Since we wrapped up the FFVI Journal last week, we decided to take the opportunity to do a celebration here at Marathon Recaps and look back over the past two eras of Final Fantasy: the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. And it won’t just be me because, for the first time you’ll be hearing Kyle’s thoughts directly from the source! With many of these games, it’s been years since we last played them, and we wondered if a good look back might have changed out opinions. So here’s the plan: this week, Kyle and I will alternate talking about each game, giving some time-aged insight into each. Next week, we’ll be back with two Top 5 lists each: our Top 5 Worst and Top 5 Best Moments in the Marathon! Be sure to be back for that!(more…)
Back in the main body of the castle, we got to a room at the top of the stairs where we found a statue of Ben, standing just outside the Dark King’s door. Can you explain this? Because we couldn’t explain this. It’s not even trapped. Have you ever heard that old joke that bosses are trapped inside their boss rooms? Because the Dark King doesn’t seem to have any idea what he’s got set up as décor. Walking up to the statue, we heard the voice of the Crystals, who named Ben and Phoebe the Knights. Since the term “Knight” has been singular up to this point, I have a feeling someone wanted to write “Warriors of Light” but pulled back for consistency. The Crystals then they gifted us with help, a dump truck full of potions and ammunition: 25 each of Cure Potions, Seeds, Arrows and… Refreshers. Thanks.(more…)
Back in a party with Reuben and his beautiful chiselled face (tinted yellow-green), Kyle and I walked an utterly pointless walk all the way to Fireburg and then all the way back to Windia. The funny thing is, Reuben’s dad can’t even pretend he has anything important to say. He and the writer know this whole section only exists to pretend the four quadrants are interconnected, so Arion doesn’t waste any more of your time. Walk forward, walk back, that’s hero work!(more…)
After skipping a few Battlefields and a Temple, we found the path clear to Windia, where the music was changed from the typical town music into synthetic woodwinds. Unfortunately, you can barely hear it over the synthetic actual wind blowing over the soundtrack. Looks like it’s a little too windy in Windia, and sadly that is, in fact, the plot. We bought the Cupid Locket there, finally making us immune to confusion and taking away one of the monsters’ few remaining advantages over Ben and company. The bomb salesman nearby informed us that we “had enough explosives,” and excuse me sir but where do you get off.
After backtracking to the Battlefields (one stocked with vampires), we checked out Kaidge Temple, which had an infinity-marked teleportation tile and nothing else. And no, I can’t explain the name. Double-checking the name (my original post got the wrong translation somehow) it appears to be “Jukai no Hokora,” implying it’s a Buddhist shrine of sorts, and I can see 90s Nintendo of America not wanting to hear about it… but “Kaidge?” The #1 Google hit for “Kaidge” is the FFWiki page for Kaidge Temple!(more…)
I think if we had gone back to Reuben’s house, Dad from FFLII would have told us that the Fire Crystal was responsible for the earthquakes, but we really didn’t bother. I mean, isn’t that obvious? Instead, we headed straight for the volcano and set to work. Scaling the volcano was a dungeon on its own, with an ash cloud ringing the place at two levels, obscuring the monsters. We had been warned about the cloud, and were told that a gas mask that would reveal the monsters was housed somewhere on the hill. We assumed that, like the Mirror, the Gas Mask would be at the bottom, but our memory was really failing us there, because it was actually at the very top, just down an alternate path. Yeah, you have to deal with invisible enemies most of the climb, I have to give them that! We made sure to get the Mask (counting it as part of our objective to get 100% equipment collection). It made another ludicrous sucking sound before showing the monsters, but at least that sound effect makes a little sense in this case. I mean, at least it has something to do with the air, right?(more…)
You have to give Spencer some credit: he was right about earthquakes in Fireburg, since they took place every. single. time you moved between map locations in this quadrant. Though all this makes one wonder: just how on earth are these quakes only hitting one quarter of the interconnected world? Fireburg proper turned out to be a multi-levelled town with an odd but danceable remix of the usual town theme. It even had another track simply called “Rock ‘n’ Roll” playing in the bar where there was a real rock and roll band playing on the stage. You find Tristam listening to the band, getting pissed at the bar in good ambience. (This seems to have led some YouTube videos to misname Tristam’s theme, properly titled “Rock Theme,” with the bar’s theme “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The OST was just asking for it with titles like that!). Tristam actually seems happy to see you, though he doesn’t have much to say.(more…)
The leftover magic water was only enough to restore Aquaria’s cure herbs (which was nice because we had chewed through our supply of Potions like we were on a Red Bull stampede). There was no alternative for Ben and Phoebe at that point, and we had to go do what we should have done in the first place: gone after the Water Crystal to the north. In between Aquaria and the Crystal was Falls Basin, a quick speed bump of an map almost as small as Level Forest.
The place was populated by Lamias that turned into little bitty snakes when you attacked them. The dungeon itself was built around a single, extended puzzle: to move pillars around at ground level so that they could serve as jumping platforms from above. This isn’t quite as easy as it seems, partially because of the 2/3rds perspective, but mostly because you need to clue in to re-using pillars to beat the dungeon. Even this game can be clever from time to time. Too bad the game will never really be this clever again, and we’ll only see these mobile jump platforms once more in the entire game. At least they know not to overplay their hand?(more…)
Having cleared ‘Rex, the Earth Crystal appeared in his place, floating in mid air. Kyle remarked how, as a kid, he didn’t realize you were supposed to just leave the Crystal floating there and kept jumping up to get it!
With the Crystal restored, Tristam began rifling through Rex’s stuff like a good thief. There he found a late-weapon, the Dragon Claw, in a chest nearby. He gave us the Elixir in exchange for the Claw and bailed on us at once, once again like a good thief. Thankfully he left us the Sand Coin, a small little clay disc, which we could use to restore partial access through Focus Tower. Of course, now we’d have to walk out of the dungeon on our own. Thankfully, a lot of obstacles in the dungeon had been shifting sands that pushed us back toward the entrance, so there was a quick way out this time, at least until we got back to that gauntlet at the entrance room.(more…)
Inside the forest, Kaeli stepped forward and used her axe to cut down exactly one tree, right in front of a troop of Brownies, and expected us to march right through rather than provide a more convenient route. I see we’re going to be great pals. Since this was our first rank-and-file battle, I had best talk about combat. Unlike nearly all Final Fantasy games, but similar to Earthbound, Super Mario RPG or some of the Ultimas, FFMQ features enemy troops that are visible on the map instead of in the form of random encounters. Unlike those other series, those troops don’t move around, allowing the game to use them to plug passageways. Troops only regenerate if you leave the area, so you can essentially predict how much EXP you’ll have to beat the boss without abusing the system. There’s not even much point in gaming the system, as there’s a very low level cap of 41, and we finished the game in the 30s.(more…)
Gather round, children, gather round, and I’ll tell you a tale. A strange tale, about a strange time (the 90s. Yes, terrifying, I know. Please, keep to your seats). A tale about a strange product, and the strange things people do to one another they’ve got a tough lie stuck in their teeth, or a good idea stuck so far up their ass they can’t hook it out without covering it in shit (you parents can keep to your seats too). I haven’t decided which this one is, but I’ll leave that decision to you. This is the story of Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest.(more…)