Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:49 am

It's fine you missed them. I've been having issues myself. :V My computer refuses to recognize my modem, so I'm having issues getting online, which is why I haven't been around lately. On top of that spring classes just started and I'm still working quite a bit, so between those things I haven't had much time to update. I'm going to definitely try to get an update in this month, the nice thing is that two of my classes are only one month long, so after the end of this month, I'll only have two classes a week and that will free up a lot of time. If I can get my computer fixed, that's even better. I do already have the screenshots for the next update on a flash drive, so that's not an issue, although after that I'll have to play further and get more.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:50 pm

PART NINETEEN - Punching Trees

So it's pretty obvious by now I didn't get an update before the end of February, and indeed, it's almost the end of March. Whoops. :V The very good news is that I have less classes now (my keyboarding class was only a month and a half) and I am now on a brand-spankin' new computer courtesy of Lenovo. The bad news is that Hyrule Warriors Legends just came out, so I'm very tempted to play that, and in a couple of weeks Bravely Second comes out. But, for the moment, I'm making this update and will plan to update at least every two weeks! I know. I've said that before, but hopefully this time I can keep to it for the two people who are still reading this. That said, this is a very big update plot-wise, so let's get right into it.

After talking to Ghido, the Light Warriors received the Guardian Branch and were told to go to the Forest of Moore. You could have gone there earlier when you went to the town of Moore but you would've just found a dead end.

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Across this bridge is the entrance to the forest.

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The Guardian Branch will sparkle and fly into the air, and then a path will open up, allowing you to enter. The Forest of Moore has its own track, Legend of the Deep Forest, although it's apparently been renamed to As I Feel, You Feel. It has a vocal version as well, sung by Angelit in the Sami language (which was also used for the vocal version of Home, Sweet Home).

Another thing to note is that the Forest of Moore has a stupid high encounter rate so yeah.

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Mammons are weak to fire and like to cast Berserk on their own party members, causing them to hit pretty hard, even the wizard type enemies which you might not expect. Mammons are also notable for their Beastmaster release attack (Berserk) but we'll cover that in a much later update.

Galajelly absorbs every element but wind and has incredibly high evasion but low HP, it can also use Rainbow Wind to inflict Darkness and Silence on your party. !Aim works fine, as does !Rapid Fire (though you probably don't have that yet) since those ignore evasion. Other options are of course Aero/Aera spells from the Blue magic command or !Gaia.

Mini Magicians use Lilliputian Lyric, which a Blue Mage/Learning character can learn. It inflicts the Mini status on the target. You can't get it by Control so you have to wait for them to use it. Don't confuse them either, as they can cast Return if they do which resets the battle.

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One of the citizens of Moore says something about fairies or spirits or something helping out in the forest. That's what this tree with a hole in it is about, examine the hole and a sparkle comes out, opening a path to the next area.

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Imps like to cast Confuse on your party and have lots of HP.

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Wyrms can use Breath Wing but that's about it.

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There's a save point that's sorta hard to see in the middle of these flowers.

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This is the only really unique treasure in the first part of the forest, the Morning Star. Remember that Flail you could get way back in the Ship's Graveyard at the beginning of the game? This is the upgraded version of it, it does full damage from the back row, Two-Handed boosts its damage, and it effectively functions as an axe, meaning it can ignore most of the enemy's defense. That said, White Mages should almost never be attacking, and Chemist/Red/Time Mages have better things to do with their turns, so the Morning Star is basically useless.

After the Morning Star chest, a bit to the left, story stuff happens.

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Those playing on emulators take note! The slowdown during this part of the game is ABYSMAL. There's not much you can do about it as there's some particular reason why the slowdown is so awful that has to do with the Game Boy Advance's hardware (something about the BIOS maybe?) so you might just want to use the fast-forward feature.

There's nothing you can do at this part but wait around for a while, but there is one very important decision to make at this point.

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There is a chest above you, and depending on when you get it, it has a different item. If you choose to open the chest now, you'll get an Aegis Shield. If you wait until after the next bit, you'll get a Flame Shield.

So which is better? Well, let's start with the Flame Shield. Its base stats are 7 Defense, 40% Evade, 5 Magic Defense, and it allows you to absorb fire elemental attacks.

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By comparison the Aegis Shield gives 5 Defense, 33% Evade, and prevents Petrify. At first glance, the Flame Shield might seem like the better deal, but note the description in that image. Whenever a magical attack is made on a character equipped with the Aegis Shield, there is a 33% chance that the spell misses.

You're almost always going to want to go for the Aegis Shield. There are very rare challenge run situations where you might want the Flame Shield instead but the Aegis Shield's special spell-nullifying property makes it by far the better choice.

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So after you've taken the chest (or not) after a while of waiting around a moogle will pop out from underground. He'll look around and wave, and this means you should jump into the hole he came out of.

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In this cave there's a healing spring. A moogle will block the stairway out, and you'll just have to wait around a while until he moves out of the way.

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When you emerge you'll notice the flames have taken their toll on the forest. If you got the Aegis Shield, that chest will still appear closed, but it'll say "Empty!" when you open it. If you didn't get the Aegis Shield, go claim your Flame Shield from it.

Even though the forest is burned, when you run into a battle you'll still have the lush green forest background. Eh, what can you do, the programmers didn't want to make a new background that would only be used for such a short period of time I guess.

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A chest on the way contains Ash, an item used with the Ninja's !Throw command, which deals pitiful damage. I think it has an attack power of 1. Past the Ash chest, you'll find the Flametongue. This is your first Knightsword, a sword that can only be equipped by Knights. Other classes that can use swords like Blue/Red Mage and Mystic Knight can only equip this by using the Knight's Equip Swords support ability. The Flametongue deals fire elemental damage, though you could probably tell that from the name.

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South of the Flametongue chest there's an exit you can use if you need to go buy items or use a cottage or whatever. If you head north, you'll reach the next story bit.

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Much like before, the Guardian Branch will come out, sparkle, and arrange the landscape so that you can reach the Guardian Tree, also it will open a hole so you can enter. It's boss time, so be sure you're prepared.

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Image Those must be whatever's sealed in here!

They'll come down, jump at the party, and it's time to fight!

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So as you can see there's no name listed on the battle screen, but I think they're officialy called the Seal Guardians, although some players just refer to them as the Crystal fight.

So here's the deal with these things. Each one absorbs a different element, starting from the top and going clockwise, you have fire, water, earth, wind. Each has 7777 HP and, for most of the fight, will simply smack the party with physical attacks. However what makes this fight really difficult is that when you bring a crystal below 3000 HP, they start spamming elemental attacks. The fire crystal casts a full party Firaga, the water crystal casts Aqua Breath, the earth crystal casts Earth Shaker and the wind crystal casts a full party Aeroga.

So this means a couple of things. One, don't ever (or at least rarely use) multi-target attacks. If you have all four crystals below 3000 HP then you're going to die, period. Two, if possible, you should exploit a particular vulnerability.

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See, none of the crystals are heavy, and they aren't immune to instant death either (they are, however, immune to Petrify). If you have a Chemist, then remember that Phoenix Down + Dark Matter creates Death Potion, and they're gone. You can also, should you have grinded for it, use Samurai's !Iainuki ability. This also has the advantage of potentially being able to take out multiple crystals at once, but the success rate is very low. It's still preferable to fighting them normally. There's also the Death Sickle from Bartz's world if you have a Berserker around, though keep in mind that Death doesn't always proc from that, so you need to keep an eye on how much damage the Zerker is doing to the crystals to prevent them from bringing one below 3000.

There is the Blue magic spell Death Claw, and you can use that, but you have to be careful. It will miss a lot, since the crystals are level 77 and the chance to hit takes level into account, so basically you're working on a less than 10% chance for Death Claw to hit, but there's two other issues. The crystals are immune to paralyze, and Death Claw doesn't outright kill, it brings the target to single digit HP. Obviously, single digit is less than 3000, meaning it will trigger the crystal to start using its magic, and that could be deadly for you.

If you have to fight them normally, this fight is really tough. You'll want to keep up Golem if that's an option, and cast Slowga if possible too. Focus on crystals one at a time and figure out which one you'll leave for last. If you can cast Float, the earth crystal's Earth Shaker can be rendered harmless by it, so that's a good choice for leaving for last. If you have Reflect Rings, then Firaga and Aeroga are rendered harmless, and of course the Flame Shield (if you chose it) can absorb Firaga. Unfortunately, there's no getting around Aqua Breath as there's no way to absorb or nullify it, unless the Aegis Shield blocks it.

In certain challenge runs, depending on party formation, people end up grinding to buy four Flame Rings in Bartz's world (for a hefty total cost of 200,000 gil). Then you bring the fire crystal down below 3000 HP as quickly as possible and keep it there. The Flame Rings mean that Firaga effectively functions as a full party Curaga spell. Something to keep in mind! This is actually slightly preferable to Reflect Rings as if you don't have Golem you can't nullify the physical hits, and of course Aqua Breath can't be reflected, so having the healing from Flame Rings is super nice.

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Mysterious voice (though come on, it's obvious who it is): Well done; you've destroyed the seals. Mwa-hahaha! I suppose I should thank you for saving me the trouble!

Image Exdeath!!!

Image How ironic! The seals broken by the power of the four warriors meant to protect them!

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Image They were crystals!?

Image The crystals which bound me for so long... Now, their power is mine!

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Image Kupo!

Image What? They're in the Forest of Moore? Come on, let's go!


The dragon roars in response to Krile, and it fades back to the Light Warriors...

Image Time for your viscera to see the light of day! Now die!

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Exdeath is hit by a spell, knocking him down.

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Image Krile...Exdeath-

Image Don't worry, he shouldn't be doing anything for a while... Oh!

Image Impudent little fool!

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Image Die!


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The limitations of sprites, the first time I played this game it just looked like he was moving Krile around the room, but what he's actually doing is slamming her body against the walls.

Image Gr...Grand...pa...!

Image Kr...Krile...!

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Image So certain you want to keep moving, Galuf? Try to dispel this power, and your precious crystals will shatter!


Galuf, however, has already made his choice.

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Boss time!

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The music that plays in this battle is The Decisive Battle and yes it is the battle theme that plays during every Exdeath battle.

In this battle Galuf is functionally immortal, when your HP reaches 0 it doesn't matter. Exdeath will throw -aga level spells at you the entire time, and you'll have to deal 7000 damage to Exdeath to trigger the next event. This can be a bit of a headache if you've made Galuf something like a White/Time Mage with no offensive capabilities. There is a trick to ending the battle early that speed runners use, though obviously you have to set it up before the crystal battle which makes it difficult. If Galuf uses Self-Destruct, the !Mix TNT, or is wearing the Bone Mail and uses a Phoenix Down on himself, the battle will immediately end.

Once you've dealt 7000 points of damage to Exdeath...

Image Now I'll show you my true power! Prepare yourself for the afterlife!

Exdeath will then cast Flare, Holy, and finally Meteor, all of which will deal massive amounts of damage to Galuf, who still doesn't go down.

Image Why...why won't you die!?

Image Takes a lot more than that...for me to kick the bucket! I'll destroy you, Exdeath...even if it means I have to take you into the afterlife myself!

Image Fool! All the hatred in existence would never be enough to defeat me!

Image This...isn't anger...isn't hatred...it's...

Image Then...what...?


Damaging Exdeath three more times, regardless of how much or little it is, causes him to fall.

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The three crystals fly into Exdeath's body, which vanishes.

Now, as you read this update, please listen to this music track, Sorrows of Parting.

Image ...Grandpa!

Image Galuf!

Image Grandpa!!!

Image Galuf!

Image Galuf!!!

Image Hold on, we can-

Image No good...'S too late...f'r me...

Image Galuf! Don't talk like that!

Image Galuf!

Image Get up, you old bat! Quit playing around, this isn't funny!

Image Wake up...wake up, please!

Image Bartz... Lenna, Faris... My dear Krile... Exdeath... Destroy...him...

Image Grandpa-! No! You can't die, you can't!!!

Image Galuf! Curaga!

Image Please... Raise!!!

Image Open your eyes! Phoenix Down! Elixir! Anything!


That's for all those people who ask why they don't just use Phoenix Downs on people who die in Final Fantasy games. They tried it on Galuf! They also try to use these spells/items even if you have none in your inventory or didn't buy them. Maybe that's why Raise didn't work, I didn't get a White Mage in this challenge run so I didn't buy it. :V

But in the end...

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Image GRANDPA!!! No! No! You can't leave me, you can't die!!!

You can walk around a while, but there's no way to exit. You'll just have to wait around for a while. Man. Lots of parts in this section where you just have to stand around and do nothing. Kinda bad game design, though it actually fits well in this part. Eventually, Krile will speak...

Image Grandpa is calling...!

The exit will open up and Krile will rush outside, and now let's link the music track for this section, The Day Will Come.

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Image ...? Grandpa!?

An item floats down from the sky.

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borrow its power to speak to you. I don't have long. I want to give you my strength... C'mon, Krile...don't cry... Stand with Bartz and the others, be strong, and fight!

Image No! You do it, come back! Don't leave me alone!

Image You know I can't do that. But you're not alone, Krile. You understand that, don't you.

Krile received Galuf's abilities!


And, as Galuf's spirit departs, that is where we will leave this update.

Next time: How to get rich...and quick!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby uc pseudonym » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:19 pm

Though I wasn't a fan of the forest area, the Galuf scene is obvious a key piece of this game. His death has less of a game/cutscene dichotomy problem than most deaths in the FF series: Galuf is clearly expending his life during the battle with Exdeath, so when he's beyond the reviving effects of items/spells it feels earned. Whereas in a lot of later games, you fight through hundreds of soldiers who barely scratch you with their guns, then they're treated like a threat in the next cutscene.

Completely unrelated, you mentioned Hyrule Warriors. How would you rate it, both for someone who likes Dynasty Warriors and someone who dislikes the series? I am a mix of both.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:51 am

Hyrule Warriors is really good, though admittedly if you're not a fan of Musou games it's harder to recommend, because at its core it is most certainly a Musou game. You are running around a battlefield, beating up hundreds of grunts who hardly ever attack you, and you're going to mash Y a lot (or B if you choose the Zelda control scheme). The story isn't terrible but it is basically fanfiction level, what with the "all of the worlds from other Zelda games get put in this Hyrule" thing as well as the villain's motivation being "I'm in love with Link and don't want anyone else to have him."

If you like Musou games then Hyrule Warriors becomes far easier to recommend. It's got a lot of new features that I find myself wishing I had when I play other Musou games, such as the ability to lock on to enemy officers. The fact that officers have weak point gauges means you can defeat them faster, and the ability to dodge roll as well as the magic meter are both nice.

That said I should get into the bad stuff. The game is super grindy, exceptionally so. In order to power up your characters you need to craft badges in the Bazaar, badges require materials that enemy officers drop. The problem is you have a lot of characters and the rare materials are hard to come by, especially the giant boss and playable character materials. Because obviously, you're not going to be able to fight as many of them in a single stage usually as you can other types of enemies. It becomes even more frustrating because they can drop weapons instead, so there's nothing like spending ten minutes in a level to try and get a King Dodongo material only to beat it and have it drop a weapon instead of a material. The Adventure mode (which is the biggest part of the game) also made a huge misstep in that in order to earn some prizes and open new areas, your performance in battle is ranked, based on three factors: damage taken, number of enemies defeated, and time taken. In higher level Adventure maps you're limited to taking no more than 4,000 points of damage (about 10 hearts), 15 minutes, and at least 1200 enemies. This becomes frustrating when missing a single attack can put you at the time limit and cause you to get a B for time, which gives you a B overall, and of course in higher level maps enemies sometimes deal more than 10 hearts of damage in a single attack, which effectively turns them into "Don't get hit" missions, which are never fun.

