Could Firion and company’s quest finally be coming to an end?
Today, the crew dive right into the deadly Cyclone that is hovering menacingly just outside the walls of Fynn — and discover an ominous-looking fortress within. Is the Emperor inside?
Yes, of course he is — and no, of course their adventure isn’t over yet. But that doesn’t mean they can’t spend a little time celebrating a job well done… at least, until…
We all make mistakes. And when you do, it’s best to own them, learn from them and try to see the best of the situation.
Like today, when I completely forgot where the place Firion and company needed to go next was, and thus spent nearly an hour doing entirely the wrong thing. I acknowledge that I did a stupid thing, but I can also draw a positive from it. I now know where the mirror is, and I had the opportunity to level Ultima a bit.
Although given my subsequent discovery that Ultima is a white magic spell and I gave it to my black mage… well, that’s a story for another day, I guess.
Today’s Final Fantasy II adventure sees Firion and friends continuing their ascent up the Mysidian Tower, one-shotting bosses along the way.
At the tower’s peak, the elusive Ultima Tome, source of a magic spell that didn’t work properly in the original Famicom version of the game — and the first appearance of a spell that would become a series mainstay from hereon.
But wait, isn’t that Minwu? Wasn’t he in the fourth party slot for a wh– oh.
One of the issues people have with Final Fantasy II is that its progression system can make it a little tricky to determine what “level” you are.
This means it can be quite easy to go into a new situation either woefully underpowered or vastly overpowered — though let’s be honest about this, the latter option has always been part of the fun of role-playing games, hasn’t it?
At this point, an encounter in Leviathan’s stomach on the way to track down the Ultima Tome would seem to confirm that yes, indeed, we have taken the latter option. Oh well. No turning back now!
In today’s episode of Final Fantasy II, Firion and the gang return to the Mysidian Cave in search of the Crystal Rod.
This whole sequence shows how Final Fantasy II has a few interesting “puzzles” along the way where things you do in one location can have a knock-on effect elsewhere in the game. While the game at times “feels” less linear than other Final Fantasy titles, bits like this remind you that you’re still being railroaded down a main scenario.
With any luck, soon we’ll have the Ultima tome in our grasp. And with even more luck, they remembered to fix how the Ultima spell works for this version of Final Fantasy II… because it sure didn’t work properly in the Famicom original!
Most people with a passing awareness of Final Fantasy will know about the series’ recurring elements: chocobos, Cid, the various summons. However, there are a couple of things that crop up slightly less frequently, but still more than once.
One of those things is a location called Mysidia, which, on the few occasions it puts in an appearance in the series — starting with this installment — is inevitably a small settlement populated exclusively by mages. It’s typically the centre of mysterious happenings or magical doodahs, and in this case marks an important stop on the way to retrieve the Ultima Tome.
Today Firion and crew reach Mysidia, go for a little wander, then come back again because, as it turns out, they forgot something. Whoops!
With Fynn safely back under the control of the Wild Rose forces, the time has come to take the fight to the Empire. To do that, we’ll need some firepower.
Minwu set off for Mysidia a while back in an attempt to track down the Ultima tome, but no-one’s heard from him for a while. Firion and company decide to set off in search of him… but not before they stop by the Tropical Island to track down the Black Mask they’ll need to find what they’re searching for. Which, of course, begs the question why Minwu didn’t take it with him… but we’re not supposed to think about that.
Today’s episode is a bit shorter than previous ones; we’ll probably go back to about this length from hereon, as it’s a little more practical for me to record. It’ll mean the series as a whole takes a bit longer to get through… but these games aren’t going anywhere!
The time has come for the Wild Rose rebellion to take back what is rightfully theirs: the city of Fynn and its castle!
Well, before that there’s the small matter of extracting Princess Hilda from Palamecia, but surely such a straightforward task won’t prove a problem for Firion and company after all their training to date!
Today’s episode is a good example of how Final Fantasy II makes a strong effort with worldbuilding and a sense of narrative progression, bringing back characters you encountered earlier in the game and showing you places in different contexts. Besides its unusual progression system, this side of things is probably the most noteworthy thing about the game in the context of the series as a whole.
The early Final Fantasies are interesting to return to, as they show the origins of various things that have become series mainstays over the years.
Today in Final Fantasy II, we see the first mention of the Dragoons in the series; while you can’t actually be a Dragoon in Final Fantasy II, you do learn a little bit about them and their companion Wyverns. We also see the Lifestream for the first time; this concept hasn’t been in every Final Fantasy, but it does play a prominent role in both Final Fantasy VII and, of all things, the CG movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Bet you’d forgotten about that, hadn’t you?
Maria also spends a lot of time training her Scourge spell, and we get into a real mess trying to get back out of a dungeon. Because, well, we’ve set a certain amount of precedent at this point, haven’t we?
After last week’s intensive mage training, Firion, Maria and Guy are just about ready to take on their most significant challenge yet: destroying the Empire’s superweapon, the Dreadnought!
Of course, it won’t be an easy task. First they have to find the damn thing, and navigation, it seems, is not their strong suit. Then they need to remember all of the reasons they went there, not just the one that involves a big, exciting explosion. Memory, it seems, is also not their strong suit.
But what is an adventure without a few mishaps along the way? Join our friends of the Wild Rose rebellion as they do their best to make the world a better place…