Final Fantasy Reportings


If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it belongs here. Also, come here if you just need to get hammered.

Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 16:54

Final Fantasy Reportings

(split from the black belt thread)
Tasonir and I are playing through FF1 on an emulator at double speed. I'm using FCEUX, working pretty well. It has nice speed controls and screenshot functions.

Getting Started
I chose a FiFiFiRM party. You don't have quite enough gold for 4 chainmails, 4 rapiers, and the fire spell, so I had to farm up a bit to get my gear. Was still level 1 when garland threatened to knock me down, but went down in 2 rounds. That got me to level 2. The princess gives me a lute, the king builds a bridge, my redmage picks up slep and lit using garland gold and I am off to explore the world!

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Mostly wolves on the way to provoka, and they give garbage xp and gold. I am still level 2 when I get to provoka and almost broke. I can afford 3 wood shields at 15g/each though, and a stop at the inn.

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Pirates go down easilly, and Bikke offers up his ship. Pirate gold gets me ICE for my red mage, and xp takes me to level 3. Chart Course for Elfland!

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I am not quite strong enough to make it to the marsh cave yet (i tried!) but getting part way there and fighting ogres is good gold. I hit level 4, buy 3 replacement iron shields 100g/ea, a cap 60g, and 3 wooden helms 80g/ea. I can afford 1 iron armor at 800g replacing a chainmail, and 3 sabres at 450/ea. The rest of my gold goes into ~10 pure potions, some used.

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I embark for the cave at level 4. It is just a preliminary venture, getting the chests in the upstairs. Some gold, a useless large knife, and a short sword, which is slightly better than the sabre. Going back to town, I sell the knife and can afford the other two iron armors for my fighters, a cabin, a 10 heal potions, and 13 pure potions. At level 5, my fighters start getting 2 hits with the sabres, which is a huge upgrade. I hit lvl 6 on my trip to the marsh cave, and I think I am ready to take on the wizards guarding the crown.
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My red mage has a lvl 3 spell charge, but I cannot afford lit2. I bought too many items. I'm going to take a crack at the marsh cave as I am, but if I die to wizards, I may have to farm up 1500g for the spell before I can get the crown.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 17:22

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Screenshot and text will probably be easier for me to do too, I'm not sure how interested people would be in watching 10-20 hours of mostly sped up fighting. I took some screenshots of the start, but I probably need to take more, I'll post the starting writeup when I get home. Should I use the same thread, or make a separate one?
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 17:24

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Let's keep the Tavern Let's Plays to one thread for now, I think?

Blades Runner

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Post Friday, 25th September 2015, 19:59

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

This is cool... love those old graphics. I'm currently replaying ff6 on a Raspberry Pi, with usb snes controller.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 05:22

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

So I'll get better about the screenshoting the right times and stuff, but here's some that I did take.

So since I sincerely know that black belts are the one true path in life, I decided against watering down my party with support classes like red mages or white mages. Healing is for the weak, and we are black belts, who know the 8 fold path and accept no compromises.

**Edit: because I didn't properly size some of the images in this post due to a poor setup when I started, I have spoilered the images since a few are quite large**

Spoiler: show
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We emerge from the void, entering existence outside a peaceful town surrounded by forests. Others would normally approach town to buy needed equipment and spells, but we rely entirely on our own might, so I head into the forests for combat!

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No guts! No glory!

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So as you can see, unarmed combat starts out much the way it does in crawl - terribly weak at level 1. Yeah, I was really hitting for 1-2 damage. A note here, it is technically better to go into town and get wooden numchucks, they will miss more, but you'll be able to hit for quite a bit more than 2 damage. I decided to be pure and not bother, but I know this isn't really the intended way to do this. At least using your fists does mean you pretty much never miss. And you get a decent amount of crits, higher than the 2% I was expecting, but maybe I was just lucky. By level 2 I saw a crit as high as 12 damage vs an imp, but most level 2 hits are around 5-6 damage.

I waited until level 3 to fight garland, although you could probably take him pretty easily at level 2. I spent all my money on heal potions and a tent.

Spoiler: show
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Garland defeated!

Spoiler: show
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Going up to matoya's cave, fought some bones at level 3, you can see I am already doing a lot of damage, not sure if this was a critical hit and I just took the screenshot before it showed, but for 19 damage at this level, it was probably a crit.

I went over to the second town and got the ship at level 4, which was probably more than I needed to be, but I tend to overlevel and steam roll things in general. Each pirate died in one hit, wasn't bad at all. I'll probably level up a bit on the sea before fighting around elfland for a while. I admit I was surprised edge went to the marsh cave at 5, even if he wasn't planning on finishing it then. I usually waited until level 8 or so, even on standard fighter parties. Maybe I'm too conservative :)

Future posts will have all one size screenshots without my desktop background, I wasn't really organized when I started. Sorry :)
Last edited by tasonir on Monday, 5th October 2015, 20:20, edited 2 times in total.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 07:52

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

So let me know if this is the appropriate amount of detail/screenshots, or if you want more or less. I suppose I could have a more serious tone too, but it's hard to not get excited with how awesome punching everything in the world is. I mean, you seriously can ignore the items in every dungeon except for ribbons and maybe the heal staff; there's really nothing in the game you need. You have so much gold.

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So we left off at level 4, with still some pretty low stats, but hey, everyone starts somewhere. Let's do this.

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So why are emperor scorpions hard? Well sure they hit hard and they resist poison, but the secret sauce is their 20 ac. I can't find any resource that lists how much defense ogres have, but I have to assume it's pretty decent. I fought one up north around the second town at level 3, and couldn't do more than 1-2 damage, so I had to flee. I'm now doing a bit more, but hey, 8 isn't really viable for this fight yet.

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It's much better for your early black belts to level up on the open sea, fighting pirates. Pirates are notable for dropping tons of gold. Gold which we will never, ever need. After a level I return to land because for some reason controlling the ship on open water bothers me, I'd rather have landmarks around me.

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Starting to do enough damage to take out ogres. This was a two ogre fight and it went pretty smoothly. Not sure exactly what level I was, probably 5 or 6. Decided to go explore the marsh cave since edge went there at 5; I mean, I admit that blackbelts aren't as strong early on, we could really use the x4 attacks breakpoint, but I can't just level to 20 without moving forward at least a little! I've been doing some fighting around the entrance to the marsh cave; it's perfectly fine to level here because I have ~8 tents and 5 cabins. Tons of gold, always. For reference, here's our level 7 stats:

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Inside the cave the regular fights are even weaker than I remember, and possibly even weaker than the monsters outside. Really the only threat here is getting poisoned too much, but we have tons of potions, so that's not a problem. I go for the bosses which spawn a random amount of wizards:

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And we get the smallest possible group, 2 wizards! Note that these were supposed to be mind flayers, they got renamed for the english version to avoid copyright claims. They can't actually cast any spells. Same goes for sorcerers, later on. Alas, even with only 2 of them, they hit very hard and level 7 black belts just aren't that strong yet. I die and reload to go level some more. I wasn't really expecting to win, but felt like I should check.

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Now we're talking! Not sure if this was level 8 or 9, but damage is really starting to take off, especially when I get critical strikes. Maybe I should play on a slower message speed to make grabbing these screenshots easier, oh well. Not sure if this was a crit or not. I've seen crit attacks do 80+ damage at this point.

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Think this was a party of a Green ogre and 2 ogres; the exp is pretty nice. Won't need that gold, because:

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Already have 99 heals. Tents/cabins heal the full party and save your game on the world map, so you don't really use that many of them, I could have bought more but just didn't need to. 24 pures should be plenty. I'll probably 99 these as well eventually, but didn't see the need to do so now. Party is at level 9. No one is using any armor or weapons - I tried a copper bracelet when I was level 5 because I thought it might raise my absorb, but it lowered it from 5 to 4, so I sold it back. I think level 9 should be enough to kill the wizards, but I may do 10 or 11 to make it easy. Not sure if I'm supposed to be doing low level challenges or not, I'm usually more of an "abuse the growth rate of black belts to steamroll everything" kind of FF player.

