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Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008




Final Fantasy II is an odd duck. As the first of what turned out to be many sequels, it's a highly ambitious game with tons of interesting ideas and odd quirks.

And it doesn't really work. I'll admit this upfront: while I am FFII apologist, at the end of the day, it's a game that's fundamentally flawed. The story is a nice attempt for 1988. but it's only a curiosity now. The character leveling is odd and unbalanced. And if you don't understand how some of the mechanics work it's a frustrating system.

That being said, there's a weird narrative that's built up around this game. That it's an impossibly hard, grindy piece of poo poo. And that's simply not true. It doesn't hold up now, but most games of the time don't. For a game from 1988 it's a surprisingly lenient one. And for all the bullshit it has, the character leveling system can be oddly absorbing. Honestly, I find it a lot more fun to play than either the original Final Fantasy or FFIII.



Two LPs have already demonstrated how, with the proper know how, you can demolish FF2. Gabriel Pope's LP absolutely destroys the game's difficulty with a minimum of effort. Mega 64's a little more restrained, but by the end was mostly breezing through.

So the goal with this LP? Let's make Final Fantasy II hard again. I originally thought a solo run would spice things up nicely, but I found that a solo FF2 run doesn't play that differently than a regular game. Therefore, we're adding a few restrictions to the list.

-No insta-death spells. This means no Death (obviously) no Mini, no Toad (I'm sad too), just anything that kills an enemy instantly. Warp/Exit will still be allowed, but only for its actual intended function.
-No Berserk or Haste.
-No weapons or shields. We're gonna let our fists do the talking.

-Update: As of the 9th update, all armor that increases agility or evasion is verboten.

...this is gonna be fun.



Special Spoiler Warning Notice

I do not care one iota about FF2's plot. I'm only going to mention it out of obligation. If you really wanna experience the story, there's two other LPs of the game you can read. They're good LPs. Therefore don't bother putting anything in spoiler tags. I won't.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Pathetic Flailing
Chapter 2: Cue the Rocky Theme
Chapter 3: Powering Up
Chapter 4: The RNG Gods Have Favored Me
Chapter 5: Revenge
Chapter 6: Castle Cashew
Chapter 7: Time to Explode Things
Chapter 8: Wandering the Earth
Chapter 9: Tropical Vacation
Chapter 10: Spelunking
Chapter 11: On the Next Season of FF2...
Chapter 12: The Rebellion Finally Does Something
Chapter 13: Ghosts
Chapter 14: Mysidia Tower
Chapter 15: Ride the Wind
Chapter 16: Family Ties
Chapter 17: Vivian Conquers Hell
Bonus Update: Vivian Kills Everything


GBA Bonus Run Part 1
GBA Bonus Run Part 2
GBA Bonus Run Part 3
GBA Bonus Run Part 4
GBA Bonus Run Part 5
GBA Bonus Run Part 6
GBA Bonus Run Part 7

Soul of Rebirth Part 1
Soul of Rebirth Part 2
Soul of Rebirth Part 3
Soul of Rebirth Part 4

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at Oct 25, 2014 around 00:46

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Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Chapter 1: Pathetic Flailing



First things first, we might as well begin as the game does: with this bit of exposition and then naming our hero and their corpse companions.



I named Firion Solo, after the Fighter in ddegenha's FF1's solo LP.



On that note, Guy's name is now Loq, after the Red Mage run of the same LP.



Leon will be Stalin, after Mega 64's FF3 solo LP



And finally Maria shall be called Vivian. Because I like naming her Vivian.



Final Fantasy 2 quite famously opens with an unwinnable battle. When you think about it, it's actually kind of a neat way to teach the player about the row system. If you'll notice, Vivian's standing behind all the burly menfolk. Unlike other games in the series where standing the back row decreases physical damage, here it completely prevents being targeted by normal attacks.



Meaning that this battle always has to take two rounds (well, in original, it'll often take three because enemies in the game can whiff hits on dead targets like you can). Once everyone in the front row is dead, everyone in the back row comes forward and inevitably dies.

I figure I might as well mention this because you will never see it again for the rest of the LP.



Because this is a gameplay oriented LP, I'm not gonna bother transcribing text. For the most part I'm just gonna summarize. Like so:

: Hey I found these kids while escaping from the Empire. Could you make sure they don't die?
: Sure.
: Thanks.





Oh no where's my buddy Stalin?



Well we find everyone else. I'm certain Stalin is fine. Probably out there, doing very morally upright things.



: Hey can we join the rebellion?
: No, you'll die.
: Well, not all of us.
: What?
: Nothing.
: You can go back to Phin if you want.
: You mean the place we nearly died trying to escape from?
: Yeap.
: Okay.



Oh, and we get a keyword. Occasionally people will drop keywords and you have to pick them up and throw them at other people so you can progress. It's a really vestigial thing. This sort of bizarre, pointless little gameplay detail is pretty common of early Final Fantasies, who loved throwing odd ideas here and there and seeing what stuck. (That's pretty much the design doc for this game, now that I think about it)

Anyway, all we really needed was that keyword. But there's a couple of things here to note.

The dude who healed us up is Minwu (he's called Minh in this translation, but I'm just gonna call him Minwu.) He's a future party member. He's the only one I'm gonna feel kinda bad about killing.



Also there's a Potion here. It does what you think it does. I will actually probably use this. That's... interesting I guess.



Here's the King. He exists solely to die later. I'm really not sure why the game doesn't start with him already dead.



There's Paul. He doesn't have a unique sprite in this version. He's cool; he's pretty much the only competent NPC.



And lastly here's Gordon. He is a future party member that I will relish killing.



Because of the sort of run I'm doing, weapon shops will be completely useless to us and armor shops mostly useless. I don't really want to buy items just yet, so we're only stopping off by the magic shop.

Before we start shopping, we have to make the choice: who shall be our survivor?







A quick run down on these stats: Power adds to your attack and accuracy score, Agility determines base Evasion percentage, Vitality determines how much HP we'll get on a level up, Intelligence determines how strong our black magic is, and Soul is the same thing but for White Magic. There's no levels or experience points in the traditional sense; our stats raise based entirely what we do in battle. If we attack Power has a chance to raise, cast black magic Intelligence has a chance to increase... and so on. For most of these stats, it's fairly easy to understand. As for spells and weapon skill, they have levels; every time we use them they gain a small amount of experience.

Honestly, if I was doing a less restricted solo run, the choice of character really wouldn't matter. I suppose Solo is the best choice, being as he's the most balanced. In all honestly, though, the differences between them aren't that big, and any deficiency they have would correct itself quite quickly.

However, since we're doing this unarmed only, that changes things. Since Fists are so strength reliant, characters with low strength are going to have a hellish time starting out. You'd think this would disqualify Vivian, and would make either Solo or Loq the best choice.

Not quite. You see, while Vivian will start out weak, once we get some strength and a few levels in unarmed, that's not going to be a problem. What will be a problem? Evasion. Unfortunately, it's going to take a bit of text to explain why I do what I do, and why this run's restrictions are so difficult. So strap in kids; even more text!



Agility and the Evasion are simultaneous the most important and difficult to understand stats in the game. Agility simply determines base Evasion percentage. That's all it does. So what does Evasion percentage do? It determines chance of evading an attack, obviously, as well as turn order.

In addition to Agility, your equipment effects Evasion %. Heavy armor decreases Evasion massively, while light armor has much smaller penalties. Weapons and shields, on the other hand, add to evasion. The formula is level x evasion bonus of the weapon or shield. Most weapons have a evasion bonus of 1%, so that's a minor bonus. Shields, on the other hand? The worst shield, the Buckler Solo started with, has 4% evasion bonus. The best shield in the game has a ten percent bonus. It's not uncommon by the end of the game to have your shield level up to level 8 or higher if you're a heavy shield user. 99% Evasion isn't hard to reach.

