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oldskool
Aug 9, 2010





This is why "I got too close to Sin" is such a widely accepted excuse for Tidus' naivete. When Sin gets close...this happens. Forgetting about Spiran customs must seem like such a blessing, considering there's not much to remember but death and destruction.

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Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Update 10: I Just Want Him Nearby

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST 19. The Sight of Spira



Innkeeper: The others left some time ago.



This time we have the time to actually explore Kilika. Well, what’s left of it. The wreckage is really, really bad, but the people…

Woman Staring Out to Sea: I wanted to believe it was just a bad dream. That this was all a dream and when I opened my eyes, everything would be back to normal. But, when morning came, nothing had changed. Daddy…

Old Man: Our loved ones made it to the Farplane with Lady Yuna’s help. We are truly grateful for Yevon’s blessing. I’m sure my grandchildren made it to the Farplane in peace.

Man on a Crate: I don’t know if it’s the toxin, but I can’t remember a thing. Like my name, my house… I thought someone might notice me and help me out if I sat here. But no one’s paying any attention. I guess everyone has their own problems to worry about. Hey, I may not even be from around here. Maybe I come from someplace far away…Who knows?

Woman in a Hut: Please excuse him. He’s been affected by the toxin. So if he says anything offensive, don’t take it too seriously.

”Him”: What are you lookin’ at? I ain’t on display here! Go away, man.





We aren’t powerless, though.





Suddenly, the hut starts to collapse…



… And Tidus dives in to save her. The little girl does the Yevon bow and runs away. If we follow her…



Bartender: That treasure box contains a token of my appreciation. Please accept my thanks.

Little Girl: Thanks for saving me. Our house fell down… but my big sister’s here, so I’m real happy! Hey, are you a blitzer? Good luck! I’m rooting for you!

The game gives us some nice healing potions and a Primer as a reward for being a good person

Anyway, we have a blitzball team to rally.



The players climb out of the wreckage and line up in front of us.

On to the temple, where we pray for victory!

They cheer and run off, followed by Wakka.

High Summoner Ohalland used to live in the Kilika temple here. Yep, Lord Ohalland was once a great blitzer, you know?

Wakka…

Hmm?



Praying for victory’s all good… But, I mean, look around us. It’s a little ghoulish to go off and celebrate blitzball after all this, you know? It it just doesn’t feel right.

Not the first time I’ve heard that… How do I put it. Did you know they use machina in blitzball arenas?

Isn’t that forbidden?

Machina are actually just hunks o’ metal, ya? They aren’t sinful because metal doesn’t sin. The real sin is laziness, and without the Church to keep everybody in line, using machina makes people lazy. The teachings tell us that this world is full of suffering, and our duty as followers of Yevon is to make that burden a little bit lighter for everybody else. We can do that by helping one another and protecting Summoners, too, but… In the arena? The players fight with all their strength; the fans cheer for their favorite team. They forget pain, suffering… Only the game matters! The winners take pride in their teams and forget about being afraid; the losers grumble but think about winning next time instead of what might happen to their families tomorrow, you know? Until we all atone for our sins, the best we can do is make sure everybody suffers a little bit less, and there’s nothin’ better for that than blitzball! That’s why the Church sanctions the use of machina in arenas. ‘Course, the best way to reduce suffering is be a guardian or a summoner and defeat Sin, which is part of why I’m doing it, but blitzing is a close second. Least that’s what I think.

...Huh, I didn’t expect that.

You thought I was just some big meathead, ya?

I wouldn’t go THAT far.

Hey, life is full of surprises…





… Uh-oh.

You know what else is surprising?

I think I should – ack, noogie!





Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST 30. Calm Before the Storm





Wakka follows us into the forest, where everyone else is waiting. When we approach them, the party all turns to stare at us.

What’s up?

Yuna’s saying she wants you with us.

Wait, what?



Yuna! What? This is no times for jokes, ya? He may be a blitzball whiz kid, but up against fiends, he’s a newbie.





I… Huh?

It’s just that, well…



Yeah…

She turns to face Tidus.

I-I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…

No, no, I’m honored. But… I need a little bit to think it over. I’ll get back to you later, okay?

Okay!



This jungle is the first truly explorable area the game gives us, and it has plenty of things to find. But our first fight gives us something special…



What’s a “Lancet”?

Normally, it’s a skill that weakens enemies and heals the user. But when a Ronso uses it, that Ronso can sometimes learn fiends’ abilities.

Kimahri is kind of an odd beast. He’s fast, but is not as fast as Tidus. He’s accurate, but not as accurate as Wakka. He has respectable spellcasting capability, but he can’t stand up to either Lulu or Yuna, plus he doesn’t have the ability to Summon. Instead he has the lesser version of all of those. I’ll go a bit deeper into how this works in time, but as the game goes on you can jump your party members into other people’s sections of the Sphere Grid, picking up their skills and stats as you go; since there’s only so much room to explore for a given character, you eventually have to send your characters start through somebody else’s area and add their abilities and stat boosts just to keep Sphere Levels from going to waste. In theory, the system is supposed to structure how your characters grow and evolve while letting you specialize them and tweak their abilities to your playstyle. In practice, it leads to samey and redundant characters more often than not. Kimahri embodies the pluses and minuses of this approach: he starts at the very center of the Grid, and between his broadly respectable stats and easy access to the rest of the party’s skills, he’s tailor-made for whatever role you need to fit him in. Unfortunately, that means he starts behind whatever character you’re trying to have him emulate and unless you pay special attention to him, you’re likely to watch him fall by the wayside while you focus on characters that are better at what they do. Jack of all trades, master of none. On the plus side, he has relatively easy access to other characters’ signatures skills, something I will be abusing the future.



His Overdrive is similarly both slapdash and labor-intensive. By using Lancet on certain enemies, Kimahri gains the ability to use their signature special attacks later on, much like Final Fantasy’s Blue Mages of yore. Like his predecessors’ abilities, most of them are situational at best. Collecting them all is such a pointless pain you’re better off using a walkthrough to find the good ones or just ignoring them (and him) than trying to catch ‘em all.