Now, to add to that, at least in the Wii U version, the Twilight Princess Adventure map (which is DLC) allows enemies to potentially drop two items when they're defeated, meaning for giant bosses/playable officers, even if they drop a weapon they'll probably also drop a material too, so you don't get screwed out of a material. They CAN drop two weapons sometimes though but it's pretty rare, and of course you have a good chance for two materials which gives you twice the chance for gold. I don't know if this is true on the 3DS version because I haven't gotten that far yet. The 3DS version also has a thing called My Fairy where you raise a fairy and she learns special abilities, and it seems like they would be useful in getting A ranks because they have abilities like "Reduce damage but also reduce attack power."

Finally a quick rundown on the differences between the Wii U and 3DS versions. The Wii U version obviously has much prettier graphics and the better music (though only slightly), and at the moment the level cap is higher than on the 3DS version (255 on the Wii U, and only 99 on the 3DS for now though obviously it'll be raised in the future). The much higher level cap also means that the DLC Adventure maps (those being the Master Quest map, Twilight Princess map, and Majora's Mask map) are much more difficult. As for the 3DS version it surprisingly has a much more stable framerate than the Wii U version (probably because less enemies on the screen at once), and everything that was DLC in the Wii U version is already included in the 3DS version. This means that the Twilight Princess/Master Quest/Majora's Mask maps have apparently been rebalanced to account for the fact that the current level cap is 99, making them easier than their Wii U counterparts, as well as meaning that characters like Tingle/Young Link/Twili Midna now can earn prizes and costumes from the Adventure maps. The 3DS is also getting more Adventure maps and characters and weapons. The characters and weapons can be transferred to the Wii U, but the Adventure maps will be 3DS exclusive. The 3DS also will have the Linkle levels and Wind Waker epilogue whereas the Wii U version won't.

Now there's two last things to mention. First, Hyrule Warriors Legends is from what I've heard basically unplayable on a normal 3DS, meaning if you don't have a New 3DS, then you'll have to get one and that's expensive, which would make the Wii U version cheaper in a sense. The downside is that you can't get the new 3DS characters like Tetra or Skull good on the Wii U version unless you have Legends, as there's an in-box code to transfer them, they're not buyable as regular DLC. Also, the 3DS is single player only, so if you enjoy co-op play, the Wii U version is the only one that has that.

In the end, I gotta say I love the game, it's great, but the really awful decision to have ranked progress on the Adventure maps as well as the annoyance in getting materials keeps me from saying it's truly amazing.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:40 am

The writing in this game generally falls squarely into the "It's so cheesy it's amusing" category, like with pretty much everything Exdeath says in this entire scene. But although for the most part I find myself not caring how shallow the characterization is in this game because the gameplay is so fun (and very much prefer this game to those that have such lengthy dialogue and so many cutscenes that they start to seem like movies), I have to say that Galuf's death is one point where I feel that it would be nice if the game had developed the personalities of all of the characters more. Because there's so little character development, as a player I am not very emotionally invested in them, so this scene just does not have the emotional impact that the death of a main character ought to have.

On a different note, Exdeath has some rocking music, not the very best that is out there but still pretty good. I also really like The Evil Lord Exdeath, which was posted a while ago in this thread. Seems perfectly suited to your melodramatic, megalomaniac villain who has no motive other than being evil for the sake of being evil. Also, this is the first time we've seen his battle sprite, too, right? So while I'm at it I guess I'll add that his character design is also pretty cool-looking.

So, Exdeath usually gets a lot of criticism for having no character development (not much of a motive, no psychological complexity, stereotypical-cheesy-villain personality), and all of that is completely true. But one thing that I like about this game is that once you find out who the villain is, you know who the villain is for the rest of the game. There's no FFIV-style "Here's the villain . . . no wait, he is just a puppet being used by this other villain . . . no, wait, for the final boss you get to fight an abstract lump of evil you've never met before!" So in other games, sometimes you get to the final boss fight, and there's a reaction of, "Who is this person we're fighting again?" because of that common villain-behind-the-villain thing. And I think there are some Japanese cultural reasons for the prevalence of that behind-the-scenes mastermind villain figure. But anyways, it feels really refreshing to have, as your goal, "We have to defeat Exdeath!" and have that goal remain unchanged throughout the rest of the game.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:26 am

BONUS UPDATE - Death and Final Fantasy

(Note: some spoilers for other games, should you care about that sort of thing.)

The Final Fantasy series is no stranger to killing off party members, but unlike a lot of other popular RPGs at the time, sometimes they stayed dead. Sure, you dragged around your dead party members' coffins in the Dragon Quest series, but you could use a Yggdrasil Leaf or take them to church and get them raised from the dead just fine. As the series progressed, how the series treated dead party members increased in intensity each time, so let's take a look at it.

Final Fantasy I didn't really have unique party members, as you picked four classes and none of them spoke the entire game. It was sort of similar to computer RPGs like Ultima that had come out a few years before. Final Fantasy II was vastly different, with your party being composed of actual characters, who had conversations with NPCs. They didn't even do the "Main character is mute/has no visible lines" cliche that became popular in JRPGs in years to come. The game has three main characters, Firion, Maria, and Guy. The fourth party member slot starts out empty, but other characters rotate in and out of it as the plot dictates, with a few of them dying as they leave. Josef dies stopping a boulder from crushing the party, being crushed himself, Minwu dies breaking the seal on the Ultima Tome in the Tower of Mysidia, and Ricard dies by acting as a distraction to the Dark Emperor, allowing the others to escape.

In the end though, while these deaths are significant plotwise, as far as gameplay goes nothing really makes them distinct from other characters, like Gordon and Leila, who join your party briefly but leave for their own reasons. In a gameplay sense, their deaths aren't really significant because the fourth slot is always rotating between party members. It was just their time to leave the slot open for the next character.

As Final Fantasy III was similar to the first game in having party members without real personalities (at least until the horrible remake), the next game we'll look at is Final Fantasy IV, one of the most beloved games in the franchise. Cecil was the only character that remained a permanent part of the party, with the other four slots functioning much like II, with other party members rotating in and out of them as the plot dictated. Also much like II, many of the party members nobly sacrifice their lives to help Cecil in his quest to defeat Golbez. Or well...so it seems, anyway. Most of the time when a character seemingly dies, it's just a couple of hours of playtime later that you find out they're perfectly fine. The only one that seems permanent is when the twins Palom and Porom turn themselves into stone to save the party from one of Cagnazzo's traps, as trying to cast Esuna on them or using a Gold Needle/Remedy doesn't work, with the game saying that because they chose to turn themselves into stone of their own will, they can't be cured. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, I mean, I can have Palom cast Petrify on himself in battle and then cure him just fine, although I guess you could make the argument that he's only doing it because I, the player, made him, so it's technically not of his own will. But whatever! Yeah, turns out they get cured somehow too by the Mysidian Elder. Most of the other characters you see alive and well long before the Giant of Babel scene, so there's no surprise that they're still alive. So in the end, only one playable character manages to actually die during the course of the game, that being Tellah the sage.

Tellah's death is kind of interesting in a lot of ways. While it's obvious he's not going to be a permanent party member, one could assume that since the other party members seemingly died along the way only to turn out fine later, that the same might be true of Tellah, but it isn't. Tellah also dies in a similar manner to how Galuf dies, that being that he spends all his life to try and defeat Golbez, though in a different way. When Cecil goes to Mount Ordeals to become a Paladin, Tellah tags along and learns the ultimate black magic spell, Meteor. Palom, Porom, and the Elder of Mysidia all tell Tellah the spell is too dangerous for someone his age to cast, though Tellah doesn't care as long as he can avenge his daughter's death by killing Golbez. If you go to Meteor in Tellah's spell list, you'll see it costs 99 MP to cast, and Tellah is capped out at 90 MP. This would seemingly make it impossible for him to cast, and from a gameplay standpoint this makes sense. It would probably be kind of silly to have this spell that is too dangerous for him to cast being flung at every random mob you run across so long as you keep Ethers handy. Anyway, when you get to the Tower of Zot and meet Golbez face to face, Tellah runs at him, casting his most powerful spells which have no effect on Golbez, which prompts him to finally use Meteor. I found a bit of interesting information on a site about localizing games, and that's that the English translation of the game isn't quite as specific as the Japanese. The English version has Tellah say "I’m spending my life to defeat… YOU!" The Japanese version on the other hand is best translated as "I’m going to convert all of my life into MP in order to defeat you!" Apparently the English letters "MP" are right there in the Japanese text, so it's not like it's ambiguous. Yet interestingly, every English translation of this scene merely has Tellah talk about spending his life energy, or using up the last of his life to cast the spell, without actually using the term MP. I'm not sure why this is (and neither is the guy who wrote the piece), maybe people think that directly referencing a gameplay mechanic in text is a bad thing?

At any rate Tellah turning his life into MP gives him enough to cast Meteor, but as he's an old man, apparently this technique is a bit too much for his body to take and so he dies afterwards. Again, a lot like Galuf, and one can use the same explanation uc said in his post to explain why they can't just Phoenix Down him back. Now of course, as an aside, in the DS version of the game there's an item called Soma Drop that permanently increases a party member's MP by ten points, and while you don't get one while Tellah is a member of your party the first time through the game, you carry over all your items on a New Game +, so it is possible to save a Soma Drop and give it to Tellah on your second playthrough, giving him 100 MP and the ability to cast Meteor on every random mob you run across so long as you keep Ethers handy. :V It also technically means his conversion of his life to MP is unnecessary in a second playthrough. At any rate, again, much like the characters in Final Fantasy II, as Tellah was obviously not a permanent party member, from a gameplay standpoint, there's not a lot of difference between him and other non-permanent characters leaving...well, at least, in the originals and DS version. The GBA and PSP remakes have a neat feature where, after the Giant of Babel, you can go back to the Hall of Prayer in Mysidia and swap out any of your party members (except Cecil) for the other playable characters in the game. This means yes, you can go to face Zeromus while bringing along Yang, Cid, Edward and Palom if you want (though this is a bad idea). The only exceptions to this are FuSoYa, who leaves with Golbez after you defeat the giant, and Tellah, who is permanently dead. So this means Tellah's death actually does affect things, as he remains a non-permanent party member while the others get "upgraded" to that status. Of course, FuSoYa isn't permanent either and he didn't die, but Tellah's death still does have an impact on gameplay to a degree now.

So now we come to Final Fantasy V and Galuf, which is a big change. As far as the player can tell, Galuf was meant to be a permanent party member, there's no rotating party member slots like there were in II and IV. Aside from the end of Bartz's world where he leaves the party for a while, he's been there from the beginning and is there for a good amount of time after that part. Also while Galuf gets replaced by Krile, there are some stat differences between the two which I'll get into at the beginning of the next proper update, so his death actually does change things a bit from a gameplay perspective. This was a major step for death of player characters in the Final Fantasy series though, again, as this time it was a character who wasn't temporary as the ones in the past had been.

Final Fantasy VI is kinda like IV in a sense, in that when Kefka destroys the world, seemingly all the party dies as Celes wakes up in a ruined world alone. As the game progresses you meet everyone from your party again (though some come quicker than others) but in the end nobody actually died...except for possibly one character. Shadow is an assassin you can hire at certain points in the game. When you do, there's a chance he might leave at the end of a random battle, though he also leaves at specific points if he hasn't left by then (at the waterfall and during the opera). At the Floating Continent, Shadow keeps Kefka busy while the rest of the party escapes, with a countdown timer ticking down. When you get to the end of the Floating Continent, you're given a choice to wait or go ahead and jump on the airship. If you get to the airship with less than five seconds remaining on the timer, or if you jump before it reaches five seconds, then Shadow will not appear in the World of Ruin, and presumably dies on the Floating Continent. As Shadow is a permanent party member should he be obtained in the World of Ruin, this is the first time a permanent party member can die without possibility of being resurrected, with no replacement like Galuf had.

Though it isn't part of the Final Fantasy series, it is a Squaresoft game and I feel I should mention it here. Chrono Trigger deals with a player character death as well, as Crono sacrifices his life to save the party from Lavos during the events in Zeal. This is fairly significant because Crono is the main character of the game, and his death can be permanent as well. While you're given a sidequest that allows you to save Crono, you can instead choose to ignore it, and go fight Lavos without him, which leads to a different ending than the one you get if you resurrect him. So while he does have the possibility of being resurrected, his death is still significant from a gameplay perspective.

So then we come to the logical peak of player character death in Final Fantasy VII. Aerith is seemingly a permanent party member, who does not get a replacement on death, and there is no way to resurrect her. It is pretty significant in terms of gameplay, and it's pretty well done too. Kaori is right that Final Fantasy V doesn't have a whole lot of party interaction, though there are a few scenes, but Final Fantasy VII was very character and plot heavy and the player was pretty clearly meant to become attached to Aerith and thus make her death that much more shocking. And I think it worked. Not that everyone who plays the game loves Aerith or felt connected to her, but there were a LOT of rumors as to how to resurrect Aerith, usually involving the white chocobo at Mideel or saying the player needed to do some impossible feat to get a super rare item that would bring her back. I'm pretty sure there weren't playground rumors about super secret ways to revive Tellah in Final Fantasy IV because the player just doesn't really feel connected to him like they would with Aerith. There were probably people who used Aerith every time they could choose their party, and then they get that taken away from them at the end of disc one (well, since technically she leaves the party permanently after the Temple of the Ancients, sooner than the end of disc one, though the end is where it becomes apparent she's not coming back).

Of course, how significant an impact this is on gameplay I guess varies. Someone who already knows Aerith is going to die might very well say "Well since she's gone at the end of disc one, if I put her in my party now she's just taking experience from the other party members, leaving them underleveled." In that sense it wouldn't be much of a gameplay impact because they never used her outside of the required points. And yeah, of course you can use a Gameshark or other cheating device to add Aerith back into your party after her death, though you can also do that with Sephiroth (since he sort of becomes a party member at the Kalm flashback) so I don't really think that counts.

Player character death hasn't really been much of a thing in Final Fantasy after VII. The reason for this is probably that again, they reached the maximum impact that it can have in VII, and if they'd kept doing it in later games it would lessen the impact because people would just go "Oh okay so which party member is going to die this time." The closest they've come is in Final Fantasy X, but Auron being dead the whole time doesn't have any effect on gameplay at all, and only affects the plot a couple of times, such as explaining how he could get to Dream Zanarkand from Spira and why he refused to go into the Farplane in Guadosalam (as well as freaking out a bit when Yuna started sending Lord Jyscal near him).

Well that's it for this update, the next one will come next week sometime if all goes well!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:49 pm

PART 20 - The Money Bin

Galuf has now passed on and Krile has joined the party as the fourth Warrior of Light. The party may be sad, but Exdeath has the crystals and he needs to be stopped, so they valiantly set forth.

Note that this update, while a legitimate update and not a mini/bonus one, will be pretty short. This is because there are some things I wanted to do before the next story bit, and the next story bit is going to be a really big update, leaving this one merely to tie up some odds and ends.

