Pinkie Plays: Final Fantasy VI Return of the Dark Sorcerer -Episode 5 – A Stream of Hard Encounters – Finale

Romhacks are strange little creatures my little lights! I encountered an amazing rom hack of one of my favourite RPG’s of all time! While it shines in all it’s weirdness it also has the writing style of a 13 year old goth kid that writes fanfiction based on My Chemical Romance songs filled with “my first fantasy”  tropes!  Add in an increased difficulty and we got a Rom I both love and hate at the same time!  As we draw closer to the conclusion of the first “arc” in this game the question remains! Will we continue this journey ?  Let’s find out!

Bye Bye Butter..uh Starmie?!

Last episode we left off right before the boss fought against the Skull Train. If you want to read more about if you can find the entire series at the bottom of this post!  We need to solve a puzzle and I discover the little Onion Knight works like Celes! He has Runic.. except he has no magic.. which might make him more useless, except for a very situational pair up.. like the party I am in now… minus the Drakkar who can actually cast magic!  Regardless the Onion knight looks like he might be great for the fight against the Skull Train…. and he is not going to fight along! Great! Oh that other Reaper they talked about last episode joins in and casts doom on my best party member?! Of course!  Go right ahead… Fuuuu , this will be a hard one won’t it?!

I get absolutely destroyed within SECONDS of starting this fight, Mr Grim can burn 350 hp easily and the train can attack as well!  I get whooped so fast my doom counter did not even drop below 60!  That’s a bit ridiculous… but it turns out I forgot to heal! I was at half health…. heh! Whoops! The next fight goes a bit better, and I actually manage to win though everyone was one blow away from death and I completely drained my supplies of revives and I think potions as well! Turns out however this is a double feature!  Another Boss fight appears right after this! Luckily it’s not my main party who gets in the fight here but Arc the Onion Knight and Reaper.. the uhm.. Reaper..WAIT let’s call him Shinigami to avoid double words!  That fight is pretty easy though as I can exploit Arc’s Runic to pretty much not be touched while Reaper deals heavy damage to the evolved Mister Grim!  The fight is so easy that it is almost a cutscene.  After that whole thing the story continues mostly like normal Avalon who takes over the role, but not gameplay of, Cyan sees his wife and son depart to the afterlife with the train like normal. After literally being forced to wait for a while gameplay resumes and we can wrap up this part of the story.

The Waterfall scene! The group hits a dead end and Sabin normally solves this by jumping off a waterfall!  If Shadow accompanies you he leaves you here.. but this time his counterpart decides to come along despite refusing the parties friendship! We jump off the waterfall and get YET another bossfight this time against Starmie and Staryu, while the pokemon theme plays!  This fight is HARD! Logic dictates to take down the weaker Pokémon instead but that turns out to be the wrong strategy and I am sent to a watery grave! The second time I focus my damage on Starmie  and barely scrape by!  It was fun to hear The Pokémon Wild Encounter theme rendered in Final Fantasy Style fanfare music though. A nearby town tells me about the ravenous Pokémon! I also discover the Oboro has gone…. *sigh* just when I spend tons of money in shuriken! … Well I guess at least we defeated Starmie!

The Onion that Tracks

The new town is a sleepy little town, I stock up on supplies, buy a new weapon and give him some relics to make him deal more damage by holding a weapon with two hands.. it makes sense since he is a kid and would be small!  Lots of references in this town though! There is a Legend of Zelda II , Zelda sleeping in a bed!  There is a Miqo’te shopkeeper and some reference I do not understand.. something about being born to be a farmer.. and Luffy..  the Pirate King is a shopkeeper!  I don’t know why.. I don’t why the man gave up on his dream but now he sold me a pokey stick!  Maybe this is what he will do after he has found One Piece.. but where is the rest of his crew! The other store keeper was “some bald guy” so his Nakama are gone. Either way it is sad to see your heroes fall. So to cheer me up I decide to let Arc play some hide and seek with some local kids! I win  the game and they tell me about a diving helmet.. that the three heroes plan to use to cross yet another river to get closer to where they need to be! 

This leads to a small treasure hunt on the map to find the right location Luckily I find my location fast and Arc doesn’t take long to find the treasure either! He is such a good little hero!  The wild enemies before here I could take on with relative ease, but now that we jump into the river I begin struggling a lot!  I barely make it to shore but I already wasted a lot of my recently purchased supplies!  If the difficulty keeps up being this tedious I will admit I am going to end this series at the end of the first story arc. I don’t mind difficulty hacks  but I have trouble rhyming them with games with such a silly tone! I just wanna see all the strangeness not grind for hours on end or learn movesets by  wiping without a hint of a chance!  It’s kind of annoying that way!  If i wanted to play a difficulty hack I’d download a difficulty hack! 

The Onion Knight guides us through yet another cave and I waste a great item that gives more MP on him by accident.. whoops! I really did not mean to do that!  Might come in handy after I get some Espers though!  If I ever will.. I am kind of curious to see what they did with Espers though. I might have missed an encounter with a Mermaid but after so many pretty tricky boss fights or at least back to back boss fights I am happy that I can take it a bit easy!  I follow the dungeon and wash up in another town.. I guess this midway point was made so I could heal a bit and find an item?!  I was never really sure!  Regardless in the new city we encounter Final Fantasy VII character Cait Sith who tells us we will find a treasure, so I venture into the wild to find enemies too weak to level on and no treasure anywhere! That is a shame. I had back to town and boarded a ship towards our avenger end game reunion thing!  The little Onion Knight gets seasick and says I don’t  feel so good.. then it seems as if he dies…..but he probably is just very seasick just like I would be on a boat!  This finally ends this chapter.. that is a fair bit too long! Time to reunite with our main character!

To Boldly go where we have been before

This story bit was always my least favourite, because it does not involve a whole lot more than backtracking to areas you have previously visited. Not that long ago either!  Plenty of enemies are still the weak ones with only a challenge here and there!  We go to Fraust which is most definitely not Narshe and go back through the caves where our adventure began, with enemies at the level as if our adventure just began. I almost can not contain my excitement.. I know I asked for easier battles here but this is a bit ridiculous!  And then Gilgamesh shows up on a bridge…..not the one from Fate though which I think is a missed opportunity but it’s classic Final Fantasy Gilgamesh.. and traditionally you fight him on a bridge so I guess all is well.. the fight is challenging but fair, if not a tiny bit tedious due to his insanely large health pool. I do manage to slowly chip away all the damage though and I come out on top. Time to walk through an old dungeon again! Strangely this is the entire storyline Aurora gets.. this is it.. nothing more happens except for some plot exposition about the enemy that is coming, after this we jump straight into the arc finale!

After exposition that is almost exactly the same as the original it is time. The Blackthorn empire attacks! We have to make our final stand to protect the Esper and prevent the Magi Wars… all changes here are strictly in name only and for once I am fine with that. This is indeed the moment this arc has been building up to!  It’s okay to keep this intact as is it such a pivotal moment. After this battle i have to decide if I will continue playing or not.. but as it turns out the game has made the choice for me.  We start the battle with one of those sieges, where you move your troops to block all paths to an npc or the battle will end.  Everything goes well but these npcs are quite tough to beat and there are a lot of them. After spending about an hour on these few battles alone there is a boss that wipes the floor with me.. Luckily due to the format here I can try again . After three attempts I succeed… and then I have to beat Kefka still.

