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

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:53 pm

We talked about this sort of thing briefly in Friday's Top 100 Games thread, and I've got a couple weeks before I have to go back to work, so...

Let's Play Final Fantasy 4! Again!

Yes I did FF4GBA and Beyond Babil and just a shitton of noncompetitive Free Enterprise and god dammit I'm doing Final Fantasy 4 again.

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Of course, it's dual-screen, which makes for some huge images (that's accounting for the whitespace in the middle meant to simulate the distance between the two screens on a physical DS). So unless it's necessary I'll be cropping out one or the other and just showing a smaller window of relevant information.

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But like in the FFT Randomizer LP, I'm gonna rush through and skip the actual plot. I've done this game before, I don't need to retreat the script, do I? Cecil Harvey is commander of the Red Wings, the airship fleet of the mighty nation of Baron. They just broke into the nation of Mysidia, murdered a bunch of dudes, and stole their Crystal of Water. They're on their way back home when... Monsters!

What's Different: Cecil doesn't instantly end two fights with a Red Fang and Blue Fang. You actually get to control him, and there's only one fight.

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There's a nice end-of-battle posing screen that gives a good idea of how much money you've got (Cecil is broke) and how much more you need to fight to gain a level.

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So Cecil heads back home, turns over the Water Crystal, and for having the nerve of asking "Hey, are we the bad guys?" gets demoted and given a job as a delivery boy. His buddy Kain comes with him.

What's Different: The translation! The original FF2/FF4SNES had an incomprehensible translation in places. FF4GBA cleaned it up significantly. FF4DS has the embellished, flowery prose you may have seen in the Ivalice series games. There's voice acting, too. A generation of people who pronounced the protagonist's name as "SEE-sil" balked at the VAs always calling him by the British-er "SESS-il".

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What's New: There's a minimap! It is helpful most of the time because the game's graphic upgrade means less stuff fits onto the screen. You often can't tell where you're going without looking at the map.

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A half-joke, half-retained. One of the translators of FF4GBA was an enthusiastic member of the Something Awful community, and translated this line "You and your goons busted up my airships something awful!"

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Namingway has an identity crisis when he realizes that Cecil's name reverts, no matter what he tries to change it to. There's voice acting, and the VAs didn't record for the eventuality of GAY420GAY plaintively calling for COOLRANCH. Rather than refer to Cecil as the Star Player for the Zanarkand Abes the entire game, they just don't let you name him.

Anyway Cecil goes to his room and mopes and doesn't smooch Rosa because he's so sad. Then the next morning he leaves.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:10 pm

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What's Different: I'm pretty sure Dark Knights and their Darkness abilities have worked a different way in every game they've appeared. Now Cecil's Darkness just gives him a smoky purple aura, and for as long as that aura lasts, his physical hits deal extra damage and shave off some of his HP.

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What's Different: I've played my share of Free Enterprise, where any pot, crate, or chest might have a Ribbon or Adamant Armor or something. So I got pretty good at remembering where all the secrets were squirreled away around towns and castles! Most of them seem to have been removed, or replaced with a very obvious treasure box, in FF4DS.

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What's the Same: Cecil is not any smarter.

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What's the Same: You can still ask a dancer to shake her tiny pixelated badonkadonk for you.

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What's Kind of New: The US release of FF2/FF4SNES was dumbed down. Significantly. Like, you know how there's a "Hardtype" and "Easytype" of this game? Those are both untranslated. The English SNES version was easier than easytype. Anyway, if that's the version of the game you're used to, then characters have more abilities (like Darkness, above) and there are more items to be had. Many of those items use spells when activated; Bronze Hourglass casts Stop when used in battle. The "Heal" item that removes all status ailments, redubbed "Remedy" in later games, was cheap and easy to find in SNES. Now it's split into Antidotes for poison, Echo Herbs for silence, Gold Needles for petrify, and so on.

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What's New: There's Autobattle. You can set a character to use a physical hit or one of their abilities every turn when Autobattle is turned on. Right now Cecil and Kain just whap things, but I could make Kain's auto-command Jump if I wanted to.

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What's New: The old limited inventory system is gone, replaced with a more modern 255 slots in the inventory and a separate Key Items list for plot-important stuff. This means the Fat Chocobo is repurposed. This means Gyshal Greens are... well, not harder to come by, really, but you don't get a freebie from the grass in every Chocobo Forest anymore.

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When you arrive at the Mist cave, Namingway gives you a cartographer's kit to automap dungeons as you go through them. There's even a reward for filling out each map as you 100% it.

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What's New: The level-up announcement gives you exactly what benefits that level earned you.

