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Poll

How shall I go about this?

Just play normally, with a party of godlike twinked-out characters. Explain the game's underpinnings at length.
- 2 (7.7%)
Use your random-named mooks the whole time -- No named story characters!
- 4 (15.4%)
Use just story characters, and no random-named mooks.
- 1 (3.8%)
Use random-named mooks and story characters, but take votes on how to spec each one. Fail utterly thanks to troll votes.
- 3 (11.5%)
Monster challenge: use recruitable monsters and Ramza in a support role. Explain monsters at length.
- 9 (34.6%)
Dumb As a Rock challenge: Spec characters however, but set them to only use AI on every battle!
- 5 (19.2%)
Single-character challenge: use only Ramza!
- 2 (7.7%)

Total Members Voted: 14


Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 ... 13

Author Topic: Lay down your arms or die clutching them! Let's Play Final Fantasy Tactics!  (Read 9478 times)

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R^2

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bweeeeeeeeeeee


bweeeeeeeeeeee




bweeeeeeeeeeee


bweeeeeeeeeeee

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R^2

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Hey, I thought this didn't happen until Chapter 2!


A monster laid an egg!

Now, as you walk around the world map, sometimes monsters lay eggs. There doesn't need to be more than one monster of a given kind to do it, so this could be an egg from any of the monsters I've recruited.

An egg will hatch into the same species as the monster that laid it -- chocobos beget chocobos, skeletons beget skeletons, and so on (but please don't ask how skeletons lay eggs). Sometimes it will hatch into the next level up, such as a regular goblin laying a black goblin egg. We'll see what this guy is when he hatches.


Delita is horribly underleveled, but some better armor will give him some more staying power.


Off to the highlands.




That's three knights, two black mages, and a time mage.


One of the knights is Milleuda! Somehow she ran all the way to Ziekden, decided she didn't like the looks of it, and came back out over the plateau. I guess she's headed east, out of Gallionne entirely?

Generic Knight: Then let us lower our weapons and raise the white banner. We gain naught by--
Milleuda: If I'm to die, I'd sooner do so swinging a sword than swinging from the gallows! I'll not be led away in chains!

And the battle begins.


On Delita's first turn:



Moderately-important name drop.


Delita: Please, she's no value as a hostage! Return her, I beg you!


Milleuda: Our lives, our dignity, and all else that you have claimed as your own? We ask nothing more than that you return to us what it ours by right. But you deny us even that! You take and take, until there is naught left. Save your highborn breath. Your words are wind, and no amount of howling will see your sister free!
Delita: But I... I'm not--!

And the battle continues.


They strike with their magic...




I strike with mine. I'm holding an Ice Rod, so my Blizzard spells are more powerful than usual. And the enemy is clustered in the little valley here, so I can wipe out three Delita and two enemies with one spell.


The knight off to the left here has Robert to contend with.


Milleuda at critical HP.


I think she says this when you take down all her underlings. She's a chatty one.


R2: Sheathe your blade, and let us talk! Surely we can find some common ground! I will speak with my brother -- even Duke Larg himself! You must trust me!
Milleuda: False words sound ever sweet, but they are a siren song. I've heard my share of noble lies. I'll hear no more!
R2: My words are not false!

Some time later:

R2: Have we wronged you? Have we somehow made you suffer? I do not understand what fuels your hatred.

Dammit, you'll only get her started again.


Milleuda: You may not see the world beyond your high walls, but that does not mean they mark its boundaries. It may well be you've done no wrong. It is your place in the world that drives my hatred on. You bear the name Beoulve, and that name is my enemy.


Well, might as well make the best of things.


Damn, nothing to learn.


The battle's won, so I figured I'd show off Robert's Self-Destruct. However...




It does as much damage as Robert had lost, and he was at full health.


Milleuda, soaked in Robert's oily bodily fluids, slumps defeated to the ground.







And...