Kefka is insanely hard by now you have the ability to make 3 parties and you have 9 people.. so three people per party right? No… if we  do it this way I found Kefka completely unbeatable. He cast Confuse, he can petrify , he can silence to avoid you healing from that, he casts regenerate he casts slow.. the only way you even stand a chance it with the Onion Knight hoping to absorb his spells, but my damage output is to low if I don’t put him in the party with Ronan.. and I did not!  Kefka regenerates so fast I can not deal damage… or while I can I need to spend every other turn healing.. and that means Kefka goes back up to full again.  He has spells that halve your level so if the battle lasts too long you don’t  deal damage anyway, the only option I think is Avalon who is actually with Arc.. but I can’t keep him healthy enough to deal enough damage. I spend 20 minutes alone in this boss fight and with no way to swap your party after your initial choice I have to go through another 90 minute slog to reach the boss?! No.. this is where I am done..  already doubted to continue as it’s just worse written Final Fantasy by now.. but with this type of difficulty I can’t have fun in a weird game like this.. The fate of the world refused to change and with my game being saved at an awkward spot.. I can’t go back to fix it either..Too bad the journey ends here.

Onwards!

I do not mind difficulty in games, but I am a bit iffy about it in RPG’s! Playing a 40 minute turn-based battle, just to find out you took the wrong party members and you can not actually beat the final stage of this fight isn’t fun! Let alone if it is preceded by another 40 minute long strategy thing, that was also hard. In the end the Romhack falls into the pitfall of a lot of rom hacks, being to hard to be enjoyable. I am sure I COULD beat this.. but I would not be having any fun anymore it would become homework. The amazing encounters do look amazing later on… but the story is just to rough at other places for me to care. It is a great cross-over.. but a very mediocre game that can be insanely unfair and unfun.. even though it also shines brightly at times. Let’s hope our next adventure will be the best of both worlds.

If you have a weird or fun Rom Hack you want me to play trough let me know in the comments! Due to my health not being that great I am trying to decrease the amount of episodic content I put out, to fit my currently more “when able” upload schedule! So lots of recommendations would be appreciated! Thank you for keeping reading this blog, even while I am not producing as much stuff as normal and struggling a bit!

The Return of the Dark Sorcerer Series

Pinkie Plays : Final Fantasy VI – Return of the Dark Sorcerer Episode 4 – Poison Pokemon and Pigs

This is little lights! The make or break episode to see if I will put a lot of time in this game or not!  Last week I absolutely adored what was going on, after a rough start!   I am playing Final Fantasy VI .. remade with characters from all over Geek Media.  From Fighting Raditz to having Cloud Crossdress to get Shang Tsung some Booze!   It’s all possible in this game!  Yet when the writers have to create their own dialogue.. that is not referential it all feels flat a bit! Now on an adventure with nothing but original characters I wonder.. Will the game be as good as it is when Cloud is there? Or will it fall flat on its face?! Find out today with me!

Familiar but Edgier

As Ronan washes around the shore I find nothing on the map but a little Orphanage, I make my way there after defeating a few slimes with Parasols!  A kid makes a comment about stranger danger, which is pretty accurate since Ronan is a half naked man talking to strange kids!  However a nun tells me a story about Arc.. a boy who became an Onion Knight after he saw a thief kill his mother.. or he thought he did , in fact that man just robbed her and was a good guy!  He feels sorry for the kid while his partner killed him in cold blood!  I assume this blue haired bandit will play the role of our Locke..  The kid being an Onion Knight suspect will have the role of Gau. I am not sure yet but the story is a bit mediocre just as I expected.  It’s good enough but it can’t hold a candle to the original … all the names of locations and characters feel so.. “My first Fantasy story” .. but okay let’s see where this goes I am kind of intrigued!  Time to get into the Imperial base! 

The first bit of the base plays remarkably similar to the original. Kefka is here and he is laying siege to a castle, as things seem grim a new hero shows up. Normally it’s Cyan but this time it is the Magic Knight “Avalon” I assume he will play like Celes with runic but so far I can’t play him yet. He is incredibly edgy though keeping talking about reaping and how his blade thirsts for blood. Seriously he sounds like a 13 year old’s first roleplay character. He has a pretty great battle theme though!  Not long after his introduction we are introduced to his mechanic. He can deal his total health in damage to an enemy and maybe inflict damage to an enemy. It’s neat enough, his design reminds me of Lancer from Fate.. and I do think most lancers look the same at least the one from Fate Zero and Fate Stay.. I am not sure if they are different people or the same.. but you know that look!  He kills his boss .. although barely and it’s time to go back to Ronan again.

General Leo has been replaced with… General Leo so once again this story is super duper similar to the original. However that Thief is in the background!  He seems to replace Shadow! His name is Oboro.. kind of a gothish name.. .. so whoever wrote this part of the story must be some massive kind of edgelord.. I’ll ask Indigo if he wrote it! I am half surprised the battle music isn’t “My Chemical Romance” Unlike I what I had expected he doesn’t play like Locke though he actually does play like Shadow as well, except he has a lot more stuff to throw and it is all a bit more Naruto like! He has a bunch of Ninja Scrolls that give all sorts of neat effects and a healthy amount of Shuriken from the get go!  So that is nice! The Kefka fight isn’t that hard and a Ninja Scroll deals with the troops I face while he gets away.. but Kefka manages to poison the river! It sucks to be at Mist castle right now!

Valkyries and Pokémon

We move back to Avalon, hoping to find something of a fun reference,  somewhere but so far this scene has been pretty bone dry. I always wondered how Kefka’s poison worked.. he put so little in and did not get poisoned himself yet the castle is completely wiped out!   Avalaon spouts more edgy crap about praying to the dragon god and being the dragon’s right claw that will get revenge and all that.. and this really just feels needlessly edgy and there is no fun to be had here… I know this scene probably lends itself to humor less as we see a man’s wife and kid die.. but common.. give me a snippet! Mamma wants a joke or a cool screenshot to share on Twitter.. but no Mamma is starving .. like a moth with no mouth! (Those are  a thing by the way).  I finally get one on the battlefield as Ronan and Avalon meet up! It’s a Valkyrie!?!

Okay I did not expect that.. it came out of nowhere and she looks strange but hey I will take it! The music here is awesome and some more Mega-Drive’ish tunes!  It really conveys “edgelord going ham!”  The Valkyrie fighting the people of the dragon culture though?!  I think that is a bit off a miss! Let’s kill her for being a not so amazing thing in this game! It’s a fight that is a bit harder than I had anticipated but eventually the Valkyrie goes  down. We steal a bunch of Magitek armor and after a bit of Magitek fighting we clear the camp and we find out the only way to go to Fraust is by going through some sort of haunted forest. Time to suplex a train! I love suplexing trains!  As a Kaijuman that is something we do in our spare time.. but Gidora’s son keeps beating me! Gamera’s as well. .really getting some lift out of that shell of his.On our way to the Dreaded Forrest I only encounter some spikey generic alienish creature that seems out of Metroid or something .. we can just use the fight command to win… but everything changes as soon as we hit the forest.. the first fight is super hard.. but then I see a Gengar!  Ooooh this can be good!

