Part 5: Faris vs. WaterForgive me if I don't mention something or rush through a few things. I nearly finished this damn update before my computer crashed and I lost the whole thing, and I'm not really keen on having to write it up again. At any rate, as I hit Ctrl + S after finishing this (and every subsequent) sentence...
Here's our current status. Bartz has a slight level edge, though everyone's close together as is. Bartz and Faris are close to getting their second job levels.
Anyway, this chapter's pretty cutscene heavy, so let's kick off one immediately after boarding our ship!
The Wind Crystal's broken... The wind's weak now, but soon it'll stop entirely. The air will stagnate and the birds won't be able to fly anymore.
And if they're destroyed?
For a while nothing would change... But gradually, the earth would decay and the waters would stagnate. Fire would grow cold, and the earth would become uninhabitable...
Did your memory just return?
No. But we've gotta protect it just the same.
We needs to find Reina's father too!
The king who disappeared into thin air?
T'arr! He lives as sure as ye or I. I feel it in me bones!
I'm just a rover...but seeing this...
The crystal shards...
They've lent us their power to save the world...
This is the first cutscene where our party really comes together. Before, they were just a bunch of travelers moving along for their own reasons. Now, something larger has united them all toward a common goal, and it's this goal that has them working together.
You see, FF5 has a serviceable story, but not really a great one. That's fine, as I'm a huge fan of FF4's story despite it being a simple one. That said, the one thing FF5 excels at and does better than most other FF games is...alright, the one thing other than its excellent gameplay. It's character moments like these. By having a core four that doesn't change for the entirety of the game, it gives tons of time to develop these characters and find fun ways to have them interact with each other. During the game, these characters bond, joke around with each other, and help each other in need. You can really watch their friendship grow as the game progresses, and it's something I wish other FF games had done more of, though the more recent FF games are pretty good with their character development as well.
Another nice touch, when you exit the cutscene your ship has automatically moved out a bit. Doesn't affect anything since there's no random battles in this water, but it's a cool minor detail of the sort that gets ignored in most games these days.
Alright, time to visit the next dungeon.
Does it matter? Come on!
This dungeon is also incredibly short. There's a couple enemies here as well.
The only enemies I ran into were the Octofist and the...Soccer...?
Yeah, one thing you should be aware of. This translation's not the greatest in terms of enemy names. I'm guessing they may have meant "Sucker," but...yikes.
Anyway, there's not much for Bartz to do besides defend and occasionally heal.
So let's show off Faris's new spell.
Wait a minute, that NPC in Tule said these monsters only target women. So why are they targeting Reina AND Faris? Weird.
GobPunch does damage based on your weapon, though it seems to be a bit weaker. It's 0MP, though, and you can use it without penalty from the back row. This can also be nice to take advantage of gimmicky weapons, plus there's another effect that can happen that I'll show off in a bit.
Thanks to The Wu-Tang Secret for that one. He also happened to have done one of the earliest LP's of this game way back at the end of 2005.
Hey, speaking of that...
Hey, this...Soccer...is level 6!
And it has an ability called...10Crunch...but that's irrelevant.
Hah! GobPunch will get a huge damage boost (looks to be 8x) when using it on an enemy at the same level as you. Of course, this is pretty situational, but still a neat bonus.
Alright, let's cross that narrow path which is clearly the next story trigger.
It must be one of the monsters sealed in the canal...
get sucked into that whirlpool!
Hydra! What is it?!
Here's our boss for the dungeon, the...Karl Boss. Jeez.
This guy's got a couple of nasty attacks, like Tentacle, which can inflict paralysis. Of course it hits my main damage-dealer.
Of course, Reina can do some decent damage as well.
Tail Screw reduces a character to single-digit HP, which is kinda scary. Sadly, this isn't a Blue Spell.
Though it is a good excuse to use Red Feast. Speaking of which, Orange Fluffy Sheep clarified that it only restores half your HP in this version, while the GBA version buffs it to full health.
Anyway, let's try out Store.
Store has you wait a decent chunk of time and then unleash a buffed basic attack. Ordinarily, there's no difference between this and two normal attacks, besides a stored critical being more useful than a normal one. It does have its uses, like most other abilities, but it's not very useful here.
