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Final Fantasy: The Thread Can I make it even more boring?

Oct 4, 2010 at 2:14:21 PM
OSG (28)
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(PEEP and PAMP) < Ridley Wrangler >
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Okay. So we all know Final Fantasy. It's a game about picking a party of 4 from a pool of 6 blank slates and killing imps until you ruin time or something. But the game has a fair number of glitches, esoteric game mechanics, and other little things which I can (and will) go into too much depth about. you know, while I play through the game and post screenshots and make smarmy comments.

Yes. This is a thread about me playing Final Fantasy 1.

This playthrough will not be all on me, however. You--yes you-- will have a hand in the decision making process. For starters, I'll leave it up to you guys what party I use and how much NPC dialogue to include. Other decisions will pop up as we go along.

But first thing's first.

Welcome to Final Fantasy!

Before we get started, I need to know what party to use. Let me start by describing every class in depth, and general party selection theory.



Classes

Fighter

The Fighter is far and away the best character in Final Fantasy. In the early game, he has the best weapon and armor selection. The the late game, he has the best weapon and armor selection. Because of how magic works in this game, a lot of your time will be spent not using it and the Fighter is really good at not using magic. When you class him up to Knight, he learns some pretty underwhelming white magic, but any spell charge of curing is welcome in my books. Even if you consider this a comparative downside to the classes that get more out of the class change, the armor selection he gains from being a Knight would make up for losing white magic, let alone gaining it. There is enough Knight-only gear to support 2 Knights (at least). A Fighter is always objectively a better choice than the other 2 melee classes, unless you want to grind your way into very high levels. But for variety's sake I rarely pick more than one.

Black Belt

The Black Belt is buggy. But excellent. In the very early game he's pretty useless as his defense is low and his HP pool is too small to make up for it. he's also not a particularly useful attacker until level 10 or so. He remains fairly squishy throughout most of the game, and by the endgame he is competing with your mages for their armor. But from level 10 on he is a useful attacker, and for the most part keeps up with the Fighter in a normal playthrough. At high levels, he will out-damage your Knight. If you care to level up the Black Belt to the highest possible level (50) he is capable of killing basically any enemy in the game in one hit. A maxed Black Belt is quite likely the best character in the game. One of the biggest problems is that the Black Belt requires a lot of attention because of bugs. Depending on how you have him set up, his defense can get set to the wrong value. If you don't know it's coming, or forget to pay attention you might find him suddenly dead. But the worst problem with a Black Belt is that when you class him up to a Master, he gains less magic defense (a hidden stat) per level than in his base-class. As such, it's usually worth it to keep any party with a Black Belt in the base class until at least level 20.

Thief

Let me start by saying that liking and using a Thief is not a crime. But they are the worst character in the game. In the early game, they have abysmal armor and spotty weapon selection. The upside is that after classing him up to Ninja, he gains a very nice armor selection and access to a class-specific specialty weapon. The downside is he's still a wimp compared to the other two melee classes. But he can learn the FAST spell, which is probably the most useful spell in the game. So by the endgame he is somewhat useful, and since he becomes something other than useless, he is rewarding in that respect. He can use some armor and weaponry that you'd otherwise just sell so he is occasionally a neat alternative to the usual Fighterfest. It just so happens that during all the hard parts, before class change, you'll have to drag him around and afterwards, he's not much more than a weaker Knight. This is where many people would step in and point out, hey. They may be lousy at fighting but they're great at running! Well. Okay, this is sort of true. But running is bugged in this game, so the naturally high luck stat doesn't help as much as you might think. I'll get more into running later on. There is another benefit to having high luck, and that is an increased 'chance to strike first' in battle. But for that to work, you'd need to put the thief in the first position. And if you do that, well... I guess you eventually get a LIFE spell.

Red Mage

I find that the Red Mage is a fairly divisive class. People either love him for being an all-rounder or hate him for not being specialized. "Jack of all trades, master of none" is something I hear a lot about him. And this might be true for the remakes. But in the NES version, spell strength has nothing to do with character stats so he winds up being just as effective as the other two mages. He has fewer charges than the specialized mages, sacrifices some spells at the top end, and some useful white magic spells here and there, but in general he's a capable mage who also happens to be able to take a few hits. In the early game he's a useful attacker, typically outpacing the Thief, and can do better in the second position than the Thief or the Black Belt. After the class change to a Red Wizard, his weapon and armor selection drops off, but he's still useable as a mage. Like I said before, he misses out on the big spells like CUR4 and NUKE which is a bummer in some situations, but in general he's usable throughout the entire game, if you're willing to be a bit flexible with his role. And he winds up with most of the useful spells. I find the Red Mage to be the most useful mage and in general, if I'm using a balanced party, I'll take him and a "regular" mage.