The forest itself offers a fair bit of a challenge but I discover that Ronan’s Kamehameha Wave is really good for dealing with the Undead so we make good progress. I encounter two creatures staring at a lake .  one says he wants to see the Ocean, the other says he wants to see a pig watching the ocean. That’s .. random!  We encounter a few elite soldiers , who then turn into zombies  who then turn into dust and we spot a little Onion Knight in the forest boarding the Skull Train.. a guy named Reaper says he will only let us pass if we give him our souls when we die.. I refuse and have to do the area all over again.. not because I die I just got teleported out. Frick! Eventually we agree and this is the moment the random soldier in my party decides to sacrifice his own life…Wait.. you mean to say the guy with no abilities ISN”T a mainstay party member.. I am so shocked by his death! That’s right Moths speak Sarcasmn!

The Skull Train

Reaper takes the spot of the generic Knight and now we have to board the soul train! Reaper has to promise to leave Avalon’s family alone..and it turns out he is like a Dragon Born .. seriously.. Indigo did you make this character?!  The Ghost train normally has you rolling around with several ghosties which can make minced meat of the fights to come in trade for their existence.. that doesn’t happen here. Reaper tags along all the way and he has some interesting abilities but he lacks the quick kills! Which results in a much slower train experience!  Being the expert that I am however I progress more and more!  Fighting some ghosts that look like a pair of sheets and some demony gluttony demons that look quite horrible! I actually do like these designs and while not referential this is a segment is quite enjoyable so far! The music is just okay here though! Funny though is that the characters are aware of the ominous music and seem  to use it to indicate they are in danger. See even when you don’t use famous stuff you can be weird and funny! 

I make my way up to a save point which comes rather later, and I fully expect to almost be up to the final boss battle! Little did I suspect that I had to face a mini boss before! It’s Arc the Onion Knight, who attacks me! Avalaon however has a peculiar ability in which he deals his total HP in damage to an enemy and might cast a random debuff..  the debuff he casts this time is DOOM. This puts the Onion Knight on a clock and  the fight is pretty easy after that.  Arc does take down Ronan though .. after the fight so the little guy gets away. While the fight was easy I am left on relatively low HP and while I go to use a shelter on the save spot I just past.. my safe spot turns into the wreck of the Ralph icon! That’s a thing! Why does my mind work the way it does and try to figure out how that would be a shelter in Real life?!

The rest of the train lasts pretty long, I eat some ghostly food, I get healed, I face the Onion Knight again, I take damage, I move trough passengers carts, I discover a Mini Boss that guards an Angelic Pendant that is a REALLY good Item for Avalon as it gives him Regen.. I fight the Onion Knight again.. I encounter Finn and Jake from Super Adventure Time.. that’s right they are in a random cart having what they claim to be a near death Experience. There is so much content in this train and it’s pretty awesome.. there is just one thing lacking! Another Save Point! We get ANOTHER fight with the Onion Knight and this one is even easier.. because it’s not a fight.. our Party Member beats him up for us. However then the ghost of his mother appears and tells the boy the truth this man feels regret for the role in her demise yada yada yada, please take care of my boy Blabla. She then trades her soul with the reaper for her boys safety and he brings her to the afterlife… now  that’s cute and all and I guess the guy gets points or something.. but you are literally ON A TRAIN TO THE AFTERLIFE! Why would she need to be TAKEN there when she is going there anyway… well who knows! 

The Young Boy takes Reapers spot in the party and we prepare for the final boss… but I am spent… and I get rewarded with a Save Point! We save the game and will continue next time. While flawed this arc had some interesting events that are actually very different from the original game. The problem here is that it does feel to edgy! When it’s not a fun refference it’s all doom and gloom and the tones clash so hard for me! Even though in fairness I did not even really mind this arc on it’s own! I like he inclusion of an Onion Knight and Avalanon’s mechanics are interesting and their backstories at least have weight to to them… but is that good enough in a game like this?! I wonder! It is a great game.. but some of the writing is just to edgy or nonsensical for me to fall in love wih this version.  I DO wanna find out what happened to Raditz though. Maybe i’ll just play a little bit longer after the first arc.. maybe not.. we will cross that bridge when we get there. Time to crawl into Ralph again.. and see you all next time.

The Entire Return of the Dark Sorcerer Series

Pinkie Plays: Final Fantas VI – Return of the Dark Sorcerer Episode 3 : Old Love

Hello Little Lights, I once more return to one of the more bizarre Rom Hacks I have played. My favourite Final Fantasy got transformed into a bizarre mix of RPG and Anime references. So far we recruited Cloud Strife, fought enemies from Dragon Quest and Disgaea and in the last episode we fought against Predator, Vega (from Street Fighter)  and of course Raditz! The heightened difficulty might make this a bit troublesome though! Let’s see how our adventures go this time and if we will go for a fourth instalment!.

It’s Boring Again

I just left from a fairly challenging dungeon so I expect the game to go lenient on us, yet the first enemy of the new area is a Mind Flayer, which takes a lot of violence to take down, two ki blasts, a poison nova and and Blade Beam from Cloud!  Why don’t I mention Aurora! Didn’t see anything? No she did not because she got turned into a pig! Now this is a change from the status Toad.. but I would think a Toad is a bigger punishment?! So why a pig?! Doesn’t  Gi Nattak, the creator of this Rom Hack know that frogs are better than pigs?! Except as pets!   Bulbasaur is a Frog and Tepig is a pig… and guess which one is the better starter! I do like the little light the mind flayer has on top of it’s staff though! I feed the party pig a Tulaberry and it turns back into Aurora.

I decided to level everyone up to at least level 12 and kind of make a promise to myself that in each new area i will gain one level for everyone… However I do spend very long grinding and getting this done!  However the result is pretty good! Aurora learns a spell that should petrify but for now seems to insta kill at the cost of costing a lot of Mana and Ronan learns a new combo.. as I try to master this new combo I  spend a fairly long time to familiarise myself with it, the shoulder buttons followed by up down seems simple but for some reason I kept messing it up! After what seems like a long time for search an early level however everyone is the level I want  them to be and I can enter the lair of the Crimson Blades and speak to Astral.

Unfortunately for me Astral is not the spirit thing from Yu-Gi-Oh ZeXal, I didn’t really expect it to be.. but that was the only Astral I know and with how this game has been going I would not even be surprised to fight the Robot Micheal Jackson from Moonwalker so who knows!  It’s just some fruity old wizard who upsets Aurora by talking about Pandora’s box though!  She got controlled by the slave crown and all that.. but once again I find myself a bit disinterested when the story takes itself so seriously. I know this stuff happens in the original game and I like it there but here it is just told much less adequately which comes from the lesser sound design 

Bonetrousle on a Rivier… with Rick James

This game shines best when it is being out of the box and here the creators are once more stumbled by their own ambition. Cloud begins talking about how someone important to him was killed by the Empire and that is kind of interesting.. is it Aerith?!  Locke had a sleeping beauty of his own … will Aerith be that person..does that mean Tifa will be Celes?!  The scene is ruined though by his second line “I joined the Crimson Blades to avenge “That Person” .. that’s not how you talk about people that are important to you! You address them with a proper pronoun.. I might be nagging here.. but this is annoying to me.. it just feels like a fake line to keep us in suspense. It feels written. FF VI was so organic.

