Please sign in or sign up!
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    GameLog Entries

    jp's Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (GBA)

    [March 2, 2007 10:34:43 PM]
    I just finished FFII and while I was terribly underwhelmed by the gameplay, it was a definite improvement over FFI. My biggest surprise was how effective and interesting I found the story. It isn't the best story ever, but it's surprisingly well executed given the simplicity in the graphics and everything else.

    I've been mentally making a list of some of the reasons why this was particularly effective (for me):

    (a) There are few characters, but you visit and interact with them all through out the game. Thus, you get to know (and remember) them better.

    (b) In this game your party is 3 characters with the 4th slot taken up with a guest character that changes during the game. Normally you'll meet and interact with the guest before they join, and continue to interact with them afterwards. Thus, you get to know them better...and, by using them as part of your party, have a better sense of who they are (based on the equipment and skills they have when they join your party)

    (c) It's ok for characters to die, but only after you've been with them for a while (and gotten used to them).

    (d) When someone dies, continue to refer to that character...don't let him/her be forgotten!

    (e) It's better to have little snippets of conversation here and there than few really long "cut scenes". (It seems that later FF games stopped doing this?)

    Anyways, I can see why some people get all fanatical about these games...though considering that FFI and II never made it to the west, I might be wrong. I guess I'll have to play FFIII. ;-)

    Oh, finishing FFII seems to have unlocked a new game/dungeon(?) which I'll be exploring as well. Talk about getting a LOT of gameplay for your buck!
    add a comment Add comment
    [March 1, 2007 01:47:17 PM]
    It's always an exciting moment when you feel you're getting ready for the end of a game. I'm currently making my way through Pandaemonium (Hell?) looking for the mean old emperor (who came back from the dead!). The actual dungeon isn't anything special, but it does make it more exciting when I think that I'm getting closer and closer to the end of the game.
    add a comment Add comment
    [February 24, 2007 06:28:35 PM]
    Translations can be so funny some times! Or maybe the translation was good...

    Regardless, I just beat up some EYEMOEBAS!

    I couldn't help laughing when I saw the name...and you know what they look like? Picture a green christmas tree, with no star on the top, and instead of the typical decorations...there are eyes! This should be creepy, but it wasn' was almost kind of cute!

    add a comment Add comment
    [February 18, 2007 10:36:32 AM]
    It happened again!

    You would think that I had learned my lesson regarding the linearity of FFII...but once again I fell flat on my face. Basically, there's a dungeon you have to visit twice. The first time you recover an amulet that lets you talk to a Dragon, then you talk to the dragon who gives you an egg, and asks you to head back and drop the egg in a spring. What did I do? I headed all the way to the bottom of the dungeon, visited the spring, didn't know what to do, headed back up again, got the amulet, went back down to the spring, realized that didn't work, headed back up again, talked to the dragon, and then went all the way back down to the bottom.


    Now, the interesting part is that SOMETIMES the game "forces" you into adopting the linear mindset. I wandered around until I found a tower...and couldn't get in! It was too early for me to visit that location... and I had to meet some other goals before I could finally head back there.

    So, on the one hand you are always guided into visiting the right places at the right time, while on the other, there have been two instances where doing that has ended in my backtracking... So, what's up?
    add a comment Add comment
    [February 13, 2007 08:55:37 PM]
    I'm a little over 11 hours into FFII which must be some sort of record for me... I've been playing a LOT of Final Fantasy recently, and I'll be doing some more since I expect to pick up FFIII when I'm done with this one.

    I've heard how FFI was made a bit easier for the re-release I played and I don't know about FFII. What I do know is that FFII is harder than FFI, in a good way. In fact, I've been forced to retreat at least once from a dungeon because I knew I wasn't going to make all the way. I figured I might as well cut my losses, make do with the "experience" gained and come back later...

    Something else happened which made me realize the dangers of getting used to linearity in games. I had boarded an airship and was tasked with destroying it by heading to the engine room. I was also aware that the princess (whose orders you have to follow) had been kidnapped and was also aboard. After much much toil, I was finally able to reach the engine room, however, when I tried to detroy it, one of the characters in my party remarked that we hadn't rescued the princess yet!


    I had, mistakenly, assumed that I would, just by reaching the engine room, rescue the princess on the way. Wherever she was captive would somehow be in the path I would follow to the engine room. Of course, when I reached the engine room I had forgotten completely about the princess... Sigh. I had to toil and slave my way back up to find some direction I hadn't explored, rescue the princess and then head all the way back down again before the dirty deed could be accomplished.

    I ended up tricking myself into thinking that I would be naturally herded in the right direction. Apparently it's quite common in modern (non sandbox) games... :-)
    add a comment Add comment
    [February 5, 2007 10:15:20 PM]
    The difficulty has ramped up significantly. In fact, I had to completely bail out of a dungeon and revert to a previous saved game. Shocking, I know.

    However, this minor setback led me to what might be for many a historic moment in computer RPG gaming. My first chocobo!


