potinos for the needy
*Spoilers follow*

I didn’t realize how dark this game was gonna go. I mean, it had a relatively happy ending for Ramza and the gang (except was it even real? Did Orran even really see them or was it an illusion?), and Ivalice became a much greater place because of the actions of Ramza (kind of), but there was a lot of just… dark stuff happening. Orran burned at the stake, Delita gravely wounded, Ovelia killed, the entire Beoulve house dead, and the dark plot of the church goes completely behind closed doors because scandals aren’t good.

Well anyways, it was an excellent game with a bit of confusing design choices (ok wtf Orlandeau you’re broken op). I clocked in at 37 hours. There was a lot of stuff I missed (like most of the secret characters. I didn’t get Cloud [I saw Aerith though yey], Worker 8, etc.), but I still had a blast. I tried to avoid making the final parts too easy with the non-generic characters, but I couldn’t resist using Agrias and Balthier (who both aren’t the worst offenders, but they still have some obvious advantages. Barrage is the sex), and Marach didn’t seem blatantly stronger than any other characters really.

I didn’t change much with Ramza. I just mastered the Dragoon class and had him running around and jumping on people. It was pretty effective too. Safe and guaranteed damage (at least to everyone below a 50 CT). It also let him basically attack anyone on the map, especially with Move+2.

I ditched my two main mages mainly because I felt they were too slow and not very mobile. My Summoner was super good for the Belias battle, but after that, I felt like I just kinda had a Haste-Bot because she was so slow and had such a low movement radius. I had planned on making Celestria an Arithmatician (not full-time of course), but training it seemed tedious at best. I didn’t really need to have an all-powerful mage, as I had enough damage elsewhere.

I kept Agrias because Holy Sword was neat and she seemed to be a good AoE nuker. She was incredibly helpful in boss fights when I could just Hallowed Bolt the boss and just chunk them from afar (at least she’s not Orlandeau). I just kept her as a Monk with a sword because I needed the extra utility of Chakra and Revive without my two main mages. Agrias was also one of my favorite story characters so I had to keep her in.

I kept my favorite generic Josian in though. I made her a more utility based class because I lacked that when I dropped my two mages. I still made her a pseudo-assassin with dual wielding knives (albiet far less effective), but she had A LOT more utility with dances. Hit ALL the enemies! I switched her back to Ninja for the final battle with Ultima because I was a little worried about having my party wiped out (it happened frequently in a lot of the story battles), so I just focused on chunking that Ultima.

I added Marach because he was a pretty interesting character and his Nether Mantra was an interesting (if a bit impractical at times) ability. Also, I liked his hair. I made him a semi-tank that just kind of charged in. It was annoying in a lot of the later battles because Crush Armor made him a really crappy tank for a battle. At least he ate it instead of the others, though.

And of course, I added Balthier. He is my all time favorite Final Fantasy character, so I couldn’t really just ignore him. I didn’t train him up very much, so he didn’t get too far in Sky Pirate (I got acouple “Plunder” abilities + the first 4 abilities [Leg Shot, Barrage, etc.]) or anything else. He started with a decent amount of Martial Arts abilities too, so that was handy. His default items were more than fine for the rest of the game. His gun was sex, especially with Barrage. Barrage helped me with a lot of bosses too. Near 100% hit rate + 4 attacks of 50% effectiveness? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 

Onward to finishing Final Fantasy VI!
I’m doing one of these again except with one of the other Ivalice games: Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions. I was intrigued to play the Tactics games from both loving Final Fantasy XII (in my top 5 favorite games, definitely my favorite Final Fantasy) and having the art design done by Akihiko Yoshida; Akihiko Yoshida is one of the best artists at Square Enix. 33~ hours with the game, here’s my little progress report (note: I’ll probably sound really ignorant as this is my first time playing it so I have no idea what I’m doing).

First off, I had to backtrack 5 hours after getting to Belias completely unprepared and getting wiped out EVERY time trying to fight him with literally no hope (I couldn’t do any of the suggested methods like Tailwind spam or getting Lich/Graviga/etc. on him and I couldn’t just outright kill him with my current party because I didn’t have a specialization for one of them, one of them would just get one shot by Gigaflare, Unholy Darkness, or Belias’ many summons, and the rest couldn’t do enough fast enough to kill Belias. I spent about 5-7 hours on trying to beat him alone). I switched to a save that I accidentally (and luckily!!) made 5 hours prior to getting to Belias. Now I’m going to be far more prepared for him with my improved party.

Right now, I’m heading for the Yuguewood before heading to Riovanes Castle where Belias comes.

To start off, my Ramza is a Dragoon with Theif as a secondary. After figuring out how to properly use Jump and getting it leveled up a bunch, I’ve really come to liking it. It’s strong, pretty hardy, and has a lot of options (especially with Move+2). I use Germinas Boots because to be honest, I haven’t really looked too much into accessories (as I did in XII), so the Move+1 and Jump+1 just seemed nice to have. I like being able to walk halfway across any map and being able to jump the rest of it. Right now, he’s my mobile bruiser.

Agrias is really nice because Holy Sword is sexy. Free AoE nukes on an instant cast with status effects? Mmmmmm. I made her a Monk because I’m working on making her a Geomancer and making her a secondary source of physical damage, but with a bit more utility with status effects. She’s currently my favorite story character to join so far; and she’s one of the stories more compelling characters (and there are many!). I think I’m being a little derpy playing as a Monk and having Equip Swords but whatever.