I decide to let Aurora join the rebels without much issue and the river scene is next, for some reason the trees are blue  and the rocks are green.. it does feel nice and otherworldly and Ronin plays like a bunch of Moogles. He can inverse (shift the enemy to a backrow)  or cast Miracle which I think is a group heal but I am not fully sure what it does!  Choosing my directions I assume the choices will differ from the original so I go wild and pick! I do find some treasure underway but nothing all THAT special! The music here though  is killer! It has this Sega Genesis Vibe to it that I really really like! See this game is at it’s best when it is like this! I make my way down the river fully expecting a hard boss battle. I spare Aurora from using her magic!  So she can nuke the boss which normally is Ultros… but this time it’s… RICK JAMES?!!

No just kidding,  it’s Ultros.. whose saying he is Rick James! That’s ..random?!  Ultros does look a bit different though all orange like and more defined.. like in later editions. Bonetrousle plays as the boss theme! What the heck am I in for?! Turns out it’s nothing special! Ultros is a bit of a push over! It does spout a lot of referential stuff though. Boondock Saints, Lord of the Rings and much more!  He even calls people out on their class which is kinda cool!  Then the whole Not-Sabin gets separated from the group bit and that will lead to what normally is the Cyan meet.  Or I could play as Cloud and meet what would be Celes.  Thirdly I can play the main party and go back and go Fraust… that one I will save for last! ..I guess I will go Cloud’s adventure first! I assume this will lead to meeting Tifa. She seems to fill Celes role in more ways than one! 

Shape Shifters

So for the first part of Cloud’s Story I am going to have to do that weird item trading thing that happens in Final Fantasy 6.. however this time random NPCs are replaced with characters throughout gaming history. Shang Tsung wants a drink for example..why?! Not sure!  He fills no role but they edited the sprite to look like him! It just gets better after that though! Cloud buys a Silk Dress.. seeming very eager to buy it too!  When the sales woman asks him if it is for his girlfriend he just says.. yeah  something like that! Oooh this is going to be good! Little did I know it then.. but what follow would be a sequence of events so good I could not tear myself away!  So I am all writing this after  I stopped playing at this point! The goal here was simple.. find a merchant that gives you a Hourwatch,Give that Shang Tsungs grandson for access to another part of town, by the silk dress Cloud is known for.. a guard meanwhile has lost at cards and will let you on if you beat the guy who took it from him. From there on out you can go to the inn, beat a shady merchant for some rum and give that to Shang Tsung who gives you a riddle towards a secret entrance..

However there is so much more in town, the love returns, random houses have completely customised sprites such as the I am Error Guy from Legend of Zelda II.  He looks like a 16 bit rendition of the original who said it while it would have been way easier to just let another guy say it , the reference would have landed anyway.  There are little things like this everywhere. In the secret base Cloud transforms into his crossdressing form and he can investigate the enemy base. Inside there is a room for playing children. Much like normal..BUT, this time there is a Chrono Trigger pet in the room,  there is this gameboy creature that is a reference I do not get and there is a Yoshi doll on the table. Non of it has a function but it all moves and is interactable with. Then you find the Dungeons and my suspicion turns out to be true!  Tifa indeed does take the role of Celes!

Gameplay wise however she is a combination of Sabin and Setzer and Celes’s Magic. Tifa can cast a few good White Mage spells, such as Protect, Shell and Cure as well as some ice magic. She also can punch twice with both her weapons equipped. However Tifa also has Reels.. her Limit Break ability makes an appearance in this game so  the character feels sooooo much like Tifa. Get three boxing gloves in a row and you get Beat Rush as an attack, get three slimes in a row and you get Water Kick..  get a non matching combination and you get Lucky rabbitt a weak heal that also casts Esuna on the entire party clearing them of any negative effect. Tifa is really powerful in this game and I really like playing as her.  While her dialogue is a bit stale when it comes to seeing Cloud, they barely know each other in  this world, and she wonders why he cross dresses. You have to rescue some other prisoners before you leave and the key the enemy drops is the boss key from the legend of zelda. It’s not on screen for more than two seconds yet the original item was painstakingly replaced with a new item . Kudos .  During all of these events various Final Fantasy VII music plays. I love being a gamer!

The Trip to Fraust

After escaping town you’d think we would be just about done with the awesomeness, but no, we get two random Crimson Blades travelling with us. One is called Gus.. and the other.. I forgot his name already.. something like Winston. Winch.. Winny! It’s getting late and I got sucked in so I forgot to take a proper screenshot of his name!  Let’s call them Good Guy Biggs and Wedge for convenience sake!  GG Biggs has  the ability Mimic, which  allows him to Mimic whatever party member goes before him.. although at a bit lower power… this is awesome! It means I can cast Cloud’s Limit Break .. TWICE.. Tifa’s Reels.. Twice.. and well GG Wedge is a dragoon so he can leap up and come down.. and GG Biggs can copy that as well.  It feels so delicious!  Do I risk it all on the slots?! Those sure are my most powerful moves but there is risk involved, if I pull if off though I totally decimate the field and I love it.  It feels a lot easier to get pairs than with Setzer as well, I miss about 1 in three times I think  Which means that fighting with Reels is about as effective as attacking normally, with Reels more focussing on burst damage and normal attacking on reliability.

The final boss of the chapter is the iconic Guard Scorpion, the final  boss from Final Fantasy VII , while it’s appropriate boss theme plays as well. But that’s not all, it’s being pilotted by classical final fantasy monster Tonberry… it’s so hard to notice but my friend pointed it out to me while we were discussing how awesome this is!  Suddenly that Dragoon Jump ability is super useful because the Guard Scorpion targets people for it’s more powerful attacks.  Jump.. kind of works like fly in Pokémon so imagine seeing your enemy use Solar Beam on you and then you choose Fly.. dodging the Solar Beam next  turn. I felt nostalgic seeing those attacks being rendered in 16 bit.. and after that false start I had a blast with the gameplay session I had.  When this game is paying tribute to stuff it is amazing! Cloud and Tifa have a cute interaction before leaving and now I have to pick if I will follow Ronan’s story or Aurora’s. I will go with Ronan’s story next and that will be our next episode!

That episode will be an important one as well. For now I have established that the content that Gi Nattak makes to highlight our amazing geeky history is amazing.. but the story content they create themselves.. is much less captivating. If I enjoy Ronan’s story I might play this game until it gets too hard for me to progress (I know I will hit that point)  if I do not like it I will play the game up to the Esper Transformation and remember the amazing refferences fondly… but I will move on to a new project cancelling the show after a season finale as it were.. soon we will find out…but not today!

All Posts in this Series!

