FFV Fiesta #6: Storming the Real Evil Fortress

Alright, Exdeath.  You killed Galuf, you killed… that other Dawn Warrior, you’ve caused me countless grief… LET’S FINISH THIS.

Well… a problem, though.  The castle is just a big old dead end.  What a downer.  Is there no way forward?

Well, Krile’s basically the only member that can use magic, speak to animals… and well, do anything before picking up some crystals, so I’ll trust her.  However, the party just sits around while Kelger sacrifices himself to reveal the way.  From his bed halfway across the world.  Somehow.  And also, all the Dawn Warriors are dead.  That’s, well… unfortunate.  So, what did the werewolf’s sacrifice reveal?

OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT?!  I preferred the regular walls and NOT screaming skulls, thanks.

…So onward.  Exdeath’s castle, as you might think, is not very friendly.  However, there is one thing that makes the climb excruciating…

Dragons.  God forsaken Dragons. Dragons are so scary that Krile simply flees the battle in terror (I don’t know what the heck happened to her in that picture).  Dragons typically are only dangerous when you first fight them; then you realize they are elemental, and therefore have elemental weaknesses, and can smash them pretty fast.  However… I do not have that advantage, with only some Wind-based Geomancy and a Flamberge at my disposal.  Dragons also have a powerful (non-magical!) attack of their element they can use, and it will HURT.  I died to Dragons multiple times in the dungeon… not as much as the boss, but enough that I feared them, even when there was only one.  Of course, the game could also be kinda mean about it…

Sure, it only looks like one dragon… but see that number?  Three.  That’s right, THREE BLUE DRAGONS freaking attacked me.  That’s not even fair.

Enough ranting about Dragons.  After climbing most of the castle, you get to a chest in a large room, all alone.  You could ignore the chest and move on, but who on earth would ignore free stuff?  Anyway, the chest is empty (I hate looters that aren’t me), and one would sigh and move on.  However…

Oh.  You.  JERK.  Naturally, we try to beat the stuffing out of him.  You can click the picture above for the epic fight, which I highly recommend because of Gilgamesh’s fine banter.  Oh, and we succeed to beat the stuffing out of him, and get this for our troubles:

Oh, Gilgamesh… you will be missed.

Exdeath has taken yet another life, and it’s time to make HIM PAY, DAMNIT.

That’s… well, easier said than done.  Exdeath starts easy, but the more you hurt him, the faster he goes, until he gets to do three attacks consecutively.  It’s honestly pretty hard to keep everyone alive when he throws Vacuum Wave (~1000 damage), Thundaga (~600 damage, depending on the target), and a physical attack (~60 damage… but STILL) all at once.  I couldn’t handle it at first… He had Level 3 Flare, and I was 33, so I had to go level up.  Then, I learned he had Level 2 Old, so I went to level up again.  That level wasn’t enough, either, so… I decided to go back to the earlier floors of the castle (where there AREN’T DRAGONS) and grind for levels and Reflect Rings.  A little while later…

I’m at 37, but I didn’t pick up a Reflect Ring.  I wasn’t going to grind anymore, since I couldn’t face Exdeath again until level 41 with the Level spells and all.  So, I go with this set-up, though there’s a change… Bartz mastered Knight on the way back up, so I switched him to Berserker and gave him Equip Sword, so he could have a shield and the higher accuracy weapon, basically making him more of an auto-attacking Knight.  How’d it all go?

He dies!  Of course, Lenna died too.  She always dies.  Anyway, you can click above for a video, if you want to see Exdeath’s face smashed in.

So, we save the world, though the crystals break, and somehow end up right near Castle Tycoon.  We have a party, Faris is secretly hot (though it’s not a huge secret when she’s a Dancer…), and Krile and Bartz run off to do cool stuff.  Cool stuff involves falling in holes that are infested with monsters.

We beat up an Antlion, have Faris rope-tease us for a solid three minutes before letting us up, and she rejoins the group.  Where’s Lenna, you wonder?  She’s a princess, geez.  She’s in the castle still.  Onward, we find Ghido.  He’s still sort of a jerk.

Of course, Bartz doesn’t help much be being a parrot and repeating every little thing that he sa–

–Wait, ‘worlds merging’?

Huh, I guess they really DID merge.  Well, it doesn’t look so lonely now.

