Author Topic: Josh blindly flails his way through a natural magic/no esper run of FFVI -hiatus

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Klyde Chroma

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@ aeolus -- I feel like your only partially kidding. YOU JUMPED WHEN YA PLAYED DIDN'T YA!!!????

TRUE STORY: Very first time I played when the title came out (I was 7 or 8 years old) my nerves couldn't take it and I jumped. When I found out the impact of my hasty decision I cried and carried on so bad my parents didn't want to let me rent the game again ^__^

THE RESULT: I "lost" the game *ahem* and an even angrier set up parents had to cough up 60 bucks to the video store. I played that until the battery back-up died and saving on more then one slot caused them all to erase.
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Aeolus

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@ aeolus -- I feel like your only partially kidding. YOU JUMPED WHEN YA PLAYED DIDN'T YA!!!????

TRUE STORY: Very first time I played when the title came out (I was 7 or 8 years old) my nerves couldn't take it and I jumped. When I found out the impact of my hasty decision I cried and carried on so bad my parents didn't want to let me rent the game again ^__^

THE RESULT: I "lost" the game *ahem* and an even angrier set up parents had to cough up 60 bucks to the video store. I played that until the battery back-up died and saving on more then one slot caused them all to erase.

Only because the SuperNES version didn't come with built in Sprint Shoes function (on the one hand, that was a stupid thing to have as an optional upgrade; on the other, some sequences were clearly not designed around having them built-in 24-7).

Besides, its not like he really brings anything to the table in WoR. He makes getting Relm harder/later, he'll easily perma-lose Interceptor (assuming he just doesn't flat out lose him post time skip), his shitty WoB availability means he's probably only ahead of Relm and Strago in terms of learned Magic (and perhaps not even that unless you beeline right for him since Relm has a more direct re-recruitment method and Strago can be recruited immediately thereafter), Throw is rather subpar in this game (now if he had built-in Genji Glove functionality, he'd actually be half decent), and a number of his late/endgame knives have Instadeath built into them which tends to hurt more than help since most enemies past late WoB are undead or immune to KO (and his final weapons pre-GBA has no stat boosts which makes them even more subpar; only Cyan's Skyrender is even more subpar, and even then at least he has Dispatch to bypass defense with).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

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You managed to make me feel good about not having him in my party.
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Rucks

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Thamasa, or The Best Way to Put Out a Fire is by Punching It in the Face

- So this part always irritated me a little bit.  In a game known for letting you pick whichever party member you want (kind of a great gimmick in 1994), it can be a bit frustrating when it decides to shoehorn certain characters in.  I FINALLY have access to the vast majority of my characters and I get to use them for like 2 simple side quests and a single character recruitment before the Thamasa scenario forces you to go without most of your party (or your ship) for a few hours.

- Speaking of character recruitment. I went and got in Narshe.  Mog is one of my favorite characters in the game (and probably one of the most useful in this go around).  In order to get him you have to chase Lone Wolf, the pickpocket, into the mines (Umaro sighting!) in Narshe.  Something about Lone Wolf never sat right with me.  I've always kind of had a sneaking suspicion that he was really an esper.  Case in point.  Here is what the esper in the village during the flashback looks like: and HERE is lone wolf: . That's pretty clear evidence of a palette swap and it doesn't take too large of a leap of faith to assume that if he looks a lot like an esper than he's probably an esper

- Mog 2: Electric Boogaloo (or the part where I trudge half way around the world for a dance).  Getting most of Mog's dances is much easier than getting most of Gau's rages (also fuck Gau).  EXCEPT for goddamn Water Rondo.  What a slog.  The veldt to Serpent's Trench.  Serpent's Trench to Nikeah.  Nikeah to South Figaro.  South Figaro to Mount Kolts.  Mount Kolts to the Returners Base.  The Returners Base to Lete River.  Lete River to either the Veldt OR Nikeah again (in which case your head might explode).  Still worth it for now though.

-  Rescuing Relm from the burning house is rendered a cakewalk on account of Strago's Aqua Rake taking out entire enemy parties in one shot.  The boss is a breeze too. Though it does always get me when Shadow swoops in to rescue Interceptor his daughter.

