Part 27: Final Chapter - BWA HA HA HA HA haaaaaFinal Chapter - BWA HA HA HA HA haaaaa
My original team for the first few attempts was Terra/Gau/Edgar/Relm, but I had trouble keeping people alive, usually losing a person between tiers and never managing to reach Kefka due to the sheer onslaught of attacks. My ultimate team is both healing-heavy and offense-heavy. Terra and Relm are both the best healers and probably the best magic users in the game thanks to Cure3, RegenX, and powerful magic both single and multi-target. Setzer's probably the best tank I have, and as far as offense goes Fixed Dice is usually more good than bad (though it wasn't that impressive for this gauntlet on average). Strago of course has lots of powerful spells, Black Omen being his go-to of course, though Aero (for seizure), Shell (if Zoneseek got nullified), Raze, Shield, and even Ice2 had their uses. He even had some healing with Holy Wind in an emergency, though I never needed it.
First off is Face, Short Arm, Long Arm. Face is weak to Poison, making him a great target for Raze.
Expect lots of gravity attacks like Demi, Quartr, and Gravity Bomb. Also expect lots of powerful physical attacks from the arms. I also saw Glare and poison-inflicting statuses in the mix.
I wish I had more exciting strategies beyond "Relm and Setzer heal while Terra and Strago spam their most powerful MT attacks," but the main challenge is staying alive, and when you have three people who know Cure3, the best strategy is to simply have one of them do nothing the entire time. Most of the time, this was Setzer since Relm knows Flare and Meteor.
Despite a few close calls in losing Terra, the first tier isn't too bad. The second tier is where things really get challenging.
With weaknesses in parentheses, there's Tiger (Fire/Ice), Tools (Bolt/Water), Magic (Fire/Ice/Bolt), and Hit (Poison). Don't ask me which is which, though. I still have no clue.
Expect lots and lots and lots of hard-hitting physical attacks. Image would be wonderful to have here, except I don't really have access to it with this party, so I substitute it with lots of healing instead.
The disadvantage to this party is only Terra can cast any Life spells (though Life2 is huge), though that's why I've been saving all those Phoenix Tears that revive people at half-health.
So yeah, huge variety of attacks, both magical and physical. It can be overwhelming to manage (and was for earlier attempts, as I think I only made it to the next tier once before this party).
At this point, I realize that Rerise would be pretty damn useful in case things go bad, as I sure as hell don't want to lose anybody from this team. If you've played the original, you remember that if anyone's dead by the end of a tier, they're replaced by the next person in line. The idea is to keep your party topped up, but what it means is you usually have less-useful characters replacing your good ones if they have the misfortune to drop right before a tier dies.
For this one, I take them out one at a time to better manage attacks, since that reduces the risk of having someone accidentally die. I thank/blame FF14 for drilling "kill one at a time" into my head.
Next is Girl and Sleep. Sleep's weak to Holy, Girl absorbs everything but Holy.
As usual, expect lots of nasty attacks. Of course, having only two people attacking now makes things more manageable.
Though Condemned is still nasty. It's a really good idea to case Rerise on anyone who's Condemned.
The final attack is, oddly enough, a single-target Merton. Relm blocks fire, though, so she gives no fucks.
And now, for the man of the hour.
Obviously, the Printme doesn't say anything on Kefka.
Now's a good time to whip out any espers you need. Strago can't use espers due to X-Magic, while Setzer and Terra save Starlet and Phoenix for emergencies.
Kefka's got plenty of physical attacks, including the painful Havoc Wing which I got when I tried sketching him for a turn.
Obviously, he's got plenty of powerful magic too.
Goner...still not that impressive.
Kefka still has the "not-as-scary-as-it-looks" Fallen One. Of course, you should have one healer always on standby, and this is the only time I ever need two Cure3's in a row.
And of course, it's not a proper final boss without lots of nasty status effects. Train inflicts Sleep and Mute, while Brown Note inflicts Imp. Relm and Setzer both have Ribbons, so they don't really care.
And lest you think you can simply buff your way out of this, Kefka will occasionally purge buffs, though I've had some characters block it at times. Eventually I stop bothering with buffs that weren't Regen, mainly because I didn't actually need them.
See, Kefka's only one character, and his strongest attacks still aren't that powerful. Combine that with my excessive healing, and he becomes a lot more trivial.
I also spam lots of the X-Ethers I collected from the Coliseum. Only Strago really needs them since he doesn't have the huge MP pool of Relm or the half-MP of Terra, plus Black Omen is a huge 80MP. Sure, he could use Osmose, but this is more reliable and helps my healers as well.
I also had a small glitch where Black Omen's text moved to the left and the box stayed there until the next attack after Strago got muted mid-cast.
If this does anything special, I didn't see it. He just kept doing his same stuff while the screen shook.
In the end, Strago gets the final blow with Black Omen.
Note: He doesn't come back.