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The Mist Dragon fight has no surprises, it's still the ATB tutorial fight. What's Different is that enemies have their weaknesses announced when you hit them. The Mist Dragon has always been weak to Dark, and Cecil's swords have always been Dark-elemental, but now you can tell easily.

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Awesome.

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All right.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:15 pm

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So Cecil and Kain make their delivery and it blows up and kills a bunch of people. Whoopsie doopsie! Then there's this little girl who's angry enough that she summons an Eidolon to rend the earth asunder, removing Kain from the party and changing the world map a little bit.

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...what the hell is that?

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AHHHH GIANT EYEBALL MONSTER

But it squeaks and vanishes before anyone wakes up.

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Cecil takes the girl to the inn at Kaipo, fights off a couple soldiers who declare him traitor for saving her life, and she announces her name is Rydia. Yes, like "Lydia" but with an R. She then introduces Whyt, her personal summon. So What's New: Rydia's mom died when you killed her personal summon, the Mist Dragon. Now that's included in gameplay mechanics with Whyt! Summoning Whyt takes 40 MP and he replaces Rydia in battle. You can customize his movelist, and he does a random action from it each turn. If Whyt runs out of HP, he vanishes and Rydia returns to the battle... also dead.

Oh, and Whyt's face is usually a :3 cat smile, but you can redraw his face however you want, and I just happen to like the giant eyeball look. The bowtie stays no matter what.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:18 pm

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Namingway, now Mappingway, continues his identity crisis, and becomes Livingway the Vagrant.

Hey, who's that on the bed back there? It's Rosa! She's sick!

wait how does a white mage get sick you'd think they'd be able to take care of themselves better than anyone else

Go to Rosa at her bedside, and...

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All right! Our first Augment!

Ready for the entire ingame augment tutorial?

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Hope that helps!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:30 pm

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What's New: There's a Fat Chocobo in Kaipo, just hangin' out. Since he doesn't do inventory management anymore he lets you make changes to Whyt. Spoilers: after you get the movie viewer and sound test, and unlock the ways to boost Whyt's stats, FC here handles those too.

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What's the Same: I'm pretty sure no one and nothing in the game tells you this explicitly, but you can use equipped items as items in battle. Rydia swinging her Rod at enemies does exactly what you'd expect a six-year-old with a stick to do in a fight -- she misses half the time, and if she hits, does single-digit HP damage. Use that Rod as an item and it does a magic attack instead. This is how you don't die when your party is full of mages with limited MP and skinny noodly arms.

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hey guys what's up in this thread

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JESUS CHRIST THAT WAS ONE TURN

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What's New: Well, I don't know how mechanically different things are in the backend, but battles sure feel more dangerous. I think the damage calculations have been reworked so that enemies just straight up hurt you more with their attacks. Of all the frankly embarrassingly large number of times I've played FF4, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've partywiped in the waterway to Damcyan.

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(Things do get a little better once Tellah shows up.)

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What's New: It feels like enemies drop less money and experience, but do seem to drop items more often. I think I had five or six Silver Armlets by the time I finished this dungeon.

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Tellah's level-up animation on this screen is a little fist-pumping hop, followed immediately by pounding his lower back. The level-up bonuses screen makes it clear: Tellah's no spring chicken and he ain't gettin' any younger. What's the Same is that his Strength and Vitality will eventually degrade down to 1 each if he levels up enough.

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What's New: Summons have more than two frames of animation each! There's a short cutscene after Rydia's spellstarter, but it can be skipped.

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Hmm... the map looks full, but it's only at 99%. What did I miss?

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Oh, right here it was. Go ahead and check between this screenshot and the last one, see if you can find which part was missing.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:39 pm

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If someone gets transformed or killed, they appear as such on the end-of-fight lineup.

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I mentioned the view before, but traveling through this secret passage makes it even more obvious. In a sprite-based graphic format it's easy to tell where you are and where you're going. Here I'm just stumbling around in the dark.

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Heh, heh. Pitch a tent.

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I don't think I brought it up in my LP before, but there's a subtle elegance to how the game makes sure you notice a missing piece of Rydia's spell list. In the second half of the waterway are zombies and slimes that are weak to fire attacks. Tellah has a Fire spell! Rydia doesn't.

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Oh, good, that'll be helpful against--

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AAAAAGH!

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Octomammoth is also weak to Dark. In my Beyond Babil playthrough I mentioned how he absorbs Meteor, but that's a side effect of how elemental weaknesses and absorbs are coded in the game. If a monster is weak to an element, they automatically absorb its opposite. In order to make him weak to Dark, Octomammoth is coded to absorb Holy. And Meteor is Holy-elemental.

