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

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Aeolus

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What's Really Going On?

- So Shadow bailed on the party before I even got on the train. He left when I was in the forest on the way to the train, but I was wondering if anyone had heard of him leaving before they even made it to the forest?  

- I always have a strange dilemma when it comes to recruiting ??????? ghosts on the phantom train because while they make getting to the front a lot easier, they also force you to split your Xp among more party members (which means that Sabin and Cyan ultimately level up slower).  I figured it was best to just avoid them this time.

- Phantom Train is a walk in the park (even with only 2 party members) if you just spam it with Blitz' and the level one SwordTech.  I had to use a few potions too I guess.

- After jumping off a cliff? and fighting some angry fish comes the part where you meet Gau (ugh) and jump off ANOTHER cliff.  If it wasn't already obvious I can't really stand Gau as a character.  Getting all of his rages always seems like much more of a hassle than he's worth.  Unfortunately, since this is a natural magic/no esper run, I suppose I'll have to learn to use him.

- Final thought before I reunite with everyone in Narshe: I don't seem to ever remember being at a loss over where to go next in this game when I played it as a kid, but now I keep running into places where it feels like if I didn't already know where to go next to move the story forward, I'd just have to explore and hope for the best.  Was confusion and forced exploration common among other people's experience with FFVI?  

Shadow leaves as soon as you earn a determined amount of GP with him in the party.  To keep him around as long as possible before he becomes perma-selectable means minimizing the coin you earn (no easy workaround really).

I'm reaching back here, but I also vaguely recall a few instances early game that lack obvious direction as to where to go or at the very least, how to get there. Considering I played this enough to literally draw dungeon maps purely from recollection at this point, I can't confirm that.

I think Shadow's departure is more randomly determined than just from accumulated GP/Gil, but it really doesn't matter once you get Cyan since Sabin's biggest issue is being alone (not that there's much to really threaten him at this point). Really, Shadow's supposed to be a Guest/glorified crutch character (except that mechanically speaking, he's only kinda mediocre beyond Interceptor, which can get hilariously glitched out of existence; and that's before you factor in Espers and his general lack of availability).

As for direction. The game's pretty straightforward so long as you pay any attention to what's going on (though overworld navigation can get a little dodgy at times, but its hardly even an issue in this game in particular), but coming into basically any JRPG from this era cold turkey is gonna be hella confusing (as the lack of any persistent objective markers, indications as to previously explored regions versus newly opened up ones, world designs that aren't almost literally straight lines and perhaps some missing info on basic mechanics can lead to some easy confusion, especially in event light sections like the post Defend Narshe segment of FFVI). Then again, certain things wouldn't be obvious to an inexperienced player like being able to revisit the Veldt prior to the Defend Narshe segment or the character related cutscenes/Shadow's second stint with the party.


Also, since this run is natural magic/no Esper/limited grinding, Gau's gonna become one of your best party members if you bother to put any effort into him at all. Granted, he's an MMO level grind in an SuperNES era JRPG, but picking out the few essential Rages can easily make him a beast of a party member (just figure out which Rages provide him with Elemental Firepower).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Arvis

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Pretty sure you can just throw a Phoenix Down on Phantom Train, can't you?

Also, I've had Shadow leave after one fight before.  But that may have been the other time you recruit him, after Figaro does its dive and comes up on the other continent.

Also also, thanks to Dice for linking the Serpent's Trench music.  Any excuse to listen to any part of VI's soundtrack is good.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Rucks

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The Battle of Narshe (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BlackBelt)

Celes: "When I was a baby I was taken from my parents and forced to be a magic soldier for the Empire. It's actually pretty fucked up and scarred me for life"

Terra: "mmmk...but have you ever been in love?!??"

Celes: "WTF is wrong with you??"

Terra: "I'M SO MISUNDERSTOOD"

- As you all know, during the Battle of Narshe you have to split your party up into 3 groups.  Since there are only 7 members right now, you are really only left with 2 choices on how you put them together.  Either 3-2-2 or 4-2-1.  I tend to lean towards using the 4 person "power party" in order to bull rush the attacking Imperial army with one powerful group and then use the other 2 to mop up anyone who gets past.

- No one is higher than lvl 14, so I feel like I'm on a pretty good pace as far as not over leveling.

