Author Topic: *DONE* Dice Plays FFIX (1st post w/ Table of Contents & Plot Summaries!)

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Taelus

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2015, 09:51:05 PM »
I steal almost constantly with Zidane. Since every enemy usually has two items, you can get a huge supply of stuff by stealing from regular enemies.
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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2015, 03:13:22 AM »
^ Aeo, yeah, you pretty much took the words out of my mouth, so thanks.  I actually have some good thoughts about Eiko as well coming up.
Being honest though, even if I am fitting into my girlie stereotyping, I love a good shopping trip and I especially like a good love story (you'll see me pulling a stupid little smile whens something sweet happens).  The FF series has always been pretty good at separating romance with goals, but I agree things get simplified (for the worst) when love becomes the sole purpose or a strong character completely defrosts into a sap as soon as she's bit by a love bug. 
Still, Freya is a pretty interesting case.  She left her Kingdom to go find Sir Fratley (I love saying his name) and she's like a Shakespearean-devotee to him ("All that was left of you were rumours of your death; but I will search the world if I must to prove it wrong"!), but I honestly don't see her much weaker for it and she's still this sort-of "retired knight" who's willing to come back in times of need.  Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile) was similarly not a character made "weak" by her love; if anything it gave her that extra mileage to an otherwise stoic character.  Both of these were "tough girls" too.  I find it funny that FF13's Lightning didn't have a love interest, but really no plot especially to make her very interesting.... besides her sort of soliloquy-ing her way through the games to appear deep.  I'm not saying she needed a love interesting, but I still find her a soldier-character done poorly because she wasn't interesting to begin with (and the plot zig-zagging about didn't help define her either).  Samus was great but she's still hurting from Other M's plot wounding her. :P

http://youtu.be/SFyKLnOgOk0
Here's that FMV cutscene on Pulse with Lightning and Snow.... maybe this shouldn't have been a full CG scene, nothing really happens that a normal cutscene couldn't have done and FMV's might have more constraints than a normal in-game moment.  This pretty emotional event is packed into 2 minutes, Lightning gets angry for some reason and pulls a sword, and the usual hodgepodge of Japanese "we will meet again" dialogue is said for about a minute but without contributing anything interesting or different and basically serves to make you look at the pretty graphics.  If Lightning is fighting for her sister, it's barely convincing.  And not knowing her past through JP-only novels doesn't help either.

Freya is indeed interesting. Mostly because she's in that weird awkward place where she fades into the background over the course of the game, but given her character and the events within the game, further elaboration could've easily turn into overexposure. By that, I mean that her character arc is pretty well defined all things considered. She's a warrior of Burmecia, renowned enough that the King seeks her assistance during Alexandria's raid on Clerya, though not the famous hero that her fiancée Sir Fratley is given that the King asks for him first. She's also a woman of her kingdom as she and the other maidens on hand perform the River Dance of Protection (though her messing this up is a beef I have with this game's treatment of Freya since it comes back to that ugly 'Women can't be Warriors and vise-versa' thing that crops up a lot in video games and anime). She has a history with Zidane which she gets to express during the Festival of the Hunt in the form of a rivalry. And she even has her own moment in the spotlight by taking on Beatrix solo during the raid on Alexandria shortly after she stomped her and the rest of the party at the end of Disk 1 (even if it was just an excuse to shuffle her out of the party and to make room for Garnet). And of course, her stated goal and reason for joining the party in the first place is to find Fratley, which she does, but has to deal with the fact that he's suffering from memory loss, which is a matter that doesn't lead to too many antics (unlike Steiner or Vivi or Quina who have dispositions beyond struggling with their personal conflict that lead to silliness).

So in essence, you've already got a fairly developed character, but her ties to the party more or less starts and ends with Zidane and Fratley. And while other video game series' would give someone as marginalized as she was more limelight in a spin-off or something with a focus more suited to delving into that character or characters, Final Fantasy at the time didn't do sequels or direct spin-offs (FFMQ and FFT were the biggest FF spin-offs that didn't end up immediately wing up becoming their own series at the time), which left underdeveloped characters like Freya, Amarant and Lani (remember her?) hanging.

It then becomes a question of how much focus should she be given, provided that her less antic driven characterization prevents her from sneaking into a lot of focus during the side skits? She still has the fact that she's not only a capable and experienced warrior, but also one of the party's heavy hitters Job-wise, so she could have stepped up to the front line of a conflict more often (versus Zidane being treated as one of the party's heaviest hitters alongside Steiner). She could've delved into her time at Burmecia or her search for Fratley more (and by search for Fratley, I mean her earlier experiences on the road and adventures she might have had with Fratley; versus just repeating that she's on the trail for him because she loves him). She could've even been more active in searching for a way to restore Fratley's lost memories (or maybe that they can't be restored and has to come to accept that and learn to make new memories, which I think the game did do but its been so long that I can't fully recall).

I guess, all things considered, she did better than Amarant.


As for FFXIII, that was a game that only had a couple of months spent on actually writing compared to the better part of a full decade spent on making look pretty. It doesn't help that to actually fit something resembling a cohesive narrative together, they had to bolt on story segments without reason or care in regards to the parts they were bolting them onto (like all the character development and deaths retcons that occurred first at Chapter 9 then at Chapter 12). Or the fact that they wound up pulling some 'Stealth Protagonist' bullshit with Fang and Vanille (which always amuses me because you can tell that the writers wanted to pull this before they realized that the artists had already finalized Fang's appearance and gender).

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Continuing on...



= Garnet and Zidane, for reasons I'll totally get into later, DO make a really cute couple.  Besides the beautiful and tear-jerking finale of FFX, I'd go so far to say one scene of Garnet and Zidane demonstrate way better chemistry than most of Tidus and Yuna's interaction (*throws up the flame shield*)

= Fer real though, we need a Princess character that has a shitty singing voice and her song make the birds poop on her instead of flock to her.  It's a really, reaaallly tiresome trope. 
BUT, I do respect that at least Garnet isn't the typical "I WANT TO BE FREE" Princess, rather she wants to go home and wants to do good for her people.