The trip to the plateau was time enough to hatch our little egg! It's a level 3 Yellow Chocobo. I promptly dismissed him, free to roam the wild plains and fields far from the horrors of war. (This, too, will happen a lot. Monsters born are usually underlevelled.)
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R^2

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Hey guys guess who pressed the "Save State" button instead of the "Load State" button when he fired up his emulator, thus losing a big chunk of Chapter 1's progress!

This guy!

I was flung back to "tralala let's go to Dorter, Zaalbag said it's a good idea" in the timeline.

So here's what's different:
- No random encounters for the rest of chapter 1! This means that I'm level 25 instead of 28+ when we get back to Lesalia Plateau.
- No random encounters means no training in Archer or recruiting Robert, Ziggy, or Sanford in the Siedge Weald.
- R2 did not switch back to Squire, and thus did not learn Beastmaster or Move+1.
- R2 remained an Orator for a while, picking up a skill to increase Bravery, a skill to increase Faith, and...



See, some jobs have their own abilities as "innates", so that the support skills you buy make those abilities available when you switch jobs. One innate skill of the Orator is Beast Tongue: Orators can use Speechcraft skills on monsters. If I switch classes to something else and equip Speechcraft as my secondary skill, it will only work on humans. I must equip Beast Tongue as a support skill to tame new monsters or otherwise talk to my monster allies.

Since Speechcraft is based on magic attack power and an Orator's base magic attack power kind of sucks, it's an important skill to have. I can switch to Black Mage or some similar job with better MA to talk to monsters more effectively.

Having finished the battle at Lesalia Plateau again...
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R^2

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Here's the current party lineup after Lesalia Plateau:














On to Fovoham Windflats!


Inside a windmill shed.


You know how Wiegraf feels about kidnapping. And what happened to Gustav because of it.


Wiegraf: Do not tell me this madness has taken even you!
Gragoroth: I am no Gustav, if that is your fear! Think, Wiegraf. We've lost the greater part of our number, and the Northern Order draws upon us from all sides. She is of Beoulve blood. A hundred swords -- a thousand! -- could not buy our freedom with such ease!


Wiegraf: So we fly -- what then? Know you some happy haven in which we may alight? If we flee, they win once more. As they have always won. We must make for our children a fairer future than the past you and I have known. They must not suffer as we do! The stone we cast might raise only the smallest of waves, but see how they crash upon the shore! Waves rich with our blood...






Wiegraf: The remainder of our forces should yet be safe in our fastness at Ziekden. We must rejoin them -- together we have the strength to strike!
Gragorath: And if they are already dead?

A female monk enters the shed from behind Wiegraf.



Wiegraf clenches a fist in impotent rage.


Monk: Your orders, Commander?
Wiegraf: We quit this place at once! We shall make for our fastness at Ziekden. The girl will be left here, Gragoroth.




Wiegraf: I shall hold them off here! Gragoroth, you will take the others and make for Ziekden!



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R^2

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Let's roll.


Outside the windmill, Wiegraf waits with two monks, a knight, and a chocobo. That's series mainstay Boco, by the way.


Wiegraf: Milleuda deserved a better death - they did not even send
proper knights to kill her!
Ramza: She was your sister...I am sorry.
Wiegraf: I will not flee before her murderers. I'll venge Milleuda's death or
die in the trying!


Yep.

Delita's first turn:

Wiegraf: Your sister? Then you are a Beoulve, yes?
Ramza: He is not. If it is a Beoulve you seek, address yourself to me!
Wiegraf: So, Gragoroth has erred. But surely the girl must hold some connection
with House Beoulve?
Ramza: You draw no distinction between our house and those who deal with us?
Wiegraf: Should I? Well, it matters not. There was no question as to her
release. We make not habit of holding hostages. But first we've a score to
settle. You will see her free - if you live to see aught at all!

Wiegraf is a beast, by the way. He has some awesome quasimagical sword skills that don't require charge time and do...