- Group 1: (healer), (cause tools), (dispatch is quick and powerful) and (Rage?).  I put Terra in the back row and equipped her with both of the Earnings I've scrounged up so far in order to make her a more effective healer.  I also put Edgar in the back row because he'll pretty much exlusively be using tools for these battles and they have the same damage from the back.  I also made an effort to give Gau the strongest armor possible since he is going to be functioning as a tank here.  Cyan is only going to use Dispatch every single turn (and I'm not sure if that ignores row or not so I put him in the front to start).

- Group 2: (sort of ok at everything) and (healer)

- Group 3: (most powerful fighter, can just spam blitz' to get out of a jam) I put the genji glove on Sabin so that when he counters being attacked (due to also being equipped with BlackBelt) he gets two swipes. Incredibly helpful trait when you're in a group by yourself. It almost plays like there are two of him.

-  This strategy only sort of backfired.  I placed Sabin directly in front of Banon and had Locke/Celes block the path on the left side on the map.  Then I sent my "super party" down the right side.  Everything was going according to plan (murking fools, all day) until A) an enemy group snuck through and immediately KO'd Locke and Celes and B) I'm an idiot and had Terra (aka my only healer in the group of 4) equipped with a Rune Blade* that uses her MP to augment its attacks.  I was down to less than 30 mp before I realized what was goign on. 

- This mental gaffe necessitated the use of my only 2 tinctures to refill Terra's mp and forced me to have Sabin franctically run up and down the back row in order to stop 3 separate enemy groups from reaching Banon.  Thanks Zeus his Blitz' are so powerful and AuraBlast can usually oneshot enemies because otherwise I would have been completely boned.

- By the time I'd cleared the map of regular enemies I was down to 3 potions and totally out of tinctures.  Not wanting to risk depleting my main group of HP and MP they couldn't refill, I took a HUGE risk and had Sabin attack Rider (aka the goofball sprinting back and forth in front of Kefka)

-
The battle went exactly like this: Sabin AuraBlast for 320 damage. Rider attack for 48% of Sabin's health. Sabin counter for 150 x2. Sabin AuraBlast for 320. Rider attack for another 48% of Sabin's max hp. Sabin counter for 150 x 2. Sabin AuraBlast for 320. SUCCESS!!!   And there was much rejoicing.

-
Kefka was actually a cinch.  I just had Terra heal every turn and unleashed the other 3's most powerful attacks. It would have been MUCH better forsight on my part if I'd included Celes in the party of 4 instead of Terra so I could have ultilized her Rune skill to absord Kefka's Ice2 spell that he cast every other turn.  But ultimately it didn't end up mattering.

* This is ok for Celes and Terra to use because they have mp innately and it doesn't teach them anything new.

- Up next: The Part Where Terra Freaks Out
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 03:27:59 PM by glassjawsh »

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Aeolus

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The Battle of Narshe (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BlackBelt)

Celes: "When I was a baby I was taken from my parents and forced to be a magic soldier for the Empire. It's actually pretty fucked up and scarred me for life"

Terra: "mmmk...but have you ever been in love?!??"

Celes: "WTF is wrong with you??"

Terra: "I'M SO MISUNDERSTOOD"

- As you all know, during the Battle of Narshe you have to split your party up into 3 groups.  Since there are only 7 members right now, you are really only left with 2 choices on how you put them together.  Either 3-2-2 or 4-2-1.  I tend to lean towards using the 4 person "power party" in order to bull rush the attacking Imperial army with one powerful group and then use the other 2 to mop up anyone who gets past.

- No one is higher than lvl 14, so I feel like I'm on a pretty good pace as far as not over leveling.

- Group 1: (healer), (cause tools), (dispatch is quick and powerful) and (Rage?).  I put Terra in the back row and equipped her with both of the Earnings I've scrounged up so far in order to make her a more effective healer.  I also put Edgar in the back row because he'll pretty much exlusively be using tools for these battles and they have the same damage from the back.  I also made an effort to give Gau the strongest armor possible since he is going to be functioning as a tank here.  Cyan is only going to use Dispatch every single turn (and I'm not sure if that ignores row or not so I put him in the front to start).

- Group 2: (sort of ok at everything) and (healer)

- Group 3: (most powerful fighter, can just spam blitz' to get out of a jam) I put the genji glove on Sabin so that when he counters being attacked (due to also being equipped with BlackBelt) he gets two swipes. Incredibly helpful trait when you're in a group by yourself. It almost plays like there are two of him.