I think I've seen something like that done all of once, and I don't recall it being 'on' the Princess but just causing the birds to collectively lose their shit from the Princess hitting the 'Brown Note'.

Either way though, I'd love to see a 'Princess breaks out into a musical number' cliché interrupted at least once from a Princess tilting her head back, straightening her diaphragm, popping open her mouth and just as she hits that first note, some fat winged rat bastard dive bombs the largest, nastiest, most foul looking/smelling dirty birdy turdy it can drop straight down le olde' Wind Pipes. Bonus points if the gal really can sing (hell, you could make a movie out of that; get someone who can sing operatic quality music, have them headline the movie, make the movie a musical, then proceed to have everyone but the headlined talent sing their asses off, then finally, at the closing moments of the movie, the heartfelt song that you know will be headlining the Original Soundtrack release starts playing, and just then, the above happens, then the credits play; I've seen movies built entirely around lesser jokes before).

But really, there needs to be more female comedians that practice the art of physical comedy.


That said, I too like this couple more than FFX's. Partly because I liked Zidane over Tidus, and mostly because Zidane wasn't stupid enough to blow himself up on a random Bomb.

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^ *clicky!* ^
Track: Quina's Theme

​= Quina the "s/he".​  ...Not even your Master knows.  I kinda prefer it as a 'she', because it would certainly be a first for a female to appear to.... strange (and relating to what Aeo and I just mentioned about how females are otherwise typical drawn; but I'm assuming they might be asexual or reproduce ...like worms...or I'm over-thinking Qu sex... yikes.).  Getting off-topic, I'm surprised how infrequently my textbooks used "s/he" and stuck to "he/she"; I won't lie going with the former (thanks to FF9) helped me to lower my page count for several University essays. :P

= Oh Quina.  You so fine, but so simple.
I love Quina, I really do.  S/he isn't a complicated character, and the small details are really all that are needed (probably my favourite character theme too, which is surprisngly not-silly sounding at ALL and uses some cool 8-bit-like sounds).  I do like that you can borrow him/her for a "trial period" for Disc 1 before the mandatory join in Disc 2 (the area around Qu's marsh having a ton of enemies with "Eatable" skills); and being without a proper white mage right now, it's super helpful to get at least some blue magic (anyone else think getting White Wind AND Big Guard so early was intentional?).

Considering that those are usually the abilities that Blue Mages want most (and that IIRC Mighty Guard isn't quite as good in this game as in others), I'm not terribly surprised. Also, it's hard to say whether the devs meant it as a means to substitute your party's sudden lack of a solid healer when Garnet/Eiko decide to take off due to plot, or if its meant to be sort of a "And here's the not hard-mode way of doing this section." way. I'm going with the former since the next best healer is Armant who won't show up for at least another half of a disk.

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= ^With that in mind, I really wish "Potions" were less useless in FF games.  "Tales of" games have apple gels (healing a percent than an amount) are way more useful long-term.  But healing 100-150 when characters are hitting WAY above that as a max HP just stinks.

At least its not FF1 where Potions only healed 30 HP and that was it.

Quote
= I hate this part of the game.  The enemies hit hard but die fast.  Vivi's magic sucks doing the same or a LESS than Zidane is with a normal (non-MP-consuming) attack and eagerly NEEDING a "-ga" level spell, and Freya's stuck with her first weapon while the party has no adequate way of healing itself.  Quina is so either/or dealing either Mage damage or Melee damage (she sometimes hits for 50, then sometimes hits for 500...)



It really doesn't help that you just lost your main healer and tank and are only getting a slightly less heavy and highly less trained hitter and a sudo mage (who is both optional and also completely untrained at this point) to cart around with your thief(ish) MC and other mage (who's still fragile as all hell).

Quote
= Kuja appears!!!  She is still the hottest male villain ever.  Being honest, I hate that "beautiful male" stereotype in Japan, where roses pop out of nowhere, and they do the fabulous hair flip, and get angry at being less beautiful because of a small injury *groan*.  The Suikoden tends to have one of these per game, Ghibli's version of Howl suffers from this affliction, and every otome game gets one too...  It's gotta be a cultural thing, but it doesn't do a thing for me.  Anyways,  I love his "Millennium" theme adding the "We Will Rock You" beat to a pretty awesome party KO that finishes the first disc.
http://youtu.be/XMLiqEqMQyQ Queen
http://youtu.be/9xiWBn26cUQ Kuja

You know, it would be nice to get a female Golbez archetype one of these days. I mean, unless you count X-2's LeBlanc (Edea was close too but she kinda shares her role with both Seifer and Ultimacia, but I guess when you stop to think about it she does count doesn't she? nevermind).

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= So...do you guys know better than me?  Is it EVER worth Stealing from normal enemies or is basically saved (unfortunately) for bosses?

Yans have Elixirs. Otherwise, nope. Bosses only.

Then again, I sort of recall Zidane having an ability that improves with the number of successful Steals he preforms, so you might have to either way.


I don't feel like finagling with quotes, so I apologize in advance for taking the easy way out here:

RE: Garnet & Zidane

I actually agree they make a much better couple than Tidus and Yuna. I'd go so far as to say I found the ending to FFIX more touching than the ending to FFX. I mean, they actually act like a couple. I don't think I remember once throughout FFX of Tidus and Yuna saying anything bad about the other, but Zidane and Garnet give each other shit all the time. Right up to the end with Garnet's love-taps for Zidane putting her through everything.

RE: Quina

I theorize that the Qu are a race of Gourmands because they reproduce through mitosis once they've eaten enough.

RE: Chocobo Hot & Cold

You know, Square Enix keeps saying they want to make more money in the mobile market. But...

Is there a mobile version of Tetra Master? No
Is there a mobile version of Triple Triad? No.
Is there my mobile dream game combining the Chocobo Mini-RPG from FF8 and FF9's Chocobo Hot & Cold? No. (seriously, how awesome would that be?)

My point is Square Enix has more of an opportunity to make money in the mobile market than just about anyone and they squander it with shit like All The Lamest.

...Also, frog catching can go to hell.


Triple Triad has shown up in FFXIV and I think someplace else as well. But then again, Chocobo Hot and Cold's best feature was the fact that it offered fantastic loot which is hard to replicate outside of a proper game.
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Dice

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2015, 01:46:44 AM »
I steal almost constantly with Zidane. Since every enemy usually has two items, you can get a huge supply of stuff by stealing from regular enemies.

Yeah that's probably smart.  Tents are especially great since they're 800 gil a piece.  I'm also looking at a synth guide for the amount of items you need for end-game synth tiers.... any money saved is good. =/

I don't feel like finagling with quotes, so I apologize in advance for taking the easy way out here:

RE: Garnet & Zidane

I actually agree they make a much better couple than Tidus and Yuna. I'd go so far as to say I found the ending to FFIX more touching than the ending to FFX. I mean, they actually act like a couple. I don't think I remember once throughout FFX of Tidus and Yuna saying anything bad about the other, but Zidane and Garnet give each other shit all the time. Right up to the end with Garnet's love-taps for Zidane putting her through everything.

RE: Quina

I theorize that the Qu are a race of Gourmands because they reproduce through mitosis once they've eaten enough.

RE: Chocobo Hot & Cold

You know, Square Enix keeps saying they want to make more money in the mobile market. But...

Is there a mobile version of Tetra Master? No
Is there a mobile version of Triple Triad? No.
Is there my mobile dream game combining the Chocobo Mini-RPG from FF8 and FF9's Chocobo Hot & Cold? No. (seriously, how awesome would that be?)

My point is Square Enix has more of an opportunity to make money in the mobile market than just about anyone and they squander it with shit like All The Lamest.

...Also, frog catching can go to hell.


Don't blame you on the quotes.... gr.  It's annoying but something I've taken the dip for.  THIS IS GAMING PASSION.

Yeah, it's a big dumb shame that Trip Triad took till FF14!!!! to get a new version.  Till then there was a fan made web version.  All The Bravest and other FF mini 'droid/IOS titles are so stupid, the company has lost some imagination, IMO, in that regard.
I'd be ALL over a mobile Choco Hot Cold.  It's simple, but these games never really need much of a tug to capture people...y'know bored on the toilet or in the break room.

Your theory on the Qu is....actually pretty cool, I like it a lot.

And amen about your thoughts about Tidus and Zidane.  I REALLY never know what to think about Tidus.  There's this drop of sunshine about that I love a ton, but then he says or does something stupid in those stupid black overalls and breathes forever underwater and I get all mad that he's the title character all game long.  Then he has the most beautiful ending, then gets fucked up again in the sequel and even worse in the additional story ever written.  Maybe I'll do a FFX Journal to...y'know better explain or see if I can come to something.  But yeah, Tidus and Yuna kinda just 'like' each other; it's not well developed beyond the spark that they had famous dads and Tidus was the only guy in a dateable age range.  The way their love develops is visually stunning in all the beauty a new system afforded it; but the writing for FFX was such a step back from the infinitely more fun (and still quite poignant and thoughtful) FF9.

Freya is indeed interesting. Mostly because she's in that weird awkward place where she fades into the background over the course of the game, but given her character and the events within the game, further elaboration could've easily turn into overexposure. By that, I mean that her character arc is pretty well defined all things considered. She's a warrior of Burmecia, renowned enough that the King seeks her assistance during Alexandria's raid on Clerya, though not the famous hero that her fiancée Sir Fratley is given that the King asks for him first. She's also a woman of her kingdom as she and the other maidens on hand perform the River Dance of Protection (though her messing this up is a beef I have with this game's treatment of Freya since it comes back to that ugly 'Women can't be Warriors and vise-versa' thing that crops up a lot in video games and anime). She has a history with Zidane which she gets to express during the Festival of the Hunt in the form of a rivalry. And she even has her own moment in the spotlight by taking on Beatrix solo during the raid on Alexandria shortly after she stomped her and the rest of the party at the end of Disk 1 (even if it was just an excuse to shuffle her out of the party and to make room for Garnet). And of course, her stated goal and reason for joining the party in the first place is to find Fratley, which she does, but has to deal with the fact that he's suffering from memory loss, which is a matter that doesn't lead to too many antics (unlike Steiner or Vivi or Quina who have dispositions beyond struggling with their personal conflict that lead to silliness).

So in essence, you've already got a fairly developed character, but her ties to the party more or less starts and ends with Zidane and Fratley. And while other video game series' would give someone as marginalized as she was more limelight in a spin-off or something with a focus more suited to delving into that character or characters, Final Fantasy at the time didn't do sequels or direct spin-offs (FFMQ and FFT were the biggest FF spin-offs that didn't end up immediately wing up becoming their own series at the time), which left underdeveloped characters like Freya, Amarant and Lani (remember her?) hanging.

It then becomes a question of how much focus should she be given, provided that her less antic driven characterization prevents her from sneaking into a lot of focus during the side skits? She still has the fact that she's not only a capable and experienced warrior, but also one of the party's heavy hitters Job-wise, so she could have stepped up to the front line of a conflict more often (versus Zidane being treated as one of the party's heaviest hitters alongside Steiner). She could've delved into her time at Burmecia or her search for Fratley more (and by search for Fratley, I mean her earlier experiences on the road and adventures she might have had with Fratley; versus just repeating that she's on the trail for him because she loves him). She could've even been more active in searching for a way to restore Fratley's lost memories (or maybe that they can't be restored and has to come to accept that and learn to make new memories, which I think the game did do but its been so long that I can't fully recall).

I guess, all things considered, she did better than Amarant.

I actually regretfully forgot to write up on Freya beyond what I touched on, and I feel bad about that.  But you did more than enough here, so thank you.
If I do have one small complaint is that FF women have trouble being fun or funny, something the Tales series has done beautifully over the years for its girls, and a great characteristic for more girls to break into.  Eiko is only really funny when she's being a child, and Garnet when she's learning things (but suffers from a tragic but...kinda boring character arc), and Freya barely cracks a smile at all.  But that's sort of off-topic.