In the end, this party was more than enough to handle Kefka. Yeah, it was a slog, but so is every other fucking god damn battle from Atma Fucking Weapon on. At least this was an easy slog.
Hello, good sirs and madams. We were fatigued from waiting in the airship, so we decided to help you face the clown.
Uh, we already killed him.
We? Most of you stood around with your thumbs up your asses while the little girl and old man and I did most of the work!
That is unfortunate. I would have much liked to have a tussle with the marauder.
God dammit, Gau! You broke my sasquatch!
I'm so proud of his progress...snifff...
HOLY SHIT EVERYONE SHUT THE FUCK UP THE TOWER'S FUCKING COLLAPSING WE NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE
Screw that. I say we make Celes, Edgar, and Setzer do all the work.
Kick back and enjoy the ending!
You just have to step on it.
Easy for you to say!
I'm gonna die because you can't step on a damn switch...
...It's just a...forget it.
Well, the coin says to go left...
How clever of you.
It's very unbecoming of me! Haha!
Maybe you could drop this stupid thing?
Hah...I couldn't have a better brother.
I'm too beautiful to die!
It's gonna rip my skull out! AAAAAAA
A famous philosopher once said, "Sometimes you have to forge your own paths."
...You stole that from one of those sleazy plays they do at the Opera House. Trust me, mister, I know my sleazy plays.
Exactly what she does! Exactly what she does!
But we're trying to climb back up...
Have some damn fun for once!
Just a second!
I will if you go into another rant about protecting people again...
This coming from the self-proclaimed "monster?"
Oh, really? Like what?
Uh, well...oh crap the floor's coming down gotta go!
Oh yeah, I forgot we've been carrying around your dead father the entire time.
But I can't transform into a flying pink blob? That kinda sucks.
Better that than dying.
True...still a tough choice.
I don't wanna!
I don't want any demons living in my house!
When has that ever happened, besides that one time?
(You really mean to die in this tower like the foolish coward you believe yourself to be?)
(You know what, fine. Go kill yourself. See if I care. I just tagged along for the free throats to chew on.)
Come on, idiots! Lower the damn thing down!
I seriously doubt they were gonna ditch us. Plus I think you broke a few bones doing it.
Still worth it! You can cure me once I get back to the ship.
Magic's dead now, you idiot.
OH GOD THE PAIN.
Clearly the best actor of the bunch.
I know where I'm going. Up. Away from here.
I...just wanted to fly one last time.
Suit yourself. I'm warning you I'm not gonna catch you if you fall.
No...I don't want this to end.
I can still do it...
I tried, dammit!
Hey idiots, try looking to the left.
It's been a wild ride, but it's finally over!
Overall, I think the hack is a huge improvement, at least in the WoB. Bosses required much more tactics to take down, regular encounters required some thought while still being somewhat trivial affairs, and each character was balanced to be more useful in their own unique way.
From Atma Weapon on, though, things got a bit too lengthy. Boss battles would take forever, and random encounters took more effort and time than they were worth. Also, while the various equipment did a great job making you feel like you're actually getting stronger, battles eventually devolved into the same number race as the original, with a few exceptions like Magimaster. I think a few of the bosses could have their HP toned down and require more innovative ways to take them down, with random encounters being easier to dispatch as well so they aren't so nightmarish to fight. The last dungeon recorded at six hours alone, not including a bunch of failed boss battles (though I also spammed the hell out of frame skip).
That said, the length of WoR enemies is my only major complaint about the hack. Otherwise, I loved everything about it. Every single character is useful while usually having several options in how to be played. Each character fills a great niche, like Setzer the tankish healer with some unconventional damage, or Mog who can be a powerful dragoon, a powerful mage, or a powerful dancer. I also like how Stamina was overhauled to be much more useful for certain characters. And as much as many have complained about the dialogue at times, especially in earlier iterations of the hack, I found the new dialogue a huge improvement for the most part. Characters were more fleshed out, things vague in the original translations were clarified, and it just felt like there was more personality to the game this time.
Huge thanks to BTB for grabbing an account and sharing all sorts of awesome details about hacking the game in the WoB. And thanks to everyone who contributed all sorts of awesome facts and fan art and avatars and all that awesome stuff. It's always a blast doing these things, even when things get out of hand.
As for the game itself, what more is there to say? This is already likely the most LPed game on Something Awful, and I think everyone already knows the game's strengths and weaknesses. The fantastic music, the unique events like the opera house, the massive cast of characters whose small development can be seen as more of a strength than a weakness, and of course, the batshit-insane-yet-still-lovable madman who actually succeeded in destroyed the fucking world. There's a reason people still love the hell out of this game.
Also, god damn did Square put a ton of effort into their endings. Tons of unique sprites and backgrounds, lots of fun Mode 7 fuckery, so much scripting.
And not just this ending, either. Their SNES games in general have some impressive endings, which of course carries over to later games.
This was back when they weren't afraid to be goofy, either.
And with that, I'm done.
As always, thanks for reading!
Alternate ending music: