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

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:24 pm

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So I stock up on Sirens and go fight some damn monsters. Mostly Green Dragons outside Tomra.

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Some people were still yet to reach level 60 when I started, but shortly people were passing 70, where something magical happens.

What's New: Natural stat growth stops at level 70.

In 2D, everyone -- even the otherwise-static Fusoya -- got stat ups and occasionally stat downs for every level past 70. Edward is particularly famous for this, because he has the best stat growth of all for the last 29 levels, particularly his Speed growth that leaves Edge in the dust. That entire system is thrown out in 3D.

Instead, the stats you get for each level between 71 and 99... well... you can probably guess.

I mean, think about it. What's the most obtuse, unintuitive way it could possibly be done?

That's right!

Stat growth after level 70 is based on what Augments the character has equipped when they level!

Each Augment has a given stat that it increases as long as it's on the character's action list when they level, and the effects stack. No one can unequip Item (I was wrong when I said otherwise before), so when Item gives HP+10 on level up, everyone is guaranteed at least that.

The other four commands are changeable. Fight gives +10 HP and +1 strength... but a bonus to strength isn't all that important to Rydia and Rosa. You might as well take off Fight and replace it with White Magic (MP +5, spirit +1), Black Magic (MP +5, intellect +1), or Summon (MP +5, spirit +1 AND intellect +1... even though Rydia basically never needs spirit growth either. idgi)

It was here that I learned of a goof-up I'd committed previously. PK Love grants +10 HP, +5 MP, and +1 to every stat at level up. And I gave it to Fusoya because I thought it was useless! I might have to use a cheat code or something to reverse that bad decision.

It doesn't help that the Archfiends' augments are some of the best ones apart from PK Love. They give +1 to three stats. But Porom has Curse, and Yang has Whirlwind and Tsunami. All I have left is Inferno, which is +1 strength, stamina, and speed. Sounds pretty good for Cecil! So I give him Inferno and equip it as I keep grinding Green Dragons.

So not only do you have to carefully plan out how to give Augments based on what they allow characters to do, and to determine which augments you can get in the future, you also have to ration Augments based on how character's stats can grow at endgame! Ha ha ha!

Documenting literally any of this stuff ingame would have been helpful.

Thankfully, most of the things that characters would normally get have bonuses that work for them. Cover grants HP and stamina, for instance. Magic boosts MP growth and whatever stat is used to cast it, or in the case of Summon, both mental stats. Steal and Throw boost Speed.

It takes a little finangling, like giving Adrenaline to Rydia so she has something that can boost her Speed, but overall Cecil and Kain and Edge all end up with 99 Strength, Rosa gets 99 Spirit, Cecil and Kain get 99 Stamina, Rydia gets 99 Intellect, and Cecil, Kain, and Edge get 99 Speed.

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Anyway. Why dragons? Well... you know how the rare encounter in one nondescript part of the moon is a bunch of Princess Flans, whose rare drop is a Pink Tail you can trade in for awesome gear?

Well, What's New: There are five more tails! They're all from rare encounters! They're all rare drops! There's a reason I got to gain like twenty levels before I ever saw one. Green Tails drop from Green Dragons, Yellow Tails drop from Yellow Dragons, Red Tails drop from Red Dragons, Blue Tails drop from Blue Dragons, and Black Tails drop from... whoops! Armored Fiends. MacGiants, they used to call 'em.

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Trade in one of those tails to the Tail Collector for a piece of Onion gear. All of the Onion gear is described as "{equipment} that grows with the user." The stats you get for equipping it are level-based! Whee!

Cecil and Kain can equip all of the Onion gear. Rydia, Rosa, and Edge can equip the Helm, Armor, and Gloves. Nobody else can equip any of it.

