April 3, 2010

The FINAL Fantasy...the fourth version. Part 1

Final Fantasy IV is actually my favorite from the franchise to date despite all of its absolute absurdness. I never had the pleasure of playing the original US release, so perhaps I don't have a firm grasp on just how absurd it can be (though I can't say I'm disappointed by that), but I thoroughly enjoyed my fan translated ROM. When the remake hit the DS, I had to buy it and about twenty minutes in I went "ARG" at Cecil and Kain dying unceremoniously and the last twenty minutes lost to lack of saving.

Yeah, I know, it's Final Fantasy, I should know better than to not save every five minutes blahblahblah.

That was months ago, just recently I've gotten over irritation enough to start again. I'm just about to go rescue Rosa until I got thwarted by the Tower of Zot, so I thought now would be as good as time as any to write about the remake thus far and what I love about the forth installment in general.

1. Cecil: Oh man, is he not the posterchild for emo or what? Brood brood brood, I'm a Dark Knight and I hate my life, brood. Oh noes, I killed people because I'm a Dark Knight, brood. People always talk about Cloud being pathetically emo, it's evident they've never played IV (or perhaps Cecil is that forgettable?). I mean, yeah, it sucks to have a conscious when you're a Dark Knight, but it's ridiculous to spurn your very beautiful girlfriend when all she wants is to give you a little lovin'. I especially like how he seems so put out by the idea of sexing her, and then flips out at the idea of losing her sexing to Kain. Maybe if you had been a bit more conceding to foreplay this wouldn't have happened, Cecil.

Anyway, at least he looks fairly cool as a Dark Knight. Check out his 16-Bit dark glory, and he doesn't look to shabby in the redesign that, I think, looks fairly similar to the original concept art.

Of course, then Cecil gets to be a cracked out Paladin. Seriously, it's like an advertisement promoting opium to all the little children of Japan and America. The original concept art kept me up at night, it looked more demonic like than the Dark Knight. Like an albino creeper.

Because it makes sooo much sense to give a paladin a giant tiara. That goes real well with striking divine authority into those nasty evildoers. When I'm talking about opium outbreaks, I'm referring to how they tried to put every single color onto Cecil's little 16-bit sprite. LOOK AT IT.

I suppose the remake is better despite him having blue lips and being obscenely pale, meaning he's dead. That's right, when you turn to the side of righteousness, God kills you and turns you into a zombie-- hey now, I think I might have to go become a paladin...

2. Prince Edward: So I just spent the last several paragraphs giving Cecil shit even though I'm supposedly writing about what I love about this installment. Well, the truth is, I love it because it's so ridiculous. Prince Edward is easily my favorite character (okay, I lied, it's actually Rydia, but he's a close second!) simply because he's so stupid that he can't be for real, and it can be summed up in one word: Hide.

The Hide command had me initially ROFLing until Rydia was KOed from him not wanting to break a nail. :| But still, a grown man, a Prince, hiding behind a little girl? That's priceless. (Though I've noticed in the remake his Hide ability isn't on auto, so I never had a chance to see it in action.) And he's a bard so naturally he plays a harp. Not a lute, or a flute, or a mini guitar. A harp. That must be so convenient to carry around. I wish they would have gone all out and gave him guitarrĂ³n mexicano, you know, that giant guitar that's used in Mariachi music. He might have been able to do more than 10 damage with that.

Though I am a big fan of Edward's music spells. I abuse them regularly during play. And, you know, if it weren't for Edward, Cecil would be the most pansy ass in the game, so it turns out Edward does do something right. But still.

BRB Loling forever.

3. Tellah: Actually, I hate Tellah. I hate every time I have to use him. Why? Because he's a relentlessly stubborn old man dead set on getting himself and everyone else killed because his senility has caused him to forget all of his good spells until Cecil's free-flowing blonde hair inspires him to remember the rest AND for some God-willing reason his MP caps out at 90. Even though he's supposed to be this suuuper amazing sage. What super amazing sage caps out at 90?

To top it off, every time he gains a level, there's a good chance his stats will regress. WTF. He blames himself for the death of his daughter and Palom and Porom for sacrificing their lives, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's his fault for Golbez's existence, thereby making everything bad in the game his fault. Cecil murdered Rydia's mother? It's because Golbez influenced the King of Baron whom gave Cecil those orders making it all your fault, Tellah. How do you like that?

4. Kain's Voice:  Easily the best thing about the remake, Kain's voice is sex. Guys, if you ever wanted to know what sex sounds like to a girl, now you do.

5. Dark Elf Cave: One of the other things I hate in this game is the damn cave that doesn't let you equip any metal items putting your party at a severe disadvantage since only three out of the four party members can be placed in the back row. Sure, Cecil still has the highest defense out of all of them...by one point. You can imagine that this one point does barely anything to soften the many blows while he mans the front row like a chump.

Worst still is that the monsters in the cave are either ridiculously spelled out (like, can cause paralysis in one hit or just sap your party to death) or super beefy in both defense and strength. And since Tellah has that flippin' 90MP cap, you can imagine how much time I spent cursing while trying to heal everyone with Cecil and Tellah wagging his stick at things so I wouldn't have to eat ethers like candy.

6. Whyt: Exclusive to the DS version is a summon-like spirit named Whyt that accompanies Rydia. You use Fat Choboco like a living Mario Party in order to interact with Whyt and make it better ingame. This includes giving it silly faces, like a giant blue arrow on its forehead. In order to train Whyt so it can earn stat points are a variety of mini games that use the touch screen. Some of these mini games are stupid fun (like savagely tapping any goblin that comes across the screen) and some just make you feel stupid (making a set of four numbers equal ten and seeing how many sets you can answer in a minute).

I like the concept of Whyt and spend most of my time making it purdy when I tire of farming.

More to come after I progress a bit further in the game, mainly so I can babble about how awesome Rydia is when she grows up and how well the remake translates this.

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