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edgefigaro

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 15:35

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

I forgot to screenshot the wizard fight =(

4 Wizards went down at level 6. They killed my red mage (first death!), and nearly got one of my fighters, but I was able to capture the crown. Went back to elfland to revive.

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Astos also gets wrecked at lvl 6. Rub does instantly kill my fighter, but he is dead in 3 rounds. Astos EXP gets half of my party to 7, and gets me a crystal.
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....TCELES B HUSB?
A magic spell?
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Crystal to Matoya gives HERB, HERB to Elf Prince gives KEY, Key gives Dragon Sword, Rune Sword, Were Sword, TNT, Silver Armor, Iron Guantlet, Iron Helm, and a bunch of gold. TNT opens the canal to the outer seas and Melmond!
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I have ~40 potions for the vampire, and there is new equipment to buy at melmond, Iron Helmets and Iron Gauntlets round fill up all my fighter armor slots. I'm level 7/8 for the earth cave pt1, with the two deaths putting a fighter the red mage behind slightly. Don't have level 4 spells charges on my redmage yet, though I already bought Ice2 and FAST.
Only notable pickup in the earth cave is the coral sword for my red mage.

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The Vampire Drops my Red Mage easily, but goes down in 2 rounds.
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Killing the Vampire gets me the Ruby. The titan eats the Ruby and I get a silver helmet and a great axe in a chest, and proceed to get the rod. Back to town to revive and then to the lich!

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I am level 9/8 when I depart for the lich, and everyone is level 9 when I get to his altar. Lich fight is 2 rounds, nothing notable. 2 FIR2 charges and fighters bring him down. No deaths. I do eat an ICE2 for a bunch of damage.
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Still level 9, 3 deaths and no wipes yet. Cresent Lake and Temple of Ordeals is next!
Last edited by edgefigaro on Saturday, 26th September 2015, 15:47, edited 1 time in total.

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tasonir

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 15:45

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

We are playing different ways. I'm attempting to show that Fighters are the most broken character in the game by a wide margin, and I'm trying to do that by steamrolling the game at lowish levels. Black Belt party is trying to prove black belts get strong at highish levels.

Both of these statements are true, and don't really have to compete with eachother.

I like how you show so many fight screenshots. I've been more postcardy. Greetings from The Earth Cave! Welcome to Melmond!

I also very rarely fight. I run. A lot. I kill large lonely monsters. I run from Undead, wolves, hordes, things that poison me, stun me, or put me to sleep, things that cast damaging spells or abilities.

I need to put up more statshots.
Last edited by edgefigaro on Saturday, 26th September 2015, 16:55, edited 2 times in total.

Spider Stomper

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 16:15

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Ooo. Is this FF1-off open to join? I've been meaning to get around to documenting a solo RM run.
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 16:31

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Sure! I think ima roll FiFiBMBM next.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 19:13

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

I suppose I never saw the point of going for things at low levels when you can just walk back and forth into an earth elemental and level up in ~5 minutes real time (thank you turbo button). Seems too easy not to :) I do like the extreme low level challenges, but that usually means beating the entire game at level 9, and running away from every single runnable fight. While that's possible it's also a lot of reseting until you get the right rolls, so I'd never do it myself. And sure, anyone who wants to record a run is welcome! Back to the run!

Ended up killing the wizards at level 9 without too much difficulty - got lucky again and only had 2 wizards. I think it spawns up to 5? Might only be a max of 4.

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I guess death shots aren't really that easy to demonstrate in FF1; it's just an empty screen. As far as I remember only chaos the last boss has a death animation where he fades out where you could show a kill, really. After this I reached level 10 before astos, which hits the breakpoint for x4 attacks. So now we're basically destroying everything in one hit:

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Went to go kill astos, and like you, I didn't feel like resetting until he misses Rub. For those who don't know, he has a bunch of powerful spells, but one in particular is Rub - instantly kills a character, he only casts it his first turn. It can miss, but at this level your characters don't have much magic defense and it seems to hit more often than miss. If you want to keep all your characters at the same exact EXP, you have to reset this fight until you get a miss. After that, he doesn't have terribly much health and he dies pretty fast.

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Chei took one for the team here. We appreciate the sacrifice.

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It's been so long I totally forgot the order of all the give thing to person to get next thing tasks you have to do now, after a few pointless trips, got all the things to the right place. Went to the next town, which is a pretty worthless town - it doesn't even have a potion shop or a shop to revive dead characters! As usual, we have no use for any magic, weapon, or armor store. Went directly to the earth cave below the town:

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This is the western side of the first floor, an area known as giant's hall. Every step on this side, starting from the tile I am in (so the vertical hallway + 1 column of the horizontal hallways on the top and bottom) are a 100% encounter rate of giants + iguanas. The exact counts vary and you can get 0 iguanas, but the at least one giant is always there.

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At this point in the game I usually level up a bit, but you have some other options besides just giants:

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On the northern side of the first floor there's a treasure room which has a guarenteed encounter of one earth elemental. This gives slightly more experience than the giant fights, and it's only one target so you can just hold down turbo + attack rather than having to pick targets (I am in fact that lazy). This also makes the fights very quick. The downside is that at level 10 he hits like a truck and it's entirely possible for him to 2 shot a character from full health. That shouldn't happen too terribly often (he has to pick the same person twice, not miss, and roll for high damage), and around level 12-13 you'll start to be able to kill him in one round, which makes it a lot more efficient and safe. This is the spot where I leveled up the most.

But in the interest of completeness, there's also a pretty good leveling spot in astos' castle; his treasure room has 3 chests with 3 fixed encounters in front of each chest. Two are mummies, the third are images:

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I'd probably recommend the mummies over images, if you want to not deal with possible 2 shotting vs earth elementals. But the earth elemental is probably the best overall, and certainly the best if you're level 12-13+ with a turbo button. I stopped leveling at 14:

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At this point the game becomes "meet interesting new monster, kill it in one hit"

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That isn't to say there aren't annoying fights though. I would normally just run from a large party of the undead, this is one fight where a harm spell would come in rather useful, but I fought one out to demonstrate it:

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The problem is seen in the second picture: while they don't hit hard, they will stun your characters, which just drags the fight out. Still, they can't really hit that hard, so in the end I kill them all with my leader taking about 50% damage. If you aren't familiar with FF1, the top character takes 50% of attacks, the second takes 25%, and 3rd-4th take 12.5% each, so the top character tends to get the worst of everything.

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Full party of green ogres is cake at this point, they usually die in one attack, but may take two. Time to go kill the vampire:

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Killed him in 3 attacks, he never even got an action against us. At this point my offense is simply far higher than the game designers expected it to be. Defensively our absorb (aka defense/armor) is still fairly low, but evasion is decent.

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Go through titan's pass with the ruby, got the rod from Sarda. The second picture is titled "All of these chests are meaningless to black belts". I went down just to mock the treasure room, actually. About the only chests I'll ever care about opening are the ones that give ribbons. I might get the heal staff from the castle of ordeals, although I think I'm probably going to stay as black belts while leveling up for the magic defense. Apparently masters (evolved black belts) do get slightly more agility on level ups, which gives them better evasion, but our evasion is already going to be insanely high at high levels.
Last edited by tasonir on Sunday, 27th September 2015, 01:42, edited 1 time in total.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 26th September 2015, 22:48

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

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So diving back into the earth cave, I made a bad turn and end up in a treasure room! Gross, items of monetary value! I hate these. Since I'm here I figure I'll open a chest, but the fixed encounter before it is surprisingly out of depth for the earth cave: two sphinxes. Manage to take them out but as you can see poor kit has taken quite a beating and nearly dies. I open the chest for some gold, but decide I'd rather leave the room without bothering with any other chests.

