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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