Fabulous Final Fantasy Franchise Discussion Catch-all

Thanks for the feedback everybody. It sounds like there's a lot of fondness for X, counter to my initial impression. I think my best bet to get past the way the story is being told is to just read up a full spoiler of the story and then give the game a bit more time, see if that patches over the rough spots. Then i can also do the recontextualization to Yuna as the main character despite the camera sticking to Tidus.

I definitely think it helps to view Tidus as the main character (point of view character) and Yuna as the protagonist (character whose conflict drives the story). It makes it funny, though, when you hear Tidus repeatedly insist “This is my story!” No, dude, it’s hers.

Tidus does, eventually, grow up a bit, but it happens pretty late into the game, and it involves coming to terms both with Yuna’s plot twist, and his own.

There's currently a FF14 crossover event in FF15 right now, where the boys end up fighting FF14's Garuda. Apparently FF14 will get a crossover event at some point as well.

So back around... September? August? I was conversing with one frogbeastegg about Final Fantasy VI and was inspired to make that the subject of my next video. Because I suck at prioritizing and sorting and all that I only started playing/recording footage today, and it has been an interesting experience. Naturally I'm going to document some thoughts here because that's a thing I like doing, and also because, though I always record notes on the games I'm making a video of, it helps me to bounce thoughts around with others.

That and not all thoughts are applicable. For example, I'm playing on the SNES Classic, and I've noticed it doesn't perform 100%. I think even the Wii and WiiU Virtual Console version was more accurate to how it played on the SNES. It's only in small things, such as remembering X-Fer working a lot more often than it did in this playthrough, swapping the overworld character from Terra to either Vicks or Wedge each time I entered a new map (it's supposed to be Terra the whole time, even though she's not first in the party), and then minor, stupid things like characters not facing you if you spoke to them while they were in mid-step. X-Fer could just be a bad memory, but I've played the beginning of this game so much in my childhood and even during high school and College years. Some of these things are jarring.

The opening credits also contain a "Remake Planner" note, which... okay, I don't recall the opening credits precisely, but I'm pretty sure the original SNES didn't have that?

Anywho, it otherwise primarily feels like the FFVI I remember, by which I mean Final Fantasy III. I'll be checking Clyde Mandelin's comparison of four translations (SNES, GBA, Fan-ROM, Google) to double check story details and how certain moments just seem oddly localized. As I'm trying to be more critical I'm trying to ask myself more questions that I never had due to familiarity (for example, when and how did the Empire find Terra? Did they ever mention other Espers were trapped in ice? Where did they get the Empire find what Espers they had?). Some of these might be obvious, but I played the game so many times that I kind of stopped paying attention to the dialogue no matter how old I got.

Perhaps most notably about this playthrough are that I'm approaching the combat with two goals in mind.

1. Don't grind
2. Try to specialize characters into classes

Point one is a goal I apply to all older JRPG's I approach. It allowed me to figure out how EarthBound kind of auto-balances itself and turns grinding into... well, a real grind. It also encourages me to think more deeply about the game's mechanics than I ever had when I was younger – which I've already confessed to playing wrong several times. Never used magic for fear of running low on magic points etc. etc. I've already experienced the impact of this, as I had to make use of Terra's healing magic and some tonics to keep characters from dying. Specifically, to keep Terra herself from dying.

Oh! I'm also not buying Sprint Shoes. We'll see how long that decision lasts because cripes it feels slow moving around this game. Nevertheless, I never paid much attention to relics when I was younger, but now that I'm not grinding I'll likely need to focus on boosts and boons from 'em and I don't want a slot being taken up by something without combat benefit.

Anywho, regarding point two, this is part of what sparked this whole decision to go back through the game in the first place. Frogbeastegg lamented the combat greatly, and all I could remember going through it was a lot of grinding not just for levels, but teaching everyone all the magic I could. However, the final dungeon is structured so you need to make three parties of four characters. What if there are four combat roles intended, each one occupied by three characters? Something like healer, tank, glass cannon, etc. Each character has their own class already, sure, but the big problem with FFVI is that the introduction of magicite kind of ruins that. But what if it's only because people just attached magicite and ground them magic learnin' points because that was easiest?

Given that each magicite impacts how your stats grow, I have a theory that it's better to attach certain magicite to certain characters so that they're more specialized, and you can figure out who gets which spells based on the stats they impact.