Still pretty terrifying when you use them right.



While this area looks like a natural jungle with paths winding through it, it’s actually an linked pair of rough 3 x 3 grids; while it is easy to get lost, it’s easy to get where you’re going if you just keep going forward, if that makes any sense. As you run around, you start bumping into Crusaders who seemed to be deploying into the area somehow. The details are a bit unclear. If you talk to some of them, though, you can milk a few recovery items out of them.

This area also has the game’s first optional boss right smack dab in the middle; to a large extent, that grid exists to let you go around it if you don’t want to fight it. If you’re me, you’ll first stumble on it after losing another fight with the camera.



I wasn’t watching when exploring and had forgotten it was there, so I wasn’t expecting the camera to suddenly shift and send me running straight towards it. If I hadn’t noticed that and turned around at the last second, I would’ve gotten myself into a boss fight without any preparation. That’s usually a bad thing. The game wants you to approach it from the front.



Gatta! Luzzu! What’s up?

That thing’s what’s up. We’re here to warn travelers away from it.



The Ochu is no garden-variety fiend. Remember, discretion is the better part of valor.

100 Crusaders, you say? I sense an opportunity for .



The Lord Ochu is a doozy. It has buckets of health, a standard attack that inflicts Poison (which drains a character’s health every time they take a turn), the ability to cast Water for significant damage, and, most importantly, it can take a nap. That nap costs it a turn, but it also regenerates more health then you can reasonably expect to shave off in that extra turn. If you fight it conventionally, it probably will kick your rear end.

Fortunately, it’s surprisingly easy to cheese.



Step one: have Wakka hit it with Silence Attack, removing its ability to cast Water. It doesn’t exactly neuter it, but it is necessary for the next step.



Step two: summon Valefor and hit it with Sonic Wing a billion times. Sonic Wing does piddly damage, true, but Lord Ochu’s greatest weakness is the fact that it’s very slow. By abusing Sonic Wing’s time delay property, you can stave off Lord Ochu’s attacks almost indefinitely. Even when it does get the chance to act, Valefor’s flyer status boosts her evasion high enough that Lord Ochu can’t hope to touch her with its melee attack, and the Silence means it can’t target her with Water.



Even the health regen its nap gives it can’t really outpace the damage you put out. Unless you’ve crazy overleveled your party, Lord Ochu will eventually fight off its Silence and start dealing damage, but barring extreme circumstances it’ll go down long before it takes down Valefor, let alone threatens your party.





But we get an extra reward, too.



Here we see another new feature of the Remake: Extract skills. In the original game, certain Spheres dropped in combat far more often than others, meaning you had to grind strategically to get access to everything you wanted. You needed Ability Spheres to unlock skills and spells, but the monsters that dropped Ability Spheres were rare and those drop rates weren’t always high either. By the time I’d built up enough Sphere Levels to gain access to the stability, I’d already exhausted my Ability Sphere stockpile and had to freeze half the party in place until I built up enough of a stockpile to pick up the skills they were about to leave behind. Enter Extract Ability (and equivalent skills in everybody else’s Grids that target other Sphere types).



They tweak the Sphere drop rates of any monster they hit, either overwriting it with the relevant Sphere type or adding an additional Sphere if their base drop is already the same. By strategic use of Extract Ability I was able to build up enough Ability Spheres to snap up everybody’s abilities before heading forward – a welcome development, since Yuna especially has a ton of abilities early on in her tree and she was throttling everybody else.



And with that, we leave the woods.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

As an aside, how much do you folks want to see of the Cloisters? I’m inclined to breeze past them and just cover the highlights so as not to prolong my torment, but that isn’t exactly in the spirit of LPing, you know?

oldskool
Aug 9, 2010





honestly if you only posted one screenshot of you going into the cloister and one of you exiting the cloister at the end, that'd be two screenshots more than the trials within deserve IMO

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Falconier111 posted:

Still pretty terrifying when you use them right.

And vital for the NSGNSNMNBBlasdlkfmasdfnk challenge of your choice too.

Also the game gives you a full Overdrive bar when you get the skill, so you can immediately breathe fire on a fire breathing red fire dragon and heal it waste the skill on a trash mob bank it for later on a boss when Kimarhi tags in for his participation credit.


Falconier111 posted:

As an aside, how much do you folks want to see of the Cloisters? I’m inclined to breeze past them and just cover the highlights so as not to prolong my torment, but that isn’t exactly in the spirit of LPing, you know?

You can skip them. There's always other sources.

cant cook creole bream
Aug 15, 2011
I think Fahrenheit is better for weather

Falconier111 posted:

As an aside, how much do you folks want to see of the Cloisters? I’m inclined to breeze past them and just cover the highlights so as not to prolong my torment, but that isn’t exactly in the spirit of LPing, you know?

I believe most people here are in it for the story, so skip away.
But I guess it should be noted how the one in that cold place is kinda special.

Hunter Noventa
Apr 21, 2010


Falconier111 posted:

As an aside, how much do you folks want to see of the Cloisters? I’m inclined to breeze past them and just cover the highlights so as not to prolong my torment, but that isn’t exactly in the spirit of LPing, you know?

I'd say show off any interesting scenery orgimmicks, but we don't need a walkthrough of the puzzle.

MechaCrash
Jan 1, 2013



I will second the "show interesting parts," with the clarification that I consider any loot you get, especially the optional loot from doing the Destruction Sphere nonsense, to fall under "interesting parts."

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

I would personally like a moment-by-moment update for the one in Bevelle, complete with what headache medicine you used at that particular moment

Not really. Anything you feel is noteworthy is fine by me

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Rabbi Raccoon posted:

I would personally like a moment-by-moment update for the one in Bevelle, complete with what headache medicine you used at that particular moment

Not really. Anything you feel is noteworthy is fine by me

The answer will always be “a bullet”.

MechaCrash posted:

I will second the "show interesting parts," with the clarification that I consider any loot you get, especially the optional loot from doing the Destruction Sphere nonsense, to fall under "interesting parts."

