Tag Archives: RPG

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…

Atari A to Z: The Upper Reaches of Apshai

Today we delve once again into the Temple of Apshai Trilogy as we attempt to unravel the mystery of what on Earth is going on in the innkeeper’s back garden.

Yes, it’s time for The Upper Reaches of Apshai, the second part of the trilogy and a title that was originally released as an expansion pack for the first version of Temple of Apshai. Sporting a rather more light-hearted feel — mostly thanks to the excellent, witty writing in the companion Book of Apshai, intended to be carried alongside you as you play — The Upper Reaches of Apshai makes use of familiar mechanics to tell a distinctly unfamiliar emergent narrative.

There’s still a hell of a lot to like about this game, it seems — and it says something that I’ve been continuing my adventures off-camera ever since I started playing!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

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!

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The “I’m Definitely Going to Get Around to This in 2020” Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas! We’re fast running out of time for this year, but leave a suggestion anyway and I might use it next year!

To quote a now sadly defunct group of gamers of which I used to be a member: “Games of Shame. You know you have them. They sit in your closet, collecting dust: little jewels that you always tell yourself you are going to play, but never get around to.”

Part of the reason MoeGamer is a thing at all is a continuation of what this group, known as the Squadron of Shame, was known for: deliberately delving into the overlooked and underappreciated games from both yesterday and today, and playing the crap out of them until we could talk about them in detail.

As someone with an absolutely enormous… backlog, I have quite a few games that I’m absolutely dying to write about. But one in particular keeps mocking me from my shelf… and by golly, I’m going to make 2020 the year in which I actually knuckle down and crack on with it!

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The “I’m Definitely Going to Get Around to This in 2020” Award

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.