The Part Where I Freak Out about General Leo

- Ok so my issue with is that first and foremost his character portrait makes him look like Das Fuhrer with a mowhawk.  Beyond that I have serious trouble sympathizing with his death after he spent almost his entire professional career as the enforcer for a brutal and repressive regime.  It's hard to hide behind the veneer of "honor" when the very government you're a high ranking member of is stealing babies and making them into magic infused murder machines (which, as the 2nd or 3rd most powerful individual in all of the Empire, he MUST have been aware of).  You don't think he knew of (or even helped lead) the attack on the esper village? Or that all those shiny magitek armors he commanded got their power from draining the life force out of living beings?  Sorry Leo, you don't get to be an integral part of all of those gross abuses of power and then pretend to be JUST SHOCKED that Kefka is out in Thamasa pulling some crazy shit.  I could MAYBE be swayed to believe that he had set up some sort of "don't tell me about all of the shady business  I know must be going down" system in order to maintain the kind of plausible deniability he needed to not be overcome with guilt.  But even in making that kind of choice he demonstrated that he understood that there were things going on in the Empire that stood in direct contradiction to what he knew to be right.  No, he didn't defect with Celes because it was easier for him to pretend that by simply sticking to his all important code of honor and loyalty to the Emperor that he was doing the right thing. Sorry (I'm not sorry) but he was a fucking coward who copped out of doing the right thing (when he had years of chances to do so) and I'm glad he paid for it.

Fuck This Guy ---------->

P.S. General Jerkface's "totally humane and not cruel at all" plan for defeating Doma was STARVING EVERYONE INTO SUBMISSION. Yeah, Kefka's way was worse, but if you have to be compared to a psychotic megalomaniac with a God complex (who actually pulls off becoming a god) in order to look like a sympathetic figure, you're still probably a total piece of shit by any other metric.

Next time: We FINALLY, make it to the floating continent. And FINALLY get some battles that take some real strategy.  (and Also I try to convince everyone that Setzer and Mog belong in my party.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 01:06:47 AM by glassjawsh »


Klyde Chroma

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@ aeolus -- On the Shadow note. I'm not going to argue his efficacy in battle because, while I could make a case for the Ninja, he pales in comparison to other cast members. For the hell of it, I will throw it out that should you invest time in his magic the skeans are a suitable and cheap stand in for magic making throw somewhat useful until level 3 spells. Spend your time having him learn buffs and healing and you have unique and versatile character. Genji+death dagger+evade for quick level grinding in certain areas also worked well for me.

Nope. He is a weak link who just happens to be hella- useful in brief specialized circumstances.

The Shadow appeal is his implementation in the script. Think back on RPG's of the early 90's. How many had a character that were optional/quasi-hidden with narrative impact? Not too many I can think of that made it stateside. Furthermore, your decisions directly impact his survival with plot-relevance. These are the points that make Shadow memorable. In short, Shadow is a mechanic within the game for making the player feel as though their decisions have meaning and weight. This is of course common, if not pre-requisite stuff, for more modern RPG's but that type of material was rare in the days of FF6.

But I obviously have a bias here based on fandom and namesake so maybe I'm just over-stating an opinion?

@Glassjawsh -- Since we are talking Shadow I wanna state that the "Shadow save" at the Thamasa incident is a particular favorite instance of mine as well. It makes it all the more interesting when you begin to unravel his identity. Once you "figure it out" and think on his connection to Relm and what is going on its such an "Ah- ha!" moment.


I'm happy you expressed distaste for Leo's status screen pic too. I am firmly in disagreement with whomever thought that avatar for him was suitable.


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Aeolus

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I feel that General Leo's shtick is that he's the guy in charge of military (ala a Light Brigade commander or somesuch), while Cid and other "Scientists" are running supra sekret science projects in the pursuit of forging some kind of doomsday weapon that'll end up going wild and killing everybody or something (ala artillery cannons), and now the old fashioned commander is looking at said guns and going "What the hell are these even good for? You can't strap them onto a horse!" and proceeds to let the other side walk right off with them, who then proceed to turn them on said brigade and turns the whole lot of them into mulch.