Still, that's some good damage.
With all that, the Karl Boss boss goes down pretty easily.
We also pick up a couple more job levels. Bartz can now cast L2 White Magic outside his current job, but considering we have neither L2 White Magic nor can Bartz use other jobs right now, it's not very beneficial to me.
Learning was what I had my eye on for awhile, and I'll explain it in a bit.
At any rate, we manage to escape that easy boss and come through unscathed.
Don't ye die on me! We'll sail together again, I swear it!
For some reason, they replace a line of Bartz's here with another Faris line, and even that line is pretty difference between the other two translations (Butz exclaiming the monster is trying take Syldra [Hydra's better name in the other two versions] with it in the RPGe one, and Bartz trying to reassure Faris in the GBA one).
...Well that sucks.
He's calmed down a bit... Better to leave him alone for now...
And so the ship just drifts nowhere for awhile...
I must say, I like how the party generally wakes itself up. Of course, it happens alarmingly often for a group that's constantly napping in dangerous areas.
It's a zombie nest...where all crippled ships eventually drift to...
Well, we gotta get OUTTA here then!
First thing I do is change Faris to a Thief.
I wanted to level Faris up enough to get Learning first as a Blue Mage, then switch her over to a Thief. Faris doesn't really have any valuable Blue Magic spells yet, but might as well be prepared in case any good ones pop up, as Learning lets you learn Blue Magic spells without being a Blue Mage. In the mean-time, might as well grind up her Thieving skills in case I need them.
Thieves have tons of useful passive abilities, but one that's annoying in this version is its dash function. Normally, it's a god-send, but the PS1 version already lets you dash, so instead as a Thief you go 4x fast, which is hard to control. So you either walk normal speed or 4x dash into the walls. Just wonderful.
Anyway, this is our first proper dungeon in that it's actually decently long. Plus, it's a rather unique premise, having to walk around between broken ships, including going inside and through them.
Lots of fog as well.
Are ye gonna pass thru here? ...gonna get wet...
Who cares?! Come on!
...Why the hell is a fucking pirate king afraid of getting wet?
Anyway, for you really old-school players who played the SNES version long ago, you probably remember and hate this area, since on the very old emulators you literally couldn't see where you were going unless you futzed around with layers.
The most common enemy here are Skeletons. They have no special attacks, and even their name makes sense.
One plus is that since the monsters here are undead, Bartz can actually be useful offensively with White Magic. He has enough MP that it's not a waste throwing a few Cure spells around to speed things up.
In addition to Skeletons, we have CrystSlugs (singular) and LumbrBeast. What.
The Thief's ability is Steal, which lets you steal an item from an enemy, assuming they have one (the Skeletons have no items, for instance). It's actually kinda useful at times, getting some decent items early before buying them (Hi-Potions, for instance) and perhaps a few rare items.
Right as I almost finish this part of the ship, I fall into a hole and go down a floor. Wonderful.
At least he doesn't have a fish in his shorts like he does in the GBA one.
Looks like we might be safe here for a while.
...And don't try to peek!
Alright, let's dry these clothes!
What're you talkin' about? You'll catch your death of cold!
What IS going on?!
Reina, he's a...I mean she's a...
...I must admit, I laughed much harder at that line than I probably should have. It almost made
But why'd you pretend to be a man?
Let's just say pirates ain't th' most open-minded lot fer takin' women seriously.
As opposed to a female pirate being laughed at (RPGe) or the sheer uncomfortable situation of being the only girl on a pirate ship (GBA).
...Oh for fuck's sake, game.
Yeah...the game doesn't really try very hard to hide this plot twist, what with the "foreshadowing" of the canal enemies hitting Faris and Reina exlcusively, or Bartz and Galuf lusting after her and whatnot. Then again, it more has fun with it and what not.
At any rate, this is the first time one of the group really opens up to the rest, and of course that strengthens the trust of the party and makes Faris friendlier and closer to her comrades. Of course, after this she kinda drops her pirate act in the GBA version and talks like a human being.
But as for this game...
...Nope. Get used to Pirate Faris, folks.
What're ye lubbers babblin' now?! We're movin' out!
Deal with it! Faris is Faris.
Next time, we'll finish the dungeon and enjoy some more team-building activities.