stranger of paradise: final fantasy origin

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november 4, 2023

i wasn't expecting to be done with the game today. but i also didn't finish it the way i was expecting/hoping to, Gamer's Code be damned..... part of me thinks the developers expected people to get a ton of grinding done between DLC releases, since the level cap wasn't raised this time. but at this point i just wanted to see Chaos dead after 70 hours (on this save)

i'd wasted probably a lot of time and resources trying to fast-track this super minmaxed Summoner build i was shooting for. when i thought, "that's probably good enough to finish the game" and tested it out to disappointing results i got antsy. so i finally turned on Extra Mode (which gives infinite MP and Chaosbringer), and even that didn't get me anywhere near what i was aiming for. though it worked for the boss i was stuck on, i was not invincible

oh yeah this class lets me turn into Bahamut. Summoner is cool and gameplay of the finished build looks so goofy it goes like 1000mph, makes extra mode look more like extra LAME Mode. Yeah

i came real close to giving up near the end, when even in tiny baby crutch diaper mode i could hardly make any headway on bosses. of course seeing just how difficult it got made me feel better about stepping into that diaper, i don't know who the hell is completing this game non-cheesily without putting in, let's say a whole lot more skinnerbox buttonpushing than i was willing to. then i remembered! what i originally established my gamer's code around!! i got WAY excited to break it further

the Liberator job's ability to stay above 1 HP as long as i have MP left, which i now always do!!! this actually doesn't seem super hard to pull off outside of extra mode either, so maybe it's just this job in general that's busted. but even this isn't perfect - a few bosses (including this one) have attacks that disable the buff. and because of the way combo inputs work it's very easy to accidentally disable it and die immediately. which i did many times

obviously Jack was going to die. this game was advertised as "find out how the guy who dies at the end of Final Fantasy, becomes the guy he does, before Final Fantasy - the game where he dies at the end". but i was kind of hoping Different Future meant just that. apparently this DLC suggests pretty heavily that this game ties into Dissidia lore? i haven't played Dissidia so it continued to be a lotta nonsense for me. but it did have the best cutscene in the entire game

at least in the end i, the player, finally myself got to kill Chaos, as Minestrone, who the post-credits scene makes sure i know is who i am. not the guy i just spent 70 hours gearing up. ahh that's a cool way to end it i guess...but woulda been cooler if i got to choose what gear Jack had while i was fighting him so i didn't have to cheese it in diapermode. coulda put him in the diaper

finishing the final DLC unlocked a super ultra boss rush kill me supreme that i defy anyone to do uncheesed and without 1000 hours of grinding. i watched footage of someone doing it and the combat is just unrecognizable at that point. i even had a lot of trouble with the infini-liberator strat!! at that point it looks like the game is built around finding ways to break it. anyway i only suffered through it because it was the last trophy i didn't have. a cool bronze

that's strange jack's fantasy hour! i liked it a lot! might be the longest i've ever spent completing a singleplayer RPG. i kind of had to rush it towards the end because of personal reasons, reasons i won't go into. maybe more of an FFXIV journal topic. forevergames seem more suited for that kind of thing, though this game definitely could've turned into that if i didn't have to get a move on. i do hear that rift labyrinth still calling

i still think the combat and gearing systems are weirdly in-depth for what the rest of the game is, like they don't get enough room to breathe. i don't know how similar things are to Nioh so maybe they had a lot of this stuff designed already, which would make sense. but if not then that's a whole lot of work to put into playstyle-building for not a whole lot of actual varied content to try it out on

i'm looking at videos of top-level balls-thrown-violently-towards-the-wall gameplay and man it's insane what this game can look like, but i wish it was anywhere near as fun actually getting to that point. the grind required just to be able to experiment with playstyles looks to be way more than is worth putting in. pretty sure that one mission i was replaying over and over is the meta for that and i'm already totally sick of it. and relying on miniscule RNG for incredibly specific loot stats...almost wish i stuck with the PC version so i could edit my save and mess around easier

i saw a lot of people say this game's writing was fun because it "didn't take itself seriously", which it absolutely did and that's why it's fun? it's the same reason i love old Sonic games - they absolutely thought it was the coolest thing in the world (it is). in fact during the second DLC when i was speaking with all my monster pals and some of them had legitimately funny dialogue i thought No!!! i didn't want to believe at some point between then and the base game they became self-aware enough to be funny on purpose. you can't write a character like Jack on purpose

though i feel done and satisfied with the game i also feel like i hardly really scratched the surface of the combat. after leveling every job high enough i mostly got comfortable sticking with the same few with the same abilities throughout. the grind for experimentation comes from effects and affinities, which all the endgame builds rely on very heavily. at some point in looking into all that stuff i decided, i think i'll just get through the game. but now i'm through the game and i feel like i owe Jack more. and now he's dead. and it's all my fault

time to go finish replaying FF1 and kill Jack again. sending him and this game off fist bumping the air above his corpse

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