Leo in particular, was too busy going "Just give me a sword and an army of men and I'll take whatever village/town/castle you want. I don't need any of that hocus pocus that those weird witches are flinging around." to really notice or care about Celes, Terra or Kefka (at least until Kefka's destructive tendencies start getting out of hand, while Terra breaks loose and Celes gets locked up while she flounders about with allegiances, but by then its too late). Cid meanwhile literally doesn't know or care about the implications of what he's doing until your party points out that his way was completely pointless and stupid, and even then only Kefka really takes notes. Even with Celes he's basically more of the opinion that doing science to her in order to make her a living weapon was more of a good thing than bad or evil, plus he finally got it right with her. He really doesn't turn it around until after he has to care for her for a full year and is basically on his potential death bed. He's basically just shy of FFVIII's Robin Williams Cid in terms of sheer incompetence.


Also, going back to the Celestina thing, here again is more evidence that the whole Thamasa arc was meant to be much earlier before getting retooled for where it is. Its back to Terra and Locke (a party that hasn't been a thing since Figaro Castle), Shadow, Leo and Celes are on board the Love Boat where Locke and Celes are trying to hash out their relationship over the revelation that Celes is still apparently a member of the Empire, while Terra and Leo are trying to hash out what Terra should do with her 'emotions' and her recent break with the Empire. While sometimes you can run across storylines that have parallel themes, characters or even scenarios; here, it feels far more like the writers came up with two different scenarios in mind, and rather than having to make the hard call and pick only one, they made two characters instead. And then Leo's death scene feels like something that might have had more weight earlier on when Terra was still fledgling through her memory loss instead of well after accepting her Esper side and it would've made more sense rather than Leo getting jobbed by Kefka, who follows up by immediately jobbing Gestahl and your party before Celes turns yet again and Shadow pops in to hold him off somehow.

As for Leo's strategy versus Doma, that's Sieging 101. He did his best Gandalf and told Doma "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!" and formed a line around Doma with the intent of cutting them off from the rest of the world, while occasionally sending out a bunch of mooks to try to pry open the doors in the hopes that everybody inside are too tired/hungry/depleted of morale to put up a serious fight (and then Cyan promptly waltzes out and walks all over them). His means aren't all that humane, but that's war. His goal though was to subjugate the people and lands of Doma and put down any organized resistance. Kefka's goal was to end the conflict to his schedule yesterday and cause as much damage as he could while doing it, and he accomplished this by fowling up Doma's entire water table and causing the entire region to be rendered uninhabitable along with killing anyone who wasn't lucky enough to spot what had just happened, regardless of their allegiance. Any value that Doma's property might have had to the Empire, or anybody for that matter, went right down the drain.

As for the Serpent's Trench. Its not that bad after Sabin's initial trek since every point of interest on his route short of Baron Falls, Gau's hiding place, the Old Guy's house and Nike are all gone/non essential. The big reason to run it prior to getting Mog is to get Gau some of the Rages from the enemies encountered in the Trench since the Aspik Rage has a Bolt 2 equivalent spell (or just Bolt 2) that paired with the General Rage gives Gau some serious elemental coverage for pretty much the remainder of WoB (makes him a solid choice for Zozo, Magitek Factory and Sealed Cave). You do realize that the landslide that prevented Sabin from just waltzing on over to Le Femme Nikita is gone by the time you actually end up in Nekoah? You can just straight up walk from Nemah to Baron Falls without ever touching the Returners' Base or Lethe River (and the scene that pops up when taking the South Figaro boat to Nihm and back is pretty amusing as well).

And yeah, the big reason to bother running that route at all is to get Mog Water Rondo as its the only time he has an opportunity to battle underwater in the SuperNES and PSX versions. In the GBA and Mobile versions, there's a fight with Leviathan in WoR that can serve as an auxiliary opportunity to learn all of Mog's Dances without having to recruit him in WoB (regardless as to whether you rescue Mog from Lone Wolf or choose the Gold Hairipin, you'll still be able to recruit him in the WoR).


@ aeolus -- On the Shadow note. I'm not going to argue his efficacy in battle because, while I could make a case for the Ninja, he pales in comparison to other cast members. For the hell of it, I will throw it out that should you invest time in his magic the skeans are a suitable and cheap stand in for magic making throw somewhat useful until level 3 spells. Spend your time having him learn buffs and healing and you have unique and versatile character. Genji+death dagger+evade for quick level grinding in certain areas also worked well for me.

