Part 28: The Updates of the Universe are in ChaosPart 27 The Updates of the Universe are in Chaos
In Search of Light (Pixel Remaster)
The last thing I want to do before the final boss is to check if one of the best beneficial glitches for Fiesta purposes still worked. I assumed it didn't since the whole Pixel Remaster series seems to run on the same core engine so the edge case that allowed it to occur before shouldn't carry through.
The glitch involved moving equipment around such that you could keep status immunities for an extra battle. So for example if this were to work I could have switched Lenna to Freelancer and given her a ribbon, thrown her into a battle, then taken her back to Mime and she'd keep the ribbon immunities for one fight.
Its not hard to do, it's easier to do than to explain honestly.
So for this test I had Lenna equipped with the Aegis Shield and then took it off. I'm going to have Faris Break Blade her with the weakest weapon I've got to see if Petrify sticks.
Apparently the Excalipoor is not a blade for !Spellblade purposes. A quick change to Air Knife later...
And she's stoned. So if I didn't have access to Ribbons I wouldn't be able to shuffle around the 2 Aegis Shields I've got to give everyone Petrify immunity in this version. Phooey.
One last island to climb, no encounters just the tension of climbing to destiny.
The end will soon be in sight.
Exdeath's just standing here time to just stab him in the back.
The Evil Lord Exdeath (Original)
Mwa-ha-ha... Finally, it is in my grasp! The greatest power ever known... that which can control the universe! The power of he Void!
And Exdeath turns into a tree, as you do. I guess he's just relaxing into his natural state now that he's got what he wanted.
And he grows a face because why not.
So despite just gaining the power of the Void right here and now...
It just does the same thing as it did earlier. Bal...
The pirates and Koko...
And et cetera... gone.
Stop it! Let them go!
For being the Void there sure are a lot of stars here.
Blink and you'll miss it but the Void is really really not that much devoid of anything.
Don't know why they didn't attribute the line since we just saw the guy wavedash across space.
Everyone else stands up too.
Hope you like sparkles because everyone sparkles here.
Ahead On Our Way (Pixel Remaster)
Xexat just scoots on over because symmetry is important.
Seymour Butz! Lenna! Faris! Krile! We'll hold off the Void. You kids take care of Exdeath! The only ones who can save the world from the power of darkness are the warriors of light! That's you! Now, go!
The Dawn Warriors do Sparkle Ghost Magic stuff to the Void.
And it recedes to let the party back out.
Enter the Dad Warrior.
This is it!
Take your chance!
Onward, warriors of light!
So if you leave...
...older versions would tell you time got twisted back, to justify why you could go back to the Pirates or Bal or whatever, but here you just get out of the Void.
So let's just reload the save and fight!
The Decisive Battle (Pixel Remaster)
Honestly I think that they did Greg dirty in this game as they didn't let someone go ham on a pipe organ. But this song redeems it as I'm a sucker for synths, electric guitars and brass too.
So Exdeath here (also known as Tree Exdeath or TED) is our problem for now. You can see Exdeath's armor up there but we're dealing with that angry face staring down Faris right now.
First thing, Since I took !Mix off Krile to put on !Zeninage she doesn't have much to do right now so she's going to be casting Blink.
Lenna is getting Golem started.
Seymour gets Mighty Guard up. Shell in this fight is* doubly important.
*should be vital but isn't in this version.
Faris sets up Break Blade for later. If this was an older version we'd be waiting to do this til much later but since damage isn't negated with status immunity here it doesn't hurt.
Next comes the buffs. I should have left Krile with !Sing or !Mix to really steamroll this.
Unlike last time Exdeath doesn't counter Slow with Haste, but his levels and evasion kept it from hitting here.
White Hole is TED's signature move. If it hits the character is petrified and killed. In older versions the Aegis Shield's Petrification Immunity meant the whole attack would miss. This is why that glich I mentioned earlier was so nice. Just shuffle a couple Aegis around and call it a day.
There's something else to consider here at the end. The game completely hides Magic Evasion stats in your equipment. If you lack access to the Aegis or Ribbons you can throw robes and magical inclined head pieces on as they all have some tiny MEvade, every bit counts against this and something else that we'll see soon.
