Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

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Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:06 am

Hello everyone, and welcome to Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance!

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Final Fantasy V was originally released on the Super Famicom in 1992, and was not originally brought to the US. It was not until the release of Final Fantasy Anthology for the Playstation that US players were first able to see it (well, aside from fan-translated ROMs). Then, when the Game Boy Advance came out and porting Super Famicom/Nintendo games to it became all the rage, Final Fantasy V was released with the usual bonus content given to the Final Fantasy Advance games (note: Square may or may not have put actual effort into the bonus content). There was also an anime sequel called Legend of the Crystals.

We don't talk about Legend of the Crystals.

I'll be playing the Advance port. This port tweaked the graphics a tiny bit, and has the usual slightly lower quality music that plagued most SNES to GBA ports. It also fixes a couple of minor bugs in the original versions, adds a couple of its own minor bugs, and most importantly, lacks the loading times the PS1 version had.

I love Final Fantasy V, and this is due in no small part to the Job System. Just as the original FFIII took the Job System in the first game and expanded on it, so too does FFV expand and refine it even further. I'll give mini-updates about Jobs as the LP goes on, because there's a lot of info and it would break the flow too much to insert them in the regular updates. Besides, you don't have access to the Job System at the start of the game anyway.

So with all that said, Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance!

Oh but wait, one rule before we start. NO SPOILERS. NONE. That is all. Now let's get on with it.

Part Zero: Introduction

This isn't really an update exactly, just setting the stage.

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We start out with a bird's eye view of the world and Square Enix's name. Oh Square, back in the days when you were good...it's funny that the merger seems to have made Enix's already fantastic games even more fantastic, but Square's games...

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We then cut to a crystal room. Probably the Wind Crystal though the rooms all look pretty much the same.

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Heart! Oh, wait...

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Thanks, crystals. Thrystals.

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Well, "nearing" is pretty vauge, maybe we have a good five hundred years. After all, if they were made to last, say, a million years, five hundred years of power left would still technically be nearing the limit.

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Big Bird and an unknown man stand at the edge of a cliff.

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A girl gets up from her bed and goes out to see a dragon.

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Just another day in California.

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Well yeah, unless you have psychic powers it's usually pretty difficult to be aware of an impending disaster.

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OMINOUS.

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While we observe space, there's a flash of light.

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A grainy meteor appears from it and flies off to the left.

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I'm sure that'll never come up again!

And thus, the stage is set for Final Fantasy V Advance!

By the way, I'm aware the pictures are a bit large. I've been playing the game in 3x window size, which is nice for playing by myself, but a little excessive for screenshotting. I'll put the emulator down to 2x size, which is a much better size, not too large or small. I just don't want to go through the intro again to re-shoot those images.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby goldenspines » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:52 am

Exciting thus far! I've never played or seen any of FFV (Advance or otherwise), so even the introduction is thrilling. I'll be anxiously awaiting the next update.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Hiryu » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:14 am

A wild LP thread appears!

I'm glad Square has finally decided to do something else with 5 and hopefully 6 now.

I'm guessing you chose to do the advance version because of the post-game dungeons.

FYI, Dec. 5 was FFV's 20th anniversary.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Zeldafan2 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:52 pm

I'm already psyched for this! Can't wait for your next entry. You have a really good sense of humor.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Ante Bellum » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:07 pm

That meteor looks like meatloaf.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Peanut » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:03 pm

Nate wrote:By the way, I'm aware the pictures are a bit large. I've been playing the game in 3x window size, which is nice for playing by myself, but a little excessive for screenshotting. I'll put the emulator down to 2x size, which is a much better size, not too large or small. I just don't want to go through the intro again to re-shoot those images.


Try it out but I don't think the size of the images is particularly bad. They're probably about as big as you can go though. I've heard a decent bit about the FFV job system so I'm excited to see it in action.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby uc pseudonym » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:53 pm

The jobs system is major part of why I like the game. If anyone has any recommendations for similar systems (what I like best is how leveling a job gives you skills you can equip to other classes) I would be all over them.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:04 am

The resolution and colors look a little bit different compared to the Super Famicom version, also, but I guess considering the limitations of the GBA it is not too bad-looking. Anyways, whatever the differences in the color palette, I notice that the cave that the guy with the beard is standing in is red.

The job system is definitely a highlight of this game--it makes the gameplay really fun; battles were much more interesting than those in IV or VI.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:10 am

(This is gonna have to go in two posts because of the character limit.)

Part one: Goofus and Galuf

This is the music that plays during this scene, it's very good and highly advised! The scene plays out automatically, no button pressing, to keep it timed with the soundtrack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1FCo39UIvg

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We start with a castle in the early hours of the morning.

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As color comes in, we see someone walk out the door to the sleeping dragon. This is King Tycoon, the King of Tycoon. He's followed by his daughter, Lenna.

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Image Do you really have to go?

Image You know I do, dear. I need you to protect the castle. Under no circumstances are you to follow me, do you understand?

Image But Father...

Image Something is wrong with the wind... I must go to the Wind Shrine to make certain nothing's happened to the crystal.

Image Yes...I've noticed it as well. But to go alone is-

Image Lenna. Don't worry. I'll be fine. Have faith.

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With this, King Tycoon hops on the dragon and it flies off, and the scene cuts to a pirate ship.

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The scene shifts again to an old man standing in what looks like a cavern. The screen is flashing red and shaking.

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From this, we go back to Lenna, who notices what the pirate did earlier.

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King Tycoon enters the Crystal Room, and after he says this the room darkens and...

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Yeah. That's probably bad.

The music becomes a bit less ominous now, and we see a man and his yellow bird in the forest, warming themselves up by the fire.

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But the screen starts shaking. Earthquake!

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Or meteor. You can always tell an incoming meteor by the way the ground shakes.

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The meteor plummets to the earth, crashing into the mountains. The man and the bird look at each other and nod, and he hops on and take off to investigate.

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And now we finally have a reason to start pressing buttons! You can run around this tiny section of the world map, but it's pretty boring as there's nowhere to go except east, where you find the impact site of the meteorite.

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Not wanting to expose his feathered friend to danger, the man orders the Yello Dello to stay behind. The path here is linear and you pretty much can't get lost. First there's one important change we'll be making.

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Auto-Dash is getting set to on. Why hold down a button to run when the game will do it for you? There's no reason for the default walking speed honestly. I'm not sure why RPGs have a dash/run button anymore these days, or why they ever had one. What's the point of making your default speed purposely slow? That's not fun. If the player needs to go slow for whatever reason, then have the button be a "walk" button instead of a "run" button.

Well, anyway, moving on...

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When you get to a certain point, the man will be surprised at something.

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Monsters are carrying off someone! Well, we know it's Lenna, but he doesn't. He jumps out from the foliage and the monsters turn around to take care of him. We're in our first fight!

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It's against two Goblins. Goblins are super weak.

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??? here can take out a Goblin with a single attack, which is good because he can't do anything else anyway. As you can see, the Goblins are pitifully weak and the only way to die in this fight is if you fall asleep when this happens.

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So we win, and the traditional Final Fantasy victory fanfare plays. Mysterious stranger helps the girl up.

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Image Y-yes... I believe so... I give you my thanks. My name is Lenna. And you are...?

Image Me?

The game prompts you to give our friend a name. This is the only one of the main characters you get to name, and there's no way to change it once you've entered it.

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In a move that divides fans who played the fan-translated versions of the game and those who didn't, the default name is Bartz. In Japan, his name is Butz. While this is pronounced like "boots," obviously most English-speakers are gonna see this and immediately think the character is named Butts. I like butts, but I don't want to be a butts, so Square tweaked the name a bit so you don't get visions of Flanders' ski outfit whenever you see your character's name. However, there are people who still insist that Bartz is terrible and how DARE you question glorious Nippon and he must forever be Butz.

If the game allowed you to change the other characters' names, I'd probably take suggestions on what to name this guy and give our team some pretty cool names. Or dumb names, running around as Goofus, Doofus, and Rufus. Unfortunately only having one character we get to name isn't as much fun, and it just seems wrong running around with Lenna, Faris, Galuf, and "Dudebro." So the default name stays.

Image Call me Bartz. Me and my chocobo just go wherever the trail leads us...

Which, judging from the restricted space we could go on the world map, isn't very far.

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Image Guess it's a meteorite.

Image A meteorite... I wonder if it has a connection to the wind stopping?

Lenna is less interested in the meteorite though. She may not want the wind to stop, but that's a secondary concern to what she's really after. With this, she turns to Bartz.

Image Again, I give you my thanks. I wish I could do something more to show my appreciation, but I really must go...

Lenna turns to leave, but Bartz isn't quite done talking to her yet.

Image Whoa--hey, hold up a sec...

Image Bartz, did you hear something?

The two look around confused a bit, hearing groaning. Bartz is able to get a fix on the source, not that the area is that large.

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Bartz and Lenna rush to the side of the meteorite, and find an old man unconscious on the ground.

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Image Sakes alive...what's happened? I don't remember... Ehh...? I can't remember anything!

Image Looks like you hit your head pretty bad... Maybe you got amnesia.

Ah amnesia, that old cliche of JRPGs. Someone's either got amnesia or was an orphan who doesn't know where they came from.

Actually joking aside, the amnesia bit works well in this game. If our friend here remembered everything, we'd just get a huge exposition dump right now.

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The old man gets caught by a guard. Wait, no MGS alert sound, so that's not it.

Image Oh! Something came back to me... My name is Galuf!

Image That's a start! Anything else?

Image ...Nope, just the name! Other than that, my memory's a blank slate...

Bit of trivia, in the manual, Galuf's name is given as Galuf Doe, as in "John Doe." This isn't his actual name, it's a placeholder name because Galuf's true identity is unknown. Unlike previous FF games, everyone in your party has full names. Our other two members are Bartz Klauser and Lenna Tycoon. Galuf's won't be revealed for a while.

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But Lenna, while concerned for Galuf, can't do much for him and is pressed for time.

Image Where are you going?

Image I must go to the Wind Shrine...

Galuf perks up at mention of the Wind Shrine.

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Image The Wind Shrine! Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure that's where I was headed! It's decided, I'm going with you!

Image But...

Image I could never let such a sweet girl go all by her lonesome. Plus, I've gotta get to that shrine....I feel it in my bones. You've gotta take me with!

Not sure why Lenna is objecting. If he wants to go to the Wind Shrine too, no reason to not let him come with her. Maybe she's just uncomfortable traveling with a weird old man she just met.

Image Bartz, what about you?

Image ...Sorry, I'm gonna bow out on this one. Good luck, though.

Bartz is free as a bird, and this bird you cannot change.

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Lenna and Galuf start to leave, but Lenna walks back towards Bartz, and Galuf comes back as well.

Image Bartz... Thank you again. Farewell...

Image Godspeed, and all that whatnot!

Oh Galuf, I like you already.

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They walk off, and Lenna turns and looks at Bartz yet again for a moment, but then she and Galuf leave. Bartz is on his own again. Before you leave, there's a minor treasure here. Nothing special, but hey, free loot. Go all the way down to the southeast corner of this area.

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There is a treasure chest! How to get it? Enter the hidden path from the east at this spot, it's simple so you should be able to traverse it pretty easily.

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You get a Phoenix Down for your trouble. Galuf and Lenna could have made better use of this, but Lenna was in too much of a hurry to look around.

There's nothing left of interest in this area, so head back the way you came in and head back out to the world map.

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Well, there were only two ways to go from where you started in this game. We've gone one way, so that leaves only one other way to go. When you head into the narrow passage to the north...

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Boko screeches to a halt and throws Bartz off. Bartz is understandably upset about this.

Image Ow!!! Boko! Bad, bad chocobo! What are you doing, stopping like that!?

Boko gives Bartz "that look."

Image ...Now don't you give me that look.

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Despite the fact that Boko can't talk, being a giant bird and all, Bartz seems to understand him perfectly. It's like, if you're truly close to someone, you don't need words to communicate. That's deep, man...

Wait, no, that doesn't make any sense, he's a BIRD. Well, I guess it's like Han and Chewie then.

Image ...I know, it's just a girl and an old man... And with all those goblins around... Fine, I got it, I got it.

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Bartz doesn't have long to dwell on his decision, because the ground starts collapsing! He hears Galuf and Lenna in pain, hops on Boko, and charges through the pass. There's two encounters here with Goblins, and again, it is impossible to fall to them unless you do nothing. So don't do nothing.

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After that, Boko will hop over a couple of pits.

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Bartz grabs Lenna and Galuf and takes them to safety.

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After a fade, Bartz is standing watch while Boko guards our friends. Lenna stirs, so Bartz hops down and greets her.

Image G'morning.

Image Bartz! It seems I cannot escape being in your debt...

Image Hey, don't worry about it.

See, if they'd just had that Phoenix Down.

Image The shockwave from the meteorite's impact caused landslides... The road's covered in rubble. I don't think you're gonna be able to make it to Tule that way.

Image But...if I can't get to the Wind Shrine, then...

Image Uhhh...

Hearing Galuf respond, they walk over to his side.

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Image The old guy's pretty dead set on getting there, too... All right. I'll go with you and personally see to it that you get there safely!

What a totally unexpected turn of events, Bartz joining with Lenna and Galuf!

Image Oh! Really?

Nah, just joking, you're on your own.

Image Yeah! You know, it was my dad's dying wish that I go out and travel the world... Plus, this time, it feels like--like the wind is calling me.

Image What a sweet-talker! As if you don't just have the hots for the little missy.

You're one to talk, Mister "I can't let a sweet girl go by her lonesome."

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Image Don't sound so surprised. This old dog is always ready for anything!

Galuf jumps up, and pounds his fists together, showing he's ready for ACTION.

Image Still, if the road is blocked, that makes things a sight more difficult...

Image I won't give up. There must be a way to reach the Wind Shrine!

Image Right! And we'll find it!

Image All right! Let's ride!

Everybody hops on Boko and it's back to the world map! Just keep heading north. Y'know, the only other way to go that leads somewhere we haven't already been.

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A cave! If you'd come to the north before going to the meteorite at the beginning of the game, you wouldn't have seen this. It only appears afterwards.

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Lenna even mentions that it wasn't here.

Image Probably opened up during one of those quakes. Boko, I think this is gonna be a little too dangerous for chocobos. You stay here, okay?

Image Kweh!

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The first "dungeon!" The cave is extremely linear and there's no way to get lost. However, now is the time to talk about something very important. Something that won't come into play for many hours, but is being affected right now.

I won't get into too many details, there's time for that later. However, for those of you playing along, know that much later in the game you will be given a choice between two weapons: the Brave Blade and the Chicken Knife. You can only choose one, and the deal with these weapons is simple. Starting from this point (you couldn't run from the Goblin fights, and Boko prevented random encounters before), every time you run from a battle, the Brave Blade will lose one point of attack power, and the Chicken Knife will gain one point of attack power. This applies to the Thief's !Flee command and the Ninja's !Smoke, but those aren't a concern at this point.

The point is, you need to decide if you want the Brave Blade now. If you do, you want to never run, ever, if you want the Brave Blade to be worth it. If you change your mind and decide to go for the Chicken Knife, you'll have plenty of opportunity to run and increase the Chicken Knife's power, but if you go for the Chicken Knife first, you're stuck with it because the Brave Blade will be too weak to be worth it if you've been running.

There's pluses and minuses to both weapons and we'll get into that when they become available, but since the run counter starts now (and not when you choose the weapon), I wanted to make sure you didn't get screwed out of a powerful Brave Blade, since the game obviously will never tell you about this your first time playing.

Well, that's out of the way, let's get back to this cave.

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Steel bats can use Vampire, which will drain your health and restore theirs if they're not at full health. It will deal damage equal to the amount of HP they've lost, and heal them for the same. That's the only interesting thing about them.