Nope. He is a weak link who just happens to be hella- useful in brief specialized circumstances.

The Shadow appeal is his implementation in the script. Think back on RPG's of the early 90's. How many had a character that were optional/quasi-hidden with narrative impact? Not too many I can think of that made it stateside. Furthermore, your decisions directly impact his survival with plot-relevance. These are the points that make Shadow memorable. In short, Shadow is a mechanic within the game for making the player feel as though their decisions have meaning and weight. This is of course common, if not pre-requisite stuff, for more modern RPG's but that type of material was rare in the days of FF6.

But I obviously have a bias here based on fandom and namesake so maybe I'm just over-stating an opinion?

@Glassjawsh -- Since we are talking Shadow I wanna state that the "Shadow save" at the Thamasa incident is a particular favorite instance of mine as well. It makes it all the more interesting when you begin to unravel his identity. Once you "figure it out" and think on his connection to Relm and what is going on its such an "Ah- ha!" moment.


I'm happy you expressed distaste for Leo's status screen pic too. I am firmly in disagreement with whomever thought that avatar for him was suitable.

The problem with Shadow's Genji Glove+Death Dagger+Evade build is when its Genji Glove+Assassin+No Evade due to the Evade glitch. Shadow is naturally better in the GBA/Mobile versions as he has access to Den of Dragons and the items therein, including a brand new ultimate weapon for him (and one that isn't aggressively mediocre), but then so is almost everybody else since that dungeon has items for everybody. That said, he could dual wield Man Eater + Thief Knife for a 20% M.Evade boost, but Thief Knife is kinda weak by the point you obtain Man Eater, and Man Eater isn't all that great either. Also, Genji Shield alone provides a 20% M.Evade boost, let alone the additional 20% Evade in the GBA/Mobile versions.

And Skeans are actually not that efficient past Zozo. Namely because you get Shiva during Magitek Factory who teaches Osmose at a fairly decent rate (and Zoneseek is even more efficient) and that's all you really need to perpetually cast Magic (and an enemy you know you can reliably drain MP from).

That said, I've nothing against Shadow personally. This is just me giving you a hard time since I've only ever really considered Shadow to be okay but a bit too try-hard. His Floating Continent shenanigans are the highlight of his career while the secret sleep scenes and Sabin's scenario are other high points, but he's not nearly the big deal people tend to make him out to be in the long run since he's practically an optional character through and through (ala BoF's Deis, DQVI's Terry/Lizzy, FFVII's Yuffie and Vincent and Xenogear's Esmeralda, among others).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Klyde Chroma

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That was a great post in its entirety, Aeolus. Particular props for drawing a parallel between Doma/Leo and Balrog/Gandalf ^_^

but he's not nearly the big deal people tend to make him out to be in the long run since he's practically an optional character through and through (ala BoF's Deis, DQVI's Terry/Lizzy, FFVII's Yuffie and Vincent and Xenogear's Esmeralda, among others).

This is super interesting point I based on the fact that I never really noticed my affinity for characters in this role. Recruiting Deis in BOF2 was one of the most amazing discoveries of my childhood after playing BOF1, Yuffie and Vincent were my favorites in VII and the optional characters in the Star Ocean series all go down in the hall of fame for me.

You inadvertently pointed out something to me about my sensibility here. I think Shadow paved the way for my tastes in characterization more so then I realized. I feel like... I need to re-think a bunch of stuff now.
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Artimicia

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I think everyone had a crush on Shadow once upon a time.

Anyway, I won't attempt to describe Leo from a siege tactics point of view, I was thinking about parallels between him and Beatrix though the other day, especially considering both use shock and all that stuff.

Basically you guys pointed out that General Leo is a bit of a mixed kind of character in some ways, originally I thought of him as more pristine and Beatrix as more conflicted, but then I was like wait...

I kind of liked that about the Empire though, Gestahl was just a regular old garden variety jerk, not super meta evil though, Kefka was the wild and experimental kind of manic comedy side.

