Part 1: Recommended: Snowballs
FFTA opens with some elementary school kids milling about in a playground. Action packed!
A whistle sounds and the children file on to two sides of the playground.
Bad Person 1 complains about being with the weaklings. He's level 5 and can take 37 consecutive snowballs to the face before adverse effects to his health appear.
The bad people have names but they don't appear after this scene.
Mewt is a wuss. But since Bad Person 1 kicks dogs we're supposed to sympathize with Mewt.
Bad Person 2 makes jokes about it. It's supposed to be horrible 'cause Mewt's mom is dead but everyone in this town seems to have a dead parent. This town is a conglomerate of single parents and their socially awkward children.
The new kid is our main character. He doesn't get to speak for a while.
Bad Person 2 has a point, Main Character has a pony tail and an immense cow-lick.
Ritz is the wonderful combination of faux-philosophy, femenism...
...violence, and technicolor hair I've come to expect from Square-Enix.
Ritz and Bad Person 1 switch teams. Now we have Team Good People and Team Bad People. Both teams have a 4th person who says nothing.
Ritz tells the king of cowlicks to state his name. We can actually choose his name!
I could be a dick about it and have the Bad People be correct.
Or maybe I could regret being given a choice!
Naw, let's stick with defaults, unless goons really like having him be the new kid forever.
Mr. Leslaie shows up and tells the kids to stop showing basic character traits.
I think he's supposed to be named after the capital of Gallione in FFT but they've translated it 18 different ways.
A tutorial fight. It's a snowball fight between kids. Seems a bit low-scale, doesn't it?
See the town they live in is called Ivalice so - wait, St. Ivalice? It's like naming a town St. America!
All fights work the same so Marche has never been in any conflict before. Mr. Leslaie and Ritz give poor dumb pacifist Marche a tutorial.
...I just threw snowballs at my brother. At least this game has the decency to name Speed first, as speed is the most important stat.
In case you really want to make this intro drag on more.
But it never even started!
Ritz is faster than most ninjas. Ponder that for a moment.
Mewt is the only one of the kids to have any Magic Power. This may or may not have any meaning. He also has a 1.1 defense growth. His frailty is legendary. So legendary, in fact, I'm going to exploit it.
The snowball fight lasts until after Ritz's second turn. Each member of Team Bad People targets Mewt exclusively. With all 4 of Team Bad People's snowballs, we can hit Mewt exactly eight times. Each snowball does one damage, so if anyone misses, we miss the chance to put Mewt in a snowball-based coma.
Luckily, Ritz, Marche, and whats-her-face can get Mewt from the sides, giving an 80% chance to hit.
Well, it looks like 80%, but the RNG FFTA uses is flawed so I have no fucking clue what the real chance is. I think it may be slightly more than 80%, but that's anecdotal evidence based on no research or data.
The big variable here is that three members of Team Bad People attack Mewt from his front, where his (otherwise pitiful) 40% evasion can shine.
Luckily, Bad Person 3 hits Mewt.
This position is technically hitting Mewt from his sides. If you're playing along from home, keep that in mind.
Bad Person 2 and whatever her name is also hit Mewt. The biggest hurdle has been cleared.
With only a single hit point keeping Mewt away from the oblivion of death, he cowers, hoping some basic humanity will awaken in his oppressors out of pity.
Ritz, uncaring, unfeeling, guided by bloodlust, flings the sphere of ice that ends Mewt's suffering.
...Or not. He just screams the generic death rattle but never leaves his crouching position.
The scene plays on normally despite the immense hypocrisy my actions inspire in it.
As if it weren't hammered in enough, Bad Persons 1 and 3 hit Mewt with a few more snowballs in the cutscene.
Ritz has hit Mewt, her own teammate, with two snowballs.
This coming from a lad who gave a cry usually reserved for Gigaflares.
Bad Person 3 capitalizes on no one paying attention to him to hit Mewt with another snowball.
Either the thin skin on his forehead has finally eroded or there was a rock in it.
The answer is there is a rock but I'm getting tired of this scene.
That's why I hit him too!
This was the reasoning the Templars and the Glabados Church used in FFT. They used it to explain poisoning armies and killing everyone of power so the people would be unified under the church.
Ritz has a pretty lame problem compared to Mewt having absolutely no self-esteem or HP.
It wouldn't be so obvious if you didn't pick a shade as unnatural as pink. Everyone else in St. Ivalice has perfectly normal hair colors.
Now dumb things #1 is over. We're barely a fourth through this intro.
So now Mewt wants Marche to go hang out at a bookstore or something. Mewt is a pretty boring kid.
Marche's brother, Doned, has some permanent illness that left him crippled and bound to a wheelchair. I think this game has a quotient it needs to meet.
You know, like what this game is supposed to be about. Instead I have elementary school kids dealing with those rotten bullies.
So, instead of fighting monsters with magic, this game is about reading about monsters and magic after those rotten bullies are done picking on the main characters.
They can't even read about it. Fuck.
GAME MECHANICS VOL. 1: Speed and Turns.
Speed is the attribute that determines how soon and how often a character gets turns. Each "clock tick," a unit of time that passes in between turns, each character adds their speed to, borrowing a term from FFT, their "charge turn". When this value reaches 1,000, the character gets a turn.
Ritz, for example, has 126 speed. So it would go 126, 252, 378, 504, 630, 756, 882, 1008. The extra 8 is dropped and Ritz has the 1,000 CT after 8 clock ticks. Marche, with 103 speed, only has 824 CT after 8 ticks so he has to wait two more clock ticks to get 1,000 CT.
When a character ends his or her turn, his or her CT is reduced by 500. Acting reduces it by 300 more and moving takes 200. So, if Ritz threw a snowball without moving anywhere, she'd have 200 CT left. Next clock tick, she'd have 336, then 462, and so on.
Hasted characters have 150% speed, so Ritz would get 189 CT every clock tick. Slowed characters have 50% speed, so Ritz would get a pitiful 63 CT. Stopped, Sleeping, KOed, and Petrified Characters get 0 CT.
A high speed stat is important. Classes with excellent growths everything but speed can still be a bad choice due to that low speed. I will go into more detail when actual classes are available.