Black Mage

The Black Mage is a harbinger of death and distruction. Or at least, that's his reputation. In reality, his naturally high INT stat literally does nothing and because this game uses charges in stead of an MP pool, he winds up going largely unused. Using the Black Mage for melee is useless for almost the whole game, and since a lot of your time is spent saving charges, he spends a lot of his time being useless. Luckily, when you first get a new spell, it is quite useful the few times you can use it and he can get you out of a jam. Unfortunately, lower level black magic spells typically become crappy quickly. Changing class to a Black Wizard gives access to all sorts of spells that only he can learn, and using NUKE is strangely satisfying. In my estimation, the Black Mage is the least useful mage, but that does not mean he is not worth taking. He does get more charges than the Red Mage and as such he can take out more large groups of annoying monsters with his tier 2 and 3 elemental spells. There are plenty of normal enemy groups in this game which are arguably more threatening than bosses, and being able to end them quickly is very useful. That's where the Black Mage really shines, and if you're saving these spells for the bosses, you're making things hard on yourself, with a few exceptions. And as I've said before, FAST is probably the best spell in the game. A big upside is the Black Wizard's class specific armor has a nice in-battle use. But we'll talk about that when the time comes.

White Mage

For most of the game, the White Mage hangs out in battle doing nothing much. There are some fun spells that you can bust out now and again, but the main reason for taking one of these guys (girls!?) along is to use CURE and LIFE. And EXIT. Now, these are all spells a Red Mage/Wizard can use but access to HEAL and HARM makes White Mages a bit more useful in my eyes than Black Mages. having said that, all of the mages are at least useful, so you can mix and match all you want with little downside, depending on your overall party makeup. After the class change to White Wizard, you can learn CUR4 and LIF2 which basically render all other restorative spells useless. Or they would if you didn't have to deal with pesky charges. They can hit harder than Black Mages and the White Wizard's weapons and armor also have good in-battle uses.


Party Making Selections (PMS)
Still with me? I wouldn't have read all that. You're a trooper.

Party selection is probably the most important choice in Final Fantasy. But it's not really that complicated. The game has pretty severe balance issues. Or rather, Fighters are amazing. If you don't take at least one, you're doing it wrong. Two Fighters and anyone else will make a good party. In my estimation, 2 or 3 Fighters and 1 or 2 Red Mages is basically easy mode. But that's no fun.

I prefer variety in a normal playthrough. As such, I consider Fighter/Black Belt/Red Mage/White Mage to be the ideal party. In the early game, the Red Mage is your second member because he starts out far more defensive than the Black Belt. Later on, Black Belt takes the second position as the Red Mage drops off. Since early black magic spells stop being useful and any curative spell is welcome, even if it doesn't do much, the Red Mage/White Mage combo means you can have some attack magic when it's useful, enough curing that you don't have to buy hundreds of crappy potions, and the FAST spell (did I mention it basically rules?).

BUT! What I think isn't important now, is it? Now it's your turn. You tell me what party I should use. You can say why if you want. Or not. It is up to you! Some sort of balance would make it easier to work in game mechanic explanations but isn't totally necessary. So basically, toss out party suggestions and 4-letter names. If you want the light warriors to all be named FUCK, well, you're juvenile! So am I so it's ok. If there's a consensus I'll go with it. If not, I'll pick whatever I find most interesting. Keep in mind that I have done some challenge playthroughs of this game. Picking something like 4 White Mages isn't really a punishment for me. I've done it and I enjoyed it. It might make the thread a little boring though. But I dunno, you're the ones who have to read it so you tell me.

Also, and this is arguably more important, how much NPC dialogue should I include? As much as possible? Only key dialogue? None whatsoever? Those... are basically the 3 choices that I can think of. What do you think?



Edited: 10/04/2010 at 02:46 PM by OSG

Oct 4, 2010 at 2:15:12 PM
TheFrisbee (194)
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Borrrring...

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Oct 4, 2010 at 2:25:24 PM
zigzagzarf (2)
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(Deez Nutz) < El Ripper >
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blackbelt, thief, white mage, black mage

Oct 4, 2010 at 3:27:56 PM
noiseredux (25)
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(brad ) < Meka Chicken >
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Fighter, Black Belt, Red Mage, Black Mage

I'm mostly with you and your reasoning for your ideal party. HOWEVER, as much as you'd be doing it wrong to omit a Fighter since he's pretty necessary, I can't imagine not including a Black Mage, because he's the coolest looking. Shrug.

Also, I say only necessary NPC.

Oct 4, 2010 at 3:30:12 PM
arch_8ngel (68)
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(Nathan ?) < Mario >
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^^^ I like taking along a White Mage, since a White Wizard is the only guy to get Life and Exit. Without one of these guys along, you can't abort an attempt at the Temple of Fiends Revisited.

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Oct 4, 2010 at 3:45:27 PM
OSG (28)
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(PEEP and PAMP) < Ridley Wrangler >
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Red Wizard gets Life and Exit too. You do have to do a couple extra dungeons without Life if you don't have a White Mage though.

Oct 4, 2010 at 3:45:37 PM
guillavoie (125)
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(Der Graue Kasten) < Master Higgins >
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Red Mage (Abel)
White Mage (Mona)
Black Mage (Bach)
Black Mage (Zoah)

Go through a magical journey without the benefits of the most offensive weapons / characters.

As for dialogues, it all depends on how you want to build your story. Only key dialogues should be enough unless you want to joke around and make an in depth journal with personal commentaries.