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Oh yeah, at the moment, Galuf is unarmed. He'll attack with his fists, which gives him two attacks per turn, but at a very low attack power. You could take one of the weapons off Lenna or Bartz to give to him, but that'd just leave them unarmed, so don't bother.

When you move north, Bartz will make mention of a spring off to the west.

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It's a recovery spring, so you don't need to worry about healing for now, this will take care of you.

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The Devil Crab shows up in the first and second rooms of the cave, but not the third. If you're going for a full bestiary, make sure you run into one. Their defense is pretty high though, so Galuf will not be able to damage them with his fists unless he gets a critical hit.

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Stropers are the final enemy in here and are completely uninteresting.

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In the next room, the party will press themselves against the wall to hide from a pirate. The pirate will look around, and not seeing anyone, will press that tiny skull on the wall, opening a door. After that, off to the west is a chest.

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Everybody needs one, I usually give this one to Lenna, do what you like. It's a free country. Go press the skull switch and head through the door.

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Bartz notices something when you enter the third area in the cave.

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A ship goes sailing by outside, which confuses our heroes.

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Looks like we have a mystery on our hands! There's no reason to head through the door above Bartz.

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You CAN go out there to use a Tent or save, but you don't have any Tents now. You can still go out and do a full-fledged save if you like though, since you can only save on the world map and certain marked areas. You can quicksave whenever you like though, but if memory serves it's one of those "When you restore from quicksave the quicksave file will be deleted" deals.

Anyway just keep along the path and eventually you will end up in the pirate hideout.

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When you try to go west, Bartz will jump back behind the wall as a pirate shows up to see if anyone's sneaking around.

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Image I wonder if they would give us a ride?

Image Um, I think the only ride they'd be interested in would be a keel-haul for all three of us.

Kind of a weak joke, Bartz. That's like the kind of joke I would make. You're better than me, come on.

Image Yeah...you can't ask a favor from a pirate! That's why we'll just sneak on and steal their ship!

Oh come on, you guys act like pirates are ruthless criminals. Everybody knows pirates were polite and friendly, well-dressed with impeccable hygeine, and treated women respectfully!

Image Whoa! You're pretty gutsy for an old-timer.

Maybe he just has nothing left to live for and therefore doesn't care if you succeed or fail.

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You can press this switch over to the west, but it does nothing for you right now, so don't bother. Or go ahead and do it if you want, doesn't matter to me, but my time is valuable.

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These two pirates are sleepy, so you won't get caught if you talk to them, but they don't really say anything interesting anyway. The destination (and only way to go) is that dock to the east. You'll board the pirate ship. You can explore it if you like, but there's nobody on it and nothing to find, so when you're done running around it head to the aft of the ship (that's nautical talk for "back") and examine the wheel.

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Nothing happens.

Image Well? "Cast off" means start sailing, kid.

Image I know that! The wheel won't even budge. How do you work this thing?

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Uh oh, busted!

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Image ...or mayhap you're just lacking in brains! I'd wager it's the latter.

He's pretty sharp, I'll give him that.

This is Faris Scherwiz. Although he doesn't introduce himself, the captions show his name. So I guess the party figured out who he was telepathically or something.

In the PS1 version of the game, Faris had a ridiculously over the top pirate accent. They mercifully toned it down in this version.

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Image Please accept my apologies for attempting to commandeer your ship.

Image Wha? Princess...

Image ...of Tycoon!?

Lenna never told Galuf or Bartz who she was, so this comes as a bit of a surprise to them. It's odd that Bartz expresses surprise at the "princess" part and Galuf expresses surprise at the "Tycoon" part though. Galuf doesn't know what Tycoon is. This is probably due to translation quirks, since I think the title "Princess of Tycoon" would be said "backwards" in Japanese, meaning Bartz would be saying the "Tycoon" part and Galuf would be saying the "princess" part. However since there's no real way to do that in English, and it'd be WAY too hard to change the character portraits around, we get this.

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Image Please, allow us the use of your vessel. I must get to the Wind Shrine--my father is in danger!

Image Oho, the princess of Tycoon, here on my ship? I'm sure we could fetch a good price for this one.

I can think of two things this could mean, and I don't think I want to know which one it is.

Image Hey! Leave her alone, you degenerate, lecherous, piratey...pirate!

Bartz...what did I say earlier?

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Faris notices the pendant on Lenna's chest, and seems to recognize it. This changes his attitude slightly, but only slightly.

Image ...Toss the lot of 'em into the brig!

Image Aye-aye, Cap'n!

Well, the brig is better than being keel-hauled, or sold into slavery. The pirates cart the party off, and we rejoin them in the brig, all tied up.

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Image What genius came up with the idea to steal a pirate ship, anyway?

Image Look in the mirror, pops.

Galuf hops over to the other edge of the room.

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Image ...And your amnesia oh-so-conveniently returns.

Galuf using amnesia as an excuse for his stupid idea amuses me, and it's another reason why I don't mind the amnesia cliche. With that, Bartz turns his attention to Lenna.

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Image I'm sorry... I didn't intend to keep it a secret.

Image It's not that big a deal. But, if you're the princess, why were you going to the Wind Shrine all alone?

Image My father is there. He hadn't been gone long when the wind slowed to almost nothing... I just can't shake the feeling that something terrible is happening. I slipped out alone to head to the shrine, but then that meteorite fell, and...you know the rest.

The screen darkens, indicating that it's nighttime (I guess), and the camera pans over to Faris.

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Image She said her father's at the Wind Shrine...

Faris has the same shiny gleam on his chest that Lenna had earlier. This explains why the pendant changed his attitude about the party. The next morning...

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Image But Cap'n... What about the landlubbers?

Image Untie 'em.

The pirates all jump in surprise at this.

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Still, the captain is the captain, and his orders are absolute. They do as they're told, and our party is untied, striking victory poses.

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Image I reconsidered your request. You can go back into the brig if you'd rather. Pull anchor! We sail for the Wind Shrine!

Once again, the pirates are shocked and confused by Faris' orders.

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Image Well!?

Image Aye...aye-aye, Cap'n!

Still, they know their place, and reluctantly carry out the order.

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Image Full of curiosity, aren't you, lass? Syldra! Come up and say hello!

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Faris has a sea monster towing his ship!

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Image Beautiful, isn't she? Syldra and I were raised together. We're close as siblings.

Mystery solved! Good going, gang.

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Now we have a ship! When you try to go north, you'll get a small scene where one of the pirates offers to sail the ship for you directly to the Wind Shrine. Tell him to go fly a kite, since there's another, better place to go than the Wind Shrine right now. You won't run into any battles while on the ship, so that's nice. What you'll want to do is go sailing west. There isn't much to this part of the game, so you can't really get lost.

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This is what you're looking for, the town of Tule, the original destination of Galuf and Lenna if you remember. When you first run in, the pirates will rush past you, eager to get some grog from the pub, and Faris will head off to do his own thing.

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This guy offers to take you to the Greenhorn's Club. You can walk there yourself, and it's not hidden or anything, so who knows why this guy wants you to close your eyes. Probably just wants to feel important I guess. Indulge him, he deserves to be happy.

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Actually, I've played this game lots of times. But let's lie and say we're new. It may seem wrong, but we're probably going to be on a mission to save the world soon so we need this stuff much more than some other random guy.

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All three of the containers here have an item. The barrel has a Phoenix Down and the crate has a Tent.

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There's a secret passage here the old man below it will mention. It takes you to a chest with an Ether, which is always nice. The other, more accessible chest contains 100 Gil (monies).

Did you know Gil is named after Gilbert (Edward the bard) from Final Fantasy IV? In supplementary materials, it's mentioned that his ancestors were the first to use coins in trading. Kinda neat.

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The chest upstairs has a Goblin in it, which is easily dispatched. You get a pair of Leather Shoes for your troubles. This is an accessory which increases Defense and Magic Defense by a small amount. Give it to whoever you think needs it most.

By the way, want to know what happens if you're honest like me and tell the woman you're not new to adventuring?

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She kicks you in the face and sends you flying out the door. I think lying to avoid being kicked in the face is justifiable. Especially considering there was no need to. We can't enter the place unless she lets us in!

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Back outside, you can find a Tent in this crate.

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This guy gives us helpful advice. If we ever have to go through Torna Canal, poor Lenna is going to get the worst of it.

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At the top of the town we find Zok's house.

Image Someone you know?

Image Yes. He built the Torna Canal.

There's nothing to do in the house itself...

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...but to its left and right you can find another pair of Leather Shoes for someone, and another Phoenix Down.

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Oh and this barrel by the Inn has 150 Gil in it. That's all the treasure we can find, now let's check out the shops.

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The item shop is inside the Inn, and doesn't have anything special in it. You're better off saving your Gil for the other shops.

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The Magic Shop has the basic Black and White Magic spells for sale. No one in our party can use magic, so this place is mostly worthless. But who knows, maybe our magic ignorance will change soon...?

If you really want to buy some magic, just buy one Black Magic spell (Blizzard can hit an enemy weakness in the next dungeon) and Cure. You can get the rest after the Wind Shrine.

I wonder how this guy makes money? It doesn't seem like spellcasting is a thing anyone can do. Oh well. On to the weapons shop!

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When you enter, Faris will barge in. He won't rejoin your party, but he does this so you can see his equipment and buy for him as you see fit.

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Buy a Broadsword for Galuf, that's all you really need here for now. Yeah Lenna still has a Knife but you get a free Broadsword in the Wind Shrine so don't buy one here.

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When you're done shopping, Faris waves and heads back out.

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You need three Leather Caps (unless you got one from the enemies outside Tule) and three Leather Shields.

That's it for the shops, but there's still a little bit more to do here. Head for the Pub.

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In the Pub, you'll find the pirates having a good time. And a pirate who's drank so much that he's given up hiding his homosexual urges. Good for him.

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If you sit on this stool and face the stage, these women will do a dance for you and then hop on your lap. Politely thank them and then head for the stage, and go up to the piano and play it.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9jHkv6X_lM

Wow Bartz, you suck! Playing this piano is important though. You want to play every piano in the game. Well, we've searched everywhere else, so Faris must be upstairs. Let's go up and check on him.

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Bartz goes in alone and Faris turns in his sleep, causing Bartz to jump in surprise and then...uh...well, hmm.

Image

Image Uh...nothing, I didn't see anything! Must've been a trick of the light or something...

Image For crying out loud, shove over and let me see!

Come on guys, watching someone sleep is creepy...

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Galuf has the same reaction Bartz does.

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Well then. Looks like the pirate at the bar isn't alone.

Image What in the world are you two going on about?

While Lenna is starting to learn new and wonderful things about our friends, Faris wakes up and joins us.

Image

Image I need a little time to myself. So shove off, you!

Faris goes back inside and locks his door, so you can't reach him now. And there's nothing left for us in Tule at the moment, so let's get to the Wind Shrine.

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Faris, you're the one who locked your door and told us to leave.

Sail all the way to the northeast, and you'll find the Wind Shrine, where Lenna has been itching to go since we met her.

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Let's head in and see if her father's okay!

When you get inside, head west first.

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Image What's happened? What's the matter?

Image The wind suddenly stopped, and now there are monsters in the shrine!

Image What about Father!?

Image The king went up to the top floor... He has yet to return. Something must have happened to him...

Image The crystal's up on the top floor, right? Won't hurt to go up and take a look.

Image Faris... Come on!

And we're back in control of the party again. The king's other men tell us some interesting things.

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The other one tells us that the amplification machine suddenly stopped responding. Both very useful pieces of information.

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This guy gives you five Potions.

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And the vase between these two serves as a full heal. And with that, we're ready for the Wind Shrine! There's stairs on the east side of the shrine, take them up. There's no random encounters on the first floor, but there are on this one.

Bypass the first door you come to and keep going west.

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Because Tents are always nice.

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Whenever you see this, you can save your game and heal up. There's no monsters in this tiny room.

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Two of the monsters you'll face in this dungeon. The Black Goblin is a stronger version of the Goblin. No racist stereotype jokes here. This is a classy LP. Neither of these enemies is much of a threat, but Black Goblins can sometimes drop Leather Shoes. After you leave the save point room, go east and up the stairs there.

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You'll find a Leather Cap for your trouble, which may or may not be useful depending on what you bought in Tule. But you can always sell it for cash if you're fully equipped now.

Head back to the second floor and go up the west stairs.

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There's a secret passage here.

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And the nearby room contains the free Broadsword I mentioned. There's another door on the other side of the main room on 3F, but it leads to an empty room.

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These are the other two enemies you'll fight once you get to the third floor. Moldwynd is notable for something later, but not now, so just smack it around.

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For now, let's just take on this bird in front of the stairs leading up. Our first boss fight!

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This is Wing Raptor. It is a very easy boss, and has a small trick that I almost never get to see.

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I didn't get a shot of the attack's name, but this is Breath Wing.

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The damage it deals isn't too bad. If you were doing a low-level run, this would probably be a lot more dangerous.

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His physicals are a joke too.

You can't really do anything except attack, so attack! If you're like me, you've gained a few levels and the battle will be over before he gets a third turn. If you haven't gained enough levels though, this is where the gimmick comes in. Remember the Mist Dragon from FFIV? This guy is kind of the same. He'll go into a defensive stance, which makes your physicals worthless, and he'll counterattack you if you hit him. Like I said, I've never actually seen this because I'm always able to beat him before he does it.

You get a Phoenix Down for beating him and are free to continue to the fourth floor.//i22
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:23 am

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In the southeast corner, there's a chest in the darkness.

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Simply go under the pillar here and run over to it.

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Woo? Eh, free stuff is free stuff. Head up the stairs in the center of the room. You'll be in the crystal room, which you've seen King Tycoon in.

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But something is wrong. The crystal is gone, and King Tycoon is nowhere to be seen.


Image The crystal-

Image It's shattered! What the-

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We cut to the world map, and this castle.

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There's a scene at the crystal room there, where a light flies out of the crystal.

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The light flies into Faris.

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And I was able to catch the light flying at Lenna.

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This one is for Galuf, if it isn't immediately obvious (the shot I got doesn't show off his "victory pose" well).

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And this last one goes to Bartz. Remember he said he felt like the wind was calling to him.

Image What...

Image What's happening?

Image Feels warm...

Image Are these the crystals'...essences?

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Their wondering is stopped by King Tycoon's voice. He appears on the altar where the Wind Crystal was before.

Image Father!

Image !?

Faris seems to be oddly affected by King Tycoon's appearance. He rushes up to Lenna's side.

Image Listen, and listen well. You four are the chosen ones, the warriors of light...bearers of the four crystal essences.

Image Father... What do you mean?

It seemed pretty self-explanatory to me, Lenna.

Image The wind crystal has already shattered. The other three crystals are in danger as well. You four must protect them! An evil presence is awakening... One that wishes to return everything to darkness...

When he finishes this, King Tycoon is surrounded by a purple energy field.

Image

Image Go forth, Light Warriors! Save the crystals...

Image Wait--No, Father!!!

King Tycoon flies off into the air.

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And the crystal shards suddenly move closer to the Light Warriors.

Image ...What are these?

Image Guess they're pieces of the crystal...

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And the Job System is now open to us! The crystals contain the Jobs Knight, Monk, Thief, Blue Mage, Black Mage, and White Mage.

Image The crystal...it's lending us its power...

Image ...For now, let's get out of here.

Lenna walks up to the altar, and Faris calls to her. Lenna mentions a warp panel behind the altar, and that's where we'll leave this update.

Well, but first, now that we have access to Jobs, let's take a look at our party members a bit more closely.

