Friday, June 11, 2021

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade - Yuffie DLC (Part 1)

 

Oh yeah, FF7R isn't off the hook yet. Been waiting for this DLC, which they made weirdly hard to get. First, it only comes with the PS5 version. Second, if you buy the physical PS5 version, they give you a one-use code rather than including it in the game, destroying the used game value immediately (especially for the loads of people who are only getting the PS5 version for the Yuffie DLC)

Ah! Jesus!

That's the strange Moogle hat of Yuffie, seen here arriving in Midgar. This story takes place during the first half of the main game. Specifically, this is around when Cloud gets separated from the party after the second reactor. It doesn't figure into the plot too much, except that you do run into characters from the main game a couple times and get a bit more fleshing-out of that.

If you were to slot this in during a main game playthrough (which a lot of people are likely doing rather than playing it by itself from the title screen), it'd fit neatly right between Chapter 7 and 8. Or, if you're in a hurry to play as Aerith, it could be bounced back and forth to during Chapter 8, since it seems to run concurrently to it. However, between 7 and 8 seems to be the best place for it.

Whenever I someday play the complete version of Final Fantasy 15, this is how I'll do it. I'll slot all those character side-stories into the game at the points where they happen in the story. No jumping in from the title screen.

Yuffie gets assaulted by a flock of birds, attracted by the pheromones from her Mog Poncho. They want his bod.

We get an extreme close-up of Yuffie as she plummets through the air, crashes like 30 feet below, and somehow doesn't die. Is she Darby Allin? Or Mankind?

She pops up like nothing happened and twirls a materia. She loves materia more than anything. She's like a materia fiend, a materia hound.

After this, she walks around loudly whining about how AVALANCHE was supposed to be here to meet her.

..........she's supposed to be a Wutai special forces op in this game

Not only is she pre-equipped with a bunch of materia, you can also choose from a ton of other ones to equip on the subscreen. A lot of them haven't been leveled at all, though. The fact that you don't get to bring anything from this DLC back to the main game... well, it makes me not want to spend too much time leveling anything or go out of my way to get items.

That said, I'll still go out of my way to get items on the off chance that there are some new items here.

Most of the early parts of the DLC are pretty dull, with Yuffie running through a lot of empty ruins in some desolate part of Midgar. I assume this is the abandoned section of the lower level that was largely damaged by the Wutai conflict?

The only human souls she runs into for the first 20 minutes of the story: These mumbling, shambling "reunion" guys. The first one you see is a creepy reminder of where you are.

Yuffie makes a strong observation. In the original Japanese this would be even better, because City of Mako (short for Makotoshi) is literally "City of Bright Magic" due to what a marvel it is to look at...from a distance.

So she's saying "City of Bright Magic? More like City of Garbage"

After a lengthy dungeon sequence, you finally arrive at the world of the main game. The slums are full of armed guards who are all looking at their guns like they have no idea how they work. Well, that's reassuring. I guess only the wealthy folk on the upper plate get to have actual trained police. What is this, 2030?

Speaking of which, SNN brings us another Scarlet press conference. YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES!

There'll be "additional complications" alright, and if there aren't, you'll create them.

Yuffie then proceeds to yap loudly about AVALANCHE.

..........she's supposed to be a Wutai special forces op

She meets up with this blonde dude, who brings her to an AVALANCHE branch HQ. Not the Barret "splinter cell" which is down the street. This is the OFFICIAL group that has way more money and accomplishes way less.

...hey, wait. Look who it is over there! Yep, you run into characters from the main game every so often, and they're completely unaware of your presence (despite the Mog pheromones). It's interesting. Like you're a regular person in this world.

AVALANCHE HQ is home to a bunch of characters who aren't important...and then there's the subject of all of the future fanart and cosplay, Nayo.

Nayo explains the intricacies of Wall Market in the most round-about way possible while trying not to be stimulated by the Mog Pheromones that have filled the room for some reason.

It's too late for Young Richie over here, who is absolutely stunned by the powerful scent of Mog.

On the table next to him...is a giant cake? No, that's the Fort Condor Board Game.