Pinkie Plays: Final Fantasy VI Return of the Dark Sorcerer (Episode 2) The Level 1200 Boss

Welcome to another gameplay post with my little lights! I have been steadily taking you on many of my gameplay journeys and the result so far is .. a bit so so! I am having fun and have a lot of games to explore in terms of people liking and interacting with the pots! But I am having fun!  Recently I started a little Romhack of Final Fantasy VI .. called Return of the Dark Sorceror which retells the story of my favourite game with other characters. Last time I discovered this game was kind of weird, meeting characters like Cloud and Mr Meeseeks.. what will I find this time?!  Well let’s find out

I am experimenting with a new type of featured image that will blend in more with my upcoming YouTube Idea

Serin and Ronan

The second session with this game fills me with a sense of ..  I do not know..  I really wanted to play again.. but now I booted the game up I can’t help but feel… meh?! As the novelty of a weird Rom Hack has already lost a bit of shine and in a way it does. at What used to be Figaro castle but now called by yet another name  feels… dry.. and not just because it is in the desert. Nothing new is really being done here. Serin is just a king.. though they say he is an alchemist. He also has a brother.. but the change made is that he is a half brother.  The dialogue with Kefka is virtually exactly the same as before.  The first minutes of my second sesion feel a bit like a deception..the weirdness is gone and instead these are just name swaps. It is a bitter pill to swallow after taking the extra effort to get my characters here. 

The tale of Serin and Ronan is told through a cutscene where the dad is dying of being poisoned and we see the classic events unfold.. but here I think it would have been rather easy to change it into something a bit newer and more impactful. The majestic theme of Figaro Castle has been replaced with something a bit more generic and peppy! It feels pretty Final Fantasy … but there is no weight! … In the first game I could feel Edgar’s pain and Sabin’s as well.. here though because these characters are not someone like Cloud.. and they lack that tongue in cheek humor.. I feel they are more weak imitations of the originals. I might have preferred it if they were the original characters… Let’s hope the events coming can change my mind.

Serin wakes up later that day and smells smoke! He immediately thinks.. the cook has set fire to the castle again. Which apparently is a thing because as soon as he talks to a guard about it the guard takes it rather seriously!  Not this time sir.. it is Kefka he  set the castle on fire with some spells! It is time to escape the submerging city!  Serin asks a guard to hide his magazines before some called Elenor finds them. It’s Funny enough but a lot of Dialogue is still repeated and the music that plays while the castle is burning is really a miss!  It’s tonally totally off! Of course I do like the fire animation and stare at it for a while.. but hey.. I need to press on! 

The Zombie Cave

The Escape scene once again has some pretty bad music.. that is NOT this  Rom Hacks strength, but we do get a nice extra battle against some Magitech armor .. it is pretty challenging and I get to see Serin in use for the first time.. it turns out he indeed does play like Edgar.. but with other abilities based on “pills” with him being an alchemist. He can for now use a bow Weapon much like Edgar could.. but he can also confuse enemies, which is a lot more helpful early on than Bio Blaster. Aurora learns the spell Virus to cause toxic damage so this is a nice way that the two don’t overlap! Kekfa  is left with his face in the dust as things seem to proceed fairly normally for now! Making my way to the caves goes pretty easily as I do know this game pretty well and we get a new sort of event.  Apparently this cave is filled with beings that can cast the Zombie status…that’s fast!  Also a random guard called Hector joins the team! He is Allergic to Chocobo’s so he is always late!  Hey I got a friend who is always late.. perhaps she is allergic to her car!   The game also commits a grave sin!  They REPLACE the Chocobo theme!  Boooooo!  Inside the cave Zelda music plays.

That is not all they have in common though! The creepy wall hands also show up as enemies and some creepy voodoo dolls! Now I am beginning to like this stuff again!  I do like the creepier music vibe here.. as we use the Zelda Dungeon music remixed in a much more ominous version! That is the better way of sound design..my head screams dungeon now and the tone screams dark which is reflected by the enemies.. of course they are also kinda hard to deal with! The Wall Crawlers can leap up and walk across the wall.. making them untargetable for a good while. The voodoo dolls want to cast horrible spells on me but seem to always be low on magic.. maybe I need to remember these things because at a later level they won’t be so weak?!  We encounter a lot of enemies and struggle on.. eventually making our way through the caves.. in the final room Hector decides to leave us saying it is lucky we did not encounter any zombies… Apparently Jinx is a Final Fantasy spell now.

We get in a fight with a ginger zombie.. and he immediately casts the status on Cloud. I know I have the items to heal it with me .. but since all these item names make no sense to me like Tulaberry Aqualine Echo Herbs and Karma Jolt.. I have no idea how to cure him.. I need to let him be a zombie and restore him once the fight is over. Annoying..there is no need to change the name of the potions! We make it through the cave and now it is time to look for the resistance! I know this game is fairly hard so I decide to head to “Not Sabin’s” Cabin to restore and I find Echo Herbs in the Field.. which cure Silence and Aqualin.. which cures poison.  After sleeping in the hut a old man shows up and tells Ronan.. the not Sabin.. went away after Raditz…. has slain his master. OMG! OMG! OMG! .. Raditz Actually got a kill!  I am so proud of him!

Spain!

Raditz is said to live up on mount Zephyr.. a mountain up north of where I am at now. I don’t see the town near or maybe I missed it as my mind is only focussed on one thing! Raditz!  I am gonna fight Raditz! For those who don’t know , I am a big BIG Dragon Ball Z fan and I do love the character Raditz a lot so I would love to see how they did him in this game!  I rush into the caves and discover some interesting new monsters.  Like Ferocious birds, big swine.. and Vega from Street Fighter.. a lot of them! Would that be two Vegas or two Vega? I don’t know.. I just beat their scrawny touchie and I know just how they would sound like when they slowly fade away. Kind of like a seal dying I mean not that I would not know how a seal dying would sound but I could imagine it would be a bit like Vega’s death cry.  As an immortal moth I don’t need a death cry.. but maybe I do need to work on a Kaiju cry?!  I like Wrrrrrryyyy but that is taken already!

It doesn’t take too long before Aurora gets petrified by fighting a Cockatrice. Of course that is the one status that I don’t have a cure for!  So while I am looking for a savepoint to use my Shelter that looks like Inky from Pacman .. I get attacked by a Predator! Of course he is here, he must have come with Raditz from outer space!  I do manage to beat it with just Serin and Cloud and we find a save spot!  Since Predator outlevels me I farm the caves dry for treasure to get a few levels as we go along! I have a shelter left before the Raditz boss fights anyway!  Serin finds a new weapon! I also find a Moogle Salesman that sells me the cure for petrify.. instead of soft… it’s Tissues! Uhm.. sure?! I also picked up a nice blade for Aurora! It powers up strikes if you use MP and she is the only character with MP sooooo yeah!  Then it is time.. I see a familiar long haired man with black and brown armor hopping about! Oh boy! It’s Raditz fighting time!

Raditz

However .. this game likes to throw me a curveball and Raditz summons two Saibaman saying that a real Saiyan can easily defeat these! Oi, YA know those things are the exact same power level as you right?!  Raditz power level and that of the Saibaman both clocks in at 1200!  Well I guess there is the boss then?! Nope! Raditz is but I bet you can guess what the function of these Saibaman is in a fight that takes place right before the Raditz fight! “Yay this Saibaman is super close to me and glowing like a lamp! I love it. I am gonna call it Ed and make it my best friend the whole wide…………BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! Ouchies!”  The Raditz fight starts and of course I can’t scan him.. because why would I! This means Raditz gets a free turn because I have to send Serin into Ether up Aurora who drained all her magic in the Saibaman Fight. Cloud bravely takes on Raditz.. but we weren’t strong enough! I wipe out and I see Serin crying at our graves!  Oi! Why does the generic sprite swap get to live?!  Luckily XP is retained so I go back.. buy the magic weapon again..but give it to Cloud this time.. he can’t utilize its effect but it has better stats then his current weapon.. he will be our main DPS.  While fighting our way back he also learns the new Limit Break: Blade Beam.

