Thursday, March 17, 2016

Final Fantasy Tactics, Part 3 - Faithless

Today on Final Fantasy Tactics - bloodthirsty dark knight Gaffgarion reacts to the 2016 GOP Primary results.

Chapter 2 begins now. It's a bit more serious than everything up to this point. Not from a story perspective, because the story got depressing/serious a while ago; from a gameplay perspective. This is where things get difficult.

At this point your force gets a substantial shot in the arm, as a trio of new characters (a Squire and two Knights) are acquired.  They're all at decent levels, well-equipped, and well-statted. In other words, they're much better than your usual recruitable generics. I finally have a real party! You also get Gaffgarion and Agrias here, but they're uncontrollable guest characters for now.

Alicia and Lavian are the two female knights. They work for Agrias (and frequently join her for three-ways in the alternate universe version of the game made by Val Venis' game development studio Venis Soft).

Ladd, on the other hand... you know why I let Alicia and Lavian join my group? Because they keep Agrias happy. But you know what you make me, Ladd? You make me sick.

...oh, alright, he can join too. In the original PSX version he was the aptly-named Rad. He's actually a great Squire at this point. He was part of Gaffgarion's squad along with Ramza, so now that the groups have merged...

Another of the primary villains, Vormav, makes his first appearance here. He's the leader of the New World Order / Illuminati of Ivalice.


In the next battle, our heroes find a chocobo under attack in the woods. Wait a minute...that's Boco, the notorious (no-torrrrrius!) chocobo mascot of Final Fantasy V!

Our heroes talk mad smack about Boco for rolling too deep. What does Boco think about this?

"Boco rolls balls-deep! Wark!"

Win the battle, and Boco joins the party, becoming OUR notorious chocobo mascot as "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G. begins to play. 

I'll allow it, but only if he doesn't throw any parties or have any women over.

....and right away I can't even use him in the next battle thanks to the obnoxious party size limits.

"These party limits can kiss my yellow arse! Wark!"

Gaffgarion turns on our heroes in the next battle, joining up with a force of soldiers to accost Delita. That's right, we've caught up with Delita and the princess. Time for the debut of yet another great battle theme:

This one is very high-energy.

Looks like Delita was doing pretty well for himself already, but he'll need our help to get out of this jam.

The joke's on Gaffgarion, because I was wise to his betrayal and unequipped him before the battle. This is like if Seth Rollins went to swing the chair during the Shield breakup and it vanished out of his hands mid-swing.

Ramza has had ENOUGH of this shit! He's a bit of a goody two-shoes, which means that his enemies constantly tell him that he doesn't understand how the world works.

Gaffgarion interrogates Delita, the man who knows too much. Because Delita knows what's really going on, he scooped up the princess before she could come to any harm at the hands of the nobles who want her out of the way. But does Delita have alterior motives himself?

I love when enemies line up, allowing Ramza to dish out a Shockwave through all of them for tons of damage. There's a similar line-based attack for users of Holy Sword abilities like Agrias.

Speaking of which... Delita is WAY more formidable than he was in Chapter 1, and now sports Holy Sword abilities that appear to be even stronger than Agrias'. Too bad he isn't a party member NOW...

"Quit playing games with my heart" warbles Ramza while searching for his lost nose.

Whoa, there's the shot. Some of these new cutscenes really do add a lot to the game. They're atmospheric and give the characters more... character.

We now have Princess Ovelia, since Delita trusts Ramza to protect her. The only problem is...we don't have any allies or safe haven anymore. It's like the cliffhanger ending of every season of Walking Dead.

Fort Besselat (which I believe was called Bethla Garrison in the PSX version) seems to be unreachable. Before you can get to it on the map, our heroes change route and head south instead. I wonder if there's any way to get there. It's almost like a lost area.

Instead, the next area we head to is Zaland Fort City...home of THE sweetest battle theme in the game, which I've linked once before already:

Tension 1 (no word on if there's a Tension 2). This tune is flat-out amazing, and it's criminal that it only plays for one battle.

This is a memorable battle because you have to protect Mustadio while he runs back and forth on top of a wall. Most missions that require protecting an NPC tend to be difficult, since NPCs often act like complete morons and charge into enemy fire.

Whereas you typically have a three count of turns before a knocked-out character expires, you auto-lose if Mustadio so much as gets knocked-out to begin with.

The first of many.

The second time, I resort to the nuclear option: SEND IN THE BOCO.

"I'm all about that Choco Heal, bitches! Wark!"

After that victory, Mustadio joins your group. He's a cool Han Solo esque gunslinger. He also alludes to underground caverns filled with relics of a lost civilization; their militaries had airship and machine technology far beyond modern Ivalice. This "ancient civilization that collapsed to war" idea is found in many Squaresoft games, from Secret of Mana to Final Fantasy VI. Hell, Final Fantasy VII, which came out around the same time as this game, has a modern fighter plane in the excavation site up north. Do some of these games take place in our own future? Who knows what the developers were getting at.

Mustadio wields relics of the lost age. Guns in this game are a little bit OP; their damage isn't too high, but it isn't low either, and they have massive range.

Ovelia and Agrias have a moment of respite before we continue. Great music plays during this scene:

It's a tune that can stir emotions.

Now back to the fighting! These gentlemen are no fans of Mustadio. Apparently the mafia is after him because he has one of the legendary Zodiac Stones, which is akin to holding the One Ring. They turn you into horrific hell-spawn after a while.

This battle is the debut of the Summoner class on the enemy side. They only have the basic summons, like Moogle (seen here) which heals all allied units in an area. It's pretty good, with a short cast time.