Krile joining the party causes some interesting things unique to Final Fantasy V. For one thing, this is the only Final Fantasy game where the women party members outnumber the men. This is even referred to in Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, where the password to get Bartz's rare level card is "Harem party." Also, as Lenna and Faris are both princesses, and Krile is the granddaughter of the (former) King of Val, this makes Bartz the only non-royalty party member.

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Krile joins at the same level as Galuf was, with the exact same experience Galuf needed to get to the next level. She also retains all job levels and ABP that Galuf had earned, though when she joins the party she will be a Freelancer with nothing equipped, so you'll want to give her a job. The important thing to note is that Krile has very different stats than Galuf did.

Krile's stats are as follows:

Strength 25
Agility 28
Vitality 24
Magic 27

She's tied with Lenna for the lowest strength, has the lowest Vitality, is almost as good as Lenna at magic and most notably is the fastest character. This means Krile will have the lowest HP of the group, and her magic/agility is why I kept Galuf in mostly magical jobs. Seeing as how Krile is the fastest character, she's a good choice for White Mage since she'll get to cast quicker than the others.

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One of the reasons for this update is to help fill up the few bestiary entries I haven't gotten yet. Number 87 still isn't available for now, but everything from 1 to 122 will be aside from that after I go get the stragglers.

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When you leave the Forest of Moore, the dragon will be outside of it. You may remember Moore was blocked off from the outside world by a wall of mountains, the fire seems to have leveled some of them somehow so you can fly the dragon out.

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The Kuza Beast is on the grasslands south of the Sealed Castle, I purposely avoided it when we were in that area because it's ridiculously strong for that point. It has 5000 HP and uses the Blue spell ???? every turn, that's the one that deals damage equal to your max HP minus your current HP. It is however vulnerable to petrification, so a Break spell/spellblade will make short work of it.

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These three are in the grasslands around Exdeath's Castle, you might run into them when you're headed for the Big Bridge after Galuf rescues the party, but I managed to not get into any random battles during that sequence. Devilfish use Digestive Acid which sets Slow and Sap, and if you confuse/control them they can teach you Transfusion as a Blue magic spell. They absorb water and are weak to lightning.

Treants like to cast Berserk on anyone in their party. If they don't berserk themselves, they can use Death Claw if you didn't learn it back after the escape from Karnak Castle. You can't control them for it, so you'll just have to wait.

Strapparer can use the Blue magic spell Dark Spark (halves the target's level) and absorb fire and are weak to lightning.

The next couple of enemies are in the last area of interest we're going to be looking at. If you head east from Val Castle or west from the Big Bridge, you'll come to a cave in the mountains.

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The game's location info in the menu calls it the Gil Cave. You'll want to cast Float on your party before you come in here.

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Because there's only one encounter here, against 1 to 4 Undergrounders. They attack physically but they also often use Earthquake, which deals more damage than you might expect from a random encounter enemy. Floating prevents that from wiping you out.

Simply heading left or right will only take you to the other entrance of the cave, so you'll want to head south in between the two sets of staircases inside the cave.

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In the south there's a door. It's not locked, so head on in.

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As soon as you step into the narrow path, every step you take will earn you increasing amounts of gil, double the amount the last tile had. It starts at 10 and the last tile contains 40,960 gil for a grand total of 81,910 gil total. The gil also resets if you leave the cave and come back in, meaning you effectively can get infinite money from this cave. You probably won't want to though, and the reason why is the Gil Cave's toughest resident.

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This is Gil Turtle. Every time you step on a tile with gil on it, there's a chance he'll attack you. But only when you pick up gil, when you're leaving he won't show up. In some ways, this enemy is tougher than the so-called "superbosses" simply because you don't have as many equipment options and probably don't have many job levels (unless you're insane enough to max them out in Val Castle basement, please nobody do this). In fact in most challenge runs he's basically unbeatable simply because of the abilities necessary to take him down.

Gil Turtle is undead, has about 33,000 HP, and 40 evade/90 magic evade. He's pretty fast, and all he will do is attack physically every turn. This probably doesn't sound so bad, except that his physical attacks deal about 1000-1200 damage to characters in the front row. Even this may not sound bad, but the real kicker is that every time he takes damaged, he will counter two times with an attack called !Turtle which deals physical damage as well as inflicting Darkness and Poison. If you just go in guns blazing, he will pound you into dust in short order. Oh, one last bit of important info: if you don't have any method of setting Float on your party, Gil Turtle actually IS unbeatable. This is because when his HP reaches 0, he will cast Earthquake on your party, which deals around 3500 damage. There's no way to avoid this without floating, so be sure you can set it.

Gil Turtle is weak to ice, so good jobs/abilities/equipment to have are Mystic Knight or someone that can use Blizzaga Spellblade, or a Black Mage or someone that can use the Blizzaga spell, supplemented with a Frost Rod for the damage boost. Since Gil Turtle is undead a Bard or someone with Requiem will also work, though it doesn't deal as much damage (but still better than any other options any other class puts up).

You should have at least one of these two, preferably both: a Summoner or someone who can cast Golem, or a White Mage or someone who can cast Blink. The Ninja's !Image command is a good choice too, and the Time Mage's Hastega spell is pretty useful as well. You want to have the three Elven Mantles you should have on party members, and you should have two Main Gauches if you didn't sell them, and you might want to put them on anyone who can't hold a Frost Rod or will be item support.

Get in the battle, cast Golem as quickly as possible, and then cast Hastega and start using !Image and casting Blink on as many party members as possible, and make sure you have Float on at least one party member. He'll attack while you're doing this, but you should be able to handle one attack at a time, as the only nasty one is his double !Turtle counter. Once you're buffed up, have your Frost Rod mages cast Blizzaga and your Spellblade users start attacking. A Frost Rod boosted Blizzaga from a mage with an Elven Mantle/Lamia's Tiara equipped will deal roughly 3000 damage, meaning you need at least 11 casts to take out Gil Turtle. Mystic Knight, depending on abilities and equipment, will deal a bit less, along with the annoyance that they will miss a decent amount due to Gil Turtle's evasion. Keep casting Blink whenever it wears off, recast Golem as necessary, and eventually you will emerge victorious, with no experience and only 5000 gil and 3 ABP to show for it. You'll probably meet Gil Turtle at least twice as you collect the money, maybe three times if you're unlucky, so be prepared.

Other strategies you can use are to bring everyone else in the party down to low HP (so they're kneeling) and have a Knight equipped with Bone Mail. Have the Knight use Guard every turn, and they will protect the other three characters every attack for 0 damage, as well as the Bone Mail nullifying the Poison and Darkness effects of !Turtle. That won't help against the Earthquake (which you still need Float for), but it takes care of the Gil Turtle's physicals. Another trick you can use if you're playing the North American version of FFVA is the Quicksave trick, though it's time consuming. After you grab the first 10 gil, quicksave and then reload, take another step, quicksave and reload, do that every step. Never take more than one step at a time, as you'll probably run into Gil Turtle if you do, but it does allow you to grab all the gil without a single encounter.

And that's it for this update. A few enemies and other things become permanently missable after the next update, so if you care about a completed bestiary, make sure you have everything you can at this point. There isn't really any missable abilities or equipment, but if you didn't get them the first time around you'll probably want the level 6 spells from Moore, and the Golem/Catoblepas summons.

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Next time, we're going to finish off Exdeath for good.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby LecktheTech » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:40 pm

Nice going on this thread. It's impressive how detailed it all is.
A note on a tactic for defeating the 4 crystals in the Guardian Tree is to use the samuri's gil-throwing ability. I can't remember the real name, but the catch is that it uses gil. Worked fine for me.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:32 am

Thanks! All of the enemy stats and AI credit goes to Djibriel's walkthrough on GameFAQs/Caves of Narshe, the damage algorithms info is from J.L. Tseng's guide on GameFAQs, and most of the strategies are courtesy of some helpful folks from the Four Job Fiesta charity drive.

As for your suggestion, !Zeninage (the gil toss ability) does indeed work well for that fight! There is however one slight issue you need to be aware of, and that is that you should NOT use it if the character is level 32 or above. The reason why is due to the damage formula of the attack, at level 32, one !Zeninage will leave all four crystals with 2977 HP, putting them into "panic" mode and causing them to blast your party with their magic, and you will probably die.

Also the gil cost isn't all THAT high, one use at level 30 costs 6000 gil, and each level over 30 adds 200 gil to the cost (the formula for gil spent is 50 x level x number of targets). That's around 12,000 gil for two tosses depending on level, which while not nothing, isn't too bad considering there's the Gil Cave if you can quicksave abuse to avoid Gil Turtle.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:44 pm

*still reading*

For one thing, this is the only Final Fantasy game where the women party members outnumber the men.

Final Fantasy has never had any charm effects that target only men or only women, has it? I was thinking about this, and there are other Square games where you can create a gender-unbalanced party (either way), like Seiken Densetsu 3 and all of the Romancing SaGa games, and in some of the latter it can really get you into big trouble if you have an all-or-mostly-male party and a female enemy uses a charm spell or vice versa. But I guess in FFV there is no situation like that. In this game, with the player unable to choose which characters they have in their party, it would be rather cruel to include something like that that targets the whole partly and automatically succeeds in charming all the female characters.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:20 am

There are in fact three instances in FFV where an enemy targets only one particular gender!

The first is in Torna Canal, where the enemies will only ever attack Faris or Lenna due to the odd quirk of enemies only attacking women (a guy in Tule even mentions this and it's the first clue Faris is a lady).

The second is in the Ronka Ruins, the Lamia enemy will use Charm and will only ever target Bartz or Galuf.

The third is in the pyramid, the Queen Lamia's Charm will only ever target Bartz.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:05 pm

. . . Oh, okay. Thanks for the clarification.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Wed May 04, 2016 7:50 am

Well I mean you're right in the sense that you can't get screwed over by having the wrong party composition, and it can only target one party member at a time and at worst only half your party is confused. But yeah gender does play a small role in enemy targeting.

Anyway, this is another big update, so here we go!

PART 21 - End of the Dawn

Last time the Warriors of Light fought the deadliest turtle in the world and became rich. But now the fun and games are over, it's time to go to Exdeath's castle and save the world, and Bartz and company can live at Castle Val probably.

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It is highly recommended that you either have some way of applying Float to your party, or bring a Geomancer. Exdeath's castle is one of the two areas in the game where Geomancer (or at least their passive ability) is hugely useful, as there's lots of lava and if you don't float over it or have Geomancer's ability to ignore damage floors, you're going to need a lot of Hi-Potions.

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The soldiers are fallen at the entrance of Exdeath's castle, the door was locked last time we came here but it's open now. The guards all talk so they're apparently not dead.

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Enemies! Twin Lizards are weak to ice and physically attack, boring.

Blind Wolves are in fact blind, they have Darkness on them so their attacks won't hit often, but when they do they'll set Darkness on whoever it hits. They're weak to fire.

Reflect Mages have innate reflect on them, and cast the first and second level elemental spells on themselves, reflecting them onto your party. You can steal Reflect Rings from them which are always nice, steal a few if you can/want to.

The second floor has a Diamond Shield and an Ether in a chest, neither of which are super interesting, and the floor after that you run into a problem.

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A dead end, no way forward. Something neat, as soon as you set foot into this room, you trigger a cutscene that will play out as soon as you try to leave. You may notice your character walk slightly slower than usual as you step in, so you can just take one step in and step out and trigger it. Not really useful information but the slower walk is definitely noticeable.

Image Dead end, huh...

Krile walks back to the center of the room.

Krile, where're you going? There's nothing in here.

Image No, there is... All of this is an illusion created by Exdeath.

Image What? Are you certain?

Image Grandpa, give me strength...


Meanwhile, back at Quelb...

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Image Dorgann, Xezat, and Galuf have all shuffled off this mortal coil... *cough cough* I fear I haven't much longer, either...

Image Lord Kelger!

Image It's nearing the time for that longest of rests...

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Who goes there? ...Galuf? Galuf, is it you? Krile is...? Galuf...Understood. Everyone... Lend me your strength!

Image Lord Kelger!

Image Let us rend the illusion Exdeath has created! This is my last wish and last command. Send all your power to Exdeath's castle!


The werewolves pool their power and Kelger flickers and vanishes, and the last of the Dawn Warriors passes on.

Back at Exdeath's castle...

Image I see Grandpa... and... a wolf man!

Image It must be Kelger!

Image Everyone's power...


The screen flashes and the illusion is dispelled.

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And now Exdeath's castle can be seen in all its gross glory. The music also changes too. When the castle looks normal, the music is The Four Warriors of Dawn, which played when Galuf infiltrated the castle to rescue the other three after Exdeath captured them. When it transforms, the music changes to Exdeath's Castle...which was already used in the Barrier Tower.

Exdeath's castle is VERY difficult. The enemies here are extremely powerful and deadly, as befitting the lair of a great evil. Make sure you have plenty of recovery items because you're going to need them. The enemies here also have very nice drops and steals, and I'll point out the ones you probably want. Also keep in mind a lot of enemies here are missable if you care about the bestiary, so make sure you get them all if you care about that.

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The Hellraiser shows up in the normal castle side too. When you kill them, they cast Arise on a random target.

Magic Dragons can cast Aeroga, Off-Guard and Level 2 Old, which are all Blue magic you should already have learned but can get here if you didn't. They are weak to Poison and Wind.

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The Ice Shield is a nice shield. It absorbs ice and its defensive stats are equal to the Flame Shield's.

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I forgot to get an in-battle screenshot of this guy, thought I missed it and I was going to have to go back and fight it (and redo the boss fight) but apparently I did fight one after all. As you can see it's weak to fire, and it also can use the Blaster attack which either paralyzes or kills the target.

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When you get to the first lava pools, you can step down into them for this passage to a Hayate Bow. If you had a Thief, you could've stolen one from a Poison Eagle, but if you couldn't for whatever reason, here you go. It's still a really good bow, remember, 25% chance of using !Rapid Fire on choosing the Attack command.

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Adamantite Golem attacks physically, is weak to lightning, and can be one-hit KO'd by a Gold Needle.

Black Warlocks are the most dangerous enemies in this dungeon, also they have nice items. When there's at least one other enemy on screen, they cast Confuse, Drain, Stop, and Slowga. When they're alone you have to really watch out, as that's when it casts Death, Break and Banish (removes a character from battle completely, counts as KO). You can silence or stop them, and Level 3 Flare works on them too.

For items, the Black Warlock has two staves for you. Its rare steal is the Judgment Staff (it has a common Poison Rod steal), the Judgment Staff can be used as an item to cast Dispel, which removes all positive status effects from the target. Unlike breaking elemental rods or the Staff of Light, the Judgment Staff does NOT break when you do this, meaning you can use it indefinitely.

The other staff is the Power Staff, which is their drop. When a character with the Power Staff equipped attacks something, instead of dealing damage, it will instead inflict the target with Berserk. This is extremely useful for some challenge runs as Berserk is a good strategy in some boss fights and you might not have White Mage, so this allows any staff-wielding class to be able to inflict the status.