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It's Lich time! Fun fact, in the Japanese version the 4 main bosses were called the 4 chaoses, not fiends. But it was considered confusing since the last boss is also named chaos.

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Lich has more than enough defense to prevent me from one rounding him at this level, but with our now pretty high critical rate (~15%) and 4 attacks a round, you usually land a crit or two and that punches through his armor. It can be funny when you land 0 crits, you'll usually see something like "4 hits! 5 damage." Wow, we're making progress!

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Next up is Crescent lake! Sail south around the earth cave and then west, to this port. Technically you're now on the eastern edge of the world, since you looped around the world map.

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Restocking on potions is important. I felt like I spend enough of my game time on this screen that you should too. I actually went pretty overboard buying 50 houses and then when I later on wanted to buy proRings, actually had to farm some gold. I am a shame to black belts everywhere.

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I generally don't bother talking to storyline NPC's, but this one hands you the canoe if you've defeated lich, so now we can travel through rivers. Circle of 12 wise men, yada yada.

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River action shots! Hydras in rivers can hit pretty hard, but aside from that and some annoying poison monsters, most things here aren't a threat and give decent exp/gold. There isn't much need to level up right now though. Instead I head north of the port to crescent lake, and take the port/river to the ice cave!

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I assume this is an unintentional bug but you can disembark the boat into rivers once you have the canoe. This can be used to get closer to the castle of ordeals than is possible by landing the airship, if you don't mind sailing all the way up there. I didn't bother to do that this game, I just flew there.

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I'd say I'm technically fighting underleveled here; I think the intention is that you do the volcano before getting the airship, but most people familiar with the game tend to do it in reverse order. In any case, frost dragons are pretty scary for level 15-16 characters, but our heavy offense will take care of business. Black belts for life!

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The room with the floater ironically is full of shaft traps! This is the first time I entered the room, so you have to take a shaft trap down to the bottom level, you'll then travel back up to the top floor, fall in another shaft, and then land inside of all the shaft traps, where you can get the floater.

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The first picture here shows the first "damage tile" we ran into. These deal 1 damage to each character, but you can't encounter monsters on them, so they can sometimes be a benefit to you. Also they can't deal the final damage point, I think - maybe I should double check that. After this though, we ran into some trouble - a party of mages. Mages here have Rub just like Astos (They even have the same sprite, just recolored) and one lands it on our beloved Chei. Man, Chei is just always taking one for the team. Such a team player, Chei was also the one who took Astos' rub. Definitely the one true god. Kit gets turned to stone later on fighting cockatrices, although I have plenty of soft potions to cure that. Sadly, there is no way to revive a character outside of a town unless you have a white mage, which I clearly don't. I don't think red mages can learn life, but maybe they can, I didn't check. Life doesn't work during combat, so there's never any way to revive in battle.

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So the three of us remaining make it to the boss, Eye. Eye can also do instant death attacks: Rub, stone, and XXXX. Fortunately that doesn't happen and it dies rather quickly. Eye only has 162 hp - it's a popular leveling spot once you get proRings/ribbons so that you are immune (some guides just say resistant; not sure if I've ever seen a death attack work on a proRing/Ribbon user, though) to instant death attacks. Gives ~750 exp, can't hit for much damage, very quick fixed fight.

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Here's a brief reminder that black belts are above such mundane things as weapons and armor - I've never used either all game long. That will change soon as I like being immune to status effects, but you never need armor for actual defense. You can skip all treasure rooms in the game except for the ribbon locations and save yourself a lot of hassle :)

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Now that we have the floater, head south of crescent lake and raise the airship!

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What, the earth cave? Hey, don't look at me funny, it's a good leveling spot without prorings yet, so I fought some more earths, then headed over to the volcano the quick way. No more canoeing for me.

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We've done a lot of things, but we're still only 17, two more levels than when I fought Lich (entered the earth cave at 14 but leveled up when inside).

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One of my favorite floors of any dungeon in the game - there's a huge twisting room north of me filled with treasure. There's a narrow hallway along the south side, all you have to do to get to the next floor is go west. Skips so much. <3 fists.

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Still have to fight some things, of course, so here's some action shots. R gargoyles can cast fire spells, which hurt pretty bad. We can't cast Afire, but blackbelts do have the highest magic defense of any class, so that helps.

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Final floor of the volcano, we don't need any of the loot (and only a few directions actually have any loot), so we just head southwest to kary.

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Kary, like Lich, has plenty of armor and a lot of our individual hits won't do much damage. Again, crits will help pierce through armor, doing 60-70 damage for a typical attack. Kary has 600 hp, and falls pretty easily. Chei takes a lot of damage but I ignore damage and do nothing but punch all the way through, and Chei lives with 16 hp. I think she was considering taking another one for the team, though.

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Two orbs are now shining, two to go. I head up to the cave of ordeals because why not, it's a cool castle. Lots of teleporters form a maze inside, and it's been too long and I don't feel like going the wrong way, so I looked up which were the correct ones. The maze isn't terribly long in any case. Since I flew up to the castle, you have to land a fair bit away and fight though some higher level monsters:

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The catman sprite is supposed to look like its leaping out of the screen towards you, with its legs showing slightly under it. But to me it always just looked like it was a bust of a human, with no body. Entered the castle, I don't know who would ever come here without the crown, and up we go. MudGol and nitemares are both fixed encounters and could be used for leveling if you want, but no real need, because there's an even better one up ahead.

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The way the chest is positioned you'll probably pick up the treasure before you fight the boss, and now we have the rat's tail! Simply called tail due to item name length restrictions, in later FF's it's called rat tail, so I assume this one is too. No finer trophy of bravery could ever exist.

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Boss to the castle of ordeals is 1-2 zombie dragons. I only got one and turned it into fine dust rather quickly, but as I hinted at before, this is the better leveling spot in the castle, so I fought more groups of zombie dragons several times for the experience. I didn't keep exact track but I should be roughly level 21 by now. In any case I have a screenshot of my level 21 status:

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This is another one of those critical levels: you now attack 6 times. The way you can tell is it's an extra 2 attacks every 32 hit % (other classes get one attack at the same 32% hit), and we now have 65. There's no variation in hit % gains, it's fixed by class.

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Awwww yeah, feel the power. Anyways, fly up to the northwest continent, buy the bottle from the caravan (not pictured), then fly up to the north east mountain town of gaia (pictured), where you can release the fairy from the bottle to get oxyale (I hope you can tell the last picture is a fairy).

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Sadly, at this point, it's time to sully my pure blackbelts with a piece of armor: Gaia sells prorings for protection from death. As I mentioned before I went overboard on buying houses and had to farm some gold, but did so and bought 4 proRings.

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The first screenshot is level 23 before proRing, then I equip the proring and lose my absorb and 1 evasion. You lose all "skin" absorb, but the ring provides 8 itself. I then have to level up to 24, where I get my 24 absorb back, am still immune to death effects, and still have the -1 evasion. With oxyale and proRings, we're now set for the temple of onrac (water dungeon). To be continued...

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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 09:59

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Edgefigaro: Coincidentally, that is the party I used the first tie I beat the game.

Spider Stomper

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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 19:22

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Yeah fighters are rediculously powerful in that game, beat the game once at like level 16 with that party. But everyone knows the real party is fighter, red mage, thief, and black mage :3

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 20:21

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

So we left off last time just about to take the plunge into the water temple! In we go....