...heavy damage. If I weren't overleveled, that would probably be a fatal hit. As it is, Retweet survived the HP damage and was hit with Doom status instead. Doom means he has three turns to live!








So I swarm Wiegraf and finish him off, missing other conversations mid-fight:

Ramza: Lay down your arms, Wiegraf! What end will more deaths serve?
Wiegraf: What end did my sister's death serve?
Ramza: We did not set out to kill her! This quarrel need not be settled by the sword. Let us treat, and persist not in this bloodshed!
Wiegraf: You see it not - the reason we hold fast to our steel! What advantage might I hope to enjoy at the treaty table? And who would set a seat for me there? You? Even were it in your power, your brothers would never heed any agreement we might reach!
Ramza: My brothers do not want this fight! Set down your sword, Wiegraf, and my brothers will treat with you!
Wiegraf: Ha! No spoony bard could spin a sweeter tale! You say your brothers do not want this fight? Tears then, for the world you see is one beyond my weary sight.

And later still, seriously how can you fight Wiegraf for this long without heavy casualties:

Ramza: You would have me believe my brothers plot at war?
Wiegraf: Callow child. The hands that guide history's reins are ever black with blood. Think you Dycedarg's hand more just? A new justice is born and dies on the lips of each man who would pronounce it.
Ramza: Do not mock my brothers!

Right, back to the fight.


BARF!


Wiegraf: Forgive me, Milleuda! But there is too much left undone for me to lay down my life now.
R2: Wiegraf, wait!
Wiegraf: Who do you think sent Gustav to kidnap Marquis Elmdore? It was none other than your lord brother, Dycedarg. With Lord Zalbaag's approval, to be sure.
R2: Absurd! Why would Dycedarg do such a thing?
Wiegraf: The Lions vie for power in the void left by the king's death. I speak, of course, of Larg, the White Lion, and Goltanna, the Black.

Ah, so now we know who this Goltanna guy is from way back in the beginning, and why he might send an armed retinue to kidnap a princess.

Wiegraf: Each hopes to learn who may be counted as friend, and who as foe. But such things are not so easily read. Easier rid yourself of those whose loyalty is uncertain, and install others to rule in their stead.

So Gustav was originally set to kill Elmdore, so Larg could install a puppet ruler in Limberry to support his bid for the crown. We stopped Elmdore from dying, yeah, but now he owes his life to the Order of the Northern Sky, thus Dycedarg Beoulve, thus Larg. So we solved nothing at all (and in fact caused ourselves greater headaches later).

Wiegraf: I fear Gustav, fool that he was, tired of our rebellion, and was taken in by the silver tongue of your dear brother, Dycedarg.
R2: Lies! No Beoulve would do something so craven as this!
Wiegraf: Do not take my word for it. Judge their actions for yourself. Farewell, youn Beoulve.

And then he teleports away

No wonder it's so hard to track down the Corpse Brigade when they have freakin' teleporters!


Even though it was kind of awesome seriously how do you do that?

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R^2

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R2: Wiegraf has lied to us! Come, Delita! We must hurry to Ziekden. Tietra is there, I'm certain of it.











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R^2

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The party is split into two for no readily apparent reason.












That's not a good sign.










shit shit shit shit shit


you dick


Argath whips out a crossbow...


And shoots the hostage.






Gragoroth has about three seconds of realizing his trump card is actually a deuce...




Before Argath shoots him too.










Knight: Two score, mayhap three! A man of Wiegraf's look moves among them!








Gragoroth pulls himself and his stupid name into the fort.


...and closes the door.




Delita shoves R2 out of the way.


Argath: Is it to be a fight, then? I'm only too happy to oblige!
R2: Zalbaag... Dycedarg... How could you?
Argath: Come! I will show you that common blood makes naught but a common man!


Argath whistles...


...for reinforcements.