This is probably what’s going to happen, though. I’ll use the opportunity to talk about why I’m skipping huge chunks of the Cloisters to fill some airtime with game design talk because my GOD is the next part dialogue-heavy.

The Watercrown
Feb 10, 2014

We Shall Become Gods

We Shall Become Gods

WE SHALL ALL DIE AND BECOME AS GODS


I'd say show the visually interesting parts of the Cloisters, because some of them have pretty rooms, or pretty sphere circuits.

Also, the [orb] Extract abilities are from the International release, not the HD remake.

Also Also, are those people suffering from Toxin exposure in the original game or part of your rewrite, because I swear the only person to ever be mentioned as suffering from it was Tidus.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


The man who says "What are you looking at?! I'm not on display here!" was actually in the game.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Snorb posted:

The man who says "What are you looking at?! I'm not on display here!" was actually in the game.

As is the guy who wonders if he’s from a distant land. I think it comes up later as well in a few other characters, but the narrative never dwells on it.

The Watercrown posted:

I'd say show the visually interesting parts of the Cloisters, because some of them have pretty rooms, or pretty sphere circuits.

Also, the [orb] Extract abilities are from the International release, not the HD remake.

Also Also, are those people suffering from Toxin exposure in the original game or part of your rewrite, because I swear the only person to ever be mentioned as suffering from it was Tidus.

I think I’m going to save updating that until I spend some time in an update or two going over the FFX remake/rerelease thing. God knows we’ll have plenty of dialogue to break up.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Update 11: You Got Talent



Yep, Lord Ohalland trained here at his peak.

The Aurochs look at each other, look at the stairs, and start stretching.

… Are you thinking about racing me? Because I gotta warn you: that’s a real bad idea.

O-ho! Looks like somebody laid down a challenge. Yuna?

Yeah!



Without bothering to drop her arm, Yuna sprints ahead, laughing.



Kids.



Everybody else completely schools Tidus, with the two Aurochs players reaching the top first…



… Only to come screaming back down.



Welp.



Sinspawn Geneaux is the actual boss of the Kilika Woods, but even though it’s harder to cheese, it’s a significantly easier fight than Lord Ochu.



This fight has two rough phases. At first, the boss itself hunkers down behind a heavy shell and spawns a pair of tentacle arms to lash at you; the armor neutralizes most physical attacks and the tentacles absorb any magic you use on it. At this point it only really has two kinds of attacks: the tentacle lashes shown above…





… And this attack, which deals significant but not severe damage to the whole active party. Fortunately, the tentacles themselves aren’t terribly dangerous and go down in three or four hits, letting you target the boss with the Fire magic it’s weak to.



Speaking of fire magic, this is how I get more of it. With turn order as important as it is in this game, Tidus’s access to white magic that speeds up or slows down characters can prove absolutely essential. This one spell didn’t trivialize the fight, exactly, but it meant Lulu put out easily as much damage as the rest of the party combined, and given how it can form the cornerstone of strategies later on, I wanted to show it off when we first got it. Also it has a really cool looking animation.





Once the boss hatches it loses the skyhigh defense in exchange for gaining a couple attacks that boil down to slightly weaker versions of Lord Ochu’s. It isn’t exactly a pushover, but from this point forward you can just nuke it with Fire a bunch of times and roar through its hit points.





As long as you take the time to heal people off when they drop into the yellow – or break out Valefor to speed things up – you shouldn’t have any problems with it.



Yeesh.

Sorry about that! Hoped to break you in a little slower!

Do guardians do this all day? I’m not sure I could keep up.

Eh, don’t sell yourself short!



… Eh, maybe. But what WAS that thing?

It was a Sinspawn, a kind of fiend. They fall from Sin’s body, and are left behind in its wake.

Leave ’em alone, and Sin comes back for ’em. You gotta be quick! Usually the militia would take care of ‘em, but, well.

The party goes back to climbing the stairs.

Is that why the Crusaders are running around down there?

Perhaps, but they were moving in numbers. Usually, if they’re going after powerful fiends they send out specialists, but those were infantrymen we ran into. And Gatta and Luzzu haven’t been trained to go after dangerous beasts, more’s the pity.

Huh.





Just a few. It’s a big deal when one shows up, though, people have to call in the Blades and – hey! Since when have you believed me about Zanarkand, anyway?

I been thinking. Maybe people Sin gets to don’t die. Maybe Sin carries ’em through time. Like a thousand years through time. Maybe not everybody, but… Sometimes, they pop out in Zanarkand.







Huh?

After all this time, you STILL keep looking for excuses. I wish this was the first time, but no. You make up one theory after another, refusing to face the simple truth.

Lu –

Sin didn’t take Chappu anywhere.





Oh, and one more thing. No matter how much you want it, no one can take Chappu’s place. No one can replace Sir Jecht, for that matter.



It’s pointless to think about it, and sad.

… I…I could never be what Chappu was.









Templegoing Man:… Is that… They must have fought their way past the fiend on the path!

Templegoing Woman : I recognize her – that’s Lord Braska’s daughter. Those must be her guardians!



Templegoing Child: You saved us! We can go home now!

(All the people in that courtyard swarmed Yuna. Kimahri had to step in and push some of them away. I’d heard crowds cheering me before. But there was something different in this crowd. Their voices had an edge I hadn’t heard before, a gratitude, I guess. It wasn’t as loud as it was in the arena, but it was a lot more intense. Lulu was sulking behind us, Wakka was still downcast, Yuna looked as overwhelmed as she always did in crowds, I had no idea what Kimahri was thinking like usual, but the crowd… I think that was when I started seriously considering becoming a guardian.)

Soon enough, the crowd clears up and we can approach the temple proper.

36-Confrontation-FFX OST









Oh, yeah? Then why are you here?

Blondie: We’ve been praying for some competition this year!

Redhead: So what’s your goal this time? You gonna “do your best” again? Ha! It’s too bad your best isn’t good enough! Why even bother showing up?

Yeah, right. This time, we play to win!

The other Aurochs pump their fists.

Black Guy: Oh, that is just adorable.

Blondie: You’re going to play to win? Just remember even kids can play, boys.

