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Author Topic: The GBA was good to this franchise: Let's Play Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls!  (Read 5821 times)

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R^2

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Could be worse. You should see Poft. There's like three people still alive there.

Hilda: The shock has even caused my father's condition to turn for the worse. I hate that my father has to see this... He knows... He knows his death is near.
Maria: Is there nothing you can do, Minwu?
Minwu: All those who live must someday die. It is our fate.

...dude. How'd you become a white mage with that philosophy?

Minwu: Still, it is my duty as a white wizard to ease the pain of those who suffer. I shall remain here and devote myself to the care of the wounded. I take my leave of you. The fate of the world rests on you, Firion. Waste no time in destroying the Dreadnought.




Minwu: There is little I can do.

There must be, because from what I've heard all he's got is an arrow wound. I've been hit by arrows dozens of times, and you patched me up fine. Or is he King Tietra?

King of Fynn: So many perished in the Dreadnought's attack... Perhaps it would be best if we surrendered to the empire...

So there's your problem. The man's lost all hope, and that's fatal in a fantasy setting.
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R^2

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The pub in Poft is mostly deserted, but Cid is still here, reaching over the barkeep's corpse for a fresh bottle now and then.

So hey, about this Dreadnought thing.


Cid: Do that, and you can bring down the whole overgrown tub. Airships are powered by Sunfire. I'm sure the Dreadnought's no different.




Cid: Let the flames get too high, you got a runaway on your hands. The engine'll blow sky high.

That's... actually pretty helpful. Hey, Hilda...


Hilda: Its flame still burns on the ground floor of Kashuan Keep. Scott and Gordon have told me many stories concerning the flame. The finer points of the tale are not known to me. However, I seem to recall that the flame cannot be passed to just any torch.
Firion: Cid told us that we might be able to use Sunfire to destroy the Dreadnought!
Hilda: Then there's no time to waste! You must depart for Kashuan Keep at once. If you hire Cid's airship, the journey should not take long. That leaves only one question. What can you use to bring the Sunfire back?


If Hilda doesn't know, there's only a handful of other knowledgeable NPCs around to ask. Scott's dead and Gordon's been missing for weeks, so that narrows things down even further.

Minwu: During the festival, the Sunfire is passed to Egil's Torch while its brazier is cleansed.

King Tietra: Scott sealed the gates of Kashuan Keep to protect the Sunfire in the event they were defeated in battle.

Fat damn lot of good that did, since the Empire got enough Sunfire to run their Dreadnought anyway.

King Tietra: You will need the Goddess's Bell to break the seal. The whereabouts of the bell are known only to the Kashuan royal family.

Minwu: Gordon would know where the bell is kept, but I have not seen him lately. Someone close to Scott or Gordon may know where to find it.

Okay...

Hilda: I've heard Scott and Gordon mention the bell. The gates of Kashuan Keep open only the the voice of a Kashuan or the ringing of that bell. The bell rests deep within a cavern on the snow plains. It will not be easy to retrieve. So it is your intention to enter the snow cavern? Very well. If only Gordon were here, there would be no need for you to risk such danger...

Yeah, go figure. The one time we actually need the chicken-wuss around and he's already chicken-wussed off somewhere else.

Hilda: But he isn't, so you must. There is nothing I can do but pray for your success. Josef knows the snow plains like the back of his hand. You should seek his counsel.

One moderate hike later...


Josef: I keep the snowcraft hidden in the mine. There's a blue stone on the first floor that marks the spot. Look behind the stone and to the right. The secret room's there, and the snowcraft is inside. I'm sorry I couldn't help you find the mythril. So I want to make up for that by pitching in now. What are we waiting for? Let's go!






Josef doesn't have a character class, but if he did, he'd be a monk.
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R^2

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Okay.
1) Get snowcraft
2) Get Goddess's Bell
3) Get Egil's Torch
4) Get Sunfire
5) Find Dreadnought
6) Blow up Dreadnought


How'd it fit in there?






Another taxing dungeon.


Full of monsters significantly more dangerous than before. And me without my dedicated white mage!


That panel in the wall looks suspicious, but doesn't appear to do anything.


Oh yeah, and these trap rooms? All over the damn place.


...I had... to walk... through freezing-cold... ice cave water... to get a chest... full of... cold air...? You... dick...


At the bottom of the cave is a beaver den.




...

what

So we have Guy ask about the Goddess's Bell...

Guy: Secret passage in wall to right. Monster guard bell. Bell in wall.
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R^2

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Despite its environment, the Adamantoise shares its species' natural weakness to ice attacks.






Oh. It's a one-way exit door. It's appreciated, since Teleport spells don't work in here for some reas--




...how did you even know that's what I was doing?

Borghen: First you ruin my standing with the emperor, and now this!

...did we? The first time we saw you was right before the Dreadnought launched, and I'd say that was a pretty big plus for your side. What are you talking about?

Borghen: The emperor will never forgive me for messing this up!

How did he know I was here to get the Goddess Bell so I could get the Egil's Torch so I could get the Sunfire so I could blow up his Dreadnought that's such a convoluted series of fetchquests I can barely keep it straight

Borghen: If I ever go back to the empire, he'll have my head! But I'm still a soldier. If I'm going to die, you're coming with me!


True to his reputation...


...Borghen is a pushover. After a rather long dungeon and a boss fight with the Adamantoise already, it's a relief that Borghen isn't as dangerous as he thinks he is.
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R^2

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Well, that was a minor inconvenience. Pretty contrived, though, if you ask m--


Borghen: I've booby-trapped this cave... Just a little parting gift from me to you! I'll be waiting for you in Hell! Urngah!!!






The first thing the boulder does is roll right over Borghen's corpse. So the death tally for each side's named characters at this point is Empire: Borghen; Resistance: Scott. The empire remains ahead of the curve by all measurements.




...holy shit dude you can stop a rolling boulder with your bare hands?


Seriously man that's fucking awesome we're keeping you around!


I'm impressed you can hold it at all!


...o... oh. Right.




After Firion, Maria, and Guy leave, the boulder starts moving again...


Crushing Josef underneath it.



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R^2

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François

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Pfft, you can blame Borghen or you can blame the kids, but what's really going on is that this death, like countless others, lies entirely on the shoulders of the four party member limit, and Square is trying to pawn off the guilt on its own characters. Class act all the way through.

I assume Borghen was in charge of not letting the rebels have any mythril, and maybe he was coming to get the bell himself and just ran into you by accident. Of course, why he would want more Sunfire is another matter entirely; it's not like the empire needs a second dreadnought.
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R^2

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Hilda: We cannot let his death be in vain. You must take the bell to Kashuan Keep at once. Using the Goddess's Bell, you should be able to break the seal. Right now, time is our enemy. Cid and I will meet you outside the keep when you're done.

So I go get the Sunfire and then we get on Cid's airship and have a bitchin' aerial dogfight with a ship twenty times the size of ours until we can jump onto the deck and fight our way into the engine room and blow the whole thing to smithereens? Cool!


Kashuan is about half a continent's hike from Altair. Since there's only the one continent, you can head a little south of Bafsk or go north of Fynn through some uncharted territory. Remember what I said about uncharted territory in the beginning, though? Yeah. I take the route via Bafsk.


Right there in the courtyard is our goal, taunting us with how easy it is to reach. Egil's Torch is not going to be so cooperative.


We sprinkle the door with Josef's blood ring the Goddess's Bell.


...siiiigh.

Gordon: I thought I was the only one left who could open the door. I'd meant to look for Egil's Torch, but it's a monster's den in here. I can't keep going on my own, I can't return empty-handed... I don't know what to do next...

"I was just going to sit here until I starved, honestly."