-  This strategy only sort of backfired.  I placed Sabin directly in front of Banon and had Locke/Celes block the path on the left side on the map.  Then I sent my "super party" down the right side.  Everything was going according to plan (murking fools, all day) until A) an enemy group snuck through and immediately KO'd Locke and Celes and B) I'm an idiot and had Terra (aka my only healer in the group of 4) equipped with a Rune Blade* that uses her MP to augment its attacks.  I was down to less than 30 mp before I realized what was goign on. 

- This mental gaffe necessitated the use of my only 2 tinctures to refill Terra's mp and forced me to have Sabin franctically run up and down the back row in order to stop 3 separate enemy groups from reaching Banon.  Thanks Zeus his Blitz' are so powerful and AuraBlast can usually oneshot enemies because otherwise I would have been completely boned.

- By the time I'd cleared the map of regular enemies I was down to 3 potions and totally out of tinctures.  Not wanting to risk depleting my main group of HP and MP they couldn't refill, I took a HUGE risk and had Sabin attack Rider (aka the goofball sprinting back and forth in front of Kefka)

-
The battle went exactly like this: Sabin AuraBlast for 320 damage. Rider attack for 48% of Sabin's health. Sabin counter for 150 x2. Sabin AuraBlast for 320. Rider attack for another 48% of Sabin's max hp. Sabin counter for 150 x 2. Sabin AuraBlast for 320. SUCCESS!!!   And there was much rejoicing.

-
Kefka was actually a cinch.  I just had Terra heal every turn and unleashed the other 3's most powerful attacks. It would have been MUCH better forsight on my part if I'd included Celes in the party of 4 instead of Terra so I could have ultilized her Rune skill to absord Kefka's Ice2 spell that he cast every other turn.  But ultimately it didn't end up mattering.

* This is ok for Celes and Terra to use because they have mp innately and it doesn't teach them anything new.

- Up next: The Part Where Terra Freaks Out


I generally throw Gau into a party by himself and have the other six split into two groups of 3. That way I have two power parties (Locke at this point is falling behind in the power curve and without Espers, he's never going to catch back up) and thus I can effectively choke points on the field and prevent anybody from slipping by.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/snes/554041-final-fantasy-iii/faqs/73488?print=1

If you look carefully, you can spot two locations that choke map in half about 45% of the way down.

As for Rune Blade, I either don't bother with it or stick it on Celes since it goes well with her Runic (Rune Blade has been a pretty nasty troll to players since FFV).
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Rucks

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Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them (aka ZoZo)

- After Terra goes super saiyan all over everyone's asses she flies off into the night sky like the petulant screeching harpy that she is and ends up in ZoZo.

-  I originally decided to have my search party consist of (for the healin'), (for the stealin'), (because he just learned Fire Dance which attacks all enemies) and (because ???).  But as soon as I made it to Kohlingen and remembered I could re-recruit Shadow for a low low extortionate fee, I ended up trekking all the back to Narshe so I could dump Gau and free up an extra party slot.

- Jidoor is stupid and annoying in the WoB.

- Once I made it to ZoZo I immediately realized that I was in for a rough go of it.  First off, HadesGigas will often shoot off a Magnitude8 spell (which can't be absorbed by Celes' rune) upon being defeated for massive damage. This got me into a real mp crunch trying to keep everyone healed while climbing up the tower to fetch Terra. 

- Second off, even though Locke suuuuuuucks, I have some strange need to keep him in my party at all times.  I think I'm just a junkie for trying to steal things.  Luckily, his crap stats are somewhat mitigated by being able to equip him with a ranged weapon (full moon) and stick him in the back row.  Then you can sort of double down on mitigating his weaknesses by also equipping the thief glove which turns "steal" into "capture" and lets you attack and steal at the same time*. 

- Thirdly, I completely forgot what the clock had to be reset to in order to grab Edgar's chainsaw, so I had to actually go talk to everyone, write down the lies they told and solve the puzzle manually.  This took a while but actually helped me level up some more without grinding.

- Finally I also forgot that Dadalama was a thing (and a boss) until the bossfight music kicked in.  So I was out of mp and completely unprepared, whoops.  Honestly though, this sort of worked in my favor since Dadalama does this stupid thing where if you hit him with a spell too many times he does a sort of dragoon attack and jumps off the screen and you're left only fighting the two iron fists he keeps summoning over and over.  The only reason this fight ended in my favor was because I had a dozen potions left in my inventory (which I had celes use every turn) and because Sabin's Fire Dance could one shot both of Dadalama's cronies at the same time.   Beyond that, it was simply a matter of having Shadow spam his shuriken (600 damage) and hoping Locke could capture something good (just a shitty Jewel Ring). 