Meanwhile, Exdeath appears and messes everyone up, then unleashes the Void on Castle Tycoon and sucks up the entire place, with Lenna in it.  Great, I love not having party members.  So, story and plot, then we’re sent off to the pyramid to find a tablet, that we can use to unlock some of the twelve legendary weapons that have been sealed away for a time like this.

So, here’s how everyone looks at the start of the merged world (or World 3, if you will).  Of course, Lenna isn’t around, being thrown into the Rift and all.  Next time, we’ll go to one of the worst dungeons ever, and some other stuff.  Stick around!


gaiages uses Explosion! It’s super effective!

New theme! It’s a lot nicer on the eyes, and the pictures format correctly and all that! Dusk to Dawn doesn’t automatically tab my paragraphs either, which is something that personally bugged me.

I wanted to also make it so posts were shortened with a little ‘read more’ link, but that requires messing with the XHTML code, and that’s something I can’t do for free (I think)!

Anyway, more substantial posts in a few days! See you then!

Summer Gaming #1: Ocarina of Time

The first game I beat for the Summer Gaming Challenge was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.  Wow, fast wasn’t it?  Well, I was already playing the game before the challenge, but that can be a little secret, since the extra motivation certainly helped with beating it.

So, as I’m sure you’re wondering… what did I think?  How’s it stack up?  How in the hell did I not play Ocarina of Time before this?  That’s what blogs are for!  Read on to find out.

How is this game a classic?

It’s… well, it’s Ocarina of Time.  While I feel this explains enough, I’ll go further anyway, or else that comment will be all I’ll say the entire time.  Ocarina of Time, originally released for the Nintendo 64, is the first Zelda to go into the ‘3D’ realm; meaning, that instead of the top-down 2D view of Link to the Past and earlier Zeldas, it’s a fully 3D world.  In addition, the storytelling took a big step up; it felt like the series ‘grew up’, in terms of both dialogue and style.  Everything that Ocarina of Time offered came together in a fantastic package, easily winning the hearts of many fans, making it their favorite Zelda game of all time.

…At least, that’s what I heard, anyway.  But before what I think…

What does the remake change from the original?

Since I played the remake for the 3DS, there are a few things that have changed from the original N64 (and its various ports).  The easiest to spot is the graphical upgrade; the graphics are nicely remade and up to modern standards, while still running smoothly on the 3DS.  There are still a few issues that stem from some stiff animating, and these times stand out more due to the graphical upgrade, but for the most part the upgrade as a good step up.  Since this is a game for the 3DS, the game also has 3D capabilities, though to be honest, it seemed as though Nintendo didn’t quite have it down at this point.  It’s hard to explain, but walking around the forest to have those little balls of light come RIGHT AT YOU then suddenly disappear really can mess with your eyes… in a bad way.

Gameplay is also slightly improved.  ‘Z-Targeting’ (which name no longer applies, since there’s no more Z Button) is improved, and map and items are moved to the bottom screen for convenience.  It’s especially nice to not have to equip the ocarina to play it, and that there’s two extra ‘touch only’ slots to equip items with.

So, the changes aren’t really all that game-changing, and there’s no new content, unless you think adding Master Quest in counts.  So, without further ado…

What’s the verdict?

I thoroughly enjoyed playing Ocarina of Time, and I’m especially glad I played the remake, since it took me so long to actually play it.  It’s a great Zelda game, and that says a lot for a series with such consistently high standards.  Most of the dungeons were fun, and the bosses challenging; with only a couple of exceptions, I looked forward to whatever the game was going to throw at me.  There’s so much extra stuff you can do as well, and the side-quests and traditional trading circle as bound to keep players entertained for hours even after the main game is completed.  The story, though I already knew all of the plot twists, was engaging and kept me going; sure, it isn’t the most original plot you’ll see, but it is is still a good story regardless.  The fighting is still smooth, though that’s likely to be attributed to the remake as opposed to the game itself aging well.

In a sentence, it’s a great game, and likely in my top three favorite Zelda games… it may not be the best in my mind, but when standing against Link’s Awakening and Wind Waker, the poor game didn’t stand much of a chance anyway!

And… that’s Ocarina of Time for you.  A great start to the Summer Gaming Challenge, and a game everyone should try out, and deserves its ‘classic’ status… and that’s the essence of the challenge, so mission accomplished!  Check out what I beat (in between all the crazy FFV updates) next time!