Man, we killed a Sinspawn on the way up here? What makes you think you can top that?

Black Guy: Oh, you did your jobs. Fantastic! That doesn’t make you good at blitzball.

Blondie: You going to try and kill us?

What? No!

Redhead: And there’s your answer. I’m looking forward to watching your first match.

See you in the finals!

They saunter away. Tidus practically smolders.

… We’ll beat them. We have to!

You know that team?

Yeah. I’ve never met them, but I know their type.



Sir Jecht? He was rude and a bit arrogant, but I never heard him try to hurt somebody like the Goers do. He would tell you when you were doing something wrong, but then he’d sit down with you and help you learn.

My Jecht would do that, except he wouldn’t help you, he’d just rub it in… Can we not talk about him right now?

O-okay.



(… Just thinking about my old man got me angry. But maybe that was just my way of keeping him… Nah.)



Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST 20. Hymn of the Fayth





We get the option to join in again.



This time, Tidus’s bow is smooth and flashy. As he does this, the doors to the Cloister slide open.



My name is Yuna– from the Isle of Besaid.



Dona: So, you’re High Summoner Braska’s daughter. That’s quite a name to live up to. My, my, my…



Dona: As I recall, Lord Braska had only two guardians. Quality over quantity, my dear. Whatever were you thinking? I have need of only one guardian. Right, Barthello?

Bartello:

Bartello and Kimahri’s eyes meet; they face each other and stare each other down.

I understand what you’re saying, and it’s true that my father was only protected by two men. But I only have as many guardians as there are people I can trust. I trust all four of them with my life! To have so many guardians is a joy and an honor, even more so than being my father’s daughter. I can only hope I can live up to their respect for me. Of course, I would never think of questioning your ways, either.

Bartello:

Dona:

Bartello:

So, Lady Dona, I ask of you: please leave us in peace.

Dona: You do what you want. Barthello, we’re leaving.

Bartello:



(A guardian is someone a summoner can rely on. Someone she can trust with her life. I hadn’t agreed to go with her yet, but… Did Yuna already feel that way about me?)









But first, the Cloister of Trials. Kimahri? Wakka? Ready?



Strength, everyone!

Yuna does the bow and all four of them step onto the elevator platform.

So, uh, I take it I should stay behind?

That would be best.

We won’t take more than a few hours. We’ll be back soon. Promise!



The moment we turn around…



Tidus nods towards the lift.

Dona: Then why are you still here?

Well, see, I’m not actually her guardian.

Dona: And yet you follow her around.

She just likes having me around, I guess?

Dona: Does she now? Bartello, do Yuna a favor.





Dona: Have fun, you two.

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST 22. Cloister of Trials



Okay, look.

Up to this point, in the LP and in the thread, I’ve been playing up my hatred for these things for comic effect. It’s a common position in the fandom and it’s an easy joke to make. But I feel I need to make the point that I genuinely dislike the Cloisters of Trials. There’s definitely something to be said for breaking up the action in RPGs with puzzles that push your brain in entirely different ways than the genre’s standard tactical and resource-management elements, but the Cloisters are just badly implemented: block pushing puzzles where positioning yourself properly just to push the blocks around is a trial, confusing layouts to navigate, music that starts to grate on you after a little while, and a bevy of small annoyances that build up over time do not a good minigame make. Under other circumstances, the Cloisters might have been interesting, even fun.





The aesthetics certainly vary from temple to temple. Fitting the Kilika Temple’s general fire theme, this Cloister’s main gimmick is partially burning through doors by inserting Temple Spheres and fully destroying the doors by removing them.



Plus a big ol’ pit of fire.



The loot tends to be pretty solid, too, even if it’s pretty scanty. For instance, by solving the Destruction Sphere sub-puzzle here you get a piece of armor for Kimahri that protects him from most elements.



But cosmetic or side benefits don’t negate the unpleasantness of the puzzles themselves. In the future, I’ll be showing off the most visually interesting parts of the Cloisters and discussing the special equipment I find, but I’m not going to bother giving full walkthroughs because gently caress that noise.

What is it with me and LPing JRPGs that turn out to be about sports? Is my subconscious trying to tell me something?

Falconier111 fucked around with this message at 20:42 on Feb 28, 2021

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Falconier111 posted:

What is it with me and LPing JRPGs that turn out to be about sports? Is my subconscious trying to tell me something?

Clearly, next you should LP a sports game that turns out to be a JRPG.
May I recommend Golf Story?

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

They did a good job with magic in this game, as far as keeping it balanced. Typically Square makes black magic either constantly overpowered, powerful during certain windows but falls behind pretty hard, or completely useless. But unless you power level, Lulu never feels like dead weight in this game

Hunter Noventa
Apr 21, 2010


Rabbi Raccoon posted:

They did a good job with magic in this game, as far as keeping it balanced. Typically Square makes black magic either constantly overpowered, powerful during certain windows but falls behind pretty hard, or completely useless. But unless you power level, Lulu never feels like dead weight in this game

I would say the opposite, the later in the game, the less useful Lulu gets. The game suffers from a problem that 7 and 8 did, where the main difference between characters after a certain point is their Limit Breaks/Overdrives, and Lulu's Overdrive is pretty lackluster.

Violet_Sky
Dec 5, 2011



Fun Shoe

Hunter Noventa posted:

I would say the opposite, the later in the game, the less useful Lulu gets. The game suffers from a problem that 7 and 8 did, where the main difference between characters after a certain point is their Limit Breaks/Overdrives, and Lulu's Overdrive is pretty lackluster.

Doesn't her overdrive involve control stick spinning? I got Mario Party flashbacks.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



I guess the qualifier of "Excluding post game" Black Magic remains competitive with physicals.

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

Hunter Noventa posted:

I would say the opposite, the later in the game, the less useful Lulu gets. The game suffers from a problem that 7 and 8 did, where the main difference between characters after a certain point is their Limit Breaks/Overdrives, and Lulu's Overdrive is pretty lackluster.

Unless you're sending everyone into everyone's grid sections the whole game, that's really not an issue here until you start going for the superbosses.

