Part 1: Escape! Where are we?
The first thing that we see once the game starts is an injunction to fight, putting us into the action right away.
The first "boss" of the game doesn't really deserve the title or a video. He's called Jackal, and if you lose HP on this boss you're making a mistake. He never moves below the mid point of the screen and moves back and forth in a lazy W. You can beat him just by flailing spastically with your sword anytime he comes near.
Apparently the Jackal is mostly composed of nitroglycerin.
Rock and Friends were forced to fight every day just for the entertainment of Dark Lord. Many Fighters have fallen from their wounds.
We must let the Gemma knights know about it.
See Bogard at the falls. He is a Gemma knight. He should know what to do.
Gemma? Mana? What are they? .. Willy? .. Willy!!
Goodbye Willy, we hardly knew you.
Talking to him results in Rock swearing vengeance for Willy. As a note, in this game you talk to people by running into them. This is sometimes inconvenient.
We have to get out of here!! I wanna go home and see my little brother..
The fact that Amanda has a name should be a hint that we'll be seeing her again.
Take your chance!!
This guy, on the other hand, is screwed.
Going through the door to the right leads up some stairs to another battle with the Jackal. His attack pattern hasn't changed, so he goes down in a few seconds.
How did that door get opened instead of the one for prisoners? DarkLord needs to fire his arena staff.
Evidently the monster's entrance is near the top of the castle somehow.
You say the Mana tree is above the Falls..?
Yes, Sir. The tree is in a shrine up there.
How do I get there? .... Up the falls?
Miracles occur sometimes, Sir Dark Lord...
...Good. Work hard on it.
Quite the little bootlicker, Julius is.
Julius teleports away in a flash of darkness and Dark Lord suddenly finds himself staring Rock right in the face. He takes off after Rock and Rock, quite sensibly, flees.
Luckily rather than, say, stabbing us, Dark Lord settles for simply pushing Rock off a cliff.
Pretty impressive to have survived a fall like that.
This is our main menu. Item, Equip, and Magic are pretty self-explanatory. Ask allows you to interact with allies later on in the game.
The Empire equips its gladiators fairly well. Rock's got a sword and a full starting suit of armor. No complication about stats here, AP is attack power and DP is defensive power.
The secondary menu has a few less options.
This is the world map. In dungeons the game will update a dungeon map for you automatically.
Rock has fairly pathetic stats, but that'll change soon enough. Stamina factors into DP and HP, while Power affects AP. Wisdom gives us more damage for our spells and more MP, while Will affects how fast the Attack Bar Fills.
I didn't mention that before, but the bar on the lower part of the screen allows us to unleash a special attack when it's full and can also affect magic. These are the most basic enemies in the game, with the mushrooms going down in a single hit and give 1 gold and 1 experience.
The ones with the ears take two and provide more gold, but only 1 experience. They also throw knives, but those can be blocked with a shield.
Also in the area are bumblebees and rabites, although we can't reach them quite yet.
One nice thing is that the game will give you a refill on HP and MP when you get a level.
The leveling system in this game is very novel for a game made in 1991, and this is where you all come in. I'm going to be deciding level up bonuses based on reader input.
Stamina level ups are good for increasing survivability and give us +2 stamina, +1 power, and +1 will.
Power levels will make it easier to kill enemies and bosses, giving us +1 stamina, +2 power, and +1 will.
If we want to be a mighty spellcaster, we're going to need lots of wisdom. Wisdom levels give us +1 stamina, +2 wisdom, and +1 will.
Finally, leveling up in will allows us to use special attacks and boost our spell power more often. Will levels give +1 stamina, +1 wisdom, and +2 will.
HP and MP are derived from stamina and wisdom rather than being gained directly from levels. For stats, I'd ask you to vote in this format:
We'll go with the first five levels for simplicity's sake. Vote for each level, and at noon tomorrow I'll tabulate the votes and roll with them.
In the meantime, have some of the game's great music:
Final Fantasy Adventure Title Music
Field Music 1
Next time: Finding Bogard and getting to the bottom of this.