And so we begin!
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R^2

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Argath: Your lord brother's orders, R2. What else? Would you have had us kneel before them, and offer up the Order's honor in exchange for the life of some common wench?
R2: She was Delita's sister!
Argath: Is it not time you awoke to the fact that we are different from them? They are of lesser birth, and so meant to play lesser roles in life! Such is the nature of fate, R2! That commoner and his sister ought never have been here at all! Had they been mongering flowers on some street corner, she would yet live.

Well, that's not so. Flower sellers also die cutscene deaths.

We move into position, the Chocobos setting up on lower battlements, while...




Gingervitis effortlessly leaps over the entire fort.


Teleport may be more practical but Ignore Height is awesome sometimes.

When Argath moves:

Argath: To turn your sword on us is treason! You would turn your cloak and name yourself a traitor to the Order of the Northern Sky?
R2: But -- the Order would never forgive what you've done!
Argath: Does your naivety know no end? How ironic is fate, that one such as you would be born a Beoulve!


Despite the smack-talk, Argath is pretty well centered on Delita for this fight. Here Delita, hidden behind the fortress itself, blocks a crossbow bolt.




Delita, for his part, will only attack Argath.


The enemy troops are not so kind to leave them to one another, though, and the wizards are constantly pelting Delita with spells throughout the fight.


And my monsters, too.


Chattiest battle ever.


Argath: Yours is a line of champions, of lords among men! To do great deeds is your destiny, and your duty as well. Much is there that cannot be done, save by your hand. It falls to you to see it so -- to act where we cannot.
R2: I will not be made a puppet!
Argath: You? A puppet? Don't be absurd! The puppets stand before you, R2! Long have we danced for House Beoulve, that it might reign on history's stage. A dance that serves our ends, to be sure. The Beoulve name is our shield, behind whose aegis we've long thrived.

Dude, you're from Limberry, clear across Ivalice from Eagrose. Don't you have your own nobility to shield yourself behind?

Argath: It is the way of things! People are used, and use others in turn. How do you think you came to be where you are? You are loath to be used, yet you fain use others. Even your so-called friend Delita!


Good fucking question.






Argath: You made that much clear on Mandalia Plain, when you put orders ahead of aiding me!


That +10 Brave we got back at the beginning? Leads to -10 now.


Argath: No mere commoner can leave his mark on history! You've not the power! Be glad you know enough to lament it. 'Tis all you can do, and more than you deserve!







And on R2's next turn...





If Delita was at 0 HP for this conversation, he comes back at 1 HP and immediately gets another turn, just to have one more swing at Argath.






There's only so much a berserker can do, and Delita eventually drops.


If it looks like a lot of Blizzard spells are getting thrown around, there are. Snow amplifies Blizzard magic much like thunderstorms amplify Thunder magic.


With Gingervitis and Tweet KOed in the melee, I've gotta wrap this up before their turn counters expire.


Ice Rod + Snowstorm + Blizzard magic = triple-digit damage




Killing Argath for numerous counts of rampant dickery was nice but I could use a sidequest where he comes back as some sort of tortured undead and I get to do it again.
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R^2

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Suddenly, the screen shakes, something inside the fort flares, and I completely fail to take a screenshot of it!























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Brentai

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And later still, seriously how can you fight Wiegraf for this long without heavy casualties:

Sword Break, probably.  Or just toss around Phoenix Downs like beanbags.

It's not like it's even the most ridiculous Wiegraf fight.
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R^2

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Of the three that spring to mind it is the second most ridiculous. The Ziekden fight is kind of hard but Wiegraf is easily the boss at the end of Chapter 1.

Speaking of, we're at the end of Chapter 1. Any input? Anything you'd like to see more of? Less of?
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Stush

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It's pretty great so far. One thing i'd sort of like to see, because i've never played the game before, maybe explain the mechanics and abilties of some of the more interesting non-monster classes as you go?
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R^2

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Chapter 1 Intermission: Status Screen and Game Mechanics



Before I explain the game mechanics in detail, let's look at R2's status screen and explain a few terms.

Top-left corner is the character portrait, so you know what everyone looks like and can idly wonder why no one has a nose.