It's the same reason you can kill Rubicante with fire spells while his cloak is closed. He absorbs ice but gains a fire weakness.

Anyway, What's the Same about Octomammoth is that as you hit him, he loses tentacles.

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What's New is that instead of getting slower and weaker, he actually gets stronger after you remove a few. His damage output is pretty significantly increased for the last half of the fight.

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

Postby Esperath » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:57 pm

nosimpleway wrote: There's voice acting, too.


pisa katto

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pisa katto

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

Postby Mothra » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:43 pm

God I love this version of FF4. I would be completely happy with an FF6 port in exactly this style.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:25 pm

...the DS version or the Otamatone version? Because I can see it going either way.

Anyway, I forgot a What's New. You can see how characters in your party react to events around them! When you enter the status screen, there's a thought bubble for whatever plot point you're up against next, or what you just achieved. And if you swap the person who appears on the world map, that character displays their thought instead. There's a lot of them!

Like, I just fought Octomammoth. There's a thought for that from Cecil, Rydia, and Tellah about how close they are to Damcyan. That thought bubble lasts until Damcyan gets firebombed, at which point their thoughts turn to... well, Damcyan getting firebombed. Total steps taken: like six.

There's a thought for hearing news that Rosa is sick, and actually seeing Rosa bedridden. Those two events happen in the same house.

Anyway, I'm not gonna post/transcribe all of those. You can binge on them if you like.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:08 pm

As always, the bannercrafting to announce this LP is magnificent, thank you.

Now, where were we? Ah yes. Damcyan just got exploded while we watched at a distance.

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There are wounded and dead scattered everywhere, one of whom literally begs you to take him upstairs to the infinite-use healing station available there. I think Tellah and Rydia could have done at least some good with their white magic, or at the very least someone could have tried to help, but everyone in your party comes out looking like a complete apathetic asshole. Hey, it's not like anyone we know or care about got hurt in the attack, right?

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That infinite-use healing station is like ten steps away from here.

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No matter how many times this game gets remade or retranslated, this line remains.

Edward tries to get Tellah to stop embarrassing himself, Tellah tells him to go choke, Anna reconciles the two and is immediately stuffed into a refrigerator. Hey Edward if you can't get your shit together someone else is gonna die, okay fine let's go raid the Antlion nest.

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Bwaaaargh!

What's Different: Several key items have had their names and descriptions changed. The SandRuby, or Light of the Desert or whatever, is now a Sand Pearl. It's the same stuff and works the same way, but pearl being made of an animal secretion makes more biological sense than a ruby. That said, it's a pearl that magically cures illness, so making it more plausible is answering a question nobody really asked.

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In case you missed the one earlier, there's a replacement Shadowblade sword upgrade for Cecil in the Antlion nest. What's the Same is that there's no Hades shield, you use the starting shield all the way until you finish the Fabul gauntlet.

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I think the goomy, bug-eyed Antlion looks better in FF4 than the redesign for FF9. There, I said it.

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In previous versions, Cecil and Edward were kind of on standby for this fight while Rydia used magic, because Antlion would counter physical attacks.

What's New is that Antlion starts the fight in a state that counters magic, so if you have Rydia fire off a spell first thing, you'll regret it. Hit him with physicals... until his eyes change color. Then he uses his original strategy and counters physical hits. Careful not to queue up too many command inputs, or it'll switch states halfway through your attacks and start killin' dudes.

At level 10, Edwards learns Life's Anthem. It gives everyone in the party Regen. Life's Anthem takes a long time to charge, but once it's used, the regen effect is pretty fast! I don't think I needed to heal anyone in this fight. Singing the Anthem locks down Edward's actions until the effects wear off, but it's Edward. It's not like he has anything better to do.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:28 pm

Wow weird the giant fanged bug-type Pokemon wanted to battle us funny how that works anyway here's your Rubypearl let's go fix up that white mage

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What's New: In the original games, nearly anyone could use a bow and arrow. Hell, I've had Free Enterprise runs where Palom kept and Elven Bow and no arrows for most of the run, because that particular bow gives a Wisdom boost. In this version we've seen bows and arrows in shops before, but nobody could use them. They're now Rosa-exclusive.

Good news is that there's no more confusing which hand gets the bow and which hand gets the arrows. If you got it wrong, there was a 20% penalty to attack power. Now bows go in Rosa's dominant hand and the arrows go in her off hand. It makes sense from a gameplay perspective that you choose whether her dominant hand gets a bow or a staff, and then you can choose which arrows go into her off hand, but isn't that the opposite of how bows are typically used? You pull the string back with your dominant hand, right?