That's right, Fort Condor is no longer a real thing in FFVII, it's a board game that you can play with random people ala Triple Triad.

It's possible the actual Fort Condor battle will still happen in, say, FFVIIR-2. But it'll probably be very different.

Fort Condor is about what you remember. You send out troops that have a rock/paper/scissors strength/weakness chain. Ranged beat Defenders, Defenders beat Attackers, Attackers beat Ranged.

From there, it's mainly a matter of deploying units as fast as your ATB will allow you to, while also making sure to deploy units strong against the attacking units. Break through enemy lines and you can spawn new units closer and closer to their base, so it's important to seize the advantage when you have it. Once all 3 of the enemy base commander units are down, you win.

This is actually a lot of fun (though not as fun as the original game's version, possibly because it's much faster-paced and more chaotic here). It's good that I like it, because you have to play this like 20 times if you want to 100% FFVIIR now.

Well, one of the big mysteries of FFVIIR is solved. Kyrie was NOT Yuffie in disguise. Here they are in the same scene. The actual Yuffie in disguise was that Mog-scented poncho running around that we never knew about.

Damn. I was hoping Kyrie would turn out to be Yuffie. Would have been a cool full-circle moment.

And she's right. Why IS Yuffie dressed as a five-year-old, Square? This DLC gets a lot better once she goes to her normal outfit. Like it instantly gets 10x better. If I wanted to play as a poncho-wearing goofball...I'd play Wild Arms 2. EYYY! TIM SLAM!

Speaking of weirdoes, here's that oddball Chadley. "I've got a clue pointing this way" he robotically states.

He's got several new VR fights in this game that are all optional. Two of them are uberbosses and aren't unlocked yet. What we DO have is Ramuh, who wasn't in normal FFVII-R. It's awesome that they slotted him in here after his odd omission from the base game.

Prediction: FFVIIR-2 will have Ifrit and Titan as the added OG summons, plus whatever new ones they come up with, and Yuffie will start with Ramuh equipped to add that as well. Not sure if Titan will be the big main event summon. They already sorta blew Bahamut in Part 1, for whatever reason. However, going by recent FFs (13, 15), Titan is now regarded as a top-tier eidolon in modern Square-Enix so it being the top summon for FFVIIR-2 makes sense.

Anyway back to the DLC. Ramuh proceeds to completely electrocute me while I feebly try to launch a return-offense.

Wow. I barely even scratched him. I wasn't expecting that. So this guy is basically the optional uberboss for the first half of the DLC, then. I'll try again later.

At this point the main story moves along quickly, but it clearly wants you to do side-objectives which takes a lot longer. I'm here to do everything, so that's fine with me. Biggest thing is to go around defeating everyone at the Fort Condor board game. You see some notable faces during this escapade, like the Shinra Middle Manager.

And damn, I won this one with ZERO TIME on the clock. It struck 0 the moment I won the fight. Keep in mind that this is measured in fractions of a second, too. I don't know if I could replicate this again with anything.

Another sidequest, and one I'm leaving for later (since I have to do Hard Mode) is this hunt for Turtle Club flyers. Said club is a popular restaurant in Wutai, and has branches here in Midgar.

Unfortunately, the locals hate exactly who the news tells them it's okay to hate, so people have been ripping up the club's flyers.

In any case, this is something for later. I should have left the Fort Condor stuff for Hard Mode as well, since you have to do all of that again to complete Hard Mode and if you just do the sidequest there you get credit for doing it in non-Hard modes as well (in other words there are multiple achievements depending on game difficulty).

After enough doddering around, return to the hideout and the contact Yuffie has been waiting for FINALLY arrives.

This is Sonon, direct student of Yuffie's dad Godo and one of Wutai's top fighters. Plus a TOTAL DREAMBOAT.

I always wondered what Wutai's answer to SOLDIER was. Does Wutai have their own elite class of fighters to contend with Shinra? ...well, not really. Not yet anyway. This guy is the closest thing so far, as I suspect he could probably hang with a SOLDIER one-on-one.