Here it can still kill on hit. This is why Shell is important, it cuts status spells accuracy in half.
Slow sticks this time.
Here's TED's stats.
I've been sitting back and letting Seymour level Krile up and having Lenna mime it. Like the last fight with Exdeath he gets angry at low health so we don't go on the offensive until we're ready. Honestly I'm ready now but more science needed doing.
Namely to see if the special level cap is 255 or not.
And it is, so sadly we can't get to level 65535 or anything stupid. We probably wouldn't want this anyway since the damage formulas would probably overflow back to pitiful damage.
I gave Krile all these levels for making her virtually impossible to kill with White Hole (Dragon Kiss would work too but big numbers are fun).
Lenna has terrible health so this is to keep her upright when we have to deal with attacks that do damage.
Lenna also got a few Dragon Powers for good measure.
And then Faris does the rest.
Now while this was going I was setting Krile up to set up the next critical Fiesta strat.
No Music, only rumbling
When TED is dead we get told this. Remember how that guy in Mirage said Enuo was defeated by the Void?
Apparently it doesn't tolerate weak masters.
Things eventually get really fuzzy.
Everything's faded to white but we're still in battle.
The Final Battle
And then the music kicks in.
Our final trial slowly creeps along the screen. NED here is special.
No gifs for anything here, as the background is constantly moving and changing colors and Exdeath slowly sways around too. And the party is floating and flashing so... nope.
So since TED died before I could make any wishes we can get that going now. Oh yeah its strange, I have the cursor set to memory yet it went up to the top of the menu here.
Inventory looks a little light.
Certainly I overlooked it.
I have to have overlooked it.
The magic lamp does not disappear it has to be here
Okay maybe Krile's inventory is glitchy. Faris you've got this!
[editors note, Pixel Remaster does not require this technique, feel free to ignore the barely coherent rage]
So while I reset the battle to get my lamp back, Delta Attack would have petrified Faris if not for being immune.
The Decisive Battle (Pixel Remaster)
From what I understand an earlier version of the game would Return to the fight to this background, but NED would be there wiggling around. Apparently it now resets the whole fight. Which is probably for the best as I started fighting NED without the lamp anyway.
So this fight went about the same as the last, just with less !Mixing or with at least with Dragon Powers being spread out a bit more evenly. But I let the fight linger at a point where TED starts casting magic. Bahamut and Leviathan were wished for so the lamp is all primed.
That was with Shell, mind. TED has a lot of attack power.
The Final Battle
But TED goes down all the same.
As mentioned before Magic Lamp Odin knows spears are trash and will only use Zantetsuken. [editors note: Pixel Remaster Odin in all forms knows spears are trash and will only Zantetsuken]
So I didn't mention anything about fighting NED yet since I was blinded by rage about the last attempt. Despite having one name, Neo Exdeath is 4 enemies. (Unless you're on the original SNES or PSX release then there's like 8 including dummy targets to screw with Rapid Fire).
First let's go with the most identifiable and the first target selected by default. Using A_Raving_Loon's excellent names this is Flexdeath. Flexdeath here has the lowest health of the targets. This supposedly what Exdeath would have looked like under his armor. Flexdeath as the name and muscles suggest is the physical attacking bit. He remembers Vacuum Wave and also remembers how to Dispel at the worst possible moments.
Next is Grand Coif, or what I personally call The King of Red Lions, that red unicorn lion looking thing in the middle of NED's back. For casual play where you have Ribbons for days this part is probably not much of a threat. It's signature move is Grand Cross, we'll get to that when we see it. Like Windwaker's King of Red Lions it is actually a dragon so if the Dragon Lance wasn't a complete joke it would do bonus damage to it.
After Grand Coif is Al Majesti, I think its the big grinning bone dragon under Grand Coif, but it could be the weird red thing next to it. Majesti is probably the most dangerous target, especially in the Pixel Remaster. Majesti has a vulnerability to petrify but its high level and high magic evade makes casting it a huge risk.
