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!