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16  Media / General Games / Re: Inafune's latest project The Mighty No.9 looks Mega Rocking, man. on: January 25, 2016, 02:54:36 PM
Never really cared when games get delayed given that I will always have a massive backlog (though I'll gladly make fun of them for it), but I really do wonder if the network play is really the only problem they're having with the game. And even if it is, was it really worth delaying the game like, half a year or whatever when most people backed it to get a single player jumpy shooty game?

By the way Aeolus, after thinking about it for a bit, I have heavy doubts that the claims Inti-Creates not having much to do with the game is anywhere near true. If you go back and check out some of the videos they made during development, it should've been fairly obvious that wasn't true because if Inti-Creates weren't the ones making the game, why would they need to take the ROMs of the game over to the Comcept offices so Inafune could try them out?

Really, more than anything this whole process has taught me that Megaman fans, like most other video game fans, are unwilling to apply basic common sense or do any research whatsoever, which by itself wouldn't be a big deal if they didn't also like being incredibly loud and obnoxious about it. That SMBC Chart is always a good reference.
17  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Adults in Children's Bodies Stick Together on: January 23, 2016, 04:04:28 AM
Had a bit of a busy week so didn't update during the weekday this time. And now the continuation!

Bastok Part 2: On My Way



When Rapifafa had spoken to Gilgamesh, he had mentioned wishing to strengthen the working relationship between Bastok and Norg. To this end, he wanted Rapifafa’s help in obtaining a special rock in the Ifrit’s Cauldron none of his men were able to acquire. Upon finishing her expedition into the Temple of Uggalepih, she felt this was as good a time as any to head north of the temple through the Yhoator Jungle to find this stone for Gilgamesh.



Rapifafa finds the spot Gilgamesh had mentioned, where she throws in a chunk of adaman ore as she was instructed to.





She makes quick work of the monsters spawned by the ore and obtains the rock that Gilgamesh asked for. Before she leaves the Cauldron, however, she notices something interesting on her map- she follows her gut instinct, traveling deeper into the Cauldron to finish the task before heading back to Norg. Apparently she hadn't finished her task fast enough, because Ayame had already traveled here as well.



Ayame simply hands Gilgamesh stacks of official papers before blowing off his offer for her to stay- it seems Naji’s concerns were unfounded. Rapifafa had to make it back to Bastok now, so she travels back to Kazham via chocobo. There, she takes an airship back to Jeuno, where she makes a stop to travel to Qufim Island- she had a strange suspicion that she would find something she was seeking here as well. After finishing this task, Rapifafa takes the Jeuno airship back to Bastok.



Rapifafa prepares to go around town learning what had happened with the Galka situation since she was last here, but she's stopped by Cid on her way out of the Metalworks.



Cid wants to know more about the Zilart, so he wishes for Rapifafa to help him find some special reinforced cermet found in the Ro’Meave ruins past the Sanctuary of Zi’Tah. Rapifafa figures any information about the Zilart would be good at this point, so she agrees to the task.

As Rapifafa passed through the Sanctuary of Zi’Tah on the way to the ruins, she once again noticed another strange spot on her map like the one she noticed in Ifrit's Cauldron. After exploring the area, she hurries to Ro’Meave to complete the task Cid gave her.



Rapifafa returns to Bastok to find the Galka in a frenzy- the search for Werei was becoming a larger effort. Rapifafa reports to Cid, where she finds him speaking with the President Karst's daughter, Cornelia.



Cornelia seems to be in a bind of sorts. Like most young people, she is hopelessly idealistic. She’s very much sympathetic to the plight of the Galka in Bastok, but she is unwilling to use her position as a way to help the Galkans gain more power in the Republic, as she thinks it wouldn’t be ethical. When she told Gumbah about this stance, he didn't take it particularly well.



Gumbah apologized for his behavior, but Cornelia continues to be troubled by it. Upon hearing this story, Cid decides to go into full cranky old man mode, telling Cornelia a story of how her father came into power in Bastok.



Cornelia had a lot to think about, but Rapifafa simply shook her head at these ridiculous Hume politics and shoved the cermet Cid asked for into his hands before running off to join the search for Werei.

The guards recognize Rapifafa and direct her back to the Bastok Metalworks, where she meets the Bastokan President, Karst.



Karst briefly explains the situation of the Galka to Rapifafa. Instead of asking her to help directly however, Karst wants Rapifafa to follow rumors that an adventurer had recieved a letter from Werei. To get her search started, Karst takes Rapifafa to ask one of the people closely involved with the Galkan community- his daughter. At first Cornelia is tight-lipped, but some convincing from her father makes her reveal what Rapifafa needs to know- a certain woman named Hilda at the Steaming Sheep Restaurant will know more about the situation. In exchange for this information, Cornelia seeks advice about the conflicting emotions she now feels.



Rapifafa travels to the Restaurant, where she learns that it’s likely that the adventurer she was seeking had traveled to the Palborough Mines.





Rapifafa travels north to the Palborough Mines, and as she enters the upper levels of the mines she hears a scream coming from the Waughroon Shrine.



The Quadav attacking the adventurer are numerous, but aren’t much of a problem for Rapifafa to handle.



Hani thanks Rapifafa for her assistance, but he doesn’t have much to offer at the mention of the name Werei other than a letter he had forgotten to deliver, addressed to Gumbah.

Rapifafa did the only right thing and delivered the letter to its rightful recipient.



Music: Recollection

The letter is enough to let Gumbah know that Werei set out on his journey completely of his own volition, so it’s likely with this letter there could be a convincing reason to call off the search for Werei. Beyond that, however, it seemed Werei knew a lot more about Gumbah than he had suspected.



