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Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:27 pm
by nosimpleway
Anyway it might feel like we just lost the game in the most boneheaded exchange imaginable, but there are four more crystals wow

They're underground, how do we get there

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Well I dunno, but maybe the answer is in this magnetic cave I dashed through earlier without filling out all the maps.

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The path to the Underdark isn't here, but Barbariccia's elemental augment is. Whirlwind does wind damage and adds vulnerability to fire for 50 MP. I give it to Yang, even though it's more expensive than Tsunami.

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I kept two people on the brink of death for this, I hope it's worth it.

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(It is only worth it if you are really interested in the tiny pixelated badonkadonk I mentioned before.)

Hey, the dancer uniform does look like a bikini. Why didn't they use this model for the swimmers and sunbather in Troia?

After the show you can sneak into the dressing room and grab the Gil Farmer augment. I thought "Gillionaire" was a good name for the ability, but apparently that hasn't been used in a while. Anyway, I give it to Rosa, to replace Pray. I also give Rosa Dualcast, which neatly replaces White Magic with twice as much White Magic.

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With nothing left to do on this side of the planet's crust I head to Agart and have a look at the well. Rather than intentionally drop the key, the party pulls out the Magma Stone and observes it's getting hot. Cid asks to see it, gets burned, and fumbles the stone down the well.

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The end result is not just a fissure in the mountains, but what is doubtlessly several thousand tons of molten rock belching into the sky. You might think that should have some sort of environmental impact, IRL eruptions can have fallout half a world away without being this dramatic, but there isn't.

Well, whatever. The way to the underground is open.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:18 am
by Fran├žois
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I like that within the game's art style, the sister on the left here is clearly designed to look freakishly lanky by comparison, but somehow she winds up looking like a slender and leggy but still believably-proportioned human in a world of super deformed weirdos.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:54 pm
by Mothra
Queens, the lot of them.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:14 pm
by Friday
I'm really enjoying namingway's slow descent into insanity as his purpose and reason for existence is stripped away from him bit by bit

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:09 pm
by nosimpleway
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"It seems like Golbez has all the crystals, but there's still hope. If we go underground, there are four more he has to collect."
*goes underground*
"Yeah my dudes he already has two of those. Total of six. You haven't seen it yet but that bigass tower he uses as a base has its foundation right over there. He had access to the underground before you even knew he existed."

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The twitching, off-balance idle animation for the calcabrena is more disturbing than the little dance they do before they attack. Not that you can tell in a screenshot LP.

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I was about to go "well I guess the Calcabrena don't have any new tricks either" but then this one exploded in my face, so I guess they do have the one. That's new.

As before, if you leave only Calcas or only Brenas on the field for long enough, they'll merge into the giant Calcabrena, kick your ass for a few rounds, and revert into all six at full HP. So typically you'd want to leave one of the front-row dolls alive to keep them from doing that while you wore down the ones on the back row. As is typical for strategy changes to the 3D version, this one is designed specifically to hose players who rely on strategies from the 2D version.

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Focus Punch with fire claws worked great on the Dark Elf and Dark Dragon. Focus Punch with ice/lightning claws worked pretty well on Cagnazzo. Focus Punch worked great on the Magus Sisters. Focus Punch worked great on Barbariccia. Now Yang is expanding his horizons a little, wiping out the Brenas with a single Focus Kick.

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"You literally did a third of the work for me. Water and Earth. Boy would my face be red if I were you."

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What's New on account of better graphic fidelity: when Golbez summons his Shadow Dragon, he actually does the summon magic spellstarter.

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Either by oversight or design, killing Golbez's pet summon doesn't kill him automatically. In the 2D versions, this fight is pretty easy even with just Cecil and Rydia. A couple sword whacks, a couple summons, and Golbez crumbles. Presumably the backlash of having your summon killed is survivable, but it left him in rough shape.

