Fabulous Final Fantasy Franchise Discussion Catch-all

I am doing some cactuar grinding in FF6 to train a few characters in Flare, curaga, etc. Then a bit of coliseum fun and on to Kefka's tower. I've got enough reflect rings and most of the good end game stuff except for dragon fights. Don't have Odin or its upgrade, is that necessary for the tower? This is the GBA version.

If I remember correctly, Odin's the only esper that grants a bonus to speed on level up, and Raiden (it's upgrade) is the only one that teaches Quick -- which lets you take two actions in a turn. Both are nice to have, but not essential. And you'd miss out on the speed bonus anyway if you immediately complete the Odin questline and get Raiden.

Do you mean the final dungeon, or Fanatic’s tower?

Odin/Raider isn’t necessary for either but if that’s the only endgame thing you’ve got left to do, why not do it? It’s pretty short, a cool story, the place holds some great treasure, and one of the dragons is down there.

Sorry, I meant fanatic's tower. I have all of the characters, but I haven't done any coliseum fights, yet. Haven't got odin/raiden. But I do have Flare, Ultima, Curaga, Reraise, Quake, Holy and the elemental -agas available.

You would probably make it through fine but it might be easier if you got Odin and learned Meteor on a couple characters. It’s non-elemental so it won’t heal any enemies, and doesn’t get reflected. I believe my recent play through, Celes got me through some PITA fights with it.

Yeah, there's a few spells that can pierce right through reflect, like Demi and Quarter as well. I also learned that reflecting spells off your own party means those might stack damage when repelled back on the enemy, so you can do more damage reflecting magic off your whole team and onto one or two enemies if you're not facing many.

I’ve been playing FFIII on DS lately and got a little more exploratory than the game wants you to be, I guess. Found a strangely punishing slant in the game.

If there’s a traversal thing you don’t have and you try to traverse without it, you get a straight game over. There’s a purple bog tile you need Levigrass shoes to get over. If you touch the bog tile without the shoes a little cut scene plays and boom, dead.

Similarly I ran to the far north on a chocobo just to explore and came across a series of statues that are across from each other in vertical rows, like they were some kind of gate. I passed the first set, the screen shook a bit, and they disappeared. Passed the second set and the same happened. When I walked between the third set a little cutscene played and boom, dead. No idea what these statue things are or why they killed us.

This is all somewhat exacerbated by the lack of autosave, but that’s to be expected for a 14 year old game.

I can’t think of a similar mechanic in the other games. You can run from the Midgar Zolom in VII. You can run into harder enemies than you can handle in some other games but you can usually get away.

Just an interesting quirk in an otherwise bland game so far.

Apologies but I have more griping to do about FFIII.

You hear people complain often about JRPGs in general being too grindy; this has never resonated with me. Especially with FF games, I’ve felt like doing the combat that comes along between the over world and dungeons will get you plenty stronge enough to finish a game.

III has become the opposite. I’m grinding like this is 7th Saga.

Example: I was level 23 when I reached Goldor Manor and the enemies inside were kind of tough, so I found in IGN’s guide that 26 is the recommended level. So I got those three levels and indeed, got through pretty easily.

The next story beat is in a castle-town called Sorovia or something. There’s one optional area in the town with monsters. You can get from the boss of Goldor Manor to the next boss without a random encounter - the next boss wiped the floor with me at level 26. Then again at level 30. I looked it up and they recommend being level 33.

Having to raise ten levels just walking around a small space is quickly pushing this past XII for my least favorite.

Not to mention the awful mechanical character development. Why institute this job system if half of them are useless and there’s no carryover from job to job to incentivize? V and Tactics are much better executed, naturally, but they should have tweaked this archaic system more when they reworked it in 2006, much like they did IV for DS.

It's been a long time since I played 3, but I remember preferring it in comparison to 5 simply because it was a little simpler in terms of character development. But I also followed a guide the whole way through, so I probably just did a lot of grinding as I went anyway.

FFIII down.

I enjoyed the last ten hours more than the rest. There was plenty of grinding but I became resigned to it and found some good spots to do it so it was more bearable.

I also came to understand and appreciate the context of the original release. This is a mediocre DS RPG. As a Famicom game releasing in 1990 though? I can see this being pretty awesome. The story is a little basic and tropey but back then it wasn’t overdone already. The fact that there weren’t walkthroughs and established best practices means players then probably didn’t need to grind a ton, they were just exploring or didn’t care.

It was also kinda fun seeing the origin of the Crystal Tower from FFXIV.

Still a bottom-third game for me but I think I had more fun than in XII.

I’ve begun XIII and it’s pretty sleepy through the first four hours. I got pretty far originally, to a boss I couldn’t beat, I think it was Hope’s esper (?). The first three hours was just forward on the left stick and auto-battle. A couple potions in the Anima boss fight. I think now that I’ve unlocked paradigms it’ll be better, but they definitely went too long without introducing the basics of the combat.

Has there been any journalist regarding the dialogue in FFXIII? All these years later I still feel like it is the most stilted in the series, somehow. The characters immediately sound like they’re more familiar than they are with each other. Sazh, for example, tells Snow at some point that he’s responsible for something or another, and this is before they know each other’s names. I also think Vanille hugs hope like three times before they exchange names. I wonder if it’s a cultural thing that normally gets smoothed out in the translation process that they either missed or decided to bypass this time.