In his letter, Werei recognizes Gumbah’s autonomy and his decision to avoid responsibility, but simultaneously encourages Gumbah to take up the mantle of the leader of the Galka. It wasn't simply because he had the memories of his people, but also because there were things Gumbah were capable of that others were not. If Gumbah was willing to make this decision, perhaps he could inspire others in the community to take responsibility as well.



Gameplay Comments

Not much to say in terms of the battle as with most of the Nation Mission battles, this one's just a fight against a group of high level Quadav. I'll save talking about the final battles from each Nation when I get to the Bastok one, so I guess I'll pick up where I left off last time, talking about the Skillchains and Magic Bursts.

First, Weapon Skills- when you autoattack in FFXI you gain TP, and you spend TP to use Weapon Skills. So basically, they're kind of like limit breaks, but you use them pretty often so I don't know if that's an appropriate way to describe them. They're also usually not as flashy as a limit break, but don't mistake that to mean they aren't flashy.

If you've ever been in a conversation about XI, it's likely someone at some point will talk/post about a chart that looks like this. Skillchains are probably the most unique thing XI's combat has over other MMOs, though there are similar systems in other games. Contrary to what the chart might suggest, it's actually not that complicated. Skillchains is exactly what it sounds like- most Weapon Skills have an elemental "property" and by chaining properties in a certain order, you would get a special skillchain effect that did extra damage. The damage from the Skillchain is based on the damage done by the person ending the chain, so certain Jobs which had abilities that beefed up their Weapon Skills were way better suited to being closers.

Naturally, since Mages generally weren't using their Weapons, they have a different way to participate in Skillchains. As you probably figured, since skillchains have an elemental property, a magic spell casted at the right time corresponding to the skillchain's element will gain a damage bonus. One nice thing about FFXI is that unlike a lot of MMOs, it kept elemental attributes relevant to gameplay instead of being meaningless fluff stats like many MMOs seem to do now.

Since Weapon Skills take all your TP when used (but the more TP you have, the stronger your WS will be), generally it was difficult to be able to make one on your own, so the Skillchain/Magic Burst system was a nice way to reward party coordination and teamwork. But as is the rule of XI, balance was wonky all throughout its history so there were long stretches of the game where people didn't bother doing it at all. Thankfully that's fixed nowadays- Skillchaining is now key to winning fights quickly (or at all in some cases).

Guess I'll end it there for now, but before I go today, since he appeared again, I feel like talking about FFXI's Cid. Aside from being an important character in much of XI's story, he's notable for being, as far as I know, the only XI model which has really well-defined teeth. I can only assume it's because of Cid that they never really bothered to model teeth in XI characters after him, because his teeth are fucking horrifying.

18  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The NEW New Star Wars [s]Trilogy[/s] Thread on: January 22, 2016, 01:13:55 PM
Thing is, with something magical in fiction like The Force, it's not too hard for anyone to come up with some way to reason out of pretty much anything that makes no sense (They don't just fly the ring to Mordor because reasons etc). So generally when I have a problem with it, it's more to do with how it's handled structurally (plot-wise etc), visually, etc.

The same people complaining about all this nonsense would have just as terrible an attitude about about the OT if it was coming out now.

I'll agree that nerds are insatiable and they'll find something to complain about no matter how good the movie is, but that doesn't make what you're saying any less of an exhaustive hand-wave to basically any criticism of the film.

I don't mind that you guys liked the movie more than I did, and I like reading about how you guys reason it out- otherwise I wouldn't post at all.
19  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: super robot wars topic on: January 20, 2016, 11:14:13 PM
I look forward to this not getting localized while we get one of the crappy spinoffs in a few years while Atlus wonders why it doesn't sell well.

Also another vote for Granteed + Touya sucks. I pretty much always played J with Bellzelute + Calvina.
20  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The NEW New Star Wars [s]Trilogy[/s] Thread on: January 20, 2016, 01:05:44 PM
So when Snoke and Kylo Ren have their conversation about there being "an awakening" in the force, your issue is that that isn't a good enough explanation for what's happening to Rey?

Actually, yes.

Hate to use the term, but it comes back to the whole "Rey is a Mary Sue" complaint. Consider what type of character this film built Rey as and then consider how that looks from an out-of-universe perspective. For me, it isn't just about whether or not it "makes sense".

True that there exists room left in the remaining films to take this idea somewhere interesting, but that isn't going to make this film any better in isolation for me. Fellowship of the Ring, on the other hand, is a fantastic movie on all its own IMO.

How is it retconning anything? Luke may not have been beating trained dark side users in lightsaber duels, or moving things with his mind in A New Hope, but he did use the force to guide two fast moving proton torpodoes into a two-meter wide exhaust port on a Death Star while flying full-throttle and attempting to avoid Darth Vader's pursuit. I think that is pretty impressive for someone with little to no training. Anakin was eight or nine years old and was a pod pilot, something no other human had ever accomplished. That's also pretty impressive.

True, when put into words both Luke and Anakin also accomplished amazing things despite little training, but as I noted earlier to me how that's handled visually is pretty important.

I actually think the ending to A New Hope is a lot better than The Force Awakens at showing...well, the Force "awakening". Luke makes a decision (under a master's guidance) to use his space monk magic over a piece of technology, and I find that a lot more meaningful than "I'll use the force, now I'll swing this sword betterer". Not to mention in the former, it was basically the only time Luke used the Force that whole movie.