What's new is that Golbez barely notices it's gone now. He's been upgrade to that Final Fantasy staple, the barrier change boss. Golbez picks an element at random as a weakness, absorbs all others, and once you hit his weakness once he changes which element he's weak to.

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It's all I can do to keep Cecil and Rydia standing under the barrage of -ra magic. I certainly don't have the luxury of time necessary to cast Libra every other turn so Rydia can target Golbez's weak spot properly. Eventually I get ahead enough that Cecil can revive Rosa, then things get significantly eaiser.

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Stands to reason if you have trouble with action economy it really helps to get the person who can cast two spells at once back on the field. Rosa can Raise someone, then immediately Cura the entire party to make sure they (and everyone else) stay up through the next spell Golbez casts.

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After a little while I do have the action to spare to scan Golbez and see what it was I was supposed to be doing this whole time. Turns out it's Fire, so Rydia queues up an Ifrit and takes a couple thousand HP. Now we're making progress!

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Then suddenly Focus Punch fight over

look, I'll stop using it when it stops working

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:16 pm
by nosimpleway
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In another "Cecil looks less stupid" scene change, Golbez waits for the party to leave before springing to his feet and nabbing the crystal. You don't have to watch his severed hand crawl around for what feels like forever while the party just stands there.

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"Gee R2 it sure looks convenient that Cecil can counterattack when he's hit, but what about when enemies try to hit somebody else?"

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These maze rooms are annoying as hell in 3D.

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Beats "Bird of Sacred".

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Oh hey, my first freebie Gyshal Greens.

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I guess I can mess around with Whyt a little, show off what he can WHOA that's not right.

Until you play some minigames to get his stats up, Whyt's typically start at 0. Now I know Whyt is bound to the cart as a whole rather than any one save file -- that's why he has the one giant eye instead of his default appearance from the start. But I've certainly never done that well to get his stats up to 99 each, and if I did, I wouldn't have completely ignored his Stamina in doing so. Maybe the ROM I'm playing is bugged?

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I think abilities for Whyt unlock as they become available to other characters. That would explain why he has Cagnazzo's and Barbariccia's abilities, since I gave them both to Yang.

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I guess I can open up the choice of what to draw on Whyt's face to the crowd now.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:28 pm
by nosimpleway
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It's pretty well-known by now, but access to the developer room via the pub in the Dwarf Castle was removed in the English SNES version. It's been replaced with the same room but new devs for the remake.

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There's a porno rag on the bookshelf you can take. Using it just plays the "Dancing Calcabrena" music, while the screen fades out, though.

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It was at this point that I realized I hadn't seen Namingway anywhere in the Dwarf Castle. I missed a step in the overworld!

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It takes me a little while to get my auto-battle set up the way I want. Rosa with a Healing Staff doesn't quite cut it, but it turns out you can set an ability to auto-battle that you've taken off of the active skill list. So Rosa gets Pray, which turns out to heal more HP, heal MP, and fail less than I expected it would.

Cecil's default skill is now Defend. He hides behind his shield to cut down the damage he takes, then ripostes anyone and everyone who tries to stab him. And the enemy never tries to stab anyone else, since he has Draw Attacks. The party's survivability and Cecil's overall damage output both just went way up.

And hey, why does Rydia look so sad on her status screen? She's all slumped over.

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As if to say "Yes this is absolutely the right strategy to use" the game immediately throws a bunch of monsters that can only do normal attacks at me as I walk to Babil.

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Right. Babil.

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Remember the Frostbeasts in Zot? Remember the one Flamehound I had to fight as a monster-in-a-box? Those guys are now random encounters, appearing in groups, in Babil.

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Only now they wipe everyone out with Scorch instead of Frost.

Okay, back to Dwarf castle for healing up and restocking supplies...

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Oh, fuck's sake.

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Typically I leave in-battle healing to Rosa, since Cecil is doing his Defend/Counter combo. Out of combat healing I let Cecil do, to let Rosa save her MP. We're not yet to the point where Curaga is really necessary given the party's HP levels, but it's nice to have if I need it.