To the immediate left of the portrait are a character's level, experience, HP, MP, and CT.
A character's level is a basic measure of general ability, same as it's been since wargames-slash-Dungeons & Dragons more or less invented the concept.
Experience indicates how close a character is to leveling. When a character acts in combat, they get a little bit of experience if the action was effective (a strike hit the target, a cure spell actually restored HP, etc.). When this reaches 100, the character's level goes up by one.
HP and MP mean the same things they have in every Final Fantasy game to date: HP measures how close you are to dying, MP is consumed to cast magic spells.
CT determines when a character gets to act in combat. More on that when I talk about Speed, below.

In the top-right corner is a box listing the character's current job, zodiac sign, Bravery, and Faith.
A job is what other games might call a character class. Jobs dictate a most of a character's statistics, and their primary skill (below). Jobs are mostly Final Fantasy mainstays you'll recognize from Final Fantasies one, three, and five: White Mage, Black Mage, Bard, Chemist, Thief, Ninja, and so on.
A character's zodiac sign affects how effective a character's actions are against others, based on the interaction of signs. I'm not really going to go into it, but some signs are effective and some less so. Born January 1, R2 here is a Capricorn. He does more damage to Tauruses and Virgoes, but less to Aires and Libra (and vice-versa). Each sign also has an opposite that they simultaneously are best and worst against, depending on gender: Capricorn (on a male) is most effective against female Cancer, least effective against male Cancer. It's needlessly complex considering most players just ignore it.
Bravery largely affects weapon damage and counter skills, described below. Higher-Brave characters do more damage with weapons and counter more often.
Faith functions much like Bravery, but for magic. Casters with high Faith do (or heal) more damage than those with low Faith. But the character having the spell cast on them counts too! You'll see the biggest numbers with a high-Faith caster zapping a high-Faith target.

The bar in the middle of the screen is chock-full of confusing abbreviations and numbers. Starting from left we have a character's Move, Jump, and Speed.
Move determines how many square panels on the map a character can cover during the Move action of its turn. Water cuts this precipitously, and marshes decrease it even further if it's raining.
Jump covers how far a character can leap up a sheer surface to move into the panel on the other side. Each panel on the map has a given height, and a character can jump as part of a Move action between panels. Half of this value is how far a character can leap horizontally, to hop over a bit of water instead of wading through it, for instance.
Speed determines how often a character can act. Unseen to the player are a number of "ticks" proceeding in the background, keeping track of the passage of time in combat. Each "tick", a character's Speed score is added to his CT. When CT reaches 100, that character gets a turn. R2's base Speed here is 7, meaning that each tick adds 7 to CT. When combat starts, CT is zero. Each tick that passes makes his CT 7, then 14, then 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63, 70, 77, 84, 91, 98, then 100 -- and R2 gets a turn after 15 ticks.  If his Speed were 10, the ticks would be 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on up to 100, giving him a turn in 10 ticks. Speed maxes out at 50, giving a turn every two ticks.

In the center of the screen is Weapon Power, determined by the weapon equipped. R2's Ice Rod gives him a weapon power of 3 -- that's really low, but it's a magician's rod, what do you expect?
The percentage beside the weapon power is its weapon evade -- if the Knight Counter skill "Parry" is used, this percentage is added to a character's evade. A few weapons specialize in having high weapon-evade, namely the dagger "Main Gauche" and the series mainstay knightsword "Defender".
There are two lines for weapon power, in case a character (such as a Ninja) can equip a weapon in each hand.

