I usually don’t mention my screenshot-flavored LPs on this site, mainly because most of my readers are TTers anyway, but also because it kind of feels like cheap-out double dipping.
But I might change that policy, if for no reason other than to decrease my workload a little bit.
I have one more update in the FF1 LP I’m working on, after which I’ll be starting a new one. Should I go ahead and put those updates here in this space as well as on the TT forums? It would look something like this:
See? I knew if I went forever and ever without updating my FF1 LP that you guys would band together and entertain yourselves by planning a community FF5 project. “Brickroad,” I told myself, “whatever you do, don’t update your LP. Nobody’s claimed FF5 yet, and the more frustrated and bored your readers get, the liklier they are to take those frustrations out on FF5.”
Really, if I’d updated my LP at any point in the month of December, all I’d have accomplished is depriving Talking Time of an awesome FF5 LP in the future. Would any of you ever have forgiven me? Of course not. In fact, it’s possible I might have been banned for life. Which would have led to nigh-suicidal depression, which would have led to drinking, and who would have known where that might have went. Probably fan fiction. And nobody wants that.
Anyway, like I already explained, I managed to override almost all my screenshots from the second-to-last update with screenshots taken for the actually-last one. That (and NaNoWriMo) really killed my momentum, but I decided to turn the misfortune into my favor. “I’ll just draw the update!” I said. “It’ll add a bit of variety to what was becoming a very homogenous LP, and there’s no way it’ll take longer than actually replaying that dungeon to get more screenshots.”
I talk to myself a lot.
As it happens, the update did in fact take longer than just replaying the dungeon. In fact, it probably took longer than if I’d replayed the entire game. I can say with confidence that this one update took more time than any update I’ve ever done in an LP ever. Drawing is hard, and I’m not very good at it, which was supposed to be part of the joke… but what I learned was is even shitty drawing is time-consuming. Which is my way of saying, “This was fun, but I won’t be doing it again.”
Whisperwind Cove has lots of “fun” gimmick floors. That’s right, “fun”. Some of the gimmick floors are fun, but no, most are merely “fun”.
Most floors, though, are just generic dungeon floors. Zach, Percy, BlBelt and Ika marched through many, many generic dungeon floors in search of their ultimate goal.
Some floors are way up high in the air.
Some floors are flooded with lava.
Some floors are carved out of ice.
Eventually they arrived on an earthen floor without any random encounters. Their way, however, was barred by a purple giant!
This purple giant, just like the previous one, demands a ruby before he’ll let you pass. How do we get a ruby, you ask? Well…
…you get it from a random dwarf. This whole floor is just lousy with random dwarves. There is, of course, a catch: the random dwarf won’t give you a ruby unless you help him find his house key.
Another random dwarf found the key, which he’ll trade for some tools.
Another dwarf has tools, but he’ll only give them to you if you help him settle his stomach.
Etc. etc. etc.
The whole floor is just a boring fetch quest chain. On average, you’ll have to talk to every dwarf three times. On your first pass you’ll find the beginning of the quest chain and sort of make a mental note of what everybody once. On your second pass you’ll make a few trades and get some of completely identical dwarves mixed up in your head. So you’ll run back and forth in a third pass to finally get everything straight.
And yes, the floor is huge, convoluted and full of rooms. Why do you ask?
Eventually you’ll get your ruby, which sates the giant’s hunger and convinces him to move out of your way.
For the record, it’s not possible to use the regular quest-line ruby here. Whisperwind Cove doesn’t open up until after you’ve dispatched Tiamat, and obviously that’s impossible to do without completing the Melmond quest line. Even without the Tiamat statue, you can’t physically reach Whisperwind Cove without the canoe.
The next dungeon floor was the famous “Floating Continent” map. It uses a palette swap of the world map tileset that makes the continents look like they’re floating high up in the air. The colors are actually pretty crazy, what with the urine-colored grass and the rivers of grape Kool-Aid.
Like the overworld levels in Hellfire Chasm this floor is huge. It isn’t as intricate, though, as there are no vehicles to discover and nothing out of the ordinary to do. There are still treasures, of course!
Here’s what I managed to pick up through the first half of the second half of Whisperwind Cove. The random treasures in this dungeon are actually very, very awesome; there are tons of “Plus” items. I only ever explore Whisperwind Cove once during a playthrough, but if you wanted to do multiple runs you could increase your stats fairly quickly. This is most useful in solo runs, of course.
Eventually the boys come across a graveyard level populated entirely by zombies and stone statues. The zombies are surprisingly talkative, and are quick to inform you of the unbearable agony of their hideous unlives. The culprit, they say, is the Phantom Train, which recently pulled into town and is ripe for being destroyed.
Unlike the FF3, FF4 and FF5 throwbacks, none of the FF6 bosses really present a decent challenge. Maybe that’s because Whisperwind Cove is the ultimate endgame dungeon, by which time your dudes are ridiculously strong. Or maybe it’s because FF6 was a little light on the memorable superbosses. Maybe it’s a combination of those things. In any case, it’s BlBelt’s job to wreck this boss just like he’s wrecked so many before.
Actually, no. You know what? Fuck it. BlBelt didn’t punch the Phantom Train to death!
In the version of Dawn of Souls drawn by me with colored pencil, Monks can totally Suplex a train. Up Down Up, motherfucker!
I have no idea how accurate (if at all) any of these numbers are. They’re probably pretty close though.