Red Tails trade in at the Tail Collector for Onion Swords. Onion swords have an attack power equal to double the user's level, accuracy equal to their level +50, and give level divided by three bonus to Strength. So after level 75, they're better than Ragnarok.
Blue Tails trade for Onion Shields. Shields boost Defense by one-tenth of the user's level, block all status ailments except Berserk, and give level/3 bonus to Stamina. At level 70 they give a bigger boost to Defense than the Crystal Shield, but never give any Magic Defense.
Green Tails, as pictured, trade for Onion Helms. Helms give a bonus to Defense and Evade equal to the user's level divided by ten, and a bonus to Speed equal to their level/3. They never offer the raw defense of the Crystal Helm or Dragon Helm, or any Magic Defense or Magic Evade at all, but that's a big boost to Evade and that Speed bonus sure is nice.
Black Tails trade for Onion Armor. Onion Armor has Defense and Magic Defense equal to the user's level. So it outgrows Crystal Mail at level 25. It gives a level/3 bonus to Intellect.
Yellow Tails trade for Onion Gloves. Gloves grant a boost to evade and magic evade equal to the user's level divided by five, and a bonus to Spirit equal to, yes, level/3. Level 75 is where they start to compete with Protect Rings and Crystal rings in evade and magic evade, but Protect and Crystal (and Dragon Gauntlets and Crystal Gauntlets) also give Defense and Magic Defense, plus miscellaneous other boosts like the Protect Ring's resistance to fire, ice, and lightning.

tl;dr: Onion Gear is largely better than endgame gear at high levels... as a whole set. Individually, each piece demands a character give up something that the Onion gear doesn't replace. The Onion Helm is nice, but not better than a Ribbon. If you want the status protection, you need an Onion Shield, which only two people can even equip.

Further, only the Gloves and Armor give any Magic Defense and Magic Evade, and by the end of the game it's not physical hits you're worried about. It's Dark Sages with -ga magic. It's Blue Dragons with Ice Storm. It's Red Dragons with Atomic Ray. It's Deathmasks with Flare and Holy. It's, y'know. Zeromus with Big Bang.

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And if you're going to grind out rare drops for a piece of armor, why not just grind Princess Flans for Adamant? Adamant might give half the stat bonuses of the Onion Gear, but it does all of that with only one equipment slot, adds elemental resists, and adds status resist. And has Defense and Magic Defense better than the Onion Armor at level 99. And grants more Evade and Magic Evade than the Onion Gloves.

what

then

was the point

I know it's hard to beat the intentionally super-rare and super-overpowered armor from the core game, but sheesh, balance it out somehow. Maybe make the Onion gear a easier to get than the exact same drop chance from Siren-summoned monsters?

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Long story short I went through like 300 Sirens and got everyone to level 99 and all I've got to show for it are two lousy Onion Helms. I probably should have switched from Green Dragons to Princess Flans sooner.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:28 pm

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Oh yeah, there are some bosses in the Lunar Subterrane that guard some pretty nice equipment but obviously at this point none of them offer any challenge whatsoever.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:00 am

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I think I liked the GBA translation better here. Fusoya and Golbez are psyching themselves up to take on Zemus, and Zemus gives an almost apathetic "Die trying."

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I talked about this before, but during this scene, Golbez hits with black magic and Fusoya uses white magic. (Including Hold, as though Zemus wouldn't have boss immunities.) Fusoya would top it off with Holy, or as it was called on the SNES, White.

So when the SNES version translated this move as W. Meteor, I figured it was White Meteor, a combination of the strongest white and black magics. It wasn't until years later that I learned that in Japan, the letter W is often used as a stand-in for the word "double", making the move plain ol' Double Meteor.

It does strike me as kind of funny that one character's quest for the first third of the game is to find and cast the legendary spell Meteor just once, then by the end everyone's throwing them around like it's nothing. Including Rydia, if I wanted her to, she picks it up at level 80 now.

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This line is corny as hell and I love it.

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There's a crystal for everyone to pray into at the Tower of Prayer now. Whether it's Mysidia's own Crystal of Water returned to them now that the fake king of Baron is deposed, or a new one that popped up somewhere along the way, is not elaborated upon. The reveal that crystals were never a mighty natural force and were in fact just a bit of Lunarian ultratech used as a lock on the dimensional elevator at the Tower of Babil kind of rubs off a little of the mystique. After that they just pop up everywhere. Here, on the Lunar Whale...

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...this random one in Golbez's hand...

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Welp, no reason to hold onto this anymore.

On the SNES, and by extension in Free Enterprise, the fight with Golbez has been finely honed by speedrunners into a sort of elegant dance. Set up just so, count moves and turns like so, keep careful track of Zermous's HP so he misses his invisible full restore... it's possible to take Big Z out with experience levels in the thirties if you know what you're doing. Hell, I've seen FE races where the strategy was "buy a bunch of Golden Apples, feed everyone until their HP is 9999, then use a bunch of Bomb Cores to selfdestruct at Z for 9999 every time".