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Bartz has pretty good strength and stamina, but not much in the way of magic power. He's also kinda slow (mentally and physically). He's good for the hard-hitting physical jobs.

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Lenna's got great magic and okay agility, but her strength and stamina leave something to be desired. She's fantastic for magic jobs.

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Galuf is almost as strong as Bartz, but not quite. He's got great stamina though, but his other two stats are bleh. He also makes a good physical attacker.

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Faris is your standard utility character. His stats are all pretty decent, and he's the fastest. He can do any job pretty well, but leans slightly towards the physical side.

However, as you can see, the stat differences are only by a couple of points. What this means is that while some characters have a slight leaning towards certain types of jobs, every character can perform any job perfectly well. While Galuf isn't going to be able to smack things with his magic quite as hard as Lenna is, he's not useless.

This to me is a good balance. You don't want to railroad players into forcing certain characters to be certain kinds of jobs by making Lenna weak or Galuf crap at magic. Giving them stat differences of only a few points means you do fare better sending Lenna the mage route and Bartz the warrior route, but if you want to stick it to The Man and have Lenna be your Knight and Bartz be the healer, it works out fine! But, while also not railroading you into certain job paths, the stat differences do mean there's variance in characters, so not everyone is a clone of each other with perfectly identical stats and no difference at all. I think it works out pretty well.

So, join us next time when we will don the cap and bells!
I'm guessing you chose to do the advance version because of the post-game dungeons.

Eh, not so much. Really the big reasons are that emulating PS1 games is kind of a pain, so I didn't want to go that route. And there's no official translation for the Super Famicom version, so that leaves just the GBA version. The bonus stuff did play a small factor, but ultimately it's that this is the easiest for me to get screenshots of.
Try it out but I don't think the size of the images is particularly bad. They're probably about as big as you can go though.

Yeah, 4x size would be way too much. 3x is still a bit too large, it draws attention away from the text I feel because the images are just so "in your face." Also, the larger the images are, the larger the file size, and since I'm using Photobucket for this (for now anyway) I want to do as much as possible to avoid hitting the monthly limit. If I end up hitting it anyway, I'll look into imgur or something for hosting. But, seeing as how this isn't a SA LP thread, I don't think I'll get enough hits to reach the limit. Though I honestly don't know what the limit is, so we'll see I guess.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Peanut » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:29 pm

Would it be inappropriate to make a joke about swabbing the poop deck at this point?
Nate wrote:Yeah, 4x size would be way too much. 3x is still a bit too large, it draws attention away from the text I feel because the images are just so "in your face." Also, the larger the images are, the larger the file size, and since I'm using Photobucket for this (for now anyway) I want to do as much as possible to avoid hitting the monthly limit. If I end up hitting it anyway, I'll look into imgur or something for hosting. But, seeing as how this isn't a SA LP thread, I don't think I'll get enough hits to reach the limit. Though I honestly don't know what the limit is, so we'll see I guess.

2X seems to be the best so keep doing it. I've been using photobucket for the Magi Nation LP and haven't had any problems yet but that's Magi Nation...
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby uc pseudonym » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:02 pm

I'd managed to forget about the character portraits in the Advance version. I assume they're from the original art, but it's always a little weird to see the ones that are clearly different from the character sprites. Like Galuf, who clearly has a massive beard, which puts him in a pretty small group of FF characters.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Hiryu » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:05 pm

I feel that the discrepancy between Galuf's artwork and sprite is because of technical limitations. Or maybe the beard just suited him better.

The Chicken knife will boast more attack power than the Brave blade if you run away the maximum amount of times (255 times are needed).

Interesting point on pointing out the inconsistent translation on the pirate ship, I'd never thought of that before.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:16 pm

Job overview

This isn't a full update, but every time we get new Jobs in our quest, I'll take a bit of time to explain them and how useful they are (or aren't). This information will hopefully help you out in your own game! So let's take a look at our six shiny new Jobs.

Knight

The Knight is your standard heavy armor wearing sword swinging warrior. It can equip swords and daggers for weapons. Its abilities aren't too special. Cover allows the Knight to take a physical hit for a low HP ally, slightly useful in the beginning of the game but not so much later when enemies tend to use more magic and full party attacks. !Guard is a good ability that allows the Knight to completely nullify a physical attack. Two-handed lets you hold your sword in both hands, increasing the damage but not letting you equip a shield. This is useful early on when shields aren't that great. The rest of the Knight abilities just allow you to equip shields, armor, or swords on classes that normally can't.

Knights are almost always a great choice, though they lag behind the Monk for damage output when you first get it. Still, it's a solid job for this point.

Monk

The Monk doesn't use weapons, instead attacking with its bare fists, which gives you two attacks per turn. Bare-handed lets you carry over the Monk's bare-handed attack power to other jobs, meaning Bare-handed is a fantastic ability for early game Knights (too bad it takes so long to earn it). !Kick is an exclusive ability that you can never carry over to other classes. It's more useful than Yang's Kick from FFIV (the non-DS versions at least), in that it deals damage equal to a single attack to onscreen enemies, though row comes into play so back row enemies won't get hit as hard.

Monks have an innate Counter ability, if they get hit by a physical attack there's a chance the Monk will automatically counter the hit for free. This is usually useful although it has an annoying habit of sometimes killing an enemy you didn't want to defeat yet. !Chakra restores some HP and cures Poison and Dark. It's nice early on, but becomes less useful. !Focus allows you to store energy for double attack power the next round. This is really only useful if you're fighting something that counters physical attacks, as less attacks means less counters. The final levels of the Monk are just HP boosts.

Monks are great. They're flat-out better at physical attacking than the Knight is right now. This will change when better equipment becomes available, though.

Thief

Thieves can equip daggers and a couple of other unique weapons. Obviously, Thieves steal items from enemies. !Steal is the big draw of the Thief, and while you can apply it to other classes, you're gonna be seeing a lot of the Thief. See, the Thief Gloves (increase the steal rate) can ONLY be equipped by the Thief. This means your Thief will be better at stealing than another class with !Steal equipped. !Flee lets you immediately escape from a battle when it's used. This can be helpful with some things that it's hard to run from, though it's useless if you're going for a Brave Blade. Vigilance prevents back attacks, which can be nice. The highest level of Thief gives you Artful Dodger, which gives you the same agility as a Thief. It's not really useful, though you'll want to master Thief for most characters anyway (I'll say why in a bit).

!Steal, it's what the Thief is best at and why you'll be seeing it a lot in your party.

Black Mage

Black Mages cast Black Magic spells. That's about it. They can equip rods and daggers. They can hit the major three elemental weaknesses: Fire, Ice, and Lightning. They also gain access to status effect spells, which are less useful. The last level of Black Mage is an MP boost and not worth it at all.

Black Mages are not so great in this game for a lot of reasons. They're useful for now though, since they're the only class you have at the moment that can hit elemental weaknesses.

White Mage

White Mages cast White Magic spells. That's about it. They can equip staves. They get access to curative spells which makes them absolutely essential. They also get a couple of good buff and debuff spells, such as Silence and Reflect. You want a White Mage, very badly (or at least their abilities). The final level of White Mage is an MP boost, yay.

Always keep your !White spell levels up to date.

Blue Mage

Now, we come to the INTERESTING job of the bunch. Blue Mages can equip daggers, some swords, shields, and rods. They use Blue Magic, which cannot be purchased in shops. Blue Magic can only be learned by a Blue Mage being hit by the spell and winning the battle while they're alive. Yep, Blue Magic is enemy magic, and there's some really good ones. It's not a totally necessary class like White Mage is, but !Blue is invaluable for certain spells. They don't get access to many direct damage spells, but they can hit two elemental weaknesses that Black Mages can't: Wind and Water. You'll be able to get Learning while you level this Job, which lets you learn Blue Magic spells even if you're not a Blue Mage when you have it equipped.

Blue Mages are great, the only downside is you have to make sure you know where to get the spells and learn them, or this class does no good for you.

Finally, although it's not a Job exactly, we should talk about...

Freelancer

Freelancer is what everybody was before you got the crystal shards, and you can go back to it at any time, but you're not going to want to anytime soon. There's two big reasons why you'll probably want to go Freelancer near the end of the game though. One is that Freelancers can equip anything and everything. This can be useful if say, you want to give Lenna Masamune (so she gets the first attack in battle) but also want her to have a robe for magic boosting.

The second reason is that Freelancer will gain (almost) all the innate abilities and stat boosts of all Jobs you've mastered. So, remember how Monks have an innate Counter? Master the Monk class, and when you swap to Freelancer, your Freelancer will counter physical attacks without needing to equip the Counter ability. No need to equip Learning if you've mastered Blue Mage, because Learning is innate and the Freelancer will have it automatically. This obviously means Freelancers have the advantage of having good abilities without having to actually equip them, which frees up your two free ability slots for other stuff. The only innate abilities (if I'm remembering correctly) that are NOT given to the Freelancer are the Berserker's Berserk ability, and the Knight's Two-handed ability. The Berserk one is for obvious reasons of not wanting Freelancer to be useless, and Two-handed is because it would conflict with the Ninja's innate ability. So if you want a Berserk Freelancer or one that wields a sword two-handed, you do still have to equip those abilities even if you've mastered those classes.

Oh, and stat boosts. I haven't mentioned stat boosts/penalties to Jobs but what you need to know is Jobs will change your stats. Physical Jobs usually boost Strength/Stamina and lower Magic, and magic Jobs will usually boost Magic and lower Strength/Stamina.

So take the Knight for example. Knights gain the following stat changes: Strength + 23, Agility + 1, Stamina + 20, Magic - 14. Black Mages get Strength - 9, no Agility change, Stamina - 2, and Magic + 31.

So mastering Knight will give a Freelancer all the stat boosts a Knight would have. So you'd gain 23 Strength, 1 Agility, and 20 Stamina on your Freelancer if Knight is mastered, but you do NOT get the stat penalties. This means the more classes you master, the higher your Freelancers stats will be! Note however that stat bonuses DO NOT STACK. What this means is, a Knight has a +23 Strength. Monk has + 26. If you master both Knight and Monk, you do NOT gain + 49 Strength. You would only get + 26. The highest bonus is the one that applies. This means it's not necessary to master every job to get the best Freelancer stats.

That's it for this Job overview, next one comes after the Water Crystal!

I'd managed to forget about the character portraits in the Advance version. I assume they're from the original art

They are, Galuf does not have a beard in the original Amano artwork. Of course, the sprites practically never matched the artwork anyway in the Amano-designed FF games. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to personal opinion though I suppose.

The Chicken knife will boast more attack power than the Brave blade if you run away the maximum amount of times

This is not actually true! A perfect Brave Blade will have 150 attack power if you have never run, whereas the Chicken Knife has a maximum attack power of 127. Unless you mean the Chicken Knife is stronger than the Brave Blade if you run a lot, which...well yeah, that's kind of the gimmick. If you've run away a lot, the Brave Blade will pretty much be worthless. But a perfect Brave Blade is still stronger than a perfect Chicken Knife.

There are however other things to take into consideration with these two weapons, but that's to be saved for when we can actually get them. I'll go into more details then.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:31 pm

It must have taken a lot of time and effort to put together those posts. Thanks for the detailed updates; they're enjoyable to read through.

I also found the discrepancy between the profile pictures and the sprites rather jarring, although that's partly because they weren't in the Super Famicom version, so they just look really out of place to me. However, I do think the difference between the sprites and the portraits is more pronounced than it is in other FF games I've played.

The main character's name is written as バッツ、battsu. The Japanese syllabaries are terrible at approximating English words, so Butz, Bartz, or Bats would all be perfectly reasonable guesses about what Western-sounding name the katakana is supposed to approximate. Sometimes the game developers will actually specify how the name is supposed to be spelled in the Roman alphabet in the Japanese game booklet or offical game guides, and I have no idea if that is the case here, but at any rate I completely agree that Bartz is an improvement. If anything, it actually sounds closer to the Japanese pronunciation バッツ than Butz does.

Nate wrote:It's odd that Bartz expresses surprise at the "princess" part and Galuf expresses surprise at the "Tycoon" part though. Galuf doesn't know what Tycoon is.

This is close enough to the beginning of the game that I can easily check the Japanese and find out. It turns out that they both say "the princess," but it's split up into two words, princess and -sama. Bartz says "princess . . ." and Galuf says "-sama!?" to complete the word, because you use honorifics when talking about people, not just when talking to them, if you want to be proper.

But if they had said "princess of Tycoon," you're totally right about the word order.

By the way, for any Japanese learners who might be reading this thread, the Japanese in the original Super Famicom FFV is really easy to read! The letters are very crisp and clear (far better than any PS1 game I've played in Japanese), and some lower-grade kanji are used, but difficult words are either written in hiragana or given in kanji with parentheses after them to tell you how to read them. The reading level is not too terribly difficult either, so it would be a great game to try to play through in Japanese for people who are already learning the language. And of course the screencaps and summary in this LP would be very helpful in any place where you run into difficulties and would provide an easy way to compare the Japanese to the English translation.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:49 pm

Part Two: Get a Job, Ya Bum!


When we last left the Light Warriors, the Wind Crystal had shattered, King Tycoon was abducted, and they now have the abilities of the warriors of old. Since there's no good reason to stay Freelancers, time to switch jobs! Doing so is as easy as opening the menu and scrolling up to "Jobs" at the very tip-top (the cursor starts on Item when you open the menu), then selecting the character whose Job you wish to change. Abilities will be more useful later, but right now nobody has any abilities so we can't do anything with that yet.

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This is the Jobs screen. At the bottom, you can see what level your job is currently at, and how many ABP you have to the next level, as well as your current ABP. It shows what kind of weapons you can equip, if you can equip a shield, and a brief description of the job. In this case, you can see Knights can equip daggers, swords, knight swords, and shields.

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When you press the confirm button on a job, the sprite will begin cheering. You can press the confirm button again to choose the job, or back out and pick another one if you like.

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You will next be taken to the Abilities menu. Here, you can set your secondary ability for your Job, or your secondary/tertiary ability if you're picking Freelancer. Seeing as how we are inexperienced, we have no abilities to equip for now, so picking End (or pressing the cancel button) will take us to the final bit of job switching.

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The equipment screen. Now there's two options you can set from the Config menu for how the game deals with equipment when you switch jobs. The default (and the one I prefer) is that it will automatically equip your character with whatever equipment it deems to be the "best" in your inventory. I'm not sure what the criteria are for what gets picked, but it's probably just raw attack/defense power. The other option strips your characters naked (not literally) when you switch to a new job, leaving you to equip them yourself. I prefer to have it optimized. While every so often you'll have to switch a weapon or equipment piece you want instead of the default, it's better to do it once in a while, or only have to change one piece of equipment each time than have to pick everything every time.

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My entire party is Blue Mages right now. There is a reason for this, I can get a few nice Blue magic spells right now, two of them in this very dungeon we're in! So I'm gonna skip the warp panel Lenna mentioned and head down the way I came in.

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Oh yeah, from now on, I get something new in addition to experience and Gil whenever I win a battle, ABP. ABP determine job growth. For example, if you remember the Jobs screen, it said I had 0/10 points in Knight. That means if I get 10 ABP while I'm a Knight, I level up as a Knight (but my character level doesn't go up, job level and character level are two different things). This means I'll get an ability I can carry over to other jobs.

Most abilities you learn are things to carry over. For example, Knight level 1 grants you Cover. Knights have an innate Cover ability, so equipping Cover on a Knight does nothing. However, rarely you will earn abilities that aren't innately part of the job. If I gain enough levels in Knight, I'll gain Two-handed, which allows me to equip a weapon in two hands. This isn't an innate Knight ability, so I need to equip it if I want to use it as a Knight.

Moving on!