Maria: You know your way around the keep, right? Do you think you could help us find our way through?
Gordon: I'm sorry. The keep is riddled with secrets. I wouldn't know my way around any better than you. But I do want to fight! Will you let me come with you?


It occurs to me, Gordon, that you could have just come back to Altair and told people you wanted to get the Sunfire out of Kashuan, but needed help. We would have had you open the door for a party of... oh, say, just for example... us. We could have skipped the fetching of the Goddess's Bell, Josef would still be alive and on our side, and Borghen would still be hindering the empire with his incompetence. I just want you to know the heavy costs of you sitting here on your mopey ass while we're out trying to get things done, is all. Give you something to think about moving forward.


Don't let those stats fool you. Gordon is still terrible. Even if he knew any spells, only has 15 MP to take advantage of his impressively high Spirit/Intelligence/Magic. His Strength, Stamina, and Agility are par with the other party members, but they have weapon skills of six or so, while Gordon's Spear starts at... 2.


Hey, look who we fight as random encounters now that we picked up a guy with noodly arms and no magic to fight with us! I'm so overjoyed that Gordon could come.


...That ended predictably.


The Adamantoises are uncommon encounters. The others are usually easier.


But eventually I run out of MP, run out of potions, and start running out of HP too -- while Kashuan Keep just keeps going and going.


This is my party when I left. I'll be back, Kashuan Keep! I'll show you!
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R^2

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First things first, to Bafsk and its church.




Then to the inn; reviving brings someone back with 1 HP.

Then to go find somewhere to level up. I'm working under the assumption here that you're more likely to get stat-ups when you fight dangerous enemies, so I need to go fight the most dangerous enemies I can in a reasonably controllable environment that isn't terribly far from healing in case they take me by surprise.

So I head back to Fynn. With some work, I can eventually whittle down the Captains by blasting them with Blizzaga spells. And then...


Oh. That's pretty nice.


Toad isn't a polymorph spell like in later games, where the enemy stands around trying to bite you with its toothless maw (or however toads attack). In this, the transformed monsters immediately flee -- it's an instant-kill.

I haven't yet found an enemy it doesn't work on sooner or later, so I start leveling Toad instead of Blizzard. Guy, for his credit, has been practicing Teleport for much the same reasons: banishing a foe by teleporting them away is an instant-kill too.

So I hang around long enough for both Firion and Maria to learn Toad. All three party members who aren't Gordon have instant-death magic, and by the time Firion gets his tome, Maria and Guy have had four and six levels of practice respectively.
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R^2

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All that effort gets rewarded: this is obviously the end of Kashuan Keep, what with the flame guarding a final treasure chest.


Gordon: I'd heard there was a monster guarding Egil's Torch... Now I've seen it with my own eyes... A red soul!

Oh, so since you're a member of the royal family, it'll listen to you, right? Why don't you introduce yourself as a rightful bearer of Egil's Torch, and it'll just step aside so you can take it?


Gordon, you are useless.


It's on fire. Ice magic should work.


nope.jpg


It absorbed HP from Teleport how does that even work

Anyway, Red Soul absorbs all magic. You have to kill it with physical hits. My physical hits are apparently not up to par after all that magic practice, because I do chip damage at best. It's a long, long fight, but eventually Red Soul stops pelting me with level-7 magic and starts dealing out sorta-strong physical hits. Maybe it ran out of MP. Since I don't have to use any MP on attack magic, I have plenty to heal with, so it's just a war of attrition.


One I eventually win.


C'mere, you. I went through a lot of trouble and lost an awesome party member in favor of a really lousy one to get you.


Hell yeah it does. WE OUT.
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R^2

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...huh.








The claw grabs onto Cid's airship and drags it inside the Dreadnought. We can assume Hilda and Cid are imperial prisoners now.

That emperor, always one step ahead.
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R^2

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South of Kashuan is this tiny gap in the forest.