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Monsters here aren't really any threat, they simply die too quickly to get much of a chance to hit back. A good offense is the best defense, and all that. We head up to the top to go talk to our mermaid friends and fetch the slab:

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And then head back downwards into the depths to face Kraken. Along the way there's one treasure chest we actually care about:

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But otherwise it's just a straight dive to the boss, Kraken:

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So while I didn't get a screenshot of his first hit on Qaz, you can see he hit him for ~350 damage, and then hit Kit for 356 the next round. Apparently that's what happens when you give a boss 8 attacks; fortunately he didn't attack the same character twice. He's dead in 7 attacks, so those are the only two hits against us he ever makes. I decide to be lazy and not go through all the menus to use 20 heal potions to bring them back to full, because that's tedious and we're 2 steps from the exit.

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So of course, a great shark jumps us and attacks Qaz immediately. Of course they only hit for ~30 damage, so we're fine, but I thought it was nice to see the bastard try. Dinner is sushi tonight.

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Turn in the slab, go get the chime from leafish, where togas never went out of style. That or they just didn't have enough memory in the cartridge to give people different sprites.

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Level 25 hp and gold count; 113k sitting around with nothing to do. Head north on the river to the waterfall cave now to get the cube, required to face tiamat, and run into some rather old monsters:

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Seriously mummies spawn in astos' castle loot room, and the earth cave, and they're still spawning here? Ah well, hit one for just shy of 600 damage.

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Gas dragon? Now we're talking. These are actually tough and are common monsters in the final dungeon, their gas breath does large damage to your entire party. Of course, we're going to one shot it with a pentium's worth of damage (586, har har). They only have 352 hp, so even when they later spawn in packs of 4, you can kill each one in one attack. It's tough being black belts. Now with the cube and we're off to the mirage tower/floating castle!

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Landing spot on the edge of the desert by the mirage tower.

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I'll give you one guess as to the path I'm going to take on this floor. Hint: It's about 12 steps. Skip all the treasure. To be fair there's a heal helmet on this level which you could use as a second heal staff if you want, but we're not really even using the first one, so...

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Cerebus are still spawning and scorch still doesn't do much damage...Blue dragons can do a bit more with their stronger breath, but still getting around 50 isn't much damage. It can spike up to around 150 if you're unlucky. I don't recall who took the 150 but it was probably due to that person not having a ribbon.

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Final ribbon! Time to equip them and go through the final dungeon with 9 absorb, because I'm not very wise...Ah well, it's the last time we'll have to bother with equipping anything.

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Stun fights are still annoying, and these guys can AoE stun your whole party. Fortunately the success rate is pretty low.

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The top floor is a single hallway where warmech spawns - his encounter chance is quite low though, and I didn't run into any. I'll probably come back to show the fight after I beat the game.

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It's tiamat time! This one doesn't come with a pack of draconians following him around, though.

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Hits range from 200ish to just under 100 per attack. You can see tas took the hit the first round for not much damage (he hits weaker than kraken does), the second round he thunders the whole party but it doesn't deal much damage to us either. Think he took two rounds, not entirely sure. He's got 1000 hp, in any case.

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And now the only thing left is the final dungeon, which was also the first dungeon...

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The dark orb here has protected the time portal while you were out fighting the four fiends and restoring the light to the orbs (which were crystals in the japanese version, consistent with all the other FF's). The main plot of FF is that garland/chaos is working together with the four fiends through time; he sends the fiends forward 2000 years to destroy the world, so to go through this portal you step back 2000 years in time to face chaos and stop him and end the time loop.

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Level 27 status and gold; up next will be the final dungeon at level 27, the intended level and dungeon crawl's favorite number. After that I'll probably level to 50, fight warmech at 27/50, and kill chaos again at 50.

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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 21:10

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Black Belts are rolling right along, I see. Gold Bracelet + ProRing = 32 Absorb, 33 with ribbon, and Opal Bracelet + Proring + Ribbon = 43

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 22:48

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Oh certainly, bracelets are what you're intended to do, I just like to "go full black belt" and rely on nothing but the power within. Except, you know, for ribbons, because screw instant death attacks. Those suck.

On a related note though, is there any point to wearing a proRing when you have a ribbon? If I took them off the 3 who have ribbons (4th BB would keep the proRing) then they'd get +1 evade.

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Post Sunday, 27th September 2015, 23:16

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Ribbons don't protect from death.

At least that is what I understand. I could be wrong. It certainly sounds wrong.

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 00:49

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Soemthing protects or at leats significantly reduces instant death, not sure if it's ribbon or pro.

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 01:19

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

I believe it's ribbon protects against all status effects, and proRing is death, so they are probably redundant. But at least one guide said "protects against" just means a lower chance of death happening, rather than zero chance. I've never seen it work on someone with a proring/ribbon, though. In any case, I doubt you'd ever notice the missing one evasion.

Well, time to finish this off! Or at least the normal game, we aren't quite done with all the additional goals yet.

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We step through the portal 2000 years into the past, and now there's no going back. The only way to exit the final dungeon is with the exit spell, which I obviously can't cast since black belts learn no magic. So we're committed now.

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Full parties of 4 dragons are pretty common in the early part of the dungeon, various types are possible, but they flock together with their own type. Remember back when I used zombie dragons to level up? FF1 reuses a lot of monsters in multiple dungeons, so some monsters are somewhat outdated and others are pretty deadly. Or they would be, if black belts weren't so overpowered.

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Upgraded version of the eye who is notable for only giving 1 exp and 1 gold. Ah well. After the first few floors you then get into the elemental floors, where it repeats the earth -> fire -> water -> air cycle that you fought the fiends in originally. First up, earth:

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Not much harder than when I was killing earth elementals at 10, and lich at 15. Fire level goes pretty easily as well, with a few new fire monsters added to try to be more appropriate to level 27 characters, but we rush forward to kary without much trouble:

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She gets a pretty nasty hit off on Chei, but chei lives to fight another day.

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Next up is Kraken, and with our relatively low absorb, he's still hitting like a truck. I didn't manage to grab a screenshot of it, but he takes Qaz out in one hit. We kill him pretty quickly as well, but sadly it's going to be 3 black belts from here on out.

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3 black belts vs tiamat doesn't seem terribly fair to tiamat, poor little dragon. He wastes his two turns casting spells that do aoe damage, so no one gets terribly hurt.

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Our status before going up against chaos - Kit and Tas have leveled up to 28, but Chei is keeping the level 27 dream alive. Qaz will be forever remembered in the annals of history.

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Because I'm terrible at this, I didn't even screenshot his third speech, but he says "After 2000 years, I will be forgotten, and the Time-Loop will close. I will live forever, and you shall meet doom!!" Trust me, I've got you covered.. Speaking of which it should probably have been "you shall meet your doom" but they were probably running out of space. Or money to make the game (square was nearly bankrupt when they were making this game, the story goes).

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Pretty familiar song and dance at this point, we hit for around 150-300 damage per attack, he wastes some time with aoe attacks doing about 6 damage to all, and when he finally single targets Tas the damage is only around 120, hardly threatening. Kraken was much more likely to cause casualties. I think this took around 4 rounds, and he never got to the point in his script where he casts cure 4, so we only had to go through his 2000 hp once.

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Chaos is the only monster in the game with a death animation, as he slowly fades away piece by piece. It's not a bad graphical effect for the NES, I'd say.

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There's quite a bit more text screens than just the one, but I didn't think it was worth the space to screenshot all of them. The final "The End" screen animates in line by line, and remains on the screen indefinitely. You can't get off the screen, you have to reset the system. Congratulations, game over! Or is it...

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 01:38

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

tasonir wrote:On a related note though, is there any point to wearing a proRing when you have a ribbon? If I took them off the 3 who have ribbons (4th BB would keep the proRing) then they'd get +1 evade.


