01.5 Final Fantasy, FF2

Well how about that! Less than two weeks in, and I’ve completed the first of fourteen games.

I finished the story of Final Fantasy on Day 12: January 12, 2015.

First thing’s first: when I vented my frustrations last week regarding the lack of a world map in the game, Twitter came to the rescue and told me that there is, in fact, a world map, but I didn’t know because nobody in the game told me about it. I believe such information is probably discussed in the booklets that used to accompany video games, but as I was playing a digital copy, I never knew that. In any case, the map came in SUPER handy for the remainder of the game, just as I hoped it would.

That said, the map would only take me so far. After obtaining the Airship I had plenty of new places to explore, and I was able to work things out eventually, but the closer I got to the end, the longer it took me to work out just what I was supposed to do. Case in point: I found the Rosetta Stone and was told by an NPC to take it to “Unne”. I didn’t know if Unne was a person or a place or what, and spent the better part of an hour just flying around the world returning to each and every location with NPCs to talk to, in order to find some sort of idea as to what to do next.

The good part is that the world of Final Fantasy isn’t all that large or difficult to traverse by air, and eventually I found Unne (a person, by the way), and continued on from there pretty easily. Still, this doesn’t make a game difficult or challenging, but tedious and frustrating. It’s the kind of thing that would make a person turn off the game and never come back to it. Well, in today’s age of short attention spans, it would. Perhaps back in 1987 people were a bit more tolerant of such things because they didn’t know any better.

Anywho, as my goal is to complete all 14 numbered titles in the franchise, I will resort to a walkthrough or guide if I get too stuck or frustrated or annoyed. I won’t give up on my journey, but I will gladly accept a helping hand now and then. And to be honest, how else was I supposed to work out that in order to enter the final dungeon I had to use the Lute I got from Princess Sarah during the first hour of the game, that had not been mentioned since then? Some of these things just can’t be assumed as general knowledge.

At any rate, I’m glad I played the game through on Easy mode. I still enjoyed the Final Fantasy experience and played through the story, while experiencing minimal death and outrage. Now, let’s go over some fun stats that I intend to follow up with at each subsequent game’s end.

Time to complete: 29 hours, 41 minutes
Modes of transportation: Walking/Running, Ship, Canoe, Airship
Chocobos: Not present.
Mogs/Moogles: Not present.
Overworld: Yes.
Summons: Not present.
Cid: Not present.
Biggs & Wedge: Not present.

Notable series firsts:
First game in epic Final Fantasy franchise

I started Final Fantasy II this week, and you can find my initial impressions below the rest of my tweet round-up for the first game.

DAY 008 – Final Fantasy

DAY 009 – Final Fantasy

DAY 010 – Final Fantasy

DAY 011 – Final Fantasy

DAY 012 – Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy II

Final Fantasy II originally released in Japan on December 17, 1988, but it never made its way stateside until the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy Origins 15 years later in April 2003, which is what I am playing. It only makes sense, following up from the Origins release of Final Fantasy.

I’m less than two hours in so far, but I can already tell the game is infinitely more deep in so many ways. The playable characters have proper names and speak when spoken to, showing emotion and seemingly having their own backstories and personalities. The new Key Words mechanic makes you feel like you’re interacting with important NPCs in a much more meaningful way. Plus the lack of experience points or levels in favor of a system that raises your stats and spells the more you use their associated skills makes gameplay severely different. Not bad, really; just extremely different from my last 30 hours with the series.

Also, I find it quite interesting that I have so far been able to wander to the first half dozen towns in the game without issue, while townsfolk keep insisting I pay up for public transport from place to place. Why, my good people, would I want to do that when I could save myself some Gil and walk/fight my way to each location? Since I’ve met Cid (it’s Cid’s first appearance in a Final Fantasy!) and know he’s got an airship (because of course he does), I imagine soon I’ll find myself needing to buy his services to move forward, but for now it’s great just exploring the new world and knowing how to access the World Map from the get-go this time (hint: it’s O + Select).

Anyway, like I said, I’m not even two hours in yet, so there’s not much more to say at this time. Next week should provide some more insight into Final Fantasy II’s story. Until then, here are some more tweets!

DAY 012 – Final Fantasy II

DAY 013 – Final Fantasy II

DAY 014 – Final Fantasy II

P.S. Apparently I inspired a good friend of mine to take his own gaming journey throughout the year. He has just begun playing through the Legend of Zelda series, starting from the beginning like I have. You can follow his progress on Twitter (handle @JHof87) by searching the hashtag #HylianWanderer, and read his updates on his personal blog. I love that I’ve encouraged other such ventures with the #RoadtoXVin15!

Check back next week as I press on through Final Fantasy II.

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