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Here I don't need anything particularly elegant. Cecil is immune to zerberk, or I'd have done that. Kain uses Darkness-powered jumps. Edge throws Fuma Shuriken, which thanks to his high experience level also all do 9999 damage. When Zeromus breaks out Meteor you know he's on the ropes.

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Which is not to say that his Meteor is at all trivial. In 2D games it struggled to break 1000 damage. Now I'm glad I cast Shell earlier. But, uh... he never got a chance to use Big Bang. That's how quickly this went.

Zeromus counters summons with Flare, black magic with Bio, and the Holy spell with Maelstrom. Other White magic is fine, and Slow is pretty well recommended, but the number of white magic spells you want to cast on the final boss is pretty limited. That's nothing new, but it does mean the girls don't really have much to contribute. I guess I could have cast Reflect on everyone and had Zeromus speed his own demise by bouncing his counters back at him.

Oh, and what's new: Zeromus absorbs Flare. Not non-elemental magic in general, just Flare specifically. This whole fight is set up to be a giant middle finger pointed at Rydia.

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By the blessings of St. Felicia, patron of farewells

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:13 am

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Cecil calling him "bro" hits Golbez with such force that his armor explodes off of him, revealing the plain ol' regular Naruto Theodor underneath.

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Kain is still brooding on Mt. Ordeals, facing away from the camera so no one can ever see his eyes. Man, if only there were some way to atone for your past actions, embrace holy power, and become some sort of Dragoon/Paladin hybrid...!

Nah, that's dumb.

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The last scene after the credits roll is Kluya, Cecilia, and Theodor -- now back to being a child -- staring up at the twin moons -- one of which flew off into space earlier in the ending sequence. I guess this is just supposed to be a flashback to happier times, before Cecil was born? Weird note to end the game on.

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You also get the Limit Break augment, allowing the character thus equipped to do more than 9999 damage with their attacks. Or heal for more than 9999 HP, I guess, but there's no break HP limit so why bother. On the DS I'm pretty sure I gave it to Rydia, but apparently the top contender for ridiculous damage output is actually Kain.

Limit Break grants +10 HP, +5 MP, and +1 to all stats for each level past 70. So I have one copy of the boosts I'd have gotten from PK Love. Still stings a little, though.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:16 am

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Completed maps are carried over into New Game+. This means you can't get the bonuses for completing them again.

Complicating this, some of the items that's carried over from game to game are Silver Apples, Golden Apples, and Soma Drops. Not the bonuses from those items, just the items themselves. I have a pile of Silver Apples (drops from Green Dragons, ya know) and one Golden Apple from my last playthrough. I bring this up because several maps -- the Sylvan Grotto, the Feymarch, and so on -- give Apples and Soma as rewards for completion. Since I didn't realize using them up would be losing them forever, I used them up on Rydia, Rosa, and Edge last playthrough. Damn damn damn.

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just two dudes, consumed by the darkness that engulfs their very souls, five feet apart 'cuz they're not gay

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The "Attack!" script used in the Kaipo Inn fight is weird in a lot of ways. For one, the attacks don't count as attacks, and thus don't trigger Cecil's Counter to end the fight in one turn.

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Movies, enemy listings, and music tracks unlocked in the first run remain available in New Game+.

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Autobattle got like ten times more useful once I realized how to set "use the equipped weapon as an item" as the default attack. Now I don't have to manually select Mage Arrows for both Rydia and Tellah every turn!

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If you hit Octomammoth with a status ailment, he turns dark like all the other enemies do to indicate it worked. The other tentacles don't darken, though.

Also his pupils disappear and he turns into creepy zombie Octomammoth raaaawrrgh

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It's been here the whole time. It's here every time. I'm just sayin'.

(I counted on my way back over to Anna's mangled corpse. It's actually seven steps away.)

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son of a bitch

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son of a bitch

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

Postby Mothra » Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:10 pm

This was a good'n, thanks man.

Now do the extremely shitty After Years content!

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:27 pm

But I'm not done. There's New Game + to consider!