We'll see how this experiment goes, as it's currently just a theory. I'm already approaching this video project with the intent to reflect on why the story made such a splash when it did, and how the combat fails to live up to the love a lot of us old jerks have for the game. So basically, "here's what I think the design intends, here's where it succeeds/fails, and here's how this flawed game became so highly favored". My thoughts and impressions could change as I play, and it's possible that I'll fail one of those two goals really, really fast.

Oh, something else I need to look up: I never paid attention to how the game described save points, but it says if you die you return to the save point without the gear you collected since you last saved, but you'll retain all experience and levels gained. Is that how it always worked? I intend to find out.

Anywho. If anyone else would like to travel with me down memory lane on your SNES Classic (or actual SNES cartridge (or even GBA cart (or God forbid the Steam/iPhone version))), I invite you to do just that. I played up to Mt. Koltz tonight and may record more tomorrow morning. I intend the next play session to be the Returners hideout and all three separate paths reuniting the team to Narshe.

And if you want another excuse, the game turns 25 (in America) in 2019, so think of it like an anniversary thing.

1. The bit about being disorganized, etc., is unnecessary. Life is busy, it's only been a few months and you're doing a thing. Celebrate that you're doing a thing. Seriously.

2. I like the approach you're taking and look forward to you playing and discussing the game critically. Too often game discussions are merely about what happens or how to beat a boss/etc. *yawn* Here you're playing with the systems to better understand how they work. That's great!

Might help ya for inspiration:

FWIW, I definitely remember that dying worked that way in the original.

[delurks] Was that a summon frog spell? :p

ccesarano wrote:

I'm approaching the combat with two goals in mind.

1. Don't grind
2. Try to specialize characters into classes

That's pretty much how I played. I wanted to minimise the time spent in combat and open up the potential for some degree of challenge without engaging in twinking, low-level running, or other such unnatural shenanigans. I knew from a previous failed effort to finish the game that it was going to be a case of mitigating the gameplay in order to hopefully enjoy the rest of the production.

I designated a set of mages (Terra, Celes, Realm, Strago) and made sure they got the nuking magic, the healing magic, and whatever misc spells I could conveniently drop on them between the good stuff. I did murder cactuars so my mages could gain their more AP-expensive spells efficiently. Everyone else gradually acquired the healing spells, several handy supports like haste, and that's it. I hadn't planned to give everyone healing magic but I had the uncanny ability to choose whomever the game was about to yank to be the person to learn the latest tier of cure. The third time that happened I decided that three times was plenty, thanks. Returning players won't have that problem. For non-mages, I mostly used equipment to customise. The dual-wield skill, the two-handed skill, that sort of thing. As soon as I got the Moogle charm I equipped it and never looked back. I favoured accessories like earrings and so on over the sprint shoes.

I totally ignored stat boosts until I found myself needing to grind so I could sensibly survive the final dungeon. Until that point everything had been easily manageable with characters at levels 18-25. I needed more HP for the now-unavoidable random battles and by this point I wanted the game to end ASAP with the minimum of bother. I thought I might as well fully benefit from the grind so my mages used +2 magic espers and everyone else +2 strength. The increase in damage output was pretty crazy and I didn't level far enough to cap str/mg on anyone. Worth thinking about that aspect of the espers' impact on the systems. I finished with my people in the mid 40s. If I'd attempted to do the two things which I see constantly recommended on the internet (get ultima onto everyone, grind to level 70+) I'd have gone insane.

It all worked well enough, save for the fact it only partially alleviated some of my problems with the combat and related systems while simultaneously bringing others into sharper highlight. It will be interesting to see how you fare. Certainly I finished the game with this method whereas I stalled out when I played 'normally', despite both times approaching the game with a hopeful mindset and desire to love it.

It took me how long to finish the game? And how long again to compose my boring analysis? I'm working on it, and a few other bits for the edification of my recycle bin. That's what slow looks like.

If I were mean I'd suggest playing FFV first. It adds a lot to FFVI's wider context. If I were being kind, I'd suggest playing FFV instead. I dream of the GBA version being ported to ... well, basically anything which plays games and has buttons.


If I'd attempted to do the two things which I see constantly recommended on the internet (get ultima onto everyone, grind to level 70+) I'd have gone insane.

