Greetings Gamers and welcome back. If you missed part seven click here to read it now. And as always, spoilers ahead. Today we are going to see how the prison life is treating Cloud and the gang. As well as the struggle that is perfecting Final Fantasy VI.
We find ourselves in a desert prison yard that many of the other residents claim is inescapable. Don’t try to run for it in the desert, you just get lost. After exploring some of the houses we find Barret in one. For a moment it looks like he has turned on us, but instead he shoots at the person hiding behind the couch saving us, potentially. I mean the person didn’t seem to have a weapon, maybe it was his house we barged in and he was just hiding.
After this Barret tells us the story of how he lost his arm and his best friend, Dyne. The town Barret lived in was attacked by Shinra troops while He and Dyne were out-of-town. The warning came too late, all they can do is watch as their village burns to the ground. Suddenly Shinra troops attack. Dyne slips and Barret grabs him as he falls from the cliff. He tries to hold on but the Shinra troops open fire hitting Barret’s arm and forcing him to let go of Dyne.
After the flash back ends Barret explains this was what started his hatred for Shinra, and why he formed the terrorist group AVALANCHE. He had a gun attached to his ruined arm and headed for Midgar. Well it’s nice to catch up and all, but we are still stuck in a prison. When we return to the fence we see the guard has been shot and the way is open to us. We head to the scrap yard part of the prison to find who has been shooting everyone. But first make sure we find the Deathclaw enemy and learn the Laser ability from it. If we don’t get it now we have to wait for quite some time till we get another chance. I, in fact forgot this till after I was free from the prison and had to reload an older save, thank god for multiple saves. If you are going for a completionist run this is a must for when you miss things. After this we head to the center of the scrap yard to find the real shooter is none other Dyne! I guess that fall wasn’t too bad after all, and he’s got a gun for an arm too.
Barret tells Cloud to stay out of this one, he wants to fight Dyne one-on-one. There really is no big strategy for this fight. Equip the restore materia to Barret and just attack till the fight is over, easy peasy.
After he is beaten, he gives Barret his locket and tells him to take care of his daughter Marlene. He then jumps into the chasm. This would be more of a dramatic end for him if he had not already survived a similar fall before, but since he doesn’t show up again in the game I guess he’s dead. Probably.
We then return to the prison with the locket to prove we beat the prison boss. The team learns that the only way out of here is the Chocobo Races. This is an interesting out for prisoners but you are a pretty good Chocobo jockey so we will let it slide. Cloud gets volunteered as the jockey so he heads to the surface to make racing history. This is one of my favorite mini games in Final Fantasy VII. I know it’s way in the future but I can’t wait to see how they handle this in the remake. I’m already excited! Ok, I need to calm down and get back to race at hand. If you want to give yourself an advantage in the race just hold down the four shoulder buttons and your Chocobo gets an extra boost of speed and Stamina. I however forgot this till after the race so of course I lost the first couple races, until the game I think took pity on me and let me win. I mean I skillfully won the race first time with my eyes closed of course.
With the race won we have also won the freedom of our friends. Since we did such a good job racing, or I was so bad they just wanted to get rid of me, we are given a buggy to drive. You know what that means! Time for some backtracking. With the buggy we can cross small rivers, so there are a few things we need to pick up. First we get the Mythril item from the sleeping guy in the cave, we will use this to get Aerith’s best limit break later. Also since we got the Manipulate materia from Cait Sith we can learn 2 nice Enemy Skills. White Wind which heals the whole party for the casters current health. And Big Guard, one of the best buffs in the game. It casts barrier, mbarrier and haste on all party members. We will be using this for all future boss fights, the 55 MP cost is worth it. We will also pick up Frogsong from the frogs outside our next destination. This attack casts frog and sleep on all enemies, good but I never remember to use it.
The last thing we will do this week is head to Gongaga for an optional boss fight. As we enter we hear a conversation between the Turks, Reno and Rude. They are talking about who they think is cute and we find out that Rude has a bit of a crush on Tifa, who doesn’t. They spot us and a fight starts.
This fight is pretty easy. We start with our new Big Guard then beat the crap out of them with everything we got. Fun side note, if you have Tifa in the party Rude will not attack her unless there is no one left standing, and even then he will sometimes pass.
After we beat them we can explore a bit. There is the Titan summon to get here but that’s about it. The main thing we get from here is to learn it’s the home town of Aerith’s first boyfriend Zack. Now that name seems familiar doesn’t it.
