The Final Fantasy topic

Relentless

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Chelsea
Thread starter #1

We had one before so why not.

Also you people need to play Tactics.
 

Megaclyde

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#3
I tried to play tactics, got stuck as soon as 'the corpse brigade' started using black mages. Fire Emblems well better.
Anyone ever play the Dissidia games? I thought they were decent, with a convoluted plot, a staple for 1FF
 

Relentless

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Chelsea
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I tried to play tactics, got stuck as soon as 'the corpse brigade' started using black mages. Fire Emblems well better.
Anyone ever play the Dissidia games? I thought they were decent, with a convoluted plot, a staple for 1FF
Blach Mages aren't too difficult. Gotta focus them and take them out quickly. They hit hard but they're so squishy.
 

Megaclyde

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#5
Blach Mages aren't too difficult. Gotta focus them and take them out quickly. They hit hard but they're so squishy.
Cant get near em cos of the other goons.
Anyways I gave up on that game a long time ago, now i just tank a whole map on Awakening with my Lucina/Inigo combo
 

Relentless

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Cant get near em cos of the other goons.
Anyways I gave up on that game a long time ago, now i just tank a whole map on Awakening with my Lucina/Inigo combo
Archers ;)

Do you mean the battle where the dude is attacking one of his own guys to get the location of the other guy just before it? That's probably the 2nd hardest battle of the first chapter lol.
 

Megaclyde

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#8
Archers ;)

Do you mean the battle where the dude is attacking one of his own guys to get the location of the other guy just before it? That's probably the 2nd hardest battle of the first chapter lol.
Yep that one,
And I'm a huge fan of FF8 myself, flawed as it is
 

Cas

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#10
VII will always be my favourite. IX and X tend to rotate as my second favourite, depends on my mood really.
 

Jockney

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Fred Onyedinma
#11
Nine had abundant charm and personality, a wicked sense of humour, an intuitive ability system, immersive art design and possibly the best soundtrack Nobuo Uematsu has done for the series. I'm starting to move away from the default '1FF VII is the best, but I actually prefer...' position in favour of positing FF9 as the best, period. I went through both back-to-back again recently and struggled to find an area that FFVII was clearly superior in. Main villain, maybe? Sephiroth has become a gaming icon, but he isn't all that compelling a villain. Kuja isn't that compelling in his own right, either, but at least we actually spend some time with him. That fantastically haunting interactive flashback sequence aside, Sephiroth is barely in the game for any substantial period of time.

Seven is still one of my all-time favourite games, and easily my second favourite 1FF, but it hasn't held up in ways that nine has. Let's not get sidetracked by the graphics issues, here, though -- the problems stem from incongruous artistic themes, not the aesthetic quality and fuck anyone who suggests the game needs a modern, photo-realistic reboot -- what Seven really suffers from is narrative fatigue and dull set pieces. You either spend a lot of time waiting around, or running around in sequences that serve as filler (Shinra HQ and the lead-up to visiting the Golden Saucer spring to mind). There's a shit ton of padding that doesn't add anything to the game and is symptomatic of a disconnect between writing and game design staff (i.e. they had to frequently invent ways of prolonging the gameplay to match the epic scope of the storyline). FF9 sidesteps these problems in pretty neat and innovative ways, introducing the ATE system and fragmenting the story into character-driven segments that tied into the main story (Freya in GG, Burmecia, Cleyra; Steiner's quest to reunite with the Princess; Vivi and the Black Mages, etc, etc).
 

Don Tonberry

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#12
All fair points, Jockers. However, if we're comparing them as actual games then the materia system from 7 blows every other 1FF development system out of the water and at least 7 is challenging whereas 9 is extremely easy. I get your point about Sephiroth but at least he's the main antagonist the whole way through and the final boss where 9 just chucks Necron in for the lolz it seems.

Kuja's just a big planet-destroying squinny, never thought he was that great a villain. The only two 1FF villains who are actually any good are Sephiroth (even if you don't actually meet his physical self until the end of the north crater/end game) and Kefka, who's just a fucking loony but actually (almost) succeeds in doing what he sets out to do and is a complete bastard along the way.

Come to think of it, as much as everyone clamours for a remake of FF7, a 3D remake of FF6 would be awesome, too.
 

Megaclyde

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#16
Some of us only got past the bit where we crashed a wedding or a play or something and kidnapped a girl, and then got bored.

In hindsight I might give it another go since i downloaded it off psn store ages ago, my only experience of Zidane and Kuja are from the Dissidia games really
 

Don Tonberry

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Portsmouth
#17
FF9 is brilliant. Like Cas, 7 will always be my all-time fave but X and IX tend to battle it out for 2nd place. Definitely give it a go, even if I just spoiled it for you! (Sorry....)
 