Fists, by the way, don't give any evasion bonus whatsoever. Without shields or weapons, we're completely reliant on our Agility score for evasion. Oh, but here's the kicker; Agility increases are dependent on our Evasion percentage. Absolutely nothing else. Basically if your evasion percent is higher than zero, you have a random chance on increasing Agility which increases the higher your evasion percent is. It is completely independent of your actions.

So, why not just load up on heavy armor and tank every hit? This is a bad, bad idea. Not only does heavy armor carry some penalties not readily apparent, what will really end up hurting you in the end doesn't care one whit about defense score. I'll explain it once I get to it in the game; this explanation's getting long enough anyway.

Tl;dr: Agility is more important than every other stat. Therefore Vivian's our choice.



Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's go actually prepare our character. Unlike FF1, we do start with some equipment. It's all getting sold, with the except of the Buckler Solo comes with and the Cloth armor Vivian comes with.



We end up with a little over a thousand gil, which is more than enough to get us started. Obviously we need at least Cure and one attack spell. I went with both Fire and Ice. Probably should have just bought one attack spell and spent the rest on items, but money will cease to be problem soon enough.



And we're ready to make our way to Phin. The game doesn't give you great directions to Phin, and there are two areas immediately adjacent to where we start out that have much, much higher level enemies. The game does not stop you from going into those areas nor does it indicate that these areas contain monsters that we can't beat. Go too far north? Die. Go too far west? Die even harder. I promise you everyone who ever played this game stumbled into those areas at least once. And the kicker is there are rivers that will block us... from going east. What's east? Slighter stronger monsters than the ones in the starting area.

Final Fantasy II isn't the best made game, I'll admit that upfront.

For this first part, though, if we just follow the river we'll be okay. We'll want to cross north and-


Goblin
Rank 1, HP 6, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 0, Magic Resistance 1-50%


First (winnable) battle! And the game actually shows me some mercy by pitting me against the weakest enemy in the game. That was mighty kind, since we're gonna need a few rounds to kill off our extraneous members.



I wasn't kidding when I said Vivian was going to start out ridiculously weak. When you're unarmed, attack power is strength divided by two (rounded down). Additional levels in unarmed add 8. Vivian starts with five strength, and there are no unarmed bonuses since it's at level one, so her attack power is two. As long as she doesn't miss, Vivian needs two or three hits to bring down a Goblin. And yes, even in this game you're expected to be one, maybe two shotting Goblins out of the gate.



Taking Solo and Loq down proved a bit annoying, even with their help, so I broke out the spells. Spells are the best source of damage we're gonna have early on. Spells always start at level one, and their MP cost is always the same as their level. Unfortunately, we only start with five MP.



There.

Since I'm only a few steps away from town anyway, Vivian just wastes the Goblins with magic. Upon slaying them, I'm rewarded with 31 gil and stat ups. We gain some Intelligence and-



I explained all the main stats, but I didn't cover this one. Magic Power is a misnomer; it's merely determines how much MP you get when you get an MP increase. It's triggered by MP loss during battle. It works the same way as Vitality.





You get HP and MP increases the same way you get Vitality and Magic Power, by losing HP and MP during battle. One thing to note is that the game doesn't technically track how much HP or MP you lose in a battle. It just takes how much HP or MP you start the battle with and subtracts how much you have at the end. Therefore it behooves you not to heal during battle unless you absolutely need to.

I should also note that a well known exploit is to hit your own party members to make sure your HP is low enough to trigger HP gains. Contrary to what you may hear, that's not very useful. There's a couple of points you'll want more HP, but what will really end up hurting me in the end isn't alleviated by having more HP anyway. (Besides, I'm gonna have plenty through normal play.)





Excellent.



We'll have to hit the inn before we actually start traveling, though. Rather than a flat fee, Inns charge based on how much HP and MP you're missing. It's 1 gil per 4 points of HP missing, and 1 to 1 for MP. If you're missing a lot of HP it's often a good idea to heal up before you go to the inn.

Anyway, now our journey can start for real! It's only a stone's throw to our next stop, we run into the rest of the enemies around here.


Hornet
Rank 1, HP 6, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 1-50%


Hornets are basically Goblins with one key difference.



They have a chance of poisoning you when they hit. Well, I say "poison" but that's not quite correct. There are two versions of poison in the game; one that does not persist after battle and has a chance of going away on its own, and the other which persists after battle and won't go away until cured. Fortunately for us, Hornets inflict the former. Even with our low HP it's just a minor annoyance.



Most early game monsters have a change to flee, regardless of your stats. I know that the chance of monsters running goes up as you get stronger, but I could be wrong. (And I'm not sure what would directly determine that.)



I'd like to reiterate that we are that weak.

After we win we get another HP up and Vitality up. Honestly, you should just assume I'm getting an HP increase every battle.


Legeater
Rank 1, HP 6, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 60%, Defense 0, Evasion 0, Magic Resistance 1-50%


And here is the last enemy type we have around these parts. They're pretty much like the rest. They have some resistance to some spell types we don't have yet. That's about it.



Unlike Final Fantasy I, all spells in the game can be single targeted or multi targeted. However, multi-targeted spells' damage or effectiveness is reduced by three fourths. It doesn't matter how many enemies are left. Hell, you can choose to use a multi-target spell on a single target! So instead of a one-hit kill spells are gonna be a two-hit kill. Still, with four enemies, it's better than trying to chip away at them with regular attacks.



The game has this cool little detail where sometimes you'll see an airship flying around the world map.

Anyway, you'll see there's a town just a short distance north of Altea.



It has a name, but it barely matters. It mostly just sells what Altea sells, except it doesn't have a magic shop. Mostly it's here so you'll have a chance to rest at the inn and resurrect allies. (hah)



Phin is north of this town, but there's a huge lake in the way, so we'll have to go up and around the lake. Since we've got some HP under our belts it's tedious, but not difficult. One interesting thing happens, though.





We see our first instance of stats decreasing. Sometimes when you gain stats, there's another chance that another stat will also decrease. Intelligence decreases with Power, Vitality decreases with Intelligence, and Power decreases with Soul. It's fairly infrequent, but later remakes did away with this mechanic entirely.



Here we are at Phin! We can't even enter the castle, so we go to town.



Every single one of these dudes (you can't really tell, but they're soldiers) will kill us if we talk to them. We can enter some of the buildings and shops, but no one's in them.



And there's random encounters! (It's the same enemies that are on the world map) So Phin's kind of a shithole right now. So what do we do here?





Find a secret bar and get hammered. Of course.



Again, everyone except the guy behind the counter will kill us if we talk to them.



We throw our only keyword at this fellow with poor spelling, and he politely disappears.



Secret passages!!



With three Potions. That's... mildly useful.



Again, we use our only keyword on him.



He's the brother of the useless Gordon, fiancee of the slightly less useless Hilda, and-



BORGAN!!!!

Anyway, he gives us a ring and dies. This is all we needed in Phin for right now. Once we walk out of the pub we can just talk a few step to the right and exit onto the world map.



Now that we have the Ring, when we press Select + B, we open the world map. It has a weird pseudo sphere effect. You can rotate it around, but it scrolls so slowly as to be worthless. It's mostly good for getting a glimpse of your immediate surroundings. Later games just replace it with a regular old map. Which gives me the mental image of Scott taking a diamond ring and pasting a map on top of it.