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This part is really annoying and the GBA slowdown actually helps a bit here. Once you step on that skull, that thin bridge over the gap will start quickly moving back and forth, press the button to stop it. If the bridge connects to one of the walls (like in the picture) you will be forced into an inescapable battle against an Imp, an Abductor, a Jackanapes or an Oisearare. These monsters aren't the same ones that you can get in your bestiary, if you didn't beat Abductor earlier in the game then you can't get the bestiary entry for it here in other words.

The chests contain an Ice Brand, an ice elemental Knight Sword slightly stronger than Flametongue, and Kotetsu, a katana.

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Once you get past the save point just beyond that pit, this is where the castle gets really nasty. The Red Dragon was a potential monster in a box in the barrier tower, and this one is just as strong as they were. They use Atomic Ray, which is a party-wide Fire elemental attack. They're vulnerable to Level 3 Flare (which you can still learn from them here, with the added bonus that you now have the Reflect spell and don't need shenanigans to get it on them), and they're also undead so they're weak to Requiem, and of course ice. And yes, you can still rarely steal a Flame Ring from them, as I just did in that image.

The Blue Dragon is not weak to fire as you may expect, but it does absorb ice. Blue Dragon loves to use Ice Storm on your party, which is a party-wide ice attack that hurts bad. It is however vulnerable to Death, Petrify and Stop.

Image

Another old "friend" from the Barrier Tower, you can sometimes even run into two Yellow Dragons in one encounter. They like to use Lightning, which will deal 25% of your max HP in damage. This is an important thing to note for reasons I will explain later this update. Yellow Dragons are vulnerable to Death, and they can rarely drop a Coral Ring upon victory.

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This floor right here is the reason why not having Geomancer or Float sucks pretty bad. There's no choice but to walk over the lava, and you can still run into random encounters on it, so hitting a battle when your entire party's HP is 500 or even 1 is pretty unpleasant.

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I already mentioned the Blue Dragon so you may be wondering why I have another picture of it. If you'll notice, it says "3" beside the Blue Dragon. The Blue Dragon's sprite is too big for three of them to fit on the screen at once, but this fight is indeed against three Blue Dragons. You can't see the other two but they are basically all on top of each other. If you target the sprite with a magic spell that can be multi-cast (like Firaga) and press left on the D-Pad, the cursor will start blinking indicating "You are going to cast this on all three dragons." This also means that you're having to deal with the potential of three Ice Storms in quick succession. That's not fun (unless you have the Ice Shield equipped).

Image

Iron Fists have a 33% chance of using !Counter in response to a physical attack. It's unblockable, ignores Defense and sets the Sap status. Y'know, the one where your HP counts down steadily rather than losing a set amount at certain intervals like Poison.

Iron Fists have a common Potion steal which sucks but their rare steal is the Beast Killer. The Beast Killer is a whip that is back row compatible (as all whips are), can paralyze the target, and will always deal a critical hit against enemies classified as Magic Beasts. If you can steal and have a Beastmaster try and pick one up if you can.

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As soon as you step on the tile directly between Bartz and the skull here, the floor behind you will collapse, trapping you on the platform. Geomancer's Find Pits skill will show you where the pits are before you drop into them (basically if there's a pit, when you try to walk on the square, your character will jump up and look surprised and the pit will be revealed, you can still fall into it if you're not careful so be careful).

The bottom skull takes you to the next part of the dungeon. The treasure chest is a Twin Lance which you shouldn't care about because you could have stolen them from Objet d'Arts in Bal Castle basement (unless you don't have Thief).

The top skull takes you to an optional boss which will give you a new summon upon victory.

Image

Image

Carbuncle has a Reflect Ring as its common steal so you can grab one here if you so desire. It has inherent Reflect, and much like the Reflect Mages, it'll cast magic on itself to bounce it at your party. Unlike the Reflect Mages, it uses the third level elemental spells.

After doing that 3 times, you'll notice a slight pause in the ATB filling up. This signifies that Carbuncle has switched forms to its "healing" form. The big changes are it no longer is floating, it does not have Reflect, it becomes weak to all elements, and loses all its status immunities. It'll cast Cura on itself and then it'll turn back into its offensive form.

The big thing to note is when it's in healing form, it's vulnerable to Break. A single cast of Catoblepas will take it out immediately.

If Break Spellblade/Break/Catoblepas aren't options and you have to do it the hard way, be aware that when it drops below 2/3 HP it starts casting Bio, Stop and Confuse, and when it drops to 1/5 HP it starts casting Break, Banish and Death.

You kids are strong after all! This could be good for a laugh!

After beating Carbuncle you'll get the ability to use it as a summon. Ruby Light casts Reflect on the entire party, sort of situational as it means you can't use White Magic to heal yourself (Blue Mage's White Wind goes through Reflect!). Carbuncle is also smaller and cuter when you summon it.

Image

After another save point, you'll come to this large room with a chest in the center. It's easy to miss, but there's also a staircase in the upper right corner of the room (and this image). Up the stairs are two chests, one containing a Partisan which is weak and worthless, and the other has a Fuma Shuriken. This is a decently powerful weapon that a Ninja can throw, so get this one if you can use Ninja.

But what about the chest I showed and ignored? Dying to know what's in that, eh?

Image

Oh. Well...huh. So much for that.

Hmm, but wait, what's this? When you try to go up the stairs at the top of the room...

Image

Image Ah geez, Gilgamesh!

Image Ha ha! Looking for something? Well, guess what? I already took the treasure! Ohh, you guys are sooo burned!


Make sure you have a Thief if you can use one!

Image

Image Already, our fourth rumble! I must say, I quite enjoy these tussles. I feel we've gained an understanding...an understanding that I will pound you silly! Ha ha!

As you might suspect, Battle on the Big Bridge plays during this fight. Here is the Final Fantasy XIII-2 version of it. A lot of people say this is their favorite version of the theme, but eh...I'm not a fan of it. It's okay I guess.

Gilgamesh mostly uses Blue Magic in this fight. Pond's Chorus, Time Slip, Lilliputian Lyric, Flash, along with Hurricane (brings down to single digit HP) and Discord (halves level). He's not particularly strong but he can still take you out if you're not careful. After fighting with him a while...

Image Say...what happened to that spry old fellow?

Image He...he fought Exdeath, and...

Image ...I see.

Enough expository banter! Now we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...it is morphing time!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXYRh5YPu0M

Ha, you thought I was gonna link the Power Rangers version, didn't you? Anyway, Gilgamesh now changes form.

Image

Image let's see how good this Excalibur really is!

Excalibur, you may remember, was one of the legendary weapons in the Sealed Castle of Kuza. Gilgamesh will begin attacking you, but his attacks will be pathetically weak, dealing 30-50 damage at most. A very important missable item is here! After Gilgamesh transforms into his eight-armed version, you can steal the Genji Helm from him. The Genji Helm is a really good helmet that makes the wearer immune to Mini and Confuse, very handy.

Image Ehhh!? Why, I've been had! This is far from the strongest of swords! I feel so betrayed!

Battle on the Big Bridge stops at this point, and Exdeath's theme music starts playing.

Image Gilgamesh!

Image Erk!

Image You worthless fool! For your continued bungling, I banish you from this dimension!

Image Wh-what!? No! Anything but that!

Image Silence!

Image

Thrown into the Rift!

Image NOOOOOOOOOOOO!


And well, that's how the battle ends.

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For your victory, you get Excalipoor. This is the weapon Gilgamesh thought was Excalibur and tried to use on you. Excalipoor has shown up in Final Fantasy from time to time and is often associated with Gilgamesh, who mistakes it for Excalibur whenever he finds it, and it's always extremely weak.

If you go to the equipment page and try to equip Excalipoor, the game will say it has 100 attack power, and if this is the highest attack power of all the equipment a character can use, the auto-equip function will even select it for a character. However, when you attack an enemy while holding Excalipoor, it will always deal only 1 damage. It also will never miss, so it actually does have a couple of niche uses which I'll explain later.

There two ways to make Excalipoor useful for normal battling. If a character throws it using the Ninja's !Throw command, Excalipoor will have an attack power of 100, but of course this is a one-time use since it's gone once it's thrown. The less wasteful way is that Goblin Punch will use the 100 damage in its damage formula, bypassing the "always deal 1 damage" bit. This can be increased to 200 attack power with Two-Handed. Generally the Blue Mage itself would rather cast Air Knife boosted Aeroga, but as the guide I use points out, supplementing the Blue Mage with Barehanded or having a Knight with !Blue will make it deal pretty good damage.

One last thing to note before we move on. Gilgamesh's appearance here is dependent on you opening that chest in the middle of the room. If you don't open the chest, Gilgamesh won't appear and you won't battle him. This means you'll miss out on the Genji Helm, as well as the Genji Armor and Shield, plus a special event in a much later battle won't occur. There's really no reason to skip out on Gilgamesh, but you can if you want to.

Heal up and save. There's no other real surprises until you reach floor 13 of the castle, where it's time to face down the big man...er...tree himself, Exdeath.

Image

Image Exdeath! No way we'll let you get away with this!

Image Mwa-hahahaha... Have you any idea what I plan to get away with in the first place?

Image Wha? No, but...

Image You all fight so fiercely, yet have no idea of the truth... Hmph. I will return the earth to how it used to be.

Image You mean you'll turn it to a world full of evil!

Image Believe what you wish. Simple-minded fools such as yourselves could never hope to understand my motives. It matters not. I will tolerate no more interruptions!


THIS IS IT!

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So, here we are. The showdown with Exdeath. If you're playing the Android/iOS version, Exdeath has inherent Regen. Sucks for you! Physical characters aren't super great in this fight, hence my mostly magical loadout. So what can you expect from Exdeath?

His very first turn, Exdeath has a 66% chance of using Doom. Doom is a blue magic spell you can learn, though I didn't learn it here. Doom sets a countdown timer on the target, and when the timer reaches 0, they die.

Other things in his bag of tricks are Vacuum Wave, which deals 1.5 times damage and sets Sap, Reverse Polarity which switches the party's rows, Earthquake, Blaze, Hurricane, Level 3 Flare, 100-G's (removes Float status by pulling a character to the ground, can be reflected), and Zombie Breath, which turns any character it KOs into a zombie. Casting Slow on Exdeath will result in him casting Haste on himself to counter it, so don't do that. He also often counters physical attacks by casting Dispel on a random party member.

When Exdeath reaches about half HP, he exclusively starts casting the -aga level elemental spells and using Vacuum Wave plus his regular attack. He also gets two turns in a row, though he has a 33% chance to do nothing during one of those turns, so sometimes you might get lucky.

This is actually the easiest phase of this battle, as the -aga spells can be reflected, and White Wind can heal through that if Vacuum Wave gets through.

When he gets under 7000 HP, that's when he becomes dangerous again. He no longer gets two turns in a row, but every third turn he has a 66% chance of using Meteor. Meteor hits four times on your party, is non-elemental and ignores magic defense, though its attack power is also random (though usually it deals pretty high damage).

So, good strategies to use. Boosted -aga level spells deal great damage and don't provoke the Dispel counter. Float status avoids Earthquake, and Reflect prevents 100-Gs from removing it, as well as removing the threat from Bio, Level 3 Flare, or his -aga level spells. Angel Rings, should you have them, will prevent characters KO'd by Zombie Breath from turning into zombies, though in all likelihood if you keep the damage strong you'll push him into his second phase before he can use it (he'll only use Zombie Breath on turn 8).

Chemist can deal good damage by drinking a Goliath Tonic (doubles Max HP) and then mixing Dragon Fang + Holy Water. This gives them Holy Breath, a Holy elemental attack that deals the user's current HP in damage. Since Exdeath is weak to Holy, this means it deals double damage, so you could conceivably get 4000 damage or above with this attack.

The cheesiest way to win this fight involves the Yellow Dragons. When a Beastmaster uses !Catch on one, it can then be released for the Lightning attack, which as you recall, deals 25% of max HP in damage. Catching four Yellow Dragons and releasing them will defeat Exdeath easily. Note this does NOT work in the Android/iOS version, or at least, it isn't guaranteed to work. In the Super Famicom/GBA versions, Lightning is guaranteed to hit. In the Android/iOS version, while it CAN hit, it isn't a guarantee.

You can also steal a Judgment Staff from Exdeath. It's even his common steal!

This is a genuinely difficult fight so don't be surprised if you have trouble with it. When you win...

Image

Image They...they're breaking!

Image

The world turns white...and what happens next?

Well you'll have to wait and see.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sun May 08, 2016 4:56 pm

MINI UPDATE - Lost in Translation

I've talked a bit about the PS1 translation, mostly in reference to Faris, and I wanted to show some of the hilarity and oddness in it, but I wanted to hold off because a couple of the examples I wanted to use had Krile in them. I didn't want to reveal too early that Galuf dies and Krile takes his place, so I had to hold off until after Galuf's death.

Anyway, yes, the PS1 version of Final Fantasy V was the first official release of the game in the US, and the translation was...not good.

Image

There's no way to know what happened, but a couple of likely theories are that the script was given to the translators very close to release and they were forced to do it quickly. Dialog needs to be checked for grammar and such, but enemy names can be just run through a cheap translation program and then edited down for space.

The other is that the translation team may have been Japanese natives who were familiar with English but not completely fluent in it, and wouldn't have noticed things that look off to a native speaker. Here, for example, "Soccer" is likely pretty close to how a Japanese native might write/say "Sucker."

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This is one of the more infamous enemy names from the PS1 version which lends support to the second theory. A native English speaker would see that and realize "Oh, okay, wyvern" but someone who isn't wouldn't see any problem with Y Burn.

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Sometimes the name choices are incomprehensible. This is Wyrm in FFV Advance, how did they get Succubus from that?

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Then there's Bald Money, which is Dechirer in FFVA. Why Bald Money? Maybe it's a transliteration of its Japanese name like Y Burn and Soccer but I can't find any info on what it's called in Japanese. The fan translation done by RPGe seems to translate it as Bold Mani which I guess still doesn't make much sense but isn't as weird as "Bald Money."

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Ah, this one is one of my favorite enemy name translations. Not A Rage. That's Hellraiser in FFVA by the way. "Rage" kinda sounds like "Raise," and being that the name of the spell they cast is "Arise" (though it was Life2 in the PS1 version) then I guess A Rage sorta makes weird sense.

No, my favorite is Adamngolem, Adamantite Golem in FFVA. It's obviously a shortening to fit space restrictions and it's wonderful. "Ugh, my party almost got wiped out by Adamngolem." It works so well!

While Adamngolem might be my favorite one, this next one is a close tie, and it's been mercilessly mocked (and rightly so). It truly is incredible and it's impossible to imagine anyone even casually familiar with English would let this enemy name stand. This is Tonberry, or as he's known in FFV for PS1...

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...yup. That's probably the funniest bad translation by far.

I'll touch on two things from non-enemy translations in the PS1 version but that's it, overall the dialog translation is pretty much fine, though obviously lacking a lot of the charm the Advance translation has. Aside from the one major flaw but I'll go for the minor thing first.

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You may have already noticed that Lenna's name is translated as Reina in the PS1 version, which is fine, Japanese and L's and R's and all that. The other thing to note is that for much the same reason, while FFVA has Faris' true name as Sarisa, in the PS1 version it's Salsa.

And so we come to Faris. I mentioned it at the start of this LP but Faris' pirate talk was constant in the PS1 version.

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While the GBA version keeps some pirate-y stuff like "By the briny beard of Neptune!" in general Faris speaks normally. Not in the PS1 version, it's all pirate, all the time.