Inside is a series premiere!


Did you notice that series mainstays like chocobos and moogles (and Cid, until he was retconjured in) weren't even in the first Final Fantasy game? This is the first Chocobo, but it works as expected: random encounters don't happen while you ride one around the world map.

It also sort of explains why chocobos in later games can cross rivers as a not-entirely-intuitive feature: they debuted in a game long after that game gave you a canoe, and crossing rivers is expected of you to get places. Later chocobos keep river-crossing as a legacy feature.


For some strange reason, the Dreadnought docks here. If they'd landed on that island not connected to this continent, I basically wouldn't be able to proceed with the game, I'd have to give up my quest to destroy the Dreadnought, and the empire would win sooner or later.

So good thing an Emperor who's always one step ahead docked here and not anywhere else.

...unless it's a trap...
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R^2

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Nope, it's the actual Dreadnought. You can flash the pass at the first guard to be granted access, or you can mention "Wild Rose" for him to call you a rebel cur and attack -- if you can beat the Captain in that fight, he disappears and you're free to explore.


Having gained entrance, you must never talk to any other guard.


There are magician enemies here who seem awfully generous with their item drops.


Near the bottom of the dungeon is a series of corridors. Talking to the guards results in a fight, of course, but winning doesn't make the guard go away. So you have to navigate the twisty hallways around them, which is totally not obnoxious and tedious at all, no sir.






Oh. Shit, I figured I'd find her sooner or later just exploring. Clearly that is not the case. Better go all the way back to the beginning and start over! Shame Teleport doesn't work in this dungeon either!
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R^2

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The princess's cell is quite near the entrance, actually.


No, clearly they did not.

Hilda: Thank you for coming to rescue me.
Cid: Let's save the thank yous for later. I'll head for the airship with the princess. You find that engine and toss the Sunfire in, got it? I'm gonna get the airship ready for takeoff, and I don't plan on waiting around too long!




So having run this dungeon through frontwards, backwards, and frontwards again...




The screenshots don't show it, but the engine is exploding quite spectacularly, with giant pyrotechnics spraying all over the place. I wonder how I managed to take a whole bunch of screenshots that make it look like it's just... on fire.

Maria: That voice...!
Firion: There's no time, Maria! The ship'll blow up any minute! We have to get to Cid's airship!






They take their sweet time doing it, though.


Explosions erupt from the Dreadnoughts hull, until...






We leave the ruined remains of the Dreadnought behind and return to Altair. Finally, a major victory for the rebels that actually inconveniences the empire!
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R^2

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Just discovered: In the original NES game, the weapon you had equipped gave a penalty to the character's Intelligence and Spirit. Knives and Staves were only -5, Spears -40, Swords and Axes -50, and Bows a whopping -70. At this point in the game Gordon's 22 across the board is pretty good (even though Gordon still sucks, despite his stats), so having -50, either a flat penalty or -50%, is pretty crushing.

I don't think the penalty still applies, because I'm using magic pretty effectively in this game.
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Rico

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Damn it, R2, I had to go rummaging around my closet until I found the box with my FF9 discs.
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Brentai

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Quote from: R^2
Toad

Are you going to do what I think you're going to do?

...

Can you do what I think you're going to try to do?
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R^2

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Cast Toad on everything until it dies because that's been a pretty foolproof way of progress so far?

...is there more?

(If you haven't gathered yet, this isn't an expert LP. I'm way further in the game than I ever got on the NES version, and while I played through the GBA version once I hardly remember any of it except broad-strokes plot points. I had to look up what the swap trick was when Lyrai mentioned it.)
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Brentai

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There's a very hilarious thing you can do with Toad that I implore you not to look up until you finish the LP.  Also, it probably doesn't work in this version.
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R^2

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I looked around and found the snowcraft card game thing, which I'm going to shoot for now. That doesn't strike me as hilarious though so I'm not sure it's what you mean.
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