You could argue maybe Rey is a Jesus prodigy like Anakin- Anakin had 0 training and was like 8 years old or whatever when he blew up that donut space station (on accident!) in The Phantom Menace. But do you really want to be comparing something to the Star Wars prequels when trying to determine if it's a good movie? =P

For the record I'd watch this movie a good ten times before I watch any of the prequels again.
21  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The NEW New Star Wars [s]Trilogy[/s] Thread on: January 20, 2016, 10:00:18 AM
I'm not sure what you're trying to prove by asking that again given that I already gave my answer to that question implicitly, but if you want me to just give a direct answer then I think it refers to Rey. Again, the problem isn't that she learned how to use the Force, it's that she used it as well as she did. The fact they put it in the title shouldn't make the movie immune to criticism involving it.
22  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: The NEW New Star Wars [s]Trilogy[/s] Thread on: January 18, 2016, 06:18:49 PM
A lot of people have this problem, and I have the same question for all of them: what precisely do you think the title of the movie is referring to?

I don't think the problem people have is that she learned how to use the Force, it was obvious that was going to happen even before the movie came out. The problem is that the franchise has a precedent even just within the movies of how fast a Jedi grows, and Rey was already doing things Luke only started doing in Return of the Jedi even though she actually had even less training than Luke did in A New Hope. Even Luke spent that 5 minutes alone or whatever with Obi-Wan on that first trip to the Death Star.

Though really, the movie clearly indicates there's more going on with Rey's backstory, so for now it's more of a unsolved mystery than anything.
23  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: The Totally Original Ancient Advanced Race in an RPG on: January 18, 2016, 05:12:22 AM
Rise of the Zilart Part 2: The Temple of Uggalepih



Appropriately enough, the pirate town of Norg is full of surly locals, so Rapifafa doesn't run into a lot of pleasant conversation.



Following the instructions she had received earlier from Lion, Rapifafa takes the stairs to her right and travels to the end of the hallway, where Lion was waiting to introduce Rapifafa to her father.



Gilgamesh hasn't let his crew sit by idly while Rapifafa was out sorting out the problems of the Three Nations. In fact, he has had suspicions of the Zilart brothers for years, which is why he had sent Lion to travel across the Central Lands for the past few months, gathering information. Whatever the Zilart brothers has planned, it wouldn’t be good for anyone, so Gilgamesh was preparing for a expedition to the Temple of Uggalepih.



Several years ago, Gilgamesh had made his way to the ruins in the hopes of finding treasures left behind in such an ancient structure, but instead he found himself confronted by a strange old woman.



He didn't learn much about the woman before she vanished, but Gilgamesh has a suspicion that perhaps the inhabitants of such an ancient ruin will have some knowledge of the Zilart. Gilgamesh asks Rapifafa to travel to the Chieftainess in Kazham, saying the Mithra should be able to provide some help accessing the Sacrificial Chamber in the heart of the temple. As Rapifafa turns to leave, she spots another familiar face entering the room.



It’s only natural that the leader of the Tenshodo would have connections to Norg, but it seems Aldo isn’t here on a business venture. His sister Verena has disappeared, and it’s likely this is also the work of the Zilart brothers- Rapifafa recalls what Eald’narche had mentioned back when she was gathering Magicite for the Archduke, so she is able to confirm the suspicion. Whatever needed to be done, it was now important that they moved quickly.



The Chieftainess of Kazham is more amused than anything when Rapifafa informs her of their planned expedition to the temple. The name Gilgamesh is enough to convince her however, and Rapifafa receives the key needed to enter the deeper sections of the temple.



In the deeper sections of the temple, Rapifafa finds numerous strange texts, but none of them seemed to be of any importance.



Rapifafa eventually finds herself in a hallway with several paintings lining the wall. After clearing the area of Tonberries, Rapifafa stops for a moment to study the paintings.









While she could not gleam much meaning from them, she was particularly intrigued by one canvas, which was completely blank.



Since its unlikely the Zilart had invented modern art yet, Rapifafa reached into her pockets and pulled out a strange paintbrush she had picked up in another room. As some of the texts she ran into advised, Rapifafa attempted to project an image onto the canvas by focusing her energies into the paintbrush. Soon, a door opened at the end of the hallway, which led to the Den of Rancor underneath the Temple.



Much like the Temple of Uggalepih, the Den of Rancor was filled with Tonberries, and the only way Rapifafa could find her way to the deepest parts of the area was by using one of the Tonberries’ very own lanterns to light several torches.



Soon enough, Rapifafa is able to open the gate leading to the Sacrificial Chamber.





To her dismay, Rapifafa finds herself confronted by who she can only assume is the leader of the Tonberries.



Rapifafa needed to avoid several close encounters with throat stabs from the Tonberries, but she emerges victorious. As the fight ends, the leader of the Tonberries is replaced with a face Rapifafa had seen once before.



Music: Grav’iton

This time the woman formally introduces herself: her name is Grav’iton Berisacci, a scholar of the lost civilization of the Kuluu. She is not an individual, but rather a collective consciousness of what remained of the once great people. She seems to understand what Rapifafa is searching for, and she proceeds to tell the story of her people.

Deep beneath Vana’diel rested five enormous crystals, and the race known as the Zilart wished to tap into this power by constructing the five arks, known to adventurers as the crags.



The strange cermet spines Rapifafa had seen numerous times on her journey which converged onto Jeuno were known as the Crystal Line, the system used to tie the arks together.



The structure known as Delkfutt’s Tower was found at the center of the five arks, and was used by the Zilart to control the flow of this energy.



The Zilart had hoped that with the power of the crystal, they would be able to open the gate to the heavens, transforming the world of Vana’diel into a paradise.



However, the Kuluu, alongside the followers of the Goddess known as the Dawnmaidens were against such a blasphemous plan.



The Zilart deemed their voices unimportant and continued with their work, constructing The Gate of the Gods- a floating islands known as Tu’Lia. With this, the Zilart put their plan into motion.







Energy was drained from the crystals and focused into Tu’Lia- it was then the Kuluu chose to attack the northernmost ark. While the Zilart plot was stopped, the energy released engulfed the world in a blinding light, destroying the Zilart race. Their Zilart homeland sank beneath the sea, while the lands north of San d'Oria were forever scarred to by the power of the crystal, leaving them a frozen wasteland.