FFV Fiesta #5: Beating Down a Ton of Foes

When we last left our heroes, they were still escaping from Exdeath’s Castle.  Which wasn’t too hard, but now we have to get across the BIG BRIDGE.

(Click above for a video!) Of course, Gilgamesh gets a beatdown.  I got a little worried when he started Jumping me, but it wasn’t as threatening as it looked.

Of course, the heroes get blown to the other side of the world by a barrier (?!).

Who-knows-where has a lot of swamps.

Behold the instant-death abilities of the Bottomless Bog!

Behold buying Hi-Potions!

Behold making a living as a bar dancer (click the picture for a video)!

Anyway, we eventually get saved from Nowheres-ville via Moogle psychic abilities.  We fought a boss during then, but the skeleton wasn’t anything to write home about.  Story happens, and eventually I have to fight…

Dragon Pod (Another video to click on above!).  This guy can be a massive pain, sprouting flowers that can inflict status ailments.  However, this was undermined with Gaia’s Cave-In and Earthquake, plus the Dancer being able to equip the Ribbon.  All in all, it went well.

After this, we go to storm the Barrier Tower with Xveat.  Unfortunately, my pictures and video from the boat fighting didn’t save, but you can be rest assured that Gilgamesh got his face beaten in for a third time.  Enkido died with one Berserker hit, too.

Dragons, on the other hand, promptly beat my face in a few times on the walk up.  Also, the Blood Sword has terrible accuracy, and activating Sword Dance with it equipped does NOT give you 4x damage.  It’s like a double fail.

Atomos looks scary, and to be honest, when he starts trying to suck in your friends’ dead corpses, it doesn’t help that image much.

Galuf laughs in the face of death, however, and Atomos falls.  Bartz doesn’t think it’s so funny.

Let’s fast forward a bit in the story.  Ghido’s a bit of a jerk, the party finds out that Exdeath is basically a tree, and they run off to his birthplace, for one reason or another.  Upon reaching the Guardian Tree of the Moore Forest, however, we run into these guys:

Oh, these crystals.  Really, screw them.  They are quite the challenge for a normal playthrough… trying to fight these guys with Job limits is absolutely maddening.  Each crystal represents an element: Right is Water, top is Fire, bottom is Earth, and left is Wind.  They will only attack you normally… until you get them low on health, when the crystal starts spamming a high powered move of its element… and one that’ll hit the whole party, at that.  So, obviously, you should try not to knock multiple crystals to low health at once… a bit of a difficulty with a Berserker, and it doesn’t allow me to use Gaia either, with what not being able to pick my targets with it.

It took me about five tries before I realized this.  My Knight had a Flame Shield, which absorbs fire damage.  So, if I activate the top crystal, it can heal me while I whittle the others down.  Unfortunately… the crystals fall out of sync, so eventually the low-health crystal in the back uses Aeroga on Lenna twice and kills her.  After about seven more attempts, I just go and grind out about four levels.  Which didn’t help… but you know what did?  Everyone being able to dance.  Seriously.

Sword Dance saved the day… let me explain.  I followed the strategy that I stated earlier: I activated the top crystal, and used its Firaga to heal Knight Faris while I defeated the Water and Earth crystals.  However, when I got to the Wind Crystal, I realized that Aeroga simply did too much damage to a single target to stay alive.  So I killed the Fire crystal, revived and fully healed everyone, and then started dancing (including Galuf, who had a Dancing Dirk).  Once he started casting Aeroga, I was worried, but… Faris pulled off a Sword Dance right when I was getting worried, and won the day.  Actually, it makes it a little ironic that the Dancer is the only one dead at the end of the battle.

However, this is no time to celebrate, since Exdeath ruined the party (you can click the picture for another video).  Galuf, however, danced in the face of ultimate evil itself, and came out… well… I’d love to say alright.

…But… Well, Galuf, you were a fine man.  And the finest party member.  You will be missed.  More importantly, however, you will be AVENGED.

LET’S GO TEACH EXDEATH A THING OR TWO ABOUT EX…DEATH… okay that ruined it.  Next time.