That was common advice even in strategy guides back in the day (though I saw 60 as the recommended level, and I know I did fine beating the game that way). However, it's also partially why I wonder if we Western gamers just RPG'ed incredibly wrong back in the day, or if FFVI's systems just naturally encourage that approach since the systems aren't strong enough to funnel players to more considered play. I hope to return to Final Fantasy VII at some point and see if the Materia system helped with this (I know Materia has a tendency to mess with stats as well), or if it was just a new interpretation of the same problem.

I don't think I hate the combat as greatly as you do, so I might be able to manage with higher level characters than you had. At the same time, this is a huge cast of characters and trying to constantly rotate them is, I imagine, a real pain. I don't remember all the times they brought characters in and out of the party at random, so... it'll be interesting.

LastSurprise wrote:

FWIW, I definitely remember that dying worked that way in the original.

I'll also keep this in mind, then. As a kid I had a tendency to just power off whenever I died, but this seems like if you're going to replay a section, at least retain all that experience gained when you do it.

I'll probably be continuing on later tonight, but returning to this game with a more critical eye has been so fascinating. What I've realized about the combat is that it largely becomes mental auto-battle. Edgar always uses Auto-Crossbow. Locke always Steals (or Fights, if you're not stubborn like me). If she's got magic points, Terra always casts Fire. Otherwise, Fight. There's very little decision making. The only thing that makes it a bit more thrilling is when you are left with smaller parties, like Locke/Celes and Sabin/Shadow. You'll run into surprisingly strong enemies and... yeah, I had some characters die in combat! Surviving by the skin o' my teeth! It was a shock.

While you could argue any Final Fantasy can be like this, even IV was more interesting with its enemy and party combinations. That said, I'm also still early in the game, and think I can see where the combat could become more enjoyable later.

That doesn't mean FFVI wasn't a slouch, though. While the opening of the game is pretty straight-forward, we vary dungeons up slightly with a rafting segment, immediately followed by Locke's "stealth" section around South Figaro. Is it a dull gameplay moment by modern standards? Probably, but back then it was a lot of fun figuring out which outfit was needed when. It also allows the story to expand, focusing on character moments like Locke's dislike of the term "thief" as well as building on the previously hinted invasion. We get a real grasp of the Empire's reach. Similarly with Sabin and Doma, where we're better introduced to General Leo.

As I play, it's very easy to see why FFVI made an impression in '94. I'm looking forward to continuing my playthrough later tonight.

I hope you'll understand, kexx, that I'm trying to avoid that video as I go through. I'm hoping to have my own perspective with maybe some bouncing of ideas here in the forum. The real issue is that I cannot tell how well these things aged aside from the obvious. This stuff feels quaint in modern standards, but does that mean it's bad?

...according to Clock and Frogbeastegg, yes, yes it does. But I'm glad I took this project on nonetheless, as it's refreshing to return to such a familiar game with the intent of better understanding what I loved about it and whether it measures up.

So I'm jotting down more notes now that I'm post-Zozo and about to do the Opera House, which I'll probably try to record tonight. I'm actually having a really good time coming back to this game. I'm also just ... glad I made this decision. I'm better understanding why I fell in love with this game in the first place, my refusal to grind is forcing me to engage with it and feel some real risk (boy howdy is enemy magic powerful), and I'm also learning new, small touches I never found before.

At the same time... I can understand why someone coming back to the game today would have a bad time. I'll be able to go into deeper detail later, I think, but I can see how people would get stuck in a mechanical rut or just feel like the game is banging your head against a wall. It's a game that's better after you already understand it, and that always makes for a miserable first-time experience.

Nevertheless, I get why I loved this game so much as a kid and it became a gold standard. I hope I can communicate it well in my video while trying to be fair about its shortcomings. It's tough, because I want to say "Yes, this is an incredible RPG that did so much well", but the fact that Sabin's scenario is such a difficulty spike due to a lack of healer (especially if you don't grind) is just one factor in this game being... well, rough at points.

I mean, what really pushed FFVI above a lot of its competition were the characters, and I'm finding myself enjoying many of them again now. But at the same time, scenes like Edgar and Sabin at Figaro Castle or Locke mourning over Rachel... they're not only optional, you can miss them entirely. It's just like I only discovered this playthrough that every party member has a different response in the dining car of the Phantom Train. Cyan and Sabin aren't much different, but Shadow feeds some of his to Interceptor and the ghost dances. I never knew about the last two! It was a wonderful delight!