What's Also New is that there's no more stockpiling arrows. Equipping one Iron Arrow will keep Rosa shooting for as long as she wants. There's no more running out of arrows halfway through a battle and having Rosa whack something with her bare hands.

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Everybody shouts GAMBATTE at Rydia until she learns how to firebend. I've seen mods that remove Rydia's black magic entirely, so this scene teaches her a summon instead. And she gets Bomb. That... really explains her reluctance to use the spell up til now.

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Mt. Hobbs is three screens long, four if you take a detour for some treasure and a save point. It still feels like a long climb.

We meet Yang at the top of the mountain, and he gets a little cutscene of kicking goblin ass before the standard fight begins. It makes him look like a martial arts master a lot better than the standard fight lineup of just kind of standing there until a meter fills! It also gives you a heads-up that he's probably going to be a better fighter than Cecil for a while.



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Mombomb doesn't have any new tricks, but when Yang yells that it's about to explode and you should duck and cover, he means it.

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Everyone was Defending except Yang and Edward. Yang was Bracing instead, so he took 1/4 damage instead of half. Edward was busy singing Life's Anthem and took the full force of the explosion despite being the person least equipped to do so.

Yeah. Mombomb isn't just a speedbump anymore, if you go all-out offense you can easily party wipe here.

Oh, right. I guess I should What's New the character abilities, since the three guys who got the most nerfed in the US release are in the party now. Cecil has his Darkness ability rather than just fighting and items. Edward has Bardsong and Salve, which splits an item's effectiveness across the whole party. I think you can use any item with it now, but originally it only worked with Potions, and splitting the lowest-tier healing item four ways works about as well as you'd expect.

Yang now retains his Monk abilities. Not only is Kick more effective than before, now capable of dealing triple-digit damage sometimes!, he gets Focus and Brace. Focus increases his next attack's power, and stacks with itself up to three times. Brace reduces all incoming damage to 1/4 of what it would have been otherwise.

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aw crap wait hold on

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After Edward has his midnight fight with the Sahaguin and gets a GAMBATTE from Anna's ghost, you can find the Item Lore augment in Kaipo. There's not really any particular reason for it to be here and not any particular reason for Edward or Anna to have it, but whatever.

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Very funny, game.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:36 pm

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whateveringway is in the Fabul inn, and unlocks the movie viewer if you want to watch Yang beat up goblins some more or whatever.

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It's not a terribly useful feature but the bottom-screen image while the top screen plays the cutscene is cute.

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It's true, no one does. You can pay at the inn to rest or you can climb up and HP/MP restore here for free.

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What's New: Rydia and Rosa getting removed from the party isn't Cecil being a chivalrous idiot. Originally the king was just like "Hey, since you're not fighting, maybe help our medics?" after Cecil had already kicked them out. Now the king is the one who floats the idea of the girls leaving the party and Cecil looks less dumb.

The Fabul gauntlet has nothing new or interesting, it's still a bunch of fights with mooks. The cutscene that follows also has nothing new, Goblez is a big bad Darth Vaderlike, Kain is going all-in on this betrayal thing, Rosa gets kidnapped literally because she is a girl a male character likes.

FF4 can be a problematic fave sometimes.

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Hey did you know there's a secret room near the throne in Fabul? There is. It's true.

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Sheila remains the best character in the game.

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Oh, that's how she did it.

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Leviathan pops up, Rydia falls off the ship and Yang dives in after her. I guess it's What's New that Edward doesn't explicitly fall off the ship too, but since the sailors are never mentioned again it's pretty fair to assume the ship sank with Edward passed out on the deck instead.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:50 pm

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So Cecil wakes up in Mysidia and everyone justifiably hates him. What's New is that the characters that hit you with shapeshifting spells don't reverse that spell if you talk to them again. They guy who cast Toad near the village entrance just says "That slimy form suits you." instead of Toading again and removing the effect.

You'd think nobody would be able to tell who Cecil is when he's transformed like that, but everyone still recognizes him.

Outside of context, though, that's a pretty odd thing to say to a frog.

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A better translation means better expressions of the spite everyone in Mysidia feels.

Anyway hey let's redeem ourselves through jobchange, while you're going up this mountain I just told you no one has ever returned from climbing you might as well take these two eight-year-olds with you.

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So it's Augment time. Cecil gets Counter, Palom gets the other two I have already, Auto-Potion and Item Lore.

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There are no innates. If you want a passive ability to work you have to equip it in one of the five slots on a character's actions list. You can replace Fight and Item if you want. In this case I put Item Lore in place of Twincast, because What's the Same is that Twincast still takes too damn long and too much MP for its damage output.

