Monday, 27 February 2012

Final Fantasy (NES) - Guest Post

Final Fantasy specialist Ocean returns, again, this time to show off the very first of the Final Fantasy series, on the NES.

I wrote about Final Fantasy IV (aka Final Fantasy II) last week, but I figured, hey why not at least play another one? Here you go, my first RPG ever. Probably my first game ever too. My introduction to the world of videogaming.

This is Final Fantasy's original NES title screen, but you won't find it at the start of the game. You have to play all the way up to unlocking the second town before they let you see it.

The game actually starts with a solid wall of text.

Most of the story is told here in the intro. You have to find out most of the information and where to go by talking to people who give you a one message box of info.

Setting this Final Fantasy game apart from every other one after it, is that you get to pick your 4 character classes to start with and are then stuck with them for the rest of the game. The other FF games either have predetermined classes or let you change classes/abilities as you liked.

So making 4 white mages is not such a great idea (though people have beaten the game with that). Also, you can only have 4 letter names.

You start off near the first town with no equipment, no quest log, no tutorials. Time to head off into town and spend the 400G we have.

As you can see when you enter the menu, you have the 4 orbs mentioned in the intro text, all dark. They'll grow light again when you defeat each elemental fiend.

As the Red Mage here is currently the only one that can use magic, he has his Magic values there under his HP.

Going into the castle has the King sending you off to rescue the Princess from GARLAND. You actually do get to see Lukahn later. That prophecy isn't very old.

Off to the town itself now. After chatting with a well, we'll go off to buy some equipment/magic.

A Red Mage can learn both White and Black Magic which is nice! You can only have 3 spells per level though, so the Red Mage has a more difficult choice to make than the Black and White Mages do.

This is the Clinic. If a character dies and you don't have the Life spell (you won't unless you're a White Mage), then you go here to revive. No, there are no Phoenix Downs. If someone dies, you're going to have to head all the way back to a town and hope you have the money to revive them.

Time to leave town and head up across the overworld to Garland's Temple. It's the only place you can go right now anyway until the bridge is built.

Haha, I love this dialogue. It's the best villain speech.

Garland's not hard. There's no boss battle music here until later FF games (and the billion remakes this game has had).

Here's the spell list. The 2/0/0/0/0/0/0/0 thing you saw under Magic in the menu is the spell charges you have per level. Each spell (regardless of what it is) costs one charge, but higher level magic is gained at higher levels so you might have 9 Level 1 uses but only 2 Level 7 uses.

They changed this system in later remakes to the regular MP system.

Wall of text, but you have to remember to talk to the Princess after you.... save her. You know, she totally teleported you back to the castle! If she could do that, why did she need to be saved at all? I hate when they do that. You take all the effort to save someone that honestly does NOT need saving. Same thing with FF4s Rosa.

I went up to Matoya's cave now. They have these weird brooms that tell you an in game hint. Push B Select to show the overworld map!

This is part of the series of a long chain of fetch quests. I'll simplify it as best as I can...

You have to go to Pravoka and get the ship so you can go to Elfland to see that you need the herb to get the Mystic key from the sleeping prince so you can get the TNT to give to the dwarves so they can blow open a path to the next part of the overworld. But to wake the sleeping prince, you need an herb from Matoya. To get the herb from Matoya, you need the Crystal. To get the Crystal, you need to slay Astos and get his crown. To get his crown, you need to go in the Marsh cave and defeat Wizards.

Ignoring all of that, we'll head over to the next town. Seems like they need some help! The music is all happy though.

Yarr, there be pirates!

This reminds me that I have an old Nintendo Power guide on Final Fantasy 1. It was very informative, especially in showing the dungeon maps and the treasures you can find. This way, you can more efficiently go through the dungeons or see the enemies HP. It doesn't really matter right now because....

This is the boss and they have 6 HP each. If you have troubles with this fight, stop playing this game. Oh, this reminds me (I am forgetful as you can see) that in the NES version of the game, if you target an enemy that is already dead, you just waste your turn basically. So if you think a person is going to kill the enemy in their hit, have someone else hit another target. They don't have this in the later versions so you can just go all happy pressing "Attack".