I agree completely her arc is well handled, well placed in the story line, and she loses some relevance later on, but when she did need to make an impact she did well and you covered that very well.  And like you said, she doesn't linger, and the way the game hops from meeting her to meeting the rat peoples of Burmecia and Cleyra is great.

Except two [minor] scenes.

One is at another one of the South Gate (Aerb Mountain) borders en route to Burmecia and with Quina in the party.  She remarks on the simple carefree attitude s/he has (looking for flowers to eat :P) and is somewhat envious of her nonchalance.  Zidane says it's more Quina's nature than their attitude at work.  I think it works well that Freya is somewhat humorless in that regard, indeed, she's a knight, sworn and torn between country and love....as sappy as it is.

But I also love how this former devoted knight reacts when she's about to come up to see the ruined throne while in Burmecia, and she doesn't know if she can handle such a sight to what she feels as a citizen and dragoon.  Vivi, scared of learning about his own mysterious origin, is willing to face it despite the pain the truth can bring.  Freya then steels herself to face whatever comes as well since Vivi is willing as well. 
I fucking love you Vivi.

It's funny huh?  Who knows what compels adults to tell stories of "make believe" long passed their childhoods, but clearly we the audience love it just as much when the story is true and convincing.  And in that, Vivi and Freya, as fictitious as they are, are great to learn about.

As for FFXIII, that was a game that only had a couple of months spent on actually writing compared to the better part of a full decade spent on making look pretty. It doesn't help that to actually fit something resembling a cohesive narrative together, they had to bolt on story segments without reason or care in regards to the parts they were bolting them onto (like all the character development and deaths retcons that occurred first at Chapter 9 then at Chapter 12). Or the fact that they wound up pulling some 'Stealth Protagonist' bullshit with Fang and Vanille (which always amuses me because you can tell that the writers wanted to pull this before they realized that the artists had already finalized Fang's appearance and gender).

What do you mean about the latter bit?
And honestly, I could listen to people defending FF13 all day.  Great ideas aside, the narrative is a train wreck of colossal proportions that it's hard to believe it's a professionally-made product (at least, what's good is amazing, but what's bad is just awful).

I think I've seen something like that done all of once, and I don't recall it being 'on' the Princess but just causing the birds to collectively lose their shit from the Princess hitting the 'Brown Note'.

Either way though, I'd love to see a 'Princess breaks out into a musical number' cliché interrupted at least once from a Princess tilting her head back, straightening her diaphragm, popping open her mouth and just as she hits that first note, some fat winged rat bastard dive bombs the largest, nastiest, most foul looking/smelling dirty birdy turdy it can drop straight down le olde' Wind Pipes. Bonus points if the gal really can sing (hell, you could make a movie out of that; get someone who can sing operatic quality music, have them headline the movie, make the movie a musical, then proceed to have everyone but the headlined talent sing their asses off, then finally, at the closing moments of the movie, the heartfelt song that you know will be headlining the Original Soundtrack release starts playing, and just then, the above happens, then the credits play; I've seen movies built entirely around lesser jokes before).

But really, there needs to be more female comedians that practice the art of physical comedy.


That said, I too like this couple more than FFX's. Partly because I liked Zidane over Tidus, and mostly because Zidane wasn't stupid enough to blow himself up on a random Bomb.

I'm glad we both linked the same picture summary.  Honestly, if you ever feel the need to change your avatar, I'd be gung ho to matching it with images from that.  I laugh stupid hard every time I reload it.

And yes.  Again, this might deal with the female beauty bias that makes it so much harder to get women to break out into such roles and contort their bodies or wrinkle their faces in unflattering or goofy ways.  But I like where you're thinking is at if for no other reason then I think gender discussion if fascinating on many levels.

I giggled at the fact I've totally forgotten about the "Brown Note"

Considering that those are usually the abilities that Blue Mages want most (and that IIRC Mighty Guard isn't quite as good in this game as in others), I'm not terribly surprised. Also, it's hard to say whether the devs meant it as a means to substitute your party's sudden lack of a solid healer when Garnet/Eiko decide to take off due to plot, or if its meant to be sort of a "And here's the not hard-mode way of doing this section." way. I'm going with the former since the next best healer is Armant who won't show up for at least another half of a disk.

On that note and the previous: THe word needs more male healers. :P
White Wind really sucks turkey in this game too, or I'm not sure what it's basing the healing digits on.  Mighty Guard is excellent still: But it costs 64 MP (at low levels it means you're ONLY casting Big Guard and need an Ether right after), and I think it lasts significantly shorter.  I kinda factor that into the FF9 battle system being pretty wonky anyways and definitely one of the farthest selling points for the game for me. 

At least its not FF1 where Potions only healed 30 HP and that was it.

Got me there. =/

It really doesn't help that you just lost your main healer and tank and are only getting a slightly less heavy and highly less trained hitter and a sudo mage (who is both optional and also completely untrained at this point) to cart around with your thief(ish) MC and other mage (who's still fragile as all hell).

Freya is surprisingly not the damage dealer you'd hope she would be.  Quina easily (but only sometimes) topping Freya's best.  I mean, I get Freya is a dragon killer, but... I mean, it's not like FF9 is crawling with them to begin with.

Zidane is so good that they make him useless during boss battles because he's busy for half an hour trying to steal shit that he actually WON'T attack while your party does soft hits till the 3rd item is stolen.
I love Zidane as a character, but a big FUCK YOU to him as a thief.  I'm not sure whether his shitty steal rate balances the game or makes it annoying to deal with. 

Also doesn't help that the FF9 boss theme is pretty lame.
http://youtu.be/zxQgbTRbT8o
Eh. =/
Works, but it's definitely not something I wanna listen to for as long as you sometimes have to.

You know, it would be nice to get a female Golbez archetype one of these days. I mean, unless you count X-2's LeBlanc (Edea was close too but she kinda shares her role with both Seifer and Ultimacia, but I guess when you stop to think about it she does count doesn't she? nevermind).

