Thursday, August 22, 2019

Adventures of Mana, Part 2 - Flight of the Kofi

Aw, son of a bitch!

We left off at the Marsh Cave, the first real dungeon of Final Fantasy Adventure. Here, the layout and look of the dungeon are completely faithful to that game.

One of the more dated mechanics of the original game is having to use expendable items (pickaxes, keys) to get past barriers in dungeons. Run out in the middle of the dungeon and you might have to reset. Well, this remaster is so faithful to the original that it still has the same problem. I made sure to buy a bunch of keyrings and pickaxes (well, Mattocks) before setting out.

The next weapon is found here, the Sickle. This thing strikes in a circular motion. It's noteworthy because it doesn't have a Secret of Mana equivalent. Here we see it narrowly missing the Red Mage's carotid artery, which - spoiler alert - would have saved the world a lot of future problems.

The two-headed dragon is still one of my favorite FF bosses after all this time. It also appears in Final Fantasy III on the NES and is noteworthy there for being a hard-hitting melee attacker.

Here it's more of a caster and stays back flinging fireballs. The hero's shield can block them if they hit him in the front, a nice Zelda similarity.

A few powered-up sickle strikes when he gets close (doesn't take many, especially considering I'm overleveled) and we pick up the win. Playstation trophy aficionados playing on Vita have a lot of trophies to get in this game just from slaying bosses.

Victory gets you the Fire spell and the Mirror of Ra (strikeout) Moon Mirror. In this version of the game the Fire spell homes in on enemies, which is nice. It does less damage than Lightning (which travels in a straight line) but it's worth the tradeoff. Not sure how this game will handle the Nuke spell yet.

The Red Mage bids us farewell. He was really interested in helping us find The Girl for some reason, not helping the hero collect spells. GOOD DAY SIR! GOOD DAY!

The hero holds up the mirror to Count Lee's butler and he transforms into his true shape:

A werewolf! Werewolves historically show up a lot in the Seiken Densetsu series, I've noticed. They're some of the most obnoxious enemies in the other games.

These hopping pumpkin foes also show up in Secret of Mana. It's fun to whack them, much like the mushroom enemies.

Pots start showing up in this dungeon, and you intuitively want to pick them up and throw them Zelda-style. Well, YOU CAN'T. You can only break them with Mattocks. Meanwhile, those Babbles over there are having way too good of a time jumping around.

Next weapon is possibly my favorite of the lot: The Whip. It's a chain whip, FFA-style, and lets you vault across to poles as usual. It's also a great range weapon that can hit multiple foes at once and is just fun to swing.

Here's The Girl, finally. You're right, something IS wrong. Maybe it's the ROWS OF COFFINS. If that morguekeeper from Highlander: The Series walks in I'm outta here.

After that second dungeon, we find the dastardly Count Lee. Let's see what he looks like in thi-


Moments after this picture was taken, he unhinged his jaw and exhaled a cloud of bats.

As is tradition, you use the chain whip to win this fight Castlevania-style. At this point I realize there isn't much to say about this game since it's so identical to the original, which I just covered. Hmm. Maybe covering an original and a remake back-to-back isn't the good idea it seems like.

It's worth pointing out that the Sleep spell is held by the extra-rapey bad guy who spends his free time putting women to sleep and kidnapping them. What a detail.

The Girl is a master of observation. You sense that a great evil has been lifted, huh? Is this the same kind of astuteness that gave you the willies when we were in a room full of coffins?

Back out in the world, it's time to journey to Wendel. This involves lots of whippin' over chasms. The Girl just sorta gets yanked through space to follow you, though I think the designers initially imagined it to be an Indiana Jones "hold onto the girl and swing across" deal.

Here it is, the holy city of Wendel. It's a marvel of beauty. Actually it looks like a regular town, disappointingly. They could have done a lot with this. Wendel, drink it in maaaan.

In the holy city, we're confronted by the Force Ghost of The Girl's super-hot mom.

She's the hero of the Proto-Mana game we never got, the hero who defeated the Vandole Empire originally in the Great War.

I want to play that Proto-Mana story, dammit!

Time for the infamous scene where the Red Mage shows up and announces the arrival of the Glaive Empire (or whatever they're called this week). He insists that he can protect The Girl and then he just runs off with her while Cibba and the hero stand around.