- Reached the top. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Ramuh commits suicide and no one is like "holy shit, did that guy just kill himself?" We still don't get Terra back.


* does anyone know off hand if your attack during "capture" is affected by being in the back row?  I think it ignores which row Locke is in but I can't really be sure.

- A few questions before I'm wisked off to the Opera House (and the crazy conductor guy flapping like a hyperactive bird in front of the stage https://youtu.be/nEuf9ZSJrdg?t=43s) .  I nabbed a Fire Knuckle for Sabin in a chest in ZoZo. Since it casts fire when he attacks it's off limits for me to equip, but I was wondering if it's still ok for me to sell it (an item I'm intentionally pretending doesn't exist) or if you all think I should I just discard those kinds of items as soon as I find them?

- Why in the world do all of my party members have mp now?  I know that practically it's so they can use summons before they've learned any spells, but the overbearing nerd it in me is screaming that since magic doesn't exist outside of a few people in the WoB it doesn't make sense for any of them to have mp until AFTER they've learned a spell from the green magic corpse shards.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 10:26:11 PM by glassjawsh »

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Aeolus

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First. Sorry Charlie, but there's no shit worth Steal/Capture-ing in the WB (and hardly anything in WoR either). FFVI is the lame duck of crap you actually need a Thief around for, which is hilarious due to FFs being all about the Grind (and probably also a side-effect of Celestina).

Second. I'd say that the weapons that cast spells was once again, a byproduct of FFVI's programming being less structurally sound than a bookshelf from Ikea (and loaded down with 2000 page Biographies of famous military generals/world leaders and Bibles/Religious Texts), and should be fully allowed since Square didn't bother properly implementing weapons with elemental properties (they're just weapons that occasionally cast elemental spells).

And finally, you've always had MP totals for all of your characters. They were just hidden up until now. And again in regards to Square's shoddy programming of the game, what's happening is that HP & MP levels are fucking fixed in this game. As there are fourteen playable party members (on top of all the temp characters that occupy their space in the game's memory banks), the devs got lazy and just hardcoded what your HP & MP gains will be per level (barring Esper shenanigans). And of course this was one of the big reasons why FFVI's Stamina is the most useless fucking stat in the series. If you were expecting anything more elaborate, you're playing the wrong game.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Frostillicus

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But as soon as I made it to Kohlingen and remembered I could re-recruit Shadow for a low low extortionate fee, I ended up trekking all the back to Narshe so I could dump Gau and free up an extra party slot.

Smart choice. ;)


I nabbed a Fire Knuckle for Sabin in a chest in ZoZo. Since it casts fire when he attacks it's off limits for me to equip, but I was wondering if it's still ok for me to sell it (an item I'm intentionally pretending doesn't exist) or if you all think I should I just discard those kinds of items as soon as I find them?

If I remember correctly, you mentioned selling magical items off as a possibility in your original post, so I say go ahead and make a deal if you need the cash.

Aeolus

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But as soon as I made it to Kohlingen and remembered I could re-recruit Shadow for a low low extortionate fee, I ended up trekking all the back to Narshe so I could dump Gau and free up an extra party slot.

Smart choice. ;)


I nabbed a Fire Knuckle for Sabin in a chest in ZoZo. Since it casts fire when he attacks it's off limits for me to equip, but I was wondering if it's still ok for me to sell it (an item I'm intentionally pretending doesn't exist) or if you all think I should I just discard those kinds of items as soon as I find them?

If I remember correctly, you mentioned selling magical items off as a possibility in your original post, so I say go ahead and make a deal if you need the cash.

He'll probably never need the cash since the biggest expenses outside of the WB is anything in Thamasa prior to burning the Fire Rod store house down are the Espers over at Jidoor and Tzen, and by WoR he should have enough cash on hand to buy anything of note of sufficient quantities.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Frostillicus

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^ This is true. I haven't played this one in quite some time, but in all of the times I've played it in the past, I don't remember having many issues with money (if any).

Klyde Chroma

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Thanks for taking the time to hire me Shadow.