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I wonder if the AI is set to use Scorch more often if the hound is by itself.

Another trip back to Dwarf Castle, and return...

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Cripes, are you serious?

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I've managed to power up enough to not half half the party die as soon as a hound Scorches them. But the slow attrition is enough that Cecil has now run out of MP to cast Cure and Cura on people. At this rate Rosa will be out pretty quick, too.

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But surely after all this time and trouble, and going back and forth to the Dwarf Castle for reviving and healing, I've made some serious progress into the Tower of Babil, right?

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Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:38 pm
by nosimpleway
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The rest of the tower is less of a slog, simply because Flamehounds only spawn on the first floor.

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When facing an enemy that counters everything you do by making the fight far more difficult... Focus Punch.

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Right. Up at the top, there's Doc Lugae and his precious Barnabas. Who promptly punches Lugae in the face before being redirected to attack the party.

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This, again, is nothing new. Lugae will heal Barnabas and remove status ailments, and Barnabas just punches Cecil and gets countered. If Lugae dies, Barnabas explodes without his regular maintenance. If Barnabas dies, Lugae climbs into the cockpit he helpfully installed on Barnabas's shoulders and continues fighting as Barnabas-Z.

Before, eventually, exploding. Eh.

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Taking out Barnabas is easy enough without Yang, so he has time in the first half of the battle to charge up FOCUS PUNCH LIGHTNING CLAWS to one-turn the second half.

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Okay. Lugaeborg.

Kind of a speedbump in the 2D games. He has a laser attack that gets weaker as the fight goes on, and he tries to put the party to sleep with Sleep Gas.

Now... he opens with Reverse Gas.

Reverse Gas means that for the rest of the battle, moves that would do damage normally now heal. Moves that heal now do damage. Lugaeborg continues by casting Restore on the party, which hits like -ra magic because of Reverse Gas. And if you queued up to hit him with Thundara and punch and jump, you'll find all you've done is top off his HP.

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This also means that you'll be using Black Magic to heal your party, rather than White. But, uh, don't use Bio. Reverse Gas does not turn Sap into Regen for you.

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Oh, by the way? Lugaeborg can Reverse Gas again whenever he wants, returning damage calculations to normal. He likes to do this right as you queue up a Black Magic spell to target your party, you see.

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Rydia is doing her best.

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Lugaeborg goes for Flamethrower after reversing his Reverse Gas, so there's no break from the damage coming in.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:43 pm
by nosimpleway
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Okay. Let's try again.

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The Barnabas fight is a speedbump and can be ignored from here on out.

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Lugaeborg has something like 12000 or 13000 HP. If you throw an Elixir at him under the effects of Reverse Gas, you can make the fight a bit quicker.

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Follow with Dualcast Curaga and you've got him on the ropes...!

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But even with the Elixir the party can't win a damage race.

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Okay, let's try again.

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I accidentally killed Lugae first and Barnabas exploded. Cecil drew the attack himself, and got KOed. No great loss, Lugaeborg counters stuff with Sleep Gas, and Cecil has spent the last two tries asleep the whole fight.

Not that I could revive him if I wanted to, Phoenix Downs just do a bit of damage to the corpse under Reverse Gas.

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I queue up two Elixirs to end the fight instantly, and this happens to be the fight that Lugaeborg decides to Reverse Gas on his very first turn. I throw two fully-functional Elixirs at him for full heals instead of quick destruction.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:08 pm
by nosimpleway
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Okay. Let's try again.

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This time I manage to land the Elixir for full damage, and Lugaeborg decides to Reverse Gas immediately after. This means Yang and Kain aren't deadweight, throwing Hi-Potions at worst, and can actually punch and stab Lugaeborg a bit.

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That works, finally.

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Then Yang stuffs himself into a cannon to keep it from firing and is removed from the party. Goodbye, Focus Punch. You were super-effective.

