Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Final Fantasy Type-0 Finale - Verdict

As the battle to end all battles looms, will I flip any more tables? Well, that depends on whether or not The Crystal wants it to happen.

Endless Battle? More like Endless Game! When is this thing over?

It's also her responsibility to stand around with her eyes closed. And why is a 12 year old a Warden of the Royal Guard? Man, the 25 year olds must be five star generals in this world.

Another war battle ensues. These war battles aren't as cool as I thought they were at first. They definitely could have been a lot better if they were Suikoden style. Instead they're pretty much just CPU-controlled. You say what direction to march in and all the troops automatically go and do whatever they need to do over there. It's a little boring. I hate when games give the impression that they don't want the player to think too much.

LOL, Creme Brulee is the latest variation of the dastardly Flan enemy. I wish I could get some kind of knockdown resistance.

WHOAH IT'S A DEMON HORSE. Some of the enemies are pretty cool-looking, at least.

This area is cool. It reminds me of Snake Way from DBZ. Our heroes are closing in on the Imperial Capitol now.

But wait! It turns out Aria is still alive, and working with... The Empire? Indeed, she faked her own death and returned to report to her imperial masters. I WAS PLAYED FOR A FOOL! She also swears like a sailor, as it turns out. This is the best characterization I've seen in this whole game.

Unfortunately this is a PG game, so all her swears are "frickin". And then we never see Aria again. Oh well. It would have been hilarious if she showed up in some kind of tank and tried to kill our heroes.

Instead we fight General Bashtar again in his mech. This makes me wish I were playing a Xeno game instead, but I'll admit that this battlefield looks really badass.

The mech is so manueverable that it can often dodge Trey's arrows. Yikes. So if this mech suit is such ubertechnology, why is it like the only mech suit in the world? You'd think all these countries would be racing to develop mech suits. Unless this is just more fanservice / appealing to fans of other stuff, that doesn't mean much.

After the General is defeated, his superiors in the Empire deploy an Ultima Bomb. Bashtar doesn't approve of this, and manages to catch the bomb with his mech.

He flies it up into space and hurls it off into the expanse. This is the best shot we get at what an Ultima Bomb looks like.

I wonder if it'll fly into the sun and create Nuclear Man. Or in this case, Ultima Man. Best outta-nowhere final boss ever!

Snow falls over the now-still capitol.

With the empire defeated, there's only one thing left to do: Fuck like rabbits!


Rem: "Oh baby!"

....and by that I mean walk aaaaaaall the way back across the world to the base. This is by far the longest walk in the game, and more tedious than all of the other overworld walks combined.

SO. MUCH. WALKING. At least it's a heads-up that the game isn't over. You're expecting the credits to roll and instead this happens.

Those insta-death bulls are still roaming around the overworld, and...

...they can STILL ONE-SHOT ME. Which puts me back at the capitol to start the walk over. This is torture.

Finally I locate a chocobo, which makes things a lot easier. Along the way I find the still-hot crater left by the last usage of an Ultima Bomb. This is a pretty menacing shot.

Speaking of menacing... I finally arrive back at the base to be greeted by this. What the hell?

Looks like the base is in shambles, tinted red and filled with corpses. My God.

Rem, who is no longer an active party member as of this moment, does some narration. It seems that after the Empire fell, General Cid went into some ancient ruin and unleashed demons in a last-ditch attempt to take over the world. These demons are called Rursus, and there's one COMIN' RIGHT FOR US

Turns out the kids of the training academy fought bravely to the bitter end, to no avail. Class Zero survived because they were away on assignment (and going through the overworld trek from hell).

This is it. The final chapter. Us versus the...Rursus.

Dead bodies everywhere. This really IS a high school.

While the place is in ruins, the spell-learning room is intact. I head in there to see if I can enhance my spells at all at this point, having gathered tons of souls from defeated enemies.

