Part 2: Stalin's Struggles to Stab a Turtle.
Let's start this game proper! First, I'm using a different translation than what most are probably used to. The translator actually expanded the ROM to fit this text in, plus a ton of new features, the most notable of which is a dash button similar to later FF games. Whoever you are, I fucking love you.
Let's check out the new intro.
And now for our character.
The people have spoken.
Our corpses, who will still manage to have lines in this game despite them being, you know, dead.
We begin with our four identical quadruplet boys falling down a hole.
The first battle will vary between two and four Goblins. Two's fine with me.
Every class will have the "Fight" and "Item" command. The middle two are job-specific. Parry is essentially the "Defend" command, which helps reduce damage. Run has you attempt to run, but your defense is 0 while you attempt it, so you can take heavy damage even if you succeed.
At least that nasty business is taken care of.
It's not that big a deal, but the lower level I am when I leave, the better. Guaranteed level for that fight since I have one character gaining the experience for four. At least money and levels won't be a major concern.
Who cares, you're dead.
Everyone always dual-wields weapons in FF3 because it's awesome, but this is a game where sometimes a good defense can be much better than a good offense. For instance, if I gave Stalin two knives, sure, he'd destroy everything in his path, but he'd also get the shit kicked out of him and would quickly die. Having a shield will let him dodge some attacks, letting him live longer. As is, Stalin can kill stuff in one hit anyway.
For additional protection, I stick Stalin in the back row. His accuracy is shit, but so is his opposition's.
The voices of those Stalin murdered still haunt him, taunting him by drawing his attention to ordinary rocks.
Or maybe they're helping him. Who knows.
The next room has more loot. S Wind is an ice-elemental attack item. I'll be saving this, as there will be a couple of fights where attack items are actually useful.
This is how most attacks go. Carbuncles are as weak as Goblins, though Eye Fangs can actually take a hit. Both are still weak.
This is a great place to grind for levels, if you're so inclined.
I gather the rest of the loot and head to the next floor. I decide to level up to L3, which could be bad if I weren't properly prepared. Hell, I could probably theoretically tackle this boss at L1 if I wanted.
Oh yeah, there's a boss.
Oh yeah, the boss is a turtle.
This is the first FF that has consistent boss music. FF2 had a boss theme, which was also pretty great, but it didn't play that often. FF3 has regular bosses and a kick-ass boss theme to go with them. This game pretty much sets the standard for future FF games, establishing bosses within dungeons rather than a random mess of who the hell knows what that constituted the first two FF's dungeons.
Oh, right, the boss.
This gives you a good idea of the damage output of the two opponents.
And this gives you a good idea of what happened in the majority of the turns.
This battle took close to three minutes, which is actually pretty damn long for a FF3 fight. Stalin was never in any danger of dying, as he had Potions he didn't even need to use. This fight is what Turbo buttons and Fast Forward functions were invented for.
You can level up jobs in this game by carrying out commands like Fight and Magic, though to my knowledge the effects are minor. It's much slower when multiple people are in the same job, but that's not a problem when three/fourths of the party cease to live.
(Listen to this)
This translation doesn't have the translators warning you not to use NESticle (remember that?) and instead has a proper introductory credits sequence while set to the always-awesome Prologue.
Do you know what this means?
We just got our first set of jobs. This game is best known for being the first game with the interchangable job system. Instead of staying as a shitty-ass OnionKnight, I can switch classes to something not horrible.
Class changes require you to unequip everything beforehand, and to have the necessary CP (Capacity Points, gained from winning battles, max of 255 IIRC) to switch, in order to discourage constant switching depending on the circumstances. Since I'm only switching one character around, I can abuse this anyway. Gaining job levels can reduce the cost of switching back to a job you have a high level in, and it's more costly to switch from a physical to magical class than, say, physical to physical. Like jobs cost less to switch between.
Listen to this song:
Best overworld theme of any FF game.