The Ribbon gives resistance to all 8 "elemental" categories in FF1, so it is redundant with the proRing. As a matter of fact, the proRing only protects specifically against the "Death" element, which only includes RUB and XXXX. There are other instant death attacks that use the "Time" element (STOP, ZAP!), "Poison/Stone" element (Bane), and "Earth" element (CRACK). So, the Ribbon actually protects against a bunch more insta-death stuff than the proRing.
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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 01:39

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

So what good would beating Final Fantasy be if we don't completely dominate it in every way shape and form? Our first extended goal is go back and kill warmech, for a level 27 baseline, and then to level up to 50, the level cap.

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Going back through the floating castle we find some air elementals and a greater naga - I don't think I ever fought an air elemental on my first walk through. For that matter, I don't think I ever fought a water elemental at any point, one of the perks of skipping most treasure rooms I guess. Both are fairly tough monsters. While I'm back in here I finally did go pick up the heal helmet, so I have two heal items if I ever want to do mid battle curing to save heal potions. Repeatedly walking up and down the final floor we finally stumble upon warmech:

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Nuclear is the kind of attack chaos can only wish he had; about 200 damage to all party members. His single target attacks are roughly 200-300 damage as well, so you can't really win either way.

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We're putting out pretty good damage, but he's got very high health - 1000. Tas can't stand up to a hit after nuclear shaved off half his health, but we press on.

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Qaz decides the afterlife seems like less of a struggle, but Kit and Chei claim victory. Warmech gives the most gold/exp for any monster in the game, 8k exp (party of 4) and 32k gold. Since I only have two people left, that's 16k exp each. That completes the remaining challenges I have planned for 27, so now it's time to go up to 50.

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I decided to go back to the eye in the ice cave, where we got the floater for the airship. Now that we're immune to death effects, he can't hurt us and he gives a decent 800 exp per fight. Here's a 636 damage hit at level 27 for reference. In about 20 minutes, we've managed to level up to 32, which is the breakpoint for 8 attacks. Occassionaly, when you step off the fixed encounter, you fight other random ice cave monsters, and it was against a frost giant and two frost wolves that I first documented our x8 hits damage:

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Those hits would kill any monster in the game in one hit except for chaos; warmech and tiamat included. However they have a decent bit more defense than a frost wolf, so we likely wouldn't be able to actually one shot them yet. But there's still 18 levels to go.

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Another shot against one of the lower defense ice cave monsters, this one only landed 7 hits, but still dealt 1284 damage. I assume wraiths have very little to no armor. I thought I had a screenshot of my damage against the eye post x8 attacks, but I can't seem to find it. I hit him for 1003, if I recall, he has decent/medium armor.

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Here's my level 35 status, this took about 30 minutes of leveling against the eye, for level 27 -> 35. Should hit 50 in about another hour of leveling, and then we can go pick on puny warmech and chaos again just for fun. I'll probably change things up and level against the blue dragon in the mirage tower, or if anyone else has any suggestions, I wouldn't mind a little variation :)

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 04:04

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Okiedoke. So I figured I would join in on the fun by documenting a playthrough I've been meaning to get around to: the solo Red Mage! This isn't my first time doing a solo run (the first time I played through this game to completion was with a solo Fighter), but FF1 is a really great game for a solo playthrough. Tons of fun, and it even feels fair at times. It's also one of the few RPGs that does not revive your other characters when staying at an Inn--a convenience that is just amazing for any solo character using magic.

I'm pretty sure Red Mage is the 2nd or 3rd easiest solo character to take through the game. It's certainly much easier than Black Mage, Thief, or White Mage (shudder). Black Belt is probably easier though, if only because it possesses +4 MDef and +3 Hit per level. Fighter is hands down the easiest, sporting +3 MDef, +3 Hit and access to the absolute best weapons and armour. The Red Mage, not surprisingly, gets stuck pretty much in the middle. It has solid Hit growth at +2 per level, which is absolutely huge in comparison to the White/Black Mage's +1, and it has average MDef (+2). It's weapon and armor selection is much better than the Thief or other mages, but the Red Mage fall way behind the Fighter in terms of armor quickly into the game because they are unable to equip the heaviest armors or shields or gauntlets or helmets or any baller shit like that.

But I have magic, and I got plenty of it. FF1 is way more generous to its Red Mage than FFV was in terms of magic; I get to learn up to level 6 spells, which will be very useful. I suspect it will be a bit more interesting than slashing through things with my Fighter.

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Starting out is pretty easy for a character that can equip Chain Mail and a Rapier. Even better is when you have a character who also gets Fire and Cure at the start. I quickly killed off my homies and got to leveling a bit. I needed level 4 before I felt comfortable nabbing a cap and facing Garland. Imps were slaughtered, lots of 'em.

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These are my stats at level 4 before facing Garland. Fairly average in all respects except low vitality. Red Mage agility is higher than I thought it would be, which will be nice. Intelligence is a broken stat and does nothing, so it's a pity base stats go to it. A lot less impressive than my Fighter, but it will do.

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This is the first of many paralysis or instant death screenshots. Obviously instant death is brutal for any solo character, but paralyze can be just as dangerous on a character who doesn't have insane defenses. Pre-Ribbon, a lot of dungeon runs are simply always running away. It's a strange thing that happens in solo FF1 playthroughs. Leveling and dungeon crawling are often completely separate from each other.

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I blasted Garland down with 4 casts of Fire. It hit for up to 40 damage and was far superior to smacking him with my Rapier. Garland is pretty much a freebie.

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Grinding at Pravoka is very tough, but I get so tired of fast forwarding through Imps. It took me awhile to grind up money for spells and a Short Sword because there were few encounters I could actually handle. Once I got Ice and a couple levels, it became much more manageable. I leveled up to 8 and had zero issues with the pirates. A Short Sword lets you one shot them, so all you have to do is heal off the crits occasionally. I'm still broke as shit going to Elfland, but Butz is about to get a whole lot stronger with another level. But first:

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Another death to paralysis. It's rough stuff, and it's only going to get rougher come the Marsh Cave.

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However, Butz now pretty much doubles his melee damage by hitting 9. Characters get +1 attacks for every 32% Hit they have. With the +15 from my Short Sword, Butz hits this breakpoint at level 9. Now I could reliably kill Ogres and all the other crap that spawns outside of Elfland. I had to spend a while here to get some essential upgrades, namely a Silver Sword, Lit2, and Cure2 before heading to the Marsh Cave. Well, the options are actually really vast, and I could grind the crap out of things to make the Marsh Cave easier. But, I'm lazy, so I only picked up those and started to pick up a stash of consumables. Unfortunately:

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The Marsh Cave is a shitshow for a solo character. Even if you do survive long enough to run away during a paralysis lock, it takes a ton of resources to bounce back if you're unlucky. Resources are really scarce for this character because Elfland requires around 20,000 gold for spells, weapons, and consumables. I had to grind a bit more, up to level 12 before I was able to successfully complete it.

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It takes two decent rolls on Lit2 to kill all the Wizards. I lost many Wizard fights as they could often kill me before I could act twice. This is the winning fight, and I'm finally done with this frustrating dungeon. This wasn't the only time I defeated the Wizard pack though. This dungeon took a ton of resets, and I died more than once ascending from it after nabbing the Crown.

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This is what I looked like going into the Astos fight. I grinded a bit more after completing the Marsh Cave, and I got some new tools. Mainly, Fast, which is an insane buff. Fast doubles the amount of hits your character does. At this stage, it takes Butz 2x hits with his Silver Sword to a massive 4x. Fast is definitely going to be a go-to buff in this playthrough. It's pretty much as close to Haste as you're going to get.

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Of course, I can't deal damage if Astos is going to instant kill me at the start of the fight. This fight is basically up to luck and requires a few resets to get past RUB. Fortunately, the Red Mage has a better option than just dodging. You can mute Astos and prevent him from casting RUB, and Butz did exactly that. From there, the fight was easy. I just used Fast and smacked the crap out of him as he couldn't cast spells.

