Part 1: Let it Begin
The game begins with a battle. I'm rather amused by the fact that the sprites appear to be blushing slightly, as though they're possibly intoxicated. We have three options here. Fight and run are pretty obvious, but auto can take a bit of understanding. It's possible to set some of your characters to fight on auto so you don't have to give them commands. This can be handy if you just want someone to attack.
In battles your team is on the bottom while the enemies are on top. If you've been following Artix74's excellent Mystic Quest LP this should look kind of familiar.
Notice that you get gold from this battle. That's important because...
we all use the simulator. I'll say goodbye right now.
Ok... see you.
How is a simulator producing gold coins? That seems like it'd destabilize the economy of a region pretty quickly.
Are you really leaving?
Yeah, but I'll be back.
I've got to go.
Isn't young love sweet?
In a few short lines, I think they really do a good job of setting up characters.
I guess its too hard on her to see you off.
I'll miss her...
I sense a flash...back? Forward? What term do you use for a future event that hasn't yet happened but is having an influence that's quite literally moving backwards in time?
They even do the whole wavy line thing.
Borgin: To the Past! (I always imagine him sounding like Doc Brown from Back to the Future here...)
Dion: Past!? Quacer's time machine isn't finished yet!
Borgin: I've no choice!
I like the way this man thinks.
Dion: You're mad!
future's already destroyed. Still wish to go?
...I think he doesn't quite understand this whole change the past to save the future thing.
Yes. We 3 decided that we can't close our eyes to our own future.
We go out following the Elder...
Only to be ambushed by children. You don't suppose that Dion...nah.
Walking to the palace next door we find that somebody's waiting for us.
Myron, Marle, I told you not to leave the city.
I know, but we're worried. We all grew up together! And Marle's...
Heh. She certainly put an end to that line of conversation quickly, didn't she?
I'll guard the city! At least let her go.
The Elder caves like a fat kid at a cheesecake factory.
You won't regret this!
Thank you, Elder!
Myron is much stronger than our characters right now, but soon enough we'll be outclassing him. He's Fire element like Arthur. His official art makes him look about as thick as two short planks.
And back there is certainly something else. This is a bit...odd.
Chrono has a very sensible reaction.
A fighter that can travel through time.
What part of changing the past to save the future did you fail to understand? No, it's useless now. Take this to Cronos in Elan. He knows a lot about Talon.
Borgin had it. Let Chronos see it. How many times do I have to repeat this?
Hey, the ocean's between here and Elan.
He's got a point.
can fly then. There are monsters there, so be careful.
We have a mission! But first, let's explore this baby.
As you can see, the Talon is extremely spacious and has a lot of interesting facilities. This is obviously going to be a major factor in the game. It's one of the coolest parts of the game, in my opinion.
Going to the terminal we have the Talon system menu. There's all kinds of options here we'll be exploring later.
Now to get into the game mechanics. This is a status screen, which is far more overwhelming than in previous games. It's fairly self-explanatory, but there's a lot of it.
Unlike in previous games, this one actually has slots for individual items. You have a weapon, shield, armor, gloves, boots, helm, and two accessory slots.
The talents screen doesn't have much effect right now, but it's a handy way to check resistances. I'll talk about this more later.
is to the west.
Returning to the town we find various townspeople giving random exposition.
That's weird. What are they going to do with them?
So...they've been working on this since the town was founded? That does explain why people would know about it if it's such a big secret.
I don't think this actually comes into play for a bit.
Did I just hear a cracking sound?
The magic shop has only a few options right now. They're a bit expensive, but cure at the very least is worth getting.
Okay, I definitely heard it that time.
I think it was the fourth wall under extreme stress.
The weapon and armor shops here don't have anything outstanding, but it's a good idea for us to complete the equipment lists of our characters for more defense. As far as weapons go, for the most part swords are usually your best bet. There are, however, some exceptions.
was looking for a place to build a town, I met a group collecting Units. That means there are others hunting Units too, so be careful.
I...don't think he quite understand some of the ramifications of time travel.
warrior like you.
Yeah, he's definitely not going to be coming around in the future.
This is far more creepy when you consider that in the Japanese version her name was Nemesis.
The Battle Simulator is available at this point, allowing you to get into battles without actually having to go out and find them.
The familiar enemy group from the first fight can be found here, but that's hardly all. Rather than listing everything in text, this game actually shows an animation and has the damage show up on the enemy afterward. It requires a bit more attention as a result. Another upgrade is that your characters will actually switch to a different target if their selected target dies. A good bit of the strategy involved is trying to match weak and strong attackers so that you don't waste good damage on enemies who are nearly dead.
One of the many options on the Simulator, the Fire Drakes are fairly harmless and are weak against Ice. The Hooligan looks rather like a disturbed old man. You might notice that the art direction is different in this game, as compared to the previous FFLs.
The Inn still works the same, although I think it might charge for MP in this version. Still, a cure spell that costs 4 or 5 mana might heal 20 HP so it's usually a bargain.
After a couple of levels we can get some magic, and are about ready to move on to actually progress the game.
Next time: A stubby tower and a few more game mechanics, plus an introduction to Cronos.