Such as Faris' response to the party saying "Wait, you're a woman?"

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So yeah. It gets a bit silly when Faris is in a serious scene.

Anyway that's the best parts of the PS1's odd translation. Who knows why it's the way it is, but I hope you're as amused as I am by it.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sun May 08, 2016 7:51 pm

As you might suspect, Battle on the Big Bridge plays during this fight. Here is the Final Fantasy XIII-2 version of it. A lot of people say this is their favorite version of the theme, but eh...I'm not a fan of it. It's okay I guess.

It's maybe better that I don't state my opinion of it. Actually, I kind of like listening to the original SF chiptune.

Then there's Bald Money, which is Dechirer in FFVA. Why Bald Money? Maybe it's a transliteration of its Japanese name like Y Burn and Soccer but I can't find any info on what it's called in Japanese. The fan translation done by RPGe seems to translate it as Bold Mani which I guess still doesn't make much sense but isn't as weird as "Bald Money."


Searching through a list of monster names in Japanese yields that the Japanese name is

ボールドマニー

A strict transliteration would be bo—rudomani— (dashes indicate that the vowel is held for a longer time than other vowels). So "bold mani" is much closer than "bald money." Looking at this, my guess would be that probably this was not a machine translation but a human translator (native Japanese speaker who didn't know English very well). A machine translation would definitely have yielded a o sound for the first part, bold, not bald.

As for what it means . . . ┐(´~`)┌ Your guess is as good as mine. A different page I ran across had this comment: "From about the time of this work [FFV], there began to be some strangely-named monsters that one can't help but think must be original. Furthermore, there are many oddballs that are impossible to understand from their looks, so please thoroughly enjoy their charisma."

A Rage is アレイジ, which strictly transliterated would be areiji. As far as the sound of the name is concerned arage is really pretty accurate. The spell, however, is アレイズ, araizu with a z sound at the end. Maybe the monster name in Japanese is a play on words and supposed to resemble the name of the spell "arise" but without being exactly the same?

Tonberry is just トンベリ (tonberi) like in any other FF game.

while FFVA has Faris' true name as Sarisa, in the PS1 version it's Salsa.

*dies laughing*

. . . That's a 100% legitimate way of romanizing サリサ、 though. Middle syllable is "ri," but with the Japanese not distinguishing between l and r it could also be romanized as "li," but also often vowels that are present in katakana are dropped because in Japanese you can't write consonant blends (unless n is the first consonant), every consonant other than n has a vowel after it that is included in the letter . . . anyways, most likely the work of a Japanese person who was not very familiar with English.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sun May 22, 2016 2:40 pm

Ah, that's some cool info on the Japanese names, Kaori! Yeah, I don't know how they got Dinglberry out of Tonberry's name. Maybe they were trying to make some sort of weird pun? I know there's a samurai enemy in an upcoming dungeon that the PS1 version translated as "Slownin" which is actually kind of clever. Anyway...

PART 22 - Void where prohibited

Whew, this is gonna be a long one. 243 screenshots! Most of it is talking so there won't be that many images in the update obviously, but it's still a lot to sort through. Lots of plot stuff this time.

The Light Warriors bravely fought through Exdeath's Castle and watched as Gilgamesh was banished from this dimension, then defeated Exdeath and the crystals shattered. And now...

Image

The Light Warriors wake up in a green field. The music Four Hearts is playing, which you may remember is the overworld music for Bartz's World.

Bartz wakes up first and then gets the others up.

Image That's...

Image That's Castle Tycoon...

Image We're back home!?


Image

Yep...that is indeed Castle Tycoon. It seems we're back on Bartz's World...but how? Cid and Mid said the meteorites were a one way trip, we wouldn't be able to come back. This is kind of weird. Well, we should stop by the castle at least.

Note: If Lenna and Faris have anything nice equipped, take it off of them now. There's no enemies while you run around the map, so you don't need to worry about getting attacked after you strip them.

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Image Father...he-

Image The king's passing was a great loss...However, we must do our best to continue on without him. Additionally, Princess Sarisa has returned, when we thought her dead... It is a cause for celebration!

Image Sarisa... My true name...

Image Yes, my lady.

Image The name Papa gave me...


The guards come up behind Krile and Bartz, shocking them.

Image Hey, what're you doing!?

Image Preparations for the banquet are ready. Of course, your acquaintances are welcome to attend.


Bartz and company enter the throne room, and Lenna sits down on one of the two thrones.

Image

Image Come now, Princess!

Image *sigh*


Image

She-she's gorgeous!

Image Yowza! She really is!

Image

Image I-I am not!


People start dancing in the middle of the throne room, and Tycoon Waltz plays. But...

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Krile is obviously not feeling in a party mood and walks off. You now regain control of Bartz. If you try to go up to talk to Lenna or Faris...

Image

...the dancers will push Bartz out of the way and apologize, so there's no reaching them. Might as well go see how Krile's doing. And check in on the things the people have to say.

Image Dance, dance! Get down and boogie!

ImagePrincess Lenna is pretty, but whoa, Princess Sarisa is a total fox! Grrrowlf!

Image Is it true that Princess Sarisa called herself Faris? What a weird name.


Anyway, back to Bartz and Krile.

Image

Image Krile...how're you holding up?

Image All right... It's not so painful anymore, but... I guess I just feel anxious. It's like Grandpa is fussing at us to hurry.

Image Mm, I think I get it. Let's check it out.

Image Huh? What?

Image We're back in my world. There's gotta be a reason for that, right? Let's find out what it is.

Image ...Okay!


The dancers will still block you from reaching Faris or Lenna, so just head out of the castle.

Image

Image No way they can slip away, so...

One of the women in the courtyard says something interesting.

Image Well, things worked out just fine in the end. What a relief! ...But something about the sky seems kind of strange, don't you think? And it's only right above Tycoon...

Image

As Bartz and Krile try to leave, a guard runs straight into them.

Image Oh, sorry! I was just rushing over to tell everyone the bridge over the west river is complete!

Wait, there wasn't a river near Tycoon Castle before...how odd.

Image Boko might still be over in that cave to the west...

Image Boko?

Image He's my prized chocobo--and my best friend.

Image Oh, really?

Image What, you don't believe me?

Image Well, you're so poor at riding wind drakes...

Image Hey! You little-


Bartz pushes Krile, who falls over.

Image Ow! Take this!

But Krile hits Bartz back about twice as hard.

Image Geez, I can't win against this kid...

Our hero, Bartz. Beating up (and getting beaten up by) 14 year old girls.

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Heading west from Tycoon Castle over to the Pirates' Cove, there is indeed a river that wasn't here before. Strange...quite strange. Well, maybe it's a side effect of the crystals shattering. Anyway you can now cross over the river, so head to the Pirates' Cove.

Image

Image Kwehhh!!!

Image Hello! I'm Krile!

Image Huh? You speak chocobo, too?

Image Just a little. I think he wants to introduce us to someone.

Image

Image Boko! You stud, you! Listen, Boko, I've got a favor to ask...

Image Kweh!

Image He says he already knows.

Image Wha?

Image He says you're leaving on another journey, right?

Image Boko, is that okay? I know you got the little woman and all...


Boko and Koko talk to each other a bit.

Image What's he saying?

Image He says that he loves her...

Image Slick!

Image ...And that while he's away, to take care of the babies...

Image Babies!?

Image Koko has little ones on the way! She says she'll be waiting here for him.

Image Koko...thanks! Don't worry, we'll come back safe!


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Bartz and Krile hop on Boko and Koko waves goodbye to him...aww... :3

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Boko can walk in rivers. He presumably could do this before, but there weren't any rivers around before he got injured and you couldn't use him. Also that's weird, there's a really big bridge up in the northwest, were there any bridges like that before in Bartz's world?

There's really only one way to go on Boko, though there are a lot of dead end paths so it's not always easy to figure out where the right path is. Wasn't the area around Pirates' Cove an ocean? Hmm...

Image

Before long, you'll come to Tule, the first town way back at the start of the adventure. Wonder what's going on there?

Image Did you hear? They found Tycoon's missing princess.

News travels fast, that basically just happened.

Image Some strange cave appeared in the west. I heard tell that there was some mutant turtle in there!

How many mutant turtles do we know? Well, at least two, but...weren't they back on Galuf's world?

Image I suddenly felt dizzy... When I came to, everything around the village had completely changed...

Oh good, so we're not the only ones to notice it.

Image The leader of the pirates was the princess of Tycoon!? Unbelievable! That definitely explains something, though. Whew!

"I'm not gay after all! What a relief! Though the news is gonna be hard to break to my boyfriend..."

We'll check in on Zok too while we're here.

Image I can't believe Princess Sarisa was leading a band of pirates... Mister--er, Miss Faris, or whatever she was calling herself. What a shock! Still, it's wonderful that both princesses safely returned to the castle.

One of the townspeople asks if you're advanced, and if you say yes, he'll say to go to the Greenhorn's Club and tell them that. If you recall back at the start, saying that would make the woman get upset and kick you out the door.

Image

But let's do it again anyway. I've already mentioned this in the job updates but this is the first the game tells you.

Image Well... Fine, I'll learn you something good! The freelancer job can equip anything, and mimes can equip any armor but ribbons. However, they aren't that strong or powerful magically, so they seem pretty weak compared to other jobs. That said, once you've mastered the other jobs, things'll change. Once a job's been mastered, the plusses to stats and inherent abilities are added to the base stats and abilities of freelancers and mimes! For example, if you've mastered the jobs of knight, black mage and thief, freelancers and mimes will have the same strength as a knight, the same magical strength as a black mage, and the inherent thief abilites Find Passages and Sprint--plus still have two slots free to set other abilities! Once you've mastered several jobs, freelancers and mimes become the strongest jobs of all!

We haven't seen mimes yet. That'll be another couple of updates yet. That's all there is in Tule besides the level 1 spells and starting equipment at the shops, so off to more interesting places.

West of Tule, there's a narrow path through a mountain range. When you step into it, it changes from overworld view to dungeon view. Keep going down until eventually...

Image

Image

Image If you hadn't been riding so fast...

Image ...Boko! I say this's all your fault!

Image Kweh kweh kweh!

Image Don't take it out on him, there's nothing he could've done!


Image

Another similar claw pops up to the left, and then attack the party. Battle time!

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The Antlion isn't really a boss, but it can be tough to deal with since you have only two party members. It's weak to water, which really only matters if you have a Ninja and Water Scrolls. In the meantime, it attacks you physically, while also using Digestive Acid (inflicts Slow) and Dischord (halves your level, which reduces your stats). If you're not careful he might bring you down to level 1, where you're basically unable to deal damage to him, and take large damage from his physicals.

Two vulnerabilities he has you'll want to take advantage of are Sleep and Berserk. Berserk has an added bonus feature. See, when you bring the Antlion down to low enough HP, it will use Flee, giving you no reward for the battle. Berserk prevents it from using Flee, meaning you will get your battle prizes of 3000 gil, 5 ABP and a Cottage.

Image Stuck in a monster's nest... Great, just great.

Image I don't think it's very great at all. Now what'll we do?


You'll have to wait around for a little while until...

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Bartz rushes up and tries to grab the rope, but...

Image

It gets yanked out of his reach. Bartz tries again a couple of more times until he and Boko work together to try and grab the rope, but...

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Do you promise never to try and pull something like that again? Willing to admit you were wrong to try and make it without me? Heh heh heh... Come on, get up here!

This time Bartz and friends are able to grab onto the rope to get pulled up to meet...

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Image Which one of you decided to maroon me back there!?

Image

Image

Image Try it again and you'll swing from a yardarm!

Image But...what happened? Why'd you come after us?

Image I'm just not cut out for being a princess, I'm afraid. Pirating's much more my style.


The party has a good laugh, and they prepare to go.

Image Ouch!

Image What's wrong?

Image Owie, I think I got a splinter... Don't worry about it.


Image

Not long after that, you'll come across a cave. If you try to go further there's a dead end, so into the cave it is!

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Wait, what's he doing here? Bartz flips Ghido over.

Image Alley-oop!

Image Oh! Thank you! I suppose you can be helpful after all. The shock of the two worlds merging sent everything topsy-turvy...including me! I'm a bit too old to do much on my back, I rue.

Image What do you mean, "worlds merging"?

Image I see you're just as slow on the uptake as before. It's an ancient legend, but I had never imagined it was true... According to legend, a thousand years ago, Bartz's world and Krile's world were one and the same.

Image The same!?

Image It seems there is quite the echo in here.

Image But...why did the worlds split?

Image To seal the Void.

Image Void...?

Image I fear no matter how often I allude to your ignorance, my dry wit just goes over your head, so I will simply explain. One thousand years ago, there existed a presence of the strongest evil, Enuo. Enuo possessed the power to control the Void. After a long and harrowing battle, the people were able to defeat Enuo with the twelve legendary weapons... However, the Void that Enuo had created could not be erased. As a last resort, the people split the crystals into two. To maintain balance, the world split into two as well. The Void was sealed within the space between the two worlds--the "interdimensional rift."

Image That means Exdeath was telling the truth... He really did want to return the world to how it used to be...

Image However, without the crystals...

Image The wind's power will never return...

Image Nor will that of the earth, fire, or water.

Image

Image

Image

Image Mwa-hahahaha... I turned myself into a tiny splinger, waiting for just this moment! Now you can understand my true goal: to take the sealed power of the Void for my own!

Image What!?

Image Why do you think I merged the worlds together? Mwa-hahahahahahaha!!!


The scene switches to Castle Tycoon, where...

Image

Image Ohh...now that the two worlds are one, the interdimensional rift the Void was sealed within is appearing as well!

Image Wait--so in plain English, you're saying that this Void whatevernot is coming here?

Image Yes... The Void shall be released from its thousand year prison and into my keeping! The matchless power of the Void will be mine!

Image Not a chance, Exdeath!


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Bartz and the others valiantly charge Exdeath, but are blown back.

Image Castle Tycoon...

Image Lenna!


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Castle Tycoon is being destroyed by the power of the Void, and she rushes into the castle, but...

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Image

Image Beautiful...beautiful! Look! Gaze upon the unlimited power of the Void: watch as it engulfs all in its path! And soon, it will belong to me!

Image Lenna... Exdeath, you...!


Faris charges, but the party is again blown back.

Image Peons! Tremble before my might! Mwa-hahahahaha! Time for your viscera to see the light of day! Now die!

Exdeath prepares to finish the party off, but is attacked by Ghido.

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This line is mildly popular among the fanbase, and Exdeath even rarely says it before beginning his EX Burst in Dissidia, as seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cz_jbPbV8k

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A bit of sprite-bashing.

Image ...Not bad, for a reptile!

Image You think I sat around seven centuries munching on pizza?

Image Ha ha ha... Perhaps you should have taken the chance... You shall find no such tasty diversions in the afterlife!

Image

Image [i]Peons! Tremble before my might! Mwa-hahahahaha!


Looks like Team Bartz is blasting away agaaaaaaaaain!

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Image Ghido! You okay!?

Image Exdeath, that cur... He must be stopped before he obtains the full power of the Void, or--Hmm? By Jove, what's that!?

Image Just the Library of the Ancients...

Image THE fabled Library of the Ancients? My dear boy, have you any idea what an important place that is!? Oh, of course you don't... To think that the Library of Ancients was here the whole time... Follow close, children! Within the Library is a book which describes how to defeat Exdeath!