The surviving Kuluu escaped to the Elshimo Islands, but as time passed, the mark of the crystal decayed their minds and bodies.



They had become what were now known as the Tonberries.



Grav’iton states that the Kuluu do not regret their actions, and in fact wish for Rapifafa to help them continue- they knew that when they saw the Delkfutt Tower remained unchanged, the fight would continue someday. Grav’iton asks that Rapifafa gather the eight fragments of light found in monuments in remote areas of Vana’Diel and take them to the temple in Zepwell Island. There, Rapifafa will gain further assistance from the Dawnmaidens.



Before Grav’iton once again returns to her slumber, she warns Rapifafa of the elder Zilart brother- his connection with the crystals allows him magic close to that of a God. With that, she bestows the Dark Fragment upon Rapifafa.

Rapifafa now had to find the other seven fragments, but she had no idea where to even begin.

Gameplay Comments

Back when this content was released, a trek through the Temple of Uggalepih was not a safe one. Like in every other FF game they appear as an enemy, Tonberries are incredibly dangerous. This comes in the form of two different attacks, both true to the series' history: Throat Stab, which reduces the target's HP to 5%, and Everyone's Grudge, which does damage based on how many Tonberries the target has killed before. While the former can be dodged as long as the player is paying attention, the latter meant that fighting Tonberries at all had be carefully weighed- was it actually worth killing one and building your Grudge? There were ways around it, of course, but those were figured out later down the line.

Grav'iton in particular has a beefed up version of the move, and it was a bit of a joke amongst XI players to see how high people could pump the number up when they did this mission. The highest I personally ever saw was around 50000 (For reference, a Galkan Monk at the 75 level cap probably had about 1800 HP).
24  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XIV: ARR, a Thread Reborn on: January 14, 2016, 02:54:09 AM
I'm actually interested in reading some more detailed thoughts about the Heavensward story as well, though I suspect it'd be hard for you guys to do so without tons of spoilers. I do plan on playing Heavensward, eventually...backlog's killing me and I'm too busy screwing around with XI for the 10th time, heh.

Personally, I think some of FFXI's expansions had a better story than a lot of the JRPGs that came out alongside them so I certainly wouldn't rule out FFXIV doing the same simply due to being an MMO. I have heard quite a few players praising the Heavensward story.

I can only speak of the ARR story myself (which is what you played in the free trial)- I didn't care much for it at all. It was several repetitions of "Go fight this Primal" interrupted by laughably forced fetch quests and oftentimes intrusive fanservice. Though I will say that much like XI, XIV's far better at presentation/polish with their story, especially in cutscenes, than many other contemporary MMOs are.

I imagine Heavensward is quite different from ARR because it's the first "true" original thing Yoshida's team has been allowed to do, story-wise. Up until now they have kind of been tethered down by what was established in the original FFXIV. Reading how Mike Salbato describes it makes it sound like they got rid of a lot of things that annoyed me about the ARR story.
25  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: Obligatory FF Evil Prettyboys on: January 13, 2016, 08:13:08 AM


Guess I’ll do a little intro today.

Rize of the Zilart was FFXI’s first expansion, coming out in April 2003, just a bit over a year after the game launched (and just a few weeks after Square officially merged with Enix). As I mentioned a bit before, SE’s release schedule for the RoZ story ran concurrently with the Rank 6+ Missions of the Three Nations (Everything following the defeat of the Shadow Lord) in the Vanilla game, but as the story unfolds it’ll probably be clear that most of the story in it was already planned out before they released the game. Of course, it would take another half a year after the Japanese release of RoZ before English speakers got XI at all, so appropriately enough English-speaking players got to take in the Vanilla game and RoZ as one large package.

Gameplay-wise, the most notable addition was that RoZ added three jobs to FFXI’s already large job list- Ninja, Samurai, and Dragoon. Summoner technically was added during the same patch Zilart service began, but since you could unlock Summoner using just Vanilla areas it generally isn’t really considered a Zilart job- though, if you wanted to be able to summon more than just elementals (which all kinda sucked) and Carbuncle (who has a low MP cost but is generally pretty weak) you needed to have the expansion. With those four jobs added, there were now 15 jobs in the game.

Also starting today I guess I’ll try to have more comments on the game itself, because it seems all I ever post about is the story anymore, and also because starting with the first expansion the boss battles started to become more unique. I’ll stick gameplay comments to the end of my posts in case you don’t want to hear me nerd out about XI’s game mechanics too.

By the way, today’s post is going to be a bit different- you have the option of watching a voiced version of most of it! Famitsu/Dengeki created three videos of important cutscenes in XI as part of the events surrounding the official end of XI’s storyline in 2015, and today is the first one they made. All you need to know is that they got Norio Wakamoto to voice Raogrimm, so if you happened to have a dream of watching Charles zi Britannia voice a Galka, here you go.

Oh yeah, it contains minor spoilers for an upcoming storyline but it’s pretty a really minor one ultimately. Just don’t give yourself the big spoilers by watching the related videos, heh (if you care about that that is).

Rise of the Zilart Part 1: The Warriors of the Crystal



Rapifafa is accosted by one of the Ninjas of Norg as she enters, but she’s quickly saved by a familiar face- Lion’s.



Lion would love to spend time chit-chatting with Rapifafa, but she believes there's no more time to waste, and it's about time that they took care of Kam’lanaut.

Kam'lanaut...Hearing the Archduke’s name stirs memories within Rapifafa’s mind, and the events that transpired at Castle Zvahl came flooding back to her, along with the strange poem Zeid had once recited to her in the ruins of Fei’Yin.



