Category Archives: Final Fantasy Marathon

Final Fantasy Marathon: How To Train Your Wizard – Final Fantasy II #3

Four-figure magic damage against Rank 2 enemies? It’s more likely than you think!

Yes, after suffering an embarrassing defeat in Kashuan Keep, I decide to take a bit of time to train up Maria as a specialised black mage. The results are very pleasing indeed. Very pleasing, indeed. I think we’ve established a suitable progression strategy for the rest of the game now…

We may not make a ton of story progress in today’s episode, but it’s a solid exploration of how Final Fantasy II’s much-maligned progression systems work. And a reminder that anyone interested in the SaGa series should check this one out — since Final Fantasy II is essentially the proto-SaGa.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Slot 4 is Cursed – Final Fantasy II #2

One thing you’ll quickly come to learn about Final Fantasy II is that the fourth slot in the party list is cursed.

Yes, up until the late game, anyone finding themselves in that bottom slot should probably be fearing for their wellbeing. Minwu has, so far, escaped anything too perilous, but his time will come. Josef, however… well, just wait and see.

This aspect of Final Fantasy II actually made it stand out quite considerably from its contemporaries; people weren’t used to main characters dying as part of the narrative! But, well, let’s just say you’d better get accustomed to it… although the PSP version we’re currently playing does at least give anyone affected by the curse a second chance a little later…

Final Fantasy Marathon: Wild Rose – Final Fantasy II #1

And with that, it’s time to begin a whole new journey — this time through Final Fantasy II, the spiritual precursor to what would become the unusual SaGa series.

This is not a particularly well-regarded installment in the Final Fantasy series as a whole, but dear God if it isn’t an interesting, unusual and ambitious game that tries to do things a bit different from the conventional way. And it was originally doing this back in 1988, when many of those conventions were still getting established!

Once again, we’ll be playing the PSP “20th Anniversary” release, as this adds bonus content as well as fixing all the things that were broken with the original Famicom version. We kick off today as our new heroes escape the burning kingdom of Fynn and have some big decisions to make about their future…

Final Fantasy Marathon: Finale – Final Fantasy I #26

We’re here at last! It’s the finale of the first Final Fantasy game, which means it’s time to return to the Temple of Chaos and sort this whole mess out once and for all.

If you thought later games in the Final Fantasy series got a bit confusing with time kompression and whatnot, then know that this has emphatically been A Thing in the series since the very beginning, as you’re about to see.

Still, after all our intense training in the four Soul of Chaos dungeons and the Labyrinth of Time, we’re more than ready to take on whatever awaits us… so let’s finish this!

Final Fantasy Marathon: The Labyrinth of Time – Final Fantasy I #25

The end is in sight… but there’s one more endgame challenge before we can finish this thing: The Labyrinth of Time!

This dungeon was added in the PSP version of Final Fantasy, and suggests that you forget everything you thought you knew about the world. And this is good advice; you’ll be doing things in here that you don’t do anywhere else in the game!

It’s one of the most satisfying challenges in all of Final Fantasy, and while some might argue that the fact it was added in 2007 means it’s not “authentic” to the original, it’s certainly a whole lot of fun! Let’s do this.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Pack a Lunch – Final Fantasy I #24

Oh boy. It’s a long ‘un today… but it’s worthwhile. We finally clear Whisperwind Cove, and with it, the Soul of Chaos dungeons are complete!

Well, except for going back and fighting all the bosses we didn’t see before, obviously. But I’ll spare you that for now, as we’re getting ever-closer to the end of this first game in the series.

Pack a lunch, there’s a long journey ahead.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Onward to Whisperwind Cove – Final Fantasy I #23

The Warriors of Light are about to take on their longest, most significant challenge yet: the 40-floor Whisperwind Cove!

Thankfully, the boss fights in here aren’t quite as brutal as the devastating foes who lurked at the base of Lifespring Grotto, but 40 floors is certainly a lot to get through. Thankfully, there are plenty of places to rest and regroup along the way… including a village full of absolutely fabulous-looking mages.

I have no idea how long this is going to take, so if I manage to get enough episodes recorded in advance, there may be two episodes a week just while we clear out this monstrosity. And then we have the Labyrinth of Time to clear after this, too… why did I start this again…?