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!


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!

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…

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!