 Okay…so it’s rematch time!  This time I managed to kill at least one of the Saibaman without it exploding in my face and I invested a bit more money in potions at the shop.. rather then buying those tissues right now. This means Serin can offheal if he needs to!  I discover Raditz is super weak to the Virus spell.. I guess a weakness for viruses runs in the family! This time I luck out a lot. Aurora blocks a lot of Saturday Crashes so she can attack a bit more often.  Raditz also attacks a lot more into Cloud this time around whom I can keep healed with Aurora. At one point though Raditz begins screaming about Saiyan pride and Not-Sabin shows up!  Raditz uses a Double Sunday to blow away the party but . Ronan keeps standing. He fights Raditz as hard as he can..eventually realizing he has to use the Ki-Blast combo technique his master taught him. A big beam is fired and Raditz is critically injured..but he teleports out! The battle has been won.. and the journey to the resistance can resume! But that .. is a story for another time.

If you are reading this and are like “come on girl, play some actual games”  well I have a Kofi that helps me buy real games! I am not asking you to support it.. I am just Saiyan!
If you like me playing through some of these weirder Rom Hacks though .. let me know in the comments! Comments are like my lamps!  I love staring at them!

The Return of the Dark Sorcerer Series

Pinkie Plays: Final Fantasy VI: Return of the Dark Sorcerer (Part 1) Professor Oak is a Bad Guy?!

Greetings my little lights! During Steampunk Month I wrote a love letter to Final Fantasy VI , the best Final Fantasy game ever. As a potential future VTuber (once I find someone that can rig my glorious mothness for me) and already one of the first VBloggers,I feel I need a “thing” in gaming. There aren’t that many moth games to play. But a moth kinda sounds like Mod?! So maybe modded games? I like Retro games more than Skyrim +  so then they are called Romhacks!… Uhm… yeah! Let’s try that out a Final Fantasy VI Romhack!

Kefka is back.. but his hair is GREEEEEEEN! *Kefka Laugh*

Return of the Dark Sorcerer is a Final Fantasy Romhack by Gi Nattak and a team of proficient ROM-hackers. Not a sequel or prequel.. but more so very different take on the orginal.. though it is mentioned that a dark sorcerer has been defeated a thousand years ago. Yet the story seems very similar to the events of the original game… but also very different. It is a chaotic bland of pop culture references ..mostly of JRPG’s!  I normally would tell you about how I am playing this game.. but this game had the options to display an extended intro. I chose to do so!  We immediately see the Romhacker, the spriter and another guy talk to us about making the game and making some Chrono Trigger jokes.. they travelled to the End of time and got themselves locked up.. without an Epoch to get out!  My lips curl into a smile as I see a lot of love going around already… then we start the story.

Biggs and Wedge are sitting in a bar drinking , when they get ordered to report to Kefka, this mad Sorcerer works for Emperor Gestahl. Kefka wants  to test his new asset! A young woman with high magic potential.. a sorceress as they call her. Kefka sealed her will away through the use of a  Slave crown. Biggs and Wedge  rush over to Kefka, playing with some of the experiments.. We see many Espers in tubes, and Wedge gives them some sympathy while Biggs plays around with some strange things. Causing a little event before Kefka shows up.. he complains that his lead Scientist, Professor Oak is late.  There is a resemblance to be seen with the Pokémon Professor but I kind of shrug it off as just a name drop of sorts for now!  Back to Kefka .. he tells he wants the woman to destroy the town of Fraust…. Fraust?! Aren’t you going to Narshe?!

The Camera cuts out and we see Tifa Lockheart is spying on them from the other room! She hides from Biggs and Wedge and then a bit later tries to confront the Purple hair sorcerers in the pink dress, telling her she will get her out of here. Tifa gets overwhelmed by the magic power of the girl though.. who then hops into a mecha created by professor oak. Tifa tries to get out herself.. but she has head trauma. Kefka catches up to her and beats her in a fight.. aas Tifa gets taken away to be executed we see the main character board the Mechitech armor.. we get the opening credits but instead of Terra’s theme (omen version)  we get “The Final Countdown” by Europe. We know this one will be weird.. yet it also all feels.. kind of solid.. It’s a joke.. but it’s not taken lightly!

Familiar Yet Different

When then pick up the gameplay where the normal game would also begin.. do note that we are about 15 minutes in already…maybe 10 but I had a bit of trouble starting the game.  We get the familiar Siege of Narshe… which is now the Siege of Fraust. Upon first glance everything seems familiar but I notice I can already Scan my opponent, I have poison attacks and shield abilities. The Fraust guards are basically the same enemies as in the normal game, their outfit colour is a bit swapped and the action gage moves a tad faster.. kind of as if everyone has Haste on them naturally. It is a change I like.. it makes the combat a bit snappier. Spells have different names though, there isn’t just Fire 1 , Ice 1 and Thunder 1.. no I have named attacks, like Ice Spear, Fireball and Spark as well as Scan and Cure. What I like less is that Biggs is already at yellow health..I picked the easiest difficulty and  I am playing the first enemies.. I should not be struggling yet.. but the fight is a lot closer than I would like.  As we climb the icey slopes towards the cave where the Esper of Fraust should be I suddenly get attacked by an army of Prinnies or an army of Prinny.. not sure what the multiple of that is. It’s the penguins from Disgaea!  They have immunities. Oh no.. it’s gonna be one of those rom-hacks!

I do not mind adding difficulty but with Final Fantasy that usually involves more grinding so I am immediately alert.. will this be insanely difficult? I am not sure yet.. I defeat the army of Prinny and make my way towards the first save point. These devices are a staple in every final fantasy game..for a good while and this one has a manager of kinds. Instead of the game giving me a tutorial it is Mr Meseeks from Rick and Morty. Inside the cave all the enemies have been replaced. Those wrench throwing dudes are now  swarms of eyeballs, and the rat monsters are now.. more normal rats. When we reach the first boss fight I am curious to see if we still get the electric slug.. but no .. we get a fire ant.. which does the exact same thing as the slug did…except a lot harsher!  He is fairly easily conquered though but I do need to cast heal a lot! The strange girl is dedicated to healing. Instead of going into combat with the Esper in it’s frozen form Wedge accidentally thaws it out and we have a big boss fight yet again, this time involving stacks of poison damage that the creature can reflect so barriers have to be put up… it is the same story….but it is also not!

Breaking my Limits

Eventually the Esper breaks free and dissolves Biggs and Wedge in an ocean of light, they tell each other how they feel as if they are burning up from the inside. The Esper frees Not-Terra of her slave crown and after she gets rescued by an old man we discover her name is Aurora.. or anything I want to call her but I think naming Final Fantasy characters is a sin. As I explore caverns with her the difficulty relents a bit, with her magic she can oneshot pretty much everything…provided I don’t hit into an immunity. I look for treasures and discover a buckler..but also realise she has no weapon. Spells are the ONLY thing I can use to defend myself with… I would later discover she can wield swords like Terra can.. BUT she doesn’t have one.. which makes a lot of sense given she had a giant mecha before and then just passed out.