Cecil, with only three active options on his list normally, doesn't have to give anything up to use Counter.

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Mt. Ordeals is a tough dungeon, it sure would suck if some mook stole all your tents and left you without a way to restore yourself right before the bosses, huh? (That's exactly what Campingway does, he asks you for a tent, then takes all of them you have.)

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Well well well, if it isn't the consequences of my own actions. You pick up Tellah on the Mt. Ordeals slope as usual, and since I unequipped him before he ran off at Damcyan, he's still naked here. I gotta run back to Mysidia and get him some equipment.

That would have been a good chance to buy some more tents, but I neglected to do so like some sort of moron.

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If the revenants with Scarmilogne Alive have any nasty tricks, I didn't see them. Cecil threw a Red Fang the first turn and killed them all. Scarmilogne still zaps you with Thunder on his own turns and counterattacks with Thunder every time he's hit. What's New is that his Thunder deals more than single-digit damage now! You've got to be careful not to overexert everyone when there's a real chance they get zapped to death as a counterattack.

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The Scamilogne Zombie fight, though, whew. Scarmilogne is slow as balls, but can blind a character on a physical hit and seems to get critical hits pretty darn often. Healing is reversed and he's weak against Fire, but...

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While he doesn't seem to use Gas as a regular attack anymore, he will counter with it if he's hit by a Fire attack. And Gas has been upgraded, instead of Curse it hits everyone with with Poison, Silence, and Sleep. Yes, the boss punishes you harshly for exploiting its weakness.

A smarter man might have had Palom through Item Lore boosted Hi-Potions at Scarmilogne. Oh well.

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Beating Scarmilogne gives a ton of experience, and completing the Mt. Ordeals Peak map gives me back the Red Fang I used. That's convenient!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:01 pm

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The redemption fight is the same, you have to not do anything while the Dark Knight knocks Cecil around a bit. It's a lot clearer that the Knight is shedding its own HP and you can win by attrition when you're allowed to use the Darkness effect yourself first!

All right, Paladinhood, the Deathbringer turned into the Mythgraven Sword, let's go wreck some undead with our holy power

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Uh... Cecil?

Was really expecting more than that.

In the original versions, you get to feel awesome at Cecil jobchanging into Paladin because he's instantly stronger at level 1 than he was running up on level 20 as a Dark Knight. Particularly if you could afford the rather expensive knight equipment in Mysidia and brought it with you so he's not running around in plain Clothes. What's New is that Cecil is kind of deadweight for a little while.

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Don't forget to walk down Mt. Ordeals and nab the Curse augment as you go. I give it to Porom.

Curse inflicts Curse status on the enemy party, reducing their stats by 20%.

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hey you paladined good job I'll open the road to Baron off you go

I make a detour to Mist first. What's New is that the game can now apply damaged wall textures to the buildings so they look scorched, rather than looking like any other town that wasn't genocided in Act 1.

I grab the Polymorph Rod and give it to Tellah, then buy a Dancing Dagger and give it to Palom.

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Then it's back to business. What's New about the brainwashed Yang fight is that the initial script actually works. As far back as the SNES version, Yang would do a couple of attacks, then the battle would end whenever Cecil did one attack. But the script was written to call on Dark Knight Cecil, not Paladin Cecil, so it didn't work. You had to deplete the Monk's HP to win.

Now it works properly and going upside Yang's head with the Mythgraven Sword once knocks him out of his stupor.

Man, this game is really big on mind control and really big on whacking Yang in the head with something to make him better. It's the little things you notice when you go through a game for the uncountably dozenth time.

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Jammingway unlocks the music player.

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Remember how I said that secret passageways are a pain to navigate in this game? This room really shows that off, since you have to go through several of them to finish it. The reward for map completion is one Ether.

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Whereas this room, quite easy to complete because you can see the room with the chest in it from the passage on your map, rewards you with three Hi-Potions, a much nicer reward for this point in the game.

And the chest?

Has an Ether in it.

Who planned this?

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:20 pm

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Baigan doesn't have any new tricks. His arms will Bloodfeast and Haste, and he himself will counter any magic with Reflect. That's a real problem in a party that's 40% black mage!

However

Using Dancing Dagger as an item uses an attack that counts as magic, and pierces Reflect. So Palom hits with that,
Baigan casts Reflect on himself because ow magic,
the new Reflect bounces off the Reflect he already cast and hits Tellah,
and Tellah bounces a Blizzaga off of his Reflect to hit Baigan with his magic.

Easy peasy.

