I apologize to everyone for missing both my Friday and Monday updates this week. I’ve had (if you’ll excuse the language) a pretty hellishly busy week and a half, and it’s got me running way behind where I’d like to be. Since last Tuesday though, I’ve made a pretty heavy bump of progress!
~Tuesday, April 30th
- Defeated the Octomammoth and passed through the Underground Falls
- Witnessed the destruction of Damcyan and learned of the dark warrior Golbez
- Joined with the bard Edward and retrieved the Sand Pearl from the Antlion’s Cave
- Cured Rosa of her fever with the Sand Pearl
- Changed Edward’s name to ‘Eathan’, changed Rosa’s name to ‘Hel’
- Climbed Mt Hobs and rescued Yang
- Help defend Fabul from the Baron slot, and was struck down by Kain and Golbez
- Changed Yang’s name to ‘Titan’
- Obtained the boat and made for Baron, but lost Rydia, Yang, and Edward to Leviathan along the way
~Wednesday, May 1st
- Climbed the Mountain of Ordeals and defeated Scarmiglione, Archfiend of Earth
- Defeated Cecil’s inner darkness and transformed into a Paladin
- Traveled back to Baron through the Devil’s Road and met with Yang again
- Snuck into Baron Castle to rescue Cid
~Thursday, May 2nd
- Entered Baron Castle through a secret entrance and rescued Cid
- Defeated Cagnazzo, the Archfiend of Water who had been posing as the King
- Set off for Troia, and found Edward recovering there
~Friday, My 3rd
- Defeated the Dark Elf and recovered the Earth Crystal
- Traveled to Zot Tower and lost Tellah in the fight against Golbez
- Rescued Rosa and defeated Barbariccia, the Archfiend of Wind
- Found the path to the Underworld and approached the Dwarven Castle
~Saturday, May 4th
- Met with the Dwarven King Giott and clashed with Golbez
- Climbed Babil Tower and defeated Dr. Lugae
- Lost Yang and Cid, and sealed the entrance to the Underworld
- Made for Elban Cave and met Edge, the Ninja Prince of Elban
~Sunday, May 5th
- Climbed Babil Tower a second time and fought Rubicante, Archfiend of Fire
- Traveled to the Sealed Cave, where Golbez possessed Kain and stole the crystal
- Prayed for the return of the Lunar Whale ship
- Flew to the surface of one of the moons
- Discovered the threat of Zemus, and made for the Tower of Babil to stop his plans
- Witnessed the arrival of the Babil Giant
~Monday, May 6th
- Destroyed the Giant of Babil and learned the true identity of Golbez
- Put together a final Lvl 65~70 party of Cecil, Edge, Palom, Porom, and Rydia
- Traveled to the Lunarian moon’s core, and destroyed Zeromus.
~Tuesday, May 7th
- Began -Interlude-
- Attended the restoration celebration in Damcyan
- Climbed Mt Hobs and arrived in Fabul in time to witness the birth of Yang’s daughter
- Traveled to the Sealed Cave with Cid and the twins to stem the flow of monsters
- Made way to the Tower of Babil and met up with Edge
- Defeated the fake Rydia and returned home safely
…And that’s where I’m at! I am, again, really sorry about the delay. I got the article turned in Monday evening, but stuff came up and Erren didn’t get a chance to give it a final lookover until after Tuesday. That’s not the only unfortunate news, though! As it turns out, I will have to give my copy of Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection up for a while so I won’t be able to play The After Years for quite a long time yet. I’d really prefer to wait, but I don’t feel comfortable putting my playthrough on hold for a month (at minimum!). Because of this, I be started Final Fantasy V on Tuesday, and will be making my next progress report on Monday, skipping the Friday update entirely to get back onto a sense of schedule.
Final Fantasy IV ~Parting Thoughts
I’ve always felt that Final Fantasy IV was a bit of a tipping point for the series. It broke into a new way of doing battle, and the story was much more involved than previous entries. I played this game briefly on the SNES, but didn’t get to complete it until I got the Playstation release. I’ve played the DS remake, and now the PSP ‘Complete Collection’ minus The After Years. I’m a little disappointed that FFIV:TCC went back to sprite-based artwork, rather than upgrading -Interlude- and The After Years to 3D models if I’m being honest, if only because there’s a level of emotion lost when working with sprites alone. When two sprite-based characters dance together after declaring their love it doesn’t feel romantic at all, it just looks goofy. When Cecil lunged for Golbez in an apparent rage, it just look like he took a step forward. I appreciate the roots of the series and having the option to play the game with sprites is fine, I just wish they’d remain consistent with their updates of older games.
That small developmental gripe aside, there is a lot I really like about this game. The constant switch of party members really helped me learn how certain characters worked together (although I had knowledge prior because they fit into classic FF jobs), and it certainly made for a bit of a suspenseful story. Never knowing whether a character that leaves your party is really dead or just preparing for a dramatic return later is tense in a fun way, and it’s something I really appreciate in a game. Many of the new characters reacted in interesting ways with the characters I already had, and whenever I got one I’d think to myself “Now, who’s going to piss off who?”. I really loved the dynamic of Cecil and Rosa too, since they start out the game already in a romantic relationship. Don’t get me wrong, watching a romance blossom on-screen can be nice. It’s just a refreshing change to see two characters already in love and together, skipping past the chase.
Like Final Fantasy III, IV has a fairly involved world map that is split up into sections. While FFIII had the floating island, the main world, and an underwater map, FFIV consists of a surface world, an underground world of caverns, and a small visitable moon. As with many of the earlier Final Fantasy games, your exploration is generally limited into small chunks bottlenecked in by blockers such as mountains and oceans with the ways out generally being either dungeons or story events. Pop through a dungeon or complete the story, and you land yourself in a new little block to run around in (sometimes with no ability to turn around and go back). Everything feels really linear to me in the older games, but in IV it’s more pronounced because of the improved narrative. While it’s true that this is lessened somewhat when you get the airship, by that time you’ve already visited most of the world and there are no sidequests to distract you aside from taking on optional dungeons. Although by no means a bad or boring experience, I feel like more could probably have been added to an otherwise well-rounded remake.
Overall, Final Fantasy IV was a damn good game with an energetic story and a great (if somewhat large) cast of characters. It brought a few solid changes to the series, and is always fun to play.