Last time, we had traveled up the Mysidian tower, found Mindu, who used his life to unseal the barrier between us and the Ultima Scroll. Then the emperor unleashed a deadly cyclone, killing hundreds. Summoning a Wind Drake with the Pendant, we took to the skies and entered the cyclone to kill the emperor and end the cyclone.
In doing so, Leon, who was revealed to be the Dark Knight, had ascended to the throne as the new emperor. Cid lent us his Airship as his last dying wish, we used it to enter the castle that Leon was in. As we came face to face, the dead emperor came into being, escaping hell and was bent on destroying the world. Gareth sacrificed himself so we could escape on the last Wind Drake. Leon, seeing no other alternative, decided to help us in hopefully defeating the emperor for good this time.
Speaking to everyone at Fynn, they tell us about a place called the Jade Passage, where the supposed portal to hell lies. Everyone seems to point to an area by Mysidia.
I leveled up everyone’s HP and MP a bit, including Leon, who I gave Cure and Life, the essentials. Thankfully, Leon gains MP in large doses, thanks to his high Magic stat. With Maria casting Osmose on everyone, they get MP pretty fast. Unfortunately, this means she won’t be getting any MP boosts without some work, but since she is the one with Osmose, that is hardly a concern.
Stopping at the various towns that wasn’t decimated by the cyclone, everyone pretty much just repeats the same jargon they did when we first visited them.
We travel around the world a bit before making a stop at Deist Castle and informing the mother and child what has happened to Gareth. Asking them about the dragoons, she says she is leaving Deist, but not before giving us a sacred weapon of the dragoons, the Excalibur!
While exploring around Mysidia, we stumble upon the Jade Passage, just as everyone in Fynn said. When we touch the spring, we are transported to the Jade Passage, and begin our exploration.
First fight, four Gazers, who proceed to Osmose all of Maria’s MP. At least she got MP and Magic up from it. Time to Warp out and heal! Before we do, however, we grab a Diamond Mace from a chest, and give it to Maria in her back-up equipment.
On the next floor, we fight a battle with 5 Abyss Worms. These things are nasty. They can cast something called Twister13 which deals almost 200 damage to the whole party. That basically shuts down Firion to do nothing but heal. If more than two cast it at once, it’s most likely over, except for Leon, who has the most health at the moment.
We open a chest and out pops a Blue Dragon. He wasn’t too bad, but I tried to fight him without Blink and at the end, he got Firion with a one hit KO right before he went down. Oh well. We got a Cat Claw from the chest.
Abyss Worms are horrible! Two of them along with two Greater Marlboros got the jump on us and nearly gave us a game over!
I am going to check to see what is ahead, but then I have to Warp out.
I can handle everything fairly well so far, but those Abyss Worms are freaking strong. I now know I should put up Blink first. I thought Shell might reduce the damage of their Twister13, but it doesn’t seem like it?
What the heck, White Dragons are a random encounter!? At least we got the jump on it, and it went down pretty fast.
We come to a chest that has a Rune Axe in it, but is guarded by a King Behemoth. With Blinks up, he couldn’t hurt us. Maria even landed a Curse to make things go by faster.
At the bottom of a waterfall, we find a hidden merchant, who sells powerful black magic. I buy Berserk, finally, for Maria. I never once got it through the game, until now. I had to give up a spell for it, but it was fine. I gave up Stun, a spell I never cast.
Continuing on, we come across a room with a Holy Lance, Dragon Mail and Aegis Shield. Awesome. It seems like there aren’t as many Abyss Worms on these later floors. Maybe the dungeon is just front-loaded with them?
We come across another guarded chest, this time holding a Yoichi’s Bow along with a Red Dragon. The Red Dragon had some great Defense, but with Firion’s buffs and Maria’s newly acquired Berserk cast multiple times, they started doing some damage to it and wasted it.
We pick up a Protect Ring, a light weight arm accessory that blocks instant death. I keep it, but I don’t equip it, I figure having +10 Agility from the Thief’s Gloves will prove more useful. It was surprisingly unguarded.
Also, Gus and Leon have been getting HP and Endurance ups like mad lately, even if they just barely get a scratch. Which is fine, I suppose, more HP is usually better.
We eventually come to a portal that takes us into Pandaemonium, where the emperor lurks!
We fight some Death Riders, and one drops a Ribbon, a head piece that protects from special attacks. I believe that means status ailments, so I give it to Leon, since his Magic Defense isn’t as high as everyone else. Plus, Firion has the White Robe and Maria has the Aegis Shield, so they should be covered. They also drop an Ether, which I will gladly take as well!
We eventually go through a series of teleporters until coming to a large room with 4 doors. We start with the left-most door and enter.
We find a pair of Genji Gloves, but a Zombie Borghen is guarding them! In all honesty, he went down in one round. Berserk, plus attack = a dead Zombie Borghen. As easy in death as he was in life!