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Black Goblins, as well as regular Goblins you can find on the world map, occasionally use Goblin Punch. This is a Blue Magic "spell." It costs 0 MP, and deals non-elemental damage based on the attack stat. It ignores row, and if the enemy is the same level as you, you deal eight times the damage. This will practically never happen except sometimes in a low-level game, or if you purposely try to match a boss's level or something.

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And so, having been hit with it as a Blue Mage, all my characters now know Goblin Punch. If one character learns it, every character learns it, so you don't have to have every individual character get hit by Blue magic spells. So why did I make every character a Blue Mage if this is the case? Because it means if an enemy uses a Blue magic spell, I'm 100% guaranteed to learn it. If I only had one Blue Mage, it'd only be a 25% chance per attack that they'd attack that character, and that's a waste of time.

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This is the other enemy that can teach me a new Blue magic spell.

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Aero is nice to have, while most enemies aren't weak to it, most enemies don't resist it either. This means Blue Mages can deal decent damage on some enemies that Black Mages can't do much against (until Black Mages get level 4 spells anyway).

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Barts gets the worst of it and takes about 75 points of damage. Oops.

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Fortunately I have Phoenix Downs handy. Note that when your character is KO'd, they lose their job clothing and go back to normal. It's kind of neat.

Moldwynds seem to not use Aero unless they're in a group. I fought one before this fight all by its lonesome, and even fast-forwarding the emulator and waiting a bunch of turns, it never cast Aero once. Or maybe the RNG just really didn't like me.

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Either way, I know Aero now. That's it for Blue magic in the Wind Shrine, but I'm keeping everyone Blue Mages anyway because the third one isn't far off. Besides, gaining ABP in Blue Mage is useful since I'm going to want everyone to know Learning for later anyway. It's better to have it set as a secondary ability instead of swapping everyone to Blue Mage for certain fights.

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Oh yeah, Moldwynds can very rarely drop Elixirs. I got lucky. Twice. They'll come in handy much later.

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Whenever a character gains a job level, it'll tell you in the results. Bartz (and everyone else) have gained a Blue Mage level and gained !Check, a worthless ability that tells you the current and max HP of an enemy. Actually there's one spot where it's semi-useful, but not now.

Nothing left to do in the Wind Shrine, the guys on the first floor don't have anything new or interesting to say either, so time to head back over to Tule. Faris leaves the party again as we come in the entrance, but it doesn't matter because we're headed for the Magic Shop.

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Time to buy all the spells I didn't get before the Wind Shrine!

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I also buy a Rod for the future. Anyway, Zok wasn't home earlier but he is now, so the plot can advance!

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Zok jumps with surprise upon seeing us.

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Image Zok! It is good to see you.

Image Yes... It's been a long time.

Image Zok...I have a favor to ask. We must go to Walse, so we need to pass through the Torna Canal.

Image Oh, dear. Ever since the wind crystal was destroyed, the beasts in the canal have multiplied like rabbits! It is much too dangerous to enter! Moreover... I--I seem to have lost the key to the canal somewhere... I'm sorry I cannot help you with the key. Still, since you've come all this way, won't you at least stay the night?

I'm not one to turn down free HP/MP recovery! Lenna agrees to stay, and Zok is pretty psyched about it.

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Also, one thing I forgot to mention in my name talk last update. Everyone except Bartz also has a middle name. So Lenna's full name is Lenna Charlotte Tycoon. Faris and Galuf's full names will have to wait.

By the way, the image I picked for Zok may seem a bit...esoteric, and ill-fitting. I couldn't find anything particularly interesting for Zok, but I found out there's an old GBC game in Japan called "Zok Zok Heroes." The main male character's name isn't actually Zok (it's Ippei) but it works well enough for me.

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In the middle of the night, Bartz wakes up and walks outside.

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Time for a flashback, complete with what is considered to be Bartz's theme music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmInPqUhlOI

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Image Stella--if anything should happen to me, never tell Bartz about the crystals... They aren't his burden to bear.

Major Arc the Lad flashbacks here (I know this game came out before AtL, but I played AtL first). Yes, I used Dorgann's character portrait even though the game doesn't here. I debated whether to do it or not, but I figured since Dorgann mentions explicitly here that he's involved heavily with the crystals, it's obvious he's going to be a pretty important character. Besides, the game screws up and reveals another character is a major one later during a boss fight, so might as well go ahead with this one.

Bartz's mother, Stella, walks around to talk with her husband.

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And the flashback ends.

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Inside, Zok is watching Lenna sleep. Pretty creepy, Zok! What is it with this game and watching people sleeping?

Image ...Father...I'll protect the crystals...promise...

Zok nods and heads to the main room, where he meets Bartz.

Image What's the matter, Bartz?

Image Nothing, I just was reminded of my folks... They died a while back, though...

Image ...Here. Take it.

Image Huh? Take what?

Image The key to the canal. With it, you can open the gate and travel to Walse. I was worried about Lenna, so I hid the key, but... Please! Take care of her!

The next morning everybody wakes up, and Zok just says to take care if you talk to him. When you try to leave the town, Faris rejoins you, and...

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Image Sorry, lads. I'm leaving you laggards behind.

Image Cap'n! But why? You know we'd follow ye to th' ends of th' earth!

Image I know, and I thank you for it. But not this time.

Image Cap'n!!!

Image This smells of a long journey... While I'm gone, I need you louts to guard the hideout. We can't just let anyone raid our booty!

You know Faris, I think there's one of your crew who...never mind.

Image But Cap'n!

Image Please.

Image ... Aye-aye, sir! Wind at your back, Cap'n. Godspeed!

And so, the pirate crew will not be joining us on this journey. Kind of a shame, but then they'd probably loot the places we need to visit, so maybe it's for the best.

Back on the ship...

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Image The wind crystal has shattered... Right now, the only difference is that the wind has slowed... But soon, it will stop blowing completely. And in a few years, the air will grow stagnant, and the birds won't have any place to fly... Father said that we had to protect the three remaining crystals.

Image ...Three crystals?

Bartz has a horrible memory.

Image Yes, the crystals of fire, water, and earth.

Image If those were lost too, then...

Image At first, nothing would happen. But it wouldn't be very long before the earth began to decay...the seas dirtied and rivers ceased to flow, fires lost their heat and the world became dark and cold... It really would become an unlivable world...

Image We've gotta protect the crystals!

Image Huh? Did that trigger any of your memories?

Image Nope... Doesn't matter, I'm still gonna help!

Image Well said, old man. I'm coming along too. Plus, we still have to find Lenna's father.

Image King Tycoon? But he disappeared into thin air.

Image He still lives, I feel it in my bones! Never for a moment believe otherwise!

Huh, Faris seems really affected by this, but why would he be? Ah, maybe he's just trying to perk up Lenna's spirits. That's probably it.

Image Bartz... Will you come with us?

Image Before, I was just coming along for the ride... But seeing everyone here...

Image The crystal shards...

Image We were given power to protect the world... The power of the wind crystal... That's it, I'm in! We've got some crystals to save!

Image Sure enough! Let's be off!

Hooray! All our main characters are staying together! Let's go find the water crystal! Oh, but wait. Stuff to do and all that. Treasure to find. Plus, we should probably go say something to Boko. He's been waiting outside the cave all this time! Poor bird.

Sail around to the south, and stick to the west, eventually there will be a couple of areas near the pirate cave you can land at.

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Ah, here's a good one.

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I get attacked by a couple of weak enemies on the way, nothing major, but bestiary completion. At the cave...

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Well yeah, you guys were gone for so long, he got worried!

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Inside, the Steel Bats are what we want to find. Vampire is the last Blue magic to learn here.

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As I said before, it heals the user up to full and does damage to the target equal to how much the user is healed. Since I hadn't attacked that bat yet, it did no damage to me, but still counts for learning purposes.

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Vampire is a good spell throughout, but especially early on when multi-party Cure spells arent all that effective. It means the Blue Mage can handle his/herself when it comes to healing. Except when undead are involved, but there's none of those around...yet.

However, it means that now I have no reason to keep my entire party as Blue Mages, so job switching time!

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Bartz is going to be a Monk.

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And Lenna's going to train as a Black Mage for a bit.

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Faris likewise will be going Monk. Monks are just really great right now.

However, most mages shouldn't be in the front row because they're kinda squishy, so we need to change Lenna's row! It's easy, on the menu screen, press left.

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Then hit the confirm button twice on a character to swap them between the front and back rows. This is what my party will be at the moment. Now, I said earlier Galuf was better at physical jobs because of his lower magic stat. This is true, but I'm still using Galuf as a mage character. Why? Well...there's a reason, but I won't say. I have my reasons.

You can do whatever you want with your party though. That's the beauty of the Job System!

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Monks hit things hard. And they get two attacks with bare fists. This means Faris and Bartz are doing 90+ HP damage per turn if both attacks hit.

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For comparison, here's Galuf with a broadsword. If he was a Knight, it'd do more damage, but not enough to surpass what a Monk can dish out right now.

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Back attack! When you get back attacked, the enemies have initiative and you don't, plus your rows are reversed. This can be really deadly for jobs normally suited for the back row, so switch rows as soon as possible if there's a danger. Just press left on the battle menu and choose Row. Unlike FFIV, only that character will switch rows, not the entire party. This is probably because FFIV had that weird system where a couple of characters were required to be in the back row at all times, and if they switched rows one at a time, it would completely mess that up.

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In the pirate hideout, this switch is actually now useful.

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This pirate gives you 8 potions. If you hadn't gone to Tule yet, he wouldn't be here. Eight potions is nice, but it wouldn't be worth coming all the way back here to get if you came here first before Tule. But since you need to go to Tule to advance the plot anyway, might as well go there first and get a little bonus.

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Behind this door we can find out what the switch did for us.

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An Ether! The other two chests have a Tent and 300 Gil.

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Oh no, Boko got hurt! The other pirate here tells us

Image We found some strange bird lyin' in the cave. Wonder how it'd taste?

HEY BUDDY, NO EATING OUR FRIEND. Let's go check on Boko quick!

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Image Kweh...

Image Oh! He's been hurt!

Image Found him zonked out in the cave, so we brought him back here. But he'll be fine, now that he's in my capable hands.

Image Please, if you can help him, doc...

Image Leave everything to me!

Well, we'd better let Boko rest, but he's lucky he didn't get eaten by a pirate or killed by a monster. He's a good chocobo, though, to rush in and try to help us.

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And this guy is still...this guy. Let's just get out of here before Faris starts freaking out.

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On the way back, Lenna gains a level in Black Mage, so I switch her to White Mage. Now I have a useful ability to equip. !Black (level 1) allows me to cast all level 1 Black magic spells, and since that's all I have, it means Lenna as a White Mage can now do anything a Black Mage can. Except equip rods.

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Heading to the east on the ship, we come to this. This is Torna Canal, where we want to go to advance the plot. However...

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I'm gonna stop off here on this penninsula. The battles here contain pretty tough monsters. If you'd come here before you went to the Wind Shrine, you'd probably have gotten a game over, or at least most of your party wiped if you'd set foot here. With our jobs now though we can handle things here, with a little bit of difficulty.

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This is the fight I'm interested. And lucky me, pre-emptive strike! That means all my characters get an immediate turn, and the enemy won't be attacking for a little bit.

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Multi-target Black magic spells don't do a whole lot against these things.

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They also have pretty good evasion, so physical attacks will miss somewhat frequently. Monks get two attacks per turn though, so they can usually hit at least once.

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Aero does okay damage too, but there's also only two enemies now. The more targets your spells are spread out across, the less effective they are.

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As you can see, a single target Black magic spell does much better for damage.

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Yeah, ouch. This attack hurts, and it's why these things will wipe out your party if you come here unprepared. Monks and Knights have more than enough HP to handle one of these, sometimes two, but don't get cocky.

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This is why the three Bandersnatch fight is so desired. You see, practically all random battles for the next 20 hours or so are only going to give 1 ABP. There are battles that give more, mostly bosses and a couple that will give you 2. But 3 ABP is an incredible amount of points to get right now, and it won't be seen again for a long while.

There's no need to job grind in this game. You can get through the game perfectly fine without stopping to grind. However, I personally stay here until Bartz reaches the second level of Monk, where you learn Barehanded. Again, this isn't necessary for anything, but I just like to do it since Monks are powerful and carrying over Barehanded to Knight is totally worth it.

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This illustrates how important row is. That's a major improvement over 90 points of damage.

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And Bartz learns !Focus, which he'll never use, ever.

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Galuf gains Learning, which allows you to learn Blue magic even if you're not a Blue Mage if you have it equipped. Galuf will stay a Blue Mage for now though, until he learns !Blue.

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Lenna also got !White level 1, so I change her back to a Black Mage, because Black Mages have slightly higher magic power than White Mages.

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However this is one of the times when I don't like what the optimization gave me. Black Mages can equip daggers, but since they're almost always in the back row and their strength sucks, Black Mages should never be attacking physically. I want the Rod, which as you can see, boosts Magic. Only by one point but hey every little bit counts.

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A back attack by three Bandersnatches can turn out REALLY bad for you. This shows off the Monk's counter ability though, as you can see Bartz hasn't had a turn yet but he's smacking the Bandersnatch that hit him.

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Vampire can do pretty good damage if they've hit you hard enough (and you didn't die). Plus it heals you up!

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Lenna's run low on MP for Cure spells, so I use a tent to heal back up. Tents can be used pretty much anywhere on the world map.

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That's what I wanted!

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So now, Bartz becomes a Knight and I give him Barehanded.

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But of course, the game gives me the crappy sword anyway, so I have to take it off. Optimization doesn't take stuff like Barehanded into consideration when putting on equipment, so even with it equipped the game will still see unarmed as less attack power than a weapon.

Of course, since Barehanded gives you a Monk//i22's Strength bonus, you'll still be able to hit harder with a weapon if you have one equipped. You may wonder why you'd equip a weapon if Barehanded gives you two attacks per round. If you have a really good weapon, and are of a class that can use it but gets a lousy strength bonus (like Blue or Red Mage), then Barehanded will give you the full Strength bonus, and you can still use that sword or whatever since if it's got a high enough attack power, one swing could still potentially deal more damage than two fist attacks.

Of course by the time you get weapons strong enough for that, you've probably got much better abilities to put in the secondary slot anyway. Still, it can be done.

Now that I've done what I wanted to do, I head for the Torna Canal.

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Go up to the door and interact with it, and Bartz runs up and unlocks the gate.

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Image Does it matter? Let's get going!

I don't know why Bartz didn't tell them. It's not like Zok said to keep it secret, but maybe he's worried Lenna would be mad that he lied at first about it, so Bartz is protecting him from that.

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These are the only enemies you'll fight in the canal, though there's more formations than just this one, this just seems to be the most common one. If you remember, someone in Tule told us that these things only attack women, so as you can imagine Lenna is going to be suffering a lot since she's the only woman in the party. Keeping her in the back row helps, make sure she has Leather Shoes too.

Also I now realize that Faris has Barehanded as well and I should have changed his job from Monk to Thief. I'll have to do that when I start playing again for the next part.

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The Suckers are weak to Lightning, and even multi-cast it'll probably take both of them out. Octokraken is not weak to it however.

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But it's easily taken down by physicals, and Bolt still hurts it. Octokraken does have one nasty surprise though.

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It deals Lightning damage to...hey wait a minute! That's Faris! Why's it attacking him? They're only supposed to attack women! Eh, Faris has really long hair, so maybe they thought he was a girl. It happened to Bartz and Galuf in the Inn. Well, okay, Lenna is probably glad she's no longer the only target at least. Still, the monsters absolutely will never attack Bartz or Galuf, so they can provide emergency healing if one of the other two gets low. This is a short area though so that's probably not likely to happen.