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And now it's another grind session because holy crap spells cost 8000 gold now. I'm stuck grinding for the moment, and that's where I stopped playing. Here's a pick of a critical with Fast active.
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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 04:10

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

I like the sky castle for a non ToFR levelling spot. I generally just do warmech's bridge cuz he is fun, and alot of the other encounters are decent. Sorcerers are not though, and better encounters are in the lower levels.

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 05:17

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

ToFR? Not familiar with the term.

Also, I'd argue that solo black belt is easier than solo fighter runs, for one very simple reason: Your power isn't item dependant. To make a fighter stronger, you have to go further in the game, and get better gear. To make a black belt stronger, you can stay exactly where you are and grind more. With turbo buttons/speed settings on emulators, it's very fast to level up to much higher levels than expected; especially when you're effectively getting 400% experience since three people are dead. Maybe I'll do this if I find the time. If it was up to me, I'd probably reach level 50 in the earth cave, before fighting lich. I think that would take less than 2 hours real time, assuming you enter around level 14 or so, and go all the way to 50.

Apparently I just really hate equipment.

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 07:19

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Challenge: Let's see a fighter do this (without fast):

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That's enough damage to one shot chaos - I assume I'd be a bit short as chaos probably has higher defenses, but the pictures are also at level 45. I think it should be possible to one shot chaos at 50, just unlikely. I'll give it a try the next time I get a while to play.

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Post Monday, 28th September 2015, 22:33

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

BB and Fighter(Knight) solos play out very similarly. Fighter has an easier time with the early game, less leveling for the marsh cave. Black Belt gets the airship, grabs the Waterfall ribbon, buys a proring, and, gets the opal bracelet from the sea shrine and grinds the EYE til he is invincible. Fighter clears the Ice Cave, gets opal equipment from the sea shrine, and then grinds zombie dragons til he is invincible, later visiting the sky castle to round out his gear.

In both cases, the non trivial parts are Marsh Cave (wizards), Astos, Ice Cave. Once you clear the ice cave it is down hill.

ToFR is Temple of Fiends, Revisited. The final dungeon.

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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 00:35

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

I'll say one thing has surprised me in going over the game mechanics guides and charts: I had assumed previously that "strong hp" level ups were just every other level, but it turns out it's based on class and widely variable. Fighters get the most, especially early on, hence why they have a lot of hp through the early/mid game, even though black belts are supposed to be the high hp class (they get vitality up every level). Feels like they're kind of beaten at their own game. Fortunately they still have that whole 2000 damage in one attack schtick going :)

Also, you may have just saved me from committing to a solo black belt run. I was considering it, but it does seem a bit silly when we know it'll be easy in the long run and mostly just grinding in the early game. Maybe I'll do one when I level until I'm 25 and then not complete it? Dunno.
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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 00:58

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Now do final fantasy tactics challenge runs! I tried to do one with all knights once but got bored and then sold my PS2 =P

I make up for it by occasionally playing Ogre Battle on an emulator, because that's still one of my all time favorite games.

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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 01:39

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

prozacelf wrote:Now do final fantasy tactics challenge runs! I tried to do one with all knights once but got bored and then sold my PS2 =P

I make up for it by occasionally playing Ogre Battle on an emulator, because that's still one of my all time favorite games.


FFT is super fun for challenge variants. My favorite is Tactics Double Dare where you get two characters with only two classes. For example, Ramza could be UberSquire + Geomancer and a generic could be a Thief + Wizard. If you don't pick super ridiculous combos (Samurai + Mediator/U.Squire or Time Mage + Oracle), the fights turn out very fun and varied.
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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 02:01

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

also, prozacelf, the ps1 has numerous very good emulators. You could be playing FFT right now.

e: also, if we're talking about FFT challenges, the True Calc SCC guide was always one of my favorite FAQs. I'm so glad I get to read about someone else doing it and I don't have to do it myself, though.
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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 04:33

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

I've got a ps1 emulator around somewhere, I just haven't fired it up in a long time. The point is, I'd rather hear about someone else's FFT exploits than actually subject myself to it again =)

Really, I feel the same way about Final Fantasy at this point. It was fun, but I find it practically unplayable now.

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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 04:47

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

prozacelf wrote:I've got a ps1 emulator around somewhere, I just haven't fired it up in a long time. The point is, I'd rather hear about someone else's FFT exploits than actually subject myself to it again =)

Really, I feel the same way about Final Fantasy at this point. It was fun, but I find it practically unplayable now.


If you ever get the urge to read some FFT variant write-ups, gamefaqs has a weird hijacked board where people report a bunch of FFT runs on.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/584617-challenge
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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 05:08

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

My favorite FFT play though is no-random encounters. Restart the game if you get a random battle. It is great chapters 1 through 3, and really helps keep up the story's pace.

I finished the run at lvl 20, wiped once to warmech at level ~15. My red mage was already dead going into the fight. Haven't processed the pictures.

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Post Tuesday, 29th September 2015, 07:50

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Some final shenanigans, messing around with warmech and chaos, level 50, etc.

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Not quite enough damage to one shot, exactly enough damage to one shot, and then some extra. I have a ton of these because I went up here to get my last few levels and warmech is great exp.

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Level 48 is the last level you can see the differences in HP between my black belts - and just like in dungeon crawl, Chei is the strongest. Followed by an example level 50 status screen.

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Heading back to chaos, one shot each of the fiends along the way...

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Chaos, sadly, still took two hits. You can get a fairly wide range from about 900-1250 or so, but after a few save state reloads, I'm pretty convinced even the theoretical perfect 10 rolls would only be around 1500 or so (and with the way the RNG in FF1 works, you can't roll max 10 times in a row - it looks up values from a fixed table). Obviously it's quite possible to do with a level 50 black belt and fast, but I don't believe there's any item in the game which casts fast, so this party can't do that. I think this is officially the end for this run, thanks for reading along :)

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Post Friday, 2nd October 2015, 01:30

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

So, you know, I don't have terribly much time to do these runs during the week, so I rushed mine in over the weekend (mostly). But it's thursday now and the two other runs seriously need to catch up. Don't make me do a solo black belt run before you guys post your first runs!

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Post Friday, 2nd October 2015, 01:36

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

edgefigaro wrote:We are playing different ways. I'm attempting to show that Fighters are the most broken character in the game by a wide margin, and I'm trying to do that by steamrolling the game at lowish levels. Black Belt party is trying to prove black belts get strong at highish levels.

Both of these statements are true, and don't really have to compete with each other.

So this is definitely subjective and I don't mean to cause any sort of holy war, but I'd argue that black belt's nearly complete independence from items breaks a large part of the game by making all treasure in the game (save ribbons/proRings) worthless. And their complete self-sufficiency, not needing any class to support them. Four fighters can obviously win as well, but bringing a healer does tend to make the game a bit easier. When your only method of restoring life is 99 heal potions, you have a fixed hp pool to work with. This can later be made infinite with heal staff/helms, but generally speaking you're using potions.

In comparison, a fighter gets relatively little power from their level and most of the strength is in their equipment, so you can do things a few levels lower without too much difference. You end up running from most fights just to avoid experience, which seems like an odd way to save the world :)

I looked up maps for a lot of the dungeons I didn't remember precisely because I intended to never see half of the floors - if I wanted treasure, I'd want to cover most of the floors and walk to all of the chests. With 4 black belts, there's only one correct way to go - directly to the boss, with a few ribbon/heal helmet exceptions.

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Post Saturday, 3rd October 2015, 04:29

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

tasonir wrote:So, you know, I don't have terribly much time to do these runs during the week, so I rushed mine in over the weekend (mostly). But it's thursday now and the two other runs seriously need to catch up. Don't make me do a solo black belt run before you guys post your first runs!