Going through the next door, we pick up the Genji Helm, this time guarded by an old FF1 enemy, Tiamat! She put up a bit more of a fight than Borghen did, but she went down quick enough that she didn’t do that much damage to us. She also dropped a Flare Scroll for us, not that I really need it at this point anyway.
Next door, we fight Astaroth, who actually can take a beating. She cast mostly damaging spells, but she targets only one character, so they deal some damage, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We get a Ribbon from the chest, which goes to Gus, to protect him and get a White Robe drop from her.
After taking a teleporter, I continue on, but I think I missed that last door. Oh well, it was either an item I am not going to use or something helpful, but we will just have to press on without it.
We eventually reach the end, where the emperor awaits. We heal up and confront him.
Equipping the two Bloodswords, he goes down incredibly fast. Leon was dealing over 3000 damage to him, just by himself after a Berserk. So yeah, if you can make it to this point and you have at least one of the Bloodswords still, it will absolutely wreck the emperor. The reason, for every hit, it deals an extra amount of damage that is a percentage of the target’s life. So in other words, the higher the HP of the monster you are attacking, the more damage it deals per hit. If you have a decent sword user, with Haste and Berserk, you can kill him in like 3 rounds or less.
Let us try without the Bloodswords this time…
Fighting him without the Bloodswords, he puts up much more of a fight, and we get to see what he is really made of. At the beginning, Gus and Leon were only dealing about 100 or so damage to him. After quite a few Berserks, they started doing decent damage. He casts a few status spells, but his main attack is his Starfall attack.
That dealt about almost 300 damage to everyone, so it was devastating to our party, especially Firion and Maria. With Firion quickly patching us up after he used it, and Maria on back-up healing, we could recover our HP fast enough. With the usual suspects for buffs, like Blink, Haste, Berserk, Shell, ect, he couldn’t really hurt us other than his Starfall attack. After a few more rounds of wailing on him while Maria continued to spam Berserk, he went down.
We make our escape after he disappears and head back to Fynn.
Hilda, Gordon, Pavel and even Molly, Josef’s daughter await us.
Just then, Firion sees an apparition of Josef. After it disappears without saying a word, Hilda says they will continue to rebuild what was lost, and leave.
Maria is happy everything is over, and that they get to go back to normal. Firion, however, doesn’t think so.
Leon says they have been through too much and that he has to leave. Maria begs Firion to stop him, but Firion knows he can’t, and Leon exits the castle.
They then see more apparitions, this time of Mindu, Josef, Scott and Gareth, before they all fade away.
We are treated to a view of the city while text appears, saying that time will heal the wounds of war and there is peace at last. We then get a view of the Airship, saying that ordinary youths with extraordinary minds saved the day.
Then… Roll credits!
Everyone’s final stats:
Game Overs: 6
-Bombs at start of game
-Wererats at start of game
-Captain in Fynn
-Gigan Rhino and Manta Ray
Funnily enough, all of these deaths could be prevented by just not exploring at the start of the game where you aren’t supposed to go. I did have some very close calls, especially against the dreaded Abyss Worms in the Jade Passage, but other than that, I never got stuck on a particular enemy or dungeon.
Wow. This game was… Odd at times.
Don’t get me wrong, I had tons of fun, of course, but there were just things that annoyed me.
I am not going to judge the story too harshly, I mean, this is an old game, but still, the fact that only Leila and Gordon, out of all of the guest companions lived? Well, and Leon, I suppose, if you count him. Actually, that brings me to another point, this whole game had a ton of deaths. There were probably, what, like 25 people left in the world after the emperor unleashed the cyclone?
Maybe they meant it to be dark, but I just couldn’t feel anything for the characters, since every single one of them kept dying off. Perhaps I felt something for Mindu, since he was always my favorite, but still.
Speaking of companions, they really should have buffed them all when they join, except for Mindu, he seemed to be great, because he was actually leveled. Leila wasn’t too bad, considering she did come with Bolt. I think that they should have given them some more leveled spells, especially Leon, since he is the last character you get. Even if it was just Life and Cure at like level 3-4, that would be great, that way, you didn’t have to do it yourself. Also, give him some more MP, of course. At least they gave him good Magic, so his MP would rise very quickly.
But the system itself, leveling up my characters how I wanted(I didn’t like how long it took to raise spells and weapon levels, though), I really enjoyed, but at the end of the game, my highest level spells were only 7, and that was things that I cast a ton of, like Cure and Blink. The max spell level in the game is 16. How in the heck is a player even supposed to come close to that? I assume they aren’t supposed too, it was more of a enemy/monster thing having powerful “ability16” spells.
It just felt like you had to cast the same spell, over and over again, to get it decent. Especially black attack magic, it felt pretty much useless, except against enemies that had blatant weakness, or that my fighters couldn’t hurt because they had such high defense.