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An Octokraken and two Suckers fight will net you 2 ABP. Not as nice as 3, but still better than 1.

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When you get to this area, something starts happening...

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A whirlpool forms!

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Image Oh no...the sealed monster...

Image Thundering typhoons! The rudder's not responding!

Image You'd better figure something out fast, 'cause we're getting sucked in--

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And the party does indeed get sucked in.

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Syldra starts freaking out, too.

Image Syldra, what's wrong!?

Image Look alive, something's coming!

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Boss time! Karlabos here is only hard if you're doing a single character challenge. It's using Feeler right now...

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Which paralyzes the target. You can see Lenna up there has those yellow lines around her. Paralysis prevents you from taking any actions, but wears off after a couple of rounds.

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Karlabos is weak to lightning, but I can't take advantage of that right now with Lenna paralyzed, so physicals will have to do. Bartz gets a critical hit here.

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Aero isn't too terrible, better than what Galuf can do physically at least.

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It's a really boring fight, but it gives 5 ABP, and there's a guaranteed Tent drop.

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The ship pulls out of the whirlpool barely, but Syldra is still inside it.

Image Syldra!

Image ...I'm sure she's okay. She's a fighter and you know it.

Image Syldra!!!

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However, Faris doesn't listen to Bartz, and Galuf and Bartz hold him back from jumping off the ship.

Image Lemme go! I said, get off! Syldra!!!

Fat chance, Faris, they're keeping you from drowning.

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Syldra sinks into the whirlpool, and the screen flashes red. Things don't look good for Syldra...or the party.

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Image As well as can be expected. We should leave him be.

Image The ship is just drifting with the current...

Image Wonder where we'll end up?

On the other end of the ship, Faris and Lenna are talking.

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But Faris doesn't seem to buy it. I mean yeah, optimism and all that but there isn't really much you can do to save yourself from being pulled down a whirlpool.

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And so, with no sail and no Syldra, and therefore no way to control their course, the ship drifts along aimlessly through the sea.

And that is where we'll leave off for this update.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:18 am

Heh, that pirate.

Looking forward to more information being revealed about the characters.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby TopazRaven » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:37 am

I'm really glad you decided to do this. It's been very interesting so far and I am looking forward to the next update!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Ante Bellum » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:25 pm

These are impressively large updates, and you've kept them interesting.

But that cliffhanger. Not that it's a bad thing, but I've never quite felt this much suspense over an LP before.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby goldenspines » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:24 am

Blue Mages look like super heroes.


But man, they're lost at sea. This is pretty exciting thus far; I can't wait to see what happens next. =D
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:27 pm

Part Three: I've never been so happy to be beaten up by a woman!

The Warriors of Light have lost Syldra, the only way to move and steer Faris' pirate ship now that the wind is too weak for sails. Didn't most ships have oars so they could still move even when the wind was calm? I mean, I'm pretty sure they did, since wind isn't always consistent. I mean, not that they have enough people to row anyway, but...still.

Let's get away from this sidetrack and see if they're dead yet.

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Oh, maybe they are. Well, that was a short game, thanks for reading everyb-

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Wait, no, Galuf is up! They're alive! Or at least he's alive.

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Galuf goes and wakes up Lenna, and the two of them wake up Bartz and Faris.

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Image The graveyard of the sea...

Image A gathering place for ruined and scuttled ships...and a nest of the undead.

Image Brrrrr. All the more reason to hotfoot it out of here!

And hotfoot we shall! First, however...

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I change Faris to Thief, since I realized while writing last update he was still a Monk and there was no reason for him to be. I give him Barehanded, meaning Faris is fast and strong and able to attack twice per round. Have I mentioned how awesome Monks/Barehanded are yet? Well, they're pretty awesome.

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As you disembark the ship, you can go west or south. Going south takes you to a rock that seemingly goes nowhere. Of course, since I used the word "Seemingly" this should immediately tell you that this isn't the case. Hop on top of the rock, and just wait a couple of seconds.

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More rocks rise up from the sea and you can hop across them.

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Taking you to this Flail. Flails are for White Mages, and give them full attack power from the back row. It can also be used with the Two-handed ability Knights have. Most of the time, you're probably going to want a staff equipped for your White Mage, since they should rarely be attacking. Still, it's nice to have for random battles when your White Mage doesn't have as many important things to do.

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One of the more common battles here. Skeletons are obviously undead baddies. Like most Final Fantasy games, undead are weak to fire and holy/healing spells. So Cure will do damage to them instead of healing them, and Potions and other healing items will damage them as well, equal to the amount the item normally heals. Full heal items (like Elixirs) will reduce undead to 1 HP. Revival spells/items will instead instantly kill undead. Spells like Death will restore undead's HP to full. The Blue magic spell White Wind will heal undead normally.

This may seem kind of unnecessary given that the undead here are easily dispatched. This info will come in handy later, so keep all that in mind about undead for the future. Oh, and one last thing. If an undead enemy also has the "Heavy" status, revival items/spells will not be an instant KO, and Elixirs will not reduce their HP to 1. Most bosses and certain special enemies have the "Heavy" status so this prevents you from killing an undead boss with a Phoenix Down.

Again, Skeletons are the weakest of undead and a Fire or Cure spell or a regular attack from a physical job should take them out in one hit, so don't worry about all that stuff for now.

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Calcruthl are weak to lightning. That's about it for them.

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This door seems to be the only way to go, so into the door!

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This is actually a door, you can go down into the room behind it.

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And get a Tent.

Continuing along the path, the gang comes to a submerged section of the wreckage.

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Faris seems a bit concerned about this.

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Image What, are you going to melt or something? Come on!

Faris if you don't like getting wet then uh why are you a pirate? Just asking here, it seems like that would be like the last thing you would choose to do.

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When you go downstairs, you can search this box for some Gil.

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The road "forks" again but just go up.

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You can find a Phoenix Down by doing so, it's not hard to get to.

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Going down takes you further into the wreck. Are they just holding their breath or something? I mean they're pretty much completely underwater at this point.

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Undead Husks sometimes appear at this point. They're undead. And weak to lightning.

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I believe it's the Calcruthls that sometimes drop Elixirs. I'm having good luck with their drops apparently.

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Woo a Potion.

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Be careful around this crack, because...

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D'oh!

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Back to the floor below! It's more of an annoyance than anything, but less annoyance is always good.

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The other new enemy here. They always die so quickly that I've never seen them do anything except attack. They probably do something else, but I've never seen it.

Well, all that swimming wore them out, they're wet, so it's a good thing there's a big empty room here.

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Image This room seems safe enough... Let's take a rest. I'm going to change into dry clothes... No peeking!

Lenna enters the door to the side. If this was an anime we'd probably get a long drawn out scene where Bartz and Galuf try to sneak a peek at her and Faris tries to tell them to stop and then they argue about it and they get into a fight and they accidentally fall into the room and Lenna's in her underwear and she screams and punches them and they fly into the sky or something.

Also where are they keeping dry clothing? Best not to think about that too much.

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Bartz starts a fire to help dry them off quicker. Bartz and Galuf turn to Faris, trying to get him to join them.

Image I'm fine like this...don't worry about me.

Image Are you crazy, boy? You'll catch pneumonia in those wet things!

I think the implication is that Bartz and Galuf already stripped down, but their sprites don't show this, nor do their actions. It's only really conveyed by the text.

Image Hey, what are you doing? Get away! Don't touch-

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Bartz and Galuf are shocked by a revelation and Faris throws them off. Lenna hears the noise outside and rejoins us.

Image What's all the commotion?

Image Yeow! Lenna--this--he-

Image Oh, my stars and comets! HE'S A SHE!

Man, if only Fish was still here.

Yes. I know this must come as a complete suprise to you. There is no possible way you could have ever imagined Faris was actually a woman.

Yeah, this "twist" isn't really done well. For one thing, the character portraits kind of ruin it a bit. I know that there's plenty of girly-looking bishies in anime but it still doesn't change the fact that Faris' portrait is pretty feminine-looking. The long flowing purple hair on her sprite doesn't help matters either. In fact, when I first played this game I thought Faris was a woman from the start and was kind of confused when characters referred to her as male and acted surprised when this scene happened.

The game also dropped "subtle hints" about it such as the pirate at the bar who turns out isn't gay after all, as well as the Torna Canal beasts that only attack women "mysteriously" attacking Faris, as well as the weird bedroom scene in Tule where Bartz and Galuf probably saw her boobs when she was sleeping or something.

Image Well--maybe I am! You got a problem with it!?

Faris judging from how Bartz and Galuf reacted at Tule I would say not only do they not have a problem with it, they are also relieved about it.

Image Of course not... Just, why were you trying to hide it?

Image When I was just a lad--er, lass, a pirate band took me in. I've been one of them ever since.

Image Yeah, so?

Image Well, would YOU want to be the only girl on a ship full of pirates?

Image ...Ah, right. Yeah.

Yeah, pirates aren't really known for being shining beacons of chivalry. Or restraint.

Image Haw! I knew from the start that you were too pretty to be a man! *whew*

Haw, haw!
What are we in a Jack Chick tract now?

Image Anyhow, make fun of me for really being a woman and I'll shiver your timbers but good!

Wait, is that supposed to be a threat? Because...it almost sounds...er...

Image Uh...okay...

Bartz is apparently on the same page I am.

Image That's right, it's okay! Now, I'm turning in, and you louts had best do the same!

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Faris hops in bed, and the rest of the party follows suit.

They never did get her out of those wet clothes.

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Galuf is sleeping in an odd position, and he flails out of bed and falls to the floor.

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Image Bah... If you aren't gonna dress like a girl--and you should, a real shame to hide such assets--y'could at least talk like one...

Galuf she has been doing this for years even if she wanted to it's become a habit for her and it would take time to stop.

Image Heh... No point in trying to change her... Faris is who she is!

Image That's for certain!

Well, with that awkwardness out of the way, let's move on!

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There's a save point in the next room. The next two rooms are pretty short and uneventful, and you'll wind up topside.

The next part can be really really annoying and seem like a dead end and make you tear your hair out in frustration (or maybe it was just me) and it seems like a lot of walkthroughs won't mention this in detail.

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So here's a little tip to help you keep your cool.

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Despite appearances...

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...you can walk right over that little strip of water, and the next one too.

Seriously if you don't know you can walk over that water, it will seem like there's nowhere to go, and a lot of guides will just say "Go south/down!" and I'm like "BUT THERE'S WATER THERE YOU DOLT." Yeah. You can walk over it. I don't know why Square did that, it was pretty frustrating.

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Anyway, this door is inviting, so head on inside.

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A map!

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The world map in this game is, unfortunately, not particularly useful. Nowhere near as good as the ones in later FF games. You can't see any town/location names, and it's just...well, I have a shot later in the update, you'll see.

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Downstairs, the three chests have two Antidotes and a Phoenix Down. There is also something else in this room of interest.

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This battle here with two Undead Husks will give you 3 ABP. Unfortunately, it's a pretty rare encounter, so this is a bad spot to try and farm ABP, the penninsula outside Torna is far better. A couple of other enemy formations here will give 2 ABP too.

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Back outside, hop on over these rocks.

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Looks like a dead end...but hey, treasure!

The chest isn't actually treasure. When you open it...

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The sunken parts of the ship rise up again, opening the path further. There's a boss past this, so make sure you're prepared for it.

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When you've hopped over the line of rocks at the end of the ship, you arrive here and the screen darkens. Something bad is going down.

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Bartz made that joke just for the halibut.

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Bartz knows his mom is dead. So he's pretty confused about what's going on, and scratches his head. He probably is aware that it isn't her, but it doesn't seem to help.

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Bartz gets dragged over to the side by "Stella."

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And King Tycoon appears to entice Lenna.

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Faris approaches Lenna and for some reason, is enticed by the fake King Tycoon as well.

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Image Who's that? I just can't remember...

Finally, we come to the reason why I didn't feel bad about using Dorgann's portrait for his lines last update. The game kind of ruins that Galuf's granddaughter is going to be an important character by using her portrait here for this line. We still don't know her name, but now we know Galuf is a grandfather and his granddaughter is going to become important to the story.

Galuf's amnesia prevents him from being affected though. It came in handy! However, bad stuff is happening to the rest of the party.

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I think those are like...their souls or something. They probably want to keep those.

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The culprit finally reveals herself.

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Image Demon! What are you?

Image Oho... I didn't expect any of you to escape the effects of my magic... Greetings, I am Siren. I'm afraid your companions' souls now belong to me. Still, I'm feeling generous... I could be convinced to spare yours if you ran home quietly.

Lady, he doesn't know where home is!

Yep, this is Siren. Unlike later FF games where Siren is a summon, in this game she's a boss, and not summonable at all. This does mark her first FF appearance though.

Image You think I would abandon these kids? Fat chance, missy!


Image Why would you risk your life for these people?

Image Because... They're my friends! Don't be fooled by her trickery! Open your eyes!

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Galuf runs up to each party member and picks them up and slaps the everloving crap out of them, waking them up and restoring their souls to their bodies.

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Now, it is boss time!

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Siren has a trick that I didn't actually see on this playthrough because of my Barehanded characters killing her too fast. Have I mentioned yet how awesome Monks/Barehanded are? Because they totally are.

Anyway, this is her regular form. The deal here is that physical attacks work just fine...

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And magic attacks...well...don't.

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Yeah, all you can do is beat up on her with regular attacks in this form, and let your mages defend or support the others, because magic is worthless. She'll either try and cast Silence on a character her first turn, or cast Haste. She can also cast Cure on herself to restore a measly amount of HP.

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Because Monks (or Barehanded) are ridiculously strong at this point, I actually managed to defeat her after her second turn, netting 5 ABP.

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And getting the guaranteed Bronze Armor drop.

However, you may not be abusing Monks or Barehanded like I am, and so I'll go over what her trick is real quick. Save states are fun. I mentioned I beat her after her second turn, thus bypassing her trick. That's because her trick shows up on her third turn.

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Siren becomes undead and her sprite changes colors. Now, everything is reversed.

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Physical attacks still hurt, just not as much.

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Whereas magic will hurt badly, especially Fire.

The drop you get for Siren is different depending on which form you beat her in. If she's living, you get Bronze Armor. If she's undead, you get a Bronze Shield. I personally prefer the armor, as the armor costs more in a shop, so getting it here saves some Gil, and the fact that shields aren't really useful to me right now. Two of my characters have Barehanded, and Bartz is going to use Two-handed when I can get it. The only shield bearer I have right now is Galuf, and that's going to change as soon as he learns !Blue.

No matter how you do it, the point is Siren is no more.

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Image Ehh, don't sweat it.

Image Aww, you're blushing!

Image I'm doing nothing of the sort!

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THAT'S OUR GALUF! *insert stinger, laugh track*

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Ah, out of the ship graveyard and back on dry land! That worked out pretty well for us.

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On the way to our next destination, Galuf learns !Blue, so I change him over to White Mage and give him !Blue as a support ability. Now I literally have nobody that can use the Bronze Shield, so it was much better that I got the armor.

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This is a Gatling. It can counter physical attacks. It dies quickly.

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If you stick to the coast, you'll easily find this town, which is the next destination.

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Tatous are weak to ice.

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They're not too hard.

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This little area here holds a monster that probably shouldn't be in this area, but is.

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Garula shows up later in a more appropriate area, not sure why he's here unless it's some sort of programming error.

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You got no experience, no Gil, and only 1 ABP for fighting it. It takes a long time to kill too, so it's not worth it at all (except for the bestiary entry if you care about that). Head on into the town. I really like this music!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-4mxTqhp4I

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This old man tells us something interesting, but not particularly relevant to us at the moment. Or is it? Speaking of the wind drake, where did it go when King Tycoon went to the Wind Shrine?