No, a female Golbez would be phenomenal.  It'd be different too because she would hopefully be less sexualized (something about being a Final Fantasy bad guy makes females into "bad girls" heh x).
This is neither here nor there, but I always loved the Ultemecia boss form that doesn't have a face.  That shit was chilling when I first saw her.

Yans have Elixirs. Otherwise, nope. Bosses only.

Then again, I sort of recall Zidane having an ability that improves with the number of successful Steals he preforms, so you might have to either way.

IIRC Master Thief ignores "empty" slots you've cleaned out.  But I forgot the specifics.  Still I sometimes sit there a while. with Bandit equipped.
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Aeolus

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2015, 01:04:58 AM »
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Considering that those are usually the abilities that Blue Mages want most (and that IIRC Mighty Guard isn't quite as good in this game as in others), I'm not terribly surprised. Also, it's hard to say whether the devs meant it as a means to substitute your party's sudden lack of a solid healer when Garnet/Eiko decide to take off due to plot, or if its meant to be sort of a "And here's the not hard-mode way of doing this section." way. I'm going with the former since the next best healer is Armant who won't show up for at least another half of a disk.

On that note and the previous: THe word needs more male healers. :P
White Wind really sucks turkey in this game too, or I'm not sure what it's basing the healing digits on.  Mighty Guard is excellent still: But it costs 64 MP (at low levels it means you're ONLY casting Big Guard and need an Ether right after), and I think it lasts significantly shorter.  I kinda factor that into the FF9 battle system being pretty wonky anyways and definitely one of the farthest selling points for the game for me. 

Male Healer deficiency isn't actually that big of a problem though. Not only are they closer to the uncommon side of appearances instead of rare, but generally speaking, male healers in RPGs are better at being healers than female ones are. Namely because they generally trade healing power or MP totals for better durability and a Strength score that isn't a total dump stat (if there's any competition for the role at all, because otherwise they get all of it). It doesn't help matters that generally speaking, males outnumber females 2 to 1 in RPGs (or that when females do outnumber the males, its almost entirely because you're building a Harem).

Quote
It really doesn't help that you just lost your main healer and tank and are only getting a slightly less heavy and highly less trained hitter and a sudo mage (who is both optional and also completely untrained at this point) to cart around with your thief(ish) MC and other mage (who's still fragile as all hell).

Freya is surprisingly not the damage dealer you'd hope she would be.  Quina easily (but only sometimes) topping Freya's best.  I mean, I get Freya is a dragon killer, but... I mean, it's not like FF9 is crawling with them to begin with.

Zidane is so good that they make him useless during boss battles because he's busy for half an hour trying to steal shit that he actually WON'T attack while your party does soft hits till the 3rd item is stolen.
I love Zidane as a character, but a big FUCK YOU to him as a thief.  I'm not sure whether his shitty steal rate balances the game or makes it annoying to deal with. 

Also doesn't help that the FF9 boss theme is pretty lame.
http://youtu.be/zxQgbTRbT8o
Eh. =/
Works, but it's definitely not something I wanna listen to for as long as you sometimes have to.

Yeah, Freya has Jump and Dragon's Crest and that's it. The rest of her abilities fall into messing around with allies HP and MP through her own supply which A) can be done just as easily with Potions and Ethers and B) all cost some of Freya's mediocre MP to actually use, diminishing anything she might be able to dish out. Some days I feel that players should've been given the choice between keeping her and recruiting Beatrix.

At least stealing gives Zidane something to do while your Thief works to pick the boss clean.

Also, I agree with the sentiment in regards to the boss theme. Its okay in short bursts but given how loaded bosses are in this game (loot-wise), it doesn't really work in the context of the game.

Quote
You know, it would be nice to get a female Golbez archetype one of these days. I mean, unless you count X-2's LeBlanc (Edea was close too but she kinda shares her role with both Seifer and Ultimacia, but I guess when you stop to think about it she does count doesn't she? nevermind).

No, a female Golbez would be phenomenal.  It'd be different too because she would hopefully be less sexualized (something about being a Final Fantasy bad guy makes females into "bad girls" heh x).

The one thing that I hated most about White Knight Chronicles (aside from getting my hopes up and dashing them expertly) is the fact that they almost do this, but pull a 180 right at the finish line and punch it up to Warp 9 to end up crossing the starting line at least twice (because god forbid that Level 5 ever makes a female character with agency). The fact that they tried to pull the same stunt again in the second game (with twice the deceit and none of the impact) was just stupid. But then the two words that describe the WKC duology best are 'aggravatingly stupid'. I still can't believe that Sony wanted those turds as one of their headlining franchises for the PS3.

Quote
Yans have Elixirs. Otherwise, nope. Bosses only.

Then again, I sort of recall Zidane having an ability that improves with the number of successful Steals he preforms, so you might have to either way.

IIRC Master Thief ignores "empty" slots you've cleaned out.  But I forgot the specifics.  Still I sometimes sit there a while. with Bandit equipped.


I meant that he has an ability that grows stronger with every Steal he performs called Thievery.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2015, 03:48:08 AM »

^ *clicky!* ^
Track: Treno


(I actually really like listening to FF tracks while I write these long-ass things up.  Enjoy!


Part IV: Deep Thoughts, Family Values, and a Big Blow Job from the Alexandrian Queen (hah)

Quote
Brief Synopsis: Garnet and Steiner go to South Gate in order to return to Alexandria (a small B-plot to save a Tantalus member happens, it's a lot of fun, but not terribly plot relevant).  Once there, Garnet meets Queen Brahne who puts her to sleep, scheming to magically extract the "summons" she has in her.
Meanwhile, after the fight in Burmecia, Zidane and the party heads to warn the sister-city Cleyra only for disaster to strike there as well.  Zidane and friends manage to hitch a ride on an Alexandrian ship back to the city where they learn Garnet is in danger.  They manage to save her in time (but sans summoning power) and escape on a creature known as a 'Gargant'; but overshoot the stop and wind up at Pinnacle Rocks where they meet the summon Ramuh.  Soon after forming a pact with Ramuh, Lindblum is devastated by another summon brought in by Queen Brahne and her evil forces.