Not a ton in New Game + so this will be an even quicker summary than the first, but whaddyagonnado

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In the Edward vs Sahagin fight I managed to proc Confuse with Edward's harp. Eventually the Sahagin smacked itself, and absorbed the damage. It's not just any three hits that wins the fight, it's Edward hitting three times himself.

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Small Brain: Item Lore doubles the HP recovery of potions
Lit Brain: Item Lore doubles the damage done by spellcasting items like Bomb Fragments and Heavenly Wrath
Galaxy Brain: Item Lore doubles the damage done by using equipped weapons as spellcasting items

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Well, now there are two reasons I won't have to worry about money too much in this run.

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The other being this. For anyone who can wear it, I'm leaving a full set of Onion equipment on. For the entire game, if I can manage that. The fullgame status protection is nice, the loss of timely elemental resistance might make things tough. Like, in Zot you fight the Frostbeasts, but you also find armor that resists Ice to help you survive them. I don't get that benefit.

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Really hoping those passive stat boosts pay off, because the Onion Sword won't outdo the Mythgraven Blade in base attack power until level 20... And even then it'll whiff a third of the time. I had a hard enough time landing a hit with Defender in the last run, and that's base accuracy 90. Onion Sword won't get there until Ceece hits level 40.

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Also fun: give Tellah MP+50%, increasing his maximum from 90 to 135.

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Now he can cast Meteor without a problem, which I'm sure will save his life in Zot when he throws it at Golbez.

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"Look, I found a knife!"
"That's a frog."

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While the Onion Sword has been growing in power along with Cecil's level, it's still behind the Dancing Dagger, Ancient Sword, and Mithril Sword whenever those become available. And making this particularly tricky, it's not Holy-elemental like the Mythgraven Blade, so there's no hitting Dark Dragon for his elemental weakness. That, in turn, contributes to the first party wipe of the run.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:48 am

Here, lemme zip through like half the game real quick.

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Level up a bit, go get Fire Claws for Yang, stop trying to have Cid sing Life's Anthem because he stops whenever he takes a hit, treat this boss battle like it's an actual boss battle and it's fine.

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"Drink an Ether first!"

Tellah dies anyway, but this time he gives me the Fast Talker augment. Rydia gets that one.

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Kain, put that away. I gave you an Onion Sword as soon as I could open a menu. (Rosa got the armor set, but since she can't use a sword and shield, has a bow.)

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Went ahead and let the dolls merge into boss form. No sweat, really.

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It's funny. Kain managed to resist Black Fang and lived into the start of the Golbez fight. Golbez managed to knock Rosa out with a spell whenever she got revived, so it was only a matter of wearing down Cecil and Rydia. Kain was in the air, and managed to live the longest in the fight... but one dragoon against a Lunarian sorcerer? No contestOH SNAP PHOENIX AUGMENT FOR THE CLUTCH

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Let's see... Lugaeborg took an Elixir hit, then Reverse Gas before the next Elixir could land, so it healed him to full. But then he kind of... forgot to use Reverse Gas any more? So I just whittled him down like a regular boss fight.

Rubicante was easier than before but that's by virtue of Rosa having Omnicast more than anything else. A Shiva summon scored the KO, without the Blizzara counter. Oh well.

Down to the Feymarch, picking up the Yoichi Bow and Yoichi Arrows means that for one brief shining moment, Rosa has better attack power than anyone else in the party. The Onion Swords are starting to come into their own, but they lag behind normal equipment for at least half the game.

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I go ahead and fight battles manually for random encounters in the Sealed Cave, just so I can sit back and watch the Trap Doors kill themselves on autobattle. Rosa with Omnicast doesn't have to worry about who to target with Reflect, she just throws it on everybody.

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I realized once I was inside the Giant of Babil that while I went to go see Yang in the Sylvan Grotto to pick up another copy of his augments, I forgot to go visit Sheila and get the Knife before I flew to the moon. I hope that's still an option.

Buying Sirens at Hummingway Abode cleans out the cash I've managed to accrue over the course of the game.

I do kind of a lot of level grinding inside the Giant. Onion equipment still got nothin' on Adamant, except now it collectively gives slightly better stat bonuses.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:13 am

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Only available in New Game+!