Finally, Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film, AKA Wizard Bones. The skeleton sitting under the green furry dragon and in front of the lady bit that puts Melusine's ribbon to shame. Wizard Bones has the most health of all the pieces. Wizard Bones knows all the nasty spells in the game, including and especially Meteor.
Wizard Bones is also vulnerable to death so he's not an issue any more. Zantetsuken misses all the other pieces but it hits Wizard Bones just fine. Casting Odin (In older versions) would force him to skewer a random target or you'd have to wait til everything else is gone and hope mevade doesn't stop it.
You don't want to go the "or" route.
Older versions would let Zantetsuken cleave the whole sprite, then the game would realize its mistake and would let it reform.
And then I started blastin.
...Wait... I didn't want to start blastin.
Anyway, here's Wonder Wand.
The Decisive Battle (Pixel Remaster)
So may as well try out some other things since I've got time on my hands to do things RIGHT FOR ONCE.
In older versions you could !Mix berserk onto TED and bypass his Berserk immunity. Note that I'm doing the wrong !Mix here, it'd need to be Blessed Kiss but neither works here anyway. This would skip fighting NED, but would not be considered Fiesta legal.
Next, why not show off how good Leviathan is when you can actually boost her.
After 2 attempts where White Hole didn't stick no matter who TED targeted or what their level was, it finally will hit.
It's a lot less of a hassle when you just need to pick the victim up off the... floor? compared to having to revive and cure stone. Still sucks when you could just no sell it with an Aegis.
Anyway, Leviathan come on down, you're the next contestant on doing insane damage to TED!
...The hell is this? Syldra, please don't tell me I screwed something up. (Edit: I've tested this again, apparently Magus Rod overrides any other flags to boost. so if you want to boost Leviathan, you must remove the Magus Rod or Rune Chime to allow this to register)
Nope, In all other versions Elemental Power would boost water and make Leviathan incredibly powerful. Here it does nothing that a Magus Rod or Rune Chime doesn't already do.
The Final Battle
Third time with feeling.
So Wizard Bones is down, and I'm not doing anything until I see the move I want to show off.
Well I take that back, I threw money at the problem. Note that in this one I just gave Krile 2 Dragon Powers so she was effectively level 78. Anything higher would have smashed into the damage cap.
Eventually NED goes from swaying lazily around the screen to locking in place and shaking violently. This is the tell for you to get ready.
Flexdeath here usually gets a turn in before the attack sets off, Either a Vacuum Wave or Dispel, Dispel usually being the more dangerous of the two options.
After shaking in rage for a few seconds Al Majesti casts Almagest. Almagest is the reason why I said that everyone but Lenna was roughly at endgame levels.
In previous versions this was just a white flash. Here we get a fancy eclipse like coronoa. The white isn't just for show, it's one of the few Holy element attacks in the game where there's no way to negate it here. Even in versions where Holy can be dealt with it isn't available until the post-game.
Now here's the thing, and why probably the Pixel Remaster is going to wallow in the shadow of the GBA release, or any other release honestly. Here Almagest pierces shell. In older versions you either needed about 1700 HP, or 850 HP and Shell (or !Mix or !Drink) to survive Almagest. Here you either need to be lucky, need to be in the air with !Jump or off screen with !Hide, or take it on the chin and hope someone can mop you off the psychedelic floor.
Next Grand Coif does his thing. Instead of quivering with rage Grand Coif announces that the Laws of the Universe Mean Nothing/ Or in Peril, etc.
But I've given Al Majesti enough time in the spotlight, he gets killed with Break Blade. Just a regular one so I don't end up killing everything else by mistake.
Grand Coif has finished charging his attack. Grand Cross in the past would take whatever system you're playing it on to its knees. Between all the sprite effects from the spell, Exdeath wobbling around and the background flying this made the GBA or SNES chug.
Here its over and done quick.
Here's why in casual play Grand Cross is probably not a threat. See how Seymour, Lenna and Faris didn't get hit?
Grand Cross rolls a dice against each target. Whatever that dice roll comes up as that character gets hit with a given status. Ribbons obviously grant a lot of immunities. The Hermes' Sandals offer a handful more. For an unprepared team Grand Cross could make your Summoner Dead, your healer berserked and your main physical fighter a zombie. And you just hold that.