LAST TIME:


THIS TIME!!!!:

AND WITH THAT, WELCOME TO DISC 2.

= In many stage productions, after a BIG HALF-TIME ACT, we get an 'Intermission': A chance for the cast to change and set up new stage backgrounds and props, and typically start on a soft opening to catch up viewers.  Some time maybe passes between the first and second act, or the setting might change, or the story moves to a new phase....  
Final Fantasy 9 pulls the EXACT same move when opening for Disc 2, and quite a few discs as well during their PSX FF reign (ending the equivalent of a "wham episode").  We finish with the main party's complete defeat in Burmecia and at the mercy of our villains; and we open with two knights talking about 'this-and-that' while referencing 'the story thus far' and the key players (and finishing with some dumb and light humour).  I love that Garnet's encounter with Marcus and Cinna is treated as a "chance" opportunity that leads to a pretty cool adventure (it reminds of Sabin's grand escapade during the FF6 which began because he went "river rafting" trying to kill Ultros)

= Yeah... I said fuck it to the Antlion's 3rd and post 'prestigious' (IIRC buyable later on) item, The Gold Helm.  After HALF AN HOUR of coming up with nothing, I didn't want to keep wasting items and ethers.
Zidane, I love ya, but you're a piss poor thief and you can't steal for shit!!!.
Dishonour on you! Dishonour on your family!  Dishonour on your cow!

= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFkw4odJjSw&t=47
Link to Red Rose scene (home to the cruelest Mognet Moogle that you either randomly backtrack to or miss forever) and to a wonderful Beatrix scene.  ...Mainly because "Rose of May" is playing.
I think Starmongoose said it best when asked why there was no "audio question" during the offiial FF9 RPGFan Quiz: "I don't know, but the answer would have been 'Rose of May'".  Agreed there, Rose of May IS the answer. :P
Code: [Select]
"Something to Protect" did kill my hand in Theatrhythm a few times though.... >:(
= "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"  I imagine is a North American exclusive line.


= Treno!!!!  I fucking LOVE this city.  The music, the atmosphere, the sights, the decor, the stuff to do.  From top to bottom it's amazing and seems to pop up on a lot of those "game cities you love" lists.  I love that just the sole piano work doesn't make the city feel 'less busy' and manages to be suitable in both the upper and lower class neighbourhoods.  The city decor is a great balance of very old yet very Victorian.  The atmosphere here is undeniably likeable even when it's not always pleasant.  I love Garnet's 'culture shock' when she avoids an alleyway with a burping homeless man.
REALLY wish there was an image of the inside of the Card Stadium though.

= The followthrough on ATEs are great.  Indeed, a city as big and complicated as Treno uses ATEs to help you locate your party and progress the story.  But another great ATE followup is to one called "Ambition" which has Garnet get pick-pocketed by the "Four Armed Man" for 1,000 gil... but if you run into him again as Steiner you get a really awkward and funny encounter:

(sorry for the use of gifs, and this one is pretty shit quality I'd probably link videos, but again, LPers love hearing their own voices)

= Dr Tots "globe-a-scope" is, like, the coolest thing ever, so it gets the header image this week.

= One thing I love about the Treno segment is that there is HARDLY any fighting (one optional battle, and two easy bosses). It's a nice break period form what came before and what's coming soon.  It doesn't feel like many games these days really do afford a sort of "relaxation periods" beyond what a sandbox title might in screwing around and exploring.  And I like that this segment still manages to give some character development and story progress (albeit in a bit of a B-plot to finally save Blank).  The "stealing supersoft" event didn't actually HAVE to happen since Garnet recognized the person who owned it, but it affords us time to get some insight into Garnet and Steiner, two characters really having it out with their inner-thoughts; Steiner who's having a "truth hurts" moment about thinking for himself and Garnet questioning her actions and working out what Zidane means to her ---- both character blame Zidane for their state of affairs though. :P  

= On that note: I LOVE how Tantalus "comes back" in this part of the story.  Baku catching up with the kids ("AAACHOO!"), Cinna stuck at South Gate eating "South Cake Bundt Cake" (that's so fun to say), and Marcus surprisingly joining the entourage for a small while, keen on saving his brother and still managing to help the party and be quite accommodating (nothing like him and Steiner swinging a giant cage into freedom).  I love that Blank comes back in a perfect moment to save the party as well.  It's a bit roughly fit into the timeline of all these events, but much like the opening, it's great that all of these elements sort of come into place and how supportive the Tantalus crew are of each other beyond NPCs usual "involvement" in matters.
Baku fucking up Doctor Tot's name a bunch of time's was funny too.  He's a character I wish they did more with, he's probably level 99 for all we know.

= OMG, Beatrix joins the fight!  Her loyalties and resolve as strong as ever yet in a dramatic twist means going against the Queen she serves to save the Princess instead.  Fantastic!  The two head knights of Alexandria and a Dragoon from Burmecia saving the Princess is a great developmental trifecta for the three characters and suits them well.  This is a moment in a game that just makes you smile for the characters in it because you love them and the game builds up SO well to these 'changes of heart' and now they have this big moment for them to prove it.

= I like that Zidane has that cartoony 'sudden stop' animation, but they didn't use when he unexpectedly meets up with Marcus again.  Reminds of that one time with Grandpa Simpson where the animators didn't create a "stopping" animation and just roll with it.



= Honestly, the lack of proper artbooks for a large part of FF series is so damn depressing [for me as an artbook fiend and aspiring wannabe].  I own the FF9 and 14 ones and couldn't be happier.  Truly the series has a ton of talent [that isn't Nomura].
Anyways, here's a small but beautifully illustrated map you can find at South Gate:


= The plot really moves fast at the start of Disc 2.  You go from Cleyra, to wrecking Cleyra, to Alexandria, to saving Garnet, to Pinnacle, to a wrecked Lindblum.  The flow of these events isn't too good and happen right after the other (Brahne being unexpectedly hasty I guess), but the action is high and balances out the slow start with Garnet in Treno.