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Cagnazzo does have some new tricks to talk about. In the SNES version, you bring in Tellah, Tellah goes "Hey, Thundaga" and the fight's pretty much over, right?

Well, fuck you. What's New is that Cagnazzo is weak against ice, and is buffed enough to take a couple Blizzagas and keep going.

He will still try to gather up water around himself, then hit with Tsunami. Only when surrounded by water is he weak to Thunder attacks. Hope you don't misqueue your actions and he switches weaknesses before your mages resolve the spell you wanted them to use!

Also he counters any physical hit with Hold, and any magic spell with Silence. Once again, counterattacks make this fight so much worse.

But eventually you keep hammering on Cagnazzo a bit and you realize... Porom doesn't really have anything to... do...? Cagnazzo hits with status effects, sure, but until he gathers the water he doesn't have much damage output. If you can keep him from doing that, he's almost totally incapable of sealing the deal on anyone for a KO.

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He still hides in his shell for the last leg of the fight, but I honestly don't know how much damage he can recover while in this state. Yang used a Hermes Shoes and a Bacchus' Wine on himself for Haste and Berserk, so he's been smacking Cagnazzo around constantly. Naturally, he has an Ice Claw and a Thunder Claw so he can hit an elemental weakness no matter what state Cagnazzo is in. Tellah pulls off one last Blizzaga and we're done.

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Sheesh, took long enough. I'm used to seeing this happen at the end of the intro cutscene now.

Anyway Kain shows up and is like "we're going to do that tired old trope where you have to give me what I need and I promise to give you something you want, and even though I get the better end of that bargain anyway I still plan to betray you once you fulfilled your end of the bargain" and Cecil goes with it.

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Well buddy I got good news and bad news for ya

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Remember to head back into the Old Waterway, something you would never do unless you already knew this was here, for Tsunami!

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Aw yiss. Payoff time.

The Augments I've gotten so far have been new abilities added to the game. You couldn't Counter, or double item effectiveness, or automatically heal after a hit in any version previous to this.

However, once a party member leaves for whatever reason -- such as self-petrifying to stop a trap -- you can pick up Augments of their abilities.

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Nothing as game-changing as adding White or Black magic to someone who didn't already have it, but yeah okay.

In this case, Twincast can be given to any other two party members. They might still use Pyroblast or Comet, or they might use a special spell added to the DS version. Bubble doubles the party's HP, Bravery raises attack power, Faith raises magic power, and Ultima -- usable only by Cecil and Rosa doing a Twincast -- is Ultima.

However, if you give Augments to a party member that leaves, then you get back extra Augments once you get them.

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One Augment each nets you these two. I don't think I ever use Cry, but Bluff might make a good choice for Rydia.

(When I played this on an IRL DS, I gave Cry to Kain. It just seems appropriate.)

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If you give the twins collectively a total of three Augments, you get this. Dualcast is exactly what it sounds like, you get to cast two spells in one turn. I'm certainly not giving this to Tellah, but I bet Rosa would like it.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:39 pm

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In some ways the greater graphical fidelity doesn't do the game any good. The Dancer's uniform no longer looks like a swimsuit, and this sunbather is lying around in a long-sleeved blouse and ankle-length dress, with shoes on.

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You play wingman for Cheatingway by going to the pub for a while while he has his first date, so his second date doesn't suspect anything. I'm sure this will go well for him.

What's New: The Member's Writ is 100000 gil now, but this time if you can afford to get into the club there's another Augment waiting for you: Gil Farmer, doubling your cash income. I'll get around to it when I can afford it. There's a little bit of irony there, surely intentional.

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In Troia castle you find Edward, who somehow survived a shipwreck when he previously couldn't survive a stiff breeze. He gives you some dank kush, rather than a copy of his lute.

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The Chocobo Forest, viewed from above, was a pixel-perfect rendering of a chocobo sprite. It's still vaguely the same shape, but the map makes it look like a formless blob.

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In getting ready for the magnetic horseshit that's coming up I fly around to raise a bit of dosh for new weapons and armor. The Tower of Babel looks pretty cool in 3D.

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The equipment in Troia is earlygame garbage, leathers and staves and the like. If you want an upgrade, you have to fly to Mithril, on the island chain between Fabul and Mt. Ordeals. There you can get, yes, Mithril armor and weapons. But they're expensive, Mithril Armor is 17,000 gil, and both Cecil and Cid can wear it. Whew.

So I do a little bit of grinding. The best spot is around Eblan, a place the story hasn't had me go yet but spoilers it's the last place on the overworld you need to go, so the monsters are strong and drop more money.