But here with all the equipment loaded up we only have to really worry about Zombie and Dead.
There is one more thing to note about NED.
Oh quiet you. I already gave you a chance. Grand Coif will set up for Grand Cross and certain health thresholds, so if you lacked multi target offensive abilities or were worried about getting hit with bad statuses you could smack Grand Coif down a bit, See this prompt, then smack him some more and it'd reset the trigger.
But let's look at how close we are to ending this.
Grand Coif is just out of killing range of Faris (Wizard Bones and Grand Coif are in the back row behind Flexdeath), so I take down Flexdeath. This is a VERY BAD IDEA but needs to be demonstrated.
See, Flexdeath is dead, but I got Vacuum Waved anyway. Why? Was this a death counter?
No, you see, when NED is down to one target he goes into Pissy Boss Mode. The surviving bit gets to attack twice. And it can pick any of the pieces signature moves.
2 Vacuum Waves was a kindness. 2 Almagests, 2 Meteors, one of each are on the table. Even doubling Faris's HP would barely be enough to survive 2 Almagests without a lucky evade.
Don't leave one piece alive, keep careful count of your damage.
One strange thing about the Pixel Remaster...
Is that there's so much scripting going on that you can let loose some attacks after everything is dead.
He just doesn't know it yet.
The Silent Beyond (Original)
Remember that one random scholar who... *looks back at update* no you don't because I left the wrong screenshot in the update.
didn't exist posted:
"wonder what that's supposed to mean"
I wasn't lying when I said that this whole dimension is full of sparkles.
The Void is still here...
But why? We beat Exdeath...
Is it because the crystals are all gone?
Will the world will(sic) be engulfed... by the Void?
These sparkles look particularly painful.
I don't think sparkles coming out the back side and launching you a hundred feet up can be described in any better way.
One by one everyone goes flying through the Void. Faris higher than Krile, Lenna higher than either and Seymour gets the worst of it.
Krile's hope revives the earth crystal.
Lenna's devotion revives the water crystal.
Faris's courage does the same with the fire crystal. They're not in their amplification devices. Aside from the pyramid they're all pretty much inaccessible.
Seymour's Passion apparently isn't enough to get the wind crystal back instead it revives the Library. He's got a passion for learning, that's good.
One by one the Voided towns return.
And the crystals as well...
There was still power left in the crystal shards.
Lenna... Faris... Krile...
Now the wind will return to Tycoon.
The Dad Warriors are still around.
The world still needs you.
It's far too soon for you kids to be joining us!
Go, return to your world, the one you saved!
And off they go.
I think this is the wind drake, not Hiryu even though the wind drake should be alive and well.
Now at this point the ending changes depending on who was knocked out during the final battle. If anyone was they don't have enough energy to make it onto the wind drake's back.
Finally the wind crystal is restored.
Dear Friends (Original)
That's a book Mid.
This is sort of strangely framed for the epilogue. People in the thread were mentioning how Krile's character development ends when she leaves Tycoon with Seymour.
It's not completely true because she gets to pilot the ending narrative almost single handedly.
This is why I think this is just the wind drake, as otherwise Hiryu would probably land in Tycoon.
"Since then, I've traveled all over. Everything seems so peaceful now, like it was before.
"However, Faris seems worried about her pirate crew.
I mean I know that Krile isn't Galuf's blood relation but I'd think saving the world would settle any disputes about the line of succession.
"But it would be pretty cool, though.
"Oh! Boko and Koko had their chicks! Baby chocobos are the cutest! You simply must go see them!
"It's been a year since then. Lenna and Faris are busy running Tycoon, and Seymour Butz is off on another of his journeys. I think I'll go back to that place. To where Grandpa's resting.
This is why the framing device is so strange. I guess because Mid is near her age she bonded with him and chose to send a
Maybe it's just because she's a few years younger than them so she feels left behind?
Krile... You did an outstanding job. You all did...
What follows are a few sepia toned... iconic? scenes.
Followed by a strangely jarring screen with the character's name. Jarring because the switch from sepia to full color seems off some how.
Most of Lenna's iconic moments are her crumpled in a poisoned heap, so I guess that does track.