Anyway, the trip back is pretty uneventful an-



...



SAVE THAT poo poo.

(Oh, and this was the first Final Fantasy game where you can save on the world map, as opposed to needing an inn or to use a tent. Still don't have save points, though.)



Anyway, I also got an MP increase, but otherwise there's not much to say about the return trip. Let's report in with Hilda.



: Hey we got a ring from your dead boyfriend. Oh, uh, he's dead by the way.
: Tha- thanks. Is there something wrong with your frie-
: Never been better!
: ...okay. Well, guess you've proven yourself. Anyway, we fell to the evil empire because we didn't have a particular metal. And that is the only reason. So fetch some, won't you?



Keyword get! To get this super awesome mythical metal (which is totally not just for a bunch of early to middle tier equipment) we have to go to Salmando and find a man named Josef.



And also we get a new party member. More importantly than a new corpse, we get his canoe. I mentioned there was a lake that prevented us from going east? We can cross it now. As a matter of fact, there are only five locations on the world map we can't get to right now. I mean, technically. There are still areas on the world map that will kill us dead if we wander into them.



Even if we can't use him, Minwu at least has the courtesy to come with some nice stuff. The IceScyth has an odd name, and I believe it casts a single target level 16 Shell. I ended up selling it; I didn't remember what it did at the time, but honestly I probably wouldn't have used it anyway. The Copper (cuirass) and Ether are highly appreciated. There are actually an armor version and an cuirass version of the copper stuff, but this translation doesn't distinguish between them. The armor is heavy, worthless crap, but the cuirass proves us some defense and only lowers our evasion by 5. We can't really coast on evasion on this run, so we still need to balance it with defense.

In any case, I'm gonna save killing Minwu for next time. For now, let's take stock of Vivian's growth so far and then sign off.


Power + 2, Agility +1 (YES), Vitality +4, Intelligence +1, Magic Power +1, HP + 49, MP + 11

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at Aug 20, 2014 around 23:21

Aishlinn
Mar 31, 2011

This might hurt a bit..

Oh, i get it. The "Like Real men part" was a joke, since our lone warrior to take up the path of fisticuffs is the girl. Good luck, i'll be following this with interest.

Sketchie
Nov 14, 2012



Oh boy, it's now live! I can't wait to see what happens later in the game.

Also, it's very nice of you to make a reference to some of the other players that did solo playthroughs of certain FF games.

Sketchie fucked around with this message at Jul 20, 2014 around 03:58

Skanker
Mar 21, 2013


I did a solo run once, maxed out pretty much all stats within hours and made the game ridiculously easy. Good luck trying to make this game tough, it really only works for the start of the game! I'm an apologist like you, though, so keep up the good work.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


Alright, this oughta be interesting. It's amusing the amount of stuff you have to bar yourself from using in order to make the game difficult. I also dig your cavalier attitude towards everyone in the story. FF2 is like Shakespeare in a way -- by the end practically everyone'll be dead. So why get attached?

Kemix
Dec 1, 2013


Oh this is so on my watch list. I pretty much just went and stumbled the gently caress through the GBA version of this game and STILL killed the final boss somehow. Don't ask me, I can't remember how I did this without intense mechanics abuse.

Mega64
May 23, 2008



I certainly like what this game tried to do, even if the execution is kinda clunky. On the other hand, this game is up there with FF3 in having the most infuriating dungeon designs in the series, where at least some of 3's dungeons look cool.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how you handle the game with the setbacks you've set for yourself. No shields is gonna be nuts, though it'll also inspire tons of creative magic use I'm sure.

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


This is going to be...interesting.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Chapter 2: Cue the Rocky Theme



Welcome back. Last time we got a new method of transportation, and a new party member we've gotta kill off. Let's get to it.





...okay, magic it is, then.



Even with magic, this is gonna take a while. Unfortunately, a bizarre quirk of the game is that characters in the middle two slots (namely Vivian and Loq) get targeted way more than any of the other characters. Also, you can't change what slot your character is in. So the enemies don't really help.



It takes five attack spells, and having to heal Viv twice, before Minwu got into single digits. Thankfully, Minwu saves me the trouble and finishes himself off.



It takes a few more rounds and another Cure spell to end the battle, but at least it was lucrative. She gets some vitality, loses that vitality when she gets intelligence, more soul, more MP, and more HP.

After we top off at the inn, we head east.



Here's the lake I mentioned was blocking us off. Of course, I say that, but that's not strictly true.



FF2's world map is designed to make geography enthusiasts weep blood. You see that long stretch of the land in the top left corner and the one in the bottom right corner? Yeah, they connect. If you absolutely wanted to, you could get around that lake by going up into that corner, wrapping around, traveling all the way through the desert, and going west. You'd have no sane reason to do this, mind you, but you could. Rivers only block off three locations, two of which are in a way higher level area, and the other is the first dungeon.

I'd like to reiterate that the design of this game is really weird.



But speaking of rivers, here's the canoe. Unlike FF1, you don't get into encounters while traveling the rivers.



Hey look, another town. And a boat. No, we're not actually getting a boat this early on.



It's a ferry. 32 gil is pretty cheap, even this early in the game, but Poft is pretty close by and we need to buff up anyway.

This is Palm (or Paloom). It's got some new stuff for sale, but again the only one we care about is the magic shop.



We've seen Cure, but the other spells are new. Blink increases evasion, Safe is more properly called Protect and it increases defense, and Shell increases Magic Defense. Safe is glitched in this game, as it only effects the caster. Which is just fine for us, but while some extra defense that doesn't cost evasion would be nice, I'm not sure if it's worth the time leveling it up. Shell is much the same way; it could be useful, but it'd take too much effort to get there. Blink, however, is really useful, so we're buying it. Selling off the IceSycth gives me just enough to get it.

After buying Blink and inning up, it's off to Poft. You just follow the shore line east.


Goblin Guard
Rank 1, HP 10, MP 6, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 1-50%


With a new area of the world map, we get some new enemies. Goblin Guard, or Guard Goblin, or Green Goblin, or Willam Defoe... whatever you want to call them, are a bit of a step up from Goblins. Also, we see that enemies, too, have a front row and back row. Like with your characters, front row enemies can attack and be targeted by attacks, while back row enemies cannot do either. Once enemies in the front row are killed, the enemies in the back can attack and be attacked.



However, magic doesn't care about row. Anything in this game that isn't a normal attack is classified as magic. Yes, using a bow is magic in this game. (When an enemy does it. Not you.) The bow attack can be a bit dangerous, as it ignores defense and evasion. If I had lower HP I might be in some trouble.



As long as there is another monster two rows ahead, an enemy is classified as being in the back row. You can use that to keep from being bombarded by too many enemies at once, although what's actually dangerous in this fight is the bow attack, so it doesn't actually help me here.



I cut that close, didn't I?


Sprinter
Rank 1, HP 30, Attack Power 9, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-40%, Magic Resistance 1-50%


Sprinters are bastards.



They hit hard.



They evade a lot. And they have a lot of HP. Admittedly, I should have just broken out a Fire or something, but Vivian needs to train her unarmed skill. So Vivian spent way more time than I'd care to admit trying to punch out a drat bird.

Oh, but that's not the worst of 'em.


Soldier
Rank 1, HP 45, MP 10, Attack Power 17, Attacks 1, Accuracy 60%, Defense 9, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 2-50%




...magic again, I see.



Here's the thing about magic. You'd think that since this guy seems to have a higher magic defense than the other enemies here, that he'd take less damage. This is not true. Magic defense protects again status spells. There is actually no way to reduce to damage from a damage-dealing spell except to have a resistance to its element. If absolutely nothing scratches its defense, magic will. This might come up a couple times in the game.