I promise, someday, with gross accessorizing I will the Ninja prove useful.

ABOUT CASH FLOW/ Funny I never though of it before but I really don't remember GP/Cash/Currency being to tight in any FF game now that you guys bring it up (save FF Tactics were fleshing out character equipment could be costly as sin early game if I recall).

Then again, I've always sort of believed the game-breaking inherent flaw of FF was abundance. Virtually anything you need or proves useful you can aquire/do in excess. Has resource management ever really even been a thing in the FF line at all?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 01:21:13 PM by Klyde Chroma »
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Aeolus

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Thanks for taking the time to hire me Shadow.

I promise, someday, with gross accessorizing I will the Ninja prove useful.

ABOUT CASH FLOW/ Funny I never though of it before but I really don't remember GP/Cash/Currency being to tight in any FF game now that you guys bring it up (save FF Tactics were fleshing out character equipment could be costly as sin early game if I recall).

Then again, I've always sort of believed the game-breaking inherent flaw of FF was abundance. Virtually anything you need or proves useful you can aquire/do in excess. Has resource management ever really even been a thing in the FF line at all?

FF1 has issues with resources early on since the early game is Poison central and your White Mage isn't going to be keeping up with that kind of demand for a considerable while and you still need to buy spells/equipment for your characters (and Four Warriors is gonna be murder on your purse strings for most of the game). Eventually though all your primary gear needs will be met through dungeon chests and items will become irrelevant past Mount Gulug.

You can hella break FF2 early if you can scrape together enough money to buy something high-end over at Mystida long before you're supposed to (although reaching Mystida can prove problematic).

And FF5 can get expensive if you go all in on Rods and want to actually buy Phoenix Downs.

FF12's gear can get hella expensive, nevermind the lackluster drops system, the "can't sell anything above shit" Bazaar system and all the other miscellaneous expenses.

Every other mainline FF game will shower you in items and Gil barring ridiculous shit like trying to Platinum FF13-1.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Rucks

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Money is a lot bigger issue during a run where only a few people can cast healing spells.  You end up buying/using a truckload more healing items. The cost of which adds up pretty quickly and can make money a lot more scarce than normal (especially if you're also going out of your way not to level grind).

Note:  I'm currently in the Magitek facility in Vector.  I don't think I need to do a write up of the Opera house since it's mostly just teh feels with Celes, no more than 6 fights against some rat creatures and stomping all over Ultros again.  I'll post something after I'm done with this area though.

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Rucks

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I've decided that weapons with poison attributes are ok to equip (as long as they don't ultimately teach the wearer a spell).  I figure that since poisoning someone is a thing even in worlds where magic doesn't exist, that it makes sense that one of my party members could find/buy a weapon that inflicts poison on an enemy.

I'll have a post proper up tonight where I complain about there not being multiple routes on the mine cart (Other paths show up during the ride out of the Vector laboratory but, to my knowledge, you can't take them) and wax poetic on the merits of including Setzer in the party (even though he has a skill that will literally cause an insta-game over).

Stay tuned.

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Aeolus

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I've decided that weapons with poison attributes are ok to equip (as long as they don't ultimately teach the wearer a spell).  I figure that since poisoning someone is a thing even in worlds where magic doesn't exist, that it makes sense that one of my party members could find/buy a weapon that inflicts poison on an enemy.

I'll have a post proper up tonight where I complain about there not being multiple routes on the mine cart (Other paths show up during the ride out of the Vector laboratory but, to my knowledge, you can't take them) and wax poetic on the merits of including Setzer in the party (even though he has a skill that will literally cause an insta-game over).

Stay tuned.

Don't tell me that you rolled Joker Doom right out of the gate? Lol. Or perhaps it was a simple case of rolling for a big summon and getting Crusader'd?

And yeah. Magitek Factory is where the game demonstrates why Square's design philosophy had more than its fair share of issues. In that it gives enemies a Defense score of >0 and you can feel the difference in powerlevel just from that (not that it really changes much beyond shutting down the Attack Command slightly). I can't say that its any wonder why they ditched the stat in FFT/XIII trilogy.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Artimicia

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I love Magitek dungeon precisely for that reason, it's the first time in the game you have to actively use all your abilities instead of just kind of auto-battling, plus the mini-bosses and stuff made it more challenging.

The dungeon itself was a unique layout, never felt like I was grinding through rooms, plus the... oh don't want to spoil everything.
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