Monday, March 14, 2016

Final Fantasy Tactics, Part 2 - None Shall Pass

The battle for Ivalice continues with the remainder of chapter one. In this one, I level up Ramza, murder my other party members, and deal with the bastardly Argath.




I left off on the Dorter battle, which is a bloodbath. Definitely the hardest fight out of the first few, and a major difficulty spike.

Managed to basically solo it with Ramza by sacrificing all my squires while he built up his speed, then his strength. By the end he was getting four turns for every one turn that the last remaining enemy got.

Oh, and hitting for 999. The few Squire abilities worth a damn are insanely overpowered.

After the battle, Argath demonstrates what a Nazi bastard he is as he tortures a prisoner.

Ramza has had enough of this.

All that stat-building in Dorter got me a lot of points to spend. The two most potent Monk abilities are probably Aurablast and Shockwave. The former is an overpowered range attack against one target, while the latter is a slightly less-overpowered range attack against all targets in a straight line. Aurablast is my go-to attack, while Shockwave is situationally devastating.

Pummel can be really good, but it has the same weird random damage modifier as the Squire attack abilities.

One of the more interesting classes unlocks once I level Monk a bit. Geomancers utilize range attacks that inflict status ailments are are based on what kind of terrain the character is standing on. The class is fairly ineffective until you learn all of these attack abilities (one for each terrain type). Collect 'em all, and a Geomancer can dish out some pretty good moves in any battlefield. While the class is interesting, it has never been a centerpiece for my fighting force.

 The next battle takes place in the desert. The enemy force is all bunched up in some ruins, which is interesting because...

...they're perfectly set up to blast with attack magic. Given that Dorter shows you how good Black Mages are, it's fairly likely a lot of players went and made mages after that battle (or even before it, to help even up the odds and actually win it). Those mages get to be super-useful here as they can bomb the enemy groups from over the walls, thus affirming the player's choice of trying them out.

Here's Ramza using Shockwave to take out the last enemy. Oh, is Argath in the way?

MY BAD, BRO.

And I said....biiiiiiitch

Gustav is a staunch supporter of Bernie Sanders, while Wiegraf wants to Make Ivalice Great Again.

The next battle has the enemy debut of White Mages. This battle should have probably been flipped with Dorter (with levels flipped, as well). The White Mages here do have attack magic, but they're a more manageable threat than the Black Mages in Dorter since they tend to hang back. Much easier fight here and one with similar terrain/enemies.

The main foe here is Mileuda, the sister of Wiegraf. Argath is all ready to murder her because she isn't a noble.

Here in the world of Ivalice, chattel is the worst thing one can be.

...I'm not sure what it means.

Back at the castle, enemy soldiers launch an attack. More importantly, one of THE best tracks in the game plays here:

This is Tension 1 (I don't think there's a Tension 2). It plays during one battle later on, as well as this cutscene. It should play waaaaay more often than that.

The bastards kidnap Delita's sister, Tietra, and they attempt to kidnap Alma.

Luckily, OP super-warrior Zalbaag saves the day. The nobles aren't enthused.

Delita is enraged by this development.

Delita feels that the nobles aren't doing enough to get his sister back, probably because she isn't one of them. Ramza assures him that he's wrong. BUT IS HE?

Argath shows up and Donald Trumps his way into the conversation.

"YOU DAMN, DIRTY APE!"

Where is his nose?

Where is HIS nose?

My God! MY GOD!!

The next battle introduces the Time Mage, a caster with some potent buffs and debuffs. Most of their spells are typically rolled into the White Mage class in other Final Fantasy games, like Haste and Slow. Their ultimate spell is Meteor, which is typically a Black Mage spell. Weird. Meteor might be the strongest attack spell in this game outside of summons, too. Suffice to say, Time Mages are pretty good.

In any case, this is a rematch with Mileuda, and this time Ramza is forced to kill her.

Wiegraf now has Tietra captive, but to his credit he's making sure she isn't coming to any harm.

The next battle transpires at a tall windmill. This is a short but interesting fight.

It's the first time you battle Wiegraf, who ends up being possibly the most memorable villain from this game.

I turned Delita into an archer before this fight, something I don't usually do. He did fairly decent damage. Wait...is that a chocobo on their side?

It is, and not just any chocobo. It's the lovable chocobo mascot of Final Fantasy V, Boco!

NOOOO!

WHY BOCO, WHY?


"I didn't sell out, I bought in! Wark!"

Wiegraf hurls a racist insult at our hero after I barely eke out a win. This was basically a Ramza solo fight and it required very specific moves to win. I guess I was practicing for later, but this is what I get for not building up a real party yet.

Finally, we arrive at the last battle of Chapter 1. This is the fated hour, where the paths of our heroes diverge. For some reason Argath is working with Zalbaag and the forces of the nobles. Wiegraf's last remaining lieutenant is holding Tietra hostage in front of a storehouse of gunpowder. If this seems like the setup to a very bad joke, that's because it is.

Argath shoots Tietra, thus taking away the lieutenant's bargaining power entirely. Then he shoots the lieutenant. Well, that was appalling.

Even the "bad guy" is like "what the hell are you doing?"

One post ago, we were saving this d-bag, now we're defeating him.

Argath cuts an Authority promo on our heroes, ranting about how they go to work and let their boss push them around and never stand up for themselves.

...HOOOO.

I get the high ground and take out Argath with a couple of Aurablasts.

And I said...biiiiiiitch

We see a cutscene with Delita amidst the flames as he looks over his fallen sister.

I was really hoping he'd turn around and give us the iconic Sephiroth shot, but alas...

With that, the game bounces back to the present. Chapter 1 is over.

Next time on FFT: We find out if Agrias is seriously underestimating the running abilities of the godlike death-machine that is Chocobo.




2 comments:

  1. Yeah, Tension 1 is a classic.

    I enjoyed playing as Geomancers in random battles, but I never used them when things got real. I did use monks a lot. A fine class they were! I should've used thief skills more and knight skills less, as you recommended.

    What Argath did here is terrible and also appropriate fuel for what happens the rest of the game. It must've been hard to write but it's trenchant social commentary.

    You're right about Wiegraf being the most memorable villain besides Argath. Wiegraf keeps on appearing, and he has interesting motivations.

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  2. I love watching Argath face down like in the second screenshot.

    Monk is so good. The random damage moves were a weird idea.

    Most of my Geomancer memories are of it being a class I'd eventually level Agrias with once she mastered Holy Knight and Knight, since you can use a sword.

    I could read a whole post of Argath getting beaten up. Well deserved.

    The first Mileuda fight with the white mages also has a lot of thieves, and any ladyfolk on the team are in danger of being charmed.

    Delita already sees the world as it is when Tietra is kidnapped. Ramza truly believes that his family are decent people who would do anything to save her... and sadly he is proven wrong.

    Heh, Boco. He'll be back.

    Agrias: "The FFT handbook says only one person can ride a chocobo." Her logic may be sound.

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