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In which I play Final Fantasy IV

Published by Endless Mike in the blog Endless Mike's blog. Views: 260

As I had never played any of these games before (except Mystic Quest, which sucked except for the music), I figured I might as well give the main series a shot. So I recently decided to play all of the games in order (except for the MMOs). I already got past I, II, and III, and now I'm starting on IV (The Complete Collection). Keep in mind I have never played any of these games before so I'm going into them almost completely blind. I thought that some people here might be interested in my reaction as I go through the game. I'm playing on an emulator with save states so I can chronicle things here as they happen.

Intro CGI cutscene - Looks nice, but I have no idea who any of these characters are or what is supposed to be going on.

- Just starting off - wait, we get an airship to begin with? And not just one, but five of them? Seems too good to be true...
- So can I actually fight these battles myself at any point?
- Wait, that crystal in the first scene was huge, but now it's small enough to fit in his pocket?
- I'm guessing the king is the bad guy. And so much for my airships.
- Okay, I can actually do stuff now. Let's check my stats: No items except for that plot coupon, no magic, I've got some weapons and armor... I start at level 10? Neat.
- Talking to these guys, seems the king is acting unusual. Probably possessed or something.
- Hey, free stuff! Don't mind if I do.
- World map, new party member. No magic for him either, but he's got some equipment and is also at level 10. I'll take what I can get.
- Secret room in the inn? Kind of obvious IMO.
- Okay, this guy says he won't take money from me, but I figured that meant he would give me stuff for free. Unfortunately not.
- Does going in the water here do anything? Apparently not.
- First battle - decent music. What does this 'darkness' command do? I thought I didn't have any magic. Well, that was easy.
- Oh, now we can ride those giant chicken things again... might as well explore.
- Maybe we should grind a bit before the first dungeon... is it just me, or are none of the enemies actually fighting back? Am I too high level for them or is this some kind of bug?
- Oh, one of them finally attacked me. Hurt a bit, too.
- Now that both of us have gained a level, let's heal up, buy some items, and head to the cave.
- Geez, the encounter rate in here is insane! Or maybe I got really unlucky as it seems to have dropped now...
- Turn back? Maybe later...
- More free stuff. I'll take what I can get.
- First time I'm encountering enemies that don't go down in one hit. They still didn't manage to hurt me, though.
- Choose to ignore the warnings? Well I have so far... let's see
- That's a neat effect. Boss battle time now...
- Jump seems to work well against this boss. Its attacks also don't do much damage.
- Okay, it's doing something funky now... Ouch, didn't expect that. Where's the defend command? If I can't attack and I don't want to waste items, what do I do? Oh wait, found it. Weird how it's hidden like that.
- Beat it! That wasn't so hard.

- What's all this, then?
- The town is on fire but we're not hurt. Is that a durability feat or something?
- So we have to beat up a little girl now? Sure, why not.
- What, the battle ended before anyone even died? And there goes my second party member...
- Let's explore a bit. There's a cave up there, but something tells me I shouldn't go in it yet.
- Why exactly am I trying to help this creepy girl who almost killed me again?
- Oh, because she gets us a free stay at the inn. I guess that's a good reason. But how do you know she won't just attack again when she wakes up? Summon another earthquake and destroy this town too?
- At least I get healed before going into this next battle. Well, that wasn't too hard.
- Now she joins my party, and, of course, she can't do the same summon she used earlier...
- And his girlfriend is here, how convenient. I'm guessing that cave from earlier is where I'm supposed to go next.
- Going to do some leveling up first
- Oh, so we learn magic automatically as we level up, instead of having to buy spells? This is the first game in the series that I've played where it's worked like that
- Hey, new party member. Level 20, lots of good magic... not much equipment though. Better go back and get him some. Also, how do you switch rows for individual characters? Every time I hit the row command it just swaps the rows of every character. I want the knight in the front row and the casters in back but I can't get that to happen...
- This dungeon is kind of big... at least the enemies aren't that tough.
- A save point and healing area? I'm guessing that means a boss fight is coming up.
- Okay, I guess I was wrong. Seems it's just a midpoint in the dungeon.
- Hey, new sword! Neat
- We get another chance to heal and save before the boss? Fine, I'm not complaining.
- So we have to go through more dungeons before reaching the boss. Sigh...
- Goddammit, what is with these midget assholes stealing my mana?
- I think I'm finally at the boss now. Guess I've got to use potions and ethers to prepare.
- That's a freaky-looking octopus... wasn't too hard to beat, though.
- Okay... that happened. Come to think of it, castles IRL were made obsolete as defensive structures by gunpowder cannons, so in a world with bombs and air strikes why do they still exist?
- They took the crystal? Looks like they just bombed the castle to me, I didn't see anyone actually enter the castle...
- All of those chests and only one has something it
- Another cutscene battle - and here comes the infamous scene that Noah Antwiler got his internet name from
- Golbez - I've heard that name before
- "The gem forms from the fluid that the antlion secretes when it lays its eggs" Gross, TMI
- Lost the old guy, but got a new party member. No magic, weak stats, and I can't even switch him to the back row. Great.
- Oh, these pots are like the healing springs in the last game. That's convenient.
- The encounter rate in this game is just weird. Sometimes I can walk around the map for minutes at a time and find nothing, other times I can't take two steps before running into an enemy.
- Hovercraft, huh? All this anachronous technology...
- New dungeon, not much to remark on here. Save point is nice but I don't want to waste a tent yet.
- Boss battle time. It doesn't attack? Guess he spoke too soon. I wonder when I'll run into a boss that's actually hard.