(Famitsu video starts here. Read on if you're not interested.)

Music: Bloody Promises

Quote
It all began with a stone, or so the legend says.

In ages past, a sentient jewel, enormous and beautiful, banished the darkness. Its many-colored light filled the world with life and brought forth mighty gods.

Bathed in that light, the world entered an age of bliss until, after a time, the gods fell into slumber. That world was called Vana'diel.

The legend goes on to say...
 
From the darkest depths of the earth the Warriors of the Crystal rose...

The great bane will devour the fair land of Vana'diel.

The ancient seal will be broken, awakening nightmares of ages past.

The blood of innocents will soak the earth, and the world will fall into fear and despair.

But as one bright star shines through the clouds at night...

And as one song rings clear above the roar of beasts...

We hold to one hope in these darkest of times.

That they will come, with the wisdom of ages and the strength of thousands, to deliver us from our plight.



The Shadow Lord had fallen after a long battle, and Raogrimm temporarily regained a fraction of his sanity. That was when they appeared.



The Archduke of Jeuno, Kam'lanaut, and his brother, Eald'narche, had been waiting for this moment. They had apparently waiting for a long time- they revealed they are survivors of the ancient race known as the Zilart. The Zilart brothers had wished to restore the Crystal Line running to Jeuno and to open the supposed Gate of the Gods, but the "noise" caused by the Shadow Lord’s existence had prevented them from doing so for many years. His defeat 20 years ago in the Great War had weakened it, but it wasn’t until now that the "noise" was completely gone.



Without the "noise" of the Shadow Lord in his way, Eald’narche was able to hear the voices of the Minions of the Crystals calling to him.



They declared that they intend put an end of Vana'diel as it now exists, and as a demonstration of their power, the Zilart brothers used their newfound clarity to call forth the Warriors of legend.



Quote
We await the awakening of the Warriors of the Crystal.





Zeid knew it was the time for action, so he ceased his questions and attacked the Archduke.



Unfortunately, Zeid had little luck striking back at the Zilart brothers, and they soon left Rapifafa and the others to meet their fate at the hands of the warriors from the crystal.







Rapifafa was quickly taken out of the fight, and the Hume-like warrior rushed towards Zeid.



It was clear that this was not a fight they were going to win, and they had to escape.





In his final moments in this world, Raogrimm made a sacrifice to buy time for the group and for Vana'diel.



















As Rapifafa returns to reality, she hears Lion calling her name.



Lion seems to recognize that Rapifafa seems to have a few screws loose at the moment, so she allows her some time to gather herself, telling Rapifafa where to find her when she’s ready.

Rapifafa reorganized her thoughts and proceeded inward to the pirate town of Norg. She knew she had a large task ahead of her.

Gameplay Comments

No battle in today's story, so I guess I'll talk a little bit about some of the core mechanics of the game and how some of the jobs I've posted about already actually play.

If you've ever played FFXII, XI is somewhat similar in how it plays. Battles occur in real time, and your character will autoattack as long as you're engaged onto an enemy. Effectively it's not really any different from an ATB system, it just skips the part where you have to repeatedly press X to select "Attack" on the turns you don't actually want to do anything special. Any input you do is if you want to use a skill or magic spell, but ideally (as in, if you're playing a version of the game that's actually balanced halfway properly) you won't just fire off a skill whenever you want, you have to time them properly. In the case of spellcasters, you want to time your spells so that you won't get hit while casting which would interrupt you, or you want to time your cast so you can hit a Magic Burst. On a physical job you'd want to time your Weapon Skills so that you can create skillchains. Guess I'll get a bit more into Skillchains and Magic Bursts next time since that just talking about that would take a while.

So now some jobs. I'll start with some of the more straightforward jobs. One of the great things about XI is that generally, almost every job in the game would had something unique to contribute. FFXI also had many true hybrid classes, something many MMOs seem to be incredibly scared of creating these days. Many of them have solidified on the holy Tank/Damage/Healer trinity and as a result, classes feel less unique. Granted, XI has never been balanced that well (and probably never will for as long as the game runs), but personally I find myself preferring that over something like FFXIV: ARR which has jobs that are way more balanced, but at the cost of making jobs feel somewhat homogenized.

Monk is the probably the simplest job you can start out as. Punch stuff in the face and shoot kamehamehas. The first noticeable thing about Monk is their huge HP pool and relatively high attack frequency- pretty faithful to Monks from the FF series. Their SP Ability, Hundred Fists, does exactly what it says on the tin. More importantly, Monk was one of the only straight damage classes that regularly dealt blunt damage to enemies, so anytime you had to fight a bunch of skeletons or something Monk was a great choice to take along. Later on in the game Monk offered a rare ability to change their attacks to nonelemental magic damage for a short time. Monk's unique combination of high longevity in a damage class, damage types, and ability to fight barefisted would find them different opportunities in the game's content. Their biggest downside was that their max damage potential was much lower than many other damage classes.

White Mage, as per FF tradition, is the most powerful healing class in the game. However, WHM also had a respectable club skill so if someone really felt like it, they could put on a set of meleeing armor and go to town. They even had a unique Weapon Skill that was much stronger than any other club Weapon Skill at the time. Though this option was mostly limited to mid-level content- you didn't want to be meleeing Fafnir or something. Naturally, even at its worst point in the game White Mage always had a use.

Black Mage probably also needs no introduction- save all your MP until you're at the boss and blow it up in 2 turns! Well, maybe in a single player game, but Black Mages generally had to be pretty conservative with their spells in XI, acting as "artillery" in a party. If they went too wild with their spells they would likely draw attention to themselves and then die horribly. Unfortunately for Black Mage, depending on which version of the game you were playing it ranged from the one of the best damage classes you could have, to a complete waste of a party slot. The playerbase was really creative though, and Black Mages soon found alternate ways to progress, either by killing certain things solo, or by grouping solely with other Black Mages to form manaburn parties. At the time of this writing though, it is without a doubt one of the most powerful jobs in the game. Vivi would be proud.

