The first adventure in FF1 is rescuing the princess of Coneria from the evil villain Garland.

Except no, that's a lie. The real first adventure in FF1 is figuring out how to outfit your team with a paltry 400 GOLD.

First up, weapons. The best weapon Coneria has is the Rapier, so that's one each for BOSS, EDIT and ADAM. The best thing SKUB can use from here is the Iron Hammer, but for all the good a weapon will do a Wh.MAGE I might as well spend that 10 GOLD on last week's lottery numbers.

Armor is really only super-important for the people in your top two slots, since combined they will be taking 75% of the hits. Because I need 200 GOLD left over for magic, the choices are basically to either spend 160 GOLD on two sets of Chain Armor, or 150 GOLD on three sets of Wooden Armor (which I would have to upgrade for my RedMAGEs later anyway). For now ADAM and SKUB are going to have to do without.

The fastest way to kill GARLAND is to hit him with L1 black magic, and my RedMAGEs are happy to oblige. Buying LIT for each of them gives me four blasts of magic to ruin GARLAND's shit. There's a reason to buy LIT over FIRE, but I'll let you wallow in suspense about why.

Nuts to that, we have 10 GOLD left. Time for a night on the town!

I think this speaks for itself.

I considered going through the castle and speaking to all the plot-relevant NPCs, most of which just beg me to rescue the princess, but that would have bored me to tears and I was eager to get straight to the GARLAND-whacking. I do feel the need to point out the Invisible Man, though. We discovered him when we were little kids and always figured he was just a very concerned ghost chiding us about being tardy. "The Princess was looking for you! But you were late and she got kidnapped instead! Great job guys! Some LIGHT WARRIORs you are!"

Years later I looked into it and it turns out there is a boring technical reason why this particular NPC sprite doesn't show up. That kind of destroyed the whole mystique of the Invisible Man, though, and I much prefer my original haunting theory.

Anyway, I'm supposed to be restoring the power of the ORBs. What the hell am I doing wandering about looking for lost princesses? It's simple: the king is a stingy rat who refuses to build a bridge and aid the heroes responsible for saving the world unless they first donate their infinitely valuable time for his own selfish concerns.

The absence of a bridge, of course, begs the question as to how the LIGHT WARRIORs got to Coneria in the first place. The answer might surprise you: science.

Behold, the lowly IMP. Lesser players might slaughter a hundred of these poor bastards in pursuit of glorious EXP and GOLD prior to their assault on GARLAND, but as I said before, grinding is for chumps and I'm not having any of it.

These guys unwisely got in between me and the Temple of the Fiends, though, so their lives are forfeit. Their fallen tears tasted like delicious candy.

At last, the Temple of the Fiends! No doubt GARLAND is hiding deep within, at the end of a long and arduous journey through endless winding corridors and dark, trap-filled halls...

...or not.

Of particular note here is that this line belongs in the Timeless RPG Lexicon along with "You spoony bard!", "Son of a submariner!" and "A slime draws near! Command?"

GARLAND's got right around 100 HP, and each of these LIT spells will get him for about 30. He's easily killable with any four-man group, even at L1, making him the most anti-climactic first boss in any RPG ever. If you beef yourself up to L3 like the strategy guides suggested, he's barely a speed bump.

BOSS's Chain Armor protected her from every single one of GARLAND's attacks, leaving everyone else unscathed. I have no way to heal myself yet, but If there were more dungeon ahead of me I could swap BOSS down into the third position where she would be almost completely safe. Re-arranging the party to evenly distribute the damage makes healing a secondary concern (and a distant second at that). I'll be swapping BOSS, EDIT and ADAM around a lot as I progress, and save a ton of GOLD in the process on all the HEAL potions I'm not using.

Also, hurrah! First level up! When we were kids it was of utmost importance to keep all of our guys evenly leveled, so we would reset if any of them died. I'm not going to concern myself with that though, and if SKUB manages to eat the dirt I may not even revive him right away (or at all). Wh.MAGEs are dead weight, man.


Dawn of Souls has a cute little cutscene here of a bunch of Conerian dudes building the bridge. Back in 1990, though, we just had to take the king's word on faith.

"And that's how Princess Sara, or Sara the Retarded as we call her, gave away a priceless Conerian heirloom to a band of wandering misfits and plunged our land into a dark age of famine and hard luck."

Most items you get in the game are used exactly once and then sit in your inventory chewing up space the rest of the game, and the LUTE is no exception. By the time I actually need this for something you will have forgotten how I got it.

GARLAND was kind enough to donate a goodly amount of GOLD to my cause, enough for ADAM's Wooden Armor, two CURE spells and a stay at the INN. At L2, between EDIT and SKUB I have six shots of CURE which is enough to get me to the next town without having to worry about HEAL potions.

I don't recommend following the helpful INN lady's advice if you're playing on your PC. Anyway, saving my game here is important because I'm not going to use any savestates. (Did I mention I'm not using save states? Because I'm not.)

One bridge, as promised!

People blame Square for introducing all that cinematic nonsense into RPGs with FF7, but don't believe a word of it: they were trying to pull that shit even back in the old dinosaur days.

Next:Okay, you got me. Take my SHIP.

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