I quickly discover that this is not the only change made. I encounter a few items called Tabs which boost specific stats. Stamina and Might for example.The stats also look a bit more complicated..yet make a lot of sense!  The game so far walks a fine line between offering more clarity and making the game more “intuitive”  but also more complex. What I HATE though is that all items have been renamed. A Phoenix Down is called a Recharger. I even have a Soft.. but it’s not called Soft.. I just read it can undo petrifying effects.  I really dislike this.. I can’t find the correct item.. also why do I have a cure for Toad this early in the game?! Am I seriously going to encounter that already?! I have a few healing items for most status already.  Then I fall through the ground and my character passes out. She has a flashback of sorts.. and Oak is introduced as Samuel Oak.. and he gives the actual Oak speech! Guess my hero is a villian now….Time to be introduced to the one that shall replace Locke… HOLY F it’s Cloud!

Cloud Strife shows up at the old man’s house telling he is a Mercenary and he gets hired to save Aurora.. He asks for a high Gil Reward which he is refused. The rest of his dialogue is just “….” !  They got it right!  Moments later we skip to the moment where Locke would Rescue Terra and fight alongside with the Moogles to fight the army of Narshe.    This time it’s Prinnies that show up.. and according to Cloud, moogles hate Prinnies. Fully expecting Cloud to play like Locke.. I was expecting him to steal for some weird Reason.. but no.. he Actually swipes his Buster Sword around and he plays like Cyan, but instead of Bushido he has his Limit Breaks.. Right now he has unlocked Braver and Climhazzard. He can also insta kill as if he is Odin or something! While “Fighting” plays I move my Moogle Squads into tactical positions to guard Aurora and that’s when I see it!  Cloud is a party…..with Kupac!

It’s Kupac Mofo!

Kupac is a moogle wearing a Purple Bandana and a Smug smile with what seems whiskers.. or some War paint, belonging to the thief Arche-type. There are a few other strange Moogles as well.. such as Stoney the stoner Moogle…. or Mogwai.. who looks like he is a Gremlins reference.  Each Moogle Party has a thief.. one of them being called Mugsy!  Mondo is the cool Moogle wearing sunglasses.. and every single portrait looks unique.. if not a bit trolley!  It gets better when Mog’s ,the main moogle’s, party is engaged . He has two dances!   Cavern Strut which drops a big rock on his foes.. and Air Guitar which summons terrible storms to hit his foes! That is right! Mog is very DPS focussed! Kupac and Cloud make their way to the boss , as Fight On begins playing. Kupac steals an ancient helmet out of the prinny keeper! Cloud turns dogs into several servings of Hotdogs with his Limit ability.. it is so much faster than Cyan’s  gauge.  I really love Kupac.. but as soon as he came.. he went.

Cloud has defeated the boss and Aurora is saved, the Moogles bail. As Cloud takes the girl he tells about a nearby castle.  On their way outside they encounter Neko the cat merchant who sells Aurora a wand.. that has a 3% chance to cast Silence on whomever it hits! Cloud I decide to let keep his Buster’s Sword. I know the castle is close by so I skimp out on potions!  As the unlikely pair of Not-Terra and Cloud flee Fraust we are engaged by some very familiar looking slimes! Cloud kills them.. even if one of them may have been “a good slime” Aurora casts spells like mad since the city is close anyw…..it’s going to be a lot further now isn’t it?

I travel across the , how much larger, desert and fight so many enemies that Aurora completely runs out of spells ..twice. Mostly fighting weird spiders and scorpions that inflict poison damage.  Her second stack of spells is almost entirely spent on keeping Cloud healthy…I do not grind yet, but I do level up a few times to gather spell points as I go along. I wonder how Edgar will play and what he will be. According to Cloud he is a great Alchemist.  Will he play like Celes, absorbing magic in a potion?! Will he actually work like Edgar.. but gadgets being replaced with offensive potions?! Maybe he is like Sabin where the direction combo corresponds with a special potion?!  I sure hope he isn’t like Gau!  In fact I really hope there is no real Gau in this game at all! As I am about to move into the castle I save my game… and we will meet the King in the next episode of this playthrough! I might not play this game all the way through but for now.. I am intrigued enough to keep this going for a bit!

All Episodes in this Series So Far

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A Love Letter To My Favourite Steampunk Game: A Love Letter to Final Fantasy VI

Dearest Final Fantasy VI, you may not know who I am, you might not remember me. Many have coveted you, many have written about how amazing you are and I know you will long endure after I have gone!  Many will desire you, many will claim they love you as I do, and though I do not question their devotion to you! There is one thing you must know! You are by far my Favourite Final Fantasy game! While I may look at other games and even enjoy spending time with other games a tiny bit more.. Know that while I may prefer to play Chrono Trigger over you.. You would be the game I say I LOVE more.  And since It’s Steampunk month.. and you the correct setting.. I can write you this letter.

Omen

Dearest Final Fantasy VI, We have met so many times before! That time I rented you as a little kid, back when you were still called Final Fantasy III, that time I emulated you  to be able to finish you for the first time when I had no other means.  Back when you finally came out on GBA and I went through an ordeal to be reunited.. and when that Game Boy with your cartridge got stolen.. I downloaded you again  to complete the story one more time. Then I finally downloaded you on PC as well, hoping I could see some cutscenes to no avail. We have met many times, on many platforms.. but somehow we are star crossed lovers. Each time you get closer I tend to lose you again.. such was the case when my laptop screen cracked.  You are the game I had to restart so many times over.. I played the early areas of the game so often I can almost dream them. Yet I never felt any regret. Every battle we fought… every boss and every dungeon , no matter if I progress or not it is always a delight to be with you.

Having a caster as the game’s main character, was the breath of fresh air we needed in this series.. NAY!  In the genre! Little games mirrored this, always favouring the humble knight. Yet by offering us the amazing Terra Bradford you have offered me my favourite protagonist in an MMO.  Both in Gameplay and Story we can sense her progression in so much more than just damage numbers or her saving the world.  Yet you also introduce us to a concept that no other Final Fantasy ..or other game did AS well as you. You make this a story about the entire cast.. and we can even choose who we think is worthy to accompany us to the end!  Never felt so in control of my choices in a JRpg and few have rivalled you since! Your gameplay has been the most enjoyable in the franchise for me, every character feeling completely unique and I’ll even forgive you for Gau.  Your gameplay is challenging but fair, requiring player interaction that involves more than switching one’s role.. and pressing X in time.

You managed to shape your gameplay around the story you wished to tell.. as a prelude of what is to come. You manage to caption personalities through gameplay.. like making the fist fighter.. feel like a character from a fighting game, making the wise and old samurai patient waiting for the perfect chance to strike and making the thief feel wiley and clever. The fabulous king works best if he has plenty of treasure.. and even…that wild thing gets stronger by spending time in the wild.. but let’s forget about him!  Your narrative driven  combat system, as a sign for what’s to come.. when we learn something about a character because you tell us.. we know this is correct because you tell us through gameplay. We know what characters are like.. because we feel what they are like.