- Wait, so it's the light from the thing that cures her? She doesn't eat it or lick it or anything? Weird.
- Here we go with the four crystals again... getting a bit tired of this repeated gimmick
- So one of these fish guys sneaks into the town, wearing a cloak, and hides in a bush just to ambush a guy who he somehow knows is going to be playing a harp near the water in the middle of the night?
- Now let's check out the new party member. Her magic sucks but at least it's there, she has a weapon with limited ammo which is annoying, but her stats and level are decent. I also want to put Edward in the back row again but it won't let me...
- We can't just break through the ice? Well, at least we get a new spell.
- Who's this guy now? A new party member? And we're immediately put into a boss battle. This is the first time in the series I've had 5 party members fighting at once.
- Jesus, WTF is that thing?
- Crap, my bard guy died. If only I could have put him in the back row like I wanted to...
- I try to use raise on him and it misses? What?
- Okay, now it works when I use it outside of combat, at least there's that.
- I also don't have any spare equipment for the new guy... might as well go back and get some.
- The enemies on this mountain are really annoying...
- Funny how it costs the same to stay in the inn regardless of how many party members I have...
- Okay, I think I finally figured out how to get all of the characters in the row I want, but it involves a convoluted combination of the order and row commands. Hardly intuitive.
- Let's see what we can do in this castle.
- Nice music.
- Also, better equipment for sale, which is always a plus.
- "Did you manage to pull through?" What kind of a question is that? I'm right here in front of you, aren't I?
- So if I select 'no', does that mean - eh, what the hell, savestate it
- So wait, that monk was a gargoyle in disguise? How the fuck does that work?
- I think I've heard about this part before - this is one of those unwinnable battles. I don't get why I have to fight him alone, though.
- Weird, his first jump attack did only 12 damage, but after I defended the next one did over 2400 damage...
- Well, that could have gone better. Could have gone worse too, come to think of it.
- Is there some reason the airships can't just bomb any boat that tries to get near?
- New sword? Sure, I'll take it.
- Oh, that doesn't look good... do we have to fight this thing now?
- CGI cutscene - looks kind of crappy, though
- Well at least I didn't have to fight the Leviathan, but there goes the rest of my party...
- I saved so I'm going to ignore this town nearby and go exploring a bit
- What's this mountain? Better save before going in.
- Seems like a dead end. Tough enemies, too - time to use a tent.
- Okay, back to the town. Mysidia - definitely heard of that before.
- Wow, rude.
- Now CT123 said something about leveling these kids up once they join my party.
- Crap, now my inventory is full and I don't have a fat bird to store shit...
- I first read the 'twincast' command as 'twincest' :twitch
- Okay, I think I've leveled up enough. I'll stop for now before entering the mountain.

