Let's Play FF1!

Originally posted by: Beat
Friends, friends. Let's just call them "Zoidbergs" and be done with it.


Originally posted by: Sven
Considering there's no other worthwhile white magic other than CURE at White Level 1, there's no reason to not pick up HARM. Hell, it's likely the most cost effective spell in the game other than one of the HEALs. With HARM, you get to WELCOME the appearance of undead creatures. Frankly, I think that they screwed up the spell by making it multi-target - there's no reason why that's the one first level spell that can do so - but I'm not too holy to not take advantage.

I think the reason is a balance thing. I guess they felt that since the spell only worked against a small subset of monsters, it could stand to be a little more powerful.

The main reason I didn't pick up HARM is because it competes with CURE for spell charges. I don't have enough money to stockpile HEAL potions, so my only method of healing in the Marsh Cave are my CURE spells.

Originally posted by: CJ Awesome
I'm playing the GBA version, and I'm beginning to feel like the Monk/Black Belt is the most broken thing imaginable.

Bl.BELT is my overall favorite class, I think. My first solo game was a Bl.BELT named BERT.

On with the adventure!

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. I'm supposed to be lighting ORBs, not tromping around fighting ZOIDBERGs and finding lost CROWNs. What the haps is, is that the prince of Elfland was cursed by ASTOS and placed into a magical sleep. The only thing that can cure him is Matoya's HERB, but she won't give it up until we return the CRYSTAL ASTOS stole from her. And we couldn't just roll up into ASTOS's crib before because he wouldn't give us the time of day without the CROWN. Once we get the HERB and wake the prince, thereby being proclaimed heroes.

Actually that's bullshit, I don't care about the prince at all, just the Elfland legend that he's supposed to give me the mystic KEY. There are lots of locked doors like this one standing between me and fabulous riches.

So: CROWN -> CRYSTAL -> HERB -> KEY. Got all that?

ASTOS is posing as a lost, lonely king up in the Northwest Castle. Once we show him the CROWN, however, he shows his true colors.

ASTOS is a really rough boss. It's not surprising so many people think you have to grind forever to get past him. He's a powerful spellcaster who always opens with RUB, followed by SLO2 (which won't do anything to me anyway because nobody in the team can land more than one hit), then FAST, then FIR2, then LIT2. FIR2 won't kill me, but it will sting enough so that LIT2 can finish me off. I have to kill him before then.

I'm lucky his RUB spell didn't stick. It's instant death, and the only way I can damage him is my magic. Had it hit ADAM or SKUB I would have been okay, but it's going to take the combined efforts of every LIT2 and LIT charge I have to finish the fight.

Success! ASTOS decided to attack me a few times instead of moving on to FIR2. Having been FASTed he was able to take a big bite out of EDIT, but otherwise I'm in good shape. Note that at L7 my RedMAGEs both get their second L3 magic charge, so if I was having too much trouble with this fight I could have spent a few more minutes on the water and come back here with four blasts of LIT2 instead of two.

Killing ASTOS gets me the CRYSTAL, which I can trade to Matoya for the HERB.

Sheesh, she doesn't seem very grateful.

At last! Here's my KEY! Now it's time to do some for serious hardcore treasure hunting. Our first stop is the locked room here in the Elfland Castle, where I'll pick up some GOLD and a Silver Hammer. The Hammer is another item I'd never buy for myself, but since it's free I'll equip it on SKUB so he can start hitting for 15-20 damage instead of 1.

In addition to a bunch of junk that isn't useful to me because I don't have a FIGHTER, Coneria Castle has been hiding the TNT all this time. This is my next important quest item, and it's the last one in this leg of the game I promise.

Our next stop is the Temple of the Fiends, which has a few locked rooms. Inside are the Rune Sword and Were Sword, which are notable for buffing my guys' HIT up over 32%. In FF1 you can land an extra hit in combat for every 32% of HIT you have. This means that, from now on, I will miss a lot less. Also, the chance for a Critical Hit is calculated separately for each hit, so not only is my average damage doubled, but I will also start getting twice as many Criticals. My damage output just went through the roof.

Coincidentially, any +15% HIT weapon would have given me this option, including the super-expensive Silver Swords they sell in Elfland. However, rather than spend 4000 on a Silver Sword, I spent 3000 on two LIT2 spells and killed ASTOS with magic. If I had FIGHTERs instead of RedMAGEs, I would have invested that money in a Silver Sword to take down ASTOS, a tactic that only works if my sword-holder manages to get by both RUB and SLO2.