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This is Geryon. He's kind of an amalgamation of the archfiends. There's Scarmilogne's bone horn things, Rubicante's face and cape, and... uh, Cagnazzo's arms and Barbariccia's legs? I guess?

Anyway, he inherited a bunch of abilities from the archfiends and likes to open with Inferno.

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We'll... we'll come back to Geryon.

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CPU is pretty easy when you have Piercing Magic and can ignore its Reflect with doublecast Holy.

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Rats. Make sure you get the Knife before you go to the Moon, because when Yang shows up in the battle with the Giant that cuts off anything left of this sidequest.

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By the time I get Excalibur, I'm leveled enough that Onion Sword is better. Finally!

Now that I have Kain back in my party, I give him Limit Break and Focus. Along with Darkness and Jump, he's got a lot of multipliers on his damage output. And leveled up, that Onion Sword he's holding has a higher base attack power than his normally-best weapon the Holy Lance... or even Cecil's normally-best weapon the Ragnarok, itself forty points better than the Holy Lance.

So, let's see. Find a nice tough enemy, one that Cecil isn't going to Counter to death before I can do the admittedly long setup. Focus, Focus, Focus, Darkness, Jump, wait for it...

waaaaaait for it...

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WHAPOW AHAHAHAHAHAHA

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

Postby Blossom » Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:09 pm

apparently summoning Whyt while Reverse Gas is up will remove the effect from Rydia, and then Lugae literally cannot hurt her for the rest of the fight.

Doesn't help anyone else, but you could autobattle him down after that.
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Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:56 pm

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So technically Kain powering up for five turns and hitting on his sixth is slower than an all-out damage race, as evidenced by Zeromus getting to use Big Bang this time around. But I suspect that against enemies with debilitating counterattacks, it's a better strategy. (Which enemies have debilitating counterattacks? In case you missed it: most of them.)

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Now I can remove the note I had sitting here that said "TAKE STEAL TO THE ZEROMUS FIGHT THIS TIME, GENIUS" since I didn't do it for the first run and missed my chance to nab Dark Matter.

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It takes Edge four or five turns. Which is fine, because that's how long it took for Kain to go Super Saiyan anyway.

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I never finished New Game + on a DS, so I didn't actually know that you get a new viewpoint of Kain for finishing the game again. At least, I assume that's what triggers this different camera angle. Maybe next time the camera will pan up a little and we'll see that Kain has a giant nightmare eyeball like Whyt did. Surely two regular anime-style eyes aren't worth all this secrecy, there's got to be something.

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With 2D sprites, Porom hitting Palom is just a matter of using the Porom-with-her-arm-up pose for a half-second followed by a "pow!" text box. In 3D the fact that Porom can't actually reach the top of Palom's head is an issue, so she has to do a sort of flying haymaker. If Palom ever figured out how to dodge it, Porom would go flying off the stage for a self-inflicted KO every time.

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As it is Porom chains directly into a grab, yanking Palom by the ponytail back into line. No wonder the two have had a falling out by the time of After Years.

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Namingway shows up to go "Hey, you've only got one New Game + left, because we put a limit on those for some unfathomable reason."

He also reminds you to summon Whyt once in a while. I... don't think I will, honestly. He might have been better than Rydia in the first playthrough, but he's certainly not now.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:01 am

The third runthrough, or New Game ++

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My Bestiary is almost full. There's a blank spot for Barnabas-Z, because I keep putting in too many inputs and by the time Barnabas goes down, Lugae follows too quickly for the transformation to happen. Then there are two mysteeeeeerious blanks at the end of the list, after Zemus and Zeromus's many forms.

(Okay, one of those blanks is Geryon, it doesn't fill in unless you win the fight. But the other one? Mysteeeeeeeeerious!)

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For finishing New Game +, you get an outfit for Whyt. It's the snazzy vest-and-trousers combo that goblins wear! You can get clothes to match Cecil's, Kain's, Rydia's, Rosa's, and Edge's outfits, too, but I doubt I'm gonna. This is more evidence that Whyt's stats are bugged somehow -- I have maximum stats for four out of five, but earning those is how you get the costumes, and I don't have them.

Not that it matters, because Whyt doesn't really add anything to the game.