Another complaint about magic; multi-targeting spells are useless, except for high levels of Cure and buff spells. Even at Fire6, with near max Intelligence, Maria would deal only like 200 damage to enemies when she would target them all. At the end of the game, monster have almost 1000 hit points, so that is essentially a wasted turn and wasted MP. At the end of the game, especially when I bought Berserk, she never cast a damaging spell again.
Actually, that is a lie, she cast Flare once on the final boss, which did okay damage, compared to what everyone else was dealing.
That isn’t to say damaging spells didn’t have uses, especially in the beginning of the game, they were very helpful, but they soon dropped off in helpfulness quite quickly.
But for spells in general, there are quite a few spells that are… Somewhat useless, mainly in the realm of status ailments. The only few that were seemingly helpful, Curse, and to a lesser degree, Blind, when you first get it. The rest, such as Sleep, Stun, Stop, Slow… Pretty useless. But, I won’t go into that too much, since the majority of Final Fantasy games, the status ailments are sub par or useless. Except when they are inflicted on you, then it sucks.
I won’t go into the instant-death ones, like Doom/Death, and Toad. Apparently, a high-leveled Toad spell user can absolutely wreck the game, since it is so accurate after it gains a few levels, and very few enemies resist it.
But in any case, I believe the remakes may have decreased the amount of times are needed to cast a spell or swing a weapon to increase it’s level, so that is good. The very short time I played the iOS version, I leveled up my weapons to level 2 in like 2 fights.
Another very important thing, this game lacks a lot of information about it’s mechanics. Like certain spell descriptions. Without looking it up in a guide, players are bound to screw themselves over, like not investing in Evasion through-out the game. Or how certain spells function, like Aura, Wall, or Barrier.
For instance, Esuna. I didn’t know until I looked it up that you had to level it up to level 6 for it to cure every permanent status ailment. Especially Aura, how is a player supposed to know that you pretty much have to have it at level 8(!!!) for it to be effective against most enemies?
Gamers tend to nag on the fact that powerful enemies lay in wait on the world map, even at the start of the game, by going too far in a certain direction. Yes, it is annoying in the fact that the game will punish you if you try to explore where you aren’t supposed to be at yet, but as long as you save periodically, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I never really had a problem with it.
One last thing. Why does the game have so many empty, high encounter rate rooms!? Those are beyond annoying. I wouldn’t mind a few, but they are everywhere in this game! Plus, the game throws tons of useless loot at you. Knives, staves and bucklers nearing the end of the game. Just… Why?
But despite that, the game was still fun. It had quirks, but it was fairly enjoyable, regardless. This game did start many of the FF traditions that are now mainstays of the series, like Cid and Chocobos, so I have to give it credit there.
Plus, it had more of an attempt at a story than FF1. It also had little tweaks about it that were not in FF1, like being able to save anywhere on the world map, without needing an inn or sleeping item.
What I would like, a game, a spin-off, whatever, where you play as Firion, Maria and Gus, but they have to defeat Leon, for real this time.
The ending was slightly vague, but my interpretation;
Leon only joined because he knew that if he didn’t help, the emperor would destroy the world. I highly doubt he was “mind-controlled,” as Maria put it. After all, when the gang defeated the emperor the first time, Leon took over in power. If the emperor had him under a spell, wouldn’t the spell have ended? Or at least, wouldn’t he still be loyal to the emperor? When the new emperor rose from the dead, Leon laughed at him. If he was still under the spell, he would have bowed down to him, right?
After the emperor is gone for good, Leon and Firion both knew that because of what Leon had done, they could never be the same, despite Maria wishing otherwise.
In my mind, that tells me that Leon is indeed evil, or perhaps not so much evil as just power hungry. It makes me wonder what could or would have happened after the emperor was killed.
Would Leon eventually try to rise in power? Would Firion and the others have to stop him?
Just something to think about.
Now to the important question; would I recommend this game to others?
Not really. FF2 falls in the same category as FF1, somewhat. It is a good game if you really love the series and want to go back to experience some of the older titles, but otherwise, steer clear.
If you do want to play this game, do some research first, especially on the mechanics of the game. It will really help you have a much better time. Going in completely blind is really asking for a headache in this game.
Since the game does such a bad job at teaching you the mechanics of the game, what some of the spells do, how they work, how the stats work, I highly suggest you read up on it a bit first, if you are dead set on playing this game.
However, I would recommend playing the remakes, like the GBA version or the PSP version, which adds new content, along with lowering the amount of grinding needed to level up things.
It adds a mode where you play as Mindu, Scott, Josef and Gareth/Ricard after they have died. Pretty neat.
In all that, however, I enjoy the game. I can see myself picking it back up and playing it again sometime. Much like FF1, you can play it many different ways, building your characters differently, using different weapons, armors, spells, that sort of thing.
Next up, we continue on in our quest of Final Fantasy, and start the next game in the series.
Final Fantasy 3!