= On that note.  I hate the Pinnacle Rock segment.  Ramuh is cool and I like his two forms as humble old man and GRAND OLD EIDOLON, but the "collect the story" thing is annoying, not particularly interesting, and with an ending that could have had a greater plot payoff than it did... The story is pretty crappy too, or maybe it was translated by a Square Soft part-time intern Jim-Bob and something was lost in translation along the way.  
Yeah, that's it...fuck you Jim Bob.
The 'choose your ending' thing doesn't make much difference either and becomes one of those "what was the point of the options in the first place?" things.  It'd be cool if they pulled an FF6 Ragnarok here and you get something different for picking "Hero" or "Human" but you get fuckall and just extended playtime for about 15 minutes... bah. Moving on.

= It kinda sucks that Vivi 'trips' before the Lindblum attack FMV happens.  Seeing Black Mages sent in to attack Lindblum then be part of the casualties during Atomos raid is very chilling, but Vivi really should have been part of the picture.  Ah well.  
Nevertheless, it's a great and unique depiction of 'destruction' (by inhalation?!), Garnet's reaction is wonderfully (and tragically) captured, and I love seeing Atomos' reflection in the window (you expect most "attacks" to blast INTO a house, not sucked FROM it).


Till next time.

^ *clicky!* ^
Track: Rose of May (Erutan Vocal Ver. It's perfect)

EDIT: Oh.  I barely touch on it, but Cleyra's cool I guess.  I actually thought the trunk-dungeon was cooler, complete with cool visuals, interesting enemies, and SAND.  Oh, and the song is so weird and 90s-ish
http://youtu.be/Y4k4XFS4Qh0
...is that really the only time we hear Eternal Harvest is during Freya's riverdance??
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 02:21:21 AM by Dice »
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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2015, 05:31:03 AM »
= On that note.  I hate the Pinnacle Rock segment.  Ramuh is cool and I like his two forms as humble old man and GRAND OLD EIDOLON, but the "collect the story" thing is annoying, not particularly interesting, and with an ending that could have had a greater plot payoff than it did... The story is pretty crappy too, or maybe it was translated by a Square Soft part-time intern Jim-Bob and something was lost in translation along the way.

Hey man, Josef was a brosef. He died holding up an Indiana Jones style boulder.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2015, 12:15:37 PM »
= On that note.  I hate the Pinnacle Rock segment.  Ramuh is cool and I like his two forms as humble old man and GRAND OLD EIDOLON, but the "collect the story" thing is annoying, not particularly interesting, and with an ending that could have had a greater plot payoff than it did... The story is pretty crappy too, or maybe it was translated by a Square Soft part-time intern Jim-Bob and something was lost in translation along the way.

Hey man, Josef was a brosef. He died holding up an Indiana Jones style boulder.

Eugh, that's right.  Forgot about FF2 Josef.
I still stand by my statement, the story was crap.  General Leo would have been a better choice.

EDIT:
All my FF uploading bent time and space
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 01:13:14 PM by Dice »
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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2015, 01:43:56 PM »
Ugh, I'm with ya on Pinacle Rocks. If it wasn't where you get the first summon in the game (unless you're like me and used to grind Steiner and Garnet in Dr Tots Gargant basement just so you can cast that sweet 90-something MP Shiva once a battle) I wouldn't look forward to it at all.

The "Kupo for Kupo nuts" was in the PAL version too, but I actually didn't realise it was reference until you pointed it out here.

And yes the Answer is always Rose of May :P


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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2015, 11:44:54 PM »
Rally-ho!!  
Long time no update!  In truth, Xenoblade took over my life.... again.  Dammit.


^ *clicky!* ^
Track: Black Mage Village


Today I don't cover much ground, but I a major story section.
Part V: Scotsman Orcs and the 'Pyntie Hats'

Quote
Brief Synopsis: With Lindblum in shambles the party decides to search for answers in the Outer Continent after an eye-witness confirms he came from the North (how convenient!).  Quina the Qu leads us through a secret underground passage that takes us to a weird (but friendly) village of Scotsman-Trolls and a secret Black Mage Village.  Here Vivi learns about his people, gets some potentially bad news that he might "stop moving" well before his friends, and then the party tracks a strange little girl who seems to have the power to summon much like Garnet does.

= I don't think any other Final Fantasy game makes me smile as much as this one does.  It's wonderful. :)

= I feel like the opportunity to name Choco after FFV's important chocobo mascot "Boco" instead was gravely missed.  

= I feel weird when someone is named after a gemstone and doesn't wear said gem's colour.... Garnet, go put on something Purple and Red!!  Take off those weird orange tights! >:(  I really hate Garnet's outfit... But I think it does help balance the colours better, Freya, Amarant, and Quina already use a lot of red in their palette, and black and yellows/oranges tend to stick out nicely. (#things-artists-think-about)

= Anyone else get the feeling Amarant and Lani were going to have a bigger role in this game?  I feel like they were hyped up 'just enough' for it.  Lani especially almost completely drops off the radar after like two events.

= On that note, isn't exciting when you meet a "future party member"?  You're like "oh shit that's the character from the instruction booklet" because then it's a ticking clock till they somehow work your way into your party!!

= Fossil Roo!!  I like this place.  It's a lot more linear then they'd have you think, but i like that Gargants join in again.  Cool and quirky song, funky dungeon name, and a fun dungeon concept.  It's also absolute filler; but I like it!

= The names for the other continents besides the Mist Continent are annoying... Lost, Forgotten, and Outer... They're not quite synonymous but they might as well be since "Mist" is the only one describing some tangible thing.