But yes, her Overdrive does suck. Cool in theory, though

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007






Eh, the entire Overdrive system is kind of a mess. But that's a topic for later, once we've met everyone.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Violet_Sky posted:

Doesn't her overdrive involve control stick spinning? I got Mario Party flashbacks.

As someone with chronic tendon pain caused by rapid repetitive movements I am so looking forward to putting off using some people’s Overdrives as long as possible.

Rabbi Raccoon posted:

Unless you're sending everyone into everyone's grid sections the whole game, that's really not an issue here until you start going for the superbosses.

But yes, her Overdrive does suck. Cool in theory, though

I’m probably going to get all the optional aeons except maybe anima and do any extra content I run into, but I won’t be leveling myself into oblivion for secret bosses or anything. That’s, what, every character’s full path plus a little of a second?

ultrafilter
Aug 23, 2007






Falconier111 posted:

I’m probably going to get all the optional aeons except maybe anima and do any extra content I run into, but I won’t be leveling myself into oblivion for secret bosses or anything. That’s, what, every character’s full path plus a little of a second?

Don't you need Anima to get the Magus sisters?

Hunter Noventa
Apr 21, 2010


Rabbi Raccoon posted:

Unless you're sending everyone into everyone's grid sections the whole game, that's really not an issue here until you start going for the superbosses.

But yes, her Overdrive does suck. Cool in theory, though

That's true, I just usually send someone to grab Black Magic and then Lulu is obsolete.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

ultrafilter posted:

Don't you need Anima to get the Magus sisters?

Welp. I may end up getting all of them then.

Hunter Noventa posted:

That's true, I just usually send someone to grab Black Magic and then Lulu is obsolete.

Does the Expert Sphere Grid fix this, or is she just unsalvageable?

Falconier111 fucked around with this message at 03:36 on Mar 1, 2021

SoundwaveAU
Apr 17, 2018


Falconier111 posted:

Does the Expert Sphere Grid fix this, or is she just unsalvageable?

The Expert Grid actually makes it real easy for Yuna to get Black Magic early on, making Lulu near-useless from the get-go, as Yuna has a higher magic stat that ensures higher damage.

There's all sorts of fun, wacky poo poo you can do with the Expert Grid. One tactic I did once was overkilling Ochu to make sure he drops 2 HP Spheres (and resetting if he drops MP Spheres) and then for the cost of only a few sphere levels per party member, there's a nice spot on the grid where you can slam those down next to each other and give your whole party +600 HP in Kilika.

Quantum Toast
Feb 13, 2012



ultrafilter posted:

Eh, the entire Overdrive system is kind of a mess. But that's a topic for later, once we've met everyone.
I do like that you can keep them saved up for when you actually want to use them (looking at you, FF9) but there's certainly room for improvement.

Falconier111 posted:

As someone with chronic tendon pain caused by rapid repetitive movements I am so looking forward to putting off using some people’s Overdrives as long as possible.
I pretty much only regularly use the ones that don't require special action commands (so Yuna & her aeons, Kimahri's blue magic, and the Chemist), but I'm fully aware that'll have to change if I ever get to the point of trying to fight endgame superbosses.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Update 12: But Don’t Worry, My Boy

31-Song of Prayer: Ifrit-FFX OST



Why?

Do you really think I’m dumb enough to do this a second time? Gimme a break!

Clearly you are, because you’re standing right here.

You remember Dona and her pet musclehead? She had him pick me up and literally throw me into the elevator.

And you didn’t go back up?

The cloisters lock you in until the trials are over. We aren’t getting out ‘til Yuna finishes up in there.

… Perfect. If Yuna gets excommunicated for this, the blame rests on your shoulders.

That sounds bad. That’s bad, right?

It is, but it’s not gonna come to that. The Cloisters get rid of trespassers on their own, usually. If the fayth let you through like that, you probably got their blessing.

Oh, that’s good.

No reason worrying about that now. We just gotta wait for Yuna to come back out.



… So let’s just pretend I don’t know what a fayth is and that you need to explain it to me.

Wanna take this one, Lu?

No.

Suit yourself. You saw how Yuna calls Valefor outta the clear sky?

Yeah?

Way back when, some of Yevon’s very first followers came together and made some special statues. When they were ready, they gave up their souls and bodies to the statues and became powerful spirits. They don’t do much by themselves, though…



Can’t help it, eh?

Those souls in physical form are what we call aeons.

Oh. Thanks.









Dancing.

… Dancing? Really?

Yeah. You hear that singing?

Yep.

That’s the fayth singing through the statue. They do that in their temples. When a summoner goes into the Chamber of the Fayth, they gotta accompany the song somehow – singing along, usually, ‘cause that’s easier. Yuna dances because she says it helps her do the summoning ritual faster. Normally it takes summoners a lot longer to get their aeons up and running then it took her back in Besaid.

Speaking of which, are we gonna be here for, like, another day again?

Nah. Usually it takes, what, five, six hours? So we gotta wait a little bit –









(That song we heard there, in the temple…I knew it from my childhood. It was proof that Spira and Zanarkand were connected somehow. At least to me it was. Maybe that’s why, suddenly, I felt like…I just wanted to go home. I tried to say something, to tell them. But the words wouldn’t come.)



(I thought I had put my feelings for Zanarkand behind me. But they were there, and they grew inside me, bigger and bigger, till I was just about ready to burst.)



I…I don’t know.

… Wanna scream?

… Why?

Do it!



He screams. Real loud. Kimahri and Wakka whip their heads around while Lulu keeps walking.

Did that help?

Yeah, actually. Thanks!







As we head back to Kilika, let’s take a moment to look at our new buddy.

https://va.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_qpcresqEBX1rk96q7.mp4

As far as early Final Fantasy X summons go, Valefor is kind of an odd beast with its access to multiple kinds of magic and non-elemental focus. Ifrit, with his strong Fire theming, fits the bill better. Like all Aeons, Ifrit has a standard attack…



As well as a special attack with special effects. While Valefor’s Sonic Wings does minor damage but delays an enemy’s turn, Ifrit’s Meteor Strike punches through defensive magic in exchange for delaying HIS next turn. Unlike Valefor, who has access to all four basic elemental spells, Ifrit can only cast variations on Fire for now…

https://va.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_qpcrjw4YWN1rk96q7.mp4

… And uses a visibly different Overdrive. We’ll be seeing more of him as time goes on.