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The Ironbacks are really what I'm looking for. They come in groups of three and hit for 500-600 damage, but don't have any special abilities. It takes a little while, but eventually I get it down to a science: Cecil opens by Covering Tellah, so Cecil always takes (and counters) hits that would KO the sage. Yang Braces and Cid defends, since they're basically damage sponge decoys but that's kind of what Yang and Cid are for anyway. Tellah charges up and casts Break. These monsters are strong, but they're still overworld random encounters so they don't have much resistance to status spells. Tellah has enough MP to cast break three times.

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The cool part is that Ironbacks drop Mithril Shields and Mithril Hammers, so after a little while they've saved me thousands of gil. One more Mithril Hammer drop combined with the gil rewards for fighting and I can afford the full set for both Cecil and Cid.

I've also gained six or seven levels, which is good.

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Because I'm running from every encounter in the Lodestone Cavern.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:47 pm

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After being translated as ME SHOUT BROKEN ENGLISH and then putting emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble, the Dark Elf is surprisingly erudite.

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All right, let's do this!

I always liked the single purple horn on Astos in FF1 and the Astos redesign here. It looks like he's wearing a little party hat.

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Uh... guys?

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Little timesaver trick. If you reequip metal equipment on everyone -- Silver Armlets work for Yang and Tellah -- you start the battle with everyone paralyzed and you can skip the part where Dark Elf wrecks your shit.

Yes, I know silver isn't ferrous. Presumably it's an iron armband decorated with silver. Whatever.

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Edward plays music into his walkie-talkie and you're given a few minutes to pound on Dark Elf before the RIAA shows up and makes him stop. In the meantime the magnetic effect is removed and you can use metal armor, which I already had on so I could skip the reequip screen and just start the fight.

Dark Elf is weak to fire. Tellah has Firaga and Yang has Fire Claws. Cecil, for all the whining about how he can't use his sword, spends most of the fight keeping everyone patched up with Cura.

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In the SNES versions, the Dark Dragon is bugged. When Dark Elf transforms into Dark Dragon, it loses the "boss" setting that gives it status effect immunity. Tellah can set up a twoshot by hitting it with Tornado, dropping it to single-digit HP.

Assuming that bug got fixed by now, I didn't try Tornado.

But Tellah still had enough MP for Firaga. And Yang still has Fire Claws. And my enemy is still weak to fire.

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Honestly there's no better time to get this spell than the bottom of the game's worst dungeon.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:53 pm

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Return to Edward and he spits the Bardsong augment at you. If you gave him augments when he was in the party, he also gives Salve and Hide, but I didn't, so he doesn't.

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Bardsong goes on Cid, since he's reasonably sturdy but doesn't have much in the way of attack power. I don't have to worry about the guy providing my healing getting snapped in half by a single hit.

Bardsong is somewhat expanded from its nigh-useless incarnation on the SNES, where it would try (and fail) to cause Sleep, Silence, or Confusion. Now it scales with the user's level up to level 50, when they learn Hero's Rime.

That said, the status songs still don't ever work, so I just use this command set for Life Anthem anyway.

While I'm on the subject, Tellah gets Cry, so he has something to do that doesn't cost MP. (On the SNES, Cry was a mystery for many years -- did it help you run away? Was it a monster debuff? until it was discovered that it made stealing easier. Which is weird, because the person with Fake Tears and the person with Steal were never in the party at the same time. Now Cry is an enemy-party targeting defense debuff.)

Yang gets Tsunami, which costs more MP to cast than he'll probably ever have, but it's fine.

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Once I leave here I am literally going straight to the villain's lair to personally hand this to him, but sure whatever.

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Remember to go back to the teleport panel after the Tower of Zot entrance cutscene! It's not on your map, even though you presumably got in that way. When I played this on a real DS a decade ago, this sort of "you start this map ten paces in, and you have to turn around to complete your map" actually prevented me from getting all the map rewards in the game.

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That having been said, it's not like you won't head back to the entrance teleporter anyway, because the Frostbeasts here are just stupid powerful. Well, the beasts themselves are normal encounters. But their Frost ability? This is that.

Cecil would be in critical HP in this screenshot, but I already made it to the chest with Flame Mail, so he's taking half damage.

But hey, you see how there are two beasts there? If they both do Frost before you have time to recover, that's a game over. That did happen once or twice before I got a few more experience levels and Cecil was capable of surviving two in a row.

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Most of the enemies in Zot are weak to fire -- except for a few jerks on the top floor who absorb it, because fuck you -- so this is a good find. You have to fight a Flamebeast for it, which is like a Frostbeast but stronger and the opposite element. Those guys live around Eblan, though, so I can take 'em out pretty easily by now. You can see one along with two Black Lizards in one of the shots posted previously during my money grind, and this one's alone.