Back in the Dwarf Cave. I love this guy here because I like to read his dialogue out loud: "The bracelet... *awkward pause* bracelet can protect you, like armor." He's telling the truth though, as we'll soon see.

This smithy is an important NPC if and only if you have a FIGHTER in your group, and you intend to promote him to a KNIGHT. In one of the final dungeons we'll find some ADAMANT, and if you bring it here to the smithy he'll forge it into Xcalbur, a powerful weapon only the KNIGHT can use.

Honestly, I wasn't interested in any of his stupid samples, seeing as how I'm about to pick up my third free sword anyway!

Dwarves love blowing things up, and Nerrick here is no exception. The second he lays eyes on my beautiful TNT he gets so excited he vanishes into thin air! When I get back out in my ship the isthmus I showed you earlier will have turned into a handy canal finally letting me escape Newbie Sea and get out into the real meat of the world.

All in good time, of course; I'm not done looting yet! The Dragon Sword is my last weapon upgrade for the time being, allowing BOSS, EDIT and ADAM to all land two hits per attack. Now I can easily slice my way through monster groups I would have either had to RUN from before, or waste a charge of LIT2.

There's a locked room in the Northwest Castle too. Selling the loot here is worth almost 10000 GOLD, but more importantly the room contains spiked squares with groups of MUMMYs. Staying here long enough to burn through all my charges of FIR2 and HRM2 loads me up with EXP, bringing me up to L8.

When we were kids L8 was where we would first set out for the Marsh Cave, because we didn't know any better. The thought now of grinding all that EXP on GrWOLFs, CREEPs and OGREs makes me shudder with dread.

Last stop on the treasure train is the bottom of the Marsh Cave. I used the free HOUSE I got from the Dwarf Cave outside to recharge my magic, so I have enough charges of LIT2 to mop the floor with the ZOIDBERGs on these spiked squares. The Silver Bracelet is the last really good treasure I want; equipping it on ADAM finally gives him enough enough ABSORB to start taking his turns on the front line. In fact, with his superior HP he's actually a better meatshield now than either of my RedMAGEs.

Bet you weren't expecting this so soon, eh? LIT2ing my way through a few groups of ZOIDBERGs, in addition to all the EXP I'm getting from fights in the Marsh Cave I can win now that I'm getting extra hits, lets me climb to L9 effortlessly. Here, SKUB earns his second dose of L4 magic, which I've been neglecting until now. I don't have any more treasure rooms to raid, so let's head back to Elfland and see what they've got.

Your first thought might be "He's been burning through so many PURE potions, that spell certainly will validate SKUB's existence!" Well, not quite. I mean, let's crunch the numbers, here: for the price of this one spell I can buy fifty-three PURE potions, which is way, way more than I'll ever need during the course of the game. What's more, with the Marsh Cave behind me (for real this time!) Poison is less of a disaster and more of a very slight inconvenience. Sorry SKUB, no magic for you this level.

The RedMAGEs can't use any L4 magic yet, but since I can afford it I'm going to buy them the single most useful magic spell in the game: FAST. FAST doubles a target's HIT, dramatically increasing your damage output. As I advance more in the game I'll kill the bosses less and less with magic and more and more with FASTed hits.

And since I'm here, I might as well pick up a CUR2 each for EDIT and BOSS. CUR2 isn't very useful for RedMAGEs (since it shares charges with the vastly better FIR2 and LIT2), but I can afford it and they might come in handy. Even if I never cast CUR2 with either of them, I'll still consider the 3000 GOLD well spent as an insurance policy.

As you can see, ASTOS is very clearly the point at which an FF1 party comes into its own. The power level of your team before and after the ASTOS fight is like night and day. Not only do I now have much better weapons and more magic, but I've got a great spot to go back and powerlevel if I wanted, and enough cash flow to not have to nickel-and-dime every single HEAL potion. I've also got three viable party leaders instead of two, enhancing my ability to spread the damage around and conserve healing resources. Life is pretty sweet.

Time to leave the lands of Coneria and Elfland behind and finally start seeing about these ORBs I've been lugging around.

Next: No one passes this road.

<< prev | next >>