That ended up a lot longer than I thought it would (Sorry!). Well, until next time!
26  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition on: January 10, 2016, 08:01:53 AM
Bastok Part 1: Crisis in the Republic



When Rapifafa last travelled to Bastok, she had learned that the community leader of the Galka, Werei, had suddenly disappeared, leaving the Galkan community in disarray. A young Galka named Gumbah, who had been a friend of Werei’s in one of his past lives, was particularly troubled by his departure, although he didn't seemed to be as panicked as the rest of the community was. Apparently he shared a special understanding of some kind with Werei.

More relevant to Rapifafa's interests was meeting the important personnel of the Republic, namely the Five Mythril Musketeers: Iron Eater, Ayame, Naji, their leader Volker, and the missing Zeid.



Music: Hume Male

She also learned the Chief Engineer of Bastok was doing some research into the strange teleportation crags found around Vana’Diel- the giant constructs she had passed by several times in her adventures.



Rapifafa had sneaked a peek at one of the reports Cid had written.



Near the report was a collection of crystals brought back by adventurers, but unlike most crystals around the world used for crafting, these had been completely drained of their power when they came in contact with the crags.



Now that she returned to Bastok, the rumors of a new Talekeeper appearing amongst the Galka were louder than ever.



Rapifafa travels to the Bastok Mines, where many of the Galka lived. There she meets the supposed new Talekeeper of the Galka.



The young Galka Povall tells the community to cease their search for their leader Werei, as he is the Talekeeper and their rightful leader. He claims that in his previous life, his position as an adventurer allowed him access to the ancient homeland of the Galka in the Altepa Desert, where he completed his rite of rebirth. Upon beginning his new life, he was in possession of an Altepa moonpebble and knew he had to “lead the stray sheep from the land of oppression”. The moonpebbles are found past powerful monsters, so the young man’s story could only be true if he was telling the truth.



Many of the Galka are frustrated with their lot in life and are willing to believe in any chance of the return of their ancient leader, but Iron Eater has his doubts. He requests that Rapifafa go to the Altepa Desert and attempt to find a moonpebble of her own in order to verify the young man’s story.



There are some nasty monsters guarding the spot with the moonpebbles, but Rapifafa has no trouble clearing them out and grabbing one for herself.



The pebble Rapifafa brings back is clearly different than the one Povall is holding, but unfortunately that isn’t quite enough to prove anything- the Galka have always stuck together and they're not ready to believe an outsider. Thankfully, Gumbah arrives to praise the young new "Talekeeper" for his courage- most of them had lived surprisingly short lives due to their position. Gumbah is good enough at spinning his yarn to the point where Povall gets spooked and admits the whole thing was a hoax. With the deception revealed, Iron Eater is able to take care of the rest. Despite the revelation however, it was unlikely the tensions between the Humes and Galka were going to cease so easily- this was only the latest example in a series of disturbances.

Gumbah admits that usually he tried to be level-headed when it comes to this sort of thing, but in this case he wasn't going to sit by while everyone was being told to call off the search for Werei.



The next day, Rapifafa learns from Naji that Ayame has been thinking about returning to the pirate town of Norg to restart her Samurai training. Unlike the other nations, Bastok had a close working relationship with the Tenshodo and the pirates of Norg, so it wouldn't be out of the question for Ayame to get an assignment to travel there. Naji wants a promotion more than anything, but he doesn’t want it to happen because Ayame decided to quit her job, so he asks Rapifafa to help Bastok complete some negotiations in Norg- that way, Ayame will have no excuse.

Just as well, as it was about time Rapifafa travelled to Norg- she had promised Lion some time ago. Rapifafa returns to the Elshimo Islands via airship from Jeuno, then travels south deep into the Yuhtunga Jungle.



At the end of the Jungle was a tunnel into the Sea Serpent Grotto, where the Sahagin made their home.





The Grotto consists of a large number of passageways, but thankfully she’s able to easily reach Norg simply by following the right wall.



It had been some time since Rapifafa had seen Lion, but hopefully she's not off on some adventure of her own yet and they can meet up there as promised.
27  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition on: January 07, 2016, 04:42:24 AM
A Monk’s Story: Ghosts of the Past



Rapifafa has once again arrived in Bastok, and a good place to start seeking information is at the Steaming Sheep, a popular restaurant in the Bastok Port area.



While speaking with some of the patrons, President Karst’s rebellious daughter, Cornelia, bursts through the door, looking for one Oggbi. She has taken an interest in helping the Galka with their problems, and part of that journey has led her to find out more about Cornelia- that is, the former Mythril Musketeer who was lost in the Northlands 30 years ago alongside Raogrimm. Oggbi happened to be Cornelia's former instructor in the bare fistfighting Monks are known for.

The Galka seems a bit bitter about his former student, saying something about her abandoning him. He is unwilling to speak of her until Cornelia finishes the same task his former student had completed- to go deep into the haunted Gusgen Mines and taking a miner’s pendant from the Wandering Ghost. Cornelia is clearly in way over her head, so it's obviously just a way to make her go away, but Rapifafa is curious enough to look into performing the task herself.



The Gusgen Mines was once full of workers, but after several collapses and just about all the ore being mined dry, it is now nothing but a graveyard.



Rapifafa finds Wandering Ghost, and takes its pendant.



Oggbi is shocked Rapifafa actually bothered to get the pendant. After all, even when his student underwent the test over 30 years ago, there were still hundreds of workers in the Gusgen Mines. Cornelia spent 3 days and 3 nights trapped in the mines, looking for the supposed ghost, but the task was a trick question- “Wandering Ghost” was a Hume-given name of one of Oggbi’s friends. Nevertheless, he was impressed with Cornelia’s stubborn attitude, and agreed to train her.