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The armor shop has Copper/Bronze equipment...

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...and Cotton Robes for your spellcasters.

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The weapon shop has Longswords, which are nice for any Knights and Blue Mages who aren't using Barehanded. Once again, you can see how the shop says that the Dagger (the weakest dagger weapon) increases the attack power of Bartz and Faris even though that is a complete lie due to Barehanded.

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The magic shop has two new spells, Sleep and Protect, for sale.

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This is one of only two treasures Carwen has on the outside.

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Buy some Gold Needles from the item shop, you may need them in the next dungeon.

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Eye drops are also useful if you're going for a full Blue magic list. If not then they're not really important right now.

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On the east side of town, you can find the other treasure by going down between these crates and working your way to the lower left.

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You get a free Frost Rod!

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Looking at this screen, you can see the Frost Rod lowers Lenna's magic by 1 point. However, what it doesn't tell you is that it will boost all ice spells by 50%. So while the stats go down, it is much better and powers up Blizzard significantly.

The description at the bottom says that it "sometimes casts Blizzaga." This is an incorrect description. What the deal with it is this. If you remember some other FF games, you can often use a weapon as if it were an item in battle. Well, the Frost Rod is the same way, you can use it as an item in battle and it will cast Blizzaga. BUT, BUT BUT BUT, and this is the important thing, in this game, when you use the elemental rods as an item, they will break and be gone forever.

While breaking rods is a very useful strategy on many enemies and bosses, it also gets pretty expensive to do so at this point in the game. So don't use this Frost Rod as an item in battle, it's far more useful right now being used to boost your Blizzard spell if you have a Black Mage.

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Talking to this woman helps advance the plot.

Image We must stop it! How can we get to Walse?

Image Walse is across the ocean. It's a quick trip by ship, but since the wind slowed,there aren't any ships sailing...

Image Hrn... Haven't got Syldra, either...

Faris becomes noticeably upset at Galuf's mention of Syldra.

Image Faris--I'm sorry.

Image Bartz, have you any ideas?

Image No ships, so we can't go by sea... So if we can't go by land or sea, then...

From this point on, talking to anyone on the docks on the east side of town will cause Bartz to scratch his head and repeat that last line.

After talking to the woman that prompts that conversation, a new woman appears by the pub entrance.

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Enter the pub, and head to the bottom left.

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That's what a hidden passage looks like if you have a Thief in the party or someone has Find Passages equipped.

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You can find a thousand Gil in this pot, but nothing else.

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Now I'm reminded of Tom the Dancing Bug.

http://boingboing.net/2012/10/03/tom-th ... fun-4.html

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You'd think that I'd have a comment, but you'd be wrong.

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"Uh... Don't ask me what that means, I'm just a kid!"

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There is another piano here for you to level up your piano skills.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgh8tIUpa0s

You are still bad at piano.

Upstairs is the man we need to talk to.

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Image What kind of dragon--was it tamed? What did it look like?

Image Uhh, looked dragonlike... It was wearin' some sort of armor, as I recall... Could've been a real live wind drake!

Image Hiryu! Father's wind drake is on North Mountain...?

Image What!? Why would it be there?

Image On North Mountain grows a plant called dragon grass. It is the only substance that can heal a wind drake's wounds... That means Hiryu must be hurt!

Image Wind drake, huh? ...Say, Bartz. Since land and sea're out...

Image ...We should take to the air!

Image We could ride to Walse on Hiryu!

Image That's the ticket! Now, let's get moving to North Mountain!

Next time, we get a dragon to fly around on in style! Oh, but first, a look at the world map.

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Yeah. This is it. The plus sign is your current location. Although you can't really see them right now, there are white dots that flash that indicate towns and dungeons you've been to. However, there's no way to see what town/dungeon is what, so if you forgot where a location is then this map is of zero use to you. It's pretty much of zero use period.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:25 am

Ah, Faris. Now that we know she is female I can post this:

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Although characterization really can't be said to be a strong point of FFV, Faris is by far my favorite character, mainly by simple virtue of the fact that she's a female captain of a pirate ship.

And yeah, this game is dropping all sorts of hints, even more in the Advance version than in the Super Famicom version (because of those portraits). Besides Faris's gender, there's one other key point that is probably obvious to everyone by now.

Also, I agree, that town music in Carwen is really nice. Probably one of the catchiest tunes in the game.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Peanut » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:26 pm

I loled at a certain comment that fish was responsible in this past update. Keep up the good work Nate.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:41 pm

Part Four: How to Train Your Dragon

Last episode, the Warriors of Light drifted into a nest of undead, found out Faris is actually a woman, nearly had their souls stolen, and received a tip from a drunk guy on how to proceed in their quest. Not too bad of an outcome, considering they had a much better chance of dying of dehydration on the open sea. Things are starting to look up! Maybe they'll even stop this crystal from being destroyed!

Ha ha, that's a good joke.

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North Mountain is, unsurprisingly, north of Carwen. Just pass the mountain ridge to the east and go north through the forest.

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This is a boosted Blizzard from the Frost Rod. If you check the numbers from the previous Blizzard, this is an increase of almost 100 points of damage, despite the fact that it docked Lenna's magic stat a point.

North Mountain is by its lonesome in the middle of a forest, kinda like Mount Ordeals was in FFIV. I don't know why I don't have a screenshot of it at this point. Oh well.

The first screen is practically nothing, just go forward into the cave.

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The cave splits, go south first.

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These enemies aren't interesting. I think Rock Slugs are weak to fire maybe? They die pretty quickly so it doesn't really matter.

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Galuf gets Learning, because there's a new and pretty dang useful blue magic spell in this dungeon. Er, mountain. Whatever.

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At the bottom of the south path is a Phoenix Down. Now you can safely go north.

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And pick up a Gold Needle on the way. Hope you bought a couple just in case.

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Man, isn't that a nice view?

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Now we come to the purple flowers. Do not walk on these flowers.

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Because they are poisonous and will poison all your party members. If you're poisoned, the screen will "pixelate" every step, and you'll lose HP. Likewise, you'll lose HP in battle every so often. This is different from Sap, another status you may have run into that steadily causes your HP to lower. Poison will just take off chunks of HP at set intervals, as opposed to the steady decrease of Sap. Poison can be healed with Antidotes or the white magic spell Poisona.

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This guy is why you wanted to bring Gold Needles. Cockatrices can occasionally petrify a character. A petrified character counts as "dead" and does not gain experience or ABP at the end of a battle, cannot take actions, and if the whole party is petrified, game over. The ending of the game can "change" depending on how many of your characters are still alive after you beat the final boss, and petrified characters count as dead for that. Anyway, Gold Needles can cure it, as you don't have any magic spells that can remove it right now.

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Awwww yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Headstones. These guys you want to see for two good reasons.

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One, you can steal Silver Specs from them. Silver Specs have the same stats as Leather Shoes, and also prevent Blind.
Two, they teach the blue magic spell Flash, which can cause Blind. Blind causes your physical attacks to be much less accurate. The thing is, Headstones don't have any MP when you run into them, so whenever they try to cast it, "Not enough MP!" will appear. You can't learn a blue magic spell unless you get hit by it, so...

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You'll have to feed them one of your own Ethers/Elixirs to get them to be able to cast it. This is why you only need Eye Drops if you want to get the blue magic spell. If you don't care about the spell, they can't actually blind you and therefore Eye Drops aren't necessary.

Oh yeah, whatever character has Learning/is a Blue Mage, do NOT equip them with Silver Specs before you've learned this spell. Since Silver Specs prevent Blind, it means they can't get hit with Flash and thus can't learn it.

For some reason, it took five times before Galuf got hit with it when I was playing.

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Look at those cool shades. Bartz has them too but since he's currently selected, they aren't visible at the moment.

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Now we know how to wear trenchcoats with no clothes underneath and run around asking people if they want to buy a watch.

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Silver Specs basically replace Leather Shoes, so you should steal four of them and outfit everybody with them. Even though most enemies don't really use blinding skills. Still, it's there, just in case.

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Make sure to avoid those flowers! Or just run through them and use Antidotes. Either way.

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A save point is usually a sign that a boss isn't far ahead, so always take the opportunity to heal up and use it as a precaution.

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The next area has a helmet on the ground, which causes Lenna to react.

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Because it's King Tycoon's helmet!

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An arrow flies in from the left side of the screen, and hits Lenna.

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Not only that, but the ground starts to shake and split apart, isolating Lenna from the party, so they can't cure her or help her out!

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Image I came here after that wind drake, but seems like I've caught something even more valuable.

Yep, that's official Amano art for Magissa. Neat, huh?

Image Wait...you'd hunt a wind drake!?

Image Of course. Their horns fetch quite a high price on the black market, ohohoho! And I see I've caught no less than the princess of Tycoon! Yes, you'll make a lovely souvenir for my husband.

Image Let her go, you addle-pated foul-complexioned scofflaw!

Scofflaw? Faris you are a pirate pirates are not known for being law-abiding.

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Faris leaps into action! Literally. She tries to jump over the chasm.

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But...uh...doesn't quite make it. Well, guess we're a party of three...two, now. Bartz and Galuf are all on their own.

Image Oops, I guess he slipped. Pity.

I like how other characters still refer to Faris as a guy. It's something you probably wouldn't question if everyone in the game started saying "she" because the party knows the truth, but it's cool that not everybody in the world knows just because the player knows now. There are some people who have a problem keeping audience knowledge and character knowledge separate *coughmookiecough*

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But wait, what's this? Faris comes climbing back up!

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She throws a rope across the chasm (where was she keeping that rope?) and Bartz and Galuf help tie it down so they can walk across. They're both skilled tightrope walkers of course.

Image Lenna! Hang on!

Image Ooh... Annoying little twerps, ruining my plans... Fine, it just means I'll have to crush all four of you!

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Boss time! Lenna starts this battle out with the Poison status. Y'know, because she was struck by a poisoned arrow. You can heal her if you like, but it's not that big of a deal.

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And uh...due to Barehanded being incredibly strong, I actually beat Magissa really quickly. Did I mention how good Monks/Barehanded are yet? Well, they are. (That'll change shortly.)

But through the magic of save states, let's see what happens if you don't beat Magissa quickly enough.

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Her husband shows up and...uh...well. I guess steroids aren't illegal in the world of FFV.

Anyway he hits pretty hard, that's all there is to him. Black Mages should try to use Sleep on him, and Flash works really well to cut the chances of him hitting you. Not too difficult.

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Now for our spoils. If Magissa's husband didn't show up, you won't get the Power Drink, and you won't get his bestiary entry. You still get the same amount of ABP though.

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King Tycoon's helmet turns out to be a Mythril Helmet, which you can actually equip! Lenna is totally cool with you wearing her dad's helmet apparently, which is good, because it's a sizable increase in defensive power, and you won't be able to buy them for a while.

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I show off a bit of the weapon descriptions. If you press the button twice while on a piece of equipment, it'll pop up a list of who can equip it. If a job is in white, they can use it, if it's gray, they can't. Bladed weapons will also mention whether or not they're compatible with Spellblade, which isn't a concern right now, but will be before too long.

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As you can see, the Whip cannot be used by any of our current jobs. However, Freelancers, as mentioned before, can equip anything, so if you turned someone into a Freelancer, they could use the Whip. However, if you're a Freelancer, you can't level up your jobs, so it isn't worth it just to equip this. Also someone on the translation team has a sense of humor. If you don't understand the description, then you are a bad person.

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At the summit, the party finds Hiryu.

Image Hiryu!

Image He's hurt pretty bad...

Image Hiryu... Don't worry, I'll take care of you.

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This is what the Poison status does to the screen outside of battle when you take a step. Lenna is walking over the poisonous flowers here to reach that grass.

Image Lenna! What--Where're you going?

Image Don't come any closer! I will be fine. Just...I must reach the dragon grass...

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Lenna reaches the grass and walks back, handing it to Faris.

Image Give the dragon grass to Hiryu...quickly...

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Faris feeds Hiryu the dragon grass and Lenna collapses. She was JUST poisoned by an arrow, and now poisoned by the flowers. This isn't a good day for her.

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Miraculously, the dragon grass instantly heals Hiryu!

Image My stars and garters! You're out of your gourd, young lady--that was insanely reckless!

Galuf has garters? He and Torneko Taloon have something in common I guess...

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Hiryu flies over to Lenna, lands by her, and cures her poisoning. We could have done that with an Antidote or Poisona, but Hiryu wants to express his gratitude, so that's fine.

Image Hiryu...thank you!

Image Looks like you're both hale and hearty again! Let's saddle up!

Image ...Actually, I, uh, I don't really like heights...

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Everyone laughs at Bartz's greatest fear. Maybe next time Lenna fears her father may be dead, Bartz can laugh at her in return.

Image What's so funny?

Image Your face, kiddo! Anyway, get on!

Ouch. Ouch. Bartz bares his soul to his companions, to garner sympathy for his phobia, and in return they laugh at him and Galuf lays an ICE BURN on him. Bartz, maybe you made the wrong choice in sticking with these guys. You should have left them to die outside the pirate cove.

Galuf forces Bartz onto Hiryu, and Hiryu takes off.

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We have a flying dragon now! Also, that's North Mountain right there. Anyway, Hiryu cannot fly over mountains, and can't land in forests or deserts. Or in the water, but that should be obvious I would think.

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If you go mostly south, you'll run into this town and castle. That's where the plot says we should go next, but there's other things to do.

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This is the Tower of Walse, where the water crystal is. You can't get inside yet though.

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Hiryu can fly over the meteorite from the beginning of the game though, giving you access to the area beyond.

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Namely, this castle.

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Which of course is Lenna's home.

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Yeah, the chancellor probably has his hands full, with the king disappearing and Lenna running off. That means there's no royal family around.

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There's treasure behind this guy, but you can't get to it yet. Pretty much any NPC you talk to will just say "Princess Lenna!" right now. They're all happy to see her. :3

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Entering the castle causes a scene to play out, the chancellor surprised and glad to see Lenna is safe.

Image Princess Lenna!

Image Forgive me... I didn't mean to worry you.

Image No need to fret about that now. But please, you must return to the palace! Our guard has been severely weakened by monster raids, but there is no way we can recover without our princess!

That should probably be an "and" instead of a "but" there, otherwise the sentence doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Image I'm sorry...I cannot stay.

Image Princess, you have a responsibility to this kingdom!

Image Yes...but more importantly I have a responsibility to the world. Right now, we are all in danger... What's more... Father is still alive, and I--

Image ...I understand. Princess Lenna, we will protect the kingdom, I swear it!

Image And I swear to return, and bring Father back. Until that time, please hold things together here.

Image For now, will you at least stay the night?

Image Certainly.

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In the middle of the night, Lenna gets up and goes outside.

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And sees Faris on the balcony.

Image Faris?

Image Hm? Ah, Lenna. It's late...you should be in bed.

Image So should you...Sister.

http://dundundun.net/

Image I'm right, aren't I? You're my older sister...

Image Wh-what are you going on about? Me, your... That's daft!

Image But...

Image Besides, a buccaneer like me, really a prince--er, princess? 'Tis a bit much, that!

Faris rushes off after saying this.

Image But...your pendant...

Remember how Faris has a pendant that's identical to Lenna's? There's also one more piece of information that Lenna knows that we don't right now (but will be told to us shortly) so this actually didn't come out of nowhere, Lenna is pretty sharp.

So after that, this happens.

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Image ... *snort* ...nhuh?

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Bartz leaps out of bed, ready for action! But...nothing's going on. The lights turn on.

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Image What in tarnation are you doing, kid?

Image I think he's a few men short of a full crew...

And...that's it. I have no idea what just happened. Maybe it's best not to think about it.