There's also Shiva, an ice bomb on an area. Summons are quite potent in this game, but they annihilate your MP. The best summon is Golem, which blocks physical damage on your allies temporarily. I need to get to work on making a Summoner...

AI-controlled Agrias, once again, dishes out punishment on my own characters mid-fight. Luckily I'll be able to control her in battle soon enough.

"Make silent her song"...what a line. Ramza's brother gives the order to basically kill off his entire band if necessary to get to the princess.

Next thing we know, some other chocobo has shown up. I TOLD Boco no guests! What does he think this is, a frat?

Our heroes arrive at a safe haven, finally. Lionel Castle is the seat of power for the church in this area, and thus a neutral ground. However, like I said, if you've seen the cliffhanger ending of every season of The Walking Dead, you know this sanctuary won't last long.

Archbishop Roshi promises to protect Princess Ovelia from the bastardly nobles. And he's a guy we can depend on!

He basically gives our heroes everything they could want, while pretending to be the most benevolent guy ever. Ovelia is thus relieved, as are the rest of the squad, that we've finally found a place to rest.

The next battle transpires in an undead-filled marsh. The dreaded Marlboro can be seen here too.

Undead are damaged by heals, which means Boco's Choco Heal is now an offensive move.

Oh, Jesus. Now there's an egg sitting here. It looks like Boco and his "friend" engaged in some red-hot chocosex while everyone else was busy dealing with politics.

Goug Machine City sells some distance-oriented weapons. The Knightslayer bow here was used by Argath in the first chapter (to kill Tietra) and while I thought it was a unique weapon at the time, clearly it isn't. There are very few unique weapons in the game.

Ludovich is the leader of the local mafia, and he manages to kidnap Mustadio and his dad in an effort to get the Zodiac Stone. Our turtleneck-sporting hero won't stand for this.

Had to restart this battle because Ladd got knocked out and it wouldn't let me revive him. The Monk ability Revive only works if the target is on the EXACT same plane as the caster, which makes it something you need to plan on in advance.

At this point our heroes figure out that Archbishop Roshi sent the mafia after our heroes because he wants the Zodiac Stone for himself. But to what ends?

Ludovich, having failed the Archbishop, returns and gets murdered by His Eminence. This guy isn't such a man of the cloth after all.

Next up is one of the hardest battles in the game; maybe top five. Golgorand Execution Site is a rematch with Gaffgarion, and this time I can't unequip him beforehand.

 The music here is very dramatic and intense, fitting for such a tough fight.

Gaffgarion subscribes to the idea that one must smash eggs and otherwise murder people to make a magical future omelette of progress and prosperity. If a few people need to die to remake the world, so it goes.

Gaffgarion has the Blood Sword here, which absorbs HP when you attack. It's a great thing to steal if you have a Thief (which I don't). It's one of the unique weapons I mentioned. However, defeating Gaffgarion is just phase one.

I tried bringing a Time Mage into the fight and the enemies knocked her down before she even got a turn. Okay, so no mages for this one. I'm not a fan of how the enemies always seem to get a full turn before any of my units get a chance to move.

 Once Gaffgarion is taken out (which hopefully happens on the first turn if you focus all offense on him), there's still the matter of dealing with all of his goons. They're a nasty lot, and outnumber you 7-to-5 even without their boss. The three Knights are very hard to kill, and the two Archers spend the whole fight annihilating you from a distance.

By the end of the fight it's a total bloodbath, with Ramza running around using Revive on my fallen Monks while they fire Aurablasts with their rare living turns. This fight...was a complete mess. I'm in dire need of some party-building, but I'm stuck in this part of the overworld and can't do any.

Elsewhere...Ovelia has been taken captive by the church, since we left her in their "protection". Delita, allied with the church, shows up to be a dick. So...he let our heroes bring her to his bosses for him.

The rest of the New World Order shows up, as Hollywood Vormav air-guitars his way in with Archbishop Roshi.

They drop a bomb on Ovelia: She was adopted as a stand-in for the real princess, who died very young. Also, they regret to inform her that she has the herp.

Another member of the NWO, some hooded guy, tracks down Wiegraf and offers him the black and white shirt. The NWO just appeared and they're already swelling in numbers.

Next up: I attack Lionel Castle, as the sudden difficulty spike continues.

Other Final Fantasy Tactics Posts



::techno music plays::

Oh what the fu-


  1. It always made me feel bad to kick chocobos out of the party but you just have to do it. They breed relentlessly and remorselessly! You captured that craziness well. I hardly ever used them in battle either.

    Rad became Ladd? Too bad!

    The first Mustadio fight and the execution site fight are beastly indeed. I remember these well.

    The "ruins of an ancient civilization" meme comes from medieval times when people really did live on the ruins of an ancient civilization, but it could also represent a Cold War-era mindset (nuclear war kills off everyone and we survive but can't remember how do so all these things, see A Canticle for Leibowitz), and it's also a way to have technology and power level up within a game.

    Seeing what happens later in the game it makes sense Mustadio is chased so doggedly. I remember making him a Chemist after maxing out his native skills, and using him for most of the game actually.

  2. I believe Venis Soft is an oxymoron.

    This is exactly like the Seth Rollins chair-poof. I usually change his class too, but it's not like he can do much as a Fell Knight without a sword.

    No Fort Besselat for you until Chapter 4!

    Mustadio goes through a lot in the game... the worst being when a robot beats him up... UNDER ORDERS FROM RAMZA. THE HELL, DUDE.

    Summons do take a lot of MP, but once again Monk saves the day. Chakra is a fantastic MP-restore.


    Oh yeah, Goug is a terrible place for the Monk's revive ability.

    The only thing worse than that 8 on 5 battle is NONSTOP CHOCOBREEDING