The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy

by ddegenha

Part 8: Temporal Abnormality

Chapter 8: Temporal Abnormality

With all the Fiends defeated, it's time to finish up this run through. Before starting the final dungeon, however, let's examine the plot of what exactly is going on here.

A mysterious Person X (Garland) has gone back in time and decided to wreck the world in order to obtain immortality through the creation of a stable time loop. If you think about this, it's a bit of a since if the time loop repeats then older versions of Garland will be continually co-existing with versions that are 2,000 years younger. One wonders why the Fiends would go along with this, but if their entire purpose is to destroy the world than in exchange for assistance they might be willing to send him back in time every time he shows up. Along the proposed timeline they'll succeed in their plan unless they're stopped, so it's a win win. Garland doesn't care what happens to the world as he's intent on living forever through the same 2,000 years.

Thankfully they are kind enough to point you to the final dungeon and tell you where to go.

No explanation is ever given as to why this works and why there's a time gate here. It might be that the process of sending Garland back in time has created a portal that can be used, but it's all speculation. The bats can talk now since the four Fiends are dead, but their story is basically that they're Lefeinish warriors who tried to fix this all centuries ago and the five of them couldn't succeed at the same task that Solo has completed on his own.

One step back and we're in a rather Greco-Roman styled building, because that's what antiquity looks like. This place has about 8 or 9 floors, so it's as expansive as you'd expect from a final dungeon.

The upper floors are also packed to the gills with dragons. The Frost Dragons are barely a threat anymore, but the Gas Dragons have a poison attack that can be nasty on unprotected characters. To make things worse, you can't run away from them. They are, however, worth a ton of experience. These three are worth more than 10K.

On the way down we meet the Eye's big brother. He's got a 120 attack, every death and status spell in the book, and...360 HP. The battle lasts about as long as you'd expect.

There's 45,000 more gold in the other chest. It's pretty random to just hand that much gold out, especially since at this point you don't really have any use for money. The plate in the middle of the room serves the same purpose as the one in the Earth Cave. If you have to backtrack at this point, you're doing something wrong.

The Lute we've been carting around for the entire game is needed to remove an obstacle two thousand years in the past, and has been handed down in the Royal Family of Coneria for this express purpose. Seriously.

This starts a series of elementally themed floors, packed full of appropriate monsters. The first one is Earth.

HP recovery during a long dungeon like this is a major problem. The solution is with the heal staff or heal helmet. It's pretty simply to find a group of enemies who have nothing beyond a physical attack, use the ruse spell a couple of times, and then recharge your health while they miss. This becomes pretty much a necessity when you combine potions only healing 30 HP and only being able to hold 99 of them. A really bad fight can suck up 15 of your potions easily, and this dungeon is very long.

Naturally since we're going through themed floors, the elemental fiends are going to make another appearance. Each one is positioned at a chokepoint, so you have to encounter them to go forward. This means that if you want to you can go back after beating one and fight them again. The Fiend of Earth is just above the staircase.

Lich wins the award for most improved out of the four. Instead of the pathetic offense he had previously, he's got Nuke, Stop, Zap, and XXXX. He's got more HP, and he's lost his weakness to fire. He's also got higher attack, defense, and HP. Lich causes a bit of damage, but he's easily enough dealt with.

The Fire elemental floor is a twisty pathway around to the stair that's visible from here. There's actually treasure scattered around these floors, but it's nothing really useful for me so I've skipped it.

Kary has picked up a few tricks as well, namely FIR3, RUB, and STUN. She's still only got 700 HP, though.

The Water floor is a mess of small rooms, doors, and weird tablet like structures. Part of me wonders if it's supposed to be flooded.

Kraken can sometimes surprise people, since it plays dirty pool and appears in the middle of this corridor rather than near the stairs.

If Lich won the award for most improved, Kraken gets the least improved sticker. The only ability it has now that it didn't before is LIT2 and this late in the game that is absolutely pathetic.

The penultimate floor is made up entirely of long corridors. Tiamat is directly to the east, but in the meantime we have a pit stop to make.

When you're low on HP and supplies, this corridor is very daunting, but the reward is worth it.

At the end is the Masamune, the most powerful weapon in the game. This was back before RPGs started giving you the best weapon after you didn't need it anymore. The Masmune has 56 attack to Excalibur's 45, a better crit rate, and better accuracy. In the game as written, however, it's actually an inferior weapon. Excalibur is meant to be strong against every enemy, whereas the Masmune is neutral.

Encounters at this level can get absolutely crazy. By the time I was using the mage staff the defender had already been pulled out twice. One survived, however, so this was a good opportunity for a refill.

Killing the last one provides a good example of another interesting thing in this game. While there is a damage cap, it's impossible to reach by normal means. The game is equipped to handle damage amounts up to 32,000+, even though it's impossible to reach without cheating somehow. As you can see, it handles 4 digit damage quite well.

Tiamat is hiding right in this corridor, kind of like Kraken did. I think it's more a consequence of floor design than anything else. There's no way they'd be able to guarantee that you'd have to fight her otherwise.

One thing I've noticed about the Masmune is that the damage is very uneven. Sometimes it's sky high, other times it's low like this.

If Kraken wins the razz for least improved, Tiamat is a close second. She's still got the four breath attacks from the other dragons, but the only improvements to her arsenal now are a selection of elemental level 2 spells and BANE. All of which are easily avoided.

I still remember that the Nintendo Power guide for this game had the final map printed upside down. The final floor is a nice break, since there are no encounters here. You can heal up and make ready for the final battle in peace.

This is what we're rolling in to the final battle with. But before we can actually get started on the beating

Garland spills his evil plan. Would the plan have worked if he hadn't been beaten at the beginning of the game? Or was it his desperation at being defeated that resulted in him being a good subject for this plan? It's impossible to really know. One thing's for sure...he has some serious difficulties expressing himself. Who's this doom we're going to meet?

Chaos is suitable difficult. He's got a powerful attack, access to all the level 3 elemental spells, NUCLEAR, FAST, and SLO2. Worst of all he's got 2,000 HP and the ability to use CUR4. He'll continue to use it if you can't do enough damage to put him out. He's also got 4 unique abilities of his own, but they're not terribly threatening.

He puts up a suitably epic fight, being able to knock Solo's HP down to more than halfway.

Alone of all the enemies in the game, Chaos gets his own special death animation. I still remember how awesome I thought that was as a kid.

There's some suggestion that the time loop might have already repeated one or more times. Now that the loop is broken, however, everything is going to change. Society itself will never have been destroyed, and the problems that Solo solved will never have existed. The entire adventure will have never happened, because it never needed to happen. The note about Garland is interesting too. Was he as much of a victim as anybody else? Could he have been manipulated into evil to get the ball rolling?

Also, why did the reference to Jane come in? I never mentioned this, but Jane is Princess Sara's mother. What was going on in that town? No wonder the King wanted Solo out of there as quickly as possible.

Evidently the only people who will remember the story will be the heroes and the long-lived, magical creatures who are presumably able to deal with the kind of weird paradox involved. The heros in this game save the world, but at the price of being forgotten.

A winner is you! And with that...