...not really. A full game of collecting as many souls as possible and I can barely afford to upgrade anything. Good thing it doesn't really matter since physical attacks own everything in this game.

With the game essentially done, it's safe to say we're done with long-winded exposition scenes about nothi- OH COME ON


I don't even know why I'm 'splaining this, but The Crystals apparently erase people's memories of the dead or something. I don't know. You'd think if The Crystals don't want people to be at war, they'd let people remember the consequences of war.

Machina and Rem ran off, but everyone remembers them, so they must still be alive! Our heroes discuss this for what feels like twelve to fifteen minutes.

Ace's mother, who is apparently everyone's mother, or at least has MOTHER as some kind of weird codename, is still alive. She explains to Class Zero that they must choose their own destiny and that she can no longer help, then she leaves the room disappears into the shadowy mystique of being like 35 old age.

Now they all stand around and talk ON AND ON about not knowing what exactly they're supposed to choose.


Cinque of the panty-flashing is absolutely right.
Celestia actually decides to be un-cool and open her eyes like a normal person. Apparently we must venture to the Land of Judgment, Pandaemonium. However, mortals can't go there unless they fulfill a very specific requirement...



And we're there. Place looks really menacing. Cid voiceovers taunt our heroes as they go through the dungeon. This could be interesting.

Turns out this dungeon is the biggest pain in the ass in the entire game. Each room has very specific requirements to meet, such as clearing the room without getting hit, before you can proceed to the next room. After a straightforward rest of the game, this last part is weird and annoying. But it does look very menacing, as far as final areas go.

Finally, our heroes reach The Crystal, and it gives them a choice. This must be the choice that Mother was talking about. Here I thought it was a personal choice they'd have to make about whether or not to murder Cid, or sacrifice their principles, or...

BUT NOPE, it's just the crystal asking you if you want to be immortal or not.

If you choose immortality, the game ends. If you choose to remain mortal, it continues. This directly affects the ending, because by choosing to remain mortal you're essentially damning them to be sacrificed. I guess it does work on some level.

I remain mortal, and things continue unabated as our heroes march towards their now-inevitable dooms.

TONBERRY! I finally get to battle this little murderous bastard. I bet he's the one who killed everybody in the base. Probably just framed the Rursus for his vile deeds.

Speaking of the Rursus, they're fearsome and well-designed enemies. If nothing else, both they and this final area are memorable.

The last section of Pandaemonium is a bit of a callback to the endgames of Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III on the original Famicom. You find four gateways, each leading to a challenge area or boss. Winning in all four of these gateways unlocks the final boss.

Some of these side-areas are nightmarish in tone. Pandaemonium is pretty dope from a visual perspective.

At the end, we find Machina and Rem crystallized. Turns out they were L'Cie and they didn't fulfill their destinies/orders/stuff they were supposed to do, so they turned to crystal. This makes no sense in FFXIII and it makes no sense here. The tragedy here is that Rem's soft, supple 'bod is now basically a rock.

And then there was one. I took quite a pummelling getting through the dungeon, Cid taunting all the while. Need to get everyone revived, fast.

The final boss appears. It looks like some kind of giant Hindu death-deity. In other news, this game has more red than James Cameron movies have blue.

This thing is The Rursan Arbiter, the Rursus to end all Rursus. Not sure if it's Cid transformed or if he just summoned it or what, because the story lost me by this point. The good news is that the party gets revived for this fight; the bad news is that it can rain blood on us Vince Russo style.

This thing is level 99, but it isn't much of a fight. It's just a matter of countering it with each character once. Not sure if it's possible to lose, since you're buffed to the teeth for this.

With that, Cid is finally defeated one way or another. The world is saved from the Empire, and everyone lives happily ever after.

...except for our heroes, because they're all doomed in Pandaemonium. Or wherever they are now. The game doesn't exactly make this clear, and for a while I thought they were just having another of their rambling conversations. Turns out they were having this conversation to take their minds off of their being sentenced to death.