Megaclyde

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#18
Nah truth be told i knew Kuja was the final boss anyway, can't remeber how, but Dissidia aludes to it as well (theres a few cutscenes where Kuja seems to doubt his role in chaos's side, and chats with Zidane i think)
 

Jockney

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Fred Onyedinma
#20
All fair points, Jockers. However, if we're comparing them as actual games then the materia system from 7 blows every other 1FF development system out of the water and at least 7 is challenging whereas 9 is extremely easy. I get your point about Sephiroth but at least he's the main antagonist the whole way through and the final boss where 9 just chucks Necron in for the lolz it seems.
The materia system might be a boon for JRPG purists, but I've never considered customisation an integral part of the series. There are plenty of other RPGS and JRPGS and MMORPGs that cater to those mores by making them a central game mechanic. The various ability systems are important insofar as they facilitate progression, but I just don't see enough variation in terms of gear and customisation in any of the instalments to make loot-foraging and personalisation a worthwhile pursuit. Your typical 1FF pc has a predetermined and rigid class. I guess being able to have Cloud cast Bolt 3, or whatever, just isn't that important to me if I have generally have a mage in my squad anyway. Philosophical differences, I suppose.

Kuja's just a big planet-destroying squinny, never thought he was that great a villain. The only two 1FF villains who are actually any good are Sephiroth (even if you don't actually meet his physical self until the end of the north crater/end game) and Kefka, who's just a fucking loony but actually (almost) succeeds in doing what he sets out to do and is a complete bastard along the way.

Come to think of it, as much as everyone clamours for a remake of FF7, a 3D remake of FF6 would be awesome, too.
I don't think Kuja is a great villain, but I think has more texture and ambiguity to him than God Mode Sephiroth. The latter lacks depth and personality and rarely ever engages with the group on any sort of meaningful level. It's hard to invest in a villain that could just as easily be replaced by a non-sentient danger (say... a comet?). Conversely, Kuja is in constant dialogue with the FF9 party, forms alliances with other antagonists, is flawed, essentially human (which makes him all the more terrifying) and frequently makes unpredictable choices. When we first meet him, he gives the impression of being another detached, almost transcendent Sephiroth-type evil. Slowly, he starts to reveal himself as something of a political opportunist in the Seymour mould. Our expectations are subverted again, when he reveals his personal connection to Zidane and we gain more of an insight into his true motivations: humbled by Garland, he cuts a pathetic figure in Terra. Finally, he finds redemption as he saves the party from Necron and is reconciled with Zidane at the end. That's a clear arc: probably the most fleshed out example I've seen in an 1FF game. Sephiroth doesn't have an arc. When we meet him, he is crazed and evil, and he ends the game crazed and evil. The closest we get to actually meeting the real Sephiroth is in those flashback sequences -- which, again, are excellent but not nearly substantial enough in a story with the scope of VII's.

I haven't played VI. Is it comparable story-wise to VII and IX? I feel a bit ashamed to admit this, but the one thing that has stopped me from buying it up to this point are the 16-bit graphics. I can put up with that for Pokemon, but somehow it just seemed wrong for a Final Fantasy game. I started gaming in the 32-bit generation, so I'm a bit set in my ways I guess.
 

Megaclyde

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#21
It doesn't look too bad,
I think square should re release a lot of the older ones with updated graphics, like they did with FF4
 

Don Tonberry

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Portsmouth
#22
I don't think Kuja is a great villain, but I think has more texture and ambiguity to him than God Mode Sephiroth. The latter lacks depth and personality and rarely ever engages with the group on any sort of meaningful level. It's hard to invest in a villain that could just as easily be replaced by a non-sentient danger (say... a comet?). Conversely, Kuja is in constant dialogue with the FF9 party, forms alliances with other antagonists, is flawed, essentially human (which makes him all the more terrifying) and frequently makes unpredictable choices. When we first meet him, he gives the impression of being another detached, almost transcendent Sephiroth-type evil. Slowly, he starts to reveal himself as something of a political opportunist in the Seymour mould. Our expectations are subverted again, when he reveals his personal connection to Zidane and we gain more of an insight into his true motivations: humbled by Garland, he cuts a pathetic figure in Terra. Finally, he finds redemption as he saves the party from Necron and is reconciled with Zidane at the end. That's a clear arc: probably the most fleshed out example I've seen in an 1FF game. Sephiroth doesn't have an arc. When we meet him, he is crazed and evil, and he ends the game crazed and evil. The closest we get to actually meeting the real Sephiroth is in those flashback sequences -- which, again, are excellent but not nearly substantial enough in a story with the scope of VII's.