In Adventures of Mana, the red shirt kills YOU.

Kofi corners the red mage outside the gate, and...

...he throws off his red mage costume to reveal the dastardly Julius! I did NOT see that coming!

Our hero gets one-shotted by a fireball and wakes up later. Looks like Julius escaped with The Girl. His big mistake was not killing our hero while he had the chance (which he'll continue to do over and over).


Let's just get outta here.

Watts would rather plunder the mines than spend time with his bros. What a jerk.

Next up is this forest that you can chop your way through with the axe. It's another primo place to gain a couple levels, because you can whip these orc guys from behind the tree wall.

Formerly known as Oil, the Rust-B-Gone is a Final Fantasy VI refugee. 500 GP is such a pittance at this point that it's weird they didn't just give it to you.

Next up is the mine cart ride where Kofi falls down YET ANOTHER pit, his fall cushioned only by Big E.

He later wakes up to see the smiling? face of Watts. The dwarf smith is NOT pleased at this. It took him ages to find a quiet place to have some "Watts Time" and you're taking that away from him already?

Watts now joins you for the next bit of dungeoning. If you talk to him, he sells you stuff. It's good for getting a few extra Mattocks, but that's about it. He also throws axes, but he's about as non-useful as most of the ally characters are at fighting.

Next boss is the giant centipede. They could have given this thing a badass new model, and instead they made it super FFA-faithful by having it be a bunch of spheres. It's an easy fight, as the game falls into a bit of a lull for a while after the difficult Count Lee (difficult under normal circumstances, I was overleveled so it wasn't).

Our hero CHOPS DOWN TREES. Smokey Bear would be PISSED.

Go back to Watts and he now sells some new stuff, Mythril (Silver in the original game). It would have made more sense to keep it Silver, since the next area has Gold armor that's an upgrade to this.

I buy the armor and shield since they're much-needed upgrades at this point (my old armor/shield are outdated). Skipping the sword because I'll get better upgrades to it later, and I'm not really using the sword much in this age of whips.

Now a very FFVI Duncan-like Bogard teaches our hero the ways of the force. Our hero is like "I already know lol" and beats him in a duel with no training before he sulks off to milk alien cows.

Our next stop, and last stop for this episode, is the Airship. We've gotta rescue The Girl again, which means journeying through marshes and other assorted awful places.

"I hope she's happy" squeaks our hero as he tries to climb a chain. "I HOPE SHE'S REAL REAL HAPPY!"

In the original game, this was Julius' vibrating airship of pleasure. This is a new remake, though. It's 2019. IT'S A DIFFERENT TIME! it's just a regular airship, no vibrating or pleasure.

Yo deckhand, this girl's only sixteen years old!

Here's The Girl, locked up. "Nooobody knooows, the trouble I've seen" she says.

Bogard stays behind to be useless while I try to find the other side of the cell window. Somehow it makes more sense to these buffoons to escort her out via the window than try to find a way to get the cell door open.

Kofi climbs around the outside of the airship, a spot that's almost up there with some of his Royal Rumble saves. BEHOLD HIS BALANCING!

He gets the pendant from The Girl, but can't get her out. Uh, yeah. How was this supposed to work again?

Then Julius shows up and BLASTS HIM WITH FIRE. How is he still alive?



With that, Kofi has been eliminated from the Rumble for real.

He crashes through a roof hundreds of feet below, breaking everything.

If this game were realistic, an undertaker would have had to tape a Size 1 suit to The Hero's pile of remains long ago.

Behold! Kofi has a visitor in his coma. It's Amanda, the hero's redheaded girlfriend from Sword of Mana. This is a more accurate remaster, so she's already on borrowed time. You could pretty much put a clock over people's heads when they first appear in Final Fantasy Adventure.

After an entire few hours of laying there in a coma regenerating, our hero is fixed up and ready for action!

This new town only has one item for sale in the store: The next weapon, the spear.

This thing has some heft to it, as most weapons do in this remaster, and is satisfying to attack with. Still probably going to stick to the whip for the most part.

Here's where we're at now. I'm overleveled (by about 8 levels, so a lot) and my weapon collection - the crux of Final Fantasy Adventure gameplay - is rapidly growing. Next time, I cross the halfway point of the game.

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