The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy

by ddegenha

Part 9: The Saga of Loq: Chapter the First

The Saga of Loq: Chapter the First

Hello again, and welcome to our second gimmick run on Let's Play Final Fantasy. This time, we're playing with a single Red Mage/Wizard to explore the magic system and how to fight when your character isn't a battering ram.

Some people suggested that a mage towing around three dead fighters would be humorous. I hope that this meets with some small approval.

And here's our dashing hero, with his hat, cape, and what might even be a feather. For equipment we're going to be kitting him out the same way that Solo started, which is a nice bonus considering how easily killed the other mage classes are starting off.

Here's our starting spell list. Starting with the white magic, we've already covered how broken RUSE can be. Unfortunately, Loq can't learn the spell starting out. It's only available for Red Wizards. HARM is not available at any time, leaving us with FOG and CURE. We're going to skip CURE as there's nothing it can do that a potion can't. FOG is fairly useless, since all it does is increase your armor by 8. That might be handy, but not handy enough to use up one of our valuable spell slots. FIRE and LIT are exactly what they say on the tin, while SLEP unsurprisingly puts the target to sleep. There's a bug regarding this, but I'll talk about it a bit later. Finally there's LOCK, which decreases the enemy's evasion by a modest 20 points. It's not terribly useful since you could be hitting them in that time. We're going with FIRE and SLEP for our first spells, and leaving a space for RUSE. By the time we have a use for LIT we'll be almost to LIT2.

Almost immediately the concept of 3 fighters being killed is a problem. Unarmed and without any armor they're still quite capable of killing imps in one hit.

Since they're being useful and killing them off with imps would take forever, we head up to the Temple and loot it while they're still with us. As you can see, two of them survived long enough to gain levels.

Finally on the way back the last one of them dies. Now we can get to some solo training.

One of the best things about this character is that on single targets in this area he's got excellent single shot damage. A wolf might take two or three shots with a rapier, but fire is usually a one hit kill.

After getting to level 4 it's time to go after Garland. There's two real options with him: either plink away with a rapier or set him on fire until he dies. While the red mage does have a decent offense, he's not as strong as a fighter so the second option is preferable.

After gathering our just rewards, it's time to head over and get a ship. The pirates are a bit more of a problem here since Log isn't quite as durable as Solo was. Our best case scenario here is taking around 45 hits in the course of this fight, and that could be fatal. SLEP provides a partial solution. The problem with the spell is that enemy recovery is bugged. Rather than having a chance to recover, enemies will recover 100% of the time on their next turn. The spell can still be useful in situations like this because for the most part the enemies tend to go before you do. Casting SLEP will result in most of the enemies not attacking the next turn while you whittle down their numbers by one.

It's close, but Loq is triumphant and gains a 5th level.

It's magic time again. LAMP is used to cure Blindness, which is never more than a minor hinderance and goes away at the end of a battle. Definitely not worth wasting a turn casting. MUTE can be handy as it not only blocks spells, but prevents a number of other special abilities including breath and elemental attacks like FROST. ALIT is pointless in a solo run, but works well enough in reducing damage. You can generally reduce it faster with a single character by killing the source. INVS is also out as it takes far too long to have any substantial effect.

ICE is definitely going to have a place in our spell list as it provides a substantial increase in magical capacity. DARK isn't worth the time spent casting it, but SLOW might be handy with enemies that get a lot of attacks. TMPR is useless in this version as the game is bugged and checks permanent data on attack and accuracy rather than the temporary value that TMPR increases. We're going with ICE, MUTE, and SLOW as our trio of spells from this level.

Time to go out on the open sea and... ahh dammit I forgot to get the boat from Bikke. Luckily he's kind enough to sit in the square and wait for us to come take it.

For this image, it's worth pointing out that sharks are not weak to ice. That's just the kind of damage it can crank out.

Unfortunately the sea is not kind to Loq. I end up having to go back on land and getting another level before going to sea is really feasible.

Even though most of these enemies are resistant to fire, it's still possible to do some damage with the spell. Especially against enemies as weak as the OddEye. As an interesting side note, Kyzoku are not resistant to fire. After a little bit of time on the high seas we accumulate 1500 gold and head to Elfland for an upgrade.

For variety we'll start with black magic this time. FIR2 and LIT2 are must-haves. HOLD is tempting as a way to paralyze enemies, but most important enemies are immune to status attacks and for anything less than a boss you're better off spending the spell charge to do damage to them. LOK2 is an interesting case of a switched operator. Rather than decreasing enemy evasion, it actually increases it. The bug here is pretty transparent, but at least this time it doesn't allow you to kill God with a chainsaw.

HEAL and HRM2 are both unavailable to Loq as a matter of class. AFIR falls into the same category as ALIT. Much nicer on a multi-character playthrough than with a single character. CUR2 finally does enough healing to outperform a potion, so we'll be picking that up as well as LIT2 and FIR2. The order is LIT2, FIR2, and CUR2 since these spells are so expensive.

Even on enemies that aren't weak to their element, the level 3 spells can do a respectable amount of damage. Now that I have LIT2, the seas are pretty much an open chest.

Unfortunately, Loq can't increase his armor rating at this juncture. This makes him a bit more fragile than our fighter was, but on the plus side he can still equip the Silver Sword. Isn't not quite as awesome as it was in the fighter because Loq's hit progression grows more slowly, meaning less hits and a smaller chance of a critical hit. To clarify, every 32% of hit a character has results in an extra attack. Fighters start at the highest point and go up by 3% every level, while Red Magi start at a lower point and gain only 2%.

Now that Loq has multi-target spells, a good weapon, and the best armor he's going to get, it's time to up the game a bit and start grinding for fourth level spells. We're going to the Peninsula of Power, which would be fairly murderous at this level (currently 11) for a full party.





succeed. The risks are great, but the rewards pay off with each successful battle gaining thousands of gold and experience. With each win you can come back with better equipment, more healing items, and the resources to fight multiple battles. Once we've gathered a few thousand gold it's time to visit the magic shop again.

For level 4 there's a few spells that stand head and shoulders above the rest. ICE2 and FAST are must have spells. ICE2 expands our repertoire of group hitting spells while FAST doubles our number of hits. SLP2 suffers from the same flaws as SLEP, and while I was willing to put up with that for a level 1 spell it's an inexcusable in a level 4 spell. CONF makes enemies attack each other, and it shares many of the same issues as HOLD.

White Magic gets the dud card on this level. AICE is as bad as all the other protection spells for this play through, and AMUT is only theoretically useful on two enemies in the game. We can't learn FEAR, but even if we could it's pretty useless as it only lowers an enemy's morale. Just to fill up a space I get the PURE spell, which acts just like the potion.

Now that we've got a good selection of spells, it's time to head in and deal with the Marsh Cave. This place is still a nightmare, although the early availability of multiple target spells helps a bit. The problem is that the Red Mage can't absorb punishment very well.

Sometimes you get the ghoul, and sometimes the ghoul gets you.

The wizards at the bottom are a bit of a problem given Loq's fragility. There were only two, but you can see how badly they tore him up. As far as dealing with them is concerned, hacking away at them with the silver sword is dangerously slow. They're resistant to fire and ice, leaving LIT2 as the only real option to deal with them. FAST would probably allow Loq to kill them, but would require him to sit through as many as 3 rounds of attacks.

On the way out Loq managed to get up to level 14. When it comes to dealing with Astos you can either hack him apart or use magic on him. This is the damage that a FAST boosted hit from the silver sword was doing.

So, we fall back on old reliable. Kill it with fire!

Next time: Class change and a couple of old fiends.