My first “generic” is Josian, my Ninja and my main source of physical damage. She’s mastered Geomancy (because I had 0 idea what I wanted to do with her for a lot of the game), and so I have that as her secondary and her counter ability. It’s nice being able to constantly do damage, even if you can’t get near them with both Geomancy (for utility) or Throw (for more damage). I just got Ninja, so I’m still figuring out how to best use her right now.

Eschina is my Summoner and my main nuker and secondary support. I’ve done some dabbling in White and Black magic to also help her stats get better (that low speed on Summoners is really sad) and I had her get a lot of the most useful Time Magicks, but she’s been primarily a Summoner for a lot of the game. I basically have her just spam Haste in normal battles to get JP and EXP because enemies die so quickly.

Celestria is my primary support with a little bit of ranged damage. Right now, I’m working on making her a Arithmatician so I can have some really sexy things happen. Right now, though, I have her switch off between White Mage and Chemist (THROWING ITEMS ACROSS THE MAP IS UNDERRATED I SWEAR). By the way, I know her Bravery/Faith numbers show that she should be better fit for a physical based job but w/e. Haters gonna hate.

I’m rull excited to see if this party can actually handle Belias where my previous one (they were underleveled, Celestria was a Mystic (omg y) and Josian was a level 1 Samurai) couldn’t.
Well, I did it! I finally finished Final Fantasy XII. Calling it my favorite Final Fantasy without ever finishing it felt a bit hasty but even after finishing it, I can still call it my favorite Final Fantasy without a doubt. The sweeping story of political intrigue, betrayal, and of course an excellent cast really resonated with me, more-so than any other Final Fantasy.

Looking back on the entire game, I can really say I enjoyed every second of it. A few parts were a bit frustrating (Pharos at Ridorana, here’s looking at you~), but it every part was satisfying. Every part was fun and challenging. I was beyond excited to get to the next dungeon so I could level up my party and challenge myself. The pacing in this game was spectacular.

Above is my final party roster for the game. Vaan was my primary tank and secondary damage dealer with attacks. I didn’t use him too much until around Giruvegan because the sword attacks were far more reliable than Penelo’s hammers and axes (which were switched to Greatswords later on). Also, I had the Dawn Shard on him for a lot of the game, so he had 0 mana, which was frustrating when my entire party died or the members with Raise died.

Balthier, of course, is several levels higher than everyone because after all, he is the leading man. I kept him mostly the same throughout the game. Main mage with Katanas. At the beginning I used Staves and Rods, but I always felt a bit awkward in normal battles because I was too lazy to use spells. Eventually I invested in Katanas for ‘dem magic scaling attacks! I didn’t get all the spells, but I didn’t do a whole lot in between the Pharos at Ridorana and the Sky Fortress Bahamut, so I couldn’t afford all of them yet. I at least got to Flare though.

Fran was the same through the entire game. Daggers and shields weren’t really too exciting except for the fact she would be SO much faster than everyone. She was also the primary Technick user, so she was generally handy in all situations. Her being the only other one with shields made her a somewhat decent secondary tank.

Basch was my tanky white mage for the entire game, but I kept switching between weapons it became a somewhat pain to deal with because of how confused I would get with him. I eventually just went back to what I originally had on him, Poles! I had him out a lot of the time in dungeons and boss fights for Curaja spam. Dying is for pansies.

Ashe felt a bit awkward late game. Not really bad, just kinda weird. I never really used the Time Magic (except for, of course, Haste!). I always forgot about it or it wouldn’t be effective on the monsters I was fighting. Arcane magic was fine for the most part… unless we were fighting undead. Killing yourself with your own spells op. She still was really useful being a secondary white mage and she could do a decent amount of damage. Overally, she was basically just an awkward jack of all trades.

Penelo was my primary damage dealer and had some red mage qualities near the end. I made her spam Protect and Shell on herself because she would end up tanking unless Vaan was there. There’s not a whole lot to say about Penelo other than that she was amazing at damaging enemies. A lot of boss fights, I would just Berserk her and go off on them.

I didn’t star anyone because at the end, all of my characters were really helpful in whatever they did. Everyone had a good distinct role and they all did them wonderfully (except for maybe Ashe, but I should have defined it better early on).
When I first played Final Fantasy XII, once I got to the Phon Coast, I lent it out to someone, and once I got it back, I decided to restart my game because I hadn’t played it in like… a year or so. A little refresher was needed. I have now completed the game up to the point where I first started so I decided to create a little character sheet to mark my progress.

To be frank, a lot has changed since my first playthrough. Oddly enough, Balthier is the identical level as the first save, but with a far different role. This Balthier is a black mage while the first one was a gunner/Hand Bomb user. With this save, I tried to be a bit exotic and unconventional with every character. Originally, Vaan was my generic melee dps that was very similar to what I did with Ashe. Both used 1H Swords, only Vaan used more magic, but was a far different level (24 in my first one, Ashe was level 26). Another thing to note is how much more balanced my levels are throughout my second playthrough. There’s not a whole lot of variance compared to my first one which had a max of 36 and a low of 24.

To conclude, I really need to finish this game. I’m excited at the fact, at this point, everything will be fresh!*’s mean they are part of my main party.