Sadly Faris's iconic moments are mostly related to the least interesting aspects. Not climbing up a cliff face to rescue Lenna or anything here.
Krile gets some variety in her retrospective.
If Grandpa hadn't saved me back then...
I guess it's just that... Since Grandpa died, I've been all alone...
Galuf gets his own sepia treatment too, it is as as could be.
...See you, Grandpa.
What're you talking about? You're not alone.
I guess maybe Krile's loneliness would have been more appropriate in the ending if others didn't make it out. It's still understandable where she's coming from since everyone else is living their lives, but it's not like people don't have airships, wind drakes or any flavor of chocobo to just pop over and visit.
We're here with you.
Buck up, kiddo!
As if there was any doubt. Like I'd forget about a friend after everything we went through!
Krile does the o7 gesture a few times here, I guess its meant to express her wiping tears from her eyes.
There's no need for tears, Krile. This is a time to be strong.
If Galuf were here, he'd laugh at your blubbering, kiddo.
Because things have been too serious for the whole ending here's some birds to crap on it.
Not really kidding here, it's incredibly fertile and flowers immediately grow and bloom from it.
This is where anyone who didn't make it out of the Void would come back. It's a sad enough ending with Galuf gone, the game wouldn't pull anything sadder.
Like Dad and the others did...
...Aye, that I do.
I hope not the forest just started regrowing.
Dunno... I'm not sure what it is, but...
I can hear it...
Yes... It feels... warm, somehow.
A New Origin (Pixel Remaster)
Time to show off some cutting edge Mode 7 graphics!
And the credits too. More involved than any Final Fantasy before it, you can see a lot of lessons learned here were carried over and pushed to their limits when 6 came out.
Despite being extremely tiny you can still tell who's who in the picture.
So final thoughts. This is a good port. I think for casual play the quality of life features that are added makes for a good game. The only thing that seems odd is that where the Final Fantasy I or IV rereleases flattened the experience curve and made everything much... not necessarily easier but quicker that they didn't carry that through here.
Not in terms of experience points or levels, but in terms of job mastery. The PR series seemed made to benefit casual play so that you can just experience the best parts of old games with trimming a bit of rough edges. 999 to get !Dualcast is one of those rough edges.
There were some pretty nasty bugs in earlier versions, for example !Dualcasting when you had a gold hairpin but not having the full MP of the second cast in the tank would leave enemies immortal (until you refilled your MP and did another volley of !Dualcast.
Every time the party leaves the screen the mode 7 kicks in and the screen twists to a new angle.
The new arranged sound track is almost entirely better. I think I prefer Greg's original theme because I'm a sucker for someone going ham on an organ.
So for casual play I'd say definitely go with this version. Just be careful poking too aggressively into the mechanics here because the game might just eat your toys.
For Fiesta, I think the GBA is still the way to go, even overlooking all the balancing or bug fixing that was done here, the ability to bind a fast forward button to an emulator is a huge factor. Aside from maybe the infamous parties of Quadzerker or Monk, Red Mage, Geomancer, Dragoon, they may still appreciate this version. Alternatively if you roll a team capable of using two chicken knives effectively.
There's one last thing after the credits, we get to see how our murder squad finished the game off.
Everyone takes a swipe at a boss with the weapon they ended the game with.
Followed by their stats.
And what they've learned over the course of the game.
Since I didn't set out to master much with Krile and Galuf they both picked up a lot of random abilities mostly leaning towards a support role.
Faris was a little more focused on becoming death incarnate at the expense of fewer abilities.
Lenna that is not a magus rod what the hell
You didn't even touch Dragoon
But yeah, Lenna was laser focused on becoming magic artillery so she really didn't diversify much.
Like Krile Seymour went for a more diverse ability set so he could support Lenna and Faris do their things.
The Prelude (Pixel Remaster)
If you want you can create a clear save after beating the game, you get dumped out of the final dungeon so if you plan to do anything in there don't overwrite your main one.
All the Pixel Remasters included this thank you. It technically came up between the credits and the summary screens of everyones status, but it works better here.
Since it makes more sense for me to thank you for reading here rather than 8 pages up.