Kilika doesn’t look much better on the way back. Like, this lady here is the only shopkeeper in town. But, conveniently, our way out just arrived.















https://va.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_qpdb8hM2ps1rk96q7.mp4

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST 28. Sprouting



… Sin dreams, man.

The S.S. Winno here may be nearly identical to her ill-fated sister ship, but she has a hell of a lot more to do. I actually had to reload my save and go through the area a second time because I talked to people in the wrong order and missed multiple scenes. For instance, as we navigate past Dona and Bartello making out in the hallway…



O’aka XXIII: Me business is in shambles! What’s an O’aka to do, I ask ye! Mind spotting me some Gil again, lad?

I spot him some Gil, enough that my investment total breaks 1000…

O’aka XXIII: Oh, yes, before I forget. Call me if you need something, lad.

… And gain access to a shop inventory so pitiful I refuse to take a screenshot of it. It’ll get better later.



We can also find a Primer lying on the carpet behind the steering wheel as multiple people mill around the room. Did they just not care? As we get more Primers, the game starts giving us ranks: this one translates to “beginner”.

Captain: We have two summoners and the Goers onboard. It is my responsibility to carry them safely to their destination. What, the Besaid Aurochs? They’re more like cargo.

Prick.



No doubt Kimahri has this under control, but let’s see if we can’t scatter this crowd a bit.





Blondie: Ah, I remember him. Guy from Kilika.

Redhead: Hmm?

Blondie: You know, one of the Besaid Aurochs. Said somethin’ about winning the cup.

Redhead: Oh, right. You’re that idiot.



Redhead: But he is an idiot. They don’t got what it takes to win the cup.

Well, they do now that I’m here!

Yes, they will win! He used to be the star player of the Zanarkand Abes!

Everyone is silent. The Goers start to snicker.

Yuna

Blondie: Yeah, as if anyone lived in those ruins.

It’s not ruins, there’s a big city there! There is!

I-I got too close to Sin and–

There is a city, really!

Redhead: Right. Whatever your Ladyship says.



You okay? You were, uh…

They were being rude and… I just got so MAD. I do believe your Zanarkand exists. I really do, you know!

Thanks, Yuna. Sometimes I’m not so sure myself, anymore.

You shouldn’t let them get to you. Sir Jecht used to always tell me stories. He was sure it was real, so I’m sure it’s real too. It’d be great to see your home someday. I’d love to go there.

Tell you what: if we go there, I’ll show you the sights myself.

I’d love that!

(So, Yuna, wanna come over to my place? Right, sure… As if I had a place to show her.)







Relax! He’s bound to know someone in Luca.

And if not?

He could always join a team. Anyhow, it’s better than just leaving him in Besaid!

What? Just leaving him in Luca?

He’s a blitzer! He’s crazy good! The teams’ll falling over each other to draft him. Hell, maybe he’ll just stick with the Aurochs, we could use ‘im.

And what about Yuna? She wants to make him a guardian.

Oh, yeah, geez… There’s that too, eh?

And whose fault is that?

Not mine!





Why’s she so dead set on having him along, anyhow?

Because he’s Sir Jecht’s son.

… You really believe him? I mean, maybe, but…

Yuna seems to believe so. And that’s what matters.

He’s gotta decide whether to come along or not for himself, ya?

… Why don’t you tell him he should? Become Yuna’s guardian, I mean.

Why me?

Because Yuna can’t.

Why not?

He hates his father– what he was, what he did. I haven’t heard him say a single positive thing about him. Do you really think he’ll accept if Yuna says to him…



… He really hates his father that much, eh? Sounds like a luxury to me. I don’t even remember my parents. Can’t say how I feel about ’em.

I…I was five then, so I remember mine a little.

… Dammit! Sin just takes everything away from us.





You see this blitzball? It’s a minigame pretending to be an innocent object, and a particularly insidious one at that.





I never thought I’d be playing a digital representation of someone fending off intrusive thoughts rooted in trauma while attempting to reclaim something their abuser took away from them, but that’s what the following minigame is. I remember it being infuriating, a frantic struggle with the controls to be a challenge that matches the pure shittiness of every other Final Fantasy X minigame. If you fail even once, the game punishes you by playing a humiliating cutscene and permanently seals off its reward unless you reload your save. Actually this isn’t true, if you come back much later in the game and ride the ferry from Kilika to Luca you can try again, but that’s dozens of hours away.

(Epilepsy Warning!)
https://va.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_qpdcktzkJ01rk96q7.mp4

I beat it on my first try. I was not expecting to do so.



…Doesn’t have a name. It’s real tough, but anyone can do it if they try.

Show us one more time, ya?

He does. The rest of the Aurochs head up to the bow and spend the rest of the trip failing to imitate him. Yuna walks up to Tidus afterwards.



… How did you know that?

Sir Jecht showed it to me when I was a child. He called it the “Sublimely Magnificent Jecht Shot Mark III.”

Stupid name, huh? There is no Mark I or Mark II, you know. My old man said the name Mark III was just something to hook the crowd…

… And they’d come back every night expecting to see Mark I and Mark II.

They really did come back.





… Is he alive, you think?

I don’t know. But, Sir Jecht was my father’s guardian.

So he’s famous here, too?

Not as famous as my father, but yes. So if anything happened to him, I should think word would get around fast.

Who knows?



Well…I’d probably just smack him one. After everything he put Mom and me through. And because he was famous, I was always… Well, you should know, Yuna. Your father’s famous, too.

It is hard to follow in his footsteps, as a summoner.

Sure.

But the honor of having a father like him surpasses all that, I think.

Well, there wasn’t much to honor about my old man, that’s for sure.

You shouldn’t say that about your father!

How well did you really know my dad? How long did you spend with him, huh?

A little over a year.

I lived with that man for 10 years. I know him better than you ever did.