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A guy downstairs tells us the chancellor wants to give us free stuff. I love free stuff!

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Why, there's even some in this pot!

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Heading into the east tower...

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More free stuff! An Ether is in the pot below this. Also, since I think this is the first one we've gotten, time to explain the Cottage. As you know, the Tent restores your HP/MP at save points or on the world map. They've fully restored the party, but this won't always be the case. Tents only restore so much HP/MP, and eventually you'll reach a point where your stats are high enough that a Tent can't fully restore you. Well, a Cottage will fully restore HP/MP. So yep.

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Image Sarisa?

Image Princess Lenna's older sister. Sarisa was sailing with her father when a storm hit, and she was lost at sea.

This is the info Lenna knew that we didn't until now. So, Lenna finds out Faris is really a woman at the ship graveyard, and hears her mention how she was adrift at sea until the pirate ship found her. Lenna realizes she has an older sister who was lost at sea, and that Faris has the same pendant as she does. It's pretty logical for Lenna to conclude that Faris is her sister. It would also explain why Faris has responded to King Tycoon the way she does, because she remembers him vaguely.

This plot twist was much better done than Faris' true sex.

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More treasure, including an Elixir in the other barrel. After this is the throne room, on the left is the king's bedroom, which no one is allowed to enter, not even Lenna. To the right is more stairs up.

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There's another Elixir, a Phoenix Down, and a Maiden's Kiss in here. Maiden's Kiss cures the Frog status.

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Outside, there's a secret passage that not even a Thief can see. Could have done this earlier but eh. From here, walk directly east.

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Obviously Bartz would be able to see that plain as day from his point of view, but because of the top-down perspective, it is hidden from us.

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There's two Cottages in here.

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And the guard who blocked our way previously says now we can help ourselves to the treasures.

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As the Thief's ability shows you, there's a passage here that we can't reach.

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Fortunately this handy switch will open the way.

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The Shuriken is something we can't use for a while. It can only be used with the Throw command, which none of our jobs currently have.

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The Ashura is a katana. We have no jobs that can equip it currently except Freelancer. Katanas are nice, but not worth the loss in job leveling. Let's just hang onto it until we get a job that can equip it.

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The game doesn't tell you what the chancellor gives you, which may make you think he's talking about the chest he's blocking.

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But that contains a Diamond Bell. Yet another weapon that can't be equipped by our current jobs. Bells have full attack power from the back row, and a really weird way of determining damage. Also, if you're silenced, you can't use it. This one is certainly not worth going Freelancer for.

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This is what the chancellor gives Lenna, the Healing Staff. This nifty item will heal whatever you attack it with. So if you're going to give it to one of your white mages, make absolutely sure you don't attack an enemy with it, because you'll end up healing your enemy. This is bad. Unless they're undead. Anyway, what it amounts to is a way to heal a character without using an item or MP. This is useful at the moment, though for full party healing, or when you gain more HP and better healing spells, it falls out of favor.

That's all there is to do at Castle Tycoon, so off we go again on our dragon.

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Hmm this forest is shaped oddly for a natural occurence, and the positioning of those stones is suspect too...

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Also there seems like there should be a stone up here, but there isn't. Hmm, maybe it's nothing. SPOILER: Highlight text to read: It's not nothing.

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Now let's go do what we're supposed to be doing. Well, nah, let's check out the town first.

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This is Walse, the town of water. Or city of water. Town, city, tough to tell in these old FF games. Not like the later ones where it's like yeah Midgar is a city and Kalm is a town, no confusion there.

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You can head on down into the water and into this house.

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For a free pair of Silver Specs. If you didn't steal enough on North Mountain, this is nice. If you did, then you can sell this one for monies.

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I dunno, random frog, I think I trust Kermit more than you.

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The magic shop has a whole bunch of spells you can't use yet. Go ahead and buy them anyway though, might as well. I mean you're already here.

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On the west side of town, you can walk between those two trees.

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So yeah, Garula is "officially" supposed to appear near the tower, so what it was doing near Carwen, who knows.

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The weapon shop has a battle axe for sale. I'm saying this a lot this update, but once again, only Freelancers can equip this at the moment, and it's not worth it. Axes are pretty great weapons though, as they ignore 75% of the target's defense. However, in the FF series, axes are notorious for being random with their damage output. Sometimes you'll get huge numbers, sometimes not so huge. They're good weapons, but there are people who don't like them because of the randomness of the damage. Axes and Two-handed go together beautifully though.

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For your Knights, iron equipment is available. However, keep in mind you got a free Mythril Helmet on North Mountain, and that's better than the Iron Helmet you can buy here.

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For physical jobs, the Kenpo Gi is available, and it even raises Strength by a point. Because Knights can equip the Kenpo Gi and it gives a Strength boost, and it's only one point lower in defense than the Iron Armor, I pick up a Kenpo Gi for Bartz instead. And since Bartz is using Barehanded, that means I don't need any of the iron equipment!

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BUY SOME MAIDEN'S KISSES. This is important.

With the town all checked out, now let's head to...

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We need to talk to the king so we can tell him to turn off the amplifier machine to the crystal, since the guards at the Tower of Walse won't let us through.

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Image But steal any of them, and there'll be a special room for YOU beneath the castle...and by that I mean jail. Heh heh.

He's lying, if you take the treasure nothing happens. He's probably too scared to check the treasure room anyway. But more on that later.

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This dude is not even joking. Jackanapes is terrifying and has led to people not expecting it to get a game over.

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Good info to store away for later. There's a Tent, 490 Gil, and a Phoenix Down in this room too.

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Reading Rainbow!

I get caught in the throne room while searching the castle.

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Image King Walse. You look well. I come with a request. Please, stop amplifying the power of the water crystal!

Image Ho ho ho... You must be joking. I could never do that! My people live comfortably thanks to the crystal's power.

Image King Walse, if left as it is, the crystal will shatter!

Image Hmm... I have heard about the incident with the wind crystal... However... No evidence proves that the same thing will happen to the water crystal. Furthermore, I am certain that the people would be opposed to ceasing the crystal's amplification.

Dude, you're a king. Kings aren't democratically elected, who cares if the people are opposed to it?

Image Look, we don't have time to be arguing over this...

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At Bartz's words, the screen turns red. If you've been paying attention, you'll remember that when the screen turns red, bad things are happening.

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Another meteorite!

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You can see the Tower of Walse in the very left of the shot. And if you can't, this guy will vouch for it.

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Image What!? There is no time to lose. Assemble the guard! To the tower at once!

Image Yes, sire!

Image Pardon this interruption... I believe you understand the severity of the situation. We'll continue this later.

And King Walse and his soldiers leave, meaning we need to follow them. But I'm going to explore the rest of the castle.

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Going down these stairs takes us to all sorts of neat places.

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This one leads to the dungeon. You can talk to a couple of people through the bars, one just laments how he's in prison, and the other one will run around like an idiot until he knocks himself unconscious if you say you'll let him out, but...

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THIS GUY. Whatever you do, do NOT let Lone Wolf out. You may think that you're doing a good deed or something and you'll get a reward for it later but you'd be wrong. There are five treasure chests that Lone Wolf will steal the contents of if you free him. When you get to the chest and open it, there will be a note from Lone Wolf stating that he took the treasure that was in the chest. Four of the chests are Cottages...not a huge loss, but not favorable. The worst is the fifth chest, which contains a Blitz Whip. The Blitz Whip is a very strong weapon, and you won't be able to get another one for a VERY long time outside of that chest. Since you want the Blitz Whip, do NOT free Lone Wolf. You get absolutely nothing for freeing him, and nothing bad will happen to you for telling him to rot in jail. In fact, good things will happen if you do that, because he won't steal those treasures.

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In the upper right corner of the room we were just in, there's this staircase down.

WARNING. If you are going for a perfect Brave Blade, DO NOT GO DOWN THESE STAIRS. What I am about to do hinges on one strategy: a Thief with !Flee. Since !Flee will count as running, it will dock attack power from the Brave Blade if you do it. So if you want the best Brave Blade you can get, you can't get the treasures I'm about to get until much later.

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I put !Flee on Faris. She also needs to be a Thief, because Thieves have the innate Vigilant ability which prevents back attacks. Also Thieves will usually get the first turn in battle.

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...because in the basement, there is one and only one encounter, and that's with jackanapes. Remember the guy who said if we ran into one we're up a creek? Like I said, he's not lying. Jackanapes always appear with a back attack. This is why a Thief (or someone with Vigilant) is a must, as it prevents that. !Flee is also a must because at this point, you pretty much cannot take on jackanapes and win unless you're overleveled. On top of that, you get 1 Gil, and no experience or ABP for winning the fight, so it's not worth it, especially since this is the only encounter in the basement. Jackanapes has very high defense and magic defense, as well as high evasion. This means most of your attacks will miss, and the ones that do connect won't do much damage. To add to this, if you damage jackanapes without killing it, it will cast Moon Flute on your party. Moon Flute is a blue magic spell, and what it does is inflict the targets with Berserk. What this means is if you take on jackanapes and it uses Moon Flute, you will be unable to escape, and will almost certainly get wiped.

So, I'm going through with my strategy of running away, because I take the Chicken Knife.

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One of the treasures you get is the Elven Mantle. The Elven Mantle is very very nice.

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In this pot, you can get the time magic spell Speed, which you can't cast yet. The two pots on either side contain a thousand Gil each.

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As you can see, the Elven Mantle increases agility, magic, and magic defense, but provides no physical defense. However, the description says it sometimes evades physical attacks, and that's the nice part of the Elven Mantle. Any physical attack targeting the wearer has a 33% chance of being dodged. Since it makes you faster and better at magic, this is a great improvement over Leather Shoes or Silver Specs for your main healer. So Lenna gets mine.

Our business at Castle Walse is concluded for the time being.

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Here's the meteorite that just fell. You can examine it for yourself, but there's nothing to do there, so it's a pointless trip.

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This is our next destination, the Tower of Walse. Until then!
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby uc pseudonym » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:31 pm

Ugh, Jackanapes. When I played this game I knew about the Brave Blade and so I spent a while trying to find a way to get past him without running. It took me a while to figure out ways to beat him, only to receive (almost) nothing. Not wanting to repeat the battle, I used the quick save trick to avoid him, only to get some gil and an okay accessory. Probably the most irritated I've been by a random encounter.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:25 pm

Part Five: Minute Walse

On our last episode, the Warriors of Light succeeded in finding Hiryu, King Tycoon's wind drake, and were able to take to the skies. They reached the kingdom of Walse and politely asked the king to shut off the crystal amplifier, to which the king responded "lolno." Another meteor fell, and now our heroes must enter the Tower of Walse to hopefully save the Water Crystal before it too shatters, turning the world's water into raw sewage.

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The guards at the entrance are down for the count, and tell us Garula is to blame for this. But the girl in Walse said Garula was tame and docile! In fact when we ran into it earlier it didn't even harm us in self-defense when we mercilessly beat on it for a bestiary entry. Something strange is going on here...

Image The king went after it...some unknown knight went in, too... It took us by surprise... Garula's never tried to attack anyone before...

So an unknown knight went in as well? Maybe he's the cause of all this trouble, possibly controlling Garula somehow? Onward!

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Ice Soldiers have a nice weapon to get your hands on if you have a Thief (which you should).

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The Mythril Sword, when combined with Two-handed, will outdamage a Monk or the Barehanded ability. Sadly, the age of the Monk's physical dominance has come to an end, and with one of the upcoming jobs, will be all but worthless. Barehanded is still good to boost your strength stat if you're in a job with a low strength bonus/strength penalty though, assuming you have nothing better.

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Also, Elf Toads have a nifty Blue magic spell, hope you've got Learning equipped!

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Pond's Chorus gives the target the Toad status if it connects.

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A unit under Toad status will have very weak physical attacks, as Faris shows us here, and will be unable to cast any magic except for the Toad spell. It can be cured with a Maiden's Kiss item, or the Toad spell, which acts like an on/off switch for Toad status.

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Look at those happy toads. :3

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Also if the party leader is under the effect of Toad, you'll run around as a little frog outside of battle.

The Tower of Walse is easy to get through as it's a small tower, so it's pretty straightforward. Eventually we run into King Walse.

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Looks like Garula did a number on him too.

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Wyverns are another enemy with a useful steal.

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Mythril Knives are good for any Thief characters you may have that don't have Barehanded.

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It may not be immediately obvious, but there's a little staircase here behind King Walse that will let you step into the water.

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Which allows us to climb up the vines here...

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...which has a chest containing a nice Silk Robe for one of your magic jobs. I put mine on Lenna, since she's the healer and needs to stay alive the most.

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Continuing on the correct path, there's a Maiden's Kiss in the chest near the save point, though hopefully you bought a few back in Walse so this shouldn't be too necessary. Though if the Elf Toads hit you hard with a lot of Pond's Chorus, you might be hurting for them.

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Hmm, three options in the next room. Take the one on the upper left.

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It leads to a nice Silver Armlet. The one in the middle, as you see, goes nowhere, while the one on the upper right will take us further into the tower.

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As you can see, the Silver Armlet is a much better piece of equipment than the Silver Specs, though Faris is no longer protected against Blind, which doesn't matter much since nothing can blind you here.

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At this point, Bartz finally learned Two-handed. To show you how much better this is than Barehanded, here's Bartz's damage output with Barehanded...

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And even taking into account he gets two attacks, that's about 232 damage, roughly.

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This is Bartz with Two-handed and a Mythril Sword. Yeah, this is much better.

Ricard Mages there can sometimes drop Fire Rods. They are pretty useful, so if you can get one or two, great, but it's not a complete necessity. They are handy against an upcoming boss, but again, it's more of a luxury than anything, so don't feel compelled to go out of your way to get them.

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We've made it to the top! And Garula is facing down a mysterious gold knight.

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Hey, he's on our side, protecting the crystal!

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Unfortunately, Garula smashes through him. Guess it's up to us.

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Unlike the random encounters on the world map, this Garula will fight back, and fight back hard. Its physicals are fairly damaging, and can sometimes give you the Sap status. So how to deal with it? Well, there's a couple of ways. Garula isn't super strong, although its attacks hurt, so you can just brute force it and heal with the Healing Staff and get through fine. If you have someone with !Blue, you can use Flash on it to blind it, causing its physicals to miss frequently. However, you can put to use a Blue spell you learned here to good use...

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And turn Garula into a toad. Now its physicals are laughably weak and you can pound on it with impunity.

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And Garula will fall shortly thereafter.

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Unfortunately, we were a bit too late, and the crystal shatters. This causes the gold knight to speak up.

Image Uhnnn... Lord Galuf!

Image ...Me? You know who I am?

Image Lord Galuf... Couldn't protect it... For-forgive...

Image Hey--stay with me, man! Please, tell me who I am!

Image Fire crystal...protect...ngh...

And our gold friend dies before he can tell Galuf who he really is.

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The crystal shards shine, and now you can run around and collect them, giving you access to a brand new set of jobs. But when you pick up the last one...

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Image The tower--it's sinking!

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Bartz runs for the door, and you may notice there's still a shard over to the left we didn't get. Even if you try and reach it before this happens, it's up on a ledge and you can't climb up to it. Don't worry, we'll be back for this shard, but it'll be a long while before we get it.

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We go to the world map, where it zooms out a bit and shows the Tower of Walse and surrounding land sinking into the sea.

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Unfortunately our heroes didn't make it out quite quickly enough, and they're dragged underwater along with it. But just then...

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Syldra shows up out of nowhere to save our hides! Yay Syldra! She swallows up the party and carries them to safety.

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Then vomits them back up on the beach. Kinda gross, but better than drowning.

Image Syldra... You used the last of your strength to save us...