"Also a book with a really great chicken enchilada soup recipe! But that's slightly less relevant right now."

Image

Image Oho, scholars from Surgate.

Image We've been able to find the second half of the Sealed Tome!

Image Perfect!


You may recall that in the Library of the Ancients and Castle Surgate, there were scholars that mentioned they had half a book, but didn't know where the other half was. Because they were on different worlds!

Ghido presses a secret switch on the center staircase in the next room, causing a table to rise.

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Image As you have probably noticed, the two worlds have recombined into one. Also, the Void is trying to break free from where it has been sealed within the Rift!

Image Then we'd better hurry there and stop it!

Image Bartz, Bartz, Bartz... so enthusiastic and yet so stupid. Along with the Void, many fearsome monsters were sealed in the Rift a millennium ago. They are all incredibly evil, and incredibly strong. I feel safe in saying that as you are now, you kids wouldn't stand a chance.

Image Then, what do we do?

Image Elementary, my dear Bartz: the legendary weapons used to defeat the warlock Enuo a thousand years ago!

Image Legendary weapons?

Image Sometimes I wonder if you say things like this to spite me... Yes, the twelve legendary weapons. They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them. Now that we have both halves of the Sealed Tome, if all goes according to legend--and I'm certain it will--the book will show us the way.

Image

Image

Image It is written: 'When Nothing's power again does peak, To Light Warriors this book shall speak.'

The book begins to speak...

Image After Enuo's defeat, the weapons of legend were sealed within the Castle Kuza. To break the seals, the four tablets must be assembled.

One rests
alongside spirits of the past,
blessed by the soil...

One rests
within an island shrine,
kissed by wind...

One rests
beneath the ocean's floor,
engulfed by flames...

One rests
beyond the river's torrents,
protected by water...

Along with the keys to open the seals--the four tablets--are sealed our servants. If the tablets are moved, our servants will awaken... The ultimate spells of white and black... The magic of time and space, Meteor... The sea king, Leviathan... and the dragon king, Bahamut... Present this book unto the gate and the way to the seals will be opened...


And the party receives the Sealed Tome.

Image Go--unseal the twelve legendary weapons before Exdeath gains the power of the Void! We are all counting on you. Go and find the first tablet... Blessed by the soil and the spirits of the past... Eureka! It must be the pyramid in the Desert of Shifting Sands! Faris, Krile...and even you, Bartz. You must go at once! The future of the world depends on it!

The scholars have interesting info to share too. If you talk to Ghido again, he'll offer to read the Sealed Tome to you, and then says a pretty good line.

Image Hackneyed as it may sound, you must save the world!

Image I've read that there was a town sealed between the dimensions by mistake... A thousand years ago they sold fantastic weapons and magic. Now that the Void has been reappearing, I bet that town is reappearing as well!

Image All this fighting is just beating a dead horse... Even if we beat Exdeath, the crystals have all been shattered...

Image So, Exdeath's true form is that of a tree, and he transformed himself into a splinter as well? Fascinating... Evil, yes, but--ahem.


Go to the roof! There is a permanently missable thing up here!

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Not that. That's just foreshadowing. I meant that if you talk to the other guy...

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You will learn Mana's Paean, a Bard song which will steadily increase the party's Magic stat as they sing it. When singing this song, the Bard will be locked into it and will be unable to perform any other actions until they're hit by a physical attack, or are KO'd and resurrected. If you don't get this song before you beat the pyramid, then it's gone.

So, now that we know that the worlds have merged, let's check our magic map, shall we?

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Oh well...huh, yep, that's quite a bit more land than there was in Bartz's world before. And we'll start exploring it next time.

NEXT TIME: What's wrong, McFly? Chicken?
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Tue May 31, 2016 8:35 pm

MINI UPDATE - Anime Was a Mistake

Remember at the beginning of this LP when I said we didn't talk about Legend of the Crystals?

Let's talk about Legend of the Crystals. :V

So Legend of the Crystals was released in Japan in 1994, two years after the game came out. It didn't come out in the US until 1998, though this was still a year before the game would be officially released here. The back of the box does mention it's a sequel to FFV, at least.

There's plenty of plot descriptions online if you really care so I'll just go over the very basics. Two hundred years after FFV, somebody called Ra Devil is gathering the crystals with the intent of destroying Planet R (apparently what the world of FFV is called) by summoning the god of destruction, Deathgyunos. He's gotten three of the crystals but has yet to claim Tycoon's wind crystal. An old man, saying he's the descendant of Bartz, goes to protect the wind crystal, but as he's too old, leaves the task to his granddaughter, a summoner named Linaly. She's joined by a boy from her village, Pretz, who's also apparently a descendant of the Light Warriors, though it's never stated who. Along the way they meet the female leader of a band of sky pirates named Rouge who wants the wind crystal for reasons that are never explained, and the commander of Tycoon's military, Valkus.

The wind crystal hides itself in Linaly's body, best represented by her butt constantly glowing, as she wears an extremely short skirt (so lots of panty shots, naturally). The ghost of Mid also shows up, as he was killed by Ra Devil almost 200 years ago. When Cid died, he burned all his notes on the crystals, intent on keeping their secrets hidden, but Ra Devil dug up Cid's grave and...well...I can't explain this without referencing an episode of Sam and Max, so...

They Stole Cid's Brain!

Yeah, literally, Ra Devil pulls the coffin out of the ground and cracks open Cid's skull with a sword, and then pulls Cid's brain out with his hands. He then shoots Mid through the heart with a laser, killing him. Since all Cid's notes were gone, Ra Devil uses Cid's brain to find the crystals and unlock their secrets. The group talks to Queen Lenna of Tycoon (a descendant of Lenna) and goes into the Dragon Tower to awaken Tycoon's guardian god, a flying dragon. Linaly gets kidnapped by Ra Devil though, and Pretz flies to the Black Moon (one of the moons orbiting Planet R, also the hideout of Ra Devil) to save her. Ra Devil builds a giant artificial body and succeeds in summoning Deathgyunos, but Pretz and Linaly defeat him and the world is saved, and Mid can rest in peace, and woo everything is safe.

Mainly I'm just going to talk about the anime and its relationship to the game, because that's what I find most interesting since FFV is my favorite Final Fantasy (if you don't count Tactics).

The first thing to note is I'd read somewhere before that in the anime, Bartz and Galuf's world have somehow split again. I can't find a reference to that and it doesn't really come up in the anime at all. There is a picture of the world in one scene and looking at the comparison between the map in the anime and the World 1/3 maps of FFV, the map in the anime definitely does look more like the map of World 1, which would imply the worlds have split again somehow. The ending of FFV says nothing about the worlds re-separating, though given that this was how the Void was originally sealed, I suppose one could assume that the worlds were split again to reseal the Void.

One thing I find odd is the crystals' locations in the anime. Now of course the crystals shattered in the game, and spoiler, they're restored at the end of the game. However, the places where the crystals are restored are the places where you find the tablets Ghido was talking about, not in the original shrines. Legend of the Crystals has the wind crystal back in the Wind Temple however, and mentions that the other crystals are back under the control of the other kingdoms, Walse, Karnak, and Istory (though Istory wasn't really a kingdom in the game). Istory actually lines up with where one of the new crystals appears at the end of FFV, though Walse and Karnak are odd, given that the closest town to the pyramid would have been Jachol, and neither is really particularly close to the Great Sea Trench or the Island Shrine. I suppose those nations could have gone and claimed the crystals and brought them back but eh...that kind of goes against the whole "Cid wanted to keep the crystals secret" thing. I mean it's not like where the crystals were reborn should be common knowledge, really only the Light warriors and Cid/Mid should have known.

Linaly is a descendant of Bartz, and Queen Lenna is a descendant of Lenna. Given that Linaly and her grandfather aren't royalty, this would seem to imply Bartz didn't get together with Lenna. Which is fine, it's not like the game was trying to put them together anyway, but it's just a note for shippers. This however doesn't exclude the possibility of Bartz getting together with Faris, if you assume Faris decided to continue her life as a pirate rather than a princess. If Pretz isn't the descendant of Bartz or Lenna, then he'd be a descendant of Faris, or maybe Krile, if you assume the worlds stayed merged for a while after the events of FFV before splitting, and given that Bal Castle is in Galuf's world, he wouldn't be royalty in Bartz's world.

Linaly is a summoner, though she's only able to successfully summon one creature, a chocobo. The chocobo she summons is closer to the original Amano artwork than the in-game sprites, as the chocobo is featherless and pink.

I watched the English dub, and a few pronunciations stood out to me. I can't speak to the Japanese version, obviously. The first is that Bartz's name is pronounced as "Batz," which is fine, it's a valid translation of his Japanese name. Exdeath seems to be pronounced like "Exodees," which is a bit weirder. While Exodus is a valid translation of his name (that's the one Final Fantasy XII went with), Exodees just seems weird. Mid is pronounced like "mead" which actually is closer to how Japan would pronounce it, but I always just went with it sounding like mid in middle. On that note, Cid's name is pronounced Shido. Now, to be fair, Shido (シド) is actually the Japanese name for all the Cids in Final Fantasy, so it's not that this is wrong. It's just that Final Fantasy IV, VI, and VII had all been released in the US at this point, so "Cid" was already well established in Final Fantasy games. I know that Square didn't personally localize this dub or anything but you'd think someone would have been at least casually familiar with the series.

The dub is surprisingly not that bad. There's a lot of good jokes and line delivieries in it, though there's also plenty of bad deliveries and poor voice choices.

In the end the best I can say about Legend of the Crystals is it's just boring. It isn't offensively bad, at least, but the plot is dull aside from the weird graverobbing bit, the enemy isn't really interesting, and by the final chapter I found myself just not even caring and barely even watching it.

By the way, the Light Warriors do all show up in one scene in the anime, as ghosts when Mid finally is able to pass on after Cid's brain is rescued.

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With Cid holding his brain like Observer from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Ah, the Japanese and their endless adaptations, sequels, and spin-offs.

So, the way that Exdeath's name is written in Japanese is this:

エクスデス (strict transliteration = ekusudesu)

"Ekusu" is how the Japanese write the sound "ex," and "desu" would be a close Japanese approximation of "death," so very likely "Exdeath" was the originally intended pronunication, but you can't get very close to that in katakana, so in katakana it becomes ekusudesu.

From what you said about the way names are pronounced in the dub of the anime, it sounds like the the voice actors were told to pronounce the names in the way that they look like in the katakana version--and not bothering to go back to whatever it was that the katakana was intended to approximate. So if you pronounce the names based on the katakana pronunciation, then Bartz would be pronounced "baatsu" or "baats" (depending on whether the final u is elided), and Cid would be pronounced "shido" (i pronounced ee), like you said. But yeah, "Exodees" is a little off even for something based off of the katakana version of the name, since the name would have to be written with ソ instead of ス in order to have an o sound. It is normal in Japanese for the final u to be elided, so if that "dees" of "Exodees" is an "eh" sound like in "space," then it isn't too far off, but if it is an "ee" like in "tea" then that also doesn't match the vowel sound from the katakana version of the name.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:35 pm

PART 23 - Nobody calls me chicken!

So Exdeath succeeded in his plot to remerge Bartz and Galuf's worlds, unsealing the power of the Void...which claimed Lenna. Now the Warriors of Light are down one member, but they must press on in search of the tablets to unseal the Twelve Legendary Weapons from Castle Kuza, their only hope of defeating Exdeath.

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Four Hearts played on the world map before, but now that the stakes have been fully laid out and the true nature of the world is revealed, the overworld music has changed. It is appropriately titled A New World.

If you head north from the Library of Ancients, you'll come to Castle Surgate, which doesn't really have anything particularly interesting there in this new world (there is actually a Cottage you can get here you couldn't get in world 2, but a Cottage isn't really worth it). Instead you'll want to head west, towards the Desert of Shifting Sands. There is a small forest on the way.

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Image The forest is beginning to come back to life...

Image Grandpa... Why can't Grandpa come back to life?

Image Lenna...Papa...

Image So many lives have been lost...

Image We must stop Exdeath. The people around the world need us... No, not only the people, but all life...

Image Aye...so many sacrifices have been made already... I won't stand by while more lives are lost!

Image Let's go...so there won't be any more sacrifices.


Continuing onwards takes you to the entrance of the desert, which, if the game had been coded properly, would indicate the decay of the world by the sand no longer moving. But there is at least a scene to show this.

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Image I guess now that both sets of crystals have shattered, there's not enough power in the earth for it to move...

Image Even the ground is getting unstable...


The pyramid is in the middle of the desert, but we're going to go past it, to the town of Moore in the west. And oh yeah, once you leave the Library of Ancients, you can start getting into fights on the world map again.

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These are all you'll see in the desert. Bulettes use !Body Blow which ignores defense and paralyzes the target. Desertpedes are Desert creatures which means Aqua Breath deals 8x damage to them, also Level 5 Death works great. They can rarely drop Dark Matter for your Chemist.

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Mykales can teach your Blue Mage Aero, 1000 Needles and Lilliputian Lyric if you Control them, but you should have already gotten those. They also can use Moon Flute, and their rare steal is the Death Sickle (common Silk Robe), which is nice if you didn't get them from Harvesters in world 1. The Death Sickle is still fairly decent at this stage (though not in the next dungeon).

Slugs can use Slimer, the Slow/Sap attack, and Gloom Widows can use Needle, which paralyzes. Slugs are weak to fire, Gloom Widows are weak to water, and all three of the monsters in this encounter are vulnerable to Level 3 Flare.

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Here we are in Moore. Most of the NPCs just talk about how the forest is gone and now there's a desert. In the lower left of the town, there's that hut that was locked before, but now you can enter it. You'll have to go through an invisible maze in the forest to get where you want to go, but it's simple. Just go down, right, down, left, up, right, down, only changing direction when you're stopped.

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...Or else just very lucky. How's this? I'll let you decide. Think you're brave? Take what's in the crate on the left. If you're a coward, take what's in the one on the right. What's it gonna be?

Finally we come to the decision I mentioned in the very first part of this LP. The left crate contains the Brave Blade, a Knightsword that starts with an attack power of 150 and decreases by 1 every time you flee a battle (including using Teleport, !Flee or !Smoke). It also raises Strength by 5 points. The right crate contains the Chicken Knife, a dagger that starts with an attack power of 0 and increases by 1 every two times you flee a battle (including using Teleport, !Flee or !Smoke), to a maximum of 127 attack. It also raises Agility by 5 points. The counter started the second you started playing the game, and continues after this point.

What's the advantages and disadvantages of each? Well, you can't ever run from battles, ever, if you want to keep your fully powered Brave Blade, and fighting random battles can be tedious and deadly, so that's a disadvantage to Brave Blade right there. But, it does start out fully powered, as opposed to the Chicken Knife. It's pretty unlikely you've fled battles 254 times, meaning you'll need to "grind" out flees to fully power the Chicken Knife, which is also tedious.

On top of that the Chicken Knife has a special effect, each time you use Attack while equipped with it, you have a 25% chance of being forced to flee the battle. This is especially bad in certain special encounters where you are able to run, and in battles where you can't, you'll just get "Can't escape!" which is just a wasted turn.