Middle right of the screen are a character's physical attack power and evade (marked by a sword icon), and below that, magical attack power and evade (marked by a rod icon).
Physical attack or PA, is factored into a character's... well, physical attacks. The higher it (and Bravery) are, the more damage a character can dish out with physical hits.
To the right of PA are three evade percentages: Class Evade, Shield Evade, and Accessory Evade. Every job has a base chance to avoid attacks; this is Class Evade. For a Black Mage, that's 5%. Characters who can equip a shield add shield evade to that; since Black Mages can't equip shields, that doesn't factor in. Accessory evade reflects the bonus to evade granted by cloaks (which are equipped in the accessory slot, hence the name). Since R2 is wearing boots instead of a cloak, that's 0% too. Fragile Black Mage R2 is very easy to hit!
Minor note: all three evades work for frontal attacks, shields and accessories work from the sides, and only accessories protect from back attacks. Hence why it's easier to hit a character in the back! (Weapon Evade, mentioned earlier, works from the front and sides but not the back.)
Below the PA line is the line for magic attack, or MA. I'll skip the mechanics, but the higher this (and often Faith) are, the more effective magic cast by the character will be.
The evade lines for magic work the same as they do for physical hits. Classes, shields, and accessories all factor into evasion, and often have different percentages than physical. Some gear, such as the Aegis shield, is far better at blocking magic than physical hits.

The bottom row on the left is Equipment. There are two hands slots for weapons and shields; one head slot for a helmet or hat; a body slot for armor or clothes; and an accessory slot for boots, cloaks, rings, amulets, and other miscellaneous gear. A character's job determines what they can equip.
Weapons are daggers, swords, rods, staves, poles, bows and arrows, crossbows, even magical harps or dictionaries. Some weapons, such as poles or bows and arrows, use both hands at once. Ninja can equip a weapon in each hand.
Shields go into the other hand slot for jobs capable of wearing them not using a two-handed weapon. Knights can use a sword and a shield at the same time, for example. Archers can use bows (two-handed), or a crossbow (one-handed) and a shield should they so desire.
Hats and Helmets boost HP. Helmets give a larger HP boost, but hats tend to have other beneficial effects.
Clothes and Armor boost HP (no armor in the game actually reduces damage!). Armor gives bigger HP boosts, but clothes tend to have better side effects.
Accessories do various things, depending on what they are. Battle Boots here give +1 to Move (a Black Mage's base move is 3; the Battle Boots equipped makes R2's move 4). Cloaks increase physical and magical A-Evade. Rings and amulets tend to protect against status effects or other attacks.

Finally, on the right side is a short list of Abilities. The zigzag lightning bolt shape is for a character's Primary and Secondary abilities. The deflecting arrow is a character's Counter ability. The circular arrow is a character's Support ability. The footprint is a character's Move ability.
A Primary ability is determined by job. For a Black Mage, that's Black Magic. For a Chemist, it's Item. For a Samurai, it's Bushido. And so on.
A Secondary skill can be equipped after training in a different job than the one you're currently in. Thus you can have Knights who cast White Magic or Samurai who can Steal. Mettle, pictured here, is a Squire ability, but having equipped it R2 can continue to use those skills in combat despite being a different job than Squire.
A Counter ability triggers when the character is hit. Most have (Bravery)% chance of triggering each time. Auto-Potion, pictured here, gives a 71% chance of automatically consuming a potion every time R2 is hit. Not all are curative -- training in Black Mage may earn R2 "Magic Counter", meaning if he is hit by a spell, he automatically casts it back at whoever hit him with it!
A Support ability is passive but generally "always on". Two I've talked about before are Beastmaster, which automatically grants nearby monsters new abilities; and Beast Tongue, allowing Speechcraft skills to be used on monsters. Defense Boost, as the name implies, reduces damage from physical hits.
Finally, Move abilities affect how a character moves around the battlefield. The simplest of these are Move+1, +2, and +3, which simply allow the character to go further. Others include Ignore Height (a character may make vertical leaps to any height), Walk on Water (characters do not sink in water), and even Fly and Teleport (which do about what you'd expect). Manafont restores a little bit of MP every time the character moves.

More to come.
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Zach

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I'm really digging this translation. Splendid idea, you dashing rogue.
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Chapter 1 Intermission: Jobs

Jobs are character classes. They determine the abilities available to humans.