I think in a sense, General Leo just blended right in the middle between them, which, I don't know, what can I say, I like characters that are sort of all over the place a bit.

Fuck me I think I like the Empire more than the Returners in FF6.

I mean yeah Locke Treasure Hunter fun times, but I mean Banon's traffic light getup and all that... yeah.

By the way I guess we're not there yet but this is one of my all time favorite Nobuo songs, the fight with Atma Weapon on the floating continent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Lr7nRjvEk

Edit: With the exception of Edgar, because Edgar Roni Figaro.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 11:05:54 PM by Artimicia »
"I don't live by labels, I can be anything I want, I'd rather die a pauper than live on as someone else's fantasy!" - My best attempt at quoting the protagonist of Vandal Hearts 2.

Artimicia

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EDGAR-SAMA!!!





Sorry for the interruption, Jawsh, I'm actually looking forward to the floating continent section at any rate.

"I don't live by labels, I can be anything I want, I'd rather die a pauper than live on as someone else's fantasy!" - My best attempt at quoting the protagonist of Vandal Hearts 2.

Rucks

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Getting frustrated on the Floating Continent, so I'm going to retool my party.  I have to have Terra (for healing) and Shadow (the game forces you) but beyond that I'm open to suggestions.  I got most of Mog's dances so he's probably a good choice but who else? Strago?  Sabin? Celes was an AWFUL choice (since she doesn't have ice 2 yet) and apparently Setzer is too underpowered to ever be useful.  Cyan is out since he's Cyan and I haven't messed with Gau on the Veldt enough to justify using him over someone like Edgar or even Locke.  Basically I have 2 slots open and 6 characters who can fill them.  , , , , , or



Arvis

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For the kind of run you're doing,  the Super Figaro Bros seem like the obvious choice.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Aeolus

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Getting frustrated on the Floating Continent, so I'm going to retool my party.  I have to have Terra (for healing) and Shadow (the game forces you) but beyond that I'm open to suggestions.  I got most of Mog's dances so he's probably a good choice but who else? Strago?  Sabin? Celes was an AWFUL choice (since she doesn't have ice 2 yet) and apparently Setzer is too underpowered to ever be useful.  Cyan is out since he's Cyan and I haven't messed with Gau on the Veldt enough to justify using him over someone like Edgar or even Locke.  Basically I have 2 slots open and 6 characters who can fill them.  , , , , , or

How the hell are you running with Celes anyways? She's out of your party until she cutscene's back in once you beat Ultima AtmaWeapon. Anyways, Mog is a hell of a choice if you picked up Wind Aria since Sunbath is solid healing at this point and fairly reliable on FC and while you don't like him Cyan's Dispatch is still a solid attack, Retort can lead to some hilarity if you time it right, and his bottomed out Speed & Magic Power means next to nothing in this game/for this run (respectfully). (Sadly you aren't open to or receptive of Gau as he would be your best replacement for Magic in this run, BWCYD?) Strego is also a potential for Lore opportunities (FC is one of the best places prior to the Veldt or Kefka's Tower). And Edgar and Sabin are easy modo (Locke and Celes are Hard Modo). And Relm is, as always, a little bundle of dynamite strapped to the side of your game cartridge (she's worth bringing with two other solid characters in a normal run for Esper farming prior to WoR since she has so little time in WoB).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Rucks

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Celes is definitely available for the FC. I've decided to go with Mog/Terra/Strago/Shadow even though Mog seems to fall on his head during Wind Song 8 times out of 10 and I'll have to walk around a bunch before Strago get up to speed.  If I didn't need a reliable healer I'd have included Relm.  Once she gets the Beret she is one of the most unstoppable powerhouse preteens this side of a Shonen manga. Also, once I finally grabbed the Hardened for Shadow and equipped him with the Genji Glove and the Black Belt he finally stopped being such an embarrassing liability. 


Klyde Chroma

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I think everyone had a crush on Shadow once upon a time.


Ahhhh! **BLUSH**

Truth be told, I'm not as dashing now that I'm getting to be an old man. Plus I guess optional's such as myself are a dime a dozen nowa' days.

I wanna point out something critical you guys may NOT have realized. You should all now be aware where Relm's mad art skillz came from!!!
--------

Ok enough horsing around.