= Conde Petie!!!
This place is so much fun, and really it's not often enough games get a "fun" village.  Indeed, from the very lovely down-to-earth visuals, the (truly) unattractive look of the villagers, the dialogue and exchanges, that absolutely divine wedding ceremony, and to the dealing with the "pyntie het" people... they're a great jumping point to the two next places we visit.
I like, too, that them talking about weddings, a food thief, and the 'pointy hat' people describes the next big three game events --- but it's so easy to disregard or get lost in the odd dialogue.  I'm actually pretty bummed this place is expendable and unneccesary later on after a point of no return. :(


= I'm just gonna post this one on its own:

I think this is like the only time Quina "breaks character"...  Who knows? Maybe s/he really wanted to get married on top of dreams of being a gourmand.  But honestly, I made the first bullet point here after I saw this scene, I was just smiling the whole damn time -- it's too good.  Quina even goes in for a kiss!! I would have loved to see that!  Zidane and Garnet getting married is also quite charming (I love this screenshot out of context: )


= Oh god the stupid owl forest.  I love the concept of this place (despite the overly simple gimmick), but the battles go to like 10fps.  Ah well, the end FMV is pretty sweet and a great tie into...


= THE BLACK MAGE VILLAGE.   I kinda want Din to talk about this since he seemed excited to do so, IIRC.  I like it though!  Indeed the use of ATE's "fading to black" work well here to point out where characters are, and, as they often do, work well to supplement the story than as key details being "missed out".  

= I love that Vivi finally learns more about himself, even if ignorance is sometimes bliss.  He might be young, but Vivi handles the idea of "not moving" (that is to say, dying) with a remarkably quiet courage.  But you know he's scared too because getting to know Vivi you know he keeps these things to himself and that he's sort of a nervous character... But he's also growing up, and he's growing up fast.  Learning about the Black Mages in their small sanctuary sets him with a new determination, even ironically somewhat, a 'new lease on life' and to make the most of what little there might be.  I definitely think Vivi is a well-crafted character and popular for good reason.

  And while I don't want to away Vivi's thunder, but I do think Zidane once again is a show-stealer here.  Garnet worried about Vivi fitting in with his black mage brethren is put at ease by Zidane who says, essentially from experience, that he's just trying to find his place, his "home", in whatever sense it may be.
  
  Zidane's story here is wonderfully told.  I like that it doesn't start at all by referring to himself (stating it simply happened to "a man" once upon a time ago, but Garnet and the player clue in soon enough).  I also like that it uses Vivi's dilemma to jump into some backstory for Zidane --- a character we really know nothing about at this point despite being in control of him.  It mentions how Zidane leaves his adoptive home to find his real family; with no luck, he goes back realizing he already has a place to call home that offers the love and support he needed (and Zidane was welcomed back after a thorough beating from Baku...'love hurts' I guess).  

  Zidane's happy-go-lucky facade finally demonstrates some deep-down problems that weigh on his character.  Too many games love shoe-horning these dramatic events and making them big affairs; but the light-hearted storytelling approach used in FF9 is surprisingly endearing and "in character" to the game itself.  It also functions well on two other levels: (1) It helps establish why The Tantalus are so tight and (well) "thick as thieves", they're a family, and it helps work the crew mates into the story on more than one occasion.  And (2) it brilliantly brings up events coming up since the past is going to come catching up to Zidane soon, and little does he know that it's going to be far from a loving reunion that he'd likely expect.

Till next time!
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Starmongoose

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2015, 05:29:09 AM »
Rally Ho!

I have to wonder if there was a Scottish person on the translation team. There has to have been, the use of Scot's is pretty perfect in Conde Petite, most so than any other form of media I've seen. FFIX is the only one to use Scot's properly and not some racist butchered version of it like Groundskeeper Willie :P


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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2015, 09:46:24 AM »
Rally Ho!

I have to wonder if there was a Scottish person on the translation team. There has to have been, the use of Scot's is pretty perfect in Conde Petite, most so than any other form of media I've seen. FFIX is the only one to use Scot's properly and not some racist butchered version of it like Groundskeeper Willie :P

I dinnae ken whit ye're on aboot.

sorry.

I always get the names of the other continents mixed up, particularly the Lost and Forgotten continents. While I can't fault the team for the names since they make sense in context of the world (Nobody on the Mist continent gives a Cleyran's ass about anything outside their own little world), I still think they could have done something to differentiate them more. For instance, you meet people that live on the Lost(?) Continent (The snowy one), so why not have one of them mention a different name that the continent is known by locally.

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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2015, 10:01:26 AM »
Rally Ho!

I have to wonder if there was a Scottish person on the translation team. There has to have been, the use of Scot's is pretty perfect in Conde Petite, most so than any other form of media I've seen. FFIX is the only one to use Scot's properly and not some racist butchered version of it like Groundskeeper Willie :P

One thing to keep in mind about stuff like Groundskeeper Willie is that said show is mainly for a non-Scottish audience, so they'll expect to hear something exaggerated.  Like how if you go to Ireland, the people there mostly talk normal (well British type normal) but that won't fly in a TV show where the audience will expect to hear "faith 'n begorah leprechauns" in a high-pitched sing-songy voice.  Or in a converse case of a European show with an American character, said character would likely have an exaggerated American voice, be it cowboy/John Wayne or surfer dude or whatever, but if you actually come to America, most people are just plain folks with neutral accents.  And does it seem odd when you see an Indian character not speaking with that funny Indian accent?  

This is something my voiceover coach told me when we were working on characters and accents.  That if I was doing an ethnic character for an American show or something, I'd have to go a little over the top on it because that's what the audience expects to hear, you know?  
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 10:06:11 AM by Dincrest »
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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2015, 10:37:54 PM »
Rally Ho!

I have to wonder if there was a Scottish person on the translation team. There has to have been, the use of Scot's is pretty perfect in Conde Petite, most so than any other form of media I've seen. FFIX is the only one to use Scot's properly and not some racist butchered version of it like Groundskeeper Willie :P

Actually...

I dinnae ken whit ye're on aboot.

sorry.

...What does "ken" mean?  Never really got that one... :S
(I'm worried it's super obvious and I'm gonna look like a dumb).

I'm actually curious what 'dialect' or verbal tic the Japanese text gave Condie Petitians.
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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2015, 10:40:26 PM »
In that context I read it as "I don't know what you're (going) on about" or "I don't know what you're babbling about."  

so ken= know?
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Re: Dice Plays FFIX
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2015, 11:06:46 PM »
Yes, in every place I've seen it "ken" means "know"

No, I don't know why. Hopefully our resident Scot can clear that up mebbe?