games that this is utterly necessary, tactic is the only way you’re going to survive games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. These however are not turn based RPGs, I believe they qualify as Action Adventure RPGs.

I remember watching a special on Final Fantasy several years ago back when G4 existed and did actual gaming content. I believe they said that it was originally believed that American’s weren’t up for the challenge of Final Fantasy which is why in the US we did not see the release of some of these games until later and out of order.

I have not made it far enough to really know where all these thoughts are going but this is truly something I love about video games in the first place, the thinking it can make you do. And 30 years does create a fantastic window for how games have changed and not just Final Fantasy as a series.

This is something I’m going to think on, so until next time!

Back to the Grind

So this week FFXV’s timed quest was a doozy. I only ran it once unlike the Cactuar quest from last week. This week you fight two Malboros and two Marlbodooms. It should switch over tomorrow to something else.

But that is not my focus. I did get back to playing the first game. I was trying to wake a sleeping prince and looking into some cave. However, the cave is a very classic puzzling dungeon. The stuff inside is pretty strong. And with no phoenix down I have found I am not quite strong enough to take on the dungeon and the boss inside. SO… I’m doing some grinding trying to build a couple more levels and buy level 4 spell, Esuna. Poison does seem to happen pretty easily in this one.
This isn’t much of an update I hope to have more to write about next time. But work and life and such always impairs my ability to play as much as I’d like to play! And then with XV doing these timed quests its totally eating into my gaming time.

But this weekend was PAX East and Square Enix had some stuff lined up, among that stuff is this video on the first DLC episode for XV featuring Gladio-

 

Needless to say I am very excited for this release. It looks like it will offer a good challenge and be a great addition to the story and the character.

Well it is late and I have work in the morning I better shut this down here. Until next time!

Sidequest of Cactuars

So I’m taking brief detour from Final Fantasy. Only to Final Fantasy XV though. There’s a limited time quest going on until Monday March 6th. You can do it more than once and it is killing cactuars. It generates 10,000 exp, like 150,000 gil, and 333 AP. I had to take advantage. I’ve run it twice now and bumped my levels from 55 (Noctis) and 54 (Ignis, Gladio, Prompto) to 69 (Noctis) and 68 (Ignis, Gladio, Prompto).

Seriously if you have FFXV this quest is worth breaking out! I’ve beaten the game but its still pretty cool.

This actually brings me to why I’m posting today. FFXV is an amazing game and you can really see Square putting an effort into making you want to keep playing. I’ve beaten this game. I’m still playing this timed quest. I’m going to try and play through a couple more times before this is over because its an awesome way to level up and I still have a few trophies to get (I’m aiming to 100% this one) and some weapons to accumulate.

But overall I’m just very impressed with Square because they are making such an effort to make people go back and keep playing XV. I really feel as though I’m getting my money worth with this game.

This isn’t the first thing that’s been done either because we also had the Moogle Chocobo Festival which while silly was totally fun. I think my biggest disappointment from that though was that my fishing didn’t level up from trying to compete for the better gear during the festival. I also was a little sad that the boys didn’t join Noct. But overall it was cute, I gained some AP, some experience, and just had a great time.

Anywho! If anyone does decide to play this timed quest make sure to have the boys dine on something that amplifies their experience gained, I had them eat the Triple Decker sandwich from Wiz’s Chocobo Post. After I did the two runs I went and stayed at the hotel at Galdin Quay so that I could double what I’d already increased by 50%. TOTALLY worth the gil! I’m sure there are some other things that can be done to help really maximize the rewards this is just what I’ve done so far.

So just a thank you shout out to Square and I’m off to try and take advantage of this excellent farming opportunity!