Yuffie proceeds to rant about Sonon immediately while waving her arms around in her big stupid parka. Seriously, this version of Yuffie is borderline insufferable. Considering she switches to her normal outfit and suddenly acts like a really badass adult in Part 2 of the DLC, I wish she'd just been that from the start here.

Also, she's one to talk about other people having a stink, when SHE'S the one running around giving off Mog pheromones.

Sonon joins, and we get a look at the menu screen. He's...kind of generic, but at least he isn't wearing a big, stupid, raggedy poncho.

Elsewhere, we get a whole scene with Barret and Tifa wondering if Cloud is going to be okay after his fall from the plate. Don't worry, he has a beautiful, adventurous flower girl taking care of him.

That's right, Tifa. That's where he got that flower you were wondering about earlier.

IF YOU LIKED HIM THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A RING ON HIM

Tifa decides to infiltrate Don Corneo's mansion to find out what he knows about Shinra, since rumor on the street is that the Don has people looking for their gang. She then speeds off without telling Barret where she's going. HE ISN'T HER DAD!

Nayo shows sense here when she points out that it isn't worth burning down Midgar just to stick it to the president. A lot of real world people would disagree. "WE MUST DISMANTLE THE SYSTEM" they screech between mouthfuls of Starbucks.

Corneo's goons show up to look for recruits, and they're very interested in Nayo.

Yuffie: "WHY AREN'T YOU INTERESTED IN MEEEEE"

Nayo keeps them distracted while Yuffie and Sonon sneak up and bust a move. These guys sure get beaten up a lot in this story. Whatever the pay is to be a Corneo Goon, it isn't enough.

It's always interesting to walk around listening to the chatter of townspeople in Remake. The amount of absolute fake news garbage bullshit these people believe is sad, and absurd. It's like Shinra disseminates conflicting ideas as a sort of controlled opposition to create the illusion of choice, when all of those choices are actually inside of the same box.

Yuffie slides down a pole Ghostbusters-style. This next part is an EXCESSIVELY long dungeon with a lot of this kind of thing.

There's also some wall-running, which is cool at least. You have to move these walls around to create pathways to run across, and it's a semi-puzzle dungeon in that regard. At this point I was just ready for Part 1 to be over with, so a massive dungeon wasn't really something I was interested in.

Finally get to the end, and you're at the base of the central Midgar pillar. Soon, we'll take the train up to (hopefully) the Upper Plate. This is actually the moment where this DLC finally starts getting really good, after an unfortunately dull first couple of hours. (Though to be fair, people starving for more FFVIIR content are going to love those first couple of hours regardless just for what they add to this world)

A massive Shinra mech shows up, prompting Yuffie to go full-on Sailor Moon Transformation here.

And it's astounding.

I mean they could have just had her quietly put the poncho away at the base or something. Instead they go all-out here to make a scene out of the paradigm shift into the second half of the DLC.

Yeah, THIS is the Yuffie I remember. Now we can finally play the game.

The Shinra mech in question is this giant centipede, straight out of the Ys series.

Yuffie and Sonon can use double-techs...kind of. There's one command that'll make them bounce attacks off of each other for a bit for increased damage. Yuffie's limit break also has her using Sonon as a springboard to...

...dish out a BRUTAL Guile Flash Kick.

This game just got like 10x better in the span of two minutes, no joke.

Yuffie is way more confident once she loses the Moogle poncho, and acts more like an adult now too. It's almost like this DLC was made by two different teams or something.

We sneak around and listen to more Regular Folk talking about the "news" and how outraged they are at AVALANCHE and so forth. At this point, Shinra has succeeded in getting people to turn on their neighbors, asking people to help root out rebels wherever they are and report them.

New character screen. Yeah, Yuffie is SO MUCH COOLER now. It isn't just the outfit change. Like I said, her entire character and demeanor is vastly more confident and likeable now. It's like someone going from slouching all the time to standing up straight all the time. Can transform a person overnight.