There are lots of things to study that aren't fighting, guys. You can take math, or learn history. And college...man, college should be a fun time. You'll get there soon, guys. Everything's gonna be okay. High school is not the end of the world, guys.

And then they all died, sacrificed to save the world. Or something. I'm so confused.

Since that's a down-note to end on, here are a couple shots from the (very cool) Enemy Compendium. This is Bashtar's gear, Gabriel. I like the half-halo.

And here's Brionac, the mega-mech that caused me so much trouble. It looks like a combination of Omega from FFV and Ultima Weapon from FFVII or FFVIII, which I'm guessing is on purpose.

So, final thoughts on this game? It's decent, probably on par with Crisis Core and various other non-numbered Final Fantasy spinoffs. My beefs with the game are numerous: The characters talk about a lot of nothing, they all look about 13, and they're supposed to be this elite group of fighters yet most of the girls are doing that "timid little girl" act that I hate. Oh, and panties. WTF.

I'd have really liked this game ten or twenty years ago, mainly because the themes/story seem to have some connections to various other Final Fantasy titles.

On the bright side, I got lots of "Hitler Youth" jokes out of this crew, since they're clearly too young for anything they're doing. That's probably my least favorite Japanese game trope. It's one thing to play a Zelda game with a kid protagonist going on a light-hearted adventure in a fantastical world. That's awesome, a theme of exploration born out of Shigeru Miyamoto's own experience wandering through nature as a kid.

It's another thing to play a serious game about death and wartime where the cast haven't even gone through puberty yet are the ones who save the world with their elite troop skills. I'd actually be okay with this setup if the characters were showing real development from dealing with the responsibility foisted upon them. Instead, it's like they're all just going through typical high school. The intro made that clear right from the word go, with some very intense/brutal stuff happening followed by Class Zero sauntering in like "welp, time to do our elite commando work, wheee!"

If they wanted to make a Final Fantasy answer to Persona 4, that's fine, do that, but give it an entirely regular high school setting and use all the supernatural material (Ifrit and Shiva as personae!) that exists in Final Fantasy to add to it. If they want to make a serious war game with serious themes, that's fine, do that (Tactics!). But trying to combine the two just doesn't work.

You know how the ending of the Episode Duscae demo is completely incongruous with the rest of it in tone? The same thing happens here in reverse. The intro of Type-0 is amazing and really got me interested in this dark new take on an FF world, but then the actual cast shows up and it just loses seriousness rapidly. Even during the moments where it starts to regain some of the initial tone, it always takes two steps back quickly.

I don't even know who most of the cast were at this point because when characters only talk about gibberish, I can't figure out who they really are or what their motivations are, if any exist. The very similar uniforms across the board don't help with differentiation, either. Did the character designer go on strike? No, that can't be it, because the enemies have the usual outlandish FF outfits. And yeah, I get that they all have the same uniform because it's a school, but again, we're back to the setting being all wrong for what the story was trying to be.

All of that said, it isn't a bad game. It just isn't my bag at all. The incongruity between the game's overarching subject matter and the actual cast/story is truly bizarre, and I can't take it seriously. I'm glad it's over.

The other Type-0 posts


  1. Oh, he went for the Iron Man sacrifice play.

    Tonberry brought a knife to a gun fight and I like his odds.

    It doesn't look very fun to play either.

    A big problem of the game looks to be the overreaching while on a system like the PSP leading to a lot of little stuff that gets boring quick. Oh well.

  2. Never has a chocobo been so needed. Did making you walk all the way back at least give you a sense of foreboding?
    The nuke crater still smoking is an excellent touch.

    These tall death demons killing all your buds remind me a lot of Attack on Titan.

    You're right, wiping people's memories of the dead is a great way to ensure war continues.

    Really nightmarish ending. Extra points to whoever designed the last stage. Why is choosing mortality the "true" ending?

    "High school isn't the end of the world, guys." So true. So so true.