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All right, we've gained a few levels, got some elementally-convenient equipment, and should have our strategy pretty well down by now. Let's see how this goes!

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I think that went pretty well!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:06 pm

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Oh no ya don't. Thought I'd just turn around and leave when I got the chest, eh? Well, I saw the corner missing from my map and took the extra two steps to add it in.

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Further up, there's these fiends in the shape of lovely...? ladies. The Magus Sisters actually don't have any new tricks, they still Delta Attack when there are three of them present. Sandy casts Reflect on Cindy, then Cindy reflects -ra level magic off of Cindy to hit the party.

Cindy can also revive her teammates when they are defeated, so you'd normally go for her first.

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I don't, though.

If they can't Delta Attack because someone is missing, Sandy will try status spells, Cindy will swing that scythe to hit somebody, and Mindy will do low-level magic attacks.

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I don't know if this works on any earlier versions, where Sandy and Mindy come back from being defeated but aren't explicitly revived. But the 3D version has Cindy use Reraise to bring them back with full HP.

Monsters that are revived can be killed again for another collection of their experience and gil.

Cindy has 8000-some HP, Sandy and Mindy have just over 5000. They're actually the easiest fight in this tower, now that I think about it. Sandy and Mindy can be KOed in a round or two, and Cindy is so butt-ass slow that Cid can Life Anthem everyone back up to full no matter how injured they were before.

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Screenshot saved for posterity, this is the first time in the game I've had Osmose drain a nonzero number of MP from an enemy and refill Tellah. And he still had to do it twice.

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Eventually I get tired of waiting for Cindy to revive her sisters and kill time by having Yang accumulate power.

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whoo-pah!

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Eventually I count enough kills and revives, so I move to take out Cindy. She still has Reflect so Tellah is nigh useless, but I don't really want to give him a share of the EXP reward from this fight anyway. She just has reflect, she's not immune to magic. I got this nice Gaia Hammer a couple floors ago in this very tower, and it casts Quake.

Not super well, since Cid's reasoning and intellect stats are rock-bottom even though he's supposed to be a mechanical genius, but it does more damage than hitting with the hammer does.

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Bam. Now I can afford the Member's Writ. (Cid gains three levels, Cecil and Yang get two.)

Tellah doesn't get a share of the EXP because, well...

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He's on his way out of the party anyway.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:17 pm

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"Oh no, that thing that literally everyone warned me would happen when I cast Meteor happened! And even though I said I was fine with the result I am having some second thoughts now! Blaarrrgh."

I tried giving Tellah an emotional outlet for all that rage, since he cried his way up the tower, but it still didn't help.

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Tellah explodes into sparkly confetti when he dies, and you can collect that confetti for extra abilities.

Recall does what it did for Tellah. It'll try to cast up to mid-level black magic, might fail, and still costs full MP if it works.
Last Stand doubles defense when a character is at critical HP, because if Tellah is known for anything it's being able to take a hit.

If I had given him another Augment, he would have also dropped Fast Talker, which halves casting time. Because if Tellah is known for anything it's never having to wait for him to cast his magic while the enemy smashes everyone's face in.

Anyway, Tellah died to make room for both Kain and Rosa, who immediately reconcile and everything's fine. Great, let's get out of here.

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Stupid railroading dungeon.

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She's tall, she's blonde, she's a remorseless killing machine. Do we know anybody like that?

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Barbariccia -- which I have learned is actually Italian for "long beard", which is kinda funny I guess -- retains her old trick from the SNES version. In tornado form, she evades all physical attacks. The only way to knock her out of tornado form is to whack her in the head sticking out of the top there, which only Kain can do with a jump attack.

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Whoops. Thought Rosa had a bow.

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*plink*

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Barbariccia has exactly one new trick, and it's the only one she needs. In tornado form she still counters with Ray to slow-petrify and Tornado to drop someone to single-digit HP. Now if she's hit in naked form she counters with Lightning, pictured here.

She can be in tornado form, take a Jump from Kain, revert to naked form, and then counter with Lightning, which feels a little unfair.

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So you can't death-by-a-thousand-cuts here, she'll blast you to bits. But I just discovered what Yang can do when he Focuses three times before punching.

Barbariccia has 12,000 HP, and everyone's job at this point is to keep Yang on his feet. Except Kain, whose job it is to jump a lot.

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Which isn't to say the fight's a done deal, since Barbariccia still gets her normal attacks along with those Lightning counters. But that's the solution.

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"I swear I just tried that, it's not gonna w----"

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