The Chicken Knife's flee proc can be bypassed however! You see, it is a magical effect produced by the weapon, and there are many abilities that bypass a weapon's magical effects. Monk's !Focus, Thief's !Mug, Ranger's !Rapid Fire and Dancer's Sword Dance all will prevent a weapon from using its magical effects, that's why say, a Death Sickle will never cast Death if you're using it with !Focus or !Rapid Fire. It should be noted that the Ranger's !Aim ability does NOT bypass effects and will not stop a Chicken Knife from forcing you to flee. On top of that, there is one neat trick that I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it does. If you are a Ninja or have equipped Dual Wield, place a Twin Lance in the first slot and the Chicken Knife in the second. For whatever reason, this will prevent Chicken Knife (or any other weapon) from using its magical effects. The down side is, of course, that Twin Lance is starting to get at the point where it's going to be much weaker than other weapon options, so your damage output will be slightly less than optimal.

Now let's talk about attack power, which I touched on briefly in the start of this thread too. The Brave Blade has a higher maximum attack at 150, whereas the Chicken Knife maxes out at 127. At first glance it appears a full power Brave Blade is more powerful than a full power Chicken Knife, but there's one little snag.

See, Chicken Knife is a unique dagger in that its damage formula uses Strength AND Agility fully. The multiplier for the Chicken Knife is as follows:

(Level * Strength)/128 + (Level * Agility)/128 + 2

Whereas the formula for the Brave Blade's multiplier (and almost all swords) is simply:

(Level * Strength)/128 + 2

This means that while the Brave Blade has a higher attack power, the Chicken Knife has a higher multiplier and on classes with high agility like Thief, Ninja, etc., it will deal much more damage.

On a side note, the multiplier formula for all daggers is the same as the Chicken Knife's, but daggers don't deal that much damage. What gives? Well, it's technically classified as a bug, but basically for any dagger except the Chicken Knife, the (Level * Agility) part only uses the first byte. I won't throw the math at you but basically this means that Agiilty doesn't effect the damage that much, giving you a +1 or so to your multiplier under certain conditions.

People have gone into the game's code and changed it so daggers use the full damage formula and found that it basically makes daggers stronger than most other weapons in the game. It's possible that the developers had initially intended for every dagger to use this formula, noticed how overpowered it made daggers, and intentionally nerfed it.

Now one last note and the Chicken Knife vs. Brave Blade argument will be done for good. The one advantage Brave Blade has over Chicken Knife is Two-Handed. A Two-Handed Brave Blade boosts it to an attack power of 300, and that basically blows the Chicken Knife out of the water even taking Agility into account, under normal attack conditions.

So which to take? Brave Blade is a Knightsword. It can only be used by Knights, Gladiators, and Freelancers. Chicken Knife is a dagger. It can be used by anyone except Monks and White Mages. Chicken Knife also does not force you to fight every single battle in the game to keep it powerful, and when used in !Rapid Fire, will always deal more damage than the Brave Blade, period. Personally, I always take Chicken Knife. I've taken Brave Blade once, during a Fiesta run, because I had no way to bypass the flee effect of Chicken Knife and I had a Knight. But it's up to you, pick what you want! And now let's stop talking about these two weapons.

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After taking the Chicken Knife the old man turns into a skeleton and clucks. I don't know what he does/says if you take Brave Blade, and I'm too lazy to find out.

Now that we've grabbed a sort of ultimate weapon from Moore, it's time to tackle the pyramid!

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I only left this picture in here because...yeah. I think I must have screenshotted right before the battle transition, so nothing is showing up. Anyway the door here to the pyramid has gargoyle statues on either side of it. You've seen them before as decorations on some of the castles. I'll get another shot of them in another dungeon, because all four of the tablet dungeons require you to beat the Gargoyles to enter them.

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The Gargoyles are an easy fight, unless you're in certain challenge runs, where they simply become frustrating.

Here's the gimmick! If you defeat one Gargoyle but the other is alive, on its very next turn it will revive the other Gargoyle with full health. Oh and to throw a wrench in most "Bring one down to low HP then kill the other and then quickly take down the remaining one before it gets its turn) strategies, the Gargoyels can use Transfusion. That's the one that sacrifices the user to restore full HP/MP to the target, and then of course the other Gargoyle will just revive the one that used it.

Multi-target attacks are of course the way to go here. The Gargoyles only attack physically, so Golem can stop that. Level 3 Flare is the best option, any summons work great too. They're also vulnerable to Berserk, if you Berserk one then it loses its ability to revive its partner, so that's an option, but if you do that then its physicals become much stronger. It's vulnerable to Blind too though!

Gargoyles however absorb Holy. This may not seem important now, but it will be after this update.

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The book recites the passage about the dungeon, then opens the door. Most enemies in the dungeon are undead, this means Bard is a fantastic choice since Requiem will deal a ton of damage to most encounters.

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Lamia Queens can drop Lamia's Tiara, which you could have stolen back in the Ronka Ruins in world 1. They have the effect of increasing the odds of Swords Dance for Dancers/Dancing Dagger users, and are really good headgear for mages too. They can use 1000 Needles against you, making this the first time your Blue Mage can learn this if you haven't had a source of Control. They have a rare steal, the Thornlet (common steal Maiden's Kiss).

You'll get a Thornlet in a chest later but I'll go ahead and talk about it now. The Thornlet prevents sleep and inflicts sap on the wearer, it has a defense of 20 and magic defense of 5, and also lowers magic by 5. They're strong defensively but inherent sap really sucks, but Thornlets have a unique property in the SFC/PS1 versions (but not this one!).

A Berserker (that isn't Lenna) equipped with the Thornlet has an interesting quirk, due to an underflow bug, since the Thornlet lowers the already low Berserker's magic by 5, it becomes negative, which the game can't handle and thus it wraps around to being extremely high. Thus, a Berserker (again, that isn't Lenna) wearing a Thornlet and equipped with the Gaia Hammer will deal huge damage to enemies if it procs Quake, like 3500 damage, which is pretty nice. To GBA players though it's just a pretty lousy piece of headgear.

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The pyramid has spikes around, which give you the Poison status if you step on one. Having a Geomancer in the party allows you to walk over them freely, as does the Float status. It's not worth making someone a Geomancer here though since you can get around them just fine with proper switch pushing.

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There's also sandfalls that push you down to the rooms below. After riding this one, you'll come to a trapped chest.

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The Damned can teach you Off-Guard, but more importantly Doom, as long as you use Control and give it an Ether. They only use physical attacks against you though. The chest contains a second Ice Shield.

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Certain places in the pyramid will release these white snakes, called Aspis. They go after the party as best they can, and when you get into battle with them, you can't flee from it. They only attack physically and I didn't even get a picture of them but be aware running into one of these guys triggers a battle against a single Aspis.

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Ushabti are one of the two non-undead normal enemies here. They're weak to lightning and can use Dark Spark and Off-Guard if you give them an Ether.

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At the end of this path is a battle against the Grand Mummy. It uses Dancehall Daze, which sets sleep, and physical attacks. It's weak to fire and holy and isn't very hard. Afterwards you can go into its sarcophagus for a chest with a Cursed Ring. Cursed Rings are decent, they give you 25 Defense and 5 Magic Defense, but it sets the Doom status on the wearer so they'll only live for 60 seconds. However, the character can then be revived normally (as long as they're not wearing the Bone Mail) and won't have Doom anymore, though this could still be a liability in a harder fight. It's great for random encounters though, especially on classes with very low defense/HP like Dancer.

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Heading back further into the pyramid after the Cursed Ring detour, you'll come across a group of chests. There's a lot of gil and Dark Matter chests in this dungeon, and one of the chests in the group of 3 you'll come across has this really nifty White Robe. Its only real drawback is the Stamina boost, which as I mentioned is worthless and only increases healing done by Regen.

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The pyramid has a few traps, and this is one. This staircase will sometimes turn into a slope, which will drop you onto the spikes that pop up when it does so. Make sure it's safe before you run up it.

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Zephyrus is important to note for a couple of reasons, one of which is that it's notoriously difficult to run from this fight. Zephyrus is the other normal non-undead enemy here, and she summons monsters to fight for her. The monsters are all ones you've seen, but are different from earlier enemies so they will not give you bestiary entries if you missed them.

The one useful monster is that if a Zephyrus summons a Tunneler, it can cast Level 3 Flare on the party, which is fantastic to learn if you didn't get it from Exdeath or the Red Dragon.

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This floor has Mecha Heads roaming around it, a lot of them, and eventually Aspis are released on top of that. They'll all head straight for you.

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Mecha head uses Flame Thrower and Missile, as well as Wave Cannon (does half your max HP plus sets sap), Mustard Bomb (heavy non-elemental damage plus sets sap), and Reverse Polarity. If you try and use the Dragoon's !Jump command against it, it will shoot them out of the air with Interceptor Rocket. It's weak to lightning.

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The sarcophagi at the top of the room have Mummies in them. They only use physical attacks if they're in a group. If a Mummy is alone, it uses Danse Macabre, which lnflicts Zombie on its target. This is unpleasant, as Zombie characters basically act as a confused/berserked character. It can ONLY be healed by Holy Water (not even Cottages will restore it) so always have Holy Water!

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This guy appears as a chest monster and is pretty rough. It uses Claw (sets poison), Poison Breath and Zombie Breath. It's weak to fire and holy, and is obviously undead. They can teach you Level 3 Flare if Controlled and given Reflect, and they always drop a Dragon Fang on defeat.

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A chest on the left side of the Mecha Head room gives you the sweet Black Robe. As you can see, it has the same defensive stats as the White Robe, but boosts Magic by 3 instead of 1. This is basically the best robe in the game not counting the bonus dungeon stuff.

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After the save point is when you have a chance to run into this guy. He's not undead, and attacks physically. He's unique in that once you defeat him, you won't run into him again, he's gone for good. He will also mention his brother in a tower who will take revenge on you for killing him.

Sekhmet has a rare Thief's Gloves steal, but also a common Hi-Potion, so get ready to use reset a lot if you want it. Also important to note is he is not immune to !Catch, so you can catch him and then continue to run into him. Release him against himself for fun! It doesn't do anything interesting but it's just funny to see.

There's a chest containing Crystal Armor in room in the upper left of where you meet Sekhmet, which is the best heavy armor you can have at this point. This is where I finally have my physical fighters that can wear armor give up the Power Sash.

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There's a chest you can reach through hidden passages here, use a Thief if you don't know where to go. You're supposed to get here by falling down from the floor above, but this one chest can be claimed by heading back through the path. The other chest is behind a locked door, so you'll have to fall from above for that one.

The chest contains Black Garb, decent armor for clothes wearing jobs. The chest can be guarded by either two Bandercoeurls and a Black Warlock, or three Steel Fists. Again, if you missed these enemies before, you can't get a bestiary entry for them here, but otherwise they're identical to the previous enemies. You can still get a Judgment Staff or Power Staff from the Black Warlock fight, but the Steel Fists have a chance to drop Kaiser Knuckles. Kaiser Knuckles are an accessory that will add 50 attack power to barehanded attacks, which actually puts Monks on about the same level as other physical classes at this point. They also boost Strength by 5 points and Defense by 8 which isn't bad.

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And as you can see the Black Garb has decent defense (but not Magic Defense) and boosts Agility.

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The floor in this room moves, and if you're standing over the black void when it does, you'll fall below. You'll want to fall at least once to get an Elixir, as well as some other chests, including one with a Gaia Hammer which you could've gotten all the way back in world 1.

The chests in this room however contain a Golden Hairpin, which as you recall halves MP use, the second Ribbon, and a Protect Ring. The Protect Ring gives 10 Defense and Magic Defense, adds 5 to Stamina, and sets inherent Regen. It's okay.

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At the end of the pyramid, the tablet is just sitting there. No boss or anything. Grab it!

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When you do, the center of the platform will rise, taking you to outside the pyramid.

Image Holy moly! What's going on!?

Image Look, something's written on the tablet. "The Dragon King, Bahamut..." ...Huh?

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The penninsula--it's sinking!

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"I will await thee at the summit of North Mountain..."

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Image Look! 'Tis the airship!


So yeah, Bahamut is now waiting for us, and the airship is sailing over. Inside the forest between the desert and the library...

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A wind drake flies down, setting the body of Lenna on the ground.

Image Lenna!

Image Lenna! Are you okay? Come on, wake up, say something!

Image ... ... ... This body is mine!!!


There's a loud zap, and the party is knocked back from Lenna's body.

Image What the-

"Beast sealed between dimensions for a millennium... Go forth, Melusine!"

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Image Mwa-ha-ha! All that was once sealed in the Rift is now mine to command!


At this, Lenna rises to her feet, attacking the party.

Image Lenna...stop, please...

Image Mwa-ha-ha! Face destruction at your friend's hands!

Image Exdeath!

Image Mwa-ha-ha... Now, watch as I take care of a turtle infestation!

Image

Image

Image Soon...very soon! The power of the Void will be completely mine, and the entire earth will kneel before me! Mwa-hahahahahaha!!!


Exdeath vanishes, and Lenna continues to attack the party as they plead with her to stop, until...

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Sacrificing itself, Hiryu attacked! The demon is expelled from Lenna's body!

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Melusine's gimmick is her Barrier Change. Melusine has four forms. Three of these forms are weak to one specific element, either fire, ice, or lightning, and will absorb other elements. Her Defense in these three forms is very high, 90 points, making her mostly immune to physical damage. Her fourth form has extremely high Magic Defense, but 0 Defense. In the meantime, she'll cast -aga level spells on the party, as well as use Allure to inflict confuse.

Melusine starts out weak to fire. If you know this, you can set up your party to take her out before she does a single Barrier Change.

Image Bartz... I...

Image Lenna!!!

Image Sister... Krile... The castle... We were...the darkness...it-

Image We know. Don't try to speak.


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Lenna rejoins the party! She is KO'd, however, so revive her quickly.

Oh yeah, on the way to your ship, you might run into monsters.

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Elm Gigas can use Aeroga, which you can learn now if you haven't already. It starts the battle out inherently sleeping, which is odd, but hey. Shadows attack physically and can be controlled for Off-Guard and Dark Spark. Pythons can use Vampire and also use Entangle (sets paralyze).

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Triffids cast Berserk on themselves, and only attack physically even if they don't.

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Sleepy, as its name implies, casts Sleep a lot. Their common steal is a Healing Staff, which isn't much use now but is unique. Hedgehogs can be controlled for 1000 Needles, and respond to physical attacks with Needle, which has a 50/50 chance of setting either dark or silence.

When you step on the ship...

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Image Hurry! It won't be much longer before Exdeath gains the power of the Void!

Image But Ghido said we hadn't the power to fight him and win...

Image We'll need the twelve legendary weapons. They're in the sealed castle of Kuza... Come on, let's go!


The airship takes off out of the water and flies off, but...

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Image Power of the Void! Reveal your true self!!! Go forth and destroy everything! Show how absolute your power really is!!!

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The kingdom of Walse is swallowed.

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So is Istory.

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And although the darkness is obscuring it, this is the Moogle Forest from world 2.

But worst of all...

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"Bartz! Help!!!"

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Image Even a tiny place like Bartz's hometown, Lix...

Image That...to go that far is...

Image Aughhh!!!


Upon seeing this, Bartz rushes to the wheel of the ship and angrily flies at about three times the speed you normally fly around the world map. After circling the world a few times, Faris and Lenna tell Bartz to get ahold of himself, to which Bartz simply lowers his head. When you regain control of the airship, you're over the black hole that once was Bartz's hometown of Lix.

