A good number of years ago, I bought Final Fantasy Anthology and Final Fantasy Chronicles for the PS1 in order to play Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. The other games that came in these mini-collections were Final Fantasy IV and V. While I had always been interested in FFVI and onward, I never heard much about IV and V and, thus, I had no desire to play them. I guess I don’t stray too much from the games I specifically want to play, as the same was the case when I bought The Orange Box and refused to try Half-Life 2 until a year after its purchase because I had nothing better to do at the moment. And seeing as that ended well, I decided it was finally time to try out FFIV and V. Let’s start with Final Fantasy IV, shall we?
As of writing this, I am now nearing the final boss, and I plan to write about my experiences with this game in another post once the game is finished. As I battled countless enemies in the game’s final location in order to level up and better prepare myself for the final battle, I also worked on defeating the optional bosses that guarded the most powerful weapons in the game. One of these was the dreaded Wyvern, a dragon who has thus far repeatedly destroyed me. When I looked up tips online, I found one person who said they had defeated the Wyvern with all of their characters around the early 50’s, which, for me, signified a problem.
You see, my characters are all around their 60’s, and I still don’t stand a chance.
As I wracked my brain, trying to comprehend why I couldn’t defeat a boss others had toppled at ten levels below mine, I found more people who employed strategies involving spells I had never before used. Blink? What the heck is Blink? When I finally tried out their advice and located the spell somewhere in Rosa’s long list of white magic, I cast the spell on her to see what effect it would have. Well, she began to flash, so obviously it was doing…something. Within a minute or so, every other member of the group had been killed. And then she died last of all. Um, did Blink help me at all?… I can’t really tell.
Okay, my point is, I am at a loss on how to beat the Wyvern without simply leveling up a lot more, which is typically my answer to everything in RPGs. I have been employing this tactic, with general success (aside from the final battle of Final Fantasy VIII, which I will continue to argue is impossible despite evidence to the contrary), and it did not occur to me until now that…I suck at RPGs. Yeah, I have completed pretty much every RPG I own, except for FFVIII, but I am still a sad, sad specimen of a gamer when it comes to this genre.
To illustrate my point once more with Blink, this spell was buried in the list of white magic Rosa could use. Buried. That means she’s had it for a while. And I have no idea what it does. What does Sight do? Dunno. Oh, and items. Moon Veil? Clueless. Au Apple? Huh? Yeah. How sad that it was not until an old RPG such as this that I began to realize how gently I’ve scratched the surface when it comes to all the moves and magic spells and items these games have to offer. Actually, to be completely honest here, it’s not just items and spells and the like that I seem to be incompetent with. Example, I never did totally understand the whole Materia thing in FFVII. My method…place stuff willy nilly and hope it benefits me. Yes! Maybe next time I play, I’ll close my eyes and see what I come up with. I think it will work just as well.
I like to think I’m a fairly competent gamer, but for me, RPGs have always been too complex, so I usually never stray very far from the basics. The most advanced thing I’ve ever done was casting Reflect on an enemy to prevent it from healing, but beyond that, when it comes to forming any kind of full-fledged strategy, I find myself at a loss. It makes me think that playing an RPG is a science, a science that is clearly beyond my level of comprehension. Give me Physics or Biology any day, just don’t expect me to figure out how to defeat an RPG boss using any more than brute force. And now that my moment of enlightenment has arrived, I have to ask, how many people do actually utilize all the options available in your average RPG? Come on, dear readers, tell me your story. Do you prefer to beat enemies senseless with the strongest weapon you can find, while you accumulate spells and items you never end up using? Or do you prefer to defeat your foes using carefully thought-out plans and know the ins and outs of your party’s repertoire? Please let me know in the comments what kind of RPG gamer you are. Because I am definitely the former.
Maybe RPGs Were Simply Not Made for Ducks