Maaannnn. It has probably taken me longer to reset through the Marsh Cave and the Earth cave than it did for you to complete the game. Vampire down. Lich is a different god damn story (though both of those assholes paralyze on hit).
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Post Saturday, 3rd October 2015, 07:24

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Yeah, that makes sense. Solo red mage isn't an easy run at all - I'm not sure I'd want to solo the game with anything but fighter/black belt. I did mess around with starting a solo black belt run, and got him up to level 4 and the second town, but it's a very frustrating experience. Going out to reasonable monsters gets you killed, you mostly have to grind imps and maybe you can take 1-2 madpony, maybe not. It'd be better once you get to 10, and then probably easy enough at 20, but until then, it's a bit too tedious for me. And red mages are much worse...At least you're not a white mage.

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Post Saturday, 3rd October 2015, 18:22

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

tasonir wrote:Yeah, that makes sense. Solo red mage isn't an easy run at all - I'm not sure I'd want to solo the game with anything but fighter/black belt. I did mess around with starting a solo black belt run, and got him up to level 4 and the second town, but it's a very frustrating experience. Going out to reasonable monsters gets you killed, you mostly have to grind imps and maybe you can take 1-2 madpony, maybe not. It'd be better once you get to 10, and then probably easy enough at 20, but until then, it's a bit too tedious for me. And red mages are much worse...At least you're not a white mage.


Yeah, there's a rather large disparity between Fighter & BB compared to other solo classes. However, there's an even greater disparity between Red Mage & Black Mage versus Thief and White Mage. Those last two are just pure insanity--trying to face down the Earth Cave without access to fire or real weapons/armor is just brutal. (White Mage's best weapon for the vast majority of the game is either the Silver Hammer or the Power Staff for high critical; Thief at least gets the Silver Knife with a decent +hit).

But yeah, you definitely have to pick your battles. Grinding at the start isn't easy with a solo character--Fighter is obviously the easiest due to access to 40-50 absorb very early in the game. The most time consuming part is the fact you can't level while doing dungeons like most RPG playthroughs, so dungeon crawling adds up to a lot of time that doesn't actually further your character.

But, I killed that Lich bastard.

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This is me taking out the Vampire with one shot of Fire3. Access to elemental damage + decent equipment is what really makes Red Mage shine in this game. Unlike a Thief, who just feels like a severely gimped Fighter for a large portion of the game, Red Mage does feel very unique in it's playstyle. I'm trying to plan ahead with my spell kit, which will allow me to take on Kary and Kraken with ease (I hope).

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These were my two most feared random encounters when trying to kill the Vampire & retrieve the Ruby and also on my way to the Lich. The paralyze ghouls have a very good chance to just keep you permanently stunned, so it's a slow instant death that you can maybe, maybe run out of if you get very lucky with recovery and turn order. Cocatrice just plain spells death if they hit you and land petrification. Wizards are the third hardest encounter (you can't run from them), but my HP was sufficient to survive them outside of critical streaks.

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This is what I looked like going to face the Lich. I was debating whether or not to hit 21, bringing me to 64% hit for another multiplier, but I was going to use Fire3 on Lich anyway. It would only take 2 decent rolls to kill Lich, while I imagine even at 21 it would take 3 turns to kill him with my sword. I gave Giant grinding a rest, and I just keep resetting to try and get to the Lich and be lucky enough to kill him.

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This is the winning run against the Lich, but the last image is to showcase how hard Lich can hit when things don't go your way. I did something a little strange in preparation for the fight: I un-equipped all my armor for an extra 20% evade. I really needed to dodge Lich's paralyzing melee, and, although he did hit me once, I was able to get through the fight without getting stunned. Lich has Status resistance, so offense was the only option available to me. It took 3 casts of Fire3 instead of 2 because I had a lowish roll on the first hit. I ate an Ice2 and a successful physical attack, but Lich's third move was Sleep. It hit me, but I woke up at the beginning of the round. I got to cast the 3rd Fire3 before Lich took it's 4th turn. Finally. I'm off to bigger and better things. Namely, I can upgrade from all these damn silver equipment and replace my pathetic Glove and Cap combo. Things should be much smoother going forward. I hope.
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tasonir

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Post Tuesday, 6th October 2015, 02:55

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Phew. Almost done with the run. I have three dungeons left, which I will hopefully finish up tonight. In the meantime, I'll go ahead and post up my beautiful Ice Cave victory and what led up to it. Ice Cave is basically the final hump to get over on a lot of solo runs: it is chocked full of instant death monsters, an instant death boss, and it is the last dungeon before you can first access a Ribbon. It's a pretty significant milestone for any solo character because you gain so much power once the airship is obtained.

But first, the Gugrgugugug Volcano.

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The Volcano is a really easy dungeon. I chose to go here first in part for this, but mainly because it has the stronger sword as treasure. Ice Sword has 29 damage and 25 hit while the Flame Sword only has 26/20. Kary was a trivial boss--I already planned back at the Earth Cave how she would die. She could two-shot me with physical attacks extremely easily, but she can be Confused. With some luck, you can kill her before confusion runs out and win the fight no problem. It took a couple tries, but the dungeon is easy enough to go through. The Ice Cave is a different story.

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Welcome to fucking hell. Going down the list: the top is a defense check, one that my character would initially fail many times. Up next is paralyze, nothing new, except Wraiths actually do great damage. They would hit me for ~45 a pop when I was level 20, and I could hardly survive two rounds, let alone recover from Stun. Stone makes a recurrence, but it doesn't cause death nearly as often as the top and bottom two. The last two pics are instant death: Mages can Rub, and Sorcerers have instant death on melee. Pure luck check. It doesn't help that there are two required fights with a group of paralyzing undead, and there is no instant exit after the boss: you must ascend.
I tried ~50 times to complete this dungeon at level 20. Maybe more. It's incredibly hard to keep up because I eventually started using 600-800% speed. I finally broke down, and I looked for a few other options.

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Above is a Zombie Dragon, a required fight to exit the Castle of Ordeals. The dungeon is actually accessible the moment you receive the canoe due to what I believe is a bug. Even though obtaining the rat tail does absolutely nothing for me right now, the castle contains a Gold Bracelet, which would boost my defenses considerably. I nabbed that up, but it wasn't enough. I needed more evade and magic defense, so I went and nabbed 5 more levels.

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The first run I had after hitting 25 was successful. I ran through all the encounters, and the paralyze ones were significantly easier with better defenses and more levels. I was able to resist through a lot more instant death, and I did so on the Eye. The poor thing has almost no HP, so I hacked him away pretty easily once being able to resist his spells. In earlier runs, I would use Confuse + smacking, but I just powered through on this one.

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The first two things I did were getting my class upgrade and looting the Waterfall. The class change for Red Mage is pretty significant: it opens up a good deal of new spells, and it allows you to wield even better weapons (and gauntlets, but they're outclassed by the ProRing in terms of defense). I was finally able to fill out my spell list. I'm only missing Ice 3, which will be the final useful spell available to me. The Waterfall is a wonderful place to loot. It has easy encounters, but it gives a Ribbon, and the Defense sword. Defense is the best sword RW can wield until Masamune, and, well, it's a friggin' Ribbon. I can, like, not die every 5th encounter. I'm feeling pretty good about this character going into the end of the game.

EDIT: Ahh, I forgot to mention. About the Ice Cave. A ton of the encounters are death due to paralysis. Fighter has the easiest time with this dungeon because it is able to resist Fire through equipment. No one else can do that. There is a bug in FF1 on the NES that makes a character immune to monster status attacks if they resist the monsters weakness. So, since a Fighter can become resistant to Fire, it becomes immune to paralysis from undead. Huge help.
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Post Wednesday, 7th October 2015, 00:16

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

My solo BB is leveling up in the earth cave, because I like abusing how easy it is to level a single character. Think he's around 25 or so, I'll probably go kill lich soon. But I don't think I have ever done the waterfall before the ice cave, maybe I'll give that a shot. All that instant death sounds like it's best avoided...