@ Glass -- A somewhat unreliable but effective help considering your self-imposed handicaps might be Edgar's noiseblaster and chainsaw. If memory serves, noiseblaster with Edgar had the potential to seriously take the "oomph" out of some enemy parties on the FC and chainsaw (unreliably) instant-killed something I hated (possibly behemoth?). At the very least, his chainsaw is a safer gamble than setzer ^_^

I think I'd be going with Mog (dancing/healing)/Edgar(noiseblasting)/Terra and Shadow (focusing on one enemy at a time with edgar post his noiseblasting) and running from any encounters that weren't worth the effort. No matter what way you look at it though, its an "RNG type" difficulty on the FC. That is, you can have a quick painless effort with no hiccups or 4 game-overs in a row especially considering how you are playing.
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Rucks

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The Part Where Celes Destroys the World

- FINALLY we come to the sprawling mass of terror, false dawns and endless frustration known as the Floating Continent. As evidenced above, it was a struggle for me to decide on the most effective party. I didn't want to use Celes or Sabin for fear of over leveling them during the early part of the WoR, so I ended up settling on , , , and .  Mog's Wind Song is an absolute blessing because it effectively makes him the best healer you have available by a wide margin.  Terra's Fire 2 (which she learns at a reletively low level) can insta-kill nearly every random enemy not called Behemoth or Dragon and there were just too many Lore's to learn on the FC for me to leave out Strago.  I struggled with dropping Locke (on account of my predilection towards stealing useless items) but his general uselessness (outside of his generally useless ability that I'm so fond of for some reason) ultimately made the choice for me. 

-   Even with all of my planning and stocking up on every consumable item I could afford and meticulousness in equipping each of my characters (Gaia Gear, which nullifies Earth attacks, is the most indispensable equipment thus far presented in the game) I still managed to see the Game Over screen 3 times.  Sometimes Mog falls down too many times at the beginning of a battle or you get caught in a pincer attack by 2 who throw a never ending torrent of inviz edges (and you can't flee and you're almost out of mp) or multiple wretched whore-son cast smirk/1000 needles in succession before you've even had a chance to act.  I shouted at my Vita more times than I care to admit. (ok, seriously fuck you brainpain, I've had about enough of your smug smile to last me the rest of my life).

I guess I didn't realize that character level carries over beyond KO's? Am I wrong about this?

- is a snap as long as you have Wall Rings equipped to at least half of your party and can get Mog to cast SunBath (which isn't reflectable).  Since I already had Gaia Gear equipped on 3 out of my 4 party members most of his strongest attacks where either reflected or absorbed by the majority of my party members.  Beyond that it was simply a matter of spamming Fire 2, throwing every last shuriken and ninja star I had left and then figuring out which one of the Lore's Strago picked up actually cause a bit of damage (hint: not many).  That battle theme though! https://youtu.be/L6Lr7nRjvEk goosebumps.  (Though the music is so epic (and Atma such a force of nature) that the ease with which it is defeated is a letdown...)
 
- All I'm saying is: Kefka tells Celes to murder her friends, Celes stabs Kefka (not mortally?) instead, the sight of his own blood finally sends Kefka over the edge into fullblown megalomaniacal insanity, yadda yadda yadda world destroyed.  You really dropped the ball on that one Chere.

- The first time I had to flee from the floating continent as a kid I completely lost my composure. Since I was 9 and had no idea how to do anything, it was such a struggle for me to even make it as far the floating continent and I was so depleted of resources by the time the clock began winding down that I was basically crying.  Luckily for me, my older brother saw me making a mess of myself and swooped in to show me the way to the airship.  I was so mad when he made me wait for Shadow. I was sure he was lying and just wanted me to have to start over.   

- Speaking of the FC espace.  Has anyone here ever lost to this guy/girl?   Nerapa can be pretty annoying but other than Fire 3 or its idiot Roulette spell (that sometimes just kills him/her and ends the fight) it's pretty much a walkover.

- Should I wait for Shadow? I'll leave it up to the Fanners to decide!  From here on out I'm going to be doing a bit more crowd sourcing to help determine what to do next.  So I'll kick things off with letting the first one of you to chime in pick whether or not this guy lives or dies!