Ok, finished the Ancient Castle in FF6 Advance. Going to try a few Colosseum fights for some end game gear. Any particularly strong recommendations? I think I want at least the royal gown, and one behemoth suit upgrades.

None jump to mind. If I’m remembering correctly the best thing involves a relic called Marvel Shoes that you can kinda farm. The rest of the bets are more lateral moves to get better items for one character vs another, or even downgrades sometimes.

They’re remastering FF Crystal Chronicles for Switch, I believe it’s releasing in August. Anyone have feelings on the original? I rented it and did not get roped in at all. From a Blockbuster.

Blind_Evil wrote:

They’re remastering FF Crystal Chronicles for Switch, I believe it’s releasing in August. Anyone have feelings on the original? I rented it and did not get roped in at all. From a Blockbuster.

I remember buying it on Gamecube, and it was really bleh. I wasn't into JRPGs at the time, though. From what I've heard recently, that game was really meant to be played with other people, and it was complicated to set that up back in the Gamecube/GBA era.

Comes out on PS4 as well. Don't know much about it, but a co-op Final Fantasy sounds intriguing. Can't say the trailer did much for me, though.

Blind_Evil wrote:

They’re remastering FF Crystal Chronicles for Switch, I believe it’s releasing in August. Anyone have feelings on the original? I rented it and did not get roped in at all. From a Blockbuster.

I bought it for GameCube and then spent most of the next two months traveling. When I got back my friends were all at endgame levels and I had to be carried when I tried playing with them. But I assume they had fun.

Blind_Evil wrote:

They’re remastering FF Crystal Chronicles for Switch, I believe it’s releasing in August. Anyone have feelings on the original? I rented it and did not get roped in at all. From a Blockbuster.

I enjoyed the original, and loved the music and atmosphere, but I also imagine the actual gameplay will be a bit thin, since it's some sort of light ARPG with some spell mixing elements. I plan on getting it at some point since I never finished the original, but it will either be on sale or if I have people to play through it with, since the real highlight here will be the crossplay multiplayer.

I’m up to Chapter 7 in XIII. Probably 15 hours in, and it still feels divisive.

I applaud the original narrative but the characters are pretty bad at delivering it.

I like the combat mechanics but many of the fights are too long. Loading up on buffs and debuffs with a synergistic and saboteur or tanking a big attack with a sentinel is cool... hanging out on Slash and Burn for 2 minutes then War and Peace for 15 seconds and repeating is boring and there’s a lot of it.

This is a little self-inflicted. I stalled out the first time because I couldn’t get past Hope’s eidolon fight. and had no avenue to get stronger. To avoid this I’ve been making individual saves at the end of each chapter or anytime I feel like but I’ve been also making sure to max out my roles during each section, which probably adds and 20 or so minute grind every couple hours.

I’m up to chapter 11 now, essentially back where I quit the first time. I’m a lot more leveled than last time. Here’s hoping.

I think something that is hitting me this time that escaped me... a DECADE AGO (omg) is how bleak the narrative is. It’s been an interesting thing to follow considering how bleak the real world is right now.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I think something that is hitting me this time that escaped me... a DECADE AGO (omg) is how bleak the narrative is. It’s been an interesting thing to follow considering how bleak the real world is right now.

I've had a similar experience with a couple of Final Fantasy games. Usually, first time through, I'm just caught up trying to survive and understand the weird opaque story. Once I somewhat understand the plot, I appreciate the depth.

But I think a big part of the appeal of RPGs is being able to face down something bleak and depressing and be empowered to defeat it, or at least make it better.

Nearing the end of FFXIII... two fights against the same boss with the same strategy really crystallize my belief that the combat system is good but failed by bad encounter design.

Proudclad is a big mech thing and it goes nuts and kills you if you stagger it, contrary to the lessons the game has taught you. After dying on the first encounter a couple times I figured out not to stagger it.

Y’know what the winning strategy is? Put your people in commando/commando/medic and auto battle. Buff with synergist if you want to shorten the battle some, but even with buffs the road to success in this fight is 10-15 minutes of repeatedly pressing the cross button. Hell, I don’t even need to press the button really - it’ll take longer but I can let the AI medic and commando handle everything and go “afk” and still win.

Edit: aaand finished. Five down, one to go.

XIII is kinda middle of the road in my rankings. Certainly better than XII and III. Maybe better than VIII and X?

RPG Limit Break held a Final Fantasy Relay Race earlier this month. That's right, just under 80 hours of Final Fantasy games played back-to-back in non-chronological order, as a three-team relay competition.

Spoiler:

XIII
VIII
IV
II
V
III
13-2
Crystal Chronicles
X
I
XII
XV
IX
Lightning Returns
VII
VI

Sadly, it looks like FF X-2 isn't part of it.

The new FF: Crystal Chronicles remastered has a Lite edition, which is basically a free three-dungeon demo. But, if one person actually purchased the game, then anyone with the Lite edition who plays with them can play through 13 dungeons for free instead of just three. A quick glance at the FF:CC wiki says that there were 14 dungeons in the original game, so a co-op party could theoretically get very close to the end of the game with only one person actually purchasing the game. Seems like a good way to pull people in.

https://youtu.be/PdZGeI1egzQ?t=246