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More grinding for item drops? Don't mind if i do! A ha ha ha ha ha

Adamant Armor gives +100 Defense and Magic Defense, and +30 Evade and Magic Evade. It's more effective by itself than the best shields, helmets, non-Adamant armor, and gauntlets available in a non-completionist playthrough all put together. Further, it halves damage from all elemental attacks. Further further, it blocks all status ailments except Berserk. Further further further, it gives +15 to the five core stats. Like Onion gear, Adamant armor transfers over to New Game+. Now that's a piece of equipment worth grinding for!

The Cursed Ring is much easier to find, thank heavens. Most spooky ghost-looking enemies drop it, like the Spirits and Souls on Mt. Ordeals. The Cursed Ring gives -15 to all the core stats, neatly reversing the bonuses granted by Adamant. Its undocumented feature is that it turns any elemental resists from other equipment into elemental absorption. So while Cecil here doesn't have the awesome stats he normally would at level 1 but with Adamant equipped, he's now immune to all elemental attacks as well as status ailments.

Look, I've played through this game twice already. I'm not doing another challenge run this time.

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One of the effects that Adamant protects against is instant death, so this was the easiest Golbez fight yet.

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And this screenshot comes from much later. Cecil is level 99 here. Everyone in the party is. And with some careful planning and Augment assigning, nearly everyone has base stats of 99 in all five categories without any equipment bonuses at all. I miscalculated Rydia's Speed a little and that's only 95.

But even, like, Kain's Intellect hit 99 when I was done. The only reason to bother would be if I really, really liked using the augments I got from the archfiends, which count as Black magic and are thus Intellect-based. And Cecil, Kain, and Rosa all have better things to do with their time. Still, 99s across the board.

So what is this? At this level, the Cursed Ring's -15 to all stats isn't nulled by the Adamant's +15! Hell, the Cursed Ring's penalty to speed isn't outweighed by the Onion Helm's +33 bonus! This is some bullshit! Even more baffling, the bonuses to Strength and Stamina from the Onion Sword and Onion Shield do apply. Who bugtested this game, anyway?

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Yes, I did all of that before finishing the Giant of Babil. Basing character's stat growth on the Augments they have equipped means that after you hit 70, you're better off doing a grinding session all the way up to 99 immediately. The augments used for stat growth are not the augments you want to use for general fighting, and particularly not optional-superboss fighting.

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Instead of Inferno, Geryon opened with Maelstrom. Adamant to the rescue, everyone dodged it except for Fusoya. Because Fusoya isn't wearing Adamant, I left him with the gear he joins in.

Geryon followed with Tsunami, which as I understand it is modified to always proc instant death unless your character is specifically protected against it. And Fusoya isn't.

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Everyone else is feelin' fine. They don't just take reduced damage from water thanks to Adamant, the Cursed Ring turns it into healing.

So. Let's talk about Geryon. He's the Malice of the Elemental Archfiends given form. He's a big ol' katamari of elemental monster parts with a completely extraneous sword and shield. All of this might give you some hint what attacks he likes to use.

He's got Scarmilogne's Gas, no longer a counterattack. He's got Cagnazzo's Tsunami, pictured above. He's got Barbariccia's Lightning. And as we saw previously, he's got Rubicante's Inferno. He also has Stone Touch, Curse, Cursed Elegy as a counterattack, and can swing that big-ass sword he's got for a regular physical hit.

Let's break it down. Tsunami, Lightning, and Inferno all output thousands of damage, well above what characters are likely to have. But the Adamant + Cursed Ring combo turns all of that damage into healing instead. Those attacks are harmless.

Gas causes Blind, Silence, and Sleep. Stone Touch petrifies. Curse adds, uh, Curse. Cursed Elegy causes Slow. And Adamant armor gives immunity to all of those status ailments. Those attacks are also harmless.

So the only thing Geryon could possibly do to hurt anyone still standing is hit them with a sword. Whoops, never mind, Rosa has Omnicasting and Blink. Nobody can be hurt by physical attacks.

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I'm not gonna say that the solution to Geryon is particularly intuitive, or easy to execute once you know what to do. You still have to grind those Princess Flans if you want Adamant armor! But it doesn't really matter how scary a monster he is when he literally can't harm anyone in your party.

The rewards are super good because of course they are, but as is typical for a superboss by the time you can earn them you don't need them anymore.