Before going to Part 2, I take another swing at Ramuh. Things...go very differently this time. Yuffie is a bit more powerful, and more importantly she's got Sonon now so Ramuh can't focus all of his stunlocky attacks on her. Sonon is also a great tank because he draws aggro away effectively.

I've got Ramuh on the ropes now. Staggered, and Yuffie's limit break is ready to fire. That's it for this guy. I did so well here that I out-DPS'd the raid mechanics, as the kids say. I don't even know what all of his summoned sparks were going to do. There's no doubt I'll find out in Hard Mode. I'm just surprised at how much of a pushover this guy was compared to when I barely did 5% damage to him on the first attempt.

Chadley hands over the Ramuh summon materia, and now Yuffie officially has her summon for FFVIIR-2. Check out her hands-on-hips swaggering braggadocio now. I love it.

I look around for more people to challenge for Fort Condor. What about this flat cap guy? YOU WANNA GO, FLAT CAP GUY?

Flat Cap Guy: "Man, no"

Once everyone in town is defeated, we're down to the final four Fort Condor battlers. They all increase in difficulty from here on out. Here's the massively-underused Roche, who I'm hoping will have more to do in FFVIIR-2.

ROCHE FACT: In the original series of posts, I wasn't sure what class of SOLDIER this guy was and assumed he was 1st. Turns out, he's just a measily 3rd Class. That's right, Cloud and friends had that much trouble just dealing with a 3rd Class.

Makes me wonder what fights with the top two classes will be like in later games. Maybe Roche will be promoted to 2nd Class by the time we see him again. Hell, maybe he'll be recurring throughout the whole Remake series and show up in the final game as a 1st Class.

The number of 1st Class SOLDIER seems very limited. As in there are only several of them in existence, including Sephiroth. I have a feeling we'll see the other big one, Genesis, returning in this series. Both Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core heavily built him up as a future threat in this universe, possibly on par with Sephiroth, and Square-Enix has hinted at him again in recent years.

Roche waxes poetic on his true love, fighting with Cloud.

See? Even Roche thinks that Cloud is no ladykiller. As far as he can tell from their one interaction to this point, Cloud way more interested in his motorcycle than anything else.

Jessie: ::flirt flirt flirt::
Cloud: "I am very focused on this bike."

I defeat Roche at Fort Condor, and that's it for him for now.

Look at Yuffie's PURE SASS.

Speaking of sass, the third-to-last battler is Jessie. She makes sure to let Yuffie know she's NOT IN THE MOOD. She just lost her lover, Cloud, and for all she knows he's currently being tended-to by a kind-hearted, fun, extremely-sexually-liberated flower girl somewhere.

Man, Aerith is just ruining things for everybody around here.

Another Fort Condor brawl. You better like Fort Condor if you get this DLC. It gets easier as you go along and get access to more powerful units like the Sweeper, seen here.

Yuffie decimates Jessie with some SASS.

Sonon is just like "I'm glad she's on MY side"

2nd-to-last opponent is Wedge (w/ cats). He's at his usual spot in the slums.

And finally, our last opponent is...Chadley? I'm kind of surprised. Expected someone else I guess. Just seems like Chadley ends up being the end result of all the sidequests. He's like Hornswoggle being the end result of all of WWE's storylines in like 2008-2009.

He is BY FAR the toughest opponent in the DLC, even with my fully souped-up team. I barely win with 1.76 seconds on the clock. The timer really does become your worst enemy during some of these matches. I imagine this is going to take some time and work to get past on Hard Mode.

Now that the big Fort Condor sidequest is over with, it's time to hop on the train to the Upper Plate and start Part 2.

So far, I really like this DLC...though for a while I found it a little iffy. Once Yuffie transformed into a sassy adult, everything about this DLC rapidly picked-up. Even the battles got more intense after that.

Next time: I take on Part 2. Maybe I'll also go for 100% trophy completion. I already had 100% trophy completion for FFVIIR, but now it's like 86%. Unfortunately with the way Sony has trophies set up, the arrival of DLC lowers your percentage. It's like when new immortals arrive from Zeist. At least you still retain the platinum trophy, showing that you 100%'d the base game.


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