Then Cid joins the party. Then Cid blows himself up. Okay, bye I guess.

I do appreciate that Cid's last words before he goes over the gunwhale of the airship with his bomb is a response to Rydia's "But you'll die!" with "And so young, too!"

So I go find Namingway in Agart and he's like "Hey, I really like this girl, I'm gonna give her a Rainbow Jelly. Do, uh, do you have any Rainbow Jelly?"

and you're like fine whatever

Stop in with the fat chocobo and check the bestiary, you'll find that Rainbow Pudding is the rare drop from all of the slimes you've seen so far. Red Mousse live in the Watery Pass, Yellow Jellies live in the Antlion Cave, and Purple Bavarois live in the Tower of Zot. We can't go back to Zot, so that leaves the Watery Pass or Antlion Den.

The Antlion Den second floor is almost entirely populated with Yellow Jellies and Land Turtles, so... let's go there. Thankfully, both of those are such earlygame dungeons that even Rydia can smack a Yellow Jelly to death with her rod. So that's cool.

At this point I was going to post screenshots of how many Yellow Jellies it took to get the Rainbow Pudding. Potion, nothing, Hi-Potion, nothing, Potion, Potion...

Then I got to 40 and decided that was too many. I'd have to put it in text. Potion, Potion, Hi-Potion, nothing, nothing, Potion, nothing, nothing...

Everyone gained a level. Rosa gained two. After 100 fights with Yellow Jellies -- not counting Land Turtles, Leshys, Goblins, Sand Worms, or whatever else -- I got sick of it and just used a cheat code to force the drop.

I then took it to Puddingway and forked it over. Man, when do you get the augment that makes rare drops easier to find?

I guess I got a little overzealous in deleting those 100 screenshots of post-Jelly rewards, because I don't have any documentation that those were the events that transpired. Oh well. You're seriously not missing anything.

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Airship crew, hook, hovercraft, Eblan. The passage through Eblan has a grave near one of the secret passages, but there's no way to investigate it. It doesn't seem to do anything.

The chest has a Blood Sword inside, so I guess there are supposed to be implications.

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Rubicante uses Inferno, not Glare, to do his ridiculously high damage. Like Meltdown in Final Fantasy 6, it hits everyone on the field, not just the enemy party -- but Rubicante, of course, absorbs fire.

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It doesn't matter how fragile Edge and Kain are if Cecil is the only one getting hit, right? Maybe I can put Cecil in the back to cut damage in half again, and make things even easier...?

(Not really. Cecil's damage output with Counter is as much a part of the strategy as cutting incoming damage. And he does half damage from the back row.)

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What's New: Getting into Babil is less "ninja trickery" and more "actual teleport"

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The lower floors of Babil are a maze. The floors aboveground are just long straight "hey, how many steps can we make you take?" paths.

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King and Queen Eblan take their sweet time reverting to sanity and talking to Edge, but there's nothing new there. So, Rubicante.

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Rubicante is a simple archfiend of simple strategy. He flings his cape open, uses Inferno, closes his cape, hits with his fist, then starts over.

Here is what it looks like after one (1) application of Inferno.

Beyond that, and try not to be too shocked here, but his counterattacks are what make him a difficult boss. Nearly anything you hit him with, he counters with Fira against the whole party. It's not as devestating as Lightning from Barbariccia, but Barbariccia didn't have Inferno.

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What's the Same: Rubicante is weak to ice with his cloak open, and absorbs ice with his cloak closed. They did fix the bug where he absorbs fire with his cloak open and is weak to fire with his cloak closed, though. Now he always absorbs fire.

After struggling with Lugaeborg interrupting my actions with Reverse Gas between the queueing of a spell and its casting, I decide to skip the whole thing and just hit him with Quake rather than trying to decide whether I have time to cast Blizzara or not. He always takes normal damage from elements that aren't fire and ice.