You can challenge Geryon as many times as you like here in Babil, and after the Giant is destroyed he moves to Mt. Ordeals. If you want to. I don't.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:42 pm

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There's one thing left to do. There's a rock formation on the moon that looks like a human face. It was just an oddity on the SNES, but subsequent versions have put things here. It's where the Lunar Ruins are in the GBA version, for instance. Here it prompts for an item input.

You have to have stolen Dark Matter from Zeromus. There's nowhere else to get it. Dark Matter is the only item the face accepts, and offering it here...

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...encounters Proto-Babil.

Yeah, that massive Lunarian superweapon Zemus wanted to unleash on the unsuspecting blue planet below? You didn't think they just built that right off, did you? There was a beta design. There were refinements. For all we know the Giant you crawl around in is version six or something.

In one of the other remastered versions the optional superboss is "Lost Babil". There are just a bunch of different Giants hanging out on the moon, waiting to be challenged for no particular reason. Zemus would have sent another Giant down the dimensional elevator but he needs a man on the ground to operate the Tower, and Golbez is un-brainwashed now.

It reminds me of a couple of lines from Portal 2. You're led to believe it's unique early on, but "Oh well, we have warehouses full of the things. Absolutely worthless. I'm happy to get rid of them." Only instead of a box with a heart painted on the side, it's a robot built to glass the entire ecosphere of a planet.

Why the supposedly-peaceful Lunarians have one Giant of Babil, much less three with the possibility of infinitely more offscreen, is never addressed.

Moving on.

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The prototype Giant is... less giant. About as tall as Rubicante, not counting the fins on its back. And it looks a lot less like the unholy lovechild of Kamen Rider and Samus Aran than it did on the SNES.

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Geryon had a boatload of attacks to choose from each turn. Proto-Babil pulls a page from the original Cloud of Darkness and has two. Light of Babil is a laser from one of the cannons in its fingertips. Its effect is shown here, targeting Cecil because it does still respect Draw Attacks. Remember, Cecil is level 99, has 99 in all his stats, and is wearing the best armor in the game. Light of Babil still nearly hit the damage limit.

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Before Rosa can cast Arise on Cecil, Kain takes a laser to the face too. The Giant was lumbering and clumsy on account of being thirty stories tall. Proto-Babil is fast.

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I figured Edge was as good a person to give the Defense-cutting ability. He doesn't have a lot that contributes to buffing other characters.

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This is a turn or two later. Cecil got back up, Rosa managed to land Slow on Proto-Babil with the other half of her Dualcast, then Ceece got wasted by another Light of Babil. While Rosa dualcasts Arise on Cecil and Kain, Rydia also gets lasered. Edge takes a moment to use his one-of-a-kind trump card.

Yes, that's the attack power 999 Knife with Limit Break behind it. That's a lot of damage!

Against an enemy with half its normal defense. That's not nearly enough damage!

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Huh? Oh, right. It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy 4 DS boss without a counterattack!

Proto-Babil counters any incoming attacks with a chance to do Laser Barrage. You may remember Laser Barrage as the one-turn partywipe the Attack node threw out in my first encounter with the CPU. Edge and Rosa hang on by a thread, but good news, Cecil and Kain manage to revive.

Edge throws a Fuma Shuriken.

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Nice.

Nice.

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Well, I did say the Giant has two attacks. The other is an instant kill... as opposed to an instant kill based on doing more HP damage than any character could withstand. Adamant armor, or even the humble Aegis shield, would null this one. The only chance you have at a break in Proto-Babil's attacks is Ninth Dimension, so do your best before he busts out another Light of Babil!

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Needless to say whatever it is I tried to accomplish while it Ninth Dimension-ed wasn't enough. Another Laser Barrage takes out Edge and Rosa, interrupting Rosa's revivification of Rydia. And Proto-Babil still respects Draw Attacks, so Cecil is the next to eat shit.

I managed to Focus with Kain a couple of times. Let's see what we can do with a Jump, maybe we can just wrap this up real quick...

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Again, that's with Proto-Babil at half defenses.

All told I did a little over 100,000 damage to Proto-Babil. Unfortunately, it has 400,000 HP. There's no way to beat it in an all-out attack. This will take some thought.