I opt to switch to a Monk because it has the highest Vitality of the given jobs and thus the highest HP growth.
Here's the thing with this game's stats. For the most part, it doesn't matter what class you level up in, as your stats will be the same regardless. A L50 Monk leveled as a Monk will have the same stats as a L50 Monk leveled as a Black Mage. This is very convenient, as for the most part I don't have to min-max to have half-way decent stats for any encounter. Just go nude and switch to whatever class I need.
There is an exception, though: HP. HP stays the same no matter what class you're in, so it's generally a good idea to level up while in a class that has high Vitality, the Monk in this case. Granted, it's probably not that huge a deal, and I think it's still possible to hit 9999HP at L99 even with jobs with the worst Vitality, but for a solo character game, more HP sure as hell can't hurt.
As a Monk, Stalin can simply use his fists instead of weapons, and his high HP growth is much appreciated. The con is that he can't really take a hit since he can't use Shields. Monk will work while fighting weak overworld enemies, but I may switch once I reach a dungeon proper.
Let's visit the nearby town of Uru.
It's your typical jRPG town. Current events and people insulting the party and all that nonsense.
You can do this with a lot of stuff, which is actually annoying when combined with this translation's B-button Dash, since you try to Dash and end up opening an item menu instead.
This pool doesn't recover status effects. There's a pool on the right that revives characters, for those who don't like their characters dead.
This game makes it a bit difficult to revive characters. Stuff like sleeping at inns and cabins don't revive characters. You either take them to a revification pool in a town (which is free in this game), a Life/Life2 spell, or use a FenixDown on them. Note that you can't buy FenixDowns. So you generally don't want people to die.
You gotta love the simplicity of NES games. "You're chosen by the crystal, now fuck off."
We're probably going to need a lot of Potions for this run.
That's right, you'll actually fight enemies in a town.
Not only that, they'll kick your ass if you're unprepared.
I died twice attempting the trek before deciding to grind outside the town first.
Of course, they're the same damn enemies anyway.
Killer Bees can poison a character. Poison's not a fun status to have.
I grind up to L5 and close in on double-digits.
...wait why are the corpses also L5 what's going on here
The inn's also free, and as a bonus it heals status effects like Poison.
Potions still in pots.
Now I can make my way through this area.
This game fucking loves its secret passages. I'm pretty sure I don't know half of them.
Some nice loot. In this game, spells act a lot like items. One huge plus is that when someone learns a spell, they can easily remove it, putting it back in their inventory or trading it to someone else. The magic system is still under the charge system from FF1, except instead of a max of 9 charges per level you have 99, which is much better and actually gives some use to lower-level magic in the late game, especially since the only item that restores MP are Elixers.
So while Stalin can't use Cure as a Monk, I still equip it on him so he can use it should I switch him to a White/Red Mage. Dagger's nice for Black Mages, Long Sword's great for Fighter/Red Mage, and Leather Armor is a decent upgrade even Monk Stalin can enjoy.
This guy parrots our classes, because why not?
You sure are.
There's no huge piano-playing sidequest like in FF5. You can just play two little ditties and people will react.
I go to the various stores to sell stuff. Not really anything I'm interested in buying right now.
One neat aspect in buying items in FF3 is that buying in bulk actually saves you money. I buy four Antidotes and Potions this way.
For the final part of this update, I'm going back to the cave I started in.
2000 Gil in this side passage. Nice.
Accessory for mages.
There's now Blue Wisps, which are still indistinguishable from the Carbuncles and Eye Fangs.
Our first Black Magic spell. Don't know how effective it is, probably not very since it's a L1 spell, but I may be singing its praises if I ever switch to Black Mage.
There's Nunchaku, a weapon for the Monk. I don't know if equipping two would be more effective than sticking with my bare hands, so I stick with my hands for now because why not?
Next time, we explore the rest of our tiny kingdom and beat up a genie.