Sunday, June 12, 2022

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Part 6 - Heavy Lies the Crown

I see Neon's Schwartz is as big as mine.

The latest Fool's Missive is a bunch of ranting, but it makes an interesting point about human nature. I feel like it's Astos writing this, and the "dear friend" is Jack.

Hold that thought, because the boss of this area is the Iron Giant. How'd a boss that debuted in FFII find its way in here?

This is an interesting fight, and in the second half it basically becomes a disembodied torso.

This feels more like a miniboss than anything else, so no recording for this one.

Things get really weird now, as we find out that the Lufenians have Astos as their contact on the surface world. Once Jack finishes his darkness-purging mission, he's suppose to contact Astos for transportation back to Lufein.

And speaking of which, Astos warps/stumbles in!

Jack very uncharacteristically shows curiosity about things.

At this point they've all recovered enough memories to know that they're Strangers, AKA people from Lufein sent here to carry out missions.


Sorry, this is the first time I've gotten a good look at Jed. He's kind of... unpleasant-looking.

Even though things are coming back to them, their brains are still swiss cheese. Astos isn't that helpful either.

He takes a moment to flirt with Sophia, because who wouldn't?

The next "level" is another entirely new area. Vigilia Court is some sort of weird mansion somewhere on the outskirts of Cornelia. This whole location looks like a modern office building and seems totally out of place.

There are other office buildings around it. WTF is this game

Enjoying the fauna in the courtyard of the office building.

The enemies here are more darkness-afflicted zombie people.

There's even an elevator.

Okay, this area was definitely meant for another game. The technology level here is right in line with FFXV's world. It's possible this is cut content from that game. It has nothing in common with the rest of this one.

Down to the last few classes now, like Void Knight which is basically an anti-Paladin. Didn't Dark Knight already fill that niche?

And here's Paladin. One of the better classes in the game, but also one of the last.

The boss of this area..., yes, a Behemoth. It's cool that this guy and Iron Giant both got upgraded to lategame boss status.

But wait! After a fairly brief fight with the Behemoth, it becomes...

...the Ur-Dragon King! The what? I don't know.

I win the fight, and Jack starts giggling like one of the guys from Jackass right before they do something crazy.

The next area is one of the more memorable from this game, because it's based on the Floating Continent from Dimension 6.

The terrain is similar to FFVI's fabled dungeon, and the music has the same dulcet tones. However the sky is totally different which takes me out of it a bit. This needed a stormy grey sky.

The Three Statues from FFVI all make appearances here. Completely inanimate but still really cool.

Doom/Fiend was always the baddest-assed of the trio IMO. Would have been awesome if this game had fights with them, but at the same time, they're well beyond being lowly sub-bosses.

Later in the zone, it does get a bit greyer.

Goddess is totally shrouded in darkness so I couldn't get a good look/screenshot at her from any angle. Really, Square? Really?

This place is completely sprawling, and easy to get lost in.

Eventually I get to the end, and find...


He's not as friendly as usual, but still heralds the party's work.

Unfortunately, he has been tasked with slaying our heroes because they've gone too far off the beaten path and the Lufenians aren't pleased.

He then powers up. Man, this guy is so much more fearsome than he was in FF1.

Unless you're playing FF1 with four Thieves. Astos was almost impossible for that party.

Like most of the bosses, the fight is split into two halves. First half is just Astos flying around spamming magic.

Second half, he summons ATMA WEAPON~! and fuses with it.

This is an awesome fight and such a fanservice moment. Unfortunately it doesn't have the decisive battle music from FFVI.

Super ugly battle arena though. Here's the fight:

Another exciting boss fight, but I have to say the difficulty has never measured up to the early-game. Tiamat dwarfs everything after it, which is a pretty weird difficulty curve.

We get a flashback to ten years ago, when Astos and Jack were good friends. Astos doesn't seem to think he's worthy of much respect since he's a mass-produced organism made by the Lufenians.

Jack thinks Astos deserves respect and has proven as much, but it takes him a minute to admit it. They're homies here, and it's about as much affection as Jack ever shows to anyone for the entire game.

So the point where Jack's journey ends and he gets "extracted" back to Lufein is almost always the Chaos Shrine.

Wait, almost? I wonder where else he'd end up. Maybe one time he gave up and got extracted from the Ice Cave because F that place am I right

In any case, Jack tells Astos that he deserves better than being the Lufenian's lapdog, and asks Astos to do his best to guide them in the right direction on the next loop. Basically help them realize who their real foes are, without getting caught. Astos kinda nods like he'll keep it in mind. And on this latest loop, he did indeed do what he could to help them jog their memories.

Back in the present, Astos dies, and it's a sad moment for Jack and friends now that they remember how long they've been allies with him.

Jack is now consumed with rage at the Lufenians, who basically just used him and Astos endlessly and pitted them against each other at the end. If it were up to him, we'd find out where they live and just slaughter them all.


Back to Cornelia, which is still crawling with monsters.

Here's the legendary Cornelia fountain.

Back at the palace, Jack PUNCHES OUT PRINCESS SARAH. It's the only way to get her out of the palace, which is gonna be overrun soon.

Jack runs ahead by himself and clears a path for everyone to escape from the city.

I seize this opportunity to finally level White Mage, one of my most neglected classes. And there's a reason for that: It's totally OP and hard to kill. This and Breaker are the two most OP classes, and equipping both of them would obliterate the game.

All of a sudden, all the townspeople that hated our heroes yesterday are all super-thankful now. Jack is unimpressed and basically tells them off.

With a path cleared, the Princesses file out. Sarah isn't too thrilled at getting knocked out. Unbeknownst to everyone except Jack, the King and the Minister were both already killed in the assault.

She quickly gets over Jack punching her, and tells The People to maintain their hope and Cornelia will survive.

I don't know, this is looking pretty grim.

Yet ANOTHER wave of monsters arrives (I've been fighting them off in this place for like an hour).

This wave is a who's who of early FF game badasses, and Jack is once again on his own.

Sarah is mortally wounded in the attack before Jack can get to her. They were ALMOST out of there too.

We get a flashback to ten years ago, in Jack's previous go-around on the planet. He and Sarah were pretty close in that timeframe, before everyone had their memories wiped and/or time got reset IDK

Jack plays a song for her and she says she'd like to adapt it to the Lute. The song? The FF1 town theme. Huh.

She realizes he's never told her his last name, and he reveals that it's...


That's right, Jack is Garland. IT WAS HIM AUSTIN!

This is why Garland disappeared and no one could remember him. He got extracted back to Lufein and their memories of him were wiped.

It's rough that he'd remember all of this now, because he just completely failed to protect Sarah. This isn't gonna end well.

No comments:

Post a Comment