- Finally got the twincast command to work. Kind of an underwhelming result for such a large charge up time.
- Somehow I have a feeling they aren't actually dead, despite what Cecil seems to think
- Nice to have this guy back in the party again, although I heard he gets weaker...
- I know my current sword isn't supposed to be effective against the enemies here, but I'm still one-shotting them... maybe I just leveled up too much
- Weird... now my attacks are only doing 1 damage each. Maybe different enemies are more or less vulnerable?
- Boss battle time again. That wasn't so hard.
- Now we have to fight this guy again? He went down quickly at least.
- Okay, that evil twin thing took a bit of trial and error but I guess I win now.
- And I'm back to level 1. I was warned about this.
- Wow, I gained 5 levels in one battle. Not bad.
- Teleport doesn't do the same thing it did in II... guess I should have read the description before trying it
- "One born of a dragon" - great, now I've got the Skyrim theme song in my head
- With all that talk about how dangerous the Devil's Road is, I was expecting it to be a dungeon with enemies we'd have to fight our way through
- Now this guy wants to fight us? Geez, how many hitpoints does he freaking have?
- Finally beat him. At least his attacks didn't do too much damage.
- So they gave a guy with no memories who they had never seen before command of soldiers and a key to restricted areas? Really?
- Some of the attack animations in this version of the game are pretty neat to look at
- Do we know this guy? Oh well, another boss battle
- Weird, I killed him and one of his arms was still there and fighting, lol.
- Despite his bragging, that guy went down fast.
- At first I thought this would be like Live A Live where you kill the monster impersonating the king and then the entire kingdom is after you...
- What, do we have to fight this guy again? Are we going to have to fight all of these guys twice?
- No, it's just some wall trap. We do have the teleport spell but I'm betting that's going to be conveniently forgotten...
- Wait, how does that stop the walls from closing together again?
- Awesome, we finally have an airship that we can actually use. Also a new party member. His equipment and stats aren't that great, though.

- Guess I'll go exploring with the airship
- A talking pig... what?
- Dammit, I hate it when my inventory is full and I have to store stuff in that damn bird. I hoped that annoying mechanic would be over with after the last game.
- I do like how the airship can go over mountains in this one, though
- New equipment is expensive...
- TBH I have no idea where I'm supposed to go here. So I'll just try a few things.
- Well here's a familiar face... kind of a useless party member though so I'm glad he's not rejoining us
- So wait, I just upgraded to mythril stuff but I can't use it in the next dungeon? Geez...
- Do I need to buy this 'members' writ' for anything? It's expensive so I'm going to pass now, and hope I don't regret it later...
- I had to look at a guide to figure out where to go next... but I found it. No metal equipment either.
- Wait, why can I take the metal equipment with me into the cave and be fine as long as I don't equip it? Is it in a magical bag of holding or something?
- This guy gets 3 attacks in a row? WTF?
- Now we're fully healed and get to switch weapons. Okay, I'll take it.
- Wow, that was easier than I expected.
- They say they're just lending us the crystal - do they know we plan to give it over to the bad guys?
- Wow, a permanent stat-boosting item, I love those.
- Well that was a... rather short and pointless CGI cutscene.
- Okay, if he wants the crystal so badly, why is he making me climb a tower full of monsters to give it to him? What would he do if the monsters killed us and broke/lost the crystal?
- The character designs of these 3 sisters look out of place here... they weren't hard to beat, either.
- Sheesh, at least confirm she's safe before giving him the thing he wants...
- Isn't that insult reserved for Donald Trump?
- If meteor requires so much power to cast that it might kill him, why did he waste his power with those weaker spells first?
- I have to admit, that's pretty cool-looking
- Wait, I thought he was just beaten, why is he still up and talking?
- There was a giant guillotine over her head that was set to drop at that random specific time for no reason - the hell?
- Well, new party members. Let's make sure everything is set up correctly.
- Great, another boss. Seems like a tough one, too.
- Eh, she (it is a she, right?) wasn't that tough
- Dark crystals - some would say this came out of nowhere, but they probably didn't play the previous game then
- Wow, that's sure convenient...
- Drop a small stone in a well and a volcano erupts? That's kind of crazy. Are we really supposed to descend down through an erupting volcano?
- So this underworld is big enough for the airship to fly around in - makes you wonder what keeps the ground from collapsing above it.
- Crap, so much for the airship. Then again they do tend to get destroyed in these games so I should have probably expected this.
- What was all of that money doing just sitting in a pot?
- Oh, that's just freaky looking...
- How does this guy always get to these places before we do?
- All of my attacks are missing him - is this another battle I'm supposed to lose?
- I had heard Rydia comes back but I wasn't expecting it now. I'm not complaining, though.
- Okay, that was the first (winnable) boss battle in this game that I'd actually not consider to be easy. Most of the difficulty came from having to revive and heal my party members after they were taken out though.
- Uh... you going to do anything to stop that hand? Guess not.
- Lots of stuff in this castle...