Sorry, but it’s true.

… My father said Sir Jecht was a changed man when I asked where he came from. He said his time in Spira gave him perspective… And he talked about his wife and son a lot. He said he wished he did better with them.

Yeah, he could have.



… Did he ever tell you about how he used to take me on trips to the Outskirts?

He mentioned the Outskirts once or twice, but, no.

So, back when Zanarkand was cut off from the mainland after the War, big chunks of the suburbs and defenses out there came with. Everybody there evacuated to the main city but they left a lot behind. Nobody even knows how much stuff is out there, even a thousand years later salvager crews find enough useful junk to make a living. Anyway, sometimes my old man would take me on trips to the Outskirts to toughen me up after I got my implants. He used to say – ow!

A blitzball bounces off the back of his head.



Talk to you later?

I’d love that.

Falconier111 fucked around with this message at 05:04 on Mar 3, 2021

Violet_Sky
Dec 5, 2011



Fun Shoe

Aw gently caress, this minigame. I eventually beat by zoning out and my fingers worked somehow.

SoundwaveAU
Apr 17, 2018


YA CAN'T DO IT KID

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what





I don't understand why people are calling this minigame hard?

Words appear in a section of the screen. Basically any of the eight directions, or the centre.

So you move the control stick to one of the eight directions and press X.
Or if it's in the centre of the screen, you don't need to press a direction. You just press X.

Keep doing that until all the words go away.

What's the hard part?

cant cook creole bream
Aug 15, 2011
I think Fahrenheit is better for weather

bewilderment posted:

I don't understand why people are calling this minigame hard?

Words appear in a section of the screen. Basically any of the eight directions, or the centre.

So you move the control stick to one of the eight directions and press X.
Or if it's in the centre of the screen, you don't need to press a direction. You just press X.

Keep doing that until all the words go away.

What's the hard part?

The timing is kinda tight and there's no room for error. Also you only get one chance here. So logically, a lot of people would remember failing this.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

bewilderment posted:

I don't understand why people are calling this minigame hard?

Words appear in a section of the screen. Basically any of the eight directions, or the centre.

So you move the control stick to one of the eight directions and press X.
Or if it's in the centre of the screen, you don't need to press a direction. You just press X.

Keep doing that until all the words go away.

What's the hard part?

The controls in FFX in general are sluggish and unresponsive, and it’s surprisingly difficult to force the minigame to register anything. You know that dream at the beginning of the section? It actually happens when you interact with the blitzball, followed by the minigame; there’s no warning, there’s no way to back out, and if you fail, there’s no way to retry it (as far as you know). It’s in an area full of cutscenes, all unskippable, to disincentivize reloading a save if it took you by surprise, and if you fail, it changes the dialogue in the next cutscene to repeatedly make fun of you. It also has an obvious gameplay effect in a bit that I’ll cover when we get to it.

From the godlike perspective of an LP, it doesn’t seem like much. For a first timer, it’s absolute hell. That’s why people hate it.

thrilla in vanilla
Oct 9, 2012





SoundwaveAU posted:

YA CAN'T DO IT KID

I’m the BEST

BlazetheInferno
Jun 6, 2015


I didn't have a lot of trouble with it, but I tend to have pretty good reflexes for things like this. And it makes something coming up *so* much easier.

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009


I still remember and love the animations the Aurochs do trying to mimic the Jecht Shot. One of them keeps trying to do the mid-air spin and ending with this dizzy wobble.

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what





Falconier111 posted:

The controls in FFX in general are sluggish and unresponsive, and it’s surprisingly difficult to force the minigame to register anything. You know that dream at the beginning of the section? It actually happens when you interact with the blitzball, followed by the minigame; there’s no warning, there’s no way to back out, and if you fail, there’s no way to retry it (as far as you know). It’s in an area full of cutscenes, all unskippable, to disincentivize reloading a save if it took you by surprise, and if you fail, it changes the dialogue in the next cutscene to repeatedly make fun of you. It also has an obvious gameplay effect in a bit that I’ll cover when we get to it.

From the godlike perspective of an LP, it doesn’t seem like much. For a first timer, it’s absolute hell. That’s why people hate it.

Oh, yeah, I know all that.
I played the game when I was 10 years old and didn't see what the issue was, that's why I was confused. Outside of a certain later minigame I don't think FFX's control are all that sluggish - Tidus runs slowly but you can turn on a dime, there's no momentum to him or anything like that.

There's no 'cooldown' on hitting the phrases so you can pretty much win by spinning the stick and mashing X, at least last time I played through this game.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Update 13: First Things First

(I didn’t think my old man would come to Luca. He never did like watching other people play. But I couldn’t help feeling something bad was gonna happen. And these feelings of mine are usually right.)

32-Luca-FFX OST











Announcer: Ladies and gentleman, the day we’ve all been waiting for, the opening tournament of the season. This event is sponsored by Yevon. And this year we celebrate Maester Mika’s 50th year in office!



Announcer: Coming down the ramp now…



Announcer: High Summoner Ohalland used to play for them–a big name to live up to.





Bobba: Exciting, isn’t it folks? Our next team off the ramp is…Well, well, well! If it isn’t the Besaid Aurochs!



Bobba: That’s right! In twenty-three years they’ve never made it past the first round! Only a few die-hard fans are in the audience today.



Bobba: Right, Jimma. Moving right along, our next team is…



Bobba: They’ve got power! They’ve got speed! They’ve got teamwork! They’re an all-around first-class team! And they’re back home in Luca!





Bobba: You can say that again, Jimma. Look at the crowd, folks! Look at the crowd! Looks like all of Luca has turned out to cheer the Goers on! They know, I know, and you know, folks! The Luca Goers are number one!

It’s like this every year, ya? Don’t let it bother you.

Nah. There’s no team in the world that won’t let that get to their heads eventually. Someday these losers are gonna run into somebody that takes them by surprise and breaks them over their knee, and when that happens, if they can’t adapt, they’re hosed. Can you imagine how badly it’ll screw with their heads when we take the cup from them?

