auronlu: Terra going RAWR (ff6 - Rawr)
Last time on "Let's Play Final Fantasy VI," Emperor Gestahl, baby snatcher, ravager of towns, enslaver of Espers, told us that, "After all I have put them [the Espers] through, it is up to me to set things right. That is why... I need to borrow Terra's power." So he's asked us to take him to the Espers to apologize.

Gestahl: We must make for Crescent Island aboard the freighter from Albrook.

This screencap is boring, apart from the unusual combination of lobster and sushi rolls and roast turkey, but I just want to stress that he said we.

Because...well, you'll see shortly.

On with the playthrough )
auronlu: Terra going RAWR (ff6 - Rawr)
Before I jump in with the next segment of the walkthrough, I need to back up and reiterate something that commenter inked_compass observed about the last scene, when our scattered party reunites in  Narshe: "More of the Returners talking about Terra rather than to her. Good job guys."

It's also true of Celes. Locke bursts in to report that Celes told him there's an Imperial army marching on Narshe. Celes doesn't say a word then or when Locke, Cyan and Edgar argue over whether she's an Imperial spy:

FFVI: Celes Joined Returners

The ex-general's silence raises an intriguing question: Has she joined the Returners? All she's said in-game is that she is, or was, General Celes, now "nothing but a traitor." Those could be the words of a loyal soldier smitten with shame or sorrow at having been cast out. And Locke strikes me as the sort to assume the best of people.

Whatever Celes is thinking, I hope to see her and Terra speak up for themselves and display more autonomy soon.

On with the playthrough )
auronlu: Terra going RAWR (ff6 - Rawr)
Before I launch into the next leg of my Let's Play Final Fantasy VI playthrough, I'd just like to note that FFVI's washed-out chocobo design is redeemed by its music of pure techno awesome:

I defy you not to bob your head while listening to that with headphones. Or, to quote a couple commenters on the above video:
question: What is it about riding giant chickens that restricts random battles? ~ The Zeldaniac

Picture this, if you're an enemy and you hear this song, are you going to interrupt it by attacking the guy riding the chicken, or are you just going to dance? ~ hoodedbro1001

Now back to our regularly-scheduled playthrough.

So, in our opening FFVI sonata, our heroes Edgar, Locke, Sabin and Terra had reached the rebel hideout of the Returners. We had just imbibed our first Backstory Dump courtesy of Banon, the rebel leader, when news arrived that the town of S. Figaro was under attack and that imperial forces were headed our way.

On with the playthrough )
auronlu: Terra going RAWR (ff6 - Rawr)
I'm laaaate starting my FFVI gameblog, although I started it at the beginning of the month.

Opening FMV analysis time!

When I first started playing Final Fantasy in the VII-VIII-X era, I was mildly bemused by a series whose releases seemed at first  to have almost nothing in common but their titles and big yellow birds. As I've worked my way backwards, I've enjoyed that "click" of recognition whenever I spot recurring elements: FFXII's glossair ring airships, the trains of FFVII and VIII, the Evil Empire ("empire bad, kingdom good," as we first learned all the way back in FFII), and the tragic/unearthly damsel. FFVI's mechs, however, are almost a first for the series (I say almost, since Doctor Lugae, the Hojo lookalike in FFIV, drove one in his boss battle).

It's interesting to see how the old FF character classes of white mage, black mage, fighter, thief, ranger, ninja, summoner, monk and berserker are submerged yet remain visible beneath the surface. (Coming to the franchise so late, I was  puzzled about fans calling Tifa a monk, or Cid a dragoon, or why Kimahri was blue. Now I understand!)

Like any good opening FMV of the mature FF years, this one raises all sorts of questions about who-what-where-why that will only become intelligible on a replay.

I pause to listen to a orchestral performance of Terra's theme, since my emulator makes it sound less than the perfect bit of music it is. Then, onward.

On with the Playthrough )
auronlu: (Blah)
I'm a little torn here, as I've fallen a month behind Moogle University's 2013 Final Fantasy Marathon thanks to that dreaded problem, Real Life. Should I start Final Fantasy VII along with Sev and Rina? Or stick to Final Fantasy VI so I can recap in order? After much waffling, I'm going to stay the course and stick to FFVI.

Final Fantasy VI on Mac Emulator
It feels so decadent plugging a PS3 controller into a Mac's USB port. Gosh, it works! 