Image What are you saying? Syldra! You can't die, I won't let you!

Image Syldra... Thank you...

Image ...Syldra...

Sadly, despite Faris' protests, Syldra cries out as if to say farewell to the party, and her body drifts off to sea. Well, she probably swam out to sea since otherwise the tides would wash her body up on shore, so I guess it wasn't really the LAST of Syldra's strength, but let's not worry about that and instead be sad at Syldra's passing.

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Hiryu, being a flying dragon, of course didn't fall into the water when it sank, he just flew to safety. Now, time to rearrange some jobs!

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Bartz becomes a Mystic Knight with Two-handed because holy crap is this combination amazing.

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Lenna becomes a Red Mage. She has a sword equipped but I don't want her with a sword since she's going to be mostly spellcasting. Also, the auto-equip will put practically anything else from the accessories list on a character instead of the awesome Elven Mantle, which is annoying.

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Galuf also becomes a Red Mage, with !Blue as a secondary.

Faris will remain a Thief, since Thieves are amazing.

Well, back to Walse, now that we've failed to protect a second crystal.

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This guy in Walse says something very odd. We know ships can't sail right now, so how did someone from another continent get here?

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That little girl is pretty mad about Garula getting beaten, but there's nothing we could do about it, it was insane and attacked people.

Well, let's see how the king is doing.

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Well, he's still alive at least.

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Image King Walse! Don't push yourself...

Image You must hurry to Karnak. Their fire crystal is being amplified with a machine similar to ours. It seems that a meteorite has fallen outside of Karnak as well... There is no time to lose...

Yeah, looking back, the last two times the crystals shattered, a meteorite fell just before it happened. So if a meteorite landed in Karnak, then that could mean bad things.

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We can meet the Karnak soldier in Walse Castle.

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But he seems confused as to how he got here too, and isn't sure where he is. As far as he's concerned he should still be in Karnak.

Well, mysteries for another time. For now, with our new jobs and a bit of experience under our belts, we should go investigate what that one soldier said about Shiva being in the castle.

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The right side of Walse castle has a large waterfall in the back, and you can walk right into the center of this waterfall to get to a secret cavern. Inside, you'll fight Ice Soldiers and Elf Toads, like in Walse Tower. It's a short trip, and then you'll reach this room.

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For anyone who played FFIV, they should recognize that as being part of the summoning animation whenever Rydia summoned something.

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It's Shiva, and she won't serve us without a fight. Yep, in FFV, you're going to have to fight a battle to get almost all of the summons, as opposed to starting out with most of them like Rydia did.

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Shiva comes with three Ice Commanders, who are stronger versions of the Ice Soldier enemies you've already fought.

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This isn't immediately obvious, but this is the result of Shiva's attack. Her attack pattern is pretty boring; she casts Blizzara on all the front row members of the party on her first turn, then on her second turn she casts Blizzara on all the back row members of the party, and keeps alternating between them every turn.

Shiva and the Ice Commanders are obviously weak to fire. If you got a Flame Rod from the mages in the tower, you can put it on your mage character and blast everything with boosted fire spells. If you didn't get the Flame Rod, then a multi-target Fire isn't going to do a lot to these enemies, meaning you'll have to take them on one at a time.

But the best way to deal with this is with our awesome new job, the Mystic Knight. I'll go over it in more detail in the job overview, but basically the Mystic Knight can infuse elements into their swords. So, Bartz with Two-handed and Fire on his sword...

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...can tear through this fight easily.

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Shiva isn't too difficult since Blizzara doesn't do a ton of damage and you can control how many characters get hit by it by adjusting your rows. Even if you don't have a Mystic Knight you can get through this without too much trouble.

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Shiva drops a Frost Rod, and the Ice Commanders can drop Long Swords which I guess you can sell for a little bit of cash.

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For winning this fight, you gain the Summon ability Shiva. You could do this before you got the Summoner job at the Tower of Walse, but you wouldn't have been able to do anything with it, so it's better to wait until afterwards when you can make use of it, and have a good job to utilize too.

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So now Lenna is going to be a Summoner with !White equipped, buuuuuuuuuuut when I was doing work for the next part, I found out her !White ability is only level 1, so she'll be going back to White Mage in the next part at some point.

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Next time: the meteorite! What secrets does it hold?
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Kaori » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:17 am

Nate wrote:However, you can put to use a Blue spell you learned here to good use... And turn Garula into a toad. Now its physicals are laughably weak and you can pound on it with impunity.


Nate wrote:basically the Mystic Knight can infuse elements into their swords. So, Bartz with Two-handed and Fire on his sword...can tear through this fight easily.


These kinds of things really highlight something I read recently about the FF series: much more than in other JRPGs, in FF games you're encouraged to approach each battle as a puzzle. If you manipulate your characters' abilities according to the situation, battles become much easier. I guess knowing your enemies and equipping abilities to exploit their weaknesses is especially effective in this game, even compared to other FF titles, which probably explains why some people have apparently been able to beat FFV with a level-5 party.

I'm not entirely sure what I think about the FF style of using tricks to make battles easier, but it really is a distinctly different flavor from other JRPGs.

Thanks for the updates; I've been enjoying them.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby MomentOfInertia » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:33 pm

This is good, I look forward to the next update.

Also it seems that the old 10 images per post limit is gone.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby mechana2015 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:00 pm

MomentOfInertia wrote:
Also it seems that the old 10 images per post limit is gone.


Actually they're all linked from photobucket, not uploads on the site.
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Re: Let's Play Final Fantasy V Advance! [SSLP]

Postby Nate » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:34 pm

Job Update: Water Crystal Jobs

When the water crystal shattered, we gained five new jobs. It should have been six, but nothing can be done about that sixth shard (yet). So we'll just have to take the five, but that's not a disappointment by any stretch. A couple of these jobs are absolutely fantastic and will serve you well through the rest of the game. So let's get started with what is arguably the best job of the bunch.

Mystic Knight

Holy crap, this job. This job, you guys. Mystic Knights have the ability !Spellblade. In short, what this does is enable you to turn your sword into an elemental/status dealing weapon. The types of Spellblade abilities you can use are dependent on the black magic spells you have. You don't have to actually gain any !Black levels to use the relevant Spellblade ability though, you just have to have purchased the relevant black magic spell at a shop. Also, the weapon you have must be compatible with the ability. This is what "Can be used with Spellblade" means on the item description. There are some swords and daggers that can't be used with Spellblade, and if you equip one of those you will be an unhappy Mystic Knight.

Anyway. Like I said, !Spellblade infuses the sword with the spell/status you choose, and it does use MP. So in my fight against Shiva, Bartz used the Fire ability, which gave my Mythril Sword a Fire element, meaning it dealt extra damage to all the enemies in that fight, since they were weak to fire. If I'd gone to Karnak and gotten the Fira spell from the shop, I could have used the Fira ability which would have done even more damage. Pretty simple. And again, in addition to elements, there are status Spellblade abilities, such as Sleep, Drain, or Break. If you use one of these and the attack connects, the enemy gets that status (so long as they're not immune to it). What this means is that the Break Spellblade is more or less an instant death attack against any enemy that doesn't resist petrification...and as long as the attack hits, it will work. This makes the Mystic Knight better than a Black Mage for inflicting statuses on enemies.

The downsides to the Mystic Knight as opposed to a Black Mage or Summoner is that the Mystic Knight must use a turn to empower their blade, and using another ability "erases" the previous one, so you can't have a Fire and Sleep sword, you'd replace the Fire status with the Sleep one, whereas a Black Mage could swap between the two freely since they're just spells. Also, Black Mages/Summoners can multi-target their spells, whereas a Mystic Knight can only attack one enemy per turn. In some fights with multiple enemies, a Black Mage/Summoner will be doing a lot more damage than a Mystic Knight due to this.

The only other ability of note for Mystic Knights is the passive Magic Shell ability, which will cause the Mystic Knight to cast Shell on him/herself when they reach critical HP status. This obviously is not very useful and not worth an ability slot outside the Mystic Knight job.

Okay, that's a lot of words about this job. It's considered one of the best, and for good reason. !Spellblade is an amazing ability and so any sword using characters should probably be keeping up with their Spellblade levels.

Berserker

This is the other physical job the water crystal gives (the last three are all magic jobs). The Berserker is...well...pretty situational. The Berserker has an inherent Berserk status on it at all times, hence its name. The Berserk status boosts physical damage, but also makes your character uncontrollable. The uncontrollable nature of the Berserker causes a lot of people to ignore this job completely, and it's true that this is a major flaw in the job, since you can't provide emergency healing with an item or use any other abilities.

However, Berserkers are pretty great. In random battles, most of the time you're not going to do anything but attack anyway, so the Berserker isn't usually a hindrance in those. In addition, axes and hammers are pretty good weapons, especially when combined with Two-Handed, and a couple of them have really nice magic and status effects attached to them that can be useful in a few fights. The downside is that the Berserker's stat changes lower your magic to pretty much nothing...but fortunately that can be rectified by putting !Black or !Summon in your second ability slot. While the Berserker obviously can't cast those spells, merely by being in your slot, it will negate the magic penalty the Berserker normally gets and instead boost its magic to be on par with the magic jobs, meaning axes and hammers with magical effects will hit even harder.

Unlike other jobs with innate abilities, the Berserker's innate Berserk will not carry over to the Freelancer or Mime jobs, for obvious reasons. The only abilities Berserkers learn is Berserk and Equip Axes/Hammers. This means it's not really worth mastering, since Freelancers can already equip any weapon. While it might be nice to equip an axe or hammer on another job, 500 ABP to learn this ability is kind of a lot.

Oh, one last thing. Although this should pretty much never actually happen, there is a glitch involving this class. If you have a party of all Berserkers, do not equip the Chicken Knife. The Chicken Knife will cause the party to flee the battle 25% of the time if the Attack command is used. However, since a Berserker can't flee, if your entire party is Berserkers, and one has this equipped and triggers the Chicken Knife's flee, the battle will be unable to end and you'll have to reset.

So in short: Berserkers aren't useless, but you're not going to want to use them in battles that require strategy.

Summoner

Summoners have the largest magic stat bonus, and great abilities. This class is great for magic users. Summoners summon monsters, with differing effects. For example, Shiva/Ifrit/Ramuh are more or less multi-target fire/ice/lightning spells. However, unlike black magic spells, which decrease their damage across multiple targets, summon spells deal full damage to all targets, making them ideal for fights with multiple enemies. Golem puts up a protective wall on your party, which absorbs physical attacks up to a certain damage amount, and obviously is a fantastic spell. Phoenix, in addition to damaging enemies with a fire spell, will also fully revive a fallen character. There are more obviously but we'll get to 'em as the LP goes on.

So yeah, great spells and a good magic boost to use them, the downside to this job is that you gain new summons at a slower rate than other magic jobs, since anything above level 1 requires you to find the summon and battle it to get it to serve you, as you saw with Shiva in the last update. This means that, for example, Summoners are out of luck if you want to deal multi-target fire damage until you find Ifrit, whereas Black Mages already have Fire and will get Fira in the town after getting the Summoner job, while Ifrit is still a little ways off.

All of the Summoner's abilities are just increasing levels of !Summon, except for the final job level where they will learn !Call. !Call will cast a random summon spell for 0 MP. How useful this is depends on you I guess. The potential to summon, say, Bahamut for 0 MP is nice, but then again you could use it and get Remora and that'd be a wasted turn. If you run out of MP as a Summoner and have absolutely no way to restore it, then this is better than nothing. I feel like the second ability slot is better filled by other stuff, but some people swear by this ability. Whatever works for you.

Time Mage

Time Mages are mostly a support class, and they have some good spells. Most time magic spells aren't affected by the magic stat, so even someone in a non-magic job can make good use of !Time. Right now, interesting time magics are Slow, which is good for bosses, Haste, which is good for your party, and Mute. Mute is weird in that it inflicts Silence on everything in the battle, including your own party, guaranteed. While this might sound useful against magic using bosses, the spell is prohibited from being cast in pretty much all boss fights. So you won't really use it much. Still, at the moment Haste and Slow are great, and there's even better spells later.

The final level of Time Mage gives you Equip Rods. Freelancer and Mime can both equip rods by default, and either you're giving this job to someone as a support ability, in which case they're going to be using other weapons, or you're giving this job to someone who's already doing mage-type jobs, most of which can already equip rods too. This is probably the absolute most worthless ability in the game, and exists solely to artificially inflate the amount of ABP it takes to master Time Mage. Since other magic jobs give better boosts to the magic stat and this ability is worthless, there is literally no reason to use a Time Mage after getting !Time level 6.

Red Mage

This is the last job we get. Red Mages can cast both Black AND White magic inherently. While obviously the ability system means you can put !White on a Black Mage (which I've been doing) and get the same effect, there are a few differences. !Red means you get both black and white magic with only one ability slot, freeing up the second slot for another ability. Red Mages can also equip swords, and get a small boost to their strength stat, meaning they can deal decent physical damage as opposed to a Black or White Mage which both have strength penalties. However, Red Mages are also much worse at magic than a Black or White Mage is, as they have a pitiful magic bonus.

This fits in with the "Jack of all trades, master of none" role that Red Mages filled in the first couple of games. They're decent at physicals and magic, but nowhere near as good as a physical or magic focused job. They can cast both black and white magic, but only up to level 3, and that's where Red Mages fall apart. This means they only gain second level elemental spells, and Cura is going to be their highest healing spell, and Raise their highest revival spell, plus their small magic bonus means they're not very good at casting these.

Red Mages aren't entirely useless. At the point where you get them, they haven't hit the cap for spell levels, as we're only about to get level 3 spells at the next town, and won't get level 4 until a while after that, so they're not hampered by their inability to cast level 4 spells, not for a little while at least. Still, and this is just personal opinion, I feel like this job would have been better suited for one of the wind crystal jobs, and Blue Mage could have been obtained here. The problem is that as it is, you get Red Mage at almost the point where they become entirely worthless. Giving it to you as a wind crystal job would have meant that they would be very useful through the early portion of the game, while still not replacing pure Black or White Mages due to their lower stat boosts. As it is, the game has made Red Mages really unappealing by giving them to you this "late" in the game, while giving one of the best jobs (Blue Mage) right off the bat. It's backwards to me.

A Red Mage's final ability is !Dualcast. !Dualcast lets you cast two spells in one turn. This is pretty great! It has its limitations though. For example, equipping !Dualcast by itself (like on a Knight) will give you only access to spells a Red Mage could normally cast, meaning only black/white spells up to level 3. So the way to use !Dualcast is to support it with other spellsets. For example, a Time Mage or a Summoner with !Dualcast would be able to use it with the level 1/2/3 black/white magic spells in addition to their time magic or summon spells. A Black Mage with !Dualcast could cast all their black magic spells and up to level 3 of white magic spells twice per round. Likewise, a Freelancer or Mime could support !Dualcast by equipping any other magic ability, otherwise they'd only get the first three levels of black/white.

The problem with !Dualcast is it takes a whopping 999 ABP to learn. As you can imagine, when you're getting between 1 and 3 ABP from most fights at this point in the game, !Dualcast would take ridiculous amounts of grinding to obtain, especially when you factor in that it's the Red Mage's level 4 ability, meaning it effectively takes an 1159 ABP investment to learn it.

In the end it's hard to recommend a Red Mage. Their usefulness is almost gone by the time you get one, and their ultimate ability, while good, is really only worth it if you use it with another job (or ability if Freelancer) and best obtained by shoving the Red Mage aside until you get to fights with decent amounts of ABP and then grinding.



And that does it for water crystal jobs. Next update comes after the fire crystal! Technically a spoiler...but come on, at this point it should be obvious we're never going to save the crystals.
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Ezekiel 23:20
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