Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy 6 (SNES; Square 1994): Issue #012: City of Crime

I suppose I could have gone for an Arthur C. Clarke reference and called this one Rendezvous With Ramuh, but I kind of forgot the name of the Esper we got to actually talk to in the second town we go to.

First off, though, I'd better finish with Shadow's dream before we get to that. There are only two more parts that I've ever been able to get after where I left off time. The first of the two sees Clyde and Baram trying to make an escape from someone or something, Baram having been gravely wounded in the process. Since he can't continue, Baram asks Clyde to kill him so that their pursuers won't torture him or something. Clyde doesn't have the balls to do it and just runs away instead.

When we see him in the next dream sequence, Clyde has also been injured, but has made his way to a town called Thama, where he meets Interceptor the dog and a nice lady who finds him and tries to keep him conscious. I'm assuming there's more to this, based on implications later in the game, but I've never figured out how to get them or been willing to put the time in to do it. Naturally, I'll get to those implications when we get to that part of the game

Anyway, moving on to the storyline, the party learns that the town of Jidoor is made up of middle class and wealthy people, and all the poor folks have moved north into the mountains to start their own town, called Zozo. Given that no less than 95% of the people in this town are liars, it would be nice to have a Galaxy Ranger or two around. There are some nice side quests to do here, but for now, I'll pass on those. There's one I might try to do where there's a clock that needs to be reset. The answer is to set it to the only options that nobody says, but I've always had a hell of a time getting them all together correctly.

There's a guy who says he hasn't seen anything weird but you need to check the top of the building. Since there are fights actually in this town, things can be a little tricky. The HadesGigas is a particularly dangerous monster, since it has a finishing move called Magnitude 8 that can severely damage, if not outright kill a party.

At the top of the building, there's a dude named Dadauda who says he'll let you pass because he hates to fight and then tries to beat your ass. This can be a hard fight if you're not careful about it, but it can go well if you've got your weapons and armor up to snuff. When his health gets low, this boss calls in two Iron Fist minions. Yeah, they can be a threat, too, but if you just have Shadow throw shurikens and other spare weapons at Dadauda, they really shouldn't be much of a problem, either. When this fight's over, it's a good idea to take Shadow's equipment again, as he leaves the party after this next cutscene.

In the room at the top of the tower, we find Terra, who's still all glowy and stuff. As the party tries to communicate with her, an old man in wizard robes teleports in and introduces himself as Ramuh, an Esper. He'll explain that twenty years ago, more or less, the Empire found its way into the Espers' secret realm and has been making regular visits to collect more Espers over the years. Terra's condition comes from the fact that she's half human and half Esper and won't be able to return to the fight until she comes to terms with that in her own mind.

In the meantime, the party needs to go to the Empire, which is located on the southern continent and at least try to rescue the other Espers that Ramuh left behind when he escaped with three others, and then drew Terra to Zozo to help her understand herself. Feeling responsible for the distress of those he left behind and the deaths of those who escaped with him, Ramuh explains that Espers can only truly transfer their powers to others when they die and turn into something called Magicite and then kills himself and brings forth the Magicite remains of his companions so they can help the party as they try to rescue the other Espers.

And this is where we see the introduction of a mechanic that, far as I know, has stayed with the main series in every game since. In this case, it gets a little confusing, because now the term “magic points” refers to two things in this game. One is what I've been referring to as “MP” on occasion, which is the pool of points that indicate how much magic a character has left to cast. Each spell costs a specific number of these to cast, and generally speaking, the higher the value, the stronger the spell. The spell power is also noted by the name of the spell. For example, in this translation of this game, there are three healing spells called “Cure”. The most basic, simply called “Cure”, costs the least, while “Cure 3”, the strongest, costs the most.

But now, there's also magic points earned at the end of battles. These are applied to the spells the characters learn, which can also be a bit complicated. Each spell has its own rate at which it can be learned, which is a multiplier for the magic points earned at the end of battles. This multiplier can be anywhere from one to either ten or twenty, but I can never quite remember. Basically, what this means is that if a spell has a multiplier of one for it's learn rate, it takes getting a hundred magic points at the end of battles for a character to learn the spell. If it's a multiplier of five, it takes twenty, I believe, and so on

With all that out of the way, we need to go back to Jidoor to see if anybody can help us get to the southern continent so we can pay the Empire's MagiTek Research Center a visit. But that's going to have to be for another time, folks. See you next time!

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