- These security eye things are fucking annoying. You'd think they'd be weak to lightning, but no...
- This place also seems awfully high-tech for a medieval world... then again, there were some anachronistic things like that in the first game too IIRC
- Now it's Frankenstein and Doctor Insano...
- He turned into a skeleton robot? Weird
- I'm finally using the chance to check out some of Rydia's summons. Nice animations for underwhelming results, though.
- Using cannons is cowardly? Couldn't the same be said about using swords, armor, and magic?
- Uh, if the cannons can fire automatically why did they even need operators in the first place?
- And there goes another party member...
- Now how do we get out of this place? Guess I'll just go back the way I came
- Golbez just used the original form of the cliche that one of my favorite video game villains, Javi from Tyrian, so cleverly inverted.
- Crap, we're going to lose yet another party member? Could he have not just thrown the bomb down instead of blowing himself up with it?
- "How did they defeat our ninjutsu so easily?" - maybe they were pirates?
- Blood sword? Hope it's as effective as it was in II
- Why would you use fire magic on the fire element guy? Only Dark Schneider can get away with that
- New party member, meh, he doesn't seem all that great. His fire attack is decent against all of these skeletons, though.
- How exactly can that monster use 'stone gaze' when it's blinded? If only game mechanics made rational sense...
- I'm pretty sure those aren't actually your parents, kid. At least not anymore.
- This guy wasn't as tough as he was hyped up to be. Maybe I'm just overleveled.
- Did we even beat him though? Seems like he just retreated and is fine.
- New airship, neat
- How did this guy survive being a suicide bomber again?
- I find it kind of amusing that Kain's jump command isn't available when he's a frog... you know, since frogs are known for jumping... yeah, it was funnier in my head
- Huh, everybody we thought was dead actually seems to have survived
- Rat tail? Are we redoing this thing from the first game?
- Oh, now we finally get to fight the Leviathan. Is it the same one that sunk our ship earlier?
- These trap doors aren't that bad TBH, I heard people complaining about them before
- I finally got one of these crystals, but the way things have been going I bet it's going to be taken from me pretty soon
- Or maybe it was this boss people were complaining about...
- Well that wasn't hard - he didn't even get close.

Now let us continue:

- Oh, of course, figures we had to lose the crystal somehow.
- "Mwahahaha" - really? Could you have picked a more generic evil laugh?
- Okay, so we don't get Cid back in the party. Meh, I didn't want to bother finding/buying upgraded equipment for him anyway.
- The airship collapsed an entire mountain by drilling through it? Geez
- The idea of having an airship that can switch between the underground and overworld maps is pretty cool
- So this is what we do with the rat tail? Give it to some guy who enjoys collecting the tails of animals? Hopefully already dead ones... And is a rat tail really so rare?
- Wait, the ghost of the king is Odin? That makes no sense
- This guy was praying for this thing to appear for who knows how long, but then those other guys join in and it suddenly appears?
- How are we able to breathe on the moon again?
- I guess we're supposed to get into this weird building but I'm having trouble finding the way in...
- They put their entire species to sleep because they were 'still evolving'? How can you evolve when you're asleep?
- So our hero is really a space alien. Whatever...
- New party member though, and his spell repertoire is amazing
- So when the new guy dies, he turns into a puddle on the ground with only his head left? Weird
- Why do all of the enemies get me with back attacks in this damn place?
- Wow, that was a tough dungeon. Got the summon finally.
- This thing looks kind of like an Evangelion mecha, at least from a distance
- Seems like none of our party members permanently die in this game...
- A robot dragon - well that's new
- I thought we beat these guys already. Damn rehashed boss encounters...
- Okay, I think that's enough for now. I'll fight the next boss later.

- So we're fighting, what, a floating computer now?
- Okay, beating that thing took a bit of trial and error
- Maybe this plot twist wasn't quite as cliche back when the game was first made? I'll give it the benefit of the doubt
- Actually, with their healing and summoning abilities, I think they'd be a lot of help... don't tell me we have to fight the final boss without them
- I'm glad they finally saw some sense, but I guess that makes the scene of the girls being left behind completely pointless then
- Don't tell me I'm going to have to level up all of my old party members now...
- The encounter rate in this cave of trials place is brutal
- Finally got to the top, good thing I could heal before trying these bosses
- At first I was confused as to why I couldn't equip this hammer, but then I realized I needed to unequip Cid's shield. That's annoying.
- Apparently I have to go through this annoying dungeon twice with my other party members...
- That boss you had to beat to get Yang's (presumably) ultimate weapon was annoying but I did beat it on the first try
- This next boss wasn't so hard. Now I've beaten all of the bosses in this room and acquired all of the weapons.
- I just noticed that Edge's sprite looks like he's dabbing when he takes damage...
- That White Dragon boss was annoying to deal with
- Oh boy, another sword... that means another boss. Well, he wasn't as hard as I thought he might be... I guess because I'm overleveled.
- Another boss battle? I think I'll save here and resume later.
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