Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Year of Final Fantasy: FF1 Dawn of Souls (Part I)

I decided to try a speed run through Final Fantasy 1 & 2: Dawn of Souls. I've beaten the original FF1 on the NES and PSX. This one is on the GBA (and PSP) and has been described as "Final Fantasy EASY MODE." The magic system was changed around to use MP instead of eight levels of magic each with separate points. EXP needed to level was reduced. Etc.

Over at RPGamer.com somebody got the idea to do a "Year of Final Fantasy" where we all play through each FF again, in order, to completion. Hopefully, just in time for FF13 to come out and then WOW us with how amazing it is.

So, here goes!So far so good. I didn't lose yet and I'm at the title screen.

Now I need to decide on job classes for my party and name my dudes. Easiest would be:
WAR, WAR, WHM, BLM
WAR, WAR, RDM, WHM
I like the second option better. "Hulk Smash!!!!" (a.k.a. "Press 'A' to win.") is pretty effective in this game.

But who to bring on this epic adventure? Some people from Epic Linkshell will do! Verm, the very obviously Galka WAR will front the group.

Followed by Tenken the fierce MNK. MNKs are nice because they fight best with no weapons (that was broken in the original NES version) which saves me time and gil.

Keffka will provide an able sword and magic support. He's also the group's only offensive magic user.

And for White Mage....EB?! Shit, we're fucked. For anyone wondering, "Evilbron" and "Emobron" were both too long. The game allows more than the paltry 4 letter names of the original, but it's still very limiting.

So, let the adventures of Epic's Light Warriors begin!Cornelia...it's been so long. Oh well, into town to get everybody weapons and armor!Except Tenken, he fights with his fists of justice and punching. All set!

To the King!We need to save Princess Sarah from Garland. To the Chaos Temple!Still level 1 going to fight the evil knight and save the princess.

In 4 minutes. I think we're making good time.But can the gang defeat him?It would seem so!

I would have sworn they made you walk back to the King in the original, but in Dawn of Souls, we're back instantly!Still only 7 minutes in.And we're already onto the mainland.I've got to say that this point that I really like the music in this game. I'm not sure if it's nostalgia or actually good or both. But wow.

Anyway, our next order of business is to procure the world's only boat. Onward to Pravoka!Still only 13 minutes in...And we've already whooped up on some pirates!

Now for the next stretch of game we need to head to Elfheim. Gear up there. Get the Crown from the Marsh Cave and then give it to the King in the abandoned castle to the North who's actually the Dark Elf, Astos. Whoop his ass and get a Crystal Eye. Give the Eyeball to Matoya, the blind witch, and get some Jolt soda to wake up the sleeping Prince in Elfheim.

Confused yet? Let's get to it!We're at Elfheim and still under the twenty minute mark!

Now to the Marsh Cave!I swear to God I got attacked like every other step.

I should mention that at this point the battle system has me a little puzzled. For some unknown reason, Evilbron is hitting harder than everyone else. Tenken can't take a hit worth a piss, he gets clocked significantly harder than Evilbron. Keffka has ridiculously low HP and MP compared to everyone else, but hits harder than Verm does for some reason.

This game is fucking weird.But we finally arrived at the Marsh Cave and are ready to head down to B3 to get the Crown.

We had stopped in Elfheim to buy shit, but only really got new weapons/armor and two spells.Nearly everything here uses attacks that cause Poison status it seems.

And we have no antidotes.

Fuck. But we slog our way to the bottom and have the Crown within our grasp.

One step forward though, there's going to be a battle with some wizard things. I haven't level grinded at all, so the gang's level is only ~6. Their MP is mostly gone from using Cure to combat the annoying Poison status that doesn't wear off and Evilbron can't cure (because she sucks).

Here goes nothing!Emphasis on the "nothing" part.

It was a surprisingly close fight, but GAME OVER.

OK, no biggie. Reload the game and we'll get a few levels walking back to Elfheim, get Poisona and some other spells.

So, back in Elfheim and at the White Magic store.Why aren't you dancing, Evilbron?

It's Poisona.

It's White Magic.

I've got the money for the spell, why can't your gimp ass learn it?So, it turns out Evilbron's Magic Level isn't high enough yet to use Poisona.

Antidotes it is then.So, The gang's levels have nearly doubled walking back from the Marsh Cave, poisoned the whole time because that shit doesn't wear off, and also nearly doubled my playtime.We haul ass back to B3 of the Marsh Cave.And fight the wizard things again.

Strangely, I remember them casting spells in the NES version, but they don't use any here. In the rematch at nearly twice the previous attempt's level the fight is a clean sweep.

Verm did unholy things to the Piscodemon's faces. Tenken now hits like 4x each attack round and one-shotted his Piscodemon. Keffka did respectable damage with Fire and his sword. EB is starting to perform as expected: suckily. She hits 1x for like 10 damage.

Now, we walk all the way back out and then North to the abandoned castle with the King who wanted the Crown.The battle wasn't even close.Astos turned all dusty in two rounds of attacks and barely managed to hurt anyone. Evilbron even managed to kill him.

Now we had to walk all the way back to the port near Elfheim and then take the ship all the way North to Matoya's cave.The old coot gives us some soda for the sleeping Prince in Elfheim.It's apparently OK to pour liquids down the throats of unconscious princes, because that's what the guy's nanny does to wake his ass up finally.Mystic key in hand, we can access a bunch of locked treasure rooms that were scattered all over the place. Nearly everywhere we've been so far.

Significantly more backtracking, and we get our next plot advancing item.Someone set us up the bomb, guys! Apparently, it's normal to leave high explosives around the castle.

While doing all this running back and forth, Evilbron finally got Magic Level 4.Of course, she's still Evilbron. So she fucking fails.

We used the TNT that was lying around the castle to blow open a canal gaining access to the rest of the southern half of the world. We could sail North, but apparently nobody knows how to build a port there and our ship can only dock at five places in the entire world.

At a town to the west we're told about a Vampire who's causing the earth to decay in the Earth Cave.

So, into the Earth Cave we go!And Verm and Keffka get turned to stone. Evilbron, of course, can't cure petrification because she's fucking useless.

So we trek all the way back to Cornelia to get some Gold Needles. They don't have any, so we go to Elfheim and finally obtain a bunch. At this point, it looks like the whole "speed run" thing is blown to Hell.

The gang goes all the way back down the Earth Cave, and gets to the Vampire.He doesn't even last two full rounds of attacks and disintegrates. He drops a Ruby which is what the strange golem thing in a cave further West wanted to move out of the way.

We head through there and get a a Sage's Cave.It's called a Sage's Cave and shockingly enough it has a Sage in it.

The Sage has the brilliant idea that the block that said it was concealing dire evil or something back in the Earth Cave actually was concealing dire evil in the form of, Lich, the Fiend of Earth.

So, we need to go back to the bottom of the Earth Cave. Again.

Will the gang be able to defeat Lich? Will Evilbron learn to cure Petrification in time to be unable to help with some new status ailment? All these questions and more will be answered in Part II!

To Be Continued....

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