Part 112: Famicom Part 1 - Untitled DocumentWell, if it's okay by Elentor, without further ado:
Let's Play Final Fantasy VII, Famicom Edition!
In 2005, a dedicated team of Chinese programmers decided to take the extremely odd undertaking of reproducing Final Fantasy VII on the SUBOR Entertainment System, the Chinese port of the Famicom/NES. The FF7 port is, in some ways, a technological triumph, mostly with regards to its size, as the entire game is contained in an NES rom file. The uniqueness (and Chineseness) of the game means that it won't run on most emulators without a great deal of patching, but there are at least two different English translations, and a number of patches that alter the battles, make the bosses easier, and so on.
The dialogue is, almost without exception, unchanged from the original English script, so I'll be skimming over the cutscenes to avoid redundancy.
Rather than mucking about with cutscenes or cinematics, the game throws the player directly into the action. As you can see, the grimy technological metropolis of Midgar has been replaced with a more fantasy style castle. The overall impression that I get is FF7 squished down into the world of FF1, and this is only the first hint of that. The train there does move, though.
Sadly, those doors don't go anywhere.
Most of the characters get little face boxes for dialogue scenes, including the minor characters like Biggs and Jessie.
And we get ourselves into the first battle of the game, against the Shinra soldiers on the train platform. The gun-toting sci-fi police have been turned into Shredder, dual-wielding lightsabers. Cloud himself is a modified Fighter sprite.
We see here the major problem with the game. Combat consists of slowly plinking away at enemies for a couple of damage each turn. Magic tends to be considerably better, but that's also subject to elemental resistances. I tend to have the emulator's turbo button down the entire time I'm in combat, which makes it bearable, but still slow.
Cloud's world sprite looks highly nonplussed. I think he's giving me the 'Seriously? You seriously crammed me into 8 bits?' look.
Cloud's irritation at having a derpy sprite manifests itself in hostile behavior.
The code-breaking, door-unlocking sequence remains, albeit highly simplified. Biggs and Jessie run up and down between those two sets of pillars, and say 'Code Deciphered' a bunch.
The enemies of this game are mostly sprites stolen from other Final Fantasy games. The characters still make references to 'Robot Guards', but nothing of the sort materializes.
All things considered, I'd say this isn't half bad for an 8-bit representation of the inside of the Mako Reactor. Naturally, it takes a while before you can figure out which tiles you can walk on and which you can't.
The Reactor itself. Barrett makes reference to the fact that Cloud is hesitating, but there's nothing to indicate that anything is going on in Cloud's mind. Most internal thoughts and visions get glossed over.
Plink. Plink. Plink. VICTORY!
Rather than showing the reactor exploding after AVALANCHE gets out, it explodes immediately after they set the bomb. Not quite sure how that works.
Again, I don't know what these are, but they are capable of casting both Holy and Dark. Most of the enemies have really bizarre elemental combinations, which sort of hearkens back to FF1, when unicorns shot lightning and were immune to water.
The terrorists pat themselves on the back.
Outside the reactor, we run into a little somebody. We buy a flower from her. One thing about the FF7 Famicom version is that all of Cloud's dialogue choices are removed. He automatically takes the non-asshole choice, which does remove a little bit of the humour from the experience.
On the way to the train, Cloud is delayed by soldiers. Given that each battle can be fairly long (without sped-up emulation), Cloud's complaint is highly relevant.
Then Cloud shows up and everybody's happy to see him. Most of the compartments in the train are empty, but...
...there is a black mage wearing a Santa suit.
We arrive home in the surprisingly-green Sector 7 Slums, ready to relax in Tifa's bar after a long day's work.
I thought this was worth sharing. I guess since the two lovers have the same line of dialogue, the folks making this only thought to include one NPC to talk to, which makes it sound like he's making an indecent proposal to Cloud. Again, I think Cloud's expression is completely appropriate.
Next Time: Flashback! And an exploration of game mechanics!