With the Emperor defeated, what’s next? Take down the Dark Knight, of course, since he clearly reckons himself well-equipped to lead the world.
Naturally, it’s not quite that simple. A merry jaunt into the depths of Palamecia to track down said Dark Knight results in an unexpected reunion with an old friend… and the setup for the grand finale of Final Fantasy II.
That is, after we take care of some business in the Arcane Labyrinth next time around, of course…
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.
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…
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.
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…?
While for most of this playthrough, I’ve been keeping honest and true to the original NES version’s restrictions on saving… when it comes to a 20-floor endgame dungeon, you’d better believe I’m going to save before the most notoriously difficult bosses in the whole game.
Lifespring Grotto’s incarnations of Shinryu and Omega from Final Fantasy V are the toughest superbosses in the entirety of this particular version of Final Fantasy, and accidents happen. An accident did, indeed, happen. Thankfully, I had remembered to save.
Even more thankfully, after restoring said save, challenging the other one of these two notoriously challenging opponents proved to be a much better idea… even if the fight ended up being the longest we’ve seen in this whole playthrough!