But how many people trying to go back and understand why this game is so beloved are going to get that without a guide? Not a lot.

I just got the magicite and after I'm done recording my notes I'll begin Part One of "specific magicite to specific characters". The hardest one might actually be Gau, who I barely used when I originally went through the game but am learning is actually a decently powerful character (holy cow is Were-Rat a surprisingly good Rage). Given his entire ability relies he be in berserker mode, it's kind of pointless to give him magic.

Guess that might end up being a criticism in the video. Given how powerful each character's abilities are that I don't really use Fight with most of 'em, it makes giving them magic kind of pointless. Which means... yeah, my ultimate criticism might be the game hands you a "completely eliminate the point of our mechanics" button.

Anyone here put meaningful time into World of Final Fantasy? I ended up skipping it on PS4 at launch but got it recently on Switch and like it pretty well so far.

When you say "giving them magic" with magicite, are you talking about teaching them spells or are you talking about equipping them with espers that boost the Magic stat on level up?

Because a lot of characters can benefit from the latter even if they don't use spells in battle a lot. A lot of Sabin's best Blitzes, for example, key off his Magic stat.

Giving them spells. It's already seeming like some of those level-up bonuses make a huge difference, but it's also feeling already like the game wants you to actively teach everyone every magic that can be magic'ed. I'm about to enter Vector, but am gonna make one more side trip.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Anyone here put meaningful time into World of Final Fantasy? I ended up skipping it on PS4 at launch but got it recently on Switch and like it pretty well so far.

When it first came out I got a decent ways in, but don't remember a lot of details. I enjoyed it, and am planning on grabbing it once my Amazon trade-in credit kicks in (I opted to wait until they received the items in case there was a SNAFU). I'd rather play it on Switch, and my pal recently went through it on Vita so it's something he and I could discuss.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Anyone here put meaningful time into World of Final Fantasy? I ended up skipping it on PS4 at launch but got it recently on Switch and like it pretty well so far.

I have it on Vita, but it never really scratched the itch I wanted it to. The battle system hooked me for a bit but then gor redundant.Story wise, there was just nothing to hook me to the world in general. Since the Switch is now my portable console of choice, maybe I will pick it up again sometime down the line to go again.

hbi2k wrote:

When you say "giving them magic" with magicite, are you talking about teaching them spells or are you talking about equipping them with espers that boost the Magic stat on level up?

Because a lot of characters can benefit from the latter even if they don't use spells in battle a lot. A lot of Sabin's best Blitzes, for example, key off his Magic stat.

So I did the first run through Vector tonight and yeah, yeah I'm beginning to get the feeling that the game's going to be a weird halfway between what I'm trying to experiment with and how everyone just plays it. There seems to be little correlation in what kind of magic spells a Magicite will contain and which stats it boosts, and often the stats it boosts seem more useful to the opposite type of character I want to have it.

We'll see how well it works out. Even with what little I've played since getting Magicite, though, it feels very, very obvious how much a difference that Magicite does though in terms of stat boosts. I'm reminded of how it's better to catch a Pokemon at a lower level so it gets the best stat-boosts as early as possible. In all those years I was grinding in FFVI, already beyond level 20 at this point, I was actually making my characters slightly weaker in the long-run. Not enough that it would matter too much, but enough.

Which makes me wonder... I might have to look into some of the back-end code. The game's a bit inconsistent with out-of-party leveling, as Sabin and Edgar failed to level-up during my trip to Zozo, but everyone not in the party leveled up during my trip to Vector. If characters level up even out of party, then would they gain the stat boosts of any Espers still equipped? Otherwise anyone not in your party is missing out on those bonuses.

Now I really want to replay FFVII after this, to see how much of an evolution of this system Materia was. The Junction system of FFVIII also seems to be an evolution of this system, but giving the player more direct control.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Anyone here put meaningful time into World of Final Fantasy? I ended up skipping it on PS4 at launch but got it recently on Switch and like it pretty well so far.

I finished it back at launch, loved my time with it, got the true ending and all that.

I rolled credits on Final Fantasy XIV's second expansion, Stormblood, yesterday. I wanted to put some thoughts down on the story here, as opposed to the MMO thread.

For those who haven't played, the primary recurring antagonist in the game is the Garlean Empire. They're very much your standard Final Fantasy evil empire: technologically advanced, suspicious of magic, aggressively expansionist, thoroughly despotic. They invaded several provinces a few decades ago, and several of the main characters you meet are from these areas. The base game (lvl 1-50) sees you facing off against them and ultimately fighting off an invasion attempt.