Anyway, I take 'em out and move onto-



You are so mean, game.





Money and item drops work very differently in this game. Monsters have up to eight slots for drops, and will always drop one after battle. Both money and items are on the list of drops; a single enemy cannot drop money and an item at the same time. An antidote seems like a bad deal, but it sells for 100, which is better money than anything else drops. Besides, I can't cast anything that removes status ailments yet, so it's a good idea to have some on hand.



Anyway, here's Poft.



The game's a little confused here. We can ride the ferry back to Palm, but only if we rode the ferry to Poft. We can still totally pay for the ferry, but none will be out there. Jerk. In the remakes, at least, they don't let you pay for a ferry that's not there.



Oh, oh, this is an important thing. Here's the very first Cid of Final Fantasy!



This Cid, though, is kind of lame. Right now he just runs an airship taxi service. It'll take you to four different towns on the map. Handy, but too pricey to use right now. Oh, and the airship that we see every now and again is his. Just so you know.

Other than that Poft is pretty much Palm again. It has the same spells anyway. Onward.



If we go east and then south, we'll reach the town of Bofsk (or Bafsk), which has some decent stuff to buy, but we can't afford it. So we go north until we hit the mountains, and then west.





Salamando! It has some new stuff for sale.



Including a bunch of spells I can't afford yet. Believe or not, the Life spell is still useful for a solo game, as it can insta-kill the undead. But we're not using those kind of spells, so that's a no-go. The Anti spell, properly called Sap or Rasp, decreases the target's MP. This would be kind of useful, if it a) was more powerful and b) wasn't bugged. Anti doesn't work correctly against targets with 256 MP or more. There's a spell later on that can take the place of Anti and works much better, although it'll be awhile until we get it. Warp takes you back one level in a dungeon, why would you ever need that, while Exit takes you out of the dungeon entirely. I can't afford Exit, and I'll be getting it for free soon.



Josef is apparently an important enough NPC that he gets a stalker. Good for him.


Hilda sent me. She wants Mythril. Gimme Mythril.
No. There's some in the Semite Cave, though. Incidentally the evil empire keeping some captured townsfolk there. If you could take care of it that'd be great.

And now we've got the location for the first dungeon of the game. It's gonna be a doozy. We're not gonna tackle Semite Falls right now, but let's at least find it.


Yeti
Rank 1, HP 20, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 1-50%


Around Salamando we have a bunch more snowy themed enemies. Yetis are pretty unremarkable. One important thing does happen at the end of this battle, though.



loving. Finally.



HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, FUCKERS?!



Getting a level in unarmed does more than give me 8 extra attack power (although that's appreciated). It also raises the number of attacks.

There's one aspect of the battle system I've failed to mention thus far. Each attack, in addition to its power, rolls a number of "hits." For attack, the game chooses a random value between your base attack and twice your attack power, subtracts the target's defense, and multiplies it by how many times it hits. That's why Vivian's attack power more than quadrupled. The whole "hits" thing is actually in every Final Fantasy in some form until 5.

However, not every hit will connect. You may have noticed that there's another number for Evasion, and it rose and I haven't mentioned it.



There are actually two numbers associated with evasion; one is the percentage, and the other the count. The count determines how many hits you can evade. If you have 99% evasion, but one count, you can't evade multiple attacks if the enemy happens to get two or more. Unlike percent, evasion count levels. Every time you're targeted by an attack (you do not have to actually be hit) it adds to your progress. The game doesn't show your progress like with spell or weapon levels, and it doesn't even tell you when you gain a level. The latter, at least, is fixed in remakes.



From Salamondo, you just need to go west until you hit the river. Travel down it and-



Here we are! Next time, Semite Falls.


Power +1, Vitality +4, Intelligence +3, Soul +1, Unarmed + 1 (FINALLY), Evasion +1, Magic Power +1, HP +60, MP +12

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2014 around 05:25

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012


Does punching ever actually become a good idea, or just somewhat tolerable to use?

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Night10194 posted:

Does punching ever actually become a good idea, or just somewhat tolerable to use?

I guess you'll see over the course of this LP! But, to answer your question, on a character that isn't Vivian it's actually pretty good early on, since +8 to attack power is a lot right now. Early game weapons are pretty poo poo. Later on, though, not so much.

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2014 around 03:41

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008

I am programed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring.



If you get it all the way to level 16 (good luck without the select/cancel trick), fist attacks will have 120 attack power, which is about halfway between the first and second best weapons in the game, in terms of raw power. However, you won't have any of the neat added properties or extra evasion those weapons have.

e: also fist attacks get 1/2 of the character's strength added to attack power rather than 1/4 with normal weapons. Unfortunately, even with 109 strength (the highest you can get), fists would still be just shy of the Masamune with the same stats.

Fister Roboto fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2014 around 06:21

Demon of the East
Dec 24, 2012



If you never want to ever buy weapons for a really long time, then fists are good if you don't mind the grinding to make them feasible in certain areas, though by the end-game they're just okay.

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008

I am programed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring.



Also since leveling up the skill gives you higher attack power, it can make a lot of the early bosses easier, since they have higher armor than any weapons that are normally available when you fight them!

Mega64
May 23, 2008



Another nice perk is that going barehanded means you don't get the penalties to your spell-casting that most weapons and shields give, though I think the best-tier weapons and shields don't give much of a penalty anyway. It's a whole other story until then, though.

Yes, the game gives penalties to your casting stats based on what armor you're wearing. And of course the game doesn't tell you any of this. At least the remakes removed the casting penalties from using weapons and shields, though not armor.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


Mega64 posted:

Yes, the game gives penalties to your casting stats based on what armor you're wearing. And of course the game doesn't tell you any of this. At least the remakes removed the casting penalties from using weapons and shields, though not armor.

Aren't those penalties strictly to spells that can miss (like the instant-death spells, Heal, oh yeah and Life)? As long as you stick to stuff like the damage spells and Cure, you can play a hybrid class just fine. Of course, that means you're splitting your turns between two different types of actions, which means (outside of solo play) that you'll be leveling up half as quickly in each, so in the long run it's probably a bad idea. But it can be done!

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

Aren't those penalties strictly to spells that can miss (like the instant-death spells, Heal, oh yeah and Life)? As long as you stick to stuff like the damage spells and Cure, you can play a hybrid class just fine. Of course, that means you're splitting your turns between two different types of actions, which means (outside of solo play) that you'll be leveling up half as quickly in each, so in the long run it's probably a bad idea. But it can be done!

Nope, it impact damage spells too, although not as badly. I don't know the exact math the game uses for damage spells on the top of my head, but I have done tests and it seems like heavy penalties will cut your damage by a fifth or fourth or so.

Double Rabite
Mar 30, 2010


Camel Pimp posted:



-No insta-death spells. This means no Death (obviously) no Mini, no Toad (I'm sad too), just anything that kills an enemy instantly. Warp/Exit will still be allowed, but only for its actual intended function.
-No Berserk or Haste.
-No weapons or shields. We're gonna let our fists do the talking.

...this is gonna be fun.




Umm… The easiest time I had with the game was using 1 single unarmed- unarmored character. IIRC fists end up being the 3rd strongest weapon in the game and not using armor makes your defensive stats grow like crazy. Got to love the leveling system of the game.

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008

I am programed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring.



Camel Pimp posted:

Nope, it impact damage spells too, although not as badly. I don't know the exact math the game uses for damage spells on the top of my head, but I have done tests and it seems like heavy penalties will cut your damage by a fifth or fourth or so.