With the pendant in hand, Oggbi asks that Rapifafa allow him some time for himself, so he may drink to his old friend’s memory.



A few days later, Rapifafa sees Oggbi speaking with an Elvaan girl. Upon seeing Rapifafa, Oggbi asks that she help the girl look for her father, who was another one of his students- he apparently traveled north to Fei’Yin.

Rapifafa travels far north to Fei’Yin in the Beaucedine Glacier, where she’s surprised to meet the girl’s “father”.



Dalzakk figures Rapifafa must be a student of Oggbi’s as well, so he asks that she help him finish the task while he goes home to comfort his daughter.

The task involves retrieving a stolen martial arts scroll of some kind from the Orcs in Davoi. Since the Orc base was only a bit of a detour from the road back to Bastok anyway, it’s not as big of a bother as Rapifafa imagined the task would be.



Upon bringing the scroll back to Oggbi, he invites Rapifafa to listen to his tale over a drink. He had once gone on a similar task with Cornelia, but it was at the behest of the former San d’Orian abbey found in Davoi. For a long time, the priests of San d’Oria trained themselves in hand-to-hand fighting skills, and Oggbi accepted the task in the hopes he would learn some of the secrets of those monks himself. These days any who call themselves Monks use a mixed style of fighting, combining San d’Orian styles with those from the Far East. Though perhaps more importantly, it was on this task that Cornelia had her first unpleasant meeting with a certain man.



Soon Oggbi stops reminiscing, and thanks Rapifafa’s willingness to hear an old man’s story with a similar pair of boots he once gave to Cornelia.



With thoughts of the San d’Orian Monks in the back of her mind, Rapifafa figured there had to be some of their treasures hidden around the land.



Rapifafa soon hears of trouble brewing in Castle Oztroja. A certain Yagudo has apparently returned to life, and the Mythril Musketeers need an experienced Monk to challenge him.



Apparently this Yagudo only has an interest in fighting other Monks, and many years ago Cornelia wished to kill this Yagudo herself to avenge the death of her brother. Oggbi was concerned Cornelia’s lust for revenge would put her in great danger, but she ignored her master’s wishes and ran off to Castle Oztroja. Even with her emerging victorious, Oggbi seemed disappointed in her.



Regardless, the Yagudo was returning now, and another Monk is needed to defeat him once again. With Dalzakk off performing tasks of his own, and Oggbi no longer able make the climb himself, the only Monk qualified to challenge him would be Rapifafa.



Rapifafa travels to the top of Castle Oztroja, and places an offering of challenge on the brazier Oggbi pointed her towards.



Huu Xalmo is no pushover in a one-on-one fight, but Rapifafa manages to defeat him, plucking one of his feathers to bring back as proof of her task.



Ayame is impressed with Rapifafa, presenting her with her reward- she had been prepared a different reward beforehand, but Oggbi insisted that she receive this instead. Though there was apparently no need to ask Ayame to hand it out for him, since Oggbi soon appears in person to finish telling Rapifafa Cornelia's story.



When Cornelia returned from defeating Huu Xalmo, Oggbi had asked if she had gained any peace. Cornelia could only reply that she felt the exact opposite- that she felt part of herself dying when she finally avenged her brother.



Soon after, Cornelia joined the ranks of the Musketeers. Oggbi believes that after that day, Cornelia strived to restore that part of herself, up to the day she disappeared in the Northlands. It is not known if Oggbi will ever get over the loss of one of his pupils, but perhaps through sharing this story, he can avoid losing another one.

28  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: SMTxFE (aka 'GIRFE', aka 'PerformaEmblem') on: January 06, 2016, 05:03:28 AM
Code:
Super Saiyan Marth junk while they're J-pop singing the Fire Emblem Theme.... omg... 

You chose like the worst way possible to word that, so I was simultaneously both disappointed and relieved when I actually watched the video.

I've yet to see anything negative. I assume this is just one of those things that's irritating to FE fans but has zero bearing on anyone with no franchise ties?

Sure, if this was an original IP and they never mentioned the words Fire Emblem or SMT in relation I'm sure you wouldn't be seeing these reactions.

However, they did use those words, and they obviously used them in the hope it'd boost sales, so any shit they get for it not being similar enough to these two franchises is completely justified.
29  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2015 on: January 04, 2016, 01:46:14 AM
1. Mass Effect 3
2. TES III: Morrowind + Tribunal/Bloodmoon
3. TES IV: Oblivion + Shivering Isles
4. Cave Story (PC)
5. Planescape: Torment
6. Shovel Knight
7. .hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth
8. .hack//G.U. Vol. 2: Reminisce
9. .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption
10. Deus Ex
11. Bastion
12. South Park: The Stick of Truth

13. Undertale

It was pretty good. I think the soundtrack to this game impressed me more than anything. My biggest gripe is probably how inconsistent the art style is- it's like the guy who made it couldn't decide if it should've been in 8 or 16 bit so he did a bit of both, plus some other stuff that looks wildly out-of-place.

14. Final Fantasy XI

I don't know if an MMO technically belongs on here, but since they've released what they've called the final major update of the game I'd like to think I've "beaten" it since the story of the game has officially concluded. Insert shameless plug here for that XI Journal I'm writing.