The next expansion, Heavensward, sees the Empire retreat to the background to lick their wounds while your character brings about the end to a 1000 year war between dragons and the nation of Ishgard (long story). They return to the forefront in Stormblood, when the decision is made to liberate Ala Mhigo, one of the occupied provinces, from Imperial control.

If you view each expansion, as well as the base game, as a full fledged Final Fantasy, Stormblood is one of the most muted entries in the franchise since Final Fantasy XII. There's less a focus on epic history and apocalyptic eidolans, and more focus on people who've lived under occupation for decades, as well as the people fighting against that oppression. It spends a lot of time showing how beaten and downtrodden these people are, along with their very justified fear when rebels show up promising freedom. Two of the villains are people from these provinces who've turned their back on their people to work for the Empire. It attempts to show how their fear and uncertainty drove them to their presumed enemy's arms. This is contrasted with your allies' actions, who decide to fight against the Empire despite the uncertainty. So, Stormblood tries to be a more character-driven story, which is interesting for an MMO.

Unfortunately the MMO structure forces that story to be spread a bit too thin. The resistance against the Empire is crushed at the end of the first act, so our heroes decide to go to Doma, another occupied province, to foment rebellion. The thinking is that if they can split the Empire's attention, they'll be spread too thin. This works because the plot demands it, though it felt fairly unbelievable. A lot of time is spent meeting various tribes and factions, recruiting them as soldiers in the coming fight, padding out your time in the various zones, before the plot hurries up and suddenly it's time for the final confrontation in Doma. Our heroes are victorious, because of course they are, and they return to Ala Mhigo. Another series of battles ensue, and after a dungeon and very flashy boss fight, Ala Mhigo is liberated.

It all feels a little unsatisfying and unearned. Heavensward featured a pretty meaty Final Fantasy story full of mysteries, fantastic locations, enigmatic characters, and lots of Final Fantasy-esque twists and turns. It had some MMO padding of course, but everything mostly felt necessary, or at least looked cool enough to make up for it. Stormblood is a by-the-numbers rebels vs empire story where the good guys win simply because they must, with only a modicum of obligatory-feeling character growth. Most of the zones are plain to look at, and while the last zone is the same size as all the others, you barely explore it before the story wraps up.

Now, the advantage the MMO structure has is that it requires More Content. While the credits rolled after the final boss fight, there have been several story patches released since then. After Heavensward's release, the subsequent updates dealt with the aftermath of your character's victory, and elevated the expansion's plot as a whole. From what I understand, Stormblood does the same, and deals with the rebuilding effort. I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

Based on the trailer for Shadowbringers, it looks to me like FF14 is returning to a more fantastical plot this summer. I'm excited for it!

So not saying much about FFVI at this point. Lots of observations and notes and stuff jotted down.

Just want to comment that I've reached the point where the Floating Continent shows up. It's such an interesting sequence, because things are moving super fast. However, they also feel a bit... rushed, I suppose? The gates of the Esper realm just suddenly bursting open like they did, the other crew conveniently arriving in time to tell the rest of the party about their escape... I feel like there was supposed to be more game here, but they had to condense things down.

I have no real evidence to back it up, though, and condensing content in the middle of the game is kind of unusual. Nevertheless, I feel like they had the world outlined, but didn't have enough time or the means to craft another dungeon in Vector or something. At the same time, this could just be the whole Jo-Ha-Kyu thing going on because this is most certainly rapid, and the World of Ruin is most certainly the "break" where the status quo is permanently undone. So maybe it was all intentional, it just feels like they're relying on cheap conveniences, both in the Espers psychically knowing their pals are in danger and everyone else getting out of Vector on time.

Regardless, I'm surprised at how invested I was at this major part of the story. I knew it was coming, but what I think makes it work is Kefka. I know a lot of us have sworn up and down he's a great villain, but it's hard to remember why when the dialogue is so... well, condensed and mis-translated. He's certainly a comedic side character that shows his evil side, but some of his dialogue at this moment are... just... wonderful. The joy he takes in being evil is equal parts shocking and amusing in that sick twisted way. At least, to me. I imagine other people playing the SNES translation and playing are probably just all "meh" about it or something.