I'm pretty sure the penalties are a flat reduction to stats. The character screen doesn't reflect this at all, but if you were to go into a save with a hex editor you would see that a character wearing heavy armor would actually have negative int/soul. Fortunately the game doesn't go below 0 for calculating spell effects. If you were to test this out on a character just starting out, you wouldn't notice much of a difference because they're only losing like 10 int. But if you had a character with max intelligence and tanked it with heavy armor, you'd see a huge discrepancy.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Fister Roboto posted:

I'm pretty sure the penalties are a flat reduction to stats. The character screen doesn't reflect this at all, but if you were to go into a save with a hex editor you would see that a character wearing heavy armor would actually have negative int/soul. Fortunately the game doesn't go below 0 for calculating spell effects. If you were to test this out on a character just starting out, you wouldn't notice much of a difference because they're only losing like 10 int. But if you had a character with max intelligence and tanked it with heavy armor, you'd see a huge discrepancy.

Oh yeah. I just don't know how the game calculated int/soul for damage spells. Okay, looking it up... the game adds 1/4 of the relevant magic stat to the power of the spell, plus int/soul can make the spell roll for additional hits. (Spells also roll hits like attacks do, but it's less obvious.) At least for damage spells, you will always do the base amount of damage.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Chapter 3: Powering Up



Semite Falls. Let's go.



Semite Falls is our first major step up in difficulty. Now it's not because the enemies are that tough. The cave mostly has enemies we've been fighting, and even the new ones aren't that bad. No, it's just kind of long. It's five decently sized floors with two hard fights at the end (although one of those is optional.) If you're playing normally, Minwu helps ease you into this. He's got way more MP than you really need at this point in the game, and if you're really in a bad way, he already comes with Exit.

I don't have that safety buffer at the moment. So I have to play fairly conservatively.



One of the first things you see in this dungeon is that blue block thingamabob. And everyone who played this game probably spent a good minute poking and prodding this thing before realizing that it doesn't do anything. What a tease.


Balloon
Rank 1, HP 20, MP 10, Attack Power 9, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 0, Evasion 0, Magic Resistance 1-50%


And we see the first instance of the "balloon" type enemy.



Like the balloons in later games, they will attempt to self destruct. However, they'll attempt to do this even at full HP; it just won't work. So in practice they end up wasting most of their turns. In any case, the strategy is still the same as for every other balloon enemy in Final Fantasy; make sure to take them out in a single hit. Fortunately, Vivian can usually do that with her normal attack.



Although, hell, even their self-destruct spell isn't that dangerous. Self-destruct isn't reliant on the monster's HP total; it just does a certain amount of damage.

As for the dungeon itself-





It doesn't start on a high note.



The second floor, at least, starts giving out slighter better stuff. For those of you who've never played a Final Fantasy game, Eye Drops cure blind. Nothing here causes blind, though. There are two more treasure chests on floor two; they're just potions.

Still, while the floors are decently sized, they're not that big, and the toughest enemy we've got are the soldiers (which Vivian can at least scratch now.) You may wonder why FF2's dungeon design is so loathed, even by people who like the game.



And here is why. Only one of these doors lead anywhere.



The other three? Leads to something affectionately called the "ambush closet." You're placed in the middle of the room, and for whatever reason these rooms have the encounter rate jacked up.



This was just after two steps. You're usually going to run into one battle before you get out of the room, and it's not uncommon to get two.



The correct door, by the way, is this one. And I only realized that was the correct door after went into each and every other door. I've played this game many, many times before. I would have swore I had this poo poo memorized, but apparently not!

Now we head to the third floor. Now-



...you must think you're so funny, FF2.



Anyway, what's even more annoying about the ambush closets that they don't just show up a few times; every dungeon is littered with them. That door? Leads to an ambush closet. At least if there's a line of doors, one of them is guaranteed to lead somewhere. Doors by themselves, on the other hands, usually lead nowhere. The key word is usually. Some of them actually do lead to places you need to go, or really good treasure. There's absolutely no way to figure out which are ambush closets and which are important unless you go through all of them, or you have a map.

Yeah, I can't even pretend to defend that poo poo.



And speaking of ambush closets, we have another game of Lady and the Tiger! And like last time, I choose tiger twice before I get the right one. (It's the leftmost door)



But hey! We found the captured townsfolk. The girl by Paul is Josef's daughter. I just thought you wanted to know.



Also it turns out Paul's gonna do our job for us! We still have to find the Mythril, though; there's two more levels to go.



I wasn't gonna push my luck. I probably could have gotten to the bottom; I've got that Ether from Minwu in case I run out of MP. But I really didn't want to risk it (and I wanted to save the Ether). Those two enemies at the end are very capable of killing me, and I didn't want to have to start from square one if that happened.



On my way out, I was a little surprised to gain another level in unarmed.



But not as surprised to find that I had quietly picked up another evasion level. (Ignore the attack stats; for whatever reason they don't immediately show up on your stat screen.)

And in the next battle this happens:



Well drat. Now I've definitely got to run out and save.



And now I'm one-shotting Soldiers. How far we've come in such a short time!

Anyway, along with saving, I might as well run back to town and hit up the inn.


Vampire Thorn
Rank 1, HP 20, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 60%, Defense 0, Evasion 0, Magic Resistance 1-50%


Oh, I never ran into these guys before! They, uh, exist. That's all I can really say. They dropped an Eye Drop.



One thing I like to do when I heading into town is to intentionally waste all my MP on one battle. While I'm going to get HP gains with decent regularity, because Vivian's chance of dodging attacks is pretty random, MP gains are much trickier to get. So I'll have to force them. That'll be why my MP total is going to have improved significantly by the end of this update, in case you're confused.

After resting, I decide to hit up the item shop.



Each item shop in the game is exactly the same. They all have three people behind the counter, and they all sell the same thing.



X-Potion are actually what you'd call Hi-Potions. They don't restore that much, they actually would not full heal me, and they're also stupidly expensive. I just go for a couple of regular Potions instead.



These are all status restoring items. Crucifix cures curse, which is somewhat rare, Echo Screen cures Amnesia, which is permanent silence, Maiden Kiss cures toad, and Gold Needle cures stone. Echo Screens will be useful later on, the rest not as much.



The game also lets you buy the high end consumables from the get-go, but actually having the money for them is another story. Just in case you've never played a Final Fantasy: Phoenix Down cures KO, Ether restores MP, Cottage restores all HP/MP for everyone (alive) but only on the world map, and Elixirs cures all HP/MP for a single character.

Back to the mines.


Queen Bee
Rank 1, HP 30, Attack Power 9, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 4, Evasion 1-10%, Magic Resistance 1-50%


Huh, there's a quite a few enemies I didn't run into first time around. Weird. Queen Bees are one of the first enemies in the game that inflicts permanent, honest-to-goodness poison. At this point Vivian's punch tears through these guys like tissue paper, so it dies before doing anything.



Ones thing I started noticing is that while my strength and attack power were rising nicely, I was getting a ton of intelligence losses. I must have lost four or so points of intelligence, and only gained one back. Also all of my spells were still at level one. How much intelligence had I lost any-



Wait, I gained another evasion level? And a level in magic defense? Magic defense levels in much the same way as the evasion count does; by being targeted by magic spells. Bow and self-destruct do count for this, by the way.

In any case, I tried to use my spells a little bit more. I couldn't rely on them, as Viv's MP total is decent but not enough to be using magic in every battle. As long as I mixed some magic in that should stem the intelligence losses-



drat it!