FFVI is the last non-MMO of the Final Fantasy numbered sequence of games that I haven't finished yet, because I got bogged down after the party scattered, and lost myself in Sidequests Before Saving the World. So I know most of the game, but there are still some discoveries I haven't yet made. (Note to self: do not be a completist. I often lose my fun in trying to achieve every last sidequest.)

As so often, I have mixed feelings about the games that fandom loves most, and love the games that much of fandom despises. FFVI is one of those that hasn't yet sunk into my bones like X, V, and to some extent XII, XIII and VIII.

  • Is it because I prefer sword-and-sorcery, mythic worlds to futuristic dystopias and industrial steampunk?
  • Is it because the cast was so big that I failed to bond with any of the major characters?
  • Is it that I was playing it while busy with family stuff and grad school, so that I couldn't stay properly engaged?
  • Or is it simply that I fricking hate clowns, a problem that has also dampened my enthusiasm for IX (Thorn and Zorn)?

I don't know. I remember loving parts of this game; I purchased Terra's theme as one of Uematsu's finest pieces, and I quite like some of the characters. But I feel like FFVI is my friends' fandom playground, much like those fandoms such as Sherlock and Avengers in which I don't participate, but many of my friends do. Hopefully, on this playthrough, I'll be able to immerse myself more fully.

For purposes of screencapping, I'm going to be sacrificing  sound quality a bit and playing  FFVI on my Mac via PCSX-R. (See the video info on that link for how I did it).

In-game sound is fairly good, but the FMV sound goes crackle-pop. Nevertheless, I'm really quite delighted to be playing this game on my Mac. The very first FFs I ever played (VIII and VII) were on my Mac, thanks to an emulator that friends gave me eons ago, so I've come full circle.

All right. Back into the melancholy world of angst and mecha!
auronlu: (Faris)
Wow, these guys are great THIS GUY are sick. Rina, this one's for you:


They've He's also done "epic medleys" for FFV and FFIX, plus shorter vids for FFX and FFVII.

His Final Fantasy playlist

auronlu: (Shani)
 For so many years, I have seen of FFVI as the best of the series, that I think I built up my expectations too high.

I'm mostly cranky because I just got killed for the second time in as many days by yet another timed fetch-quest. I hate those. Hate hate hate hate hate...ahem. So I will now be playing through the Floating Island sequence and its timed-quest again, and then, if I survive, I can look forward to the timed-quest that just killed me. Hello, arthritis!

But it's not just the timed-quest problem. I've come to realize that I depend more than anything else on characterization— mannerisms, speaking styles, personalities, past histories, interactions, dialog, speeches.  Follow that up with worldbuilding and interesting settings. And then, at the bottom of the priority heap, plot. Sounds a lot like my writing. I also wither up and die in urban and technological dystopias, which is why Midgar has always given me trouble (luckily, FFVII has some well-defined characters, dialog and interactions). 

Or maybe I just don't like clowns. Or maybe I'm confused because the cackling purple octopus seems like it belongs in a much sillier game than the rest.

I don't know. There are character developments, and Celes is interesting (like Beatrix in IX, except as a PC). But I still feel like I'm bumbling around Twilight Town waiting for the party to gel. It's a huge, huge cast of characters, and since they can't count on any one set of party members at any time, there's a lot less person-specific dialog and moments.

It's not really that I dislike VI, but after everything I've heard, I expected it to knock my socks off, and so far, no luck. Whereas V, with all its shallowness and early-early RPG simplicity, amused me more. Maybe because it was more lightweight. But I still got to know the main party's characters better, because there were only 4-5 of them, and they all had something to say at major plot points. VI can't, again, because only a few of the characters are fixed for any given scene.

I had no idea I was so dialog-driven.

Kefka helps, because he's got distinct mannerisms and animations, but few of the characters do.

The funny thing is, I'll take choppy voice acting (X) and worse translations (V), so long as there's enough information that I can figure out what people are supposed to sound like. It's the same way I can listen to fiction (Dorothy Sayers, Justira's writing, Ellnyx's writing) read aloud by my lousy text-to-speech program and fill in the real voices in my head. 

Then again, I am consistently backwards from everyone else; my favorites are X, XII,XIII, V, VIII, roughly in that order.

P.S.  Updated Flist from DOINK friendmeme; apologies. I thought when I added someone as a friend it granted access, too..*peers at DW*

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