Next time: weapons!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:03 pm

. . . so I remember the thing about going from Bartz's world to Galuf's world and then the two worlds recombining, but I have pretty much no memory of Lenna being pulled into the Void and then later being returned to the party, and that just really drives home how long it's been since I played this game.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:43 pm

Eh it happens. It's easy to forget because it's such a short portion of the game, you only do one dungeon without her and then she's back in the party.

MINI UPDATE - They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them.

So you've gotten the first tablet and have entered the Castle of Kuza to claim your weapons. But, you can only get three per tablet. I dunno why man, that's just how it works. So what three should you pick? What's the best bang for your buck with the legendary weapons?

To be honest, what weapons are best depends on your party composition to a degree. So for example, if you're not using Berserker or Equip Axes, despite the fact that the Rune Axe is a great weapon, it's not really going to be worth your time to get. Still, I'll list the legendary weapons in my personal opinion of what's most useful to not very useful, and what their effects are. So here we go.

Assassin's Dagger - The Assassin's Dagger, despite its high position on the list, isn't fantastic. Its attack power is only 78, raises Agility by 1, and has a 25% chance of casting Death after an attack. Remember that Death heals undead targets to full HP, but it at least doesn't have the 25% !Flee proc that Chicken Knife has. Still, the reason it's at the top of the list is that well, every class except two can use daggers. So unless you're doing a challenge run of all Monks and White Mages (and god help you if you are), then you're going to have at least one class that can use this, and probably all of them can.

Magus Rod - Tired of swapping around rods to maximize your elemental damage on your Summoners/Black Mages? This baby is the solution, as it boosts the power of Fire, Lightning, Poison, Earth and Wind spells by 50%. But not Water. This is important to note for anyone using Summon, but I'll explain later. Any party who has someone casting elemental damage spells (ESPECIALLY Summon) should grab this right away.

Yoichi's Bow - It has 93 attack, addes 3 to Strength and Agility, and has a 30% chance of dealing a critical hit. Yoichi's Bow is really good, especially since now's a good time to start putting your physical classes in Ranger to get !Rapid Fire since enemies in world 3 give much more ABP than before.

Masamune - Masamune is a katana with 104 attack and a 15% chance of a critical hit. This on its own is nice, but it's the bonuses that make Masamune nicer. The character equipped with Masamune gets the first turn automatically in battle, even if the party gets hit with a surprise attack. Masamune can also be used as an item, casting Haste on the target.

Excalibur - You might think that Excalibur would be higher on the list. It has an attack of 107 and adds 5 to Strength. It has two things working against it though. The first is it's not a regular sword, it's a Knightsword. That means only Knights and Gladiators can equip it, and while Knight is a solid class, you're probably wanting to put your characters in other classes to learn actually useful abilities. The second is that it deals Holy elemental damage, and unfortunately a couple of upcoming bosses absorb Holy, making the sword useless in those fights. It's still a fantastic sword, but the two downsides mean it doesn't get as highly recommended as other weapons.

Sage's Staff - The Sage's Staff boosts the power of Holy damage by 50%, and when used as an item it casts Raise on the target. It also deals 8x damage against undead enemies. Your White Mages will be getting the Holy spell soon, and 8x damage against undead means your White Mage will actually be hitting those enemies with damage equal to or even possibly greater than your physical fighters. The free Raise is nice I guess but I hardly ever use it if I'm not in a challenge run. Still, it's a solid staff with great effects, though admittedly doesn't shine quite as bright if you don't have a character using White Magic and the Holy spell, and since you don't get Holy until after the next dungeon (technically two), it's hard to recommend getting on the first tablet.

Sasuke's Katana - A ninja sword with an attack power of 96, adding 1 point to Agility. Its ability is that like the Main Gauche, phyiscal attacks have a 25% chance to be blocked by this weapon. This is a separate check from the Main Gauche, so a Ninja equipped with both Main Gauche and Sasuke's Katana has two separate 25% chances to block an attack. A very solid weapon, especially considering Ninjas are a great class and you probably want one of your physical attackers in it to climb the ranks to getting Dual Wield. The downside is that equipping this means you can't use the Twin Lance trick to avoid Chicken Knife's flee, so you'll have to deal with the Flee proc if you don't have any abilities that can bypass it.

Rune Axe - I wish I could put this higher on the list, I really do. The Rune Axe has an attack power of 71, and adds 3 to Magic. Yes, you read that right. See, the Rune Axe has two special properties. First, every time you attack with it, it spends 5 MP to raise its attack power by 10 points (to 81). That's nice, but the second part is where it shines. In addition to the usual Strength modifier to the damage multiplier, the Rune Axe also gets a Magic modifier to the damage multiplier on top of that. If the stats are the same, that means damage would double, on top of the inherent property of axes to ignore 75% of the target's Defense. On a Berserker, it's pretty good, on a Berserker with a magical ability supplement or a Freelancer with mastered classes, it's fantastic. Again, the only reason it's so low is because as an axe, you're limited to Berserker or Gladiator to equip it (or throw Equip Axes on somebody).

Apollo's Harp - Remember how I've been saying only one harp is worth equipping, since the others suck? This is the one harp worth equipping. Apollo's Harp has an attack power of 42. Every other harp in the game dealt damage based on the target's current HP and didn't work on Heavy targets, which is why they sucked. Apollo's Harp is different, with its attack being a simple magic-based non-elemental attack that works on anything...oh, with one special property. It deals 8x damage to undead and dragon type enemies. This is fantastic, since you can make any enemy a dragon type enemy by using Dragon's Kiss (Dragon Fang + Maiden's Kiss) on them. Only Bards can equip harps though (or someone with Equip Harps), and since this is only amazing against certain types of enemies, it gets lower on the list. Still, if you have a Bard, they'll love this, especially if a Chemist is around to play with enemy natures.

Fire Lash - Poor Fire Lash. So low on the list, despite being solid. I guess it's not at the bottom or even second to the bottom though, so it's got that. Fire Lash is a whip with 79 attack power, and adds 2 to Strength and Agility. As with all whips, it deals full damage from the back row. While the Fire Lash itself deals non-elemental damage, it has a 33% chance of casting Firaga on attack. This is actually pretty great! Unfortunately, Beastmasters are the only class that can equip whips, and most people who aren't doing a challenge run aren't going to use Beastmaster. Beastmaster's magic also isn't too great, meaning unless they're supplemented with a magical secondary, the Firaga won't be dealing very impressive damage unless the enemy is weak to fire. The Fire Lash IS handy in a particular strategy to beat one of the superbosses though, so it has that going for it! Still, despite it being good, the Fire Lash is unfortunately hard to recommend. But more so than the last two weapons at least.

Holy Lance - A spear with 106 attack power, adds 3 to Strength. It also is Holy elemental and deals double damage when used with !Jump. The Holy Lance has the same kind of problems Excalibur does. Elemental damage that more than a couple of bosses like to absorb, and only usable by Dragoon and Gladiator, the first class being very unappealing due to not playing well with the others and thus unlikely to be used outside of a challenge run. Only having one ability slot on any classes not Mime or Freelancer means you can't have both Equip Lances and !Jump, after all. It's a great weapon, but the limited class selection really hurts it, especially since Dragoon while a great class on its own doesn't have much to offer other classes ability-wise, meaning most people aren't going to use it unless they're forced to.

So now we come to the only real dud in the list, a crap weapon that has no business being called a legendary weapon. This one should always be the last one you get, as nobody should use it, ever. That is...

Gaia's Bell - It's a bell with 35 attack power. It boosts earth elemental attacks by 50%, and has a 25% chance of casting Earthquake on attack. Only Geomancer can use it, oh and get this...for some reason, it uses the Long Range Axe damage formula. That means it deals full damage from the back row, is based on Strength, and ignores 75% of the target's defense. It's garbage. Geomancer has pitiful Strength, the attack power is abysmal, nobody should be using Geomancer at this point anyway, and even if you are, Geomancer is better off equipping an Air Knife and trying to get Wind Slash from !Gaia.

One last tip. If you're doing a challenge run like the Four Job Fiesta, you really only need to get one tablet, maybe two. However the later dungeons have nice treasure and you may end up getting a third tablet which would result in a few weapons you can't use...but why let them go to waste? You could sell the legendary weapons for sweet, sweet cash!

Sasuke's Katana, Magus Rod, Sage's Staff and Fire Lash all can be sold for 10,000 gil. So can the Assassin's Dagger, but since so many classes can make use of that, it's less attractive to sell. Gaia's Bell sells for 4500 gil, not a lot, but still more than the rest, any weapons I didn't mention can only be sold for 5 gil.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:57 pm

I've seen Yoichi's Bow in other games before--I think outside the FF series (it was probably the SaGa series, just because those are the RPGs I've played most in the last several years)--and I was wondering whether it was based on something historical or was just a recurring motif made up by Square, so I looked it up.

Final Fantasy Wikia wrote:Nasu no Yoichi was a samurai archer of feudal Japan. According to the Heike Monogatari, a literary epic of feudal Japan, a ship in the enemy fleet placed a fan on the mast of their ship, proclaiming it would deflect all arrows fired at them. Nasu no Yoichi, horseback among the waves with his target also rocking back and forth, shot the fan off with a single arrow. The Yoichi bow is named after this samurai in honor of his legendary feat.


Pretty awesome.

source: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Yoichi_Bow

Apropos of Sasuke, some digging around in Japanese yields that Sarutobi Sasuke is apparently a stock name for fictional ninja characters in a variety of stories, and while Sasuke is clearly fictional, he is based on some other personages about whom there are theories that they might have been historical figures.

source: Japanese Wikipedia
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:31 pm

Sarutobi Sasuke is NinjaRed's ancestor in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, as well as Sasuke being NinjaRed's name since all of the Kakurangers are descended from and named after famous ninjas, be they real or fictional. And yeah he is fictional, often placed as one of the Sanada Ten Braves, who were fictional ninjas that battled at Osaka Castle in the Sengoku period in the service of Sanada Nobushige...or if you play Samurai Warriors/Pokemon Conquest, better known as Sanada Yukimura. Kunoichi is meant to be a sort of representation of the Braves as a whole (though all of the Braves show up as generic NPCs in battles with Yukimura), since apparently most people don't really care about anyone but Sarutobi Sasuke and Kirigakure Saizo.

On another note, since you started us off, I'll mention that Apollo's Harp is named for the Greek god Apollo, who is a god of music, light, healing, prophecy and enlightenment. When Hermes was born, he stole some of the cattle that Apollo was grazing and hid them in a cave, where he found a tortoise. After killing the tortoise and a cow, he used the tortoise shell and the cow intestines to create a new instrument called the lyre. As Apollo was a god of music, he fell in love with the lyre and traded the cattle to Hermes for it, and became a master of the lyre. A lyre is similar to a harp, so Apollo's Harp is pretty true to the Greek myths!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:50 pm

So. It's mid-September and there hasn't been an update in over two months.

My computer's broken. I have to send it in for repairs because the repair shop here is scared to touch it (it's a Lenovo computer, kinda small). The computer is what has my save file and screenshots on it.

I could say that I'll have the next update as soon as possible and it might be a couple of weeks but I'll do my best but...I think at this point, it's best to let it go. This LP has been going on for over 3 years, and FFV isn't even really a long game. People have done LPs of it in a month. And at this point, with all the dungeons left, it would be at LEAST ten more updates, which even if I did one a week, would be two and a half months more. And honestly I'd probably do it every other week which is still almost half a year, putting this LP at about four years to do.

On top of that, while I did get a decent response when I started it back up the second time, only two people have been commenting since, and really only one regularly. I know there may be some people reading it and not commenting, and I'm not blaming anyone because I think even if I was getting four or five comments every update, at the rate I'm going and the problems I'm having, I'd probably come to the same conclusion...this LP is pretty much over.

I hate to do it, and it's not because I'm not enjoying it. FFV is one of my absolute favorite games, and it was a blast to comment on the story and show off the crazy job combinations and tricks. It's just that I'm not getting it done at a decent pace, I'm having setbacks, and rather than add to the stress already in my life, it's easiest to just end this and focus on other things that are a bit more important.

Sorry I couldn't see this through to the credits, guys. This was a great experience and I enjoyed sharing all I could with you and talking about it with you.

And so I'll leave you with one last music piece, which I would have saved for the final appearance of Gilgamesh. This is from Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a free to play mobile phone game where you collect FF characters and fight through past bosses and story events from the series in an ATB style battle. It's really fun, one of the better mobile games out there for sure.

Anyway, here is the Battle on the Big Bridge remix they did for the Big Bridge event. It's ridiculously over the top and I love it, especially the part where it transitions to the Final Fantasy V main theme, which you can hear in Ahead On Our Way, as well as The Day Will Come.

If you just can't handle the power of that version, there was also (before the final Gilgamesh battle was released in the event) a version of the song without vocals. I gotta say though I vastly prefer the choir version, it's my favorite version of the song. Yeah, the soprano is kind of not great, but the chanting in the background adds a LOT to the song that the vocal-less version just doesn't have in my opinion.

And...I guess that's it. I hope you guys enjoyed most of FFV. I was planning on doing an LP of FFVI Advance after I finished that one, and I still kind of want to, but it wouldn't go any better than this one, I'm sure, especially since FFVI is a much longer game (though I wasn't going to do the extra bonus dungeons from the Advance version anyway, but it's still longer even despite that). So I guess I'll just close this out. Goodbye, everyone!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby LecktheTech » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:59 pm

Thanks for doing this anyway! I've been enjoying reading all of your updates and hearing some backstory on FFV. I've not posted much, but it was very interesting to read.
♪The sword is sharp, the spear is long.

The arrow swift, the gate is strong

The heart is bold, that looks on gold

The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.♪
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:43 pm

Okay, so I have to admit . . .

I am kind of a musical snob. So I just can't take a liking to the version with the vocals, because it falls into the usual pattern that this kind of thing falls into when people write for (real or synthesized) orchestra or choir who don't normally write for orchestra or choir and don't know what they are doing. That is that they just write a bunch of block chords, and it's like using a micrometer as a hammer, or the musical equivalent of whatever your most-hated obnoxiously-overused amateurish storytelling cliche happens to be.

But oddly enough, synthesized instrument sounds that are cheesy enough to be reminiscent of retro video game music are nostalgic for me, so I like the version with the guitar and the cheesy synthesized instruments pretty well.

My favorite version, though (followed by the original) is the one by the Black Mages, and I cannot remember whether it has been posted already in this thread or not, but if so here it is again.

Clash on the Big Bridge

They also did a version of the second Exdeath final boss fight music, Neo Exdeath.

The Black Mages are awesome. However, they did not do a version of the first part of the Exdeath final boss fight, which is also pretty rocking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDZYS7Gc5TQ

Love that downward glissando at the beginning! :3

In regard to this LP, I really completely understand about wanting to finish a project but finding that it just is taking too much time, and not being able to give updates speedily, that sort of thing (since I have the exact same tendency myself).

I'll echo Leck and comment that it was enjoying to read your LP while it lasted (even though generally music was the only thing I had any opinion about). The tricks that can be done with job combinations and so on are generally all things I had no idea about, so getting to read your thorough information, I found out lots of things I would never have known otherwise. But I have no hard feelings about the LP not finishing, since I have played through the game to the end myself.

Thanks for all your work on the LP up until now. I enjoyed it.
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