Ha! I like your attitude. Wish I had your confidence, though…

Wakka, we’ve been over this –



Who-

He’s the leader o’ all the good Yevonites of Spira. They’re throwing this tournament to celebrate his 50th year in office!

Fifty years? Shouldn’t he be, uh, retired by now?

Hey! Mind your mouth, now. Maesters are the chosen of Yevon, they don’t just retire.

Let’s all go see him!





Don’t see the maesters yet…

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster OST 33. Reception for Great Sage Mika





Man in crowd: That’s a Guado, right?

Woman in crowd: Who could it be?

Another man: Isn’t that… Maester Seymour?







You, too! Bow your head!

So, who’s –

Quiet!






People of Spira, I thank you for your generous welcome. Rise, Maester Seymour. And all of you as well.





As some of you already know, he has been officially ordained a maester of Yevon.



In life, my father Jyscal worked to foster friendship between man and Guado. I vow to carry on his legacy, and to fulfill my duties as maester to the best of my abilities.





Seymour breaks eye contact with Yuna. The Maesters and their entourage slowly walk away.

Man, is the first time I’ve ever seen a Maester up close!









Wow, don’t stop the party just for me. Where’s the Wakka?

Datto: At the match-up draws.

Letty: We had to play the Goers in the first match last year.

Jassu: The year before that, and the one before that, too!

… You’ve been placed against the best team in the league three years straight? drat, that’d get anybody down.

Keepa: Well, we would’ve lost to anyone anyway.

Hey, guess what, boys?



That’s right, we got seeded! Two wins and we’re the champions!

The Aurochs:

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!



34-Inflexible Determination-FFX OST

Okay. Blitzball. You can probably find all this in much more detail elsewhere, but I wanted to lay out the basics here for future reference. Players have eight stats:
  • HP: unrelated to combat. The longer of player has the ball, the further their HP drops; if it hits zero, their ability to pass and shoot is halved. They can still carry it, you just may as well give up on having them do anything with it. It gradually regenerates once you get rid of the ball.
  • SP (Speed): how fast the player moves in the water. Self-explanatory.
  • EN (Endurance): a player’s ability to take tackles. Goes down for every hit the player takes until it hits zero, which gives the ball over to whoever did the last tackle.
  • AT (Attack): determines how much damage tackles do.
  • PA (Pass): how good the player is at passing. After they throw the ball, it’s given the value equal to the thrower’s PA; that value steadily drops the farther it goes and eventually hits zero, making it uncatchable. If the receiver fumbles it, it goes to a random player. You can pass from anywhere in the arena to any other player on your team, meaning if you get trapped somewhere but your opponents aren’t close enough to get an encounter, you can toss a pass to some rando and hope they fumble it over to somebody friendly.
  • SH (Shoot): exactly the same as Pass except for shooting goals.
  • BLK (Block): how much a player can take off a pass or shot during encounter. If they reduce its value to zero, they get the ball.
  • CA: the goalie stat; it measures how likely it is for the goalie to intercept a shot. If they pull it off, they throw the ball to a random friendly player, or they can just fumble it and give it to somebody random. The most important stat for goalies and not important for anybody else.



Ignore that. You have SIX players to a side: two forwards, one midfielder, two defenses, and a goalie. Your goal is to score as many points as possible and keep your opponents from scoring – simple enough. Every blitzer’s movement is automated except for any friendly player that holds the ball, and even then, you can turn that on for them if you want. The game recommends that. I don’t. As you move around, the camera switches between fixed positions as unpredictably as it does in normal map movement, but you always move relative to the minimap, making that much less of a problem. At any time, any player can attempt to pass the ball to another player or try and score a goal, with variable results; the further the ball has to travel, the more likely it is that the recipient will fumble it or the goalie will catch it. The results are always slightly randomized but it’s pretty easy to let the chances drop below zero.



More often than not, if you’re trying to pass or shoot, you’re going to be facing off with one or more players from the opposing team. You have a couple of options getting around these guys. The easiest and the laziest is to just pass or shoot. They’ll try to intercept it in turn, making it harder for the recipient to catch or easier for the goalie to nab, even stealing it then and there if they’re good enough. You can also opt to let one or more of them tackle you and try to take the ball that way; this is the only way you can just force your way past them. You’ll have to deal with anybody you don’t fight off trying to intercept the ball if you try to pass or shoot it during an encounter.



Some players have Techniques, special abilities that let them do things like reduce enemy stats or inflicts status effects in exchange for hit points. There are ways for your players to pick these up from other players, but that’ll only come into play later. For example, right now Tidus has two available techniques, the first of which is Sphere Shot, the move you saw him use in the Zanarkand cinematic; it dramatically boosts his SH for the shot in exchange for some HP. He starts off knowing it. He got his second Technique, Jecht Shot, from completing that minigame earlier, and it’s a solid contender for the best Technique in the game. You remember how it had the ball bounce off obstacles multiple times? In game, it does that to the people you encounter. Not only does using it boost your SH, it automatically knocks away up to two opponents, no attempt to resist, no hassle. Jecht Shot makes Tidus (already pretty impressive stat-wise) into the true star player of the Besaid Aurochs.



The rules are a little bit more complex than that, but not by much; the real meat of the system comes from elements that won’t emerge until later. I remember blitzball being highly controversial when Final Fantasy X first came out. All the promotional material tried to sell it as some kind of exciting, fast-paced borderline combat sport. What you got was a relatively staid affair where people milled aimlessly around an arena for a few minutes, occasionally bumping into each other and failing to score goals. The thing is? Blitzball is actually pretty fun if you have the mind for it. It’s full of irritating niggles and often drags on, but it has a pleasing strategic element and rewards you for paying attention to passersby later on, which helps give the game some longevity. I’ve played ahead a little and it’s pretty much how I remembered it, for good and ill. But this right here is just a tutorial, and we have to wait until later before we can start blitzing proper.

Fedule
Mar 27, 2010


No one left uncured.
I got you.


I make this joke about once a year and it becomes a little bit less of a joke every time I make it;

Square Enix should partner up with Sports Interactive and produce Blitzball Manager.

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Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

That Seymour guy seems swell

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