As I write this it is after 1 o’clock in that morning and I’ve got to be up to go to work at 7. This is the latest I’ll have posted an article, being technically Thursday, but dang it, I can’t stand to miss my weekly deadline. I’ll just keep it as short as I can!
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After last week’s loss of Galuf and addition of Cara, this week has felt like a Legend of Zelda trek to the endgame. Exdeath succeeded in merging two worlds into the one they used to be long ago, and in order to defeat him I needed to track down four ancient tablets, which would give me access to the 12 Ultimate Weapons. Each tablet was in a different themed temple; your standard wind temple, water temple, fire temple, and nondescript temple.
Each location featured enemies that required different methods to killing them, which kept the battles interesting and engaging. Sometimes I had to defeat all the enemies together, lest they revive one-by-one. Other fights showed my team being killed by possession if I attacked the wrong enemy first. Lots of trial and error to figure some of them out, but again, it made the fights unique and fun instead of the standard “hold X until you win” battles from Final Fantasies past.
Oh, and one of the temples brought the very first Tonberry of the series onto the scene! Though missing their soon-to-be-classic “Doink!” effect, they still meander slowly toward my party, using their cleaver to mercilessly slaughter us. It was excellent fun encountering them, especially when I discovered an effective strategy for fighting them.
Another thing I’m enjoying is the slew of hidden esper fights that I just happen upon while exploring. I’ve found Shiva, Odin and Carbuncle just by looking in nooks and crannies and alternate routes, and I just love that. The fights are always a nice challenge, and each of them has proven useful for at least a few specific fights. Even if I never used them, it’s still nice to find that kind of extra content. It’s something I’ve always loved about the Final Fantasy series.
Speaking of summons, I fought a couple of interesting enemies/guardians this week. In one temple I battled against the minotaur Sekmet, while in another I faced off against his brother, Minotauros. Brother minotaurs? That certainly sounds like (and they look very much like) the Brothers GF from Final Fantasy VIII. This is just another excellent example of finding pieces of earlier games that later games hearken back and pay homage to. I just love it.
Finally, amidst all the destruction and ruin Exdeath has caused, Bartz was reunited with his feathered companion from the game’s beginning, Boco! While Bartz has been off gallivanting with his new posse, his chocobo friend has met a lady chocobo who is pregnant with their chickabos. The scene where Bartz talks Boco into leaving for a bit to help him out it just so heartwarming, seeing Boco with his new family. He is a bit part, and an animal that doesn’t talk, at that, but he still got some character development. It was really nice to see.
Now in the coming days I will be wrapping up Final Fantasy V, and starting my adventure with the final SNES title, the heavily praised and most talked up of them all, Final Fantasy VI. Final Fantasy V has set the bar incredibly high, so I look forward to seeing what VI has in store to surpass it.