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Post Wednesday, 7th October 2015, 01:11

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

tasonir wrote:My solo BB is leveling up in the earth cave, because I like abusing how easy it is to level a single character. Think he's around 25 or so, I'll probably go kill lich soon. But I don't think I have ever done the waterfall before the ice cave, maybe I'll give that a shot. All that instant death sounds like it's best avoided...


You can't do the Waterfall before the Ice Cave. You can, however, do the Castle of Ordeals. There is no Ribbon available pre-Ice Cave.

Edit: In case you're confused, the canal leading to the Waterfall is entirely landlocked, so the bug(?) where you can embark from their ship into a canal does not grant you access.
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Post Wednesday, 7th October 2015, 02:50

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Ah, my mistake, I probably just misread your postings. I think I'll have a relatively easier time in ice cave because I'm over leveled (level 25, may be higher by the time I get to the ice cave) and it seems like I'm resisting undead stun quite reliably now - parties of 5 zombies won't stun me once in an entire fight.

Anyways, I figured I'd finally update with what the solo BB has done, although I'll try to keep it short, no need to post as much detail as the first run through I think.

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Early on fights are very tough, and I did use wooden armor/nunchucks for this run (it's much stronger for levels 1-3). Around level 4 you can switch to naked and finally stop missing. I think I took garland at 4, but it was a while back now. Note the rest of my party is (cumulatively) named AAAAAAHHHHHH! I'm remarkably clever.
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Chei has become invisible! Good yet accidental demonstration of one of the most famous NES graphical limitations - can only draw 4 spites in a horizontal lines, other sprites will flicker, so I've temporarily turned invisible due to the 3 pirates + attack animation over one of the pirates blocking my character. The fight is pretty easy at level 6 or so, but basically impossible at 4 when I first tried. Having that +2 absorb really reduces the damage you take. Might be possible at 4 if you had wooden armor/cap/gloves which totals 6 absorb, but with less evasion.
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Some leveling up shots showing how you're getting nearly killed each fight. First the sea is the hardest you can take, then an ogre in the second picture. I died and resumed the game probably at least 50 times here, it was faster to just turbo through and reset than bother resetting/trying to use heal potions in battle.
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At level 12 I did the marsh cave, which is plenty high in the case that you get 2 wizards. This run the game wasn't so nice and gave me 3 wizards, then 4 wizards. The final shot is when I finally got 2 wizards, and was able to win.

I didn't screenshot astos, but at level 12 I was having a rough time because he has 40 defense - so non-critical hits don't really do much. My best attempt was roughly 150 damage out of his 168 health on two lucky attacks, but I gave in and just leveled up to 13. A few tries later he died. I now massively leveled up outside of melmond, first killing an earth elemental at 14 through sheer luck, but it's far too unreliable and costly in heal potions. I went back outside until 16, when I started fighting more in the earth cave. Around 17-18 it becomes easy enough to do, and once you hit 21 it's a breeze with the 6 attacks. I leveled all the way to 24, because it was taking about 1 minute per level at this point, not counting the time to use healing potions outside of battle (which is only about another 1 minute per level).

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Vampire vs a level 24 black belt is no contest - pretty sure this was one hit, might have been two.

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Lich likewise doesn't really scare me anymore, and dies in 2 hits, after casting ice2 on me once for 104 damage.

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Final level 25 status, with 3 dead members, and one orb shining. We just need one orb per party member, right? We're done here :)

Addendum: As I finally looked up defense values for monsters, it's easy to explain why you need fast to one shot chaos: he has 100 defense. The rockGol I did 2200+ damage to has 16, and the blue dragon has 20 defense. The four fiends are: Lich 40, Kary 50, Kraken 60, Tiamat 80. They all get +10 defense for their temple of the fiends version, and other generally increased stats. Warmech is 80, and astos has 40, which is pretty high for how early in the game he appears. He only has 168 hp, though, which isn't much.
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Post Wednesday, 7th October 2015, 14:18

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Holy crap this is an image-heavy thread :P
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Post Thursday, 8th October 2015, 19:57

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

And I even spoilered the previous incorrectly sized ones! Although I'm starting to wonder if my new default image size is too large, and I should use the 320x240 native resolution images like edge and abom did. Although I'm mostly done posting at this point, I could go through with soloing the rest of the game but once you're 25+ as a black belt there isn't much that's going to challenge you. Being solo just means you have to run from more of the random encounters, rather than killing everything you come across, but bosses are still 2 attacks to kill.

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Post Wednesday, 4th November 2015, 18:55

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

edgefigaro wrote:Still level 9, 3 deaths and no wipes yet. Cresent Lake and Temple of Ordeals is next!

Said edgefigaro on september 26th (last edit)! Come on man, you're not going to convince anyone fighters are more broken than black belts if you don't even finish the run! And Abominae, sure, it's a solo character run and those are harder, but come on, I can't be the only one to finish the game!

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Post Thursday, 5th November 2015, 02:23

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

you should play undertale

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Post Thursday, 5th November 2015, 14:14

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

Cresent Lake
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Cresent Lake Circle of Sages
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Cresent Lake gets me the canoe but no meaningful equipment upgrades. You can round out a couple more points of absorb with silver gear, but it is +1 in most cases for a decent chunk of money. Castle of Ordeals is next, as you can get there using the ship and canoe.

Odeals
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Ordeals Gate
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Ordeals Stats
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I'm level 10, and demolish odeals with little difficulty. I get a heal helm and a zeus gautlet for my troubles, as well as a gold bracelet for my red mage who dies too much.

Ice Cave is next. I think the ice cave has misalocated monsters. Mages lead with Rub, and then proceed into lvl 3 elemental spells. They have more HP, damage, defense then the enemy "fighter" who shares the same sprite and shows up in the sky castle/Mirage Tower, with a much more toned down spellset. Anyway, I'm lvl 11, and there is one noteable fight, frost dragons guard the ice armor, and they murder my red mage. The flame sword and the ice shield are also in this cave.

I died once to sorcerers in the ice cave, but forgot to get a picture of it. Paralyzed and then slain. Ice cave is a crap shoot.

Frost Dragons
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Dead Red
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Eye
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Floater
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AirShip
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After getting the airship I head straight for the waterfall. Very small dungeon that has the defense and a ribbon, both end-game items, and I need to go there to get the cube anyway.

Waterfall
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Waterfall Stats
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Cube
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I had enough money to buy the bottle, but forgot to screenshot buying the bottle, so I went back in and this pic has 30kg. Bottle gets me Oxayle at Gaia, but this is the point I realized I forgot to class change, so I go rob the dragons and grow taller.

Bottle
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Class Change
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New Sprites
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Oxyale
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Lvl 12
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Enter Water Temple
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Now I am level 12 and ready to go clear out the upper floors in the water temple!

I finished the run a while back, I just was lazy in posting.

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Post Thursday, 5th November 2015, 15:50

Re: Final Fantasy Reportings

tasonir wrote:
edgefigaro wrote:Still level 9, 3 deaths and no wipes yet. Cresent Lake and Temple of Ordeals is next!

Said edgefigaro on september 26th (last edit)! Come on man, you're not going to convince anyone fighters are more broken than black belts if you don't even finish the run! And Abominae, sure, it's a solo character run and those are harder, but come on, I can't be the only one to finish the game!


Merr. Blame school. I hit level 50 and am at the last dungeon, but I haven't gotten around to slamming my face against it yet. One day! (I have secretly felt guilty whenever I play other video games because I haven't finished this run, so there's that :P)
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