Anyway, on the fourth floor there's one of the first decent piece of the treasure in this joint. For a full party this can be pretty useful; if you know it's here you can skip buying the Fire tome and save your money early on, or give it to another party member to have two fire casters. In my case, though, I'd rather just start leveling this spell as early as possible rather than wait to get it. (Of course, it was still at level one at this point anyway...)


Slime
Rank 2, HP 10, MP 6, Attack Power 4, Attacks 1, Accuracy 50%, Defense 210, Evasion 0, Magic Resistance 1-50%


These enemies are far more likely to pop up on the last two floors on this dungeon. They apparently can show up on the early floors, but it's rare. Slimes here are pretty similar to slimes in later Final Fantasies; you can't scratch them with attacks, but magic wrecks their poo poo. Even a multi-targeted Fire 1 takes them all out.

Slimes are also the first Rank 2 enemy we've seen. You may have wondered what "rank" means. Rank is used in the calculation for weapon levels, magic levels, evasion, and magic defense. The formula used by pretty much all of them is Rank + Times skill is used (or times targeted for Evasion and Magic Defense) - Skill Level + Multiplier. Weapons, magic, evasion, and magic defense all have different multipliers. Evasion actually has a negative multiplier, while the rest are positive. Once our skill levels get higher, we have to either use the skill a lot of times in each battle or fight higher ranked enemies in order to make meaningful progress. The fact that she has already has an evasion level of four probably tells you how much Vivian gets targeted in each battle.



In any case, here we are on the fifth floor. The Mythril is actually really close by, but there's a treasure chest on this floor that I really wanted to get first.






Land Turtle
Rank 3, HP 140, Attack Power 35, Attacks 2, Accuracy 65%, Defense 35, Evasion 0, Magic Resistance 2-50%


Hey, Final Fantasy figured out monsters-in-a-box. How nice.



First off, regular attacks are right out. Honestly, the fact that I can hit it at all is kind of surprising. One thing you can say about going unarmed is that early on your attack power is much better. Early game weapons are really poo poo, and stat gains and levels don't help them as much. Weapons will start getting a lot better really soon, though, and fists lose their early game advantage. Unarmed will never do bad damage, but it just won't be that great.



For the monster's part, the land turtle is more than capable of bringing the pain. That's actually on the low end of what it can do; at least it didn't get both attacks off.



Fortunately for us, they have an ice weakness.



Even at level one, it only takes two ice spells to put 'em out.

I have to admit; that went better than I had thought it would.



...is it my birthday?!

While I probably could go and beat the other nasty guy here, I'm using my new exit spell. I was probably being paranoid, but drat it, agility gain. Ain't losing that.



For whatever reason, the game designers felt they needed to make the exit spell carry a downside. I guess they thought giving you the spell so early on was too generous.



It's an annoyance, but not that big of a deal. Just make sure when you use it that you have at least some MP left for a cure spell, or some potions kicking around.



You can use exit in battle, and it actually acts one of the game's many KO spells. I just cast it here to demonstrate; I will never use it in battle again. (Hell, it's probably never going to gain a single level.) At level one, exit is a hideously inaccurate spell, as are most KO spells. Still, at higher levels KO spells, even Exit, gain enough accuracy to be pretty devastating. Seriously, read Gabriel Pope's LP if you don't believe how much a insta-death spell can utterly, utterly destroy the game's difficulty.



I finally got Fire up to level 2. Other than that, got some MP and assorted stat gains on my way back to town. Heal up, and then go through the mines for the third and thankfully last time.



On the way back, I got an level for ice.



And a level for cure. Whenever you use a spell from the menu, it always adds two points to your progress.



And of course the mythril we need is behind a door, with no indication that it's here. Of course.




Sergeant
Rank 3, HP 140, MP 10, Attack Power 35, Attacks 2, Accuracy 70%, Defense 25, Evasion 1-30%, Magic Resistance 3-50%


You might have thought that the Land Turtle's high defense was a fluke, but it wasn't. Bosses in this game tend to have sky-high defense; there's no way a normal party can even scratch this boss with attacks unless they had someone with high unarmed skill. Of course I say boss, but what this game does is pull later game enemies and just calls them bosses. Land Turtles will be normal enemies pretty soon, but Sergeants come from much later on. There's actually very few unique boss enemies.

In any case, Vivian can do some damage with her attack, but it's not much. Best to stick with magic. Sergeants have no elemental weakness, so we just need to go with our highest level spell.



This guy doesn't gently caress around.



It's not a bad idea to get blink up, although I haven't described how blink actually works. Blink raises your evasion level, but not the percentage... at least, that's how I've been told it works. One would think that I would get absolutely no use out of Blink, since I'm never going to have a problem with Evasion level, but Blink at higher levels I swear does actually help, even with max evasion level and low percent. I wonder if it works differently at higher levels, if it raises evasion level past the max (I would think it couldn't) or if I'm crazy. Who knows?



Sergeants can also use the bow attack, which gives us a decent breather.



Even with it's high attack power, this wasn't too bad. I just had to make sure to keep healed up. The only stat gain I got from the fight is some MP, which is nice but I was kind of hoping for more. Oh well.



And here we go. Time to warp out and head back to town.



...sometimes this game is really annoying.

Next time, we're getting some super awesome Mythril stuff. No, really. Promise. Warning: not an actual promise




Power +5, Agility +2, Vitality +5, Intelligence -1 (Could be worse...), Soul +2, Evasion +2, Magic Defense +2, Magic Power +3, Unarmed +1, Fire +1, Ice +1, Cure +1, HP +154, MP+33

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at Oct 16, 2014 around 18:05

thetoughestbean
Apr 27, 2013

Do not attempt to interact with the hogs.


I played through FFII on ios and loved it, but it took me awhile to get decent magic users (admittedly, I only started using magic near the late game). I can imagine the frustration of having Int losses just from fighting things in the dungeons.

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008

I am programed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring.



thetoughestbean posted:

I played through FFII on ios and loved it, but it took me awhile to get decent magic users (admittedly, I only started using magic near the late game). I can imagine the frustration of having Int losses just from fighting things in the dungeons.

There are a lot of other big improvements they made for the remakes. The two most notable are that you automatically get an HP Up after a certain number of battles, and skills increase at a rate faster than glacial movement.

CrashScreen
Nov 11, 2012

Whoops.


Fister Roboto posted:

There are a lot of other big improvements they made for the remakes. The two most notable are that you automatically get an HP Up after a certain number of battles, and skills increase at a rate faster than glacial movement.

Speaking of HP...

Camel Pimp posted:

Ether restores HP

You might want to fix this minor mistake there. Nice update though, all the same! I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.

ddegenha
Jan 28, 2009

What is this?!


thetoughestbean posted:

I played through FFII on ios and loved it, but it took me awhile to get decent magic users (admittedly, I only started using magic near the late game). I can imagine the frustration of having Int losses just from fighting things in the dungeons.

I kind of love the idea of a hero getting progressively dumber throughout the game, even as they become more and more heroic. Sort of like a reverse Flowers for Algernon deal.

I'm enjoying this, and just a bit touched (perhaps one manly tear's worth) by the reference... and even more amused by the fact that they were promptly killed off. The use of Stalin also brings back memories of how the guys in the single character challenge for FFIII ended up named after Lenin, Bukharin, and Trotsky.

Bregor
May 31, 2013

THIS IS STRENGTH!


ddegenha posted:

I kind of love the idea of a hero getting progressively dumber throughout the game, even as they become more and more heroic.

Also known as "the Snow".

BottledBodhisvata
Jul 26, 2013

You just made a post! On the Internet!


Bregor posted:

Also known as "the Snow".