Well that’s it for this week, next time we take the buggy farther in land and see what’s up in those mountains. But first we are almost done with our catch up on the other Final Fantasy games. Just a few more to go. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do.
Final Fantasy VI is a completionist nightmare. There is so much to do, collect, explore, and kill. So many hours put into this game. Final Fantasy VI follows the story of a group of rebels that are fighting to stop the evil empire. Sounds familiar right, at least there is no Death Star. Although there is the tower that shoots lasers by the end of the game. We learn that Terra, I guess the game’s main character even though there really isn’t one, is half human and half eidolon (summon monster). She was a puppet of the empire until the rebels freed and recruited her to their cause. The Empire has been using the eidolons to power their magitek weapons. In the end the Empire is betrayed by Kefka, the evil clown mage, and by far the most hated of all Final Fantasy villains. Seriously, we hate most villains for being pure evil, but Kefka is an annoying, power-hungry, evil-minded man who would poison a whole village’s water supply just to win a battle. After he attains his power from the warring triad has turns the world into a barren land. The party later regroups and climbs Kefka’s tower to destroy him once and for all. A very satisfying win.
Well the story is one of the best yet. I understand why so many people say this is their favorite game in the series. I just wish there wasn’t so much that needs to be done. First off there are the characters, I’d list them off but this post is long enough already. To make matters worse all 13 characters, well not the mime and the yeti, yes there is a yeti, can learn all the magic abilities in the game by equipping specific eidolon’s to themselves and fight battles. To put this into perspective there are 26 eidolons, with 57 spells to learn from them on 11 different characters. This will take some time.
There are also a lot of side dungeons by the end of the game that reward you with eidolons and party members that had split up after Kefka changed the world into the world in ruin. So I hope you like sightseeing because we are going to see them all. One of these being the Colosseum, where you bet an item to get a better one by having one party member fight a monster. The problem is you have no control of that person and they will literally do any ability they have in the fight so the wins are really random. But on the plus side this is the place where we can get some of the best weapons and gear in the game.
We also see the return of the Bestiary which plays a real role in this game. There is a character named Gau that learns enemy abilities called rages. He learns them by jumping into a packs of enemies on the Velt where he lives. You then fight some more until he shows up again at the end of another battle. Gau will have then learned the abilities from the enemies he jumped at and the ones just beaten before he shows back up, but not the ones fought in-between. Now here is the problem. There are 254 rages that he can learn! They all appear randomly on the Velt too. This mean that not only do you need to beat every enemy in the game once for them to show up, but then find them again on the Velt. This is very frustrating and time-consuming, I guess they call them Rages for a reason. I don’t know how many times an enemy I needed would show up but I didn’t learn its rage because Gau had already jumped and did not return from that fight. I spent at least ten extra hours just collecting rages. The worst part is I didn’t even use Gau, the whole rage mechanic is not that great in my opinion. Unless you are going for a perfect run I’d skip the rage hunting.
Since we are playing the Game Boy Advance version we also have two extra dungeons to finish. Oh good, because we didn’t have enough to do. The first is the Dragon’s Den. Here we need to find eight dragons and beat them to unlock the battle with the final dragon, the Kaiser Dragon. He’s hard but by the time you get to him you are already overpowered so still a cake walk. We are not done yet though. After we beat it we need to go through the whole dungeon again, and at the end a new boss will be waiting for us, the Omega Weapon.
The second bonus we get is the Soul Shrine. Better outfit yourself well because we have to fight 126 battles in a row ending with another fight from all the Dragons Den bosses, including the Kaiser Dragon. This alone took me about an hour and a half. Still it was a nice last hurrah after all the grinding I had done earlier. If you think you are up to the challenge then try the Soul Shrine. Just make sure you bring the items the magic pots want. Don’t try to fight them unless you are very sure of yourself. They are very powerful, and can ruin your winning streak.
Final Fantasy VI is a great game and well worth your time if you can find a copy. If you are going to play it with the idea to complete it 100% then be ready for a long road ahead of you. I personally would recommend you just enjoy the story and play it more relaxed. So after 88 hours and 17 minutes of game play we can finally put Final Fantasy VI to rest.
That is it for this week. Next time we have our last catch up as I review the beginning of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, as well as continue our journey through Final Fantasy VII. But until next time, later gamer.