Part 1: Magitek and MutesChapter 1: Magitek and Mutes
Music: Opening Theme, 2nd Part (plays until 2:20)
Like many great JRPG's, we start this epic journey with a wall of text, although by modern standards, it's more of a fence than a wall.
1000 years have passed... Iron, gunpowder and steam engines have been rediscovered, and high technology reigns.
As the camera pans up to the top of this imposing tower, we catch a brief glimpse of a man in a green cape. We'll be seeing much more of him very shortly.
Given that the very next shot is of three people in powered armor scaling a cliff, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the answer is "Yes."
Wedge: Hard to believe an Esper's been found intact there, 1000 years after the War of the Magi...
Vicks: Think it's still alive?
Wedge: Probably...judging from the urgency of our orders.
Vicks: I heard she fried 50 of our Magitek Armoured soldiers in under 3 minutes!
Wedge: Not to worry. The Slave Crown on her head robs her of all conscious thought. She'll follow orders.
They're not kidding about that. The girl's gonna be a mute for the entirety of this section.
Music: Opening Theme, Credits
The song that plays during this portion is an arrangement of the mysterious girl's theme, which we'll hear in a later update.
Welcome to Narshe. Before we get too far into the town, let's have a look at our party, shall we?
As we can see here, not only do Vicks and Wedge share a sprite, but their portrait is also exactly the same. This doesn't say good things for their longevity. Also, it appears that the girl doesn't have a name yet. We'll have to fix that eventually.
But enough about menus. Let's get to killin'!
Music: Battle Theme
Since this is the start of the game, all the battles are both scripted and quite difficult to lose. This is due almost entirely to the Magitek Armor that our group is rocking.
This is Fire Beam. For this part of the game, what element of beam you use doesn't really matter, because all the monsters in this area die in one hit anyway. And just in case someone should get hit, all three of the characters have Heal Force, an ability that heals around 400 health to one character. Which, given that Vicks and Wedge will barely break 100 health by the end of this section, is just a TAD excessive.
Music: Victory Fanfare
While I'm indecisive about which Final Fantasy game has the best battle track, in my opinion, this is by far the best victory theme.
Believe it or not, that pitiful amount of experience is just enough for our two generics to get a level each. Too bad that leveling isn't good for anything besides increasing their maximum health right now.
In addition to Vicks and Wedge's techniques, the mysterious girl has some tricks of her own. This one is X-Fer, which causes an opponent to be
Bio Blast, which deals heavy poison damage to all opponents (unless they're rats. Those critters love this stuff).
Confuser, which would be somewhat helpful if your opponents didn't die in one turn.
And TekMissile, which is even more ridiculous in terms of damage.
Since the battles are scripted, this Pincer Attack was unavoidable. In this situation, party members hit from behind take double damage, and attacks that hit all enemies (like Bio Blast) can only hit one side. More importantly, the enemy side always goes first in this situation, which can be a bother when it comes to certain enemies. In the case of these enemies, however, it just means that they take a little longer to die.
Music: The Mines of Narshe
Given that it's the only mine shaft accessible as of the moment, that's probably a good guess.
That little blue twinkle there is supposed to be a save point, but thanks to my expert timing, I got it when it's least visible. I'll get a better shot of a save point later when we actually need to use one.
Up ahead, we discover a wooden gate. If this was a group of heroes, we'd probably need to go on a giant sidequest in order to find the lever that opens it, but as we're controlling a trio of minions, we simply smash on through. It's fun being evil.
Oh hi, didn't see you there. Which is weird given that from the characters' perspective, they should have seen you just fine.
Guard: We won't hand over the esper! Whelk, get them!
Music: The Decisive Battle (Boss Theme)
Wedge: What about it!?
Vicks: Do you recall hearing about a monster that eats lightning...
Wedge: ...and stores the energy in it's shell!
Vicks: Right. So whatever you do, don't attack the shell!
Wedge: Alright already!
If you've ever played any of the Final Fantasy games ranging from IV through VII, you've probably seen this kind of boss before.
Whelk is made up of two parts: its head and its shell. Every so often, it will retract its head into its shell, and any attacks that had been targeted towards the head will attack the shell instead, at which point the shell will counter with...
Giga Volt, which does around 60 damage to a single character, but only around 25 if spread out over the entire group. That isn't too bad if only one character hits it, but if all three of them accidentally set it off, you could easily lose a party member or two. Did I mention that you don't have any way to bring back dead party members at this point of the game?
Despite this gimmick, Whelk is still a considerable pushover. Allow me to show you why.
That's the amount of damage that TekMissile does to this boss. The elemental beams do somewhat less, because unlike TekMissile, they have to take Whelk's magic defense into account, but if all three characters are pounding on his head, they're still dealing more than 700 damage every round to an enemy that only has a maximum of 1,600 health. If it wasn't for his silly little gimmick, he'd be dead before the fight had barely begun.
If you're the kind of person who likes taking unnecessary challenges for almost valueless rewards, you could theoretically kill Whelk by depleting the 50,000 health in its shell instead. But why in the world would you do such a thing, when all you get from it is a Tincture, which only replenishes 50 MP? Killing the head gets you a Potion, which is a lot better for this part of the game.
After defeating Whelk, the way to the Esper is completely clear. Mission accomplished, right?
Music: Another World of Beasts (Esper Theme)
The frozen creature began emitting an eerie light...
Wedge: Where's that light coming from!? Uwaaaaaaa!!!!
Now, when I first submitted this post to the Sandcastle, I was fully content to describe two guys flickering before disappearing, but someone felt like Vicks and Wedge's sudden and tragic demise deserved to be treated with a .Gif, and I fully agree.
Someone give these guys an Oscar.
As for the girl...
Looks like we're gonna need some new protagonists.