Snow was just stupid throughout though.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

I've found reality to
be highly over-rated!


BottledBodhisvata posted:

Snow was just stupid throughout though.
loving Guy is more of a hero and a better character than Snow!

I really like the GBA version of this game. While it has some ridiculous flaws still, there is just something so satisfying about getting microrewards after pretty much every battle. Scratches my itch just right.
I appreciate you trying to somehow make this game difficult, good luck in achieving that - I honestly think it's impossible. Because so much of this game's difficulty is binary, you either lose horribly against every random encounter or are completely untouchable. It has the weirdest difficulty "curve" of any game I played - more like difficulty steps. Have 4 Magic Resist? Death on the entire party, everyone dies! Have 5 Magic Resist? Completely immune to death. It's baffling, really. I'm probably exaggerating a little, too, but Evasion level definitely work like this, where if you don't have enough, you die, and Esuna (or however it's called here) too with its completely incomprehensible progression from "cures in-battle poison only" to "can finally de-blind you at like level 16" or whatever.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Bregor posted:

Also known as "the Snow".

...and she even fights with her fists WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Simply Simon posted:

loving Guy is more of a hero and a better character than Snow!

I really like the GBA version of this game. While it has some ridiculous flaws still, there is just something so satisfying about getting microrewards after pretty much every battle. Scratches my itch just right.
I appreciate you trying to somehow make this game difficult, good luck in achieving that - I honestly think it's impossible. Because so much of this game's difficulty is binary, you either lose horribly against every random encounter or are completely untouchable. It has the weirdest difficulty "curve" of any game I played - more like difficulty steps. Have 4 Magic Resist? Death on the entire party, everyone dies! Have 5 Magic Resist? Completely immune to death. It's baffling, really. I'm probably exaggerating a little, too, but Evasion level definitely work like this, where if you don't have enough, you die, and Esuna (or however it's called here) too with its completely incomprehensible progression from "cures in-battle poison only" to "can finally de-blind you at like level 16" or whatever.

"Binary difficulty" is actually a really good way to describe the game, now that I think about it. Coming up with challenges for this game is kind of hard; either it's "doesn't really make the game harder" or "nigh-impossible or just really, really tedious."

ddegenha posted:

I'm enjoying this, and just a bit touched (perhaps one manly tear's worth) by the reference... and even more amused by the fact that they were promptly killed off. The use of Stalin also brings back memories of how the guys in the single character challenge for FFIII ended up named after Lenin, Bukharin, and Trotsky.

Thanks

Crystalgate
Dec 26, 2012


Simply Simon posted:

I appreciate you trying to somehow make this game difficult, good luck in achieving that - I honestly think it's impossible. Because so much of this game's difficulty is binary, you either lose horribly against every random encounter or are completely untouchable. It has the weirdest difficulty "curve" of any game I played - more like difficulty steps. Have 4 Magic Resist? Death on the entire party, everyone dies! Have 5 Magic Resist? Completely immune to death. It's baffling, really.
That seems very likely if your Magic Resist is 99%. You have a 0% chance of resisting 5 hits of an instant screw you attack with a magic resist of 4 and over 95% chance of resisting it with a magic resist of 5. If the enemies also have a 99% accuracy with their attack, it gets even more extreme. In the 4 magic defense scenario, you can only resist 4 hits, so the enemy has to roll that 1% chance of missing with one of the five hits or else you cannot resist it. In the 5 magic resist scenario, since the enemy cannot roll more than 5 hits, you have to roll that 1% chance of failure with one of your attempts to resist in order to get hit.

The whole "roll for the number of hits" vs "roll for the number of evasions/resists" mechanic falls apart when the chances becomes 99%. It becomes almost entirely a question of whether or not the attacker's offense multiplier exceeds the target's defense multiplier.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008


Chapter 4: The RNG Gods Have Favored Me

Now that we've picked up the Mythril, it's time to walk all the way back to Altea. Yay. Nothing happens on the way, so let's just jump to the important stuff.



There's one character I didn't mention. There's an old man in the Altea weapon shop. You give him the Mythril and he makes stuff from them. That's it. That's all he does.



And of course we don't get any freebies. Don't be silly. In any case, the weapons are good (if expensive) and so is the shield, but the armor is heavy garbage. So this little fetch quest did not benefit us one iota. Excellent.



Oh and I picked up Bolt to round out my trio of elemental attack spells. Probably should have done that sooner.




: ...and I got the Mythril you were-
: That's nice dear.

I should have picked up the Warship keyword earlier, but I forgot. Oops. Oh well, it's really only relevant now anyway.

We got our marching orders. Time to... hike across the world map again.



This time, I'm actually going to ride the ferry to Poft. One thing that really sucks about the early game of FF2 is that you have to traverse the same stretch of world map over and over and over again. What were once decently challenging encounters are pathetically easy, even with a solo character. The ferry alleviates it, but not by much.



As I mentioned before, the town of Bofsk is right of Poft. And that must be the Death S Warship we were looking for.


: I'm leading!

Hilda mentioned a Dark Knight; if you come here earlier, you actually see him. Nothing happens when you do, mind you, but he's here. Also sitting on his rear end and barking orders, but in a... better way?

Even under the tyrannical rule of the evil Empire, the shops in Bofsk are still open. So it's time for some shopping!



The Silver you see is in fact the Cuirass. It has the same small evasion penalty as the Copper Cuirass, but double the defense. Honestly, I should have gotten it sooner, since there was no reason not to and I probably could have scrounged up enough. The Bronze stuff is heavy crap, and even if we were using shields we'd have a better one soon anyway.



The spells they sell are kind of an odd bunch. Fear makes the enemies run away, Peep cures temporary status ailments, Heal cures permanent status ailments, and Mute silences the enemy temporarily. Heal is a must buy. The rest are rubbish. Peep (Basuna as it's known in later versions) seems like it'd be useful, but temporary status ailments tend to wear off quickly, and in a solo run any ailment that we'd want to cure would render us unable to cast anyway. Because temporary status ailments tend to wear off, this makes Mute also pointless to level. And Fear, like in FF1, is just dumb.



One thing that's annoying about both Peep and Esuna is that what ailments it cures is reliant on the spell level. For right now it only cures blind in battle. Moreover, in battle those two spells are not guaranteed to hit, especially if they're multi-targeted. So I'll have to grind the spell. Somewhat fortunately, since this is a solo run I don't have to bother getting the spell above level 3 or 4 since the statuses cured by higher levels of Heal either seal off spell casting or instantly game over me. Yay?

All right, now we're ready to go blow up an a giant airship.



There's a fellow in the corner bitching about Borgan (understandable). But he's on our side and once we mention the Warship he lets us through.



The path to the Warship is basically a mini dungeon, and there's very little to say about it. It's only two floors and I didn't run into any new monsters. There is a new enemy here, but I never ran into it. Oh well.





The first floor has some weapons for us, at least. Both of these are actually inferior to Mythril stuff, although if we couldn't afford Mythril weapons they're not bad. Okay, the sword's decent. The bow is terrible. All bows are terrible.

Yeah, that's all I can think of to say about this dungeon.



Hey it's Batman the Dark Knight!

: Ha ha! You fool- oh, poo poo.
: Anyway. The Warship is operational and you failed. I'm off to kill some nameless NPCs. Ta!
: I get a line in this scene!



Well son of a bean.

If we go back inside and go right, where Borgan came from, there's a door leading to a room.



This treasure chest contains the Pass, which we will let us onto the Warship.



We don't need it.

The pentagram is just a warp out of here. Not that it'd be all that hard to walk out, but if I don't have to I won't.