Aside from that I managed to do "minimalist" runs of Megaman X1-4 (as in no upgrades). I got started on X5 but got kinda burned out on Megaman halfway through it. Maybe I'll finish it in 2016, as well as the dozens of other games I started and didn't finish this year. My backlog grows ever larger.
30  Media / Game Journals / Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition on: January 02, 2016, 10:06:55 AM
A Dark Knight’s Story: The Dark Legacy



On Rapifafa’s trip to Bastok, she had been given a strange sword by the wandering Mythril Musketeer, Zeid. Zeid promised to teach her something of the Galkan Dark Knight arts if she bloodied the blade, so she attempted completing the task on the occasion she felt she could actually lift the thing.



As promised, Zeid met Rapifafa in Beadeaux, and there, he passed onto her some of the knowledge required to be a Dark Knight.



At one point Rapifafa runs into the engineer Raibaht, who wishes to know more about the ancient Galkan methods of darksteel-working, and asks her to find one of the books detailing the process.



Rapifafa decides to ask around the Metalworks of Bastok to see if anyone has information on the book.



One of the other workers in the Metalworks informs Rapifafa that the book in question had been donated to a library somewhere, and no records exist of the donation. No wonder, considering how back then, Bastok built most important things with mythril and any research being done was for the strange material found in several ruins called cermet. Upon hearing the word “library”, however, Rapifafa instantly knew where to check first.



Rapifafa returned home to Windurst and found one of the librarians at the Optistery knew of the book Rapifafa spoke of. But as luck would have it, when he actually got around to reading it, he knew Bastok was the best place to learn more and prepared to travel there with the book. He was attacked by Yagudo as he set off, and he could only assume that the book was in Giddeus now, in the hands of one Vaa Huja.



By asking one of the few harmless Yagudo in Giddeus, Rapifafa is able to find Vaa Huja’s hiding spot, as well as a hint on how she could irritate him into showing himself.



With a Yagudo Cherry, Rapifafa has no trouble smoking Vaa Huja out of his hiding hole.



Rapifafa finds the books amongst the Yagudo's belongings, and returns to Bastok.



Raibaht’s happy to get his book, but his boss and chief engineer of Bastok, Cid, decides to take a peek himself, finding the author’s name, “Gerwitz”, sounding strangely familiar.



The next day, Cid manages to remember where had had once heard the name- Gerwitz was the man who had forged Zeid’s armor. Cid spends a moment reminiscing about the days he fought alongside the now-leader of the Mythril Musketeers Volker and his comrade Zeid, until they are interrupted by Raibaht, who brings up the fact that he has a letter from Zeid.



Zeid’s found some kind of strange phenomenon involving Gerwitz and some of the weapons he had created, but there’s not much that can be done considering how Zeid is not one much for return addresses- Bastokan officials have been unable to bring him back home for decades now. The only thing he can do is ask Rapifafa to help Zeid if she ever runs into him.

Rapifafa returns to her adventures, eventually meeting Zeid in the Ordelle’s Caves.



Aside from making Rapifafa think he really needs to work on his social skills, Zeid also tells her about Evil Weapons- Rapifafa had seen them before, weapons being animated by some cursed magic and enslaving kobolds to take advantage of their telekinetic powers. A popular belief is that they originated from the strange cermet spines they are usually found near. The cursed weapons that have appeared in Ordelle’s Caves in particular seem to be ones made by Gerwitz, bearing his insignia. Zeid attempted to lure them out, but it seems to be avoiding him- Zeid had hoped the letter he sent to Cid would eventually bring Rapifafa here, and now he wishes for her to try finding them.



Gerwitz had left for his journey of reincarnation over 30 years ago, so normally he would’ve already been reborn and be walking around as new Galkan child already, creating new memories. Instead, his spirit stays in Ordelle’s Caves for some reason.



The adventurer that had stumbled across the weapons before had accidentally dropped a darksteel ingot onto the floor, so Rapifafa figured the only way to get anywhere was to try to bait the creature using an ingot, as odd as it felt.





The plan works, and Rapifafa defeats the weapons of Gerwitz, and following the trail she is able to come into contact with the spirit of Gerwitz as well.



Rapifafa hears a voice calling for her as the spirit falls, and upon exiting out to La Thiene Plateau, she is greeted by Gerwitz.



Gerwitz thanks Rapifafa for releasing his soul- he had wanted to move on, but he feared losing his memories, and with it, one of the last craftsman who knew how to work darksteel- his life’s work. His fear turned into rage, even directing it towards his leader, the Talekeeper. His hatred gained a will of its own, and one of his reanimated weapons was travelling the Crystal Line, seeking the source of its power.

Zeid asks Rapifafa to meet him where she had first become a Dark Knight to prepare for the battle ahead, then informs Gerwitz that his spirit had lost track of time- 30 years had already passed, and even the Talekeeper who he so hated was gone from the world. With his rage dissolved, Gerwitz only asks Zeid one final question.



As a final act, he leaves behind one of his last works to help Rapifafa.



As part of her preparation, Rapifafa finds other pieces of Dark Knight’s armor hidden around the world.



With her preparations complete, Rapifafa travels to Beadeaux as instructed by Zeid.



Upon arriving, Zeid informs Rapifafa that coming here was not merely symbolic- the newly formed evil weapon would almost certainly begin seeking blood, and using the blood of one of the Quadav should be able lure the creature out.



With a vial of Quadav Mage Blood, Rapifafa travels to the center of the Crystal Line’s power- Delkfutt’s Tower.



There, she lures out Gerwitz’s cursed weapon.



Rapifafa manages to defeat the blade of evil, but unfortunately it had already taken the lives of two innocents. Perhaps if Zeid told Rapifafa to use blood that didn’t have a god awful drop rate that wouldn’t have happened.

Upon exiting the room, Rapifafa finds a box with a helmet and another one of Zeid’s cryptic messages within.



Rapifafa keeps the helm, but throws away the letter. Rapifafa can’t help but think that if Bastok ever manages to bring the guy back home they’ll be wishing he was wandering the land again 10 minutes later.

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