A character can change jobs anytime they're not in combat. However, at the beginning of a character's career, only the base jobs of Squire and Chemist are available. In order to unlock new jobs, a character must gain Job Levels.

Every time a character successfully acts in combat, they get some JP, or Job Points. When these Job Points reach a certain threshold, the character gains a Job Level in their current job.


At this stage in the story, R2 has access to these nine jobs. His job level for each one is listed in the "Lv." column. The "Total" column is the total number of JP he has in that job, the "Next" column denotes how many total JP are needed to gain another job level, and the "JP" column denotes how many unspent JP are left. Job levels max at eight -- R2 cannot gain any more job levels as a Mystic, in this example.

Upon reaching job level 2 in Squire, he unlocked Archer and Knight. Upon reaching job level 2 in Chemist, he unlocked Black Mage and White Mage. Upon reaching level 2 in Black Mage, he unlocked Time Mage. Upon reaching level 2 in White Mage, he unlocked Mystic. Upon reaching level 3 in Mystic, he unlocked Orator.

So in the first few battles of the game, R2 was a Chemist, then a White Mage, then a Mystic, then an Orator. This advancement is why: he needed job levels in those classes to unlock the one we needed for this game challenge, the Orator.

What Jobs Do:
As characters accumulate JP, they may spend them on abilities for the job they gained JP in.


This is the Active Skill list for Black Mages, and should look familiar to anyone who's played much Final Fantasy, ever. It's a list of series black magic spells: Fire/Fira/Firaga/Firaja, Blizzard/Blizzara/Blizzaga/Blizzaja, Thunder/Thundara/Thundaga/Thundaja, Toad, Death, and Flare. Buying these abilities allows the character to cast those spells through the Black Magic primary or secondary skill.


These are the Counter Skills for Black Mages. There's only one: Magick Counter, when equipped, will allow R2 to cast back the spell he was hit with when he is struck by hostile magic.


This is the Support Skill list for Black Mage. There's only one here, too, and it's why R2 is training as a Black Mage in the first place. Arcane Strength boosts his effective MA by 1/3 for any effect that calls on MA -- including Black Magic and Speechcraft. Arcane Strength costs 400 JP, and we only have 266 right now. We need to do another battle or two as a Black Mage before we can afford it.


This is the Move Skill list for Black Mages. There aren't any.


Some characters have Unique Jobs. R2 is one of those! Agrias and Gaffgarion are also. Unique Jobs replace a character's Squire class, and while the Counter, Support, and Move abilities all remain the same, each one has different Active abilities.


This is R2's Squire list. His Unique Job is... also called Squire! And has all of the regular Squire skills! Which only makes things confusing.
Focus increases PA by 1 for the rest of the battle.
Rush is a body-tackle. It does little damage, but can push the target back a square and never triggers counter skills.
Stone is the first ranged skill. The user chucks a rock at the target for a little damage, and might push it away one square.
Salve removes Blind, Silence, and Poison from a single target.
But R2 also has additional skills that generic Squires do not: he starts with Chant and can buy Tailwind in Chapter 1 for 200 JP. Chant sacrifices some of R2's HP to heal a target for twice that amount. Tailwind increases the target's Speed by 1 for the rest of the battle. Now available in Chapter 2 is Steel, increasing the target's Bravery by 5 for the rest of the battle.


A Squire's only Counter skill is Counter Tackle. When hit by an adjacent enemy, the character uses Rush on that enemy.


Squires have several support skills to use, however! Equip Axes will allow the character to equip axe weapons, even if their job normally does not allow it. Beastmaster, covered previously, grants new skills to adjacent monsters. Defend allows a character to spend their action taking a defensive stance, increasing their evade percentages. And JP Boost gives more JP for each action taken.


Move+1 does what it advertises: when equipped, a character's Move stat increases by 1.
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R^2

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Chapter 1 Intermission: Why Is This a Challenge Run, Anyhow?

Let's explain Orator abilities.