Probably should report to Hilda about this. Time to walk back. Again. Yay.



The bad guys wasted no time in using their Warship, did they? One thing that's notable about FF2's plot is how absurdly high the death toll is. Mega64 counted every single NPC and how of them died, and at the end concluded that almost half of the entire world's population dies over the course of the game. The GBA version actually bases its optional content around the game's death toll. I hesitate to call it dark, though, as "dark" assumes that we are shocked by this, or care in some way.



You will need to talk to Cid, preferably before you head back. He gives you the Sun Flame keyword which you need to get another important keyword.

Other than that, the walk back to Altea is uneven-



Seriously, I've done runs of this sort before, and I've gotten to the Snow Cavern having only ever gotten two or three gains in agility. This is really weird to me.



Since King Gonna Die Anyway's on his deathbed, we have to give Minwu back. Good-bye Minwu. Even as a corpse you're more useful than most of the temporary characters in this game.

Now, you're supposed to go talk to everyone. Cid tells you that you need to get the Sunflame to destroy the Warship, but to actually carry the Sunflame you need a torch that's in Kashuon Castle, but Kashuon Castle is locked and you can't get in without Gordon or Scott, but Gordon is missing(because he's awful) so you need to get the Goddess Bell but to get the Goddess Bell we- oh gently caress all that. I've played this game before, I know where to go. We have to go to Salamondo and talk to Josef. There, easy.

So we're back on the road again. After some more pointless encounters-





Okay seriously what the gently caress.



In any case, we're at Salamondo. At this point sometimes starts to feel off. I swear I forgot to do something.

Oh right. I'm missing a keyword. Because I forgot use the Sun Flame keyword on King Useless. And he's back in Altea.





GIVE ME YOUR KEYWORD.



All right, now we can continue.



At least, I'm gaining some experience for my spells and some stats along the way.



...I'm convinced. The game is sentient. It's sentient and it's luring me into a false sense of security. What are you up to, FF2? WHAT ARE YOU UP TO?!










So we got what we needed.



In order to get the Bell, we have to pick up a useless vehicle and a useless party member. Say hello to Josef everyone.



He hits things with his fists.



Josef also doesn't come with anything that great. The Leather stuff isn't that heavy, but it also doesn't really add a lot of defense. I don't see the point in losing two percent evasion for a point of defense. The Garlic is an attack item that only harms the undead. Oh, we haven't seen undead yet. We will. Don't you worry, we will.




Agility +4 (ridiculous), Vitality +1, Intelligence +4 (I might have overcompensated for last time), Soul +3, Evasion +2, Heal +1, HP +20

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at Nov 21, 2014 around 05:59

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

I've found reality to
be highly over-rated!


This part of the game is so dumb. They clearly were proud of their keyword system, used it moderately sensibly at the start (HAVE A PASSWORD, LET US IN), then realized that this is all it can ever do and...resorted to stupid bullshit to somehow squeeze more use out of it.
It is now HAVE PASSWORD, GIVE ME PASSWORD and the people you get them from are arbitrary and it doesn't add anything. It could be used with at least some design idea behind it, and maybe they try that: by forcing you to talk to NPCs you might otherwise skip or ignore after the first conversation, you can get some more snippets of forced worldbuilding and characterization in. Like with the King. However, the game's writing is neither voluminous nor competent enough to achieve any of that, so it's really just tedious padding while you traipse around in the same small corner of the world over and over again. Maybe you overgrind during that and end up shattering the difficulty of the next three dungeons, so that's also a...plus?!

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


22 Agility already? Daaaaayum. Game's going way easy on you.

dotchan
Feb 28, 2008

I wanna get a Super Saiyan Mohawk when I grow up!

Simply Simon posted:

This part of the game is so dumb. They clearly were proud of their keyword system, used it moderately sensibly at the start (HAVE A PASSWORD, LET US IN), then realized that this is all it can ever do and...resorted to stupid bullshit to somehow squeeze more use out of it.
It is now HAVE PASSWORD, GIVE ME PASSWORD and the people you get them from are arbitrary and it doesn't add anything. It could be used with at least some design idea behind it, and maybe they try that: by forcing you to talk to NPCs you might otherwise skip or ignore after the first conversation, you can get some more snippets of forced worldbuilding and characterization in. Like with the King. However, the game's writing is neither voluminous nor competent enough to achieve any of that, so it's really just tedious padding while you traipse around in the same small corner of the world over and over again. Maybe you overgrind during that and end up shattering the difficulty of the next three dungeons, so that's also a...plus?!

On the other hand, huge, game-sprawling Chain of Deals are hardly endemic in Final Fantasy games alone (or even JRPG games).

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010

I've found reality to
be highly over-rated!


dotchan posted:

On the other hand, huge, game-sprawling Chain of Deals are hardly endemic in Final Fantasy games alone (or even JRPG games).
My problem is that it's almost entirely contained in this section (Keyword use drops off severely after this if I remember correctly), which tanks the already rather wonky pacing the game has, and it's literally just talking to a few random dudes in a row which are somewhere. If it were a sidequest, I think I would be more okay with it, but it's mandatory and you are guaranteed to miss a step when not playing with a guide, causing you to walk aimlessly around the boring-rear end world map until you discover the one person to use the correct Keyword on.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


dotchan posted:

On the other hand, huge, game-sprawling Chain of Deals are hardly endemic in Final Fantasy games alone (or even JRPG games).

On the gripping hand, the standard Chain of Deals has a guy standing next to a lake saying "Gee, I sure am hungry" to clue you in that he needs that fishing rod, etc. Whereas FF2 just requires you to try all of your keywords on every vaguely-important person in the hopes that one of them will drop the next keyword for you to try on every vaguely-important person, such that eventually maybe one of them will direct you to the next bit of gameplay that isn't tediously trudging (or ferrying) from one town to another.

Gabriel Pope
May 16, 2009

diggle zone


Double Rabite posted:

Umm… The easiest time I had with the game was using 1 single unarmed- unarmored character. IIRC fists end up being the 3rd strongest weapon in the game and not using armor makes your defensive stats grow like crazy. Got to love the leveling system of the game.

The big problem is Evade level. A solo character can't end fights as quickly as a full party, so in large fights you have a ton of enemies ganging up on your solo character for many rounds. That makes your Evade level go shooting up, so a solo character will reach 16x Evade somewhere around the game's halfway mark unless you are running from enemies like crazy. At that level even a permanently shieldless character can dodge the vast majority of incoming attacks, and if you somehow manage to max out agility you will be functionally immune to melee attacks.

The only hitch I foresee with this solo game is that I'm not sure that Vivian's fisticuffs skill will get high enough to dent the final boss without using Berserk, but since the marathon final dungeon is basically going to come down to punching things to death Camel Pimp could very well wind up at max level or close to it without having to grind.

TooMuchAbstraction
Oct 14, 2012

My fingers are set to vibrate


Gabriel Pope posted:

but since the marathon final dungeon is basically going to come down to punching things to death...

Well, given the rules he has to kill his enemies via HP damage, but it's not like he won't have enough money to buy all the Elixirs needed to spam attack spells all day long. I guess the question is, how well do high-level attack spells compare to high-level fisticuffs?

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Gabriel Pope
May 16, 2009

diggle zone


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

Well, given the rules he has to kill his enemies via HP damage, but it's not like he won't have enough money to buy all the Elixirs needed to spam attack spells all day long. I guess the question is, how well do high-level attack spells compare to high-level fisticuffs?

Pretty terrible, although now that you mention it non-elemental spells are unblockable damage. So the last boss is almost guaranteed to be beatable, although it may take a while.

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