Wednesday, July 30, 2014

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VI (Super Nintendo, Square, 1994): Issue #033: Not-So-Magical Experiences, Part One

For as much as I claim to like this game, you'd think I'd be putting more time into it than I have been lately.

So, I started this off with a little wandering about because I really wasn't sure which party member I wanted to go retrieve again. At first, I decided that I'd put Umaro and Gau in my party with Sabin and Mog and run around the Veld for awhile. That was not such a smart idea. I'd forgotten that the two unlockable characters in this game are both auto-battle party members, which means that Umaro will pretty much just go nuts attacking things. In most situations, that's OK, but not so much on the Veld, because if Gau's out learning attacks from monsters and gets attacked when he comes back, he'll just run off again. So, that won't be what we do for now.

Instead, I went looking for more party members. There's one clue in Thamasa that says something about monsters attacking in Doma Castle when people try to sleep there. I can't remember if I've checked this one out yet this time around. Either way, there was nothing there I could do just yet, so I just collected up the items and went on my way.

The next place I tried was a place called the Magic Tower. This tower is used by a cult that worships Kefka. Makes sense, since he's pretty much a god, with nobody willing or even able to oppose the guy. Strago's amongst the faithful, chanting and marching outside the tower. There's also three guys off in a corner to the left. One says he wants 100,000 gold for something special. I'm about 80,000 gold short. The other two say that the folks in the conga line won't talk to us and that we can only attack with magic on the way up to the top to get another special treasure. There's a fourth relatively sane guy there who's trying to jump up the tower to get the second treasure.

This is a quest that I was grossly underprepared for. My excuse here was that I wasn't exactly planning on it when I sat down to play this time around, so things didn't exactly go well. There are a few supplies I'm going to have to stock up on for my next go. It'll come in handy to have a few more items that restore magic points. The tower is arranged in sections, and there's at least one section where the monsters are all undead. What makes that section suck is that it makes the otherwise good strategy of using the Osmose spell to keep your characters' MP up goes out the window, because all such spells are reversed and will drain the party's MP instead.

But that's only part of what went wrong this go around. I got through the part with all the undead magic monsters in relatively good shape, in spite of the berserk spells they use. What got me was a party of monsters in the section immediately after. They can use Life 3 spells and also some super-powered black magic spells that hit both parties regardless. The specific battle I was in wound up getting my party killed, which would have been bad enough, but the game glitched out on me, too. Essentially, what happened was that one of the monsters had cast Life 3 on one of my characters, which caused them to come back to life after the party had been wiped out. That same character was killed again the next round, but then the other monster in the party somehow managed to cast the Pearl spell after my whole party was dead, and the game locked up. I suspect this is something to do with the way the game was programmed, because there are quite a few well-documented glitches in the game, some of which have some rather interesting effects. I've experienced a few of them myself, even before I had reason to think my console was going bad on me like I did when I was going through Lufia and the Fortress of Doom awhile ago.

So, anyway, with my party dead and the game glitching out on me, I think I'll call this a night and remember to stock up on the right kinds of items before I go in on this again next time. Until then, see you next time, folks, and DFTBA!

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