It's quite possible nostalgia's also a part of it as well. While I don't recall some of his dialogue, I somehow briefly forgot how the Floating Continent cracked open. Quaint now, sure, but seeing it again suddenly transported me back to childhood, sitting beside my siblings, eyes wide in disbelief at what we were seeing.

I'm waffling on whether I want to return to the Veldt and do some leaps for Gau, as well as getting what remaining Dances for Mog I can, or to just go right into the Floating Continent. I think one criticism I'm going to have for this game in my video is, as delightful as it at first seemed to have so many characters, there really are too many, and even the game itself seems to focus on a core group. Gau and Mog weren't even in the last cut-scene at Thamasa. Even Yuffie and Vincent were present in cut-scenes that contained the entire cast.

Which... I'm crossing my fingers that the FFVII port on Switch comes soon because now I want to replay that and see how it evolved the Magicite system with Materia, as well as... honestly? I think got a bit worse by removing character-specific abilities outside of Limit Breaks. One step forward, one (or two?) steps back it feels like.

Mog's Water Rondo is the only dance you can miss, so at least get that one. All other dances can be learned in the WoR.

So I haven't been able to get back to FFVI so no unwanted jump back into several paragraphs of musings for me.

However, Square Enix has announced that FF-X/X-2 HD Remaster is releasing April 16th for Switch and Xbox One, while FFXII is releasing April 30th for both platforms.

Guess April and May are The Months of the Switch for me.

Speaking of FF6, I've been working my way through FF14's series of fights against the Warring Triad. They've been quite fun.

FF6's fight against The Goddess:

FF14's fight against her:

The updated music is great, and seeing how they took her attacks in the original and carried them over is fun.

I'm really going to have to figure out a time to give FFXIV a try. Do we have a healthy population of PS4 players or is it mostly PC?

Not sure one platform vs the other, but all players play together regardless of platform choice. You can even move back and forth between them and play the same character, as long as you have a license for each platform.

ccesarano wrote:

So I haven't been able to get back to FFVI so no unwanted jump back into several paragraphs of musings for me.

I thought your long form posts were impressive and detailed, but I haven't played FFVI in 15 years or so, so they meant little to me. I am surprised no one else but into them as they're the sort of deep dive stuff I feel like games need more of. Maybe don't do it on 73 year old games though.

Are there a lot of people on the forum who play FF XIV? I've never tried it (never played an MMO at all, actually), but from time to time I think about giving it a go.

There was a large contingent a few years back. No idea who is still a sub.

The announcement for this year's new expansion got my hyped and I resubbed to get caught up on the current expansion's content.

It's essentially played as a single player game, until you get to 4-player dungeons and 8-player boss fights. There are also 8- and 24-player raids.

There's a free trial with no time limits that lets you play up to level 35 in any job. A single character can play any class/job in the game, so feel free to try out different ones and see what you like.

The story takes a while to get going, and mechanically it can take a while for your character to feel complete. But it's as much a real Final Fantasy game as any other in the franchise, and I've really enjoyed it.

I'm on the Midgardsormr server, and that's where the GWJ Free Company (guild) is as well, though it's not very active right now.

There are PS4 and PC versions, and everyone plays together regardless of platform. It also fully supports controller on PC.

garion333 wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

So I haven't been able to get back to FFVI so no unwanted jump back into several paragraphs of musings for me.

I thought your long form posts were impressive and detailed, but I haven't played FFVI in 15 years or so, so they meant little to me. I am surprised no one else but into them as they're the sort of deep dive stuff I feel like games need more of. Maybe don't do it on 73 year old games though. :P

I am not commenting, but I am reading them with some interest. It's been a while for me, too, though. I keep meaning to revisit FF6, but... you know how it is.

I've been largely silent on FF6 due to holding myself back from a lot of "screw you, that game is perfect!" style defenses of perceived flaws, since I recognize intellectually that FF6 has plenty of obvious mechanical and design imperfections, but emotionally it was my introduction to JRPGs and I love it and it's perfect, damn you! (-:

I think there's a lot of value in what you're doing, and I'd hate to sidetrack it with pointless arguing, is what I'm trying to say.

What I'll also say is that while you're right that there are plenty of flaws and I'm not trying to get you to stop pointing them out, for me they fade seamlessly into the background. Yes, there are systems that are sort of pointless to engage in or at least require you to play in artificial ways in order to engage in them, but when you don't engage in them, what's left is still really pretty great.