    It turns out that a few... miles? kilometers? tiles?... south of where I was there was an area called "Chocobo Forest". Inside, I found a chocobo...which was later available to me on the overworld map. By selecting it I was able to ride it and...woohoo! I can finally move faster than a snail's pace on the main map! (however, as soon as you dismount it runs away). The best thing about the chocobo, is that you don't get any random encounters while riding it! (I think...)

    Why is this such a historic moment? I guess it must be because this is the first game where the infamous (and from now on, everpresent?) Chocobo makes an appearance. I'm sure that those that played the original FFII remember, and cherish, their first such encounter. I know I will, for ever and ever...or not. ;-)
    add a comment Add comment
    [February 1, 2007 10:31:06 PM]
    I've been enjoying FFII a lot more than I did FFI. I've been thinking about the reasons why, and curiously they have very little to do with gameplay. To be honest, gameplay is remarkably similar for both games, but there are a few little design things which make the experience better.

    For instance, in both games you walk around a medium sized overworld. In FFI, I found that I was always getting lost and couldn't remember where a lot of the places were. The large map (which highlighted the major locations, once you'd been there) ended up being my main toold for navigation. I'd head out in some direction and then check the map to see that I was on course.

    Not so in FFII. It's not that the map is smaller, larger, or easier to learn. In this game, thus far, you have to do a lot of re-visiting of previous locations. Head back to town to talk to so-so now that you found the so-and-so. That sort of thing. The distances between the towns I've travelled to so far and really that long, compared to FFI, but the fact that I'm travellig back and forth helps me learn where the locations are, pay better attention to my suroundings..and not get lost!

    A lot of other games do this as well. Mario 64, where you essentially re-play levels with different goals is a particular good example. GTA III also does it...and even most of the Zelda games! So, yeah...even though the gameplay may be the same, I feel that I'm learning more about the world of FFII just from having to re-visit places. Thankfully, each visit is not painful (ie, don't have to fight my way down 5 levels of a dungeon), is a pleasant experience. In particular because things change in the towns after you meet certain goals. (people respond differently, etc.)

    And now, on a completely unrelated thing... today I felt like I was the stupidest player ever! In FFI there are some offensive spells that target individual enemies, while others are for groups. It wasn't until today that I realized that offensive spells (don't know if all of them) can target individual enemies AND groups! (you decide which when you cast them). Doh! And here I was waiting to find a magic shop where they sold group offensive spells... what an idiot!
    add a comment Add comment
    [January 30, 2007 10:04:52 PM]
    I was expecting Final Fantasy II to be the same thing as Final Fantasy I, but with a different story and perhaps better graphics as well. I don't know how far apart the games were released with respect to each other, but I figured pretty close.

    The truth is that I was quite surprised. Yes, the graphics are a bit better and the story is obviously different, but the game system has some REALLY important changes. These are the sort of changes that in a traditional paper-'n-pencil RPG would be considered radical! For example, the game is no longer "level-based". Characters don't earn experience, gain levels, and thus get better at whatever it is they do. No! The system is now skill based. Characters do stuff, the more they do it, the better they get. (and skills go up in levels)! Radical change! So much so that I've had to wrap my head around the notion that ALL my characters are fighters, mages, etc. I just need to make sure to use their abilities all the time. In fact, all the members of my party currently wield long swords AND great axes AND they can cast spells when needed. This is SO different from your standard RPG..where specialized classes are forced upon you (no, mages can't wield swords or wear, warriors don't use magic, etc.).

    I feel shocked that such an important change, and perhaps even an innovative one at that (as far as CRPGs are concerned...) had completely passed under my radar. Or is it that I'm overreacting? (yes, the combat system is virtually the same)
    add a comment Add comment
    [January 26, 2007 10:01:16 PM]
    I just finished FFI, and while there was a nice story twist at the end, on the whole the experience was a huge disappointment in terms of gameplay and game design although it was mildly interesting for historical reasons. After all, we are talking about the first game of an incredibly emblematic and influential series.

    So, why the disappointment? Well, initially I had commmented on how it was a game of attrition: how far and for how long can you go before you run out of mana and health points? In this sense, things can get mildly exciting as you rush back to town and cross your fingers hoping you won't run into another random encounter.

    However, pretty soon I had reached a point where no fights posed any danger at all, and I had bought enough supplies to probably last until the end of time. No need to rush back to town anymore, and no need to worry.

    So, combat became extremely dreary and boring. I really wish the game had a "auto resolve combat" option because all I was doing was trying to press the "A" button as fast as possible so that the fight would finish as soon as possible. No danger, no worries, no problem, no challenge, and no fun.

    Even the final boss fight was over sooner, and easier than I expected.

    In sum, the only part moment in this game where I felt I was being challenged and that I had to try to make he best use of my character's abilities was during the special guest boss fights I talked about in my last post.

    Kind of sad if you think about it: the side quest was more fun than the whole game.
    add a comment Add comment
    [January 25, 2007 08:47:01 AM]
    A ha!

    I have discovered the truth about the crazy dungeon I was exploring. My intuition was correct in that I was effectively engaged in a side-quest though the true nature of the side-quest was still unrevealed to me. I eventually made it to the end of the dungeon, fought some super baddies and escaped.