FFV Fiesta #4: Earth Classes and Storming Evil Fortresses

Alright, the final classes!  Well, for the Fiesta, anyway… there’s still the Mime class, as well as the four new classes unique to FFV Advance, but I won’t be using any of those.  In no particular order, the Earth Classes are Samurai, Dancer, Chemist, and Dragoon.  Most of these classes go well with my party: Samurai would help me be even more damaging physically; Dragoon a little less so than Samurai, but Jump would be really useful; and Chemist would give me some well needed healing.  Of course, because of this…

I get Dancer.  And yes, I skipped forward in time a bit so that Galuf could model; he leaves the party immediately after the Earth Crystal shatters, so you’ll be without him for a little bit.  Anyway, the Dancer class.  Oh boy, Dancers.

Dancers… well, Dance in battle.  When you use the Dance command, one of four dances will happen randomly: Tempting Tango confuses the enemy; Jitterbug hits the enemy and heals the user for ~400 HP; Mystery Waltz drains ~50 MP; Sword Dance does about 4x normal attack damage.  Obviously, Sword Dance is the best of these, but to make the Dancer really good requires certain equipment and possibly skills as well.  Basically, my Dancer will likely get to shine end-game, by me either using the Chicken Knife (Dancers can only wield daggers) or the Knight’s Equip Swords ability, coupled with the pieces of armor that make Sword Dance replace Tempting Tango… but none of that will be available for a while, so I’m sorta gimped until that time comes.

The other interesting thing is the Dancer is their equipment; there are multiple pieces of armor that only they can equip, the first you run into being the Ribbon.  Some Dancer equipment is actually pretty good, too!

Now, the Dancer’s skills. At Level 1 you learn Flirt, which is a command that possibly makes the enemy miss an attack. Level 2 nets you the ability to dance as another job.  Level 3 gives you Equip Ribbon, which as the name does not imply, allows you to wear any Dancer exclusive equipment.  To be honest, none of these are particularly useful… maybe in tandem you could make a cool Dancer Knight, but you can only equip one secondary skill at a time, so not really.

Along the one of updates, there isn’t much.  I mainly wanted to get the class update out of the way… updates will also be a little different from now on, since I don’t have the new jobs to separate them up nicely.  Anyway, highlights:

Galuf went back to his home planet, so we had to fight three bosses without him.

Titan wasn’t too hard, but he did get a little mad at the end…

These guys, though, were less than easy.  When you kill one, they cast Arise, reviving ALL of the other Purobolos.  After two failures, and Gaia magic failing to use the same skill the whole fight, I resorted to simply Guarding until they all Self-Destructed on me.  Which, by the way, does not trigger Arise.  Whoo!

The third boss was a pushover.  I don’t remember its name.

And now, off to a new world, and to help the old man!

Except not, because everyone gets captured by Exdeath. Great work!

So, Galuf is a badass and storms Exdeath’s castle BY HIMSELF to save everyone else.  And he even beats the crap out of Gilgamesh, which while I didn’t take a screenshot of, that video will give an ever BETTER effect.  Next time I’ll at least take a screen so at you can click on the picture or something.

And, everyone’s saved and reunited. Joy!  This is everyone at the proper start of the second world… and a good time to end the update!  Nope, I haven’t even finished escaping Exdeath’s castle yet… which is bound to be eventful, so stay tuned.

Summer Gaming Challenge!

This year, I will be unofficially participating in Racketboy’s Summer Gaming Challenge.  I say unofficially because I do not post on the site very often, so I didn’t really sign up there, but I’m still following the rules and whatnot.

Anyway, the Summer Gaming Challenge is when you pick ten games that you have and haven’t played through that are considered classics, and… well, play through them, trying to beat them all by the end of the summer.  For me, the end of the summer is August 31st.

The ten games are below.  I honestly found it a bit hard to categorize a lot of my games as ‘classics’, since I unfortunately don’t own a ton of retro games, and most of the ‘retro’ selections are in fact remakes… but I found some, and I have some unplayed ‘hidden gems’ and ‘modern classics’ as well, so my list is a little different from the norm.  When I finish a game, I’ll write a lovely blog post about it, too, and link it here.  Here’s the list… let’s see how many I can beat by the end of August!

  • SkyGunner (PS2) [Info] [Post]
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD (XBLA) [Info]
  • Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelations (NDS) [Info] [Post]
  • Psychonauts (Steam) [Info] [Post]
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) [Info] [Post]
  • Mother 3 (GBA) [Info]
  • Brave Fencer Musashi (PS1) [Info]
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3) [Info]
  • Gradius (PSP) [Info]
  • Shining Force (360) [Info] [First Impression] [Post]