Oh, by the by? Proto-Babil has a second phase when he gets to around 100,000 HP. Then his laser attacks turn into wide-angle beams and he hits the whole party... when he's not healing himself for five-digit figures. Oh yes. This shit gets worse.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:03 pm

I have decided, after some time and not very many efforts, that I can't be arsed to actually beat Proto-Babil. Fuck it.

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

Postby nosimpleway » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:33 pm

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Obviously by the time you can even think about considering maybe having a chance of trying to attempt Proto-Babil, you can punk Zeromus effortlessly. The little shakey-shakey that hairball Zeromus does is supposed to remove status effects, so you can't set up Protect and Shell and Haste and so on before you get to the real fight. But Focus and Darkness don't count, so Kain was in the air before the Crystal resolved and shifted Zeromus's form.

I've had a fight on Free Enterprise where Big Z didn't get far enough into his routine to cast Big Bang. This time he got off... Osmose. He was dead before Edge got a chance to throw the Knife. Rydia and Rosa were just about done charging their dualcasts when Z-unit keeled over.

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That said, the ending is exactly the same.

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Except Namingway doesn't show up to offer you another New Game + run. This really is The End.

So.

What's the difference between FF4 in 2D and FF4 in 3D?

As far as the plot is concerned, it's pretty frivolous stuff. Cecil is slightly less of an idiot but the main story and character beats are all there. There's a cutscene about Golbez's fall to ruin that adds a little more detail behind our favorite Vaderlike, based on a scene that was ostensibly cut from the original versions.
But hey, we have The After Years to show us what happens when a new team is allowed to take over and develop these characters. Since I'm probably not ever going to LP TAY, I mean things like: What happens if Cecil's worst nightmare comes true, and he's the one mind-controlled into slavery to an evil power? Nothing! Where does Rydia go from here? The character in TAY is passive, anxious, can't go back to the Feymarch, and can't summon. It's basically not Rydia at all. Porom, no spoiler, is so boring her own scenario focuses on almost entirely other characters. The Lunarians? The moon just... comes back. It's the non-Lunarian moon that's the problem now! Fusoya just vanishes from the plot partway through. Golbez is now playable, and can make a senseless sacrifice to save Cecil from not much of anything if you let him.

Having read the events of The After Years I'm totally okay with not having a ton of new character details introduced to the core Final Fantasy 4. The Lunar Ruins were better thought out, and that's a shitty GBA-version postgame dungeon.

So the main enhancements to the game are in the combat engine, via the augment system. I'm sure I don't need to go into those details again, having described them throughout this thread. Thing is, though? 2D RPGs are pretty slow. The move to 3D makes things excruciatingly slow. Auto-Battle is a boon because oh my god as soon as you get the fight transition whoosh you want to just hold down the emulator's fast-forward key until the victory fanfare. I have a hard time believing I ever had enough free time to play this on a real DS, and even then it didn't hold my attention long enough to do New Game +.

The new tactics necessary to fight the bosses was probably considered the biggest reason to play this version, breathing a bit of new life into the game you've played before. But now that I look back? Not all that much changed. Cagnazzo has a new elemental weakness sometimes. Reflect won't save you in the Bahamut fight. Golbez is a barrier-change boss. The CPU is backwards. Lugaeborg has a right fucker of a gimmick now.
Off the top of my head, that leaves the Mist Dragon, the Kaipo Inn, Mombomb, the Fabul gauntlet, both Scarmilogne fights, Baigan, the Dark Elf, the Magus Sisters, Barbariccia, Calcabrena, Rubicante, every Eidolon test, every boss in the Lunar Subterrane, and Zeromus himself the same. (Antlion and Octomammoth occupy an odd middle-ground where they have changes that don't majorly affect their difficulty or how they're fought.) Brent was right when he said most of the new difficulty is just that enemy attacks make bigger numbers pop up.

In summary I guess What's New is somehow both not enough and very little, thankfully... at the same time.

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

Postby Friday » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:38 pm

Proto-Babil doing that time honored tradition of being complete horseshit as a super boss instead of interesting
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nosimpleway
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Re: What's the Difference? Let's Rush Final Fantasy 4 DS!

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:55 pm

It's a fine tradition. The difference between Proto-Babil and WarMECH looks pretty blurry from here.

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

Postby JD » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:30 pm


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