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What's the Same: If you hit Rubicante with a fire-elemental attack, he will counter by casting Raise on everyone in the party. So after he uses Inferno, throwing a Bomb Fragment at him is a good idea.

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What I'm Pretty Sure Is New: If you cast a Summon on Rubicante, he counters with Blizzara.

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On himself.

Presumably it's to teach the player "Hey, moron, when he said the cold of Cocytus couldn't breach his cloak, it means don't cast ice spells at him when his cloak is closed, he absorbs it."

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But he still does it when his cloak is open.

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Ninjutsu Flame, Flood, and Blitz are just Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara renamed and targeting the whole enemy party by default. What's New: -ra level Earth spell too.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:22 pm
by nosimpleway
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"Are you serious?"
Cecil's explanation doesn't really answer any questions, either, but Edge gets the gist of it and joins up permanently.

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"How did we get over here without walking through that space over there?"

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Rather than have a dias for each crystal on its own, with one empty for the one Golbez yet lacks, all of them are now on one dias instead.

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The trapdoor is at the base of the stairs rather than just at the entrance of the room.

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Dude, spoilers.

I always figured it was supposed to be a happy surprise when you went to the infirmary and there was Cid, snoring and recovering. I guess too many players didn't think to even check the infirmary, though, so this matronly dwarf was added to nudge the player in the right direction for the next plot point.

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"In fact, I'm pretty sure we never really succeeded. At anything."
At the start of his journey, Cecil was working for Golbez without knowing it. He stole the crystal from Mysidia and blew up Mist because Golbez wanted him to. He couldn't stop the bombing of Damcyan or the raid on Fabul. He jobchanged into Paladin, which made Golbez a bit nervous but ultimately hasn't accomplished much. He raided Golbez's base, found out he wasn't even on the right side of the earth's surface to achieve his goal, left, returned to Golbez's base, and then didn't get any of the Crystals anyway.

The best victory we've had is stopping the Super Cannon from killing the dwarves that were attacking Babil, but they wouldn't have attacked Babil if it weren't a distraction for sneaking Cecil in.

In FF1 you make slow, steady progress in restoring the crystals. In FF2 you suffer a few setbacks but manage to blow up the Dreadnought, reveal the fake princess for a lamia, and save the last Wyvern's life. In FF3 the biggest setback you have is when you restore the world from its time crash and it turns out your airship got confiscated.

But in FF4, you just can't win. And hey, spoilers: we're not about to start.

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So go to the infirmary like the dwarf said, and get Cid to put a condom on the airship you stole. Or whatever it was.

Then Cid dies -- fake out! The game is poking fun at itself for all the characters that have died on you so far.

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Selling off gear to afford the upgrade in Tomra, I discover another What's New: Edge can't equip claws anymore.

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So all that grinding I did to get you that pudding wasn't even worth it? You suck entirely!

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(Actually Mopingway attacks you for bothering him when he's trying to drown his sorrows, but still.)

You smack some sense into him and the sidequest continues.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:17 pm
by nosimpleway
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Sylvan Grotto: Secret passages are still awful.

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Sylvan Grotto is about the point in the game where random encounters stop being really worth it to fight. Evil Dreamers do nothing but Sleep, Silence, and Blind the whole party. Elder Treants take a break assisting at the Limberry gates to show up here; they Berserk themselves and then wallop hard enough that even Cecil can feel it. Malboros are Malboros and do Malboro things.

About the only easy fight is the Bog Witch and her toadies. With Draw Attacks, all of them try to polymorph Cecil at once, so everyone else is free to pound on them with whatever they feel like.

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Gaining a level when transformed into a toad results in the Happy Toad Dance.

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In 2D, you could get a copy of the Cat's Claw and Hell Claw here, under the assumption that's what Yang had when he stopped the cannons. So you're reclaiming the gear he had, maybe Edge can use it now idk
What's New is that since Edge can't equip claws anymore, there's no reason to give the player back those two. So they're replaced with weapon upgrades for the people who are actually present.