I haven't played VI. Is it comparable story-wise to VII and IX? I feel a bit ashamed to admit this, but the one thing that has stopped me from buying it up to this point are the 16-bit graphics. I can put up with that for Pokemon, but somehow it just seemed wrong for a Final Fantasy game. I started gaming in the 32-bit generation, so I'm a bit set in my ways I guess.
To be fair, I haven't played FF9 in about 15 years so I could be doing him a disservice. Saying that, although you're effectively chasing Sephiroth's clones throughout FF7, he still manages to manipulate Cloud and mess with his head. I think he's a better antagonist to Cloud than Kuja is to Zidane. I don't know if you've played Crisis Core on the PSP, but that delves much deeper into Sephiroth's past and fleshes his character out a lot more.

As for VI, its story is easily comparable to VII and IX. Some people may say it's better due to how many excellent characters there are and how they develop during the game. I know you like your villains to have some backstory and whilst Kefka doesn't really have that or a reason to do what he does, he's still a compelling villain because he does some terrible things.

I would say if you can get over the 16-bit graphics (which are really good for their time) and always have in the back of your mind that the game is now 21-years-old, you would appreciate it a lot. It's probably the easiest game in the whole series, too.
 

Megaclyde

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#23
Just tried getting FF9 for my vita, started downloading but then had an error.
I'm trying to play it but it won't let me...
 

Jockney

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Fred Onyedinma
#24
Having the likes of ff9 and mgs to play at my leisure on a portable gaming device would have pretty much made my childhood. I was just a bit too old to appreciate the mario 64 DS port when back in 05 when I was 15. Born in exactly the wrong year.
 

Jockney

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Fred Onyedinma
#29
I swear I'm gonna stop beating this drum soon, because I know it's getting boring, but I'm gonna put forward another argument for FFIX's case: how well it develops its central theme, compared to 7, 8, 9 and 10...

...and they all share the same one: identity. Cloud battled to find meaning in his past and present, Barrett's guilt necessitated a complete reconstruction of his goals and principles; FFVIII's party were railroaded into becoming peacekeepers because they all shared the same childhood trauma at the hands of the Sorceress (and some other bullshit about GFs and memory loss. I can't remember (ha)); Tidus struggled to assert his identity in a world that he wasn't sure was real and Yuna was burdened by the expectation of following in her father's footsteps, eventually forcing her to re-evaluate her cause.

The same is true of the characters in Final Fantasy IX, except their journeys are all individual and unique and most importantly they aren't so fucking consumed by it and morose about it. Zidane stubbornly represses his memories but ultimately has to confront the horrors of his inception in Terra. Garnet has to confront similar revelations about her past, but the most important aspect of her personal journey is her struggle to reconcile her birthright with her own political and moral principles. Vivi is the gamer's entry point into FFIX, as he struggles to make sense of a world that is both new and terrifying to him. Freya's guilt over abandoning her tribe leads to her near self-sacrifice as she attempts to right the wrongs inflicted against her people and earn a sort of redemption. Steiner is bound by custom, tradition and unquestioning loyalty and eventually learns how to act for himself and others on his own accord. Finally, Amarant puts aside his nihilism and finds friendship and purpose after he is rescued from Ipsen's Castle by Zidane.

That they ultimately save the world is arguably unimportant. The journey is what makes those characters' struggles memorable and satisfying to play. Each of those characters has a real and observable arc, starting off as troubled and flawed would-be heroes but gradually developing into confident, three-dimensional people who have believable and compelling relationships to each other. At his lowest ebb, the party come to Zidane's aid in Pandemonium and it's genuinely poignant because up to that point he has been everybody's rock: urging the group on when all seems lost, undercutting tragedy with his flippant wit and reminding everyone that the world is worth fighting for and life is worth living.


When Garnet symbolically liberates herself from her past by cutting off her hair in Alexandria, it's a profound and moving moment because we have seen how valiantly she has fought to save both her kingdom from her mother and her mother from herself and we feel her grief, but we're also exhilarated because the act is a statement of her bloody-minded intentions: I will not be beaten, I will never submit.


Similarly, what looks like Steiner's last stand, as he battles Kuja's hordes with Beatrix on the streets of Alexandria, is Romantic and rousing because his beginnings as a buffoonish, servile killjoy gave no indication that he could be capable of the sort of valour that he shows in that scene and yet it is entirely believable and does justice to the transformation he has undergone during the party's quest.

You don't have to brood to evoke tragedy. Just as you don't have to weave a lighthearted narrative to make a comedy. Final Fantasy IX is charming and often whimsical but is just as effective at creating real pathos as Final Fantasys VII, VIII and X, if not more so. I care about characters who act like real people, with the full spectrum of emotions and personalities that actual people possess, and more importantly I care about characters who have something to lose. You can't lose anything if your world is defined entirely by death and suffering anyway, so why should I care?
 
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Don Tonberry

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#30
You could argue that identity is a theme in pretty much every Final Fantasy game bar 1 and 3 and that's because they don't really have any characters. Final Fantasy 6 is probably the strongest out of the lot on that theme, which is why you should totally play it, Jockers! (FF4 is really good for that reason amongst others too and even has a 3D version on the DS!)
 

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