Defeat Bikke and you get a SHIP!

I picked up some more equipment in town before I go on the boat. You have 4 spots for armor and 4 spots for weapons. It's nice to have some free space for weapons/armors later because you'll find a lot of good stuff and some equipment will cast a spell when used as an item. Heal Helmet for example casts Heal for free for you.

Pressing A+B 55 times while on a boat gets you a sliding puzzle. I think you get a meager reward for doing it but it's too much effort for me to care to beat it so I'll just leave it at that. (But it wasn't too much effort to press A+B 55 times? - Ray)

You can only park your boat on a port like this. You DO actually fight encounters while on a ship, but other FFs like Final Fantasy V did this too. Plus the encounter rate is lower and the enemies give decent Gold for beating them.

I went into town to get some new spells. FAST is a very nice one, it adds to the amount of hits that a character does. FIR2 (Fire2) and LIT2 are nice too. 4 letter name restrictions are amusing.

Something I should mention... this game really wants you to grind. Each of the level 4 spells here in this town cost 4000G. The strongest weapon here in town is 4000G. The Level 3 spells are 1500G each. So if you have 2 people that can use Silver Swords, one Level 4 spell (Fast), 3 Level 3 spells, that comes out to 16500 G. How much do you get from random encounters? About 100-200G.

There is a place called 'Peninsula Northeast of Pravoka', which has high level enemies that aren't supposed to be encountered until much later in the game. If you have FIR2 (Starting at Level 6 I think is when you can first use that), then you may be able to live through an encounter there.

Youtube video

Here it shows you the location of it. You can encounter anything from FrostWolves to ZomBulls and things like that. Very dangerous though.

And his people did nothing in those 5 years? Booohoo poor Prince, if only some adventurers would come and do the work for us!

You go up to the Northern Castle past some forests and you see the King alone amongst the ruins. He wants his crown back. So, time to go get it from............ MARSH CAVE. Anyone who's played FF1 this far will know what a pain that place was, but I'll try to give some reasons for this as I head over there.

Here I am in MARSH CAVE. Lets see where to start... First, it's pretty far from town. Even being outside the cave requires quite a bit of a walk to get back to town. Next, just about every enemy can poison you. Then there's floors like this one shown above, where there are a lot of rooms that look alike, and you need to find the right one that has the crown.

This is the room. This is one of those times where you step on a certain tile, you will be guaranteed to be attacked. It doesn't go away after you step on it once, so if you really want to grind, you can do so. I'd recommend against it though, as this battle is fairly tough and you're far into the cave.

WIZARDS. Did I say Wizards? I meant Piscodemons. They're tough but not as bad as their relatives, Sorcerors (i.e. Mindflayers). The Mindflayers/Sorcerors instant one hit kill you or mass paralyze you. Here, I am using the Drink command, which lets you use a Heal or Pure potion in battle. It's best to wait until after battle for that though.

So I went up to the castle, brought him the crown and... oh.

Astos is a pretty nasty boss. He can use RUB which while a funny sounding spell, causes instant death to you. Which it did. I got out of battle with Mina dead but the other 3 were okay. I was expecting it to cost an arm and a leg to revive Mina but it turned out to be only 200G.
Check out this link if you're curious to see how much the enemies in game resembled the concept art by Amano.

If you are really up for a nostalgic and difficult (and grindy) RPG, here it is. The funny thing is, the random encounter rate in this game is actually better than Final Fantasy IVs! That's not to say it's GOOD, but at least you won't get into a battle 2 steps after the last one. If you don't have much patience (and you will need plenty of it), then this game isn't for you. Honestly I would say if you wanted, it might be better to play Final Fantasy V instead. That's a game for me to post another time though!

Final Fantasy series:
1987 - Final Fantasy (NES)
1991 - Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy)
1991 - Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
1999 - Final Fantasy VIII (PSX)


  1. Always wanted to play this FF!
    You should post about FFVI, my favorite one =D

  2. I remember play this game in GBA long time ago.


Semi-Random Game Box