The Let's Play Archive

Tales of Phantasia

by Dragonatrix

Part 53: F. Super Phamicom

Before we move on to the content missing from the PSX version, amongst the other minor bonus things, let's take a little look at the incredibly archaic and, quite frankly, awful SNES version of the game (I've never finished this one, and I have no intention to ever do so; the furthest I've gotten is Maxwell). I'm not even referring to DeJap's translation with that one; I just plain cannot stand the SNES version. I'm sure everyone knows about a certain scene that occurs on a boat so for the sake of cutting back on the venom, I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist. Speaking of things that don't exist: more than one difficulty (kinda), Pluto, Suzu as a playable character (she's still around as an NPC), several other things we'll be looking at here, and stuff that makes sense to not exist (GRADE and S.D. for example).

Now, a minor thing; I said there's only one difficulty and that's technically true. On the title screen, hit all four face buttons at once and apparently that gives you the equivalent to a Hard difficulty. If you don't know to do that (and I can't imagine the game telling you it), you only get the one difficulty though.

Let's start with the combat, shall we? The LMBS here is unwieldly at best, and actively sabotaging your gameplay at worst. If you encounter any aerial enemy, you're stuck leaving it to Chester because, unlike every other version, there's no way to actually direct your attacks and Cless automatically hits so as to attack things on the ground. There's also no combos (insofar as I can tell), so after every attack you get to sit there and wait for him to run back to where he started even if you're mashing the attack button.

Also a big issue: Chester has no artes. Like, at all. He's stuck with 0 TP throughout the entire game, since he has no use for it. To counter that, he does get some seemingly decent weapons; the Berserk Bow is his best here, I believe, and that lets him hit twice which is kinda nice I guess.

A second thing that's super annoying from a gameplay perspective:

The game uses a long/short range system. This makes it a fucking pain to use certain artes; Demon Fang can only be used at long range which makes sense, in theory, but you can't ever tell if you're at long or short range unless you manually check or just mash the button hoping it'll work now.

Skipping ahead to Euclid, we can actually buy Jet Boots already. Their effect here seems to be different though; rather than moving faster in combat, wasting an accessory slot on them now lets you run around in dungeons/towns rather than that being an automatic thing.

Mint starts with no spells whatsoever since here she joins at level 2 rather than level 3. She only needs 1 XP to learn First Aid so it's a minor inconvenience at best. She can still help out if necessary right...?

Nope. She doesn't start with a weapon either, nor does she get one in the entire dungeon.

The last really big change that's immediately noticable is the way food works.

Rather than using it to cook, it gets stored and used up between battles. This is an interesting way of handling resource managament but it's also incredibly aggravating. It will probably become a non-issue later in the game, but I imagine most people just ignore it most of the time.

Different food items add a different amount to the total in the sack which makes some sense. A whole chicken should be worth more than a bit of cheese, for example.

What this does is that it restores your HP between battles, but it does it incredibly quickly.

As in, a few steps levels of incredibly quickly. It's not a 1:1 ratio either; it seems to go down several per step but it tries to balance that out by being every other step or so. I could tolerate it, in a manner of speaking, if it was to be depleted at the end of a battle rather than what it is now but hardware limitations probably prevented the obvious thing from happening. In a way, I'm glad this got revamped into the cooking system but the resource management aspect could have been interesting if done better.

A quick list differences from the better versions, including ones that I can't stand this version long enough to actually show off, courtesy of someone who knows it much better than I:

Bellmaker posted:

-No skits, without the skits the tone of the game is far more serious (shut up about the dejap/boat thing again we already went down that road).
-No cooking: Food goes into bags and heals the party as they walk
-Dhaos 2 (present) starts with 15000/45000 HP but can heal and hits like a, well, boss.
-Less stupid sidequests: Venezzia, Suzu and the two major endgame ones, that's it. No reward for the Venezzia quest either so it's very optional.
-No ninja encounters in Volt's cave
-Suzu does not join at the end of her arc
-No Odin fight
-Chester is a straight fighter, no MP/artes. He's honestly better than Arche IMO, especially once he gets his good bows.
-Arche has a lot more useless "instadeath" spells
-I found out from the FF4:TAY thread running acts like a Dark Bottle which is why the encounter rate is so freakin' high

I'm sure there'll be someone out there who thinks this version is the best one ever and the later ones are terrible, but I think that person is completely crazy. There's nothing unique at all here, and the stuff removed from the PSX one was even added back into the GBA version for some reason, so I'll be using that one for the missing content. It's not as nice to look at, sure, but it's still less detestable in the long run.