Saturday, May 20, 2023

Stranger of Paradise, DLC 3 - Different Future


The third and final DLC takes us to the northeast corner of the map, to Lufenia. It...doesn't look like it did in the original Final Fantasy. I guess that was Lufenia after JACK GARLAND was done with it.

This place is a really cool futuristic city, and it's pretty much the entirety of this DLC. It also looks like it's taken a fair amount of damage for some reason. Maybe it's a ship that crashed here?

There are no shortcuts to take in this DLC, except this. You can summon Gilgamesh a couple times to do mega-damage. Other than that, you gotta either be a high enough item level or you're doomed. No strategies that'll gimp this one.

This means it's time for LOTS OF GRINDING. I head to one particular mission, put it on Lufenia difficulty, and proceed to farm Flans by Aeroga-ing them into barriers that fry them. This gets me a lot of top-tier equipment without having to actually win any fights with my obsolete old-fashioned DLC 2 equipment. Cause I can't win anything in this right off the bat, they cranked enemy levels up way too damn high.

We learn that the one bad Lufenian is named Nil, and is indeed the only one that's causing issues.

Weirdly enough, this space ship? has tables and chairs set up on outdoor patios like there were restaurants here.

GIGANTAUR makes a rare appearance.

What happened here? Good question, no one knows.

Soon, the Emperor from Final Fantasy II shows up. He crossed dimensions to get the Crystals, or something. Maybe he destroyed Lufenia?

Yep, he's basically conquered the place. What about Nil?

We have a quick skirmish, during which he summons these giant barriers. He fights a bit like he does in FFII, using attacks like Fire 16.

We find out that the the Dissidia version of the guy, and he notes that this version of Jack isn't the same as the Garland from Dissidia. Well, uh... this kinda sucks. Why is it a different Garland? DON'T KNOW. Why are we involving Dissidia weirdness instead of just sticking to the first two games and connecting them?

They keep harping on this point too, totally sucks the air out of the storyline. Also the Moogle is some kind of transdimensional space deity or something.

Finally, we find Nil. The Emperor is still lurking around too.

So basically Nil was the villain up to this point, a rogue Lufenian manipulating things from behind the scenes. But Nil also sucks, so they added The Emperor as a selling point for the last DLC (and it worked, it got me playing them). The Emperor came through and invaded Lufenia, presumably defeating a bunch of the good Lufenians. So now he's trying to control the place, but also we still have Nil to deal with. And that's where we are now.

Nil has decided that Garland is the biggest threat to world peace (read: her controlling everyone) and has to go.

We get a Nil POV before she summons her super-weapon...

...Omega. Yep, THE Omega, scourge of the Final Fantasy uberbosses.

This thing is even deadlier than WarMech, and UNLEASHES HELL.

Take off half of Omega's health and Nil summons more Omegas, then does some kind of super fusion dance with all of them.

This DLC is so over-written. Just have her merge with Omega, why have her summon a bunch of other Omega Clones and then bunch them all up?

The fusion is pretty cool though, and Omega becomes... The Transcendent.

Now THIS fight is tough. Way tougher than regular Omega. Hardest fight in any of these DLCs, maybe. This was one of those things where I had to completely overhaul my party, classes, equipment, and strategies before I could get a win.

Those rare Gilgamesh summons I mentioned earlier really become A Thing here, and luckily I saved them up before this, so I had several to dole out. He can absolutely shred boss HP to the tune of maybe 20% damage per summon. That's what got it done in the brutal second half of the fight. Just ended it as quick as I could after trying not to use the summons on the first half.

Finally, I got the win over this Doc Ock looking bastard. This is followed by a hilarious cutscene:

Garland grabs Nil with his red crystal death-grip while she cuts a promo on him.

Then he KILLS HER via crystal-shattering after deadpanning this line.

For whatever was hilarious. Nil wasn't exactly a great villain anyway. Now the Lufenians can go on their merry way and be good guys again with what's left of their city.

I get the full Garland Suit, finally.

The Emperor cuts a promo on Nil now. I wish this whole storyline had just been something basic like "The FFII world is actually the future of the FFI world and the Emperor came back in time to take over at an earlier point by taking control of Lufenia"

Nice, simple, compelling story. Instead it's all "Dissidia Dissidia lolol good and evil are at war in the Combatant Realm lol Kupo"

Next is another fight with the Emperor, and it's a doozy. He's a much higher level than Transcendent, so even with all my preparation and party overhaul I got whooped in seconds.

Why is he so much stronger than the fight right before him? I think I did about 10% damage.

At this point I couldn't really be arsed anymore with this DLC so I turned the difficulty down and won with ease in one try. A bit of a hollow win though. Yes, the fight goes from nearly impossible on regular to an easy one-shot with noob mode enabled. Nice difficulty range, game.

I feel like this Moogle is actually evil, but apparently it's a representative of Cosmos or whatever the Dissidia opposite of Chaos is, and wants balance restored.

It tells Jack to finally take his place as Chaos once and for all. ...which he kinda did at the end of the main game, so we're kinda back where we started. All these DLCs just to...get to what we already established!

...And how does Jack see with that stupid helmet on?

Also this is the most evil-looking moogle ever.

Credits roll, and that's mercifully it for this DLC. Kinda crashed at the end but it was an alright story epitaph to the others. They did indeed end up using all parts of the FF1. Except like...Gaia, that town in the north. No Elfland or Crescent Lake either. Actually they didn't really use any of the towns besides Cornelia and Lufenia. Maybe they'll do another DLC that's just like, all towns or something. An "Oops! All Towns!" DLC. ...nope, I think the game is totally wrapped up now.

Yep, there it is, we're right back where the main game ended. Took a long route to get back to where we already were.

Another set of Light Warriors shows up's a big tweest:

The very last fight, you play as the Warrior of Light and have to fight Garland!

I guess this really is the beginning of FF1.

Except that's the cast of this game standing there. Well, I stopped trying to figure this game out a while ago. Timey-wimey stuff can be hit or miss and I find it to be mostly miss. Avoid it if possible in storytelling unless you know what you're doing.

Got all the trophies too. I had a lot of fun with the base game, but not so much with the DLCs. They turned out to all be total grind-fests just to progress, they're locked behind each other, and each one was obsoleted immediately by the one after it.


Omega/Transcendent - Best fight in all of these DLCs, was a real workout, and all my micromanagement came to fruition here.

Emperor - And the final battle where I just couldn't be arsed anymore. The Emperor could be kind of interesting, except his motivations were all over the place with this writing.

All the trophies - Yeah, all the trophies, got 'em all. This officially puts Stranger of Paradise to bed for me on a permanent basis. Again, great base game, skippable DLCs.

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