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Edited: 10/04/2010 at 09:58 PM by guillavoie

Oct 4, 2010 at 3:53:33 PM
arch_8ngel (68)
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(Nathan ?) < Mario >
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Originally posted by: OSG

Red Wizard gets Life and Exit too. You do have to do a couple extra dungeons without Life if you don't have a White Mage though.


No kidding?

Wow, all these years I just believed the NP strategy guide.  I could have sworn it said only the white wizard could get those two spells.

Then again, there are quite a few typos in that issue, along with images being reversed or upside down, so I shouldn't be too surprised at the omission.

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Oct 4, 2010 at 4:02:12 PM
OSG (28)
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(PEEP and PAMP) < Ridley Wrangler >
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Yeah that guide is pretty legendary in its inaccuracies. Following it won't keep you from winning, but it will make you try to equip a white shirt on your Knight. I hope to be a little more accurate and informative. And wordy.

I will probably start the run proper sometime tomorrow so keep the party ideas coming dudes!

Oct 4, 2010 at 4:28:47 PM
sunsetflip84 (0)
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(Will Cartier) < Meka Chicken >
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How about Fighter, White Mage, Black Mage, Thief.

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Oct 4, 2010 at 4:32:57 PM
snesmaster (39)
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If a labeled map of the overworld is needed you can find it on my site at:
http://www.nesmaps.com/maps/Final...

You can even order a 2" x 2" poster of it if you want

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Oct 4, 2010 at 4:41:04 PM
AllYourBass (101)
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BUTT the Fighter, SLUT the Black Belt, SHIT the Red Mage, and HANK the Black Mage.

Oct 4, 2010 at 4:49:16 PM
Enslaved (106)
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(Edd Showalter) < Master Higgins >
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Fighter/Thief/Red Mage/White Mage

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http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/...



Oct 4, 2010 at 5:05:45 PM
Tanooki (185)
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Hmm guess I live dangerously as the only time on the NES I finished it, Fighter/Thief/WhiteMage/BlackMage and kicked some ass at it. I never found the thief all that useless and having a new NES cart of it now with a BBelt in it I'm finding running harder than it was with the pickpocket at hand. I don't care as much for thief, but the Ninja is what made it worthy in the end.

I've always considered trying a Red Mage, but I feared he would be damn expensive to back up, but also they lose out on a few spells that makes me fear making the late bits of a game a true bitch as the white mage heals great and the black mage is devastating.

Which one of those white/black would you drop if you just had to have the red guy? I'm leaning probably on black, a CUR3 is still very useful in a fight and having nearly twice as many is a boon.

Oct 4, 2010 at 5:42:37 PM
tebbiebear (0)
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Thief, Thief, White Mage, White Mage

Oct 4, 2010 at 6:12:16 PM
snesmaster (39)
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White Mage x 4. Let's make this a challenge Has any one ever finished the game with 4 white mages?

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Oct 4, 2010 at 6:15:56 PM
AllYourBass (101)
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Originally posted by: snesmaster

White Mage x 4. Let's make this a challenge Has any one ever finished the game with 4 white mages?


Originally posted by: OSG

Picking something like 4 White Mages isn't really a punishment for me. I've done it and I enjoyed it. It might make the thread a little boring though.



Oct 4, 2010 at 6:49:20 PM
Herbalist (139)
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(Bill Brasky) < King Solomon >
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Monk is the best! (Black belt, w/e)
3 Monks + 1 Red Mage

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Oct 4, 2010 at 6:51:56 PM
guillavoie (125)
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(Der Graue Kasten) < Master Higgins >
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Just edited my previous post so it can fit with your initial request.

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Edited: 10/04/2010 at 06:57 PM by guillavoie

Oct 4, 2010 at 11:15:13 PM
Sgt.Pepper1983 (1)
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My usual group is two fighters, a white mage and a black mage.

Oct 4, 2010 at 11:28:16 PM
SamSpade (61)
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Originally posted by: AllYourBase

BUTT the Fighter, SLUT the Black Belt, SHIT the Red Mage, and HANK the Black Mage.


I would sub the Black belt with a white mage because she's sluttier, at least in my mind. Good group though. By the way, EPIC thread. I've been meaning to play this so it'll be kinda fun playing through the game with the thread.


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Oct 4, 2010 at 11:31:53 PM
Tanooki (185)
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I still wonder about my red mage question, anyone got any ideas? I mean how much worse is it w/out the black mage there with nuke?

Oct 5, 2010 at 12:29:58 AM
snesmaster (39)
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Originally posted by: AllYourBase

Originally posted by: snesmaster

White Mage x 4. Let's make this a challenge Has any one ever finished the game with 4 white mages?


Originally posted by: OSG

Picking something like 4 White Mages isn't really a punishment for me. I've done it and I enjoyed it. It might make the thread a little boring though.



You are a better man then I.  I can't believe someone actually read all that text


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Oct 5, 2010 at 12:40:30 AM
zigzagzarf (2)
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White Mage x 4 isn't that bad just grind alot

Oct 5, 2010 at 1:16:21 AM
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Thief- What
Thief- What
Thief- Inthe
Thief- Butt

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