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.

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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!

Where it Began

I’ve put in about 6 hours to Final Fantasy. It’s not much, though I keep feeling as though I’ve played more than the clock is reflecting.

I’m currently feeling a bit conflicted about the game. In some ways I really enjoy it. It’s very nostalgic of NES days. But at the same time I’m really missing modern features. The lack of some of the features offers a challenge which is an interesting experience. I personally have taken such luxuries for granted and honestly hadn’t considered how much more challenging a game might be without something like a map easily pulled up.

One interesting thing about the game is that in the start the White Mage, Sansa in my game, isn’t totally useless as a fighter. I expected her to not be much help but she’s actually been a surprise hard hitter. As the levels have gone up her usefulness has decreased but it’s not like Yuna whacking someone with her staff for a measly 10 HP off of their like hundreds of HP. Instead Sansa does get 10-15 HP knocked off of a total HP of somewhere between 20-80 so its significant.

The Black Mage, Petyr, however is as useless a fighter without magic as I anticipated. His HP is also the lowest. Petyr does have some great spells he can use which I was surprised to see for as black magic and not marked as white. Specially the buffer “Steel” which I do use on my Warrior, Jon.

So far I have saved a princess, gotten a ship, and I’m currently working on waking a sleeping elf prince.

Oh and I came across a suspicious looking well that the game is assuring me is not important. Not sure if I believe it though…


The game is very similar to Legend of Zelda in the sense that you need to speak to the NPCs and get the clues for where to go and what to do. This is what makes me wish for a map because it would just be nice to take a peak at a layout of the area just to get my barrings with the information provided.


The spells are also a bit different than what I’m used to. Esuna is only set to cure poison. At least as a level 4 spell it only cures poison. This may change perhaps if there is an Esuna 2 like there is a Cure 2 which restores more HP then Cure 1.

There is also no phoenix down as of yet and I currently do not have a Life spell to revive fallen characters.

These small changes have really required that I play with a little more strategy. If someone falls, they’re down until I make it to a village and pay to have them revived. If someone is poisoned every step I take an annoying green light flashes and my character is hurting every time so they an antidote is really necessary.

Leveling up however seems a bit simpler. I am currently level 8 and while by today’s standards that may seem a bit low I do not seem to be having difficulty with playing. Inflation doesn’t just effect the economy I guess. Perhaps its our perception that larger numbers equal strength. Because my strongest, Jon, his HP is only just now over 200.

I’d say the prices of things was high but its fairly easy to acquire gil so with some basic grinding you can really get the goods easy enough.

I’m gonna get back to it. I’ll provide another update after I’ve clocked some more time.