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…
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.
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…