Orator active abilities are called Speechcraft. They have no charge time. None do any damage, but they cause various effects. Their accuracy is based on MA, but not Faith.

Entice is the main player in this game. Entice causes Traitor status, forcing an enemy to switch allegiance to your side. If they survive until the end of the battle, you have the option of allowing them to join permanently!
Stall resets an enemy's CT to 0.
Praise and Preach increase a target's Bravery or Faith by 4 for the rest of the battle, respectively. Every four points of change means one point is permanent! (This permanent change is regardless of source, so R2's Squire ability Steel is also useful for permanently increasing Bravery.)
Intimidate and Enlighten decrease a target's Bravery and Faith by 30 points! Again, every four points is permanent.
Condemn causes Doom status, killing the target in three of its turns.
Beg asks the target for money. You get some gil.
Not pictured: Insult, which causes Berserk status. Mimic Darlavon gives a very boring speech and puts the target to Sleep. (Bordam Darlavon is the name of the scholar who gives the game's tutorial. Yes, his first name is Boredom.)


An Orator's only counter skill is Earplug. The character plugs his ears with his fingers and becomes immune to Speechcraft skills. My question is: why does this cost 300 JP, when calling bolts of lightning from the heavens to smite your foes costs only 50?


Orator support skills. Equip Guns allows the character to use gun weapons regardless of job.
Tame is one we'll pick up eventually: if a basic attack drops a monster to critical HP (1/8 its maximum value), the monster will automatically turn Traitor.
Beast Tongue I've described before. If a character equips Speechcraft as a secondary skill in another job, the Speechcraft skills will only work on humans. Beast Tongue allows other jobs to use Speechcraft skills on monsters. Orators have Beast Tongue as an innate ability, so they can talk to monsters without equipping it as support.


Orators got no Move abilities.


Now! Let's have a look at Monsters, and why a party of them makes this a challenge game.


This is Tweet, one of the first monsters we recruited. Most of his status screen is the same as R2's, with different stats of course. But look at that bottommost box:
Monsters cannot use equipment, and have no job skills.

A monster's abilities are based solely on its species. Most have Counter set as their counter ability -- when hit with an attack, they have Bravery% chance to hit back. Some have innate Movement abilities too, like a Red Panther's Ignore Height. But monsters only have a handful of Active abilities, again entirely dependent on species. Tweet here only has Choco Beak (standard attack) and Choco Cure (HP restore to adjacent targets). And that's it!

So a Monsters challenge takes all the flexibility and customization of the intricate job system and ignores it. I'm stuck with allies who have three or four abilities tops and can only grow by gaining levels.
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McDohl

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If you get a bomb, I require that you name it Detonator, and use it to blow up a boss.

Then dismiss it.
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Brentai

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I'm really digging this translation. Splendid idea, you dashing rogue.

Not so awesome if you have to play underglorified editor for it though.

I had the highest bug count on that project by far because, well, man.  That unending, ponderous fucking text.  Keep in mind that in this game every minor character, place, and historical event has a bio, every item has a description, etcetera, and all of it is written against an actual middle ages style guide of speech.
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R^2

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It's true. The amount of text in this game is staggering.


This is the Chronicle. Since the whole framing device of the game is that Arazlam is giving us a history lesson, he has some liner notes we can check if things get confusing.


Every cutscene can be replayed from here.


Or you can just read about them.


Every character, no matter how minor, gets at least a page of biography.


Even characters who never appear onscreen.


Every character has a quote or tip to give you on their status screen.


And did I mention the tutorial that's so long and in-depth that the game itself makes a joke about it?

I guess what I'm saying is... have you hugged a copyeditor today?
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R^2

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The whole game is a flashback, as Arazlam tells us the history of the War of the Lions. Then Chapter 1 is a flashback as Ramza/R2 goes over how he gave up his nobility and became a mercenary. Then after the first battle is a flashback to Barbaneth's deathbed.

This game has a flashback in a flashback in a flashback.
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