    But.. who were these super-baddies I had fought? Why did their names sound so special, and yet there was no reference made of them in the whole game?

    Enter Wikipedia.

    After a little bit of external investigation I learned that FFI (GBA) has four "secret" dungeons where you can fight select bosses from OTHER Final Fantasy games. I guess that if I had played other FF games I might have known..but still, it's a really intriguing and neat idea for various reasons.

    It's not uncommon for characters from one game to make a "cameo" appearance in another game...but it usually happens in fighting games. For example, Link (Zelda) was a playable character in one of the Soul Calibur games.. I can't really think of any significant examples that don't involve fighting games or characters that share a common mythos or setting. (for example, characters from the "Mario" world commonly appear in each others games)

    Any suggestions?
    add a comment Add comment
    [January 17, 2007 04:08:29 PM]
    Just a short note before I forget to mention this:

    In the town you start in, there is a gravestone marked "Link". I'm sure you know who THAT is. Isn't that cool?

    There is also a city called Lufenia...would that have anything to do with the Lufia series of games? Hmmm...
    add a comment Add comment
    [January 11, 2007 09:24:21 PM]
    I've just had one of the most confusing play sessions ever. It was so bizarre that for a moment I was worried that I had screwed the game up somehow...or that I was in some buggy alternate version of the game...

    The story goes like this (remember, this is Final Fantasy I): You're supposed to collect 4 crystals and whenever you get one, you get a little cut-scene that shows a dungeon whose entrance is now cleared. I've only collected 2 crystals and when I went into the dungeon from the first one I was utterly and completely trounced. So, I moved on to doing other things... then, I got the second crystal and saw a cut-scene for a dungeon whose location I had no idea.

    Anyways, I was running around minding my own business when, quite accidentally I must add, I entered a dungeon called "Hellfire Chasm". A foreboding name if I must say so. I recognized the entrance from the cut-scene and I figured I might as well take a look.

    Down and down I went.. fighting easy monsters along the way until I ran into a super-duper monster called Cagnazzo. Whoah! I figured I didn't have a chance...but yeah! I was able to defeat him! But there was no special pay-off. Huh?

    Ah! There was another room right next door with some steps leading down as well as warp thing. The warp thing would send me back to the surface... but I was intrigued by what lay below.

    So down I went..

    More fighting...

    And down...

    Until, one last pair of steps later, I briefly saw a message that said "Hellfire Chasm Level 8" (or something like that) and I was on a strange location above ground.

    Huh? Did I warp out to the top by mistake? I couldn't go I flicked on the map to see where I was. It showed that I was really close to where I had left my airship which was right next to the entrance to the dungeon.


    The geography was completely unfamiliar to me... and I was supposed to be on a little island.

    Weird. So, I walked around a bit until I saw a chest. There are no chests on the surface and after checking the map I saw that I was in the same location.

    Now I was starting to get a bit worried. Was I trapped in some weird level bug? Why was I on the surface yet not on the surface? Where the heck was I?

    I walked around some more...found a ship...sailed around, walked around..reached an island with a pirate! Awesome.. he must know what the hell is going on! Nah.. He just mentioned something about an airship.

    Sailed, walked...found an airship! And found an island with a hole in the ground. Oh. Should I go down? Yeah...

    And that's pretty much where I am...trying to defeat a tough moster called Barbariccia and wondering what the heck is going on. This whole dungeon seems WAY too long to be a side-quest and I'm worried that I may be tackling it too early in the game...and I really don't want to make my way down here again.
    add a comment Add comment
    [January 11, 2007 08:34:41 AM]
    I've played about 14 hrs of Final Fantasy I. It's been an interesting experience in more ways than I imagined.

    First of all the reason I'm playing this game is because I want to take a deeper look at the combat system. In particular, I'm interested in understanding how the combat systems of Final Fantasy games has evolved over time and what role better hardware may play in that. For example, does better technology result in a combat system that is more complex? So, I expect to write a bit more about that later...for now, I want to share another observation which I thought was interesting.

    The main "challenge" that Final Fantasy I poses to the player is dealing with attrition. Combat isn't really about strategy...the game is about having to deal with lots, and lots, of fights with limited resources. How long will your health points and spell points last? Every time you have a fight, you will undoubtedly lose a little bit of health or magic...but you can't head back to town for a heal-up all the time. You need to plow onwards until you reach wherever it is you want to go, be it the next town or the lowest level of the dungeon.

    However, there is only one way you can prepare for this. Stock up. Buy as many healing potions and whatnot as you can afford. You can't really strategize too much since all the encounters are "random". (I use quotes because they may not be, but since there is usually no way of knowing when an encounter is coming up or of avoiding it if you want to). So, all you can really do is cross your fingers and hope you have enough supplies/health points/etc. to get you through.

    At times, this can be exciting..especially when you're party is really knackered and you're not next to a town. Will you make it back in time? Oooh! Tension!
    add a comment Add comment

    jp's Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (GBA)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 27 December, 2006

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 10 April, 2007

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Curiously, I felt that FFII is much better than FFI. However, in all, the gameplay hasn't aged too well.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    See info on Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (GBA) by GlitteWing (rating: 4)


    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014