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We've seen Yang, time to go do that other thing we can do that means we don't have to do the Sealed Cave yet.

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The bottom of the Feymarch, where the Artemis Bow and Arrows are, has some structures in the distance that imply there's more to the land than what you're seeing.

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It wasn't much of a puzzle in the first place, but the teleporter to the second level of the Feymarch blocked the passage to the Rat Tail. You had to teleport down, then back up, and step off the teleporter in the right direction to get the tail. Now you can just... walk over and get it.

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Namingway asks the player to input the name of someone they like. Um... except that in game he asks Cecil to do it, so chances are pretty good a lot of people just entered "Rosa" without understanding what was being asked.

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What's New: That empty house between the inn and the library is now Whyt's house. His mom and dad are here. His dad explains that Whytkin are sort of larval eidolons, and eventually they evolve Pokemon-style into a different beast. Whyt's mom is sick and won't wake up.

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Asura is a good example of why so many of the boss strategies have changed for the 3D version. Sticking to her previous strategy -- spending her turns healing herself, then counterattacking anything that deals damage to her with a physical hit -- becomes pretty darn easy when you throw in Augments. With Draw Attacks, all of Asura's counters hit Cecil, and Cecil can still Defend to shrug it off. Casting Reflect on Asura bounces the healing spells off of her, so she can't recover. If you want to reduce the number of times Asura gets to counterattack, you can have Rydia Bluff to maximize the damage she does with her summons, which pierce Reflect.

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She's no Lugaeborg, is all I'm sayin'.

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Leviathan, too, has the same strategies as before. Break out Tsunami on the reg, fill the time in between with Blizzara and Blizzaga. Tsunami itself is what's new. In 2D, Tsunami would deal 1/4 of the party's max HP in damage, so Leviathan would use it twice to cut everyone's HP in half. In 3D, Tsunami is just a fuckoff powerful water-elemental attack, capable of dropping Rosa, Edge, and Rydia.

Eventually I manage to get a Thundaga off and hit Leviathan for a good solid chunk of damage, but needless to say the fight was already lost by then.

Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:29 pm
by nosimpleway
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If this were the 2D games I wouldn't have called the Lodestone Cavern the worst dungeon in the game. It'd be this one.

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In 3D, you have Draw Attacks to make sure the Trapdoors always target Cecil with their instant-death Ninth Dimension. And if you hit the Feymarch already, you've probably bought Cecil an Aegis shield that blocks instant death. So he's fine.

It helps that knowing who the Door is going to target means Rosa can get crackin' on casting Reflect early. She resolves Reflect before Ninth Dimension gets dropped, it bounces off of Cecil, and the door dies. It doesn't even summon a monster to replace itself that way.

So all in all the Trapdoors go from annoying, resource-consuming hazards best avoided, to some free EXP. So Sealed Cave ain't so bad.

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It's Demon Wall that's the problem. Whew, that was close!

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I wonder what everyone thinks about these recent developments...

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:thinking_face:

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Long story short?

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Cid upgrades the Millenium Falcon and has another dead-PC fakeout. Head up, drop off the Rat Tail for the Adamantite, let Sheila know how Yang is doing for the pan, head back down to the Underdark to drop off the Adamantite and whack Yang in the head again.

This means the Sylph join on as a summon, like usual, but that's less awesome now that they fixed the bug where Rydia can summon Sylph for free. The main benefit here is Yang spitting out the Focus, Brace, and Kick Augments, since I gave him two others earlier. Now Cecil can super-defend instead of regular-defend when I do the counterattack strat. When I played this on a DS I also gave Cecil Kick, and set Kick as his topmost command in the list to replace Fight. So whenever he got hit with a drawn attack, he would Kick everything on the battlefield in response.

Didn't seem to make fights much quicker, since from here on out I'm going to be up against strong monsters in singles or duos rather than big groups of little ones. Maybe it'll work better in New Game+.