Under Martial Law

My dearest game, one can not talk about you, without talking about the Steampunk esthetics you have, your worldbuilding filled with these wonderful gadgets. Once more brilliantly used to enhance your story.  Where the level of technology offers us interesting abilities in Edgar’s class as a Machinist..  but also where the tech level offers us interesting dungeons and daring escapes.   We follow the Story of Terra who is the last known mage. Magic has died because mankind has tried to encapsulate it within the technology of Magitech.  To give us a feeling of grit and this technology you let us start the game with Terra enslaved by a crown that suppresses her free will.. powering a giant steampunk mech called Magitech armor. Without even playing as the real character yet.. we feel what type of world you are trying to build. The town of Narshe made of pipes and gears show us how this world is tied to the theme we are discussing this month. Enemies using hounds, shotguns and flying machines and these giant mechs do not only offer a great challenge that scales with us as we grow and let Terra join the resistance against the corrupted rulers of this land.

A journey that involves finding the spirits of the Espers.. an ancient race of powerful beings.. from another world close to the one we spend most of our time in begins.  We discover more on how Terra has gotten her amazing magic powers.. at a price..    Yet for all magic, there is a magitech, for all creatures we fight there is a robot or a magitech armor.. a steampunk soldier. For every forest there is a factory and we visit cities where everything is in balance.. but we also visit places that lean more into magic and places that fit more into Steampunk.. there is balance.. but by having a world in balance we can also feel it when the story makes that balance shift.  Our characters experience not a journey of just victories.. no Final Fantasy let’s us experience losses just as much.. maybe even more! In fact this game lets us experience the ultimate loss. This game let’s the bad guy win!  However.. just because the bad guy wins does not mean we have lost! We do not only win, we also lose. So in a single game you manage to pack both ends of the gaming experience.. winning and losing.. but unite them as one!

You truly create an oppressed world.. but also a world we can rebuild… a world where our heroes desire things that have nothing to do with the fate of the world.. accept they do.. Later in the game our heroes have to choose between their personal lives.. and the fate of the world.. and you as a player have to steer their destiny so sometimes both can be an option. And while I wish I could leave Gau out of the story even the character I really dislike.. is someone I care about!  I wish he wasn’t in the game.. I wish I did not have to care about him.. but yet I do!  In a master stroke you even manage to make it arguable who is the main character of the game.. luckily both of the characters are among the top 5 female Jprg characters. So you have done so well in telling their tale and making this insanely balanced world.

Aria De Mezzo Caraterre

Oh My hero, my beloved,
I truly love Celeste her Part
This Love Never goes away, forever it is day
The opera scene stole my heart.


I lived in darkness, you were my starlight
Shining brightly from afar

In my time of despair, thank Arceus you were there
Thank you my evening Star.

My dearest Final Fantasy VI if I loved anything more about you then everything else it is your music. I never cry at music.. but when I heard Aria De Mezzo Caraterre be performed in front of me .. I was really happy I did not wear mascara. Celes Chere is a character that gives me goosebumps every time. We see her turn traitor to Emperor Gestahl when they treat her.. one of their generals as a sacrificial pawn. When Locke saves her.. she is empty..she doesn’t know who she is anymore so you decided.. to give her no musical theme. Every character has a musical theme.. but Celes has non.. and then during the Opera scene, where they are trying to draw the attention of an infamous sky pirate to be able to take the fight to Gestahl.. she has to sing about love.. an emotion she is not familiar with..but then her interactions with Locke.. make her find something in herself. After that is done Aria de Mezzo Caraterre becomes Celes, her theme is briljant Final Fantasy VI. I love you for it!

Yet I would not be AS in love with you if this was your only musical feat. After finding her theme Celes theme stays the same troughout her entire journey.. however everyone else theme changes.  Locke’s theme ..the thief is upbeat and screams, plucky adventurer.. but when he encounters a person from his path who has befallen a grim faith that same theme is being played as a sad ballad. When Terra loses control over her body and turns into a monster for a bit her theme becomes warped… her theme mixed with something else. Every character has music that changes.. because that is their journey.. yet you make Celes an exception.. she starts without a  theme and finds her sound along her journey.. she stays her course.. even if she has sad scenes.. the orginally version is a tragedy.. yet to celes it is also a song of strength.. so the song stays the same.. this is the best sound design I have seen in a video game.. I will admit you do not have my favourite theme of all time.. but you play with it the best. Even the music.. completely reflects the story.  Even if your player does not understand the complex story themes.. you will offer them at least an understanding of  the emotional load of a situation.. music bends to the narrative.. I love you for doing that.

Dancing Mad

The Black Mage, The Machinist, The Bard, The Samurai, the White Mage , The Thief and the Monk.. you would be one of the final games that brings so much class to these classes, while they are great in Final Fantasy Tactics and a realm reborn.. you are the game that gave these iconic classes a face. You to me are the pinnacle of what made the old games so great.. and what makes the story of  the newer games so compelling. The Locke, Celes romance is my favourite in any JRPG it felt so earned and genuine.. you would e xpect the male lead to end up with the female lead such as in basically every other narative Final Fantasy game.. but no.. you offer us a romance.. that fits the games narrative more.  And that is what I love about you so much.. you have interwoven everything in your story. You are not just a bunch of part, everything is at exactly the right place. Edgar would not be as interesting if you could reclass him, Terra’s theme would not be as amazing without it’s many reprises to reflect the story.. it never feels out of place. Nothing does. Not a single boss fight, not a single character that is not Gau.  Well there is Setzer!  But he is kinda cool as a person though.. just not as a character.  Of course I love taking Mog along because I can never have enough cute things, though you might be able to miss him… he is such a good fellow kupo!  

You are my pinnacle of Final Fantasy.. with only VII even coming remotely close.. and trust me.. when I say close.. it’s nowhere near still. I love the character designs.. except.. you know who.. I love your graphics.. even that weird cartoony pc look you also used for Mobile is oddly adorable.. and I love your villain. Kefka is such a great villain to top off a game that is already so amazing. His mania.. his evil.. .it hit so much more than say Sin, Sephiroth and Ultimecia combined.  I felt like a kid watching a puppet show going … ooooh you get away now from that river… when Kefka poisoned the waters of Doma.. when Cyan Garamonde held the corpses of his family I cried. The only other villian that made me cry was Sephiroth.. but that was because I was sad.. I lost the pinkest playable character and girl. Here I cried because the mean and cruel Kefka was … the pain that so many would feel.  His laughing sound….makes my skin crawl.. and not a single 16 bit game ever managed to do that. In fact.. .no game ever did this after…. in such a way.  That is also why I love you probably most of any JRPG , you are not my favourite game.

You are a rollercoaster. Everytime I see the Garamonde  family die I feel horrible, every time I have to get my party back.. I can not leave a single character behind because I love  them all. With Chrono Trigger.. I feel content unlocking whatever end I want.. yet with you.. I need to do it all.. everytime.. I feel obligated.. When I see Celes suffer my heart breaks a little. When Terra is sad I feel sad. Your world is hard and cold, the steel and the factories are unforgiving. The snow, the deserts, the treacherous rapids, you put on an amazing Steampunk world.. but one that like most steampunk it isn’t an easy world to experience. There are moments of laughter, moments of sadness and moments of anger.. you offer the full package.. you feel like a real world.. a world I love.. but for a casual bit of fun.. you are kind of too good! Never will a steampunk game ever take your place.. but who knows.. maybe during Steampunk month you will get some rivals.. I hope you do.. not because I want to see you detroned but I because I love you so.. and I want to experience that feeling once more.