The prize for killing the Phantom Train is a Megalixir. We’ll be getting use out of the few Megalixirs we’ve been unearthing later on.
Also with the Phantom Train dead, all the cursed townsfolk revert to their normal, happy human selves. More importantly, the downward stairs open up, revealing another series of “fun” gimmick floors!
Like this one, with the beavers! This is one of the most absolutely pointless floors in the entire DoS post-game. You can really tell that some poor level designer was instructed to design puzzles for the bonus dungeons, but not given any resources to expand on FF1’s base code at all. Oh, and they were given the most unreasonable deadline in the universe.
The result is floors like this. There is an old man and a bunch of beavers. The old man asks you to help him by corralling his beavers into one of the two pens behind him. He’ll tell you how many beavers he wants in each pen, and won’t reveal the staircase until you’ve met his exact specifications. When you talk to a beaver, you get the option to send him to either the right pen, or the left one. So as long as you can remember two one-digit numbers for about two minutes, you can solve this floor without any effort whatsoever.
We saw this same problem in the dwarf fetch quest, and it crops up again here in the Hide & Seek level. FF1 really can’t do anything more complicated than make you fight monsters or talk to NPCs, and most of its event flags are triggered by checking your inventory.
This floor is populated with children, and you’re told you have to find the kid with blue hair. This guy must have had a more generous deadline, however, because he decided to jazz things up by adding random-ish teleports all over the place. Entering one door will cause you to re-emerge on the other side of the map, and going in a door you just left won’t necessarily take you back where you came from.
So you run around aimlessly until you find a kid with blue hair, then you’re done.
The real problem with these gimmick levels, in truth, is that they are very light on treasure. I really would have prefered just having forty regular dungeon floors, because that would have about doubled the amount of X-Potions and Power Pluses you can amass.
The other kind of gimmick floor you’ll come across are the ones that have fun or interesting dialogue, such as the dancers in Lifespring Grotto or the librarians in Hellfire Chasm. Whisperwind Cove’s version is Monster Heaven.
This map contains ghosts of all the mooks and grunts you’ve plowed through over the course of the game. Each is represented by a pillar of purple flame, and each has been given a smidge of personality. Goblins complain about always being cannon fodder, Hill Gigases talk about how they’re manlier than the other elemental gigases, and so on.
The highlight of this floor, however, is…
Good ol’ Astos!
Unlike the surrounding mooks, Astos is still hostile towards the heroes. He bellyaches a bit about the Crown you “stole” from him, then attacks with all the ferocity an early-game boss can muster.
It goes about as well as you could imagine.
The funny thing is, who needs a Crown? As far as I’m concerned the dude can have it. We’ve already murdered him once and cleaned up that whole Elf Prince mess. It’s like, bygones are bygones, you know?
I decided it was fitting to let Percy make the one single attack it takes to put the ghost of Astos down once and for all. For FUKT’s sake.
Here are the treasures I picked up in the second half of the second half of Whisperwind Cove. Ika is subsiding on a steady diet of apples, of course, in order to increase his already excellent survivability. The Enhancer is a sword that isn’t anywhere close to any of the swords I’m already using.
(Un?)fortunately, I still had the last few screenshots from this set, so we’re back to regularly scheduled programming for the final FF6 boss: Death Gaze.
Death Gaze would be a rough fight if my lads weren’t already gods in mortal flesh. The strategy still hasn’t changed: Zach and Percy soak up the damage long enough for Ika to turn BlBelt into an invincible death machine, whereupon BlBelt pummels the boss into oblivion.
Hmm… can we just pretend this was a Suplex too?
Rewards for killing Death Gaze are twofold. First, the boss itself drops the Lightbrighter. This weapon casts Holy, but can only be equipped by Red Wizards. As far as I know this is the only Red Wizard-specific piece of equipment in the game. The combination of working stats and a traditional mana pool make Red Wizards incredibly weak compared to the other classes, so I guess they figured they’d throw the poor class a bone with this endgame weapon.
In actuality, Lightbringer is no better than any other endgame sword option. Plus, its free Holy can be triggered by anyone, at any time. Sorry, hypothetical Red Wizard! You still suck ass.
The real prize is in a treasure box located next to the dungeon exit. The Ultima Weapon is the most powerful weapon in the game, and gets stronger the more HP its weilder has. Look at the unbelievably huge boost to dead-ass Percy’s ATK!
Just how powerful is it? Well…
That’s un-buffed, folks. At long last Percy joins Zach and BlBelt in being able to one-shot everything but boss monsters, who I’ll remind you have all had their HP buffed from the original NES version.
With that, we’re closing in on a full set of uber-powerful endgame weapons. Say, wasn’t there one I forgot about?
Back at Mr. Duergar, we can have the smithy forge the Adamantite we found in the Flying Fortress into Excalibur, one of the most powerful swords in the world.
It’s nowhere near awesome enough to compete with the Ragnarok Zach’s already carrying, though. And, uh, nobody else can use it. Cue trombone sounds!
Well, we’ve officially covered everything but the very last dungeon… which I’ve already covered twice in previous LPs. That means we’re one short dungeon trek away from finally completing Dawn of Souls!
Just one loose end to tie up first…
Next: Rematch with Omega, and then…?
If this is news to you and you’d like to get caught up, here’s the forum thread with the entire LP (which has been going since April): HSUP B TCELES?